Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Wonderful Nutcracker GalaA wonderful party, kudos OBT


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 dancelova

dancelova

    New Member

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 09 November 2004 - 09:26 PM

Did anyone else attend the Oregon Ballet Theatre Nutcracker Gala at NIKE last Saturday night? The event was fabulous--held at the Tiger Woods Center and attended by patrons from CA, AZ, ME and MA to mention a few. A sold out party with lovely dancing by the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre (now under the direction of Damara Bennett--a classy women that I had the priviledge of chatting with during the event) and decorated with the most beautiful of OBT's principal dancers, including last month's Black Swan Yuka Iino and longtime OBT dancer Anne Mueller.

Anyone else? Comments? Don't miss the next event.

#2 Watermill

Watermill

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 347 posts

Posted 30 November 2004 - 09:54 PM

Sorry I missed this post, dancelova: So firstly: welcome !
Secondly, I was not able to attend but did hear good things about this event.
Please continue to help me spread the word of the exciting new changes at OBT.
Enjoy the Nutcracker!

Watermill

#3 BW

BW

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,048 posts

Posted 26 December 2004 - 04:45 PM

Spoke to my niece today. She, who cut her teeth on NYCB's Nutcracker and spent her formative years in the audience as well, attended OBT's Nutcracker recently and felt very let down. She described the costumes and scenery as being very gaudy, tacky and lack lustre... also said she felt she there was very little classical ballet dancing. :wacko:

Granted it's hard to see new takes on the old theme, sometimes... Anyone else have any reports, in addition to those from the gala? Was my niece too harsh? On target? :)

#4 Watermill

Watermill

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 347 posts

Posted 26 December 2004 - 07:15 PM

Hi, BW: Having seen NYCB's production many years ago as well as OBT's, I'd say there's not much comparison except when OBT's better soloists are shining brightly through Mr. B's second act choreography. But why should there be? Last time I checked, NYCB's annual budget was north of 50 million. OBT's is south of 5.
As a NYC & Boston ballet goer for many years, I really got the cultural bends when I moved here. If your niece has made a similar move, she's probably going through the same. Tell her to hang in there: Christopher Stowell's accomplishments at OBT have been nearly miraculous...except for the Nutcracker. Let's give him some time to gather the money for a better production.
I'll try to submit my thoughts on the performance I saw when time permits. Would love to hear other opinions!

Watermill

#5 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,349 posts

Posted 26 December 2004 - 09:42 PM

also said she felt she there was very little classical ballet dancing. :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I saw the OBT Production last year, and, yes, the costumes and sets are very low budget, but the choreography was the same version that NYCB performs. Did your niece see a change in the choregraphy from what she was used to?

#6 BW

BW

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,048 posts

Posted 27 December 2004 - 10:31 AM

Yes, Watermill, I am sure you've hit it with the budget differences, to say the least, and you're so right about the "culture" shock - the lack of a live orchestra threw her, too. hockeyfan228, I'm not 100% sure what she meant when she made the comment about classical dancing, but she seemed to feel that there was very little real ballet dancing. I'll have to question her more closely.

And when I do speak to her again, I will indeed encourage her not to give up but to go back to see another performance of a ballet she is not so familiar with... I think I recall a discussion about a summer performance venue outside in the city - that might be a nice reintroduction. If either of you can point me in the direction of this, do let me know.

Many thanks!

#7 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,349 posts

Posted 27 December 2004 - 12:05 PM

I'm not sure about a summer venue in Portland, but Oregon Ballet Theater is performing two more programs this winter/spring:

March 5-12:

In the Night, Chopin/Jerome Robbins
New Work, Christopher Stowell
Concerto Grosso, Handel/Charles Czarny

Stowell's first ballet for OBT was a pas de deux that got good reviews. Czarny's ballet has been performed by a number of companies, including Nederlands Dans Theater (1971), Richmond Ballet, Ballet Victoria (Australia), and BalletMet. The OBT site describes it as, "Dutch-based choreographer Charles Czarny's exuberant tribute to Olympic competition. Drawing its movement vocabulary from calisthenics, boxing, soccer, speed skating and karate, the ballet celebrates the grace of sports and the athleticism of dance. "

May 13-28:

Opus 50, Tchaikovsky/Christopher Stowell. (His first ballet for SFB.)
New Work, Yuri Possokhov
Company B, Andrew Sisters/Paul Taylor

Possokhov's Magrittomania was part of SFB's rep during it's recent London tour, and was scheduled for the Bolshoi Ballet at the beginning of this month.

This program will be danced at the Newmark Theater, a beautiful, jewel-box theater, different than the much larger Keller Auditorium.

It's really too bad that your niece went to one of the performances without live orchestra. The orchestra played very well last year in the Nutcracker performance I saw. OBT has a live music fund, and there may very well be a live pianist for In the Night and a live piano trio for Opus 50. Without knowing the music for the two new pieces, it's hard to say whether they might be performed live. But she should give OBT another chance. I personally think the Company is strong enough to warrant the hotel and train fare for two-three trips a year to see them.

And there's always Amtrak to Seattle to see Pacific Northwest Ballet:

Feb 3-13: All Stravinsky
Apollo Balanchine (complete version)
Firebird Kent Stowell (the costumes, on display in the lobby during Nutcracker are gorgeous
Rite of Spring Tetley

Mar 17-27: Merry Widow Lehar/Hynd

April 14-24: American Choreographers
New works by Christopher Stowell and Paul Gibson (former SFB and PNB principal dancer)
Lambarena Bach&traditional African music/Caniparoli

Jun 2-12: Silver Lining Kern/Kent Stowell. This is Stowell and Russell's farewell.

#8 BW

BW

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,048 posts

Posted 28 December 2004 - 05:39 AM

Thanks for taking the time to post all that information, hockeyfan! I'll pass the word along for sure. :)

#9 XTX

XTX

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts

Posted 31 May 2005 - 05:51 PM

I think I recall a discussion about a summer performance venue outside in the city - that might be a nice reintroduction. If either of you can point me in the direction of this, do let me know.


You're talking about "OBT Exposed!" It's not a performance, but a very popular opportunity to observe a few days in the life of a professional dancer. The audience watches OBT company members go through their normal schedule of full class and day-long rehearsals. The schedule is something like 10:00 to 4:00, if I remember correctly.

You're expected to be fairly quiet--after all, it's their "office"--but it's certainly a more relaxed atmosphere than a performance would be. You're welcome to come and go, eat your lunch, and (at certain times) even ask questions.

"OBT Exposed!" is held under a large tent in Portland's South park blocks (between Eighth and Ninth, near Salmon) around the end of summer. The OBT office will have the exact dates. Their number is 503-227-0977.

#10 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 31 May 2005 - 06:18 PM

It sounds really fascinating! Is this a fundraising event, XTX?

Oh, and welcome to BalletTalk! :) We have a few OBT followers here, as you can see, and their reports indicate that Christopher Stowell is indeed working miracles, to echo Watermill's term. I hope you'll become an active participant in these discussions!

#11 XTX

XTX

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts

Posted 31 May 2005 - 06:45 PM

It sounds really fascinating!  Is this a fundraising event, XTX?

It's VERY enjoyable, and it's absolutely FREE!

Edited by XTX, 31 May 2005 - 11:31 PM.


#12 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 01 June 2005 - 05:08 AM

Thanks, XTX, for this information. I hope you will "review" the event when it occurs at what I assume will be the beginning of Oregon Ballet Theater's rehearsal season.

This sounds like a wonderful way to increase visibility for the company and de-mystify the backstage process. So many local and regional companies seem to have difficulty creating and maintaining community identification and pride.

For example, Ballet Florida, here in Palm Beach County, has a similar size and repertory to OBT's and might benefit from such exposure. It has a loyal fan base, but has to struggle to expand awareness, get attention in the pop-culture-dominated media, and sell tickets to those who don't see of dance as something esssential to their lives. There's been a steady changeover of p.r. and community outreach personnel and strategies. Maybe they -- and other similarly positioned companies -- could learn from this OBT event.

#13 XTX

XTX

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts

Posted 01 June 2005 - 07:32 AM

This sounds like a wonderful way to increase visibility for the company and de-mystify the backstage process.

Yes, it is.

I've always been impressed by the appreciative attention this gets from "regular folks." I have the feeling that many of those who arrive with little or no knowledge about ballet leave with a new (or at least heightened) interest and a sense that ballet is something real people do and real people can watch and enjoy. That's got to be good for the company and for dance in general.

(For related information, see the "Exposed series" thread, where Watermill describes a visit to last year's "OBT Exposed!" presentation.)

Edited by XTX, 01 June 2005 - 07:35 AM.



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):