Saturday October 6, 2012 evening - A very strong programme, excellently danced, and viewed by one of the larger audiences to gather at New York City Ballet in recent seasons.
RUBIES has been looking glorious this season and as a stand-alone ballet (it's the middle 'movement' of JEWELS) it makes for a great opener. Clothilde Otranto wielded the baton all evening and Cameron Grant was at the piano for this jazzy Stravinsky treat. Sterling Hyltin and Gonzalo Garcia were wonderfully paired as the ballet's sexy and playful central couple. Sterling showed off some speed-of-light allegro dancing and was on radiant form, enticed by the handsome Gonzalo. Both dancers were at their best and the chemistry level was high. Pure enjoyment to watch them tonight. Savannah Lowery had a grand time tonight, dishing out powerhouse dance, three deep and steady penchée arabesques, and ample sex appeal. The corps sparkled.
Janie Taylor repeated her engrossing portrayal of The Novice in THE CAGE; tonight her second victim was the body-beautiful Craig Hall. Their pas de deux was fascinating both in its sheer physicality and in the smouldering undercurrents which develop as The Novice finds herself hesitating to make her move. But her killer instincts win out in the end. Rebecca Krohn's Queen is intense, and Sean Suozzi's first victim makes a big impression in a brief role, and an even briefer costume. What a handsome devil, and what a dynamic dancer.
By contrast, the lyricism of the romantic Robbins pas de deux ANDANTINO was graciously put forth by Megan Fairchild and Andrew Veyette. It seems like every time I write about Megan, the word pirouettes is bound to crop up: hers are so impeccable and there's a lovely diagonal in this duet where she floats thru the turns at increasing speed: breathtaking. She and Andrew created a tender but not saccharine atmosphere, their dancing polished and ever-poised on the Tchaikovsky melodies which pianist Elaine Chelton sent wafting into the house.
SYMPHONY IN C was off to a fine start when Ana Sophia Scheller (above) made her entrance and gave a delicious performance, both in terms of technique and presence. Unique, beautiful, elegant: she wears her diadem like a true princess. Jared Angle, who last week made such a deep impression in a very different setting, was Ana's noble cavalier. His dancing is velvety, his partnering princely.
In the second movement, Teresa Reichlen's performance is already a classic. Having made a highly successful debut in this role earlier in the week, she can now explore the faceted nuances of this famous adagio. Tonight she was regal and serene, and deeply feminine. Jonathan Stafford gives Tess excellent support, and he looks super in the men's passages of the ballet's finale.
Demi-solistes play a big part in SYMPHONY IN C. In the third movement, Mary Elizabeth Sell, Gretchen Smith, Andrew Scordato and Daniel Applebaum all looked fine and their dancing enhanced the light and brilliant performances of the lead couple: Erica Pereira and Antonio Carmena. In the fourth movement, Lauren King was partnered by Anthony Huxley (debut = excellent) and the demis were Alina Dronova, Amanda Hankes, Giovanni Villalobos and Troy Schuumacher.
In the finale I found myself concentrating on the men for a change: Anthony Huxley's feet are so perfect, and Antonio Carmena's sky-high extension is remarkable.
RUBIES from JEWELS: Hyltin, Garcia, Lowery
THE CAGE: Taylor, Hall, Krohn, Suozzi
ANDANTINO: M. Fairchild, Veyette
SYMPHONY IN C: FIRST MOVEMENT: Scheller, J. Angle; SECOND MOVEMENT: Reichlen, J. Stafford; THIRD MOVEMENT: Pereira, Carmena; FOURTH MOVEMENT: King, Huxley