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Nutcracker NYCBNutcracker NYCB


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#16 darlindancer

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 11:15 AM

Balanchinette...I agree about Tess' abilities, although I haven't seen her in this role. Might you be able to tell us if this is unusual, using a taller dancer in the role of Balanchine's Dew Drop? I have never seen it done. Is it often done at NYBC?

#17 balanchinette

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:05 PM

Darlindancer, Tess has been the only tall dancer to do Dewdrop that I've seen, personally. I think she's very unique in that she can handle the allegro roles that other tall dancers (e.g., Maria Korowski) can't, because they're not as fast. I only hope Tess can keep this up! :) She was amazing in the lead role in Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, a few seasons ago, as well. I would love, love, love to see her do Theme & Variations, I think she's more than capable technically. I'd also like to see her in Diamonds, which is an adagio role. I don't think she's been given as much exposure as, say, Sara Mearns, who is also very versatile (but not as striking in height). I like a tall Dewdrop, it's nice to have Dewdrop really stand out amongst the (generally) tall girls NYCB likes to use as Flowers.

#18 Mel Johnson

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 01:11 PM

I can recall at least one year, a long while ago in dance years, that Gloria Govrin and Suki Schorer used to alternate as the Dewdrop. Talk about the long and short of it!

#19 liebs

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 08:15 PM

I saw Karin Von Arnoldigen do Dew. She was definately tall.

#20 jsmu

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:14 PM

Darlindancer, Tess has been the only tall dancer to do Dewdrop that I've seen, personally. I think she's very unique in that she can handle the allegro roles that other tall dancers (e.g., Maria Korowski) can't, because they're not as fast. I only hope Tess can keep this up! :) She was amazing in the lead role in Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, a few seasons ago, as well. I would love, love, love to see her do Theme & Variations, I think she's more than capable technically. I'd also like to see her in Diamonds, which is an adagio role. I don't think she's been given as much exposure as, say, Sara Mearns, who is also very versatile (but not as striking in height). I like a tall Dewdrop, it's nice to have Dewdrop really stand out amongst the (generally) tall girls NYCB likes to use as Flowers.

Balanchinette, she is indeed marvelous--I have loved her since the first time I saw her, as one of the First Movement Bizet demis (she so outshone Abi Stafford, the principal, that it was quite embarrassing). We can only hope Martins will allow her to dance the Tchaikovsky Concerto again, as well as other roles she hasn't been given much of lately (Rondo of Brahms-Schoenberg, Barocco, etc, etc, etc.); your ideas about Reichlen in Diamonds and Theme are wonderful. I'd also like to see her in the Divert sixth variation, the ballerina roles in Cortege and Ballade, and how about a tall Apollo with Reichlen as Polyhymnia? can't happen soon enough. Re Dewdrop, anyone with enough technical facility (and, sadly, a few without it) has danced this role--everyone from von Aroldingen, Reichlen, Govrin, and the Nearys to Schorer, Fairchild, Hlinka, and Sosenko. Verdy did it often--imagine how gorgeous that would have been.

#21 mira

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:25 PM

and not to forget the tall Kyra Nichols who danced Dewdrop in the 1993 NYCB Balanchine Nutcracker movie! Former NYCB dancers speak of her incredible ability to dance "short girl" roles.

#22 canbelto

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 06:33 PM

I just returned from a wonderful performance of the Nutcracker. This is such a rich ballet that every time I see it, new details emerge. I never noticed how in the first act, Fritz is the outcast while the children dance. The other girls shun him, and he ends up dancing with his mother. It makes his acting out later in the act more understandable, and is such a nice human touch. The children as usual danced with incredible precision, warmth, and charm.

I thought the Snowflakes and Waltz of the Flowers looked a little less "on" than I've seen them. Arms not in unison, stuff like that. But the dancing of the soloists was superb. Sara Mearns - wonder what Macauley would say about her? She definitely has an unorthodox build. Very womanly and curvy, and without the long stretched look of most ballerinas. Yet she also moves in such a distinct way that it's impossible not to be transported by her dancing. She sometimes almost reminds me of Galina Ulanova -- the short neck and arms, the sweetly lyrical style of dancing. Unlike many NYCB ballerinas she doesn't really punch out the steps according to the music, but instead seems to "dance through" the music, Kirov-style. She was one of the most memorable SPF's I've seen. And she handled the shoulder-lifts and balances of the grand pas de deux superbly. Tiler Peck might now be a close second to Ashley Bouder in terms of whizbang Dewdrops -- she sailed through the role as if it were child's play. And she's grown so much as an artist too -- she even looks different. More mature, less of a soubrette. Tess Reichlen was a sinewy, sensuous Coffee.

I left the NY State Theater (no I refuse to call it the Koch Theater) in a happy mood. Balanchine's Nutcracker remains the gold standard for me.

#23 Eileen

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 03:05 PM

I was at the New York State Theater lobby today with my niece and her friend. As we watched the Nutcracker video, we couldn't hear the music because of the pre-performance hubbub, so I sang the score as the video played. I've seen it so often that I could coordinate the dance and the music. While I sang, I would stop to narrate the ballet, point out to the girls details of the party scene. After we left, one of the young girls told me that a 6 year old little girl had been watching me, intent on the singing and narrating, listening all the while! I wish I had seen her. Even an orchestra of one can provide a soundtrack to the Nutcracker. My niece and her friend, by the way, knew very little of ballet before this and they were in rapt fascination. I had the privilege of explaining to them who George Balanchine was and his contribution to ballet - and explaining and singing the Nutcracker score was great fun!

#24 carbro

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 04:05 PM

I would add to the list of tall Dewdrops Suzanne Farrell, Colleen Neary, Maria Calegari, and unless I have a false memory (entirely possible), Darci. Among this generation, Sara Mearns dances the role. Still, Neary and Govrin perhaps excepted, Tess may be the tallest of DDs.

#25 Mel Johnson

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 04:34 PM

No false memory; Darci did Dewdrop in the 80s.

#26 abatt

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 05:31 PM

Sara Mearns - wonder what Macauley would say about her? She definitely has an unorthodox build. Very womanly and curvy, and without the long stretched look of most ballerinas. Yet she also moves in such a distinct way that it's impossible not to be transported by her dancing. She sometimes almost reminds me of Galina Ulanova -- the short neck and arms, the sweetly lyrical style of dancing. Unlike many NYCB ballerinas she doesn't really punch out the steps according to the music, but instead seems to "dance through" the music, Kirov-style. She was one of the most memorable SPF's I've seen. And she handled the shoulder-lifts and balances of the grand pas de deux superbly.



In today's NY Times, Macaulay singles Mearns out as one of the highlights of 2010. He particularly noted her outstanding Swan Lake, as well as her wonderful performaces in various other ballets during 2010. He did not mention any other NYCB dancers among his highlights.

#27 LiLing

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 09:07 PM

If any of you saw Suzanne Farrell's Dew Drop, I would love to hear you memory of it. I can't imagine her in that role.

#28 Mel Johnson

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 03:59 AM

That would be me. In many ways, Dewdrop was an ideal part for her. Most durable memory is the diagonal of double ronds de jambe sautÚs that she did in the minor period of the waltz. She also had a lot of sweep and a highly flexible torso, which she exercised to good effect in exiting. My friends and I called the big windmilling arms and deep carriage of the body "The Ficker".

#29 LiLing

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 08:29 PM

Thank you Mel. How I wish I'd seen Miss Ficker's Dew Drop!

#30 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 03:23 PM

Most durable memory is the diagonal of double ronds de jambe sautés that she did in the minor period of the waltz.


Isn't this the same combination of steps used for the opening of Youskevitch second variation in T&V...?


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