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Transitioning from Villella to Lopez in 2012-2013.-- developments, challenges, opportunties


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#46 Helene

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:35 PM

"In Balanchine's Classroom project" has just posted a photo of Villella coaching Jeanette Delgado and Kleber Rebello in (I assume from the tamborine) "Tarantella" to its Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook...85145296&type=1

The post reads,

To Edward Villella,
In celebration of all you have given the world through your dancing, your teaching, and your leadership at Miami City Ballet and the Miami City Ballet School... Thank you!



#47 lmspear

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:38 PM

The lack of filmed performance, especially of the New York City Ballet, really is frustrating.

I did a brief Google in search for videos of Lopez dancing, but so far have only found a guest appearance, with Jock Soto, dancing a snippet from Stars and Stripes. The choreography is explained by Big Bird as an opportunity to learn about "Up and Down." The dancers, possibly intimidated by the miniscule set and the limited time allowed them, are untypically stiff and low-wattage.

Villella was, among other things, a great showman. When he was performing, he was bursting with energy and passion for movement -- the same qualities that he tried, as a ballet master, to instil in his dancers.

What about Lopez? I wish I had a stronger visual and emotional memory of what she was like on stage. That unforgettable Firebird is, for me, the exception. Does anyone have memories that they can share?


I found her doing I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise from Who Cares? at a little past the 33 min. mark at this link -
http://www.tudou.com...iew/9A19-O6Iehw . It's the Live from Lincoln Center broadcast of the Balanchine Celebration. I'll leave the commentary to you folks. I don't think I ever got to see her live.

#48 checkwriter

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:49 AM

Here she is with Jock Soto - and Elmo and Zoey - teaching cooperation. I'm advised that the choreography is by Christopher Wheeldon. There's also a (very poor quality) video of Lopez and Soto turning - as narrated by The Count. Not sure these really give a good sense of the dancer she was, but there you have it.

#49 bart

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:01 AM

That 1993 Balanchine Celebration was released on VHS (Nonesuch, The Balanchine Library).

#50 bart

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:12 AM

Sorry to interrupt the discussion of Lopez as dancer, but here's a bit of followup on the sub- topic as concerns MCI's finances ...

Earlier in this thread, I asked whether anyone knew the reasons for Nicholas Goldsborough's precipitous departure from the Executive Director job in June. While Googling Jonah Pruitt -- MCB's former chief financial officer, and now interim Executive Director -- I found this July 5 story in the Palm Beach Daily News.

http://www.palmbeach...let-lead/nPmjx/

The board was not dissatisfied with Goldsborough’s performance as executive director, said longtime major donor Mike Eidson, a former president and chairman of the board of governors. “It’s cost restructuring,” he said.

Other administrative cost-reductions were put into effect at the same time. Dancers and programming were not directly affected.

#51 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:58 AM

The lack of filmed performance, especially of the New York City Ballet, really is frustrating.

I did a brief Google in search for videos of Lopez dancing, but so far have only found a guest appearance, with Jock Soto, dancing a snippet from Stars and Stripes.


bart, Lopez is the female lead in the Spanish Dance from the Culkin's Nutcracker.

#52 Jack Reed

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:44 PM

Lopez also appears in the corps in several ballets in the four Choreography by Balanchine programs in the "Dance in America" series, The Four Temperaments, for instance.

#53 jsmu

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:32 AM

Great photo; Delgado burns up the stage in Tarantella. it would be nice to see her in it weekly.
As far as Lopez's dancing, I recall her in several roles:
the Firebird everyone seems to remember, in which she was indeed good;
Theme and Variations, which was slightly too hard for her (not the combination of punctiliousness and dazzle which Ashley and Nichols gave in this role); no disgrace, as it's FAR too hard for most.. it was honorable but not stellar.
Sanguinic, in which she looked very uncomfortable (a part so much harder than most viewers understand in any way)
and the Glinka Pas de Trois during the 93 Balanchine Celebration, which was WAY too hard for her (this is a ballet that HAYDEN said was 'so difficult NO ONE could dance it'....if Old Ironsides thought it was too hard, fageddaboutit now.)
She was cast often, as you can see, in virtuoso roles by default (i.e. when Ashley, Nichols, Kistler, etc., were injured) and was better in some (FIrebird) than others; she was technically proficient, with a good jump, in her prime,
but not a brilliant speed demon or divine technical goddess in the line of Ashley, Nichols, Bouder.

#54 bart

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:41 PM

There's a new listing on the company's website for the "Artistic Team."

Lopez is there now, with a biography. Gary Sheldon, the excellent music director, is there, which suggests that they raised the money to continue having the orchestra. Posted Image

Crista Villella (Edward's daughter) is no longer a ballet mistress. This leaves Roma Sosenko and Joan Latham in that position..

http://www.miamicity...tistic_team.php There's a link to get to Lopez's biography.



Jack, I'll look for Lopez on my tape of Four Seasons. (An opportunity to have a look at this piece again. Posted Image ) Thank you.

Cristian, you're right! As soon as I read your post a visual memory of her wearing that jaunty headpiece popped into my mind.

jsmu, thank you for your post. You confirm what I've heard elsewhere. Lopez knows the core MCB repertoire -- sincerely values it -- was proficient (and often more than that) dancing it -- and was not "stellar" when compared to the best women of her generation.

#55 vipa

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:51 PM

Great photo; Delgado burns up the stage in Tarantella. it would be nice to see her in it weekly. As far as Lopez's dancing, I recall her in several roles: the Firebird everyone seems to remember, in which she was indeed good; Theme and Variations, which was slightly too hard for her (not the combination of punctiliousness and dazzle which Ashley and Nichols gave in this role); no disgrace, as it's FAR too hard for most.. it was honorable but not stellar. Sanguinic, in which she looked very uncomfortable (a part so much harder than most viewers understand in any way) and the Glinka Pas de Trois during the 93 Balanchine Celebration, which was WAY too hard for her (this is a ballet that HAYDEN said was 'so difficult NO ONE could dance it'....if Old Ironsides thought it was too hard, fageddaboutit now.) She was cast often, as you can see, in virtuoso roles by default (i.e. when Ashley, Nichols, Kistler, etc., were injured) and was better in some (FIrebird) than others; she was technically proficient, with a good jump, in her prime, but not a brilliant speed demon or divine technical goddess in the line of Ashley, Nichols, Bouder.


I only recall Lopez in Firebird and Nutcracker, but I saw her in class many, many times and was always struck by the intelligence with which she worked and the beauty of her look - by that I don't mean her natural beauty - but the way she moved, used angles and made lines made for a unique look.

Her dancing is an interesting discussion, but the most brilliant dancers don't always make the best directors. In any event Balanchine liked her enough to hire and promoter her.

#56 Helene

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:53 PM

jsmu, thank you for your post. You confirm what I've heard elsewhere. Lopez knows the core MCB repertoire -- sincerely values it -- was proficient (and often more than that) dancing it -- and was not "stellar" when compared to the best women of her generation.

I would disagree with this: while I wouldn't call her uniformly great in everything, she was stellar in some roles, like "Firebird," "Allegro Brillante," and Sugar Plum Fairy, and she danced one of the most beautiful "Theme and Variations" pas de deux I've seen. I'd also never seen her in anything where I thought, "Why was she cast? What were they thinking?"

#57 bart

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 05:03 PM

Helene, I'm truly happy to be corrected on this. "Not stellar" is a poor choice of words based on limited memories and a very small video record. On the whole, I think vipa gets to the heart of things very well.

Her dancing is an interesting discussion, but the most brilliant dancers don't always make the best directors. In any event Balanchine liked her enough to hire and promoter her.



#58 Amy Reusch

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:51 PM

But she has also had an interesting "beyond dancer" life... performing Arts correspondent for NBC News, executive director for Balanchine Foundation, director and co-founder for Morphoses... Those are serious feathers for anyone's cap...

#59 jsmu

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 06:21 PM


jsmu, thank you for your post. You confirm what I've heard elsewhere. Lopez knows the core MCB repertoire -- sincerely values it -- was proficient (and often more than that) dancing it -- and was not "stellar" when compared to the best women of her generation.

I would disagree with this: while I wouldn't call her uniformly great in everything, she was stellar in some roles, like "Firebird," "Allegro Brillante," and Sugar Plum Fairy, and she danced one of the most beautiful "Theme and Variations" pas de deux I've seen. I'd also never seen her in anything where I thought, "Why was she cast? What were they thinking?"


She was good in the T&V pas de deux--like a lot of physically beautiful dancers, she was best suited to that part of the role. It was the only time she looked tranquil and completely relaxed. very long and svelte lines there.
I'm surprised she got Allegro Brillante, which was usually a 'diva' role reserved for superstars. could well have been necessity/exigency, but I can imagine her dancing it well.
The only thing I saw her in which was 'what were they thinking' was Glinka Pas de Trois, which was utterly beyond her, but it was also utterly beyond Stephanie Saland, sadly, who was a lovely dancer as well.

#60 brokenwing

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:20 AM

Not sure if this is the right place for this, but there is an article in the Miami Herald stating the company has raised $3 million. It certainly is refreshing to hear some good news after the mess that this past year has been. Maybe some of this money is from the donors who were withholding funds until Edward left, as mentioned in the Miami Herald previously.

http://www.miamihera...t-troubled.html


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