"Serenade", "Mozartiana", "Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux", "Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3"
New York City Ballet
David H. Koch Theater
New York, NY
Sept. 24, 2014
by Mary Cargill
copyright © 2014 by Mary Cargill
New York City Ballet is continuing its theme evenings, performing ballets that the marketing department can group together. The official opening night of the season (after the fashion-themed gala) featured all Balanchine/all Tschaikovsky. All of these ballets are glorious, of course, but performing them together does seem to imply that the program wasn't really carefully curated. However, any performance that opens with "Serenade" is halfway home. Sara Mearns danced the Waltz with her usual dramatic intensity. There is something so vibrant about her presence, yet she never seems to be overdoing it--the stage is her world and we are privileged to watch. For her the Waltz girl did not seem to be the elegiac, almost wistful memory of happiness that some have made her, but a free woman forging her own path. The section where the woman dances ahead of the man, looking back and urging him on, only apparently to fade to mist, for Mearns was not a gloss of the old Romantic ideal of the unattainable but rather a forceful pushing forward. She was simply breathtaking.
Sara Mearns in "Serenade" Photo © Paul Kolnik.