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NYCB Spring Season 2011


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#16 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 01:56 PM

There is an easy, cheap fix to be found across the street at Bed Bath & Beyond. It's a magical invention called Furniture Slides, which are attached easily to chair legs. No more scraping! Use our new $2 per ticket facility fee to pay for it.

:D

I thought Megan and Chase were very good in Duo C. yesterday. Hyltin's reading is more satisfying though, in my opinion.


I'm seeing Hyltin and R. Fairchild in "Duo Concertant" this weekend, and I'm looking forward to it. Duo seems like the kind of ballet that would showcase what's best about her dancing, and I've heard so many good reports about her recent performances in it. I really liked what she did with Mazzo's role in "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" and have been eager to see her in new roles ever since.

#17 GeorgeB fan

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 03:16 PM

CONCERTO BAROCCO: Kowroski, Mearns, Askegard [Conductor: Sill]


Concerto Barocco:

1. The company seems to be having a hard time finding an apt ballerina pairing for this work. Back to the drawing board, folks -- Kowroski + Mearns just doesn't work. They're radically different in style in a way that isn't complementary. Mearns' volcanic 2nd violin made Kowroski's polite1st violin look puny. ( And I'm absolutely shocked to find myself writing "Kowroski" and "puny" in the same sentence!) Asking anyone to dance 1st violin opposite Mearns a 1st violin if there ever was one is probably unfair.


Perhaps I've missed it. They may have already danced it together. But if they haven't, I'm still waiting for the casting of Kowroski and Reichlen in this ballet. I think the ladies are similar enough - yet different enough - to make for an intriguing pairing of this classic work of Balanchine.

#18 vipa

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 04:24 PM

Use our new $2 per ticket facility fee to pay for it.


A little off topic.

Just a comment about the $2 facility fee - I sometimes get discounted tickets at the lincoln center atrium. There is a $4 per ticket facility fee there. This really puts a dent in the discount if you are getting the cheaper tickets. I saw tickets regularly priced at $20 being offered for $15 - add the $4 fee in and the ticket is really $19. Of course now you have to factor in that at the box office the $20 ticket is really $22. Still not much of a savings.

BTW I did get $55 tickets at half price at the atrium for Sat. matinee, so it was a total of $63 for 2 seats in the center of row B 4th ring. It made my day, particularly because it was such a good performance.

#19 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 07:57 PM

Here are very scattered impressions:

I got to see the Friday night performance in addition to the two matinees. Obviously, "Violin Concerto" is my favorite ballet, and "Symphony in 3 Movements" is my #2, so I was in heaven. I agree with many of the previous commenters, including gratitude for the lovely, well-danced and elegant "Tombeau." On the whole, I was very happy to see not only all these ballets combined, but danced well, with strong energy.

I liked Fairchild and Finlay in "Duo Concertant" for both performances - they really brought it back to life. In "Violin Concerto" I feel that Korowski is perfect, La Cour is really growing stronger and deeper, and I also feel (not backed by any documentation) that Ramasar is not deeply committed in his work. Maybe I'm taking the message from the Strohman a little too far, but that's the impression I'm getting. To me, Hyltin is a little lightweight for the seriousness of that "Aria," and for "Apollo," as well. She's lovely, with a beautiful line, but I feel as if she's about to float off the ground. Her phrasing in the beginning of her solo in "Apollo" (where she paws the ground) in the performance and at the discussion later seemed a little off to me. I agree with other posters that Finlay is beautiful, but needs to be more mature. And he will be soon!

I liked Janie Taylor and Tiler Peck in "Symphony in 3" (on Friday) but Lowery is just out of place in this Company to my mind. The long chain at the start and finish of the first movement was beautiful, especially on Sunday. Stafford, Hyltin and LeCrone on Sunday were outstanding. I was glad to see Andrew Scordato in a prominent role -- and was very pleased that Daniel Applebaum was featured in Agon. Those two men, and several others (including Henry Seth, Vincent Paradiso, Devin Alberda, andTroy Schumacher, who I adore) were in just about everything this weekend, and looked superb. I had been missing the lovely Maya Collins last season, and was delighted to see her again. Lauren King, Amanda Hankes and Lara Tong were also standouts.

Reichlin was excellent in M/M -- first time I've really liked her (I'm way behind you guys). I also agree that Mearns and Korowski were a mis-match in "Barocco." Mearns looked like she was flailing her arms around. Korowski is really turning into an artist: she was phrasing things in a way similar to Kyra Nichols, with that slight rubato.

Bouder and Stanley in "Square Dance" were just as good as they were last season, and I was very happy to see them partnering again. He is capable of the extremes that this role demands.

#20 nysusan

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:50 AM


1. The company seems to be having a hard time finding an apt ballerina pairing for this work. Back to the drawing board, folks -- Kowroski + Mearns just doesn't work. They're radically different in style in a way that isn't complementary. Mearns' volcanic 2nd violin made Kowroski's polite1st violin look puny. ( And I'm absolutely shocked to find myself writing "Kowroski" and "puny" in the same sentence!) Asking anyone to dance 1st violin opposite Mearns a 1st violin if there ever was one is probably unfair.


I had a similar reaction when I saw this pair at the Kennedy Center last month. I've seen Kowroski in the role before and I love her in it, but the two of them seemed to be dancing on two different dynamic levels. I missed Hyltin's Terpsichore, but I'm not surprised by Macaulay's criticism. The role is not without playfulness at times, but it needs gravitas too, and that doesn't seem to be within her natural personality onstage, at least from what little I've seen of her. Perhaps I'm wrong.


Well, here's a dissenting opinion - I absolutely loved Kowroski, Mearns and Askagard in Concerto Barocco.

Yes, Mearns danced the 2nd Violin with a vitality that we don't often see and with very strong attack but she also showed a wonderful response to the music.

Most importantly, she and Kowroski seemed to be on the same wavelength in the way they heard and responded to the music, something that has been missing in most NYCB pairings in this piece for the past several seasons.

I felt that Kowroski and Mearns also shared enough phsical & stylistic attributes - the expansive phrasing, the endless arabesque - that their appearance was complimentary, and the fact that Kowroski's interpretation was more lyrical and Mearns was more dynamic simply served to differentiate the two violin strains.

Loved it, loved it, loved it!

I also really loved Fairchild & Huxley in Square Dance on opening night (Fairchild's stage presence has deepened and her feet were so beautiful here) and Fairchild & Finlay in Duo Concertant. She brought a lyricism and vulnerability that I just don't see in Hyltin, though she has other gifts.

#21 kfw

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 09:38 AM

Loved it, loved it, loved it!

And I love dissenting opinions - it's such a treat to see the ballets through different eyes! Thanks again to all the New York posters.

#22 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 10:42 AM



1. The company seems to be having a hard time finding an apt ballerina pairing for this work. Back to the drawing board, folks -- Kowroski + Mearns just doesn't work. They're radically different in style in a way that isn't complementary. Mearns' volcanic 2nd violin made Kowroski's polite1st violin look puny. ( And I'm absolutely shocked to find myself writing "Kowroski" and "puny" in the same sentence!) Asking anyone to dance 1st violin opposite Mearns a 1st violin if there ever was one is probably unfair.


I had a similar reaction when I saw this pair at the Kennedy Center last month. I've seen Kowroski in the role before and I love her in it, but the two of them seemed to be dancing on two different dynamic levels. I missed Hyltin's Terpsichore, but I'm not surprised by Macaulay's criticism. The role is not without playfulness at times, but it needs gravitas too, and that doesn't seem to be within her natural personality onstage, at least from what little I've seen of her. Perhaps I'm wrong.


Well, here's a dissenting opinion - I absolutely loved Kowroski, Mearns and Askagard in Concerto Barocco.

Yes, Mearns danced the 2nd Violin with a vitality that we don't often see and with very strong attack but she also showed a wonderful response to the music.

Most importantly, she and Kowroski seemed to be on the same wavelength in the way they heard and responded to the music, something that has been missing in most NYCB pairings in this piece for the past several seasons.

I felt that Kowroski and Mearns also shared enough phsical & stylistic attributes - the expansive phrasing, the endless arabesque - that their appearance was complimentary, and the fact that Kowroski's interpretation was more lyrical and Mearns was more dynamic simply served to differentiate the two violin strains.

Loved it, loved it, loved it!

I also really loved Fairchild & Huxley in Square Dance on opening night (Fairchild's stage presence has deepened and her feet were so beautiful here) and Fairchild & Finlay in Duo Concertant. She brought a lyricism and vulnerability that I just don't see in Hyltin, though she has other gifts.


What kfw said about dissent! In truth, nysusan, I liked both Kowroski and Mearns, too! But I would have preferred to see one or the other as 1st violin paired with someone else as 2nd violin. I always think of the 1st violin as the Queen Bee and the 2nd violin as the Warrior Princess who just happens to be the Queen Bee's best friend. To my eye, both Kowroski and Mearns are Queen Bees -- I want to see both of them in the pas de deux-- and thus putting the two of them together as 1st and 2nd violin somehow throws my ballet universe out of whack. Of course, your mileage may vary, and that's the beauty of multiple casts.

I have lots of fantasy pairings for CB -- Teresa Reichlen and Kaitlyn Gilliand, Ana Sophia Scheller and Brittany Pollack -- though they might not actually work in the theater.

#23 abatt

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 08:05 PM

I've attended a few performances this week. The less said about 7DS the better. The only thing deadly about it is that the choreography is deadly boring. Whelan is miscast, in my opinion. On a more positive note, I thought Kowrowski was excellent in the final section of Vienna Waltzes. She was much better at the second performance than the first. I also saw Mearns do the role this afternoon. She was utterly brilliant. She uses her supple spine to thrilling effect, and she can create a world of drama simply by standing still. A sensational debut. Bouder and Garcia debuted this afternoon in the Voices of Spring section. Garcia was in excellent form. It's good to see him back. Bouder's phrasing was a little disjointed, but I'm sure she will improve. Stafford was an excellent partner for Ringer in Gold and Silver Waltz. I'm not a big Marcovici fan. He was an able partner for Mearns in VW. I also saw Reichlin and Mearns in Concerto B. on Friday evening. Reichlin has improved a lot in Concerto B. since I first saw her in the role 2 years ago. Not as lyrical as Maria, though. Mearns was wonderful in the second violin role. These are exciting times at NYCB, as fresh faces take on important new roles.

#24 atm711

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 03:40 AM

I saw the Sat Mat performance....7DS is a mildly entertaining work with an uninteresting Weill score. The best part for me was Whelan's 'Anna'. It was a sensitive performance. I haven't seen a live performance of 'Vienna Waltzes' for quite a while, but the day before I made the mistake of watching an old tape from 1983.....the 'gold and silver waltz' with Jonathan Stafford was a disappointment----I cannot imagine a sophisticated woman giving him a glance, let alone being smitten with him. He was like a schoolboy and I am sure it affected Ringer's interpretation. Sara Mearns was most impressive in the final waltz, but I would caution her to guard against being too emotive in the latter parts of the waltz.

After seeing the 4T's I knew why I see NYCB infrequently----where or where is the sharpness of attack? The pointe work was so mushy.

#25 abatt

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 07:04 PM

I attended on Tuesday evening and Wed. evening. Bouder was incredible in Divertimento 15. She can make the rapid fire footwork look like child's play. Amazing. So when is Lauren King going to be promoted? She was lovely in Divertimento. I was impressed by Ashley Isaacs, a dancer in the corps, in Fearful Symmetries. I had never noticed her before, but I will now be on the lookoout for her on the casting sheet. She has incredible technique. All of the other leads in Fearful- Reichlin, Ramasar, Mearns, Stafford and Huxley -were excellent. Fearful is one of my favorite Martins ballets. At tonight's performance, the three tall girl muses - Kowrowski, Mearns, Reichlin -were fantastic. Kowrowski's dancing as the lead muse was lyrical and expansive. Chase is looking better and better as Apollo in each performance. He had a minor slip (he did not fall), but he recovered quickly. His partnering of Maria was not quite as smooth as with Hyltin. Taylor and Hall were riveting in Afternoon of a Faun. Antique Epigraphs is a minor ballet, but I enjoy seeing it. Mearns, in particular, was outstanding.

#26 Eileen

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 06:22 AM

I also attended Wednesday's performance (last night). Chase's third performance as Apollo was much improved over the first. He is feeling more comfortable in the role's later masterly aspects. The first time he danced Apollo ten days ago, I felt he was carefully doing the movements just so, now do this, now do that. Last night, he had more of a flow, the movements were not so calculated but felt intrinsic.

The three muses - all superb principals Kowroski, Mearns and Reichlen. But each is such an individual. Mearns is extremely sharp and dynamic. She has the quality I call "watchability". She is a star; she twinkles. But - she should not twinkle and pose and smile sparklingly while Maria is doing her solo variation. This is distracting. A bit of self effacement is called for here. I was relieved to see in Antique Epigraphs she was able to blend into an ensemble without attracting undue attention to herself. Kowroski is one of my favorite dancers and she should not be upstaged. Each muse has her moment.

Teresa Reichlen is the opposite of Sara - an artist of great beauty, but a wee wan. She does not self promote. The beauty of her form and shapes in Antique Epigraphs was riveting.

Apollo is a masterpiece; with the right cast as last night, it is revelatory. One quibble - the second muse following Apollo at the famous closing image - whether Mearns or Reichlen I don't recall - held her leg too high. She should have moderated her extension to create equal angles among the three muses.

On to Antique Epigraphs, with Savannah Lowery in a prominent role. I know I am hyper-critical, but I do not think she should be in this company. She glowered grimly, she was statuesque but not svelte. Her appearance and demeanor simply do not lend themselves to ballet at this level.

In Faun, I was struck for the first time the beauty of Craig Hall and Janie Taylor. Janie has always seemed sort of a waxen figure to me, with too long eyelashes screening her face. Thankfully, she has trimmed her lashes and I could see her eyes. She and Craig were simply beautiful creatures, both narcissistic, but she awoken by a kiss. A perfect performance, perfectly danced.

La Sonnambula I have seen many times, but my recent memory of Nikolai Hubbe (alas, retired!) cannot be supplanted. Sebastian Marcovici is fine, but he is not the Poet as was Hubbe. Wendy is wraithlike. I attended this performance to see my most beloved dancer in the company, Jenny Ringer. She embodies to me the poetry of woman itself. She is beautiful, but she is also womanly, not a girl like most of the dancers. And she exudes a refinement that is rare. She is self possessed. She does not grab the spotlight, but dances with artistry. I am not looking for pyrotechnics from Jenny - I find rare pleasure in her presence. She hosted the Dancer's Choice of 2 years ago and was on the Balanchine panel in January so I see her refinement is not limited to dancing. But! She has to convince me in La Sonnambula she is vain and a flirt - a coquette. She could use a bit more coquettry, more vanity. So when she sees the Poet and the Sleepwalker together, I expect more intensity in her reaction than I saw. Not acting - don't act! But as she stands at the side of the stage, she must look as if this affront to her vanity is sinking in and she is absorbing the unfamiliar humiliation to her ego. Jenny is too nice! She has to have more of the back-stabber in her.

Have I said too much? Have I mentioned that Ana Sophia Scheller and Antonio Carmena were sublime in the pas de deux in La Sonnambula?

#27 Ceeszi

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 07:35 AM

I attended last night's performance as well. I have to make a confession - this is the first time that I have been to New York City Ballet in over ten years. I have been meaning to go, but last night just proved to be the perfect opportunity. After a steady diet of ABT, I felt like I had landed on another planet. With the exception of La Sonnambula, there was no scenery or fancy costumes, but I found myself paying more attention to the choreography and the dancers themselves.

Apollo was very good with Chase Finlay in the lead role. The audience was buzzing during intermission that he slipped at the beginning, but I did not notice at all. Of the three Muses, I enjoyed Maria Kowroski the most. I am no expert in this area, but the choreography looked super difficult and it was amazing to watch the four dancers and the shapes that they made together.

I did not get Afternoon of a Faun. The music was beautiful, but I just didn't get what it was supposed to be about.

Same with Antique Epigraphs, although I really enjoyed Sara Mearns. And the unison of the eight women was great to see.

I would say that La Sonnambula was my favorite of the night. The corps was wonderful. I thought Jenifer Ringer was so beautiful in the role of the Coquette. There was a great Pas de Deux with Ana Sophia Scheller and Antonio Carmena and Daniel Ulbricht was fantastic as the Harlequin, especially when he lept off into the wings head first. And Wendy Whelan was so striking as the Sleepwalker. This was the ballet which moved me the most.

I am so happy that I went last night. It was good to see something different and I want to come back to see Jewels at the beginning of June.

#28 nysusan

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:12 AM

I went last night specifically to see this cast of Apollo and left after Faune (too may nights at the ballet these last few weeks!)

I loved Apollo but it was not without its problems. Chase did slip during the part where he pirouettes down to the floor right before Terpeschore enters for their pas de deux.

The partnering in the pdd was shaky but there were no calamities and Maria handled the less than perfect partnering beautifully.

I agree with Eileen that Finlay's interpretation has deepened since his first performances with Hyltin but I think that at this point he is not quite strong enough or experienced enough to handle a ballerina as tall as Maria. In fact, the partnering with the 3 muses was also a tad rough.

All 3 muses were wonderful - Maria was beautiful and lyrical, Sara was so dynamic and incisive as Polyhimnia and I don't think I've ever seen Calliope danced as well as Theresa did it last night. Bravo to all 3 of them.

Despite its flaws this was such a rewarding performance and I look forward to watching Finlay develop in this role throughout the year.

Janie and Craig were pure perfection in Faune and I left the theater on a real high!

#29 canbelto

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 10:03 AM

I was also at last night's performance. I left after Antique Epigraphs. I thought the three muses were phenomenal. Finlay was less comfortable partnering them than he was last week with Scheller, Peck, and Hyltin as the muses, and he also slipped and almost fell in both his solos. But I thought the more "grown up muses" added a new dimension to his portrayal -- this Apollo all of sudden really was a boy-god learning from more experienced women. His chemistry with Kowroski was great, and that Reichlen, Mearns, and Kowroski just glowed as the muses. Mearns especially has such a way of articulating all the steps in this unique, grand style. I loved the noisy ovations after Apollo.

Afternoon of a Faun was also fantastic. Craig Hall - why don't we see him more? He and Taylor were very sensual in their pas de deux, and I always love watching Taylor. Just the way she grand plies on the barre after her entrance -- able to make so much out of such a simple move. Loved this mood piece.

I can't say too much about Antique Epigraphs because last night was the first time ever seeing this ballet, but Sara Mearns again shined in her solo. At this point I'd pay good money to see her dance the electric slide.

#30 abatt

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 10:15 AM

Sara Mearns again shined in her solo. At this point I'd pay good money to see her dance the electric slide.


I think one of the things that distinguishes Mearns is that she often dances with abandon (but not recklessness). I would love to see what she could do with roles like Giselle and other full length dramatic ballets. (Her Swan Lake is sublime.)


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