What will you remember from 2003?
Posted 26 December 2003 - 11:53 AM
Posted 26 December 2003 - 02:21 PM
His experience with ballet watching has been relatively minor. He went with me to see our small local company once and whenever I have a ballet tape on the TV he'll look at it for about 2 seconds than excuse himself to go do woodworking or whatever. But knowing how much I love Balanchine he offered to go with me to Columbus to see BalletMet do Jewels.
When the curtain rose on the opening group of dancers in Emeralds and that haunting music starts I get a tightening in my chest as I always do and looked to my husband to observe. He breathes a soft "Ooohh" and watches the ballet unfold with rapt attention. After Emeralds is over I ask him what he thought of it. "It was beautiful" he says but remains strangely quiet thoughout the intermission as if lost in thought.
When the curtain rises on Rubies he exclaims "Wow! Cool Costumes!" He is silent throughout the ballet but I can see him moving his head back and forth to the music. After Rubies is over I asked him how did he like it. He sits still for so long I thought he didn't hear me. Just as I was about to ask him again he yells out "That Balanchine is a frigging (PG version) genius!" The next 5 or 6 rows turn around to look at us, but I don't care, I'm so happy that he has discovered Balanchine!
The upshot of all this is that we are now going to New York in May to see The New York City Ballet dance. All his idea. Seeing someone you love learn to love the same thing that you do is such a gratifying and wonderful thing! Happy New Year Everyone.
Posted 26 December 2003 - 02:54 PM
It doesn't get any better than that Susan!
Congratulations, and just select carefully, he's going to think all ballets should be that good.
Posted 27 December 2003 - 08:16 AM
During ABT's season at City Center, I most enjoyed the "Masterworks" program -- "Diversion of Angels," "Symphonic Variations," "Pillar of Fire," and "Grand Pas Classique" from "Raymonda." The same season provided my personal low point, the "Contemporary Works" program -- "Petite Mort," "Sechs Tanze," and, last and worst, "Dorian."
A highlight of the year was the triumphant return of Ashley Bouder to NYCB.
The trend to earlier curtain times continues. No matter how many people this makes happy (I'm not among them), more and more always rush out as the final curtain is still descending.
Posted 27 December 2003 - 03:22 PM
- NDT II dacing Johan Inger's Dream Play, Hans van Manen's Simple Things, and Jiri Kylian's Sechs Tanze. Fusion of great energy, technique, and eye-opening choreography.
- Stuttgart Ballet dancing Cranko's Romeo & Juliet, with Yseult Lendvai and Jason Reilly dancing the lead roles, and somehow making the drama transcend the dance.
- The Kirov Ballet, and in particular, Diana Vishneva, dancing in La Bayadere, and Rubies.
- George Piper Dances, AKA Ballet Boyz.
- Viengsay Valdes in the Cuban National Ballet's Don Quixote pulling off the most sustained exhibition of balancing virtuosity I have ever seen.
- The opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and in particular, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Mahler's 6th symphony in an emotionally devastating performance (as the work calls for). For me, after 3 previous concerts in less than stellar seats, this one finally fulfills the hall's much-hyped potential. I know what seat upgrade I'm going to try for next season.
Posted 28 December 2003 - 04:18 AM
At the beginning, I was a little bit afraid of what I was going to see, because Agnes Letestu is tall with fair hair (unlike traditionnal Giselles !). But as soon as she came on stage, I had no doubt any more: She was made to be giselle, or maybe Giselle was made for her ! She really renew the role and is not to miss. (Paris Opera Ballet will play Giselle next february/march)
Happy New Year to everybody !
Posted 28 December 2003 - 11:58 AM
The continuing growth in artistry of Whelan, Somoygi and Boal at NYCB. And Boal as Oberon.
A late June Walpurgisnacht by Kyra Nichols that was the best performance of the ballet I've seen since Farrell's day. Witty, musical and strongly danced.
The return of Ashley Bouder and Miranda Weese to full strength, especially as Dew Drop this winter.
Opening night of the winter season at NYCB with a fabulous Symphony in C and a wonderful performance by Soto in Bugaku.
Van Kipnis and Rutherford as tortoises and Redpath as the Swan in Wheeldon's Carnival of the Animals.
McKerrow as Juliet last spring at the Met. Her ability to convey emotion through her dancing brought this war horse of a ballet to life.
Dovorvenko (sp?) as Gamzetti and Cornejo as the Golden Idol. Part as Queen of the Dryads in Don Q (my only glimpse of her this season).
The ABT revival of Symphonic Variations. I've always wanted to see this ballet, now I just hope it stays around long enough for ABT to master it.
Alex Ritter and Peter Boal with Suzanne Farrell Ballet at NJPAC.
Living in NYC where we are lucky enough to have all this and more at our disposal.
Posted 28 December 2003 - 01:23 PM
Alicia Alonso's curtain call with the Cuban Ballet.
Posted 28 December 2003 - 01:56 PM
Posted 30 December 2003 - 06:30 AM
Two dancers, one familiar and one new, gave memorable performances. Megan Fairchild gracefully glided her way through TARANTELLA and PIANO PIECES. Amanda McKerrow gave what - I think - was the performance of her career as Hagar. She was "something." I'd like to see her in the Stravinsky Triple Bill at the Met later this winter.
Another "discovery" was the Performing Arts Library branch of the NY Public Library. I used the invaluable resources of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division for 2 of my NYU papers. The staff, which is at a bare minimum because of budget cuts, was incredibly kind and helpful.
The non-dancing "best" was the Berlin Philharmonic with Sir Simon Rattle. They gave a solid, wildly exciting performance of Bartok's MUSIC FOR PERCUSSION, STRINGS, AND CELESTIA. Berlin is a young orchestra (average age=30) and they sound enthralled with their new music director - the coolest guy in classical music! :cool2:
I wish a healthy, happy New Year for all.
Posted 31 December 2003 - 09:38 AM
Ferri & Bocca in Romeo & Juliet- they were truly heartbreaking.
Dvorovenko’s Kitri - the perfect role for her. Also Beloserkovsky in Symphonic Variations. I thought he caught just the right tone of elegance, joyfulness and golden serenity for this work.
I know this is a ballet site but I have to include Ailey’s “Revelations”. I see it every few years and last year it seemed very low energy to me,I thought it had lost a lot of it’s impact. This year it was back to it’s usual glory.
I also loved Fang Yi Sheu in Graham’s “Chronicle”. I thought the company as a whole looked rather weak (understandable considering what they’ve been through recently) but she was as powerful & moving as any Graham heroine I can remember...
Posted 31 December 2003 - 12:50 PM
And a "hats off" to OCPAC for bringing in a world class dance season to So. Calif.
Posted 31 December 2003 - 02:15 PM
- Lorena Feijoo and Joan Boada in SFB's Don Quixote (esp. Feijoo)
- Daria Pavlenko in the Kirov's Diamonds
- SFB's Tina LeBlanc as the Butterfly in the Waltz of the Flowers in SFB's Nutcracker. She could have done any role, really; it was just great to see her again since she was out on maternity leave for the whole 2003 spring season.
- Akram Khan's Kaash
- Ririe-Woodbury Company's Alwin Nikolais: A Celebration Tour
Posted 31 December 2003 - 02:17 PM
Posted 02 January 2004 - 01:47 PM
The Works & Process lecture-demonstration with Maria Tallchief and Frederic Franklin coaching new dancers in almost-forgotten Balanchine roles was way up near the top of this year's best moments.
ABT's best performances included Wiles' debut as Gamzatti opposite Herrera's uncharacteristically sensitive Nikiya. Also in Bayadere, the visit by Alina Cojocaru. Their new Ashton pieces (Fille and Dream) improved as the company gained experience in them.
The International Ballet Festival at the Kennedy Center (I attended two performances of the first program -- ABT's Fancy Free, Bolshoi bits and pieces, Royal Danes in Napoli pas de six and Tarantella) may have been artistically negligible, but it was great fun.
Monique Meunier brought star quality to every role she danced -- especially in making Mercedes' Act III dance riveting. Yes, riveting. I desperately hope we see much more of her this year and well into the future.
David Hallberg grew almost visibly from one performance to the next.
Among ABT's newest dancers, Zhong-Jing Fang's prominent debut in Symphonic Variations was more than promising, and Danny Tidwell consistently displayed elegance and elan.
I was glad to see Ballet Nacional de Cuba, although theirs is not an aesthetic I would choose as a steady diet. Yolanda Correa showed how gorgeous a pair of arms can be in her Queen of the Dryads.
And of course, throughout the year, I have been grateful to be able to learn so much from the people on this board. My perspective has broadened as posters have brought their own viewpoints and value systems to the discussion. I've enjoyed a number of face-to-face meetings. I have also been grateful for the opportunity to share my joys, sorrows and frustrations with you. Thanks, gang!
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