New York City Ballet said goodbye to Principal Dancer Robert Fairchild Sunday with an extended curtain call celebration. After a beautiful Duo Concertant with Sterling Hyltin, Robert was greeted by current dancers, as they gave him a hug and wished him best wishes in his future career, followed by a confetti drop to round out the festivities. The packed Koch Theater crowd gave Robert an enthusiastic, at times rousing goodby. For more photos of the celebration, see my photography website notmydayjobphotography.com.
Robert leaves NYCB to devote more time to his Broadway career, according to an article in The New York Times. He was nominated for a Tony in Christopher Wheeldon’s An American in Paris and has performed in A Chorus Line and Oklahoma! In November, he will appear in Wheeldon’s Brigadoon and will choreograph and perform in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in addition to portraying modern dancer Ted Shawn in The Chaperone, a PBS film. According to the Times’ article, Fairchild wants to devote his energy to theater productions full-time, rather than taking leaves from NYCB. “If I’m always asking for a release, you are not fully a contributing part of a community. Whatever I’m doing, I want to give it all.”
“It was a decision that took years to make. After Oklahoma! I got offstage and thought, I can’t image doing anything else right now. I think whenever there is a dream, you’ve got to jump,” according to the article.
Robert will be missed at NYCB. Although he has great style and theatrical timing, he wasn’t just a theater performer in tights. Robert was one of the best technicians at NYCB, with effortless leaps and nice turns. His Duo Concertant Sunday demonstrated his great range, danced with great confidence and flair. However, I understand his desire to more fully pursue musical theater. I saw his portrayal of Jerry Mulligan in An American in Paris in July 2015. Robert was great in the role and displayed a decent voice in addition to his commendable acting talents. Click for my review.
Best of luck to Robert in his future endeavors.