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MCB Program IFanfare, Bugaku, Theme&Variations


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#46 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 12:19 PM

But why not, bart...? There was a time when one could buy bouquets and throw them to one's favorite ballerina, or when the roar of a heated audience filling an auditorium to see its favorite Odile's unbelievable fouettes was the experience of a lifetime. I'm sad to feel such absence...

Everyone loves a star and the chance to adore him or her. Me, too. The issue is: how essential is, and is it appropriate for all occasions?. That, in turn, depends on one's formative experience and personal taste.

The new thread is already getting lots of interesting comments, so we should probably continue our conversation on the star-system there, reserving this thread for MCB's Program I. The Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach are coming up, and I hope there will be lots more to write about that !!! :clapping:

#47 bart

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 04:02 PM

I'm getting excited about the prospect of Program I reaching West Palm on the 19th. Bugaku is the intriguing work for me. A curiosity perhaps. A less-than-great ballet, certainly. But it encompases so much of Balanchine -- the range of his interests, his showmanship, his interest in both ancient and contemporary culture, etc.

Beyond that, the return of a live orchestra is something to look forward to. Dancer Rebecca King has a brief piece about the way that dancing to live music increases the challenge for dancers as well as enriching their experience.

Dancing with a live orchestra is such a great pleasure and a welcome treat, but along with our newly-revived luxury comes a few challenges. When rehearsing and performing to a recording, we have become accustomed to hearing the exact same notes, with the exact same tempo every time. With live music, that all changes. The dancers really need to be on their toes (no pun intended) by listening closely to the music, as the tempo is never exactly the same. Also, with the orchestra in the pit, many times we hear different notes played by different instruments that we never noticed in the recording. Recordings can never completely capture the full effect of live music, which is why it is so important for us, as dancers, to understand the musicality of the choreography and constantly count the music. Dance is an illustration of the music; in order for us to represent the music as the choreographer intended, we need to hear each and every element of the music.



#48 bart

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 04:05 PM

I'm getting excited about the prospect of Program I reaching West Palm on the 19th. Bugaku is the intriguing work for me. A curiosity perhaps. A less-than-great ballet, certainly. But there's so much of Balanchine in it.

The return of a live orchestra is also something to look forward to. The MCB blog has an entry by corps member Rebecca King expressing the effect of a live music from a dancer's perspective.

Dancing with a live orchestra is such a great pleasure and a welcome treat, but along with our newly-revived luxury comes a few challenges. When rehearsing and performing to a recording, we have become accustomed to hearing the exact same notes, with the exact same tempo every time. With live music, that all changes. The dancers really need to be on their toes (no pun intended) by listening closely to the music, as the tempo is never exactly the same. Also, with the orchestra in the pit, many times we hear different notes played by different instruments that we never noticed in the recording. Recordings can never completely capture the full effect of live music, which is why it is so important for us, as dancers, to understand the musicality of the choreography and constantly count the music. Dance is an illustration of the music; in order for us to represent the music as the choreographer intended, we need to hear each and every element of the music.



#49 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 06:55 PM

I'm getting excited about the prospect of Program I reaching West Palm on the 19th. Bugaku is the intriguing work for me. A curiosity perhaps. A less-than-great ballet, certainly. But there's so much of Balanchine in it.

The return of a live orchestra is also something to look forward to. The MCB blog has an entry by corps member Rebecca King expressing the effect of a live music from a dancer's perspective.

Dancing with a live orchestra is such a great pleasure and a welcome treat, but along with our newly-revived luxury comes a few challenges. When rehearsing and performing to a recording, we have become accustomed to hearing the exact same notes, with the exact same tempo every time. With live music, that all changes. The dancers really need to be on their toes (no pun intended) by listening closely to the music, as the tempo is never exactly the same. Also, with the orchestra in the pit, many times we hear different notes played by different instruments that we never noticed in the recording. Recordings can never completely capture the full effect of live music, which is why it is so important for us, as dancers, to understand the musicality of the choreography and constantly count the music. Dance is an illustration of the music; in order for us to represent the music as the choreographer intended, we need to hear each and every element of the music.



Interesting what King says about counting the music. With regular tempi this could work-(where did I read that Sppessitzeva wasn't musical at all and always had to have someone placed in the wings to shout out loud the counts for her...?)-but arrythmical pieces like Bugaku present a challenge.

bart. I'll see you there. Diabolic I-95 can't hurt me that much if I just try and catch T&V at the end of the night. :thumbsup: On Sunday, I'll review the whole program...perhaps...well, maybe minus Fanfare... :blushing:

#50 bart

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 06:31 PM

Performance photos of The Program I first cast are up on Facebook:

http://www.facebook....&id=10244171089

#51 Jack Reed

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 07:21 PM

(from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) King sounds like she knows what she's doing. Literally. Probably part of the reason she's there, why she was hired.

I've seen at least one company - an evening watching Carolina Ballet comes to mind - performing to a recording, where most of the corps were exactly together but off the beat. All except one girl on the end, who was listening, and in more ways than one, modulating and inflecting her movement as though instructed by what she heard, having a kind of private pas de deux with the composer (Glazunov, in this case). They'd rehearsed to that recording, I'll bet, and the others no longer heard it. I only wanted to watch that one girl.

#52 Jack Reed

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:20 PM

(from Ft. Lauderdale, FL) Brief highlights of Friday evening's performance, because the hour is late:

In Fanfare, Tricia Albertson was just beautifully airborne in "Clarinets," as though weightless (credit also to her partner, Michael Sean Breeden). Utterly at home aloft. A few minutes later, Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg brought considerable appropriate grandeur to a part, "Harp," that didn't look as consistently grand as Britten's music sounded.

Bugaku was certainly well enough danced and then some by Haiyan Wu and Isanusi Garcia-Rodriguez; but the tone of the ballet, Balanchine's closest approach to Bejart, was balletic and light when it should have been down, as Arthur Mitchell recalls Balanchine telling him, for example. Little weight and menace in the male roles, little or no fear and trembling, or even downcast modesty, in the females'. At the beginning of the pas de deux, Wu may even have smiled in happiness that her man was with her, or something. But her arms and hands at the end of the first part (of the three) were enchanting.

Theme and Variations suffered a little from too great extremes of tempo, I think; more consistent tempos would have made it hang together better. But the entire cast of 26 danced superbly, Kronenberg's grand way again distinguishing her part, and Guerra's support of her seemed impeccable.

#53 Jack Reed

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 02:15 PM

(from Ft. Lauderdale, FL) Saturday matinee. I'll repeat that: Saturday matinee! Isn't there a tradition that matinee casts aren't the top ones? So much for that: I had some sense last night, watching "T&V", that Kronenberg wasn't quite all herself, though being Jennifer Kronenberg, even at 90% she still had a lot to give. This afternoon she was in Bugaku with Carlos Guerra, and they both gave the characters more nearly complete realizations than we had got last night: Hers was vulnerable, wondering just to the point of disoriented, and this was accomplished through angle of body and quality of movement, not much with her face, which she mostly kept downcast, with averted eyes. (In about 1988, Allegra Kent told Nancy Reynolds, author of "Repertory in Review,"

... In rehearsal, no Japanese look was stressed. I think of it as ancient Japan... I always do it with a face that shows no emotion, with what I feel is a Japanese look. Basically, I avert my eyes. I participate, but my eyes and face are averted from the reality of what's happening.

)

And Guerra got a lot more heavy menace into his character than Garcia-Rodriguez had last night, if not to the extent Jared Redick had a few years ago, when he was with TSFB. (I mention this to point out that these things can still happen, in the right hands.)

But then "T&V." Albertson's briefly delighting us last night in "Clarinets" turned out to be a harbinger of what she would do for minutes at a time this afternoon in "T&V", with the superb Renato Penteado. She modestly presented this huge role, clearly but softly phrasing movement even in fast tempo and illuminating the very air around her, with visible sighs falling - or rather, floating - off point.

#54 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 02:31 PM

So still no Catoya, I see... :dunno:

#55 Jack Reed

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 08:47 PM

(from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) Still no Catoya, and no Jeanette Delgado, either, and I sense something is keeping Jennifer Kronenberg from her full potential. So Albertson and Penateado's "T&V" remains the top hit of my weekend here so far; this evening we had Patricia Delgado and Renan Cerdeiro as the leads in that, and everybody was all smiles, which I find a little distracting, not that I would deny any dancer joy in performance. As for the performance itself, I think it needs seasoning with practice. Has anyone else seen this pair?

Wu and Garcia-Rodriguez repeated their Bugaku, and while they again look like very seasoned performers, very capable technically, I still think Kronenberg and Guerra this afternoon added a dimension of - well, characterization may be overstating it, but it was quite welcome.

Albertson was in "Violas" in Fanfare, and that's another occasion to try to describe her effect - it's as though her tempos were slowed down so she could easily spin out a lovely display of the movement in her part, everything fully revealed, clearly phrased yet softly rounded; but - and this is the point, of course - her tempos were not slowed down, she just has that glowing ability, and I look forward to seeing more of it, in anything!

Edited by Jack Reed, 20 November 2010 - 08:19 PM.


#56 Jack Reed

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 09:19 PM

(from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) I neglected to try to say anything about Penteado, but his beautiful purity is established, I think. They made an exciting pair - not through cheap tricks or exaggeration - their dancing was beautiful to the point of being exciting.

And I want to mention one corps girl, Zoe Zien. Her dancing is big, quick, energetic, and yet contained in shape, not too soft, worth keeping an eye on. I'm not the only one who thinks so. In Fanfare, six corps girls dance "Violins", in two rows of three, and she's front and center.

#57 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 12:00 AM

Jack...glad you mentioned Miss Zien, as I've always found her particularly noticeable... :)

#58 Jack Reed

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 04:56 AM

(from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) And speaking of front and center, there's the Major Domo, elaborately costumed possibly in the manner of court dress in the time of Henry Purcell, the composer of the theme Benjamin Britten based his variations on, who narrates Fanfare in a light tenor voice and upper-class British accent, a certain Edward Villella, adding a second (?) role to his repertory of speaking parts, a nice contrast to "da Gangsta," as he described himself when the company was showing Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, with the low, rough voice he used for that. Not major high art or anything, but lots of fun, here in this ballet.

#59 Mel Johnson

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 06:16 AM

At NYCB, Edward Johnson used to play both the Gangster and the Major-Domo. I think he was consciously imitating Sir Malcolm Sargeant for the latter part.

#60 bart

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 07:15 AM

Jack, thank you so much. You've given me a lot to look for this coming weekend. I'm glad Albertson got the chance to do what she does best. (You describe it beautifully). And, of course, Penteado.

I was intrigued to read your comparison of Garcia-Rodriguez/Wu and Guerra/Kronenberg, and your preference for the latter. I would have expected quite a lot of force (even menace) from Garcia-Rodriguez, unless he toned is stage personality down to fit more smoothly with the ethereal Wu. I can't wait to have a look at both couples for myself.

Renan Cerdeiro (a principal role in T&V) certainly seems to be on a fast track. He was a school apprentice only last season !!! Talk about being on a fast track.

The absence of Catoya in this Program is definitely a loss.

What about Reyneris Reyes? Haven't heard whether or not he is dancing.

P.S. This is Posted Image, but I just noticed the new head shots on the MCB website. Very stylish and attractive. MCB has entered the 21st century on this, after years of what looked like high school yearbook mug shots.

Albertson and Zoe (mentioned in your review) look like entirely different people from those old shots. As does Jeanette Delgado. Much closer to the youthful beauty all these dancers have in real life.


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