Crowning glory

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  March 4, 2009

I saw Breen Combes and Yanowsky in three performances, and they were nothing short of fabulous, Breen Combes (whom Alastair Macaulay in his New York Times review Tuesday called “remarkable) combining power and vulnerability in the creamy phrasing of her penché arabesques and her developpés and her unicorn steps, making Farrell’s hand-to-the-head Raymonda gesture pellucid and threading it through the entire piece, Yanowsky pursuing her the way you wish every Siegfried would pursue Odette. When at the end of the Andante he kissed her hand, she looked surprised at his chivalry. More autumnal and elegiac, Larissa Ponomarenko suffered only by comparison, and by having the more formal Roman Rykine as a partner.

The finale is an actual polonaise, a promenade for 16 couples. The orchestra emerges from Tchaikovsky’s fugue into a glorious apotheosis (the transition not as easy as McPhee makes it sound) and then explodes into the exuberant coda, and the company responds with crackling ensemble, the lead lady cancan-kicking us back to Rubies (Breen Combes looked ready to doRubies right there and then), everyone else setting off dance-history fireworks. At the end of Diamonds, you half-expect the lady to complete the cycle by running out, back to the lake and the forest, and the man to run after her, but no. Farrell had yet to leave the building.

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  Topics: Dance , Entertainment, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Edward Villella,  More more >
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