choriamb

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About choriamb

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan
  • City**
    New York
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    New York

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  1. Gorak, Hoven, Shayer, Royal, and Ahn have all proved their ability to command a stage in soloist variations, and their technical abilities as partners don’t seem to have been severely tested this season. I think their ability to manufacture stage chemistry with partners is what was under the microscope this season. Did any of the men have a major breakthrough in terms of dramatic chemistry? (Gorak and Hoven were both paired with stage animal Olgas for Onegin.) Assuming no one had a break-out season, I'd expect to see Shayer and Royal promoted for their seniority/technique/promise. As far as the women are concerned, I suspect the artistic staff would prefer to simultaneously promote Teuscher and Shevchenko at the end of next year, followed by Trenary and Brandt the following year. (With the order less about merit than building audience familiarity and avoiding comparisons.) But I think what will really decide matters is the existing principal women’s retirement, injury, and maternity prospects for the next 1-2 years...if so, stage experience will be the main decider: If anything is afoot with a taller principal woman, Teuscher will be fast-tracked this year. If anything is afoot with a shorter principal woman, Lane (and possibly Trenary) will get a nod this year. And I agree with the members who wish ABT had a demi-soloist position so that Fang, Post, Hamrick, and DeGrofft would be properly recognized. But one joy of all these in-house promotions is that corps members may now have a shot at roles formerly assigned exclusively to soloists/principals. (Fang in anything involving a slyph! Post in Monotones!)
  2. Hard to say, given the blurriness, but based on the physique and hairline, I'd guess Russell Janzen. (If not, I'd guess that Jonathan Stafford stepped in to demonstrate something.)
  3. So, we can expect to see Theme and Variations and Black Swan appearing regularly on retirement programs from here on out, right? #CPYB
  4. I attended on Saturday night (6/10), too, intending to catch Imler live one last time. Pictures at an Exhibition was an unexpected delight. (I'd avoided it in NYC because even the Ratmansko-philic reviews made it sound like a total grab bag...which it is, but a wonderful one.) La Source didn't totally gel for me, partly because it isn't my favorite Balanchine choreography. That said, it was interesting to watch the leads stretching themselves in unexpected ways (Biasucci trading attack for a lovely serene port de bras, Griffiths pushing the tempo in one section). I'll also now be keeping an eye on Nicole Rizzitano in the corps. But the main question: why is James Moore not better-known?!! I can't imagine how his Opus 19/The Dreamer performance could have been better: more articulate and theatrically nuanced than any I've seen at NYCB (and I've seen some very good ones). I've never watched Moore in a 19th-century classic, but on the back of the repertory I have watched, he's absolutely world-class.
  5. Thanks, everyone, for the reports on Shevchenko's Kitri debut: I'm so happy that it went well!
  6. NYC saw Scheller too little before injury took her offstage: she was always technically solid, but had begun to show real musicality and intelligence once she gained confidence as a principal. I'm glad she's continuing to dance as well.
  7. [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]
  8. 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.)
  9. 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.
  10. Yes, California, he danced Desire in ABT's McKenzie/Kirkland/Chernov production (prior to the Ratmansky version).
  11. 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.
  12. 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.)
  13. 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.