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February 16, 2024


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Great review, Haglund! I agree with all of it. In jet black, Mira Nadon reminded me of a black swan/angel while Sara Mearns appeared to be a lighter, more positive soul.

While I agree with Ratmansky’s rationale and focus on Ukraine in ALL of his current work, I can’t wait for the return of “normal” times when we all can focus on balletic joy, regardless of subject. No more blue & tallow Ukraine 🇺🇦 cookies in the First Tier.

In other ballets this week, I positively love the lean look and joyful manner of Ashley Laracey - total beauty among last night’s LIEBESLIEDER ladies…partnered by my favorite “Mr Clean” Angle! I totally loved her in the quirky middle pdd, with Adrian Danchig-Waring, in SYMPHONY IN THREE MOVEMENTS following the Ratmansky premiere.

Last night, Mia Nadon impressed me again as Choleric in FOUR TEMPERAMENTS…and Davide Riccardo lifted my heart in Phlegmatic (despite subject). So many great new potential soloists!

What an amazing sold-out crowd of traditional Balanchine lovers last night! I could visualize the ghost of Mr B watching from his usual front wing.

This afternoon, I’ll see Justin Peck’s COPELAND DANCE EPISODES for the first time. Coming to NY from Puerto Rico twice a year, I try to fit in as much as possible in one go! Yay, NYCB!!!


What?! When did they suspend the weekly Ballet Bus from PR?

I totally agree with you about Laracey, D-W, Riccardo, and Nadon. I thought Mira's debut as Choleric was excellent. Everyone in 4-Ts had excited nerves. It actually made for an exciting performance. At the very beginning, one could see Mira was intent on exploring the musicality, but then settled in for a safer debut (but still thrilling) while getting her feet wet in the role. I also thought that Jules Mabie had a promising debut as Melancholic. It was really interesting to watch him dance those parts that he had dramatically figured out while other phrases were fairly generic. Ashley Hod was so intent on placing her exclamation point on Sanguinic, but had to contend with nerves. She and Peter Walker are a perfect physical match. All the Theme dancers, except for Lars Nelson, were a bundle of nerves as well. We'll have to see how things shake out tonight.

Ashley Laracey made my afternoon as one of the three Virtuosi Demisoloists in the Copeland work…the brightest, to me, in the trio w Meghan Fairchild and Emma Von Enck…amazingly. Mejia was Da Bomb among male soloists!

Heck, I wish it were a weekly bus from San Juan!

Glad to hear Mejia was in fine shape.

I'm wondering how much longer we'll have to endure Erica Pereira. She was lackluster at best in Symphony in 3 Movements. She is the same dancer she was 15+ years ago when Martins mistakenly promoted her to Soloist (she should have never left the Corps IMHO). Zero improvement in technique or artistry. Her time is up.

Peck’s COPLAND DANCE EPISODES was actually lighter and brighter than Ratmansky’s SOLITUDE. I wasn’t expecting that but I was surprised by “The Split” of the leading tall couple - Miller & Bolden, who got together during the first part, to RODEO music. At the end, during the BILLY THE KID gunfire music, they joined hands and then “Boom! Boom!” Were they killed by gangs…street thugs? It was hard to tell. Nonetheless, it was a mostly bright and colorful work. I wouldn’t mind seeing it again. My surprise of the weekend.

Hi, Cream Soda.

Erica Pereira has never been lacking in technique. She can do what the majority of principal women can do, and her form is far better than Mearns' from A to Z. But yes, as you say, her artistry is about the same as it was 15 years ago. She never acquired authority or color in her dancing. That probably frustrated Martins because her technical talent was so obvious.


Glad you enjoyed Copland Dance Episodes. Very happy to hear that Miller and Bolden did so well. I've always thought that CDE tries too hard to be cool, tries too hard to flash, tries too hard to be Robbins. But then, I haven't watched it again since it premiered last year. Funny how NYCB added an intermission to it to make folks think that the 1 hour and 16 minutes of dance was a full evening program. They couldn't add another ballet or short pdd at the beginning, because they spent a year ballyhooing about how Justin Peck had made the first full length ballet since Jewels. It's not full length. And it shouldn't be uttered in the same breath as Jewels, IMO.

Haglund, I’m still trying to figure out why and how “The Split” between the two tall principals happens. At the premiere last year, they were Nadon & Stanley (now, Miller & Bolden). Why the “Boom! Boom!”? Today’s answer to WSS hooligans? I didn’t feel that from the corps…but something happened. The WOKE talk last year was that maybe Stanley was “bi” & couldn’t stay with Nadon…but that still doesn’t explain the sharp gunfire noise. Even the 2023 reviews don’t offer a good explanation. Any and all hints appreciated!


I completely agree with you about Copland. It is 1 hour and 16 minutes of the same thing over and over. It seems pretty obvious to me that part of the genius of Jewels was that each section was completely different from the others. Even the coolest choreography is not something the audience wants to see repeated for over an hour. It actually gets tiring, and I don't go to the ballet to be mentally exhausted. I really wish new choreographers would stop trying so hard and just put some steps together in a way that's pleasing to the audience.

As for Erica, I also agree. She reminds me of Abi Stafford in that she was always technically proficient, but never developed into a ballerina. It was a mistake promoting her to Principal. Erica only dances featured roles as a Soloist, and I think that is a shame, because she doesn't doesn't have the artistry the audience deserves to see in leading roles.

I saw the matinee performance of this wonderful new ballet on Saturday. It definitely needs to come back soon because there is a lot to take in (and I don't mean that in a negative way). At times I couldn't take my eyes of the Father and Child and thus missed some of the dancing.

I thought Mira was a real standout, partnered with Chun Wai Chan - she's so commanding a presence - it was one of the few times where my eyes were ripped away.

The white tutus were unforgiving on some of the corp ladies in Symphony in 3.......

ITA with your comment about the white leotards in Symphony in Three Movements. These are not leotards that compliment the excessively breast-heavy, squatty woman with no neck who apparently has been trained to punctuate each musical phrase by sticking out her chin and chest along with her big Sallies. These are blatant gymnast traits that have no place in this ballet. I don't think the costume department has the ability to overcome this problem; it's just too big.

I feel for the corps dancer you’re describing Haglund. She seems to have gone through a late puberty after joining NYCB. I’m certain she was not like this when she got her corps contract. I get the impression that she’s still trying to figure out how to move in her new body.

Lina, that seems quite possible. The gymnast traits (including flexibility at the expense of line) were clearly being emphasized in Tea in Nutcracker last year as well.

Off topic so mea culpa! Everyone kicked upstairs makes sense but does anyone else think there are a few strange omissions from ABT's promotion list just announced? Is it incomplete and more promotions are forthcoming?

Agree with your assessment, Eulalia. Other comments under this post:

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