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Spring season continued


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#16 abatt

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 04:56 PM

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.

#17 vipa

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 07:01 PM

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.

#18 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 08:33 PM

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.

#19 nysusan

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 05:41 AM

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.

#20 AmandaNYC

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 09:29 AM

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

#21 LiLing

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 07:54 PM

Congratulations Amanda!

#22 Helene

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 08:19 PM

Congratulations, Amanda :flowers:

#23 abatt

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 07:57 PM

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.

#24 Michael

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 06:34 AM

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.

#25 Helene

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 08:52 AM

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.

#26 miliosr

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 09:43 AM

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.


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.


Here's what baffles me: Why throw a (relatively) inexperienced young choroegrapher like Melissa Barak on to that big stage where she's almost certain to fail? I recognize the prestige associated with the main house but the down side to it is the immediate 'Pass/Fail' judgement that comes with it. Wouldn't it be better to find a smaller venue for budding choreographers to work in where they could develop an outlook/style and then graduate to a larger stage? (I'm thinking of what the Royal does in London.) In a smaller venue, if a work flops -- it flops. There's not this huge importance associated to it as there is with the big stage.

Moderator: If this is its own topic, please move this post.

#27 CAM

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 10:23 AM

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.



The scene around the table where the mob voted on whether to kill Bugsy reminded me a lot of "The Green Table". Didn't she repeat much of the choreography? It has been so many years since I saw it that I am not sure. That was a powerful ballet, at least when danced by the Joffrey.

CAM

#28 abatt

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 05:10 PM

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.


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.


Here's what baffles me: Why throw a (relatively) inexperienced young choroegrapher like Melissa Barak on to that big stage where she's almost certain to fail? I recognize the prestige associated with the main house but the down side to it is the immediate 'Pass/Fail' judgement that comes with it. Wouldn't it be better to find a smaller venue for budding choreographers to work in where they could develop an outlook/style and then graduate to a larger stage? (I'm thinking of what the Royal does in London.) In a smaller venue, if a work flops -- it flops. There's not this huge importance associated to it as there is with the big stage.

Moderator: If this is its own topic, please move this post.




Barak has done some pleasant but unmemorable ballets for NYCB previously, the first one while she was a company member. None have remained in the company rep. for any length of time. This one was a complete misfire, though. The review is up on the NY Times website. It ain't pretty, but I guess it could have been worse. The problem here is that a lot of money was probably spent on the scenery and costumes. I suspect that they will feel the need to keep this one around to somehow justify the expenditures.

#29 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 05:20 PM

I'm really sorry to hear about these responses to Melissa Barak's ballet. I was hopeful that a new strong woman choreographer would emerge.

Usually what happens after such a poor reception is that the piece may be seen for two more seasons, if they have already been scheduled, and then vanish. Sometimes something vanishes after one season. I have no idea why the Preljocaj has re-surfaced, I agree completely with abatt.

Not many of you were at the theater to witness the first American Music Festival (1988)which contained two of the very worst pieces of choreography I have ever seen. They both had elaborate sets and costumes after which Martins called for most of the new pieces to be done without big sets and use variations on practice clothes. One had a huge picture of a clown's face in the background. The other one had a very underwater look to it. I don't remember the names of the ballets, but I do remember the choreographers and don't want to name names. Probably they both got very carried away with themselves. I may have even mentioned these horrors before. It's like a bad taste you can't get rid of.

#30 Dale

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 10:40 AM

Not many of you were at the theater to witness the first American Music Festival (1988)which contained two of the very worst pieces of choreography I have ever seen. They both had elaborate sets and costumes after which Martins called for most of the new pieces to be done without big sets and use variations on practice clothes. One had a huge picture of a clown's face in the background. The other one had a very underwater look to it. I don't remember the names of the ballets, but I do remember the choreographers and don't want to name names. Probably they both got very carried away with themselves. I may have even mentioned these horrors before. It's like a bad taste you can't get rid of.


Ha! I remember the American Music Festival. Ironically, it's a sad commentary on the state of choreography that when a selection of those ballets were revived for a retrospective about eight years ago, some of those works didn't look half bad!


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