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Natalia

Balanchine Triple Bill, Nov. 2004

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It seems like a perfect triple bill: Slaughter-Four Ts-Ballo della Regina. Anybody else from this forum going? I have tix for the Saturday night presentation.

Would appreciate any insights on who-to-look-out-for from our Pa Ballet regulars, as I haven't seen this company in ages. Thanks.

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HI Natalia! Yes, I will be there Thursday and Saturday nights and Sunday matinee.

Infact, just did my ticketing last night after finding out about casting. I hope that PABallet will post the casts so you can see who is danicng what. (Or you can PM me.)

I can tell you that there is one cast for Wed, Sat eve. and Sun. matinee. Another cast for Thurs and Sat. matinee.....Friday is a gala event where the company will be dancing Slaughter and continuing to dinner afterwards.....I am excitied to see this program too. A wonderful Balanchine mix :)

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I'm waiting for the casting to come out before buying my tickets. Dancers to look for are Amy Aldridge, Arantxa Ochoa and Riolama Lorenzo. I'm also looking forward to seeing Julie Diana, late of SFB, with her new company.

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I believe the program is actually Slaughter, Ballo and Agon (not Four T's). But I agree what a wonderful rep. Can't wait to see these three performed by PABallet. I will be attending a few performances so hopefully I will be able to see both casts. :)

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I'm waiting for the casting to come out before buying my tickets.  Dancers to look for are Amy Aldridge, Arantxa Ochoa and Riolama Lorenzo.  I'm also looking forward to seeing Julie Diana, late of SFB, with her new company.

Zachary Hench has also moved to PA Ballet from San Fco, right?

The only familiar name to me is Arantxa Ochoa, who starred in the Pa. Ballet's Midsummer Night's Dream the last time that I saw them live...4-5 years ago, perhaps. Ochoa was a wonderful Titania then.

Oh...and I remember (barely) the exotic Riolama Lorenzo from her NYCB corps days. I was wondering whatever became of her.

Agon is fine, too...another of my favorite Balanchine b&w's! Thanks for the info, everyone.

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Here's the casting:

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 at 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 6, 2004 at 8:00 p.m.

BALLO DELLA REGINA

(Company Premiere)

Leads: AMY ALDRIDGE, ZACHARY HENCH

Demis: Valerie Amiss, Heidi Cruz, Tara Keating, Jennifer Smith

Rebecca Azenberg, Laura Bowman, Christine Cox, Ashley Flood, Jessica Gattinella, Elysia Lichtine, Abigail Mentzer, Meredith Reffner, Hawley Rowe, Barette Vance, Emily Waters, Gabriella Yudenich

AGON

First Pas de Trois

Sarabande Alexei Borovik

Gailliard Heidi Cruz, Tara Keating

Second Pas de Trois

Bransle Simple James Ady, Neil Marshall

Bransle Gay Martha Chamberlain

Pas de Deux Arantxa Ochoa, Meredith Rainey

SLAUGHTER ON TENTH AVENUE

Hoofer PHILIP COLUCCI

Strip Tease Girl JULIE DIANA

Big Boss DAVID KRENSING

Bartenders Brian Debes, Meredith Rainey

Thug Neil Marshall

Policemen James Ady, James Ihde,

Jonathan Stiles

Morrosine, premier danseur noble ALEXEI BOROVIK

Gangster Michel Antoine Braun

Thursday, November 4, 2004 at 8:00 p.m.

BALLO: ARANTXA OCHOA JAMES ADY

AGON:

First Pas de Trois

Sarabande Zachary Hench

Gailliard Valerie Amiss, Jessica Gattinella

Second Pas de Trois

Bransle Simple Matthew Neenan, André Vytoptov

Bransle Gay Julie Diana

Pas de Deux Riolama Lorenzo, James Ihde

SLAUGHTER:

Hoofer JONATHAN STILES

Strip Tease Girl AMY ALDRIDGE

Big Boss DAVID KRENSING

Bartenders Alexei Charov, André Vytoptov

Thug Neil Marshall

Policemen Jamar Goodman, Matthew Neenan,

Meredith Rainey

Morrosine, premier danseur noble ALEXANDER IZILIAEV

Saturday, November 6, 2004 at 2:00 p.m.

Same cast as Friday, except Ballo leads:

MARTHA CHAMBERLAIN JONATHAN STILES

Sunday, November 7, 2004 at 2:00 p.m.

Same cast as Thursday, except Ochoa does lead in Ballo and Agon.

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Thanks, Dale...but I'm sorry to be missing Riolama. :)

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What's the cast for Friday? I don't see it except for the changes.

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Friday is the Gala and only Slaughter is being performed at 6:30 pm, dinner and dancing follow at another location. It is not a public perfomance.

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I asked because the casts for the matinees are listed as "Same as Friday."

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Sorry Ari, that day is the same as Thursday, and I corrected it. Natalia, Lorenzo is only performing the pas de deux in Agon. I also would have loved to see her in Slaughter, but we have to remember, she is not a principal.

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Oh dear. I am confused now too.....I was under the impression that Saturday matinee was Thursday evenings cast except with Chamberlain/Stiles in Ballo. And Sunday matinee was Wednesday evenings cast with Ochoa dancing both Ballo and Agon........ :P

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Well, I didn't want to post the entire casting from the Playbill, but I don't want people to be confused. So, I'll post the entire cast list for all the days.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2004 at 8:00 p.m.

ACADEMY OF MUSIC

BALLO DELLA REGINA

(Company Premiere)

AMY ALDRIDGE ZACHARY HENCH

Valerie Amiss Heidi Cruz Tara Keating Jennifer Smith

Rebecca Azenberg, Laura Bowman, Christine Cox, Ashley Flood, Jessica Gattinella, Elysia Lichtine,

Abigail Mentzer, Meredith Reffner, Hawley Rowe, Barette Vance, Emily Waters, Gabriella Yudenich

- INTERMISSION -

AGON

First Pas de Trois

Sarabande Alexei Borovik

Gailliard Heidi Cruz, Tara Keating

Coda Alexei Borovik,

Heidi Cruz, Tara Keating

Second Pas de Trois

Bransle Simple James Ady, Neil Marshall

Bransle Gay Martha Chamberlain

Bransle Double (de Poitou) Martha Chamberlain,

James Ady, Neil Marshall

Pas de Deux Arantxa Ochoa, Meredith Rainey

SLAUGHTER ON TENTH AVENUE

Hoofer PHILIP COLUCCI

Strip Tease Girl JULIE DIANA

Big Boss DAVID KRENSING

Bartenders Brian Debes, Meredith Rainey

Thug Neil Marshall

Policemen James Ady, James Ihde,

Jonathan Stiles

Morrosine, premier danseur noble ALEXEI BOROVIK

Gangster Michel Antoine Braun

Ladies of the Ballet Laura Bowman, Ashley Flood,

Hawley Rowe, Barette Vance,

Emily Waters, Gabriella Yudenich

Gentlemen of the Ballet Thomas Baltrushunas, Yosbel Delgado,

Jermel Johnson, Michael Patterson

Thursday, November 4, 2004 at 8:00 p.m.

ACADEMY OF MUSIC

BALLO DELLA REGINA

ARANTXA OCHOA JAMES ADY

Valerie Amiss Heidi Cruz Tara Keating Jennifer Smith

Rebecca Azenberg, Laura Bowman, Christine Cox, Ashley Flood, Jessica Gattinella, Elysia Lichtine,

Abigail Mentzer, Meredith Reffner, Hawley Rowe, Barette Vance, Emily Waters, Gabriella Yudenich

AGON

First Pas de Trois

Sarabande Zachary Hench

Gailliard Valerie Amiss, Jessica Gattinella

Coda Zachary Hench,

Valerie Amiss, Jessica Gattinella

Second Pas de Trois

Bransle Simple Matthew Neenan, André Vytoptov

Bransle Gay Julie Diana

Bransle Double (de Poitou) Julie Diana,

Matthew Neenan, André Vytoptov

Pas de Deux Riolama Lorenzo, James Ihde

SLAUGHTER ON TENTH AVENUE

Hoofer JONATHAN STILES

Strip Tease Girl AMY ALDRIDGE

Big Boss DAVID KRENSING

Bartenders Alexei Charov, André Vytoptov

Thug Neil Marshall

Policemen Jamar Goodman, Matthew Neenan,

Meredith Rainey

Morrosine, premier danseur noble ALEXANDER IZILIAEV

Gangster Philip Colucci

------------------------

Saturday, November 6, 2004 at 2:00 p.m.

BALLO DELLA REGINA

MARTHA CHAMBERLAIN JONATHAN STILES

Valerie Amiss Heidi Cruz Tara Keating Jennifer Smith

AGON

First Pas de Trois

Sarabande Zachary Hench

Gailliard Valerie Amiss, Jessica Gattinella

Coda Zachary Hench,

Valerie Amiss, Jessica Gattinella

Second Pas de Trois

Bransle Simple Matthew Neenan, André Vytoptov

Bransle Gay Julie Diana

Bransle Double (de Poitou) Julie Diana,

Matthew Neenan, André Vytoptov

Pas de Deux Riolama Lorenzo, James Ihde

SLAUGHTER ON TENTH AVENUE

Hoofer JONATHAN STILES

Strip Tease Girl AMY ALDRIDGE

Big Boss DAVID KRENSING

Bartenders Alexei Charov, André Vytoptov

Thug Neil Marshall

Policemen Jamar Goodman, Matthew Neenan,

Meredith Rainey

Morrosine, premier danseur noble ALEXANDER IZILIAEV

Gangster Philip Colucci

--------------------

Saturday, November 6, 2004 at 8:00 p.m.

BALLO DELLA REGINA

AMY ALDRIDGE ZACHARY HENCH

Valerie Amiss Heidi Cruz Tara Keating Jennifer Smith

AGON

First Pas de Trois

Sarabande Alexei Borovik

Gailliard Heidi Cruz, Tara Keating

Coda Alexei Borovik,

Heidi Cruz, Tara Keating

Second Pas de Trois

Bransle Simple James Ady, Neil Marshall

Bransle Gay Martha Chamberlain

Bransle Double (de Poitou) Martha Chamberlain,

James Ady, Neil Marshall

Pas de Deux Arantxa Ochoa, Meredith Rainey

SLAUGHTER ON TENTH AVENUE

Hoofer PHILIP COLUCCI

Strip Tease Girl JULIE DIANA

Big Boss DAVID KRENSING

Bartenders Brian Debes, Meredith Rainey

Thug Neil Marshall

Policemen James Ady, James Ihde,

Jonathan Stiles

Morrosine, premier danseur noble ALEXEI BOROVIK

Gangster Michel Antoine Braun

------------------

Sunday, November 7, 2004 at 2:00 p.m.

BALLO DELLA REGINA

ARANTXA OCHOA JAMES ADY

Valerie Amiss Heidi Cruz Tara Keating Jennifer Smith

AGON

First Pas de Trois

Sarabande Alexei Borovik

Gailliard Heidi Cruz, Tara Keating

Coda Alexei Borovik,

Heidi Cruz, Tara Keating

Second Pas de Trois

Bransle Simple James Ady, Neil Marshall

Bransle Gay Martha Chamberlain

Bransle Double (de Poitou) Martha Chamberlain,

James Ady, Neil Marshall

Pas de Deux Arantxa Ochoa, Meredith Rainey

SLAUGHTER ON TENTH AVENUE

Hoofer JONATHAN STILES

Strip Tease Girl AMY ALDRIDGE

Big Boss DAVID KRENSING

Bartenders Alexei Charov, André Vytoptov

Thug Neil Marshall

Policemen Jamar Goodman, Matthew Neenan,

Meredith Rainey

Morrosine, premier danseur noble ALEXANDER IZILIAEV

Gangster Philip Colucci

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Hmm, I can only go to a matinee. On the one hand, I've never seen Ochoa - on the other hand, I don't want to miss Lorenzo. Perhaps I shall have to find a way to go to both!!

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I just got tickets for Wed night, the Thurs night Gala and Saturday Matinee. Can not wait.....

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:) I'm only in town for a day, and I'm going to miss Rio in Agon! I remember watching her in awe from the studio doorways at Harid and Boston Ballet School years ago.

well, I can't be too upset - I feel so lucky PAB is actually performing while I'm in Philly. Does anyone know if they give student discounts?

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According to PA Ballet's website, they offer student rush tickets. The tickets are available 1/2 hour prior to each performance. Valid Student ID is required and the tickets are just 1/2 price. Sounds like a great deal. Just remember to take your ID with you and hope that it is not totally sold out.

I am planning to attend the Saturday and Sunday matinees. I'm really looking forward to seeing them.

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Riolama Lorenzo is out with an injury and will not dance Agon. But I enjoyed opening night, with excellent performances all around (can't say more, see Dance View Times next week). Anybody else see the first night?

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I saw the performance on Wed., generally excellent all around. Some of the tempos were very fast--I heard they had very little orchestra rehearsal, the norm these days--and the dancers handled them so well. I think Zachary Hench was technically excellent, though I imagine some might fault his (too?)- calm demeanor. Amy Aldridge was very good, although her back attitudes and arabesques were sometimes droopy. The pas de deux in Agon was technically good, though it lacked an fullness of movement at times. The orchestra really flubbed a few spots, notably the male duet where one trumpet missed many bars of music--turning a canon into a solo. The audience noticed none of this, clapping, it seems, after every "hard" step. (I know, I should be HAPPY viewers express enthusiasm, esp. on a Wednesday night!)

Did anyone read the review in the Inky? SO many innacuracies and passages that belie a lack of viewing/listening experience. For instance, the writer says that Ballo is "set to outtakes from Verdi's opera Don Carlo"--outtakes!--and for another, "the music often has too much pomp for this light and pretty ballet." I think this betrays a lack of experience with ballet music; think of other "pompous" music in Sylvia, Copelia, etc.--music that is resonant for thinking about Verdi and Don Carlo since Don Carlo was composed for the Paris Opera. Did the writer consider that the "lightnees" she identifies relates to Ballo's"Frenchness"? Or did she see the "swimming" gestures that allude to the "underwater" setting of the ballet in the narrative of the Opera?

P.S. Do Philadelphians know that this it the ballet in which former PB director Robert Weiss tore his achilles (doing brises voles)? In 1981 or 2, I think. That was a harrowing performance (insert toothless greyhaired long-bearded smiley face)--Merrill did *everything* by herself, including that pirouette that stops w/a developee a la seconde; then that leg bends, in staccato stops, as she kneels (eek I hope that makes sense!) .

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Yes, Rio Lama is injured :) Wishing her speedy healing of foot!

I viewed Thursday nights cast and was impressed by the program as a whole.

Attendence was great and full of enthusiasm, especially for a Thursday evening :blush: I would love to write more when time permits........Arancha was stellar and what a super addition to the company are Hench and Julie Diana dancing Agon at this performance.

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I went to the Saturday night performance -- a 'DELIGHT' all around!

BALLO DELLA REGINA

'Ballo' is a perfect program opener with its classical mode and majestic Verdi score. The long-legged Amy Aldridge tackled the demands of the ballerina role with ease; her 1000-watt smile was infectuous! Like Ray, I noticed a bit of back-straining when she tried to sustain arabesques...on the other hand, her jetes and fillligreed pointe work -- esp. the 'four corners' solo -- were fantastic! Zachary Hench was a magnificent bird with his quick-paced leaps! The demi-solo ladies were also very impressive, especially Heidi Cruz' jetes. The corps ladies were crisp & in synch. The orchestra was quite good on Saturday; they must have 'fixed' the opening-night bloops.

AGON

A true masterpiece of Balanchine among the three ballets performed tonight...and done justice by the Pennsylvania Ballet, IMO. The highly-charged -- 'HOT!' whispered a guy seated beside me -- central pas de deux, by Aranxta Ochoa and Meredith Rainey, is now firmly enshrined in my "Greatest Moments in Ballet-Going Life" list!!! Finally I see and understand the erotic tension of this pas de deux, as it must have been for the 1957 audience seeing Diana Adams and Arthur Mitchell. [The Darcey Bussells and Darci Kistlers, with their respective partners, never did it for me...just went through a series of impressive gymnastic stances...Ochoa & Rainey had the tension in their bodies -- rather than faces -- to make us go 'Wow!' Interestingly, this is the first time that I see this pdd 'live' in which the lady is significantly shorter than the man...and Rainey appears to be VERY tall...making some of Ochoa's movements necessarily a bit more strained than those I've seen before, at NYCB, the Bolshoi, and elsewhere. ] The rest of the ballet was decently danced but that pas de deux was THE highlight.

I was tempted to leave the theater & savor the memories of the Agon pas de deux right then & there. Luckily, I decided to stay on for the silliness of that Balanchinean trifle:

SLAUGHTER on 10th AVENUE

It was cute - it was fun - the audience adored it (as it did the two previous ballets). Most importantly: Had I left earlier, I would have missed the socko performance of Julie Diana, so thin, flexible, slinky & having the time of her life. On the other hand, Philip Colucci was not the funniest of hoofers I've ever seen -- but he was funny enough. The corps seemed to be enjoying themselves almost as much as we in the audience. What a boisterous -- City Center-style -- audience we had at the Philly Academy of Music, last Saturday night. They were the icing on top of the cake!

- Natalia Nabatova

Washington, DC

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I went to the Sunday matinee - what a fantastic program. The dancers seemed to be having a great time and that made it the experience extra enjoyable. All the ballets were new to me so this is a very rough review.

Ballo della Regina was beautiful - a wonderful world of mermaids. Is it really very short or was I just enjoying it so much? All the dancers were very sharp. Arantxa Ochoa breezed through the Merril Ashley part with so much grace. Heidi Cruz is an audience favourite but I wasn't that impressed with her in this ballet. The problem may be her tights that are quite unflattering. She seems to wear the same tights as the 'white' girls and that cuts her line, as there is a sharp difference between her arms and her legs. The costumes were gorgeous but I couldn't understand why the soloists were in pink. After reading the program notes, I suppose they were pearls??

Agon - what can I say, I'm just a sucker for 20th century modernism :blush: I haven't been blown away like this since the first time I saw The Four Ts. Seriously though, it's completely different - Agon is more formal and yet more playful. It looks like a ballet about dancing - the way the dancers bow and acknowledge the audience after some of the sections, the dancers clapping to each other's solos, the catch-me-if-you-can canon sections - so the tension between Ochoa and Rainey (as Natalia said, very hot) in the Pas de Deux is erotic without being menacing.

Slaughter was very light weight and IMHO Robbins does this better. I suppose this way the audience can leave humming a tune (unless you're tone deaf like myself and then you can only hum the Three Blind Mice bit from Slaughter). That said, it was laugh out loud funny at times and well executed. In fact, the two ladies next to me left at the end of the 'ballet within the ballet' as it really seemed that the curtain was coming down... Aay Aldridge was the Stripper and I have never seen a costume make such a difference in a performer: In the white dress she was a ballet dancer pretending to be a stripper and I was bored. The second she came out in the black dress, she was a sexy cabaret dancer having the time of her life.

Now that I've seen the PA Ballet giving Balanchine all they've got, I'm really looking forward to them doing Ashton (La Fille mal Gardee) in March.

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'Wow!' Interestingly, this is the first time that I see this pdd 'live' in which the lady is significantly shorter than the man...and Rainey appears to be VERY tall...making some of Ochoa's movements necessarily a bit more strained than those I've seen before, at NYCB, the Bolshoi, and elsewhere. ] The rest of the ballet was decently danced but that pas de deux was THE highlight.

Just a footnote: I don't remember Meredith Rainey as being unusually tall in real life... tall, but not VERY tall... it must have been very effective casting. He always was wonderful in Agon. I think last time I saw him in it he was opposite Leslie Carothers (who is fairly tall herself -- with the line to match). It must be interesting to watch a dancer improve over the years in a role. I can believe he really "owns" it now.

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