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About choriamb

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. [Begin marketing geek rave] The lead image in the most recent PNB "Director's Choice" program e-mail promo may be the best fine arts marketing image that I've seen in two years. (PNB's marketing is consistently better than other US dance companies, but all US dance marketing usually fades in comparison to opera companies or European dance companies.) This image, though, succeeds on so many levels: it's beautiful; its technically well-composed; and I can't think of another image that has so effectively conveyed an abstract ballet's meaning with such artistic economy. (The fact that it didn't cost the earth in set design probably didn't hurt either.) Anyway, whoever art directed this (whether Lindsay Thomas herself or someone else) needs a pat on the back: this is the sort of image that would push an art or design lover to click something. [End marketing geek rave]
  2. If anyone can do it, I think that Bolle can: after all, he handled both Kent and Herrera's last ABT Giselles with only a day's break in-between and looked world-class. (In comparison to that 2015 gig, the partnering for this engagement seems easier from a physical, mental, and prep time standpoint.) I think his light schedule with ABT this season is actually more happenstance: the two classics that he always dances--Giselle and Swan Lake--are actually a bit oversubscribed with debuts this year (the men cast all need an appearance to keep their rep in tune; the debuting women need an in-house partner to work out kinks). Otherwise, the spring rep is dominated by unfamiliar Ratmansky pieces that he'd have to spend time acquiring. (It feels weird to find myself defending Bolle...but the respect he showed during those 2015 ABT retirement gigs made me view him in a new light.)
  3. Thanks for the update on the Robbins program, DC Export! (I like getting reports on his part of the repertory.) Schumacher's a solid, thoughtful dancer (and I like his Puck also, Helene). The men we primarily see in the "short" male bravura roles (De Luz, Ulbricht, Veyette, Garcia, Carmena) are fast approaching or past the two decade mark. And Gordon has only been onstage about 5 years. Martins might want a mid-career dancer with experience in those roles other than Huxley in order to maintain a consistent talent pipeline. Someone with Schumacher's intelligence and stage experience in the "short" male bravura roles will seem a worthwhile investment in about three years.
  4. Yes, California, he danced Desire in ABT's McKenzie/Kirkland/Chernov production (prior to the Ratmansky version).
  5. I'm actually a fan of both Macaulay's interest in historical research and his overall writing style. That said, he's had three tendencies in the past that he's gradually overcome. I think that his interest in companies' stylistic lineage initially led him to criticize dancers who worked outside of his sometimes limited vision of a company's style. He's definitely come to expand his definition of the types of dancer each company "should" contain...and I suspect watching the career arc of the very dramatic Mearns at the very "cool" NYCB--not to mention seeing over the past few years that Balanchine is about FAR more than the black-and-white ballets--has played a role in this. He's also now less prone to criticize dancers unreservedly for their casting and interpretation. The former is completely beyond their control (even Whelan has said that she couldn't control how she was cast...far less Ringer). And even interpretation is sometimes more in the hands of a repetiteur or director than an artist might like. Major artists in the world of opera and theater have far more control over those things: I think that he may have come to realize this.
  6. On the whole, given NYCB's current 1st and 2nd cast rosters, I agree with you (Rubies has always been superior...and it's not like Emeralds plays to the Bolshoi's traditional strengths, either). But as totally mesmerizing as Mearns is as the lead in Diamonds, she doesn't show me why it's substantially different from her other tutu roles. When Korbes did Diamonds at PNB (the best interpretation I've ever seen), it looked unlike anything else she's done. So, I'm curious to see if folks with a greater distance from the house of Balanchine feel they have the freedom to look at those roles a bit more critically. Agreed, if the Maillot is due to timidity, it's confusing. The major Russian companies are bankable in NYC no matter what they dance: the combined expatriate/emigrant/Russophile balletomane audience block is ironclad. (Every other company has to calculate programming to the hilt.)
  7. NYCB performed it a few times in 2013-14: Bouder/De Luz and Peck/Garcia were the pairings. Bouder/De Luz have taken it on the road to galas a few times since then: I wish I'd been able to catch them, as I imagine they were marvelous.
  8. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Imler is the first dancer who I've really followed all the way from corps through principal...and the second full-career dancer I'll see retire this year. Sigh...I am now officially old. [This would hurt less if she were losing steam...but she was the best Kitri(!) that they fielded two years ago...]
  9. Agreed. When I heard the programming for Kent's first year at WB, I'd initially thought it a bit too much of a trip through her own past. But in the podcast (around 24:50), she's pretty compelling about her motives related to dancer training. (Added to the fact that she and her husband apparently only had two months to pull the season plan together, necessitating ballets that they already knew well.)
  10. Of late, we've been lucky to see even one classical ballet company programmed for Lincoln Center Festival. So, if some embattled balletomane in the planning office has had to resort to a little ballet-can-be-cross-cultural-non-19th-century-and-splashy gimmickry to justify getting more companies on the calendar, I'm fine with that. Yes, I'd prefer to see a longer run by one of these companies in a ballet not usually seen in NYC. But if that isn't possible, I think this is a very cool alternative option: I'll be there, if I'm on that coast.
  11. Ashley Bouder's daughter: Ratmansky fan. (As are Katie Williams and Kaho Ogawa.)
  12. My pleasure. Regarding Seo, I wonder if this was meant to stretch her a bit. Setting aside technical bobbles and stamina (which seem to be resolving), she's been most successful in roles that involve heavy interaction with other cast members. Ones that involve a lot of outward projection and intentionally-placed epaulment are her weak spot: almost the exact opposite of the problem that a lot of "competition babies" face. (Earlier this year, I saw PNB rehearse the same ballerina in both Prodigal Son and the von Aroldingen role in Stravinsky Violin Concerto in quick succession and was struck by how much they required the same sort of projection, placement, and shadow-like male partner.) I've never singled out Forster, but a lot of folks I respect like him. Is he one of those slow burners who takes longer to ease into roles? (In retrospect, I've only seen him in roles near the beginning of runs.)
  13. Mostly agreed with abatt and Kaysta. I do think Kochetkova is more than "blandly efficient" although she doesn't delve as deeply into a work's style or interpretation as I would like. However, I think the stagecraft aspect of her partnering--the nuanced ways that she interacts with her partners and enables them to look more engaged, too--is what makes her worthwhile. It's not just chemistry: it's a skill. And with the exception of Trenary, the other short pairings often look uncomfortable or TOO comfortable. (Kitri and Basilio should not look like an old married couple from the getgo.)
  14. None of the dancers are really in performance mode in these two Instagram clips, but you may find them interesting. (I don't admire Abrera in everything, but she and Gorak were mesmerizing in Monotones I when I saw it last fall. I didn't see Copeland in performance, but I think the latter half of that clip shows some of the stretch that you mention.) and