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Nutcracker Season at BAM


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#1 mussel

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 08:52 PM

The new Ratmansky production will premier on 12/22 and tickets go on sale on 8/30 for BAM members and 9/7 for general public.

The costume sketches look very promising, traditional with a bit of whimsical twist: Toy soldiers, harleguin, Drosselmeyer, Mouse King.

Casting. Since Nutcracker is more family oriented and less cast dependent, I think it's a great opportunity to give some of the principal roles to soloists or even corp members. There could be some intriguing castings if ABT thinks outside the Met box. So what's your wish list for Sugar Plum, Dew Drop, Cavalier, Arabian dances,...?

I've never been to BAM, how's the sight line at the opera house? Where to sit and which section to avoid? How about dinning options in the area?

#2 volcanohunter

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:13 PM

I've never been to BAM, how's the sight line at the opera house?

Much better than at the Met, I think. I usually sit high up, and at the Met that means not being able to see much of the backdrop. This should be much less of a problem at BAM. The orchestra level and balconies all have steep inclines, and the online ticketing system will indicate which seats have partially blocked views because of the lighting arrays, and that's basically the first row of the balconies.

I'm no expert on the subject, but there are tons of restaurants in the area, all along Fulton Street.

#3 Ambonnay

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 03:48 AM

Any thoughts on side boxes or other places where I can get a close look at the dancers' faces and lines, and where, even if partial view, I can see most of the stage, would be really appreciated :blink: What I would be looking for would be something like the second or third-closest box to the stage in Side Parterre, at the Met.

I'd love to see Hee Seo as Sugar Plum, and of course Hallberg as the cavalier.

#4 Barbara

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 04:17 AM

Stella Abrera as Sugar Plum. Sarah Lane as Dewdrop. Hallberg would be perfection as the Cavalier but if we're going to soloists, then Cory Stearns.

We usually go up to Vermont for Xmas week so I hope I can fit in a Nutcracker on one end or the other. Otherwise it will simply be too long until Met season 2011. I've never been to BAM either. They seem to have the most interesting programming and I've always wanted to go.

#5 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 07:19 AM

So what's your wish list for Sugar Plum, Dew Drop, Cavalier,...?


Isn't this Vainonen's version...? I have a DVD of this production, but I haven't seen it in a long time. Do they have a Drew Drop character...? What about the cavalier's tarantella variation? If Vainonen's, then there is that charming Pas de Trois performed to the Marzipan's Mirlitons music. Cute, indeed but I wonder why there hasn't been an effort to restore Fedorova's staging to ABT.

#6 richard53dog

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 07:44 AM

Isn't this Vainonen's version...? Cute, indeed but I wonder why there hasn't been an effort to restore Fedorova's staging to ABT.



It's being choreographed by Ratmansky so it is unlikely to be a carbon copy of any previous version.

I've haven't read anything yet as to what approach he'll take , if he'll use as earlier version as a starting point.

Personally, I can't see the point of "recreating" anything by Fedorova's or any other mid 20th century versions that are several generations from the original. They are like games of "telephone", particularly if they blindly reproduce errors like the cut in the SPF's pdd . If historical emphasis is being sought, I would think the approach would be a recreation of the original via the Sergeyev notebooks.

As other posters have pointed out on an earlier thread:
http://ballettalk.in...__1#entry259589

Ratmansky has already staged a Nutcracker for the RDB which wasn't universally liked. And Ratmansky's previous restagings have run the gamut from the historical recreations (Corsair) to "from scratch" new takes (Cinderella).
And these two are very, very different in approach.

I just hope he doesn't get bogged down by making something toooooo cutesy. "Family friendly" is fine but not toooo much "sugar". A really good sweet, after all, has a balance between the sugar and the other elements.

#7 volcanohunter

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 07:49 AM

It will certainly be an interesting experiment. There will be eight performances of The Hard Nut, followed by 16 of Ratmansky's Nutcracker. Is BAM counting on attracting completely different audiences for the two productions? I wonder whether this juxtaposition will affect Ratmansky's approach.

Any thoughts on side boxes or other places where I can get a close look at the dancers' faces and lines, and where, even if partial view, I can see most of the stage, would be really appreciated :blink: What I would be looking for would be something like the second or third-closest box to the stage in Side Parterre, at the Met.


There is a single column of boxes on either side of the stage, but I don't think they're used often, and tickets for them can't be purchased online. Here's a view of the auditorium.

http://www.bam.org/view.aspx?pid=10

The BAM auditorium is a good deal smaller than the Met's and seats half as many people. The distance from the front of the stage to the back of the balcony is not nearly as long as the distance to the back of the Family Circle. Last month I saw two performances at BAM and in both cases I sat on the top level, once in the second row and once in the fourth. From there I could see the dancers' faces perfectly without binoculars, and my eyesight is quite poor. On the other hand, when I sit on the Met's Balcony, I can't make out the faces very clearly.

#8 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 09:21 AM

Personally, I can't see the point of "recreating" anything by Fedorova's or any other mid 20th century versions that are several generations from the original. They are like games of "telephone"...

True. No point whatsoever. :flowers:

#9 carbro

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 05:06 PM

There are definitely some very bad, bad seats in the Opera House's Balcony.

You can see here the stands for the lights and the poles that support them. The box office sells seats directly behind the poles, creating a bifurcated view, as I learned from long-ago experience. You do not want to sit there, I promise. Unfortunately, the seating chart we see doesn't indicate which seats they are. I hope they are marked on the box office's system.


Personally, I can't see the point of "recreating" anything by Fedorova's or any other mid 20th century versions that are several generations from the original. They are like games of "telephone"...

True. No point whatsoever. :flowers:


Artistically, you're both right. In terms of box office $, it hardly matters, at least for the first year.

#10 vipa

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 05:52 PM

Stella Abrera as Sugar Plum. Sarah Lane as Dewdrop. Hallberg would be perfection as the Cavalier but if we're going to soloists, then Cory Stearns.


That sounds great to me. Or Sarah Lane as Sugar Plum, Cornejo as the Cavalier, Abrera as Dewdrop, Kristi Boone as Snow Queen.

Of course much depends on Ratmansky's take on Clara. Baryshnikov's Clara was a dancer not a child (Gelsey K in the film). I believe Peter Wright's production has Clara in just about every 2nd act variation (Alina Cojocaru in the film). If Clara is a real dancing role, I vote for Sarah Lane as Clara.

#11 nysusan

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 06:58 PM

Dewdrop is a role that Balanchine created for his version of Nutcracker. It's not traditional and there's no reason to assume that Ratmansky's Nut will include a Dewdrop. In fact, I'd be very, very surprised if it did.

I'm betting that ABT's Clara will be a dancing role, not a child's role. There are a lot of possible Clara's at ABT. I'd love to see it danced by Lane, Reyes, Copeland,Kajiya or Seo. I think Lane & Copeland would be my first choices. I'd want Part & Abrera as Sugar Plum, for sure!

#12 Mel Johnson

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 07:11 PM

True. Dewdrop is a Balanchine invention. Snow Queens are a Pavlova contraption. Adult casts as children :icon8: have marked most Russian productions since at least Gorsky's, right after WWI. We'll have to see what comes out, but I'm a little cautious about predicting what the new ABT show will be like.

#13 volcanohunter

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 08:15 PM

There are definitely some very bad, bad seats in the Opera House's Balcony.

You can see here the stands for the lights and the poles that support them. The box office sells seats directly behind the poles, creating a bifurcated view, as I learned from long-ago experience. You do not want to sit there, I promise. Unfortunately, the seating chart we see doesn't indicate which seats they are. I hope they are marked on the box office's system.

They are, as little circles with black dots inside, exactly like the Met or Royal Opera House systems, and the BAM system indicates whether the offending obstacle is a lighting platform or a pole. The system will also give you a photo preview of the sight lines from various locations, and unlike the ROH system, the stage is shot with the curtain open, so you can get a pretty clear idea of how much of it is visible.

Just for reference, this seems to be the only show at the opera house for which tickets are currently on sale, which allows for a test drive of the seat selection system.

http://tickets.bam.o...anceNumber=4927

#14 Ambonnay

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 07:50 AM

volcantohunter -- Thanks. The photo previews of the views are based on there being no orchestra, as far as I can tell (see the Orchestra previews closest to the front). I wonder how that is going to work.

Does any member have a sense as to what the first three rows of Orchestra are like?

I might have to join BAM to get access to seats I would like.

#15 DeCoster

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:39 AM

If Clara does turn out to be dancing role, I'd nominate Boylston. I can see her having a wonderfully childlike quality, like G. Kirkland had. Also, I find her dancing beautiful.

Her Cavalier? Halberg, ideally. But I've seen Boylston partnered with Stearns to nice effect before too (because he isn't super-secure as a partner yet, I think he does better with smaller dancers).

Stella would make a stunning Arabian dancer, with her gorgeous extensions and exotic looks. And Ratmansky will certainly include the acrobatic Russian dancer[s] (Trepak), right? I can picture Simkin dazzling the audience in that variation. He'd look quite darling in a fur hat too.

I think other Nutcracker versions use the Dewdrop too, perhaps after Balanchine. I know for a fact, anyway, that New Jersey Ballet's production, which I danced in, had a Dewdrop. It was choreographed by George Tomal and quite different than the Balanchine version.


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