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About sz

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    former NYCB dancer, B'way // currently teacher/coach/mentor, fan, balletgoer
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    New York
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  1. Christine was very good last night. To me, she’s more of a natural Russian princess type, but she certainly proved she can handle a Principal role that she isn’t naturally suited for. I was most surprised by her fouettes at the end of the wedding pas, Act III, which were stunning, strong, so confidently and elegantly done after such a long, hard night of endless jumps and turns. Every third fouette was a double with the fan above her head for the first 16 or 20….Then ended with a triple!!! Easy, breezy, beautiful. Christine was a real pro dancing Kitri in two back to back performances. Much respect goes to her for that.... Friends of mine who saw both of her performances said Christine was more "engaged" (acting it up tons, even hammy) in her second performance. I had not expected that from such an elegant dancer, but loved seeing her surprise me. At times, Christine seemed tired, and held back a little, but nevertheless she fought through to the end. The Kitri character and technique for me ought to be spicy, earthy, sensual at times, fireworks at other times. Christine was overall not that but she danced a very lovely, spirited debut in a very demanding role. p.s. Sarah Lane was perfection, absolutely gorgeous as Amour. There are so many layers to her acting, and she makes the most of every moment creating sweet beauty instead of being cute. Sarah's jumps and turns were also done with stunning accuracy.
  2. I thought Hee Seo was excellent last night as Mercedes and QofD with gorgeous stag leaps and beautiful Italian fouettees. In fact, overall, I thought this DonQ performance was one of her best to date. Has she ever danced Kitri? That role might bring her to yet another level of best time. Last night, she was having a blast with the tall, strong, much improved, hot tamale James Whiteside.
  3. On the other hand, Shevchenko is the only Kitri dancing back to back performances: yesterday's matinee and now tonight's. Copeland danced on Tuesday night (5/16) and she doesn't dance again until Saturday (5/20). Seems Copeland's Saturday (5/20) could have been switched with Shevchenko. I'll be watching tonight and sending lots of good energy to Shevchenko! Super merde!
  4. Schevchenko is going on again tonight as Kitri. You may confirm this with the box office. Gillian is out.
  5. Congratulations to Daysei Torriente! So well deserved! Daysei is an excellent Principal dancer.....very exciting technically and beautiful....and she is not as tall as Murawski. Arian and Sterling took turns partnering Daysei and also Mayara in the big pas de deuxs (Black Swan and Tchai Pas) closing the season last weekend. I'd like to see Mayara cast with her own excellent, regular partner....someone who isn't also partnering Daysei. Etienne is lately cast in the more character-ish roles.... not Principal, Prince types. I'll be very interested to see how this all plays out next season with full-length Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Jewels, Paquita, and Theme and Variations. Seems like a lot of difficult work for Arian and Sterling as the primary Principal men.
  6. More mean spirited than usual.....My response to Alastair was that he not only doesn't realize how difficult it is for regional companies to sell tickets without razzle-dazzle programing, but that Alastair seems to write for audiences who think all ballets look the same in their steps, just wearing different costumes. No way did any of the pas de deuxs presented by PA Ballet resemble each other except for some of the technique exhibited by the men solos in Black Swan and Tchai pas. But neither were step for step the same. An arabesque in one ballet is never the same in another if you are watching a true artist. I considered this event (a gala of sorts) a fantastic treat, a feast of great small ballets with lots of different flavors and lots of very talented dancers. I was there for two performances, and considered them both better than some galas I've seen lately in NYC. Dancers not to be missed in the future: Arian, Daysei, Peter Weil, Sterling, Nayara, Lily, Etienne. Very sadly Mayara was not cast in the performances I attended but I'd run to see her in anything in the future. She is bright, charming, beautiful with killer technique. She does not have hyper extended legs or arms, but they are gorgeous with power and fullness in lines, along with heartfelt musicality. She is a lovely, passionate performer. I've seen several videos, as well as live performances in Corsaire.
  7. I was at Sunday's matinee as well. Tiler Peck was at her very best with brilliant, sparkling musicality and artistry. Yes, she dances the steps too(!)..... with utmost, amazing confidence and joy. And what a great surprise to see Harrison Ball command the stage with such artistry and ease in the very exhausting, very demanding third movement of Sym in C of endless jumps, large and small, turns, tours in the air all with unforgiving tempi speed. Harrison struggled with nothing! He's a fine partner too. I'd love to see Tiler and Harrison perform Allegro Brilliante or any other allegro type Balanchine ballet very soon. Sigh....Maybe in Saratoga.....Maybe next season..... Not soon enough for me.
  8. I was at the Bocca Gala too. Hernandez danced with Tamara. She was incredible! A firecracker at 42 years old! Triple turns inserted in every third fast and furious fouetté! So many personal touches and style added. Loved her!
  9. Did anyone notice that Sergei Polunin is back? He is. Check out the Dancers on the RB website. Not sure what or how much he'll be dancing, but Sergei is not listed as a guest artist as Roberto Bolle is. Sergei is listed as a Principal Dancer. I'm very happy for the RB and for Sergei. I only wish I lived closer... sigh...
  10. Saturday, March 11th matinee -- Wow! I'm so glad to have been there. Arian Molina Soca is a star(!), elegant, sensual, with killer technique. Arian wore what I believed were Angel’s former slave pants.... so that was, for me, absolutely perfect! Mayara Pineiro as Medora was also a star(!), absolutely gorgeous! Mayara is a turning top with fantastic jumps, firecracker technique along with beautiful lines, with lovely, always very feminine acting. I couldn't believe my eyes when she began her fouettes series with a quadruple or five turns…. adding triples along the 32 way without ever looking stressed/nervous. Her stag leaps flew so lightly and high with only the music reminding her to land. As for the production, sets and costumes were very impressive if a bit over the top, loud, for my taste. But that’s Angel, so over the top always with tons of high energy. There is a lot of that energy now from all of his dancers. Nobody holds back. There's much Balanchine coming up in 2017-2018. I cannot wait to go back.... and this time for more than one day for sure to see Sterling Baca, Aleksey Babayev, Etienne Diaz, Jack Thomas, Peter Weil, Dayesi Torriente, and others, but especially to see Mayara and Arian once again.
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  12. In "Dancer," it was wonderful to see so much footage of Sergei's very young days as a dancer. I thought the background music in the film was excellent, and I appreciated Sergei being so honest about his youthful decisions, both good and bad. I thought the film needed more of Sergei's Royal Ballet career dancing, but perhaps that was not possible re unions and because he walked out suddenly from the Royal. If the film makers had waited a bit longer, they could have had footage of Sergei on his way with new career choices such as dancing for Zelensky's companies, dancing at La Scala, et al., with Osipova, and pursuing his new venture, The Polunin Project. He is also cast in upcoming films "Nureyev," "Midnight Express," and "Red Sparrow," as well as continuing with modeling engagements. This could have made the "Dancer" film end on a more "up" note. "Take Me to Church" was certainly a blessing for Sergei, but it was also for us who could not visit the Royal Ballet when he was starring there.
  13. Sunday, I also went to see the Bolshoi reprise of Swan Lake with Zakharova / Rodkin. Ekaterina Novikova was the warm and lovely hostess translating comments in three languages. I loved the huge production with lots and lots of pretty swans, various excellent court dancers and soloists, also loved the large sets. I thought Zakharova's White Swan solo was incredible with such strong, extreme and beautiful lines. Her refined technique and queenly, but sad, quality was breathtakingly. Her adagio with Rodkin was a bit too cold for me. The way the Bolshoi used the Evil Genius I thought was perfect. Not too menacing but still a strong, very much a dancer presence. The costume was not distracting as with other productions I've seen. This was the first time I was fortunate to see Rodkin perform on a big screen. He is tall, long limbed, very handsome with a sweet, youthful face. His jumps were gorgeous and huge. Where Zakharova was often too cold, almost self absorbed, as the Swan Queen, Rodkin radiated such happiness and love to be with her. His grande jetes in Black Swan covered the stage so easily it seemed the huge stage was too small. Rodkin's turns were clean but not as wild and numerous as with other Russian and European stars I've seen lately. Didn't bother me as Rodkin was a generous, passionate partner to Zakharova and a fine actor throughout. While the quality of the filming could have been better, I left the movie theater happy to have seen this ballet with these wonderful dancers.
  14. I too loved Yulia Stephanova as the Lilac Fairy. She radiates such warmth and elegance, and her technique was flawless.
  15. I thought Smirnova was fascinating and beautiful, but not an Aurora. She was so refined and technically stunning, but Auroras for me require to be human(!), eg, sweet, frisky, girly, grounded, confident in the first act and then grow into a matured womanly wedding pas. I've rarely seen this done well. Smirnova was more of a fairy with very light, brilliant movements. Stunning lines. At times I thought she barely touched the ground, her jumps were so airy and gorgeous. She did seem nervous especially in the first act. Then again, who wouldn't be dancing the brutal Rose Adagio being filmed for the world and library records?! That's scary. One can adapt fouettees for nerves, but one cannot change the strength, stamina and timing skill needed to get through a Rose Adagio. Bluebird's solos were shortened, simplified.... but the Rose Adagio (I'm grateful) was not. Chudin was totally in his element as the regal, beautiful Prince from head to toe with complete confidence. He dances so expansively and is always a real prince, not an unapproachable fantasy. His dancing with his female companion (financee?) was just as touching as his kissing Aurora. Smirnova was so fortunate to have his sensitive, strong, expertly done partnering. I think they connect better in ballets where Smirnova is a dream type, not of this world. Swan Lake or Diamonds. Chudin was a real prince, she was on another planet. Didn't quite work for me though I loved their individual dancing abilities. What a grande production and awesome orchestra! Seeing the inside quarters of the "leaders" box seats was a thrill. Gotta love the Bolshoi for the no expense spared with big corps, large sets, beautiful costumes, dancers moving freely with abandon. I was not a fan of the distracting floor, but wow what a huge stage! Although there were edits to the choreography I've become used to seeing, it didn't really matter. Dancers were not restricted in any way.... I'll be curious now to see and compare this production with NYCB's upcoming version. Was anyone else a little disturbed by the camera angles yesterday, eg, under the tutus?! The camera work could have been more straight forward, but it also made Chudin's jumps look as though he was about to fly into the sky.