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Cristian's NutcrackthonCuban Classical Ballet of Miami


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#16 bart

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 07:11 AM

Just to clarify...
Magaly's new company is Florida Classical Ballet, FCB; there is another company in Palm Beach named Florida Classical Ballet Theater.

Posted Image The latter company, is based in Palm Beach Gardens. It is a school company.

Cristian, I want to have the chance to read your MCB review more thoroughly but have to run out now. I certainly agree with your sadness about the loss of thrilling dancers like Wong and Baker. Glad that Patricia Delgado's Dewdrop was so good, since she was somehow (oddly, actually) "off" at the Kravis Center a few weeks ago, even falling off point twice, something I wouldn't imagine had ever happened before to such a skilled performer.

I'm happy also that the house was packed and enthusiastic. We get MCB's Nutcracker so early in the season that people haven't really gotten their enthusiasm together yet. On Saturday night it was a smallish house, quite warm and attentive, but lacking in what develops as you get closer to Christmas..

#17 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 09:33 PM

Over my super busy weekend, I was able to catch the Kirova Ballet production of the Nutcracker. This is the first season of this local ballet company/academy located in Hallandale, FL. Their founders, Boris Chapelev and Janna Kirova, are both ex Kirov dancers, and after recently relocated down here they have been focused on "bringing the art of authentic Russian Classical Ballet performances to its audience"-(via the company)-and "provide the very best in authentic Russian Classical Ballet training and to become one of the very best training centers for ballet dancers in US"-(via their brand new 6700 sf Academy), all this according to the programme notes.

Anyway, theirs was a production loosely based on Vainonen's-(as I noticed is also the case with every touring Russian troupe). Vainonen's version-(just as Grigorovitch and the short lived Baryshnikov's)-just doesn't work for me, for which it totally destroys the story line by deleting important characters-(Sugar Plum Fairy/Coqueluche) and transforms Clara into an adult, thus totally altering the very essence of this ballet. This is the main thing I love about Balanchine's...that he-(just as with Fedorova's and Wright's)-respects the beautiful original libretto, one that doesn't need any changes, BTW.

I was surprised with the luxury of the sets and costumes. The battle scene had soldiers on horses-(a costume device with the horse attached to the kid along with fake human legs). It was very pleasant to watch, and in the beginning of Act II, Clara and the Nutcracker’s arrived in a troika pulled by an unicorn…a real beautiful white horse with a long horn attached…I was REALLY surprised…

Well, I won’t be talking too much about the performers, for which I know the policy about reviewing only professional dancers here, but I really have to mention the two girls and the boy of the Pas de Trois-(Marzipan divertissement). This is a Pas de Trois that I always enjoy a lot in this Russian productions. It was so lovely to watch this three very serious kids with their rococo costumes and dancing like adults, the girls on pointe and full tutu regalia, the boy the perfect cavalier, all with wigs and everything. So so cute. The programme listed four names-(probably two casts for the two days)…Phoenix Elmer, Tyller Dieckhas, Nina Fusco and Tate Lee. My friend agreed with me that this was the highlight of the night. :clapping:

Moving on, the main reason I went to see this production was because Veronika Part would be dancing Clara's role. I kept telling my friend, “Veronika this” and “Veronika that” and that “she's an ABT’s Principal” and that “she's the Myrtha you'll see at Vishneva's Giselle” and on and on…
And so then...…what a total disappointment was to see a nervous, unprepared ballerina with no chemistry whatsoever with her partner-(ABT’s Gray Davis) and with no relationship at all with the role being portrayed. She didn’t looked comfortable during his over-shoulder lifts. I assumed that she just came probably the very day of the performance, and danced whatever she knew from previous stagings-(I believe she danced previously in McKenzie’s production…?). The Grand Pas de Deux was a total cut and paste from different choreographies. The Adagio was Ivanov, with the Fedorova’s music cut but with the suppression of its most thrilling moment, the pendulum-like swinging of the ballerina by the partner carrying her upside down by the waist. When I saw Davis I knew that there was no way that he could have done this with too tall for him Part. But THAT type of things is what really gets me mad. If you CAN’T dance a given step in a choreography, you shouldn’t be up there trying to cover up with inventions. I can’t stand that. That’s the most beautiful part of the Adagio, and from the Fonteyn/Helpmann clip to the Alonso/Esquivel to the Collier/Dowell, it is clear that this is the climax, so please, don’t ruin it and try harder to get it right.…
The male variation was exactly as the one danced in Havana-(which is not the same danced by Dowell…), and then her variation came, and THERE’S where I couldn’t tell any longer what was going on.
Part danced something that she obviously knew very well, and which wasn’t Ivanov nor Vainonen’s . I have the high suspicion that this is from Ratmansky’s new staging. At one point she did a peek-a-boo thing behind one of the wings curtains...VERY strange.

The end of the ballet had Clara waking up from her dram next to the Nutcracker doll.

I was disappointed with Veronika, and this is the second time I see her dancing, the first one as the Lilac Fairy. Next will be her Myrtha, so I will keep my fingers crossed, as I’ve heard really good things here about her in this role. :beg:
Up next...…MCB again…

#18 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:18 PM

So tonight I decided to take my friend and my mother to see Balanchine’s Nutcracker, and voila...I had an epiphany…THIS IS THE NUTCRACKER!!. It is definitely glorious…and time came for me to confess it. If I would be left only to see the Snow Scene and the Waltz of the Flowers, I would still be equally happy, for which they are two of the most beautiful ballet moments I’ve ever seen in my entire career as a balletomane…
I never sit upstairs, for which I have very poor eyesight, and so center orchestra is always my choice, but tonight I wanted to really “see” the patterns of the snowflakes and the flowers, and being up there certainly changed my whole perspective on the ballet. There is a moment when several rows of flowers execute a developpe devant, one row right behind the other one to then fall in the floor to a white swan position, arms extended, head facing down that is just breathless…same with the snowflakes, when at one point they get all grouped together and right to a sharp chord they extend their arms and lower their heads while pointing their branches forward. Oh, that’s SO beautiful…
Anyway, I’m very happy to having been up there…it was like watching an entirely different ballet…and on the way not getting to see sweating faces and trembling hands.
BTW…there’s a little story that needs to be told, but I will move it to a more appropriate place here

#19 bart

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 09:05 AM

Oh, that’s SO beautiful…
Anyway, I’m very happy to having been up there…it was like watching an entirely different ballet…and on the way not getting to see sweating faces and trembling hands.

Cristian, I'm so happy you loved this.

Balanchine's patterns are one of the joys of his ensemble pieces. I grew up with this, since my first NYCB experiences were all in the first balcony (first row if possible) of the old City Center. At the Kravis nowadays, I have watched these large-cast ballets from both orchestra and from higher up (actually, side boxes) and definitely prefer the latter. Incidentally, one of the all-too-brief pleasures of the 1973 German television video of Concerto Barocco -- linked on another thread -- was the occasional use of over-the-head cameras.

#20 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 08:05 PM

So...this is the type of surprises we're subjected to experience down here with Villella's strange anti-stardom policies. There is always the chance of witnessing a company apprentice steal the show during curtain calls from the Principal Dancer. Yes...this was what just happened a while ago, when amazing Nathalia Arja-(last night's Sugar Plum Fairy)-brought the house down during curtain calls after dancing Dewdrop. It was very strange to see this very young girl-(completely unknown to me until now)-getting all the glory, and in the process shadowing a less than perfect Hayan Wu, tonight's SPF.

High point of the night:
Arja's Dewdrop and GREAT Corps member Sara Esty substituting Tricia Albertson as the Marzipan leading Shepherdess-(I hope this is her...I didn't catch the substitution announcement, and she looks very much like her sister Leigh-Anne, but I'm 99% positive that this was Sara).

Low point.
The SPF PDD...Wu and Yang Zou didn't look too comfortable dancing the Adagio...there were some faults and Wu looked tired.

I've been taking notes on certain details of Balanchine's production that I would like to inquire about, but...season is not over yet. I might go back tomorrow night... :thumbsup:

#21 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 08:38 PM

So, sadly, it looks as if the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami had its swan song right after their Don Quixote performances. The Nutcracker, which was announced in their website, never happened. No update on the same website was ever available related to this, and even after the non show, the dates were still posted. RIP, CCBM :bow:

(Edited to add: Oops...I just double checked and saw that there's a whole new season planned, so let's see what happens... :dunno: )

Now, being out already and mentally prepared to have a theater experience no matter what, I instead went to the Lincoln Theater's own swan song. Yes, after a very productive live as a home of the New World Symphony, they have done their very last performance before they move in January to their brand new, glamorous Frank Gehry's Concert Hall. Will post details later on. :thumbsup:


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