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TutuMaker

Kennedy Center Performance

55 posts in this topic

Thanks, TutuMaker! This gives a lot of folks something to look forward to. You included, it seems! :)

I know that Farrell's company was never intended to be a Balanchine museum, but that's what draws me to it (and the excellent dancing of those works). I'm disappointed that in quantity, the Bejart overshadows the Balanchine, and I'm not so crazy about the Balanchine they are doing.

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I will continue with my mantra...West Coast, West Coast, West Coast...

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I second your mantra, Tutumaker.

Saw them a few years ago at Royce Hall (in which Peter Boal guested in Apollo --aah!) Would love to see them come back (and this time I'll get better seats than the third row!)

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Years ago, having read that Balanchine had said of Bejart's Rite of Spring, "You can't do it, but it's the best one," I took advantage of an opportunity to see Bejart's company perform it, and I remember having a pretty good time with it, so I'm looking forward to seeing it some more. (There are a lot of men in it, as I recall, and it will be interesting to see how Farrell meets this challenge. I think she will meet it; she seldoms misses her chosen target, and then not by much. The recent Don Quixote, for example.)

I say, "pretty good," because I remember being a little underwhelmed by Part II, when the women join the cast, because having watched so much Balanchine, I tended to expect things to rise to a still-higher plane when women danced, and that didn't seem to happen. Maybe men are M. Bejart's forte. But I think it's a very good choice. (Salome preceded Rite on that program, and remember thinking it was pretty silly.)

No, Farrell's company isn't a Balanchine museum, carbro, more of a garden, full of living organisms which restore us when we visit; it's the life in the dances that draws me, too. From what little I've seen of it since 1986, NYCB runs the museum, an extensive mechanical exhibit apparently, although some of your own remarks give me hope that some of the mechanisms are coming back to life there. (Farrell's own results show that, in the right hands, ahem, it doesn't take much to achieve that.)

Another thing comes to me as I anticipate this program: What sequence? According to the formula which has been in use at the aforementioned museum, the pas de deux will come in the middle, because there are opening ballets and closing ballets and pas de deux in the middle, like in those Chinese restaurants where you order something from column A and something from column B; but according to Balanchine's own practice, in my experience and according to Suki Schorer, for example, "His tactic for exposing the audience to work they might tend to reject was to arrange the program with the 'hard' piece in the middle, [and] people stayed to see the last ballet." (Suki Schorer on Balanchine Technique, p. 12. Obviously, there is more to Balanchine technique than how to dance!)

So, any bets? I'm betting the pas de deux will open the program, so people will say, "How sweet! Loved it!" Then Monumentum/Movements, which, incidentally, has some lead-them-down-the-path strategy of its own built into its musical progression, and Rite for a rousing finale, with another boy-girl bit at the end of it.

As it happens, Monumentum/Movements is among my favorites, and is of a branch of Balanchine's repertory we don't see so much these days, the "leotard" ballets. Okay, it's not Agon, I suppose.

As to the West Coast, a little chanting into the ears of whoever out there hires companies in to their theatres might help. Or letters to editors, or something.

Does this seem a long post about very little? I think, between the lines, I'm saying I'm really keen to see this program.

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It looks like KC showcases ballet over the Thanksgiving weekend. Last year, they had the Joffrey Ballet. I think that's an excellent way to draw people to the ballet (or to DC), as there's usually very little else on over that weekend.

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So, everyone buy tickets (they are considerably less costly than some other companies'...) and we can see.....

Bejart's R & J pdd was done some years ago by Ms. Farrell's company. On the occasions I saw, it, I did not care for it. The dancing was fine, the choreography I found jarring in some parts (Juliet bent over backward in imitation of a card table....). Perhaps I will change my tune, but at least I can look forward to Movements and Rite of Spring, which I have not seen. I would definitely say that Bejart's muse is the male dancer, rather than the female.

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So, everyone buy tickets (they are considerably less costly than some other companies'...) and we can see.....

I would come to DC for Thanksgiving again this year, but it's not the right time to chance being 2 and a half hours away from my ob/gyn. :wink:

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Well, that was subtle, GWTW! Congratulations! I hope you're bearing up okay in this heat!

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Luckily :P I spend most of my time in an air-conditioned office. Sorry to derail the thread, but I really am very happy.

Now please proceed to discuss how everyone is going to go to DC to see Suzanne Farrell, even though 2/3 of the programme is Bejart. :cool:

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Now please proceed to discuss how everyone is going to go to DC to see Suzanne Farrell, even though 2/3 of the programme is Bejart.  :)

I have a hunch there will be more to this program than is currently listed on the Kennedy Center website.

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That looks a good hunch when you consider that the total running time of the ballets announced so far is only about 63 minutes.

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But there's only a two week total rehearsal period :blink:

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She can do it. She pulled Don Q together in 4 weeks of rehearsal and one at KenCen. This woman is highly organized!!!

I agree that there might be something else on the program...we can hope!

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Those who were displeased about the Bejart programming can stop complaining. As now constituted, the program is all Balanchine and no Bejart: La Source, Duo Concertant, the pas de deux from Clarinade (music by Morton Gould), and La Valse.

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Clarinade -- rare Balanchine! How thrilling! :D

Now, if someone would change the DATES to make it possible for me to be there. :beg:

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Clarinade -- rare Balanchine!  How thrilling!  :D

Yes, I'm thrilled at the prospect. Although I see by "Repertory in Review" that not everyone was happy at the premiere in 1964, despite Benny Goodman playing the clarinet. It was the first ballet staged in the New York State Theater, and Suzanne danced the pas de deux ("Contrapuntal Blues") with Anthony Blum. Gloria Govrin and Arthur Mitchell were also in the cast.

It's too bad the Farrell season coincides with Thanksgiving Week, carbro. Nevertheless, I'll be there for the weekend performances. However, I automatically sent for opening night tickets (Nov. 22) to NYCB, as I do every year, forgetting that it was also opening night for the Farrell company. I had my chance to show Peter Martins where to get off, and blew it.

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Any rarely performed Balanchine ballet, even if it's not top-drawer Balanchine is cause for celebration. :D

I would also love for Ms. Farrell to someday stage the Pithoprakta pas de deux. Maybe next year! :beg:

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Hopefully, by next year Farrell (or Kaiser) will have found the money to enable her to resume touring with her company.

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Hmm, I think I had the wrong Balanchine metaphor above. Farrell's company is maybe not so much a garden as a restaurant, the way the menu keeps changing day-by-day. I was glad to know she's interested in presenting Bejart's Rite, and maybe we'll get it another time soon.

B. H. Haggin wrote in 1964 of Clarinade that "though not one of his great works... the blues movement [brought] the amazing new ingenuities that each new supported adagio elicits from Balanchine." My mouth is watering...

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Those who were displeased about the Bejart programming can stop complaining. As now constituted, the program is all Balanchine and no Bejart: La Source, Duo Concertant, the pas de deux from Clarinade (music by Morton Gould), and La Valse.

Two "minor" Balanchine ballets I've never seen, one major work I haven't seen in 14 years, and another I love ... I'll/we'll have to see this program at least twice, more if I lose my head (and wouldn't that be wonderful?) Oh, the money! FF, I'm really peeved now. :(

My Suzanne Farrell Ballet 2006 Kennedy Center dream season: All Bejart.

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This opens tonight so I'll *bump* it up.

Any word on who'll be dancing the leads in 'La Source' (of special interest to me)? The usual Farrell Troupe suspects? Any first-time members or guest artists?

UPDATE: Nobody's answered my question but I now see, from another thread, that Alexandra Ansanelli will dance with the Farrell Company.

Edited by Natalia

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It’s so good to have Farrell and company back in town! Of course “town” for me is over 2 hours away, but with a program this juicy I float into town on expectations and float back on memories and adrenaline.

The evening opened with La Source, Shannon Parsley in the Verdy role, Runqiao Du partnering and Bonnie Pickard in the 2nd ballerina role. Parsley, not unexpectedly didn’t have all the musicality and sophistication one associates with Verdy -- not that I ever saw Verdy or had seen this ballet -- but she does have charm, and both in afternoon rehearsal and evening performance she seemed to gain in confidence and fluency as the ballet went on. So what we saw wasn’t a finished performance, but for my money it was a beautifully touching one nonetheless. Du was a revelation, more noble and elegant than I’ve ever seen him in years with Farrell, and Pickard, not unexpectedly, out danced every other woman onstage. She takes the lead role tonight and later in the run. During the rehearsal Farrell had the ensemble run though parts of this again two and three times, working particularly on spacing, asking for more energy, and adjusting the tempo of the music.

The pas de deux from Clarinade, with Momchil Mladenov (the company’s Don Quixote here this spring) and Erin Mahoney-Du looking Farrell-ish in her pony tail, received a couple of run throughs as well. According the Repertory in Review the ballet wasn’t terribly well received when it premiered to open the State Theater in 1964. The excerpt here came alive to me the 2nd time around and looked like more than a bit of Agon here and a bit of leotard that there with a bit of flopping to boot. Both dancers wear deep yellow tops. He’s in black tights; she’s in a black skirt with overlapping polka dots. In one of the more intriguing and amusing moments he holds her off the floor as she straddles him, and turns her head and limbs rhythmically back and forth. In another he does cartwheels behind her. Farrell has the band behind a scrim onstage and the Gould piece they play, originally written for Benny Goodman’s group, not-so-swinging and not-so-sweet, is a treat.

Natalia Magnicaballi should be very interesting in Clarinade in subsequent performances. Last night in Duo Concertant she was marvelous – fleet and gorgeous, with quick limbs and flashing eyes; in the afternoon one longtime observer remarked that he’d never seen her dance at that level before. If only her partner Matthew Prescott, interesting on his own, hadn’t looked at least 10 years her junior. He could use a haircut as well. One of the high school kids at the rehearsal compared him to “Dylan,” and I do think she meant Bob. One other small quibble: in the opening movement, from close up, both dancers looked to be self-consciously, statically, pretending an interest in the musicians rather than listening with real attention. Who knows, they may have only been trying to act out what they truly felt.

The program closed with La Valse. Because I’d only seen this in 1991, and because I find this plot, choreography and music so ravishing and so moving, I feel even less able to truly judge this performance than I do the others. I will say that that the entire cast, each dancer and couple more beautiful than the next, as if that were possible, took my breath away, so well did they inhabit their roles. When the ensemble rushed forward horror in to see the stricken young innocent girl, and when they threw themselves back into the waltz as if to forget what they’d just seen, I believed.

Ansanelli will be dancing the Girl in White all week, with Ritter her ardent and elegant partner. As the innocent ballgoer during rehearsal, she expressed shock when presented with the black bouquet. I liked that. She expressed no such surprise in the evening. The orchestra, especially, in that little theater, were a delight all evening.

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"Ansanelli will be dancing the Girl in White all week, with Ritter her ardent and elegant partner. As the innocent ballgoer during rehearsal, she expressed shock when presented with the black bouquet. I liked that. She expressed no such surprise in the evening. The orchestra, especially, in that little theater, were a delight all evening."

Do you mean Alexander Ritter???????? Be still my heart! I adore him, and am so glad to hear he's dancing again.

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