an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

Glimpses #6: Sara Mearns

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


  1. harriet rosenstein says

    Dandy and dashing.

    Keep providing Glimpses.

  2. Ann Ilan Alter says

    Yes it did leave me breathless. I saw this performance Tuesday and it was the highpoint of the evening. Her energy and passion are simply amazing. You can see her come alive on stage, responding to the energy of the performance, the music, and the audience. Her charisma is astonishing. How long will NYCB be able to hold on to her?

  3. That’s a fleeting glimpse, barely an amuse bouche. I want more!

  4. Marina Harss says

    Funny, I was just thinking that I’m finding Mearns too too much in certain roles, including “Kammermusik.” Too much hunger, not enough nuance (or subtlety), which doesn’t do it for me in everything. Teresa Reichlen, on the other hand, I find breathtaking in her effortlessness. She’s like a ray of light to me. Of course, the wonderful thing is that we have BOTH, and more . . .

  5. Allen Dickstein says

    Sara Mearns has become my absolute favorite City Ballet dancer. I cannot get enough of her (and for many of the reasons you mentioned).

  6. Martha Ullman West says

    This Glimpse is no more an amuse bouche than a few ounces of pate de foie gras. Ms. Tobias has long been the master of the short form, in this post putting you in the theater with her, watching Mearns through her highly educated, experienced eyes. Verbally economical? Sure. Metaphorically rich? Ditto.

  7. Barbara Palfy says

    My reaction precisely: I said, “Wild animal” and that no one since Farrell could be so successfully risky. All in contrast with long and lean and contained Reichlen. Eye-popping.

  8. Wonderful, fun writing. I was there with every word. Thank you.

  9. How much you’ve packed into a glimpse! This brief paragraph is as alive and driven by energy as the dancing you describe.

an ArtsJournal blog