fondoffouettes

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About fondoffouettes

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid balletgoer
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    New Yrok
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  1. I was at both performances today. DeCoster's post really sums up exactly how I felt about the matinee performance, so I won't add too much. Lane gave a very detailed, naturalistic performance and really inhabited the role. She's a naturally sunny dancer so the smiling doesn't really bother me at all. Her powerful mad scene really caught me off guard -- it's the most moving one I've seen in recent memory and I'm glad she didn't overly milk it, like Vishneva has done in recent seasons. Overall, it felt like an artistically mature performance; I would have never guessed it was her debut. The praise for all of Simkin's gorgeous leaps and spins is 100% justified! There was a lot of energy in the house for the evening performance, with Hallberg's return to a princely role. He was the beautiful dancer I remember, impossibly gorgeous feet and all. I got the sense that he was maybe being a bit cautious with some of the jumps, but it's difficult to say since it's been such a long while since I've seen him as Albrecht, and it almost didn't really matter. His interpretation of Albrecht felt a bit dark, melancholy, introverted, as if he didn't know what he had gotten himself into with the ebullient Giselle of Murphy. Murphy's Giselle was robust and full of life in the first act, but I have to say I was disappointed overall in her performance (I may be in the minority here, given the strong reaction of the audience). Her characterization in the first act was pretty one-note, and I think she missed a lot of opportunities to add details to her acting. Technically, she was super solid, and her solo was perfect -- with lovely hops on point and a super fast manege of turns at the end. But is Giselle really supposed to be about super fast turns? Her mad scene was the low point of the act for me. She seemed overly concerned with her hair, first making sure it was distributed properly and then making sure it didn't get in her face. And then she went about the standard motions, just acting sort of sad throughout. Murphy started out pretty well in Act II (nice spinning arabesques), but she looked rather leaden in many of the leaps/hops. The ones right after the spinning arabesques actually looked really odd and I wondered if she might be injured. Murphy pretty much danced the entire Act II as a zombie -- not a lot going on in terms of characterization. Hallberg's dancing was beautiful -- with entrechat six that went on forever! I'm just not convinced his pairing with Murphy was ideal from a dramatic standpoint. It never really came together for me. The highlight of the evening for me, Hallberg's exciting return aside, was Abrera as Myrtha. It's probably the single most beautiful Myrtha performance I've seen at ABT. Her port de bras was to die for -- everything you'd want in a Romantic ballerina. And she didn't let a single moment go by without infusing it with drama and personality. An absolutely authoritative interpretation of the role. She really brought me into the world of the Wilis; I'm afraid Murphy brought me out of it. And David was along for the ride with his beautiful, super noble dancing.
  2. Clarification on Cornejo's injury, from his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/herman.cornejo.official/
  3. Maybe the Turkish hackers are to blame!
  4. It's possible to completely redesign a website and THEN launch it. The changeover can be virtually instantaneous; it doesn't need to happen page by page. I don't know what ABT is thinking. And I wonder if they even have plans to redesign the other pages. The menu at right actually has an option that says "Visit the Full Site," which transports you back to 1998. So it's intentional, not accidental, that you can access the full old version of their website, home page and all.
  5. But if you click on any link, it takes you to the old website. It's basically just a new home page, with sub-pages that are all from 1998, or whenever the old site was created. Sigh.
  6. Does anyone know if there was a casting change tonight? Veronika Part posted a picture on Instagram that's captioned "First performance. Met 2017," but she's not scheduled to dance anything until next week. She was always amazing as Mercedes/Queen of the Dryads, so I would rush for the chance to see her in that role again. I just can't tell whose headpiece from Act II she may be wearing.
  7. What's the deal with Andrew Veyette? I've happened to see him quite a bit over the past few seasons, and in every instance his dancing has seemed underpowered and rather uninspired. His performance in Allegro Brillante this season was probably the real low point; as stated in comments earlier in this thread, it almost looked like he was marking the steps. I'm not as frequent a NYCB-goer as many on here, but I've gotten the sense that some of the principal men are exceptional partners, but kind of underwhelming when dancing on their own. Veyette would be the most extreme example of this, based on the performances I've seen. However, I seem to recall very positive reports of his dancing toward the end of last season (I think in Stars and Stripes?).
  8. Hopefully reviews will help ABT fill seats because sales look pretty dismal at the moment. Each performance has somewhere between 600 to 1,400 unsold seats, and the balcony has only been opened for the Sunday matinee. This isn't super surprising for a work doesn't really have name recognition, but it must still be distressing for the company. Perhaps families that had just bought Nutcracker tickets three months ago simply weren't willing to shell out money on another ballet so soon. Or maybe the subject matter of Whipped Cream seemed too similar to The Nutcracker. I'm guessing ABT was hoping to convert those Nutcracker attendees into ticket-buyers for Whipped Cream, but perhaps the market in Southern California can't support so many family-friendly productions from ABT within the span of a few months. I'm still very much looking forward to seeing this work at the Met. I just hope for the sake of the company it isn't another Golden Cockrel that leaves the Met half-empty.
  9. I hope I'm not completely misremembering, but I could have sworn that Abrera was listed in the second slot for the May 22 opening night of Whipped Cream, as well as perhaps performances in the second run of the ballet. It's now listed as TBA. Does anyone recall?
  10. For anyone who still hasn't gotten quite enough of these torch lifts, I came across some really lovely ones in this clip of Ashton's Voices of Spring. There are two -- one right at the beginning of the ballet and another immediately at the end. They are the dead lift version, but they look very buoyant. It of course helps that Eagling is already behind Park when they to do the lift, unlike in the Ratmansky Nutcracker.
  11. This is very instructive! In The Pharaoh's Daughter, the fact that the man already happens to be behind the woman before the lift makes it seem more natural, more integrated into the choreography that comes before it. In Ratmansky's Nutcracker, the adult Clara's running approach only really makes sense when she goes for the leap. Otherwise, she runs toward the man, slows down, pauses, turns around, and then the lift happens. All momentum is killed in what should be a climactic moment. This convinces me that Ratmansky should modify the choreography leading up to lift when the couple opts for the deadlift version. However, Ratmanksy doesn't seem to be big on revising after a premiere (call me out of I'm overlooking something!). The only change I could detect over the years is that the Rat King, when he enters, no longer walks directly on the backs of the other mice, who are bowing down to him. Now he's held higher above them and doesn't come into physical contact with them. I feel like several of the Act-II divertissements could use some improvement, but I realize, at the same time, that time and resources may not allow it. And the company/Ratmansky may be perfectly happy with them.
  12. I went back and found what I had written in 2013. My memory played tricks on me. It was a lift in the Act I pdd that was aborted, not the torch lift. As far as I can remember, the torch lift just looked super shaky and he didn't get her completely above his head and properly into position. This is what I had written at the time: "During the first pas de deux, one of the big lifts was aborted before Lane got off the ground. Lane and Gorak then had to waltz around the stage for a while to kill time. In the second pas de deux, the lifts looked very uncomfortable, especially the one in which Lane is supported on one leg above her partner's head. Gorak managed to get Lane partway above his shoulders, but she teetered so much that he had to wrap his arms around her entire leg to keep her from falling."
  13. This was posted in last year's Nutcracker thread, I recall: Stella leaps into her partner's arms and then they sort of pop her up into position. It's more akin to the Bolshoi versions that have been posted here. It seems to me that each couple must have decided in rehearsals whether to do the running leap or the deadlift approach. The deadlift can't just be a spur-of-the-moment substitution, I don't think. I also don't think the deadlift version has to look terrible. The Baca/Copeland one does look terribly clunky, but I didn't seem to mind it the several times I saw Part and Gomes do it. I'm guessing Hallberg and Murphy probably did it as a deadlift too? I'm curious to know whether the lifts that have completely failed to launch, so to speak, were the running leap versions or the deadlift versions. I've only seen one go really wrong (a Lane/Gorak one a few years ago), but I can't recall if it was because they attempted the leap or not. I wish I had been attuned to the nuances of the lift when ABT was back at BAM, but the pas always made me so nervous that I couldn't really focus on details like that.
  14. Luckily it seems as if Mearns is already on the mend. Her most recent Instagram post indicates that she's going ahead with her Nutcracker performances with Eastern Connecticut Ballet today and tomorrow.
  15. I'm considering making the trip from NYC to D.C. for Teuscher's debut (and possibly Part, though Whiteside is dissuading me) and have never seen anything at the Kennedy Center. Does anyone have recommendations for seating? The prices are much more reasonable than the Met season, so I was thinking of going with a seat in the first row, which is Row G (I'm guessing rows A-F are taken up by the orchestra?). At the Met, the first row provides a really good view, as long as you aren't behind the conductor, the only problem being that you sometimes can't see the dancers' complete feet. Is this the same case at the Kennedy Center's Opera House? Or does the first row present any other issues? Also, does anyone know if the Kennedy Center allows patrons to throw flowers onstage? (I've gotten in the habit of doing this occasionally at the Met in recent seasons, as it's a lovely tradition I don't want to see die out!). I've heard that Koch Theater doesn't allow it.