Drew

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. Sort of off topic but -- Kirkland was ravishing in Other Dances. I saw her give two performances in D.C. that were unbelievable--the second one in particular. I daresay the ballet was different that it was when Makarova danced it, but also genuinely extraordinary. I remember the audience going into a kind of collective swoon when Kirkland began her first variation. When I saw Kirkland dance Other Dances in NY, probably a season or two later (I can't remember exactly)--she was lovely, but not as effective as in those D.C. performances. In particular she barely seemed to project -- and I was sitting very close. I can't know but suspect her various problems were catching up with her by the time of the NY performances. But those D.C. performances count among the most special ballet performances I've seen.
  2. Mackrell writes more knowledgeably and with more sophistication in her (not uncritical) account of the ballet and its reception than "Prospero" -- who seemingly just wants to knock ballet and, especially, its audiences...In the context of the Economist especially--even if only an Economist blog--I found it a little hard to sympathize with the snobbery of its anti-snobbery. Here's a snippet from Mackrell that gets to the point much more astutely: "But if early detractors regarded Jewels as a sophisticated but compromised form of product placement, those quibbles have long been superseded by a recognition of the ballet’s superb craft. It’s accepted now that the work’s imaginative logic goes far deeper than the surface metaphor of its title. There may be interlacing patterns of movement that form necklaces, bracelets and pendants; there may be a scarlet coloured swagger to the choreography of Rubies, and a pale and bevelled brilliance to Diamonds. But a far more resonant way of looking at Jewels is to read it as Balanchine’s own very personal account of ballet history."
  3. Potentially serious issues raised but in the end, this seemed to me one long cheap shot: https://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2017/07/out-step?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/revisitingjewels50yearson
  4. Anna Kisselgoff posed a related question to Sergei Filin when she did a public interview with him as part of the last Lincoln Center Festival Bolshoi appearance. That is, she asked him about the overall change of style/type in their leading male dancers, and what had brought it about. I should underline that I don't remember how she worded it, and I don't think he really gave an answer either, though I remember that after she followed up a bit he did say something along the lines of those bodies perhaps not being right for contemporary repertory. But again, I don't remember the exact wording. I think the top Bolshoi men have been less beefy--more pretty if you will--for quite some time. (Or at least those I know about.) And well before Filin became director. Filin himself was not a Vladimir Vasiliev or Yuri Vladimirov type. I always thought of Ivan Vasiliev, despite his shorter height, as something of a throwback. (Edited to add: one somewhat more slender/streamlined male dancer--also very good looking--that I remember from the late 70's/80's Bolshoi tours is Alexander Bogatyrev. But he still didn't have the lines today's Bolshoi men have. Bogatyrev died when he was just 49.) How do others see the change over the decades?
  5. That's not just an accent, that's the pas de deux 'signature'-- is it possible they just did it in some very, very soft way that obscured it? (Either way...disconcerting to read.)
  6. Thank you for passing this along.
  7. I saw her dance a Swan Lake during her second to last season with ABT in which she struggled with the fouettes -- atypical? I suppose so. I had only seen her dance the role one other time--a few years earlier--and there were no such issues. However I did find other aspects of the later performance admirable.
  8. Thanks for the translation.
  9. It's a reach--"mythmaking" as said above--to rave about the ballet on the basis of video snippets, but it's equally uncalled for to dismiss it as pornography or as a failure. I will say that it appears to be an ambitious work. Maybe we will find out in May...or not.
  10. Thanks for the new report California. Unfortunately, I don't anticipate having the chance to see this production anytime soon. I enjoyed the Ratmansky Sleeping Beaty but have been skeptical I would enjoy 'period' dancing in Swan Lake. Even so, the restoration of the libretto and much of the Petipa/Ivanov choreography, I would very much like to see.
  11. Thanks for drawing attention to this.
  12. As I remember, no-one on the board who commented on Part's performances this season wrote that she looked seriously diminished or needed to consider retirement. Rightly or wrongly, People DID write that way about Kent at the end of her career. What's written by fans is not the last word on any dancer, and most fans are not dance professionals. But as a general principle I'm not really on board with the idea that major ballerinas should be pushed out of the way prematurely. Sure, some hang on too long, but some dance with real greatness into their early forties and often with qualities the most sensational younger ballerina may not (yet) have. While companies need to promote younger dancers, they also need high quality senior dancers. Whatever reason ABT let Part go, I'm inclined to think it is a shame the ballet world did not get another season or two of her dancing.
  13. I brought up Whelan earlier only because Part's public indications of her feelings seemed to be drawing some criticism. I understand why, but I think a dancer's letting slip a little frustration in these circumstances is only human. I would feel that way in Part's case even if I were convinced Kevin Mackenzie had no choice but to let her go. I'm not, but I don't really know either. And she obviously doesn't feel she was treated properly, which she has every right to say. I could wish these transitions went more smoothly, but it is no wonder they don't. What is especially a shame is a loss of continuity and knowledge within companies--
  14. Both times I've seen Skorik dance live, I thought she danced beautifully. Like you, I'm looking forward to her Nikiya -- though a wee bit worried about the impact of her recent injury which I infer is rather serious as she has missed a number of performances.