puppytreats

Winter Season 2013

159 posts in this topic

Sigh ... I was looking at that camera set up last night and wondering why all that beautiful dancing wasn't being beamed out to the universe. Yeah, I know -- unions, rights, bandwidth, piracy, etc etc etc ... In all seriousness, the compensation and rights issues are real ones, but surely it's not too much to hope that they can be equitably resolved.

I couldn't agree more. All the artists deserve fair compensation, but especially with the painful decline in PBS broadcasts in "Dance in America" and "Live from Lincoln Center" in dance (a source of many wonderful DVDs over the years), surely the dance world could figure out how to take advantage of all this technology and reach a broader audience.

I was struck by the art installation by Faile and the hip designer furniture on the lobby promenade. Is this how NYCB plans to attract new audiences to the ballet? They're not being invited to collaborate on performances (in the tradition of Diaghilev, who brought in such young artists as Picasso, e.g.). Balanchine exploited live television in the 50s and reached new audiences all over the country. (I read that he also saw this as a way to get some extra income to his dancers, which is fine with me.) Time for NYCB (and ABT) to get on board with today's innovative technologies.

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I attended Wednesday evening. I had a wonderful time. I hadn't seen the Balanchine Swan Lake for years and had forgotten the wonderful ways he rearranged and renewed the traditional steps. Particularly with the 2nd Act swan entrance and waltz.

Maria Kowroski has beautiful legs, a big arabesque and extensions, and moments of the partnered sections were moving and beautiful. IMO her technique and overall strength are quite diminished. In her solo work she can't really sustain positions on pointe, and the fast entrachat/passe section was sorely lacking. She never had a big jump, but now she doesn't really jump at all. She will always have gorgeous legs and a flexible back, but she has definitely gotten weaker in general.

I liked Tyler Angle very much. His variation was musical and clean, and I have always enjoyed his demeanor on stage.

Allegro Brilliante - Again what a great ballet. I'll never tire of it. The four corps women last night are all possible soloists - Lauren King, Ashley Laracey, Megan LeCrone & Gretchen Smith. With there being only 2 female soloists right now I'm expecting a promotion to be announced any day.

Fairchild & Veyette were the principals. Megan Fairchild seems to be the one people love to hate right now. I enjoyed her performance. I thought she was lovely, musical and certainly has a rock solid technique - turns secure, fast movement clean. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy a ticket to see her, but when I do see her, she always delivers what for me is a good and enjoyable performance - maybe not my ideal performance, but I always enjoy it.

Andrew Veyette was terrific. He's a dancer who I enjoy more and more. He seems more relaxed and assured as time goes by.

Tchai No. 3. Before getting to T&V I have to say that I just don't get Erica Perreira (She did the Scherzo). I don't see anything special about her. I think it's something of a shame she was made a soloist so soon, because if she was in the corps she'd be getting more stage time and maybe could develop better. Her partner Daniel Ulbricht was spectacular. It's not only how high he jumps, it's how quickly get freezes positions in the air so you see that picture for a good long time.

Tiler Peck & De Luz - I don't know if I've ever seen a better T&V. The opening theme just made me smile. It is simple dancing at that point but the two of them had such a sunny, elegance and nobility. The timing of when their arms arrived into position, the openness of their presentation, the way they related to each other all added to the feeling. Then the dancing was super. Peck has beautiful fluidity in her upper body while moving quickly and cleanly. She sparkled through every variation (and this is hard stuff to do). I felt like I was watching a glowing Aurora. De Luz was also wonderful in performance quality and technique.

One thing to add - In all three ballets the principal male dancers were great partners. I love that is a strength in the company right now.

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Puppytreats, you should try to contact the lost and found office at the Koch for your hair comb.

It is becoming a ritual for me.

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Admin Top Hat On:

The company forum performance threads are for members to discuss performances they have seen. If you want to know if something has been reviewed in the press, that's what dirac spends many hours in the Links forum to provide. If you want to discuss a review in the press, that is what the "Writings on Ballet" forum is for.

Admin Top Hat Off.

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What a difference a cast change makes. I attended performances on Thurs and Friday. Veyette's performance in Baiser is a work in progress. His solos looked sloppy at times, and there were even some rough edges in the partnering of M. Fairchild. Megan was very good. However, Tiler Peck was stellar in Baiser. It's not merely her musicality. Her strong technique makes every single step look clean and clearly articulated. Robbie Fairchild was very good in his debut in Baiser. He was able to manage the tricky, quick changes in direction with style and accuracy.

Abi and Jared were charming and lovely, but not thrilling, in Tschai pdd. They avoided the virtuoso tricks that some people perform in this ballet. Megan and DeLuz (especially DeLuz) pulled out all of the virtuoso tricks on Friday. DeLuz's elevation and speed in the solos were marvelous.

The less said about Bal the better. I feel it becomes more boring with every viewing. Since the air temperature/wind chill outdoors every evening is around zero in NYC this week, I decided to sit through the ballet instead of taking a neighborhood stroll. I guess I should just shut my eyes and listen to the music.

The Diamonds performance on Thursday was very disappointing. Maria and Tyler Angle did a nice job in the big pdd, but they each struggled in their solos. The corps looked ragged and under-rehearsed.

Then came the breathtaking performance on Friday of Mearns in Diamonds. She was riveting and radiant. Ask did well in his debut in Diamonds. He fudged some of the landings in his solo, but nothing too terrible.

Earlier in the week Tiler Peck and DeLuz were brilliant in T&V. Her phrasing is always beautiful. She reminds me of a shorter version of Kyra Nichols.

The Baiser/Bal/Diamonds performances did not sell as well as the other performances this season. Third ring was open but far from full. There were lots of empty seats in the orchestra too. Granted, it has been a brutally cold week in NYC, which may have kept people bundled up at home.

Why do the ushers allow people to enter the theater after the curtain goes up. They are disturbing everyone who sits in the vicinity of an entrance door into the theater. There are TV sets on every level that show the perfromance so that latecomers can see the performance. Every night the first few minutes of the first ballet are destroyed for people who have arrived on time and are in their seats.

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Earlier in the week Tiler Peck and DeLuz were brilliant in T&V. Her phrasing is always beautiful. She reminds me of a shorter version of Kyra Nichols.

I had not thought of this at all -- but I think it's a very just comparison. Indeed mentally comparing Peck (in Baiser--last season) to Mcbride, I found it didn't quite work and, in fact, while admiring Peck's dancing I slightly missed Mcbride's distinctive allegro in the first part of the ballet.

But I think Peck is a great dancer and the calm spaciousness and ease as she does utterly brilliant, can't-believe-your-eyes dancing...that is reminiscent of Nichols. (Think chaine turns done at dizzying speed yet as clear as if they were in dreamy slow motion--those are some of my strongest memories of Nichols and surely will be of Peck after seeing her last week in Allegro Brilliante.)

Peck has her own distinctive plangency--I actually loved her in the later sections of Baiser when the tone turns fateful--but the comparison to Nichols seems illuminating to me.

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Why do the ushers allow people to enter the theater after the curtain goes up. They are disturbing everyone who sits in the vicinity of an entrance door into the theater. There are TV sets on every level that show the perfromance so that latecomers can see the performance. Every night the first few minutes of the first ballet are destroyed for people who have arrived on time and are in their seats.

So agree with this. A couple of weeks ago I was in the audience when the curtain had gone up on Seranade and an usher brought latecomers in, flashing a light so the people could see where they were going. It was very distracting. There should be a rule that if the curtain is up or a note is played by the orchestra you don't get shown to your seat.

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There might be a rule. It's usually printed in the program and sometimes on the ticket itself. There's a rule at the Metropolitan Opera, for example, which says either that latecomers will not be seated until intermission or the first reasonable pause. (Usually after the overture or while sets are being changed.) However, I believe the ushers have discretion. I think it's a mistake to seat people during a performance.

Here are some of the policies printed on ticket stubs:

Latecomers will not be seated until an appropriate interval*:

  • New York City Opera (1991)
  • Cal Performances (2011)
  • American Ballet Theatre (2011)
  • New York City Ballet (1986, 1994, 2004)
  • Seattle Symphony (2002)
  • Vlaamse Opera (2008)
  • Paris Opera Ballet/Bastille and Palais Garnier (2008). They shut the doors and don't let anyone in until intermission.
  • Aldwych Theatre (1977)
  • Victorian Arts Centre/Melbourne (2002)
  • Royal Opera (2002)
  • Sante Fe Opera (2002) Intermission entry only.
  • Adelaide Festival 2002

There is no late seating during the performance*:

  • San Francisco Opera (2011)
  • Seattle Theatre Group/Paramount Theatre (2010)
  • Seattle Opera (2013)
  • Lincoln Center Festival/Metropolitan Opera House (2011)
  • Ballet Arizona (2011)
  • Royal Ballet (2008)
  • San Francisco Ballet Repertory Season (2004)
  • Pacific Northwest Ballet (2004)
  • Vancouver Recital Society (2010)
  • Vancouver Opera (2010)
  • Dallas Opera (2010)
  • Metropolitan Opera (2004)
  • English National Opera (2005)
  • Liceu (1999)

Late Seating is at the Discretion of the Management:*

  • Pacific Northwest Ballet (2011)
  • San Francisco Ballet "Nutcracker) (2004)
  • Carnegie Hall/Zankell (2008)
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music/Gilman Opera House (2001)
  • Sydney Opera House (2002)
  • Sydney Opera House Concert Hall (2002)
  • Plymouth Theatre/NYC (2003)
  • New York Philharmonic/Avery Fisher Hall (2001)

Late seating not guaranteed*:

  • Town Hall/Seattle (2010)
  • On the Boards/Seattle (2005)

Take a dollar off your next margarita:

  • University of Washington World Series/Meany Theatre (2003)

*Or similar wording

I suspect the wording on the Bolshoi ticket says, "Don't even think of messing with the ushers."

There is a series of interviews with various people who work at the Metropolitan Opera House that are broadcast on the Sirius/XM Met Opera Channel, and one of them was with an usher, who said she made an exception for someone once, because, if I remember correctly, that person promised she'd stay in the back or out of the way until there was a pause, and the patron pushed her way into her seat. The usher said that was the last time she made an exception.

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On the back of the current season tickets for NYCB:

"Latecomers will not be seated until an appropriate interval."

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Irrespective of what it says on the back of the NYCB tixs, the reality is that ushers regularly let people into the auditorium during the performance.

Surprised nobody posted yet about the on stage disaster yesterday afternoon at Tchai Piano No.2. Ask LaCour was supposed to partner Reiclin while they were both moving in a backward direction. Ask stumble somehow and landed on the floor, and he took Reichlin down with him. They both looked totally stunned, sprawled out on the floor. But they both got back up and continued. There was an audible gasp when the fall occurred. But for the fall, it was a good performance.

Happy to report that last night Veyette (in Baiser), Korowski and Angle (in Diamonds) looked much more polished than on Thursday night.

Tiler Peck nailed Tchai pdd w. DeLuz. Gorgeous performance. She added embellishments with her arms as she did her spins, as she has done in the past.

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I, too, attended last night's performance, which included a tour de force by Peck and DeLuz in Tchai Pas that kept me at the edge of my seat. But even more memorable for me was the luminous performance of Maria Kowroski in Diamonds. With what are, arguably, the most beautiful legs and feet in all of ballet history, coupled with a plasticity and expressiveness of her upper body, Kowroski danced with a fluidity such that every extension, every position, was drawn to the utmost. I also enjoyed watching Janie Taylor in Bal de Couture, although I think the tutus and the red shoes make everyone's legs look muscular and thick.

Btw, did anyone notice a mishap in Diamonds last night? At one point I thought I heard a gasp in the audience but I was sitting at the side of the first ring so that the dancers were hidden from sight at just that moment.

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I attended this afternoon's performance. Sara Mearns was injured before Diamonds, and tweeted immediately after the show explaining her injury. She danced with unusual caution and the solos for both Mearns and Ask La Cour were omitted. I certainly hope the injury is not serious -- she just came back from an injury.

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I attended this afternoon's performance. Sara Mearns was injured before Diamonds, and tweeted immediately after the show explaining her injury. She danced with unusual caution and the solos for both Mearns and Ask La Cour were omitted. I certainly hope the injury is not serious -- she just came back from an injury.

Glad to know that. I noted the caution. I hope she's back soon and uninjured. There were still wonderful aspects to her performance.

Ashley Bouder & Chase Finley did a fine (in a way) Tchai pas. He is really coming along. Not a finished performance but he had terrific moments and doesn't cheat and try to get by with pizzaz. I now have confidence in Martins' decision to put him out there. Bouder was wonderful in the pas, (Finley had to be glad to be partnering her) and her variation was remarkable, but she changed legs for the hops back and did a couple of things that made me wonder about a possible problem with one leg.

Bal de couture is just silly. It tells me something about the fashion world (which I don't follow), that a noted designer can take some of the most beautiful female bodies that exist and make them unflattering costumes. The men got off easy.

T. Peck was wonderful in Baiser de la Fee. Robert Fairchild is just IMO not a white tights kind of dancer. Loved him in Fancy Free and the Susan Stroman thing, but not this.

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Why didn't the stage manager make an announcement before Diamonds that certain sections would be omitted due to injury. That would have been the appropriate course of action. About 10 years ago Wendy Whelan got injured right before the curtain was to go up on Tchai Piano Concerto 2. An announcement was made that due to injury only certain sections of the ballet would be performed. I guess the vast majority of the audience were unaware that about 10 minutes worth of Diamonds was not performed. Mearns was lethargic. Hope she is not injured again.

Angelica, the gasp on Sat evening was because one of the corps girls on the far left side fell. She got right back up though.

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Angelica, the gasp on Sat evening was because one of the corps girls on the far left side fell. She got right back up though.

Thank you, abatt. That was, indeed, the part of the stage that I couldn't see.

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I too was disappointed about the solos in Diamonds being omitted. It brought me back to the many times in the 70's when Peter and Suzanne omitted them when Jewels was on a 1 p.m. Sunday matinee. This was not because of injury but because of choice of the dancers. Hope Mearns has not re-injured herself.

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Sara Mearns was injured before Diamonds, and tweeted immediately after the show explaining her injury. She danced with unusual caution and the solos for both Mearns and Ask La Cour were omitted. I certainly hope the injury is not serious -- she just came back from an injury.

She has sent out several tweets on this:

sara mearns@nycbstar2b

The show must go on and it did. Instead of dancing 200 percent , I did 90. Ugh. Should be ok with rest and ice. Sigh.

14hsara mearns@nycbstar2b

Thank you to my partner Ask La Cour for getting me thru it, and Thankyou to Maria for staying in the wings. It just came on so fast...

sara mearns@nycbstar2b

I just want to apologize to anyone at the show today. I hurt my foot right before the curtain went up and had no choice but dance.

A new tweet Monday morning from Sara:

sara mearns@nycbstar2b

Nothing major, just some swelling in my tendon from over use. Ice Ice Ice.

Edited by California

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I too was disappointed about the solos in Diamonds being omitted. It brought me back to the many times in the 70's when Peter and Suzanne omitted them when Jewels was on a 1 p.m. Sunday matinee. This was not because of injury but because of choice of the dancers. Hope Mearns has not re-injured herself.

I assumed that unless there was some kind of emergency at issue, like injuries, all sections of every ballet must be performed. This is the first time I've ever heard that it was the choice of the dancers whether the taxing sections of a ballet will be performed. Having now read Mearns' tweets, it is apparent that Maria K. was waiting in the wings to perform Diamonds in case Mearns could not proceed. Is it better to perform half a ballet with the scheduled principal, or the whole ballet with an unscheduled principal. That may be a question for discussion, but one thing I am sure of is that an announcement should have been made regarding the omitted portions of the ballet right before the curtain rose. Their silence made it look like they were trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the audience.

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i believe there were times when Balanchine himself deemed it necessary to drop movements of some ballets when dancers were at risk of one thing or another. on at least one, if not more, occasion(s) the entire 3rd movement of SYMPHONY IN C was omitted.

on a number of occasions the scherzo of DIAMONDS was omitted for reasons never really given - i too heard there were rumors about Martins's or Farrell's or before that Mazzo's wishes to have these 'cuts' taken but these were only hearsay.

as Balanchine was alive and well, it's rather safe assume that the decision to drop a section from one of his ballets was ultimately HIS and not just some dancer's whim.

one such time it was said, that while the scherzo had been dropped on occasion during Farrell's absence from the company, that when she first came back, it was she who insisted that the scherzo NOT be dropped, no matter what.

but again all this was hearsay and i don't think Balanchine's decision-making reasons were ever spelled out.

so a DIAMONDS without the scherzo is not without precedent at NYCB.

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Around the time of the centennial, Peter Martins told a story about Balanchine involving the scherzo, in which he said it was being cut due to either his or Suzanne's injuries at the time. One night before 'Diamonds', Balanchine was wanting to bond with Peter and have some vodka before the show. Peter protested saying he had 'Diamonds' to dance, to which Balanchine responded 'We'll cut the scherzo!'. I thought it was a charming story.

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Certainly the choreographer is permitted to omit, add to or change his or her work. The more difficult question is what right, if any, do other people have to change the choreography without the permission of the Trust while the copyright is still in effect. I believe the answer is that nobody has the right to make a change without the Trust's authorization, although I 'm sure there is a provision in the license agreement that allows for modifications in cases of unanticipated emergencies.

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I also missed the scherzo yesterday. It reminded me of a performance of La Source about 10 years ago when a portion of the ballet (one of the two pas de deux and 2 variations) was omitted, again without announcement. Things seem very different now in the age of twitter, which does seem to have removed some of the mystery from the theater. Regarding one of Mearns' tweets I can't help but think of the exchange between Eve and Karen in All About Eve: "The show must go on!" "No, dear, Margo must go on." However, it must be hard to compose a tweet under these circumstances.

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I, too, attended last night's performance, which included a tour de force by Peck and DeLuz in Tchai Pas that kept me at the edge of my seat. But even more memorable for me was the luminous performance of Maria Kowroski in Diamonds. With what are, arguably, the most beautiful legs and feet in all of ballet history, coupled with a plasticity and expressiveness of her upper body, Kowroski danced with a fluidity such that every extension, every position, was drawn to the utmost. I also enjoyed watching Janie Taylor in Bal de Couture, although I think the tutus and the red shoes make everyone's legs look muscular and thick.

Btw, did anyone notice a mishap in Diamonds last night? At one point I thought I heard a gasp in the audience but I was sitting at the side of the first ring so that the dancers were hidden from sight at just that moment.

Angelica, I believe it was Olivia Boisson who took a thumping fall, but she got back up immediately. Agree absolutely on the beauty of Maria's Diamonds -- those legs are a national treasure, she is so breathtakingly beautiful! I've loved her dancing this season -- so strong and crisp, with great authority, in Mozartiana (I much prefer her to the lightweight Sterling Hyltin -- Sterling's bourrees are too fast -- she ends up almost vibrating, which takes away from the effect), absolutely gorgeous in Swan Lake (I admit I cried, whereas Mearns's SL did not move me at all) -- and so gorgeous in Diamonds. I thought Tyler Angle on Sat was also wonderful in his solos -- great elevation on his petit allegro. Maria's extension and back are amazing, and I love the way her endless limbs sweep through space.

I hope they find a better leading man replacement than Ask la Cour - that was a scary moment in TP2 when he took down Tess Reichlen. These ballerinas are risking real injury with untested partners that clearly don't have the technical prowess needed in these roles.

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I hope they find a better leading man replacement than Ask la Cour - that was a scary moment in TP2 when he took down Tess Reichlen. These ballerinas are risking real injury with untested partners that clearly don't have the technical prowess needed in these roles.

I feel the exact same way. The problem is that there are not enough tall men to partner the tall ladies at NYCB. Even Tyler Angle is not quite tall enough to partner Maria, but it's the best they can do. Part of the problem is that Jon Stafford seems to be frequently injured or absent, so they have to scramble to find a tall guy whenever he's out. Ask is the default choice. They are working on bringing Finlay up to code in partnering, but he still has some work to do.

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those legs are a national treasure....Maria's extension and back are amazing, and I love the way her endless limbs sweep through space.

balanchinette, I loooove the way you describe Maria.

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