KarenAG

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About KarenAG

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

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  1. Thank you, Gnossie, for your answers to my questions and your opinions - I have some thoughts and will respond later.
  2. I'm almost certain it was Tiler Peck, but I don't know who the male was. But that would explain, in part, my feeling that I wasn't seeing (at SPAC) the ballet I had seen at Bard the previous fall. They're such strong and talented, but very different, dancers.
  3. I saw Murphy and Gomes dance this at the Fisher Center at Bard several years ago and they were wonderful. Interestingly, the next summer at SPAC, NYCB danced it and I thought it looked so different.
  4. Thank you, Canbelto. These are good points! Rubies is not a 'polite' ballet .
  5. I agree about the gloves- I really dislike them. If the women were wearing tea-length tutus (like in La Valse), they would work. But this is a classical, imperial ballet.
  6. Diamonds: I'm not sure where to begin. I thought the performance was breathtaking, stunning, despite a few problems. Visually, the company is gorgeous. I agree with many posts about their look, their uniformity of height, their long legs, arms and necks, etc. They are so beautiful! I really liked the tutus, especially the gorgeous bodices with capped sleeves. They were very white, but it didn't bother me. Karinska's original costumes are the best, but since this was a Russian company, they were dressed in their Imperial Russian ballet finery. I seem to remember the style of the tutu skirts to be similar or maybe even the same style as the tutus in the dream scene of their Don Quixote. I didn't have a problem with the tempo and I am usually sensitive to tempos that are too slow for a particular ballet (I'm thinking of some Russian Sugar Plum Fairy or Swan Lake Act II PDD videos where the tempo is agonizingly slow). The company danced quite beautifully and classically with amazing and solid technique, they just don't look like Balanchine and I don't think they can, despite the coaching by Merrill Ashley (and Paul Boos, whom I don't know). This is where Kovaleva, who was both physically and technically gorgeous, had some issues, I think. I agree with Kaysta's comments about her dramatic presence. I'm sure she will grow into this role, but for now, I think she lacks a kind of aloof and impassive grandeur, a you-can-look-but-you-cannot-possess me quality that the role demands. Some key moments were too soft and lacked the drama associated with the music. First, the moment in the PDD where she bourees and then pirouettes(?) into the cavalier's arms and almost looks trapped and she must get away - it's a single unbelievable pose wherein she establishes she can't be there (in his arms). (On the YouTube video with Farrell and Martins it starts at 8:02 for those who may want to see what I'm talking about). The other underwhelming moment yesterday happened when the ballerina sort of marches forward on point with her arms over her head, his arm protectively around her waist. Both of these moments, at least from my seat, which was very good, seemed under-expressed. These are iconic Balanchine choreographic moments. There is such tension in this PDD. The cavalier pursues her, they walk as if in love, they dance, but it's fleeting because she is ultimately unattainable, regardless that there is something in her that wants to be possessed. Those two moments, I believe, help to establish that unattainability. Tissi was lovely, but the hand kiss was, IMO, not properly executed. For me, that kiss is the cavalier's resignation and acceptance that he cannot posses her, and he bows down in reverence and kisses her hand Tissi's seemed to me a stolen kiss. I have often thought - did Balanchine have Diana the Huntress in the back of his mind when he choreographed this PDD? Those port de bras, iconic and beautiful, where her arms are over her head, one bent behind, the other outstretched above and forward, doesn't she looks like a statue of Artemis, imaginary bow in her exquisite hands?.
  7. Yes, you're right - she trained, at least in part, in Australia. Thanks for the correction, Katherine.
  8. This is my 500th post! It took me some time to get there as I hardly posted last year. Continuing with my thoughts on Jewels..... Rubies: Not sure I have anything much to add that hasn't been said already about NYCB's fantastic Rubies at yesterday's matinee. Except they had to repeat the performance in the evening. Wow! I thought they were spectacular. Tess Reichlen is a fabulous tall girl, scintillating and sexy. She's so cool and contained but definitely in charge. It's apparent she really loves to dance this role. I'm increasingly delighted with Megan Fairchild's dancing these days. I find her more musical and her technique is lovely. Perhaps that long stint on Broadway contributed to growth and maturity in her classical dancing. She is more assured, perhaps more daring even. She looked like she was having the time of her life yesterday. When I saw her at Saratoga in Jeu de Cartes, she was the best thing in it; she was commanding and dynamic and truly fun to watch in an otherwise problematic ballet (for me) . Back to Rubies, Joaquin is amazing! I can't believe he's 41. He has so much energy and joy in his dancing. He was the same in Tarantella a couple of weeks ago. The whole performance Rubies, I mean) was just sublime and I loved it.
  9. I absolutely agree with this statement. I have seen each of these dancers, as well as Suzanne Farrell years ago, dance the role and Mearns' interpretation is not quite the chilly, remote goddess. She is a queen, however, but with more fire than ice. I love her interpretation, but also love Tess Reichlen's. Farrell's will probably always be the standard.
  10. Hello, Gnossie, I referenced this in my post about Emeralds in the LC thread. Is your statement a reference to what some have stated is a neglect of the French style at POB? I know Hannah is from Australia and received her training there, and I surmise with Park, it's a similar situation, but aren't they learning the French style by being company members? What do you see as the impediment? Why do you think of them as outsiders? I am curious because I don't know the French school much at all and I'd like to better understand now that I've had the pleasure of seeing them yesterday. Thank you.
  11. I did. Was kicking myself that I didn't plan to take in a performance and missed the opportunity, but on Friday evening a couple of seats miraculously opened up (donated back, I suppose) and I grabbed one. I'm thrilled that I did. I have never seen POB and I saw the Bolshoi only once, at Saratoga for DQ three years ago; I also saw Eugenia Obratzsova in R&J at ABT. So this was a real treat, regardless that the two guest companies had some issues with Balanchine's choreography, which IMO is to be expected - Balanchine is not in their DNA, although it is indeed unfortunate that the Russians' Rubies was as bad as it was. I read everyone's comments here and I must say, what interesting and provocative observations and insights, as always. Canbelto, I also enjoyed your review in your blog and title - Superjewels - what fun! My husband took to calling it The Supernova, as an in a very bright celestial event. Emeralds: I agree that this was the weakest section, although I cannot quite put my finger on why, probably because I don't intimately know the French style. The dancers were impeccable and all elegance, but without that Balanchine look. Ould-Braham is a beautifully lyrical dancer - I loved her dancing in the Pelleas and Melisande Sicilienne - that music is so gorgeous! I agree about the odd moves of Pujol, but she is lovely. Fabian Revillion danced the Pas De Trois in Francois Alu's place. I've been casually following Hannah O'Neill since her win at Prix de Lausanne in 2009 and it was great have the opportunity to see her. Both she and Park were lovely and I thought the trio had good chemistry. Gnossie mentioned in the POB discussion that 'Park and O'Neill are outsiders' - does that speak to the discussion of the French style being neglected at POB? I'll ask that on the thread Gnossie posted with a quote. These are things I can't readily discern, however, any dancer coming into a company with a distinct style and training (e.g., the French school, or Balanchine's) from the outside must learn that company's style. Perhaps O'Neill and Park aren't there yet? Although I didn't see anything wrong with their dancing - I thought they were soft and elegant and fit into the company's aesthetic and style, which seems to be cool, classical, refined and very restrained. I didn't really like the costumes - too much turquoise and forest green (someone else mentioned these colors, too, here) - they actually jarred with the emerald green NYCB set, and I didn't like the bodices of the tutus. Perhaps they look better with POB's sets. Other than that, I enjoyed the performance very much and I am thrilled to have finally seen the French! On to the other reviews of this unique event.
  12. I look forward to reading your review, Canbelto, and others of this three-company event.
  13. I'm on my tablet, which is so much more difficult for me than using my PC. I edited my first paragraph to clarify the statement about the DVD's production, but some how it ended up as another post. Sorry for any confusion.