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Thank you, again, for such a beautifully written review. I am seeing this program on Sunday and the Bach program tonight and I am greatly looking forward to them.


Sarah, I hope you enjoy BUGAKU as much as I did...


After seeing the "Essential Balanchine" program, I was convinced that it would reign as the best program of the season. However, after viewing the "International Balanchine" program at yesterday's matinee, I might have to change my vote. What a magnificent afternoon of ballet! I expected, of course, to love Serenade (Ashley, as usual, was astonishing - even Gottlieb seems to love her - and as for Darci's performance, I'm inclined to agree more with your assessment than that of Macauley)and also Union Jack (the dancers were all marvelous, with special kudos to Damian, Kyra and Tess) but for me the big revelation of the day was Bugaku. Granted, I never saw Villella and Kent in the ballet nor even Villella and McBride, but I have seen the ballet several times over the years and at least once with Jock and Darci, but never did I fully appreciate it until yesterday. That is due in large measure, I suspect, to the brilliant performances of Maria and Albert. The corps people in the ballet were no doubt excellent but I could not honestly attest to that fact because I could never take my eyes off the two principals - they held me absolutely spellbound. Maria and Albert received three curtain calls - when the stage manager turned on the house lights after the standard maximum NYCB two curtain calls, the audience would not hear of it - they kept applauding until Maria and Albert came out a third time. So...which would you vote for - Essential Balanchine or International Balanchine? Close call, but yesterday my money was on the latter.


It's good to read of the public's reaction to the steamy duo of Albert & Maria K in BUGAKU!!

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