In a performance at Kennedy Center Saturday of Balanchine's effulgent miniture, "Valse Fantaisie," the New York City Ballet's latest prodigy, 16-year old Darci Kistler, reconfirmed the precocious authority and sensitivity she had earlier demonstrated in "Swan Lake" and "Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet." Its going to be thrilling to watch this entrancing thoroughbred grow into artistic maturity in future seasons, as she works her way through the company repertoire.
Ib Andersen, Kistler's spry, attentive partner in "Valse Fantaisie," has himself made an astonishing showing in his first Washington exposure since joining the troupe earlier this year (he was formerly a principal with the Royal Danish Ballet).
He danced seven major roles here in two weeks, and gave each one a kind of buoyancy and cultish sparkle that set him apart. His "Rubies" Saturday afternoon wasn't quite as robustly explosive as one might have anticipated, but it was a winning performance all the same. In that same movement of the three-act "Jewels," Heather Watts and Wilhelmina Frankfurt sped through their fiendishly tricky parts with awesome flash and precision. Stephanie Saland had an aptly rounded, yielding quality in "Emeralds." In her debut as the "Diamonds," ballerina, Kyra Nichols danced with regal assurance but missed some of the warmth and musical responsiveness the movement requires.
As Saturday evening's performance showed, Balanchine's "Davidsbundletanze" deepens its intensity of impact with repeated viewing, especially with the aid of an interpretation as hauntingly rapt as the dancers provided in this instance. The more you see the work, the more it appears that if anyone personifies the composer, Robert Schumann, it is the on-stage pianist (the superb Gordon Boelzner). From this perspective, the ballet's four couples are projections of his fevered keyboard imaginings, and the autobiographical elements become logical intrusions.