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MCB Nutcracker, 12/19/08...with a few nice surprises!


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#1 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 07:54 PM

I just came back from the MCB's Nutcracker performance, which i went to see despite my disliking of this choreography. Even if my mind hasn't changed about it, nice surprises were waiting for me tonight:
1-On top of all-(and this is straight directed to Jack Reed)-a marvelous Mary Carmen Catoya's Dewdrop. Jack, you would have been so proud of her...She showed such command of technique that she just totally got me. Her legs were like steel, her pirouettes, perfect, her epaulement beautiful, her balances to die for..her face, RADIANT. She was ABSOLUTELY ASTONISHING.
2-Jennifer Kronemberg and Carlos Guerra as SPF/Cavalier. This was a big display of sweetness and joy. Their adagio had the quality of showing a real empathy, in which they were not only dancing for the audience, but more than that, for each other. Jennifer's beauty took over, and Guerra's partnering was as detailed as we could ask for. Guerra's pirouettes a la second at the Coda were impressive, as well as his shoulder lifts with one hand.
3-Daniel Baker's Candy Cane. This athletic guy is so darn good at all kinds of jumps and tricks...AND HE KNOWS IT! His multiple jumps thru the hoop were out this world. :yahoo: Bravo, Baker!
4-Alex Wong's Chinese dancer. Wow, if there's somebody who knows how to do a grand écart, this is Wong. He brought the house down.
5-The Waltz of the Flowers. So beautiful, so sincronized...(and with Catoya around even better)

Tomorrow I'll go see the Cubans at CCBM. This will be my 3 th production this season.

#2 bart

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 07:31 AM

Cristian, you make me sad that MCB decided to drop WBP from its Nutcracker schedule! I can visualize everything -- and everyone -- you write about. Especially Catoya. (I love that image of legs "like steel" -- something she makes completely compatible with great delicacy and finesse.)

Kronenberg is one of my all-time favorite Sugar Plums. Real movie-star glamour, allure, and mystery. Do you share my impression that there's been a marked improvement in the ease and comfort level of Guerra's partnering this season?

Re: Baker. He was a standout from day one and I often put him on my casting wish list. I agree with you about how good he is at jumping, turning -- there's also the sheer energy and obvious love of performing. I'm a little concerned about your comment: "AND HE KNOWS IT!" I'd hate to see him become a self-conscious pitchman for his own talent. There was a "gee whiz, look at me" element in Mercuric Tidings -- which he danced thrillingly -- that didn't belong there (I think) and that was a little troubling. Especially when compared with the subtler, more artistic approach (and respect for ensemble and nuance) shown by Jeremy Cox, a dancer who's just as technically strong and astonishing.

But Baker's very young ... and MCB seems to be rather good at taking its most talented young people and forming them into artists as well as virtuosos.

Who were the Hot Chocolate couple? And Coffee? And Tea?


:yahoo: :( We just got news that MCB will be dropping its live orchestra for Programs III and IV in West Palm. (Another side-effect of the terrible economy and the devastating effect of the Harry Madoff debacle on philanthropy down here.)

I believe the orchestra is funded for several more years in Miami, assuming the committed money still exists. I don't know about Fort Lauderdale. Live musicians are one of the few things that makes an evening of Minkus (Program III: Don Quixote) tolerable, in my opinion. On program IV, the Bach (Concerto Barocco) and Bizet (Symphony in C) are the kind of thing the Opus One orchestra can do very well. They'll be missed. I hope, at least, that they bring Francissco Renno, their pianist , along to play the Chopin Nocturnes in In the Night.

#3 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 09:14 PM

I love that image of legs "like steel"

Yes...the tutu she wore-(something sort of like those worn by the swans in SL)-revealed her well toned legs. Her suporting leg always weemed to be nailed in a perfect vertical line, every muscle showing off...

Kronenberg is one of my all-time favorite Sugar Plums. Real movie-star glamour, allure, and mystery. Do you share my impression that there's been a marked improvement in the ease and comfort level of Guerra's partnering this season?


Yes,yes! (Let's not forget that around the time of Nightspot he was suffering from an injury, which he had surgery for). He looks way stronger now.

Re:Baker. I'm a little concerned about your comment: "AND HE KNOWS IT!" I'd hate to see him become a self-conscious pitchman for his own talent.



bart, the boy likes to show off...that one can tell right away, but for some reason, it looks cute on him. Maybe because of his childish appearance, which makes him look rather like a mischievous child...

Especially when compared with the subtler, more artistic approach (and respect for ensemble and nuance) shown by Jeremy Cox, a dancer who's just as technically strong and astonishing.


Which,BTW, was EXCELLENT as Dosselmayer. He is SO charismatic...

Who were the Hot Chocolate couple? And Coffee? And Tea?


I'm sorry, but at first glance i had to think carefully about this. My mind still goes by Spanish Dance, Arabian Dance, Chinese Dance and Trepak. The Odalisque was Jeannette Delgado. This is one of the dances that i really don't care too much about, but she did the job the way it was supposed to. (Can't praise her more, which is a shame, due to the limitations of the choreography). The Chinese Dance-(tea?) was Wong, which i mentioned already-(can't remember the two girls, and ditto with the Spanish Dance leading couple, which didn't do that much for me either. I'm doing this by memory, cause i lost the program, as usual) . The Marzipan Mirlitons were lead by Tricia Albertson, which is looking too cold lately

#4 Jack Reed

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 04:20 PM

Thanks for telling me what I missed, cubanmiamiboy! Thanks a lot! I may just go see them in New York and write about them, just to return you the favor! But let's remember she's somewhat visible in SPF on YouTube with Joseph Phillips. Seriously, though, I'm always cheered by good news about that bunch, and Catoya and Kronenberg espec -- well, what I said, the whole bunch.

But it's interesting that you dislike the choreography but greatly enjoy these performances of it. Can you say something about how the choreography bothers you?

#5 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 06:53 PM

it's interesting that you dislike the choreography but greatly enjoy these performances of it. Can you say something about how the choreography bothers you?

:wink: Oh, Jack...I'm afraid that I can be thought of being too repetitive if I start writing-(again)-about my well known issues with GB's Nutcracker, but I'll answer you.-(I hope the others won't be paying too much attention now, but I still will try to be brief, I promise...) My two main complaints are:

1-The Kinder feeling and
2-The SPF PDD-(reworking/ variations omissions)

among other things...

#6 Figurante

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 11:46 AM

Aww... boo.

How can you not like GB's choreography cubanmiamiboy!? The classical garb is so dated! I think the production is fabulous, and the story, unlike many other Nutcrackers, actually makes sense, and is almost foolproof even for a lay-person. Maybe it's different from a dancer's perspective, but it is also more challenging than some of the other versions I have danced. :wub:

#7 Figurante

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 11:54 AM

And just to comment on the sugarplum/cavalier pas de deux, and variations... or lack thereof...

Balanchine always said that ballet is about the woman. In most of his ballets, the men are less featured than the women. The same is true in Nutcracker, in respects to the lack of a variation for the cavalier.

How would you 'rework' the pas de deux?

The pas de deux is so simple in regards to choreography and musicality. You can see a mistake instantly, which is why I feel it is so difficult. Sometimes it is nice to see a simple pas de deux, executed well, both technically, and musically. I think GB saved much more intricate choreography for his other ballets, which in my opinion, is great. After 40-something shows of The Nutcracker, you would want to keep it simple, and clean. But again, that's just a dancer's perspective.

#8 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 01:58 PM

Aww... boo. How can you not like GB's choreography cubanmiamiboy!?

How can't I...?
Well...I just don't

How would you 'rework' the pas de deux?

Oooh, I would never dare thinking to do so in a million years...


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