cubanmiamiboy

Miami City Ballet: Program 1

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I believe bart said Balanchine called it 'Swan Lake', but I thought I remembered when seeing Hayden in it in 1971 that it was listed in the program as 'Swan Lake Act II'.
I wonder whether this DID begin. It certainly was "Swan Lake" on its own in the late 50s, when I first saw it, and I must admit I never noticed a re-titling in the decades following. That doesn't mean it didn't actually happen then. I may not have been paying attention. Certainly no one I knew used "Act II" in conversation.

The NYCB website continues to refer to it as "Swan Lake (Balanchine)" to distinguish it from "Swan Lake (Martins)."

When DID the title change? Who did it? And why? NYCB and Balanchine experts -- please help!

It could be that I got there and found out what it was, and read it in the Notes rather than as the title. Too long ago to remember. I also don't know if NYCB stopped doing it completely after 'Swan Lake (Martins)' started. I assume they did. But I would have known even then that I was not going to see an evening-length 'Swan Lake' given two other works on the program. So, maybe rg or mel or sz can tell us when 'Swan Lake Act II' appeared as a title. You may well be right that NYCB never used 'Swan Lake Act II' as an actual title, but just explained it in the notes.

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Thanks a lot to all BT’s who chimed in with this thread. Here are some thoughts, from

The Saturday night performance:

Swan Lake:

A plus for Deanna Seay and Rolando Sarabia. Still my favorite MCB’s pair. Experience gets to be noticed on their dancing for sure. Sorry if I’m repeating myself about this.

Deanna Seay did a series of Piquee turns to die for. What a pleasure to watch. Brava!

Sarabita is still the best combination of Danseur Noble/magnificent technician I’ve ever witnessed. Bravo!

This time I watched the Corps more carefully. Find its patterns more alluring each time. Noticed at one point a perfect Willi-like diagonal formation. Beautiful. The Pas de Neuf was danced with a special brio, and loved the series of Grand Battements done by the girls during the “Valse Bluette”

4 T’s

First Theme. Wu/Zou. I saw a conscious sense of delicate plasticity on both dancers while dancing this piece. They did for me here better than in SL.

Second Theme. Albertson/Bramaz. Albertson has a vintage ballerina-looking aura that works big time for me. Maybe is just my imagination, but that’s how I tend to perceive this elegant looking ballerina, who also has a beautiful lines.

Third Theme. Patricia Delgado/Guerra. The Delgado sisters are quickly escalating both within the company ranks and in my personal taste. Patricia did a terrific job, along with Guerra’s usual display of subtle correctness and appropriate virility. Great.

Melancholic. Wong. As usual, the silent jumper and airy dancer with a lovely cambre. My favorite Melancholic so far.

Sanguinic. Jeannette Delgado/Panteado. Jeannette is the newest full force within the Company. Love her fearless attack. Can’t wait for her Quiteria. Panteado showed a great deal of good partnership.

Phlegmatic. Cox. One more time, Cox displays his unique individuality in style and interpretation. My favorite Mr. B’s-(or Mr. Villella’s)- dancer within the company, as I’ve said earlier.

Choleric.Spiridonakos. The allure of a tall ballerina always has worked for me, also during Spiridonakos’ performance tonight, even not being the best technician,-(a la Veronika Part)

"In the Upper Room".

WHAT’S UP WITH THE FIRE ALARM LIGHTS?! They went at some point, and I kind of woke up and started looking around wondering if Tharp had decided to add the theater device as part of the ballet. You never know with her, and as anybody else seemed to be alarmed, I decided that maybe that was the case and I was showing poor knowledge regarding the work. I decided to go back to my daydreaming.

Note: Mary Carmen Catoya stood out big time. She showed a newly acquired radiant expression that along with her superb detailing during the piece made her the big winner of it.

Note 2- The best of all was to get to meet Jack Reed and NYSusan - What a pleasure to put faces on their words finally!

Sunday: More stuff coming about the matinée performance, but I wanted to mention that I also met lovely Natalia, and we had a great time chatting while sipping coffee after the performance. Thanks for the invitation Natalia! :(

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WEll, calling it Swan Lake Act 2 would make you think it was giong to BE Swan Lake Act 2 -- which it really is not. In Margot Fonteyn's days, the Royal ballet DID often dance Swan Lake Act 2, and even made a film of it, complete with hunters and Benno in the "pas de deux a trois." Macaulay, as a Brit, should be very familiar with tis version and would understandably object to calling Balanchine's distinctive version, which IS complete in itself, by hte name of the excerpt.

I believe bart said Balanchine called it 'Swan Lake', but I thought I remembered when seeing Hayden in it in 1971 that it was listed in the program as 'Swan Lake Act II'.
I wonder whether this DID begin. It certainly was "Swan Lake" on its own in the late 50s, when I first saw it, and I must admit I never noticed a re-titling in the decades following. That doesn't mean it didn't actually happen then. I may not have been paying attention. Certainly no one I knew used "Act II" in conversation.

The NYCB website continues to refer to it as "Swan Lake (Balanchine)" to distinguish it from "Swan Lake (Martins)."

When DID the title change? Who did it? And why? NYCB and Balanchine experts -- please help!

It could be that I got there and found out what it was, and read it in the Notes rather than as the title. Too long ago to remember. I also don't know if NYCB stopped doing it completely after 'Swan Lake (Martins)' started. I assume they did. But I would have known even then that I was not going to see an evening-length 'Swan Lake' given two other works on the program. So, maybe rg or mel or sz can tell us when 'Swan Lake Act II' appeared as a title. You may well be right that NYCB never used 'Swan Lake Act II' as an actual title, but just explained it in the notes.

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Just back from Ft lauderdale and yesterday's gorgeous performance. I have so much to write but wanted first to say how great it was to finally see the Balanchine Swan Lake in all of its glory as Mr B intended -- with all-white tutus for all swans. I also thoroughly enjoyed the two other ballets and Mr. Villella's pre-perf chat...Bart, you were spot-on in that EV definitely prefered one work -- Four Ts, in this case -- and he had some insights about each movement which I'll be a sharing a bit later today, when I write a full review of my day.

A correct title for the Mr. B Swan Lake? How about "The Beauty of Swans" or "Reflections on Swans," as this is, first and foremost, about the corps de ballet. The finale left me breathless, those vigorous runs in circles, arcs, criss-crosses, etc.

I'm told that I truly lucked out in my 'surprise principals' for Swan Lake -- Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra. Both were excellent, as were the Delgado Sisters in the Pas de Neuf and Valse Bluette.

Four Ts - I thought that San Fco ballet (in NYC, last month) was great in this...Miami City Ballet is zestier, if not as precise. Jeremy Cox was very touching as Melancholic, although I'm told that he is even better in Phlegmatic.

Two Words come to mind when thinking back on Miami's version of In the Upper Room: Sarabia's pirouette's! Lordie, he could have gone on forever, twirling 100 mph, whenever he launched into one of his zippy pirouettes. Miami's Upper Room is the finest, zippiest rendition that I've seen outside ABT. Sarabia and Renato Penteado were the fastest 'change-directions diagonal' guys I've ever seen...garnering cheers whenever they emerged and crossed the stage with that particular move. Instant standing-o for Upper Room. Bravi Tutti!

Most Importantly: What a joy to have finally met cubanmiamiboy and Jack Reed -- both delightful and knowledgeable gentlemen! :(

Much, much more later.

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cubanmiamiboy, I believe I heard an announcement on Saturday evening just before the curtain rising for Swan Lake that Patricia Delgado was replacing Seay in the "pas de deux" (perhaps they meant the adagio?). I am not familiar with the MCB company members although I do know the Sarabias and Amanda Weingarten. I would appreciate your clarifying what dancers I did see. :(

As for the Balanchine Swan Lake, from the balcony some the patterns were well crafted and very musical. Sarabia was a bit flat although elegant and the danseur nobile. The corps was well rehearsed and very much as I remember the arm movements from my childhood. Having not seen the production in almost 30 years, my reaction to the overal flatness of the movement, in particular the port de bras, was interesting for me. This could have been any other Balanchine work with bits and pieces of his other choreographies thrown in here and there, hip lunges and all. The corps danced well, it was just the choreography that did not strike me as being particularly swanlike. :(

4Ts...Jeremy Cox was a standout. :(

In the Upper Room, not my favorite bit of repetitive movement. I left early due to the emergency lights flashing in the theatre. Mostlikely the fog machines set them off but being with 12 of our students, I jumped up and said let's go. cubanmiamiboy, did the lights ever stop flashing? Was this a lighting effect? A few audience members did get up and leave as we did. So what was the story? :dunno:

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I was there on Saturday night and while I missed Natalia, it was great to meet Jack & Cristian.

vrs, they did announce a substitution in the pas de neuf and while I know the last name I heard was Delgado I'm not sure which one it was. I think it was Patricia but would love verification from someone who really knows the dancers.

I hadn't seen the Balanchine Swan Lake in 30 years and it was great to see it again. I can see where words like expressionless and aloof come into play here. It was not in the dancer's individual performances, at least not with Seay & Sarabita – they danced it in full story mode. I think the choreography & staging themselves – the distillation of an abstraction to it's essence made it even more abstract than the original, like you were looking at it from a distance, or over time. I found it beautiful, but not moving except at the very end. I loved the mechanical swans (like the Kirov's) and the hunters (like the old Fonteyn/Somes RB version) and I liked the ending of the pas de deux much better than the one the Martins full length uses. I like the traditional version of the pdd best, but at least this one makes sense and is interesting. The corps tutus looked very familiar to me, I think the ones ABT used in their first production of SL (the Blair staging) used a similar design. By the way – I vote for calling it Balanchine's Swan Lake – it's most certainly not Swan Lake Act 2 since it incorporates music from act 3 and almost all of act 4, nor is it the full length SL.

I loved, loved, LOVED their 4Ts. Having seen NYCB do it recently, and the SFB do it 2-3 weeks ago I really enjoyed the way MCB danced it – I wish they were bringing it to NY. I've never seen a 4Ts I didn't like, but this one was special. I actually agree 100% with Macaulay's description of it as compared to SFB's – much faster, more sharply accented with very strong attack but with the same beautiful, fully engaged arms & upper bodies that we saw from SFB. I do not consider this elegant use of the arms Balanchinian – it's certainly not what I remember from his company in the 70s (which is when I saw them on a regular basis) but I really like it. I recall the look of 1970 -75 NYCB so clearly because the ugly, nonchalant dangling arms and ragged corps work of NYCB really annoyed me back in the day. This 4Ts was so good that I can't even single out a dancer or two – I loved all the themes, Wong's Melancholic, Cox's Phlegmatic, J Delgado & Penteado in Sanguinic and Spiridonakos as Choleric – they were all great.

I am a huge fan of In the Upper Room – I find it exhilarating. MCB did a great job with it but that smoke alarm going off was too weird. I was in the balcony and did see a bunch of people rush out but I assured my friends that they just hadn't accounted for the smoke effects. We stayed, and it did stop, but not nearly soon enough. How can this happen at the same venue more than once? It was very distracting…

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Thank you for the clarification of the substitution. :( I know the name was Patricia Delgado, I just heard incorrectly the pas. This was my first seeing a Delgado sister as an adult.

Thank you also for letting me know about the security/fire/alarm lights. Our students were emmensely disappointed in having to leave, but when I realized I was responsible for this group and they were spread through out the balcony, my mother's voice popped into my head as if I myself were a child hearing her say, "Exit quietly, do not run. Take a head count!" I could see from the front row of the balcony that the lights were flashing in the orchestra, mezzanine and also in the lobby when we exited. No one seemed to know what was happening in the lobby, but no one was doing anything or telling us there was not fire. Sirens were heard outside as we walked to the parking lot. Kind of scary actually. I would have hoped there would be some plan of action in a theatre when something like that occurs. I know I for one, will most likely be one of the first ones out if I experience anything like that again. :(

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I'm sorry for not responding more quikcly to your inquire, VRsfanatic, but NYSusan got you in the right track. The substitution was on the Pas de Neuf.

The alarms went off both on Friday night and Saturday night performances, and i'm telling you, there was a point in which i thought that this was a Tharp's last minute crazy addition to enhance the ballet effects, seriously. :(

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nysusan, my last memories of seeing NYCB in 4 T's was with Arthur Mitchell which had to be in the 1960's. When I refer to having seen 4 T's 30 years ago was Pennsylvania Ballet from 1974-1983. They did it beautifully. :(

Edited by vrsfanatic

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Aren't the costumes credited in the program? "Haydee Morales after Karinska" maybe?

Well, i was just looking at the book "In Performance: A Companion to the classics of the dance", with many pics and descriptions of ballets and their main styles and choreographers-( There's even a pic of Panova in Cinderella...i'd never seen her before). Anyway, the hardcover book dates from 1980, and was written by Nancy Reynolds and Susan Reimer-Torn. My point is that in the front cover there's a pic by photographer Costas of Nina Fedorova, NYCB-(doesn't give the exact year)-with the exact pose i saw here of Odette at one point standing on pointe in attitude derrière sustained by two maidens by her wrists. Most important of all, in this pic the Corps are wearing this strange looking types of shortened version of the romantic tutu, although slightly longer on the back, but essentially the same ones used by Villella in his production, so i guess the switching from the winged long romantic original Balanchine's could have been occurred during the 70's...?

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Just to go back to the detour about the name for a second, I just looked up "Swan Lake" on the online Balanchine Catalog (based on "Choreography by Balanchine") on the Balanchine Foundation site.

Catalogue search results

Found 6 Results

75. SWAN LAKE

Choreography: By George Balanchine.

Note: At some time in the mid-1920s (1927?), Balanchine made minor alterations in Diaghilev's one-act Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky, choreographed by Ivanov and Petipa), deleting part of the Swan Queen's mime and rearranging ensemble movements for a decreased corps de ballet. Olga Spessivtseva was probably the first ballerina to dance the Swan Queen in this revised version

http://balanchine.org/balanchine/display_r...rchMethod=exact

There was precedence for a one act version, produced by Diaghilev.

191. I WAS AN ADVENTURESS Film

Note: An extremely abbreviated, rechoreographed version of Swan Lake, Act II...

http://balanchine.org/balanchine/display_r...rchMethod=exact

262. DON QUIXOTE and SWAN LAKE (BLACK SWAN) PAS DE DEUX

Balanchine "staged and to some degree altered" these two excerpts

http://balanchine.org/balanchine/display_r...rchMethod=exact

285. SWAN LAKE

This is the first version (produced for Tallchief) of Act II for New York City Ballet. There are extensive notes on the site referencing the original pieces in it -- ex: it included the dance for the four little swans -- and some of the changes made over the years.

http://balanchine.org/balanchine/display_r...rchMethod=exact

331. PAS DE DEUX (also called TSCHAIKOVSKY PAS DE DEUX)

http://balanchine.org/balanchine/display_r...rchMethod=exact

367. LE LAC DES CYGNES Ballet in Four Acts

Choreography: Staged by George Balanchine after Lev Ivanov, Marius Petipa, and Nicholas Beriozoff. Choreography for the WALTZ (Act I) and for the MAZURKA, CZARDAS, and DANCE OF THE PRINCESSES (Act III) by George Balanchine.

Premiere: September 11, 1969, Ballet du Grand Théâtre, Geneva.

http://balanchine.org/balanchine/display_r...rchMethod=exact

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Ok, there should be a Poll about all this. There seems to be a lot of mixed feelings and countless ideas and titles.

I'll go for "Swan Lake Act II. Staging by so and so-(Diaguilev, Balanchine,Maria Perez...you name it)-...after ch. by Lev Ivanov"

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Ok, there should be a Poll about all this. There seems to be a lot of mixed feelings and countless ideas and titles.

I'll go for "Swan Lake Act II. Staging by so and so-(Diaguilev, Balanchine,Maria Perez...you name it)-...after ch. by Lev Ivanov"

Despite what I said above (where I'm not exactly clear that I mean those other titles you liked are my second choice), I think 'Swan Lake Act II' is quite sufficient. It's not nearly as well-known as it was in Balanchine's day, and I basically agree with Helene that the audience needs to know that it's a one-act-er. Things like 'staging by' could go in program notes, but I don't think they belong in the title. It's not the same as the Bach piece being attributed to Webern which he only orchestrated (in the Balanchine part of 'Episodes'). This IS Balanchine's 'Swan Lake', whatever else it was derived from, just as it IS Balanchine's 'Nutcracker.' I don't know if I feel this way because, somehow, this version of 'Swan Lake' means more to me than all the old full-length ones, maybe because seeing Melissa Hayden do it when I was 20 years old and she was just about to retire is one of the most unforgettable memories of ballet performance I've ever seen; and it even slightly outclasses Makarova's utter embodiment of Odette. Macaulay thinks it should just be called 'Swan Lake', but I think Helene is right--the audience does need to know it's not a full-length without being expected to look at the rest of the program. I think Macaulay's protest of the title is of little or no importance. It's not even done at NYCB anymore, since Peter Martins's notorious version appears occasionally, and I am threatened with it upon its next impingement :pinch:

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Despite what I said above (where I'm not exactly clear that I mean those other titles you liked are my second choice), I think 'Swan Lake Act II' is quite sufficient. It's not nearly as well-known as it was in Balanchine's day, and I basically agree with Helene that the audience needs to know that it's a one-act-er.

I think if they buy a ticket for a program with three ballets, they'll know "Swan Lake" is a one-acter. I like your first suggestion, "Balanchine's Swan Lake," although I'd prefer "George Balanchine's Swan Lake," because I think that flows better.

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The Maria Tallchief in Montreal CBC telecast characterizes its excepted version as Swan Lake: Act II and Swan Lake: Scenes from Act II.

"Balanchine's 'Swan Lake'" makes it a sort of a brand, like "Bram Stoker's Dracula" a bit of a slippery slope. Every artist could become part of her or his titles. And where would that leave Ivanov--or Tschaikovsky?

Also the context of two or three other ballets (in this case In the Upper Room and the Four Temperaments) would imply that this is not that whole work.

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Ok, there should be a Poll about all this. There seems to be a lot of mixed feelings and countless ideas and titles.

I'll go for "Swan Lake Act II. Staging by so and so-(Diaguilev, Balanchine,Maria Perez...you name it)-...after ch. by Lev Ivanov"

Despite what I said above (where I'm not exactly clear that I mean those other titles you liked are my second choice), I think 'Swan Lake Act II' is quite sufficient. It's not nearly as well-known as it was in Balanchine's day, and I basically agree with Helene that the audience needs to know that it's a one-act-er. Things like 'staging by' could go in program notes, but I don't think they belong in the title.

Yes, Patrick, I should rephrase myself , cause I agree 100 % with you on how long would it be to put all that. I was thinking more about the ballet 's program, or the Playbill. Now, rethinking about it, as per a universal title I would still shortened it down to "Swan Lake:Act II". Now, I must agree that adding Balanchine's name was probably meant to be some sort of a catch device programed by Villella when he first thought about bringing it back. I can see from all of you guys who knew the work from back then that the bait worked...it got everybody talking, and even some flying down to see it.

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I had promised additional thoughts on the program earlier. Whatever it is called -- Swan Lake, Balanchine-trademark Swans, etc. -- it is a beautiful poem on the theme of Swan Lake, particularly in Mr B's craftsmanship of the corps de ballet. The opportunity to see and soak-in those ever-changing patterns of the corps de ballet -- 20 corps swans in Ft Lauderdale...fewer than NYCB's 26 or 28 swans back in '97 -- was well worth a cramped 2-hr no-frills flight on Spirit Air.

Thoughts on the Swans

Tellingly, this ballet seems to have inspired MCB Artistic Director Edward Villella the least, judging by his pre-performance talk comments at 1pm on Sunday. He talked ten times longer about Fout Ts than about SL , and about four times as long about Tharp's Upper Room. EV simply said about SL: "In his version, Balanchine presents the entire story of Swan Lake in 40 minutes."

I believe that EV should have spent a bit of time talking about what, to me, is the leitmotif of the work -- the vigorous dancing of the swans, their exquisite patterns, their ever-changing kaleidoscope of movements. Everybody seems to focus on Balanchine's movements for soloist and demisoloist dancers and seem to forget that he was equally masterful in moving the masses. This is one of those Balanchine ballets that can best be appreciated from the balcony, due to the patterns of the corps. A couple of visions of better-known Balanchine works came to mind last Sunday, as I watched Swan Lake. One was the non-stop masterful Polonaise that begins Act II of Harlequinade...simple walking...but in a never-ending series of swirls and curliques. A lot of those arcs, swirls, little circles, etc were apparent in the final little runs by the swans. A second image that came to mind, while watching the swans, was -- of all things -- Symphony in Three Movements, when the corps ladies, in white leotards, form a long diagonal and 'flap' their outstretched arms from up and down. Years earlier, in Swan Lake, Balanchine presented a very similar long diagonal of corps girls, performing the same movement. Now I am truly looking forward to once again seeing Symphony in Three Movements to pick-out more swan-like movements from those ladies.

EV's Thoughts on Four Ts

During the pre-performance chat, EV went-to-town on his analysis of Four Ts. First, he explained that the three initial 'theme couples' present the movements that we will later see in the main body of the ballet, culminating in the finale.

Melancholic - I am guessing that this was EV's favorite role in this ballet, when he was dancing, he so carefully analyzed it here. Melancholic's male soloist is "drowning in a sea of depression." The initial two female demisoloists are like Nazi harpies. The female corps arrives to Nazi goose-stepping. EV said that this is what Mr B explained to him, so the Nazi analogy comes straight form the choreographer. Interesting - this was news to me but makes sense in that this ballet was created right after WWII.

Sanguinic - EV terms this a lighthearted balance to Melancholic. The pdd is gay, flirtatious. 'Nuf said.

Phlegmatic is termed the 'heart of the ballet' in which the 'main message of Balanchine comes through: 19th C classicism is dead and we must look forward to the future." This is due to the male soloist's initial classical moves, eventually breaking down (like a broken-down machine) to become a freer, jazzier dancer.

Choleric is 'the anger of women.' The solo tall girl in Choleric is the ultimate fury, similar to the angry Nazi-women in the corps of Melancholic.

My Thoughts on Four T's dancing -

MCB did a great job, no doubt. I loved their zesty attack, on the whole, even while coming to the conclusion that (gulp) San Francisco Ballet gave an altogether better performance due to the balance of better soloists (on the whole) and sharp corps (if not as zippy as Miami's...Miami was a bit sloppy in uniformity of movement). One big plus was the 'boneless' movement of Jeremy Cox in Melancholic. It was also a delight to see Rolando Sarabia and Patricia Delgado as the Sanguinic couple. Neil Marshall was fine as Phlegmatic. My main concerns were with the relatively weak attack -- and feeble chaine turns -- of tall Alynne Noelle as Choleric. I was weaned on -- and spoiled -- years ago by Coleen Neary's ultimate chainees...and they are almost-impossible to top.

EV on In the Upper Room -

EV prefaced this section of his chat by letting all in the audience know, "This ballet has always garnered a standing ovation after every performance, since we premiered it last year. It better happen again today!" [it did.] For EV, this ballet is "...about the buzz that a dancer gets at the end of his long day of class, rehearsals, then performance. You are on an adrenaline high for about two hours after the evening's performance and it is very difficult to come down from that high. That is what this ballet is all about for me." EV also talked about the two main 'stomper girls' who are the initial Gate-Keepers presenting the rest of the ballet. At the end, they literally turn-off the lights of the studio with the pull-down the light motion.

My Thoughts on the Upper Room performance -

One of the best Upper Rooms around. ABSOLUTELY THE BEST I've seen since ABT two years ago...also staged by Elaine Kudo, I think. MCB does this with energy-plus that was somewhat toned-down in the Bolshoi, Pennsylvania Ballet and Washington Ballet, the other three renditions against which I can compare. [but the Bolshoi has THE BEST stomper girl of all time - Osipova!] The bobble-headed movements of the Maimi stomper girls are excellent -- right up there with Stella Abrera at ABT. Haiyan Wu was frisky, delightful as the main pointe-shoe girl. But it was the main classical guy -- Rolando Sarabia -- who garnered my loudest 'bravo!' of the evening, with incredible jumps and lightning-fast corkscrew pirouettes. Alas, there was a nearly-fatal moment in which a stomper-girl is lying 'flat' in the arms of a classical guy and he is supposed to flip her completely around...here nearly dropping her. Other than that, there were no major problems. No alarms and sirens with the dry-ice smoke on Sunday. :off topic:

At the end of this show, I did not need "Spirit Airlines" for my spirit to leap!

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Thanks (so far) to Cristian, Jack, Susan, Vicky, and Natalia for your reports (here and on the other thread) about the performances -- and to all who have been posting on the matter of the best name for the Balanchine Swan Lake, etc.

Because of you, I will be be able to watch more closely things like the movements and patterning of the swans, which I admit I never focused on before. You've also helped tremendously to put this in the context of other productions, including other slightly different versions of the Balanchine.

You've given me so many things to look for -- and so much background information. Natalia, Villella does indeed seem to have gone "to town" on 4T's. He tends to repeat himself each performance on the basics but often adds or subtracts details, so I can't wait to compare what he says this weekend to what he said at Fort Lauderdale. Thanks very, very much for your account.

If anyone is going to be at the Kravis for opening night this Friday, at least two Ballet Talkers so far will be meeting at the foot of the grand staircase a bit before 7:00 so we can sit together for Villella's talk and plan a recap later. Please join us.

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Glad to see your promised second post, Natalia. I also feel I have a lot more to say about what I saw this past weekend. If only I can find the words! But there's an other weekend left, and for those fortunate enough to be able to see this program, I'll just give the short version and say (IMO), Do whatever you can to see Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg's Odette! (Not to omit that Carlos Guerra's Siegfried is very fine.)

I wish I could help more, like by telling you which performances she'll be in, but I don't know. My method would be to see the whole run, but if you can only see one performance, maybe the last one would be the best bet, as she danced the Sunday matinee in Fort Lauderdale. On the other hand, as Deanna Seay was replaced Saturday night (by Patricia Delgado), she might have some priority by way of compensation.

But Kronenberg certainly looked to me like she's "far gone in swandom," to appropriate Paul's felicitous phrase. (I never saw Kistler in this, though.) That was the performance of the weekend for me. BTW, Seay is to be seen in SL in the Youtube clips, Swan Lake 02 and 03. (Our too-seldom-present colleague leibling has posted some other identifications in the corresponding thread.)

Meanwhile, this thread has certainly grown. I will try to dig up some comments and answers regarding the history of this ballet, but I can say now that the picture on Garis's book cover is reproduced less cropped inside, on p. 95, where someone resembling Patricia McBride is looking on from the right edge; she has on a lovely tutu, but Odette's was different from the cygnets'.

Anyway, bart, the partly obscured man is likely the character of von Rothbart, as his tights and footwear are dark and, most tellingly, on the actual dustjacket I can make out the light-colored tips of the "feathers" of his cape, which hangs open from his extended right arm and closed from his lowered left. Even if you can't see that, you can see the wide strap at his right wrist and the narrow one above his right elbow. (I think someone has made known even the identity of the woman in white pumps with the purse on the left!)

Would my outline of this ballet from the 70's be of interest?

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... as Deanna Seay was replaced Saturday night (by Patricia Delgado), ...

Did you also hear that it was Patricia Delgado with Sarabia on Saturday evening? cubanmiamiboy seemed think I was incorrect in what I had heard. It did not look like Seay to me, but I do not attend every program so I thought I had just forgotten her port de bras and line from last year.

Thanks for the heads up bart about the staircase at the Kravis. I am not able to attend, but it would be fun to meet up another time in one of our venues in the tri-county area.

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I'll just give the short version and say (IMO), Do whatever you can to see Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg's Odette! (Not to omit that Carlos Guerra's Siegfried is very fine.)
Kronenberg is on the top of my own wish list. She has a qualities of mystery, inwardness, and alllure that fit the role very nicely. I'm glad to hear that several of you liked Guerra. In fact, I'm glad that he was dancing, since there was an announcement at the end of the season that he would be out for a while due to injur. I'm glad he's back.
Anyway, bart, the partly obscured man is likely the character of von Rothbart, as his tights and footwear are dark and, most tellingly, on the actual dustjacket I can make out the light-colored tips of the "feathers" of his cape, which hangs open from his extended right arm and closed from his lowered left. Even if you can't see that, you can see the wide strap at his right wrist and the narrow one above his right elbow.

And he appears to be wearing character boots. I think you're right. As for the lady with the white high-heels and purse ... she makes it seem as though the 11 a.m. train from Scarsdale has just pulled in and, by some miracle, has deposited the matinee audience directly inside the theater. Her slightly puzzled look suggests, "This certainly doesn't look like Grand Central Station."

Would my outline of this ballet from the 70's be of interest?
Yes! Please!

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... as Deanna Seay was replaced Saturday night (by Patricia Delgado), ...

Did you also hear that it was Patricia Delgado with Sarabia on Saturday evening? cubanmiamiboy seemed think I was incorrect in what I had heard. It did not look like Seay to me, but I do not attend every program so I thought I had just forgotten her port de bras and line from last year.

Honestly, I identified the dancer as Seay, but of course, there's always the possibility of me being wrong-(I don't own binoculars, and my far sighted vision is kind of poor...add to that the heavy makeup worn by the ballerinas and then yes, you end up getting the possibility and hence the bennefit of the doubt). But again, I'm still positive that it was Seay.

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... as Deanna Seay was replaced Saturday night (by Patricia Delgado), ...

Did you also hear that it was Patricia Delgado with Sarabia on Saturday evening? cubanmiamiboy seemed think I was incorrect in what I had heard. It did not look like Seay to me, but I do not attend every program so I thought I had just forgotten her port de bras and line from last year.

To clarify, Deanna Seay DID dance Odette on Saturday night with Rolando Sarabia. Patricia Delgado danced the pas de neuf solo, replacing Allynne Noelle.

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QUOTE (vrsfanatic @ Nov 12 2008, 04:20 PM)

QUOTE

... as Deanna Seay was replaced Saturday night (by Patricia Delgado), ...

Did you also hear that it was Patricia Delgado with Sarabia on Saturday evening? cubanmiamiboy seemed think I was incorrect in what I had heard. It did not look like Seay to me, but I do not attend every program so I thought I had just forgotten her port de bras and line from last year.

To clarify, Deanna Seay DID dance Odette on Saturday night with Rolando Sarabia. Patricia Delgado danced the pas de neuf solo, replacing Allynne Noelle.

Thanks for the clarification, leibling. I'm relieved to know that I praised the right ballerina, Eddie's Company leading female dancer Seay-(according to my personal standards, if i may...)

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Thanks to all for the continuing discussion and interesting comments. This is such a rich and fascinating program, that it's difficult to encapsulate it in one post.

Jack is right. Jennifer C. Kronenberg was excellent -- passionate and dancing with true 'Balanchinean risk' which may have been lacking in earlier casts. Carlos Guerra was superb in his partnering and his solo to the Act 1 Pas de Trois male solo music.

Interesting tidbit: The Balanchine Swan Lake's 'white pas de deux adagio' ends with the rarely-included brisk coda from Tchaikovsky's original score. As far as I know, only two other versions of Swan Lake include this coda. One of these is rather predictable: Peter Martins' 1999 version of the complete ballet has an Act II that is about 80% Balanchine,s, including that brisk coda at the end of the pdd. The second is less known: Rudolf Nureyev's ca-1965 version of SL for the Vienna Opera Ballet, in which the pdd ends with a SOLO for Nureyev to that music. Very odd!!! Nureyev smartly removed that atrocity from his subsequent stagings of the ballet in Paris.

I am looking forward to Jack's 1970s scenario of the Balanchine Swan Lake. In the meantime, folks may like to read my notes on the order of numbers in the Miami version and how it differs with the NYCB mid-1990s performance that I saw in New York --

1. Prelude music to Act II - curtain up halfway through. We see lakeside, with big 'doll swans' floating from left to right, behind the reeds.

2. Entrance of the Hunters (short piece) - eight hunters in medieval outfits, carrying crossbows, soon joined by Siegfried. Look at the passing swans in awe. As the music crescendos, the hunters run off, leaving Siegfried alone to see...

3. Entrance of Odette and initial dance together - No bourees...Odette hops onto the stage in a high pas de chat, a-la Ballo Della Regina! The ensuing duet introduces a unique leitmotif of Balanchine's version: high quick-split-leg lifts. Siegfried will lift her thus several times later, most notably in the coda of the pdd. Near the end of this initial dance, Von Rothbart appears in very-heavy cape, mask, boots. This is not a Bolshoi-style dancing role! Von Roth controls Odette, who momentarily holds onto Siegfried's bow, before rushing off stage.

4. Entrance of the Swans, all in ca-1895 Imperial-cut white tutus (rather than NYCB's girls all in black tulle, in a 1920s sort of cut) - a very different, 'light and uplifting' take on the traditional steps usually performed by the swans in this entrance. Balanchine's is lighter but, generally, slower-moving. Instead of constant runs-into-arabesque, there's a bit of a 'stop-pose' built into each arabesque. Lots of interesting patterning...ending in a dramatic long diagonal line; as Siegfried enters, the swans change the positions of their arms in Giselle-like 'peel off' manner, one after the other. At the end of this section, two solo swans (also in the Imperial-cut white tutus) enter, followed by Odette in short modern tutu; all clustered to the upper-right corner (not two lines in the center, as in Soviet versions).

5. Waltz of the Swans - very beautiful, though quite different from either the traditional Ivanov and the K. Sergeyev Soviet versions. When the two solo swans perform the familiar mirroring moves, the entire corps is on its knees, gently swaying back and forth. Very effective in that the two soloists can shine brighter - Balanchine knew how to bring maximum punch to a segment.

6. Pas de Deux, Odette and Siegfried - with swans standing on sides in double-rows, with the hunters sometimes entering, standing in the middle of each double row, swans resting their heads on the men's shoulders. With the exception of the coda, this dance gives the two principals 95% of the Ivanov choreography. The big difference is that brisk coda, ending with a series of high split-lifts (the leitmotif mentioned above) and a snappy final pose that somewhat breaks the romantic mood.

7. Pas de Neuf to Tchaikovsky's Act IV slow "Dance of the Little Swans" (which Ashton used for the start of his Act IV) - a soloist flanked by 4 corps girls on each side. Beautiful use of arms by corps - ever changing patterns. Difficult soloist steps, including a prolonged 'hopping pirouette' in back-attitude pose.

8. Pas de Douze to Tchaikovsky-Drigo's lilting 'Valse Bluette' - soloist plus 11 corps girls. Balanchine's masterpiece within this ballet, IMO. Three clusters of four girls, moving 'in cannon'. The viewers eye is constantly challenged and delighted to see the kaleidoscope of patterns. Balanchine cleverly shifts the clusters into four groups of three girls, then switching back to three groups of four.

9. Odette's solo - very similar to the Ivanov and Soviet originals. major change is the final diagonal, which here is cut short, with Balanchine's Odette launcing into a series of pique turns around the circumference of the stage.

10. Siegfried's solo to Tchaikovsky's Act I Pas de Trois male solo music - this is 80% Petipa's choreography, as seen at the Kirov, etc. (one of the very FEW bits of Petipa that remains in the Kirov version!). Balanchine seems to have added more difficulty, with entrechats-six in-between the traditional back-and-forth leaps in the first enchainement. [At NYCB in the mid-1990s, Siegfried danced a totally-different variation to the powerful 'Dance of the Big Swans' from Act II...the music that Balanchine had originally used for a 'Jumping Pas de Trois' for Patricia Wilde and two corps girls. Wouldn't it be great if NYCB could resurrect that famous Pas de Trois this winter? Hint-hint.]

11. Presto Coda - return of the swans, all entering in twos, to 'forward chugging' movements. Then the two soloists...then Odette appears, performing an energetic diagonal with high leaps, rather than the traditional pique-arabesque renverse series of poses.

12. Finale to Act IV 'storm' music that ends the full-evening ballet - the greatest patterning for the full group of 20 corps swans here. Lots of little running in a constantly-changing spectacle. In the end, Von Rothbart appears and commands the swans to depart. They do. Odette leaves with 'Plisetskaya style' bourees and swan arms, moving into profile as she nears the wings; leaves stoically. Siegfried and the Hunters left alone, heads bowed, with Siegfried kneeling as the 'doll swans' float by and the curtain falls.

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