Neither a few snow flurries nor cool breezes nor signal problems on the G train kept Haglund from enjoying a Sunday full of Nutcrackers.
First up was Rebecca Krohn’s debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy at NYCB this afternoon. It was a wonderful success with Rebecca conquering the choreography with such smoothness and finesse that it looked like it could not possibly be her first performance of it. She was especially beautiful when dancing to the strings and winds of the orchestra during which her port de bras was uncharacteristically soft and her hands approached the classic balletic perfection of the glove molds at Fishs Eddy. (Those “in the know” know this is a great compliment.) She carefully applied herself to the tricky maneuvers like that pique turn that evolves into a penche arabesque with her partner, the very handsome Zachary Catazaro – who was also making his debut – flipping her perfectly into position. Her jumps to the shoulder sits were perfectly coordinated with Catazaro. Her solo variations were delicate but articulate and secure. With this success as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Rebecca seems destined to be NYCB’s next principal in short order. Congratulations on a terrific debut!
Next it was a slow train to Brooklyn to see a repeat of Veronika Part and Marcelo Gomes in ABT’s fantastic new Nutcracker by Alexei Ratmansky. Magical. Beyond beautiful. Entrancing. Joyous. Most of Haglund’s ballet buddies have seen this new production more than once, and there is a consensus that there is more to like about it with each new viewing. People need to stop trying to analyze it in terms of other productions which they have seen. They should just get in touch with their inner-child and imagination and let it transport them without asking where they are going.
Haglund has sat in the orchestra, side mezzanine, and middle balcony at BAM this past week and has concluded that the cheap seats in the upper levels are just as good visually and a lot better in terms of acoustics than the pricey orchestra seats. The only draw back is that there are usually more little kids in the balcony.
Let’s hope that tomorrow is a Snow Day for everyone – except NYCB and ABT – and let’s get ourselves to one of their theaters for a performance of the Nutcracker. We’re all living the end of Act One tonight; isn’t it great!
Lastly, there seems to be an ugly controversy brewing as to the number of Pump Bump Awards that have been bestowed upon ABT’s Waltz of the Flowers this week. First of all, this blog is not a democracy. Second of all, any ballet blogger in his right mind would want one of those Waltz of the Flowers dresses hanging in his closet. It would be worth reassessing his entire shoe inventory to be sure that he had a sufficient supply to compliment the beautiful pink ruffles of those costumes. So to the Waltz of the Flowers, who were ravishing today at both NYCB and ABT, Haglund awards this little pink spiked Pump Bump Award which obviously would work well with either the muted pastels of NYCB or the vibrant pink palette of ABT: