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All Wheeldon ProgramDiscussion, Casting, Reviews


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#16 Helene

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 01:59 PM

Casting is up for Week 2:
http://www.pnb.org/S...Details-Casting

Here is the spreadsheet with both weeks combined:
Attached File  Rep 1 performance casting weeks 1-2 combined.xls   37KB   8 downloads

Casting in Week 2, Thursday and Friday nights:

New Demi-soloists in Carousel (A Dance):

Leah O'Connor/William Lin-Yee and Brittany Reid/Eric Hipolito, Jr.


New Principal Casting in "Polyphonia"

Lindsi Dec/Seth Orza, Kylee Kitchens/Ezra Thomson, and Elizabeth Murphy/William Lin-Yee join Maria Chapman/Karel Cruz.


Three new names: "Carousel (A Dance)" Corps Women: Macy. Corps Men: Garcia, McCall.

#17 Helene

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 09:59 AM

"Variations Serieuses", The Trailer :lol:



The Ballerina: Laura Gilbreath
The Premier Danseur: Seth Orza
The Ballet Master: Jonathan Porretta
The Stage Manager: Lindsi Dec
The Conductor: William Lin-Yee
The Young Protegee: Sarah Ricard Orza

#18 Helene

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 12:55 PM

I just received an email from PNB: for 20% off tickets to opening weekend, use this link for online sales:

https://www.pnb.org/...aspx?promo=whee

or call 206.441.2424 and use the promo code

Whee!


Friday, 23 September 7:30pm
Saturday, 24 September 2pm & 7:30pm

#19 sandik

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 08:48 AM

"Variations Serieuses", The Trailer :lol:


This video clip reminds me of a game we used to do when I made short films (about a million years ago) -- take a short without dialogue, and run it with a totally different soundtrack -- substitute pop music for classical, or nature sounds for industrial clanging. The percussion-heavy score here gives the whole thing a vibe that I don't remember at all from the original work. I'll be curious to see how on or off my memory is when I see this over the weekend.

#20 sandik

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 10:47 PM

I went to the lec-dem on Wednesday night, which was a very lovely introduction to the works. Boal did a short on-state interview with Wheeldon, who was quite gracious, and told the story of how he came to America for probably the gajillionth time and did it very cheerfully. The company did a big chunk of Carousel (Korbes and Orza in main roles) -- this piece and all the other excerpts looked very freshly coached. Cruz and Chapman demonstrated a key phrase from Polyphonia, which Wheeldon tinkers with in a fairly post-modern pattern-making way in the finished work, and then three other couples joined them on stage for an excerpt. Moore and Foster were the couple in After the Rain, and are very well-matched there.

I don't really want to talk at length about any particular performance, except to say that it was a pleasure to see Kiyon Gaines back on stage in Carousel.

#21 SandyMcKean

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 04:11 PM

I went to this "lec-dem" also. I had a great time. Just adding on to what sandik said.....

It was a wonderful chance to see some of the new dancers who have joined PNB this season. In particular, I thought Elizabeth Murphy (at least I assume it was Murphy) was very impressive doing a quite difficult solo from Polyphonia (very Agon-like). I am always pleased to see Ezra Thomson (he's not new this season)......there is something so intense while completely in sync with the music about this young dancer.....very masculine and powerful, almost like a street-dancer, albeit in the classic ballet idiom.

#22 Helene

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 10:40 PM

The roster is printed in the Encore program, and no dancers other than the ones previously announced have been added to the corps and apprentices ranks. Garcia and McCall are listed as Professional Division students playing "Crew" in "Variations Serieuses". I hadn't seen the ballet before, and I thought "Crew" was made of PNB IATSE stagehands.

#23 Helene

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 12:40 AM

If it is at all possible to see "All Wheeldon": go. Each work alone would be worth the price of the ticket, but together the program is a knockout.

#24 SandyMcKean

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 09:30 AM

If it is at all possible to see "All Wheeldon": go. Each work alone would be worth the price of the ticket, but together the program is a knockout.

AMEN, sister.

Even if you have to walk on hot coals.......DO IT.

#25 Jayne

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 10:59 PM

Quick and dirty review: Saw the Saturday night show, definitely the "A" cast. Carousel impressed me more with the second viewing, and since I was in the balcony this time, the patterns were much clearer. I really like the inventiveness in the choreography. There was some awkward laughter during After the Rain, but by the end, everyone was captivated. Polyphonia went on and on and on. I kept thinking "please edit this down to four parts". It was definitely Aton-esque with some 4T's thrown in there. I didn't think it was the masterpiece others have raved about. Variations Serieuses was fun to watch, but it wasn't laugh-a-minute the way The Concert is funny. I think my eyeballs are burning from the pepto bismol pink tights worn by the cast. I did enjoy Laura Gilbraith's acting much more in this comedy than other things she has done. So perhaps she is growing as an acting artist.

off to bed.

#26 SandyMcKean

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 02:53 PM

It's always interesting to notice how differently folks see the same work of art. There is no "right" and "wrong" to it, just differences. I'm struck by how differently Jayne and I see this program. I too was there last night (I just couldn't stay away.....this was the 4th performance I saw).

If 10 seconds were to be cut from Polyphonia, I'd probably lead a protest demonstration :). For me, Polyphonia is a masterpiece -- sheer genius I'd say. In the past 10 days, I've seen Polyphonia 4 times, and I swear I could see it 30 more times over the next 2 months before I might have my fill. Each time I see it, I love it more (in the interest of full disclosure Agon is my favorite ballet of all time). Some of the Ligeti music is tough at first (especially the first of the ten segments), but like Wheeldon described his experience with this music, each time I hear it, I understand it better, and I am increasing fascinated by it (not to mention some segments that are just flat out gorgeous in anyone's book).

Yes, there is a moment in After the Rain where the audience laughs.....but it is not an awkward moment, it is simply a bit funny when you first see it. It is the moment when the woman does a back bend with her hands over her head on the ground and she is like an arch (belly side up); the man picks her up in this unusual position and rotates her in the horizontal plane. I can't totally explain it, but there is something humorous about this move. I think the audience's laughing reaction is quite appropriate....altho some are no doubt laughing nervously since they are probably not quite sure if it's OK to laugh. One thing is certain, like Balanchine, there is a great deal of humor in all of Wheeldon's choreography....sometimes in the most unexpected places, and sometimes with great subtlety (Polyphonia abounds with humor...sometimes clearly, sometimes more subtly).

Indeed one's eyeballs may burn from the "pepto bismol pink" costumes in Variations Serieuses, but this was quite clearly by design. The entire ballet is obviously a spoof of every imaginable ballet stereotype....and that includes the costuming. The men wear these totally ridiculous breast plates and gaudy tights (yes, in that awful color). The women have ridiculous little "bug wings" pasted on their back as if they just stepped out of Mr B's Midsummer's Night Dream. Every thing was over the top including this ghastly orange color.

At the risk of offending, I must take issue with characterizing Laura Gilbraith's acting as "perhaps....growing". From where I sit, one of Laura greatest strengths has always been her acting ability. She certainly was superb in the role of the "over the hill" prima ballerina last night (altho she is no match for the magnificent Carrie Imler in this part), but this is nothing new for Laura, she is always a suberb actor ....especially in comedic roles (who could forget her in West Side Story Suite a couple of years ago??).

#27 Helene

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 10:56 PM

I missed this five-minute video from Wheeldon's Lecture Demo that took place a few days before the program's opening:



It includes rehearsal footage, including Korbes and Orza in "Carousel: "A Dance".

#28 Jayne

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 01:23 PM

What was the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote about "knowing art when I see it"? The other one is "there's no accounting for taste". For me, Polyphonia wasn't my favorite. Yes, I "got" all the comedic references, and my pepto bismol comment was meant to be sardonic. Regarding Laura Gilbraith's acting, I've seen her in several performances take to the stage looking like a deer in headlights, particularly as Myrtha last season, but also in a Balanchine pas de deux where she should have had the ice princess serenity on her face. Perhaps her comedic talent is developing faster than her dramatic abilities.

I think the Balanchine baby companies may suffer the same lack of opportunities to regularly develop and perform dramatic roles, because Balanchine really calls for the "tall glass of water" women without the subtle acting skills required at a more classical company. Just look at the reviews of NYCB's recent Swan Lake.

To each his/her own.

#29 SandyMcKean

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 02:49 PM

....as Myrtha last season

I agree that was not Laura's best outing. Of course her opposite number in that role once again was the incomparable Carrie Imler who commands the stage regardless of what she does (with a couple of exceptions perhaps). I would also concede that Laura fares better against the impossible Imler if the role is comedic instead of dramatic.

Allow me another example. Remember Laura in the PdD middle section of Robbins "Glass Pieces" about a year ago? That part is so exposed, requires superb adagio technique, and a presence (acting) in order to pull off the extremely sensual feeling of the PdD. IMHO, Laura excelled at acting in that part. OTOH, I found Laura's performance disappointing a month later in Tharp's "Afternoon Ball".

Like you say "to each his/her own".............that's what makes it all interesting.

#30 sandik

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:56 AM

I think the Balanchine baby companies may suffer the same lack of opportunities to regularly develop and perform dramatic roles, because Balanchine really calls for the "tall glass of water" women without the subtle acting skills required at a more classical company...


This would be an interesting topic of discussion outside this thread -- while PNB most certainly has a strong NYCB affiliation in its history, I'm not sure that, looking at the current repertory, we're really a "Balanchine Baby" company anymore.

You're dead on, though, when you imply that acting skills take time to develop just like more abstract technical chops do. And one of the challenges of working in a repertory company like PNB is getting the consistent opportunities to practice those skills. I remember watching Noelani Pantastico's first go at Sleeping Beauty -- I wouldn't characterize her performances as a deer in the headlights, but her dancing certainly had a kind of precarious caution -- she knew this was important stuff and she was a little wary. The next time the work came up in the repertory, she did a lovely job with the very delicate characterization of a young woman on the verge. Maria Chapman had a similar expression on her face when she danced her first lead in Symphony in C (yikes!), and like Pantastico, has truly deepened her expressive skills over time. We've been seeing Gilbreath in a big bouquet of "firsts" lately -- she's acquitted herself quite well in most of them (Serenade), and I'm looking forward to seeing her development.


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