(photo by Paul Kolnick, from NYCB website)
I’m in the midst of another crazy busy dance weekend (well, dance and books), but wanted to say two things. First, here’s my latest HuffPost piece, on SYTYCD’s first round of eliminations.
Second, I went to NYCB’s “Here and Now” program again I’d loved it so much the first time, and, between OLTREMARE and Ratmansky’s new CONCERTO DSCH, have completely fallen for Tyler Angle. I’ve definitely noticed him before, of course (and have to laugh now at my shock on seeing him cast as Tybalt in Martins’ Romeo + Juliet last year; how he’s grown in that time — I can’t imagine him having any problem dancing that character now). But for some reason just Thursday I realized how much he really brings to a ballet. I’d always been in such sugar shock after Andrew Veyette’s incredible bravura solos in OLTREMARE that I don’t think I paid much attention to what followed shortly thereafter (Maria Kowroski’s and Tyler’s softer, slower duet, where husband tries desperately to have an intimate moment with his wife who’s still too shocked and beleagered for such things) but the way he lifts his hands in the air and pulls in his rib cage just as her foot meets his chest in an effort to keep him off of her, and his expression of utter dismay, shows how it feels to be so shunned by her, and it’s heartbreaking. You feel such sorrow for this poor, gentle pilgrim man who’s trying so hard in vain to bring peace to his wife.
Then, he took over for Benjamin Millepied (who appears to be injured) in the new Ratmansky, dancing the part of Wendy Whelan’s lover. For me, he became, with Wendy, the centerpiece of that ballet, whereas before it was the rollicking threesome in blue and their playful bravura-heavy pas de trois. The way he loved her, the way he just floated with her around stage in elation when they were together, the way he turned back longingly toward her as his friends pulled him away — it was like Romeo and Juliet and you didn’t know what was coming next; you just wanted to know what was going to happen with the lovers while Joaquin and Ashley and Gonzalo were jesting about. I thought he brought out more emotion in Wendy as well.
Also, quickly, because I have to get going (back to NYCB!) but there was a new cast for Martins’s RIVER OF LIGHT, and they were brilliant. In particular tiny Erica Pereira and the much larger Jonathan Stafford were stunning. He’d pick her up and raise her above his head and off to the side, alternating sides, a few times in each direction, and every time, he’d let go with the farthest arm, only holding her up in the air by the waist with one palm. There were audible gasps in the audience and they got huge applause at the end. Amar Ramasar was a man in black this time and he looked just like a panther the way he’d slide sideways, eating up the stage. This ballet in general really grew on me. I love the music — all that percussion that at times is so sharp and a bit foreboding but it kind of goes along with the off-kilter, geometrics of the piece, and, striking as it is, the music never overpowers the dancing.
Also, I finally saw Cedar Lake last night. Review to come…