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Everything posted by volcanohunter

  1. This performance by Parsons Dance filmed in Venice features David Parsons' Finding Center (2015), Union (1993), Swing Shift (2003), Hand Dance (2003), Caught (1982) and Nascimento (1990). Hopefully it's not geo-blocked in your part of the world.
  2. That's more than 6'3½". Very tall for Balanchine's Oberon indeed! I'm extremely curious to see how he manages the Scherzo.
  3. If there is a better place to tack on my question, I hope the moderators will move it there. The other day critic Judith Mackrell tweeted this observation about Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream: Since I always thought of myself as having been brought up on Anglo-American ballet values, sometimes I'm taken aback by how my own views differ from those of British critics. For example, I don't share the enthusiasm most of them have for Peter Wright's Nutcracker, primarily on musical grounds. But to fault Balanchine for his treatment of the narrative of A Midsummer Night's Dream is really surprising to me. I am familiar with several balletic incarnations of the play: Balanchine's, Ashton's, Neumeier's and Wheeldon's (although I remember Wheeldon's the least well), as well as John Alleyne's The Faerie Queen, which uses entirely different music. (Neumeier also does not limit himself to Mendelssohn, which allows him to include "The most lamentable comedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby." In his version Thisby is the en travesti role on pointe, and it's pretty damn funny.) I can honestly say that I find Balanchine's narrative the clearest by far. In my third year of university I did two semesters of Shakespeare, which naturally included studying this play. I've seen multiple stage versions of it, different films, a couple of operatic incarnations and the above-mentioned ballets, and I still have trouble keeping the lovers straight, except when watching Balanchine's version. Am I alone in this?
  4. Neumeier uses Mendelssohn for the aristocrats, 19th-century Italian opera played by an organ grinder for the rustics and Ligeti for the fairies, which certainly underscores the toxic relationship between Titania and Oberon. I last saw the ballet about two years ago and found that the shiny unitards and sparkly swimming caps worn by the fairies didn't look that dated. The big romantic pas de deux in that version is reserved for Hippolyta and Theseus, not Titania and Oberon, although the roles are performed by the same dancers. Philostrate and Puck are also portrayed by the same dancer. Neumeier doesn't play up the scenes with the transfigured Bottom, choosing to focus the comedy on Pyramus and Thisby in the final act. I find his telling of the story clear also. If anything throws me, it is that Helena, because the choreography literally has her being tossed back and forth between Demetrius and Lysander, is played by a small dancer, while Hermia, whose pas de deux choreography is lyrical, is often played by a tall dancer. For example, when the Bolshoi staged the ballet, Helena was danced by the likes of Nina Kaptsova and Anastasia Goryacheva, while Hermia was performed by dancers such as Maria Alexandrova and Ekaterina Shipulina.
  5. Thank you very much for the information! I am glad to see a number of dancers who are nearing retirement in the cast. It will be very sad to see them leaving the stage, but I am glad for one more video record of their performances. I notice that the POB has not followed the usual New York City Ballet practice of pairing a tall Titania with a short Oberon. Marchand must be among the tallest Oberons the role has ever had.
  6. Incidentally, Peggy van Praagh's gorgeous production of Coppélia will be in British and Irish cinemas on April 19, followed by screenings in Australia and New Zealand on April 29 & 30, and a number of continental European cinemas beginning on April 19 and continuing on various dates through May. Happily, an excellent film of this production exists already, but I dearly wish I could see this new performances as well. http://www.cinemalive.com/index.php?p=view&id=202
  7. The Australian Ballet is entering the ballet-in-cinema market with three broadcasts: David McAllister's production of The Sleeping Beauty, Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella and Peggy Van Praagh's perfectly wonderful production of Coppélia. Details are still scant, and there's no indication that the broadcasts will be live (impractical for much of the target market from a time-zone perspective anyway), but apparently Beauty will be beamed to 500 cinemas in "North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Central and South America" in October. The distributor, CinemaLive, has already been involved in broadcasting Opera Australia productions from Sydney Harbour. I even caught one of these--Madama Butterfly--at a multiplex in Canada. http://www.screendaily.com/news/cinemalive-partners-with-australian-ballet-on-trilogy-of-productions/5104519.article
  8. That's excellent news. Hopefully the other films will become available as well. I presume it's a region 4 disc. While I'm a big advocate of region-free players and would encourage everyone to invest in one, I do hope this DVD will get international distribution as well.
  9. The Hungarian form of Andrew is András. It's been traditional practice to translate the names of monarchs into local languages, so we habitually use forms like Charles and Philip for Spanish kings, or Peter and Nicholas for Russian tsars. Presumably it was for this reason that Hungarian András was translated into Russian as Andrei, although it ought to have been translated into Andrew when the name appeared in English-language ballet programs. Incidentally, I don't know how authoritative it is, but the Russian Wikipedia article on Andrew II of Hungary gives his name as "Andrash II" (in transliteration, of course). No doubt this reflects the modern tendency against translating the names of monarchs, hence we refer to the current King of Spain as Felipe, although it would also be Felip or Filipe in different parts of the country, and Belgium's Philippe/Filip/Philipp also presents a multi-lingual conundrum. (Perhaps translation was a better idea after all?)
  10. Georgiadis' subsequent take on the headpiece was quite different. By then Nureyev preferred a more "Oriental" emphasis. What I don't understand is why synopses refer to "King Andrei of Hungary." Why not "András" or "Andrew," to be more general, or even "Andrija," since he was also king of Croatia? "Andrei" strikes me as a lazy transliteration from Russian which seems to overlook the fact that he was a real person, however silly Pashkova's libretto. Of course Jean de Brienne--why not Ivan Briennsky?--was also a real person, although he was never married to a woman named Raymonda.
  11. And I didn't necessarily mean it as a complaint either. I'm only pointing out a significant shift in repertoire priorities at the Bolshoi, where Swan Lake has gone from being the centerpiece of programming to becoming an add-on, which has obvious implications for dancer training. For what it's worth, the Bolshoi performs plenty of choreography newer than The Cage. Heck, Spartacus is "newer" than The Cage. What perhaps hasn't stuck yet is the idea of a mixed bill. Do audiences like it? They aren't as enthusiastic about it as they are about the warhorses. The current Cage/Russian Seasons/Etudes bill is playing the smaller theater, where tickets cost a fraction of what the Bolshoi charges for Giselle on the main stage, and the performances tomorrow and on Friday aren't yet sold out. And to bill as "contemporary" a program that includes one ballet choreographed in 1951 and another made in 1948 is clearly absurd. In her interview Vishneva supports the modernization of repertoire and the embrace of "new" choreography, but I agree that her taste in contemporary choreography is terrible.
  12. Vishneva doesn't equate falling standards with improved infrastructure. She places the blame elsewhere. "Now, with this different style, with the internet - young people get so much information, and their attention is taken away from work. But every day is important." She's not alone in criticizing the joined-at-the-hip relationship many people have with their smartphones. I've read nearly identical complaints from American choreographers, for example. The statement in the article "that devotion to ballet has been lost as material circumstances have improved" is made by the journalist, not Vishneva. If the Vaganova Academy is less competitive than it once was, and if the teachers are less demanding or less harsh, that also wouldn't have anything to do with how well the windows are insulated. Incidentally, in the past Tsiskaridze had also lamented that competition to get into Russian ballet schools was no longer as great as it once was. He noted that in the USSR ballet dancers were more likely to have the opportunity to travel abroad, whereas the average citizen would not. He argued that once borders became more open, parents had less of an incentive to send a child to ballet school. (I haven't tested his supposition, simply pointing out that he made it.) For my part, I agree with Vishneva about Tsiskaridze, Vaziev and the muddying of style. Generally speaking there may be a single Russian school, but there are different Petersburg and Moscow styles within it, which is why I think both Tsiskaridze and Vaziev are playing around with semantics. It's difficult for me to judge the state of the Vaganova Academy, although I will acknowledge holding a heretical view about the Vaganova style as is it practiced today; namely, that I don't like it (even though I like just about every other school and style under the sun). That is why I shudder at the thought of Vaziev turning the Bolshoi into a Mariinsky Lite. Vaziev likes to negate the differences between the Moscow and Petersburg styles. He likes to point out that 95% of the Bolshoi's dancers are graduates of the Moscow Choreographic Academy, all while appearing to favor those who are not. Consider the casting for the company's forthcoming tour of Japan. 60% of the principals scheduled for that tour were not trained at the Moscow Academy. Of the principals not traveling to Japan, all but one is a graduate of the Moscow Academy. (Well, two, if you count David Hallberg, who last performed with the Bolshoi in July 2014.) Of course Melissa Hayden used to say that it was by dancing Balanchine ballets that one became a Balanchine dancer. In the Soviet days the Bolshoi recruited dancers from opera houses all around the USSR, but, not surprisingly, they were expected to be compatible with the Bolshoi repertoire, and Moscow Academy graduates who weren't deemed compatible with the repertoire weren't offered jobs at the Bolshoi, e.g., Vladimir Malakhov. Under Vaziev the Bolshoi is hardly performing its core repertoire any longer. (Count 'em: three performances of Giselle, four performances of Swan Lake, five performances of Spartacus in Moscow this season; audiences can't be too happy about this.) Frankly I don't know what sort of dancer it needs today.
  13. The National Ballet of Canada announced its 2016-17 season today. This is the main season at the Four Seasons Centre. November 12, 13, 16-20 Kudelka/Prokofiev: Cinderella November 15 12th Erik Bruhn Prize competition November 23-27 Cranko/Tchaikovsky: Onegin December 10, 11, 13-18, 20-24, 27-31 Kudleka/Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker March 11, 12, 15-19, 23, 24 Tuckett/Englishby: Pinocchio (world premiere) March 29-April 2 McGregor/Talbot, Deru: Genus Robbins/Chopin: The Concert June 3, 4, 7-10 Neumeier/Prokofiev, Schnittke: A Streetcar Named Desire June 6 Mad Hot Ballet gala June 15-18, 21-15 Kudelka, after Petipa, Ivanov/Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Robert Binet will present a work inspired by the paintings of Lawren Harris to music by Lubomyr Melnyk at the Art Gallery on Ontario on August 31-September 10. World Ballet Day will return on October 4 with the usual participants: Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, San Francisco Ballet. The annual visit to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa will take place on January 19-21 with Onegin. http://national.ballet.ca/Media-Room/News/The-National-Ballet-of-Canada-Celebrates-65th-Anni
  14. Does Macaulay ever savage Ratmansky's choreography? I don't mean that as a rhetorical question. It just seems to me that Macaulay is a particularly enthusiastic admirer of Ratmansky's work, even when the ballet-going masses don't seem to agree. If a person is usually in sync with Macaulay's assessments of Ratmansky's ballets, then his review is a good endorsement. But if someone has come away indifferent to a Ratmansky ballet Macaulay had raved about, this review might not be a green light to buy, much less to travel.
  15. 16 October - Grigorovich/Shostakovich: The Golden Age 6 November - Ratmansky/Shostakovich: The Bright Stream (repeat) 18 December - Grigorovich/Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (repeat) 22 January - Grigorovich, after Petipa/Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty 5 February - Grigorovich, after Petipa, Ivanov/Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake (repeat) 19 March - Van Manen/Britten: Frank Bridge Variations; León, Lightfoot/Richter, Beethoven: Short Time Together; Ratmansky/Desyatnikov: Russian Seasons; Robbins/Stravinsky: The Cage; Lander/Czerny: Etudes 9 April - Possokhov/Demutsky: A Hero of Our Time http://www.pathelive.com/international
  16. Casts for the mixed bill running March 29 through April 2 Genus Jurgita Dronina, Kathryn Hosier, Tanya Howard, Harrison James, Svetlana Lunkina, Evan McKie, Chelsy Meiss, Félix Paquet, Robert Stephen, Donald Thom (March 29, 30, April 1 at 7:30 pm/April 2 at 2:00 pm) (March 29, 30, 31 at 7:30 pm/Apr 1 at 2:00 pm) Skylar Campbell, Jordana Daumec, Naoya Ebe, Hannah Fischer, Giorgio Galli, Greta Hodgkinson, Elena Lobsanova, Tina Pereira, Brendan Saye, Dylan Tedaldi (March 30, April 1 at 2:00 pm/March 31 at 7:30 pm) (March 30, April 2 at 2:00 pm/Apr 1 at 7:30 pm) Tarantella Jillian Vanstone and Skylar Campbell (March 29, 31 at 7:30 pm/April 2 at 2:00 pm) Rui Huang and Dylan Tedaldi (March 30, April 1 at 2:00 pm) Jurgita Dronina and Francesco Gabriele Frola (March 30, April 1 at 7:30 pm) Self and Soul Calley Skalnik and Félix Paquet (March 29, 31 at 7:30 pm/April 2 at 2:00 pm) Jenna Savella and Spencer Hack (March 30, April 1 at 2:00 pm) Emma Hawes and Brendan Saye (March 30, April 1 at 7:30 pm) The Concert Hannah Fischer, Jonathan Renna, Greta Hodgkinson Skylar Campbell, Brent Parolin, Ben Rudisin, Ethan Watts or Spencer Hack Lise-Marie Jourdain, Tiffany Mosher, Jaclyn Oakley (March 29, 30, 31, April 1 at 7:30 pm) Emma Hawes, Piotr Stanczyk, Chelsy Meiss Giorgio Galli, Brendan Saye, Robert Stephen, Ethan Watts or Spencer Hack Jordana Daumec, Shaila D’Onofrio, Alexandra MacDonald (March 30, April 1, 2 at 2:00 pm)
  17. ABT will present two programs at Chicago's Harris Theater in late February 2018. The first program features the pas de deux from Tudor's The Leaves Are Fading, Ratmansky's Serenade after Plato's Symposium and Wheeldon's Thirteen Diversions. The second program includes Jessica Lang's Her Notes, a new ballet by Ratmansky and other, as yet unnamed works. Oddly, the "program notes" for program B include the biography of Liam Scarlett rather than Ratmansky. There will also be a gala on February 21, and an ABT Kids matinee, presumably on February 24. http://explore.harristheaterchicago.org/american-ballet-theatre
  18. It goes to show you that Bolle regards La Scala as his primary employer, and ABT is just a guest gig, albeit an annual one. But Drew jogged my memory about Nureyev. There was indeed a time when there were many tours along the lines of Nureyev+London Festival Ballet, or Nureyev+the National Ballet of Canada, or Nureyev+Australian Ballet. It could be that both company and presenter believe tickets won't sell if Bolle isn't starring in as many performances as humanly possible. I have seen dancers perform Giselle two days in a row with no drop in virtuosity. I've seen dancers do an evening followed by a matinee of Swan Lake with no perceptible drop-off. I remember seeing a dancer give three brilliant performances in two days of a major role, though it was not as big as Albrecht. For that matter I've seen dancers switch between Myrtha and the corps for show after show. But doing Albrecht for two evenings followed by a matinee will be an impressive demonstration of stamina. I give Bolle credit for not slowing down.
  19. La Scala has a (not so handy) online archive, so I checked. Generally speaking, the answer is no, except for Svetlana Zakharova, who is technically a member of the company, but who typically appears in one, maybe two, productions a season. Bolle, it has to be said, does appear more often. Back in May 2014 he danced Petit's Jeune homme with Marta Romagna. In December 2013 he danced in Ratmansky's Opera with Beatrice Carbone. For the most part his partners have been visiting dancers,
  20. Somehow it wouldn't seem fair to ask Saye to partner the company's bigger and taller women, but then give the promotion to Campbell or Frola.
  21. Copeland's presence is intended to boost ticket sales, presumably. I think Bolle still qualifies as a (more or less) full-time La Scala dancer. Dancing Giselle three nights in a row is a tall order. If he can pull that off at age 42, it will be an impressive achievement.
  22. Today at 7:30 pm GMT, which is equivalent to 2:30 pm Eastern and 11:30 am Pacific, the Royal Ballet will livestream a rehearsal of Jewels led by Patricia Neary and Elyse Borne. It will feature Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae in "Rubies" and Marianela Nuñez and Thiago Soares in "Diamonds." The Royal Ballet makes videos of these streams available on demand almost as soon as they're finished, so there's no need to fret if you're unable to watch it live.
  23. Happily, the Royal Opera House is invested in its Insights series of lecture-demonstrations, as well as its presence on YouTube. It's no accident the Royal Ballet initiated World Ballet Day. It would be very nice if the POB were to stream its public rehearsals. Russian companies are far too insular for this sort of thing. The Bolshoi's contribution of World Ballet Day Live is a bit of a joke, since at least half of it is pre-recorded. American companies are too poor? I suppose we ought to be grateful for SFB's contribution to World Ballet Day, but what ABT contributed to the effort a couple of years ago was downright embarrassing. Once in a while a company will do a little something live on Facebook, but they're low-resolution affairs. What I really want is for NYCB to get in on the streaming act.
  24. On Monday, March 13, there will be a live stream of John Neumeier's Le Pavillon d'Armide and Le Sacre by the Vienna State Ballet. This is one of those confusing periods of the year when clocks are being switched at different times in different parts of the world, but I believe that 7:30 pm Central European Time will equal 2:30 pm EDT and 11:30 am PDT. In any event, when purchasing the stream it is possible to choose one of about thirty start times within 72 hours of the live performance. http://www.staatsoperlive.com/en/live/380/le-pavillon-darmide-le-sacre-2017-03-13/#tab_0 Le Pavillon d'Armide The Man (Vaslav Nijinsky) - Mihail Sosnovschi His Wife (Romola Nijinsky) - Nina Poláková The Doctor - Roman Lazik Armide - Nina Poláková Danse siamoise - Davide Dato Tamara Karsavina - Maria Yakovleva Alexandra Baldina - Nina Tonoli Vaslav Nijinsky as a dancer - Denys Cherevychko Serge Diaghilev - Roman Lazik Nijinsky as a student - Richard Szabó Le Sacre Female Dancer 1 - Rebecca Horner Pas de Deux - Ioanna Avraam, Francesco Costa Female Dancer 2 - Alice Firenze Female Dancer 3 - Eszter Ledán Male Dancer 1 - Eno Peci Male Dancer 2 - Masayu Kimoto http://www.wiener-staatsoper.at/spielplan-tickets/detail/event/965109216-le-pavillon-d-armide-le-sacre/
  25. The Vienna State Opera streams performances online, albeit for a fee. This season it is planning a mind-boggling 45 streams, including a complete Ring cycle. This being Vienna, ballet is the poor relation. But if you've got the spare cash, there will be three ballet streams. Sunday, December 7 - MacMillan/Liszt: Mayerling Friday, December 26 - Nureyev/Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Saturday, February 14 - Neumeier/R. Strauss: Verklungene Feste and The Legend of Joseph The pricing options are €14 per stream, €88 for any eight streams, or €320 for the whole kit and caboodle. The streams can be watched live or at one of three (I think) time-delayed start times. http://www.staatsoperlive.com/en/live/