June 19, 2016
Veronika Part emerged victorious in the dual role of Odette (pure)-Odile (evil) at the Metropolitan Opera House. Partnered by the animated Robert Whiteside, her slim, broad shoulders extended the line of her avian arms. A steely elegance pervaded her deeply personal interpretation of the woman transformed by a magician into a swan.
In search of his soul mate, Prince Siegfried (Whiteside) leaves his hunting buddies only to discover Odette, the woebegone shimmering beauty lakeside. Part’s musicality is most clearly expressed through her rich pantomime. Fingers flutter under downcast eyes depicting tears and profound sadness. In previous viewings, Ms. Part’s technique proved unsteady, but there were no signs of weakness. This was one of those nights when she was “totally on.”
Besides the difficult interpretive task facing any ballerina in Swan Lake, there are many tricky passages and on each occasion, whether it was rotating backwards on one leg raised in attitude, suspending balances or negotiating those niggly 32 fouettes, Part conquered.
Part of her strong showing could be attributed to her able partner. This season, Whiteside has come into focus. A tall, lean dancer he’s tightened his dance technique and partnering skills while broadening his dramatic chops.
Another dancer who continues to grow and deepen in his roles is Marcello Gomes. Right now, he’s the most magnificent Rothbart/Evil Sorcerer. Dark eye make-up outlined his darting eyes magnifying his seductive spell. As his dagger-like legs flash out to the side and back corralling his prey.A couple of other recent standouts include Christine Shevchenko, Devon Teuscher, Katherine Williams and in particular, Catherine Hurlin.
The ensemble achieves its ephemeral beauty, supple in form and clear in design. Swan Lake, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after (sort of) Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov and set to the heartbreaking music by Tchaikovsky, lures the audiences into American Ballet Theater’s season.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia IPiotis