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Alastair Macaulay: progress report

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I'm not sure if this is the correct area for this sort of discussion, but did anyone else notice that today's review by Macaulay of the All-Classic program seemed remarkably 'phoned-in'? He even seemed to repeat phrases from old reviews in places. For example:

6/30 review of All-Classic program: "It’s amazing how much the whole climate of the Metropolitan Opera House improves once American Ballet Theater stops presenting its 19th-century classics."

6/10 review of All-American program: "As soon as American Ballet Theater introduces mixed bills to its repertory, the whole climate improves."

6/30 review of All-Classic program: "Diana Vishneva, partnered by Jose Manuel Carreño, was lusciousness incarnate"

6/9 review of All-Ashton program: "But “Thaïs...looked ravishing, with Diana Vishneva lusciousness incarnate and Jared Matthews both handsome and devout."

I much prefer Macaulay's writing to Rockwell's saccharine and generic reviews, but I've grown a little tired of him repeating the same sentiments and nitpicky preferences over and over again. Yes, we all know by now that he will never like the way Gillian glances at the audience! And upon reading his most recent review, I now find he's starting to simply become trite.

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Personally, it's so hard to find adequate language for what a performance, say, seems to cause to rise within me which seems to want expression that I'm a little in awe of people as good at it as Macaulay, and I don't begrudge him some repetition if the same language seems apt to him on more than one occasion. I'm even more impressed that he can experience so much and remain so lucid about it. (Years ago, I'd visit New York for a weekend and see half a dozen performances which would run together a little afterward.)

I don't even read the majority of his reviews (so I missed your examples, thank you for them) -- I'm not a New Yorker, and I have another life -- but I'm glad for what I do get from him. Repetitious or not, he seems to me the best dance critic the New York Times has had, based on the samples of his writing I've read, that is, when I notice he's written on a topic close to me, compared with the writing of many of his predecessors, when I've run across it.

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I'm not sure if this is the correct area for this sort of discussion, but did anyone else notice that today's review by Macaulay of the All-Classic program seemed remarkably 'phoned-in'? He even seemed to repeat phrases from old reviews in places. For example:

6/30 review of All-Classic program: "It’s amazing how much the whole climate of the Metropolitan Opera House improves once American Ballet Theater stops presenting its 19th-century classics."

6/10 review of All-American program: "As soon as American Ballet Theater introduces mixed bills to its repertory, the whole climate improves."

6/30 review of All-Classic program: "Diana Vishneva, partnered by Jose Manuel Carreño, was lusciousness incarnate"

6/9 review of All-Ashton program: "But “Thaïs...looked ravishing, with Diana Vishneva lusciousness incarnate and Jared Matthews both handsome and devout."

I much prefer Macaulay's writing to Rockwell's saccharine and generic reviews, but I've grown a little tired of him repeating the same sentiments and nitpicky preferences over and over again. Yes, we all know by now that he will never like the way Gillian glances at the audience! And upon reading his most recent review, I now find he's starting to simply become trite.

I noticed that repetition too. My main peeve is that there dancers he can't say a bad thing about and dancers he can't say a good thing about, no matter what. On the other hand he can be insightful, and I believe, is in love with the art.

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I noticed that repetition too. My main peeve is that there dancers he can't say a bad thing about and dancers he can't say a good thing about, no matter what. On the other hand he can be insightful, and I believe, is in love with the art.

Speaking of dancers he can't say a bad thing about (and he can criticize them...just very *very* mildly, and with clear love, and then he moderates the nastiness. Just as he qualifies any nice thing he manages to say about a dancer he doesn't like, as in his compliment of Reyes in today's review)...

I found it interesting he managed to review, in today's review, Cory Stearns (his new love), who did not perform, and omit any reference to Puck, a key character in The Dream, and the dancer who performed that role. For someone who cares *so much* about the ballet text, one could have read the review and not known such a character existed...

It was a lovely description of the scenery though.

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I found it interesting he managed to review, in today's review, Cory Stearns (his new love), who did not perform, and omit any reference to Puck, a key character in The Dream, and the dancer who performed that role. For someone who cares *so much* about the ballet text, one could have read the review and not known such a character existed...

He raved about Cornejo as Puck three weeks ago. Not every review has to be written for readers who've never seen the ballet. I found the contrast he made between Stearns and Gomes instructive, sharpening my image of both.

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I found it interesting he managed to review, in today's review, Cory Stearns (his new love), who did not perform, and omit any reference to Puck, a key character in The Dream, and the dancer who performed that role. For someone who cares *so much* about the ballet text, one could have read the review and not known such a character existed...

He raved about Cornejo as Puck three weeks ago. Not every review has to be written for readers who've never seen the ballet. I found the contrast he made between Stearns and Gomes instructive, sharpening my image of both.

But it wasn't Cornejo last night, it was Salstein, and I would have found it instructive and enlightening to know how the person who actually performed in the performance being reviewed, performed.

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You're very welcome, leonid. I agree, this article was a pleasure to read.

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I've waited until the end of the season to post this, but I'm going to close this thread.

In the future, if there's a specific review/article you wish to discuss, please post a new thread for each review. The same would apply to any other critic -- the point is to discuss the ARTICLE not smear or boost a particular writer.

The place to discuss articles is this forum, not on the specific company thread.

Thank you.

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