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Spring Season 2013


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51 replies to this topic

#31 canbelto

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 07:55 PM

Went again tonight. There was a last minute replacement -- The Infernal Machine replaced Purple, and Somogyi didn't dance. Hope she's not injured -- I saw her last night. Barber Violin Concerto is one of the few Martins pieces that gets better upon repeated vieing. Sara Mearns was an effective, if very different Allegro Brillante than Tiler Peck. Tiler Peck was all about dizzying accelerating pirouettes and lightning fast footwork. Mearns made the ballet more dramatic, heavier. The 8 demi-soloists that have accompanied Peck and Mearns deserve a huge round of applause.

Tiler Peck was absolutely magnificent in T&V. de Luz struggled with his variation and got kind of sloppy but he made it through the end of the ballet without dying. Peck however? It was like child's play for her.

#32 vipa

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 09:35 PM

One more thing about tonight - I got great seats at the atrium today for tonight's performance - $45 dollars got me sitting in the second row of the second ring - almost center. I was hoping to go to the matinee, but there were no discount tickets available.

#33 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 05:32 AM

Puppytreats, sorry I didn't answer you earlier. I was at ABT's Le Corsaire. I'm not saying I'm a great expert or anything, but in my experience of going to NYCB performances since 1980, I think the taller princelike dancers are not a good fit for the El Capitan role in Stars and Stripes. I don't Andrew Veyette is a princely dancer at all. I really like him, but I wonder how effective he'd be in Apollo. I don't think he's ever danced the part, but I could be wrong. I think he's best in roles that require bravura technique and often a sense of humor. So I would not place Veyette in the first category at all. I will definitely post about his performance in Stars and Stripes today.

#34 ivanov

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 06:34 AM

One more thing about tonight - I got great seats at the atrium today for tonight's performance - $45 dollars got me sitting in the second row of the second ring - almost center. I was hoping to go to the matinee, but there were no discount tickets available.


Yesterday morning when I saw online that the fourth ring had opened up for the matinee I called the box office and was able to get a "Society NYCB" ticket there (even though there were none available for this performance when I asked a week and a half ago). I guess these days you have to shop early and often. Anyway, I really enjoyed Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3!

#35 cobweb

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 08:36 AM

I don't think the replacement of "Purple" by "The Infernal Machine" means Somogyi's injured. I was also there when she danced on Friday night, looking great, and I noticed at that point the casting sheet already showed that "Purple" was replaced for Saturday.
It's been a great season (that is, except for a week or so of programs of little interest...). I've attended a ton of performances and been dazzled again and again. So many dancers looking so great, expressing such beautiful pieces, it's hard to know where to start! One thing: of the new soloists, Ashley Laracey seems to be getting the most opportunities, and making the most of it. She has a captivating quality to her and I can't wait to see more.

#36 cobweb

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 04:55 AM

Re Sara Mearns in Allegro Brillante on Saturday night... I had some misgivings about this casting. She is so intense and individual, I almost felt like this role needs someone who can stay a little more on the surface. She didn't look like she was leading an ensemble, but instead like she was having an intense, highly personal, experience. Even the peach dress, I felt, didn't quite suit her. On the other hand, her dramatic qualities are beautifully suited to Serenade, which I saw on Sunday. My current favorite cast of Serenade would be Mearns, Ashley Bouder, and Megan Le Crone.
Tons of fun at the season closer, with crowd-pleasing performances of Serenade, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and Stars and Stripes. One of my regrets of the season is that I didn't get to see Troy Schumacher leading the Third Regiment in Stars and Stripes. Daniel Ulbricht was amazing, of course, and Bouder and Veyette looked like they were having the time of their lives. I was too!!!

#37 abatt

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 05:12 AM

Mearns was heartbreaking in Serenade yesterday. What a way to close the season.

#38 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 08:24 AM

Tons of fun at the season closer, with crowd-pleasing performances of Serenade, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and Stars and Stripes. One of my regrets of the season is that I didn't get to see Troy Schumacher leading the Third Regiment in Stars and Stripes. Daniel Ulbricht was amazing, of course, and Bouder and Veyette looked like they were having the time of their lives. I was too!!!


Bouder and Veyette dialed the bravura -- and the shtick -- up to 11. They weren't just projecting to the back row of the fourth ring, they were projecting the back row of some theater in way out in Cleveland. I wouldn't want to see Liberty Bell and El Capitan danced that way every time, but it sure was a blast yesterday. Veyette has absolutely perfected the little trick of casually strolling past his madly pirouetting Liberty Bell and just happening to catch her as she opens up into arabesque. It's a tiny little moment, but it speaks volumes about the kind of guy El Capitan is. Veyette's performance yesterday made me forget all about Damian Woetzel, and if that's not a compliment I don't know what is. Bravo!

I also thoroughly enjoyed Savannah Lowery's great big sunny performance in Rifle Regiment (the Second Campaign). [Note to props department: please weld the mouthpiece to the trumpet body before the next performance. The damn thing fell out almost as soon as Lowery started her variation and it lay there in the middle of the stage just daring someone to trip over it. Lowery nudged it a bit off center and a member of the corps finally managed to scoop the thing up and carry it off, for which she got a round of applause.]

I saw two Stars and Stripes casts this season: Reichlen / Finlay / King / LeCrone / Schumacher and Bouder / Veyette / Pereira / Lowery / Ulbricht. Taken as a whole, yesterday's performance was much more in the jolly spirit of the thing -- even the corps seemed more energized. I preferred Reichlen's sweetly sexy Liberty Bell to Bouder's brassy flirt, but the wonderful thing about NYCB these days is that it can cast dancers as different in size and style as Reichlen and Bouder in the same roles -- they also share TPC2, Firebird, Swan Lake and probably something else I'm forgetting -- and get qualitatively different but equally thrilling interpretations. King and LeCrone are both favorites of mine, but they didn't seem temperamentally suited to Stars and Stripes: there's a whiff of cheerfully innocent "look at me!" vulgarity to the proceedings that neither of them can just groove on the way Lowery does. Ashley Isaacs kept drawing my eye in Corcoran Cadets (the First Campaign) -- I'd like to see her get a shot at leading the regiment. I liked both Schumacher and Ulbricht in Thunder and Gladiator; they -- like Bouder and Reichlen -- delivered different but equally enjoyable performances. (I adored Schumacher's Puck a few seasons ago -- I hope we get to see him in the role again next year.) Chase Finlay's debut was rocky: he won't be a good El Capitan until he's a better partner and has a fully developed principal's stamina and stage-smarts. If Reichlen isn't too big for Tyler Angle -- and they look terrific together -- then she shouldn't be too big for Finlay.

A comment on Colleen Boresta's observations above contrasting the different requirements of Apollo and El Capitan: two notable Apollos were also notable El Capitans -- Jacques d'Amboise and Peter Martins. I think a dancer with imagination could do justice to both. Apollo in particular strikes me as one of those genuinely "porous" roles that can accomodate good dancers of every type and temperament -- but then I'm on record as preferring my Apollos feral. (And would therefore probably enjoy watching Veyette take on the challenge.) I don't think Martins' insistence on "blond" as Apollo's defining characteristic has served the role or the company well.

#39 Dale

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 09:17 AM

I was at Saturday night's show. Just a lovely night at the ballet. I thought Mearns was idiosyncratic in Allegro but so interesting and moving. Somebody mentioned Tiler Peck's upper body - I noticed that too. She brought her arms not just up and down but back and around. A perfect performance of T&V from the ballerina. Like Kathleen O'Connell, I can appreciate two ballerinas' interpretations and glory in them. I saw Bouder in T&V this past Winter and loved it.

#40 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 03:39 AM

[size=5]I should not have made a blatant comment about tall dancers not being good in Stars and Stripes. Sorry about that. I haven't seen Chase Finlay's El Capitan. I did see Charles Akegard in Stars several times and was disappointed in his performance. But that's just one dancer. I saw Teresa Reichlen as Liberty Bell (with Askegard) in 2009 and was disappointed in her performance as well. But that was four years ago, a long time ago in ballet ages. I will post more later (I know I keep saying that, but I'm finishing up my 'Le Corsaire' thoughts now) but Ashley Bouder and Andrew Veyette were absolutely senasational in Stars on Sunday. I may be wrong about this, but it seemed to me that when Bouder and Veyette were doing their solos, the music was even faster than usual (which is super fast to begin with). The whole afternoon was just incredible. Abatt is so right!! What a way to end the season!!![/size]

#41 cobweb

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 05:58 AM

I was wondering about the protocol (if any?) when there is a mishap as there was at the Sunday matinee and something obviously hazardous ends up on the stage in the middle of a performance. When the mouthpiece fell off Savannah Lowery's bugle, who should have done what? I was thinking she should have just grabbed it and thrown it offstage, however out of character that might have looked. What would have happened if one of the corps girls hadn't taken it on herself to grab it as they exited the stage?
Also, presumably they will be offering contracts to this year's apprentices soon. I'll be interested to hear when there is official news.
Finally, I just had to add that Reichlen's "dark angel" arabesque on Sunday was one of the most beautiful I've ever seen.

#42 California

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 06:20 AM

I was wondering about the protocol (if any?) when there is a mishap as there was at the Sunday matinee and something obviously hazardous ends up on the stage in the middle of a performance. When the mouthpiece fell off Savannah Lowery's bugle, who should have done what? I was thinking she should have just grabbed it and thrown it offstage, however out of character that might have looked. What would have happened if one of the corps girls hadn't taken it on herself to grab it as they exited the stage?

I always wonder why the first person in proximity to the item on the floor doesn't just swoop down and pick it up. These things are always a distraction for the audience, worrying about somebody slipping and falling, so it's just better to get rid of it.
I noticed that Vasiliev kicked something onto the outer edge of the stage that had been sitting on the floor for some time (was that at Don Q or Corsaire - can't remember at the moment). It seemed long overdue and the right thing to do for the safety of the dancers.

#43 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 06:32 AM

[size=5]I should not have made a blatant comment about tall dancers not being good in Stars and Stripes. Sorry about that. I haven't seen Chase Finlay's El Capitan. I did see Charles Akegard in Stars several times and was disappointed in his performance. But that's just one dancer. I saw Teresa Reichlen as Liberty Bell (with Askegard) in 2009 and was disappointed in her performance as well. But that was four years ago, a long time ago in ballet ages. I will post more later (I know I keep saying that, but I'm finishing up my 'Le Corsaire' thoughts now) but Ashley Bouder and Andrew Veyette were absolutely senasational in Stars on Sunday. I may be wrong about this, but it seemed to me that when Bouder and Veyette were doing their solos, the music was even faster than usual (which is super fast to begin with). The whole afternoon was just incredible. Abatt is so right!! What a way to end the season!!![/size]


Colleen – I thought you were making a point about type—i.e. “prince” vs “not prince”—rather than height, hence my comment that I thought a dancer of imagination—great dancers like Martins and d’Amboise specifically—could make something of both roles. (And I certainly wasn’t trying to call you out on some kind of error—my sincere apologies if that’s how it came across. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen good Apollos be good El Capitans—I forgot Sean Lavery!—and simply wanted to note that it could be done.)

I’m in the camp that doesn’t think of Apollo as first and foremost a “prince,” but I see where people who do slot the role into the “prince” category are coming from. (Especially if their first Apollo was Peter Martins or Peter Boal.) I think you could also make the case that El Capitan is the American flavor of prince and that Liberty Bell is the American flavor of queen.

Getting back to height: I think there is choreography that, as a function of rhetoric, line, and form, looks better on taller (or maybe longer-limbed) dancers vs choreography that looks better on shorter dancers. I think Midsummer’s Titania and the Tall Girl in Rubies may be examples of the former. There are male roles that get a lot of their effect from the kind of explosive power that’s easier to see in a shorter dancer: I’m thinking of the Prodigal Son or the third sailor in Fancy Free.There’s also choreography that is simply easier for a taller or shorter dancer to do.

There’s choreography where height doesn’t seem to matter at all. Then there’s choreography that looks different on taller or shorter bodies in a way that’s both riveting and eye opening. Ib Anderson was my first tall Oberon, and I remember going “Whoa!” The bravura was just as brilliant, but it looked bracingly different on a taller body. I had the same experience last week seeing Liberty Bell danced back-to-back by Reichlen and Bouder – same steps, different thrills! I wouldn’t want to be without either one.

And Sunday was one of the best NYCB send offs into summer that I can remember -- I'm looking forward to your report!

#44 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 06:37 AM

You're right, Kathleen, I was talking about type, not height. Tyler Angle is tall enough to partner Maria Korowski, but I thought he was good in Stars and Stripes (but nowhere in the same league as Andrew Veyette's performance on Sunday afternnoon.) When I saw Angle perform Stars this season, Sara Mearns was his Liberty Bell. She was good, but I think she's much better as an adagio dancer. Her performance in Serenade on Sunday was so hauntingly beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.

#45 Michael

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 07:52 AM

I was at Saturday night's show. Just a lovely night at the ballet. I thought Mearns was idiosyncratic in Allegro but so interesting and moving. Somebody mentioned Tiler Peck's upper body - I noticed that too. She brought her arms not just up and down but back and around. A perfect performance of T&V from the ballerina.


My theory - well everyone saw Tiler at Osipova's "Don Q" and at the Ratmansky. Then comes this: an absolute breakout performance, one I've been waiting for from her. She stops smiling in Theme, raises her chin a little regally, and dances rich in the upper body, with a little epaulement, through her shoulders and into her arms - Imagines (with a capital "I") herself as a Russian Ballerina and nails the role. For Theme is very very Russian.

She's still got room to grow in it. Some of the phrasing in the big variation after the quiet stuff with the soloists, the one that takes of on a series of diagonal pas de chats flying downstage right after some complex phrasing in the upstage left corner, was a little punchy and rushed - compared to the Miranda Weese standard circa 2000 (which in my mind sets the bar in the ballet in the past decade) - but that's a quibble. That was a just a great, breathtaking, lovely performance from Peck and totally transcending her limits. By far the best she's ever danced the role. Imagination.


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