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NYCB Winter Season: So Many Story Ballets


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#16 miliosr

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 06:29 AM

Mr. Gottlieb weighs in:

http://www.observer....-ballets-season

#17 Helene

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 10:28 AM

Michael Popkin just posted the following on his danceviewtimes blog:

Classics at City Ballet.

It is far too rich and covers too many points for me to be able to summarize, but I think it a great starting point to discuss this programming, now that the classics part of the season is over.

Edited to add: I couldn't resist this appetizer:

but it was a performance that needed to be prodigious in those qualities to compensate for its very existence.



#18 DeborahB

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 10:52 AM

Michael Popkin just posted the following on his danceviewtimes blog:

Classics at City Ballet.

It is far too rich and covers too many points for me to be able to summarize, but I think it a great starting point to discuss this programming, now that the classics part of the season is over.

Edited to add: I couldn't resist this appetizer:

but it was a performance that needed to be prodigious in those qualities to compensate for its very existence.


This is a particularly well-detailed review of the season. Thanks for posting it Helene! I find it fascinating that so many reviewers disagree about individual dancers and their performances. I saw all the BEAUTY casts, and two of the three (I think it was three) SWAN casts. I agree and disagree (in parts) with what Mr. Popkin has written, but I very much enjoyed reading this piece. And again, I just want to add that I am so glad that this is the end of story ballets at NYCB (way too many for me. I'm usually good for one or two a year max) for the year.

#19 papeetepatrick

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 11:10 AM

What interested me was Michael's descriptiion of Kowrowski's Feb. 13th performance, as well as her long history in the role, which does seem to indicate that her earlier performance (Feb. 10? anyway, aurora had written about numerous difficulties she'd had in that first performance) may have indeed been a bad night. I liked that he also just says that 'City Ballet doesn't do these ballets especially well'. Well, they don't most of the time, but that's the choreography and the orchestra. Having finally seen these works finally after all these years (and R PLUS J this year, although only on TV), I fine there is something individual about Martins's style, and that once in a while (as in Sleeping Beauty) it shows itself to mostly good advantage. But even from the very beginning, with his shorter works, there is a compactness and tightness that sometimes seems sleek and glinting (as in many parts of Beauty), and sometimes just claustrophobic (R PLUS J is the worst, I even thought 'Swan Lake' a better Martins work, although almost everybody else hates it, and I can't say I was impressed at all either). But I don't know that it is not good that NYCB has embarked, however weirdly, and I do find something a bit weird about all of PMartins's 'Classics', they may eventually be able to do them. Michael doesn't think they should, but as time goes by, I don't see why not, especially since they do have the ballerina-stars, although their men don't hold a candle to ABT, there is no comparison. It wouldn't hurt NYCB to stop pretending there's stlll a Balanchine 'no-star system', since some exceptions were always even made when Balanchine was still working, but it doesn't mean a thing now. Bouder is a great dancer, but it's not like in the old days when we waited till casting was announced to buy our individual tickets--well, maybe for Bouder to some degree, but nobody is getting all anxious about how they might miss something once-in-a-lifetime as when you just had to see Farell do 'Mozartiana', or any number of other delectable treats that were always held out tantalizingly, but only at the last minute.

I definitely agree once for 'Swan Lake' will be enough for my lifetime like Classic Ballet, altough I didn't dislike it quite as much, although I'll see Sleeping Beauty again if I ever hear they've got the orchestra to function properly. R PLUS J I am determined to never see again, I definitely agree with that girl who told me that was the 'true badness'.

Very nice article from Michael.

#20 Helene

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 11:18 AM

Apollinaire Scherr also takes on the question of classics programming for her blog "Foot in Mouth":

Happy Valentine's Day -- ballet Style

I am in the minority--among ballet aficionados and critics, too, I think (though I haven't read all of the reviews)--in preferring Martins's Swan Lake to his Sleeping Beauty, which played earlier this season. This isn't to say there aren't big problems with the Swan Lake, only that it seems less dully docile, and has sublimity and tragedy where you need it: in the promise-making and parting scenes by the lake. That is, whatever problems with coherence this Swan Lake has, The Sleeping Beauty's are more egregious.




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