Seeing SLICE TO SHARP for the second time within 24 hours. This afternoon there was a different feeling in the house; very little applause during the piece and a solid reception at the end but nothing like the near-hysteria at the premiere. I said to Wei that the ballet was not getting to the audience like it had the night before; he said "All these old ladies probably think it's too modern." And, being a typical matinee audience, he was probably right. The dancers were perhaps just a shade more restrained than at the premiere, though restraint in this case is relative. Maria K was particularly vibrant this afternoon, and the Wendy/Craig Hall adagio was spectacular.
The audience seemed more animated during FRIANDISES so sgain I said to Wei, why would that be? "There are more people dancing." That, and it is a brighter & more extroverted piece. Tiler Peck cannot be human; humans cannot turn 4 or 5 times on a dime like that without preparation. And she keeps doing it. Her big smile assures us there's a heart beating there. Very impressive dancer. Ulbricht soared into multiple air-turns without a care in the world. Their breezy performance was enthusiastically applauded. The eighteen "soloists" (too starry a group to be thought of as a corps) made the most of their opportunities. Ashley Laracey is a particularly appealing dancer, and Savannah Lowery at one point took a luxuriant balance before exiting.
The opening section of VIENNA WALTZES has become my favorite over the years. Today Pascale van Kipnis and Jason Fowler beautifully portrayed the ardent young couple. Jason looked great as the gallant military man and Pascale seemed so joyful at being onstage again; the brief moment when the girl fears her beau may have lost track of her was as moving as ever. Then Miranda Weese came swirling onstage in a heavenly set of turns as the Voices of Spring began. She has been having a great season and this performance would be high on the list of successes. She looks sublime, and dances with impeccable grace. What a gift, having this woman in the Company. She was to have danced with Damian but ended up with Joaquin de Luz who had earlier tossed off the complexities of SLICE TO SHARP with great panache. He & Miranda looked lovely together and were clearly enjoying their traversal of Balanchine's steps. Carrie Lee Riggins & Tom Gold were saucy & fun in the polka, and Jenifer Ringer was a blindingly beautiful Merry Widow with Nilas the storybook suitor. Darci was moving & gracious in the final waltz, with Askegard the perfect cavalier. Earlier in the week I met one of the apprentices who told me about rehearsing in "the gown"; I told her I would find her onstage. She seemed to think that would be impossible, but I spotted her quickly: waltzing away in in the famous creamy silk. Everyone looked glorious.
But the performance ended with a wistful note as it seems that we may be seeing Pascale van Kipnis in her final NYCB appearances. She's been out with a serious injury for quite some time, and the joy of seeing her dance again was tempered by the thought that it might be the last time. She is a radiant dancer.