Kathleen O'Connell

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About Kathleen O'Connell

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

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  1. Oh, I think this thread is testament to that.
  2. Eh. Men mansplaining. Did no one think to pick up the phone and call a woman choreographer or AD?
  3. I'm not convinced that one's sexual orientation has much to do with one's willingness to share power. I'm more inclined to think that the presence of notable women choreographers in US modern and postmodern dance is a function of it's not being almost exclusively housed in established institutions the way ballet generally is. PS122 et al are venues, not companies; they function as presenters, but they're not the same kind of institution as NYCB, ABT, SFB, PNB, etc.
  4. I happen to like Andrea Miller's work. She's from the not-ballet precincts of the dance world, where it is not at all unusual for a woman to start her own company, make her own dances, and get her own funding without asking for permission first. Nobody's making much money, but they are making dances. Go here to visit her dance company's website.
  5. I like Millepied's Neverwhere, but I gather there aren't many members of that club.
  6. Nanushka - If you are not a NY resident, you can get a temporary library card that will allow you to access the research collections.
  7. Well, we got Ratmansky's witty, wicked, wondrous Namouna out of one of those. But we certainly didn't need a festival to get it.
  8. "But first, a school." I dunno. Millepied's been a choreographer for about as long as the Carlisle Project was in existence, and has probably run through about as much money all told. Has he generated even a few works of distinction? Three decades of lavishly funded Martins has given us what, maybe three works of distinction? And one of those is a production of Sleeping Beauty.
  9. It may be the situation on the ground, but it's not one of the laws of thermodynamics. The situation is entirely amenable to a modicum of vision amplified by a lot of check-writing.
  10. Whoo Hoo! Le Tombeau de Couperin! I wasn't able to see it the last time it came around; glad it's back. Almost makes up for 25 evenings of Per Kirkeby sets and costumes.
  11. The recording NYCB used was rather unique: it was by the Pokrovsky Ensemble, who performed the work in a traditional Russian folk style. You can listen to it here: I happen to like it, but it would have been better to hear the ensemble perform it live rather than via a recording. For comparison, here's a video of Najinska's version, with Stravinsky's score performed in a more classically operatic and instrumental style:
  12. The last time I saw Robbins' Les Noces at NYCB, it was performed with full chorus and orchestra.* I can't say Robbins' choreography bowled me over, but the whole spectacle -- with the full chorus arrayed on tall risers behind the dancers -- was definitely worth a trip to the Theater Formerly Known as State. Seeing it was fine; hearing it live was terrific. *OOPS! Not an orchestra - four onstage pianos! Also percussion, if I'm not mistaken ... plus vocal soloists. It's an earful and an eyeful.
  13. NYCB's Midsummer is roughly on par with its other narrative offerings - Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Sonnambula, etc. (I exclude Martins' exceptionally ugly collaborations with Per Kirkeby, Swan Lake and Romeo + Juliet. In addition to being eyesores, the sets and costumes are simply hostile to good theater, and Martins' storytelling needs all the help it can get. The company would be better off performing both ballets in practice clothes in front of a blue cylcorama. Did I mention the productions are ugly? But I digress.) NYCB's opulence tends to reside in its costumes rather than its sets. In Midsummer, for instance, it looks as if all the little bugs in Oberon's court have their own distinct costumes, which is a charming touch. They might have all been dressed exactly alike, or nearly so (like the fairy maidens in Titania's retinue), but no, each costume has its own special little touches. This became obvious when the costumes were refurbished a few years ago: suddenly you could see that the third buglet from the left wasn't wearing the same thing as the third buglet from the right. It really is just the sweetest thing. In any event, NYCB's production has lots of trees, but no grand staircase like the one in the film. Its big coup-de-theatre is when the court's tapestry-draped pavilions transform back into a forest in the closing moments.
  14. Acocella needs to get out more.
  15. In the 1966 film version, the Divertissement pas takes place in front of Theseus' whole court. I prefer it as we see it at NYCB now, with the Divertissement couple dancing alone in whatever Empyrean realm is their true home. I'd lose all of the rest of Balanchine just to keep the Divertissement pas-de-deux, frankly. I have never been able to warm to Ashton's version, but I think that's mostly because I hate how he sliced and diced Mendelssohn's score up into leitmotifs.