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Fall For Dance Festival 2006


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#1 Dale

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 08:30 AM

Has anybody been going? Unfortunately, I was shutout (unless I wanted to sit in partial-view seats in the gallery). Did anybody see Part and Hallberg in the Swan Lake Act II pas de deux Wednesday night?

#2 sz

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 10:30 AM

I was there last night. Thought Part and Hallberg were both beautiful, physically, in the Swan Lake Act II pas de deux. Made me think of the years Suzanne and Martins graced the stage with their absolutely stunning physical beauty. However, Part and Hallberg seemed to share very little chemistry, and Hallberg was working awfully hard, harder than seemed needed for such a lyrical pas de deux, to lift and keep his partner well supported. And Part seemed to be concentrating too much on making her partnering moves safe and secure for Hallberg to handle. The pas de deux was very good but it lacked freedom and magic and drama. It was an excellent dress rehearsal that I hope to see performed better next time. It's also extremely difficult to successfully perform Act II pas without the corps and mood, sets, etc. I thought about all of these things during their pas de deux... but finally concluded that I think these two seem somehow more interesting individually than together, and how I wish I had seen them in Afternoon of a Faun instead -- a piece that would have flattered these two artists greatly.

Herrera and Carreno danced a nice version of Black Swan pas de deux complete with variations and coda, but it seemed again without magic and chemistry and risk taking. All the technique was there, but it didn't reach the seductive/darker side of this pas de deux. Herrera and Carreno kept smiling sweetly at each other... I wanted to hold up a sign, "This isn't Theme!"

But a few nights ago, my first night at the Festival, I had the pleasure of watching Riolama Lorenzo who left NYCB to dance with Pennsylvania Ballet. Although the Neenan piece shown did not include pointe shoes for the women, Riolama was outstandingly gorgeous, strong, sensual and sexy... trim too. She's dancing better than ever, and looking very happy with her success.

#3 Dale

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 11:19 AM

Thank you sz. I had the same feeling as you when I saw Hallberg and Part in Apollo - although very beautiful together and very respectful of each other - they didn't have much chemistry. Part has more romantic chemistry with Gomes and even a platonic meeting of the minds chemistry with Belotserkovsky, than she does with Hallberg. I too would love to see Part and Hallberg in Afternoon of a Faun. He already has had a great success in the role.

I'm glad NY got to see the successful Riolama Lorenzo.

#4 whitelight

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 05:59 PM

I'm seeing every program this year, and while I'm so pleased that I'm in a position to do it, it IS exhausting.

The inherent problem with a sampler program is that none of the pieces are contextualized. The Swan Lake pas de deuxs last night were no different. I was not blown away-- I think the description of a "good dress rehearsal" is accurate.

As to the Pennsylvania Ballet-- I definitely did NOT love the piece-- I read some review that said the choreography was too neat and crisp for Wainwright's music, and I could not agree more. Another boring ballet for popular music. The dancers were lovely, but I wish they had brought another piece.

The Dutch National Ballet did an exceptional duet called Before After-- at first I thought it was another cliche contemporary ballet, too, but as it continued I felt like it was more sophisticated and engaging. And the tone at the end changes rapidly and unmistakably from the mostly abstract yet antagonistic feel to a downright crushing emotional experience. At least for me. I guess I just wasn't expecting it. I was quite moved.

Also, Pennsylvania Ballet and Dutch National Ballet on the same program pointed out (to me) what seems to be a major difference between the European and American approaches to contemporary ballet. American dancers seem much more self-consciously ballerinas at heart. They look like schoolgirls revelling in breaking classical taboos by extending lines or dancing to pop music, but it looks mostly like vain balletic indulgence. By contrast, the European dancers are much more fluid-- they look like they are "in the moment" instead of looking in the mirror. And its still obvious that they have strong ballet technique.

Anyway, just thought the contrast was interesting. I'm positive it has to do with the training differences.

#5 nysusan

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 05:07 AM

I agree that Part and Hallberg looked beautiful together, and also that he seemed to be working very hard to partner her. I was absolutely stunned when he took her up in the overhead lifts - even Gomes didn’t try those with her and, well, he has a few pounds on Hallberg!

I loved them together in Apollo last season, and I think that what we saw in the SL pas de deux is the beginning of a partnership that has great potential - but isn't quite there yet. Hallberg is incredibly talented and it's easy to forget how young and inexperienced he is. Although he is tall he's lithe rather than “big” and needs to develop his partnering skills. Under those circumstances I don’t blame him for being careful...this looked to me like a good first try and hopefully it’s a harbinger of great things to come for them.

I thought that performing the 2 pas de deux from SL at this festival was a poor choice. The white swan pas especially is difficult out of context and it made ABT look kind of old fashioned - with their vast repertoire I think they could have chosen something that would have been more interesting to this young crowd.

Wouldn’t it have been funny if they chose to do something by Balanchine, since NYCB chose to perform Robbins?

Unfortunately I was out of town last weekend and missed the program with the PA and Dutch National Ballets, which I really wanted to see.

#6 whitelight

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 06:34 AM

I have been wondering about the exclusion of Balanchine on the programs, and I suspect the Foundation wouldn't approve of it being decontextualized and performed on a program with hip hop and Maureen Flemming, for example. But that's just my guess. I'd be interested to hear from someone with more insight to this.

I agree that white swan in particular is difficult out of context, but despite their rep, I thought it was important for ABT to bring something very classical, since they do it better than anyone else on the festival, and it is definitely not represented elsewhere in FFD.

#7 Dale

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 08:50 AM

There's been Balanchine done by NYCB or dancers from the company in the past. Maybe it's a matter of amount of dancers, what will work on the program with the other artists and which dancers are free.

#8 E Johnson

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 09:41 AM

I have been wondering about the exclusion of Balanchine on the programs, and I suspect the Foundation wouldn't approve of it being decontextualized and performed on a program with hip hop and Maureen Flemming, for example. But that's just my guess. I'd be interested to hear from someone with more insight to this.


There was Balanchine in the first Festival -- albeit Balanchine nobody is performing anymore. Peter Boal did the "lost" male solo from Episodes, the one made on Paul Taylor.


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