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      2018 Joint Fundraiser for Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers   02/03/2018

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Drew

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Everything posted by Drew

  1. Dancers' heights — known or estimated

    What a fabulous photo!
  2. Thanks...I will try to take a look at this, though probably after the Olympics are over. I remember how much I loved Lacarra’s lyrical dancing when I saw her at a gala in New York some years ago. She had not yet left San Francisco for Munich.
  3. Back in the day, articles about Tetley claimed he was always more respected and more performed in Europe than in the States. If that was accurate, then Europe was his old home too. (For a period ABT did program a number of his ballets. I personally was kind of relieved when they stopped doing so.)
  4. Watching the Olympics

    Very happy for Nagasu...
  5. Yes! It turns up in Atlanta too on March 27th--a day I am leaving town for a work trip naturally. But in principal I am still very happy about this.
  6. Winter 2018

    I am sure many people think this...
  7. What a great week to be in St. Petersburg--I would love to see the Mikhailovsky Cinderella which I understand is Messerer's revival--as much as is possible--of the Lavrosky version albeit with some high tech production elements. I thought Messerer did a very fine job with the Vainonen Flames of Paris which I saw the Mikhailovsky dance on tour and enjoyed a lot. I also love Prokofiev's music for Cinderella even if it sometimes seems a bit dark for a fairy tale. (And there is a much older film of the Lavrosky version--at least some portions of which are available on youtube for anyone curious.) Anyway, I am hoping to read about these March performances if/as people are able to attend them and write.
  8. Reviving the reconstruction...Wow! I wonder who will be responsible for the staging...and....also if my boss would like to send me to St. Petersburg that week.
  9. A wonderful career. I remember at last fragments of her Juliet in Nureyev's gorgeous production--toured with the (then) London Festival Ballet. Rest in Peace.
  10. Winter 2018

    I believe this with all my heart... Regarding mix of old and new at NYCB--when I travel to see New York City Ballet that is usually what I'm looking for--some major Balanchine and some recent work together if not on the same program than at least on offer the same day (say, if I come up for a Saturday at NYCB). "All new work" programs are very risky for my taste and though all Balanchine are more than satisfying I do also want to see new work, especially when it's by a choreographer I know I find compelling (Ratmansky) or at least am curious about (several people but notably Peck).
  11. I agree about Fearful Symmetries and Hallelujah Junction, though I saw such a great performance of the latter I may have been snowed. I remember thinking that Adams Violin Concerto was also one of his stronger works and I wonder if Calcium Light Night wouldn't hold up too. (I am also a firm believer that many Martins' ballets would look rather better in the context of companies other than New York City Ballet. That may be damning with faint praise, but still there is a lot of mediocre rep out there to which I would prefer several Martins' works...even among those that are not his very best.)
  12. Atlanta Ballet's Don Quixote

    I caught the Saturday matinee and had a very good time. Loved many elements of the production and was especially taken with the excellent performance of the young Basilio, Nikolas Gaifullin. (After the performance I immediately headed to Google to find out what more I could about him. If what I read was accurate, then he can't be older than 23.) Also, as KWalsh mentioned, live orchestra! I know it's expensive but what a difference...Am very happy to read a good report of the opening night cast, and hope to write more about the performance when I have time.
  13. Wild Applause, Secretly Choreographed (!)

    I think about this too...even if part of me is irritated by shrieking of any kind, sometimes irritated even at the end of a performance... I once attended a July performance of Giselle with ABT at the Met and the audience applauded at a completely unexpected and, in some ways, inappropriate time at one of the corps de ballet patterns--the circle they make around Hilarion when they are preparing to destroy him. I inferred that there must have been a lot of people there that night who hadn't seen Giselle before, perhaps a large number summer tourists in New York who didn't "know" that wasn't one of the pause-and-applause moments, though I can't be sure. And they did just spontaneously start to applaud as the corps de ballet women ran faster and faster in their circle. I must admit I was rather charmed by this response even if caught by surprise. A friend of mine commented after the performance that the reaction reminded you "how good" Giselle is, as it showed one of its theatrical effects hitting home for a not particularly ballet-savvy audience who were definitely NOT following the lead of the old-time ballet fans in the audience but themselves taking the lead in deciding when to applaud. I'm hoping a few of those people came back to see more ballet in the future, but who knows? (I did tell this story to someone else who just rolled his eyes at the naivete of the audience, but...uh...that was not my reaction. And the applause didn't really spoil the moment for me either. Though I can imagine similar situations where it would.)
  14. Wild Applause, Secretly Choreographed (!)

    Bolshoi Babylon describes ‘Roman’ as a fan who comes every night to the Bolshoi with no mention of the claque or his role in it. I thought it was very dishonest to present him and his comments that way. I know the claque is a traditional phenomenon in more than one great theater...it still offends me.
  15. 2018-19 Season

    Thank you for posting. I found the content of this coming season’s repertory almost programmatic in its nearly complete indifference to classical or even neo-classical ballet...As if deliberately trying to say “We are just fine being the ‘greatest contemporary dance company in the world’”...
  16. An entire Shurale w. Obraztsova is fairly easy to track down on youtube. I found her performance beyond enchanting. Very sorry to say I have never seen the ballet live and am not terribly optimistic I will ever have the chance. I did enjoy the fragments posted of Shirinkina in the role and would be happy to see her dance it...and Shakirova too for sure! This bit of Shakirova's performance turned up on instagram:
  17. Thank you for the pdf with the Philharmonic's program notes about the happy ending and the excerpt from Ulanova. I see Piotrovsky's name doesn't make it into those notes when discussing the libretto--only Radlov along w. Prokofiev.
  18. Sad news. May he rest in peace...
  19. My memory is that the Dowell production was at least respectful of the traditional Swan Lake choreographic template that, I infer, goes back to Nicholas Sergeyev/Ninette de Valois. I'm hoping Scarlett doesn't mess with that too much. (Though if there are to be non-traditional elements, I was mostly hoping we would get back the Ashton Act III pas de quatre; I gather that is not in the offing.) If late 19th-century setting means a sort of Burne-Jones medievalism, then that would rather intrigue me; I can mentally picture a Swan Lake in that spirit. But if it means late nineteenth century 'straight up' as in sunset years of the Kaiser, and WWI is coming, then I'm going to be open minded, but it raises...questions. Mostly though--Dear Royal Ballet: please light the ballet so someone over forty can see it. My biggest grip with Scarlett (whom I think intriguing as a choreographer based on what I have seen so far) is that he sets his ballets in shadow. Sometimes it's so dark that if he reproduced those same lighting effects in Swan Lake one could not blame Siegfried for mistakenly shooting at Odette thinking she was still an actual Swan (except perhaps from an animal rights point of view)...or, for that matter, blame him for mistaking Odile for Odette. (I should explain perhaps that if Mr. Drew's work plans pan out as planned, then I will be seeing this production in June as that helps make the trip to London do-able. As I live far from major ballet companies--though my local company has its strong/interesting qualities--this Swan Lake is my big classical ballet "event" of year so, to say the least, I'm pretty determined to enjoy this production one way or another. But... even I, at my most pollyanish, have limits.)
  20. Thank you for the photos! Beautiful one of Shakirova...
  21. The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    Video of Corsaire and Bayadere from well after the New York tour inclines me to think she made a better recovery from her injuries than the New York Kitri suggested. Either she needed more time to recover (that tour was just one year after the injury) and/or Kitri was just more impacted than Gamzatti or Medora. But even her jump seems in better form in video from performances that at least on youtube are dated well after the NY visit. (I saw the Kitri in New York and in those performances I agree she could scarcely jump at all.) I also agree that her career would have wound down in the coming years, but many ballerinas have a lot to offer at 39-40 and even older. So, I think it's a shame Alexandrova's Bolshoi career has been cut short (or very limited) whatever the reasons. For me, it's not really a question of whether Vaziev is a good guy or a bad guy or could have handled things differently--she's a terrific ballerina of a particularly "Bolshoi" kind, so I'm still kind of bummed about it. 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWAI-NTIzjY 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdSDoR-D_wU (It's not that these are my favorite Alexandrova performances, but I decided to link to them because she is jumping better than I remember seeing in New York in 2014.)
  22. Maria Alexandrova

    Thank you.
  23. Maria Alexandrova

    One can infer various things from interviews, but I was a little puzzled you inferred quite this much unless, perhaps, you are referring to things I haven't read? That is, what is your source on this? I actually quite agree that Vaziev, or anyone else, has to be a strong director to achieve anything at the Bolshoi, and Alexandrova's view of him may well not be the most objective in the world, but I don't quite get how you get from there to "unable to work constructively" and "he had to get rid of her or lose control of the company." I didn't read anything at all into her placement at the barre during world ballet day. I do know that there are all kinds of codes and unwritten rules about company classes that to an outsider like myself are invisible--but if Alexandrova was, as you wrote "taking the place of the highest ranking ballerina opposite Vlad"--well I would have thought she had a good claim on being the highest ranking ballerina at that class. There were other primas in the room but was there any prima in the room with greater seniority? Lantratov is her partner offstage, and they like working together...I admit it's hard for me see anything worth remarking about her placement near him. Edited to add: Helene and I were posting at more or less the same time...but she made a similar point re Alexandrova's "seniority."
  24. Winter 2018

    No...I was referring only to the reports in this thread of her dancing in Chaconne this season and really more particularly to reports of her being visibly upset with her partner in a less than professional way. I personally have never seen Mearns act unprofessionally onstage even the one time I saw her have a mishap. Indeed I have seen her carry performances where others seemed to me to be going through the motions. As it happens, when I saw her debut season in Chaconne a couple of seasons ago I loved the performance. Tastes differ, but she also may be dancing it differently now. As for Mearns being an artist worth seeing ... no arguments from me!
  25. Winter 2018

    Mearns may also be feeling the stress of the transition in the company right now. They all must be somewhat...and all should be professional about it, so I understand the criticisms. But, as mentioned elsewhere, it is an odd time for the dancers...
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