A.M. Ballet

whelan_neal.jpgAlastair Macaulay’s at it again. In his “review” of NYCB’s season opening performance of Balanchine’s “Jewels,” which is part music review, part first draft of a screenplay for Rain Man, part dance review, Macaulay manages to be as moldy as ever, delving into new levels of solipsism and literary cutery.

That said, when it comes to the performances, he’s pretty right on. We have to agree with this paragraph:

As the leading couple, Megan Fairchild and Benjamin Millepied gave polite and perky performances that surely need attack and texture of an altogether more potent order.

And we actually really liked what A.M. had to say about Wendy Whelan, although, ultimately, it sounds like his criticism of her is that she isn’t as sensuous as he would like. She has technique, she has “authority,” but he will never be able to swoon to her.

Whelan may not be a sexy dancer, but she’s definitely hard core.

Here’s what we thought.

(Photo of Philip Neal and Wendy Whelan by Paul Kelnik for The Times)

UPDATE:

In our pre-coffee morning haze, we totally forgot to bag on Macaulay because A.) The first line of his review is an outright lie (and therefore, a fancy). There were still leftover Nutcracker snowflakes falling throughout the performance. Someone as observant as Macaulay would definitely have noticed that; and B.) He totally loved the barfy sets. Figures.
We feel much more balanced now.

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