Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Pacific Northwest Ballet at the Joyce Theater


  • Please log in to reply
52 replies to this topic

#31 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,815 posts

Posted 08 January 2010 - 07:04 AM

I went to the Joyce last night to see PNB. I enjoyed Opus 111 very much. For me, Tharp's work can be very hit and miss. I hated the Rabbit and Rogue she did for ABT, for example. Opus 111 was a definite hit in my opinion. All the dancers were marvelous. Fur Alina was a lovely trifle; Carla Korbes can make the most pedestrian choreography look good. It was nice to see her dance again. We miss you at NYCB Carla! I could have done without the pretentious gimmick of turning the lights on and off in Fur Alina. I hated Mopey. Mopey was dopey. I liked the Millipied work, but for me the Steve Reich music is very monotonous. I spotted Sebastian Marcovici in the audience, and Peter Boal was out and about saying hello to old friends during intermissions.

#32 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,418 posts

Posted 08 January 2010 - 08:37 AM

Maybe Jonathan Pueretta is a star, his movements are marvelous, although I didn't care for that piece either, 'Mopey'.

He is. I wish he had better material than "Mopey". He's getting wonderful things to dance from Olivier Wevers.

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.

I agree about the Tharp. That's why I keep harping on my disappointment in PNB having brought this Tharp. If both casts of "Afternoon Ball" had come, you would have seen a completely different Chalnessa Eames. (Who is also getting wonderful things to dance from Olivier Wevers.)

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.

"Concerto Barocco" and "Square Dance" are great works for them, especially when Carrie Imler dances them, or Kaori Nakamura (not on this trip) in "Square Dance". At the same time, they do a killer "Jewels".

#33 mimsyb

mimsyb

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 282 posts

Posted 08 January 2010 - 08:45 AM

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.

I would tend to agree. I was there on Wednesday and found much of the evening wanting. While the dancers were OK, none stood out especially as distinguished. Korbes stands out as she is the one blond in the bunch. OK, there was one other girl with light hair, but most of the women were interchangeable. The men seemed just OK. While they are all seemingly well trained, no one stood out as a person to watch. Good corps de ballet dancers, is about it. From my seat (row M, center) no one seemed to be connecting to the audience or each other. Let alone the choreography. They just did the steps. The Tharp came across as overly busy without much content or resolution and for me the dancers simply had too many bones in their bodies. They didn't capture the Tharp movements at all. While the Millepied piece had energy and action, I preferred his piece that he did for ABT this past Fall at Avery Fisher. That was risky! And a recent showing at the Guggenheim by Larry Keigwan's company (also to a Reich score) captured the sense of urgency and urban rush to a dance work that this piece lacked. Again, lots of steps, waving of arms, more steps, etc. The less said about the two short middle works the better. A Forsythe pas de deux would have perked things up! And while I can appreciate the decision to bring more contemporary works to be seen in NYC, PNB still is and should be seen in a little more of a classical vein. I could have forgiven the other stuff had there been one Balanchine. This company is starting to look an awful lot like a lot of other companies. We don't see much of these companies from elsewhere in the country (regrettably). But in my mind, Eddie Vilella and the Miami City Ballet got it right when they recently performed here. Now there was a company to remember and long to see again! It's only Friday and PNB has slipped mostly from my memory .

#34 papeetepatrick

papeetepatrick

    Sapphire Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,486 posts

Posted 08 January 2010 - 09:32 AM

I could have forgiven the other stuff had there been one Balanchine.


You hit the nail on the head with that, because it's sharper than what I said along the same lines. That programming just doesn't seem smart. I just looked at the Playbill again, you would have seen Benjamin Griffiths in 'Mopey', and James Moore is also appearing in the role. What that piece is good for is seeing what the boy can do, and you could see what Puerretta is capable of even with this rather silly piece. I am glad to hear from Helene that he is getting some better material, because I even noticed him a bit more than the others in the Tharp. What the program needed was something that would allow them to be much more expansive, to luxuriate more, than these rather tight pieces.

#35 SandyMcKean

SandyMcKean

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 945 posts

Posted 08 January 2010 - 03:17 PM

Who was that musician who famously said that the music doesn't happen with the notes, but with the space between the notes?

Miles Davis, I believe.



Maybe Jonathan Pueretta is a star, his movements are marvelous, although I didn't care for that piece either, 'Mopey'.

He is. I wish he had better material than "Mopey".

I agree with Helene. Mopey shows Jonathan (it's Poretta BTW) well in some aspects of his dance, but there is so much more that you don't see about him in this piece. If you ever see him in, say, "Rubies", you would get a far better idea of who he is as a dancer.


That's why I keep harping on my disappointment in PNB having brought this Tharp. If both casts of "Afternoon Ball" had come, you would have seen a completely different Chalnessa Eames.

As I indicated earlier, both Helene and I preferred "Afternoon" to "Opus 111" when they premiered here in Seattle. Opus 111 is fine, but the power or excitment, many of you NYC'ers seem to feel was missing, might have been satisfied with "Afternoon" I think (or alternatively, you might not have liked "Afternoon" at all since it is definitely not for everyone's taste).


The company has a glassy bright sheen, and I'd much rather have seen them do Balanchine.

I have little doubt that all of us in Seattle would prefer that the program contained a Balanchine. Balanchine would have been a sort of "standard" that you all could have used to see PNB in light of other companies you see on a more regular basis. Not only that, but IMHO one of the strengths of PNB is fully realized when you see a program that moves from something like "Square Dance" to "Opus 111" and then maybe even on to something like Robbins "The Concert". I presume Boal picked the pieces he did for many reasons (the Joyce Theater being only one of them).

#36 Leigh Witchel

Leigh Witchel

    Editorial Advisor

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,466 posts

Posted 08 January 2010 - 03:59 PM

This will be a minority report, but I may be one of the few people who doesn't think Korbes looks better at PNB - at least not in this repertory. She was so suited for Balanchine's "White Goddess" roles and she looked forced and yet still bland in Tharp (less so in Millepied's piece.) Seeing Mearns in Titania the next day at NYCB reminded me how interesting Korbes (also) was in that role.

A single viewing doesn't tell a whole story, but the ex-NYCB'er who seems to have really profited from the move was Sarah Ricard Orza, who looks infinitely more memorable than she did when at NYCB.

#37 glebb

glebb

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 807 posts

Posted 08 January 2010 - 04:46 PM

"White Goddess" Korbes was flawless last year in Diamonds.
I wish I could have gotten myself to Seattle to see her Anita.

#38 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,418 posts

Posted 09 January 2010 - 03:16 PM

This will be a minority report, but I may be one of the few people who doesn't think Korbes looks better at PNB - at least not in this repertory.

I never thought the Tharp role played to her strengths. I thought she was wonderful in "3 Movements" on the McCaw Hall stage, and I think she might have been coming back from injury and was especially energized. She didn't have the same impact for me this afternoon.

"White Goddess" Korbes was flawless last year in Diamonds.
I wish I could have gotten myself to Seattle to see her Anita.

So far, the most beautiful things I've seen her dance were "Diamonds", the Verdy role in "Emeralds", and Odette, but her Anita was also a thrill, and she was sensuous as all get-go in "Fancy Free".

I think she's too liquid a dancer for most of the contemporary works. She seems to like to dance them, but she's interchangeable in many, while she's anything but in classical and neoclassical rep. She was a beautiful Lilac Fairy, and according to a recent interview, she's learning Aurora now. That will be an interesting stretch for her.

Peter Martins made an entrance at today's matinee, wearing shades, climbing up an orchestra side aisle to his seat. After watching today, if I were he and hadn't remembered the context of the PNB programs to which many New York critics have given glowing reviews, I'd be tempted to dismiss them altogether or to take them personally. Not that the company hasn't been dancing well, or that the program isn't indicative of many of the new works, but it isn't what they do best, which is too big for the Joyce stage. I never thought I'd write this, but I think the company looked better in the Kylian they did this fall ("Petite Mort"), and the pieces, with the exception of "3 Movements", are tepid* compared to the Forsythe, Robbins, Balanchine, and even "Red Angels".

*Edited to add: I was surprised, because the program sounded stronger on paper.

A single viewing doesn't tell a whole story, but the ex-NYCB'er who seems to have really profited from the move was Sarah Ricard Orza, who looks infinitely more memorable than she did when at NYCB.


I still don't like Opus 111 very much -- it takes forever to really get going and keep going -- but it looked much better, and much more vivid, on the Joyce stage than at McCaw Hall. Ricard Orza, who was second cast in the program in which the work premiered, and Barry Kerollis were both superb. I liked her very much when I first saw her in the role, which was made on Jodie Thomas, and I think it was her PNB breakout role. This afternoon, she was even better, bigger and more dynamic than when she first danced it. Kerollis was a delight, his elegance boosted by a tad of the manic energy he had in "West Side Story Suite".

"3 Movements" didn't translate as well, because it needs more stage depth, and while from our seats in the Joyce, row R (on the rise), dead center, the patterns were as clear as they were in McCaw Hall, there was too much congestion. I hope this is revived in Seattle soon. This is the work on the program that, if PNB were a visiting company, would have made me buy tickets for a second and third view.

"Mopey" is never going to be a favorite of mine, but watching Benjamin Griffiths dance it, I'm reminded again and again of how in the most awkward, self-conscious, self-hating, crazily hormonal cocktail that is the adolescent boy there are glimpses of sublime grace and beauty.

If I am indifferent to Rachel Foster in a contemporary work, in this case "Fur Alina", I think I'm safe in concluding there's not much to the work.

I'm terrible with faces, but I think I saw Benjamin Millepied in the audience. The short women with short dark hair who attended with Peter Martins looked so familiar -- Rosemary Dunleavy, maybe? -- and a man who looked very much like Charles Askegaard managed to avoid decapitating a tiny old lady with his gym bag on the way to his seat. There were a number of dancers there, but without name tags, I'm lost.

#39 miliosr

miliosr

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,599 posts

Posted 10 January 2010 - 12:51 PM

This will be a minority report, but I may be one of the few people who doesn't think Korbes looks better at PNB - at least not in this repertory.


It appears Tobi Tobias would agree with you. See the last paragraph of her review:

http://www.artsjourn...llet_prese.html

#40 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,418 posts

Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:45 AM

I wonder if after seeing "3 Movements" at Ballet Across America, the cries from the audience and critics to BRING BALANCHINE ALREADY will intensify, and whether Boal will heed them. I think Tobias' sense of desperation over Korbes would be relieved by a trip to Seattle where Korbes is more expansively cast and in context of a season that includes three full lengths, two of them classical or neoclassical, an all-Balanchine, and "The Nutcracker" out of seven programs. Boal brought Boal & Company II -- I'm not sure whether it's "plus Tharp" or including Tharp -- to the Joyce, which makes sense for the theater. I don't think the Joyce makes sense as a venue for the company, which could have performed "3 Movements" and two Balanchines with the same number of dancers on a larger stage.

#41 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:56 AM

Is there any likelihood of companies like PNB forming themselves into what are, in effect, two overlapping groups, each with its own brand name, programming, scheduling, and (presumably) constituency?

#42 papeetepatrick

papeetepatrick

    Sapphire Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,486 posts

Posted 11 January 2010 - 09:03 AM

I wonder if after seeing "3 Movements" at Ballet Across America, the cries from the audience and critics to BRING BALANCHINE ALREADY will intensify, and whether Boal will heed them. I think Tobias' sense of desperation over Korbes would be relieved by a trip to Seattle where Korbes is more expansively cast and in context of a season


But they COULD have done at least one Balanchine (you tell me which) even on the Joyce stage, couldn't they have? Looking back now at the responses to something we'd all expected to be dazzled by, I'm in slight disbelief at such programming. I don't believe this program--again if there had been at least ONE Balanchine--makes since on any level. Because even 'Three Movements', the best of the works, is no masterpiece. But I agree with Leigh and Tobias on Korbes as she appeared here: She was not charismatic or outstanding in any way in these pieces, just very good like the rest. I saw nobody but Poretta who somehow looked like he could transcend these mediocre works--and that IS the mark of a star. I can definitely see him as very fine in 'Rubies', he is noticeably short, but not too short.

I can't imagine Boal not taking heed of these complaints about the program, because it was a real miscalculation. We were expecting electricity not only because we'd heard about it, but because it was certainly possible. And the opportunity was lost for the moment. mimsyb would probably not have said 'PNB is beginning to look like a lot of other companies' if one really good work had been put on. 3 Movements was good, but not great, and IMO the other three were worthless.

A less important angle, but automatically occurring to me since I have become this sort of 'Friend of the Joyce' is that not only that stellar Chinese group from Taiwan I saw back in November, but even the Ballet Hispanico came across light-years better in this space. I never got a chance to write much about BH, but their 'couples dances', that generic sort of 'entertainment ballet' with a few couples out there being charming, were so much more inventive and charming and engaging than that Tharp business I cannot even tell you. And there was excitement in some of their pieces (although one was awful), not just in the excellence of their dancers (and theirs were too.) If Ballet Hispanico does a program that much better than PNB at the Joyce, maybe something needs to be thought about--esp. if even 3 Movements seemed too cramped at the Joyce. Well, I think we all could have stood for some 'cramped-looking Balanchine' more than we could stand for that absurd 'Fur Alina', which looked like something you'd see in an experimental space back in the 70s, derived from old modern dance programs, except that it was fresh then. 'Fur Alina' was like a simulation, it had no flavour or real colour.

#43 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,418 posts

Posted 11 January 2010 - 09:18 AM

Is there any likelihood of companies like PNB forming themselves into what are, in effect, two overlapping groups, each with its own brand name, programming, scheduling, and (presumably) constituency?


This would take an enormous check to accomplish. I've often wished that PNB could perform them in workshop settings. Most, although not all, of this rep is performed in Seattle interspersed with stronger works, and I'm along for the ride, but it would certainly be easy for me to decide which company to see. What PNB showed at the Joyce, I would be happy to see once a year, with repeats for a program with "3 Movements".

The second section of the program in particular was soft. It took this time seeing "Mopey" to realize that for all of the angst, it's actually a soft work. (To an extent, so was the Tharp, although it was also dry. The other Tharp was not. It was great theater.) Most of the Dove is soft. It's not only PNB: a lot of the modern dance done in Seattle I find falls in the soft range. It's not my stuff.

I'm miffed at myself for thinking that Tharp would go over because it's Tharp -- people screamed and shouted at the end of "Movin' On", which was two hours of my life that I'll never get back -- and serious Tharp, and that the Joyce audience would like "Mopey". I was so wrong.

But they COULD have done at least one Balanchine (you tell me which) even on the Joyce stage, couldn't they have? Looking back now at the responses to something we'd all expected to be dazzled by, I'm in slight disbelief at such programming.


There are a handful of Balanchine pieces they could have done at the Joyce, I think: at least "Apollo" -- PNB does the truncated version, without the birth and the platform, which I saw at the 300-seat Vancouver Playhouse when National Ballet of Canada brought guests to Ballet BC's fundraiser at the end of the September -- and "Square Dance". Barocco might have been cramped, but it leaves out the men. The company doesn't do any of the Balanchine stand-alone pas de deux or solos, like "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux" or "Sonatine", at least as far as I can remember.

The issue with the Balanchine may have been that the company would have performed them to taped music.

I've been thinking a lot about this, not knowing the issues about rights i.e., whether there is a ban on performing it within X miles of the Koch Theatre, and I think the best program would have been "Dances at a Gathering" and "3 Movements". Performing "Dances" in NYC would have been go for broke and would have given a much better indication of what the dancers can do.

#44 richard53dog

richard53dog

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,401 posts

Posted 11 January 2010 - 09:55 AM

I've been thinking a lot about this, not knowing the issues about rights i.e., whether there is a ban on performing it within X miles of the Koch Theatre, a


But Ballanchine is done regularly at City Center (by ABT, and recently The MT ) which is much closer to Lincoln Center than the Joyce.

#45 aurora

aurora

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 683 posts

Posted 11 January 2010 - 11:57 AM

I've been thinking a lot about this, not knowing the issues about rights i.e., whether there is a ban on performing it within X miles of the Koch Theatre, a


But Ballanchine is done regularly at City Center (by ABT, and recently The MT ) which is much closer to Lincoln Center than the Joyce.


And ABT did Balanchine at the MET last Spring/Summer :shake:


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):