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Winter Season 2013


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#46 SingerWhoMoves

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

Just to let you know, there are still tickets to the free demo in Saturday- got two at the box office this morning.

#47 carbro

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:44 PM

Being very new to BA, I know no one so I'm not sure if any of you get together or visit when you happen to be at the same performance.

As long as you have a ticket for the matinee, you can attend the 1:40 lecture on the right side of the Fourth Ring lobby. They'll probably offer intermission talks, too.

Enjoy it all!

#48 rg

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:27 PM

to return to the casting of the '73, Berlin-filmed SERENADE, i've now had a chance to screen this film and can state that (see full casting above) the Sonatina features Leland, Mazzo and von Aroldingen.
Mazzo is partnered by Martins for the Waltz.
Leland dances the Tema Russo (and central to the pas de cinq).
von Aroldingen shadows and 'blinds' Bonnefous as he approaches the reclining Mazzo who's fallen the stage before the Elegie.
when the 'third' leading female dancer joins Mazzo and von Aroldingen with Bonnefous in the Elegie, it's Hendl, so Leland either got injured or Balanchine reverted to a sometime variation in casting the ballet with four leading women rather than three. (Leland's hair is more reddish blonde than Hendl's but both are blonde; Mazzo is dark haired and von Aroldingen is medium brown.)
whether on their own or because of prodding by Balanchine, the camera operators frequently close in on a young Merrill Ashley, giving her some prominence amid the 17 dancer ensemble.

#49 AlbanyGirl

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:57 PM

Thank you, Carbro, and SimonA, I'll PM you in a day or so.

#50 abatt

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:04 AM

The NYCB season got off to an excellent start. I don't have much time now, so this will be brief. Mearns was magnificent in her Waltz Girl debut. Every gesture, large or small, was full of drama and beauty. I've never seen anyone convey so much meaning simply by raising a hand to cover the eyes. Her interpretation had dramatic urgency. Even though she had been out for a period of time, all the Mearns trademarks were there- supple back, intense stage presence. Jared Angle is a very attentive partner to her. So glad to have this ballerina back with us. Megan LeCrone did very well in her debut as Dark Angel. She has been getting a lot of signfiicant roles lately, and she finally seems to be dancing on a much higher level than a few years ago. As always, Bouder's elevation as Russian Girl was breathtaking. Bouder was a marvel in Tschai Piano Concerto 2. I would have to agree w. the NY Times that this is one of her best roles. Usually I find J. Stafford to be a blank, but he was an excellent partner to La Bouder. I was also very, very pleased with Reichlin's Tschai Piano Concerto No. 2 on Wed night w. Tyler Angle. I thought Lowery looked sloppy, especially her upper body and arms, in Tschai Piano Concerto's soloist role on Tues. Tyler Angle definitely needs some improvement in Mozartiana. Some of his steps were blurred and incomplete. Other passages in his footwork were well done. At times he could not fully articulate all the footwork and still keep up w. the music. He also had an unfortunate mishap in one of his landings. I thought Sterling Hyltin started out well in Mozartiana, but I thought she seemed too coy in her pdd w. Chase Finlay. Howerver, I must admit that it was well danced in terms of showing every step of the choreography to its full effect - dancing full out. Chase Finlay looked like an eager student in his debut in Mozartiana. The choreography is very difficult to execute, and he was not at ease. (Someone bring back Damian Woetzel, ASAP!) I'm sure he'll grow into the role over time. Loved the refined elegance of Huxley in Mozartiana. .

#51 vipa

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:35 PM

Abatt I was there Wednesday, but not Tuesday. I agree with your thoughts about Wed. Yes, it's great to have Mearns back and that can't be said too often. I love Bouder's Russian girl - not only her elevation, but her speed and a kind of softness you don't get from her in many roles (or maybe it's a side that she isn't given many opportunities to present.}

Just want to add that I thought the corps looked great in Seranade & in Tchai Piano Concerto too for that matter.

Finlay did better than I expected in Mozartiana. Eventually this will be a good fit for him I think. I'm kind of spoiled by the Suzanne/Ib rendition which I saw live and also

Huxley looked great in gigue, but I'm a little sorry I didn't get to see Ulbricht.

In Tchai Piano Concerto there were moments when Ana Sophia Scheller really lit up the stage.

I'm really looking forward to seeing T. Peck and DeLuz in Theme and Variations next week.

#52 bobbi

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:24 AM

Thanks, Vipa, for posting that clip. It brought back all the wonderful memories of those two great artists in their prime. When that ballet was first done, Suzanne wore a short black tutu but then asked to have a longer flowing one made (as is the tradition now). Also, in Balanchine's day, the second male lead was cast with a taller boy (i.e, Chris D'Amboise, Victor Castelli), which I also miss. By the way, I too was at the Hylin/Findlay debut. It was a promising sketch which I hope they will work into over time. Sterling's borrees were terrific by the way.

#53 pasdequatre

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:29 AM

Thanks also to Vipa for this amazing video of Suzanne as I remember her. Notice her perfection of form, the use of her arms, always in place. And Ib Anderson's legs create angles, pictures, in the air. And when he's almost done, there's Suzanne, flying on, then striking a "ready" pose with her arms at her waist, about to fly into space. They maintain the "preghiera" theme of the first movement, in their solemnity. Notice also that despite what vivace movements Suzanne is dancing, her expression is utterly impassive.

This stands further study. I have a book called Mozartiana by Robert Maiorano and Valerie Brooks which traces, step by step, the creation of Mozartiana by Balanchine. I'll also look at the portion of Suzanne's memoir on Mozartiana. She was a phenomenon, and her like will not be seen again. Thank God she has her own troup and is teaching. Can't they come back to New York? How did she find a dancer who resembled the young Balanchine in Meditation?

Must learn more about Mozartiana. Page 1: "Simply, with great delicacy, Balanchine leads Farrell by the hand." The opening description from the pas de deux we just viewed. If you want to know more about how Balanchine choreographed (and I do), locate this valuable book.

#54 abatt

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:48 AM

Yes, thanks for the clip. I never saw Farrell dance live, so this clip enhanced my appreciation of Mozartiana.

#55 vipa

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

Sterling's borrees were terrific by the way.


Glad you mentioned the borrees - they were really terriric.

#56 Helene

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

They must have been striking: Marina Harss mentioned them as well.

I'm so envious of everyone who got to see this program with these casts :)

#57 Drew

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:55 PM

I believe that tonight is the first time I have seen Mozartiana since seeing Farrell and Anderson. (I have deliberately stayed away from the video above and decided to just see how I reacted to Hyltin w. Finlay with no more than fragile images of the past in my mind.)

Truthfully, Hyltin doesn't (yet) have Farrel's spirituality in the role, and Farrell's "impassivity" which often seemed like an inner communion is not part of her persona. She is an earthly beauty. . But a beauty she is and a real ballerina. The moment the curtain goes up, one knows it. And she has one ballerina quality that seems to me somewhat comparable to something Farrell had and very necessary to this role--the ability to make even a very small move or change of direction/epaulement into an event in the choreography. Whole passages of the ballet were just ravishing--including the bourrees mentioned above by others.

I write with a touch of remorse because early in Hyltin's career I did not understand why people were so excited by her and was decidedly resistant to her personal charm. Delighted to be proved wrong and won over!! I think she is now one of my favorites.

By the by, I enjoyed the very promising Finlay too--doesn't have Anderson's beats (or angles), but offered clean, well shaped, easy and unaffected dancing in some very difficult choreography. (Thought the adult ensemble dancing in this ballet was the weakest ensemble dancing of the evening...and I think that Hyltin and Finlay together may have come to a little less than the sum of their parts which I would attribute to their not fully finding a way into the choreography's odd-to-identify mood.)

Lots of other pleasures at this evening's performance, including Janie Taylor's rather striking performance in Serenade. I will make the by now ritual but still perhaps necessary concession that she is not always technically reliable, but I find her terribly interesting--strikingly "in" the moment at every moment. I don't think I've seen anyone perform the episode based on a dancer arriving late to the rehearsal as if really looking hard at everyone around her trying to figure out what was happening and where she should be. It probably should be performed in more stylized fashion (as it usually is in my experience), but I kind of loved what Taylor did anyway.

I thought the corps looked wonderful in Serenade--they don't all look the same, but they do all move with a shared energy and breath. Also very good in Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no.2, though when the curtain went up they actually seemed lined up in a way that perhaps did too little to mute height disparities....Once the corps was dancing, though, the disparities became pretty much invisible (to me).

I reacted to Bouder in the ballerina role, perhaps oddly, somewhat as I did to her in Liebeslieder. That is, it took me a while to accept her as a "nineteenth-century" figure. For the first few minutes I simply did not believe her as an after-image of imperial ballet glamor. Only as the ballet unfolded did the sheer quality of her dancing win me over. I will say that this is one Balanchine ballet that I would not mind seeing restored to its more "thematic" designs--or given some new ones. A backdrop of St. Petersburg seems as if it would fit the music and the choreography to perfection. And the Tchaikovsky almost cries out for something less austere than the current blue blank.

Anyway, very grateful for the evening all round.

#58 pasdequatre

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

Drew, very grateful for your precis of the evening, since I am relying on Ballet Alert posters to convey the ballets to me. (I can't attend til mid-April.) I appreciated Drew's interpretation of what I called "impassivity" as "spirituality". I think that's right.

#59 canbelto

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:34 AM

Absolutely wonderful performance last night from everyone. Serenade looked better than I've seen it in a LONG time. Mearns was unforgettable as the Waltz Girl and Bouder in the Russian Dance. Sterling Hyltin and Chase Finlay looked like a vision in Mozartiana and Hyltin's bourrees were breathtaking. Hyltin has really grown in stature as an artist. Most of all, Teresa Reichlen absolutely dominated Tchai Piano Concerto #2 in the most wonderful, regal way. Wonderful to see Mearns and Bouder back and the company in such great shape.

#60 Drew

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:25 AM

Absolutely wonderful performance last night from everyone. Serenade looked better than I've seen it in a LONG time. Mearns was unforgettable as the Waltz Girl and Bouder in the Russian Dance. Sterling Hyltin and Chase Finlay looked like a vision in Mozartiana and Hyltin's bourrees were breathtaking. Hyltin has really grown in stature as an artist. Most of all, Teresa Reichlen absolutely dominated Tchai Piano Concerto #2 in the most wonderful, regal way. Wonderful to see Mearns and Bouder back and the company in such great shape.


Very much my reaction -- especially impressed by Reichlin in Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no. 2. (Did think the men in the ensemble and in the trio were lackluster. And the men get some of the best music in the finale--a ringing horn theme as they all enter as a massed group; if they were on their game with strong, vivid jumps, it would be very exciting; on the musical repeat the same theme goes to the lead couple, Reichlin w. Tyler Angle, and they were splendid.)

Enjoyed the matinee very much as well. I have always loved the Balanchine Swan Lake, and I think Odette is one of Kowroski's best roles. But I had almost forgotten just how beautiful the designs are...especially the arctic backdrop. I had not forgotten how marvelous the swirling corps-de-ballet storm is in the finale section and how moving I find the whole thing. And Tiler Peck in Allegro Brillante can do anything--and do it slowly,quickly, flirtaciously, romantically, happily, sadly, etc. etc. --weaving every beat and tone together into a single sweep of motion as if it were the easiest most natural thing in the world.

Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3 however was a mixed bag. I quite like Janie Taylor's extraordinary intensity in the second movement, but when the second movement is the highlight of a ballet that includes Theme and Variations, there's a problem. Even as I had forgotten just how beautiful the one act Swan Lake designs are I had forgotten just how ugly the costumes for T&V are at NYCB (and the backdrop is nothing to write home about either). Additionally the music was taken at quite a fast clip with not so much as a nano-second break between the third movement and the opening of Theme and Variations--completely spoiling the "ah" moment when the light goes up on the purely classical vision; one could barely even grasp the dancers' performance of the "theme" because the transition was so sudden. (All one needed was an additional second or two.) And at various times throughout, I thought the principles (Fairchild and Veyette) and demi-soloists visibly had trouble keeping up.

Otherwise Fairchild and Veyette had some fine moments, but they seemed under-cast. (At the "Balanchine Ballerina" demonstration I thought Fairchild did much better by the variation/coda from Tchaikovsky pas de deux: in the right role, she's terrific.) The four women demi-soloists were mismatched in height which I would mind less if they would at least put the taller women in the center of the four so there was a kind of arch effect. Instead, it was short-tall-short-tall. I don't require Boshoi or Mariinsky style uniformity from NYCB--I don't even want it from them--but I do not understand that choice in this ballet.

The demonstration on the "Balanchine ballerina" was a very full and fun event: lots of dancing. And the dancers also did a great job introducing their excerpts. I did think that it was a shame not to include an example of one of Balanchine's modernist "ballerinas"--a bit from Agon or Rubies or some such. I suppose that, with the exception of the Sugar Plum Fairy variation, (danced by Bouder) they were sticking with ballets from this season. (And Variations for a Door and a Sigh doesn't really allow of excerpting). Still a big piece of the Balanchine ballerina story was missing.

Ironically, the highlight for me was not a ballerina at all. I had been disappointed not to be seeing Robert Fairchild at any of the performances I had tickets for, so I was just delighted to see him in an excerpt from Western Symphony w. Maria Kowroski.


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