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Stars of the 21st Century gala in New YorkFebruary 13


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#16 drb

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 11:29 AM

I tend to agree with all three perspectives in the above post! One could argue that the ballerina star power this time is not more than could have been seen Sunday afternoon at NYCB. Bouder of course, more in the range of Vishneva and Cojocaru, plus Vishneva-like Reichlen, and the lightening-striking trio of Fairchild, Scheller and Peck. All this with a real orchestra, not recordings (can't forget the catastrophic "music" that was played for Vishneva's Rubies). And for half the price.
Still, it costs a lot of money to bring in such a varied array of dancers. Lacarra is a lock, and Lunkina deserves to be seen with her Bolshoi partner. But, I'm hoping along with NYSusan...

#17 ShesnoFonteynsMom

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 03:02 PM

Richard53dog, I am a big Cojocaru fan! However, I am always mildly distracted by those beat-up box-cars she wears on her feet.

#18 Dale

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 09:33 PM

Here's the latest:

STARS OF THE 21ST CENTURY RETURNS TO THE STATE THEATER FOR A GALA PERFORMANCE, FEBRUARY 13, 7:30 PM

Monday February 13, 7:30 PM
State Theater/Lincoln Center
Tickets: $20 - $150
Reservations: 212/721-6500 or theater box office

"Stars of the 21st Century" returns to the State Theater with a glittering performance of principal dancers from major ballet companies around the world. Producer Solomon Tencer and Artistic Director Nadia Veselova Tencer have for eleven years presented ballet galas in Paris, Cannes, New York, and Toronto, affording audiences an opportunity to see stellar dancers from the world's great companies, as well as choreography that includes the classics and, this year, works by Jerome Robbins, Roland Petit, Twyla Tharp, Dwight Rhoden, Vladimir Vasiliev, Pierre Lacotte, John Neumeier, A. Beliy, and Victor Gsovsky. "Stars" can always be counted on for a surprise or two, and this year presents renowned dancers in another style - Pilar Alvarez and Claudio Hoffmann of Tango Metropolis Argentina, accompanied by Daniel Binelli, master of the bandoneon.

ARTISTS
Irina Dvorovenko, Maxim Beloserkovsky
American Ballet Theatre
Svetlana Lunkina, Sergei Filin
Bolshoi Ballet
Desmond Richardson
Complexions Inc. Contemporary Ballet NY
Andrian Fadeyev
Kirov Ballet
Lucia Lacarra, Cyril Pierre
Munich Ballet
Sofiane Sylve
New York City Ballet
Mathilde Froustey, Emmanuel Thibault
Paris Opera Ballet
Pilar Alvarez, Claudio Hoffmann
Tango Metropolis Argentina

PROGRAM
Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky
Carmen, choreography by A. Beliy, music of Bizet and R. Schedrin
Known by Heart "Junk" by Twyla Tharp, music by Donald Knaack

Svetlana Lunkina and Sergei Filin
Paganini Pas de Deux by Vasiliev, music by Rachmaninoff
Pharaoh's Daughter pas de deux by Pierre Lacotte, music by Pugni

Desmond Richardson
Showman's Groove by Dwight Rhoden, music by Michael Buble
a second solo to be announced

Andrian Fadeyev
Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, choreography by Balanchine
with Sofiane Sylve

Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre
The Lady of the Camellias, choreography by John Neumeier, music by Chopin
Thais pas de deux, choreography by Petit, music by Massenet

Sofiane Sylve
Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux with Andrian Fadeyev
solo from Dances at a Gathering, choreography by Jerome Robbins,
music by Chopin

Mathilde Froustey and Emmanuel Thibault
Grand Pas Classique, choreography by Victor Gsovsky, music by Auber
Giselle pas de deux from Act II, choreography by Coralli and Perrot, music by Adam

Pilar Alvarez and Claudio Hoffmann
Oblivion, choreography by Alvarez & Hoffmann, music by Astor Piazzolla, accompanied by Daniel Binelli
La Cumparsita, choreography by Alvarez & Hoffmann, music by Enrique Mattos Rodriguez

program subject to change

#19 Ceeszi

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 08:45 AM

This is the second year in a row that I have attended the Stars of the 21st Century. I read on the Message Board about the cast and I was a little disappointed that perhaps the star power was not there like last year, but it was an incredible evening which I thoroughly enjoyed.

1) The evening began with Desmond Richardson of Complexions Contemporary Ballet in Showman's Groove. To be honest, this was not what I came to see, but what Richardson showed us was his incredible ability to interpret every note of music with his body. He danced to very jazzy music and the choreography was by Dwight Rhoden. It was a good way to start the evening.

2) Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky were next in the Carmen Pas de Deux. This was very different from the Carmen Pas de Deux which was done at last year's gala by Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre. Irina and Maxim came out in sort of matching oufits - very bellbottomy like pants - he was shirtless. They did very sharp, jarring moves - there was nothing graceful about this dance. It was great to see them dance together again, but I didn't like the dance.

3) Sofian Sylve and Andrian Fadeyev danced to Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux. Strange - I live in New York, but this is the first time that I have seen Sylve dance and I have seen Fadeyev dance three times. I saw Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux many years ago with Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins - it is such a beautiful dance. Sylve kind of floated over the stage and Fadeyev showed her off very nicely. This was a very good pairing - too bad they did not do a second dance - Sylve did a solo in the second act.

4) The Giselle Act II Pas de Deux was performed by a young couple from the Paris Opera Ballet - Mathilde Froustey and Emmanuel Thibault. She is an absolutely lovely ballerina. I saw this at last year's gala with Alina Cojocaru and Johann Kobborg. They gave me the chills and Cojocaru made me cry. Froustey and Thibault did not do that for me this year, but they did a beautiful job. I watched her more than him and I think she is going to to be great. She has beauty and a purity to her dancing.

5) Oblivion with Pilar Alvarez and Claudio Hoffmann of Tango Metropolitan Argentina. Last year, they brought in the Martha Graham Dancers, which I hated. This year, as something different, they brought in these two internationally renowned tango dancers. These two were brilliant - very intense and very hypnotic. They were able to draw in the audience without ever taking their eyes off each other.

6) Pharaoh's Daughter with Svetlana Lunkina and Sergei Filin of the Bolshoi. How dissapointed I was last summer that I could not get tickets to this when the Bolshoi was here at the end of July. So, I was looking forward to seeing this. And how nice to see Lunkina back this year. Last year, her partner was not able to dance and she danced with Guillame Cote in La Sylphide, which I felt did not really show off her strengths. This was a much better dance for her. She is another lovely ballerina with that sky high extension (although not as hyper-extended as Svetlana Zakharova) of the Bolshoi ballerinas. He is a great partner and had great extension on his leaps and jumps. I wish I could see this whole ballet live one day.

7) The program listed that Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre were going to dance the Lady of the Camillas, but instead they danced to the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. As I watched them, I thought of something I read in one of Gelsey Kirkland's books. Gelsey Kirkland was trying to caoch young dancers to dance and show their hearts when they danced - to express what they were feeling while they danced. (I know I am wording this all wrong - I have to go back to the book to get the exact wording). All of the ballerinas tonight - Dvorovenko, Sylve, Froustey, and Lunkina are so lovely to watch. But Lacarra brings that extra special quality to her dance. Maybe because she dances with the man she loves in real life or maybe she is such a superb actress - I could see her love when she danced. And everything that they did looked so effortless. She would be standing there and the next second she is upside down like it was all part of the emotion that they had for one another. This brought tears to my eyes and the audience loved them.

INTERMISSION

1) Grand Pas Classique with Froustey and Thibault. I liked them even better in this than in Giselle. She really captivated the audience with her solo number (the part with all the little turns). That's it - I'm in love :beg: What an incredibly lovely ballerina - she was the real surprise of the night for me. If only the Paris Opera Ballet would actually come to New York. But this is a ballerina that I want to keep my eye on in the future.

2) Sofiane Sylve did the Solo from Dances at a Gathering. This was good (a lot of posing), but it was way too short. And a solo dance did not fit in with the night's program. But she was lovely to watch.

3) La Cumparsita - the return of Alvarez and Hoffmann in this famous piece of music (I had no idea that it was called La Cumparsita). Once again, they drew the audience in with this very steamy tango.

4) Paganini Pas de Deux with Lunkina and Filin - He was the violin player and she was his muse. She entered and exited the dance with a scarf in her hands. This dance had it all - there was dynamic dancing at the beginning and the end as he chased after his muse. Then, there was the lovely slow section in the middle. I liked them better in this than in The Pharaoh's Daughter.

5) Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky returned with the Junk Duet from Known By Heart with choreography by Twyla Tharp. Once again, they were much better in this than in their Act I Carmen. This was very strange, kind of avant-garde techno music where they interpreted every beat of the music. And Irina did one move several times where she slid across the floor. The love they have for one another (on and off stage) came through more in this dance than in Act I. The dance was intense, yet playful. Not your classical ballet, but they seemed to be having a lot of fun with it.

6) Desmond Richardson returned in Solo, with music by Prince. Again, Richardson was able to interpret every beat of the music and get his body into incredible positions. Like Act I, not really what I came to see, but certainly worth watching.

7) Lacarra and Pierre closed the show with the Thais Pas de Deux with choreography by Roland Petit. I saw this once before with the Royal Ballet at the Ashton Centennial, where the woman kind of floats in and out of the man's dream. With this version, it was a total expression of love. I cried again - these two have such a wonderful quality to their dancing and they are able to draw the audience in with the mood that they set on stage. Lacarra truly dances with her heart.

8) All the dancers came out to dance by themselves and then together. Alvarez and Hoffmann got applause by doing their tango and then he lifted her in a ballet-like move.

What an incredible night! Very different from last year. And as my good friend and I left Lincoln Center we just kept saying - "We are so lucky to be here!"

#20 rg

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 09:43 AM

for the record, the choreography for the ROMEO AND JULIET/BALCONY duet danced by lacarra & pierre was john cranko's; this information, confirmed by the event's press agent, was not given noted in the program or in the loudspeaker announcement.

#21 nysusan

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:50 AM

for the record, the choreography for the ROMEO AND JULIET/BALCONY duet danced by lacarra & pierre was john cranko's; this information, confirmed by the event's press agent, was not given noted in the program or in the loudspeaker announcement.

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rg, thanks for that info, I was just about to ask if it was Cranko's or Neumeier's R&J (not even sure if Neumeier ever even did an R&J). In any case, it was lovely. What a treat to see such accomplished, expressive dancers performing such beautiful material. Some of MacMillan's R&J is wonderful, and I love his balcony scene but it's a shame that NY so rarely gets to see any other versions anymore. As performed by Pierre & Lacarra this version struck me as being much more innocent & dewey eyed than MacMillan's. There was more emphasis on young love, or even infatuation finally & unexpectantly deepening into something more.

I have to agree with most of Ceeszi's observations, and thank her for listing all the programming info! This was also my second year in a row attending this gala. Last year Lacarra was the revelation for me. This year I too felt that Mathilde Froustey was the major discovery. She has a combination of steely technique, ethereal line, beautifully pliant feet, and a demeanor at once both delicate and regal. I was also very impressed with her partner, Emmanuel Thibault.

Last year's gala featured some real highs, but also a few yawns. This year I thought the level was high throughout. I'll admit feeling a certain reluctance to pay big bucks to see dancers I already see all the time, so I was delighted at Max & Irina's decision to perform against type here. It was lots of fun to watch them cut loose in the modern works. I also enjoyed seeing Sylve and Fadeyev in Tchai Pas, but he looked a bit small for her, and I felt she held back a little. As Ceeszi noted, her 2nd appearance in Dances at a Gathering was beautiful, but brief.

I thought all of the dancers were wonderful, but for the 2nd year in a row I don't think Lunkina chose material that showed her at her best. I wish she had chosen to perform part of the underwater scene from Pharaoh's Daughter, but I guess that wouldn't have worked for Sergei Filin! Yes, her technique is strong and she and Filin both excelled in the Pharaoh's Daughter pas de deux (esp the petite batterie), but I think her great strength is as a romantic ballerina and PD does not show this side of her. Even though Filin had all the fireworks in the Paganini pas de deux I thought this selection showed her lyricism to much greater effect than the Lacotte pdd.

Richardson, Alvarez & Hoffmann were all great, and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I have to say that for the 2nd year in a row I thought Lucia Lacarra really stood out, even in this galaxy of stars. She is a very unique dancer, I don't know how to describe her except perhaps as a combination of Makarova and Whalen. That description is probably unfair to all 3 of them, but that's all that comes to mind! Although I prefer the Ashton version she & Pierre were heavenly in Petit's Thais pdd. I wish we could see more of them here!

#22 Helene

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:56 PM

Thanks you for your reviews and comments, Ceeszi and nysusan! What a joy to discover a new favorite. It sounds like a real coup to have presented the two tango dancers, Alvarez and Hoffmann.

Did Dvorovenko and Beloserkovsky dance from the version of Carmen that Alonso choreographed for Plitsetskaya?

#23 nysusan

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 02:14 PM

Did Dvorovenko and Beloserkovsky dance from the version of Carmen that Alonso choreographed for Plitsetskaya?

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No, this version was by A Beliy, anyone familiar with him/her?

It was a very stark, modernist dance. As Ceeszi said they were both wearing simple black costumes with wide legs and straight lines.

#24 zerbinetta

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 05:04 PM

I thought it looked rather "Carmen on the Nile" - flat profiled, 2 dimensional poses, angled arms. Very odd.

#25 rg

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 09:47 PM

neumeier has done ROMEO & JULIET, when the royal danish ballet first brought the production to nyc, in the late 70s it received some most memorable performances with mette ida kirk and ib andersen and with anne marie dybdall and arne villumsen. hard to tell then who one preferred, all gave these leading dancers gave unforgettable performances. j. rose's settings were also quite impressive, tho' extremely simple, overall.
here are the NYPL cat. credits:
Romeo and Juliet : Chor: John Neumeier; mus: Sergei Prokof'ev; scen: Filippo Sanjust. First perf: Frankfurt am Main, Städtische Bühnen, Feb 14, 1971, Städtische Bühnen Ballet. // First perf. by Royal Danish Ballet: Copenhagen, Royal Theatre, Dec 14, 1974; scen: Juergen Rose; lighting: Jorgen Mydtskov.

#26 Dale

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 08:34 AM

I sort of miss the wonderfully vulgar galas of the past. This one, which I've seen every year since its arrival in NY, has rounded out to be more tasteful, but well-balanced.

Highlights: Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky in the Known by Heart pas de deux. I really like this ballet. I wish it would come back to ABT's rep. I saw the premiere and thought it was almost a defining portrait of Ethan Stiefel. Maxim Beloserkovsky seemed to enjoy stepping into the boxing, shrugging American guy persona. And Tharp's work brings out the best in Dvorovenko.

It almost made up for the horrible Carmen the two did earlier in the program. Bleh.

Svetlana Lunkina and Sergei Filin in Paganini Pas de Deux and Pharaoh's Daughter pas de deux. Lunkina looked a bit out of sorts, like it just wasn't going to be her day. But Filin's wonderfully sharp footwork and ballon, and Lunkina's elegance made up for an blips. The Paganini allowed Lunkina to waft around in a lovely manner.

Andrian Fadeyev and Sofiane Sylve in Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux. This was on the edge of being very good, except Sylve seemed to be constantly adjusting to the taped music and Fadeyev re-choreographed some parts. I was pleased with Sylve in Dances, she was playful and flirty.

Middle of the road:
Mathilde Froustey and Emmanuel Thibault
Grand Pas Classique, choreography by Victor Gsovsky, music by Auber
Giselle pas de deux from Act II, choreography by Coralli and Perrot, music by Adam

I had read about Thibault and seen him in a few things myself (loved in in the pas de trois in Paquita and Swan Lake), but I don't see him as an Albrect. The dancing itself was strong in both pieces, but my admiration wasn't as high as the rest of the audience, who really loved this pair. She is very light and delicate -- romantic parts really suit her. Her body sort of reminded me of Kirkland, with very slim legs and a sort of largish head. But she seemed weak in the Giselle and couldn't maintain the balances long enough in the Grand Pas Classic, although her solo was very brightly done.

Everybody loves Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre. I did too, at one point, especially after seeing Lacarra in The Cage and Agon with San Francisco Ballet. Now, they are a little like easy listening music. Pleasant enough. The Thais was the better of the two pas, for me.


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