Mearns and Ramasar in the Rondo of Brahms-Schoenberg
|ABT's Harlequinade, photo @ Marty Sohl|
|Bell and Bouder in Stars and Stripes, photo @ Erin Baiano|
Bouder's experience with Liberty Bell matched well with Ball's slightly arrogant persona. In addition Emily Kikta as Bugle Girl and Daniel Ulbricht in the third regiment made this a fun closer for a long evening. Here are Ball and Bouder in the final moments of Stars and Stripes:
|Lovette and Angle in DAAG, photo @ Erin Baiano|
Of the debuts Anthony Huxley as Brown Boy was sensational -- serious, unaffected, and he flew around the stage with the kind of abandon that makes DAAG such a joyous piece underneath the surface melancholy. On the other end Russell Janzen as Purple Boy was a strong partner but more importantly exuded more of a romantic air than Tyler Angle in Cast #1. His duet with Huxley was amazing -- the way Anthony flew in the air gave the duet a real sense of playfulness. Unity Phelan and Joseph Gordon also brought a natural grace to their roles, and Gordon did well with the difficult partnering Green Boy has to do with Mauve Girl including that big shoulder lift-carry offstage. Only Indiana Woodward was unexpectedly ragged as Apricot Girl -- a few partnering mishaps and mistimed entrances and poorly synchronized steps gave her performance a tenseness that usually isn't there.
As for the veterans Sterling Hyltin was just heavenly as Pink Girl, and her duets with Brown Boy and Purple Boy were tender and poetic. Her fast, skimming bourrées in that "Rainbow in the Sky" duet with Russell Janzen were so beautiful -- like little flutters of the heart. Ashley Bouder's Green Girl remains a hard, charmless creature without the wit and warmth that Maria Kowroski, Sara Mearns, and Megan Fairchild bring to the role. Harrison Ball's Brick Boy was a little low impact compared to Roman Mejia although Ball is the more polished dancer, and Lauren King and Peter Walker were given the thankless tasks of making the Blue Girl and Boy seem memorable.
Here are Janzen and Hyltin:
Sterling Hyltin and Russell Janzen performed a sweet pas de deux as one of the romantic couples in Jerome Robbins’ Dances a Gathering on last night’s Classic NYCB II program. Janzen debuted in this featured role last Friday. pic.twitter.com/bo0hhJTjRj— New York City Ballet (@nycballet) May 22, 2019
|Emily Kikta, photo @ Paul Kolnik|
First cast: Allegro: Bouder, Janzen, Kikta; Intermezzo: Hyltin, J. Angle; Andante: Pereira, Huxley; Rondo: Mearns (substitute for Kowroski), T. Angle
In the first movement Ashley Bouder's brittle dancing was mismatched with Russell Janzen's danseur noble but Emily Kikta was wonderful in the Gloria Govrin role. She's a tall, imposing dancer whose features project into the huge auditorium.
The intermezzo with all those plunges where the female falls face first to the ground while supported by the male and then is turned right side up while still almost parallel to the ground was led by a delicate, ethereal Sterling Hyltin and a rather out of shape Jared Angle whose partnering was also rather labored. Erica Pereira and Anthony Huxley were spritely and charming in the Andante. But it was Mearns (who replaced Kowroski in the 4th act Rondo) that brought down the house. I have never seen Mearns dance with so much controlled energy -- often she just powers through the role like a bull in a china shop. Here she stormed through the role but never forgot the gypsy accents and the contrasts in tempi that make the final movement so thrilling. As for Tyler Angle, he was a good partner but could have sold the piece more.
|Lovette and Veyette, photo @ Erin Baiano|
Here are Huxley and Pereira in the Andante:
Here is Mearns dancing up a storm in the Rondo finale:
|Fairchild in T&V, photo @ Paul Kolnik|
Last Thursday, Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 provided a rousing finale to the Spring Gala. Teresa Reichlen & Adrian Danchig-Waring led the enchanting Elegie section, setting the four-part ballet's romantic tone.— New York City Ballet (@nycballet) May 6, 2019
See it on the Balanchine: Big & Bold program: https://t.co/YqrciqnTFz pic.twitter.com/RUkuJx5Of8
|New Symphony in 3 Movements cast, photo from @wendyw's IG|
Speaking of new debuts, Adrian Danchig-Waring stepped into the Amar Ramasar "yellow tank top" role in The Times Are Racing and it was hard to believe that the choreography wasn't originally designed on him. He looked like he'd been dancing this ballet forever, and absolutely killed it with the energy. He and Lauren Lovette smoldered in their duet. It's a shame that after this season the long-time "tap couple" of Justin Peck and Ashly Isaacs will be no more -- Peck is no longer dancing after this season and Isaacs is retiring. Isaacs was a soloist whose career got sidelined with injury. Nonetheless, she and Peck were amazing as the tap couple and I will miss seeing this ballet without their rapport.