Last night at New York City Ballet, the dancers in Balanchine’s Vienna Waltzes seemed to be navigating the winds mostly on instinct and observation. The final waltz from Der Rosenkavalier had fifty dancers on stage, half in white gowns with billowing trains – always a crowded situation where it’s best for each dancer to know exactly where he or she is going next. A slew of last minute replacements brought Taylor Stanley, Zachery Catazaro, Chase Finlay and other unscheduled and very new corps dancers to the stage to fill in as an emergency. The swirling of the waltzing took on a new and exciting aerodynamic vector, right at the edge of chaos; but no one stepped over the edge, and there was very little straying off course. A beautiful job by everyone.
In the earlier sections, Teresa Reichlen and Tyler Angle were swept up in the romance of Strauss’s moonlit G’Schichten Aus Dem Wienerwald. Megan Fairchild and Anthony Huxley danced magnificently to the Voices of Spring, and Erica Pereira and Troy Schumacher exploded with joy and charm in the Explosions-Polka. Rebecca Krohn and Chase Finlay (a last minute replacement for Ask la Cour) had an intoxicating dynamic going in the Gold Und Silber Walzer, and Sara Mearns with Jared Angle magically swooned in the opening of Der Rosenkavalier.
The evening began with an electric interpretation of Ballo della Regina led by Tiler Peck and Gonzalo Garcia. We’ve written before about Tiler’s brilliance in the series of pique turns that open to arabesque, but honestly, you have to see them to believe them. How she completely stops the upper body with arms opened in second position while the finish of the arabesque gently rides the centrifugal force from the piques is perhaps one of the most amazing things that we have seen the most amazing Tiler do.
The demi-soloists, Lauren King, Ashley Laracey, Alexa Maxwell, and Erica Pereira were a marvel, although Alexa’s entrance of grand jetes did not have the upward trajectory that we have admired from others in the past. The corps de ballet looked fabulous – so full of energy and confidence.
Kammermusik No. 2 also received a phenomenal performance from Rebecca Krohn & Adrian Danchig-Waring and Abi Stafford & Amar Ramasar with a corps of eight men. Abi’s dancing is in top form and she danced with an abandon that we haven’t seen from her in a while. The abandon sent her palms to the floor in one instance, but she didn’t slow down afterward. Rebecca now has the stamina of – dare we say this six hours prior to today’s Derby – Nyquist. (We’ll revise later if he doesn’t at least place.) She was so beautiful with such attitude and vivacity.
The H.H. Pump Bump Award, fresh wings from Alexander McQueen, goes to the cast of Der Rosenkavalier for its skillful maneuvering and smooth landing.