Whilst I'm no fan of Mr. Macaulay's, I thought this was an interesting and reasonably balanced review.
The Nutcracker PdD is a challenge for dancers, particularly the younger/newer cavaliers - the male solos are not the inspired bit, and if you can't do the bravura stuff, it doesn't look good. I've adore Tyler Angle's dancing since seeing him in the SAB workshop, but his strength has always been in partnering, not in the fancy solo stuff. Robbie Fairchild too, is a massive talent, but is more in the showman style - he's made no bones about wanting to do Broadway. And it's not being unfair to point out that people have different strengths, and that they have areas in which they still need to grow. Both have long careers in front of them, so constructive criticism is a great thing to get - because if they stop developing now, talent has been squandered.
Same thing for the women - Macaulay is hardly bashing anyone in particular. He finds good things to say about each Sugar Plum, and points out where they need to grown. That's what a good critic does - and what a good dancer learns from (as well as knowing what critiques are worth paying attention to and which you just ignore...). I would agree with his worry about Peirera, in that she has time to develop as an artist, but the recent history of female dancers at NYCB doesn't favor that growth happening. Peter Martins, unfortunately, has been known for promoting very young talent, but not continuing to develop it once he loses interest. Criticism of Martins failure to develop his dancers into artists is hardly new - the same thing has been posited about Maria Kowroski, Janie Taylor, Alexandra Ansanelli etc etc. All have had great careers, but many wonder how much greater artists they could have been with better nurturing and more attention after they were no longer 'flavour of the month'. And, I think there is similar neglect among the men - lots of raw talent, but in the past 20-25 years, those who have come front and center usually got their push from someone other than Martins - many dancers will talk about teachers like Andre Kramarevsky, Jock Soto or Stanley Williams, or choreographers like Jerome Robbins.
I think Martins would be well advised to spend less time on his mediocre (at best) choreography and more time on long term development of talent. Personally, I think companies generally are more successful where the AD does not have choreographic ambitions, and thus focuses on the repertoire, the dancers and seeking out guest choreographers. Companies like Stuttgart, Hamburg and Bejart are the exceptions, but to me, at times at NYCB, ABT, Houston, Scottish Ballet, NBoC etc., the ADs have sometimes let their choreography get in the way of the best interests of the company.
And, I should add that very few professional critics have professional dance backgrounds, nor should it ever be a requirement. No press rep, dancer, director or other reviewer has ever looked down at me because I've never danced professionally. Respect is built by putting out balanced, well written reviews, being a regular ballet viewer (even if you don't review every performance or like every ballet) and continuing to educate oneself about all aspects of ballet.
It's important to remember that the vast majority of people who come to watch ballet have never even taken a a ballet class, let alone danced professionally, and reviews need to be aimed at them. Reviewers certainly should "know their stuff", but a review that focuses heavily on the technical bits or what stands out to a dancer is not so likely to interest the average audience member . Frankly, sometimes a very untrained eye can be the best judge of a ballet - and come up with the most pertinent observations - because they have very few biases and look at the whole picture. Sometimes the biggest problem with having a former professional as a reviewer is that their years in the business have ingrained in them certain biases - something which also happens with critics who've been around too long as well. It can also be a huge challenge to review dancers you once danced with or knew as a fellow professional.