NYCB's Block Programming
Posted 11 July 2007 - 07:51 PM
Posted 11 July 2007 - 08:27 PM
I suddenly remember: JP's association with NYCB goes back to childhood. He was a Drosselmeyer's nephew and also originated the boy's role in Balanchine's Don Quixote.
Edited by carbro, 11 July 2007 - 10:02 PM.
Posted 11 July 2007 - 09:52 PM
Frolich, a wonderful dancer, retired at a time when Robbins picked his own Ballet Masters to rehearse his rep. (Bart Cook was another.)
Jean-Pierre Frohlich, who staged Dybbuk, was a dancer with NYCB in the 1970s and 1980s and has been a ballet master there since shortly after (if not immediately upon) his retirement from the stage at the rank of soloist. Hardly an outsider.
Posted 12 July 2007 - 04:13 AM
Posted 12 July 2007 - 05:55 AM
Responses to this question, it seems to me, have a lot to do with whether one expects or wants to see the same work multiple times in a season, with or without different casting. Those who do so seem to dislike the block programming concept the most.
I think its true that it bothers those of us that have strong feelings about particular ballets, and probably more scheduling flexibility, the most. For me, if I am honest, the main reason i hate it is its MUCH harder to avoid the ballets I hate, which, again, being honest, is most of the Martins rep -- unless I also give up the chance to see ones I really want to see. The ultimate result for me was that not only did I go less often, but I forewent seeing ballets I wanted to see in order to avoid clunkers. For example, I realy liked Russian Seasons in the Winter season and woudl have loved to see it in the Spring but it was programmed in a block I had zero interest in otherwise.
Posted 12 July 2007 - 06:41 AM
I agree that block programming provided me with the opportunity (?) to see DYBBUK more than once. And while I still dislike it quite a bit, being 'forced' to watch it when Rachel Rutherford and Joaquin DeLuz had debuts in it made me see it (and Rachel) somewhat differently.
I also agree with all the comments about the program titles: they are trite, often inappropriate, and talk down to the audience.
Finally, to the poster who spoke against the "all Balanchine black and white evenings" - those ballets are among my favorites, which meant I went to most of the performances containing them. So for both of us, the block programming of those ballets together was a great idea - I got to see them all multiple times, and you got to avoid all of them (if you so chose).
Posted 14 July 2007 - 02:15 PM
I do like the idea of one "wild card" program each week just to mix things up and juxtapose some different ballets where you might see some new relationships.
I also feel that the "one note" programs come off badly -- all Bach or all Greek/Stravinsky/Balanchine or all Robbins are just too much. Balanchine masterworks are easy to program because he created masterpieces in so many styles. Robbins masterworks are harder to program because he became quite repetitious and the lesser works are too obviously knock-offs of the better works (Tschaikovsky Piano Pieces vs. Dances at a Gathering for example).
On the plus side, the corps often seemed better rehearsed in some of the big works. And the orchestra usually sounded good, too.
For me, the best programs were those in the "For Lincoln" week of Balanchine "black & white" works. They were mixed and matched all week in interesting programs and there were enough ballets that there wasn't excessive repetition.
Posted 15 July 2007 - 06:40 AM
Unfortunately I missed the entire week of "For Lincoln" Balanchine black & whites – but I love maddam's idea of a weekly "wild card" to break up the block programming – surely Martin's can give us that much!
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