New York City Ballet’s Winter Season
This season was filled with surprises, new experiences, and growth. Over the six week season, I danced eight different ballets, including Justin Peck’s Principia, a world premiere, and debuted in William Forsythe’s Herman Schmerman. The season ended with the announcement of a new Artistic Director, Jonathan Stafford with Wendy Whelan as Associate Artistic Director, which is a new position for NYCB.
The eight ballets I performed included George Balanchine’s Apollo and Serenade, Jerome Robbins’ In The Night, Justin Peck’s Principia and Times Are Racing, Mauro Bigonzetti’s In Vento, William Forsythe’s Herman Schmerman, and Peter Martins’ full length The Sleeping Beauty.
The Sleeping Beauty has always been a ballet that both terrifies and thrills me. I can undoubtedly say that it is by far the hardest full length ballet for a ballerina. The technical demands are unlike any other ballet, and hoping to meet those demands is a mental struggle I have to overcome each time. I have to admit that this is the first year where I really felt like I owned the role and made it my own. I enjoyed all three of my performances and was happy and proud of each one, which means a lot considering I am a perfectionist and my own worst critic. I did a lot of research on the character of Aurora and what the word actually means and it was so helpful to press forward when knowing the history and background of where it came from; I would definitely recommend this to any ballerina. I never, ever thought I would say this, but I am actually looking forward to the next time it is programmed!
As for Principia, it is always a pure joy to be involved in one of Justin’s creations. He is a wonderful collaborator and I enjoy every minute in the studio with him. This was the first time that Taylor Stanley and I had been paired in a new ballet and we really enjoyed the process together. He is such a gentle and talented human being and it was a pleasure dancing next to and with him.
Finally, I did my first Bill Forsythe piece! I have wanted to work with Bill for as long as I can remember and I always hoped this day would happen. The best part of this experience was that working with him was even better than I could have imagined. He is nurturing and inspiring while at the same time demands the highest degree of dance. I will never forget my days in the studio with him and look forward to the next time I get to be by his side.