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Kaitlyn Gilliland

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I just got my new issue of Dance Magazine in the mail. Inside the magazine is a two-page article by Joseph Carman of NYCB new apprentice Kaitlyn Gilliland. This isn't the first article I've read about Ms. Gilliland, a dancer Mr. Carman compare to legends like Gelsey Kirkland, Allegra Kent and Maria Calegari. Awesome names!The New York Times wrote a sunday art and leisure article, Dance Spirit Magazine wrote a series of articles about her and other up and coming dancers. She seems to be all over the place and talked about as if she is the second coming of a new era in ballet. This is base mostly on her School of American Ballet workshop performances last June.

My question or questions is did anyone see her performance, what was it like, what special if any gifts she has, is all the press being given to her deserve, and why do you think everyone is so excited about this new dancer who in reality haven't even started her career yet? Thanks.

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Well, for one thing she is the grand daughter of Loyce Houlton and the daughter of Lisa Houlton, so it is a ballet dynasty.

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This isn't the first article I've read about Ms. Gilliland, a dancer Mr. Carman compare to legends like Gelsey Kirkland, Allegra Kent and Maria Calegari. Awesome names!

Funny, when I saw her at the SAB Workshop, I thought she looked like Suzanne Farrell. :)

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I saw her during the SAB workshop and the Balanchine Wall-to-Wall. The W2W came first. I believe she was in the lecture demonstration at the start (I think it was her) and my eye went right to her. I remember here on BA, we sort of looked at the rep. for the workshop and posted that it looked as if there were no standouts (there were no ballets for one star dancer). Kaitlyn Gilliland did the "Dark Angel" role in Serenade and the Wrens in Union Jack. In both, she reminded me of Maria Calegari, with her long reddish blonde hair and her long frame. She was very good in Scherzo a la Russe, too, during the NYCB season.

The cynic in me looks at her connections (as Liebs pointed out) and thinks that might have something to with her run of press. Her younger sister, Raina, also dances.

However, I'm always on the lookout for tall goddess types at SAB and NYCB, the type Balanchine loved and choreographed for. The are very elusive. They appear but then disappear. They need nurturing, which doesn't really happen much at companies (they are like lefthanders in sports). I remember the excitment everybody felt when Meunier triumphed at SAB, then Kowroski, Korbes, Reichlen.

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It is amazing how well that tall, long legged body type tends to play and stand out. And how much it seems to be required at the moment. Look at how quickly Maria Kowroski was brought to the first rank at NYCB. And Michelle Wiles over at ABT.

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True Michael. But they tend to be typecast at NYCB in the glamour girl roles. They always do the "Dark Angel." It would be nice to see one of them as the waltz girl.

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I have raised this question before, but no one has given me an answer or even an opinion: were the roles in SERENADE given the names Dark Angel, Waltz Girl and Russian Girl by Balanchine or are they just points of reference that have developed over the years to clarify who is dancing which role?

In many performances of SERENADE that I have seen, the Dark Angel is the tallest, the Waltz girl medium, and the Russian Girl shortest. I don't know whether that is how it was planned or how it has turned out. One of my favorite SERENADEs was with Karin as Waltz Girl and Calegari as the Angel...they were both quite tall...and Sara Leland was the Russian Girl...not a bad trio. But didn't Karin also do Dark Angel? Or am I hallucinating?

Anyway, the picture of Gilliland in SERENADE at exploredance.com is really lovely...I can see where people are reminded of Gelsey K and and also of Farrell. She has wonderful hair, too. Can't wait to see her onstage at NYCB!

In the same photo, Rachel Piskin made me think of Helene...anyone who makes me think of Helene is bound to pique my interest.

Yesterday, I had my first pre-season dancer sightings: James Fayette and Vincent Paradiso. So, they're back...and the opening is drawing near. Can't wait!

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I have raised this question before, but no one has given me an answer or even an opinion: were the roles in SERENADE given the names Dark Angel, Waltz Girl and Russian Girl by Balanchine or are they just points of reference that have developed over the years to clarify who is dancing which role? 

In many performances of SERENADE that I have seen, the Dark Angel is the tallest, the Waltz girl medium, and the Russian Girl shortest.

No, the roles weren't named, but it makes it easier to discuss the ballet, so that one doesn't keep going, "The first one who dances a pas de deux with the first man...the second one who is the first dancer to fall (but not the second who falls)...the other one who covers the man's eyes...etc... I try to put the so-called role names in quotes, but I see I didn't do it in my second post. And I'm sure we've discussed the three roles of Serenade -- right now Kyra Nichols performs the first woman (there you go) and she is one of the tallest women in the company. I've mostly seen taller women in the role and I think it is because I've seen most of my Serenades at NYCB where there were so many tall women in general who were not limited to just glamour roles. And Ringer, who is one of my favorite leads of Serenade, is not short.

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Dale, I share your praise for Jenifer Ringer in this role...when she first took it on, I was thinking it wouldn't be for her. She made an amazing impression. Ringer's "perfume" has often been mentioned here, and never was it more gorgeously wafted into the theatre than in SERENADE.

Yes, Kyra is very tall but her usual Dark Angel is Kowroski who, if she is not taller than Kyra, has longer legs thus giving an illusion of height. Did Kyra ever do the Dark Angel? That would be something to see, though for me she remains an ideal Waltz girl.

The photo of Gilliland certainly makes me wish they were doing SERENADE this season. I could watch it every night!

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Nichols is my favorite "Russian Girl." I remember when that part was often danced by a nice sized dancer with strong technique and a big jump: Karin von Aroldingen, Merrill Ashley, Nichols, Melinda Roy and others. It's looked a little strange in the past few years with Yvonne Borree, especially the last section where she was so much shorter than the other two women.

Back to Gilliland, Dance View Times had a review of her SAB performance with the lovely photo of Serenade.

http://www.danceviewtimes.com/dvny/reviews.../spring/sab.htm

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I wonder, though, why that body type is such a star-vehicle type today?

It's got to be partly cultural, something to do with the changing image of female beauty in society generally. You could say that Balanchine's choreography in particular requires this type, particulary for roles he made on Farrell. But the vogue for tall women dancers, whose waists -- instead of dividing their bodies equally in two -- are set high on their bodies, with the legs appearing proportionally longer, goes far beyond that choreography, that choreographer, his particular company, or even American companies in general. Diana Vishneyva's proportions, for example, are of this modern type, and there was once no bigger contemporary star in Russian Ballet.

In prior discussions this emploi was termed "neo Classical" or "semi-character classique", indicating the institutionalization, almost, of the body type. It certainly is a good thing for a talented young woman dancer, these days, to be of those proportions.

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Slightly off-topic, but as the discussion has gone this way--

Nichols is my favorite Russian Girl. One performance of hers with Kistler as Waltz Girl and Calegari as Dark Angel was epic. Many good to great jumpers have danced Russian (in fact, during Balanchine's lifetime, I know of no bad jumpers in the role) and several (Hayden, Kent, Ashley, Nichols) have danced both Russian and Waltz, usually in that order of progression. Borree in Russian, as in so many roles, strikes me as the Watts of this period-- that is to say, a scourge, and dancing so OFTEN and so hard to AVOID! :green: Her palpable tension, blatant technical inadequacies, and thinly veiled look of terror ruin nearly every part in which she appears. That said, I thought Gilliland had a lovely look of repose and can see the comparisons to both Farrell (young, of course) and Kirkland.

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Oh, I saw Kaitlyn Gilliland dance in the nutcracker I perform in, she was the Arabian dancer, and it was really pretty. A lot of my friends want to dance that role, and we all thought it was amazing how she could contort legs that long into those weird Arabian moves.

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Was looking back over some old topics and recalled this discussion of Kaitlyn Gilliland who was supposedly to be an apprentice at NYCB. I've never seen her name in the programmes. Does anyone know what became of her?

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Was looking back over some old topics and recalled this discussion of Kaitlyn Gilliland who was supposedly to be an apprentice at NYCB. I've never seen her name in the programmes. Does anyone know what became of her?

Never even heard of the girl? Sorry no help here. :wub:

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I know she started her apprenticeship after the Winter season, unlike the others chosen. So maybe that's why we haven't seen her.

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I hope that this is not considered gossip, It is first hand information. Please delete if inappropriate.

Kaitlyn Gilliland was nursing a knee injury at the SAB workshop in 2004, which required major surgery over the summer and many months of recovery. She began carefully taking classes again at SAB and with NYCB just recently.

It is another sad injury story, but I am anxiously awaiting her return to the stage later this year!

****Edited to add - Kaitlyn was seen frequently watching from the second ring "SAB section" of the State Theater during the Nutcracker and Winter Seasons****

Edited by BalletIsLife

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Sorry to hear that Kaitlyn had an injury. Let's hope she comes back stronger than ever.

Kaitlyn Gilliland appeared along with Tiler Peck and another girl named Rachel (don't know the last name) in the "Webcast of February 2, 2004, Centennial Seminar" at the NYC Ballet website.

New York City Ballet website

I see in the roster that Tiler Peck became a member of the corps de ballet in February 2005. Tiler does an extended solo at minute 13, in Part 2.

Kaitlyn does a solo at minute 29 of Part 2.

Kaitlyn stands out from the others because she's very tall and elegant. I watched this video and thought that I 'liked the tall girl' way more than the other dancers, then I found out it was Kaitlyn! :wub:

Edited by Ari

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The above post was edited to remove a violation of our video link policy. The post also violated the directive at the official web site of the New York City Ballet not to download these videos, but to watch them on the site.

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I also edited nycdog's post because it violated our policy, enunciated here over two weeks ago, that says that any links to videos may be only to the home page of the official website of a professional company. You can indicated in your post how to navigate the site to find the video, but you may only link to the home page itself.

For the video that nycdog referred to, click Education Resources -> Presentations -> Seminars -> Click here for webcasts of centennial seminars -> Click HERE for Webcast of February 2, 2004, Centennial Seminar, Part 2.

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Slightly off-topic, but as the discussion has gone this way--

Borree in Russian, as in so many roles, strikes me as the Watts of this period-- that is to say, a scourge, and dancing so OFTEN and so hard to AVOID!  :green:  Her palpable tension, blatant technical inadequacies, and thinly veiled look of terror ruin nearly every part in which she appears. That said, I thought Gilliland had a lovely look of repose and can see the comparisons to both Farrell (young, of course) and Kirkland.

Tempusfugit

I couldn't agree more on Borree. Her frequent casting is a puzzle to me. And yes, she's hard to avoid.

On a more positive note I look forward

to seeing Ms Gilliland, she sounds like a very appealing performer

Richard

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Kaitlyn Gilliland appeared along with Tiler Peck and another girl named Rachel (don't know the last name) in the "Webcast of February 2, 2004, Centennial Seminar"  at the NYC Ballet website.

It's Rachel Piskin.

Thank you for drawing this video to my attention. I just finished watching Part I, and was totally enthralled. These girls are wonderful representatives of the Balanchine style. At their advanced student level (this was filmed during the Balanchine 100 celebration) they already dance like full-fledged company members.

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Thank you for the link to the videos on NYCB's website! I had no idea they were there and i'm very much enjoying them! I must say I really enjoyed Tyler Peck(sp?). The others were nice, but just something about her and maybe it was her variation too, but she was very enjoyable to watch.

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Imagine being chosen as an Apprentice and then getting injured. What a sad situation! Hope she's dancing again soon and that we'll get to make her acquaintance onstage.

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Tiler Peck is very beautiful and certainly a talented dancer, she reminds me of Sarah Jessica Parker except much better looking. One thing I noticed in the video at the NYCB website, next to Kay Mazzo Tiler appears small, which would seem impossible since Mazzo is not exactly the Jolly Green Giant. I read somewhere that Tiler is 4' 10" ?

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