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carbro

Jock Soto Retirement

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With apologies to Joni Mitchell:

Tears and cheers, and feeling proud

to say "I love you right" out loud.

The last would have been from Wendy, as she embraced Jock in the curtain calls. Not out loud, perhaps, but easily lip-readable from the Fourth Ring.

Much to my surprise, I was more deeply affected by the calls for Jock's retirement than those for Peter's. And I think that was because unlike Peter, Jock built his career largely on his extraordinary gifts as a partner. The intimacy of his work with Wendy over their years together could not have been simply professional compatibility. As one human being to another, they communicated at a very primal level, as well as a very spiritual one. Seeing one leave while the other stayed gave the event extra resonance.

The great joy of the afternoon was seeing Jennie and Pascale both looking so good in Chiaroscuro after their extended absences.

How did you react?

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Aww...Wendy said all that? (sorry a little confused hehe)

I wish I could have been there... I was so touched after seeing After the Rain, and I wanted so badly to see it once more, but I couldn't. Hope to hear more!

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Sorry. Wendy mouthed "I love you."

It was also quite a marathon. Good thing for Jock he doesn't have to dance tomorrow. I expect he will be quite sore from head to toe. I'd be surprised if he even bothered to get out of bed, unless for a hot bath.

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Actually, the dancing all afternoon seemed somehow secondary to the personalities involved and to the giant family celebration at the end. The WEST SIDE STORY scene was over before it began; the BARBER VIOLIN, CHIAROSCURO and AFTER THE RAIN all beautifully danced but for me they seemed to pass by as in a dream.

UNION JACK was a very good choice for the finale...as carbro quotes Joni Mitchell, so will I: "Leave 'em laughing when you go..." Everyone onstage had a joyous time; Damian stole the show in dance terms and hilariously grabbed Jock away from Maria Kowroski and led him in an impromptu waltz. Jock, striking "muscle man" poses, raised his trouser leg to show us his calf muscle. During the final semaphore salute, dear Albert Evans made a blatant signalling error for which he was "scolded" by Peter Martins during the bows; I think Alex Ansanelli also got her flags crossed at one point. By this time the entire company seemed in an odd state of euphoric sadness.

The massive ovations and showers of flowers went on for several minutes; each of the principal women brought out a bouquet for Jock (including those who weren't dancing in the Gala - such as Kyra and Janie Taylor) and then all the principal men carted out a massive floral tribute. Chris Wheeldon and Peter Martins also were on hand. At one point Jock "found" a $100 bill among the confetti; he held it up but Peter swiped it away and pocketed it - good fund-raising, Peter! The entire company appeared and surrounded Jock.

I didn't feel it was a sad afternoon at all although I got misty after CHIAROSCURO and as Jock & Wendy took their final bows together. But he has had a phenomenal career in every respect and now he deserves to give his body a break and enjoy his other interests. Watching the beauty the dancers create, we sometimes forget the sheer drudgery and the blood, sweat & tears that go into keeping the body in shape day after day, year after year.

I do feel compelled to mention how wonderfully Darci danced the BARBER and what a romp Wendy had in her sailor suit. And yes, it was just great to have Pascale & Jennie back.

Jock alone onstage at the end of CHIAROSCURO is a picture I will always retain. Bravo, and thank you, Jock!!

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It was such a heartfelt performance in so many ways. A tribute for Jock that

he scripted himself to pay tribute to 5 choreographers and as many dancers

who would fit onstage. He looked so happy - they were all having such a great

time. It wasn't as sad as Peter's farewell because he will still be around the

theater - teaching, coaching , and being everyone's friend. What a wonderful

send off. What a wonderful day. Only one bit of sad news - at the Fourth Ring

Discussion we were informed that Carla Korbes is leaving to join PNB with

Peter. We will really miss her.

When I heard the laughter during the flag signals I thought maybe they

were spelling out J-O-C-K S-O-T-O. But I guess not too many audience

members can read them!

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No, Balanchinomane, the semaphores seemed to spell "God Save the Queen." I don't read semaphore, but I can count the characters between spaces, and I recognize when they're repeated -- such as four E's in close succession. I think they were laughing at Alex's little goof.

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The moment that will stay with me is Jock's "embrace" of the audience at the end of Chiaroscuro & yes, oberon, I was blubbing, too.

The most remarkable performance, I thought, was the Barber. I didn't think anyone could replace Kate Johnson but Bouder certainly has. I initially thought the ballet would never work without the original cast but I have to take that back. It worked better than ever with this cast: Darci, dancing exceptionally well, really "got" the role, moreso than Merrill Ashley. Askegaard is Adam's equal (in this ballet) & Jock has all the requisite weight & angst. Well played, too.

Ah, my two favorite guys are gone but leaving at the top of their game. If you gotta go, that's the way to do it.

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I didn't think the Barber would ever work without the original cast either. The fact that it does has been largely due to Jock, who could do anything. It's one more reason he will be missed.

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I wasn't at the 4th Ring discussion so wasn't aware that Carla's departure was "official" but I could tell by the weeping corps girls and all the heartfelt hugs she was receiving outside the stage door that this was her last appearance at the NYS Theatre. When Peter Boal was announced as accepting the position in Seattle, my partner immediately said" "He will take Carla with him."

Saw alot of "departed" NYCB dancers during the course of the afternoon, including Stuart Capps and the drop-dead-gorgeous Lindy Mandradjieff.

I did think that the BARBER was very impressive, beautifully danced by all four and one of Peter's best creations.

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sorry slightly off-topic. BUT....

Has Lindy Mandradjieff retired? That's a loss!!

She was here at SFB wondeful dancer, and we all hated to see her go to City aballet --

When i was in New yOurk a couple of years ago, I saw her in the corps in Brahms-Schoenberg, looking marvellous...... and missed her all over again....

has she quit dancing or ogne somewhere else?

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I think you saw one of Lindy's last NYCB perfs., Paul (Spring 2003, right?). She blossomed in the last few months -- dancing on a larger scale, just letting the music carry her. It made her departure all the more regrettable.

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I think you saw one of Lindy's last NYCB perfs., Paul (Spring 2003, right?).  She  blossomed in the last few months -- dancing on a larger scale, just letting the music carry her.  It made her departure all the more regrettable.

oh no, carla is leaving.

I'm already depressed after having seen the last NYCB performance until November.

We loved the 2pm Saturday matinee ,and my wife felt it was never funnier.

I could not get two tickets for the 19th , and envy all of you who were there.

Does that magnificent man/dancer Jock know that being a restauranteur is even more difficult than being a primo danseur.?

Jennie is back, and Janie is back.

The pas in "MND" with jennifer and Charles was beautiful.

We are trying to manipulate a trip to Saratoga for an NYCB fix, but the logistics are cumbersome.

To the balletomanes starting with alexandra and carbro and oberon and bobbi and leigh, I send much thanks for your knowledge. I left out too many others and I apologize, but we just arrived home at 11 p.m., and I am off to bed.

Ciao.

jim

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