With regard to Magnicaballi, I think the continuing listings of her in both the TSFB and Ballet Arizona rosters imply that she is expected to return sooner or later. Of course we all wish it to be sooner! But don't dancers sometimes get sidelined for a time, typically owing to injury, without much detailed information coming out?
As to Holowchuk, I recall that Farrell is slow to make formal promotions - the dancer has to earn it, although, not unlike Balanchine, she'll cast somebody above their nominal rank sometimes.
And now, as the hour is very late, I'll just post some thoughts I wrote up earlier this evening, for what they're worth:Program B: Friday October 14 and Saturday matinee October 15 Divertimento from 'Le Baiser de la Fee'
This pas de deux plus fateful episode in which the corps, immediately appealing and charming, returns in the same spirit in the coda and then, on a sinister turn in the music, begins to interfere with the relationship - or eventually even the possibility of relationship - between the boy and girl (the "Fairy" of the title no longer individually represented like she was in the early version to the complete score) was differently served by, first, on Friday evening, Elisabeth Holowchuk with Matthew Renko, and then on Saturday afternoon Ms. Holowchuk and Michael Cook.
Most noticeably in his solos, Renko has propulsion and flow and something of the mystery in this but less than complete command and clarity, in other words potentially an interesting dancer in this, while Cook elucidated the choreography with great clarity but was more staid in tone. Renko will be seen in this again Sunday evening, by which time he may have had the benefit of the additional time with it he appears to need - and with this company's great coach. Holowchuk inhabits the role at every instant - we who know her dancing wouldn't expect less - but doesn't particularly enlarge it. (Disclosure: Seeing this again recalls to mind Patricia McBride and Helgi Tomasson, a comparison both complimentary to this cast, in that it realizes the ballet this well, and yet presenting a standard probably impossible to equal.)Sonatine
, another pas de deux of separation and union and final separation, but not in the least sinister or tragic - "whipped cream" Violet Verdy, its first dancer, is supposed to have called it - became even more different in the hands - I mean bodies - of the two casts: With Violeta Angelova and Michael Cook last evening, it was possible, for example, to notice that initially the dancing had direction in the usual ways but on her departure he had little circles and turns, which have no direction, suggesting to this watcher the idea that when his lady leaves him he loses his direction, and recovers it when she returns.
With the beautiful dancing of Courtney Anderson, especially, and the great manner of Momchil Mladenov, this afternoon the ballet was rounded, enlarged, filled out, and lifted: Both made so much more of it - or rather - showed us so much more was there, there was little occasion for sentimentalizing on the outside as I was drawn more completely into its own world.Pithoprakta
is a ballet I've tried to write about before
(see the fifth and sixth paragraphs there). This time I can add another fascinating detail or two: At one point, Holowchuk and Henning have made vertical rings with their arms and are slinking around downstage comparing them against one another. Then with her back to him, she raises one foot and puts it through his "ring"; calmly he watches its progress and then slowly swings his gaze up her leg as her entire body proceeds to follow her foot. (This bit flows immediately into the touchlessly-supported turns in my previous account.)Diamonds
was led Friday evening by Heather Ogden, more wonderful and expansive, ably partnered by Cook. (The two had done some work together during the open rehearsal yesterday afternoon while Farrell worked with the corps; Kim Kokich's continually intelligent commentary, which should be published, drew attention to the "facets" aspects of Ogden's choreography in particular, linking the appearance of a jewel turned in the fingers to the effects of the clearly-executed directions in the choreography.)
Saturday afternoon the ballet was led by Brown and Graziano of the Sarasota
ballet again. I think they are better together, more supple and enlivened. When they are apart, the dance goes a little dead. (No sign of actual difficulty, though, they are well up to the demands of this.)
Last night's and this afternoon's orchestral accompaniment reached new heights - in Diamonds
, some passages had such strong vocal phrasing it verged on the operatic, the chorale really inspired as the brass built it up, the strands of the fugue scarcely became entangled or obscured one another. And at the very end, the remote kettledrums, not to be seen in the little pit, were finally heard well, after being obtrusive Wednesday evening and nearly inaudible on Thursday. (Odd this problem hasn't been solved for good some time ago. In Divertimento
, the harp, also somewhere else, always sounded fine.)Edited to add:
A word about the lighting: While the lighting still tends somewhat to draw attention to itself and away from the performers by frequent fussy changes, instead of establishing a space and letting the dance happen in it, a serious problem with Diamonds
has been corrected. The dark lane across the back, where in the last movement much of the large corps parade early in the chorale has been illuminated like the rest of the stage, and the dancers no longer become shaded back there.
Edited by Jack Reed, 16 October 2011 - 06:02 AM.