Fall 2012 season
Posted 07 September 2012 - 04:49 AM
Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:30 PM
Posted 09 September 2012 - 06:16 AM
Posted 10 September 2012 - 03:26 AM
Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:04 PM
Things picked up considerably with This Bitter Earth, an excerpt of a new ballet by C. Wheeldon titled Five Movements, Three Repeats. I thought this ballet was sensational, and I hope that this one becomes part of the rep of NYCB. Whelan and Tyler Angle danced a tender and moving pdd of great depth. The costumes were much more neutral in this ballet than the other costumes that Valentino created for this evening. Wendy's dress had a sheer skirt that allowed you to see her line. Chris Wheeldon again strikes gold in creating a role on his muse, Wendy.
Rubies brought a number of significant debuts, and was cast primarily with corps and soloist members. Ashly Isaacs and Danny Ulbricht did the third section of the ballet, and they were brilliant. Their super charged technique and extroverted stage manner were spot on. Kikta initially looked tentative as the tall girl, but she improved as the ballet proceeded. It was good to see Anthony Huxley back on stage again after a long absence. He did the pdd with Lauren Lovette. I thought they were wonderful together, and that Lovette did an excellent job in bringing out the angularity of her role. This girl is going places. Pereira, Carmena and Lowery danced the initial section of the ballet..Why hasn't Ulbricht been cast in this ballet before? He is perfect for it, and he is, in my opinion, underutilized at NYCB.
The final ballet of the evening was Bal de Couture, to the music from Eugene Onegin. Again, I thought the costumes upstaged the choreography of Martins. Six of the women wear gorgeous dresses designed in various permutations of black and white. The dresses are so elaborate and have so many layers that there is no possibility of inserting any complex lifts into the choreography. The dresses, in my opinion, hamper any possiblity of demanding choreography for those who are wearing them. The main role of these beautifully dressed ladies is to waltz around the stage with their dapper partners during the polonaise from Eugene Onegin. In addition, there are three women wearing tutus (M. Fairchild, Bouder and Peck). Personally, I thought the six dresses were gorgeous, but the tutus were unflattering. They made these three women look short waisted and broad shouldered, in my opinion. (The women all have their hair done up in elaborate up-dos.) I thought the choreography for the ensemble was very pedestrian. The central leads of the ballet are Janie Taylor, Robbie Fairchild and Sebastian Marcovici. (Janie's dress is a lovely lilac color with billowing arms and a sequin butterfly in the center of the back. This dress is sheer and light, and is much more suitable for ballet dancing.) It is a romantic trio ballet which vaguely references the Onegin plot- Janie loves and is committed to Marcovici, but Fairchild is the man from her past for whom she still yearns. I was hoping that this would be developed more in the ballet, but it seemed to go nowhere. The choreography for the trio was pleasurable but uninspired.
All in all, a fun evening of costume and people watching.
By the way, the updated casting has Bouder replaced in her assignments for this week and next, but she danced tonight. Not sure what's up with that.
I'm not a big fan of Orpheus, but Taylor and Marcovici were compelling in this ballet earlier this week.
Although Sara Mearns did not dance, she looked sensational in her red Valentino gown on the red carpet.
Posted 21 September 2012 - 06:31 AM
Did Valentino do new costumes for Rubies as well? I can't find any pictures.
Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:09 AM
Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:46 PM
That happens at EVERY performance......
Posted 23 September 2012 - 09:57 AM
I have seen many different representations of the Orfeus myth, including the Paris Opera Ballet's version of Pina Bausch's "Orfeus", the Australian Opera's DVD version of Gluck's "Orfeo", Balanchine's "Chaconne", and, on Friday, Balanchine's "Orfeus". I did not notice any reference to Paradise or Elysian Fields in the Friday performance. I admit to experiencing some distractions. Did I miss it, or did the black hut represent this plane? Did Eurydice emerge from the black hut? Could Orpheus possibly have reunited Eurydice in the Underworld in this version?
In "101 Stories", Balanchine writes that Apollo tried to, but could not, retrieve the music or the lyre (I forget which). In the end, the lyre ascends by a prop that appears to be a rope/fish symbol/ broken figure 8/loop/near infinity image. Does that indicate the lyre was trapped and inaccessible? In the absence of Balanchine's explanation, I would have interpreted the image as perhaps hopeful. Usually a raising, elevation, ascension, or eternity indicates a form of salvation, not a failure. However, in light of Balanchine's writing, one must presume that the promise of retrieval or rebirth does not offer the benefits desired. Perhaps a souless, empty lyre, without Orpheus or Eurydice, offers little solace. The conductor explained the passage of music as similar to running in place, which I did not observe, but which would lend support to the conclusion contained in Balanchine's writing. However, this would appear to offer a negative commentary on Apollo's apparent triumph, in the previous ballet (which could be viewed as Act I in Friday's program), of his (a) birth/rebirth, (b) ascension, and © having conquered (i) his powers; (ii) his muses; (iii) his gifts; (iv) other levels or planes; and/or (v) time (?).
The following deserve special praise:
1. Ana Sophia Scheller, for her clean, beautiful performance as Calliope in "Apollo";
2. Amar Ramasar, for his beautiful lines, lyricism, and moving performance as the Dark Angel in "Orpheus";
3. Wendy Whelan, for being the incomparable Wendy Whelan, always on a different level, again on Friday as Eurydice in "Orpheus";
4. Megan LeCrone, for her self-reflective, thoughtful approach in "Agon"; and
5. Maria Kowroski, for her particular strength, athletic skill, ability to create dramatic tension, and near-flawless execution in the pdd in "Agon.
I wanted to see this program since it was first announced, and I waited until the last minute to buy tickets. Luckily, I obtained a $31.00 seat in the Fourth Ring. The same approach failed me with respect to the opera at BAM today, and so far, with respect to the upcoming ABT and Ratmatsky workshop at the Guggenheim. How early does one need to get on line to obtain canceled tickets to Works and Process generally?
Lastly, are Apollo's feet supposed to be sloppy, to convey his developing of mastery over his body, or do some dancers perform the steps in a neat fashion?
Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:35 PM
Scherzo a la Russe - It is short & sweet. A wonderful example of fine patterning and musical choreography. I could watch it several more time. It is a great opportunity for those SAB students to have stage time and be able to move big without technical challenges.
Divert La Baiser de la Fee - Tiler Peck, Tiler Peck, Tiler Peck - lush port de bras, beautiful musical phrasing, rock solid technique in every way. Who could ask for anything more. I'm not a fan of Gonzalo Garcia, he was OK. I just find that his movements are not completely finished, and he never dances in a way that lets you know he has time to spare.
Dances Concertantes - Very entertaining. Combine this with the two previous mentioned pieces and the choreographic inventiveness still is astounding. I loved Andrew Veyette in this. Everything looked sharp, taught and focused. If this is an indicator, this will be a great season for him. Megan Fairchild was also fine in this. They both brought a lot of humor and spice to the piece. It's funny, but to me the choreography isn't dated but the costumes are.
I didn't stay for Firebird. My husband dislikes the piece and I don't like it enough to sit through a 20 minute intermission to see it, particularly when I saw it twice last spring.
I'm going next Tuesday. Excited about Symphony in C - Reichlen in the 2nd movement and Lauren King getting a shot at the 4th. I'm hoping L. King will get promoted to soloist - there are only 2 female soloists at the moment.
Posted 28 September 2012 - 01:43 AM
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