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12/21 matinee and Jared Angle

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Somogyi was Sugar Plum with Angle as her Cavalier and Asanelli as the Dew Drop. Van Kipnis and Tinsley led the flowers. The rest of the cast was much the same as in previous performances I've seen.

Angle partnered Somogyi at this performance and he was the stand out of the ballet. I've enjoyed watching him grow as a dancer over the last year or so but was unprepared for the polish and authority of this performance. To date, I thought he was a nice looking guy with an attractive technique and decent partnering skills but he usually seemed tentative and somewhat withdrawn to me. Not at this matinee, he handled Somogyi with great authority and aplomb, every difficult lift and supported move was well executed and related to her nicely. The circle of grand jetes en tournant was well executed, not the highest jumps I've ever seen but clean lines and well pointed feet. In the turns a la seconde in the second variation, he was flawless - never moving off the spot and using his arms with great style. Very impressive.

I was a little disappointed in both Somogyi and Asanelli. Both were a little brittle for my taste. Younger dancers are often concerned about being correct and Martins sometimes seems to value neatness and technical correctness over expressiveness - that seemed the case in these two performances. Somogyi's performance was well danced but their was no warmth or magic in it and I think you need that in this role.

Asanelli also gave a good technical performance and her coltish physique seems a good match for the role of Dew Drop. But in contrast to Van Kipnis the other day who responded with great joy to the music, she seemed almost nervous. There were some lovely moments, particularly in the diagonal of arabesques and jumps. But the only moment, Asanelli relaxed and seemed to enjoy herself was one beautiful balance in arabesque in her solo in the finale. She just balanced, breathed and smiled and the audience responded in kind.

Van Kipnis and Tinsley led the Waltz of the Flowers and it seemed as though they were really enjoying the flow of the music. Tinsley seems happier this season than I have previously seen her. I hope each of them get some good parts in the upcoming season, they've been languishing in "soloist hell" for too long.

Best wishes to all this holiday season!

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To you too.

And I wonder what this Prince Grace Foundation Honor is that Jared Angle is listed in the program as having received. I remember Princess Grace awards generally in the past, but nothing specific before at NYCB.

On the subject of Alexandra Ansanelli, I also wonder if anyone has been to see her matinee performances of Sugarplum, including today (Xmas Eve afternoon) and the New York City School matinee early in the season? I'm out of town but would love to have been able to go today.

[ December 24, 2001: Message edited by: Michael1 ]

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Michael, several NYCB dancers (including Ansanelli, Margaret Tracey, Miranda Weese, Ethan Stiefel, Maria Kowroski) have received the award and there is a * in the program for the year they hold the grant. Gillian Murphy of ABT was a receptient recently, as well. There is a web site: http://www.pgfusa.com/

[ December 25, 2001: Message edited by: Dale ]

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Somogyi seems to be having an off-Nutcracker.

I'm glad to see Angle developing the way he is. I always thought the Princess Grace award went to the SAB kids, I believe Somogyi got that grant award as well.

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About Ansanelli -- I hadn't see her dance in 2 1/2 years, and that was in "The Cage," so I really don't know what she's capable of. But after seeing one principal give an excruciatingly nervous and ungainly performance as Dewdrop recently, I saw Ansanelli in the role the next night, and was thoroughly taken with her warmth and musicality, poise and technical assurance.

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Yeah, she's great. Peter Boal's comment quoted in Vogue that Carla Korbes "dances with a beautiful soul" and that you can teach everything to a dancer except that, applies to Alexandra Ansanelli as well as it does to Carla.

[ December 25, 2001: Message edited by: Michael1 ]

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