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NYCB Week 6: Feb 6 - 11


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#1 drb

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 07:25 AM

Did anyone see the debuts of BAR, RAMASAR, TAYLOR :angel_not: , and MARCOVICI in Episodes, and of MEARNS and J. ANGLE in V W?

#2 Balanchinomane

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 10:13 AM

Yes, Yes - Episodes was a fine performance - Bar and Amasar are well matched - Janie Taylor
looked fantastic - in top form with Marcovici - Kowroski's Ricercata sings.
Interesting to see a "real" black and white ballet next to the "fake" as is Tribute.
It's to very danceable Bach and a very watchable ballet. Lots of references to Mr B's work,
especially a lot of Barocco steps. It's broken down into 8 parts so it doesn't really flow.
The opening soloist Devin Alberda is outstanding. The costumes are black and white
practice clothes except for Ashley Bouder, clad in grey. Her pas de deux with TAngle is
lovely. At one point he offers his hand and she taps it away - a reminder that Mr B's
Ballerinas can dance it alone.
The finale was like a reverance - a respectful Thank you to Mr Kirstein and Mr B for
giving the dancers and the audience such wondrous gifts. And thanks to Chris D'Amboise
for this fitting addition to the repertory.
Vienna Waltzes rounded out the evening. Vienna Woods is a good role for Mearns, partnered
with JAngle. She looked lush and elegant.
Woetzel and Weese were sprightly as Springtime on a cold winter's night. Oh how I'm going
to miss her -
Although she embodies the Merry Widow, I'd love to see Jenifer Ringer in der Rosenkavalier.

#3 beck_hen

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 02:12 PM

I've only seen it twice, but I feel like I could never tire of Episodes. It's as if a gloriously weird dialect of classical ballet (and music) developed independently in a parallel universe. I think Janie Taylor's performance in the third section was the highlight of the ballet. It may seem to be a reach, but for me, the choreography of the third section references Coppelia. There's no Dr. Coppelius figure; the dancers are like dolls who teach themselves how to dance. There are some spastic movements but Taylor presented them as if they were completely natural and unpremeditated, like synapses firing. Abi Stafford was good in the first section, but her approach was in direct contrast to Taylor's. I could see her shaping the tensing and releasing movements deliberately. Very apples and oranges, and if I had to pick I'd take Taylor's apple. Ellen Bar didn't live up to my memory of Teresa Reichlen in the second section. I don't like to base my opinion on physique, but Reichlen's unusual suppleness was so effective in that part. She made her splayed limbs look remarkable and strange, like I was watching a scary insect mating ritual. Yes, that's actually a compliment! Maria K. was very stately and beautiful in the final section, but a tad bland? It seems like a challenge to link the more conventional finale to the bizarre things that happened before.

As a ballet, I thought Tribute was kind of boring, not singular enough compared to the other works on the program or in the repertoire. It did make the dancers look good, though. I agree with everyone else, Devin Alberda's solo, wow. Was that choreographed on him? What a difference it makes when that's the case. Bouder gave her role the full ballerina treatment, but I wondered if she was pushing a narrative that wasn't really there in the ballet, some romantic quest that none of the other dancers recognized. She was exquisite anyway. I'd like to see her in more story ballets.

Vienna Waltzes is great theater! It was cast so appropriately, it's hard to believe that's the second cast. Mearns is someone you want to see waltz. She was both elegant, excited and a bit shy, very Young Girl in Spectre de la Rose. Jared Angle showed pleasant refinement as her partner. I don't yet see the shading in the relationship provided by Rutherford and Hubbe, whose take on it is a small masterpiece, in my view. I could feel the world narrow to just the two of them. But a good debut. Miranda Weese was in impressive form whipping off chaines, and Jennifer Ringer spectacularly nailed the woman of experience role.

Even though I'm not crazy about Tribute, I think this is a well-constructed program. While I could discern the different flavors among the leotard ballets on the Stravinsky/Balanchine bill, as an evening it was too much of a good thing. Contrast is illuminating.

#4 Globetrotter

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 08:19 PM

First off, the overal program looked like a great ticket: Serenade, Dybbuk and Violin Concerto. I was in NY on business so bought an Orchestra seat. That program had something for eveyone and I really wanted to see NYCB do Dybbuk.

I've always been a sucker for Serenade (As Balanchine said, "If you don't like the ballet, [which I do] then close your eyes and listen to the music.") and the orchestra sounded very good. I though some tempi might be too slow for dancing (especially in the waltz), but overall the music was lush and powerful. The corps was too ragged for my taste (maybe its the musician in me) but the soloists were good. Wendy Whalen can still get it done, although it's probably time for a younger, more flexible dancer to take the lead. Ashley Bouder was great to see (a first for me). Her technique perfect, her dancing flowed and her balances impressive. I thought the man (Charles Askegard) showed very good partnering (smooth lifts and invisible partnering) but his solo dancing seemed stiff. I enjoyed myself - myabe the dancing got a bit messy here and there, but the intent came through clearly.

I saw Yuan Yuan and Sarah Van Patten do Dybbuk in San Francisco. Dybbuk was better in San Francisco, I think. First off, the male corps, which is so important to the ballet, was better in San Francisco. I think the San Fransicso male corps' technique was generally better - steps were landed without wobbles; turns were cleaner, movements more in unison, more energy, finishing every step. I guess that 's no surprise, given that San Fran is known for its men. Jennifer Ringer danced the female lead very well, but I still think I saw more from Yuan Yuan and Sarah. The technical requirements of the role are not that demanding, but it needs someone who can act and take up big space on the stage like a Juliet, Giselle or Aurora. Both San Fran dancers did more with this part than did Ms Ringer. The orchestera was again great. They seemed very well-rehearsed for such as disjointed sounding, difficult piece of music.

Unfortunately, a lot of the New York audience left after Dybbuk, and never got to see Violin Concerto. How sad. The two lead couples: Yvonne Bouree, Maria Koworski, Nicholai Hubbe and Sebastien Marcovici tore it up as did the solo violinist, Kurt Nikkanen. This ended up being the performance of the evening. I wandered out into the 10 degree night warmed from their efforts.

#5 jeff-sh

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 09:20 AM

Bar and Amasar are not as good as REICHLEN and la COUR. The latter are much more confident and assured.
Taylor did not do very good job when sliding acrossed the floor. she reversed direction even before she fully extended her back leg. (comparing to Whelan)

#6 carbro

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 10:33 AM

Dybbuk was better in San Francisco, I think.

Bar and Amasar are not as good as REICHLEN and la COUR. . . . Taylor did not do very good job when sliding acrossed the floor. . . . (comparing to Whelan)

Not to dispute either of your assessments, but experience may be a factor in both cases.

I believe SFB has been doing Dybbuk for quite a while. None of the dancers in NYCB's Dybbuk was even in the company to see it when it last performed. The ballet is very new to these dancers, and I don't expect them to have the thorough familiarity and comfort level that the SF dancers have.

Likewise, this was adebut for both Bar-Ramassar and Taylor-Marcovici. It was also Taylor's second performance after more than a year out with injury. I don't expect her to be at the top of her form. I was there Tuesday, and while Taylor is not yet back to full strength, and this is not a role where she could go for broke in her usual way anyway, she looked beautiful. I was happy to see her. I like beck_hen's take on the Concerto section of Episodes. I never thought of it as a late 20th C. doll dance. : ) .The timing in Five Pieces, with Bar and Ramassar, could have been (and will in time, I hope) sharper. I also thought the Bach section could have been grander.

Tribute was very well danced. Alberda was gorgeous, and it was fun picking out the Balanchinisms, but no, it does not hold together very well as a ballet, despite the symmetry of both opening and closing it with thorough explorations of reverence.

The evening's high point was (for my first time ever) the Merry Widow section of Vienna Waltzes. Ringer outshone the diamonds around her neck, Still, I miss her in Voices of Spring. I was disappointed with Weese and, especially Woetzel, and their rather earth-bound rendering of that section. It may be time for Damian to consider putting this role behind him. Most disappointing of all was Kistler's Rosenkavelier section. In a role that is not technically demanding, we hope to see her sweetness, vulnerability and heart. She looked like she didn't really want to be up there. The Vienna Woods brought a charming Mearns and snappy JAngle.

#7 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 10:46 AM

Off-topic, but oh no. . .are the brothers to become JAngle and TAngle?

#8 carbro

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 11:05 AM

JAngle and TAngle, to be sure!

Using last names, there's the issue of which Angle. Using first names, which Tyler/Tiler? Ergo, solving 2 problems (or one and a half) at once.

#9 E Johnson

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 11:26 AM

Off-topic, but oh no. . .are the brothers to become JAngle and TAngle?



Still better than the years of Froman, Ky and Froman, Ku.

#10 Helene

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 11:34 AM

Not to leave out the Frame brothers, Pa and Pe.

#11 carbro

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 11:41 AM

I'd love to have another dancing Angle brother, but hope one is not named Mark or Michael.

#12 drb

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 02:14 PM

I'd love to have another dancing Angle brother....

If that third were to appear we'd have a TriAngle.

#13 drb

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 02:25 PM

I saw Yuan Yuan and Sarah Van Patten do Dybbuk in San Francisco. Dybbuk was better in San Francisco, I think....
.... Unfortunately, a lot of the New York audience left after Dybbuk...


I'm glad the San Francisco Ballet (which I greatly admired last summer at Lincoln Center) outclasses NYCB in Dybbuk and, for that matter, ABT in Othello. The New York companies would do well to drop these ballets from their respective reps.

#14 lkresge

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 03:08 PM

I agree with everyone else, Devin Alberda's solo, wow. Was that choreographed on him? What a difference it makes when that's the case.


Yes, that solo was choreographed on him - originally for the SAB Workshop Performances in 2005.

#15 Old Fashioned

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 03:22 PM

I'm glad the San Francisco Ballet (which I greatly admired last summer at Lincoln Center) outclasses NYCB in Dybbuk and, for that matter, ABT in Othello. The New York companies would do well to drop these ballets from their respective reps.


I liked Dybbuk when I saw it a few nights ago, so it's a work that I would like to see the company grow into. Why should a company drop a ballet from its rep simply because they don't do it was well as another company? I don't like Othello, and think it should be dropped, period, but that's besides the point. Should NYCB stop performing Sleeping Beauty and the Royal stop performing Balanchine?


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