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New Ratmansky ballet for MCB

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From the MCB blog: news of a new ballet by Alexei Ratmansky, scheduled for a March 12 premiere and to be included in the regular 2012-13 season. The March performance will be a one-night-only presentation at the Adrienne Arsht Center, with the participation of the Cleveland Orchestra.

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

http://www.miamicity...exei-ratmansky/

The photo shows Ratmansky with several women who are circling a man. I can identify Callie Manning and Jeanette (?) Delgado. Is the man Kleber Rebello?

Jeanette D. writes something that is quite moving to someone who remembers the days when Balanchine was alive, well, and working constantly with dancers:

The two weeks we recently spent working with Mr. Ratmansky felt like a glimpse into what the dancers who worked for George Balanchine must have felt! To be a part of someone’s creative process has been amazing! He pushed us to move in ways we’ve never moved nor ever thought of moving before. It is super challenging but he knows exactly how to ask for what he wants and shows it in the most inspiring way! It is a lot of work to really grasp the movement but it’s work that I can’t wait to continue!

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From the MCB blog: news of a new ballet by Alexei Ratmansky, scheduled for a March 12 premiere and to be included in the regular 2012-13 season. The March performance will be a one-night-only presentation at the Adrienne Arsht Center, with the participation of the Cleveland Orchestra.

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

http://www.miamicity...exei-ratmansky/

The photo shows Ratmansky with several women who are circling a man. I can identify Callie Manning and Jeanette (?) Delgado. Is the man Kleber Rebello?

This looks very intriguing. Hopefully it will turn out to be a winner. If a had to pick any name of a choreographer that I'd be interested in seeing a new work by, it would be Ratmansky. Fortunately for us, he seems to have taken on a long term relationship with ABT.

You have no idea how lucky you are in Florida to get all the Balanchine ballets and NOT have the relentless procession of "new Martins ballet" sprinkled in all the programs that we experience here in NY.

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Today, on MCB's Facebook page, we get another snippet of information:

Alexei Ratmansky is back! Full day of Symphonic Dances rehearsal today!

So the ballet now has a name. "Symphonic Dances." Rachmaninoff's?

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From the MCB Blog -- a few minutes of Ratmanstky talking about his new ballet.

http://www.miamicity...exei-ratmansky/

Ratmansky talks about his interest recently in mixing narrative and abstract, which may include a hint about what the work will be be like. I

Ratmansky originally decided to work with MCB, a company he had not seen, because Edward Villella invited him.

I was of course very excited because he is a legend.

Is anyone on the MCB Board listening to comments like this?

There's only one performance, at the Arsht Center in Miami on March 1. I assume (or hope) that Symphonic Variations will be included in the regular season next year.

http://www.miamicity...onic_dances.php

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From the MCB Blog -- a few minutes of Ratmanstky talking about his new ballet.

http://www.miamicity...exei-ratmansky/

Ratmansky talks about his interest recently in mixing narrative and abstract, which may include a hint about what the work will be be like. I

Ratmansky originally decided to work with MCB, a company he had not seen, because Edward Villella invited him.

I was of course very excited because he is a legend.

Is anyone on the MCB Board listening to comments like this?

There's only one performance, at the Arsht Center in Miami on March 1. I assume (or hope) that Symphonic Variations will be included in the regular season next year.

http://www.miamicity...onic_dances.php

I remember reading somewhere that the Symphonic Dances will be included in next season's offerings. However, March 1, 2012 (the world premiere) will be with the Cleveland Orchestra (as opposed to the Opus One Orchestra) which is one of the Big 5 orchestras in the U.S. It should be great to see a top notch orchestra perform with MCB. It will be interesting to compare the world premiere with the later performances next season too.

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March 1, 2012 (the world premiere) will be with the Cleveland Orchestra (as opposed to the Opus One Orchestra) which is one of the Big 5 orchestras in the U.S. It should be great to see a top notch orchestra perform with MCB.

I never miss a performance by the Cleveland, now in full residence here in Miami. They joined forces in the past with MCB performing Symphony in Three Movements, and the audience response was amazing. (I must confess I'm partial to this work, so I can't really say I was ecstatic...)

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I hope Ratmansky is on his game. I watched excerpts of his Humpbacked Horse on YouTube, and it seemed like very little actual dancing!!! But that was because there was so much mime and narrative. So hopefully, Symphonic Dances ("dances" being in the title) will have lots of actual dancing!!!! LOL

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I find Ratmansky to be uneven. I think his best is Bright Stream; it was a hit when the Bolshoi presented it in London. It's full of good dancing and lots of humor. some of it is out-right funny.

His Bolt is a very strange ballet. One has to see it more than once to understand what's going on,

especially the last act which doesn't really seem to make much sense.

His Flames of Paris has wonderful dancing. It's vigerous and must take a lot out of the dancers.

But actually the old F.o.P. as seen in Stars of the Russian Ballet is a better story, (in my humble opinion.)

The scenes in the court of Louis XVI are much better in the old version. In Ratmansky's Louis has some silly steps it seems to me. In the film I mentioned before you could see the history of what went on in the Court, including the "abdication" of the King,.

all in all lots of it reminded me of character dances rather than a coherent story ballet.

I also saw his Lost Illusions. I was very disappointed with it. the pictures I had seen posted before it was shown on Mezzo looked like a Bournonville ballet. But the music!! It didn't at all fit the ballet. They just didn't go together. By the way, others I've spoken with have said the same.

I'd still go to see a Ratmansky ballet.

Hope I haven't stepped on anyone's toes.

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Re previous remarks about Bright Stream I found the following and thought it would be of interest:

It’s good to see it once; it’s better—and funnier—to see it twice.”

—The New York Times

A laugh-out-loud comical ballet in two act

s

BART: His Little Humpbacked Horse is uneven. There is a lot of , simplified and explicit mime. It takes time to understand what is going on. There seems to be an extra horse among the horses. The best part is the ending with Leonind Serafanov starting his final dance, only to stop and winking to the audience, starting over again - with some spectacular dancing. It's a fun and surprising ending to the opera, amounting to their curtain call.

--------------------------

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I find Ratmansky to be uneven. I think his best is Bright Stream; it was a hit when the Bolshoi presented it in London. It's full of good dancing and lots of humor. some of it is out-right funny.

His Bolt is a very strange ballet. One has to see it more than once to understand what's going on,

especially the last act which doesn't really seem to make much sense.

His Flames of Paris has wonderful dancing. It's vigerous and must take a lot out of the dancers.

But actually the old F.o.P. as seen in Stars of the Russian Ballet is a better story, (in my humble opinion.)

The scenes in the court of Louis XVI are much better in the old version. In Ratmansky's Louis has some silly steps it seems to me. In the film I mentioned before you could see the history of what went on in the Court, including the "abdication" of the King,.

all in all lots of it reminded me of character dances rather than a coherent story ballet.

I also saw his Lost Illusions. I was very disappointed with it. the pictures I had seen posted before it was shown on Mezzo looked like a Bournonville ballet. But the music!! It didn't at all fit the ballet. They just didn't go together. By the way, others I've spoken with have said the same.

I'd still go to see a Ratmansky ballet.

Hope I haven't stepped on anyone's toes.

I forgot he did Flames of Paris. I have that dvd with Osipova and Vasiliev. Will have to watch it again. Thanks for the reminder! I enjoyed that!

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Going tonight to Ratmansky's premiere with Bart Birsdall, whom I'm currently hosting...smile.png

Will report back...

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Ratmansky's new ballet premiered last night on the wings of the great Cleveland Orchestra. It was wonderful: rich, lushly romantic, complex and evocative. Ratmansky is quoted in the program notes as saying: "There is no real story. I want the audience to leave with the images and feelings that the movement gives them," and in that he succeeded - the ballet left my companions and me marveling, questioning, wondering. I didn't love the work completely, but can't wait to see it again. Its very imperfections seemed to me to contribute to its beauty and interest. The costumes were fascinating - thin, flowing shifts in shades of tan and cream; ethereal masses of brilliant colored tulle (?) suggesting ball gowns, draped to reveal the dancers' forms beneath; hooded tunics for the men...strange and provocative. What was the red splatter on Nathalia Arja's costume - ? Fascinating. The costume designers rightly took a bow with Ratmansky, the dancers, and the conductor.

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So Ratmansky's Symphonic Dances premiere took place last night. The Arsht Center was full of socialites and a gala was to happen post performance. The program consisted in Dvorák's Carnival Overture, Balanchine's "La Valse" and Ratmansky's work. La Valse is definitely one of my favorite Balanchine ballets. The intriguing movements of the three opening ballerinas, with their mysterious aloofness and hand gestures paired with the 1947 Christian Dior/New Look/Couturier Parfumeur-inspired costume designs always makes for a wonderful ballet night opening. I really like this work. It talks to me of many things. I always see a hidden message in there on people's needs to overcome tragedy and keep waltzing and living despite loss and death. What a wonderful ballet. Villella's favorite couple Kronenberg/Guerra did the honors, and this is a ballet that Miss Kronenberg can really execute. Not too much technical demands but a real need to look glamorous and tragic onstage. The Angel of Death was Reyneris Reyes, which with his full head of black hair and handsome muscular carriage was perfect for the role.

Ratmansky's "Symphonic Dances" is set to Rachmaninoff's same title work. Lots of great music, unremarkable choreography. The Cleveland Orchestra did a terrific job, and the costume designs for the second movement was really pretty, with multi colored Greek tunic-inspired outfits for the women and some sort of tuxedos for the men. For the very final accord of music Ratmansky devised a Lepeshinskaya era inspired self throw of the ballerina-(Miss Nathalia Arja)-on her back to her partner's arms, to which the audience went crazy. The troupe received lots of applauses, and Ratmansky went onstage to take his bows, along with costume designer Adeline Andre and the orchestra conductor Giancarlo Guerrero.

Afterward my guest Bart Birsdall and I went to have Cuban food at Versailles. happy.png

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Did anybody notice if Villella was in attendance and, if so, where he sat and whether he stayed for the entire program?

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Villella sat at the "Imperial Box" with his wife. I did not see him post performance and he did not go onstage.

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I am visiting Cristian in Miami and having fun! He's a fun host. However, unlike him I loved Ratmansky's Symphonic Dances and can't wait to see it again when they supposedly plan to program it as part of the regular season. It is modern, but it is based on classical ballet. Plenty of "wow" moves but some quite beautiful and lyrical moves also. There doesn't seem to be an exact story but each of the 3 movements seem to have a type of "outsider" character who must find his or her way among the larger group. Standouts were Jeanette Delgado (as always), and the amazing, energetic Nathalia Arja in the final movement. She is a corps member but performed her soloist role wonderfully. She is someone to watch. Almost like an Osipova in the making! I did not know what to expect but I found the new ballet very exciting with some Balanchine type moving of the company at moments (interweaving groups). I think this is a ballet that will have legs (revived in other places)!

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Symphonic Dances is featured this weekend in the "Open Barre" series (without the Cleveland Orchestra, unfortunately!). I, too found the ballet very exciting - abstract yet not abstract, full of emotion and interplay between and among dancers and groups of dancers - and can't wait to see it again.

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Symphonic Dances is featured this weekend in the "Open Barre" series (without the Cleveland Orchestra, unfortunately!). I, too found the ballet very exciting - abstract yet not abstract, full of emotion and interplay between and among dancers and groups of dancers - and can't wait to see it again.

I agree, Sonora. I hope it is true they will include it in their next season, b/c it will be good to evaluate whether my first impressions will differ from a re-evaluation of the work.

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From the MCB website.

Season’s Second World Premiere

Miami

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

03/01/2012 -

Antonin Dvorák: Carnival Overture, op. 92

George Balanchine (Music by Maurice Ravel): La Valse

Alexei Ratmansky (Music by Sergei Rachmaninoff): Symphonic Dances, op. 45

Miami City Ballet, Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg, Carlos Miguel Guerra, Reyneris Reyes, Joshua Brown, Zoe Zien, Didier Bramaz, Tricia Alberton, Shimon Ito, Jeanette Delgado, Renan Cerdeiro, Nathalia Arja, Kleber Rebello, Renato Penteado, Callie Maqnning, Sara Esty, Yann Trividic, and corps de ballet

Cleveland Orchestra, Tito Muñoz (Conductor)

Jean Rosenthal (Scenic Design), Karinska, Adeline André (Costume Design), Jean Rosenthal, Mark Stanley (Lighting Design)

symphonicdancesphotosjo.jpg

(© Joe Gato)

A coproduction between one of the world’s greatest orchestras and ballet companies is an adventure for any city and for Miami quite a coup.

Offering Dvorák’s Carnival Overture, Ravel’s Valse nobles et sentimentales and La Valse and concluding with Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances without dance would still be quite an impressive program. But having choreography by Balanchine and Ratmansky in addition is almost more than one could wish for.

The most anticipated part of the program is Ratmansky’s approach to Rachmaninoff. World premieres often go down in flames. The Symphonic Dances would seem like a perfectly natural fit for ballet, and choreographers have used it several times, but the results have never caught on. Perhaps a Russian artist working with the music of a Russian composer is the answer. Imagine if a non-American had created the dances for West Side Story. Balanchine’s Western Symphonydoesn’t show any insight into the American psyche, it is all candy, and for some of us a confection that is far too sweet and artificially flavored.

Ratmansky gives us three separate narrative ballets. The first and third seem to have common themes and characters; the second has a more traditionally romantic story. Upon first viewing it doesn’t seem altogether clear how they are related. But the choreography is very fluid and will strike most as traditionally classical. Like Liam Scarlett’s Viscera which premiered in January, Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances will have a long life. It was clear that the audience’s enthusiastic response was genuine. This is a work that aims high; there is tremendous beauty but it is the cerebral exercise that keeps us engrossed. Ratmansky encourages us to use our imaginations.

In the opening dance, we are in a society where violence and danger for men, in particular, is ubiquitous. The women, eventually all alone, are in fear and long for the return of their men. When one does return, they can’t help but all want to be in his presence, perhaps to ask if he has seen their own men. In the second dance we are at a soirée, not unlike the one we saw earlier in Balanchine’s La Valse, where two sisters are attempting flirtations. It turns into a competition where the losing sibling eventually interferes with her sister’s romances. In the end the bond of sisterhood remains solid. In the last dance a group of rogues exercises its control over a culture’s woman. Couples can’t help but fall in love yet are always cautious to ensure that their trysts are not discovered. Rachmaninoff’s music may not appear to give Ratmansky what he needs to make these situations entirely believable. It often seems too romantic for examining such harsh realities, yet undoubtedly this contradiction is what makes the work so compelling. The company demonstrates a command as if this work is already a repertory staple and like any new work, repeated viewings will encourage clearer interpretations.

This was probably also said of the first ballet of the evening, Balanchine’s La Valse, when it had its premiere over sixty years ago. Seeing that this ballet is going to be on a program can’t help but whet the appetite of any ballet lover. To once again be able to travel into this sophisticated, beautiful, perverse and ultimately dangerous world is always a treat. This time I paid particular attention to the stunning arm work that Balanchine gave to his women. Simple, tight, angular gestures give an additional language that is essential to creating the ambience. The final image of a sort of human whirlpool sucking the oxygen out of this decadent society is always one of ballet’s most thrilling finales. The company is in total control of this work; the magnificent Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg is the girl in white being drawn into an unsuitable environment which eventually leads to her death. Miami City Ballet went for quite a few seasons without a live orchestra. I am sure I saw La Valse many times when it was performed to recorded music, but the dancers can't help but reach even higher when the Cleveland Orchestra plays Ravel’s inebriating waltzes.

People seem to have different definitions and understandings of the word “fun.” But without this, do we have any real reason to be in the theatre? I said to a friend after the performance, “wasn’t this a fun evening?” and was asked how I could see it that way. When a thoughtful artist chooses to communicate using a particular piece of music, don’t we all become children on an unfamiliar journey? Just because a dream isn’t a happy one doesn’t mean it wasn’t fascinating and memorable. Balanchine understood this better than anyone and Ratmansky appears to have learned a lot from the master.

The program opened with an exciting, yet tender and thoughtful account of Dvorák’s Carnival Overture. What a great fanfare it is for this particular adult carnival! Though one might be very familiar with this piece through recording, under the baton of Tito Muñoz, it is likely one heard many sounds for the first time.

Jeff Haller

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