A fairy tale within a fairy tale, the dancers playing the roles of the Prince and Marie in Gelsey Kirkland Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” are newly husband and wife, and dancing together for the first time.
We first met Erez Milatin a year ago, when we reported on the personable young Israeli dancer playing lead roles in Kirkland’s classical dance company. Full of muscle and grace, he grew up on a moshav in central Israel, and came to the U.S. just a few years ago to pursue his dream of dancing professionally.
On stage, Milatin has a powerful presence. He lifts and twists Dawn Milatin with ease, and at moments she flies in his arms. Her dancing is elegant and enchanting.
They met when Erez joined the company in 2013 (she has been dancing with Kirkland since 2011). But they had never been assigned to dance together until last spring, when Erez’s dance partner left the company.
After their debut together last Sunday, Dawn told The Jewish Week, “Normally when you dance, you imagine things. You have to make it real. When it’s actually your husband opposite you, you bring a lot more of yourself to the stage, just naturally.”
He agrees, “If I’m dancing with a different girl, I look at her and try to make a deep emotional connection. The moment is so truthful, so real. When Dawn is right there, right in front of me, I have so much more energy. With her, I don’t have to do into character, because it’s so real. I believe that it becomes very real to the audience too.”
Indeed, the very magical ballet becomes even more so, when they are dancing together. A company member holds their wedding rings offstage. The theatre is small enough so that viewers can witness their loving gaze.
Their August wedding was at City Hall, and they plan to go to Israel for a full-scale celebration.
Gelsey Kirkland Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” is performed through Sunday, December 20th, at the Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center, 29 Jay Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn. The Milatins will be dancing together in the lead roles on Saturday at 7:30 pm and on Sunday at noon.