Those that braved the dig-out from a major East Coast snowstorm Thursday were treated to a delightful NYCB The Sleeping Beauty performance. Megan Fairchild and Joaquin De Luz were on the mark, demonstrating great range and subtly in a solid performance. The supporting cast was generally up to their high standards.
Megan and Joaquin have done this before, and their experience showed as they navigated the difficult roles with great confidence. The Act I Rose Adagio is a treacherous segment for Princess Aurora, a defining segment for any ballerina. Megan handled the tricky adagio skillfully with sturdy balances on pointe with little wavering, sometimes playfully interacting with the crowd. Her pirouettes were crisp and sturdy. She danced with great delicacy, with nicely flowing arms with supporting head movements for emphasis. Her only deficiency was a diagonal of bland penchés.
Joaquin has not slowed down at age 40. He played the regal Prince Désiré with great aplomb, with very nice solos. His double tours are first-rate, with very high vertical jump to a nice soft landing to a deep plié; also nicely separated beats on his double cabrioles, with substantial energy. Megan and Joaquin demonstrated great confidence in their pas de deux, with a good fish dive diagonal and supported turns.
Teresa Reichlen was effective as the protective Lilac Fairy with long extensions and supple leaps. As the Bluebird, Daniel Ulbricht gave a workmanlike performance without the pizzaz that I was expecting from him. Sarah Mearns as the Fairy Carabosse lacked a certain wickedness to successfully pull off the role.
The Act I Fairy roles (Tenderness, Vivacity, Generosity, Eloquence, Courage) were danced proficiently by corps dancers (Emilie Gerrity, Alston Macgill, Megan Johnson, Sarah Villwock, Alexa Maxwell) demonstrating fine technique and phrasing with the music.