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Everything posted by mom2

  1. Binet Allegations

    Blackcurrant - they are likely good friends, I don't know that I'd read anymore into it. They were both at the school around the same time, perhaps even danced together during some of those years (I mention this only as both are tall; Binet is a few years older however if I remember correctly, so I really don't know if they actually would have had classes or performances together back then). She was in the first cast for his piece "The Dreamers Ever Leave You" for the company. My experience as a mom of a dancer is that it's not uncommon for small groups within a company to become quite friendly, and even to vacation together. Certainly there are advantages and disadvantages to these close friendships within a working environment, but I don't think the world of dance is unique to that...
  2. Binet Allegations

    Found this article, noting that Binet Senior completed his term on the Board in October 2017, after 6 seasons: https://www.broadwayworld.com/toronto/article/The-National-Ballet-Of-Canada-Posts-Surplus-For-Eighth-Consecutive-Season-20171026 The programme for Sleeping Beauty still has him listed on the cabinet for the Soaring Campaign, but he is no longer listed as such on the NBOC website as others have mentioned. This link is more of a professional bio, and mentions his involvement with the Board of both the National Ballet School and NBOC. https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=8075066&privcapId=515275
  3. Binet Allegations

    JumpFrog - I have handy the two programmes from March 4 and March 11. As of March 11 Binet Sr. was still listed under the "Soaring" campaign. They must have had these printed before things started coming off the website. I'll see if I can take some time over the next couple of days to compare what's in the programme and what's online. Last week you'll recall that I did do that and he was still listed on the company website (Binet Sr.). Is someone from NBOC lurking here, perhaps?
  4. 2017-18 season

    I just used Saye as an example. They could have used Ebe with Nan Yu I think (though I have trouble judging height beyond tall/short from the audience). I was happy to see Ebe dance Bluebird - he was pretty perfect I must say - but it made me wonder why he was doing Bluebird and Jiang the Prince. According to the program, Ebe has two performances as the Prince, with two different Auroras. Lobsonova was to debut on the 13th, so today - did they change the dates from the program? Another note - I had noticed Sephesihle November the week before at the mixed program - wondered who he was. He seems quite short, and with a stockier build than most of the men (even the shorter ones) in the company. He is also first year corps, and is apparently the youngest member of the company. Saw him do "Pussycats" on Sunday. Wow. Can he ever jump! Amazing. HE and Miyoko Koyasu were very cute in the role. Mr. November is definitely one to watch!
  5. 2017-18 season

    Saw Sleeping Beauty yesterday (Sunday March 11). A few notes/observations: * once again there were a number of changes to ladies' casting. Couldn't follow everything, but it would seem that Ms. Fischer didn't dance yesterday, so changes were made around her. This impacted the Variations in the First Act in particular. One of the cast who danced but wasn't on the program for that performance was Elena Lobsanova; she did not look happy. Who knows if this had anything at all to do with casting - she just didn't seem herself or look as happy/content as she usually does onstage * Aurora was danced by Xiao Nan Yu, who as always was pretty flawless. I'm sure she was more than patient with her partner (more in a bit). * The Prince was danced by Peng-Fei Jiang, who is new to the company this season and is a corps member. He has two shows as the prince. By comparison, Brendan Saye only has one. Mr. Jiang has a very princely air about him - I could certainly see coaching from Lindsay Fischer on the acting part of the role. Mr. Jiang looks like a prince as well, and he does have potential. In my view however it's a bit too soon for him in a lead role. Some of his jumps lacked finesse, he fell out of turns, and he kept forgetting to point his feet. Argh. Will have to finish later - sorry!
  6. Binet Allegations

    Curiouser and curiouser. Fitting, as the company is doing Alice again next season it appears...
  7. Binet Allegations

    Very nice sleuthing! My thoughts would be something along the lines of: 1) young Binet is very lucky, both in terms of family connection and the wonderfully talented dancers who he gets to work with. 2) There are other quite talented dancer/choreographers in Toronto who do not have the advantages mentioned in 1). A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to see a piece of Robert Binet's performed by NBOC dancers at the end of the summer program. The other choreographer that year was a woman with many years of experience; no NBOC dancers were in her piece, and only NBOC dancers in Binet's piece. The Binet work was not something I was swooning over, but it made some sense, the dancers were incredibly talented, so generally I'd have to give it a "good." Now, at that time the Banff program was for dancers fairly new to the professional world - so the NBOC dancers were either from YouDance or first/second year corps (Lindsay Fischer was head of the Banff program at the time). The piece was quite appropriate for that setting and event. At minimum KK has pushed the "fast forward" button a bit too strongly.
  8. Binet Allegations

    According to yesterday's programme and the company website, David W. Binet is on the "Soaring Campaign Cabinet." https://national.ballet.ca/Donate/Soaring/Leadership The Goal of this Campaign is to raise $100 million dollars for the Ballet. In addition, David W. Binet is listed as a member of the "Director's Circle" (donors of $25,000 or more), and the "Music Circle and Orchestra," which indicates donations specifically in support of the ballet's orchestra.
  9. Went to the show today. Feel like I should post here, although the thread is really for next season.... First was Binet's piece. Agree with JumpFrog - it was painful. Student level choreography in my opinion, and LONG. This piece was FORTY MINUTES long. Five would have been quite sufficient. Luckily for Binet, he had incredibly talented dancers to work with. There are 9 or 10 dancers for this work - four changes were announced so I'm not really sure who I saw exactly. Isn't this quite a high percentage of changes? Next was Kudelka's Four Seasons. This is a favourite of mine, both in terms of music and choreography. I'll note that, in the Winter entrance, one of the dancers (Ottman, who was not named in the program) lost his eyeglasses and they stayed on the stage for the longest time. I was amazed that nobody tripped! Finally someone picked them up. Finally Pite's Emergence. This has been performed a number of times by NBOC in recent years. I have seen this several times before, and I appreciate it but to be honest I don't really enjoy it. I try, but it's just not my taste (I know, I'm in the minority here). That said, this work is well beyond the level of Binet's piece, just so we are clear. Again, I think this work really showed the skill of the NBOC dancers, and I imagine that Pite was hoping for this when she created the piece. In summary, this is a company fully of extraordinarily talented dancers. I think KK could have come up with a better program to show Canadian works on this company.
  10. Thanks for the review. Am going to the matinee tomorrow (March 4). I should check casting; am not anticipating a great start to the afternoon.... I have always enjoyed the Four Seasons, so looking forward to that. Emergence - have seen multiple times. Have issues with the bug heads and the dark lighting, but have always appreciated the dancing and Pite's work.
  11. Binet Allegations

    I don't think folks are saying that Binet's bad (though I am not always excited by his work... in my view it has stood out because he's had wonderful dancers to work with). My take is that a lot of other aspiring choreographers would have done well with the opportunities he's received, and the dancers he's had the privilege to work with... and THAT'S the issue. In fact, I've seen other student choreographers from NBS present wonderful pieces at the school, but not end up with the opportunities young Binet has had.
  12. its the mom - I agree, it would have been great to see the Royal dancers partner with some from other companies. I did quite enjoy the cross-company partnerships that we did see. Imagine it is quite difficult to put everything together in a short period of time - at altitude I might add. I can't believe they did Tarantella - (gasp). A cardio challenge at the best of times.
  13. I attended both of the "international" evenings this weekend. Both evenings were wonderful - almost too much to take in! I loved the couple from the Royal - they were clear standouts for me. I also really enjoyed the new ensemble work evening II, and I always enjoy the movement of Lil Buck and colleague. Just read the review in the NYT, which doesn't mention Lil Buck, which is unfortunate. The opening number on Friday with the kids and Bill Irwin was also very special - what a great opportunity for the young ones! mom2
  14. 2016-17 season

    I believe kbarber was quoting the company's newsfeed - it was out last night on twitter and other social media. Congratulations to all.
  15. 2016-17 season

    I am not intending to suggest that Ms. Fischer is not talented. Indeed she is. It would still be my opinion that personal and professional growth might be facilitated for a young woman if she is not working under and with her parents on a regular basis. I would have this opinion regardless of field of work.
  16. 2016-17 season

    Re Streetcar - I don't know that I would call the performance emotionally flat in any way - it was just disturbingly graphic - even more so really when you consider that it's not a new ballet. I appreciate that Neumeier wanted to get people thinking, and I understand that art shouldn't always be "easy" or "pretty" - however this went, in my view, well beyond thought-provoking.
  17. 2016-17 season

    I did see Streetcar, I believe a brief comment above. Still taken aback by the violence, and wondering why anyone would want to choreograph that? My seat is near the front (Row F), so the enlarged stage not overly appreciated by those around me, especially those in front of me. A number of people moved. I feel that the NBOC should have forewarned patrons of this. I did think it was well danced and acted, but like you not sure I would want to see it again. Am also going to Swan Lake next week. It is not my favourite version but oh well. It's around this time of year when KK announces promotions, etc. Anyone heard anything yet?
  18. 2016-17 season

    I feel for her as well. Wonder if her casting was tied to Maddox's? Can't remember now. Certainly I do wonder sometimes if Hannah F. would be doing all the roles she's doing if her parents were not ballet master/mistress. She is a talented dancer, yes. Can't help but wonder. Honestly starting to regret that I've renewed my subscription. I cannot understand all the excitement over Binet - TWO of his works in the gala? Yesterday I saw Streetcar. Holy catfish batman, that was a lot of trauma and violence for an afternoon.
  19. 2016-17 season

    Thanks for this JumpFrog! I saw the show at the last performance. I enjoyed Genus but then I hadn't seen it before so couldn't compare it like you could. I agree with you on - does an intellectual theory make a good basis for dance question. I had a hard time seeing the connection with Darwin. Lindsay Fischer tried to explain/defend during the ballet talk - but I'm not sure that he was really sold on the connection either. I too loved Tarantella. In this show the male lead was Skylar Campbell, who was also superb. In fact he was in Genus too - so quite a day's work for him that day. Concert I enjoyed but not quite as much as I had hoped. There were a few mis-steps with timing (an action that was supposed to match with something from the percussion section) - too bad. I thought most of the dancers did well with the acting - the piece was enjoyable for me overall. Self and Soul - Binet did this piece for the Erik Bruhn competition (which I didn't attend this year), and the dancers I saw were the ones in the competition. So I enjoyed seeing them re-create their roles. I don't think there was anything special about this choreography other than maybe one lift. Personally I think that Binet has had the extraordinary good fortune to be able to work with dancers of such high calibre. I don't know that his young works would present half as well with other dancers.
  20. 2016-17 season

    Yes I did see Pinocchio (referenced above). As I said, not your typical afternoon/evening at the ballet. I was glad I went, but more because I got to see someone I've watched for a number of years in a lead role. Not what I would call classical ballet by any means, however. My daughter went the other night (she is a dancer, a much more critical eye than mine to be sure). She saw a different dancer as Pinocchio (Campbell), and thought he did very well. I had seen a props issue with the nose - this wasn't present in the show she saw. She liked some of the more creative aspects - like the screen projections (portraying the ocean, for example). I thought these went on a bit too long; she did not. We both agreed that the lumberjack scene at the beginning needs work. It's hard to describe - others are so much better with that than I am. Perhaps I can say it's more like a play without words that has some narration, and a fair bit of dancing.
  21. 2016-17 season

    I attended today's show. Very interesting - not your typical afternoon at the ballet, to be sure. Pinocchio was danced today by Robert Stephen, who I've had the pleasure of watching since he was a student. I'm sure that all lead men are wonderful in the role, but I feel I just have to give Mr. Stephen kudos for a wonderful performance! I can't imagine that anyone else could have embodied the part better.
  22. This is a very interesting development indeed. All the best to Mr. Maddox, though I admit that he was never my favourite to watch. So who to replace him? I agree about Campell's height. Partnering was something I felt he struggled with early on - this has most assuredly improved, however is it strong enough? All of the first soloist men seem to be shorter... I enjoy all of them, don't get me wrong. I probably enjoy watching these dancers more than I ever did Maddox... but if we are looking for a tall male principal it wouldn't be one of them. As a side note I've always felt it curious that KK tended to hire tall women (e.g. Fischer), but short men (e.g. Tedaldi). Should we consider second soloist potential? I would look at Brendan Saye and Brent Parolin. Perhaps not quite ready for principal, but these men are tall and with beautiful lines.
  23. New Associate Artistic Director

    Just saw this: http://national.ballet.ca/Meet/Backstage/Creative/Christopher-Stowell
  24. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens 2016-17

    Saw the Nutcracker on Dec. 26. Had forgotten how much I enjoy the "King of Candyland!" Overall a great show, and a wonderful crowd on a very icy night.