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MCB 2013-2014 season


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#16 Birdsall

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 06:40 PM

Birdsall, I agree that Arja seems sure of shot at Kitri next season. She was given a chance to dance Catoya's signature role -- Tchaikovsky PDD -- this weekend. So did Jeanette Delgado, who has many Kitri qualities. There are a number of promising Kitri-Basilio partnerships, and a couple of Espadas, too.


I suspect Jeanette Delgado, who is getting choice roles all the time now, is likely to get the first cast Kitri. And Arja might get a shot at it in a later performance, since she is still an up-and-coming dancer. I would enjoy seeing either one. Both have a fiery onstage temperament, in my opinion. Catoya could do the role justice too. I think she would be a somewhat softer Kitri personality, but that can also work.

#17 bart

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 06:48 PM

Cristian, thanks for correcting me. Of course, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux.. This must be the 10th time I've made the same mistake on B.A. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Jack, I have the same book but not the cover, so didn't notice your error. There are11 photos from Episodes spead over 4 pages. In 2 out of the 11, women are being carried upside down. The Episodes photos come directly after a series from Agon. Both sets look as if the come from the same work.

.

Catoya could do the role justice too. I think she would be a somewhat softer Kitri personality, but that can also work.

Agree 100%, based on a comparison of Catoya and Delgado in the Don Q pdd last program -- and Catoya / Arja in Tchaikosvsky pdd in this program. It's not just personality but also Catoya's way of presenting herself and the quality of her movement. Her dancing this weekend in the Tchaikovsky was like pure silk draped around a core of high-tensile steel.

#18 Jack Reed

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:38 PM


Jack, I have the same book but not the cover, so didn't notice your error.
...
Catoya's ... dancing this weekend in the Tchaikovsky was like pure silk draped around a core of high-tensile steel.


Tsk! You're not going to let me off the hook that easy! The same picture from Movements appears on p. 157.

But, "silk draped around tensile steel" - springy steel that won't snap or stay bent, that rebounds with stored energy? That reads like an apt description of Catoya in motion. Resilient energy directed by dance intelligence.

Plus - mindful of Mr. B's wish that dancers shouldn't think, her intelligence is innate, she shows us not so much herself but rather her dance - she loves it. Just a little of that shows sometimes. I didn't see her Tchai Pas, but most recently her Dewdrop, but going back, one of the things that kept me watching Upper Room right through the end is looking for that moment when two guys pick her up and toss her in the air and she cracks a smile up there. Every time!

Well, if you don't have a show to watch, you make up your own, right? Keep it up, you guys, and I'm going to cry over having decided mostly to sit this season out up here in Chicago. (If I lived somewhere between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, I'd be nipping in and out for parts of programs... *sigh*)



#19 bart

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

Just learned that MCB's production of Balanchine's THE NUTCRACKER will return to the Kravis Center (West Palm Beach) next December.

Dates for Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm are:

ADRIENNE ARSHT CENTER (Miami)

Dec. 19 (7:30)
Dec. 20 (2:00 and 7:30)
Dec. 21 (2:00 and 7:30)
Dec. 22 (1:00 and 6:30)
Dec. 23 (7:30
Dec. 24 (1:00)

KRAVIS CENTER (West Palm Beach)

Dec. 27 (7:30)
Dec. 28 (2:00 and 7:30)
Dec. 29 (1:00 and 6:30)
Dec. 30 (1:00)

BROWARD CENTER (Fort Lauderdale
Jan. 3 (7:30)
Jan. 4 (2:00 and 7:30)
Jan 5 (1:00)

I don't know about Naples, since MCB is presented there by venue and does not do its own marketing.

This is the first time that MCB's Nutracker has played at the Kravis Center in several years. For a long time, they were stuck with dates in November, especially when they were competing with WPB-based Ballet Florida's very popular 2-week run right around Christmas. After Ballet Florida folded, MCB tried one last time, with only 2 (or 3?) performances in late November. When MCB withdrew from West Palm, the Kravis itself presented a touring Russian Nutcracker for several seasons.

With dates like this, MCB has a real chance of making the Balanchine Nutcracker a Palm Beach County tradition. I hope the marketing department does everything possible to make this work.

#20 Birdsall

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:26 PM

I guess this is good news. I have to say that I like to watch Nutcracker leading up to Christmas and once Christmas is over I shelve my Nutcracker videos and can't stand to look at them until the following Christmas. LOL

I know that Nutcracker is presented in Russia anytime of the year and is considered just like any ballet, but I associate it with Christmas, and once the 25th is over, I am ready to move on from Christmas! LOL If I weren't so lazy all my Christmas decorations would be put in the attic on the morning of the 26th.

I suppose the West Palm dates are much preferable to Broward! There is no way I would go to a Nutcracker after the New Year has started! LOL

#21 Birdsall

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 02:10 PM

By the way, I got my subscription renewal in the mail today. That is something new to get it this early. I think the last couple of years I had to call them and ask when I can renew and that was in summer and one time I was put off. With hindsight it makes no sense for subscribers to call them and ask, "When can I renew?" They should be beating down the doors to make sure we do! So this is a change, and it is a positive change.

#22 Helene

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 02:23 PM

It always surprised me when I do the Calendar June/July that there are a handful of companies in North America that I have to keep checking until August/September. I don't know how they manage their budgets and cash flow.

#23 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:07 PM

I know that Nutcracker is presented in Russia anytime of the year and is considered just like any ballet,...


As it should be.

#24 Birdsall

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:57 PM


I know that Nutcracker is presented in Russia anytime of the year and is considered just like any ballet,...


As it should be.



Well, the reality is that in the U.S. the Nutcracker is a Christmas tradition. Whether this should or should not be the case can be debated, but it is irrelevant. It is the case. Every ballet company in the U.S. does Nutcracker at Christmas time and that is not going to change anytime soon. So here in the U.S. it is a Christmas ballet. I doubt if any ballet company here ever does it any other time, but maybe a few do. It would surprise me. It would also surprise me if there is any ballet company that does not do a Nutcracker during Christmas time.

Even before I ever saw a ballet as a child you would hear Nutcracker musical excerpts played in malls and the Nutcracker ballet advertised and on PBS, etc. Maybe this is the only country that treats it as a Christmas tradition, but it is how it is treated here, and, like I said, not about to change ever.

So after Christmas I can not watch it because I usually watch various versions to get into the Christmas mood, and it is like eating too much cotton candy. You simply get so sick of it and can't watch it again for an entire year.

#25 Helene

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 04:33 PM

The premiere of the Balanchine was in February, 1954, according to the Balanchine Catalogue. The TV broadcasts on CBS' Playhouse 90* was in 1958, but no indication of when. According to this Google Books excerpt of Charles M. Joseph's "Stravinsky Inside Out" (p. 143), it was broadcast Christmas night and on CBS*.

*A photo caption on p.154 of "Repertory in Review" states, "Above: George Balanchine as Drosselmeyer. NBC-TV, 1958." There's no listing in the Balanchine Catalogue for another 1958 TV performance.

In "Repertory in Review," Nancy Reynolds wrote (p153),

Now that "Nutcracker" Christmas presentations have become annual events throughout the United States, by professional and regional companies alike, it is difficult to remember when this was not a tradition. Balanchine's was not the first full-length production (Lew Christensen's for the San Francisco Ballet preceeded it, and in the 1940's the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo had a shorter, two-act version), but since his staging, the ballet has become a habit.



#26 California

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 04:46 PM

I doubt if any ballet company here ever does it any other time, but maybe a few do. It would surprise me.


Baryshnikov's Nutcracker premiered at the Met in May 1977, but that was an unusual situation. Kirkland had been too ill to participate in the December 1976 world premiere at the Kennedy Center (although Baryshnikov had originally hoped she would be the original Clara), but she was able to perform for the Met engagement. The production was so well-received in December 1976 that, presumably, ABT figured New York audiences were eager to see it, no matter the time of year, and especially with Kirkland.

http://en.wikipedia...._The_Nutcracker

#27 bart

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:31 AM

By the way, I got my subscription renewal in the mail today. That is something new to get it this early. I think the last couple of years I had to call them and ask when I can renew and that was in summer and one time I was put off. With hindsight it makes no sense for subscribers to call them and ask, "When can I renew?" They should be beating down the doors to make sure we do! So this is a change, and it is a positive change.

It's slightly earlier than last year. They tie rapid renewal (by April 5) in with an invitation to a company class, probably presented from the stage of each of MCB's theater venues.

Birdsall, did you also get the automated call (taped message) from Lourdes Lopez, alerting us that the subscription material was in the mail? I liked the idea. She sounds young, smart, cheerful, and welcoming. A good way to introduce her to those who haven't met or heard her. She's a really good communicator with audiences.

#28 Jack Reed

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:57 AM



I know that Nutcracker is presented in Russia anytime of the year and is considered just like any ballet,...


As it should be.


... I doubt if any ballet company here ever does it any other time, but maybe a few do. It would surprise me. It would also surprise me if there is any ballet company that does not do a Nutcracker during Christmas time.

... it is like eating too much cotton candy. You simply get so sick of it and can't watch it again for an entire year.


Agree with Cristian. For me, the Balanchine one is an all-Balanchine/Tchaikovsky mixed bill, a wonderfully varied collaboration - cool and warm corps numbers, pantomime, doll dancing, a pas de deux in the grand manner (okay, just 3/4 of one now), acrobatic character dances, choreographed props and scenery even. Never a dull moment. Too sugary? There's enough meanness in Clara's brother's part to provide leavening for me. (Would a sensitive child enjoy that? Is this ballet really for kids?) When I can see MCB do five of these in a weekend, with changing casts, I'm happy.

But one of my experiences of Balanchine's own company performing his Nutcracker did take place in their summer season in Saratoga Springs, New York, in the outdoor pavilion. The heat and humidity were so high, we were stuck to our board seats just sitting still, while onstage it was snowing. Cognitive disconnect for this Chicagoan! But overall a wonderful experience anyway, and as I found out from the corps girls around the pool at my motel, the dancers loved the heat, in contrast to the drafty theater in New York.

But Maria Tallchief's Chicago Ballet tried to do the Nutcracker trick - a ballet with lots of children in it, whose families would therefore buy lots of tickets - at Thanksgiving, so as not to compete directly with a major establishment Nutcracker by Ruth Page's pickup company running over the Christmas holidays. CB mounted a Cinderella ballet choreographed by Paul Mejia to the Prokofiev music, with the title role danced by Mejia's then wife, Suzanne Farrell. (Did I go? You better believe it!) So here was a ballet company without a Nutcracker at Christmas.

#29 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:33 PM



I know that Nutcracker is presented in Russia anytime of the year and is considered just like any ballet,...


As it should be.


Well, the reality is that in the U.S. the Nutcracker is a Christmas tradition. Whether this should or should not be the case can be debated, but it is irrelevant.


No...it is very relevant, for which one of the P/T triunvirate is being mislabeled and relegated here. Fee Dragee PDD goes right hand on hand in beauty and level of technique with Aurora's Wedding PDD and Black Swan PDD.

#30 Birdsall

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 03:13 PM




I know that Nutcracker is presented in Russia anytime of the year and is considered just like any ballet,...


As it should be.


Well, the reality is that in the U.S. the Nutcracker is a Christmas tradition. Whether this should or should not be the case can be debated, but it is irrelevant.


No...it is very relevant, for which one of the P/T triunvirate is being mislabeled and relegated here. Fee Dragee PDD goes right hand on hand in beauty and level of technique with Aurora's Wedding PDD and Black Swan PDD.


I wasn't saying because most Americans view Nutcracker as a Christmas ballet that it is a lesser work. The fact that it is played every single year by most ballet companies (while Bayadere is played less often) means it is considered important because people obviously want to see it. Before I was into ballet I went many times and even took my grandparents to it. It is the same as Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol. Most people think it is a great work but probably wouldn't reread it except at Christmas time.

My comment about relevance was to the question of whether Nutcracker should or should not be played other times of the year. I actually think it is fine to play it whenever, although I doubt I would go in summer, but what I meant was this question of should or should it not play other times is irrelevant. Here in the U.S. it is viewed as a tradition to see it at Christmas. Others have posted that it has played other times, but I suspect that is not the norm. So the fact is that most Americans view it as a Christmas ballet. You have every right to think that is wrong, but it is what it is. So I was saying the question about whether it should or should not be tied to Christmas here in the U.S. is irrelevant because it already is very much tied to Christmas, and I don't think that is going to change anytime soon. You can't fight City Hall!


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