vipa

Spring season continued

55 posts in this topic

I didn't want to put this in "weeks 1 and 2" and didn't see another place. Please move if I'm doing something inappropriate.

Just saw Sunday, May 23 mat. It was a pretty empty house.

Agon is a great, great ballet (I know, a groundbreaking opinion). The rhythms, shapes, musical phrases and architecture still seem fresh and inventive. I thought it performed well. Teresa Reichlin is always outstanding in this ballet in the Bransle pas de trois. She is so unmannered and musical that she is a real joy to watch. Wendy Whelan still delivers in that intense pas de deux. She wasn't partnered by Evans, I think it was Sean Souzzi (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Morgan (the new Martins ballet) didn't really hold my attention. The women, Kistler, Hyltin, Ringer appeared in that order in 3 pas de deux each with a different partner in each time- Jared Angle, Askegard, Nilas Martins (yes he made an appearance folks). At first the ballet seemed interesting enough, but it seemed to go nowhere. There were a lot of climactic throw lifts of Hyltin that didn't have any emotional/musical reason to be. There was some interesting partnering here and there and nice moments but the whole thing didn't really work. For me it was as if each section was created in a vacuum. It didn't help that, as lovely as the songs were, there wasn't much variety in the feeling of the music. Maybe understanding the words would have helped. Watching Jennifer Ringer, I was struck by her beauty and intelligence. I'm sorry she never got to do Tudor works. I think she would have been a wonderful Caroline in Jardin.

Chaconne is a wonderful role for Maria Kowroski. She brought a wonderful lightness and wit to the role. Unfortunately some idiot behind me thought it was OK to be noisy during the first pas de deux. I did my best to just focus on the dancing and not allow some jerk to steal it from me. Kowroski was a delight throughout. Marcovici partnered very well, but struggled with his solos. Pereira and Hendrickson had some minor partnering difficulties, but were good overall in the fast pas. This is the first time I sort of got why Pereira is a soloist. She showed a much more solid technique and command of the stage that I've seen from her before. I look forward to seeing her more.

There haven't been a lot of NYCB reviews on the board recently - hope to see more.

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Marcovici came out for the ppd and finished Agon for Albert Evans. He and Whelan gave a good and intense performance, probably because they haven't danced this together before and it really focused Marcovici.

Kowroski was born to dance Chaconne and gave a fantastic performance. She has managed to incorporate the "Farrellisms" of the role into an original and personal performance. This was certainly one of the high points of the season to date. At one moment, Chase FInlay, Anthony Huxley and David Prottas were lined up on one side to the stage representing the future of male dancing at NYCB and a stong one it is.

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Thanks for posting re this performance. I had a ticket but couldn't make it after all. I've always wanted to see Agon, and can't remember if I ever got the chance on PBS; otherwise I wouldn't have seen it ever. (I know, shocking isn't it? Maybe the NYPL archive can rectify that.)

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I attended this afternoon as well. I thought Marcovici and Whelan did an excellent job with the pdd in Agon. I also liked T. Reichlin. Morgen is one of my favorite Martins ballets. Maria was excellent in Chaconne, but Marcovici is leaden in his jumps. There were many, many empty seats.

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Did Albert Evans begin Agon but not finish?

Sorry to hear if that's the case..... Also sorry about the empty seats. I've also noticed that there aren't so many posts about NYCB lately (guess everyone's over at the Met....). I hope there is no connection between those two facts.

When I came in to see two performances in week 2 (I think) I noticed that he had put on a lot of weight, which distressed me. Interesting that Jock Soto (whose roles Albert has [so belatedly IMHO] been given) had his struggles with that same issue.

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Morgen is not the new Martins piece. It was choreographed in 2001. His new piece for the Architecture of Dance will premiere June 22 and repeat June 23 and 26.

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I attended the May 20 performance -- Agon, Outlier, and I'm Old Fashioned.

Agon -- I hadn't seen this ballet in a few years and I almost forgot how wonderful it is. Even though I remember a lot of it, images and some steps, it still always looks fresh and interesting and I always wish I could see it again, right away, to catch things I know I missed. Most of the performances were also very good. Sean Suozzi - who I agree is going from strength to strength these days -- gave a clear but nuanced performance. I was also impressed by Tyler Angle, who I usually think of as a more princely type than a leotard ballet type. He's really growing as a dancer and had fun, appropriately, in this ballet. The only aspect that was less than very good was the pas de deux by Kowroski and Marcovici. There were not a lot of technical problems, but somehow the two did not seem to connect and there was very little emotional content. This pas de deux works best, in my opinion, when it is a relationship -- anyone who saw Whelan and Soto has had that experience. These two dancers seemed to not have made any decisions, or at least not any joint ones, about what was going on in the dance - -strangely for Marcovici, who I consider usually to be stronger on the internal aspects of most of his roles that the steps, at least at first.

Outlier -- I'm still not sure what I think about this one, although I would like to see it again. Some parts of it were good - the opening pas de deux to recorded music, and a later one performed by Whelan and Hall (who, incidentally, should be getting cast a lot more and in more varied roles. He's so elegant and balletic; I'd love to see him in some of the more noble parts). Those dancers were able to do the serpentine movements that are all over the ballet and still make them look clearly anchored in ballet technique. Some of the rest of the dance was just hard to follow and frenetic. Also, and I suppose this is a sign of aging, I really wished the lighting hadn't been so murky, or the men's costumes so distracting (why did some dancers get tights, but no shirts, and others tunics, but no pants?).

I'm Old Fashioned - ok, this is a sort of silly and light ballet, but it’s also sweet and enjoyable. I enjoyed seeing Philip Neal again, who I’ve seen do this role many times before. Sarah Mearns gets lovelier and lovelier. Tyler Angle turned in another strong performance, very different from Agon and more what I consider his strength.

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Thank you to all you New Yorker's for your posts. :flowers:

Please keep them coming!

I'm very happy to hear that Maria is doing so well in Chaconne. She of course is divine in adagio. But she needs the challenge of allegro as well. The more formal pas de deux in that ballet is intricate and speedy as hell. You need a ballerina who can handle it with a sort of bemused formality.

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Yes, thank you! I was getting anxious for someone to write something!

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Marcovici came out for the ppd and finished Agon for Albert Evans. He and Whelan gave a good and intense performance, probably because they haven't danced this together before and it really focused Marcovici.

Kowroski was born to dance Chaconne and gave a fantastic performance. She has managed to incorporate the "Farrellisms" of the role into an original and personal performance. This was certainly one of the high points of the season to date. At one moment, Chase FInlay, Anthony Huxley and David Prottas were lined up on one side to the stage representing the future of male dancing at NYCB and a stong one it is.

Thank you for pointing out it was Marcovici in the Agon ppd.

I so agree with what you said about Kowroski and the "Farrellisms."

The video on the NYC Ballet website of Kowroski talking about Chaconne is worth watching. It doesn't surprise me that she said it is up there as one her favorite roles.

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Ashley Bouder has to be seen in Donizetti Variations - just an extraordinary performance last night, in another world entirely. Ensemble was not well rehearsed, as first performances of a program sometimes are at NYCB - but that didn't matter in the leading role. Not sure when she's doing this again, but it should not be missed, a performance that I don't think I will forget and that's the first time this season, really this year, maybe in several years that I've felt that about a dancer in a particular role.

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Ashley Bouder has to be seen in Donizetti Variations - just an extraordinary performance last night, in another world entirely. Ensemble was not well rehearsed, as first performances of a program sometimes are at NYCB - but that didn't matter in the leading role. Not sure when she's doing this again, but it should not be missed, a performance that I don't think I will forget and that's the first time this season, really this year, maybe in several years that I've felt that about a dancer in a particular role.

Omg, yes!! Ashley was mind-blowing last night. She had a series of assembles that were about 15 feet off the floor and had the audience gasping at each. Amazing musicality and phrasing, as always, but that jump has to be seen to be believed. I haven't even seen a Prodigal Son where the jump is that amazing. Veyette wasn't too shabby, either. :wub:

Great casting as well in Stravinsky violin concerto last night. It's nice to have fresh faces in the main roles, and to be able to see all the steps executed so well. Maria and Sebastien did one of the best pdds I've seen in this ballet, and Robert Fairchild and Sterling Hyltin were also great.

On another note, I caught last Friday's performance of Serenade, with a wonderful cast -- Ringer (subbing for Kistler at the last minute), Reichlen and Mearns. Tess as Russian girl is something to see -- amazing how someone so tall and willowy can move and jump that fast and high. Ringer is a lovely Waltz girl, and Mearns danced Dark Angel with great amplitude (much better than Gilliland, who was Dark Angel in previous performances and wasn't nearly as smooth). It was one of the best Serenades I've ever seen at NYCB.

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I caught the last 2/3 of the Thursday night program. I enjoyed the new Millipied much more the 2nd time around, I think it's settled in a bit. I found the way he dealt with plot issues interesting, I don't think I've seen him tackle a story ballet before. The whole cast was great but Suozzi and Mearns were incredible, they really tore up the stage.

Agon was thrilling. It was such a strong cast and it was almost overkill to see Reichlin and Kowroski dance opposite each other in the first movements (but in a good way - in fact, a GREAT way). I continue to have problems with Marcovici's line & technique but he is such a solid partner and allowed Kowroski the freedom she needed to really throw herself into the role. This was the second absolutely amazing performance I've seen from her this season. Her physique is exquisite, tailor made for Balanchine with those incredible extensions but she was also so focused and sharp in this performance, you really couldn't take your eyes off her. I saw her and Marcovici earlier this week in Chaconne. In terms of style it's very far from Agon, but her performance in it was just as amazing.

But back to Agon - each member of the cast was just so wonderful last night. I'm not a big fan of Veyette's but he really impressed me with his Sarabande, Krohn & Laracy were great together and Reichlin was stunning - I had to wonder when she'll get a crack at the leading role.

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Michael, I absolutely agree about Ashley's Donizetti. I had a smile on my face throughout the whole ballet. And now on to Scotch!!! I happened to spot Peter Martins across from Lincoln Center yesterday, and resisted the urge to thank him for casting her in Scotch -- one of my favorites. It only took 10 years!! Now I'm hoping she'll do La Source too.

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Yesterday’s (sunday, May 30) matinee was just terrific -- Danses Concertantes, Chaconne, and Stravinsky Violin Concerto.

Dances Concertantes was a new ballet for me, and it struck me as lesser Balanchine but still pretty good and interesting. There is a repeated motif of showing us the same step with the ballerina on pointe and then with a flat foot; several of the pas de trois also are fairly "traditional' steps with a jazzy twist added -- some flexed feet, or a lot of syncopation. Hyltin and Garcia gave lovely light and humorous (when appropriate) performance as the leads. Their pas de deux was a dance of equals (not unprecedented in Balanchine, but not standard, either), not really romantic.

Chaconne was absolutely beautiful. Whelan and Neal were the leads and just about perfect -- ethereal in the opening pas de deux, then quick, precise, and witty later on. Whelan is such a joyous dancer these days but often it’s a quiet joy. Here she was incandescent with a beautiful smile, and you got a sense that she and Neal were truly enjoying dancing together. Neal certainly doesn't look like a dancer nearing retirement, although he wouldn’t be the first NYCB dancer to dance more freely in their last season. Hendrickson and Pereira were the demisoloists; Pereira especially brought a light frothy touch. Bar, Muller and Scordato were very musical in the pas de trois. All the dancers did well.

The Stravinsky was also very very good -- the lead couples were Boree/LaCour and Krohn/Ramasar. I've seen Borree quake through this ballet before; today she was mainly steady and strong, and LaCour a gallant partner. Krohn and Ramasar were the big happy surprise for me, though. In the past few years Krohn has been turning in very good work in the leotard ballets -- monumentum and agon in particular -- and here she was polished and clear. I have been a fan of Ramasar since he joined the company, but nevertheless felt his promotion to principal might have been a bit premature. Well, not after this. He was strong and had much bigger better jumps than I’ve seen, and mastered the quick changes of direction throughout the ballet. The two of them danced confidently and happily together. It a fun ballet, in many places -- I still love the waving corps, cheesy as it may be -- and it was refreshing to see it in such good shape.

Compliments are also in order for the conductor, Clotilde Otranto. It may be attributable to the particular music that was being performed, but this was the first time since the renovation that I haven’t been bothered by the acoustics coming from the pit.

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Michael, I absolutely agree about Ashley's Donizetti. I had a smile on my face throughout the whole ballet. And now on to Scotch!!! I happened to spot Peter Martins across from Lincoln Center yesterday, and resisted the urge to thank him for casting her in Scotch -- one of my favorites. It only took 10 years!! Now I'm hoping she'll do La Source too.

She will do La Source. I remember reading on her Twitter page a few weeks ago that she was rehearsing La Source.

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Saw tonight's performance. Well 2/3's of it. I didn't stay for Thou Swell.

Monumentum & Movements always fascinate me. Interestingly I was with a first timer who just loved it. It didn't fit his preconceived notion of ballet, and the structure, shapes and overall visuals really made a strong impression. I don't know if the fact that he is an architect had anything to do with it. I thought Kowroski looked great and gave a thoroughly intelligent performance.

Mozartiana is one of my favorite ballets. Wendy Whelan is not always a favorite of mine, but I loved her performance tonight. She was in the music. It was not a dancer phrasing but a dancer being part of the music, she was radiant and made the ballet her own. Ulbricht's gigue was wonderful, so clear, clean and open. I also love that no matter how fast the movement is there is nothing small or rushed about his presentation (IMO Alistair Macauley has a blind spot re Ulbricht). Millepied was fine, however there were moments when I did think about how easily Ib Anderson seemed to do the role.

After Mozartiana I was so satisfied and happy I didn't want to sit through another 20 minute intermission and then watch Thou Swell.

Speaking of intermissions - I know NYCB sells things and so needs 20 minute intermissions, but if I ruled the world, intermissions would not be allowed to equal or exceed the preceding ballet. M & M took 19 or 20 minutes. In my universe a 20 minute intermission couldn't follow. That's what an old fogey I am.

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I have just few minutes left in my hotel internet, so my review will be VERY straight forward.

Monumentum Pro Gesualdo. :dry:

Movements for Piano and Orchestra. :dunno:

Mozartiana. :)

Thou Swell. :dry:

I can't really tell what happened, but it's been just a couple of hours post performance and I don't have too many memories left.

Highlight: I saw Darci Kistler dancing in Thou Swell...and she looked tired.

Also, to be honest...I fall asleep during this last ballet.

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Cristian, I'm sorry I missed you last night!

I'm so used to seeing Reichlen or Krohn in M/M, Kowroski was different (of course) - much less jazzy than Krohn in Movements but with wonderful presence and a crisp, straightforward reading. Plus she & Askegard just look so good together.

Mozartiana was divine - blissful, serene, everything this ballet can be at it's best. Vipa put it perfectly, Wendy was IN the music, not of this world. I was also very impressed with Ulbricht's understatement in the gigue. I'm not sure if you'd exactly call it understatement, but he didn't overplay it which is what one might expect from him and he really let you see the shape of the phrases and the movement.

I stayed for Though Swell and it was enjoyable, but it really shouldn't be programmed after Mozartiana. I'm not sure what could follow a little slice of heaven, and although it's pleasant enough a slight piece like this just doesn't work after a masterpiece. About halfway though I realized that this would be the last time I saw Yvonne Borree dance (I'm not going to her farewell). She looked so relaxed and happy in the role of the young, impetuous girl. She has never been a favorite of mine, but it was sad to watch her for the last time. Good luck, Yvonne.

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She will do La Source. I remember reading on her Twitter page a few weeks ago that she was rehearsing La Source.

If only she could do both the soloist and principal roles. How can anyone in attendance ever forget her debut in the soloist role?

-amanda, who hasn't posted in quite awhile... she was off becoming a mom

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I saw the new ballet, "Call Me Ben", tonight by Melissa Barak. The best thing that can be said about it is that the costumes were lovely, and the scenic designs were beautiful. The choreography was amateurish. The "script" was something that belonged in a high school drama workshop, not the stage of the Koch Theater. I can't really put any of the blame on the dancers, who did the best they could with the awful material they were given. There were some points when the dialogue could not be heard over the music, but that was no great loss. What a waste of time and money. This one is going on my NEVER SEE THIS AGAIN list, along with La Stravaganza and The Lady w. The Little Dog. During the ballet, I kept wishing I was over at ABT to kill time before Scotch Symphony.

The evening started out with a very fine performance of Interplay. Though this is second rate Robbins, it had the benefit of an excellent cast led by Tiler Peck, Amar Ramasar and J. DeLuz.

Bouder was FABULOUS in her debut in Scotch. Her footwork in the allegro sections was clear and fast. Her work in the adagio sections was lyrical and melting. Millipied was fine as her partner, although he fudged some of the difficult footwork.

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This one is going on my NEVER SEE THIS AGAIN list, along with La Stravaganza and The Lady w. The Little Dog.

La Stravaganza and Lady w. Dog are entirely more professional than the new Barak piece, for which there is really no precedent or term of comparison that I can think.

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At the PNB post-performance Q&A last night, Otto Neubert substituted for Peter Boal and said that Boal was on his way to NYC for a farewell performance. (This mean un-becoming Dr. Coppelius and catching the red-eye.)

For those of you who will be at Yvonee Borree's farewell, keep your eye out for him.

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