"Square Dance", "Harlequinade"
New York City Ballet
David H. Koch Theater
New York, NY
February 25, 2015
by Mary Cargill
copyright © 2015 by Mary Cargill
"Square Dance", Balanchine's witty salute to American folk dancing by way of European courts, is a dance of crisp and gracious symmetry gilding a warm center. Erica Pereira, who danced the lead in the 2006 SAB performance, made her debut with the grownups. Her SAB version was meticulous, precise and uninflected, adjectives which, unfortunately, applied to her debut. She had an air of wispy eagerness and tended to give the steps the same emphasis, so that little insouciant leg flicks were delivered as strongly as the gargouillades. Technically she had few problems and the final footwork series was clear and sharp, but her dancing was one-dimensional and, with only a few glimpses at her partner, directed straight to the audience, like a student reciting lines.
Photo: Taylor Stanley in "Square Dance"; Photo © Paul Kolnik.