In my last blog post, I wrote about how eagerly I was looking forward to seeing Balanchine’s Serenade this past Saturday. I was itching with anticipation. Well, as always, it did more than not disappoint–it astounded and delighted me. I always notice new things and details about the ballet when I see it, and that night was no exception. But on the whole, it made me realize just how big a star the NYCB corps is in almost every Balanchine ballet, which I’ve mentioned before. But now, I’m pretty much convinced that they are, collectively, the star of the company.
The ladies of the corps in Serenade did a truly excellent job on Saturday. They were so together, and so very elegant. It was almost as if the corps were indeed one body dancing, instead of a stageful of individuals that just happen to be doing the same steps. The combination of that soft blue lighting and the beauty of the choreography, so wonderfully performed, made the corps seem so pristine, and emphasized how well they were dancing together. In my opinion, they also get all the best steps in the ballet, and are usually featured in the photographs of the piece’s iconic moments. The principals aren’t really onstage that much, and they don’t do that much dancing.
Another ballet I saw that night, which also really starred the corps, was Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet. What a marathon! That ballet featured some very vigorous and constant dancing for the corps, and again, they did a beautiful job. The performances of the soloists were also delightful, esepecially those of Sterling Hyltin and Jared Angle in the Adagio, and Maria Kowroski and Charles Askegard in the Rondo Alla Zingarese, the last movement. I was very impressed by Sterling’s passionate and controlled performance, and loved Maria’s elegant but fiery gypsy dance.