Helene

Swan Lake -- Nov 5-8

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Ballet Arizona has release a video on YouTube with focus on the upcoming "Swan Lake". There are clips of Astrit Zejnati partnering Natalia Magnicaballi (in costume) and Ib Andersen rehearsing Tzu-Chia Huang and newcomer Shea Johnson.

http://www.youtube.com/user/balletarizona#p/a

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Nice to glimpse the lovely Magnicaballi (even for some one with a lump in his throat from having botched arrangements to see her onstage with TSFB in Berkeley this weekend) but it would have been so much better to have heard her music as we see her move to it (presumably). I think the only audio in this promo that comes from the scene we see is people speaking, making this less of an enticement for those who might respond to this musical art. (What is that music we hear instead?)

And we do see her entire, in long shot, in her space, her realm; that's good, so, IMO, not without value, thanks for the link, Helene, but overall, another formula promo. Ho hum. It could have had more excitement.

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Thanks for posting it, Helene. The clip gives you a good sense of the dancers -- I wish I could get out there and see it. (I hope you will and report for us. ?)

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I wish I could, but I can't get away because of school :(

I loved the few seconds of Andersen coaching in the studio. Just to see the way he released the ballerina's hand was a pleasure.

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Oh, dear. I think administration/marketing needs to give a lot more thought to who their target audience for this kind of video is, what the possibilities are, and how best to showcase the company, the production, and the director. These days, with high-powered editing software and a Flip available to everyone, it is not a matter of spending more money so much as knowing their company, having that vision thing, and getting familiar with the tools. It was quite underwhelming, I thought.

This didn't do them justice.

Still looking forward to seeing the production, despite the video.

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AZ Native would you care to expand on your thoughts? I see you were upset with the video but I am not sure why....?

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I like the video -- it makes me think they're taking it seriously, in the right way. I like the fact that Andersen has designed the show as well as directed it -- he doesn't go fpr magniloquence, as a speaker, but I think he is deep as well as sincere and believe this may well be a more serious, more coherent Swan Lake than ABT's or NYCB's or....

Obviously it won't be as opulent as some -- but I sure wish I could see it.

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There's an unidentified woman speaking in the video starting at 1'17" starting with "I think performance is a very rewarding experience..." -- does anyone know who she is?

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Helene, while the woman begins speaking, the video tracks Daniel Marshalsay with one of the new dancers -- Megan Chemlik, perhaps? The video lingers on her for just a bit, as the voice continues.

Stinger, in partial response -- I would charecterize my impression as "underwhelmed." Both the production and the content could have been much better. The blury camara work strikes me as just not competant, as opposed to artistic, I also don't like the angle of coming up from under the dancers, as it does for the most part. As done, it gives a chaotic feeling, rather than the romantic it was probably going for. I also found the chosen music to be annoying, slightly loud, ponderous and with a distracting drum beat background. As for content -- these are interesting, thoughtful people with life experience. Someone asking the right questions could surely get out of Mr. Anderson, for instance -- a star dancer beginning in his teens, a painter, choreographer, Balanchine repetituer, choreographer -- more than completely superficial remarks. If not, let's see more of him working with the dancers.

Of course, this comes from my admiration and appreciation of the company -- if administration puts videos out there, they should reflect the same quality that the dancers acheive. If this were just a particular dancer's home video posted for friends, fans, and the curious -- well, that would be something else entirely.

Or, it may be that I'm just crabby.

And, Stinger -- nice pirouettes. :wink:

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AZ Native, did you watch the video in High Quality (HQ) on YouTube? I rewatched it just now to see if I could see what you were talking about and it's crystal clear over here on my screen.

I think you're crabby too :clapping:

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I like the video -- it makes me think they're taking it seriously, in the right way. I like the fact that Andersen has designed the show as well as directed it -- he doesn't go fpr magniloquence, as a speaker, but I think he is deep as well as sincere and believe this may well be a more serious, more coherent Swan Lake than ABT's or NYCB's or....

Obviously it won't be as opulent as some -- but I sure wish I could see it.

Paul you hit the nail on the head with Ib. You were able to read him very well in his answers.

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I noticed the performance dates: Nov. 5-8. It seems a shame to go through so much learning, practice, and work for such a short performance time. Will this production tour?

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Hi Bart,

No we will not be touring. This is actually one more performance than usual for us so we are very happy to get the extra show.

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I just returned from the Thursday evening performance of Swan Lake, and I have to say all in all it was a good night! Aside from the dancing I would say the best part of the evening was the fact that the main floor was packed. Kudos to Ballet AZ's marketing and advertising department!

Now, onto the dancing. The Pas de Trois in act 1 was refreshing. At first my eye was caught by Ginger Smith because of her stage presence, but I was finally wowed by Chelsea Wilcox's entrechat six's. They were perfect! Unfortunately Ginger and Roman Zavarov had some awkward partnering moments. The court dances were not precise which was a little bothersome, but two men, possibly Matthew Poppe (not positive) had a great duet section. Astrit Zejnati, as Prince Siegfried, had a great solo at the end of the scene. He has a surprisingly high arabesque line, and as always it was a joy to watch him.

In Act 1, Scene 2, the cygnets (I prefer to call them baby swans like we did when I was a ballet student) stole the show. Jillian Barrell, Kendra Mitchell, Ginger Smith and Chelsea Wilcox did not put a toe out of place. Natalia Magnicaballi was a graceful Odette, although she has never been my favorite dancer. While she hits fantastic lines and poses, I find myself wishing there was more attack and passion behind her movement. I found her much better as Odile, although she was unable to finish her 32 fouettes.

I can't forget to mention Paola Hartley and Roman Zavarov who did a stellar job in the Neapolitan Dance. While the dance is very short, they made the most of it. The attack and vigor to their dance was exciting. I can't wait to see Zavarov in leading roles...he seems to have a lot to offer.

It was a great evening, and I can't wait to see the Sunday matinee.

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Thank you so much for the review, Krystin! I was hoping a Ballet Talker was there tonight.

Chelsea Wilcox is tall -- I would never have expected her to be one of the four cygnets!

Roman Zavarov's Apollo was a highlight of last season. I think he's on his way. I'm glad to hear about Hartley: I didn't see her in the season-ending Balanchine program, and I don't think she danced the one performance I didn't see.

Fingers crossed that the rest of the run sells as well or better!

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Krystin, the two dancers you speak of were the Wozniak brothers, Slawomir and Michal, in the waltz in Act I.

Helene, Wilcox is not overly tall. She is one of those dancers where her height can go either way as needed.

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BTW Helene, Paola Hartley danced opposite Roman in Apollo. You must have been mesmerized by Roman as the young god.

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Good grief! That says absolutely nothing about the production. Do they have no one in the state who can write about ballet? I really have never read anything liike this one -- it's worse than the "Giselle" from last year. No newspaper would put up with a baseball report that spend the whole time talking about evil in the world and suffering in Africa -- and nothing about hits, runs and errors.

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Now, now, Alexandra. The man seems quite imaginative. For example:

Perhaps it is the curious way the dancing in imitation of swans, with arms flapping and feet tapping the cackle of a herd of anatids that reconnects us with the world of nature that ultimately provides most of the material for beauty in our lives.

Could Arlene Croce or Edwin Denby have put it more unforgetably? AND ... he knows what an anatid is! Surely that counts for something.

When the reviewer is ignorant of a subject, perhaps his safest course IS to remain seriously :flowers:

On the other hand, I feel sorry for the dancers and other artists in the company, and for the audience.

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Do you think anyone broke it to him that at night, they're not swans?

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Can anyone attest that Richard Nilson was actually in attendance? This reads like a case of telecommuting taken too far.

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BTW Helene, Paola Hartley danced opposite Roman in Apollo. You must have been mesmerized by Roman as the young god.

It is true that I was mesmerized by Zavarov's Apollo, and I am :flowers: at not remembering that Hartley was his Terpsichore. (I do remember being sad not to have seen her in "Les Sylphides", but that was the Master of Movement program.) After I read your post, I figured I must have written something about her performance in the All-Balanchine program, and when I looked for it, realized that while I had written the review, I never posted it. It's pretty late in the day, but I did post the review in the Mother's Day program thread.

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