I was thrilled to dance the last La Valse of the season the past weekend. Balanchine's La Valse is one of my favorites pieces to perform, it is so decadent and free. And I love the mashup of Ravel pieces which comprise the ballet's score. It was a treat to finish off the winter season with it. I think I was actually smiling during the finale, and since the finale consists of big jumps and lifts encircling a dead girl in the center of the stage maybe I shouldn't have been! La Valse is one of Balanchine's darkest works, in which a virginal ingenue in a white dress literally dances with death in the middle of a high society ball and meets her demise. But the debauchery of the citizenry of the belle époque is one of the themes of the ballet, so maybe my smile was apropos. Perhaps it added to the ballet's menacing, glauque atmosphere!
But now, vacation! The company is on a little break right now. Coincidentally, I am currently in Paris visiting my friends Janie Taylor and Sebastien Marcovici--two renowned interpreters of the lead couple in La Valse. In fact, it was one year ago almost to the day that they retired from the NYCB with the piece. I am sad that they are no longer La Valse-ing anywhere, but they are doing amazing things in Paris and when I return to NY I hope to post about some of our exploits. We have plans to see the Paris Opera's Swan Lake dress rehearsal this Saturday night and I am quite excited about it! A bientot!