Herman Cornejo stole the show Thursday in ABT’s Sleeping Beauty as he was spectacular as Prince Désiré. He handled the tricky petite allegro in the solos of the Grand Pas de Deux better than anyone I have seen with brilliant, articulated, and rapid beats to precise double tours, and low passe pirouettes. His brise vole beats were stunning, complimenting the music with every beat. He even made the second solo of the Grand Pas de Deux, which has a number of mazurka-type steps and can be dull, interesting with substantial energy. Herman has had a great season with an impressive La Bayadere last week.
Sarah Lane was Princess Aurora and gave a solid but not great performance. Her Rose Adagio wavered at times with several unsteady balances, but overall was well done. Dramatically, she was an effective Aurora as she plays the sweet young girl role well. Her partnering with Herman was fine, although I liked the Gillian Murphy and Marcelo Gomes pairing much better as Marcelo seemed to have more control as evidenced by a number of one-handed supported turns.
I was impressed with Devon Teuscher as Myrta in Giselle earlier in the season. However, her Lilac Fairy was less successful as she struggled at times, particularly on her turns from arabesque. Christine Shevchenko and Stella Abrera were more solid in this role last week. Skylar Brandt as the Diamond Fairy continues to impress. This talented Corps member is headed for much larger roles.
Gabe Stone Shayer was off the mark as The Bluebird. His leaps were lackluster with an off kilter double tour. Daniil Simkin was outstanding in this role in the New York debut.
I continue to be fascinated by the Ratmansky version that I reviewed last week. The production has a number of nuances that I am still trying to figure out. For example, in the Act II hunting scene, the Prince shows his archery prowess by nailing a bullseye from 20 feet after two other attendants fail. I am still trying to figure out how he is able to hit the target perfectly.