miliosr

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About miliosr

  • Rank
    Sapphire Circle
  • Birthday 06/16/1967

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan/balletgoer
  • City**
    Madison
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    Wisconsin
  1. I watched it although I've been posting elsewhere because it didn't seem like there was much interest on this board. Overall, I liked it. The series did a marvelous job of capturing a time and a place in terms of its costume/scenic design (i.e. Hedda Hopper's dresses, the interiors of Crawford's home). The storyline was reasonably accurate although I would caution people that the series took many liberties with characters and events. (For instance, Crawford had already sold her Brentwood mansion by the time Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? came to be made.) As for the performances, I thought that Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon were smart to evoke the idea of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis rather than trying to slavishly imitate them. Anything of that sort would have drifted perilously into camp and drag performance. (I do wish Lange's face was a little more expressive these days as Crawford's face was crazily expressive right up to the end.) The supporting cast was outstanding, including Judy Davis as Hedda Hopper, Jackie Hoffman as Mamacita, Alfred Molina as Robert Aldrich, Stanley Tucci as Jack Warner and Dominic Burgess as Victor Buono. I thought the general theme of the series -- that Hollywood was a tough place for women (and especially aging women) -- was slightly overbaked. I don't doubt that it was true to some extent and that aging male stars found it easier to find work in genres like war films and westerns while aging female stars struggled to find work. But I also believe that Crawford and Davis gave as good as they got, which is partly why Crawford's career in feature films lasted 45 years and Davis' career in films lasted 58 (!) years. Crawford is much more fascinating to me than Davis so I was curious how the series would depict her. As I wrote on another discussion board, I felt that the series overcompensated for the depiction of Crawford found in Mommie Dearest (the book and, especially, the movie) by depicting her as this sad sack with no friends. That wasn't true. She remained great friends up until her death with such contemporaries as Myrna Loy, Roz Russell (who predeceased her) and Barbara Stanwyck. I also don't think, if you had asked her at the end whether she had lived a worthwhile life, that she would have said 'no'. I think she would have said that she got some things wrong (including her first three marriages and her relationships with her two eldest children [obviously!]) but that, on balance, she had done alright for a girl with no education who spent part of her youth living in the back of a laundry.
  2. Both things can be true. Farrell remained steadfast in her personal loyalty to Bejart (who hired her when no one else would) and was able to find and isolate those parts of Bejart's repertory that would sit comfortably beside her larger concern, which was and is Balanchine's repertory. I don't think Farrell would have programmed bad work by Bejart just for the sake of pleasing him. I think she presented what she liked and what she thought American audiences might like. Regarding Bolero, I saw it in Chicago in 2012 with Nicolas Le Riche and Aurelie Dupont atop the table. (I missed Marie-Agnes Gillot performing it which, knowing what I know now, I could kick myself for.) All I can say is that the audience response to both performances was tremendous -- to the positive. And the POB dancers appeared to be enjoying performing it. Beyond that, I'm reminded of something Arlene Croce said back in the 90s: "Personal taste always operates. But you can't argue about this with people. Either they like it, or they don't."
  3. As I wrote in my review of Releve elsewhere on this site, it's worthwhile for giving such an in-depth look at 'Generation Millepied', which should more appropriately be named 'Generation Platel/Lefevre/Millepied'. But it only portrays a sliver of what was going on in the great house during the Millepied era (and perhaps not even the most interesting part.) Another factor that comes into play is whether or not works that were designed for much smaller spaces -- like those by Cunningham -- "read well" when transferred to opera houses and opera house stages. I would argue that much of Antony Tudor's repertory falls into this category. The Moor's Pavane falls into this category. And certainly the Graham repertory ran into problems when the company started playing the State Theater in New York during the late 70s. Suzanne Farrell would probably disagree with you as she has two Bejart works in her company's repertory. Personally, I like Bejart's Bolero. It's not art by any means. But it is fun ballet entertainment, which I find a whole lot more tolerable than the badly costumed, dimly lit, contortionist "art" that roams ballet stages these days.
  4. One day, I hope someone writes a book about the Millepied era at the POB because I would love to know what was said by management to him during the hiring process and afterword regarding repertory. Was management so out-of-touch that they thought Millepied could import a completely different repertory and no one would notice?
  5. Yes but what I'm getting at is whether female ballet choreographers receive less leeway than their male counterparts after a flop or even mediocre work. Let me put it another way: Name me one Benjamin Millepied ballet that has found a secure place in the international repertory. And yet he keeps receiving commissions.
  6. This is something I've been thinking about. Even when promising female choreographers are given opportunities, are they given additional opportunities once they suffer their first dud or flop? I think of Melissa Barak who had a flop at City Ballet and then had to scratch and claw for opportunities. Meanwhile, Wheeldon and Ratmansky and Peck and Millepied and Liang can churn out a lot of mediocre or worse stuff and actually get more opportunities.
  7. Did any of our French correspondents attend either the Chauvire tribute or the Cunningham/Forsythe program? Laura Cappelle reports in the Financial Times that the Cunningham piece received some boos.
  8. The Dumb Girl of Portici will be screened on June 2nd as part of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival: http://prod3.agileticketing.net/websales/pages/info.aspx?evtinfo=276002~d9133282-4896-49aa-be18-b053ee8cefc3&epguid=1822aae7-3fda-46c4-8940-081224f26742
  9. It's a difficult balance to achieve, isn't it? What is the sweet spot that exists between being one-dimensional in terms of repertory and doing so much that the individual styles of the choreographers become blurred together??
  10. I think both things can be true: That the guys (and they're mostly guys) running these companies are coalescing too much around the same mean (Ratmansky and Wheeldon and Scarlett and Peck and Millepied) but your typical regional audience won't know that they're seeing a very pinched idea of what dance can be. That to me was the implication of Robert Gottlieb's criticism of Ashley Wheater's stewardship of the Joffrey Ballet: namely, that he's turned his back on the very unique repertory that Robert Joffrey brought to the company. (I'm talking now of the Joffrey that used to perform, say, Massine's Le Tricorne and Ashton's Monotones.) That repertory is what made the Joffrey unique. Now, it's just another company performing largely the same repertory as everybody else. What makes Sarasota Ballet such an exciting story is that they've focused in on one particular thing: Frederick Ashton. Who would have ever dreamed that a revival of the Ashton repertory and performing style would occur in Sarasota, Florida in the 21st century? (To a lesser extent, you can say the same thing about Suzanne Farrell programming Maurice Bejart as a counterpoint to her main focus on George Balanchine or even Helgi Tomasson programming Serge Lifar's Suite en blanc several seasons ago.)
  11. In 15 years, will anyone remember any of Christensen's variations? I would like to see his Divertissement D'Auber.
  12. http://ums.org/performance/american-ballet-theatre/
  13. I would have liked it if they had found room for something -- anything -- by Lew Christensen considering that 2017-18 will be the 85th season.
  14. Drew: Give it another go -- I think I got the link to work.
  15. Cross-posting this from the 'Links' thread: http://www.sfchronicle.com/performance/article/Feijoo-taking-her-final-steps-at-SF-Ballet-11065862.php I would draw attention to the second paragraph without adding any commentary of any kind, which would violate board policy.