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About DanielBenton

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
  • City**
    Iowa City
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
  1. There are some 3rd ring 1st row seats for Sat evening (Smirnova dancing Diamonds) for $150.
  2. I second Quiggin, Jack. Always good to read your descriptions.
  3. The season brochure is online. At the website menu, down near the bottom is "17/18 season"
  4. On the phone today the ticket office said the season subscription brochures are about to or soon to be mailed out.
  5. Also, programs are once again listed by date on the NYCB website
  6. Ticket office is accepting subscription orders starting this morning
  7. Alas, they took it down! The NYCB keepers of the website are very capricious
  8. The programs are now shown by date in the NYCB website calendar
  9. Thanks Drew, I don't have an opinion after one viewing regarding the production as a unified work of art, but I thought it was a heck of a good try at theater and at times I had the feeling I was watching an opera: The relative importance of 3 elements: music, scenic design, and choreography was something unusual in my (limited) experience. Just my own opinion - it was a more compelling use of ballet than, e.g., what Ratmansky and Wheeldon are doing.
  10. Thanks Amy for a good discussion. In Iowa City, the streaming of the audio also cut out for 1-2 seconds on a regular basis. Must be transmission issues.
  11. The music was good and intriguing. The highly-skilled (young!) composer had to write a lot of it, and much of it (but not all by any means) was derivative of different styles (Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev especially). The first two female leads were pretty stunning, and Zakharova was her usual self. Balanchine said there are no mothers-in-law in ballet, i.e., ballet is not a good medium for complicated plots.
  12. I just ran across a Macaulay review of NYCB in London in Ballet Review 1984 (12:1, Spring; 84-96) in which he strenuously defends Balanchine and the NYCB dancers against the preponderance of British critics.
  13. Very late in GB' life: Here is the quotation from D'Amboise's book: In the year before his death, I often escorted Balanchine to visit the legendary Dr. James Gould for ear tests. Killing time in the waiting room, I once asked, "Mr. B, in the history of all the ballerinas you've taught and choreographed for-from the earliest days, Toumanova, Baronova, Riabouchinska, all the way up till today-who do you con­ sider the most talented? The most unusual? " He immediately answered : "Allegra. She is the most gifted. She is missing only one ele­ ment in 'the formula to be perfect .' . . . It's like chemistry in a jar . Energy, lots of it, must be there. That's the soup that everything cooks in. Then you put in ambition and humility. 'Ah, I'm not good enough yet, I can be better.' But, there must be balance-not so much humil­ity that you end up saying, Tm not good enough, I'll never be ready.' You must have in the formula pride, but not so much that the dancer says, 'I don't do matinees.' You can be stupid and still dance beautifully, but you can't become great without intelligence . . . Allegra has the right ingredients, but something prevents her from being consistent. I can't count on her. Still, I keep her on salary and tell her, 'When you're ready to dance, come dance. If you dance one ballet a year, it's enough.' She's worth it.''
  14. Cubanmiamiboy - Yes is was from the D'Amboise autobiography: he (J.D.) asked Balanchine the question.
  15. A poet friend of mine, upon seeing the 1973 Berlin video of Allegra in the Symphony in C 2nd movement, said she has a nobility about her...Her autobiographical book referenced above shows her to be an extremely intelligent, articulate, and very witty observer or herself and her own life, which, off the stage, was often a mess! What did Balanchine think of her? Page 31, Gloria Contreras: Diary of a Choreographer. What I Learned from Balanchine, Jorge Pinto Books, Inc., New York, 2008. "I just got back from a rehearsal of Concerto Barocco, which I attended as a spectator. It’s set to Bach and the choreography rivals the music in its beauty and depth. Allegra Kent and Violette Verdy are the soloists. The former, as usual, has a harmonious style and is delightful to watch. Violette has a lot of personality and is a very good ballerina, but she’s going through hell because she still doesn’t know the piece. During the rehearsals she concentrates and is respectful to the choreographers and amiable with her companions, without talking down to the girls in the corps de ballet. At the end of the rehearsal I went up to Balanchine and told him my opinion of Concerto Barocco, that it’s profoundly religious. I know that he liked the idea because his eyes shone and a subtle smile passed across his face. But his answer was “Allegra is divine!” "