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In this connection, Kowroski's performance of the Siren was the more unusual.
The male lead in the ballet almost always tries to make the Prodigal psychologically real, but it's not often done with the woman.
Helene Alexopolous, NYCB's last great Siren until her retirement in 2002 played the part as inhuman and cold, seducing her victim (and the audience) like a cobra hypnotizing its prey before striking; and certainly that approach does not offend the choreographic text.
With numerous Connecticut productions of the classic fairy tale ballet, the 12th annual production by the Eastern Connecticut Ballet is a stand-out for a number of worthy reasons.
Performed in downtown New London at the historic Garde Arts Center -- a treat in itself if you’ve never been -- it’s one of the only local versions where Tchaikovsky isn’t piped into the house.
Instead, it’s played live by an accomplished 35-piece orchestra, courtesy of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra.
Maria Kowroski and Joaquin De Luz in Prodigal Son, photo by Paul Kolnik courtesy of New York City Ballet Kowroski's key moment in this direction was when she stood downstage alone as her goons were stripping away the Prodigal's clothes leaving him nearly naked (actually with a suggestion I think of Christ being spoiled before the crucifixion) except for a loincloth.
Here - just before the Siren crosses upstage to rip a necklace from his neck (the last thing he possesses, she'd earlier been fondling it) - the blocking gives her the entire front of the stage, making her as (or even more) individually visible than the ensemble action that proceeds behind her, and she made the most of it dramatically: her facial expressions and posture were a soliloquy of lust and emotional trouble, her character a kind of greedy whore nearly trembling with desire balanced by hesitation as she waited her moment to strike.