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Miami City Ballet at the Tilles Center-- moved from Program IV thread


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#1 Klavier

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 06:15 PM

NOTE FROM BART: At the suggestion of Jack Reed, I attempted to move these posts from the Program IV thread to one devoted only to the touring performance at the Tilles Center on Long Island. Unfortunately -- :o -- I merged the posts instead of moving them. That means everything appears under the name of the first poster, Klavier. I've gone through the posts and tried to insert the name of each person. I hope I got it right. Many, Many apologies from a technological buffoon. :flowers: :blush: :blush:
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From Klavier:
Hi, everybody. I can't think of a better place to post this, so here goes. I will be seeing the MCB for the first time later this month when they tour at the Tilles Center in Long Island. The program includes Raymonda Variations, Tarantella, and In the Upper Room. Which dancers should I particularly watch for? Thanks.

Kl.
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From cubanmiamiboy:

Hi, everybody. I can't think of a better place to post this, so here goes. I will be seeing the MCB for the first time later this month when they tour at the Tilles Center in Long Island. The program includes Raymonda Variations, Tarantella, and In the Upper Room. Which dancers should I particularly watch for? Thanks.

Kl.


In a personal descending preference order: Sarabita (Rolando Sarabia). Then, Jeremy Cox, Isanusi Garcia, Renato Panteado and Alex Wong among the men..About the ballerinas, Jeannette Delgado, Deanna Seay, Jennifer Kronemberg and Tricia Albertson.

For Tarantella, i hope you get to see Jeanette Delgado/Renato Panteado.
For Raymonda Variations, Sarabita and Seay.
In the Upper Room...whatever...
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From Bart:
Klavier, I hope you enjoy it! When we lived up there, I only saw orchestra performances at the Tilles, and I wonder how the stage will work for ballet. I don't recall it as being particularly large.

I agree with Cristian's choices and would like to add a few.

Raymonda Variations was performed down here last season. Look for Mary Carmen Catoya especially. I would keep an eye out for her in anything; she's having a great season.

Upper Room, also from last season, had a team of excellent "stompers" chosen by Tharp. Cristian has already mentioned Cox and Wong. I'd definitely add Daniel Baker (you'll recognize him; he's young and very blond). The ensemble (corps etc.) was excellent in this as well.)

There's not much in this program for one of my favorite dancers, Jennifer Kronenberg. However, last season she (with Deanna Seay) was an excellent "china doll" in the Tharp.

For a discussion of the Tharp and the Raymonda (from the archives):
http://ballettalk.in...showtopic=23986

Please report on the Tilles performance in DETAIL!
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From Klavier:

Klavier, I hope you enjoy it! When we lived up there, I only saw orchestra performances at the Tilles, and I wonder how the stage will work for ballet. I don't recall it as being particularly large.

I agree with Cristian's choices and would like to add a few.

Raymonda Variations was performed down here last season. Look for Mary Carmen Catoya especially. I would keep an eye out for her in anything; she's having a great season.

Upper Room, also from last season, had a team of excellent "stompers" chosen by Tharp. Cristian has already mentioned Cox and Wong. I'd definitely add Daniel Baker (you'll recognize him; he's young and very blond). The ensemble (corps etc.) was excellent in this as well.)

There's not much in this program for one of my favorite dancers, Jennifer Kronenberg. However, last season she (with Deanna Seay) was an excellent "china doll" in the Tharp.

For a discussion of the Tharp and the Raymonda (from the archives):
http://ballettalk.in...showtopic=23986

Please report on the Tilles performance in DETAIL!


Thanks to both of you. I'll write as much as I can!
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From cubanmiamiboy:

I'd definitely add Daniel Baker (you'll recognize him; he's young and very blond).


Yes, bart...Baker always seems to stand out, and i notice a particularly well developed partnership skills on him, specifically during liftings...A friend of mine also told me that he was great in Brodward during one of the few things from "Nightspot" that i actually liked...that striking male solo performed the three times here in Miami by Jeremy Cox.(You know, the one showing off those great extensions :( )

From Klavier:
Of the names Cubanmiami and Bart supplied, most were represented at the Tilles Center on Saturday except Sarabita and Garcia. The program consisted of:

Raymonda Vars - Catoya, Penteado
Sonatine - Wu, Cox
Taranetella - Albertson, Wong (on Friday it was Delgado, Wong)
Upper Room - Kronenberg, Delgado, Wong, Cox, Baker, Albertson, Seay, Catoya, Bramarz, LA Esty, Dufaur, S Esty, Satterfield.

The stage is not huge, but you need to know where to sit, and if you're too close the sight lines are wretched. I was in Orchestra L132, which is good for seeing the stage, but the guy in front of me was tall enough that I had to keep adjusting my head to see the center of the stage - the seats are not well banked. But apparently Villella likes the venue enough to come back here rather than Manhattan. And I like not having to get in, around, and out of the city!
http://www.ticketmas...chart/131/21249

But you want to know about the dancing. For RV, I was most impressed by Catoya, who seems a small, but very precise dancer. I liked the articulation of her phrasing, in that every movement seemed carefully placed and not just generic. She was particularly impressive in the penultimate variation, where she has to do some kicking move towards the knee that I can't identify (I wish I knew some of the terminology). He was also a precise dancer, well-matched to her height, though for a man of moderate height he was not a huge jumper. He caught her in a fish at the very end that was spectacular.

The corps was dressed in lilac and I could not tell who was who - the demi-soloists were apparently Knox, Zien, Delgado, Manning, and Spirikonakos, though I think Sara Esty was announced for the harp variation. I especially like the variation where the one girl has to travel all the way to stage right on pointe, with only one leg on the ground and the other suspended at a right angle behind her. The set looked kind of cheesy and it's a disappointment hearing a tape, especially given a weak sound system.

Intermission, then two PDDs against a blue background with solo piano (the excellent Francisco Rennó, who transcribed Tarantella as a solo, though I prefer the orchestral version). Wu and Cox are well matched, she very delicate and fragile, he taller and a very understated virtuoso, someone who even in his most demanding moments never loses lyricism or seems to be showing off for its own sake. The ending of the first movement, where they exit upstage left with him walking backwards while they both are holding hands held high over their heads (such alliteration!), must be very difficult, but it appeared effortless. Only at the end of the third movement did I sense "fireworks"; otherwise it was very clean, elegant, retrained dancing.

Even Tarantella was not the "fireworks" I'm used to from City Ballet. It was somehow lighter, more buoyant, less the go-for-broke experience I know. Even though both partners used a tambourine, neither instrument seemed in danger of breaking. And this sums up for me the main difference I sense between NYCB and MCB: MCB on first acquaintance appeared more consistent, more elegant. While the highs NYCB can achieve are perhaps higher, the lows are lower too. But MCB seemed to have a sense of detailed phrasing sometimes lacking at NYCB. The corps was very clean in Raymonda, for example; when the girls held out their arms at their sides they all struck the same position, rather than NYCB's tendency for every corps member to assume an arm position of her own.

With the Upper Room, the sound system was quite loud enough (though not the ear-splitting rock concert it was for ABT at City Center last year). For once, and in contrast to the interminable pseudo-Eastern pretensions of Satyagraha, Philip Glass's constant repetitions made sense as an accompaniemnt to Twyla Tharp's driving motoric inventions. Impossible to single out more than a couple of people in such a tight ensemble, but certainly the very blond Daniel Baker was a standout for his forceful energy, and Alexandre Dufaur (I think it was he) impressed with his feline grace.

Excellent night on the whole.
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From Bart:
Thanks for the vivid, detailed report, Klavier. Was it a good sized house? How did the audience respond?

Also at the Tilles were Jennifer Dunning of the Times http://www.nytimes.c...n...llet&st=nyt
and Mary Cargill of DanceViewTimes
http://www.danceview...-city-ball.html.

Dunning's offhand comment on Sonatine is really puzzling, especially when compared to what the rest of us on Ballet Talk, and the other reviewers, too, thought about it. It's odd enough to quote in full:

The evening’s one disappointment was Balanchine’s “Sonatine,” which looked every bit here like the pičce d’occasion that it was originally on the opening-night gala of City Ballet’s 1975 Ravel Festival. Francisco Rennó’s playing of Ravel’s Sonatine for Piano had just the right sumptuous simplicity. The dancing, by Haiyan Wu and Jeremy Cox, was unembroidered.

But this was a piece Balanchine made for that deliciously French ballerina Violette Verdy, and for Jean-Pierre Bonnefous (now Bonnefoux). The two staged the ballet for Miami, but “Sonatine” may come to its fullest life when performed by dancers who are French or have a sense of Gallic esprit.

Sonatine, while not a great ballet, is a lovely and wonderful vehicle for dancing. The difference between the Wu/Cox partnership and the Seay/Bramaz first-cast partnership demonstrates that it can support a number of approaches. I like Cargill's image of the dancing as having "an improvisational, conversational quality ... with a limpid spontaneity that came across as a whisper."

Thanks to Helene and dirac for the Links to these reviews.
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From Klavier:

Thanks for the vivid, detailed report, Klavier. Was it a good sized house? How did the audience respond?

Also at the Tilles were Jennifer Dunning of the Times http://www.nytimes.c...n...llet&st=nyt
and Mary Cargill of DanceViewTimes
http://www.danceview...-city-ball.html.

Dunning's offhand comment on Sonatine is really puzzling, especially when compared to what the rest of us on Ballet Talk, and the other reviewers, too, thought about it.


I don’t know what Dunning is about either. The pianist had "the right sumptuous simplicity" (good) but the dancing was "unembroidered" (presumably bad)? "May come to its fullest life" – why hedge, Jennifer? I would think too that if Verdy and Bonnefous/x staged the ballet for MCB, they knew what they wanted, and a "sense of Gallic espritâ" includes a kind of conversational insouciance such as Wu and Cox displayed. Otherwise I was amused to see that Mary Cargill’s review echoed many of my own points, such as her comments on the tinny sound system and the greater restraint shown in Tarantella than we get here in New York. I presume Villella (whom I did not see in the house on Saturday) had something to do with that approach, and it's one that NYCB could learn from (not that I don't love seeing it in NYCB's more brash, go-for-broke version).

The house on my night was quite full and there was a will-call line. All but the closest seats were filled. The audience was not as wild as you’d get at ABT or NYCB when one of their popular principals retires, but they were solidly appreciative.

On the Winger blog, btw, Alex Wong states that the Tilles stage, while wide, is rather shallow, which created some challenges for the dancers for example when they had to form diagonals. He also tells us that MCB is coming to Manhattan in 01/09, which means that instead of seeing them through the somewhat mediocre sight lines of the Tilles Center, we can all see them through the semi-disastrous sight lines of the City Center.
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From Bart:

[On the Winger blog, btw, Alex Wong states that the Tilles stage, while wide, is rather shallow, which created some challenges for the dancers for example when they had to form diagonals. He also tells us that MCB is coming to Manhattan in 01/09, which means that instead of seeing them through the somewhat mediocre sight lines of the Tilles Center, we can all see them through the semi-disastrous sight lines of the City Center.

Now THAT is good news. (Not the sight-lines, I mean the appearance in Manhattan.)
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From Amy Reusch:

Intermission, then two PDDs against a blue background with solo piano (the excellent Francisco Rennó, who transcribed Tarantella as a solo, though I prefer the orchestral version).

From NYCB site:

Grand Tarentelle for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 67 (ca. 1866) by Louis Moreau Gottschalk, reconstructed and orchestrated by Hershy Kay

Did no single piano version exist? It seems odd for a famous composer of piano music...

#2 Jack Reed

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 06:46 AM

Ouch! Did I precipitate that? At least, the NYC-tour posts, which I have really enjoyed reading, now stand on their own in the forum menu, rather than being hidden at the end of the Program IV thread, which is about different repertory, among other things.

#3 bart

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 07:35 AM

Ouch! Did I precipitate that?

Well, you got me going, Jack, and for good reasons. The responsibilitiy for the goofup is entirely mine. :)


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