. . . and a ballet broke out.
New York City Ballet presented a fairly enjoyable evening of repertory that included Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free and Balanchine's Prodigal Son and Firebird. Haglund thinks that the company deserved more appreciation than the audience's apathy allowed tonight. Flat audience on a Saturday night at the ballet - whoda expected that? And they were rude, too. A lady insisted that Haglund remove his Yankees cap and then immediately told him to put it back on – thus, twice disturbing his carefully creamed comb-over. Some people. . . .
The evening started off with Fancy Free that included
Robert Fairchild's sailor debut. He carried the role well and can be expected
to own it within a few performances. There were some timing snafus - like when
the girl went to slug him and his arm prematurely raised to fend off her
strike. But all in all, Fairchild was charismatic and commanded attention with
his admirable acting and gosh darn good dancing. However – and how does one say
this without being so obviously what-do-you-call-it – certain aspects of the
rhumba should rhumba a little more - especially when the back is to the
The other two sailors,Tyler Angle and Daniel Ulbricht, also gave fine performances, and the three of them were different enough to make it all believable. The ladies, Tiler Peck, Georgina Pazcoguin and Kaitlyn Gilliland, were good material for the sailors to work off of, and Justin Peck in his debut as the bartender skillfully wiped the bar, poured the beer, and read the newspaper with deadpan seriousness.
Haglund thought that the orchestra could have given more energy to the music. After all, it is Bernstein and this is Lincoln Center. The music should sound a bit more forceful than rehearsal marking.
The middle piece on the program was Prodigal Son lead by Joaquin De Luz and Maria Kowroski. Haglund thought both of their performances were spot on, but his friends thought that De Luz played the part a bit too boyishly. Everyone agreed, however, that the final moments when the Prodigal Son crawled on his knees toward the forgiving father were masterful. Kowroski was every inch the seductress and at times had a creature-like quality. A few of the drinking buddies looked too much like they were doing ballet steps - noticeable only by way of comparison to ones who had their groveling little characters down pat.Firebird closed the program with Ashley Bouder in the title role. Give her credit for trying hard to make something out of this choreography, but the story is just not in these steps. And not even when one punches out the movement with atomic force does it fill the choreographic void. At times, it looks like discarded Swan Lake choreography. The most entertaining part of this Firebird is the middle Kastchei section choreographed by Robbins, but tonight, the dancers were messy and didn't always seem to know where they were supposed to go next. The music was beautiful and made it worth sitting in the seat a little longer - a good idea considering the amount of guacamole, spicy beef burrito and three-milk cake that Haglund consumed just before the performance.
This program is repeated Tuesday night with the same cast. Haglund recommends everyone get over to see it, 'cause (1) the rep pickin's until spring are pretty slim and (a) the sailors are really worth it. Haglund awards this little nautical Pump Bump to tonight's sailors.