mussel

Nutcracker Season at BAM

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This is super exciting - a world premiere of a ballet with music by Tchaikovsky!! I bet it's going to be a hit. I wonder how Ratmansky discovered the long-lost score and came up with such an engaging and original story.

:rofl:

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Certain other things I now recall from the Guggenheim Nutcracker discussion are below:

-- At one point, Ratmansky says that the snowflakes get "aggressive". The young Clara and the Nutcracker prince get knocked around by some snowflakes and there is a sense of activity surrounding how the snowflakes are (ie they almost become collectively a character in the ballet). This was demonstrated a bit during the Guggenheim discussion.

-- Ratmansky indicated that the Rat King will be shown with seven heads, as in the original. The Rat King will correspondingly have seven tails. The rats will largely be white, some with yellowish teeth. They are supposed to look somewhat scary.

-- When Ratmansky was coaching Daniil S, at one point Ratmansky asked Daniil to not jump so high, so as to coordinate better with the timing of the music (and presumably land faster). I thought that was amusing.

-- Ormsby noted he had just returned from Cuba, where he had been very well treated.

Barbara -- Sorry, I didn't focus on the Spanish dance, so I couldn't answer your question.

All -- Did anybody attend the Monday performance, with Veronika Part being coached by Ratmansky?

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Can anybody provide some info on where the Mezz at BAM "hangs over" the Orchestra (ie at what row of the Orchestra would you find the first row of the Mezz above it)? Thanks

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Can anybody provide some info on where the Mezz at BAM "hangs over" the Orchestra (ie at what row of the Orchestra would you find the first row of the Mezz above it)? Thanks

Here's a seating chart.

http://tickets.bam.org/checkout/seatingchart_popup.aspx?seatingchart=seating_operahouse.jpg

My memory is that the first mezzanine has a good clear view of the stage even from the sides. However, it is not that close - maybe row V of the orchestra or something like that.

BTW: last week I bought a bunch of tickets for the first preview on December 22nd. Taking my nephew and sister-in-law for Christmas.

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Some casting changes: Kajiya replaces Seo, dancing with Hammoudi. And Riccetto is paired with Simkin.

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Seo must be injured. Shevchenko has now replaced Seo for the NJPAC performance this Saturday. Previously, Seo was the first listed ballerina for this Saturday's Seven Sonatas performance.

Seven Sonatas

C. Shevchenko

X. Reyes

S. Abrera

D. Hallberg

H. Cornejo

G. Saveliev

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The current issue of Pointe has an article on the ABT Nutcracker entitled "Bittersweet Fairy Tale", by Elizabeth Kendall. It is based on a discussion with Ratmansky from a few months ago. Some excerpts follow:

-- "A tall order: to make a Nutcracker that's light enough for children and dark enough for adults; pure enough to be classical, surprising enough to be new."

-- "His new snow scene won't be the usual witty benediction, but instead, 'a bit dangerous, not sweet.' His first-act party scene won't be 'all hobbyhorses and frilly petticoats, not quite as warm as usual.'"

-- "And he wants to deepen the grand pas de deux between the Sugar Plum Fairy and her cavalier .... The music for that pas de deux seems to him 'strangely unrelated' to the action taht comes before. 'It adds a lot of dramatic color to quitea light story. For me it sounds like Tchaikovsky's painful look back on the beautiful ties of childhood and growing up. Like looking from a distance.'" Query whether the grand PDD is between the grown up Clara and the cavalier, or the SPF and him as described? There is a SPF in the new Nutcracker, but she is not played by the lead ballerina.

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I received a full-color, multi-page brochure from ABT. There is a two-page piece on the Nutcracker, which I excerpt below:

"first scene set in the kitchen ... Of the 19th-century household where children watch the preparations for the Christmas eve meal. And it is in the kitchen were we first encounter ... the mice!"

"If the [mice] are vivid, they remain whimsical: a celebrated painting of the pot-bellied Napoleon by the painter Jacques-Louis David served as inspiration for Hudson's design of an elegantly (sic) frock coat-attired, corpulent Mouse King."

"... ABT's new staging offers some twists and surprises. In the first act, the Christmas tree in the parlor grows at the enchanted hour to expansive dimensions as in other productions, but the parlor also accommodates a chair that amplifies to towering proportions and from which Clara watches the battle between the opposing forces. In the second act, four dancing bumblebees join in the 'Waltz of the Flowers'. Perhaps most significantly, young Clara and the Nutcracker in the first act are transformed into Clara, on the brink of young adulthood, and the Nutcracker Prince. Together, they dance the ballet's climactic pas de deux to Tchaikovsky's sweeping music...."

The article also contains a photo of details from the Sugar Plum Fairy's costume. It looks like the bodice is a light turqouise cloth material that contains prints of red and pink roses. The bodice is laced up using what seems to be light yellow string in the back.

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But if the Grand Pas de deux is danced by Clara...then what is the Sugar Plum Fairy doing in the story...? :dunno:

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http://www.nasdaq.com/marketsite/marketsite-events-detail.aspx?fn=201012-open12212010.txt

See the fourth photo from the left. I think the ballerina in the weird turban on the left of the photo, with the medium turquoise outfit, could potentially be the Sugar Plum Fairy character in the ABT Nutcracker.

The reason is that the recent ABT brochure with the three corps ballerinas dressed in white on the front cover, shows a close-up picture inside of the bodice/waist area of the SPF's costume. It really looks like the same area of this person's costume.

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There's a video of the event here, followed by a photo-taking session. I just love a dancer (Courtney Lavine, in this case) who can't stand still when there's music playing, and the little mousey's enthusiasm is adorable.

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Did anyone attend the unofficial prima tonight? I'm dying to know what the production is like (though will find out in 18 hours or so for myself!). :) The pictures of Veronika in the NYT were so dreamy...

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