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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ashley Bouder's Aurora

Last week I saw Tiler Peck's Aurora and thought nothing could positively top that wonderful Sleeping Beauty performance. Then last night I went back and saw Ashley Bouder's Aurora, and I realized that right now, the New York City Ballet probably has two of the greatest Auroras in the ballet world. I cannot choose between them -- they are both so wonderful. Brava to both of them!

Ashley Bouder has been dancing Aurora for a longer time, but she and Tiler Peck actually have a lot in common in that the challenges of this role hold no terrors for them. The confidence they exude from the minute they enter the stage never leaves, not for a split second. They are princesses, but both exude an unpretentious aura, as if they were the girls-next-door-who-happen-to-be-the-greatest-dancers-in-the-world.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tiler Peck's Aurora

Every so often you see a ballet performance so exquisite, such a complete triumph, that you feel lucky just to have been in the audience. This happened today when I saw Tiler Peck's Aurora in the New York City Ballet's two week run of Sleeping Beauty. What an amazing performance from an amazing ballerina.

The role of Aurora calls for a delicate balance between the coltish youthfulness of the first act and the regal serenity of the wedding scene. The dance steps still challenge even the most secure ballerinas. But from the moment Tiler Peck bounded onstage in a series of pas de chats and coupe jetes, we knew that this Aurora had no fear. And her smile -- dazzling, but without a hint of archness or self-consciousness -- instantly made this Aurora lovable.