Although the lobby casting sheet lists Andrea Quinn as conducting over the coming weekend, it seemed that tonight may actually have been her farewell.
The opening Ratmansky was pleasing to watch and expertly danced; Rebecca Krohn stepped into the Sylve role and did a beautiful job. She fit right in with the polished, established cast; Rebecca looked superb in the red dress, and danced the demanding combinations with ease and dramatic conviction. Jenifer Ringer was at her finest tonight, so clearly defining the steps and accentuating the gestures and facial expressions with her customary instinct for what will make the ballet look its best. One more reason to love Ringer! Albert & Wendy were great, and a special bravo to Sean Suozzi. Oddly, someone booed loudly twice as the curtain fell.
Miranda Weese has a great success in IN MEMORY OF... Her portrayal is very different from Wendy's, and they both differ strongly from earlier interpreters: Kyra and Darci. Miranda's silky technique made the most of the first movement, gently flowing with a slightly reticent quality. Confronted by death, Weese seemed more resigned to her fate than the other women had before her. Her vulnerability made Death seem so cruel. In the final movement, she moved among the angels with quiet dignity. The audience seemed drawn into the story and mesmerized by the beauty of Weese's performance. She was enthusiastically cheered. Jason Fowler was a fine partner. Charles Askegard's portrayal of Death was remarkable: no trace of melodrama but a cold, calculating destroyer who uses every gesture to emphasize his callous disdain for the heroine's plight.
Megan Fairchild and Adam Hendrickson provided a thoroughly enjoyable 2nd movement in WESTERN SYMPHONY. Adam is as gifted an actor as one might find on the ballet stage these days, and his secure technique gives him the freedom to explore the dramatic situation without stinting on the steps. This is a great role for Megan, so dead-pan facially and danced with skill. Her two flying fish dives were coolly handled by Adam. Genevieve Labean looks so pretty onstage, and newcomer Mary Elizabeth Sell has a great smile. In the first movement, Somogyi and Nilas had plenty of charm but their dancing was a little subdued. Kaitlyn G, William Lin-Yee and Allen Peiffer stood out in the corps. Kowroski revelled in the demands of the final movement and Damian turned on the show-biz persona though his dancing - fun as it was - was a little casual technically.
A standing ovation greeted Quinn as she stepped onto the podium to conduct WESTERN. At the end, she was greeted with a roar of applause as large bouquets were presented and Peter gave her a big batch of red roses. The corps boys wheeled out an enormous floral arrangement.
I have thought very highly of Quinn's tenure here. The orchestra seems to be playing with more pride in itself. She's led them through all manner of tricky scores. Though sometimes accused of going too fast, it seems to me that Quinn actually has a fine pulse for the music (she gave Sara Mearns that dreamy adagio for her first Odette) and that the Company, which had perhaps been somewhat lulled by Hugo over the years, has been returned to its original reputation as a swift Company. It really is too bad that she's leaving.