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2012 City Center Season

165 posts in this topic

Julie Kent looked lovely and her elegant lyricism is perfect for the role - I was high up in the balcony and she didn't look too mature to me. There is no pointe work here and she probably is overqualified technically for the piece - interpretively I found her ideal.

Very nice to read about Kent's performance--I can easily believe she was lovely--and I loved her performance as Desdemona in Lar Lubovitch's Othello--but I did want to add something about the "technical" question. The Moor's Pavane is not a classical piece, but that does not mean it doesn't require a very specific modern dance technique which, in my experience, ballet dancers often are not qualified for even if they appear to all intents and purposes to be doing the steps with ease. I remember the first time I saw a modern dancer in Moor's Pavane, I experienced it as something of a revelation--the sense of weight in particular was entirely different from that of the ballet dancers on stage.

I enjoy the reports I am reading of ABT's performances and it sounds as if the ABT dancers had a success in this work, but if they took Limon's technique seriously, then I suspect it was something they also had to study to master effectively. (And more balletic performances of Moor's Pavane have been known to be effective theatrically in any case: it's just that over the years I have learned to respect the difference real command of a very different modern dance techniques can make in modern dance works.)

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I would love to see somebody (perhaps for a Master's thesis?) compare Stravinsky's Symphony in 3 Movements and Shostakovich's Symphony #9 and, in turn, how Balanchine and Ratmansky choreographed them so we could "see the music." Both pieces of music were written right after the end of WWII, although in dramatically different circumstances, of course.

http://balanchine.co...hree-movements/

Oh, I just wish I could ever be clever or sensitive enough to enjoy or even comprehend SI3M...I still don't...dunno.gif

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Cory Stearns did some of the best acting I have seen from him. I think that he needs careful coaching and the stager from the Limon Foundation, Clay Taliaferro did a wonderful job with him. He was wonderfully subtle and insinuating.

Golden Idol and Faux Pas, Does this not suggest that with some coaching and/or acting lessons, Cory could really step up his game in the acting department? Surely he must know. Surely the artistic staff of ABT must know. Cory is an important member of the company, not simply eye candy, and I think that ABT should make an investment in him. (Sorry to change the subject, but I take every opportunity to get on my soapbox about this: after her performance in Ratmansky's ballet, Stella should definitely get her Giselle as well as a promotion.)

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From my experience with Alexei Ratmansky, he is a force for good in this world. At the Bolshoi he promoted dancers who were being shamefully held back by previous administrations (Lunkina, Masha Alexandrova - I was present when he personally announced Lunkina's promotion from the Met stage after a performance of "Bright Stream"). Ratmansky also found and developed bright young talents immediately (Osipova, Vasiliev et al.). At ABT he latched on to Part when her present and future were cloudy and doubtful and his continued support definitely was a factor in the dramatic turnaround in her fortunes at ABT. Casting Radetsky and Abrera together to create central roles in this important new work definitely is sending a message to upper management. May I also mention that though I imagine that Cornejo was a miracle on the Lone Man role, Jared Matthews continued his good work from last Summer in "Onegin" and other works.

As for Cory, though he has disappointed in the past (mainly in the big classic story ballets) I still feel he has a lot to offer and a lot of potential for improvement and achievement. I never have felt the urge to write him off completely. His Albrecht last summer I felt also showed acting improvement. BTW: Cory was also quite nice as the the Lover in Tudor's "Lilac Garden" and Part was sensational in the same performance as "An Episode in his Past" . She really has the right look and personality for those dramatic ballets from the 1940's as "Moor's Pavane" showed!

Note to ABT: schedule a longer City Center season next year - your main company dancers like Craig Salstein, Simone Messmer, Sascha and Stella et al. really benefit from this repertory. Too much emphasis on full-length classics is where these dancers really suffer. Just seeing Messmer or Cornejo change from modern dance to contemporary ballet to neoclassical or classical ballet is a revelation. They need it and the company as a whole needs it - the variety in the repertory enriches everyone.

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Re the order of the 3 new Ratmansky works, I would have assumed that the chamber work would go first, and the symphonic works would be performed as the second and third works of the evening. Usually, the ballet with the largest cast is the final work of the evening.

I think the injury of Cornejo demonstrates the dangers of performing with so few principals at your disposal. He was performing very demanding choreography in the Tharp, Morris and Ratmansky ballets. If ABT had an appropriate number of principals to spread out the workload, maybe things would have been different. If ABT were to schedule an even longer City Center season, they would need more than a shoestring roster of principals.

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From my experience with Alexei Ratmansky, he is a force for good in this world....At ABT he latched on to Part when her present and future were cloudy and doubtful and his continued support definitely was a factor in the dramatic turnaround in her fortunes at ABT. Casting Radetsky and Abrera together to create central roles in this important new work definitely is sending a message to upper management.

Well said, FauxPas. I hope that upper management is getting the message that Ratmansky is sending. I would add to that list Misty Copeland (Firebird) and Sarah Lane (Nutcracker).

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Julie Kent looked lovely and her elegant lyricism is perfect for the role - I was high up in the balcony and she didn't look too mature to me. There is no pointe work here and she probably is overqualified technically for the piece - interpretively I found her ideal.

Very nice to read about Kent's performance--I can easily believe she was lovely--and I loved her performance as Desdemona in Lar Lubovitch's Othello--but I did want to add something about the "technical" question. The Moor's Pavane is not a classical piece, but that does not mean it doesn't require a very specific modern dance technique which, in my experience, ballet dancers often are not qualified for even if they appear to all intents and purposes to be doing the steps with ease. I remember the first time I saw a modern dancer in Moor's Pavane, I experienced it as something of a revelation--the sense of weight in particular was entirely different from that of the ballet dancers on stage.

I enjoy the reports I am reading of ABT's performances and it sounds as if the ABT dancers had a success in this work, but if they took Limon's technique seriously, then I suspect it was something they also had to study to master effectively. (And more balletic performances of Moor's Pavane have been known to be effective theatrically in any case: it's just that over the years I have learned to respect the difference real command of a very different modern dance techniques can make in modern dance works.)

I would second Drew's remarks. Julie Kent is well-qualified to meet the dramatic demands of The Moor's Pavane but I wouldn't say she's overqualified to meet the demands of Limon technique. No less an eminence than Erik Bruhn said it was very hard when he tried to master it for his performances as The Moor in the 1970s. The rise and fall that is central to Limon technique looks easy . . . but isn't. (I wonder how much time -- if any -- was available to stager Clay Taliaferro to teach the ABT dancers the basic precepts [fall-recovery-suspension] of the technique.)

I've read many complimentary comments on this board and elsewhere about Gomes, Stearns, Kent, Part, Zhurbin and Messmer in The Moor's Pavane. Did anyone have any thoughts about Thomas Forster as The Moor's Friend and Xiomara Reyes as The Moor's Wife?

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I thought they did very well( in the Bard season) esp Thomas.

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the haze in UPPER ROOM is steam, not smoke.

Really? It smelled like theatrical smoke/fog to me. I think it's often glycol or glycerin and water, but whatever it consists of, it certainly had that odor about it. If it were steam, I would think it would dissipate more quickly than it did and that one would feel the humidity in the house by the end of the piece as it certainly had billowed into the house by the end of the work.

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my misunderstanding.

your understanding of this effect is far more specific and educated than mine.

i assumed that a fog effective made with water vapor, etc. would be considered steam; to my way of understanding, hardly specific or technically knowledgeable, smoke would be effected by something burnt, but i defer to anyone with a real knowledge of these effects.

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Isn't it 'Dry Ice'? If so, Dry Ice has a chemical smell apparent to folks on or close to the stage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_ice

From the above:

...When dry ice is placed in water sublimation is accelerated, and low-sinking, dense clouds of smoke-like fog are created. This is used in fog machines, at theaters, ....Unlike most artificial fog machines, in which fog rises like smoke, fog from dry ice hovers above the ground.[15] Dry ice is useful in theater productions that require dense fog effects.[19]

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Regarding the smoke and lighting effects in "In the Upper Room" - I found the effect less striking this time because the back of the stage was more brightly lit than in the past. When I first saw this ballet at City Center some years ago the back of the stage was very dark. When the dancers walked into the smoke enveloped pool of light center stage (created by lamps positioned in the wings) it looked like they were materializing from some void. This time you could see the curtains at the back of the stage where they were entering from. My guess is that there were problems with visibility or maybe the stage floor? But that wasn't the case back then.

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Sorry for the stupid question, but how does a tour a la seconde differ from a fouette?

Also, a lot of reviews discuss the collapse of Herman/Matthew at the end of No. 9, after his tours. I remember the collapse of the main couple, followed by Marcelo's finger in the air, and the collapse of the corps, but not the final collapse of Herman, when everyone is on stage. Can someone describe the ending?

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Sorry for the stupid question, but how does a tour a la seconde differ from a fouette?

Fouettes are what you see female ballerinas doing in the codas of DQ, Swan Lake, etc. They whip the leg from front to seconde then get pull into posse while turning. This motion repeats. See:

Turns a la seconde are usually done by men and the leg remains in seconde while turning. See:

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If you get the chance, click on the accompanying photo of Cory and Veronika in Robert Gottlieb's Observer story (10/23 in our Links section) -- it is stunning.

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