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ABT Fall Performances


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#16 carbro

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 11:24 AM

I just noticed that the title of every work which ABT is doing at Bard and AFH (exc. Dying Swan @ gala) refers, at least obliquely, to quantity: Seven Sonatas (Ratmansky), One of Three (Barton), Other Dances, and Everything Doesn't Happen at Once (Millepied).

I wonder how those theme programmers at NYCB would have titled this one!

#17 richard53dog

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 02:19 PM

I just noticed that the title of every work which ABT is doing at Bard and AFH (exc. Dying Swan @ gala) refers, at least obliquely, to quantity: Seven Sonatas (Ratmansky), One of Three (Barton), Other Dances, and Everything Doesn't Happen at Once (Millepied).

I wonder how those theme programmers at NYCB would have titled this one!



How about SOME Assembly Required?????

#18 carbro

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 02:46 PM

My bad! :lol: Thanks for that, Richard. :unsure:

#19 LiLing

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 02:46 PM

You can COUNT on a good time at ABT.

#20 Ambonnay

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 05:46 PM

The Fall 2009 ABT "On Point" leaflet contains some observations from the three choreos about their respective premiere works for the ABT fall season and the impact of the Avery Fisher venue. Not sure if this has been described before, but just in case it has not been... :huh:

Ratmansky: "I envision the ballet as a chamber piece for four to six dancers. When considering music for a ballet, something must click. I was inspired to use the music of Domenico Scarlatti from a favorite recording of several of the composer's sonatas by Vladimir Horowitz. The simple stage setting -- no stage curtain -- will affect the ballet, but I hope for the better. On the other hand, there may be less theatrical 'magic' without sets; on the other hand, the relationship between the music, choreography, dancers, and audience is direct and more immediate. Holly Hynes, with whom I've previously worked, will design the costumes for the ballet."

Millepied: "Avery Fisher's particular stage dimensions will definitely affect the construction of the ballet. The work is planned for 24 dancers; I imagine their movement on stage in architectural terms. Similarly, the costumes by Karen Young will be modern in sensibility, and will have a graphic, architectural quality. Lighting will define the dance sapce [Brad Fields is creating the lighting design for the three premieres]. [Foregoing brackets in original]. The three pieces by David Lang -- Stick Figure, Short Fall, and Cheating, Lying, Stealing -- will be played live by a small group of musicians. I heard Lang's music for the first time in 2006 at performances of a dance work by Edouard Lock at the Paris Opera. Since then, I have been listening to his music, hoping to use it in a ballet. I am a bit fan."

A Barton: "I have worked in many different environments, including my own site-specific installtions. Avery Fisher's stage -- narrow at back, wider down front -- is a piece of the puzzle. It will be good to think of the ballet in less symmetrical terms, and working on that stage as with other aspects of the project -- dancers, the Company -- will all be new. Everything will factor in. I have chosen 11 dancers because I feel the physical setting for the piece will necessarily be a little irregular. Their roles are all equal. The violinist and pianist who perform the Ravel are also a part of the scene. I love the idea of having them on stage. Costumes for this piece are by Yannick Larivee, a stage designed based in Toronto and a incredibly gifted artist."

The leaflet includes a beautiful cover shot with Hee Seo and Marcelo Gomes in James Kudelka's Desir. The shot shows Gomes lifting Seo, who has her toes beautifully pointed. They are both clad in shades of evocative purple, and, to a lesser extent, burgundy, and the lighting is appropriate. :wink: There are various promo articles, including a piece on Part's promotion to principal, and a sweet picture from the Nina A farwell.

#21 Ambonnay

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 06:05 PM

The Fall 2009 ABT "On Point" leaflet .... The leaflet includes a beautiful cover shot with Hee Seo and Marcelo Gomes in James Kudelka's Desir. The shot shows Gomes lifting Seo, who has her toes beautifully pointed. They are both clad in shades of evocative purple, and, to a lesser extent, burgundy, and the lighting is appropriate. :) ...


The same picture is on the table of conents page of the October/November 2009 "Pointe" magazine. Furthermore, Hee Seo solo is on the cover of the Pointe magazine, in a radiant photo and with the caption "A Prima is Born. ABT's Radiant Seo". Some aspects of the article in the magazine:

-- Kevin McKenzie says: "Beyond her ballet-friendly physique, she has a point of view and sensitivity that leads her towards roles like La Sylphide and Juliet."

-- The article companies Seo to a young Natalia Makarova, because of the "plasticity of her body", with "all movement emanating from a supple spine and technique that spellbinds with its combination of tensile strength, lightness and fluidity". The article says Seo "has a dramatic quality that radiates from her soul."

-- She says John Meehan, the then director of ABT II, "was like a dad to me".

-- In 2008, she had "sharp pains in her back (doctors never delivered a definitive diagnosis)".

-- Seo says of C Stearns: "If you really understand and know him, you have to love him".

-- The article says: "Seo speculates that some of her ability to inhabit dramatic roles stems from her own experience. 'Because I left home when I was so young, I never could be childish. I had to be an adult. I had to grow up.'"

Accompanying the Seo article is a half-page piece on Cory Stearns, subtitled "The Other Side of the Partnership". Stearns is quoted as saying, in the general context of their collaboration on Romeo & Juliet: "Hee and I have a natural chemistry. What I love about her is how she feels the role; she doesn't overthink it. I'm trying to adapt right along with her, to be a 16-year-old Italian boy."

#22 DeCoster

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 06:48 AM

Recent article from NY Observer on Benjamin Millepied: http://ow.ly/s5b8

Quote:
Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once features music by David Lang, the co-founder of Bang on a Can who won a Pulitzer Prize for music last year. Mr. Millepied approached him about using his music months ago, and after meeting Mr. Millepied, Mr. Lang was eager to help. “He’s incredibly friendly, a pleasure to be around,” Mr. Lang said. “And he’s beautiful.” Mr. Millepied has a soccer player’s lean, compact body, a finely chiseled jaw and large, blue eyes, bearing a faint resemblance to Jude Law. An abstract tattoo runs up the left side of his stomach, inspired by the Bauhaus painter Oskar Schlemmer. When he smiles, which is often, you get the sense that he is confiding in you—a secret maybe, an insider’s joke.

ABT couldn’t afford to commission a new score, so Mr. Millepied chose three works Mr. Lang had already composed—“Cheating, Lying, Stealing,” “Stick Figure” and “Short Fall.” Taken together, the music balances a wintery, emotional tenderness with heavy propulsive rhythms. Urban and modern, it is a strange if entirely welcome choice for ABT, often criticized for its focus on fusty period fairy tales.

“I think Ben’s being courageous, bringing my music into the ballet,” Mr. Lang said. Kevin McKenzie, the artistic director of ABT who commissioned Mr. Millepied, agreed: “I’ve been following him for a while now and I thought that, if nothing else, this guy is daring.”
Endquote

The article also mentions that Millepied recently vacationed to the Caribbean with his girlfriend Isabella Boylston. Such fun ballet news! It is a big season for Miss Boylston, and I look forward to seeing her confront the pressure. I've enjoyed what I've seen so far.

#23 Ambonnay

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 12:07 PM

The article also mentions that Millepied recently vacationed to the Caribbean with his girlfriend Isabella Boylston. Such fun ballet news! It is a big season for Miss Boylston, and I look forward to seeing her confront the pressure. I've enjoyed what I've seen so far.


DeCoster -- I didn't know until I read your post that Boylston is dating Millepied. I don't like to sound cynical, but I can't believe that that had nothing to do with the lead pair in Millepied's new work being Bolyston and Gomes. :) Especially when a principal like M Wiles, who normally participated in prior years' City Center performances, has no stated role in the Avery Fisher programs this year.

#24 DeborahB

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 04:21 AM

Ms. Boylston also danced in Ben's small company (they were at the Joyce earlier this year). And there is an alternative cast to his new ballet (check out the ABT website).
Choreographers have always had their favorites and their muses. Sometimes there might be a romantic involvement; most of the time (I'm guessing) there isn't. Ms. Boylston is a very talented up and coming ABT corps member; it's nice that she's getting
a piece created on her (boyfriend or not).
I'm attending Wednesday night and Sat. afternoon and am really looking forward to it.

#25 Ambonnay

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 02:22 PM

And there is an alternative cast to his new ballet (check out the ABT website).

DeborahB:

I wasn't saying I Bolyston isn't talented (I really haven't decided that, for myself). I was just saying that the cynic in me would think that her status as B Millepied's girlfriend was probably not irrelevant. How she got her role in his ABT work and whether she is talented aren't necessarily connected.

I'm aware there is another cast for the work, but, when your danseur is Gomes, and the other pair is Abrera/Stearns, you kind of know you are the "first team" pair for the work. :clapping: Also, when you perform the work six times, as compared to the alternate team's three times, when combining Bart and Avery Fisher performances, you are doing pretty well. :lol: When there are two teams, it's obvious which is the "first team". Just take the Ramantsky work. Do you think the "first team" has Hee Seo/J Mathews leading it, or Julie Kent/David Hallberg?

#26 Marga

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 02:41 PM

Isabella and Benjamin have been a couple for years. They've worked together A LOT as dancer and choreographer. Of course, there's reason for him to use her in his pieces. But he has the integrity to not put a dancer in the lead who isn't deserving of the role, even if the dancer happens to be his longtime girlfriend. And Isabella has the integrity to not accept a lead role she can't carry off extremely well. It is an exciting time of premieres for Isabella (Clark Tippet's revival premiere as well as Millepied's). I am certainly thrilled for her.

Btw, there's a gorgeous picture of her and Isaac Stappas on ABT's homepage:
ABT

#27 DeborahB

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 02:49 PM

Ambonnay,
Agreed -- Ms. Boylston and Mr. Gomes are the first team. So what?
Again, Ben chose whom he wanted to dance his ballet. In fact, there are many corps and soloists -- both at NYCB and ABT -- (and surely many other companies) that are as good, if not better, than the principals. In fact, this is how it's been for the 30 plus years that I've been attending ballet in NYC (many times a week when the various companies are in season).
Feel free to be cynical (is is your right) though.
That said, I'd rather see Hee Seo -- whom I adore -- than almost any female dancer at ABT. I only wish that David Hallberg was dancing Ratmansky's ballet with her.
To each his/her own.

#28 DeborahB

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 02:54 PM

I agree with Marga. In fact, Ben did not use a previous girlfriend (also a ballet dancer and before Isabella) in earlier pieces. This says to me that
he is extremely confident in Isabella.

One note: I'm not sure it's appropropriate to talk about the personal lives of dancers. Moderators?

#29 balletmor

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 02:59 PM

I always felt sorry for the first string football player whose father is the coach and even if that player is the best player there are always those who questions the coach's decision,(it is only natural) or even the Ballet Mistress of a small company whose daughter or son is so deserving of a lead role but the whispers of nepotism is always in the air. I have no doubt that Isabella is going to shine, but Im sure she expects some backlash. This will probably make her even better.... Having put my two cents in, Has ANYONE seen the performances yet? Any thoughts? Dying to hear something. I wish I could be there!!!

#30 carbro

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 03:46 PM

One note: I'm not sure it's appropropriate to talk about the personal lives of dancers. Moderators?

Ben and Isabella have acknowledged (and discussed aspects of) their relationship on public panels, so it is not "unofficial news", and TimeOut New York notes that they are a couple (here, in paragraph 4). So it meets BalletTalk's standard.

By the time the company was ready to announce casting, its artistic staff knew that Isabella would be a lead dancer in Ben's ballet. Obviously, they would not have cast her in Some Assembly if they didn't think she deserved both roles.


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