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  2. Helene

    Coppelia 2018.

    Except for the male solo in the first act -- created for Helgi Tomasson -- the first two acts we created from Balanchine's memories from the Mariinsky and especially Danilova's memories from the version she danced with the Ballet Russe as the Swanhilda of her time, filled in by Balanchine. Those acts are both very Swanhilda-centric, including her interplay with Franz and Dr. Coppelius. It's the basic story: Act I is the set-up, with Franz courting Coppelia, Swanhilda's nose out of joint, Dr. Coppelius creating a doll he thinks he can bring to life, the group dances, Swanhilda's friends, ending with the boys roughing up Dr. Coppelius leaving Swanhilda and friends to find the key to the studio. Act II is the break-in to Dr. Coppelius' house, a few of his other dolls, Dr. Coppelius casting a spell to make his doll come alive -- the spell music is amazing -- Swanhilda's impersonation of the doll, Franz's arrival, and the sham exposed. Act III is a Balanchine original. It's the wedding day for all of the young couples: they show up in the square and the mayor gives them a sack of coin to start their new lives. Dr. Coppelius enters with his worse-for-wear doll and the mayor gives him a sack of gold. Solos for Dawn, Spinner, and Prayer, and the Dance of the Hours for a soloist and a corps of young girls for all variations. The War and Discord Divertissement, which always reminds me of the retired guys who wore togas and sandals and handed out flyers to Caesar's Palace: it's like Mel Brooks does Vegas. Pas de deux is music Balanchine lifted from "Sylvia" and which he'd used before. Big ending. There are some short videos that may give you a taste: These are short clips from PNB's co-production with San Francisco Ballet; the costumes and sets you see will be different. Spinner is in the black and white dress. This is a terrific video from San Francisco Ballet with thoughts from Judith Fugate, who staged the work for SFB and PNB -- a fantastic Swanhilda at NYCB in her time -- and some of the Principal Dancers:
  3. nanushka

    Coppelia 2018.

    Hmm, it doesn't seem very unusual to me. He did the same thing in Swan Lake. Balanchine seems to have been a bit more interested in male virtuosity than Petipa; he was choreographing for Tomasson; and Saint-Léon created Franz as a role en travesti, so filling in that gap (actually two gaps — a variation each in Acts I and III, I believe) probably seemed a quite natural move. Great clips. McBride, who created Balanchine's Swanilda, has coached at least some of the lead dancers for this run.
  4. canbelto

    Coppelia 2018.

    Balanchine's Coppelia is very traditional, especially in the first two acts. He and Alexandra Danilova reconstructed it from memory. The third act is re-choreographed but not re-structured: there are still divertissements and the wedding of Swanilda and Franz. Very unusual for Balanchine he actually added a variation for Franz. Some YT clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uqqKfGbzPg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IysxWx631ok https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIGwSkvvADs
  5. FauxPas

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    So I saw the second cast of "AfteRite" last night. Teuscher lacked Ferri's strengths and that may have been a good thing for the work as a whole. Teuscher was more blankly stoic and more easily manipulated. And less emotive, but then she isn't Italian! Her character was more weak, cowed, resigned and passive and it made more sense that she does not fight for the child. You got the sense that she was not a strong or passionate woman alone, like Ferri, but a meek submissive member of some kind of cult or oppressive society. She gave in to the dictate of the community, swallowed her maternal instincts and after one moment of weak defiance watched her child be sacrificed. A note on the casting: Isabella Boylston was in the Misty Copeland track of the photographer. Gabe Stone Shayer was in Herman Cornejo's track and Daniil Simkin in Jeffrey Cirio's track. Arron Scott was dancing the Blaine Hoven (anguished friend) role and Tom Forster was in James Whiteside's (shirtless) role. The other dancers included Skylar Brandt, Catherine Hurlin, Marshall Whiteley, Tyler Maloney, Jose Sebastian, Courtney Shealy and Joo Wah Ahn. Whiteley has a lot of stage presence and he is HUGE. He is a strong partner but I noticed a tendency toward bulkiness in his frame - he needs to concentrate on keeping lean and vascular. He also sweats a lot onstage. His dancing is very good and he needs to be used more. Initially I thought Shayer was in Cirio's track with Simkin in the Cornejo antagonist role. This surprise casting was interesting and brought a whole different color to the piece. Ferri and Cornejo have an intense personal chemistry onstage. A pas de deux with them will look like it is sexual or romantic due to their chemistry and long partnership. With Ferri and Cornejo it seemed like an erotic encounter turned into sadistic torture. There was no sexual connection between Teuscher and Shayer - all that twisted partnering was from beginning to end about control and manipulation. Shayer is actually shorter than Teuscher which made the image of her being lifted and rotated aloft by Shayer stranger and more disturbing. Ferri and Cornejo were a hot pair and Teuscher and Shayer a cold pair, and cold somehow made better sense despite the loss in star quality. I noticed a detail that had eluded me in the first viewing: the Mother figure does start to try to fight the Antagonist after he turns on the gas in the greenhouse/gas chamber. She tries to push him aside but he subdues her and pushed her to the ground. It wasn't a tiger mother protecting her young but it was something - but too little too late and ineffectual. The lower level of general drama and emoting with this alternate pair let moments like that stand out. So was it GOOD? No, not really but this cast, lacking some of the individual incandescence of the star duo in the other cast, did give more of a sense of ensemble and certain aspects played better. Cornejo and Ferri deserve a better vehicle at ABT. So do Teuscher and Shayer but they are lucky to get this. Everybody was doing their best up there and looking good with what they were given. But again my reaction was "Why are they doing that at that time and in that situation?" "Firebird" was the same cast as Tuesday with Duncan Lyle returning replacing Roman Zhurbin as Kaschei. Having seen this fine cast before I was less blindsided by their excellence and the headscratcher oddities and flaws in Ratmansky's choreography did stand out more to me this time. I still had a good time but need a dose of Fokine, Balanchine or Tetley.
  6. volcanohunter

    The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    I am not in the least bit surprised, but that doesn't make it any less of a travesty.
  7. Anthony_NYC

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    Maybe the strangest thing for me about McGregor’s new ballet is that the gassing seems like it should shock, and it doesn’t, really. I’m not sure if that’s deliberate or not. (I saw it Tuesday, and I still can’t say I understand what the thing was about.) The idea that ABT should include a warning when a ballet isn’t child-friendly bothers me in a couple ways. First, it seems to me it would promote the cliche that ballet is a decorative art, nice and “girly,” where everything occurs in some fairyland. One doesn’t expect a new play to advertise how many deaths occur in it, and what kind; a parent reads up and decides whether to take their child. And what is child-friendly anyway? Swan Lake, that ends with a double suicide? Wouldn’t it make more sense for ballet companies to offer a few short programs geared towards small children? (Finally, and this is purely a personal opinion—obviously people can raise their kids however they like—but I think many parents worry too much about protecting their children from, well, life. I say, take ‘em to stuff, even grown up stuff if they seem to have interest. If they’re old enough to have questions, then it’s a great opportunity to have a meaningful discussion with them.)
  8. abatt

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    I was sitting in the orchestra on the right side. I could see something protruding in the area where she tripped during the entire second act, even before she tripped. In fact, the protrusion was so obvious I thought to myself that someone was bound to trip on that before the show is over. Sure enough, several minutes later Hee tripped. The protrusion appeared to be part of the set. Her accident had nothing to do with Bolle.
  9. Kathleen O'Connell

    Roster Changes Announced Spring 2018

    I'm sorry I have to miss the June 3 performance - both Dieck and Lowery have been dancing beautifully this season and I'd love to see them go out on a high note.
  10. susanger

    Roster Changes Announced Spring 2018

    Did you notice the casting for the last day (June 3) of the season? Cameron Dieck gets to retire making his debut (!) in Agon and reprising his role in The Four Temperaments. Savannah Lowery retires dancing Concerto Barocco and Agon. Should be a lovely day at the ballet.
  11. Balletwannabe

    "Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan"

    Somehow I missed that. That's wonderful. Lucky students.
  12. Outside

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    I was watching through my binoculars, yes it was very fast, but I didn't see that he stood in her way. He put her down and she continued her fast running to the side, then I heard a thud but I didn't see her fall. I was sitting at the 1st row of the grand tier, fairly center (my own seat was to the side, but there was an empty seat so I sat in it for act II), the fact I didn't see her trip and fall, to me, means that she did it while in the wing, at the same time, he was standing on the stage. In any event, it was an accident, and she danced beautifully after that 👍 He didn't drop her and they didn't crash into the wing together.
  13. mnacenani

    Is Alyona Kovalyova "Zvezda" material ??

    Kovalyova and Tissi to represent the Bolshoi at the perennial "Bolshoi Ballet" TV show ! (many thanks to Gnossie for this info)
  14. mnacenani

    The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    УРААА !!
  15. Gnossie

    The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    Kovalyova and Tissi (who did not graduated from the Moscow Choreographic School) to "represent" the Bolshoi at Bolshoi Ballet (Tv show) As I said on the Mariinsky thread: No Comments!
  16. Gnossie

    2017 -- 2018 Season

    Nagahisa and Caixeta (who did not study at Vaganova) to "represent" the Mariinsky at Bolshoi Ballet (tv show). No comments.
  17. cubanmiamiboy

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    I still can't really grasp what happened. They were EXTREMELY close to the wings when he took her up and down right away for her to keep running. Now...this is a very fast sequence. It must look as if Albrecht just grabbed Giselle's essence for a split of a second. Usually dancers don't do much but up and down, but I believe Bolle tried to turn right after putting Seo down and he stood on her way by doing so...? I also think she might exited using the same wing exit where Roberto stood after putting her down. It was very confusing...and fast. But he CERTAINLY didn't drop her.
  18. cubanmiamiboy

    Coppelia 2018.

    I have tickets for three Coppelias. I love this ballet, and miss it terribly from my days in Havana. There it was done in a very regular basis, just as Giselle. I have never seen Balanchine's version. What should I expect...? I am very excited!
  19. Some things you should expect if seeing Giselle's staging, from the top of my head. -This production has its roots in three different productions: the Romanoff/Balanchine 1946 staging for BT in NYC , the Dolin 1948 staging for Ballet Alicia Alonso in Havana and the 1953 Mary Skeaping staging, also for ballet Alicia Alonso. All three versions were premiered by Alonso and Youskevitch. -There are musical cuts and/or differences from the standard versions we know. And here are some of them. - Albrecht's entrance is not set to the triumphant music we are used to. In the Cuban version it is set to the main sweet, arpeggiated leitmotif we hear in the overture. The triumphant music is heard when Albrecht comes out of the cottage after having a change of clothes-(another difference with ABT's, which has Albrecht already dressed as Loys right since his entrance). -The Peasant pas de deux is instead a "ballabile for Giselle's friends". I believe four couples plus two female soloists. -Giselle's Pas Seul finishes with the famous Spessivtzeva's diagonal of pirouettes, instead of the circle of piques usually seen. This diagonal was danced in ABT up until Baryshnikov. I don't know of any other company who keeps it today, besides CNB. -Giselle's Initiation scene in Act II has a double pirouette in attitude on pointe right after the Grand Pirouettes. For this reason, expect the Grand Pirouettes to be executed slower than what you are used to. This section is also cut shorter than ABT's. - Myrtha's choreography is different in certain sections. And her arabesques penchees are way slower and deeper. Cuban Myrtha takes her sweet time with her arabesques. You might find some of the tempi extremely slow. - The series of entrechats for Giselle are done in a devilishly fast way, mimicked after Alonso's, which were just like that. If the ballerina is not very good at such footwork, they might look almost non existent to the eye. - The music for the finale, right after Giselle has bid her final farewell to Albrecht is not the very slow ABT-(or the Russians)- have. At some point I recall reading here that the slow ending had been a change for a staging with Pavlova- ( I think it was Mel Johnson). Instead the ending is here the allegedly original...a very fast, quick music section, which has Albrecht running all over the stage to then collapse over Giselle's grave. - Stylistically, you might find this staging old fashioned, and I suppose the poses will look rather stiff and outdated to some. You won't see amplitude, but rather constriction. Many tilted torsos and necks, and a Chopiniana-like formation for the willis instead of the double line on each side of the stage.
  20. cubanmiamiboy

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    I have little recollection of both. I fell asleep on The Tempest, and right now al can recall is Marcelo Gomes looking like Moses with a huge white beard and a ship prop that turned onstage. And La baiser... something similar. A couple of flashes of the work here and there, like the baby/prop being tossed around from hand to hand. Not too much else I'm afraid...😶
  21. Outside

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    Found a review on Bolle/Seo on May 19, the author claimed that "at one moment Bolle dropped his ballerina when she was set to exit on stage left. From what I could tell, the pair crashed into the wing." https://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwdance/article/BWW-Review-ABTs-Staging-of-GISELLE-Offers-Superb-Dancing-but-Misses-the-Mark-During-the-Iconic-Mad-Scene-20180520 Excuse me? Did she have eye sight problem? Roberto Bolle probably doesn't care, but it doesn't give her the right to state falsehood!! Can't believe they call themselves "critics"! I wrote to broadwayworld.com and gave them a piece of my mind and truth 😎
  22. Helene

    ABT gala

    James Whiteside interviewed Kevin McKenzie for his podcast "The Stage Rightside" the week before the Gala, and one of the topics they discussed was the works in the gala. https://stagerightside.libsyn.com/kevin-mckenzie-on-directing This is a not-to-miss episode for anyone interested in ABT. At the end, Whiteside announced that next week's episode would feature an interview with Michelle Dorrance.
  23. mnacenani

    Nacho Duato taking helm in 2014

    AT LONG LAST !! From Berlin Ballet email of today : "The era of Nacho Duato at the Staatsballett Berlin comes to an end this summer. We can look back on a memorable and intense four-year incumbency involving international guest performances, the enlargement and rejuvenation of the repertoire and numerous world premieres, for the Staatsballett. We are grateful for the path we have trodden together and for the part played by Nacho Duato in the expansion of our horizons! Thank you, adiós and farewell" ....... Muchas Gracias !!
  24. Drew

    "Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan"

    Whelan is listed on Ballet Academy East's website as a member of their pre-professional faculty. Her appointment to that faculty was discussed here not long after her retirement. (I have no idea what the terms of her employment are. I imagine it would be fascinating to see her at work as a teacher.)
  25. Drew

    Bach to Broadway

    Quite right I think. In fact, I usually stay away from nicknames for artists and prefer to call them by whatever professional name they use, but some of the Atlanta Ballet publicity on Facebook for example referred to him as Max Petrov, so I started to wonder if that was actually his preference. (By unfortunate coincidence, "Maxim Petrov" happens to be the name of a particularly notorious Russian serial killer.) But you have been following his work for years, and he is listed as Maxim Petrov in most places, so I think you must be right that he uses and wants to use his full name in professional settings. I won't change what I wrote above at this point, but will stick to Maxim Petrov in future. And I do hope to be hearing from him in future.
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