MCB Program IILa Sonnambula, West. Symp.,D&A PDD, Baker's Dozen
Posted 18 January 2011 - 02:50 PM
Posted 25 January 2011 - 07:42 PM
All you have to do is go to the MCB website/ click "Performances"/ scroll down to the venue/ click the date of the performance ... and VOILA !!!
I'm attending the performances at the Kravis Center, West Palm Beach.
I was especially interested in the glimpse this gave of the various casting choices for Sonnambula:
Friday evening, 1/28: Callie Manning (Coquette); Isanusi Garcia-Rodriguez (Baron); Carlos Guerra (Poet); Jennifer Kronenberg (Sleepwalker)
Sat. matinee: Amanda Weingarten, Garcia-Rodriguez; Yann Trividic; Patricia Delgado
Sat. evening: Tricia Albertson, Didier Bramaz, Reyneris Reyes, Jennifer Lauren
Sun. matinee: Same as Sat matinee.
Diana and Actaeon: 3 different casts: Mary Carmen Catoya/ Kleber Rebello (Friday evening; Sunday matinee) -- Katia Carranza/ Renato Penteado (Sat. matinee) -- Nathalia Arja/ Renan Cerdeiro (Sat. evening)
There are two different casts for Baker's Dozen, one for the evenings, one for the matinees. Principal Haiyan Wu, though not dancing the Sleepwalker here, is in the evening cast for the Tharp.
Interesting casting for Western Symphony includes:
Katia Carranza is back, from Mexico, dancing two Adagios -- one with Renan Cerdeiro (Friday evening) and one with Didier Bramaz (Saturday evening). Mary Carmen Catoya is dancing the Second Movement, Adagio, with Reyneris.Reyes, at the Saturday matinee. Sara Esty gets to dance the First Movement, Allegro, with Cerdeiro (Friday evening) There's also a welcome chance to see corps members Zoe Zien and Stephen Satterfield in the Third Movement, Scherzo ( Sunday matinee).
The 4th movement, Rondo, is shared by Kronenberg/Guerra (both matinees) and Patricia Delgado/ Trividic (both evening performances.
Bad news from the casting front: Jeanette Delgado is still out.
Posted 25 January 2011 - 08:14 PM
But...will be there on Sunday!
Edited to add: Ooooh, I just realized that the Saturday matinee cast is the same as Sunday's. Yoohoo!!
Posted 25 January 2011 - 08:51 PM
Indeed, the casting post consists of images exactly matching what's printed on the two sides of the cast sheets handed out at the performances. It probably takes somebody a couple of keystrokes. Which reminds me: At Broward, the ushers will not hand out the casting before Villella's talk, even though stacks of them are handy; we do get the program books as we come in, though. As soon as Edward (or Crista, sometimes) finishes, we get the casting sheets. Is that also the custom at Kravis, bart? If so, do any of the ushers hint at reasons for the practice?
The list casts for only venue at a time, but for all the dates at that venue.
It seems odd, and it's not always been my experience. I used to take notes on the sheets when we got them as we entered for the talk, but now I carry in sheets of scratch paper for that. You don't suppose someone objects to my note-taking and posting, do you? All they have to say is, please don't post what I say on the Internet! I'd still like to note (either) Villella's remarks for the insights they provide. Sometimes, someone asks whether there's any plan to publish the remarks. That shows I'm not the only one who values them.
Posted 26 January 2011 - 10:29 AM
At the Kravis they are supposed to insert them before the talk. Most do, but some did not last season, for their own convenience, leading to complaints.
At Broward, the ushers will not hand out the casting before Villella's talk, even though stacks of them are handy; we do get the program books as we come in, though. As soon as Edward (or Crista, sometimes) finishes, we get the casting sheets. Is that also the custom at Kravis, bart? If so, do any of the ushers hint at reasons for the practice?
This season there's been a shakeup in the volunteeer usher program at the Kravis. Some had been there for a long, long time and had given up the parts of the job that they didn't like or had physical difficulty accomplishing. Some ushers have retired and others have replaced them. So far, it's been a big improvement.
Posted 31 January 2011 - 10:36 AM
1) One of the best balanced programs they've done. Especially in terms of interest and variety for the audience. The Kravis audiences can be a little "dead" at times, but not during Program II.
2) Sonnambula: A huge improvement over 2005, when they last danced this. The corps de ballet (supplemented by apprentices) was the hero/heroine here. They handled the complex patterns and sophisticated footwork as though they had been born to this style-- beautiful epaulement, use of arms and gloved hands, exaggerated but graceful courtliness towards one another. Their reactions to the rather shocking incidents of the ballet were beautifully performed, each corps member an individual, but all sharing the stylized manner of the period. My eyes were drawn especially to to Amanda Weingarten and Bradley Dunlap. One would think, had been dancing roles like these for their entire lives.
The most impressive cast, for me, was Sunday matinee. Jennifer Kronenberg, stepping in for an injured Patricia Delgado, danced with Yann Trividic instead of her usual partner, her husband Carlos Guerra. Trividic is a perfect poet. Tall, handsome, able to convey Romantic passion through the intensity and amplitude of dance movement. He seemed to energize Kronenberg and give new life to a role she has often danced.
I should add that Trividic does seem to have this effect on all his partners. MCB has lacked a dramatic male star for much too long. Bringing Trividic back from France was one of the smartest moves the Company has made this season..
Getting back to Sonnambula, Trividic's sudden, unexpected entrance into the party scene produces emotions. The dancer has to make this plausible just by standing there. Trividic does this. You can understand the Baron's immediate disquiet. You can't miss the effect on the stunned Coquette --an excellent Amanda Weingarten. The Poet and this Coquette clearly have a History. Their eyes lock from across the stage. For the first time in any Sonnambula performance, I could feel the underlying passions in a way that made the rest of what happens between poet and Coquette make sense -- their whispered conversation during the divertissements; the strange fusion of formality and eroticism in their pas de deux. This is a necessary setup for the Coquette's act of betrayal just before the end.
Kronenberg is a superb Sleepwalker. But never so haunting as in this performance with Trividic. I was also, although differently, very impressed by Jennifer Lauren, a new soloist, also dancing opposite Trividic.
I have made up my own back story for each performance. Kronenberg is the Baron's wife, driven mad by her husband's coldness and infidelity and now virtually imprisoned in the tower For the Baron (a dark, dangerous Isanusi Garcia-Rodriquez), this creature is a possession, a work of art perhaps, that he refuses to share with anyone. His sense of honor is bound up in this, which explains his act of violence near the end. Lauren, on the other hand, might be a the Baron's unfortunate daughter. For reasons unknown to us, she has slipped into madness . Her father might be motivated by the need to protect, not the need to possess. Lauren is a physically lighter dancer than Kronenberg. Her bourrees are quicker than Kronenberg's -- and her manner more feverish, insecure. She really does rush towards the brink of the stage as Allegra Kent did.
Back to Trividic. His fascination with the Sleepwalker is as instantaneous and intense as his earlier fascination with the Coquette. But it is deeper, and develops further. Carlos Guerra has always given more of a playful tone to the Poet's various manipulations of the Sleepwalker (raising her to point, spinning her, making her step over his extended leg). There are elements of fraternity boy in this, and I have never liked it much.
Trividic's performance, on the other hand, is Romantic with a Big "R.". This is expressed through eyes and movement: larger, more considered and expansive, gestures and steps. At one point in the strange pas de deux with the Sleepwalker, the Poet creates a circle out of his overhead arms. Turning his back to her, he lowers the circle over her head, moving it down her body and gradually descending into a backbend and sinking to the floor. Trividic makes this unforgettable. The arch of his back is extreme. And, something I've never seen before, his sinking to the floor becomes a kind of de-flation, a surrender that fits the conclusion of the music perfectly.
Sonnambula -- when danced with style and conviction as it was on Sunday -- can be a powerful theatrical experience. When it works, you find yourself identifying with the corps of party-goers who watch, stunned, as the candle flame floating up the tower staircase, moving along the terrace, and rising up in the sky. Wow!
Posted 02 February 2011 - 10:17 AM
Baker's Dozen: I love this piece and was glad to have the chance to see two casts. The evening performances had the first cast and were the most balletic, the most beautifully danced, elegant, gliding, with effortless switches of direction. The second cast was younger, "rougher," with more swing, in a very engaging way, and just as enjoyable. Both casts understood the humor and had the wit NOT to overdo it.
MCB is a collegial ballet company, so personalities were not emphasized. I tend tor remember the most defined characters: Callie Manning as someone having her share of social and romantic difficulties; Jennifer Kronenberg (Rebecca King in the second cast) who as her own agenda and doesn't seem capable of sticking with the ensemble; Carlos Guerra and Isanusi Garcia-Rodriguez, each of whom gets to take center stage on his own to do a little bit of playful sexiness.
Principals Haiyan Wu and Reyneris Reyes were listed in the first cast list but were replaced, without an announcement.. Neither has danced much this season, for some reason or other.
Francisco Renno's piano music was elegantly played, but a bit too restrained anda classical, as if Willie Smith had spent most of his career at the Plaza, or Esterhaza, instead of uptown New York clubs. A little more swing might have helped.
The local "society" newspaper -- the Palm Beach Daily News, a.k.a. "the shiny sheet" -- had a negative review. the writer, a freelancer, found the Tharp dated and lamented MCB's failure to reach out to newer more up to date choreography. Fortunately, few people outside Palm Beach itself bother to read the shiny sheet or even know of its existence. Anyone who thinks Baker's Dozen is dated is coming from a very strange place -- or a very ignorant place -- which I cannot even begin to fathom. Why do these people agree to review art forms (ballet -- or opera -- or serious theater) if they don't respect or understand the core repertoire? And why do they never take the trouble to tell us what kind of choreography they would prefer a major dance/opera/theater company to perform. Or what the audience might think about it.
Western Symphony. Cristian, Jack and others have said it all. it's a crowd-pleaser. More important, it gives us a chance to see just how fast (but accurate) and light-on-their-feet the MCB dancers, from principals to apprentices, have become. Kronenberg and Guerra own the First Movement. But my favorite is the Second Movement ("Adagio"), in which a dreamy cowpoke meets an assertive but illusive ballerina. Katia Carranza repeats her role from the last time around, and she's a charmer. As the cowpokes, Didier Bramaz had amazing elegance and a sweet gentlements. Renan Cerdeiro played it a bit broader (strumming his hat dramatically as he serenades the girl) but was equally effective.
MCB performs the Third Movement ("Scherzo") which was removed from the ballet a few years after the premiere. Tricia Albertson/ Kleber Rebello in one cast, and Zoe Zien/ Stephen Satterfield in the other, did a great job keeping up with precision. My feeling, however, is that this movement is full of fast action that doesn't anywhere. Speed for its own sake. A compensation is the work for the 4-woman corps. Callie Manning, Sara Esty/Zoe Zien, Leigh-Ann Esty, and Ashley Knox, standing out in emerald green, were impressive.
On Saturday night, Patricia Delgado -- dancing with Yann Trividic -- had an injury towards the beginning of the Finale. She left the stage. Then one of those Show Biz miracles occurred: Kronenberg took over the remainder of her part; Manning (dancing a corps role) stepped in to replace Kronenberg. Everyone had big, exhilerated smiles. The complex patterns of dancers in rows, the rapid batterie, those famous concluding pirouettes: all took place as though nothing painful had occurred. It was different, I'm sure, when the curtain calls were over. But what the audience saw was just what Balanchine could have wished for.
Get well soon, Patricia. Cranko's Romeo and Juliets, with Yann Trividic I hope, awaits you.
Posted 02 February 2011 - 11:35 AM
On Saturday night, Patricia Delgado -- dancing with Yann Trividic -- had an injury towards the beginning of the Finale. She left the stage.
oh,God...another one injured. I hope this is not major. Wishing you a prompt and total recovery, Patty...!!
Posted 02 February 2011 - 06:23 PM
In Broward, I also felt Renno was a bit "classical" and feared in the numbers played before the curtain the shifting rhythms might actually throw him, surprisingly. But the later ones, once the curtain was up and the dancing began, perhaps ones he had played much more as rehearsal pianist, went better. And the sound he gets from his instrument is always beautiful. Makes you want to hear a concert or a recital.
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