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PBS Bringing Back BalanchineWhat did you think?


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#1 dnznqueen

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 05:43 AM

So I finally saw the program last night and taped it. I have to say I was disappointed not just in the length of the program, but in the dancing I saw as well. For the most part, the corps dancing was really off, especially in Serenade. Having done the ballet myself and knowing what to look for, I was really surprised at how unsynchronized he corps was.....perhaps due to jet lag fatigue, etc.? It about broke my heart seeing the bit about Alexandra Ananselli. The bit of the pas they showed from Agon with Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto was a little disappointing as well. Soto seemed to me to really show his age, and I just think that Whelan is too skinny!!! You wonder how she has the strength to make steps and positions, and that's definitely not an image I would want young dancers to see. I know that most dancers are thinner than the average person, and from being around it myself, I just hope that people don't think they have to look sick in order to dance. Anyways, on a positive note, I thought the idea of NYCB going back to Balanchine's homeland was great. I also liked that the Russian dancers who took class with the company found it difficult- Balanchine's stuff is not easy! I'm not trying to start any fights, moderators, please move, edit, etc. where you see fit. I'm definitely interested in what anyone else out there thought!!!

#2 mom2

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 07:23 AM

I saw the program last night as well - had no idea it was on, so missed a bit at the beginning I think.

I enjoyed it thoroughly, but I agree with you about the lack of synchronization in the corps. I was surprised at this; wondered if it were the camera angle? Perhaps the videographer not being used to a raked stage, or maybe that was just the dancers.

I liked the interviews with the russian dancers and audience - it would have been nice to hear more about what the dancers had to say. One young man was impressed with NYCB footwork, but felt that the russian arms were better. He said that he was curious to see the NYCB jumps, but we never heard further from him...

I felt badly for the young woman who was to debut in the principal role in Serenade, but was pulled from this after rehearsal. Luckily she did well in the other dance she was cast in - was that Western Symphony? At any rate, a small taste of company life for the viewers I suppose.

A LOT of the female dancers were extremely slender, no question about that. Some to the point of worrisome...hopefully this is not the norm we are shooting for.

m2

#3 Hans

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 08:27 AM

I dare say NYCB dancers would find the Kirov classes difficult as well. Ballet just isn't easy. :)

#4 Haglund's

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 07:01 AM

Undoubtedly Iím the last one on BT to finally see this broadcast, which I did last night. I thought it was very enjoyable. Peter Martins came off reasonably favorably. The dancers looked, while not as good as on the New York State Theater stage, very respectable. The rehearsal exchange between Martins and Ansanelli had far less drama than I was expecting. He was there to see her final product, and she wasnít ready - obviously. Maybe the fault was in casting her in the lead in the first place, considering her injury, inexperience, and lack of preparation time. Again obviously, Martins and others knew that this tour would be filmed and it would have made a good story to witness Ansanelli nail a debut in Serenade the way she did in Coppelia.

The one complaint that I have is the editing that made the Vaganova students look like idiots in the NYCB company class. Anyone who walks into an unfamiliar class for the first time has difficulty picking up the combinations. Martinsí mumbling of the barre exercises was unfair to the students, particularly because he had invited them and the class was being filmed.


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