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NYCB Winter Season


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#46 LiLing

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 06:26 PM

Sat. Matt. Feb.11. Concerto Barocco with Rebecca Krohn, Abi Stafford and Ask La Cour. In all fairness, when you have seen the likes of Reichlen, Kowroski, Farrell in this, you miss the elegant line of the looong legs. I did think the more compact women gave the third movement good speed and attack.

Tarantella with Sterling Hyltin and Adam Hendrickson. I loved Hyltin in this, and I didn't expect to as I think of her as a lyric dancer. She doesn't do it with the physical power of some others but makes it look so easy and fun. Her charm and femininity were lost on Hendrickson, however. He didn't relate to her at all, I don't think he cracked a smile the whole performance. It looked like he couldn't wait to get off stage.

I have avoided Seven Deadly Sins until now because it has been panned to the skies. I didn't think it was that horrible. It has some good theatrical effects, although the actual choreography is thin. I saw Balanchine's but it was so long ago all I remember is Allegra Kent being carried in on a platter for Gluttony. I was in a version by Glen Tetley. Lotte Lenya came to a rehearsal, as her protégée Bettena Janeke was singing Anna. She told Glen she liked Balanchine's Better! Anyway,Glen's ended with the family rejecting Anna in the end for selling her um...soul to earn the money she sent to built their house. Taylor-Corbett's ends with Anna coming home in triumph in a fur coat, and her sinful side is swept away. What the H kind of moral is that?

Ah,Vienna Waltzes! Antonio Carmena was terrific with a sparkling Janie Taylor in Fruhlingsstimmen (the 2nd section). His elevation was spectacular. I'd love to see him do Tarantella. I think the co. looks very good this season with many of the younger principals and soloists really coming into their own this year.

#47 abatt

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:34 PM

And when I got down to the subway, the 66th-St-station saxophonist, who every night does a piece from some Lincoln Center performance, tonight was doing the gold and silver waltz! How does that guy always pick out what I found memorable in that evening's performance, whether opera or ballet? Does he change his tune throughout the evening, depending on whether it's the opera or ballet or philharmonic getting out?


I think he does change the tune based on which event is getting out. There was a New York Times article about him a few years ago.

http://query.nytimes...n center&st=cse

#48 cobweb

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:52 PM

Thanks for the link, abatt!

#49 miliosr

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 05:31 PM

As usual, New York Social Diary was on the case at the 2012 Annual Luncheon Benefit (scroll down to mid-page):

http://www.newyorkso...om/node/1907781

And if anyone knows who makes Angle the Younger's tie, send me a PM!

#50 cobweb

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:27 PM

And if anyone knows who makes Angle the Younger's tie, send me a PM!

It's not just the tie, it's the shirt too! That's quite an audacious tie-shirt combo.

#51 cobweb

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:36 PM

Would appreciate opinions. I haven't seen the Martins R&J. Should I see it? I'm inclined to see the Pereira-Stanley pairing, since Taylor Stanley has been a favorite ever since he leaped out at me from the Spanish dance in Swan Lake a year ago. I can still picture the way he snapped his wrists, his perfect form and effortless jumps, and that "je ne sais quoi" that makes him a standout. But I can't stand ballets that, well, I can't stand. And I'm doubtful about the merits of this R&J. I value the opinions on this board and if you have a recommendation, I'd be glad to hear it.

#52 carbro

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:08 PM

I'm hesitant to recommend that anyone avoid a ballet altogether. That said, I've already seen it, twice, and even though Tiler Peck has skyrocketed to the top (albeit a rotating top) of my Favorite Ballerina list, I won't bother seeing her in it. Ever. Or anyone else.

#53 mira

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:27 AM

cobweb, I'm a fan of his as well and would go if I were in nyc. I think it's his first "story ballet" principal role so I'm thinking it's going to be special.

#54 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:12 AM

I attended the February 12th matinee. I did see "Sins" again. It still isn't great, but it was somewhat better than what I remembered from when I saw it last May.

The ballet begins with Anna 1 and Anna 2 leaving their home in Louisiana to find fame and fortune. Anna 1 and 2 seem to be different parts of the same person. As they travel throughout America, Anna 2 encounters those seven deadly sins, one for each city they journey to. Anna 1 sings about all the temptations Anna 2 faces. Anna 2 does all the heavy lifting while Anna 1 takes most of the money her sister (Anna 1 refers to Anna 2 as her sister) earns.

Their family back home in Louisiana consists of a mother (sung by a man in drag), father, an older brother and a younger brother. They function as a sort of Greek chorus/barbershop quartet. For some reason, both Anna and the Family constantly criticize Anna 2. Anna 2 doesn’t seem to be committing the sins she encounters in every city she goes to. Her family and sister sing about how lazy she is (for the deadly sin of sloth), but Anna 2 is shown scrubbing the floor with all her might. Her anger seems justified in response to a movie star (Sara Mearns) firing her dance partner when he accidentally bumps into her.

Poor skinny little Anna 2 is not even allowed to eat a chicken leg, yet her Family accuses her of gluttony. And how lustful is it when Anna 2 is forced to give up the man she loves (Craig Hall) to become the mistress of a wealthy man (Zachary Catazaro)? The sin of envy has Anna 2 stealing a baby. She doesn’t seem envious of the baby’s mother. To me it looks like Anna 2 has finally cracked up due to all the pressure Anna 1 and the Family have placed on her to make money for them.

In the Epilogue Anna 1 returns to her family in Louisiana wearing a mink coat. Due to all the money Anna 2 has made for them, the Family is now living in a mansion. Anna 2 goes back to Louisiana as well, only to collapse to the ground and die. Her body is then pulled off the stage.

“The Seven Deadly Sins” is all right as a novelty, but it is not a ballet I want to see very often. Besides the storyline bordering on the ridiculous, the choreography is pedestrian at best. As Anna 2, Wendy Whelan tries very hard, but she really doesn’t have much to work with. It’s always good to see Patti LuPone, but both the music and lyrics are pretty forgettable. Obviously, even great artists like Weill and Brecht have their failures. This time at least I was able to understand what LuPone was singing. When I saw Sins” last May, I was barely able to make out a word being sung. If Ballet Master in Chief, Peter Martins, wants to get guest artists from Broadway or television or the movies or the music world, he has to give them a better performance vehicle than Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s “Seven Deadly Sins”.

The rest of the afternoon consisted of two lightweight ballets – Jerome Robbins’ “Interplay” and Peter Martins’ “Zakouski” and one sublime work – George Balanchine’s “Vienna Waltzes”.

Jerome Robbins choreographed “Interplay” in 1945 to a jazzy score by Morton Gould. “Interplay” is a slight but enjoyable ballet. It gives its young dancers a chance to shine as they play hopscotch, do cartwheels and try to outdo each other with their leaps and turns.

“Zakouski” is a trifle of a piece choreographed by Peter Martins and set to the music of four Russian composers – Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. It is very well danced by Megan Fairchild and Andrew Veyette, but there’s not much to this ballet.

The afternoon ends on an extremely high note – with George Balanchine’s “Vienna Waltzes”. The ballet is a series of four waltzes and one polka, with music by Johann Strauss II, Franz Lehar and Richard Strauss. The sets by Rouben Ter-Arutunian are magnificent – from the forests of the Vienna Woods to the haunted ballroom of “Der Rosenkavlier. Karinska’s period costumes are gorgeous.

“Vienna Waltzes” begins with “Tales from the Vienna Woods”. Savannah Lowery is lovely as a young debutante with Tyler Angle her attentive cavalier. Next is the only section danced on pointe – “Voices of Spring”. Janie Taylor is a sparkling sprite. Antonio Carmena excites the audience with his tremendous elevation and dancing rich with musicality and joy. Erica Peirera and Adam Hendrickson are very funny as they dance “The Explosions Polka”.

The Silver and Gold Waltz is a disappointment. Jonathan Stafford is stiff rather than dashing. Teresa Reichlein as the Merry Widow looks like she’s playing dress-up. Reichlein’s widow lacks both mystery and allure.

The most romantic dance of the afternoon was performed by Sara Mearns, alone, in front of a mirror. She is a woman haunted by memories as a phantom lover (Jared Angle) waltzes in and out of her life. Mearns is absolutely perfect in the role – with just a wave of her arm she conveys a whole world of meaning. The gorgeous arch of her pliant back shows the depth of her heartbreak. The Hollywoodesque finale, with chandeliers aglow and white gowns swirling, is as intoxicating as ever. I can only hope that NYCB will dance “Vienna Waltzes” for many years to come.

While watching Daniel Ulbricht in "Interplay" I found myself wondering why he seems stuck in the same roles he did while he was a soloist and even a corps dancer. I loved Antonio Carmena in "Voices of Spring", but that seems to me a part that Ulbricht would be spectacular in. Why isn't he ever El Capitan in Stars and Stripes instead of the guy leading the male corps? Why isn't he in Union Jack? As much as I liked Tyler Angle in the part this winter, I think Ulbricht would be even better. Besides being a fantastic dancer, he's got charisma to burn. I think he should be dancing all the Damian Woetzl parts. Of course, Peter Martins isn't asking me for my advice (obviously). It's not just the fact that Ulbricht is short. I think DeLuz is even shorter (or at least the same size) and he's moved on to bigger and better roles (which he is marvelous in.) I remember that once Herman Cornejo became a principal at ABT, for a few seasons he continued to dance his old roles. But Kevin McKenzie did finally give him a chance to perform many leading roles. And Cornejo had partnering problems for a while. Ulbricht doesn't. Anyone who can partner Teresa Reichlein as well as Ulbricht does in "Prodigal Son" is a partnering pro.

#55 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:53 AM

I'm hesitant to recommend that anyone avoid a ballet altogether. That said, I've already seen it, twice, and even though Tiler Peck has skyrocketed to the top (albeit a rotating top) of my Favorite Ballerina list, I won't bother seeing her in it. Ever. Or anyone else.


I too am hesitatant to say "Don't go" -- especially if your reason for going is to see a dancer you really like (I really like Stanley, too). I've been to see "R+J" once, and now that that box is checked I won't trouble myself to go see it again. I would like to see more of both new Romeos (Zachary Catazaro is debuting as well), but would prefer that they were featured in some other, better ballet. Storytelling isn't Martins' strong suit and Per Kirkeby's "R+J" production -- every bit as much of an inert eyesore as his production for "Swan Lake" -- doesn't give him any help. Never has Renaissance Italy looked so dinky.

But -- and this is a big but -- you will get to see Stanley (and some other very fine dancers) do a lot of dancing. If you can get past the sets and costumes, like Martins' choreography in general, and don't mind that the storytelling is hit or miss, you will get the chance to see a rising young dancer you like test himself against new challenges, and that's no bad thing.

#56 cobweb

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:45 AM

Thanks for the suggestions on R&J. I suspect that once I see it, I won't ever want to see it again, but it may be worth it once, especially to see Taylor Stanley. I'll report back if I go.
I agree with the praise for Antonio Carmena in Vienna Waltzes. I was expecting Megan Fairchild and Joaquin de Luz again, so when two other dancers came out I could only determine it was Janie Taylor and a guy I didn't recognize -- but he amazed me with his leaps, height, and energy. As soon as it was over I was scrambling for my program. It made me very eager to see him again!

#57 abatt

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:49 PM

I completely agree w. Colleen's description of Mearns in Vienna Waltzes. It was magnificent. She is able to speak volumes with her limbs and her back. A breathtaking performance.

#58 carbro

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:46 PM

I haven't reported in yet this season, but I am compelled to post an appreciation of Ms. Tiler Peck, who has matured into such a complete ballerina that I am awestruck (not too strong a word) by every role she dances.

The first time I saw her this season was in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. It was the third number on a program, and arriving late, the first one I saw. During the pause between ballets 2 (Tombeau) and 3 (Tchai Pas) on the program, I found myself seated next to a good friend. After the adagio, I turned to her and said, "I could go home now." She was just that satisfying. The purity of her dancing -- completely without mannerism -- nothing tossed off, every in-between the in-betweens was expressive. My eyes were moist. Needless to say, the bravura of her allegro and coda were absolutely effortless and crystal clear.

I saw her next in Who Cares?, in McBride's role (The Man I Love and Fascinatin' Rhythm). I have seen literally every cast of Who Cares? that City Ballet has ever offered, and then a handful of others. I had no idea all that was in The Man I Love. Peck gave us not only a young woman who was fantasizing about the joy of falling in love, she gave us someone with a history. You could see, the trepidation of entering a new relationship, the pain of her last one(s), the giddiness of falling in love, the anticipation and, finally, her decision to go for it. Yes, all that was in there. Who knew? And how on earth did she know? Most remarkably, she did it all without acting. It was all in her timing, musicality and gesture. I hope that somewhere, someone managed to capture that performance on video.

Tonight, after her sparkling performance in Allegro Brilliante, Tiler came back and danced Fancy Free's pas de deux with Tyler Angle. I love the Tiler-Tyler pairing. What struck me about this performance was, we knew from her first entrance that, as much as the three sailors were looking for girls, she was also on the prowl. Perhaps her sweetheart was overseas, but she felt an emptiness that she needed to fill. Most of the dancers I've seen in this, including Stephanie Saland, who usually exuded sexuality, were as proper as the heroines in 1940s movies. This gal wasn't. She needed someone to hold her through the night, and while she wasn't falling in love with Sailor #2 (he WAS falling for her!), he'd do just fine.

I've seen other fine performances over the course of the season, and I don't mean to give those extraordinary dancers short shrift, Tiler's sudden blossoming from an exceptional talent to an artist of extraordinary depth has been so stunning, I couldn't let it go by. I've never seen anything like it. Posted Image

And for what it's worth, although he isn't one of my favorite dancers, Amar Ramasar certainly earned his pay tonight. Tiler may have danced in two ballets, but Amar danced in all three, none of them easy. From Allegro Brillante, he went on to Russian Seasons before finishing as the Third Sailor in Fancy Free.

A word about the "former Fourth Ring Society" (I can't get used to "Society NYCB"). I was very skeptical about the new system, but aside from the inconvenience of not being able to plan in advance, I've found it very workable. I've been able to get seats to almost everything I wanted to see, and typically much better seats than Fourth Ring. The price has allowed me to see a plethora of performances that I never could have seen at regular prices, making my heart very happy. I'm very grateful, and I fervently hope the program continues next year.

Mega-ditto.

I have consistently been seated in good seats in the Second and Third Rings. Once, I was seated in the Fourth Ring, which was fine, and once, I was given a seat at the far end of the fourth row of the orchestra, which was awful, since Union Jack was on that bill. Tonight, I arrived at the box office about 15 minutes before curtain. The gentleman asked me what I liked. "Oh, Second or Third." I gave him $17, and he gave me Second Ring, Row A, seat 108 -- dead center. (Obviously a returned ticket). Forgive the redundant smiley but Posted Image . The only drawback is that when we were all seated in the 4th Ring, it was easy to find friends. Now, not so much. Posted Image

#59 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:41 AM

I haven't reported in yet this season, but I am compelled to post an appreciation of Ms. Tiler Peck, who has matured into such a complete ballerina that I am awestruck (not too strong a word) by every role she dances.

The first time I saw her this season was in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. It was the third number on a program, and arriving late, the first one I saw. During the pause between ballets 2 (Tombeau) and 3 (Tchai Pas) on the program, I found myself seated next to a good friend. After the adagio, I turned to her and said, "I could go home now." She was just that satisfying. The purity of her dancing -- completely without mannerism -- nothing tossed off, every in-between the in-betweens was expressive. My eyes were moist. Needless to say, the bravura of her allegro and coda were absolutely effortless and crystal clear.

I saw her next in Who Cares?, in McBride's role (The Man I Love and Fascinatin' Rhythm). I have seen literally every cast of Who Cares? that City Ballet has ever offered, and then a handful of others. I had no idea all that was in The Man I Love. Peck gave us not only a young woman who was fantasizing about the joy of falling in love, she gave us someone with a history. You could see, the trepidation of entering a new relationship, the pain of her last one(s), the giddiness of falling in love, the anticipation and, finally, her decision to go for it. Yes, all that was in there. Who knew? And how on earth did she know? Most remarkably, she did it all without acting. It was all in her timing, musicality and gesture. I hope that somewhere, someone managed to capture that performance on video.


The woman is every kind of awesome. I saw her in "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux" this season too, and it was the first time I can remember being blown away by the lifts. Peck was so gloriously, gorgeously on the music it was like watching a flower explode into bloom right before your eyes. Obviously her partner (Gonzalo Garcia) gets a ton of credit for the effect, but she made the most of the beautiful opportunity he gave her.

And I would sit through "The Seven Deadly Sins" twice if it were a precondition for watching Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild dance "The Man I Love."

#60 vipa

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:32 PM

Totally agree with Carbro and Kathleen about. She was amazing in Who Cares earlier this season and last night Allegro Brilliante was a revelation. Her the fullness of her musical phrasing is just beautiful. Her technique is totally secure but she never looks like she is doing tricks, everything is in service of and reveals the choreography. She delivers the whole package!

Once again, Lauren King was a standout in the corps.

I had never seen Russian Seasons before. I like a lot of the imagery and the dancers looked good, particularly Tyler Angle. I did think it a bit long

Good performance of Fancy Free. I hadn't seen it in a while, and it was nice to be reminded of how good the choreography is. Every moment give us character & story. What a pleasure. I particularly enjoyed De Luz in the 1st variation. He made it look easy. I love his dancing in everything I see him in. I'm going to try to see his Theme & Variations.


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