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Cinderella


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#1 sandik

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:39 PM

Casting is up for the first week of performances and, thanks to the gods, the company has returned to a grid on their website (rather than the drop down menus that made comparisons so difficult)

Carla Korbes dances opening night, partnered by Karel Cruz, and Carrie Imler is her Godmother (her only performance for this run). Leslie Rausch and Maria Chapman have the other two performances in opening weekend (with Bakthurel Bold and Seth Orza, respectively, and Kylee Kitchens and Laura Gilbreath as Godmothers). Marisa Albee is back, guesting as one of the stepsisters for all three of the opening weekend shows, with Lindsi Dec as her sister.

#2 Helene

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:59 PM

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image to those responsible for the casting grid!

Cinderella and Prince are listed for Week 2; I assume Godmother, Father, Stepmother, and Stepsisters will be added next week. It's still possible that Imler will dance Godmother again; Korbes/Cruz open and close the run.

All but Gilbreath as the Stepmother performing in Week 1 listed roles have performed them before, although the partnerships may have been different. In Week 2, there are two major debuts as Prince, each for a single performance: Jonathan Porretta (with Kaori Nakamura) and Jerome Tisserand (with Rachel Foster). I'm thrilled that Porretta has been given this role. I'm sure he'll also do Jester, but he's so much more than a jester, and he and Nakamura look wonderful together. Paul Gibson, who wasn't usually cast as the Prince -- he was also cast as Sprite, (maybe it should be called Evil Sprite) -- danced the role partnering Louise Nadeau under Russell and Stowell.

I think the strongest choreography is for the Seasons divertissement. In this playful video, PNB asks, "Which Season?" and at the end asks the audience to guess which of the four seasons is being rehearsed in the studio by five dancers. Choose right, and you'll see about a minute of the variation. Whichever way you choose, don't close the original window: by clicking each of the others, you will see a very short snippet of the variation and the beautiful Martin Pakledinaz costumes, and the dancers are identified in the individual videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1k6jLcJJ3s

In the studio, Brittany Reid is the dancer in the black tulle skirt. I think Lesley Rausch might be next to her in the pink skirt. Emma Love is in the blue leotard back row to the left. I don't know who the dancer in the middle of the back row is. (Elizabeth Murphy?) I think it's Leah O'Connor in the lilac shirt, back row on the right. Please point out any mistakes or omissions.

The roles of the Seasons usually are spread around the wonderfully talented women in the company, and it's an opportunity for many corps members to shine. Mullin's bold Fall and the now-retired Lowenberg's languid Summer were two who were particularly fine in 2011. The other featured roles are Sprite, Harlequin, and Columbine. The dancer who is Godmother also dances Fairy in the Sprite/Fairy/H&C wedding entertainment variations.

Cinderella is an opportunity to pay tribute to Francia Russell and Kent Stowell in this 40th anniversary season, but also a chance to remember Pakledinaz, who died this summer.

#3 Brioche

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:54 PM

Thank you Helene. PNB certainly produces beautiful marketing material.

Very happy to see Porretta's name. Has he been injured? I feel as if I have not seen his name so much in the last year.



#4 Helene

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:53 PM

Lindsay Thomas is the videographer, and she does beautiful work in editing the videos.

Porretta was injured during the first week of the second rep of the season, "Love Stories"; he had to withdraw from other performances of "Divertimento from 'Baiser de la fee'" and Bluebird Pas de Deux. He was also injured for the "Carmina/Apollo" rep, having been cast in the "Prima Vere" couple with Kaori Nakamura, who danced with James Moore.

Porretta did Dancing Master in Wheeldon's "Variations Serieuses" in the All Wheeldon rep, and he was, in my opinion, the star of the Ratmansky "Don Quixote" in two character roles: Gamache and Sancho Panza. In "New Works" he was, IMO, a rock star in "A Million Kisses to My Skin" (as were a couple of other dancers), and he danced in "Cylindrical Shadows." He was Franz to Nakamura's Swanhilde in the season-ending "Coppelia."

He was all over the place last season. He's cast for one performance of Prince in "Cinderella" on 29 September, a role debut, and since he's danced jester in the ballet in the past, and he said in a Q&A at the end of last season that he'd be doing a lot of jesters this season, I suspect he'll be cast in that role as well. The wild card for this season is that there are so many new ballets (by Morris, Wheeldon, Gibson, Gaines, Bartee, and Mullin), that it depends on what they envision and whom they'll use.

#5 sandik

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:36 AM

Poretta was indeed great in Kisses last year, and knocked everyone flat in Don Q. He's at a point in his career where he could easily say "this is what I do" and continue to do just that until he was ready to retire, but he seems to be excited about stretching his options, particularly with works like Kisses and Baiser. He's the kind of dancer that develops physical facility early on, and then refines the skills to make them evocative and expressive. He's always been great fun to watch, but I see much more in his performances now than I did a few years ago. There's a person on stage, not just a skill set.

#6 Brioche

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 09:09 AM

Thank you Sandik and Helene for the update.

Mr. Porretta is one intelligent man/artist to broaden his range.

#7 SandyMcKean

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 01:06 PM

There's a person on stage, not just a skill set.


Perfectly said.

Poretta has always been a spectacular technical dancer, and his enthusiasm has always been infectious; but in recent years, IMHO, he has added a depth, a feeling for humanity, a seriousness that has elevated him to even more of a star than he has always been. And when you see him just as a "normal person" at a post performance Q&A (or other venue) he is always so open and willing to "bring the audience into his world".....almost like he was sitting in your living room just shooting the breeze.

He's a person I greatly admire.

#8 Helene

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:25 PM

There's a person on stage, not just a skill set.


It's funny, because if there were criticisms of him, they were that he had too much personality or was too "Broadway." Admittedly, there were times when he was dangerously close to the edge of that, but considering the way he was cast, often in jester/virtuoso roles, it was never in a role, like a prince, where I've seen many go from "Prince" to "Now it's time for my spectacular solo." His Tetley "Rite of Spring" was one of the first roles that used his dark, dramatic ability, and he was magnificent in it, which he later followed with "State of Darkness" in which he was equally magnificent.

And, speaking of the devil, my subscription tickets arrived today, and a photo of him in "Agon" graces the large, glossy ticket envelope. Hopefully New York audiences will get to see him in the First Pas de Trois. He's also featured on the "Modern Masterpieces" ticket (in "In the Upper Room").

#9 sandik

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 01:13 PM


There's a person on stage, not just a skill set.


It's funny, because if there were criticisms of him, they were that he had too much personality or was too "Broadway." Admittedly, there were times when he was dangerously close to the edge of that, but considering the way he was cast, often in jester/virtuoso roles, it was never in a role, like a prince, where I've seen many go from "Prince" to "Now it's time for my spectacular solo." His Tetley "Rite of Spring" was one of the first roles that used his dark, dramatic ability, and he was magnificent in it, which he later followed with "State of Darkness" in which he was equally magnificent.


I understand what you're referring to with the "Broadway" description, and there were works that tended to bring out that Mr Entertainment side, but I mostly remember his early performances just for their daring -- lately that has been in the service of specific choreography or character. And I think you've put your finger on it -- the Tetley "Rite" was a big moment for him.

#10 SandyMcKean

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:37 AM

It's funny, because if there were criticisms of him, they were that he had too much personality or was too "Broadway."


I do think this has been, and may still be from time to time, a valid criticism of Jonathan; however, I took sandik to mean that these days Jonathan has greatly improved his ability to project the human ("person") emotions and human predicament that the choreography and/or music is attempting to communicate. That's just the shift I think Jonathan has been so successful in accomplishing in recent seasons..........the "person" he projects in the past was too much his personality (as wonderful as it is), but now that takes a back seat to what the piece is demanding he be in service to the piece. In a word, his dancing, though always technically skilled, has now matured. And as I said before that is something I greatly admire.

#11 Helene

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 10:40 AM

I see him as having being given the opportunity to dance roles in which he get to show more aspects of himself and making the most of those opportunities. I just never saw him as a technician: to me, there was always a person there, and that was what made/makes him compelling.

I would love to see him take on an Iago or Tybalt, as good as he is a Mercutio.

#12 sandik

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 02:57 PM

I would love to see him take on an Iago or Tybalt, as good as he is a Mercutio.


Well, he certainly has the quickness that the Iago character in the Limon version requires. The role was built on Lucas Hoving, who used his length as well as his flexibility and snap, but depending on who was cast as the Othello character, height might not be a concern.

For Tybalt, it would depend whose production you're looking at. Maillot's version of the character has a certain massive quality that might not fit so well for Porretta, but again, it would depend on the rest of the ensemble.

#13 Helene

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:00 AM

Tonight was the opening of "Cinderella" and PNB's 40th Anniversary season.

The program opened with a one-time performance of the Robbins/Stravinsky "Circus Polka," with students from the PNB School and special guest Patricia Barker as Ringmaster. It was followed by a slide show of photos chosen by Peter Boal, while the orchestra, which played superbly all night, played the finale from "Firebird.". Then the Company danced Kent Stowell's "Cinderella."

No speeches and no promotion announcements.

There were parties before and after, and in the lobby I saw former members of the Company, including Ariana Lallone, who looked drop-dead gorgeous in a long black dress, Jeff Stanton, who looked like he was born to wear black tie, Anne Derieux, Jordan Pacitti, Julie Tobiasson, and Melanie Skinner. It was more low key than the NYCB red carpet, but they looked just as good.

Per the program, the former Liora Reshef has changed her stage name to her married name and is listed as Liora Neuville.

#14 Helene

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:05 PM

Heads Up for tonight, Saturday, 22 September evening performance:

In this afternoon's Q&A Peter Boal said that Seth Orza is having a problem with his knee and that Kaori Nakamura and Jonathan Porretta, in his role debut, will dance Cinderella and Prince.

#15 Helene

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:15 AM

Casting changes for Week 2:

On Thursday Jerome Tisserand will make his debut as Prince partnering Maria Chapman, with Margaret Mullin making her debut as the pushier Stepsister (Marisa Albee's original role). They will also dance at the Saturday matinee.

Chapman's original partner, Seth Orza, hurt his knee, per Peter Boal at a Q&A. (Wishing him a speedy recovery.)

On Friday the audience is in for a real treat: Kimberly Davey is returning as the Stepsister with the headache, the role she created, and she'll be performing with Marisa Albee. They will be in the Saturday evening and Sunday matinee performances, too.


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