NYCB – Friday Afternoon Nutcracker – Gilliland and la Cour
Kaitlyn Gilliland was a Sugar Plum Fairy of supreme grandeur and confidence at Friday afternoon's Nutcracker. During the PdD, Haglund fought to blink back tears – afraid that he might miss something – as this SPF and Her Cavalier, Ask la Cour, elegantly manuevered through the fiendish choreography like it had been a gift made just for them. And while not much can be praised about the cavalier's variation, Haglund can say that he was a most caring and diligent partner for Ms. Gilliland and seemed genuinely enamored of the light dancing before him. Here's hoping that February brings us a Swan Lake with this pairing. Ms. Gilliland, who sports a wingspan of at least ten feet, should make a beautiful Odette. Mr. la Cour has the depth of expression and gallantry to carry off Siegfried. He just needs to be in better overall shape.
Today it wasn't just the Big Prince who was supporting the Sugar Plum Fairy. Once again, Little Prince Lance Chantiles-Wertz brought forth his own magic – and one heck of a mimed summation solo during Act II – to help bring the story to full life. Ms. Callie Reif was wonderful as a spunky, believing Marie – especially during the mice attack. Which brings Haglund to the Pivotal Role of the Brave Bunny.
What if the Brave Bunny had never summoned the courage to race out into the middle of the fight, grab the Mouse King's tail and give it a fierce yank? Imagine. The Rats would have consumed the Nutcracker Prince and kidnapped Marie. There would never have been any dancing by Chocolate, Tea, Coffee or any of the Candy. Thank you, Brave Bunny, for saving the story.
There were other performances worth noting. Craig Hall, Giovanni Villalobos, Maya Colins and Robert Fairchild all turned in energetic and entertaining performances as Candy Cane, Soldier and Hot Chocolate, respectively. There was nothing dewy about Tyler Peck's Dew Drop. It was in-your-face, throw the leg up, wham bam, pitch-'em-your-fast-ball-for-nine-innings. No thanks. Dew glistens and reflects the beauty of the morning. It's not fire.
Lastly, Haglund appreciates employers who hire disabled persons. So, hats off to Peter Martins for assembling a corps of women each of whom sometime in her life broke her fingers leaving them gnarled, splayed and sticking out every which way. It appears most suffered thumb torture as well.
The Nutcracker Season is finally over. Haglund wishes to celebrate by donning these nifty reptile and patent leather platform pumps which he found for 60% off at the Brooklyn Bootery.