The Little Mermaid
Van Patten succeeded Yuan Yuan Tan in “The Little Mermaid,” and, in an astonishing act of auto-criticism, mercilessly exposed the protagonist’s deeply masochistic yearnings. I didn’t see a more honest or painful performance all season.
Ms. Van Patten is one of the most inscrutable dancers before the public today, and in several roles she has the secret of keeping you in perpetual suspense. She plays the heroine of “Serenade” — a woman to whom things, and in particular men, happen — with a kind of innocent cool and absorption that reminds me of Kyra Nichols. Since she does nothing in terms of pathos to ask for your sympathy, it is with surprise that you find you have your heart in your mouth in watching everything that befalls her.