Posted 20 March 2008 - 11:11 AM
Unfortunately I do not have as much time today to write as I wished! At the last minute yesterday I decided that seeing this Tarantella might be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and as I was in London, I should see if there were tickets... lo and behold. Yes, I missed the RB I had been scheduled to see.... but I'll be seeing them again soon!
Thou Swell.... Um. Yeah. Unfortunately to me, this felt like it would never end. The waitress girls seemed really under-rehearsed to me, and should they have really been carrying trays, well, some of them were very funnily shaped, and somehow managed to have superhero abilities in fighting gravity regardless of the angle at which they were held! Sarah Mearns began the piece and seemed to be dancing similarly to her Symphony in C... this changed though and she became sassier - I think this more blatantly jazzy style suits her well. And to Ramasar's credit, despite his rising shoulders, he was totally acting the part, looking seriously smitten. But the biggest thing this piece seemed to lack was the sense of real chemistry between the couples. And that sense of chemistry might be the only thing that saves the ballet! I think Kistler danced the main pdd in it (to Bewitched...?), and Faye Arthurs is the one who goes for the 6'o'clock secondes? I was a bit surprised (not because of her extensions) that she is only a corps member - she had some lovely lines overall. I don't know what more to say though... by the end of this, I was more than ready for it to be over.
I didn't stay for West Side (and am seeing this bill on Saturday matinee), but overall I enjoyed Western Symphony. Although I'm distinctly aware that Albert Evans may be approaching the end of his career, I dare say the other men have a lot to learn from him, especially in terms of stage presence/gravitas/acting. He acted from beginning to end while he was on stage, which made everything the more enjoyable. Poor Martins seemed to act for a second when it was choreographed, and then slip into 'it's time to concentrate'.... hmmm. I was impressed by Hyltin, his partner, in the second movement - and especially by her arms. She had a nice lyrical quality to her, which makes me wonder what she will be like in the Tarantella on Saturday. I'm afraid I'm not necessarily moved by the Staffords, but suitably enjoyed Reichlen and Hanna. Again, however, I thought some of the corps looked slightly under-rehearsed... and some of the arabesques were not even secondbesques... but very clearly turned in secondes attempting to be arabesques.... really unsightly.
Alright, enough for the bread, time for the meat: Tarantella. I'm so glad I went. I was scared, because I think 2 years ago now we had a local performance to Gottshalk and there were 4 boys and a girl in the Tarantella. The Tarantella was the most over-rehearsed piece in our little performance, and I was seriously haunted by the music and felt that it was too long (I wasn't in it!). Literally, a few of us would have nightmares to the music. I was hoping I could put it aside - and now I could listen to the music quite happily!
I think Daniel Ulbricht stole the show, and upstaged Bouder. He worked his tambourine so hard that the little metal discs went flying off, and he and Bouder danced with so much attitude and cheek - again, so nice to see that kind of presence! (Side note - Bouder actually looked fab in that little tutu - work it, girl!). Ulbricht can't really be that tall? But he could jump so high! His first jump I was like (my speak becomes all teenager-y when I'm in awe) 'What, huh? No way!'. But as it went on, I continued to be surprised by everything he did. I've never seen such slow, clean, articulate jete entournant entrelace before. Such fast grand jetes en menage... Really spectacular. Boy could school Acosta in ballon. Bouder... well... she just makes it all seem so fabulously fun and easy. It goes without saying that these two are real virtuousos (sp?), but underneath that bravura is so much lightness, quick and accurate. Does this girl *need* a preparation to jump? It's like she just thinks 'up' and she's there.
Wow wow wow. I'm still rather inarticulate. I'm looking forward to see what Sat's cast make out of it.
Question 1: Is there a video of Villella and McBride in Tarantella? Please please please say yes!
Question 2: Re: the women's curtsies. This has been bothering me since last week. But when the women bow, they stand as usual, in a b+ position, with the gesturing foot pointed. Most dancers I've seen, when they bow in this position, regardless of whether they go down to the knee or not, keep the foot pointed as it slides along the floor. This is also how I've always been taught.... But the women of NYCB seem to swithch their foot to a demi-pointe... ? Is this something that's always been? It's a small detail I know, but something that was so blatantly obvious to me...
Right... I'm off to find a tambourine...
editted to add: Unfortunately I'm only seeing Programme 1 and 4... hopefully others will comment on 2 and 3!
eta, part 2: Hyltin was Evan's partner, not Martins'! and changing the second question 1 to question 2....