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Miranda Weese


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#1 sandik

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 03:17 PM

From the post in the NYCB thread

"Following NYCB's 2007 winter season, Ms. Weese will appear as a guest artist with Pacific Northwest Ballet for the remainder of that company's 2006-2007 season."

So what's up, do you think?

I wasn't able to see her last year in Ancient Airs -- what is the opinion of people here who did?

#2 Helene

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 04:42 PM

I wasn't able to see her last year in Ancient Airs -- what is the opinion of people here who did?

I thought she was fine, but no better than the other women who danced the role.

#3 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 10:19 PM

That's not really a Weese role. When she was younger, she was one of the can-do girls, but she was always mature beyond her years. Now, she's at her best in roles that let her show of her wit and sophistication but with darker flashes. Though she's expressive, she's not really an adagio dancer; she does better in roles that keep her in fifth gear. She's great at first movements (she's got the authority for them); she's fascinating in Jillana's role in Liebeslieder, a while back she did a fascinatingly decadent Rubies with Woetzel.

#4 Helene

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 10:37 PM

The programs that are coming up after the NYCB season ends are:

February: Swan Lake

March: Polyphonia (Wheeldon), Rassemblement (Duato), La Sonnambula (Balanchine)

April: Celebrate Seattle FestivalCarmina Burana (K. Stowell), Pacific (Morris)
{SCHWA} (Gaines), Remembrances (Joffrey), Inlets 2 (Cunningham), Torque (Caniparoli)
Schubert (Alleyne), Ripple Mechanics (Dawkins), Two's Company (Pimble), Bhangra Fever (Byrd)
Groove and Countermove (Brown), Adin (C. Stowell), Locate (Scott), World Premiere (Gibson)
June: Circus Polka (Robbins), State of Darkness (Fenley), Rubies (Balanchine), Symphony in Three Movements (Balanchine)

Which roles would be a natural for her?

#5 carbro

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 12:00 AM

If you choose to count Odette and Odile as two separate roles, she has done two roles from every program except the Celebrate Seattle Festival:
  • February: Swan Lake (subbing for Kistler in the telecast of the Martins staging of the full-length)
  • March: Polyphonia and La Sonnambula (Coquette)
  • June: Rubies and Symphony in Three Movements
That would leave her plenty of time to learn new rep. But I don't see a spot for her in Circus Polka. :P

The season almost begins to look as though it was put together with her in mind.

Though she's expressive, she's not really an adagio dancer; she does better in roles that keep her in fifth gear.

She is expressive, but in a detached and cerebral way, very much like Gillian Murphy. You can see from both a desire to communicate an underlying feeling, but they're not necessarily there.

a while back she did a fascinatingly decadent Rubies with Woetzel.

Sorry I missed that.

#6 sandik

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 10:13 AM

Thanks Leigh and Carbro for the details -- I don't know Weese well at all, though it looks like I'll get a chance to see more.

Peter Boal is committed to bringing guest artists, which is a change for the company and the audience, but I think there will be some interesting performances come out of this.

and no, I think Circus Polka wouldn't be a good fit...

#7 Michael

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 01:48 PM

Our loss is your gain. I love Weese and my assessment of her strengths is much wider than what's been posted above. I consider her to have been the single most important Ballerina here for the last ten years or so ... because she's so classical. Beautiful proportions; beautiful face; surpassingly lovely musicality. The definitive performances in my mind in recent years:

2 performances of Theme and Variations to die for (before her hip injury) about five years ago.

2 or 3 performances of Piano Concerto # 2 I'll never forget -- She had everything, the lyricism, entrance, turns -- this most difficult of demanding of all roles.

An amazing Allegro Brilliante last Winter.

La Source

Emeralds

The Rubies Leigh mentioned

Goldberg Variations, Part II, the role with the swivels in balance

I could go on and on. So many memories. Basically though you'll see that I see her in the Balanchine to Tschaikovsky repertory, in the tutu and tiara roles. She is the most musical of dancers. I disagree that she doesn't do adagio, I love her in those. She will be gravely missed.

MP

#8 Helene

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 01:55 PM

I saw Meese do one of those wonderful Piano Concerto No. 2 performances, and I agree 100% of your description of Meese in them, but for me, it was a great surprise and very different than the scattered performances I had seen her do in other works, where I had found her mannered. (I did not see her perform in Theme.)

The way Boal has built his seasons to date, I see/have seen a very small number of major tutu/tiara ballets (apart from Nutcracker). The majority of ballets are neoclassical, contemporary, or modern. I take his comment after one Q&A this year that after the audience gets used to the Ulysses Dove works that Dove created as ballets, we'll see his modern works, as a sign that future seasons won't have a great number of tutus or tiaras. (And I've given up hope that PNB will stage an Ashton work for Louise Nadeau. I would love to see her in A Month in the Country.)

#9 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 02:18 PM

Michael did a better job of describing Weese's virtues than I did and I'm with him on being firmly in her camp - she's one of my favorite dancers in the company.

Add to these roles her performance in Who Cares - particularly in Fascinatin' Rhythm, which to me is a quintessential Weese variation - her musical control in it is so amazing that it becomes high wit (and with Weese, her wit is her musicality)

Saying that I didn't think she was an adagio dancer muddies the waters because I happen to like her in adagio - but I think it's something she learned. She doesn't do the Goddess roles that are described in other current threads (such as 2nd mvt Sym in C); she does the Queen Bee roles (Lead in Divert, 1st movement Sym in C, Piano Concerto No. 2, Theme).

Funny, I don't find Weese detached emotionally at all. I connect very easily with what she's doing on stage and actually find her warm, sophisticated and mature beyond her years. At NYCB, we are losing someone who should be moving into the Senior Ballerina slot. We're going to lose Nichols and Kistler soon, and Whelan after. Weese was next in line, and most importantly because of her age should have held that position for the next decade. This is really a huge loss.

Parenthetically, it would be interesting to have a discussion about the direction Boal wants to take PNB. How do you in Seattle feel about it?

#10 dirac

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 03:05 PM

I can't speak for those in Seattle, but it will certainly be nice to have Weese on this coast. I've only seen her on television, in the Swan Lake and a bit from Liebeslieder, but I thought she was beautiful. I only wish her destination was a little further south - maybe she'll pay San Francisco a visit, too. :P

#11 zerbinetta

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 03:55 PM

I'm with Michael & Leigh here. I adore Miranda. I'd heard about this possibility a while back & hoped it would not happen.

I'll miss the aforementioned wit & musicality, the graciousness & warmth, and most of all her womanliness. Other than Sylve, there is not what I would call a Real Woman among CB's principals.

Another Goddess gone to Seattle. :P

#12 Helene

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 04:10 PM

I guess it's time for me to reconsider :P

#13 zerbinetta

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 05:26 PM

There is a subtlety (although not in Rubies) and a mystery about Miranda that may not be to everyone's taste. It took my husband a while to "get" her but once he did, he was hers for life.

It's also possible that she may take a little more work than a more ingratiating dancer. But you're up to that, helene.

You must promise to keep us posted on the Seattle phase of her career. Please.

#14 Helene

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 06:44 PM

You must promise to keep us posted on the Seattle phase of her career. Please.

I will. I promise.

#15 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 01:50 PM

<smacks forehead>

I can't believe I forgot Ballo as a quintessential Weese role. The ballet had been done by others besides Merrill Ashley, but Weese really restored it to the repertory in a deliciously witty performance that was nothing like Ashley's magnificent Goddess of the Hunt version. She may be a little too dark toned for it today; I've used the metaphor before, but she's moved in her career from colaratura to contralto. That's why she looks so good in Who Cares - it's got both Fascinatin' Rhythm for her, and The Man I Love.


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