When Jared Angle retired from New York City Ballet this past January after a twenty-five year career with the company, he did so in a characteristically understated manner. He danced in only one of the three ballets on the program, playing Prince Ivan in Balanchine’s “Firebird.” Afterward, he received only a modest number of bouquets, having requested that the money be spent, instead, on New York City Ballet’s Education and Public Programs. He then said a few words, thanking the audience for coming to the ballet, his colleagues for their years of friendship, and the orchestra for their music. There has always been a touch of selflessness about Angle’s persona. He is known above all as the most elegant and quietly assured of partners, someone who makes partnering look like the most natural and fluid thing in the world, and who helps his partners to feel as free and daring as they want to be. An impeccable dancer, he has never stolen the limelight, as if guided by an instinctive sense of measure and good taste. He has looked particularly in his element in George Balanchine’s “Liebeslieder Walzer” and the Rosenkavalier waltz in “Vienna Waltzes,” two ballets that require both style and sensitivity. In “Vienna Waltzes” he was both there and not there, a man and his aura. In “Liebeslieder,” as he oh-so-gently touched his partner with gloved hands, he seemed to sense what she was feeling. Subtlety, quietness, and refinement—all rare qualities, and ones he had in abundance.
Jared Angle and Megan Fairchild in Peter Martins’ "Barber Violin Concerto." Photograph byPaul Kolnik
One way to get to know the history of a company is through the “liner notes” of its “Swan Lake” production, and for those of us continuing to build an admiring familiarity with Pacific Northwest Ballet via its digital season offerings, Kent Stowell and Francia Russell’s “Swan Lake” provides an interesting glimpse into PNB prior to Peter Boal’s leadership.FREE ARTICLE