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Week 1 NYCB Rep Performances

28 posts in this topic

Wendy Whelan was sublime in Chaconne. Durign the initial pdd w. Philip Neal, she seemed to be floating on air. I also thought Abi Stafford did a good job in the Four T's w. Jared Angle. Lots of angularity and attack. Jared, as always, was a wonderful partner. Marcovici was pretty bad, in my opinion, in Meloncholic. He has little flexibiliy in his back, and not much stretch in his upper body. He looked like he was just going through the motions. I guess I've been spoiled by seeing the same role performed by the excellent men of SFB recently, and also by the many performances I recall of Peter Boal in this same role. Tess was fantastic in the Choleric section. Albert Evans wobbled quite a bit in the section of Phlegmatic where he must balance on one foot while holding his other leg. However, the rest of his performance was very well done. Ben Millipied shot around the stage like a rocket in Voices of Spring. Borree did a respectable job, although there were some rocky moments. Sara Mearns and Tyler Angle (looking very gallant) were delightful in the Tales from the Vienna Woods section. I decided to leave after Voices of Spring due to the impending rain storm. Will catch the full Vienna Waltzes later this week.

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I agree that Wendy was great in the initial Chaconne pdd. Just ethereal! It's the first time I've seen her that I've been reminded of the Suzanne Farrell clips I've seen (esp with her hair down). Her "swimming in air" steps were breathtaking, and kudos to Philip Neal for some very smooth low lifts that had Wendy just skimming across the floor. Neal was really on his game last night, with multiple turns and beats. I thought Wendy handled the faster bits (turns etc) in the second pdd really well. I hope Maria is just as good in the fast parts when she does it. Erica Pereira subbed for Ana Sophia Scheller and was very, very good. She must be one of the company's best turners, just consistent, full, beautiful double turns throughout. Her partner was a little rough with her at first, it seemed -- maybe they didn't get that much rehearsal time together.

The 4Ts was much better than I'd been expecting -- very sharp and musical. Apart from an accidental slip on the floor, Jared Angle was great. If only he were a bit taller, he could be the next Chuck Askegard, partner supreme! I thought all the women looked really strong, and Abi Stafford gave one of her best performances. Albert Evans is looking more streamlined this season - a definite plus. Marcovici did better than I thought he would (I last saw him as a lumbering, rough Cavalier in the Nutcracker). He actually has decent leg extension. The standout of 4Ts was Tess Reichlen -- she has great stage presence now, wow! I want to see her do TP2 again, like, now! Why, why, why is she not a principal??

Vienna Waltzes received a decent performance. The biggest surprise was Yvonne Borree in the waltz that I'd last seen Miranda Weese and Damian do. While she was no Miranda, I was shocked at how well she was dancing -- I was bracing myself for the trembly arms but they were nowhere to be found! And she actually jumped pretty well and even did a decent double pirouette. I kept checking my glasses to be sure it was her (I've never seen her dance over the last 5 or so years where she wasn't all but overcome by the shakes). Benjamin Millepied seems like a good influence on her -- he looked happy to be jumping around on stage last night, too. The most disappointing thing about Vienna Waltzes last night was Darci Kistler (ick) -- she has zero flexibility in her back and every gesture seemed too exaggerated and mannered -- when she lifts the tail of her gown up it has to be higher than every other woman, to the extent that that the dress is bunched up around her calves! Yuck. I last saw Kyra Nichols do this, and what a difference. As always, the final waltz is just breathtaking, with all those beautiful dresses and all the handsome men in tails! (Chuck Askegard, as always, was the consummate partner. I felt he was wasted on Darci). I'm hoping that someone else other than Darci will be dancing the "woman alone" role this season....

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Thanks for your thoughts. I too was surprised that Borree could muster an respectable performance in VW. I think I have come to expect a very low standard where she is concerned, so when she does an adequate job I'm impressed. As for the final section of VW, I have been going to NYCB for over 10 years, and I don't recall ever seeing anyone other than Nichols and Kistler cast in the lead. Now that Kyra is gone, I fear that this role will become the exclusive property of Kistler until she finally decides to retire. Wendy was soooo good in Chaconne I may have to make a return visit on Thurs. just to see that performance again!

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Vienna Waltzes received a decent performance. The biggest surprise was Yvonne Borree in the waltz that I'd last seen Miranda Weese and Damian do. While she was no Miranda, I was shocked at how well she was dancing -- I was bracing myself for the trembly arms but they were nowhere to be found! And she actually jumped pretty well and even did a decent double pirouette. I kept checking my glasses to be sure it was her (I've never seen her dance over the last 5 or so years where she wasn't all but overcome by the shakes). Benjamin Millepied seems like a good influence on her -- he looked happy to be jumping around on stage last night, too. The most disappointing thing about Vienna Waltzes last night was Darci Kistler (ick) -- she has zero flexibility in her back and every gesture seemed too exaggerated and mannered -- when she lifts the tail of her gown up it has to be higher than every other woman, to the extent that that the dress is bunched up around her calves! Yuck. I last saw Kyra Nichols do this, and what a difference. As always, the final waltz is just breathtaking, with all those beautiful dresses and all the handsome men in tails! (Chuck Askegard, as always, was the consummate partner. I felt he was wasted on Darci). I'm hoping that someone else other than Darci will be dancing the "woman alone" role this season....

I was also there last night (and will be there tomorrow for the same program). I won't comment on much of this (as I think it's been covered enough). One thing -- Jared Angle is a much better dancer than Chuck A, even if he's a little shorter). One thing that I do find appallling - the Darci bashing in this post. Okay, she's not as good as she was when she was a kid. However, she's deserves (and has earned) respect; those of us who have watched her since she was 16 tend to make allowances (at least I do). Saying "ick" about Darci? Disgusting! The cast is listed in advance -- I suggest NOT going to her performances if you are going to

be so very disrespeciful. And just for the record -- Darci shows her love of dance during her performance. We can't say that about some others.

As for the comments about Yvonne -- also over-the-top (and not in a good way). Don't go if she's cast! (so you won't have to look for the negative. There is a reason for her shakes by the way, but she perserves -- good for her!).

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I was also there last night (and will be there tomorrow for the same program). I won't comment on much of this (as I think it's been covered enough). One thing -- Jared Angle is a much better dancer than Chuck A, even if he's a little shorter). One thing that I do find appallling - the Darci bashing in this post. Okay, she's not as good as she was when she was a kid. However, she's deserves (and has earned) respect; those of us who have watched her since she was 16 tend to make allowances (at least I do). Saying "ick" about Darci? Disgusting! The cast is listed in advance -- I suggest NOT going to her performances if you are going to

be so very disrespeciful. And just for the record -- Darci shows her love of dance during her performance. We can't say that about some others.

As for the comments about Yvonne -- also over-the-top (and not in a good way). Don't go if she's cast! (so you won't have to look for the negative. There is a reason for her shakes by the way, but she perserves -- good for her!).

I think we're all entitled to our opinions of the dancers we see. And just because I'm not fond of one of the dancers in a ballet doesn't mean I won't go see the ballet. I would argue that your post is much more disrespectful in its way than anything I said above. I would hope that the moderators of this forum don't condone the bashing of other posters and calling them "disgusting", as you have written above. If anything is going to discourage people from posting, then it's calling other posters names. I am not alone in having observed Yvonne Borree's issues on the stage. I am not privy, as you appear to be, to any of the reasons for them, all I am commenting on is what I see in the performance. And in case you hadn't noticed, I was actually commenting on how well she danced last night.

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At ABT it is easy to avoid dancers you don't want to see because ABT primarily does full length ballets. It's difficult to avoid the dancers you don't want to see at NYCB because there are usually multiple works from the rep on each program, and a mix of principals. For example, for those in the audience who prefer not to see Darci, that would mean skipping all performances of the All Balanchine program consisting of Chaconne, the 4Ts and VW, Darci is cast every night in the same role. Same for Borree in VW- she is cast in every performance this week of that program. (Fairchild gets the role next week for the one night only show in honor of SAB.) Isn't the point of this board for people to discuss and share their thoughts and observations, even if they are sometimes negative? You also intimate that there is a medical reason for Borree's shakes. While we can sympathize with any physical difficulties and challenges that are faced by performers, that doesn't mean we can, or should, shut our eyes to the effects on the performer's abilities on stage,or pretend that there is no effect on their performances. (Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson disease, had to basically end his acting career because of the shaking caused by the disease. ) Personally, I didn't see Darci at the apex of her powers, since I started going to NYCB about 10 years ago. I'm sure lots of people will never forget how great she was, but that doesn't mean that we have to turn a blind eye to the quality of her current performances, does it?

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[ADMIN BEANIE ON]

Ballet Talk policy is very clear: we are a discussion board, and as long as the posts remain respectful -- i.e. no bashing of personality or physical attributes like the size of someone's nose -- we welcome criticism as well as praise.

Policy is also very clear that discussing the discussion is off-limits, and if anyone has a problem with a post, the appropriate action is to use the "report" button, to PM a moderator, or to send email through the "Contact Us" link. It is the Moderatos' responsibility to determine if a post has crossed the line.

We are not a fan board, and if what appears here is too harsh for individual members, then they are encouraged to skip threads that, from experience, are likely to offend them.

[/ADMIN BEANIE OFF]

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As for the comments about Yvonne -- also over-the-top (and not in a good way). Don't go if she's cast! (so you won't have to look for the negative. There is a reason for her shakes by the way, but she perserves -- good for her!).

Deborah, it's fine to have a positive attitude and all, but I don't agree with your assessment of the "harsh" and "mean" and "oot" criticism of NYCB and some of it's dancers. I think it's legitimate to criticize.

And you oversimplify on the casting. Trust me, I advoid Borree like the PLAGUE. I know there is no point in my going to any of her performances. Other posters have commented on the trickiness of avoiding individual dancers in mixed rep performances. Let me point out too the dreaded cast changes.

I went to a Nutcracker and was very unpleasantly suprised to have the program list Borree instead of Bouder as SPF. I understand dancers need to be replaced and all but I did my best to avoid Borree and got to see her anyway. And sorry for the negativity but she was awful. Not just the shaking and wobbling but she was unable to complete many of the trickier steps. And I've seen many of these same mistakes in the SAME role before. She simply doesn't belong on that stage.

Not to gang up on you or anything......

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We are not a fan board, and if what appears here is too harsh for individual members, then they are encouraged to skip threads that, from experience, are likely to offend them.

I would go further and point out that this board has a feature that allows anyone to IGNORE posts. Go to your Control Panel (the link is toward the right side near the top of the screen). When you get there, see the Menu along the left side, and towards the foot, under Options, you'll see Manage Ignored Users. You can enter the user name of anyone who regularly offends you. Presto! Not an issue! :jawdrop:

Of course, that cuts down on the respectful and lively give-and-take that makes BalletTalk, under the best circumstances, so stimulating.

On a personal note, I will be missing the excellent program altogether because of the presence of one or more dancers whom I consider "must avoid".

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We are not a fan board, and if what appears here is too harsh for individual members, then they are encouraged to skip threads that, from experience, are likely to offend them.

I would go further and point out that this board has a feature that allows anyone to IGNORE posts. Go to your Control Panel (the link is toward the right side near the top of the screen). When you get there, see the Menu along the left side, and towards the foot, under Options, you'll see Manage Ignored Users. You can enter the user name of anyone who regularly offends you. Presto! Not an issue! :jawdrop:

Of course, that cuts down on the respectful and lively give-and-take that makes BalletTalk, under the best circumstances, so stimulating.

On a personal note, I will be missing the excellent program altogether because of the presence of one or more dancers whom I consider "must avoid".

I never called "Balanchinette "disgusting", but the comments. I stand by that.

In the meantime, I'll take a break from this website for a while. The comments are often too negative and I find that depressing.

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As for the comments about Yvonne -- also over-the-top (and not in a good way). Don't go if she's cast! (so you won't have to look for the negative. There is a reason for her shakes by the way, but she perserves -- good for her!).

Deborah, it's fine to have a positive attitude and all, but I don't agree with your assessment of the "harsh" and "mean" and "oot" criticism of NYCB and some of it's dancers. I think it's legitimate to criticize.

And you oversimplify on the casting. Trust me, I advoid Borree like the PLAGUE. I know there is no point in my going to any of her performances. Other posters have commented on the trickiness of avoiding individual dancers in mixed rep performances. Let me point out too the dreaded cast changes.

I went to a Nutcracker and was very unpleasantly suprised to have the program list Borree instead of Bouder as SPF. I understand dancers need to be replaced and all but I did my best to avoid Borree and got to see her anyway. And sorry for the negativity but she was awful. Not just the shaking and wobbling but she was unable to complete many of the trickier steps. And I've seen many of these same mistakes in the SAME role before. She simply doesn't belong on that stage.

Not to gang up on you or anything......

No worries here. I'm not made of glass. Also, we are all entitlted to our own opinion (and as a NYCB goer of 30 years I have a pretty good frame of reference. Plus I'm connected to the media,

and am a bit of a NYCB insider, so I'm no novice). That said, I often find there's too much negativity about certain dancers (and the company) on this board, and I'm just not as interested in reading these opinions as I once was (thus my bowing out, at least for now). Happy New Year all!

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Since the topic has shifted a bit .... I'll chime in. Although I am no longer able to attend NYCB performances, I did so for decades and am quite familiar with the phenomenon of dancers I'd rather not have to watch but who were, by some whim of the casting gods, ALWAYS THERE when I had tickets.

I understand the feelings of those who like to describe inadequacies in detail and name names. Dancing at one of the world's top companies does create high expectations. It also exposes you inevitably to criticism of the most exacting kind.

However, my own feeling is that, when posting about such performances, I'd rather focus on the dancers I did like and was interested in -- and why. Those I consider to be clunkers can be passed over for the most part.

Carbro, I'm fascinated to find that there is an Option to "Manage Ignored Users" by, I assume, zapping them into invisibility. I didn't know this.

On one hand, it's a wonderful tribute to those who designed this Board -- you've thought of EVERYTHING !!! On the other hand, I have never actually read a post that made me feel strongly enough to do away with the poster. (Violation of Board rules are the exception.)

If I used this Opinion, I'd always worry that -- by missing the person's NEXT POST -- I'd be depriving myself of something interesting, informative and useful. :)

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If someone on your "ignore" list is quoted, the "ignore" feature doesn't suppress the quote :)

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I just finished reading the times review of NYCB opening night for the winter season by Mr Alastair Macaulay he says “Chaconne” pas de deux, the WOMAN seems to want to revolve faster than her partner allows: an image of endearing impetuosity. For years this critic has made fun and sometimes been extremely NASTY to many in the art of dance. That being said his statements about the pas de deux were fine. I just want to point out to him that he is not perfect like he makes himself out to be. I love the part where he says THE WOMAN maybe if he looked at his insert in the program he would have seen that THE WOMAN was Erica Pereira. To Mr Macaulay next time you review a performance and there is an insert in the program maybe you should look at it. Nothing like having all the facts correct when you are writing a story MR MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I just finished reading the times review of NYCB opening night for the winter season by Mr Alastair Macaulay he says “Chaconne” pas de deux, the WOMAN seems to want to revolve faster than her partner allows: an image of endearing impetuosity. For years this critic has made fun and sometimes been extremely NASTY to many in the art of dance. That being said his statements about the pas de deux were fine. I just want to point out to him that he is not perfect like he makes himself out to be. I love the part where he says THE WOMAN maybe if he looked at his insert in the program he would have seen that THE WOMAN was Erica Pereira. To Mr Macaulay next time you review a performance and there is an insert in the program maybe you should look at it. Nothing like having all the facts correct when you are writing a story MR MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I suggest you go back and reread the article. In the sentence you mention, Macaulay is describing the choreography, not the performance, so it is appropriate for him to say what the woman always does at this point as opposed to what a particular dancer did that night. Whatever you think of Macaulay as a critic, you do yourself no favors by broadcasting your misunderstanding here.

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I just finished reading the times review of NYCB opening night for the winter season by Mr Alastair Macaulay he says “Chaconne” pas de deux, the WOMAN seems to want to revolve faster than her partner allows: an image of endearing impetuosity. For years this critic has made fun and sometimes been extremely NASTY to many in the art of dance. That being said his statements about the pas de deux were fine. I just want to point out to him that he is not perfect like he makes himself out to be. I love the part where he says THE WOMAN maybe if he looked at his insert in the program he would have seen that THE WOMAN was Erica Pereira. To Mr Macaulay next time you review a performance and there is an insert in the program maybe you should look at it. Nothing like having all the facts correct when you are writing a story MR MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I suggest you go back and reread the article. In the sentence you mention, Macaulay is describing the choreography, not the performance, so it is appropriate for him to say what the woman always does at this point as opposed to what a particular dancer did that night. Whatever you think of Macaulay as a critic, you do yourself no favors by broadcasting your misunderstanding here.

I stand corrected but i still do not care for this critic

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Just a quick word on Wed eve performance of Coppelia. I thought it was wonderful. Fairchild was perfect for Swanilda. DeLuz did brilliant work in his jumps and spins. Tess was a vision. Anyone else go?

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I would go further and point out that this board has a feature that allows anyone to IGNORE posts. Go to your Control Panel (the link is toward the right side near the top of the screen). When you get there, see the Menu along the left side, and towards the foot, under Options, you'll see Manage Ignored Users. You can enter the user name of anyone who regularly offends you. Presto! Not an issue! :)

Now if only some clever engineer could devise an "Ignore" button for the theater! Is that certain dancer you love to hate on the program? No problem -- just remember toggle the "Ignore" button before the house lights go down and it's like their variation never happened.

Of course, we have the low tech version of that now, otherwise known as the "Hmmm ... I think I'll move the binoculars a little to the left and see what my favorites in the corps are up to ..." maneuver. It must work -- I was rifling through my programs from last year and was shocked by the number of performances I had somehow managed to totally obliterate from my memory: "I saw HER in THAT? Really? Wow -- I just don't remember it at all!"

In all seriousness, and OT (moderators -- apologies if this is thread-jacking and please do whatever is appropriate if it is): I do think that persistently casting dancers in roles for which they are no longer (or never have been) suited is Not A Good Thing. (There will always be those one-or two-off, pinch hit situations where someone who probably shouldn't be dancing a certain role gamely goes on nonetheless, and allow me to extend a big "Thank You!" to them for that right now.) Yes, I admire the company's demonstration of gratitude and respect for beloved and long-serving artists, but they are not giving the tickets away, and I think it's wrong to routinely foist sub-par performances on the audience when there are alternatives. It's also wrong to drain the repertory of its vitality (I can't think of quite the right term, so "vitality" will have to do) by relegating certain roles to aging (or inadequate) dancers; what was once vivid fades into the dance equivalent of a sepia-toned photograph -- lovely to look at through a haze of nostalgia, perhaps, but the immediacy and the details have been lost. (I've been seriously concerned about Duo Concertant for a while now -- it almost seems as if it's been set aside for dancers in the twilight of their careers. The ballet could use a bracing blast of, say, Pazcougin urgency or Villalobos fresh air. Or Taylor lightening -- now that would be a treat.) Finally, I think it's a disservice to a formerly great (or even just good) dancer to ruthlessly expose his or her deterioration, even though it may seem a kindness to allow them to hang on to a role beyond their powers. It's harder and harder for me to remember how glorious certain dancers were in their prime because the images of treasured performances are slowly but surely being eroded by the nightly evidence of their decline.

Don't get me wrong -- I have nothing against older dancers (or less technically assured dancers) getting cast in roles that might, in the cold light of day, be a stretch given their current abilities, provided that they are still able to put the role over through superior artistry (or even charisma). But there's a point at which nostalgic miscasting is no fun for anyone: not the audience, not the company, not the dancers.

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Just a quick word on Wed eve performance of Coppelia. I thought it was wonderful. Fairchild was perfect for Swanilda. DeLuz did brilliant work in his jumps and spins. Tess was a vision. Anyone else go?

I went and indeed De Luz and Fairchild and Reichlen were all that "abatt" said they were. Megan Fairchild has a wonderful coordination between her elegant upper body and her scintillating footwork. She had some nuance too - she was able to differentiate legato and staccato phrasing with her footwork. Charming acting and good delineation of character. Joaquin de Luz has lots of personality onstage with a very cocky, assured persona and good comic instincts. This part suits him very well. Robert LaFosse gave a nicely eccentric, sensitive portrayal of the misguided dreamer Dr. Coppelius. Nice solo turns by Alina Dronova (replacing Scheller), Rebecca Krohn and Savannah Lowery (replacing Ellen Bar).

I was struck by similarities between the Freddy Franklin staging done now at American Ballet Theater and the Balanchine/Danilova version. Clearly the first act (theme and variations grand pas) and third act divertissements are superior at NYCB because they are entirely Balanchine. However the second act is almost identical in every detail in both stagings. Clearly Franklin and Danilova were working from a common Ballets Russes source. Whether there is an earlier Maryinsky source choreography that is Petipa or more likely Nicolai Legat that Nicolai Sergeyeff used at Ballets Russes is an issue I will throw to the ballet historians more qualified than I on this site.

Another comment - I almost always find the choreography for that gorgeous Act I waltz that Swanilda enters to totally a dud and never worthy of the music. It is pretty much 75% mime and the steps aren't up to much. Balanchine despite Danilova's expert memory of all the details of Swanilda's dances should have whipped up a new solo here.

And a final note. The physical production clearly has been repainted but the colors and designs look very candy boxish and the drops look wrinkled. (I see that I am echoing Macauley on this and it scares me...) Obviously this is not the time to invest in new scenery given the state of the economy. However a more stylish physical production is imaginable though the costumes are still very lovely. Compare this with the gorgeous scenery of the Royal Ballet's staging on the Opus Arte DVD with designs by Sir Osbert Lancaster and you will see the difference.

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No Coppelia for me this time around, but I went to the last 3 perfomances of the Balanchine program. The dancers seemed to get stronger with each perfomance.

Wendy's Chaconne was ethereal & beautifully danced and Neal was a perfect partner and a pleasure to watch in his variations -but I really preferred Maria in this. Her sublime line seemed to extend out through eternity and created a vision of serenity in the opening movement, and the wit and playfulness she brought to the second half was enchanting.

Another standout was Reichlein in 4Ts. She owns this role and I can't imagine anyone except Kondaurova who is as well suited to it. Bar was good, but she just doesn't have the same dominating presence or visual impact. The same dancers did the 3 themes at all performances (Arthurs/Danchig-W, Hankes/Ramasar, Krohn/Fowler) and I thought they were all wonderful – bracing, angular with just the right musical accents & attack. Krohn brought a wonderful edge of nonchalant sexiness to the third theme.

I always love the glamour & spectacle of Vienna Waltzes, and this season was no exception. Mearns & T. Angle were wonderful in "Tales", but I miss Rutherford and hope she is cast in it again next time they stage it. I was dreading Borree in Voices of Spring, but she started out fine and improved with each performance. There were moments when I thought she was really lovely, and Millipied was a crowd pleaser. Nothing can ruin the splendor of the last segment, but I long to see someone like Whelan or Kowroski or Taylor bring out the poetry we all know is there. Last night I closed my eyes for most of it and listened to the music until it swelled into the finale, which is still just breathtaking!

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There is a review of the All Balanchine program (Chaconne, 4Ts, VW) on the Danceviewtimes website by Leigh Witchel. Some of his comments re VW made me literally laugh out loud. Enjoy!

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thanks for the link, abatt. It was a most perceptive review. I was at Saturday evening's performance, and it didn't seem like Marcovici had improved from the Friday night debut, from what the review said. He almost stepped on Maria's foot at one point. She would have been luminous, I think, in the opening pdd with Neal as her partner -- all those smooth lifts and supported turns that he is so good at. As it was, Maria still gave a very strong performance, particularly in the second pdd (especially b/c it doesn't have as many pdd parts, it's got more solo parts and she didn't have to contend with Marcovici). I had liked Marcovici in the 4Ts a few nights earlier. I think partnering seems to bring out his weaker qualities, unfortunately.

I echo Susanny's comments on the "Theme" dancers from the 4Ts. All superb, and I think it's important to really set the tone for the dance as a whole. Nice balancing from la Cour where he has to hold on to his upraised foot for that very long space. As for VW, Leigh Witchel really summed it up nicely. :wink:

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I also saw the Fri evening performance, but I did not stay for VW. I hope to see VW on Jan 14. I liked the performance of Maria K in Chaconne very much, but I also liked Wendy in the role earlier in the week. I didn't care for Marcovici in this ballet. I thought laCour did a good job in Phlegmatic, and he has grown in the role since I first saw him a few seasons ago. For me, the partnership of Lowery and Angle was not ideal. She is too big for him. I wonder whether Wendy will return to the Sanguinic section in future seasons. I hope so. I admired Sean Suozzi's Melancholic; he too has grown more in the role over the past few season. I didn't really care for Ellen Bar as Choleric. I agree w. NY Susan. She lacks the charisma, technique and presence to dominate the stage- something that is essential in this role. She is too demure in a role that requires someone bursting with energy. Tess owns this role.

I saw all the Coppelia casts. As noted above, Fairchild and DeLuz were wonderful. I think the years that DeLuz spent performing in story ballets enables him to present characters in story ballets more easily than other men at City Ballet. Hyltin and Garcia are good technicians, but I didn't think Hyltin's acting in the role was as good as either Fairchild or Tiler Peck. Veyette was a charming Franz, and technically assured.

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I also saw the Fri evening performance, but I did not stay for VW. I hope to see VW on Jan 14. I liked the performance of Maria K in Chaconne very much, but I also liked Wendy in the role earlier in the week. I didn't care for Marcovici in this ballet. I thought laCour did a good job in Phlegmatic, and he has grown in the role since I first saw him a few seasons ago. For me, the partnership of Lowery and Angle was not ideal. She is too big for him. I wonder whether Wendy will return to the Sanguinic section in future seasons. I hope so. I admired Sean Suozzi's Melancholic; he too has grown more in the role over the past few season. I didn't really care for Ellen Bar as Choleric. I agree w. NY Susan. She lacks the charisma, technique and presence to dominate the stage- something that is essential in this role. She is too demure in a role that requires someone bursting with energy. Tess owns this role.

Agreed that Ellen Bar paled in comparison to Tess. You need a Tess or a Sofiane Sylve in Choleric. If anything, they should have cast Savannah in Choleric and Bar with Angle. I thought Abi Stafford worked really well with Angle earlier in the week. Lowery was a little too big for him (especially with those fantastic lifts that close the ballet, she didn't soar quite as high as the other girls). As for Chaconne, I thought Wendy's opening pdd was magical. I, and the woman sitting next to me, whom I didn't know, both sighed spontaneously as Neal carried her off into the wings. No fault of Maria's, but with Marcovici as partner there was no way she could have achieved that same effect. So much of that opening pdd depends on the partner. I was very happy with her strong turns later in the ballet, though. She was really on her leg and well balanced (I've noticed over the past several years that her turns have been getting better and better). Maria must have one of the most gorgeous pairs of legs in the ballet world right now!

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I attended the January 11th performance of "Coppelia". I was hoping someone would have already posted about it, so I would just have to agree with their opinion. Anyway, here goes. (And I'll still make it brief.) I saw my first Balanchine/Danilova "Coppelia" in May of 1980 with Peter Martins and Stephanie Saland. I liked it, but I didn't fall in love with the ballet until a year later when I saw Patricia McBride and Helgi Tomasson dance the main roles. Patricia McBride still remains my favorite "Coppelia", but as much as I enjoyed Helgi's performances in this ballet, my favorite Franz is Damian Woetzl. That being said, Tiler Peck and Andrew Veyette were delightful as Swanilda and Franz. I knew Tiler Peck would be a wonderful Swanilda. I see her as the heir to Patricia McBride, Nichol Hlinka, Margaret Tracey, and Alexandra Ansanelli in "Coppelia". But Andrew was really a pleasant surprise, both in his acting and his dancing. He was an endearingly goofy Franz. And I never knew he was such an exciting dancing. As the lady sitting next to me said, she hadn't seen such elevation in a long long time. As Swanilda, Tiler Peck did not put a foot wrong. Her acting was also first rate. And the chemistry between Tiler and Andrew was very sweet to see. I really think Tiler Peck should be a principal dancer.

Speaking of dancers who should be principals (in my opinion, anyway), Teresa Reichlein was just perfect as Dawn in Act III. What glorious extension she has!!! I would love to see Teresa dance Aurora in "The Sleeping Beauty." I think she would be magnificent in that role. I thought Rebecca Krohn was a bit wobbly in her Prayer variation, but Dena Abregel in the Dance of the Hours, and Faye Arthurs as Spinner both danced beautifully. Also, those little girls were just wonderful. Some of the tiniest ones looked very young - maybe six or seven. But they all did a great job!!!!

And I can't forget Adam Hendrickson as Dr. Coppelius. Sunday was the third time I've seen Adam as Dr. Coppelius, and each time his characterization has gotten deeper and richer. I really think it's right up there with Robert LaFosse's portrayl of Dr. C. I always feel so sorry for Dr. Coppelius at the end of Act II when he realizes Coppelia has not come to life. And I know Dr. Coppelius gets a bow at the end of ACT II, but I still think he should get a curtain call at the end of the ballet.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable afternoon at the ballet. I hope Peter Martins doesn't wait another five years to revive "Coppelia".

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