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NYCB in London


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#1 Jane Simpson

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 07:18 AM

The casting for the London visit is now up on NYCB's website - would anyone like to take a look and point out any particular treats in store for us? (As well as Hubbe's appearance!)

I notice that Tess Reichlen is shown as making her debut in In Vento - who created that role? Kowroski? (who apparently isn't coming to London)

#2 sz

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 08:12 AM

Especially good treats to see:

* Bouder and Ulbricht in Tarantella
* Hubbe in Zakouski
* Taylor in Serenade
* Bouder, Ulbricht in Fall of Four Seasons, and Millepied (if he's in the mood, and the tempi is not too fast...)


>I notice that Tess Reichlen is shown as making her debut in In Vento - who created that role? Kowroski?

Yes, Kowroski was the original lead female. In Vento is also a good treat on my list, but it's not my favorite. I do love the music and Millepied as the male lead. It would be worth seeing. And I'll be curious to hear what sort of style/chemistry the tall, long-limbed, cool, coltish beauty of Reichlen brings to the ballet.

p.s. And don't miss Alastair Macaulay's comments in the NYTimes tomorrow about NYCB. I'm in total agreement. It is a terrible pity that the director, Peter Martins, doesn't have the good judgment to make necessary decisions before such a publicly-shaming article must be written.

#3 sz

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 08:17 AM

Oh, and if you've never seen Symphony in C, it's a fantastic ballet. Casting, overall, hasn't been ideal for awhile, but in London, there will be some gems to see: Peck, Mearns, Scheller, Garcia, Carmena.

#4 carbro

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 11:37 AM

Beyond sz's good recommendations, I can't urge you strongly enough to see Ashley Bouder. She is, IMO, The Ballerina of her generation.

Also, I like The Russian Seasons. It was commissioned by NYCB last year and is probably not widely performed -- yet. I think it was Michael who described it perfectly as Les Noces at a Gathering. :lol: Very Russian-folkloric, if you like that kind of thing. Unfortunately, I can't recommend the rest of that program. But it might be worth your while to buy a ticket just for the closing ballet. :angel_not:

Edited by carbro, 08 March 2008 - 11:46 AM.


#5 bart

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 08:15 PM

Following sz's suggestion, I also recommend the Macaulay article in the 3/9 Times -- "Off to London, but not Packing their Best." I can't comment on the suggestion that some of the current NYCB rep is danced in a "virtually anti-Balanchinian" manner, but I have to admit being excited that this is the first NYCB visit in 24 years !!! :angel_not:

ON Wednesday New York City Ballet will open a season in London, its first there in more than 24 years and its first ever at the London Coliseum (a good theater for ballet: its dance history, which includes recent seasons by the Kirov and the Bolshoi, goes back to Diaghilev). The opening piece will be George Balanchineís ‚ÄúSerenade‚ÄĚ (1934).


I hope this the first step of a process that turns the NYCB back into the truly international company it once was.

#6 Michael

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 06:14 AM

Jane -- I think your casting is quite good, in most instances better than how the same ballets were cast here this winter. The casting in Western has definitely improved from the State Theater. You've got the Taylor/Bouder/Gilliland cast of Serenade for the most part; I wish we could have seen that here. Mearns in Bizet 2d movement is an absolute must see. Both Fairchild and Sterling Hyltin too in 3d movement. Hyltin for spaciousness, strength, the raw movement quality -- she was not well utilized here this past season; she's really very fine. Ditto Mearns as spring in 4 Seasons (sorry you won't see Rebecca Krohn do summer in that ballet). I'd want to see Megan LeCrone in Agon -- she's got the intense, neo-classical, thing that Macauley thinks is often missing, only she carries it nearly to anti-classicism in a similar way to Whelan and for the same reason -- because the body is a bit anti-classical. LeCrone, if she can stay healthy, is a natural for much of Whelan's repertory. In Vento should look beautiful on Reichlen but it's an ensemble piece and will look good on everyone -- Tiler Peck is beautiful in it, dark, sexy, sunk into her hips, you'll be surprised it's the same girl who danced Carousel.

I envy you the season and generally they are putting their best foot forward.

I do think Martins is making a mistake (and asking for trouble from the critics) by taking Thou Swell there. He seems quite fond of that ballet (they took it to Copenhagen also three years ago) reinforcing my theory that the "inner editor" is what he often lacks.

#7 sz

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 07:48 AM

Megan LeCrone is far more a young Karin von Aroldingen. She has an interesting upper body (wide shoulders and long arms), but her legs, technique and overall style cannot compare whatsoever to the gorgeous, elegant, strong, fierce energy, and bright, angular beauty that Wendy Whelan once brought to NYCB. Wendy now is at the end of her career, and most of her recent performances, for me, are a sad reminder of what once was.

Yes, there's room for another Karin type at NYCB, but I'd love to see LeCrone in Stravinsky Violin Concerto (Karin's old part) instead of Agon. Now that ballet would have been a far better choice to bring to London (among hundreds of others) than Peter's costume parade of Thou Swell.

#8 Michael

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 04:30 PM

Well it's certainly a great compliment to LeCrone to be compared to Von Aroldingen. Though I think she's probably purer and and more classical, stronger and better trained as an academic dancer than Von Aroldingen was. (Probably doesn't make chicken soup as well, however). In any case, it will be interesting to see what the London audience thinks.

#9 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 07:52 PM

Might as well add to the cacophony here!

I can't say they're bringing their best to London either in rep or casting. I feel sorry for any Londoner who has never seen Kistler and is getting a first glimpse of her now. You're not going to see what we once saw - at all. They also don't have a great Symphony in C cast at present (I haven't seen Mearns, but I'm not completely sold on her yet; in many ballets she's blank.)

LeCrone in Agon is interesting - I fall somewhere between Michael and sz on this - I don't know that she's a von Aroldingen type, but she's not "classical" - she's unorthodox but fascinating for it and she does the pas de deux quite well.

If Bouder and Ulbricht in Tarantella don't start a five alarm blaze in the theater, demand your money back.

I've hated every Bigonzetti ballet I've seen (I'd sit through three Thou Swells painlessly if I could miss In Vento - but I find Thou Swell harmless) so pick your poison. Russian Seasons is worth seeing.

Now armed with these contradictions, Londoners, venture forth and tell us what you thought!

#10 Jane Simpson

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 07:06 AM

Thankyou for all these pointers - London and New York have often seen each others' dancers (and ballets) very differently so it will be interesting to read reactions this time! But I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the younger women we've heard so much about.

#11 AmandaNYC

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 10:39 AM

If Bouder and Ulbricht in Tarantella don't start a five alarm blaze in the theater, demand your money back.


Like minds, Leigh. I was just commenting to someone that their pairing in Tarantella will likely make the house explode from all that energy! I'm very sorry I didn't get to see them perform together here. I had wondered if Bouder kept 'one upping' herself in Four Seasons this last season because she had to contend with Ulbricht in the same section (though, of course, she is always trying new things).

-amanda

#12 ami1436

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:45 AM

Surely others were there last night.... I think Wendy Whelan was the highlight, in Agon. Breathtaking! (more later).

#13 Mashinka

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:42 AM

I had mixed feelings but agree about Wendy Whelan. The hideous costumes for Symphony in C were a shock and flattered almost no one; this is a ballet that is danced brilliantly by other companies now, particularly the Bolshoi. Liked Gonzalo Garcia though. Serenade was superb and I'd never seen it danced so fast but like most people of my generation I positively loathe all that long hair business.

#14 popularlibrary

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 11:15 AM

Serenade was superb and I'd never seen it danced so fast but like most people of my generation I positively loathe all that long hair business.


Fascinating. "Most people of my generation" ?? And this remarkable figure comes from where? Does it include only the UK, or all of Europe, or everyone everywhere? If it's true, one can only wonder at "positively loathing" this particular "business" in such exceptional numbers and for just one generation. Why exactly? Because it's messy? cliched? romantic? anti-feminist? indecorous? low-class? an insult to hair-dressers? what?

Of the fast tempi, I'd suggest that too many companies slow them down for Balanchine ballets and possibly, seeing one danced at the speed Balanchine intended can be something of a shock.

#15 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 11:53 AM

[Moderator Beanie on]

I'm sure we can discuss this without a food fight, folks :). Try and leave room in your reports for differing opinions.

[Moderator Beanie off]

My spies were fond of Mearns in second movement. Other comments? Has Bouder blasted onto stage yet?

Ami, if you don't report further I will not give you my recipe for sambar.


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