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Kennedy Center PerformanceNovember 22-27, 2005


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#16 Farrell Fan

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 09:46 AM

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.

#17 carbro

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 10:21 AM

Clarinade -- rare Balanchine! How thrilling! :D

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

#18 Farrell Fan

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 01:18 PM

Clarinade -- rare Balanchine!  How thrilling!  :D


<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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.

#19 perky

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 02:37 PM

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:

#20 GWTW

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 05:13 AM

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

#21 Jack Reed

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 05:41 PM

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...

#22 kfw

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 05:57 PM

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.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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.

#23 Natalia

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 06:55 AM

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, 23 November 2005 - 09:35 AM.


#24 kfw

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 05:40 PM

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.

#25 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 07:58 PM

"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.

#26 kfw

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 08:22 PM

Yes I meant Alexander Ritter. I'm sorry not to have been more specific. Also, one of the corps dancers looked so much like Cheryl Sladkin, who was featured with Farrell's troupe in The Unanswered Question a couple of years ago, that it took me a couple of minutes to decide it wasn't her. I wonder if Sladkin has a dancing sister.

#27 lampwick

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 09:26 PM

Cheryl isn't dancing for Suzanne Farrell right now? Last I saw her (a few weeks ago) she was training, and looked to be in good form. She has such beautiful quality in class, and I'd love to see her perform.It may have been her... I don't really know Cheryl personally...but no sister that I've heard of.

Could someone post a cast list or roster? I'm very curious who's dancing for Ms. Farrell. I'm not going to be able to make it to the performances because I have Nut obligations further North...and I'm very sad I can't make it to DC. I was looking forward to it.

And I would have LOVED to see Alexandra with them.

#28 Farrell Fan

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 08:03 AM

For Sarah Kaufman in today's Washington Post, the big news was not Alexandra Ansanelli but the performance of Erin Mahoney-Du in "Clarinade." "A performance like that is what audiences have come to expect from Farrell's troupe. She may not have the world's best dancers, but she works magic with them. So inviting is the prospect of seeing what she can do with Balanchine's choreography that several New York dance critics were at the Kennedy Center on Tuesday, passing up a gala opening of the New York City Ballet."

Of Ansanelli, Kaufman says, "She will likely not appear with Farrell after this run; she has been offered a contract with the Royal Ballet. It is a pity: here is a ballerina who could profit so much from Farrell's ability to cut away the mnnerisms and fluff."

Happy Thanksgiving.

#29 drb

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 10:21 AM

... several New York dance critics were at the Kennedy Center on Tuesday, passing up a gala opening of the New York City Ballet."...

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And Bravo to Mr. Rockwell who (see today's Links) while attending Farrell Ballet gave the best review of Martins Ballet! If his final wish came true, what a cause for Thanksgiving we'd all have:
" Ms. Farrell clearly has something of crucial importance to bring to the preservation of the Balanchine legacy; she has a unique link to him. But for all the real success of much of the program Tuesday, she simply lacks the resources to fulfill her vision. City Ballet has those resources. In utter innocence, I can only wish that Mr. Martins and Ms. Farrell could join forces on terms satisfactory to both. Balanchine would be honored at a level that, right now, neither of them can achieve alone."

#30 Farrell Fan

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 11:28 AM

I've been hoping for that for years. Farrell could oversee the Balanchine repertory and Martins everything else at NYCB. Do I hear an objection?


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