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. Carnegie Hall has been presenting healthy doses of Not-Classical music for lo these many years without crowding out performances of what is more generally understood as Classical fare. What's "popular music" these days anyway? There's a ton of thoughtful, well-wrought, demanding music out there that is neither "classical" nor "popular" in the sense of lots of people finding it approachable and liking it. Jazz comes immediately to mind, of course, but yeah, there's some hip-hop that would fit the bill, too.
  2. Count me among those who welcome major institutions giving younger performing artists opportunities to program themed events, series, and festivals -- not so much because of whatever fresh perspectives they may bring or treasures they may unearth, but rather because of the new skills it will give THEM. On some level they have to be attentive to matters of budget, logistics, marketing, audience development, etc etc etc, even if the institutions' artistic and administrative staffs sweat most of the details. They will also see what works and what doesn't, and, more important, know that they are responsible for the results. It's an investment in the human capital of the overall performing arts infrastructure. Artistic judgment and taste are important of course, but so is knowing the nuts and bolts of getting good art in front of the public. The "X and Friends" model is one way to build these skills, but it doesn't hurt to have more tools in the toolbox. It's a small world, by the way: Mason Bates, the young composer referenced in the linked WaPo article, composed the score used for Nicolas Blanc's Mothership, which was one of the works presented as part of NYCB's 2017 Here / Now festival.
  3. Actually, I don't think that many people like Stevens' score for Everywhere We Go. I've heard my share of grumbling in the lobby and, if I recall correctly, the critics weren't that enthusiastic either. I may be an outlier: I got a ticket to Here / Now Program 4* mostly for the music, although I will admit that Spectral Evidence is a particularly guilty pleasure that I enjoy beyond all reason. I like Neverwhere too, although it wouldn't be anything special without the costumes. *Neverwhere (Muhly/Millepied) *Mothership (Bates/Blanc) *Spectral Evidence (Cage/Preljocaj) *The Times Are Racing (Peck/Deacon)
  4. Frankly, I'm thrilled that he's not using Arvo Pärt or extracts from seven different Baroque violin sonatas interspersed with musique concrète. In defense of Peck, I'll note that his musical tastes appear to be pretty broad ranging: in addition to Stevens (Year of the Rabbit, Everywhere We Go), he's made dances to works by Philip Glass (Increases), Bohuslav Martinů (Paz de La Jolla, Heastscape, The Dreamers), Benjamin Britten (Chutes and Ladders), Lukas Foss (Capricious Maneuvers), Bryce Dessner, (Murder Ballades, The Most Incredible Thing), César Franck (Belles-Lettres), George Antheil (Debonair), Esa-Pekka Salonen (Helix), Aaron Copland (Rodeo), Steve Reich (New Blood), Francis Poulenc (Entre chien et loup), and Dan Deacon (The Times Are Racing). Martins didn't do Peck any favors by putting Increases, New Blood, and Everywhere We Go on the same Here / Now program - they're all too much of a muchness to demonstrate Peck's range. He'd have done better by throwing Rodeo, Paz de La Jolla, or Belles-Lettres into the mix. I really liked Stevens' score for Everywhere We Go, even if it did prompt Peck to choreograph what looked like four separate grand finales. I liked the Deacon too, although the house needs to back the volume down a notch. (Not because it's too loud per se, but because it distorts the music with an annoying tizz at peak.)
  5. I'm pretty sure it's the kind of almost-a-story ballet where you can choose your own adventure.
  6. Kaysta, I think you pretty much got the plot of Ratmansky's Namouna! The ballet's original plot is even daffier, featuring the island of Corfu, a Pirate King, and a beautiful slave girl. Maybe Ulbricht is a Space Pirate ... Anyway, I do love the Erté-on-a-bender costumes, art deco spacemen and all.
  7. NYCB's Here / Now festival has an all Ratmansky program, featuring Russian Seasons and Namouna. Both are among my favorite ballets -- not just my favorite Ratmansky ballets, but my favorite ballets period. Especially wacky, witty Namouna, which I love dearly despite a couple of glaring structural flaws. (So I put my money where my mouth is and bought tickets two performances of that particular Here / Now bill...) ABT's got enough quality Ratmansky to program a solid -- and watchable -- triple bill. I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I find all-Balanchine programs that consist entirely of his leotard ballets fatiguing. They are all great ballets; cramming three or four of them into an evening does not make for a great program. I find that the eye -- and the mind -- need more variety.
  8. Oh, I think this thread is testament to that.
  9. Eh. Men mansplaining. Did no one think to pick up the phone and call a woman choreographer or AD?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. I like Millepied's Neverwhere, but I gather there aren't many members of that club.
  13. Nanushka - If you are not a NY resident, you can get a temporary library card that will allow you to access the research collections.
  14. 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.
  15. "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.