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Miami in Berkeley


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#1 ggobob

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 06:31 PM

This afternoon, Miami City Ballet closed out a three performance run at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall. Nine Sinatra Songs, Agon, and Upper Room comprised the triple bill.

I'll leave it to the critics to make official comments...for myself, I was pleased, delighted, and energized. The Sinatra always pleases me, I was delighted to see a company other the SF Ballet perform Balanchine in the Bay Area, and if I was getting tired from the extended intermissions, Twyla and Philip Glass got everyone going - some more than others: the smoke effects got somewhat out of hand at one of the performances and some in the audience got going right out of the hall.

High level of artistry, casting remained the same for the run. I saw two of the performances, loud cheering, lots of folks standing to applaud, dancing improved from performance to performance (Zellerbach's stage lacks depth and takes some testing through performance).

Low point - relatively light attendance. The hall holds 2,000. It was about half full the two times I attended. Glass half (?), larger audiences than for the Joffrey last week.

Saw Alistair Macaulay in the house this afternoon.

#2 Helene

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 11:00 PM

Thank you for your impressions, ggobob! Sadly, I couldn't make it down to Berkeley for this one.

#3 bart

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 04:03 AM

Thanks, ggobob! I'm glad they did well and that you enjoyed the performances. Some thoughts:

the smoke effects got somewhat out of hand at one of the performances and some in the audience got going right out of the hall.

This has happened before, and once the stage was so obscured it was hard to see some of the dancing. Are smoke effects that difficult to get right? (Maybe we need a thread about smoke-effect disasters and similar disasters we have seen.)

[

Low point - relatively light attendance. The hall holds 2,000. It was about half full the two times I attended. Glass half (?), larger audiences than for the Joffrey last week.

This is sad. Any thoughts about the possible reasons? Was it well publicized? Is the Berkley audience for ballet just getting smaller?

Saw Alistair Macaulay in the house this afternoon.

This guy really is out to learn more about the state of ballet around the country. Good for him.

Would love to hear more of your thoughts, ggobob. And ... did anyone else attend these performances?

#4 cahill

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 07:39 AM

I went Saturday and enjoyed the performance so much that I went again for the Sunday Mat. I do not have the technical experience to review a performance as some here on the board.

I have seen this company several times and what I find so interesting is their energy and stage presence and it was there this weekend! One of the best performances of Miami City Ballet that I have seen.

It was not a full house at either show but I thought a very appreciative crowd. The big push for Cal Performances was selling the tickets as part of the Tharp package. They also had some tough competition, the baseball game (actually saw a patron multi-tasking; listening to the game during the performance!) and unusually warm weather for San Francisco.

There was a good review in the Chronicle which I am sure will be posted on the links page. Rachel Howard, Chronicle Dance Correspondent, ends her review with "Forget Balanchine: I'd see the Miami City Ballet in just about anything, and I hope they come back soon" to which I concur!

#5 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 07:43 AM

Thanks, ggobob! I'm glad they did well and that you enjoyed the performances. Some thoughts:

the smoke effects got somewhat out of hand at one of the performances and some in the audience got going right out of the hall.

This has happened before, and once the stage was so obscured it was hard to see some of the dancing. Are smoke effects that difficult to get right? (Maybe we need a thread about smoke-effect disasters and similar disasters we have seen.)

:angel_not: bart, that would be a great idea to start a thread on this subject !. I personally hate the smoking machines.. :wub:

#6 Helene

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 07:57 AM

Thank you for your impressions, cahill! Don't even begin to worry about the technical; we appreciate your observations.

The link to Howard's review will appear in today's links, but just as impressive is Howard's refutation of the standard MCB story, and her conclusion:

Tharp's relentless invention is thrill enough, but the real spectacle was the Miami City Ballet's nonstop energy and unfailing clarity. If this isn't world-class dancing, I don't know what is.



#7 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 08:21 AM

The link to Howard's review will appear in today's links, but just as impressive is Howard's refutation of the standard MCB story, and her conclusion:

Tharp's relentless invention is thrill enough, but the real spectacle was the Miami City Ballet's nonstop energy and unfailing clarity. If this isn't world-class dancing, I don't know what is.

Well said!..Go MCB!!! :angel_not:

#8 bart

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 09:32 AM

Thank you for your impressions, cahill! Don't even begin to worry about the technical; we appreciate your observations.

Words taken out of my mouth! Although there are a lot of very skilled and accomplished ballet writers on Ballet Talk, many of us are just enthusiastic amateurs. Writing down what we've seen actually improves the eye for future performances. And it helps others, too.

#9 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 10:06 AM

Thank you for your impressions, cahill! Don't even begin to worry about the technical; we appreciate your observations.

Words taken out of my mouth! Although there are a lot of very skilled and accomplished ballet writers on Ballet Talk, many of us are just enthusiastic amateurs. Writing down what we've seen actually improves the eye for future performances. And it helps others, too.

I know bart...i have somebody who's dying to join BT, but she finds the technical writing too intimidating...i'll try harder to convince her to step in...

#10 iwatchthecorps

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 05:06 PM

I have read the NY Times and the Chronicle Review. Both indicate that "Miami City Ballet might not be quite a world-class company." My question for this group is, what does it take to become a world class ballet company?

If it takes an international tour, then so be it. Edward take your fabulous company to Europe!

#11 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 08:30 PM

I have read the NY Times and the Chronicle Review. Both indicate that "Miami City Ballet might not be quite a world-class company." My question for this group is, what does it take to become a world class ballet company?

If it takes an international tour, then so be it. Edward take your fabulous company to Europe!

I'm convinced that Miami has an stigma...it will take a lot of time and effort to change the minds of those who can't admit that MCB is a cultural force strongly sustained by Eddie and his wonderful troupe...

#12 bart

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 05:09 AM

Well, critics are certainly paying attention! I hope that the MCB will build upon these truly marvellous audiences and critical responses. I also hope that touring next season (and into the summer?) becomes even more ambitious. Why not Europe? as iwatchthecorps suggests.

:innocent: Rachel Howard in the San Francisco Chronicle gives them a smash review. But she seems to have seen the debut of a peviously unpublicized dancer -- named Mary Carmen Montoya! Message to reviewers: please check your cast lists before writing.

Here's the LINK: http://www.sfgate.co...9/DDV1T2BJF.DTL (Courtesy of dirac's Links thread yesterday.)


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