|Sara Mearns in Swan Lake. Photo: Paul Kolnik|
|Mearns with Ask La Cour in Diamonds. Photo: Paul Kolnik|
Diamonds offers fewer moments for big drama, with its staid pace and conservative vocabulary. When paired with Emeralds and Rubies, it is the boring section of repose and dignity. Mearns was partnered by Ask la Cour, who framed her capably and never quite drew attention to himself, as is his wont. She plunged into arabesques and tossed her gaze high into the rafters when given the chance, rising to glitter like the pseudonymous gem.
|Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck in Divertimento. Photo: Paul Kolnik|
Speaking of exemplary line, Chase Finlay, rocketing through major roles, debuted in the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux with Ashley Bouder. A daring bit of casting by Mr. Martins, for sure, as Finlay has proved himself in roles with less traditional partnering required. But other than some jitters and a few small bobbles, he fared well. Granted, Bouder could literally partner herself, one of several NYCB women of great independent strength. I hope she relaxes a bit more and plays with the extra time she creates by being on top of steps, ahead of time, rather than freezing in poses on relévé. Or watch Tiler Peck a little more closely as she, equally facile with her steps, elongates or expands on the lushness within ballet's shapes.
|Ashley Bouder and Chase Finlay in Tchai Pas. Photo: Paul Kolnik|
Megan Fairchild and Amar Ramasar danced Allegro Brillante (1956). I haven't seen Ramasar featured prominently as a partner (he replaced Andrew Veyette), and while, in my mind, he is less a technician than a memorable dramatic presence, they were surprisingly well matched. Fairchild is another woman who's strong on her own, and not strictly reliant on her partner. She fits comfortably into Balanchine's repertory, giving reliably textbook performances that have yet to ignite great passion. Next up: Justin Peck's second major commission.