Wednesday December 30, 2009 matinee - One final visit to the New York City Ballet's NUTCRACKER. Above, Paul Kolnik's photo from the production. Once again, food consumption in the Fifth Ring sent me packing to standing room.
It was a good performance in all respects, and Kurt Nikkanen's playing of the violin interlude was the musical highlight of the afternoon. He maintains his silky tone even when playing in the highest register.
Amanda Hankes and Justin Peck hosted the party, Andre Kramarevsky was a vividly magical Drosselmeyer and Giovanni Villalobos a notable Soldier. The Snow Scene was again very well-danced.
Erica Pereira's technical perfection and lovely style were at their finest in her opening solo, clearly showing why she has just been designated Soloist. The various 'treats' in the divertissement were led off by the lively, elegant dancing of Brittany Pollack and Devin Alberda in Spanish, followed by a truly engrossing performance of Arabian by Georgina Pazcoguin. Vincent Paradiso was a dynamic Tea and Troy Schumacher very light and brilliant in Candy Canes. Lauren King is a pretty and very accomplished Marzipan, and I was very glad to see Faye Arthurs back onstage dancing in tandem with Likolani Brown, Amanda Hankes and Mary Elizabeth Sell.
Kaitlyn Gilliland and Gwyneth Muller were the demi-flowers-deluxe and Savannah Lowery's Dewdrop swirled graciously on the music, especially nice in the fouette/attitude turn combination and in her steady balances; her sense of joy in dancing makes her so pleasing to watch.
Erica Pereira and Anthony Huxley - in his role debut - stepped onto the stage looking terribly young. As they progressed thru the myriad difficulties of this pas de deux their youthful sense of courtliness came into play. There are minor partnering details that can be smoothed out, but they look very attractive together and the audience seemed quite taken with them. Anthony's refined hands put a nice polish on his presentation and he was successful in the demands of the coda. Erica's dancing is so poised, making me eager to follow her developing career. I'm hoping Erica and Anthony will be cast in the Bluebird pas de deux when SLEEPING BEAUTY arrives in the New Year.