Thanks so much, you guys!
Veronika was divine in the role, as always. She and NYCB’s Sara Mearns are most definitely my favorite Odettes. Cory replaced Marcelo Gomes as Prince Siegfried, who was out due to injury (I don’t think serious; he is still listed for upcoming performances this season). So it was kind of a double replacement since Roberto Bolle was originally supposed to dance the role but he is also out with injury.
This is my first time seeing Cory in the role and I thought he did a fine job. He acted the part very well. I really believed he was a prince. He was very regal yet personable and boyish at the beginning. He conducted himself like royalty but also like a friend to his buddy Benno and to the villagers as they danced for him. He visibly became more angsty as his mother, the queen, told him he must choose a bride, and then he was clearly smitten with Veronika’s swan when he ventured upon her at the lakeside. I believed he was falling in love with her. The way he’d lay his head on her shoulder was so endearing. At one point it even looked like he kissed her neck! And then in the second half I believed he was seduced by her Odile and was devastated when he found out it was all an evil trick. He really acted it perfectly, in my opinion. He was charming, sweet, innocent, taken advantage of, in love, seduced – all of that, and he showed everything clearly.
I think he still has a ways to go as a dancer though. He didn’t have the power of Marcelo or the beautiful shaping of David Hallberg. He does have the potential to make beautiful lines though. I was talking about that with several other balletomanes afterward. But I think he gets nervous and tired. In the first scene his dancing was brilliant. His jumps had great height and were majestic and really emanated “prince.” But as the ballet went on he seemed to wear out a bit, and I can’t be sure since I’ve never had a reason to memorize the male choreography, but it seemed like at points (especially during the Black Swan Pas de Deux in the second half) that he took out some jumps and simplified some of the steps. Which was smart if he was concerned about being too tired to do some of those difficult lifts and assisted turns.
But as a commenter (and new Veronika fan!) just remarked in a comment on one of my previous posts (scroll down to bottom of comments), it’s a women’s ballet anyway. It’s more important that Odette / Odile be compelling. And Veronika never fails with that! She seemed a bit more confident on opening night dancing the Black Swan with Marcelo, but she still seemed pretty trusting here and they partnered well together.
Overall, very good performance!
Oh, also, Jared Matthews replaced Daniil Simkin as Benno. Not sure why. Hopefully Daniil is not injured because I’d really like to see him dance this part. Swan Lake continues through this Saturday. I’ll probably go once more. Maybe more 🙂