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YAGP Gala 2007


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#16 drb

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 08:31 PM

Marianela Nunez!!!!!!!
I hope I have the number of !'s right. During her fouettes in the evening ending Corsaire, I believe that is how many turns she completed in one of her interpolated multiple pirouettes. Her outstanding partner was Thiago Soares (think ABT's Gomes). She is altogether a WOW!, and an endless roar of booooooooos to the Met for not bringing her and The Royal to NYC in years.

Unfortunately, I suppose there wasn't time to print an insert of winners, and the MC was not a master at pronouncing names. Part I of the Gala featured standouts from the competition. Three circa 12-year-olds got things off sensationally. But what I assume was the men's winner came next to last. The youth-filled audience began screaming as his intro started and they were right. I don't think any of ABT's men could approach some of his tricks; the only man I could imagine duplicating his feats would be Ivan Vasiliev.

Part II was for the professionals. First up were the Parisians, Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris. Camera flashes, late seatings and yapping made it hard to appreciate, but the wretched choreography -- Petite Mort -- already had done them in. Sure, they danced it better than ABT does... Later they gave the penultimate dance, another less than empty piece of drivel, Neumeier's Dame aux Camelias. One could admire her pointe work, including her ability to express emotions with her pointes (a little like Fonteyn, but she had a, THE, choreographer). So he pulled down her dress, and mounted her for a couple bars of Chopin (literally, the alluded to petite mort of their first piece) -- Chopin went on and so, too, the creative choreography.
The gulf between American and European ballet taste is a veritable ocean.

There was some great dancing of great choreography too. Ashley Bouder, partnered superbly by San Francisco Ballet virtuoso Joseph Phillips, was her very human superhuman self in Stars and Stripes. Fabulous technique with carefree ease. You can tell they've danced together before, as every new contact in the adagio flowed and even melted. The variations were thrilling. Her 11th dance in seven days. Isabella Boylston and David Hallberg were lyrically terrific in a PdD by Ben Milliepied, a world premiere titled Quiet Music. She just flowed in beauty and he had the gravitas of a Premier Dancer. A pair from the Stuttgart, Alicia Amatriain and Jason Reilly danced a modern piece, Itzik Galili's Mono Lisa (not Mona). The very unruly audience was quiet at the beginning, but the first of dozens of mass screams erupted when she began to dance. Remember the comic book character Plastic Man? I've never seen such a flexible dancer. Svetlana Zakharova is a 19th C. ballerina compared to Ms. Amatriain. Yet it was totally right in this little ballet. It would be fascinating to see her in a classical role (she is a Principal).

#17 zerbinetta

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 08:52 PM

I'm hoping Mr. Gordeev will post the names, etc. of the participants in the first half of the program, or perhaps link us to the list.

#18 Ceeszi

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 09:26 PM

I just got home a little while ago. What a night!

I arrived at City Center at about 6:00 to find signs that the Gala was sold out. I picked up my tickets and sat in Au Bon Pain until curtain time. Now, this was the first time that I had been to City Center in years, and I could not remember what the place looked like inside. My seat was in Rear Mezzanine - very disappointing with the curtain closed, but a little better once the curtain opened. It seeemd that I was so far away from the stage when I first sat down.

The audience was very rowdy (a lot of screaming) and there was a lot of rudeness going on. A lot of talking during the performances - a lot of WALKING AROUND during the performances - and someone to my right kept taking flash pictures during the performances, despite numerous warnings - even from Desmond Richardson.

Speaking of Desmond Richardson - he was a very charming host for the evening. BUT - could someone have gone over the pronunciation of names with him before the gala? Sorry if I'm being over critical here, but the behavior of the audience put me in a very grumpy mood.

The first Act was very enjoyable. I was captivated right from the beginning - the young man from Japan and the young lady from Mexico were brilliant! The three young ladies from Japan with the chairs were very interesting and I especially liked the couple who did the pas de deux from "The Pharaoh's Daughter." The ensemble number with all 250 competitors brought the first act to a rowsing finale. I don't think I have ever seen so many dancers on stage at the same time!

I guess there was no way to list all of the performers in Act I, but it would be nice to know for the future, in case any of the dancers that we saw makes the big time!

On to Act II. The audience was still coming in when the lights were dimming and it seemed that a big party was going on in Center Mezzanine - they would not sit down. Aurelie and Manuel started to dance. One woman walked in and just stared into space for about a minute and a half. Someone sitting behind her screamed out - SIT DOWN! Later on, to my right I heard - PLEASE STOP TALKING! PLEASE STOP TALING ON YOUR PHONE! See what I mean about a rude audience - and they all seemd to be with me in Mezzanine.

Act II began with "La Petite Mort" with Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris. I have to admit that this was the whole reason I was attracted to this gala - I wanted to see Aurelie Dupont! This dance, with music by Mozart and choreography by Kylian was very intense and dramatic. What Aurelie and Manuel did was show their years of experience of danicing together by seeming to melt into each other's bodies. They were all over the place - Aurelie gave herself completely to every move and position - but they kept the dramatic intensity going during this number. They were the only couple to do an encore. They came out next to last and did "La Dame aux Camelias" with choreography by John Neumeier and music by Chopin. This was another intense number - more romantic in nature - and the audience gasped when Manuel took Aurelie's black dress off of her. Here's something to think about - I was waiting after the show by the stage door when out comes Manuel - jacket and dress pants - and Aurelie - the glamorous etoile - in jeans, a sweat shirt and black high-top pro keds. You know what? She still looked gorgeous!!!

Cecilia Kerche and Vitor Luiz of Ballet Teatro Municipal de Rio de Janeiro did the pas de deux from "La Esmeralda" with music by Pugni and choreography by Perrot. This was very charming and joyful. I was not too familiar with this - I remember watching a pas de six from this ballet on a Kirov tape that I had. The tambourine was brought out as a prop and then quickly abandoned.

Next up was Sascha Radetsky and Stella Abrera doing Jabula - I don't think they performed tonight. I am looking at the program and I am racking my brain trying to remember this and nothing is coming to mind! Maybe another poster can confirm this - I hope I didn't skip a groove or something!

Xiomara Reyes and Gennadi Saveliev danced to "Spring Water". I saw this on a DVD I have of Great Pas de Deux. Big complaint - the recording of the music was terrible! The dance itself was beautiful. I remember that this number ends with a lift and I'm not sure if they did it or they made a a mistake and the lights were dimmed very qucikly.

MOMIX - I didn't like it! Four women (with fezzes on their heads??) dancing and bouncing with exercise balls.

Contemporary Complexions Ballet - world premiere of Choke - didn't like this either! Forgive me!! - Modern dance is not my thing!

Paloma Herrera and Nikolaj Hubbe danced "Rubies" from Jewels. I saw this a couple of years ago with Diana Vishneva and Andrian Fadeyev at a Stars of the 21st Century Gala. As soon as the dance started I saw that they looked a little shaky and then Paloma fell. To her credit, she got right back up, didn't let it faze her, and finished strong.

Isabelle Boylston and David Hallberg danced to "Quiet Music". This was another World Premiere. I liked this better than Choke, but there was nothing very memorable about this dance for me.

Ashley Bouder and Joseph Phillips danced to "Stars and Stripes Forever". I was very excited to see Ashley again after seeing her this year at the Stars of the 21st Century Gala. This was a super difficult dance! There was that great part when Ashley is dancing offstage when Joseph runs over grabs her and glides off with her. Both dancers excelled together and in their solos.

Mono Lisa introduced us to the very-flexible Alicia Amatrian and her partner Jason Reilly. The music sounded like a typewriter. Like "La Petite Mort", this needed a lot of dramatic intensity to keep it going and it seemed that the two dancers kind of fell off at the very end. But of all the premieres (this was the New York Premiere), this was the most enjoyable.

Last up was Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares in Le Corsaire. I saw Marianela dance the Lilac Fairy last summer at the Kennedy Center and I saw Thiago dance a beautiful Thais with Leanne Benjamin at the Ashton Centennial a few summers ago. Thiago looks a little like Marcelo Gomes. The Le Corsaire pas de deux is always a showstopper and what a great way to end the night. Marianela did either a quadruple or quintuple pirouette during her solo number - I am not sure. But this was a spectacular ending for the night.

#19 drb

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 09:57 PM

Does anyone know whether they've married? From the March 4, 2007 Guardian review of a Nunez-Soares Swan Lake:

Now, every detail tells a story, every gesture sings, every step is luminous with emotion. The result is sublime, and Soares and Nuņez have contrived a happy ending which will surprise no one who has seen them dance together. They've announced their engagement, and are getting married as soon as their respective schedules permit.



#20 ami1436

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 01:07 AM

From everything I know, they have yet to marry... And yes, Marienela is known for her strength, warm dancing, and solid technique/turns....

#21 Ceeszi

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 06:56 AM

But what I assume was the men's winner came next to last. The youth-filled audience began screaming as his intro started and they were right. I don't think any of ABT's men could approach some of his tricks; the only man I could imagine duplicating his feats would be Ivan Vasiliev.



Yes - I noticed that this young man, who danced to Diana and Acteon, did a similar move to the "karate kick wheelbarrow" move (I still don't know what to call this!) that Denis Matvienko did at the Stars of the 21st Century Gala back in February. Matvienko also danced to Diana and Acteon

#22 Ceeszi

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 06:59 AM

From everything I know, they have yet to marry... And yes, Marienela is known for her strength, warm dancing, and solid technique/turns....


Oh - Marianlea was such a beautiful Lilac Fairy last summer in Washington DC. While her dancing was so beautiful - it was her smile and warmth that seemd to set the tone for the Lilac Fairy - "Hey! Don't worry - everything is going to work out all right!"

She was so radiant last night in Le Corsaire - :thumbsup:

#23 mom2

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 07:17 AM

Is anyone able to tell us the names of the competition medallists?

m2

#24 drb

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 07:17 AM

...Yes - I noticed that this young man, who danced to Diana and Acteon, did a similar move to the "karate kick wheelbarrow" move (I still don't know what to call this!) that Denis Matvienko did at the Stars of the 21st Century Gala back in February. Matvienko also danced to Diana and Acteon

Right, your description came to mind as I watched the young guy do it! But the corkscrew aspect of his "KKW" was tighter, faster than Denis's. Less Bolshoi, but classically cleaner.

#25 ami1436

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 07:18 AM

I find it a bit disconcerting that a gala which is half dedicated to Stars of Tomorrow did not make it clear as to who those stars are....

The results would have been nice as well, but at least let the audience know who these youngsters are!

#26 carbro

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 07:30 AM

I guess there was no way to list all of the performers in Act I, but it would be nice to know for the future, in case any of the dancers that we saw makes the big time!

Is anyone able to tell us the names of the competition medallists?

I find it a bit disconcerting that a gala which is half dedicated to Stars of Tomorrow did not make it clear as to who those stars are....

The results would have been nice as well, but at least let the audience know who these youngsters are!

If I remember correctly, last year, the list of performers and their selections went up on the YAGP website a while (like, over a week?) after the gala.

Patience!

And thanks to all for your reviews!

#27 drb

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 07:35 AM

Here's the Winners page, but the NYC Finals results are not yet up. You might need to click on winners or on awards & scholarships.
http://www.yagp.org/eng/regional07.asp

#28 mom2

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 07:50 AM

Thanks,

Have been checking that page from time to time since the announcement would have been made yesterday...we're interested in the NYC finals results.

m2

#29 drb

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:09 AM

YAGP PHOTOS
The outstanding ballet photographer Gene Schiavone will post photos of the 2007 NYC Finals within about five days here:
http://www.geneschia...ry/album08/yagp

#30 drb

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 09:08 AM

While waiting for the new winners to be listed, I looked through the list of prior winners. The 2002 Women's Gold winner is now a Prima Ballerina! She is Maria Abashova, the reigning star of the Eifman Ballet. Not just a name-alike, I checked that company's dancer bios, and they list her win, the same year that she entered the company.


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