Farrell Fan

Farrell Ballet at Joyce Theater This Fall

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The Suzanne Farrell Ballet will be appearing at the Joyce Theater this fall.

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Thanks, Farrell Fan. And also California--I couldn't find it myself. This is perfectly divine news. Just around the corner for $10. I wouldn't miss it, and look forward to hearing what the programs are.

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Thanks Farrell Fan and California. This is exciting news!

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What delights me is that they'll also be performing in principal dancer Momchil Mladenov's home country of Bulgaria this June. From their Facebook page:

The Cultural Bridges Association, started by principal dancer Momchil Mladenov, will bring The Suzanne Farrell Ballet to Sofia, Bulgaria for a program titled "Balanchine & Farrell: American Ballet for Bulgaria."

The Suzanne Farrell Ballet will present Balanchine's "Agon" as part of a shared program with the National Ballet of Bulgaria. Works to be performed by the National Ballet of Bulgaria include "Stepping Stones" (Kathryn Posin), "Vardar Suite" (Momchil Mladenov), and "Divertimento Brillante" (George Balanchine), staged by Suzanne Farrell.

Performances will take place at The Sofia National Theater for Opera and Ballet June 9-11, 2011.

Congratulations, folks! Jack, can we look forward to a report? :cool:

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FYI, single tickets for the Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Joyce Theater go on sale May 23.

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Congratulations, folks! Jack, can we look forward to a report? :cool:

I hope so, but it'll be from others, not from me. (Circumstances will almost certainly keep me in Chicago in June, all the better to get to Washington and New York in October, though.)

Meanwhile, Matthew Renko and Ted Seymour of TSFB distinguished themselves this evening in Ballet Chicago's Balanchine program.

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Speaking of the Joyce Theater engagement, where are the better seats in there? Never a New Yorker, I don't think I've ever been in.

Here's a link to the Joyce site showing the seating chart:

http://www.joyce.org/performancestickets/seating.php

Here's another link to the Joyce site, with the repertory, which looks to me like it might have been chosen in awareness of the Joyce's modern-dance orientation:

http://www.joyce.org/performancestickets/calendar_detail.php?event=391&theater=1

There's also a thumbnail there of Natalia Magnicaballi and Momchil Mladenov in the "Diamonds" pas de deux, which is to be included in their repertory; that's the kind of publicity I like to see: Give 'em a glimpse of what they'll get if they buy. That respects the consumer, and gives them a real basis for their choice, although a shot from Haieff Divertimento or Agon might have been more calculating, as I said; on the other hand, whether Farrell herself would give a moment to such a publicity decision I don't know, but from watching her dancers' programs over the years, I think it's safe to say she wants to share with people Balanchine's exhilarating range and variety, and offering a glimpse of what might be some high Romantic ballet to the modern-dance audience goes some distance that way. (I notice the photo is credited to Magnicaballi herself; having checked a similar one on the company web site, I think it may properly be credited to Carol Pratt.)

(Is that pas de deux really high Romantic? Does she finally submit to his charms, give herself to him, as we often see in the old pas de deux? In the "Diamonds" pas, I think she's much more independent, there's some diffident air of "you may partner me" about it, and at the end, when he kneels and kisses her hand, whether he surprises her by taking it or whether she offers it to him depends, in my experience, on the moment. So is there a contemporary undercurrent here?)

Edited by Jack Reed

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Anything from E through N is going to be plenty close and good view. I think I like the slightly further back ones batter, as K or L, etc., better than D, E, F, etc. The first two (or maybe even 3) rows are on the same level, and are somewhat unique in the way they are managed, but that is not necessary for you; so the ones in the very front you don't want. According to how close you want to be, start with E and move back at will. It's not the most spacious leg room in some parts, so I prefer the aisle myself; once, years ago, I really got in an uncomfortable situation, felt totally locked in, although I think that was on the sides. That was back in the days when things would sell out there, and almost nothing does any more, no matter how good, so you can usually move over if you're not pleased with the seat (except to the center, which someone always wants). The ushers stop just short of actively even encouraging this. It's a very mellow seating policy at the Joyce, which makes up for some of their other shortcomings.

Love that pic of 'Diamonds', I will definitely want to be there for that. Magnicaballi looks exquisite. I hadn't checked recently to know what they're doing! Thanks.

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Thanks, papeetepatrick, that confirms some of my guesswork based on the chart.

Love that pic of 'Diamonds', I will definitely want to be there for that. Magnicaballi looks exquisite.

Then you might also love another one on the company web site:

http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/ballet/farrell/

(I find clicking on the thumbnail of the image you want stops the slide show, and then the big images are good enough to take a couple of steps of enlargement, too, versus the Joyce one I couldn't do anything with.)

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The Joyce site leaves me thoroughly confused---are they doing the same program for all five days???how do you know who is dancing???

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I have never seen any casting info available for any Joyce perforamnce in the 10+ years I've been going.

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I don't remember ever seeing any casting for Suzanne Farrell Ballet, either.

Concur about not wanting to sit too close. The Joyce originally touted itself as having "not a bad seat in the house." However, the seats on the sides of the mezzanine, though giving you a full view of the stage, may cause you to twist a bit in your seat. Not the most comfortable. Why do theaters, when you will be watching at an oblique angle, set the seats facing front, like the seats that run parallel to the stage? It makes no sense.

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Projecting my own enthusiasm for the company onto the whole town there - I'm coming from Chicago - I called up and got my order in earlier today. On opening night, the center is sold out, but for the rest of the run I got a seat in row L or M, number between 105 and 108. Am I going to regret this anxious plunge? I mean, with regard to seat location. Are there strategies for sold-out performances? Show up and keep your eyes open and your money handy, I suppose.

Putting seats along the side and not facing them toward the stage, if I understand carbro's complaint, sounds nuts, I must say.

The Joyce site leaves me thoroughly confused---are they doing the same program for all five days???how do you know who is dancing???

I expect the program will be the same at all seven performances, but with cast rotation. Some ballets may turn out to have three casts, for example.

It's a long time until October for a company of, say, two dozen, to be announcing casting - they usually don't at all, actually, as others have said. What some of us go for is the authenticity of performance of the Balanchine repertory - "they feel the music" is, I think, part of how a friend characterizes they way they look, although to that I think can be added a quote from one of Farrell's principal ballerinas (now retired), "I hear the music differently each time."

(Not that their other repertory is ineffective - I never thought Berlioz' Romeo and Juliet called for choreography, for example, but seeing her dancers in the "Scene d'amour" from the Bejart setting of it made it look to me like it might have been written for the purpose. Credit to Bejart, too, of course, who made it on Farrell... )

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I don't remember ever seeing any casting for Suzanne Farrell Ballet, either.

Concur about not wanting to sit too close. The Joyce originally touted itself as having "not a bad seat in the house." However, the seats on the sides of the mezzanine, though giving you a full view of the stage, may cause you to twist a bit in your seat. Not the most comfortable. Why do theaters, when you will be watching at an oblique angle, set the seats facing front, like the seats that run parallel to the stage? It makes no sense.

The old Met Opera House on 39th Street had similar seating --- they called it the Orchestra Circle, and standing room was behind it.

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Jack - I could be wrong, but I would assume the seats are not actually sold, but reserved for both VIP attendees and press. The Joyce is only a 400-ish seat house, and Farrell gets a lot of critic attention.

Because it's a small house, once you get back a few rows in the orchestra, all the seats have a good view.

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I want to buy the $19 tickets at the Joyce Theatre to see the Farrell Ballet Company, but the program won't be out until the end of September. How long is safe to wait to buy tickets?

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From the Joyce's website:

For its Joyce debut, the program features an all-Balanchine program that includes some of his most cherished works -- Haieff Divertimento, Meditation, Diamonds pas de deux from Jewels, and Agon.

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The website discussed "Program A" (or a similar title) when I first looked at it. When I called the theatre on the day I made the post, I was told the program was not yet available. Thank you.

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The website discussed "Program A" (or a similar title) when I first looked at it. When I called the theatre on the day I made the post, I was told the program was not yet available. Thank you.

That is the program. They are doing it every night.

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Anything from E through N is going to be plenty close and good view. I think I like the slightly further back ones batter, as K or L, etc., better than D, E, F, etc. The first two (or maybe even 3) rows are on the same level, and are somewhat unique in the way they are managed, but that is not necessary for you; so the ones in the very front you don't want. According to how close you want to be, start with E and move back at will. It's not the most spacious leg room in some parts, so I prefer the aisle myself; once, years ago, I really got in an uncomfortable situation, felt totally locked in, although I think that was on the sides. That was back in the days when things would sell out there, and almost nothing does any more, no matter how good, so you can usually move over if you're not pleased with the seat (except to the center, which someone always wants). The ushers stop just short of actively even encouraging this. It's a very mellow seating policy at the Joyce, which makes up for some of their other shortcomings.

Love that pic of 'Diamonds', I will definitely want to be there for that. Magnicaballi looks exquisite. I hadn't checked recently to know what they're doing! Thanks.

Thanks so much for telling me this about Row K center, where I will be October 23 matinee. I bought my ticket May 23, the moment they went on sale. How I've been waiting for Suzanne Farrell Ballet to come to New York, where we have everything - everything but Suzanne, and now my ballet life will be complete. Waiting anxiously for Sunday.....

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Love that pic of 'Diamonds', I will definitely want to be there for that. Magnicaballi looks exquisite. I hadn't checked recently to know what they're doing! Thanks.

Thanks to several of you, I think I am well ticketed, in good locations, for the run, starting tonight! Having seen them get better and better in DC - possibly excepting opening-night Serenade, which had, for God's sake, Heather Ogden in the jumper role, later taken by Audra Johnson, who is no slouch herself, but Ogden! Wow! What a start! Hard to improve there - I am keen to see more of them. (Those who know me usually agree I don't look like your average groupie, but, well...)

Ahem, yes, this is BalletAlert!, and I'll try to contain myself. Until the curtain comes down, at least. Alas, and sorry to report, Magnicaballi herself was not on view (on stage) in DC. (There were both a fine slide show spanning the company's history, images and sequence arranged by Paul Kolnik, and posters of each of the ten seasons on display in the foyer at the Kennedy Center, with many images including her.) We assume that's why Ogden was there, and I assume why we will see her at the Joyce in the Diamonds pas*. In Agon, I anticipate Angelova with Mladenov part of the time at least*, partly because they've done it before; and while Macaulay, in the review I just linked to, aptly says she is sometimes "flinty", her Sonatine with Mladenov looked much more vital to me than she had previously with Cook, and although they're not doing Sonatine at the Joyce, I anticipate more of her better dancing if she is in Agon with Mladenov. He seems to be a good influence on her - not to mention the influence of who may be the greatest living Balanchine coach, in the interval between her performances. (Those who don't follow my reference can refer to the name of the company.)

And before signing off here, it occurs to me that speculation on casting in the immediate future tends to be distorted by past experience - I also look forward to seeing where Kara Genevieve Cooper* and Courtney Anderson will turn up in the program. And Matthew Renko*.

*All these hopes were dashed, in the event. But there turned out to be much to like opening night; see below.

Edited by Jack Reed

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If anyone comes across the casting for the engagement at the Joyce, could you post it if it's not too much trouble? Thanks.

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Right. The actual casting, not just dreams! Maybe when I get in this evening...

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Okay, actual virtual casting. We all know casting is subject to change without notice, etc., right? There was a sub already this evening. But, based on the printed program, here it is:

Haieff Divertimento: Elisabeth Holowchuk (Oct. 19-21, 22 eve., 23 eve), Courtney Anderson (Oct. 22 mat., 23 mat.), Kirk Henning

Diamonds Pas de Deux from Jewels Violeta Angelova, Momchil Mladenov (Oct. 19-21, 22 mat., 23 mat), Michael Cook (Oct. 22 eve., 23 eve)

Meditation Courtney Anderson (Oct. 19-21, 22 eve, 23 eve), Momchil Mladenov (Oct. 19-21, 22 eve., 23 eve)

Elisabeth Holowchuk (Oct. [19], 22 mat., 23 mat), Michael Cook (Oct. [19], 22 mat., 23 mat)

Agon Elisabeth Holowchuk, Momchil Mladenov

Violeta Angelova, Michael Cook

Haieff Divertimento, a strange little ballet to Stravinsky-like music, got a crystalline performance, needing only the same bright white light for the quirky principal parts as for the ensembles, but instead the lighting was dimmed for those, in what seems to be the contemporary manner; I am annoyed by it many places, not just with TSFB. But after an intermission, the Diamonds pas got a performance which respected the technique (mostly, except an effortful moment when Angelova's failed her) but not the ballet, to paraphrase an expert friend's summary. (The hoped-for Ogden, as my casting just above shows, is not to appear, nor Renko either.) A disappointment nicely followed by a beautiful performance of Meditation; and then after another intermission, Agon, lead by Holowchuk and Mladenov: I don't find her an entirely satisfactory replacement for Magnicaballi, to say the least, but she has virtues, and stamina must be one of them, for it didn't show that this was her third ballet of the evening, which it brought to a pretty strong close. The little theater was about full; the audience, more enthusiastic than the ones I sit in in the Kennedy Center (or the Broward County CPA in Ft. Lauderdale, where MCB performs, for that matter).

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