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Pacific Northwest Ballet at the Joyce Theater


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#16 Helene

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 01:59 PM

Thank you for the link, Sandy! Korbes is going to be very busy.

I agree about Sar: he was fantastic in "3 Movements", and I was hoping NYC would get a chance to see his "Mopey". There's the tie-in with the film about him, too. (Did I just say that? Once a marketing weasel, always a marketing weasel...)

One thing about the men cast in "Mopey": Griffiths was almost unrecognizable in it. Porretta and Moore are much more than "Mopey", but we'd seen glimpses of their "Mopey" in other works.

I'm glad to see Ricard Orza is cast in the Tharp. I'm still disappointed that NYC won't see Nakamura, who has ties to SAB :)

#17 SandyMcKean

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 03:59 PM

Korbes is going to be very busy.

I've read the phrase "Prodigal Son Returns" at least once in relation to Peter Boal taking PNB to NYC. It's also a bit of "Prodigal Daughter" too :)

#18 kfw

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 05:08 PM

Korbes is going to be very busy.

I've read the phrase "Prodigal Son Returns" at least once in relation to Peter Boal taking PNB to NYC. It's also a bit of "Prodigal Daughter" too :)

They ran off and wasted their talents and are now returning home broken, begging for forgiveness and menial employment just to survive? :huh:

#19 Helene

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 05:38 PM

Korbes is going to be very busy.

I've read the phrase "Prodigal Son Returns" at least once in relation to Peter Boal taking PNB to NYC. It's also a bit of "Prodigal Daughter" too :)

They ran off and wasted their talents and are now returning home broken, begging for forgiveness and menial employment just to survive? :huh:


Don't. Even. Think. About. It. (:D)

#20 SandyMcKean

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 05:40 PM

They ran off and wasted their talents and are now returning home broken, begging for forgiveness and menial employment just to survive?

Indeed! Seattle, as is well known, is a hot bed of hedonism. I'm sure the company is finding it nice to kick back in NYC for a little R&R after the intensity of life in the Pacific Northwest! :)

#21 kfw

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 05:50 PM

They ran off and wasted their talents and are now returning home broken, begging for forgiveness and menial employment just to survive?

Indeed! Seattle, as is well known, is a hot bed of hedonism. I'm sure the company is finding it nice to kick back in NYC for a little R&R after the intensity of life in the Pacific Northwest! :)

Smart opinion about dance, and updated parables. I love this place. :huh:

#22 SandyMcKean

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 05:58 PM

I love this place.


I guess we all do :)

#23 carbro

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 09:14 PM

They ran off and wasted their talents and are now returning home broken, begging for forgiveness and menial employment just to survive? :bow:

I'm still pretty bitter about the waste of Korbes when she was with NYCB, but that page has been turned. These days, just reading about her triumphs on the opposite coast, where I can't see them :) , is more gratifying than wondering why Carla's not dancing or why she's still in the corps.

Here are the casting dates for the Joyce, according to Playbill:

Opus 111: Lindsi Dec (Jan. 6, 8, 10), Chalnessa Eames, Rachel Foster, Carrie Imler, Carla Korbes, Ariana Lallone (Jan. 5, 7, 9 mat, 9 eve), Sarah Ricard Orza.

Batkhurel Bold, Karel Cruz (Jan. 6, 8, 10), Barry Kerollis, Stanko Milov (Jan. 5, 7, 9 mat, 9 eve), James Moore, Jonathan Poretta, Lucien Postlewaite

Fur Alina:
Carla Korbes & Karel Cruz (Jan. 5, 7, 8, 9 eve)
Rachel Foster & Batkhurel Bold (Jan. 6, 9 mat, 10)

Mopey:
James Moore (Jan. 5, 8, 10)
Benjamin Griffiths (Jan. 6, 9 mat)
Jonathan Porretta (Jan. 7, 9 eve)

3 Movements

Carla Korbes, Batkhurel Bold

Lindsi Dec, Chalnessa Eames, Rachel Foster, Laura Gilbreath, Benjamin Griffiths, William Lin-Yee, Stanko Milov, James Moore, Leah O'Connor, Sara Ricard Orzo, Seth Orza, Lucien Postlewaite, Lesley Rausch, Jerome Tisserand
(For 3 Movements, no substitutions planned)

Lucky me, I got the only Korbes three-fer!

#24 Helene

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 09:25 PM

I read this as Korbes doing all six performances of "Opus 111" and "3 Movements" and four of seven for "Fur Alina". Am I losing it even more than usual?

#25 sandik

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 02:31 AM

I read this as Korbes doing all six performances of "Opus 111" and "3 Movements" and four of seven for "Fur Alina". Am I losing it even more than usual?


This may be the case, since they aren't taking the full company to NYC. I don't remember off the top of my head if Krobes was double cast with anyone for that part, and if so, who. Anyone here recall?

#26 SandyMcKean

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 10:40 AM

To my NYC "friends". Naturally all the dancers scheduled to perform are worthy of your attention, but allow me to point out a few that I think you will enjoy focusing on (not because one is "better" than the others, but for very particular reasons I will mention):

Carla Korbes -- goes without saying why those of you in NYC will focus on her

Carrie Imler -- for my money Carrie is the best all around dancer at PNB; she can do anything, and has a professional quality (in the sense of complete commitment to quality) that one can't help but admire; technically she is 2nd to none; her acting is superb in a subtle sort of way

Lindsi Dec -- a rising star (incidentally recently married to Karel Cruz)

Laura Gilbreath -- what she does with "tall" is amazing

Lucien Postlewaite -- no male dancer at PNB has more artisty in his dance than Lucien

Barry Kerollis -- IMO a young dancer destined for star status; his grace and power practically define masculinity in dance

I could go on and on of course, and I don't mean to slight any of the other fabulous dancers (great dancers even) in the PNB group at NYC, but I think these dancers above each have something unique to watch for.

#27 papeetepatrick

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 08:24 PM

Very fine company, but I'm afraid I was never excited much nor moved either. I thought the company looked best in 3 Movements, which seems to be where you can see more of what their specific style is. Maybe Jonathan Pueretta is a star, his movements are marvelous, although I didn't care for that piece either, 'Mopey'.

Frankly, to me the company looked good in everything, but never quite came to life for me, except for sparks in 3 Movements, which I thought a good, though not great piece. Most disappointing was the Tharp piece, which I thought undistinguished and academic. A good way of showing off superbly-trained dancers, as these were, but it made me think of Graham's 'Adorations', which is far more imaginative; I was surprised at how boring I found this piece. And for the first time ever I noticed over-smiling, which I'd never thought about before. I think I've only seen one other Tharp piece, the one she did for Baryshnikov, I think it was called 'Push Comes to Shove', and if these two are at all representative of her work, I really just don't get it, period, it just seems pedestrian and derivative. I once saw her dance herself in a film, and always remember what a phenomenal dancer she was, she could do amazing things with her body--yes, it surely happens sometimes that a choreographer is actually a better dancer than creator.

The company has a glassy bright sheen, and I'd much rather have seen them do Balanchine. They are not ever messy, and they must do Concerto Barocco especially well (do they do it?) and quite a number of others, as well as much Robbins. I guess these works were chosen partially with the limitations of the Joyce in mind, I believe some of you mentioned that.

There were a number of Seattle people in the audience who had come for the run.

#28 carbro

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 09:46 PM

I was there on Tuesday night, and I had a good time. The feeling I got from the company in both the Tharp and the Millepied was that it was a group of friends who enjoyed being together. I was seated in Row B, which was not good for seeing the whole stage picture, but I saw dancers smiling as their eyes caught their colleagues' across the stage or right beside them, and it felt like they were sharing the excitement of the moment.

I liked Tharp's Opus 111 -- or what I was able to make out of it. Again, I would have had a better sense of it if I had been further back and higher up, but ... Patrick, you'll probably find this hard to believe, but it was much more coherent than many of her more recent pure-dance works (I haven't seen her Broadway stuff).

The three non-Tharp pieces all showed a debt to her -- shoulders that slumped or shrugged, isolations, movement initiated from the back of the pelvis. I don't know whether this was part of the programming strategy, but it captured my opinion.

Would I call any of the pieces on this program great? No. But unlike much new choreography, all of it was worth seeing. At a talk the previous night, dance historian Linda Szmyd Monich said that the program had been planned with attention to what would be familiar but new to New Yorkers. Tharp is famous, both Millepied and Liang are familiar to NYCB audiences (Liang's Fur Alina having premiered at a NYCB Diamond Project program), and Mopey was on the program when Peter Boal & Dancers had its first season at the Joyce.

Who was that musician who famously said that the music doesn't happen with the notes, but with the space between the notes? Well, with Edward Liang's Fur Alina, to an extremely spare score by Arvo Part, there was more space than there were notes. Korbes and Cruz were a loving couple apparently coping with loss, lots of reaching out, empty embraces, pullings away. A poignant pas de deux, but I too often found myself waiting for the next note.

The most interesting aspect of Millepied's Three Movements appeared to be the formations he made from the assembled company. Again, I would have liked to have seen this from a distance. I remember enjoying the central pas de deux for Korbes and Bold, but 27 hours later, I can't remember anything specific about it.

I think the best way to judge a company is to see it in familar works, but I understand Boal's desire to return to New York with his acquisitions. The company is still largely the same dancers he inherited from Stowell and Russell. I don't really know the company, but from the looks of things at the Joyce, he is serving his dancers well, they are serving their audience in kind.

Carrie Imler -- for my money Carrie is the best all around dancer at PNB; she can do anything, and has a professional quality (in the sense of complete commitment to quality) that one can't help but admire; technically she is 2nd to none; her acting is superb in a subtle sort of way

A few years ago, Stowell and Russell brought a small contingent of PNB dancers, Imler included, to the Guggenheim for a Lecture-Demonstration. She instantly became a favorite of mine. I was dismayed to see that she only has one role in this run.

I was glad I went. This is an excellent company. I can't wait for their return, hoping that this spring's two-night stand at the Guggenheim's Works & Process isn't the last for a long time.

I look forward to reading others' reactions.

#29 papeetepatrick

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:39 PM

Who was that musician who famously said that the music doesn't happen with the notes, but with the space between the notes? Well, with Edward Liang's Fur Alina, to an extremely spare score by Arvo Part, there was more space than there were notes. Korbes and Cruz were a loving couple apparently coping with loss, lots of reaching out, empty embraces, pullings away. A poignant pas de deux, but I too often found myself waiting for the next note.


That's very interesting, never would have thought of it, because it was this one in particular I couldn't quite figure out why it didn't move me. If there really is all that much 'more space', it could be that even their fine dancing could not fill it with enough emotion--and that was the impression I got, that they were trying to, but not quite managing.

The most interesting aspect of Millepied's Three Movements appeared to be the formations he made from the assembled company. Again, I would have liked to have seen this from a distance. I remember enjoying the central pas de deux for Korbes and Bold, but 27 hours later, I can't remember anything specific about it.


Yes, and I did see it from a distance in a quite ideal seat. This one I would probably really like if I saw it a few times, and their technique is impossible to fault. I didn't see anything sloppy even in what I didn't care for as choreography.

Also, thanks for pointing out about the 'debt to Tharp' of the other pieces. I wouldn't have known that either, and could explain some of my surprise at seeing wonderful dancers in works I just couldn't enter into very much.

#30 E Johnson

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 06:13 AM

I was there Thursday and had a lovely time. The company felt happy and it was refreshing to me to see a new and good ballet company, since usually I see NYCB or modern stuff.

I also liked the Millipied/Reich work the most (although I was nervous some of the dancers were going to leap right off the corners of the stage a few times!). It had energy and propulsion, admittedly hard not to given the music, and the dancers looked sharp and happy. It had a little bit of a Symphony in Three Movements meets Westside Story vibe, but thatís not bad. Millipied moved groups of dancers around in interesting and varied ways.

Tharp I think is not my cup of tea. The dancers seemed relatively undifferentiated; I didnít get a sense of much of a relationship between any of the couples and since basically everyone got the same steps, eventually, they seemed almost interchangeable. And the Liang piece was pretty, but sort of dull, too. I've seen stuff like this before.

None of the choreography struck me as particularly original, but it wasn't bad -- probably the most original was Mopey, but I think I was the only person in the theater last night that liked it.

The dancers looked uniformly terrific. I think what this program shows is that there arenít a lot of great choreographers out there, which we knew, and so an AD, like Boal, who is trying to develop/support new works is not always going to have topflight ballets on offer. Which is OK, and admirable, because you donít want nothing but warhorses, either. And new works are probably part of the reason these dancers look so pleased and on top of things, which is not to be undervalued. I too hope they get back to NY relatively often because Iíd like to see more.


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