|Paz de la Jolla, with Tiler Peck (kneeling) and Sterling Hyltin/Amar Ramasar (the lift). Photo: Paul Kolnik|
Schumacher happened to be watching the performance in the audience. He had understudied de Luz's part before, but not Suozzi's, so he knew the basic phrases and was coached through the staging as best as possible. One of the emphases of this pairing is the synchronicity of rapid fire grand allegro phrases. It should appear as if a mirror is held up to one of them. And although Schumacher seemed slightly off at times, there wasn't anything egregious or terribly wrong about his performance. Just goes to show how smart and resourceful dancers can be.
|Maria Kowroski and Daniel Ulbricht in Porte et Soupir. |
Photo: Paul Kolnik
The middle work was a folly by Balanchine, Variations Pour Une Porte et Un Soupir, from 1974. It takes inspiration from the score by Pierre Henry, an amalgam of the pseudonymous door creaks and sighs. Maria Kowroski manifested the door, more of an abstraction into a passageway of sorts, with an enormous parachute-sized, shimmering lame skirt whose corners flew up and down from the rafters. Daniel Ulbricht was the sigh, a lizard-like creature fond of the ground. This is a rare surrealist vision from Balanchine, an experiment that should be seen at most every few years.