New York City Ballet waltzed out wearing more new bling on Wednesday night.
Taylor Stanley brought exceptional grace and pristine line to his Emeralds debut opposite an enchanting Tiler Peck. Unity Phelan, debuting in the Emeralds “walking” pas de deux, found in Adrian Danchig-Waring’s perfect partnering the guidance she needed to dance more freely, although more effort needs to be made to show less effort. Sara Adams, Sean Suozzi, and Meagan Mann brought a vivid energy to their pas de trois along with some much appreciated unison.
In her debut Claire Kretzschmar gave the Rubies Tall Girl role a unique and fascinating interpretation as a predator. There’s room for that reading in this ballet. However, even though she is long-limbed and narrow, she is not tall. When the curtain opened, it was difficult to spot her in the half circle of dancers standing on pointe because they were as tall or taller than she was. There were times when she blended in with the corps rather than seeming apart and in charge of it. We’ll have to give her some time to see what adjustments can be made to overcome the absence of height, because the character she created was indeed different and interesting. She was startling quick on the uptake Thursday in her second performance; the technique was far more secure and the articulation was thrillingly emphatic. However, in both performances, when the grand battements reached their peaks a la seconde, the ankle seemed lax and the foot not fully pointed which spoiled the overall effect.
Sterling Hyltin and Andrew Veyette were an odd couple in the Rubies pas de deux. Her light, quicksilver, and highly spirited dancing contrasted with his sullen and perfunctory performance. It was a good thing that Sterling’s brilliance, flexible back, and devotion to the choreography were able to hold up the both of them.
In his most major assignment since his promotion to soloist, Joseph Gordon revealed himself to have grand partnering abilities and noble bearing in addition to his technical wizardry in the Diamonds pas de deux opposite the bold but rushing Sara Mearns. By the way, tickets for her March performances of I Married An Angel at NY City Center are now on sale to members. The non-members can buy beginning on Monday. Tickets in the balcony are $35. Haglund wouldn’t miss this opening night for anything after having seen Sara triumph in Bourne’s The Red Shoes last year.
Thursday night’s performance included Joaquin de Luz's final salute to Rubies. The audience was torn between "That’s remarkable!” and “Whoa guy, please don’t try that again at your age.” But of course, he did, over and over again. Those traveling double tours en l'air with the legs tucked were launched with the love of candy as was the series of spinning emboité turns across the front of the stage. Nobody loves dancing more than Joaquin de Luz. It was a relief to read in the Playbill that he anticipates some ballet coaching and teaching in his future as well as other performing projects. It was Haglund’s hope that Joaquin and Tiler Peck might turn up in A Chorus Line this fall at City Center, but there has been no indication of that as yet.
As his final partner in Rubies, Ashley Bouder gave her all in celebration of this magnificent and adored dancer. The spark was there between them and the rapport could not have been more honest and sincere.
Once again last night, Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle were million carat gem quality in Diamonds. Maestro Litton gave them all the music they wanted so they, in turn, could give everything they wanted to give. It was a glorious performance that brought the audience to its feet.
The H.H. Pump Bump Award, a Weitzman original with 600+ rubies valued at $2,000,000 (for the pair), is bestowed upon Joaquin de Luz who, like Maria, seems intent on making great memories for us right to the last moment.