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Sleeping Beauty Seminars, Casting, and Reviews


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16 replies to this topic

#1 sandik

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 02:09 PM

I went to Doug Fullington's seminar on SB yesterday, and it was stellar. Some great footage from the Maryinsky/Kirov's revival of the original sets/costumes/choreography (very stately) and an excellent rundown on the history of the ballet in the West. I don't know how much of this will be repeated in his Seattle Public Library talk on the 2nd, or in his pre-show lectures, but they will all certainly be worth the trouble to see them.

Larae Haskell came in to talk about costuming -- there are apparently around 900 separate pieces for this work, which they bought lock, stock and as many fabric scraps as they could find from the English National Ballet. If I remember correctly, they haven't had to replace anything yet, but they did make new costumes for the children in the Garland Waltz, who were added for the PNB production.

(and since there is no post-show discussion for the run, you don't have to factor in staying afterwards...)

Official casting isn't up yet, but unofficially there are five pairs for Aurora/Prince (Nakamura/Postelwaite, Vinson/Orza, Imler/Bold, Korbes/Cruz, Rausch/Orza) They all get two shows, except for Rausch, who gets one and a half (education matinee, I think) Lots of younger dancers have been rehearsing the Bluebird, including Eric Hippolito and Amanda Clark, though not clear who will be performing yet. And Stanko Milov is out for this rep, with an injury.

My favorite piece of SB trivia, though, is that if you rehearse all of the Aurora/Prince scenes back to back, it's about an hour of material. Needs big stamina!

#2 Helene

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:55 AM

I am so sorry I missed Doug Fullington's presentation. Thank you so much for reporting on it.

Casting is up on the site for Week 1 in the awful drop-down box format (see below):

http://www.pnb.org/S...Details-Casting


There is a PNB webcast video with quotes from the three corps couples who are learning the roles: Amanda Clark/Kyle Davis, Liora Reshef/Eric Hipolito, and Margaret Mullin/Jerome Tisserand:

http://www.pnb.org/S...ngBeauty/#Media

(BTW: When searching for the Bluebird video, I happened up this 2008 news story from local PBS station KCTS about Hipolito.)


The Rausch/Orza partnership doesn't debut the first week, nor do any of the new Florine/Bluebirds, but there is exciting casting all around in both dance and character roles: Wevers and Porretta are Carabosse, Otto Neubert is King, Dec/Lowenburg/McFall are Queen, Uko Gorter returns and shares Catalabutte with Kiyon Gaines, Jordan Pacitti is Gallison, and Ariana Lallone's Countess.

I was trying to copy and paste the cast list into a grid to attach to this post, but for whatever underlying technical reason, it copies by the role and then a list of all the dancer cast for the role (to date). It's not easy to read, but here it is after a few clean-ups:

Role Thu 4 Feb; Fri 5 Feb; Sat mat 6 Feb; Sat eve 6 Feb
Aurora Kaori Nakamura Mara Vinson Carla Körbes Carrie Imler
Prince Lucien Postlewaite Seth Orza Karel Cruz Batkhurel Bold
Lilac Fairy Carla Körbes Carrie Imler Stacy Lowenberg Laura Gilbreath
Carabosse Olivier Wevers Jonathan Porretta Olivier Wevers Olivier Wevers
King Otto Neubert Otto Neubert Otto Neubert Otto Neubert
Queen Lindsi Dec Stacy Lowenberg Victoria McFall Lindsi Dec
Catalabutte Uko Gorter Uko Gorter Kiyon Gaines Kiyon Gaines
Fairy of Beauty Kylee Kitchens Sarah Ricard Orza Liora Reshef Sarah Ricard Orza
Fairy of Temperament Brittany Reid Rachel Foster Sarah Ricard Orza Brittany Reid
Fairy of Purity Stacy Lowenberg Kylee Kitchens Kylee Kitchens Stacy Lowenberg
Fairy of Joy Rachel Foster Margaret Mullin Rachel Foster Rachel Foster
Fairy of Wit Chalnessa Eames Lindsi Dec Lindsi Dec Chalnessa Eames
Fairy of Generosity Lesley Rausch Chalnessa Eames Chalnessa Eames Lesley Rausch
Countess Ariana Lallone Ariana Lallone Lindsi Dec Ariana Lallone
Gallison Jordan Pacitti Jordan Pacitti Jordan Pacitti Jordan Pacitti
Princess Florine Mara Vinson Rachel Foster Rachel Foster Chalnessa Eames
Bluebird Jonathan Porretta Benjamin Griffiths Benjamin Griffiths James Moore
Silver Carrie Imler Lindsi Dec Lindsi Dec Mara Vinson
Gold Seth Orza Karel Cruz; Lucien Postlewaite Andrew Bartee ; Lucien Postlewaite Andrew Bartee; Jonathan Porretta Benjamin Griffiths
Red Riding Hood Leanne Duge Abby Relic Leanne Duge Liora Reshef
Wolf Barry Kerollis Jerome Tisserand Barry Kerollis Andrew Bartee
White Cat Lesley Rausch Sarah Ricard Orza Lesley Rausch Sarah Ricard Orza
Puss in Boots James Moore Jordan Pacitti James Moore Jordan Pacitti

#3 sandik

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 01:50 PM

Oh Helene, you really did all the hard work on this. I was going to post something yesterday, but got stuck in revisions, and now here it is!

I'm looking forward to all kinds of things with these casts, but am very curious to see what Porretta does with Carabosse. He's certainly an actor, but I haven't really thought of him in any of the traditional character roles...

#4 sandik

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 10:48 AM

Gary Tucker (press rep) reminded me today that this coming Saturday evening the ballet is performing at the same time as the Billy Joel/Elton John show at Key Arena. Since the Sonics left, I've kind of forgotten what it's like when two big events collide in lower Queen Anne -- plan your transportation accordingly...

#5 sandik

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 03:22 PM

Week two casting is up now, look

here

All five women get one Aurora each, Bold does two turns as the Prince, Jordan Pacitti does Carabosse on Saturday afternoon.

#6 bart

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 05:42 PM

Helene, I realize this is :) , but I was intrigued by your criticism of the drop-down-box format for posting casts. Miami persists in following Balanchine by refusing to publish casts in advance, regardless of format. So things COULD be worse in Seattle.

PNB's format seems efficient and useful, especially when casts are large. Many -- probably most -- people have schedules that require them to shop for tickets by date, first of all. PNB's site allows you to check casts quickly for the dates that are possible for you. I wish Miami would pick it up.

#7 Helene

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 11:50 PM

Helene, I realize this is :) , but I was intrigued by your criticism of the drop-down-box format for posting casts. Miami persists in following Balanchine by refusing to publish casts in advance, regardless of format. So things COULD be worse in Seattle.

PNB's format seems efficient and useful, especially when casts are large. Many -- probably most -- people have schedules that require them to shop for tickets by date, first of all. PNB's site allows you to check casts quickly for the dates that are possible for you. I wish Miami would pick it up.

PNB used to format the casts in a grid, so that you could compare casts by role across dates. It was very easy to use.

The PNB website looks a lot like the Seattle Opera website. I'm not sure if it was out-of-the-box, customized software, or custom software, but this is one feature that I find difficult to use, since I'm trying to buy multiple tickets based on seeing the most number of dancers in the most number of roles.

When I started going to NYCB -- Balanchine was still alive -- the company was publishing casts lists one week in advance. There was no Internet, so I stood in the little group between the entrance and photos of principal dancers, and jockeyed my way into the middle to read the cast lists each week.

#8 SandyMcKean

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 10:27 AM

I feel the same as Helene and Sandi, I far preferred the old PNB format. I have even talked to the website folks at PNB, and they admit to the problem, and even promised to restore the old format (in addition to the new one I assume), but of course nothing has been done.

The issue I think revolves around whether you get tickets based on date or cast. For those who pick their date first and cast is secondary (likely most folks -- including those who go just once per program), the new format works well (altho not that much better than the old format). But for folks like me who pick cast first and date second (especially for those of us that regularly go to multiple performances of every program), the new format is terrible (but better than nothing as you say bart).

The solution I think is to provide both formats. PNB can leave the new format alone on the "buy tickets" webpage, but they should re-implement the old grid format somewhere on the website (doesn't have to be on the "buy tickets" page) so that aficionados can see all the casts side by side.

[Later edit......not that anyone cares, but I see now that my memory of how the PNB website works was not correct. The casting is not shown on the "buy tickets" page, but on a completely separate page that one must request. So anyone looking for the cast, whether they be a date or a cast person, has to go to this special cast page. Given that structure, perhaps the new drop down list mechanism should be replaced by the old grid display, or somehow include both, or give users a choice.]

#9 sandik

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 03:20 PM

Gary Tucker (press rep) reminded me today that this coming Saturday evening the ballet is performing at the same time as the Billy Joel/Elton John show at Key Arena. Since the Sonics left, I've kind of forgotten what it's like when two big events collide in lower Queen Anne -- plan your transportation accordingly...


I know it seems silly to reply to my own posting, but I want to remind people. I was at the dress rehearsal last night, while the Joel/John show was at the Arena -- traffic and parking were awful, and that was just a Wednesday...

#10 sandik

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 03:02 AM

I will have other things to say later on, but just wanted to mention that watching Lindsi Dec as the Countess flirt unsuccessfully with Karel Cruz as the Prince at the beginning of act two made me giggle a bit.

#11 Helene

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 08:20 AM

I will have other things to say later on, but just wanted to mention that watching Lindsi Dec as the Countess flirt unsuccessfully with Karel Cruz as the Prince at the beginning of act two made me giggle a bit.

Especially since she was holding a riding crop.

#12 Jayne

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 04:42 PM

NYT Review

Seemed to like Kauri's presentation, I saw her as Aurora during PNB's last revival of this, and while the production doesn't stir memories, her portrayal was great. I'll see Imler this time around, on Thursday evening.

#13 SandyMcKean

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:55 AM

I'll see Imler this time around, on Thursday evening.

I saw her last Saturday.......a sight to behold. I'll admit I am prejudice, but Carrie is more perfectly matched to, and best creates the mystic of, Aurora more than anyone else at PNB. Exquiste is the word that comes to mind. I envy your Thursday.

#14 Jayne

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:00 AM

Late night, just back from the ballet, thought I'd get my thoughts typed up, while they are still fresh.

The principals:
Carrie Imler was an excellent Aurora tonight. She handled the ACT One entrance beautifully. The audience clapped after the first balance, and cheered after the final 4 turns. She returned her hand slowly overhead for each and every one, and relaxed from attitude beautifully. I stifled the urge to yell out like a football fan; "YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH CARRIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!" Instead, I limited myself to a strong "Brava!" and copious clapping. She did not attempt the Rockette kicks of Alina Semova, but maintained a romantic line throughout. She was light, with articulate feet, and extraordinary control. Ms. Imler has a strong, muscled physical stature that reminds me of photographs of dancers from before the Balanchine era, she is no 80 lbs anorexic nymph. As noted above, security is a great word for Ms Imler's dancing.

Batkhurel Bold was fine in the first and second acts as Prince Florimund. He is a rock solid partner, very tall, able to frame his partner beautifully. He lifts with ease, and he looked comfortable with the pantomime and dancing during The Vision and Awakening scenes (Act two). But during The Wedding (Act three), something changed, I don't know if he was injured during Act two (there are significant lifts), but during his solo, there was no flair or flourish, and it felt phoned in. I saw little - if any - acting of ardour during the finale or even the curtain calls. I cannot say he missed a step, but I felt like the air went out of his performance. In 10+ years at PNB, Mr Bold has always thrived in the modern ballets and he has never done well with the acting / ardour required for "cavalier" roles. Nevertheless he always impressed us with huge jumps, turns, etc. Something was very wrong tonight. I assume an injury. PNB has one other principal, Stanko Milov, who is the reverse side of Mr. Bold's coin, also strong and tall. Trained in the classic Vaganova style, he has flair to spare for the 'cavalier' roles, and it took a few years for him to tone that down for the modern roles. Unfortunately he is currently out with an injury.

The Soloists:
Lilac Fairy was Carla Körbes was lovely as Lilac Fairy, she is so smooth that it is easy to take her performance for granted. The other fairies were fine, though I couldn't tell you which one was purity, joy, wit, generosity, beauty etc. We were joking about additional fairy names at intermission. How about the fairy of truthiness? Blue Bird was Kyle Davis, who outdanced his partner, Amanda Clark. Gold / Silver pas de Trois was led by Lindsi Dec - but Andrew Bartee and Lucien Postlewaite didn't seem to be quite in sync.

Character Roles:
Former PNB dancer Uko Gorter was Catalabutte (I'm old enough to remember him dancing Cavalier in The Nutcracker when I was a kid, damn that means I'm getting old). Carabosse was PNB principal Olivier Wevers. He was great at pantomime, and the kids loudly booed him at curtain call. All the kids loved puss n boots.

Musical Direction:
Emil de Cou guest conducted the excellent PNB orchestra. I understand they are trying out conductors during this run. The strings during the The Vision were particularly beautiful, and deserved a separate ovation, Bravo!

Overall Production:
I agree with the NYT review, 3 intermissions were too many. Better to play music through 2 short set changes (I understand PNB does not use all the available music for The Sleeping Beauty). I don't remember this from the prior run, but this time the excessive use of lame in the costumes really bothered me. Otherwise the production was very close to the time period, but the shiny gold lamé on costumes was off putting and dare I say it - cheap looking. Especially on the Bluebird's back. The only big flubs were credited to the stage hands. They flubbed a few spotlights (it was very obvious) and during the finale, there was a dramatic shudder of the screen at the back of the stage. Plenty of kids in attendance (even a few babies) but everyone was silently attentive during Aurora's entrance in Act I and The Vision. I enjoyed Mr. Hind's choreography and was well satisfied with the results.

You Know You're in Seattle when...
...the guy behind you takes his shoes off during Act Two and has no qualms about the pungent smell of his feet. I was only surprised he didn't wear cargo shorts that night (trust me, this happens often in Seattle during the dead of winter). Clearly the girlfriend dragged him there, and he kept saying "this ballet was only meant for 13 year old girls". Then don't come! Clearly you only came in hopes of getting laid afterwards. Next time, stay home with the Xbox, and tell your girlfriend to bring one of her best friends - preferably someone knowledgable of theatre etiquette.

#15 sandik

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 09:49 AM

Last minute flash

Today (Friday) they're doing a school matinee at 11:30 -- a cut down version of the work that lasts about an hour. I thought it was closed except for groups, but I've been told I can get a ticket at the box office (no online) for $3.50. Will report back if I get there...


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