cubanmiamiboy

MCB Program I: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach

69 posts in this topic

[Moderator Note: This is the thread for posting your thoughts, comments and performance reviews for Program I, whether you see it in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach. There will be lots to talk about.]

YAAAY!!!...MCB's new season will kick off tomorrow at the Arsht Center-( :clapping: )-and I will be there, of course :wink: . For the occasion, the company's channel on the omnipresent tube has launched a series of short clips of the works to be presented, along with a brief commentary by Villella. (Oh, BTW...I just realized this is the very first time I don't have to repeat the "this is the first time I will be seeing this Balanchine" phrase...(progression, progression... :P )

Anyway...tomorrow's attire has been picked already, and the rest ...we'll see after the performance.

For now, here are the clips.

Enjoy!! :(

"Allegro Brillante"

"Tchaikovsky Pas de deux"

"Symphony in three Movements"

...and...

"Company B"

(I'm intrigued about this work...any clues you guys can give me on how to face it...? :dunno: )

Share this post


Link to post

Villella's introductions in those links are excellent, but in addition to those links, I'd recommend this one, because it gives a glimpse of the last movement of Symphony in Three Movements which is not visible in the introduction clip, even though Villella talks about it (the intro video continues to show the second movement):

http://www.youtube.com/user/MiamiCityBalle...u/8/rBkcL7tiXyM

That said though, I should point out that the four glimpses in this clip are out of sequence: We get first the great opening of the first movement, then some of the quiet second movement, then back to the first movement for a bit more from late in it, showing the circle of pirouettes emilienne mentions, and finally the very end of the ballet.

Here's a link to emilienne's sensitive reflections on seeing Symphony in Three Movements for the first time early this month when the company toured to Chicago:

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=30396

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, Cristian, for those links. The videos all seem to be from performances in prior years. For example, Katia Carranza and Jeremy Cox in Symphony in 3 Movements is from 2007.

Does anyone recognize the dancers in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux? That's not Mikhail Ilyin, is it?

I was interested in the emphasis that Villella gave to the war imagery in Symphony in Three Movements and and anti-war aspects of Company B. I'll be looking more closely for those than I might ordinarily.

Share this post


Link to post

bart...can you tell me more about "Company B"...? :( (I mean, I can always do some online homework, but if there happens to be some personal experiences to be told, that's even better...)

Share this post


Link to post

Hey CHristian --

I love "Company B" -- it explained to me how my parents came to meet and fall in love and get married --but I don't think there's any need to be prepared for it. It's self-explanatory, you can't misunderstand it. Not everybody likes it, but that's just taste. Miami ought to do it very well.

I can't wait to hear your feelings about it.

PS I'm very impressed by Villella's introductions -- they're pithy, to-the-point, and the words are very well chosen. He says a LOT in a 60 second spot.

Share this post


Link to post

The pre-performance talks will be very interesting for this show. I will be interested in your reviews, I will not be able to attend until West Palm.

MCB has posted some interesting dancer interviews on their blog about this performance as well as some behind the scenes video of rehearsal week. Also, they have started a twitter and will accept questions about the performances.

Blog

Twitter

Share this post


Link to post

Hey Cristian --

Briefly, as the program opens tonight, I'd say that as Robbins's ballets are about "these people, here, now" and Balanchine's are about gods, immortal, even with some of their mortal-seeming concerns and entanglements sometimes, Taylor's dances often evoke a period, in this case, World War II America.

Paying some attention to the lyrics will help you into the scene built on each song: "Oh, Johnny, oh, Johnny, how you can love!/Oh, Johnny, oh Johnny, heavens above!" gets all the explication it needs from the stage. (It's first in the MCB clip, link below.) How's your German, Cristian? "Bei Mir Bist du Schane" I translate as "You're beautiful to me". (Third in the MCB clip.) What's going on here? A Yank in Germany talking up a local girl? See. But it wasn't all fun and flirting, or military glamor: Also see that once in a while a dancer slips slowly to the floor by himself while the ensemble continues around him. A lot of boys went off to the War, and were never seen again.

Taylor's vocabulary tends to incorporate a lot of "found" or everyday movement into the theatrical-dance flow, and his dancers show it more effectively than ballet dancers, with their erectness and lightness and crispness, do, IMO; I don't find any clips of his dancers in Company B on the Web, but here's one of another dance, evoking a different period, to give you some idea:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBsy9Gv5bDk

Compare this with MCB's clip of Company B and maybe you'll see what I mean:

(What I don't mean is that ballet dancers should leave Taylor alone. For one thing, how often does his company get to south Florida? And performance is not just for the audience: The dancers eat challenge, and this different way challenges them. But I would mean that if you ever get a chance to see Taylor's dancers, who know what he wants, then go for it.)

Anyway, I hope this helps some and doesn't come too late in the game.

(Oh. I strongly agree with Paul, EV's intros are very good, concise, pointed. I go to multiple performances and get there early, so I hear multiple introductions too, 'cause they're never exactly the same, like the dancing...)

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you all for the insights-(and for the videos, Jack). Let's see how it goes.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks to all. (Especially thanks to Jack who kindly p.m'd me to alert me that I'd posted "Symphony in C" when I meant "Symphony in Three Movements." I've done this before: Maybe because "C" rhymes with "Three"? Anyway, I corrected it above. Thanks, Jack.

PS I'm very impressed by Villella's introductions -- they're pithy, to-the-point, and the words are very well chosen. He says a LOT in a 60 second spot.
It was pretty impressive, I agree. Llke Jack, I hear multiple versions of EV's pre-performance talks. Sometimes he seemst o be marking, for example when giving the plot of Giselle or repeating oft-told stories about Mr. B. At other times, when he's especially engaged with the work they're doing at that moment, he's superb. You can tell that EV feels that MCB is now at the top of its game after a couple of decades of company-building under challenging conditions, and that he's really enjoying all the national attention this is getting.
(What I don't mean is that ballet dancers should leave Taylor alone. For one thing, how often does his company get to south Florida?
Taylor has been in several of our towns, including West Palm, in the apst few years. But I don't think they tour with ballets as large as Company B -- at least not down here.
And performance is not just for the audience: The dancers eat challenge, and this different way challenges them.

Excellent point.

Enjoy the performance tonight, Cristian. And -- please -- EVERYONE who gets to see one of the Program I performances, please report here, however briefly. Fort Lauderdale and West Palm (my location) are coming up, so there will be lots of opportunities to see the performances.

Share this post


Link to post
Thanks, Cristian, for those links. The videos all seem to be from performances in prior years. For example, Katia Carranza and Jeremy Cox in Symphony in 3 Movements is from 2007.

Does anyone recognize the dancers in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux? That's not Mikhail Ilyin, is it?

I was interested in the emphasis that Villella gave to the war imagery in Symphony in Three Movements and and anti-war aspects of Company B. I'll be looking more closely for those than I might ordinarily.

Yes, who is the ballerina in the TPDD clip?She''s lovely . I would like to see her complete performance.

Share this post


Link to post

Bingham, checking my notes, MCB doesn't seem to have performed Tchaikovsky PDD in a regular program since we arrived here in 2001. I might have forgotten however. Ilyin and Catoya performed the adagio section at a gala in 2006.

So ... the dancers may be from before that time???? The man, on closer look, is definitely not Ilyin, and the woman doesn't look like anyone I've seen dance for MCB.

Anyone remember performances --and casts -- prior to 2001?

Edited to add: Some Googling makes me think that the man in the Tchai pdd clip might be Bernard Courtot de Bouteiller. Still no luck on the woman.

Share this post


Link to post

Ok, ok, ok, people...HANDS DOWN EVERYONE!!!

I just got home fresh from tonight's performance rush-(so some clubbing needs to be done to cool off...) Villella's dancers are SHARPER THAN EVER!!!

I will be adding more stuff later on, but something needs to be said NOW, and it's that Jeannette Delgado and Rolando Sarabia were ABSOLUUUUUTELY ASTOOOOOOOOONISHING!!!!..in Allegro Brillante. OMG!!!...This is the kind of dancing I've been longing for a long time...Sarabita is back, and he just announced Delgado as HIS ballerina...a magnificent partnership is just born.... :angry2:

Share this post


Link to post

Cristian, when you get your breath -- tell us more!

[ ... ] Jeannette Delgado and Rolando Sarabia were ABSOLUUUUUTELY ASTOOOOOOOOONISHING!!!!..in Allegro Brillante. OMG!!!...This is the kind of dancing I've been longing for a long time...Sarabita is back, and he just announced Delgado as HIS ballerina...a magnificent partnership is just born
Good news about Sarabia -- and also that Delgado may have found something she hasn't had the chance to develop so far -- a collaborative and potentially long-term partnership. The kind that adds richness to performance and career.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm at work right now,and will be off to the Arsht Center when I'm out of here. I'm interested to see tonight's cast and compare.

"I'll be back" :wink:

Terminator Rey.

Share this post


Link to post

It always amazed me how a different cast can make you feel as if you just saw a completely different ballet...

That's what happened tonight...I'm not happy AT ALL with what I saw... :wink:

Matinee tomorrow, to finally make my final comments.

au revoir!

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry things are going sour, Cristian, I hope only a little. Have you noticed Symphony in Three Movements was on the Chicago program? Maybe emilienne's impressions -- she has posted again recently, adding reflections of the Sunday matinee -- will give you another approach, from a different point of view:

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.p...mp;#entry257737

Share this post


Link to post

"Sylvia", though, is good to see, and shows a slightly earlier take on the grand pas de deux form by Balanchine. Glad it's not being lost.

Share this post


Link to post

No argument, Mel, and are you also gladdened by Program II's inclusion of the earlier Valse Fantaisie? Watching them do it in Chicago, much as I like the later one -- I can still see in memory's theatre a little of a lighter-than-air performance by Judith Fugate and Daniel Duell from about 1980 -- I thought the earlier one a richer experience (four principals instead of two, after all).

But Cristian, which was it? Jordan Levin reported in the 24th October Herald it was Tchai pas!? I can understand somebody making a mistake on the MCB website -- I already pointed out the out-of-sequence glimpses in the promotional clips, as though they are too stretched for somebody who knows the repertory to check up -- but for her to make a mistake like that would be a surprise.

Share this post


Link to post

Mel, I agree -- Sylvia is a beautiful pdd. When Cheryl Yaeger ([sp?] used to do it with Julio Bocca, it was one of hte lightest, most beautiful things I ever saw.

"Sylvia", though, is good to see, and shows a slightly earlier take on the grand pas de deux form by Balanchine. Glad it's not being lost.

Share this post


Link to post

Jack...it seems like at some point Sylvia was considered, but yes..they ended up doing TPDD. (glad they did... :wink: ). Wondering why they didn't make the corrections on the website.

Share this post


Link to post

Nonetheless, a hopeful sign that they're holding "Sylvia" in reserve, able to "go up" with minimum tsouris. Jack, I'd like to see them pull off "Valse-Fantasie", and still more I'd like them to do "Valse-Scherzo", if they have a proper Diana Adams cognate. But, Jack, "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" isn't German. It's Yiddish, and by Sholom Secunda, one of the most prolific composers of the Yiddish tradition of the Lower East Side!

Share this post


Link to post
But, Jack, "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" isn't German. It's Yiddish...

Now, here I had thought Yiddish incorporated some German. Or are we having a little leg-pull? Anyway, as we can hear in the promo clip (around 1:27) the Andrews sisters pronounce it "shane", with the lips un-extended and the mouth open, rather than "shoen" (I have not learned how to type "o-umlaut"), with the lips extended and the mouth not so wide. Does that make it Yiddish, not German?

But as to holding dances in reserve, this is very much a repertory company: Several years ago, when they were adding Sonatine, they had a rash of injuries just before my weekend, and there were about as many substitutions on the list as printed cast, in everything; I got the third cast of Sonatine, even though they usually lead off with first cast on Friday evening, and the performance quality looked like old times in the New York State Theatre (except maybe for a couple of "blank spots" where apparent internal understanding seems to lapse)! (They can play "musical chairs" or any other game that's required.) And in other difficulties, they quickly step into something originally unscheduled but utterly ready to go when you see it.

Share this post


Link to post

Or, on second thought, were you trying to correct the interpretation I had loaded onto the number, and get me to understand that the song is not about a Yank and a Fraulein, and probably wouldn't be, or would it, considering who the enemies were, but merely another pop tune of the jazzy '40's? I don't remember anything specific to my interpretation onstage, either, so if you're trying to rein me in, thank you! But there is something about a language barrier in the lyrics: "I tried to explain/ Bei mir bist du schane/ So kiss me/ And say you understand!"

Share this post


Link to post