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Old Fashioned

Reviews for Winter Rep

6 posts in this topic

There's a good chance I'm not going to get a response but I have to ask...did anyone go last night? I thought about it, but alas, I had homework to attend to. Maybe this Sunday.

I'm looking forward to hearing the Best Little Klezmer Band play for Adams' piece.

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Old Fashioned,

I did not attend, but there is a great review in today's Chronicle. Molly loved it! I am hoping we can take it in next weekend.

Please post if you do get to see it!

mc

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I'm going to refrain from reading any reviews before seeing it myself. I want to see how my reaction differs from critics'.

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We were there opening night and it was fabulous. Julia Adam's Ketubah was so very lovely and the Best Little Kletzmer Band really added to the ballet. Makes me want to convert and have a Jewish wedding!! :P

Four Last Songs was lovely, as always. My fiancé was particularly taken by the huge silk drape that moves above the stage and Jessica Jones Bekkerus' beautiful soprano voice always adds to such a moving piece.

Stanton Welch's Divergence truly brought the house to it's feet. Molly Glentzer's glowing review was no exaggeration. The energy in the theater was priceless and the audience could hardly remain still as the curtain came down. Damien Welch (Stanton's brother) and Sara Webb do a pas de deux near the middle of the piece and I just knew he was going to fling her across the stage! It was so fast paced and thrilling it looked as if he were just flinging her effortlessly through the air. This ballet is truly thrilling to watch.

What a magnificent evening all around. If you haven't seen it already, DON'T MISS IT!! :clapping: I'm going again with some girlfriends either Saturday or Sunday.

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Thanks for chiming in, Sissonne!

I'm going to try to make it Friday night, and if I'm lucky, Saturday night, too.

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Friday, 3/5, evening performance:

Who is managing ticket sales for HB? I am really fed up with not receiving student discounts. I understand if they can't be given out due to sold out or nearly sold out performances, but the house was half empty today (or, at least that's how my section looked- well under half full)! I sat in balcony (upper most level) center, second row. My seat was better than I thought it would be. I could see the patterns clearly and my new Bushnells helped me get a close up of the dancers.

Damien Welch and some dance writer, whose name I didn’t catch, hosted the Dance Talk session. Nothing terribly interesting was said, only an overview of each ballet that had been read before in articles and a little bit about Damien’s experiences as a dancer.

I didn’t care for the choreography of Ketubah. Not much of it was actual ballet vocabulary, and it was heavy on motifs. I was expecting to see folk dancing incorporated into ballet, but instead it was more folk dancing and a few ballet steps thrown into it as seasoning. The only part distinctly ballet was a short little solo for the father figure (Simon Ball). It went something like attitude turn, pirouette, double tour, then he falls back into the motifs. Very generic, and it was repeated a few times. Lisa Kaczmarek and Ian Casady were easily believable as the youthful glowing couple. I might prefer to see this on a local modern dance company; didn’t think it world-class ballet company material. The dancers seem to be enjoying themselves in this, and it looks fun to dance, but from my viewpoint as an audience member, I was pretty bored. It was like watching a wedding celebration and not being able to join in on the festivities. The music was fun and lively, although a few pitch problems coming from the solo wind instrument.

This was my first time seeing Four Last Songs. It’s overly-sentimental for my taste. There’s nothing wrong with drama, but parts of it seemed almost cheesy. I enjoyed the first movement, Fruhling (Spring), with Sharon Teague and Carl Coomer in the pdd. Coomer has a beautiful line. He really engages his upper body, particularly his back, to stretch it out. Julie Gumbinner and Ball were in the second pdd of the third movement, Beim Schlafengehen (Going to Sleep). They were lusciously musical, as I expect from these two, and danced well together, although I couldn’t stand the aimless running around. Kim Wagman danced the solo in the last movement, Im Abendrot (At Gloaming). With her waif-ish figure and dark hair and complexion, I immediately likened her to Kay Mazzo and Helene Alexopoulos. Her port de bras is exquisite; she might do well in something like Emeralds (was Jewels ever staged on this company?).

Divergence was very interesting. The costumes were absolutely crazy. I could hardly tell the women from each other due to those funky head pieces. The casting only listed “artists of Houston Ballet,” so that didn’t help any. I feared for the men’s heads when they held the women from behind while the women's working legs jabbed up into penchée positions. Funny stuff going on, like the spider-like crawls and men slapping their chests and running across stage like they were airplanes. My favorite part was when the dancers form a line and do a continuous ticking of port de bra positions and when the women throw off their tutus. The central pas de deux danced by Nicholas Leschke (?) and someone else I couldn’t figure out brought gasps of shock and astonishment from the audience. The level of difficulty could not be hidden. I applaud the dancers for getting through those absolutely insane lifts. Although this ballet was exciting and an obvious challenge for the dancers, I’m not sure how I would feel about it with subsequent viewings. It doesn’t go much deeper than a bag of tricks.

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