I was there last night, too. BTW, Art's being too modest: you can check out his blog for a fuller review and some pictures:
http://artsplace.blogspot.com/2007/07/a ... night.html
I also found it much more pleasant than I expected, but I went in with low expectations after experiencing their gala two years ago, and their fairly terrible Sylvia and Giselle.
In retrospect, Symphonie Concertante was probably the best piece of the night, though the two girls danced like soggy, wet fish in the 1st movement, and didn't really pick things up until Maxim showed up. I thought they progressively improved towards the end. The ending of the 2nd movement with its Serenade-like parade was the best moment of the piece. The corps was really on, especially for ABT. I don't think I've ever seen them this precise before.
The 3 pas in the middle part of the evening were pretty random for me, too. I was hoping to see David Hallberg dance, but he maybe got to point his foot once, and otherwise was just lifting the very lovely Irina Dvororenko around. I think I enjoyed Don Q more than Art did --- I never realized how beautiful Paloma's feet were until last night, and I loved J-MC's stop-on-a-dime pirouettes. He has got to be one of the most beautiful turners out there.
Since we're talking tricks, I was disappointed that Paloma's fouette turns weren't much different than before: doubles for the first 10 or so, and then singles for the rest. I love how Tamara Rojo and a couple of other ridiculously accomplished turners do theirs: during doubles, she opens her fan and fans herself, closing it when she whips her leg around. That laissez-faire attitude during really difficult steps is very appealing.
Rodeo was fine, but I preferred SFB's I saw last summer at Stern Grove. Character development of the cowgirl and her relationship with the two guys was more believable with SFB. Marian Butler did a really outstanding job as the cowgirl, touching in her emoting, but ABT's staging seemed more cartoonlike in its emotional development: one moment she likes one guy, and as soon as the other guy kisses her, she falls for him.
Nevertheless, I walked out of the theater smiling, and that's certainly much better than previous ABT visits.