Performing Arts: Dance
September 24, 2015
Based on Swan Lakes by Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov and George Balanchine, Martins spruces up the Act I pageantry that generally bogs down the proceedings. Instead of wearing heavy royal finery, ballerinas in above the knee length skirts spryly hop about the palace. Frequently the Intricate footwork peppering the bubbly sequences and upper torso directional switches speak to Martins’ Bournonville background.

Although the Swan Queen holds court, she’s got dancing rivals in the jester, a remarkably precise and buoyant Daniel Ulbricht; as well as a Pas de Quatre featuring the heavenly Tyler Peck, a classically gracious Joaquin De Luz, sparkling Megan Fairchild (happily back from her stint on Broadway) and a fine Ana Sophia Scheller. Hearty applause followed the supple performances.

Charged with keeping the festivities upbeat, Ulbricht is a gravity defying, sparkling ball of fun. Always an athletic dancer, over the years, he has honed his technique, sharpening landings and preparations.

Then there is the dazzling Sara Mearns who exuded her usual consummate musicality. Her plush back floated over an outstretched back leg and when her prince Tyler Angle, spies her in the mystical lake, she vibrates with fear and anticipation. Skilled at seeing what she looks at, Mearns galvanizes all eyes on her. However, when she reappears in the Second Act as the evil twin Odile, Mearns chills the area and then swerves into a coy femme.

A dedicated partner, Angle springs into the air demonstrating strong elevation and increased precision in his Act II solo. Mearns on the other hand, unravels near the end of her 32 fouette string of turns, but recuperates impressively for the final scene.

Swan Lake continues through next week until the festivites pop for the NYC Ballet Gala on September 30 that includes premieres by Myles Thathcer, Robert Binet, Troy Schumacher, and Justin Peck.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis

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