ABT’s Swan Lake Monday evening was a great performance, with the company hitting on all cylinders with many strong performances. Gillian Murphy and Marcelo Gomes were leads, both dancing impeccably with great flair. Gillian is always so consistent as Odette/Odile, aided by her amazing turning capabilities. The video below shows her practicing stunning fouetté turns last week during The Golden Cockerel rehearsals. Her turns are stunning, throwing in triple turns and turns with her arms overhead in a
V-position, something I’ve never seen before. She navigated other turn parts well, particularly the triple pirouette followed by a double turn in attitude (bent leg behind her) section. However, it wasn’t just a turning circus, as she played the Odette role with great tenderness, arms flowing to the beautiful Tchaikovsky score.
Marcelo was Marcelo, enough said. He combined great dramatic timing with robust technique. His solos were solid with nice, high leaps and pirouette combinations. At the end of his first solo in the pas de deux, he did several turns in second position and, without going to plié, did multiple pirouettes to the knee. Very impressive.
Gillian and Marcelo made a great pair as she blazed through 8-9 supported pirouettes, in complete control. At the end of the pas de deux, Marcelo supported her with one hand. One of her balances lasted about six seconds, without any wavering. They put in a few dramatic touches such as Marcelo offering to kiss Gillian’s hand, but she coquettishly pulled her hand away. Marcelo is one of the strongest partners and brings out the best in his partner. This was truly a great performance.
Also strong was the Pas de Trois with Sarah Lane, Skylar Brandt, and Joseph Gorak. Skylar’s beats, particularly entrechat six were nice, with good separation. Although Joseph is not the greatest jumper, he is very elegant with a nice line.
The corps is the backbone of the ballet and was in synch Monday. Devon Teuscher and Melanie Hamrick danced in unison as the Two Swans. Cory Stearns was the purple von Rothbart. Although he was technically proficient, he wasn’t that effective as he needs to work on being nasty.