A Balanchine Moment That Never Came

Tobi Tobias continues her survey of New York City Ballet’s Balanchine birthday celebration: “The current production delivers many of the images, but, as has become NYCB custom, without rubato and without their essential perfume. The corps de ballet is neat and lively, practicing exactitude adorned, in the women’s case, with empty smiles. I had been looking forward to my favorite Scotch Symphony moment. Two of the kilts lift the Sylphide high—she seems to be standing on air—and toss her, still vertical, into her ardent suitor’s arms. I recall the exquisitely gentle Diana Adams in that moment. For two unforgettable seconds, she seemed to be not falling but floating—softly, lazily, serenely, swept crosswise by an idle breeze. It didn’t happen last night. They didn’t even attempt it. I wonder if whoever is setting the ballet even knows that moment existed. Or cares.”