Dancing to the spiky Hindemith score for Balanchine’s Kammermusik No. 2, Sara Mearns—a favorite of connoisseurs as well as New York City Ballet’s general public, is like a coiled spring unfurling and rewinding in bursts of energy tempered by minute doses of calm. She’s like a wild creature, acquired by auction, probing her new environment. No one in the piece, not even her striking co-star, Teresa Reichlen, is as alive as she is. Three times her partner, Amar Ramasar, holds out his hand to her; three times she extends her hand as if to accept his and then retracts the gesture. Several of her solo bits end with a flamboyant flourish, as if she were saying “now that’s that.” At several points she seems to propose “You want ugly? I’ll give you ugly.” And does. It leaves you breathless.
© 2012 Tobi Tobias