Dale

ABT at NJPAC

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ABT is going to perform this fall at NJPAC in Newark. The company was one of the original performing groups at NJPAC but has not visited in more than a decade. It's a mixed bill with Seven Sonatas by Ratmansky, Company B and a ballet by Millepied.

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ABT is going to perform this fall at NJPAC in Newark. The company was one of the original performing groups at NJPAC but has not visited in more than a decade. It's a mixed bill with Seven Sonatas by Ratmansky, Company B and a ballet by Millepied.

Great to know! I was at NJPAC for the first time recently to see Patti LuPone. I was impressed with the venue -- it reminded me (a bit) of

Avery Fisher.

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ABT is going to perform this fall at NJPAC in Newark. The company was one of the original performing groups at NJPAC but has not visited in more than a decade. It's a mixed bill with Seven Sonatas by Ratmansky, Company B and a ballet by Millepied.

That's good news for me. It seemed like we would have to forego a fall ABT season this year but this is a tidbit at least. Plus NJPAC is SUPER convenient for me, I live in the north part of Newark. I can drive down to NJPAC practically more easily than I can get to a movie theater!

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Ambonnay, there's no French restaurant in downtown Newark. We do have wonderful Brazilian/Portuguese restaurants. Within walking distance of NJPAC, you can go to restaurants at NJPAC, they're good. Don Pepe's is on the way to NJPAC - it's gone downhill in recent years - but it's close. Maize is an upscale continental (accent on the Portuguese) restaurant in the Robert Treat Hotel, which is right across the street from NJPAC. Halsey Street is a few blocks away and has several restaurants on it. Or you can go in earlier and go to the Iron Bound - Adega Grill or Mompou (tapas) are good.

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Ambonnay, there's no French restaurant in downtown Newark. We do have wonderful Brazilian/Portuguese restaurants. Within walking distance of NJPAC, you can go to restaurants at NJPAC, they're good. Don Pepe's is on the way to NJPAC - it's gone downhill in recent years - but it's close. Maize is an upscale continental (accent on the Portuguese) restaurant in the Robert Treat Hotel, which is right across the street from NJPAC. Halsey Street is a few blocks away and has several restaurants on it. Or you can go in earlier and go to the Iron Bound - Adega Grill or Mompou (tapas) are good.

My favorite place in Ironbound is Casa Vasca on the corner of Elm and Propect . It'a actually Basque (Vasca) rather than Spanish or Portugese. Unfortunately it's several blocks in the opposite direction from Penn Station than NJPAC is. I never combine the two but then I don't have to , I live in the north part of the city so either is an easy trip for me.

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Dale and richard53dog -- Thank-you :wink:

Do you know if the PATH train runs late enough to take people back to Manhattan after the performance in the wintertime? I wasn't sure if summer hours are different.

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Dale and richard53dog -- Thank-you :wink:

Do you know if the PATH train runs late enough to take people back to Manhattan after the performance in the wintertime? I wasn't sure if summer hours are different.

The PATH runs all night doesn't it? I know it does from Jersey City...

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Dale and richard53dog -- Thank-you :wink:

Do you know if the PATH train runs late enough to take people back to Manhattan after the performance in the wintertime? I wasn't sure if summer hours are different.

The PATH runs all night doesn't it? I know it does from Jersey City...

Yeah, unless it has changed recently PATH runs all night. Also the commuter trains run from NYC to Penn Sta Newark but I don't know what the schedule is like. But it's a bit nicer than PATH which is like the NYC subway.

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Ambonnay, there's no French restaurant in downtown Newark. We do have wonderful Brazilian/Portuguese restaurants. Within walking distance of NJPAC, you can go to restaurants at NJPAC, they're good. Don Pepe's is on the way to NJPAC - it's gone downhill in recent years - but it's close. Maize is an upscale continental (accent on the Portuguese) restaurant in the Robert Treat Hotel, which is right across the street from NJPAC. Halsey Street is a few blocks away and has several restaurants on it. Or you can go in earlier and go to the Iron Bound - Adega Grill or Mompou (tapas) are good.

My favorite place in Ironbound is Casa Vasca on the corner of Elm and Propect . It'a actually Basque (Vasca) rather than Spanish or Portugese. Unfortunately it's several blocks in the opposite direction from Penn Station than NJPAC is. I never combine the two but then I don't have to , I live in the north part of the city so either is an easy trip for me.

That is a very good restaurant. But, you're right, it is in the other direction. I recently discovered Spanish Tavern, which is wonderful. Lovely wood paneled room, classy service, delicious food. But it's a little too deep into the Iron Bound. Fornos of Spain is close by Newark Penn.

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More about the ballets themselves - I think ABT is sort of making a mistake with this program. The Taylor fine, but I think bringing in both new ballets...the NJPAC audience is loyal and smart but also a bit conservative. For the first visit in so many years away, ABT should have scheduled Company B, the Ratmansky and then added something like Theme and Variations, Birthday Offering or Bruch Violin Concderto. A program like that would satisfy everybody: The 40s music, with something a little news and romantic and then something classical and rousing.This isn't the City Center crowd. Yes, we have universities close by but it's not a college audience. For those of you familiar with the NJPAC crowd, what do you think?

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[

More about the ballets themselves - I think ABT is sort of making a mistake with this program. The Taylor fine, but I think bringing in both new ballets...the NJPAC audience is loyal and smart but also a bit conservative. For the first visit in so many years away, ABT should have scheduled Company B, the Ratmansky and then added something like Theme and Variations, Birthday Offering or Bruch Violin Concderto. A program like that would satisfy everybody: The 40s music, with something a little news and romantic and then something classical and rousing.This isn't the City Center crowd. Yes, we have universities close by but it's not a college audience. For those of you familiar with the NJPAC crowd, what do you think?

Well, setting aside the consideration of what the typical NJPAC audience would expect, I would say from my own taste I'd rather see a program such as you describe. Company B, Seven, and a neoclassical piece sounds just fine to me! But even in theoretical terms, I think it would be a more balanced program, particularly considering how infrequently ABT visits. You're right, it's not a college audience, it's a suburban one.

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[

More about the ballets themselves - I think ABT is sort of making a mistake with this program. The Taylor fine, but I think bringing in both new ballets...the NJPAC audience is loyal and smart but also a bit conservative. For the first visit in so many years away, ABT should have scheduled Company B, the Ratmansky and then added something like Theme and Variations, Birthday Offering or Bruch Violin Concderto. A program like that would satisfy everybody: The 40s music, with something a little news and romantic and then something classical and rousing.This isn't the City Center crowd. Yes, we have universities close by but it's not a college audience. For those of you familiar with the NJPAC crowd, what do you think?

Well, setting aside the consideration of what the typical NJPAC audience would expect, I would say from my own taste I'd rather see a program such as you describe. Company B, Seven, and a neoclassical piece sounds just fine to me! But even in theoretical terms, I think it would be a more balanced program, particularly considering how infrequently ABT visits. You're right, it's not a college audience, it's a suburban one.

But the Millepied piece, while difficult to endure musically at times,is a "yowza" ballet and great fun to watch. And it uses quite a few dancers which neither "Seven Sonatas" or "Company B" does. (I love both, however). Just seeing Danill Simkin do that amazing jump is worth the price of admission. They're doing both of the new ballets in D.C. as well as in London so it's a good warm up to see how the ballets play in a space other than Avery Fisher Hall from last Fall. I'm hoping they'll bring them to the Met next Spring. Time to wake up those suburbanites!

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But the Millepied piece, while difficult to endure musically at times,is a "yowza" ballet and great fun to watch. And it uses quite a few dancers which neither "Seven Sonatas" or "Company B" does. (I love both, however). Just seeing Danill Simkin do that amazing jump is worth the price of admission. They're doing both of the new ballets in D.C. as well as in London so it's a good warm up to see how the ballets play in a space other than Avery Fisher Hall from last Fall. I'm hoping they'll bring them to the Met next Spring. Time to wake up those suburbanites!

It's hard to wake up empty seats.

And "those suburbanites" are the same people who attend Lincoln Center. Then replace the Ratmansky with the Millepied. The program is just not balanced.

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I have seen dance before (Momix and Ailey) at NJPAC, and I believe the sight-lines are much better than Avery Fisher, and--now that I think about it--also City Center for that matter. I sat in the front row of the second ring for Momix, and the seats were terrific. For that reason, I am really looking forward to seeing Seven Sonatas and EHAO again in this space, which is certainly more appropriate for dance than AFH (it has wings!).

I hope hope hope Stella dances Seven Sonatas with Alexandre Hammoudi. They are wonderful together.

From my visits to NJPAC, the audience actually seems younger than the MET. They mostly do modern and ethnic dance programming, and it does seem to sell. The photos of EHAO look edgy and a bit sexy in the brochure. Maybe they are going for some of those modern dance regulars who wouldn't normally venture into New York City for classical ballet.

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Casting is out for NJPAC. Not surprisingly given Gillian's time to be spent in New Zealand (however much she tries to fulfill ABT commitments), Hee Seo is being showcased.

Newark, New Jersey

Company B

Company

Seven Sonatas

H. Seo

X. Reyes

S. Abrera

D. Hallberg :flowers:

H. Cornejo

G. Saveliev

Everything Doesn't Happen at Once

I. Boylston

M. Gomes

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I don't think Murphy has been cast in Seven Sonatas in the past. The role being danced by Hee Seo was originated by Julie Kent, and Hee Seo was in the alternate second cast, I believe. Gillian might turn up in Company B, since she has performed in that ballet during prior seasons. Gillian and Jared Matthews were seated in the row in front of me at a recent performance of Career Transition for Dancers at City Center, so she is definitely in town. I believe the company is rehearsing for the new Nutcracker now.

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abatt -- My point about Murphy wasn't specific to her having been cast previously or not in Seven Sonatas. I should have been more clear. I meant they are continuing to develop Hee Seo and give her some plum roles, which is an approach that is understandable given how they might need an additional principal in the next few years and given the likelihood of Gililan spending some of her time (at least) in New Zealand.

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abatt -- My point about Murphy wasn't specific to her having been cast previously or not in Seven Sonatas. I should have been more clear. I meant they are continuing to develop Hee Seo and give her some plum roles, which is an approach that is understandable given how they might need an additional principal in the next few years and given the likelihood of Gililan spending some of her time (at least) in New Zealand.

I believe Seo is no longer cast in Seven Sonatas in NJ

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abatt -- My point about Murphy wasn't specific to her having been cast previously or not in Seven Sonatas. I should have been more clear. I meant they are continuing to develop Hee Seo and give her some plum roles, which is an approach that is understandable given how they might need an additional principal in the next few years and given the likelihood of Gililan spending some of her time (at least) in New Zealand.

Thanks for clarifying. I would agree with you that they are looking at Hee Seo as a potential future principal. Hee Seo is a lyrical dancer, like Julie Kent. However, I don't regard Seo as a particularly strong technician at this point. The soloist who I think is most likely to be a strong technician is Sarah Lane, but she does not seem to be given many significant opportunities of late.

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I got an e-mail from NJPAC saying this, relevant to members who are attending the Saturday performance:

"American Ballet Theatre has advised NJPAC that there will be no late seating for their performance on November 20. Once doors are closed at 8:00pm, ticket holders outside Prudential Hall will be seated at the next intermission which is approximately 35 minutes later. There also will be no late seating for those who fail to return from intermissions before the doors close.

Furthermore, please be aware that there is an event at the Prudential Center that evening at 7:30pm which will most likely impact your travel time if arriving by motor vehicle."

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I went to a concert an NJPAC a few weekends ago. I left on the PATH train from 33rd St. Due to MASSIVE construction projects on the Path during the weekend, it took an hour to get from 33rd St. in Manhattan to Newark Penn Station. We had to change trains 3 times, and each train was PACKED. The moral of the story is check if there is weekend repair work scheduled before you embark on the PATH.

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I live right across NJPAC and commute regularly for work in Manhattan. Those are my credentials for this advice: don't take the PATH from 33rd Street to Newark on a weekend. Even in the best circumstances, the train goes to Hoboken first on the weekends and then you have to transfer at Grove Street for the Newark train. Not worth it. Even during week day rush hour, it takes 40 minutes to go from Newark to 33rd on PATH. If you want to leave from midtown, take New Jersey Transit trains, leaving from NY Penn Station. Newark Penn Station is a major stop, so most trains stop there (beware: do not take a train that goes to Newark Broad Street - you will have to walk further - but it's not a disaster). If you want to take the PATH or you are coming from Brooklyn/downtown Manhattan, take the PATH at the World Trade Center station. It's a straight line to Newark. Takes 30 minutes. However, on a weekend, not too many trains per hour. That's why I still often take NJ Transit. Check out the schedule at NJ Transit's website.

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I attended the first two pieces performed by ABT at the NJPAC last evening. Company B was fine. Gillian Murphy was, as usual, participating and did well. S Messmer always does pretty well in that piece, as does M Copeland. Sasha R had his usual longish solo piece, which could have used more facial expressiveness (this is something I notice about Sasha R in almost every piece I have seen him in) and some more height in his jumps. Company B was accompanied by pre-recorded music.

"Seven Sonatas" was quite beautifully danced, with the first team for that piece participating except that J Kent was replaced by Shevchenko. Shevchenko danced very well, particularly her "main" portion of the piece with Hallberg. Hallberg was lyrical :flowers: , astute to details with the way his hands, feet, arms and legs are positioned as usual. In the last year or year and a half, I have noticed Hallberg's expression of emotion for the ballerina accompanying him a lot better (not that that was not fine with him before). Here, even in a piece that did not have a storyline per se, Hallberg was able to communicate beautifully with his facial expressions and the way he held Shevchenko or the other ballerinas, the way his body moved and was responsive to theirs. I think, in the last year to eighteen months, Hallberg has addressed the main area (acting) where he was initially not as excellent as in other areas. As some readers know, I always enjoyed watching Hallberg and choose performances based on his participation. So, saying that he has improved is already working off of a very high level of performance, in my eyes.

There was live piano accompaniment to Seven Sonatas.

The performance was not sold out. Maybe 85% attendance, although the Orchestra seats were sold to a greater extent than that overall number.

The NJPAC intermissions involved vendors of clothing, jewelry and purses set up to encourage attendees to make purchases. I appreciate this type of commercial activity may generate rental revenue for NJPAC, but it does not add to the ambiance of attending a dance performance. The beverages available during intermission left a lot to be desired. For example, no champagne was available -- only Prosecco. Also, we were given a generic November program for NJPAC that, at least to me, did not appear to contain even a page devoted to what the evening's program was.

A note on transportation: Time (5-10 minutes) has to be allowed to get from the "core" part of Penn Station underneath Madison Square Garden on the Seventh Ave. side to get to the NJ Path area. One can either use the underground walkways constituting part of Penn Station, or walk above ground. The NJ Path is actually on the "island" in the road right in front of Macy's. That is the case despite the NJ Path station being called "New York Penn Station".

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I saw ABT last night at NJPAC and all in all it was a good evening. First off, the venue is very convenient for me and far less complicated and stressful than a trip over/under the Hudson River. And I suspect that added to my enjoyment of the evening. Prudential Hall was a nice setting for ABT, better than City Center and far more suited than AFH (Two of the pieces were staged for that hall). And it's less barnlike than the MOH.

Also, the NJ Transit Light Rail now connects both of Newark's train stations, Penn Station and Broad Street Station with a stop right at NJPAC.

Company B was had some good performances; Aaron Scott in Tico-Tico, Craig Salstein in Oh, Johnny,and Sacha Radetsky in Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. Gillian Murphy looked very 40s glamorous with her flaming red hair but the real standout was Misty Copeland in Rum and Coca-Cola. She really had the audience's attention. The ensemble was good with tiny bits of less than real crispness here and there.

I enjoyed Seven Sonatas quite a bit. Ratmansky does a lot of lovely things and shows a real talent for creating movement and interesting patterns. The cast was fine with Herman Cornejo dancing with wonderful elan and precision and David Hallberg showing off his customary cool polish and elegance. Among the women, I liked Stella Abrera best, she's really a lovely dancer, I hope to see her one day as Giselle. Xiomara Reyes was good as was Christine Shevchenko but it was a shame Hee Seo was out as I would have loved to have seen her in this lyrical role.

Yes, the piece is a descendent of some Robbins works but Ratmansky adds enough of his own voice to the piece to make it a welcome addition to the repertory.

Everything Doesn't Happen at Once is a very gimmicky, flashy piece. To see it once was fun and most of it kept my attention. But Millipied's choreography is supplemented by flashy lighting and very percussive music. Without the extra effects, I wonder how watered down the actual piece would look. But as presented, I mostly enjoyed it and there were fine opportunities for the dancers, most noticeably Daniil Simpkin in a very showy role. But I don't think I would want to see this piece again in the near future!

Added to the gimmicky nature of EDHAO, it was done as I imagine it was done at AFH. A few minutes after the second intermission started, the curtain went up and the audience watched the stage being set up and the dancers getting ready for the performance in their practice clothes. As the intermission ended, most of the cast was already on stage and they peeled off the extra layers of clothing to reveal the costumes underneath.

The audience was pretty enthusiastic , which was good, and all in all, the house was filled respectably if certainly not packed. I hope that ABT returns to NJPAC, it might be the answer to doing an autumn performance in the NYC area in the next few years while doing a Nut season at BAM.

Note to Mods: might this belong under the ABT forum? I had a bit of trouble finding the thread, I knew it was commented on a few days ago but searched under ABT and didn't find it there.

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I think part of the reason that this performance fell short of selling out, even though it was a single performance run at NJPAC, is that the ballets included are so duplicative of programs done in NYC last year. I think many NJ residents who have more than a passing interest in ballet and the ABT would travel into Manhattan for performances they want to see, and will have already seen much of the program. I don't know what the rationale is beind presenting such a comparable program to those done in the recent past in NYC.

I remember that part of the reason that Seven Sonatas and the Millepied work were chosen last year was that the stage at the non-Met Opera, Lincoln Center venue was a bit smaller than the typical ABT venue. So could it be that the NJPAC stage is also somewhat smaller?

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I think part of the reason that this performance fell short of selling out, even though it was a single performance run at NJPAC, is that the ballets included are so duplicative of programs done in NYC last year. I think many NJ residents who have more than a passing interest in ballet and the ABT would travel into Manhattan for performances they want to see, and will have already seen much of the program. I don't know what the rationale is beind presenting such a comparable program to those done in the recent past in NYC.

I remember that part of the reason that Seven Sonatas and the Millepied work were chosen last year was that the stage at the non-Met Opera, Lincoln Center venue was a bit smaller than the typical ABT venue. So could it be that the NJPAC stage is also somewhat smaller?

Patrons from all over the New York area who see ABT return again and again, year in and year out for "Swan Lake", et al. It's more reasonable to assume that many of the NJ audience wasn't as familiar with the repertoire presented and maybe stayed away because it wasn't as familiar as a "Giselle" or "Don Q". But bravo to ABT for bringing lesser known works to the attention of an audience who may have missed them at Avery Fisher Hall. "Seven Sonatas" and the Millepied piece are both interesting works in their own right and deserve to be seen anew. Sadly, neither piece will be offered at the Met in the Spring.

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