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Great to see everyone last night! As you know, I'm one of the people who truly loved Ben's ballet. The music reminded me a bit of Stravinsky, but it veered in directions that I didn't expect as well (great!). I just loved this score; it's dark but very nuanced. I also liked the patterns and steps that Ben created for our dancers. Although Robbins like (I'm a huge Robbins fan) in places, it still had a unique stamp.

Janie (a favorite) was simply gorgeous, and Jared (so good!) made some difficult partnering seem easy. Tiler and Amar (more favorites!) were truly terrific in their pdd. My eye was also drawn to the elegant, superb Adrian Danching-Waring, as well as the excellent Tyler Angle, and Sean Suozzi, among others (loved Katie Morgan too!). I also really liked the costumes. I can't wait to see this ballet again. Ben is extremely talented. His ballet for ABT (I think it was fall 2007 at City Center) was also first rate.

I was not bowled over (at all) by Jiri's piece. Our dancers were, as always, excellent, but there were too many manic arms(the arm movements reminded me of a helicopter taking off) and too few actual steps. To be honest, I was a bit bored with the ballet, although I really liked the music. David Prottas's solo was too brief, and seemed like an afterthought. David is fantastic and needs more major parts. I don't think Robbie (love him!) and the wonderful Craig Hall were given enough to do in this ballet either. That said, it was nice to see Brittany Pollack front and center.

Finally, let me sing the praises of the magnificent Joaquin De Luz. He should be giving master classes on how to be both a technical powerhouse (without getting sloppy, like a couple of other high flying dancers in our company), while making is seem easy. His joy of dancing is all of his face, and he never looks strained (love this!). He also has gorgeous legs and feet, lands softly, and is an excellent partner. Oh, and talk about handsome -- wow!

It was a treat to see so many of the dancers all dolled up. Yvonne Borree looked gorgeous in her gown (she's so pretty!). Maria was also a stunner! Alas, I didn't see "my" beloved Wendy in her dress.

The company is dancing better than it has for years. I feel so blessed to be able to see them so frequently.

And Philip -- you looked very dapper and handsome in your shirt and tie last night! I also loved Susan's outfit -- she looked so pretty!


I do like Gorecki's music both in general and in this specific piece...I just ordered a CD of it.

I was thinking that Ben's piece will look more distinctive as the middle ballet on a programme of brighter and more traditional pieces. Maybe the jolt from coming into the hall thru the gala atmosphere and then being plunged directly into the darkness was something I was not quite ready for. There was also a distraction as someone snuck in for a late seating in front of me about five minutes into the ballet and started talking. New ballets especially require fierce concentration.

Of course it was not easy for me to write less-than-enthusiastic things about the ballet esp in view of how much I admire Benjamin both as dancer and creative artist. I'm definitely seeing it again and hoping to find a key to it...the dancers, as usual, will provide it for me I'm sure.

Wendy looked incredibly elegant; I had the possibility of talking with so many of my idols last night - Wendy, Faye, Abi - but I was feeling very shy and also I just wanted them to enjoy their gala night and bask in their own glamour. So I watched from the sidelines.

Yes, Joaquin is The Man...we are so lucky to have him.


I'm sure you are right about being plunged into darkness after the gala atmosphere.

I also need to defend you (to you!).
You are always incredibly fair about all of your reviews. It's okay not to love something. Plus people read your blog to find out what you think (and value your opinion).


In case you weren't aware, you are able to view the red carpet photos by going to the press websites like Getty Images, Wire Image, and Patrick McMullan, and typing "New York City Ballet" in the search field.

You will be able to see Ashley, Wendy, Charles all decked out - STUNNING!


I didn't love Benjamin's work....thought it had no structure at all and was just filled with dancers moodily darting around the stage. The second piece was somewhat better, but they definitely do not belong on the same program. As for Megan and Joaquin - I adore them both, and agree with all comments about Joaquin - he is a tremendous asset to NYCB. I had the honor of seeing several dancers all dressed up for the Galan and simply could not stop staring at Janie Taylor! WOW! She looked like a Goddess!


I agree with Deborah. I thought that Ben's ballet got off to a slow start but continued to get better and better as it went along. I found his choreography quite inventive and very original. Unlike many young choreographers, Ben's work did not seem in any derivative. I'm looking forward to seeing it again on the 22nd. As for Jiri's ballet,despite some excellent dancing, I did not like it at all. I felt that with the exception of a few piano passages, the music was dreary, the choreography disconnected to what music there was and lacking any overall point of view, and the costumes rather ugly. Maybe at that point in the program I was also tired of the dark lighting. What a joy it was to see see the curtain come up on that brightly lit stage for the marvelous Theme and Variations and then experience those superb performances by Megan and Joaquin.

Overall, as at most NYCB galas, a wonderful evening! The dancers heading to the dinner afterwards looked fabulous.


Lesley, thanks for reminding me about the 'gala' photo websites...

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