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Amy Reusch

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Everything posted by Amy Reusch

  1. Amy Reusch

    Fouettes - Discussion, Examples

    I think doubles certainly add an element of risk and skill (requiring strong center of balance), and if one is trying to do doubles in the same amount of time as singles (though usually a double replaces two singles in fouettes), there is significantly more force... as the dancer tires, center of balance can begin to go awry... slight errors begin to accumulate that are easier to save with a single than with a double.
  2. Amy Reusch

    Fouettes - Discussion, Examples

    Not to mention that doubles are actually a "rest" for the dancer (one less relevé ... one less whip of the leg)... and changing spots is impressive from a technical standpoint but doesn't have much more to say aesthetically.
  3. Amy Reusch

    Fouettes - Discussion, Examples

    Odile's fouettés are meant to be hypnotic, if you listen to Makarova...which I like to do. The problem with gimmicky tricks is that they get old fast. Fouettés are a pretty old trick. 32 is like playing one note over & over & over...
  4. Interesting that the Chicago - Grand Rapids flow continues! Happy to see a female choreographer being fostered. Brian Enos a choreographer? Gosh! I was mixing him up with Brian Eno the composer! I wonder how often the name has thrown people...?
  5. Amy Reusch

    Moscow Festival Ballet

    I saw Moscow Festival Ballet's "Giselle" last night, a dreary cold rainy Tuesday night in Storrs, CT at Jorgensen Auditorium at University of Connecticut. It was the sort of weather that brings out injuries in dancers, so I am grateful for any effort they made, particularly on this stage. I have to explain that although the University of Connecticut built this auditorium from scratch as a performing arts venue, the sight lines from the orchestra do not allow the expensive seats to see the dancers below the knees unless one is in the very back of the house where there are some risers, and the balcony is so very far back from the stage that is difficult to see the dancers, the sound system is so-so, and there is no fly-space... so production values of touring companies are severely limited... and this company or it's sister business entity, the Russian National Ballet, come through this space once a year, so they are aware of the limitations before they arrive. Also, on a series of one-night-stands, it is probably a challenge to get much going as far as lighting is concerned. Jorgensen did not include the casting in the program, so I hope the dancers manning the concession stands understood me when I asked for the names. I managed to call Hillarion "Gurn" but luckily she just blinked... and when I clarified, the huntsman suitor of Giselle, gave me a name. For Coppelia, this means no balcony for the doll. For Giselle, it seemed to mean only one hut, to no hut for Albrecht to hide his aristocratic signifiers. So.. usually, I do not expect much in terms of production values... However, the last time I caught this company's Giselle, the corps de ballet was so gorgeous that the Willis were worth the ticket price regardless of sets & lights... and I have told people to come, because despite the limitations the dancers are beautifully trained. The men carried this Giselle. The Albrecht, Evgeniy Rudakov, was worth the ticket... beautiful danseur noble elegant line... expressive epaulement, every gesture and port de bras evolving from his back... lovely soaring arc to grand jetés, sensitive partnering. A true artist, he was faithful to his art despite the lowly surrounds, giving us a poetic expression of this old classic. Often in the variation with the Willis, I find many Albrechts master the turning leaps only to misunderstand and overdo the cambrés on landing, looking awkward. Rudakov's cambrés swept from the landing of the jump in a way that made perfect visual sense, with never a loss of grace. The Hilarion, Dmitry Sitkevich, carried the show with his heartfelt acting... while Albrecht, as an aristocrat, has to be somewhat restrained in his expression, Hilarion has no such restrictions. We totally believed him, and frankly his acting made up for the rest of the dancers... I would go see this man dance any story ballet. The roar that greeted him at bows showed the audience agreed with me. It was louder than the status of the role normally garners, proving that there are no small roles when the dancer is great enough. The Giselle, I did not ask for her name. She had some lovely moments, toward the end of the ballet, but she left me pretty cold. I think she might have been dealing with an injury because she took the famous Spessitseva hops en pointe from the opposite diagonal, only did 4 in a row before breaking it up with a pas de bourrée, and fell out out even those. She was not having a good day. The weather might have been to blame, but she definitely "was not feeling it" last night. The Peasant Pas de Deux, danced by Aleksandra Krukova and Sergey Kotov, was fine... I applaud Kotov for opening with those lovely double cabrioles, for giving more than one would expect to see at this venue... and Krukova hung a lovely triple tour piqué en dedans... Alas, the corps de ballet's training was very uneven. It could be the space and the lack of rehearsal in it, or the ghastly weather, but they were often not together. I had been looking forward to the arabesque voyagé section, so transcendent the last time around, but it was nothing here... hopping instead of graceful, not together. I kept wondering if there had been injuries and they had filled in with some domestic dancers... some of the girls in the corps had that beautiful Vaganova grace, and others were just kind of clumsy. Sadly, these less-than-ideal dancers were not on the periphery, but front and center, making them hard to miss. There is that lovely part in the Willis where they pair up, holding hands, circle each other with a step piqué double frappé side (or something like?)... well, some of the dancers bothered to do the double beat, and others just skipped it... it was just kind of sloppy. I kept thinking I've seen smaller regional companies do better with this, and in the past the training of the dancers of this company has been so beautiful... I don't know if word has gotten out about how grueling the tours are, or things are not as desperate in Russin as they were a dozen or so years ago or what, but it was not good. Of course, and American company would have go on strike if the program did not bother to list the cast... so, probably we will never see the smaller regional companies touring the college circuit. I miss the old days when the National Endowment for the Art funded a lot of touring by American companies. I sound nationalistic here, and I'm not really, the Russians are often lovely, and populate American companies too... It's just that out here in the hinterlands, the public is exposed to so little ballet, there are ballet students who have only heard of Misty Copeland (on talk shows and commercials) and the girls on Dance Moms... Copeland is okay --at least they have heard of her -- but they need to see a full ballet live on stage, not an abbreviated segment on a television show... there is so much more to it.. they so badly need to see the art form faithfully presented as originally intended. Forgot to mention the scenery, costumes and lighting. I don't think it's fair to talk about the sets given the limitations of the space, so I'm not going to talk about that backdrop, the singular hut, or the cross. The costumes were fine, although for peasants the emphasis on a bright pink and gauzy costumes made one sure these were originally intended for Coppelia. The pink leggings for the men seemed odd too. The duchess's gold lamé probably doubles for the Queen mother in Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. Perhaps the LED lights were not cooperative, but the Dawn that arrives makes one think "Red Skies in Morning, Albrecht take Warning" (which considering the night he just had, might have seemed appropriate), rather than the redemption and safety of morning.
  6. Amy Reusch

    Paul Taylor

    I returned Saturday night and Mearns did not disappoint!! She was absolutely sublime! And all of it looked better. Which gave me the happy thought that maybe long after Mearns steps off the ballet stage (far in the future), we will still be able to enjoy her artistry in this repertoire... how old was Annabelle Gamson when she danced her last Duncan?
  7. Amy Reusch

    Paul Taylor

    Vipa, I think it is fascination with a legend... just as we try to put new male virtuoso dancers in Spectre de la Rose... we all want to catch a glimpse of a legend... And of course, no one alive has actually seen Isadora dance (except for that flurry out from the shrubbery & back in again... which I feel I caught a glimpse of in Mearns on Sunday). Who knows how much of what the disciples passed on was the disciples interpretation of what they remembered... what was disciple and what was Duncan? We have a sense of Duncan's spirt from her dancing and a sense of the strictures of the time... Whenever it was upper body expression (torso, arms, head, focus), I thought Mearns triumphed... when she was trying to step out of her legs muscle memory, I thought she was slightly less so... as if she were trying desperately not to do ballet's version of similar steps but was trying to exist in someone else's skin and someone else's muscle memory. Watching her, it felt as if those bits were going to evolve into something more as she performs the piece over and over... Whoever does Duncan has to look like they improvised the movement themselves... like it was born that moment... so much of this worked... Butterfly worked particularly well (Hello Loie Fuller?), and Petals. With Petals, though, I wondered why they did not fall until the last moments of the dance... I have seen others do this dance, so long ago now that I cannot totally trust my memory... and I was sure there were moments earlier particularly where petals had fallen in the past. I wondered if she used real petals and could not crush as many hidden into her fingers as one could with silk petals? In the Funeral piece, she seemed sad, frail and vulnerable... but for some reason I wanted to see the agony of tragedy in her... not sure where this desire in me came from... perhaps from watching Annabelle Gamson or some Hollywood clip? It could be totally misplaced. I just wanted to see the "powerful tragic Isadora", and Mearns was lyrical here. Also, I think she was trying not to use ballet's gravity defiance in some of the skipping jumping moments... I wonder if this is the disciples passing down memory of an older Duncan. I am not sure it fits with a childlike persephone-esque moments... what child ever was earthy in their skipping? Is it not always a temps levé feeling? I wondered how much of this was a coaching request. There is a remarkable amount of Duncan on youtube these days (truly the internet is a modern miracle), so one can see others in these pieces. Mearns' delivery is as extraordinary as the artist she is. There is this curious clip (not Annabelle Gamson) and this lovely clip of Loretta Thomas... which reminded me more of Mearns' performance than some of the others. There are several videos of director Lori Belilove there as well.
  8. Amy Reusch

    Paul Taylor

    Mearns was very successful with many of the solos... as one might expect of a dancer with such a heart.
  9. Amy Reusch

    2017-2018 season

    In fairness, tricks are easier to make a short video statement with. I was just surprised to see Swan Lake sold that way... sure the black swan pas de deux, but some stuff that came out from the company on facebook was about how well the dancers were technically handling the "difficult" white pdd, as if the technical tricks were the focus of that choreography. I've never seen the "tricks" there promoted as such rather than the soulful expression... very weird.
  10. Amy Reusch

    2017-2018 season

    Is it possibly all the emphasis on competitions rather than on artistic quality these days? Maybe they don't see beyond the tricks? And this is their way of measuring themselves against the rest of the world?
  11. Amy Reusch

    2017-2018 season

    It is surpriisng how quickly dancers are forgotten, it is truly the most ephemeral of the arts... I apologize for being off topic of PA B's Season, but wouldn't Julie Kent with David Hallberg make a great artistic management team for ABT?
  12. Amy Reusch

    Sean Lavery Passing

    It seems this was the case... his family posted on Facebook: "Sean was diagnosed in January with a recurrence of the tumor that ended his dancing in 1986. He was placed on radiation, but his immune system could not tolerate the effects of that therapy. He died quickly and peacefully in his beloved Palm Springs; his family was there, and he was well-cared-for by the professional staff at the hospital."
  13. Any info yet on the casting? The site just says "Bolshoi principals, soloists and corps de ballet". (well, one would hope so!) I've been interested to see this ballet for a while now. The trailer pretty poor, I usually bring a few friends, but I'm not sure I could use this trailer to entice anyone... https://www.fathomevents.com/events/bolshoi1718-flames-of-paris
  14. Amy Reusch

    2018-19 season: Pennsylvania Ballet

    I don't recall Swan Lake selling poorly back in the Christopher d'Amboise days... is this low turn-out something new? Maybe that poster image isn't helping much...
  15. Amy Reusch

    NEA grants to ballet-February 2018

    No Pennsylvania Ballet.
  16. Amy Reusch

    Bolshoi in Cinema - Flames of Paris 3/4/18

    I wish Osipova was still on the roster...
  17. Amy Reusch

    Ib Andersen to Present New Firebird in 2019

    So exciting!! I have never seen the company live but their costumes and productions look inspiring! I was so disappointed that ABT's new Firebird made so little of Osipova's gifts. I will keep my fingers crossed for Andersen's, the music is so ravishing.
  18. Amy Reusch

    2018-19 season: Pennsylvania Ballet

    No more Cranko? That's a shame, their performance of Cranko's R&J used to send chills down my spine.
  19. Amy Reusch

    Romeo & Juliet Live Cinecast of 21st January

    You found Krysanova mechanical? And Sandik, I couldn't agree more about the Norwegian curling team.
  20. Amy Reusch

    Romeo & Juliet Live Cinecast of 21st January

    And when Romeo launched himself skyward... assisted by the male market community...
  21. Amy Reusch

    Romeo & Juliet Live Cinecast of 21st January

    I loved how admiring of Paris Juliet's handmaidens are... there were many nice dramatic touches...
  22. One thing I did not understand... they said several times that this was the New Stage... which I see from Wikipedia was built in 2002 to the left of the historic theater... but weren't all the sudience shots and the talk of the chandelier from the historic stage? Isn,t the Bolshoi stage actually a rather large stage (or is this a misunderstanding of mine?) and was it simpler to remount the Canadian production onto a smaller stage? i would like to add that I wasn't crazy about the lighting design. I did not like the dancers moving forward out of their light and I didn't like the sudden darkness on Juliet after she was introduced to Paris (perhaps this was to mask a scene change?)
  23. I did feel Ratmansky made characters beyond Romeo/Juliet, Tybalt/Mercutio more vibrant than in other productions.... Lady Capulet is given some serious acting, the friar too... there were recognizable characters among the townspeople... they did not just all blend into each other.
  24. Thank you for the Ratmansky interview... I missed that. I understand what he is saying but I felt several times during the production that Lantratov's stage make-up was underdone and that he would have read better if we could see his eyes... the rest was ok, make-up wise but we need to see the lover's eyes more...
  25. There were parts where Ratmansky's genius shone through and parts I found tiresome. I think part of the trouble is that we all fall in love with our first production. I went with some ballet fans some of whom had never seen a Romeo and Juliet (it is a big production to mount) , and others who had actually danced in productions of it. I missed Cranko's market scenes. I wished he had done something with Commedia della Arte characters for the buffons, but if he did, I didn't get it. i kept wanting to see a predecessor to an Entree Grave and a Saltarello, but the knights did not carry for me and there was somehow too much tossing of jumping women for me... but I know nothing reallly of these things... it just did not satisfy my imagination. There were ideas in it that I liked but it just did not come together. Almost as if the sound of the swords clashing was not formal enough... though I did like the kissing of the lady's hem finish. On the other hand, the part where Romeo & Juliet meet was the best I've ever seen. The balcony scene felt like too much, as if Ratmansky worked on the honeymoon scene first and coming up with too, used leftover material in the Balcony scene... it was too much too soon. Tybalt was wonderfully rendered, as was Mercutio. Benvolio... I would like to see more of this dancer, lovely float to his leaps. i felt Lantratov was better in some sections thsn others... the bits with the three friends sometimes looked more rehearsed than playful, but he was wonderful with Juliet... distinct steps dissolved into emotions... Kysanova was beautiful.. I liked her more here than in the Corsaire streaming. She left several in the audience here in tears. Never did I become distracted by her technique. The fractional moment of her run made me wish to see her do the run of other productions. i wonder what early ABT fans would have made of all the interior landscape acted out. I thought the Friar was a good actor and I liked the explanation behind the scrim. I also missed the lowering of Juliet into the crypt. Now I,d like to watch all the National Ballet Canada footage to compare. Who was that who came by & kissed Lantratov during the intermission interview? He seemed quite struck by it.
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