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Louise Nadeau retirement


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#16 Helene

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 06:12 PM

According to Peter Boal in today's Q&A, Louise Nadeau has been teaching in Level VIII, and her students will perform in her retirement performance.

He's hoping that after she takes six months off, and finishes sleeping in, that she'll return to teach.

Edited to add:

Boal also said that Otto Neubert, who had danced in Stuttgart, remembered one of William Forsythe's first works, "Urlicht" (to music by Mahler) and thought it would be beautiful for the occasion. He contacted Forsythe, who agreed to let Neubert stage it for Nadeau and Olivier Wevers, very generously for a token fee.

#17 Helene

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 10:04 AM

Some people ease their way into retirement, but not Louise Nadeau: for the last rep she learned two new roles -- Girl in Green in "Dances at a Gathering" and "After the Rain Pas de Deux" -- and danced the iconic Second Movement in "Symphony in C", and for her retirement performance she learned one new role and performed two: William Forsythe's "Urlicht" and the singing role of Anita in "West Side Story Suite", which she was unable to dance in the penultimate rep due to an ankle injury.

In a lovely booklet accompanying the program, Nadeau wrote about her attachment to each of the works she chose for the program. As previously noted, she danced in four, the Forsythe and Robbins, and her opening Eighth Waltz from "La Valse" and closing Act IV of Kent Stowell's "Swan Lake". A wonderful touch was the BBC video of her performance of the Act II Divertissement from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (with Olivier Wevers), projected the height and width of the proscenium.

The program opened with the first half of the first movement of "Serenade", with Carla Korbes dancing the Waltz Girl entrance, and Maria Chapman the Russian. The corps was a blend of senior, experience corps members, new corps, and a few professional students who had danced often and formidably in the last rep. Nadeau made her first entrance in "La Valse", partnered by Jeffrey Stanton.

Peter Boal then came in front of the curtain, offering a tribute to Nadeau as fellow student, dancer, teacher, and person. He recalled that as SAB students, Nadeau convinced him to hop the fence once night at Rockefeller Center, where they glided around the rink by themselves, until chased off by a security guard. He wasn't sure she'd remember, but when he joined as AD, she presented him with a mug with a picture of the skating rink.

Boal's remarks were followed by Mara Vinson performing Verdy's "Emeralds" solo, and then by excerpts from "Chaconne". Nadeau's Level VIII students provided a beautiful context by dancing the intro to the first pas de deux in "Chaconne", followed by Carrie Imler and Stanko Milov in the lyrical pas de deux.

The first half of the program ended with two excerpts from "West Side Story Suite": "Cool" danced and sung by Seth Orza, backed by the Jets, and then Nadeau's debut as Anita in "America", a deeply funny take on the role, accompanied by the Sharks women. The third movement of "Rubies", danced by Rachel Foster and Jonathan Porretta, with Ariana Lallone as Tall Girl, opened the second half of the program.

The next work, "Urlicht", was the highlight of the evening for me. The work was a perfect fit for Nadeau's lyricism and line and her partnership with Olivier Wevers. (Melissa Plagemann was the mezzo soloist in the fourth movement of Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony, No. 2). It was followed by Miranda Weese's last performance before her retirement, of the "Sleepwalker" Pas de Deux from "La Sonnambula", with Lucien Postlewaite as her Poet.

Kaori Nakamura and Batkhurel Bold danced the Third Pas de Deux from "In the Night", after which the most emotionally resonant moment of an emotional night came when Nadeau appeared from the stage right wings, dressed as the Swan Queen, to kneel at edge of the stage to present a large bouquet to pianist Dianne Chilgren who had played at the side orchestra, the tribute of one great artist to another.

The film of "Midsummer Night's Dream" Divertissement was screened next, and then Kent Stowell and Francia Russell spoke their tributes to Nadeau.

The dancing ended with "Swan Lake" Act IV, with Nadeau partnered by Karel Cruz, during and after which enough audience tears flowed to create the lake itself. The company gathered on stage behind Nadeau, and she was presented with flowers and kisses by Boal, Russell, Stowell, her friend, retired PNB ballerina Anne Derieux, accompanists, partners present and past, and those usually behind-the-scenes. The night ended with a shower of flowers from the audience until the final curtain.

When Patricia McBride ended her retirement performance with the gentle solo from "Harlequinade" that concludes with a simple bow to the audience, I didn't think I'd ever see anything so gracious, but this night equaled it.

#18 Chocomel

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 04:34 PM

Thank you so much for sharing this. I really wanted to be there. I shed tears just reading your description.

#19 Fan who rides the bus

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 07:32 PM

Thanks, Helene.

Might just add that Nadeau and Wevers received a very enthusiastic standing ovation for "Urlicht".

Are the eyes of the corps during "Swan Lake" usually so poignantly fixed on the principals whenever possible?

#20 Helene

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 02:45 PM

In the new Ballet Review Martha Ullman West has written an article "Todd Bolender: Kansas City, The Early Years", and the photo on the opposite page shows Bolender, in a suit, coaching two dancers in costume: Louise Nadeau and Deena Budd.


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