Just received the casting for the final week of The Nutcracker at NYCB, and I see that Jenifer Ringer will be dancing the role of Sugarplum on Dec. 26 and Dec. 30. It’s one of Ringer’s best roles—or rather it suits her quite perfectly—because there is something so refreshingly adult, feminine, and musical about her dancing. Technique and razzle-dazzle are not the point. Ringer is one of those dancers who just let themselves be carried along by the ebb and flow of the music; she never looks forced, and she never tries to impress. While appearing to dance for her own enjoyment, she just opens up her imagination and allows us to come with her for the ride. (She’s a natural in ballets like Liebeslieder Walzer, that require an imagination.) And the way she responds to the kids onstage in Nutcracker, one can see she knows and loves children. This isn’t an essential quality for Sugarplum, but it does add a deeper level to the role. Ringer’s latest absence was caused not by injury but by her second pregnancy; she has spoken with joy of the pleasures of motherhood (and even of pregnancy). Since she’s in her late thirties, there was reason to worry she might not come back, which would have been a terrible shame. Her casting in Nutcracker is a good sign that she will return for the winter season, which begins on January 15 and features a festival of Tchaikovsky ballets. With her sense of scale, wonderful phrasing, and innate glamor, Ringer is a natural for Tchaikovsky. Something to look forward to.
Here she is in a moment from Melissa Barak’s Call Me Ben (not a good ballet, I’m afraid, but a wonderful shot that captures a lot.) The photographer is Paul Kolnik.
Curious to know what ballets others love to see Ringer in? Drop me a line.