Photo by Paul Kolnik, copied from NYCB website.
It was magical, as always. Megan Fairchild and Joaquin De Luz were charming as the leads (the Sugarplum Fairy and her cavalier) — above headshots by Paul Kolnik, from NYCB website. I always love watching these two — Megan’s so sweet and she always seems to have this “cat who just swallowed the canary” smile on her face. She’s the ideal ballerina for this role. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t seen City Ballet in a while now, but Joaquin, who was injured at the end of last season, seems to be jumping higher and spinning far faster than ever before. As always, he was the perfect manly cavalier.
Beautiful Sara Mearns danced the other main role — Dewdrop. (Headshot by Paul Kolnik)
I wonder if something was done to the stage floor during renovations because Ashley Bouder had slipped on opening night in the new Martins ballet, and Mearns slipped twice on Friday night. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mearns fall and Bouder was just kind of standing when she fell, so it made me wonder if something’s slippery. Anyway, Sara seemed a bit shaken at first, but she soon recovered and danced with her typical beautiful fluidity and lush, expansive lines.
The little girls are so cute — you can hear all the ooohs and aaaahs when Dewdrop and her ladies in pink fill the stage. Below, Megan Fairchild in that role, photo by Paul Kolnik, taken from Explore Dance.
Other highlights were the magical-seeming Christmas tree that in little Marie’s dreams rises up from the floor and shoots straight through the ceiling, Sean Suozzi as Candy Cane — the incredible things he did with that hoop! — and, even though the Chinese stereotypes bother me in the Tea section, high jumper Daniel Ulbricht did expectedly well as the lead there, although I thought I remembered that dance being longer? And of course Justin Peck was a lot o fun as Mother Ginger, the role many of us most remember from seeing the ballet during childhood.
Balanchine’s version of the Christmas classic is a little shorter with a more children-heavy cast than most, making it the ideal holiday treat for families. It runs through January 3rd.