All in the Family
I love dancing families. Whatever pitfalls may come with training alongside a brother or a sister (or a mother, or a father), there’s something really neat about watching family members work and perform together. They just get each other. And talk about a built-in support system. (Can you tell I’m the only one in my family who danced? No, I’m not jealous of sister acts like the DelGrossos. Not at all. *quiet sob.*)
New York City Ballet is full of sibling duos, and while they frequently share the stage, one pair—Robert and Megan Fairchild—had an especially awesome moment this Sunday. It was a performance of Susan Stroman’s Double Feature, a slapstick-funny, Broadway-inflected homage to old-school silent films. The story of its first section, “The Blue Necklace,” is a little complicated, but here’s all you need to know for now: Robert was dancing the part of Billy Randolph, a dashing (and, of course, dancing) movie star. Megan was playing Florence, a dopey non-dancer with an ambitious mom. At one point in the ballet, the mom forces Billy and Florence to dance together.
In other casts, their clunky pas de deux is polite-chuckle funny: It has some cute little wow-this-girl-really-can’t-dance gags, there are lots of flexed feet and missed lifts, nyuk nyuk nyuk. But Robert and Megan had me on the floor with their spot-on comic timing. They just know how to goof off together—probably thanks to years and years of practice in their living rooms. I kind of hope their mom got to see that particular performance, because I’m guessing it would have felt awfully familiar!