Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Sleeping Beauty


  • Please log in to reply
74 replies to this topic

#31 vipa

vipa

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,093 posts

Posted 03 February 2010 - 08:32 PM

Tiler Peck was outstanding tonight as Aurora. Her phrasing and musicality were absolutely wonderful. She demonstrated the transition of her character over the course of the ballet very well. She was very elegant and lyrical in the wedding scene in particular. She didn't hold her balance a long time in the Rose Adagio the way Bouder did, but that didn't matter to me. Her technique throughout was very impressive. Gonzalo Garcia was a good partner, but he had a tendency to over-act to point of being a ham. He acquitted himself well in his solos, and the fish dives went very well. Janie Taylor was miscast as Lilac Fairy. Gina was a bit too campy as Carabosse. Erica P. easily executed all the technical demands of Florine, but I thought that she needed more lyrical flow in her movements. Bluebird (Huxley) acquitted himself well. I really enjoyed Gilliland as Diamond. Ask la Cour had some difficulty with his Gold variation. Onwards to the Morgan-Angle-Krohn debuts tomorrow!


Thank you abatt. I agree with almost everything you said, and you said it better than I would have! I loved Peck's Aurora, and you expressed why. The only thing I disagree about is Gina. I found her deliciously, glamorously evil.

I too enjoyed Gilliland as diamond, but my favorite was Abi Stafford's ruby. Her assured presence, technique and playfulness with the variation won me over.

I must say again that Lauren King was a delight as Vivacity. She has such a charming and joyful presence and she does the variation very, very well. I also enjoyed Muller as Courage. She had an energy and presence that I found enjoyable. I had never noticed her before, so this is another dancer for me to keep my eye on.

I agree that Janie Taylor was miscast. She seemed almost afraid of her variations.

But what a triumph for Tiler Peck, particularly as a debut.

I won't be able to see Morgan, so I'm eager to hear reports.

#32 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,809 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 06:33 AM

I agree that Janie Taylor was miscast. She seemed almost afraid of her variations.

Yes, she did. During the prologue, she looked like the most unhappy, tense person on stage- like she would have rather been anywhere else. Also, her upper body movement was stiff, and her mime in the birthday scene was not clear. She only began to come to life and look relaxed in her solo in the wedding scene.

#33 nysusan

nysusan

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 998 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 07:22 AM

Here's another voice to add to chorus of accolades for Tiler Peck's Aurora. This was a spectacular debut. She started off her Rose Adagio at a very high level. Agreed that she didn't hold the balances very long but they were all secure, the technique was all there and her musicality, phrasing and interpretation were gorgeous. Hers was both an excited 16 year old and a gentle, royal princess. She started off at such a high level that you'd think she had nowhere to go but down however as the evening went on she just kept getting better. Her vision scene was beautiful and ethereal - again, danced with outstanding musicality and phrasing. And her Aurora was absolutely regal and queenly in the Wedding act.

I also felt that Janie Taylor was terribly miscast here. She is a big favorite of mine but she's such a wild, intense dancer I couldn't imagine her as Lilac. Turns out - neither could she. I wouldn't say that she looked afraid of her variations, she just had no affinity for them or for the expansiveness and benevolence required of this role.

I loved Pereira and Huxley in the Bluebird pdd. I was so glad to see her cast in something other than one of the "cute as a bug" roles and I thought she was lovely. Huxley was probably the most natural bluebird I've seen so far at NYCB - he combined style, grace and wonderful line with the high flying leaps and beats.

After seeing 4 casts so far I can say that as much as I like most of what Martins has done with SB I really dislike his "Diamond" choreography and the way the "Courage" variation is coached here. Diamond looks so awkward and stiff to me I just don't think it belongs in a Petipa based ballet and the Courage Fairy looks more like an Anger or Vengeance fairy - totally inappropriate gifts for the baby princess. The coaching staff needs to rethink their approach to this variation - 3 very talented dancers all looked like Edward Scissorhands galloping in on a Clydesdale - far too much stabbing of hands and feet, it really needs some attention.

I was given a last minute ticket to see the Fairchild/ De Luz cast on Tuesday night. I had been planning to skip this cast but was glad I got to see them, De Luz is a favorite and was a wonderful Desire. Fairchild was much, much better than I expected her to be. As other posters have mentioned there wasn't much differentiation between the acts in terms of her acting but her dancing was beautiful, and very expressive. She was a charming Aurora with crystalline technique. I also really liked Somogyi's Lilac. Her line and epaulment were beautiful and she was a serene, shimmering Lilac with a gently benevolent presence.

#34 Michael

Michael

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 777 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 07:38 AM

I completely disagree about Taylor - I thought it her as good a Lilac as I can remember - radiating goodness and benevolent power -- a kind of anlogue of the Sun King: compassionate reason and power incarnate; Benevolence and Charity incarnate -- The grace and eloquence of her mime, it's economy and those porte de bras throughout were just beautiful.

Tiler Peck was marvlous and chiefly for reasons also beyond technique (which she has plenty of too) - just the grace and drama of her performance -- her Beauty on stage and that of her dancing. Highest praise, because it's almost irreducible.

In general lthe cast was superlative - the best single performance of this ballet I remember in several revivals, probably since back whien Jenny Ringer danced the lead maybe five or seven years ago.

And re Peck's balances -- though I hate the fact that, in so analyzing and discussing it, one is emphasizing exactly those kind of considerations that distract from the aesthetics of the dance as a whole -- I note that Peck is the only Aurora, including Bouder, who struck a really high attitude rear (working leg well above the waist with the knee raised) and that she held that high position for each and every balance -- Everyone else has been holding their working leg about halfway to the floor and letting it drop lower with each succeeding balance. Peck did not cheat or compromise on that and didn't overemphasize it either. And the way she danced it, the balances were incidental, they were not (Thank God!) the central purpose and meaning of that adagio; you did not last night (as with the others) have to carry on a distracting little mental dialogue as you watched, e.g., "Oh, there she bobbled . . . Oh that one was not as long as the first one . . . " etc.. In fact Peck's entire performance was one where everything was properly subordinated to the whole. She is by type and nature a perfect Aurora for this production - which cannot be said of any of the others.

#35 balanchinette

balanchinette

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 67 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 07:43 AM

As much as I like Tiler Peck, I have to disagree slightly with the rave reviews on this board regarding her Aurora debut. I thought she did a fine job, but I wasn't blown away. I was sitting in the middle of the orchestra section, pretty close to the stage, and from my vantage point her Rose Adagio seemed tentative. To me, she didn't even hit the balances -- she barely got her hand above her head before it was back down again, clutching at the next Prince's hand a little desperately. I thought this was a little disappointing, given that she struck some beautiful balances elsewhere in the ballet, and I put it down to nerves. I saw the opening night cast, and I think Ashley Bouder was a much stronger Aurora. Last night, I didn't see much difference in Tiler's Aurora from Rose Adagio to Vision Scene to Act III. I did think, however, that she was at her best in Act III.

I liked Diamond the night I saw Tess Reichlen do it -- last night Gilliland seemed awkward and stiff. Erica P. did a nice job as Princess Florine, but I thought Tiler did a better Florine. The best performance of the night, for me, was Adrian Danchig-Waring as Puss in Boots. Spectacular jumps and characterization!

#36 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,809 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 07:59 AM

I note that Peck is the only Aurora, including Bouder, who struck a really high attitude rear (working leg well above the waist with the knee raised) and that she held that high position for each and every balance



I definitely noticed that too. This was one of the thrilling elements of her performance. Agree that none of the other NYCB Beauties held the high attitude position like Peck.

#37 Michael

Michael

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 777 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 09:03 AM

I was sitting in the middle of the orchestra section, pretty close to the stage, and from my vantage point her Rose Adagio seemed tentative. To me, she didn't even hit the balances -- she barely got her hand above her head before it was back down again, clutching at the next Prince's hand a little desperately.


It's true that she didn't hold the balances for a long time - though long enough and they seemed secure -- But their subordination to the whole was in fact what I liked! Each balance was about the same length - not true of other casts. And no-where did you get the sense that the pas was about the balances. Dramatically the entire sequence accompanied the drum roll as it should in intensity; suspense and interest built. But the way she danced that pas was about the overall conception of the ballet and the action and not about balancing per se. She was modest. How refreshing. Certainly she will grow more free as she dances this further - but maybe she won't in fact have that same ingenuous and radiant quality she had last night; who can say? She held the stage that's for sure, held it in the palm of her hand. As I watched I was not thinking about the steps at all. And again how refreshing, what a bloody relief.

The rest of the cast seemed more focused and energized last night than I had seen them, and maybe some of the credit is also due to Mr. Sill in the pit and his tempi. There were still some sour notes in the horns; and still some marked passages of lack of coordination between the pit and the stage, as if the orchestra and dancers were on two parallel but out of contact courses; but the overall sonority of the orchestra had improved.

I loved Troy Schumacher leading the jesters - as a friend remarked: it's nice that when he did this at the Dancers Choice someone watched. I thought Huxley and Pereira were beautifully matched - Bluebird[s] and not a Blue Pigeon[s]. Abbi Stafford is dancing the hell out of the Ruby variation.


MP

#38 papeetepatrick

papeetepatrick

    Sapphire Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,486 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 09:48 AM

But their subordination to the whole was in fact what I liked! Each balance was about the same length - not true of other casts. And no-where did you get the sense that the pas was about the balances. Dramatically the entire sequence accompanied the drum roll as it should in intensity; suspense and interest built. But the way she danced that pas was about the overall conception of the ballet and the action and not about balancing per se. She was modest. How refreshing. Certainly she will grow more free as she dances this further - but maybe she won't in fact have that same ingenuous and radiant quality she had last night; who can say? She held the stage that's for sure, held it in the palm of her hand. As I watched I was not thinking about the steps at all. And again how refreshing, what a bloody relief.


This is interesting, because I now begin to think that the balances and the fouettes of Odile are this odd matter of whether they should be subordinate (or whether they really are not quite integrated, and are separated off) to the rest of the pas or be the focus, in fact be quite competitive. It's more subtle to want to see these difficult technical feats subsumed to the drama, but they are definitely there for showing off, and to some degree, not in the most high-minded way. I think it works both ways, and is like pianists doing the Chopin Double-Thirds Etude flawlessly and 'like velvet' but somewhat automaton-like, or those who play it with 'more dynamic colouring and poetry' but miss notes and make slight messes. I'd like to say I find myself in Michael's camp on this one, but I think I'm not. If balanchinette is correct about this:

To me, she didn't even hit the balances -- she barely got her hand above her head before it was back down again, clutching at the next Prince's hand a little desperately. I thought this was a little disappointing, given that she struck some beautiful balances elsewhere in the ballet, and I put it down to nerves.

, then I can sympathize with the nerves, but these balances are literally framed to be a kind of separate 'testing moment', in which everything else seems to stop, and the drum rolls only intensify this almost militaristic demand that is being made. So if I see the hand rushing back down again, I'm always disappointed, since I know that others are able to do them with much more confidence. There really are some pieces of music and dance that are meant to display as a kind of exhibitionism. That's why Nureyev was so good at 'Le Corsaire'. Of course, Corsaire and SB are not comparable works, but maybe these extreme virtuoso parts within SB and SL are really much the same. They have to be poetic and part of the whole, but they're athletic as well, and once you've seen the nonchalance of Sizova and Bouder with these balances, it's hard for some of us to accept less, although I mean only in terms of those, not what else the ballerina may do in the same performance inthe rest of the piece.

radiating goodness and benevolent power -- a kind of anlogue of the Sun King: compassionate reason and power incarnate; Benevolence and Charity incarnate .


Are you speaking of the king? Louis Quatorze, that is. I think Olivier Bernier feels that way about him (in his lectures at the Met, where he does get a bit excited), and I've annoyed any number of people for admirning him myself but it wasn't usually for those reasons, and he never reminded me of the Lilac Fairy in any way. Unless there is another Sun King, of course.

#39 aurora

aurora

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 682 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 10:19 AM

I wonder if this can be broken off into another topic on the role of the balances in the rose adagio starting with the post quoted below? It seems worth its own topic and while it certainly stemmed from a discussion of this particular performance, a real discussion of the subject would be off topic here...

But their subordination to the whole was in fact what I liked! Each balance was about the same length - not true of other casts. And no-where did you get the sense that the pas was about the balances. Dramatically the entire sequence accompanied the drum roll as it should in intensity; suspense and interest built. But the way she danced that pas was about the overall conception of the ballet and the action and not about balancing per se. She was modest. How refreshing. Certainly she will grow more free as she dances this further - but maybe she won't in fact have that same ingenuous and radiant quality she had last night; who can say? She held the stage that's for sure, held it in the palm of her hand. As I watched I was not thinking about the steps at all. And again how refreshing, what a bloody relief.


This is interesting, because I now begin to think that the balances and the fouettes of Odile are this odd matter of whether they should be subordinate (or whether they really are not quite integrated, and are separated off) to the rest of the pas or be the focus, in fact be quite competitive. It's more subtle to want to see these difficult technical feats subsumed to the drama, but they are definitely there for showing off, and to some degree, not in the most high-minded way. I think it works both ways, and is like pianists doing the Chopin Double-Thirds Etude flawlessly and 'like velvet' but somewhat automaton-like, or those who play it with 'more dynamic colouring and poetry' but miss notes and make slight messes. I'd like to say I find myself in Michael's camp on this one, but I think I'm not. If balanchinette is correct about this:

To me, she didn't even hit the balances -- she barely got her hand above her head before it was back down again, clutching at the next Prince's hand a little desperately. I thought this was a little disappointing, given that she struck some beautiful balances elsewhere in the ballet, and I put it down to nerves.

, then I can sympathize with the nerves, but these balances are literally framed to be a kind of separate 'testing moment', in which everything else seems to stop, and the drum rolls only intensify this almost militaristic demand that is being made. So if I see the hand rushing back down again, I'm always disappointed, since I know that others are able to do them with much more confidence. There really are some pieces of music and dance that are meant to display as a kind of exhibitionism. That's why Nureyev was so good at 'Le Corsaire'. Of course, Corsaire and SB are not comparable works, but maybe these extreme virtuoso parts within SB and SL are really much the same. They have to be poetic and part of the whole, but they're athletic as well, and once you've seen the nonchalance of Sizova and Bouder with these balances, it's hard for some of us to accept less, although I mean only in terms of those, not what else the ballerina may do in the same performance inthe rest of the piece.



#40 Michael

Michael

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 777 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 10:26 AM

In making things come out right, and in restoring order to the realms, Lilac is associated with the theme of Apollonian Reason in this ballet, countering Carabosse and whatever she represents. And in that she's helps bring about the Sun King apotheosis at the end of the ballet I think she's thematically right there. The association of reason and Christian Charity is also in in tune with that strand of renewed thematic classicism sometimes called the Romanticism of the 1840s (to distinguish it from the Victor Hugo era ten years earlier) that one sees in late George Sand, via Saint Simon -- though the application of the Sun King-Apollonian reason motif in the political context of the absolutism of the Court of the Tsars in the late 19th century Russia, at the time of the revival of the ballet there, would certainly have shocked Sand, St. Simon and anyone else to their way of thinking in France circa 1850.

Re virtuosity being a built in thrill in the Black Swan and here -- you are right -- they are not out of place if done effortlessly and if they don't become the focus of the show. But no one will accuse Peck of lack of virtuosity: she has it to burn and had it last night. And no one will accuse contemporary ballet of being anything but obsessed with athletic virtuosity. We err on the side of excess these days; a performance by a virtuosic dancer that tones it down is only too welcome chez moi.

#41 DeborahB

DeborahB

    Bronze Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 252 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 09:02 PM

I'm interested in what others thought of the performance tonight. One note: Sara Mearns stepped in for Rebecca Krohn.
I thought Sara was even better than she was last week (if that's even possible).
One quick comment -- keep your eye on Chase Finlay. This young man is an up-and-comer. He was terrific as "Gold" tonight!

#42 Michael

Michael

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 777 posts

Posted 05 February 2010 - 06:26 AM

Deborah what did you think of Morgan and Angle? Strong debuts for both, I thought, a lovely performance. A friend mentioned, and I have to repeat, that extraordinary moment in the grand pas when she leaned up against him, on pointe, in allongee, and both of them just spread their arms, and reversed their epaulement outward to embrace the theater -- how radiant; the lines just extending to the ends of the world, on that magnificent music. Also her petite allegro in both Act I and II was superlative. I'd be interested to see how she does 2d time out this weekend. Among the supporting cast, as you say, Finley was a revelation and also Scheller in the Courage variation. The orchestra was abominable with Karoui leading it. I don't know what's gotten into them, they were great in Midsummer but seem to be deteriorating steadily during this run of Beauty.

#43 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,809 posts

Posted 05 February 2010 - 06:30 AM

I thought Morgan did well, but needs more polish. She looked a bit tentative initially in the Rose Adagio, but she improved as the evening proceeded. I liked her, but I think there are a lot of elements that will improve with experience. Tyler Angle is a good partner, but he had some difficulty in the technical demands of the role. For example, he was doing fine in his big solo in the vision scene until the very end, where he stumbled on a landing and came down awkwardly. He also had a problem with a landing in his solo in the wedding scene. Mearns was fantastic. It's too bad that Krohn was out, but if I had to have a replacement I'm glad it was Mearns. I don't have my program, so I can't recall the name of the new Carabosse. She wasn't scary; she just seemed demented. I actually laughed out loud she was so over the top. Norma Desmond on speed. The major revelation, as Deborah B point out, was Chase Finlay. He was incredible as Gold. Did you see his gorgeous line, and those pointed feet!? His upper body carriage was so lovely. His jumps were excellent, and his landings were super smooth and quiet. I hope to see a lot more of this elegant, beautiful dancer.

I spotted Ashley Bouder in the audience in the Fourth Ring.

#44 DeborahB

DeborahB

    Bronze Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 252 posts

Posted 05 February 2010 - 08:32 AM

Deborah what did you think of Morgan and Angle? Strong debuts for both, I thought, a lovely performance. A friend mentioned, and I have to repeat, that extraordinary moment in the grand pas when she leaned up against him, on pointe, in allongee, and both of them just spread their arms, and reversed their epaulement outward to embrace the theater -- how radiant; the lines just extending to the ends of the world, on that magnificent music. Also her petite allegro in both Act I and II was superlative. I'd be interested to see how she does 2d time out this weekend. Among the supporting cast, as you say, Finley was a revelation and also Scheller in the Courage variation. The orchestra was abominable with Karoui leading it. I don't know what's gotten into them, they were great in Midsummer but seem to be deteriorating steadily during this run of Beauty.


Michael,
I agree with Abatt about Katie Morgan, Tyler Angle, and Sara Mearns. It was a wonderful debut for Katie and she'll certainly grow into the role. She looked pretty nervous in the Rose Adagio (understandable). But she got stronger as the evening progressed.
Tyler was a handsome prince, and did a nice job partnering. He was especially good during the fish dives. He stumbled a bit during his solos
but I'm sure he'll figure that out. Sara was, of course, just superb. I was disappointed that Rebecca Krohn didn't make her debut, but hopefully
she'll be back in time for the Sat. night performance. Alas, I'm going Sat. afternoon so I'll miss her.

Chase Finlay is surely a future Desire. More importanly (as I'm not huge on story ballets as I've seen too many times), he has a big career ahead of him with NYCB. And he's tall!!
I also enjoyed the first year corps member Sara Adams as Vivacity. But I must say that I'm getting annoyed that they aren't casting the very talented Lydia Wellington in featured parts by now.

Ashley Bouder and Amar Ramassar were sitting right near me. Amar is frequently in the first ring when he's not dancing. He is a huge supporter of his fellow dancers. I swear he applauds the loudest! It's very sweet.

#45 nysusan

nysusan

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 998 posts

Posted 05 February 2010 - 11:39 AM

Kathryn Morgan is a beautiful dancer, her debut as Aurora was impressive and full of promise but I would not call it an unqualified success.

She is so at home on the stage, with (to quote a friend) "regal bearing", beautiful line and a glowing presence she gives the impression of being completely at ease and in control. However despite the relaxed impression she managed to convey during the Rose Adagio her actual dancing of it was tight and tentative, from slightly wobbly supported pirouettes to very minimally held balances. I can only imagine what a monumental test this is for a young dancer in her debut performance, and once it was over she came out in her first solo like a breath of fresh air dancing freely, musically and with great charm. Too bad I won't be around for her 2nd performance, I bet it will be sensational.

Still, while I felt there was room for development throughout her performance I would unquestionably consider this to be an outstanding debut. She and Tyler Angle displayed a wonderful rapport and a great feeling for the classical style. Unfortunately although he was a wonderful partner for Morgan I did not feel that he was up to the technical demands of the role. I also felt that Veyette was all wrong for Bluebird.

Completely agree that Chase Finlay made a great impression and Scheller's rendition of Courage last night was my favorite in the run. It looked to me like she softened her approach a bit.

While Mearns' Lilac Fairy is extraordinary and I welcomed another chance to see it I had been looking forward to Krohn's debut in the role - I hope she is ok.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):