Kings of the Dance are always terrific performances, and this year, with the expanded number of Kings – Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Jose Manuel Carreno, Joaquin De Luz, Nikolay Tsiskaridze, Dennis Matvienko, and Guillaume Cote – are performances not to be missed. Unfortunately, Haglund will have to miss them because there is not one seat in all of City Center that doesn't force a munchkin's legs past a 90 degree hip angle – a prohibited position for several more weeks.
Everyone out in Haglundland should make a trip to City Center to see the Kings. There are good seats left, albeit a bit pricey in Haglund's view. All of these dancers are unique, interesting and very theater oriented. One just never knows what Nikolay Tsiskaridze will do. He really is a character worthy of some Jerry Seinfeld development. Imagine Nikolay and Kramer hanging out at a bar.
Back to Kourlas's interview with Gomes. Here's how it ends:
Unlike guest dancers that appear with the company, Mr. Gomes worked his way up.
“It really makes a difference,” he said. “I know how hard these guys work in the corps. I can relate to them.”
Mr. Gomes hesitated for a moment. “Because of that, when I come out at the top of the stairs in ‘Swan Lake,’ I can see the whole picture,” he continued. “I was a peasant. I was an aristocrat. I was Benno. And I was somebody standing in the wings. I went through all of the steps. For me the whole picture matters. It builds a company from the ground up.”
“I love seeing our wonderful guest artists,” he continued, “but my heart beats differently when I watch dancers that come from the company. I’m all for homegrown.”
We're all for homegrown, too. So when Romeo and Juliet week arrives at the Met this year, and we are treated to a guest Juliet for a Saturday matinee who has never danced a step of MacMillan, never been entrusted with Juliet by her own famous company, and has a penchant for over-acting and hyper-animation – instead of a homegrown undeniable talent, Sarah Lane, who has been coached for Juliet by one of MacMillan's ultimate interpreters, Alessandra Ferri – let's all say a little louder "We're all for homegrown."