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Corella Ballet in New York


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#16 bart

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 04:43 AM

Thanks for those links, Carolina. The "Time Out" article -- an interview with Corella by Gia Kourlas -- is fascinating. I especially liked comments on the job of being an artistic director, what it's like being a full-time company coach, and his thoughts about what it is like when a dancer runs a company of dancers.

The photos from dancemedia.com make the point that Corella (quite wisely, I think) relied heavily on top level guest artists, dancers he worked within his own international dancing career, to help establish the company in the public eye. The current list of dancers is leaner and consists of people who seem to have a made a long-term commitment to the company. I assume that those are the dancers the audiences will see in New York.

#17 4mrdncr

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 07:28 PM

Thanks for those links, Carolina. The "Time Out" article -- an interview with Corella by Gia Kourlas -- is fascinating. I especially liked comments on the job of being an artistic director, what it's like being a full-time company coach, and his thoughts about what it is like when a dancer runs a company of dancers.

The photos from dancemedia.com make the point that Corella (quite wisely, I think) relied heavily on top level guest artists, dancers he worked within his own international dancing career, to help establish the company in the public eye. The current list of dancers is leaner and consists of people who seem to have a made a long-term commitment to the company. I assume that those are the dancers the audiences will see in New York.



And once again, there is no mention of, or links to the doc in these interviews or articles. This is especially egregious in Dance Magazine and Pointe, considering where the trailer has been posted for a year!!!--and until recently, driving almost 50% of the business to the site! (Wish I knew whether this was deliberate, or just cluelessness on the part of the editors/publisher who obviously have never heard of CROSS-PROMOTION!) Regarding AC's contractual obligations in this matter, I reserve judgement, but needless to say, my trust in their "good faith" has been greatly undermined.

Meanwhile, I give thanks to all the dancers, choreographers, and technical staff who did remember, did appreciate it, and did try to help. I am VERY very grateful, and your good wishes and support, in however infitisimal a way, is what keeps me hopeful and moving forward.

#18 richard53dog

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 08:15 PM

And once again, there is no mention of, or links to the doc in these interviews or articles. This is especially egregious in Dance Magazine and Pointe, considering where the trailer has been posted for a year!!!--and until recently, driving almost 50% of the business to the site! (Wish I knew whether this was deliberate, or just cluelessness on the part of the editors/publisher who obviously have never heard of CROSS-PROMOTION!) Regarding AC's contractual obligations in this matter, I reserve judgement, but needless to say, my trust in their "good faith" has been greatly undermined.

Meanwhile, I give thanks to all the dancers, choreographers, and technical staff who did remember, did appreciate it, and did try to help. I am VERY very grateful, and your good wishes and support, in however infitisimal a way, is what keeps me hopeful and moving forward.



The situation sounds very frustrating to you. I hope it turns around.

#19 CarolinaM

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 11:47 PM

I just can't understand this 4mrdncr, I really can't.

I'm really eager to see it and I'm very grateful to you to have undertaken such a big deal.

Have you tried to get something, publicity, presentation at cinema festivals (Valladolid), etc... in Spain?

Maybe now as the company will perform in NY there will be a chance for you to make it more known....

Good luck!

#20 bart

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 05:13 AM

CarolinaM has forwarded the latest press release concerning the tour. I've translated the most important information.

4mrdncr, PR is being handled by Helene Davis Public Relations. P.M. me if you need the email address. I certainly hope your documentary-in-progress will be part of the festivities. :(

DANCERS: Principals Angel Corella, Herman Cornejo, Joseph Gatti, Adiarys Almeida, Carmen Corella, Natalia Tapia. First soloist: Kazuko Omori. Soloists: Ashley Ellis, Maria Jose Sales, Cristina Casa, Fernando Bufala, Kirill Radev, Yevgen Uzlenkov.

The program with which the company will debut in New York includes Angel Corella's first choreographic creation for his company: String Sextet, as well as the premiere of Epimetheus, created by the choreographer and Corella Ballet dancer, Russsel Ducker. Also, the world premiere of Solea, a piece for 2 dancers by Maria Pages, especially created for Carmen and Angel Corella.


PROGRAM ONE. (Wed. 3/17; Friday 3/19; Saturday 3/20)

String Sextet (Angel Corella, to Tchaikovsky's String Sextet, Souvenir de Florence)
Walpurgisnacht (Leonid Lavrosky, 1956) to Ballet music from Gounod's Faust)
Sunny Duet (Vladimir Vasiliov and Natalia Kasatkina, 1973 to music by Arno Babajanyan)
Solea (world premiere by Maria Pages to music by Ruben Labaniegos)
DGV: Danse a Grand Vitesse (Christopher Wheeldon, 2006, to Michael Nyman, MGV: Musique a Grande Vitesse)

PROGRAM TWO. (Sat. 3/20, matinee)

String Sextet
Epimetheus (Russell Ducker,2009, to Mike Oldfield, The Music of the Spheres)
Solea
DGV

There is a preview for the press on Tuesday 3/17.

#21 bart

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 07:48 PM

From the NY Times:
An Expatriate Returns Home

This was posted earlier on the ABT at the Met 2010 thread. I is being discussed there.

#22 miliosr

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 01:48 PM

A mixed review from Alastair Macaulay:

http://www.nytimes.c...a.html?ref=arts

#23 bart

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 05:28 PM

Thanks for that link, miliosr Macaulay's biggest negative seems to have been the choreography, with the exception of the Wheeldon:

It was a relief to see Mr. Wheeldon’s “DGV (Danse ŕ Grande Vitesse),” choreographed in 2006 for the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, and one of the best closing ballets made in the last 20 years. [ ... ]

Here acrobatics dissolve into art. The Corella dancers, dramatically lighted by Jennifer Tipton, are often different in nuance — sometimes more emphatic, sometimes less refined in line — from the original Royal Ballet cast, but they are always admirable.

Macaulay gives a very favorable review to .... the audience! ("The audience, too, was so perfect that I was often tempted to applaud it.") Were any BT'rs there?

#24 mimsyb

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 07:50 AM

Thanks for that link, miliosr Macaulay's biggest negative seems to have been the choreography, with the exception of the Wheeldon:

It was a relief to see Mr. Wheeldon’s “DGV (Danse ŕ Grande Vitesse),” choreographed in 2006 for the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, and one of the best closing ballets made in the last 20 years. [ ... ]

Here acrobatics dissolve into art. The Corella dancers, dramatically lighted by Jennifer Tipton, are often different in nuance — sometimes more emphatic, sometimes less refined in line — from the original Royal Ballet cast, but they are always admirable.

Macaulay gives a very favorable review to .... the audience! ("The audience, too, was so perfect that I was often tempted to applaud it.") Were any BT'rs there?


I saw Julie Kent chatting with Wendy Whalen on Wednesday. And on Friday I glimpsed Xiomara Reyes, Kristi Boone with Isaac Staapas, and Freddie Franklin was also there. Surely there were others. I gave the performances a B minus. Some really nice dancers (the women more than the men. And what was with the program calling the corps dancers "girls and boys"? How insulting!) But for me, it was mostly a question, once again, of good/bad programming. Corella's ballet was a nice opener, if a bit busy and unresponsive to the music. The costumes were a negative for me, especially the women. Very unbecoming to their upper bodies and arms, hiding any port de bras. And why black on the leads? Oh dear. And I agree with Macauley about Ms. Omori. She danced (and looked) as if she were in a competition. The was even more evident in the hokey and goofy rendering of the Walpurgisacht. Even in Soviet times this was a bit of a scenery chewer, but now it looks just silly. By Friday, wiser heads had prevailed and we got "Black Swan" pas in place of the loopy "Sunny Duet". While we all have surely seen our share of Black Swans, this was at least a wowzer rendition (I liked the female variation), and both Cornejo and Almeida were splendid. And they didn't look the least bit embarrassed to be dancing this as they did in the afore mentioned "Sunny Duet". What was Corella thinking ? The Solea was, well, while not real Flamenco it was just fine to see Carmen Corella dancing again and looking to be enjoying herself. The Wheelden was an energetic closer. The choreography seemed to suit the over wrought score, but was well danced. I wish Wheelden had more than ten steps in his grab bag of choreography. But maybe the repetition of the music called for the same deal with the steps. And a nice shout out to Ashley Ellis who looked terrific in everything.

#25 MJ

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 01:26 PM

The Audience last night Friday was full of Ballet Fans. During the Silent section in DGV, you could hear people coughing IN THE LOBBY! I heard many gasps the evening when the dancers did something extraordinary, which was often

Kudos to the Company and Mr. Corella! Spain deserves a world class ballet company, and they now have one. I look forward to see their version of Don Q in the future.

#26 miliosr

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 05:13 PM

Gia Kourlas is less than enthusiastic in the Times:

http://www.nytimes.c...e.html?ref=arts

#27 abatt

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 05:45 AM

I was at the opening night of Corella Ballet last week too. For a company that is just getting started, they were remarkably polished. The Company has assembled a group of talented dancers. Corella's ballet was pretty good for a first effort, but a lot of it looked like classroom steps. The three pdd that comprised the second act were enjoyable. The piece choreographed for Angel and Carmen brought out Angel's best qualities as a dancer. I'm not as enthusiastic about the Wheeldon ballet as the NY Times. It didn't rank in the same league as many other wonderful Wheeldon ballets I have seen over the years. I wish Angel well, and I think his hard work paid off. I would certainly see the company again if it visited NYC. I thought it was very ironic that Corella ballet was able to rent City Center, while PNB had to settle for the Joyce. Funding of ballet companies is a strange business.

#28 CarolinaM

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 01:51 PM

Kudos to the Company and Mr. Corella! Spain deserves a world class ballet company, and they now have one. I look forward to see their version of Don Q in the future.

Oh yes indeed, Corella Ballet is our Company!! and me too want to see their D.Q.!! It would be great but I still have to see their Lake.

Here there are two more reviews:

Corella brings his Spanish charm to New York stage

By JOCELYN NOVECK, SF Chronicle

http://www.sfgate.co.../e142119D85.DTL

and

The new Corella troupe makes a promising international debut

By Robert Johnson/The Star-Ledger

http://www.nj.com/en...pe_makes_a.html

Many thanks to you all here who have shown interest and have let we Spanish people know how things have been going on in NY :blush:

#29 4mrdncr

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:18 PM

Ok, I was there--all week. So was a 12-minute "loop" of my documentary's Trailer + 4 performance excerpts which screened first on a widescreen tv in the vestibule of "Studio5" prior to, and after, Angel's March 15th interview with Damian Woetzel; AND prior to every performance and during intermissions in the City Center lobby monitors. Did any BT members see it? Did anyone realize it was excerpts from the doc, and not just some generic footage? Did anyone read (or bother keeping) the Playbill program insert that explained the current status of the film? If not, you're not alone.

During the "Studio5" interview, Damian asked about the location of the company, and seemed impressed by the ceding of the Palace of St. Cecilia by the Spanish royal family, and Angel's description of the site--but no one mentioned that the palace etc. was clearly visible in the trailer that was playing on that vestibule monitor!

On March 15th I was allowed a poster/sign next to the widescreen tv, but, since I wasn't allowed to place any signs next to the lobby monitors, (supposedly because of NYCC union rules!?), unless I spoke to you personally--(once I realized that no one knew it was the documentary video screening in the lobby monitors, I made a point of visiting each (4) monitor and saying so to any viewers standing nearby)--I'm not sure the connection between the doc, lobby "loop" of excerpts, and Playbill insert was ever made.

But anyways, the film was just one reason I was there. The other, or course, was to see the company and renew some friendships.

Impressions of the ballet(s):

STRING SEXTET
I agreed with Macauley's comment that Angel's "String Sextet" was 'overchoreographed', but I also recognized that this was a first effort, and 'over-choreographing' is a common failing of many beginning choreographers. Except for a few moments in the first movement where I felt a noticeable disconnect between the first couple--mostly because of the choreography, not the dancers--I liked many things in it. There was inventive choreography in several of the movements, and good use of music in the adagio--(which thank goodness banished "Cruel World" from my mind). Joseph Gatti's dance with the six corps women in the 3rd movement was originally choreographed on Angel himself, so it's a "puffy" piece, which Mr. Gatti handled with his usual skill. I also liked the way the women circled around him, alternately pulled towards and eddying away from his turbulent center. There were echoes of T&V, also Symphony in C, and a lot of other neoclassical works by Mr. B or others in the choreography, but, Angel has a prodigious memory (muscle and not) and I don't blame him for incorporating some of it. I also thought the costumes were beautiful--especially the way the tutus 'lofted'. The dancers did say the bodices were stiff, but it is a formal classical work, not full of fluid plastique like SL.

WALPURGISNACHT
I wondered if this piece and the "Sunny/Solar Duet" that followed were chosen as an early homage to Vasiliev, who is being honored at a YAGP gala the following weekend. (VV was also originally supposed to be a Ballet Master at CBCL.) I thought both were very dated, but how many galas have we seen with similar excessivenes?! Joseph Gatti and Yevgen Uzlenkov (sorry but if it was Kiril Radev, it didn't look like it from where I was sitting) got gasps and ovations. Kazuko Omori was sweet, girlish, and flirtatious, but not a femme fatale or siren or bacchante. I still love her 180 degree grand jetes, not lofty, but great line.

SUNNY/SOLAR DUET
This was originally chosen by HERMAN CORNEJO, because he wanted to do something that no one here (or elsewhere?) had ever seen him do before. The problem was it was so obscure, there was no score readily available. (It was originally created for a single Soviet tv broadcast--mid 1950's, and afterwards most of the records of it were trashed. So, after many months of searching archives from here to Russia and back, an ancient videotape was discovered. And that's where this production's music was derived, after some efforts to clean it up). But it was dated, and didn't showcase HC's brilliant technique as effectively as usual. Adiarys of course was her usual technically skilled and delightfully expressive self. But the change was made to Black Swan pdd for future perfs and I, and many others, was glad.

SOLEA
Begins so slow and sweet, but gradually the speed increases, and so does the "competition" between brother and sister, while still retaining the mutual admiration and affection so evident in their relationship. After not seeing Angel dance full out in so long, I loved that blazing diagonal that flew across the stage, the expressiveness of his upper body, and the joyful abandonment to the music and movement. I thought the best performance was the Sat. matinee, it was the quickest, free-est, and most precise. But Saturday evening's version was a close second. And to see beautiful Carmen dance again, (she was seriously injured in late '08 and worked very hard to recover) well definately made me VERY happy. And after watching her in DGV, even more so.

BLACK SWAN
Hooray, NYC finally gets to see Herman Cornejo do Siegfried--even if only in excerpt. What fun. He did a few things differently, but mostly the variation was similar to Angel's. Adiarys used the harp/oboe (original?) variation music and choreography. Blazing fouettes as usual, but not the ones I saw her do in Spain. Now I'll really have to include that footage in the doc.

DGV
What I loved about this piece was the juxtaposition of corps and principals. The corps was often much more interesting to watch. All those sly references to trains: choreography that imitated signal crossing arms, Brit Rail logos, train tracks, levitating wheels humming along, always propelled by the score. Each principal couple was unique and interesting to watch for different reasons. Carmen and Sergey (him tall enough and secure enough to partner her) slowly winding/unwinding versus the increasing speed of the score; Herman and Adiarys sliding across the stage in parallel and profile and then contorting themselves; Ashley and Fernando, both capable of continuously fluid connections between each step (what is the word for that?! I forget); and Angel with Natalia Tapia (only months from having a baby) even in slo-mo, even when fast, her amazing flexibility and long lines in sync with Angel's instinctual use of epaulement to accentuate line. And those lunges on that hyper-extended knee --like some glorious ship's figurehead or auto/train hood mount--were both beautiful and cringeworthy.

So as I wrote to someone recently...He came, they saw, he conquered. What else is new?
Let's hope we all can move forward now.
PS. Many thanks to Alex and Andrey, jah and Ann T-P, Drew S., and Matt B. AND Ross MacG for his artistry and kindness.


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