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Othello on PBS

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Great Performances PBS: Dance in America presents Lar Lubovitch's Othello "recorded on stage at the San Francisco Ballet. "Desmond Richardson, one of America's premiere dance talents, performs in San Francisco Ballet's production as Othello, with Yuan Yuan Tan as Desdemona and Parrish Maynard as the treacherous Iago... Emil de Cou leading the company's orchestra and Oscar-winning compsoer Elliot Goldenthal ("Frida") lends an errie score based on the Italian tarantella..."

In the New York metro area it will be shown on Channel 13, on Wednesday, June 18th at 9:30pm. :D

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I can't believe it; we (Chicago area) are actually getting this on the same date (June 18 9:30pm). We are also finally seeing the ABT Born to be Wild on both June 29 at 3:00pm and June 30 at 2:00am (though I have already purchased the video).

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Wow! We'd better make sure Treefrog hears about this and hope she's sitting down when she does! ;)

Great news!:)

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Even Baltimore gets Othello on June 18!

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You might want to check out today's links forum. :(

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I think that this might be the first San Francisco Ballet video available, at least in the last number of years.

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It will be shown at 9:00 p.m. (PDT) on KQED Channel 9 on Wednesday night in the Bay Area.

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You're surprised you're getting it in Baltimore! We are getting it in Scranton, PA TWICE! in one week, Tuesday night, after Duetto (which has been getting nasty reviews on the opera websites), and again on Sat. night. We'll have to pay for it with endless hours of Yanni, Church, and all the rest.

fred

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We got it in Boston :P

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I can't believe I missed this thread! Does anyone know if it will be playing again in the D.C. area? AAAARRGGGG!:P

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This was a tremendously exciting hour and a half. It began at 9:30 and the time flew by. I could not believe the beauty of this work - incredible dancing by everyone, Yuan Yuan danced like she

was weightless, and the Othello - my God! And the score was so

great - and the sets. What a marvelous piece of work - and my station, which just infuriated me a day earlier by showing those two tenors in "Duetto" singing a bunch of awful songs and then begging for money, is going to show "Othello" again on Saturday and they didn't ask for a cent. I am taping this ballet.

Fred

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I'm afraid that my opinion differs quite a bit, Fred :P I had a hard time staying with it, and only survived because of the dancing by the principals, who I agree were wonderful. Desmond Richardson, Parrish Maynard, and of course Yuan Yuan Tan, were exceptional. However, I found the score horrible, and most of the choreography, with the exeption of the first pas for Desdemona and Othello, and a couple of other way too brief moments, quite ghastly. IMO these dancers deserved far better choroegraphy and this is not something I will ever watch again, even though I taped it.

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Who wants my tape? (Anyone have any rare Balanchine?)

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I agree with Ms. Leigh. The score sounded like it came out of a horror movie (I know Goldenthal composes movie scores, but I didn't know if this one actually came from one), and the choreography had that infusion of modern into it, which I simply don't like. There was hardly a connection between the music and the dancing. However, the dancers were impeccable and distracted me enough to watch the whole way through.

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I loved the drama of this piece, more so than the choreography. The principal dancers were dazzling, I thought, but I wish they'd had more to do. This was my first look at Yuan Yuan Tan, and WOW! I'd like to see her in something that does more with her amazing liquidity. I thought too many of the times she was lifted, for example, the choreography called for her to strike these splayed, stiff-legged positions. The times she got to really dance, like the final scenes with her lady-in-waiting and with Othello, were just breathtaking, like watching a feather caught in a breeze.

I did like the piece as a whole -- the mood and the set and the way the Othello story was distilled into a dance piece. I'm glad to have finally seen it -- in typical Baltimore public TV fashion, it came on later than advertised. Luckily I watched it live rather than taping it, since the times I've done that I've ended up with tapes featuring the end of a Yanni show and the beginning of an Antiques Roadshow!:confused:

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I admit I don’t care much for story ballets and especially story ballets where the story is well known. I also don’t care for dance productions that are specifically for film or television. Having said that I did enjoy Othello. Richardson made a great Othello though there were times, whether due to the choreography or the dancing, I thought he could have been stronger. Tan and Maynard were both excellent I thought. Sets were very good. The score didn’t bother me. I kinda liked it in fact. And contrary to Victoria, I thought the first Desdemona-Othello pas was one of the lesser moments. I remained awake and alert throughout despite having a physically challenging day, which for a story ballet is good for me. Not my favorite, but very entertaining.

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My reaction is pretty much the same as Victoria's. It was a fairly painless hour and a half of television, but I'm glad I didn't go to the bother and expense of seeing this at a theater.

The choregraphy was modern with just a few flourishes of ballet tacked on. At some points, such as when Iago is expressing his angst, it was so cliche'd it verged on parody. The music was portentious but largely empty of content and was forgotten as soon as it ended.

The dancers were wonderful, giving the choreography far better than it deserved. Yuan Yuan Tan alone made this worth watching.

~Steve

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I am sleep-deprived this week and passed out somewhere in the second act. I saw this particular performance live and it was interesting to compare and contrast. Tan was indeed lovely, and the camera puts a little meat on her bones, a plus IMO. Maynard also benefited from the close up treatment, but Richardson comes off better live; he looked great but bland in the first act, and I don't recall thinking that during the performance. I'm sorry you all didn't get to see Possokhov, although I have nothing against Richardson.

I agree with Victoria about the first pas de deux, although I still think it odd that Othello and Desdemona dance in such an intimate mood in front of the entire court; but the choreography has a nice flow and Goldenthal's music less grating than elsewhere.

Drew, did you happen to see this? Curious to read your thoughts.

Now, now, kfw...... :)

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I have very little to add other than an echo of Ms. Leigh's comments, though I probably will watch the tape I made again (sans audio ;) )just to watch the principals. The score is a horror and the choreography too literal (8 bars of this followed by 16 of that...)

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We only saw about 10 minutes but I do have it on tape. My reaction was that Richardson was one of the most powerful looking ballet dancers I've ever seen and that Ms. Tan was lovely...but it didn't strike me as being a ballet. :)

I didn't especially like what I saw, sad to say...and that was quite disappointing. I may give it another try but I have a feeling it will be taped over, eventually.

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BW, although Richardson was ABT's first African-American principal, I don't know that you would call him a ballet dancer, strictly speaking. Although he's studied ballet since his mid-teens, I think we have to classify him as a modern, not classical, dancer. He was with the Ailey company for, I think, eight years(and then the Frankfurt Ballet for several years after that).

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