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Director's Choice: 31 May-1 June; 6 June-9 June


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#16 Jayne

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 05:05 PM

Mr. Grant hasn't been featured very often. I'm happy to see him appear at stage front!

#17 seattle_dancer

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 01:14 PM

I saw him and Karla (plus the others) at a working studio rehearsal. They all looked great - the piece is very different from the other Wheeldon pieces performed by PNB to date. Costumes totally awesome too.

Joshua looks more muscular and like he lost some weight (not that he needed to). I only mention this observation because I had just seen him featured standing in the front of the Trocadero ad, kind of funny. He is looking really lean and mean (in a good way). I'm excited he was given this opportunity and hope we see more of him next season.

#18 Helene

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 09:55 PM

PNB posted a short video of a part of a Wheeldon rehearsal for his new ballet that premieres Friday, "Tide Harmonic":



#19 sandik

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 10:00 PM

Oh fun -- I saw part of that rehearsal last week and was fascinated with how Wheeldon kept inventing new material!

#20 Helene

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:33 PM

I'm hoping for a second cast second weekend: in the background I saw Carrie Imler, Andrew Bartee, Karel Cruz, Leta Biasucci, Benjamin Griffiths, Kiyon Gaines, and maybe Eric Hipolito. (Of course, that would be one man too many for a second cast.)

#21 Helene

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:56 PM

No such luck: there's a single cast for all performances of "Tide Harmonic." Week 2 casting is now up on the PNB website:

http://www.pnb.org/S...Choice/#Casting

Joshua Grant is partnering Laura Gilbreath in the "Agon" Pas de Deux first weekend Saturday, and then Maria Chapman second weekend Thursday and Saturday night.

Agon:
Thursday, 6 June-First PDT: Suddarth/Anspach/Mullin; Second PDT: Kitchens/Tisserand/Bartee; PDD: Chapman/Grant
Friday, 7 June-First PDT: Porretta/Kitchens/Murphy; Second PDT: Foster/Hipolito/Davis; PDD: Korbes/Bold
Saturday, 8 June (eve)-First PDT: Griffiths/Adomaitis/O'Connor; Second PDT: Foster/Hipolito/Davis; PDD: Chapman/Grant
Sunday, 9 June (mat)-First PDT: Griffiths/Adomaitis/O'Connor; Second PDT: Dec/Gaines/Thomson; PDD: Korbes/Bold

Tide Harmonic:
All performances: Dec/Tisserand, Foster/Moore, Gilbreath/Bold; Korbes/Grant

Diamonds:
Thursday, 6 June: Imler/Bold
Friday, 7 June: Gilbreath/Cruz
Saturday, 8 June (eve): Imler/Bold
Sunday, 9 June (mat): Nakamura/Orza

Here are the .pdf versions of both weeks of casting:


Attached File  Rep 6 performance casting week 1.pdf   96.97KB   8 downloads
Attached File  Rep 6 performance casting week 2.pdf   101.27KB   13 downloads

#22 sandik

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:07 PM

Lots of combinations to think about!

#23 Helene

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:22 PM

PNB just sent out an email with the post-performance Q&A schedule (as always, subject to change):

Week 1:
Friday 31-May eve: James Moore
Saturday 1-Jun mat: Kiyon Gaines, Ezra Thomson
Saturday 1-Jun eve: Laura Gilbreath, Joshua Grant

Week 2:
Thursday 6-Jun eve: Price Suddarth
Friday 7-Jun eve: Carla Korbes
Saturday 8-Jun eve: Rachel Foster, Benjamin Griffiths
Sunday 9-Jun mat: Chelsea Adomaitis, Leah O'Connor

#24 Helene

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:28 PM

I didn't look closely enough at the "Diamonds" couples: Matthew Renko is listed as Leta Biasucci's partner. He's been missed as he recovered from injury.

#25 Helene

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:45 PM

In this interview for Seattle Met, Carla Korbes speaks about the "Director's Choice" program and a little about her history with Christopher Wheeldon:

http://www.seattleme...korbes-may-2013

#26 sandik

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 10:57 PM

I went to the lecture and dress rehearsal this evening -- Francia Russell and Nancy Goldner had a very interesting conversation about the making of Agon, and its transitions since its 1957 debut. Russell spoke at length about the difficulty the original cast had with the score, one of Stravinsky's first experiments with 12 tone music, and it reminded me how much the technology of music recording has changed since then. Today, most dancers will have a recording of a score, even a new one, in their MP3 player -- back then, you were dependent on the pianist in rehearsal, and your memory outside of it. Russell said she thought the orchestra probably made more errors than the dancers on opening night -- they'd had much less time with the score. And that touring the work was very difficult at the beginning -- apparently the orchestra for the Paris Opera Ballet had a habit of sending substitutes to rehearsals, only coming to the actual performances, so that they had even less time with the score than the NYCB group.

Dress rehearsal was eventful -- Peter Boal came out on stage before Diamonds to say that Karel Cruz injured himself slightly in the run of Agon, so that he was out of the finale. Bakthurel Bold took his place, so that Carrie Imler (his scheduled partner) danced the pas de deux in the second movement with him. Carla Korbes, who had been scheduled to dance with Cruz, was still there for the third and fourth movements -- there were a couple of awkward moments in her work with Bold, but they both did a remarkable job. And like his last-minute substitution in Swan Lake during the last rep, he seems to respond to stress by loosening up -- a very warm performance.

Boal said that Cruz's injury seemed slight enough that he was hoping to dance tomorrow night, but we'll see what happens next...

#27 Helene

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:37 PM

PNB just published a part of Christopher Wheeldon's lecture-demo from a few nights ago. In this section, the dancers demonstrate a piece of the ending that he then changed on the spot. (This may not be the final version, but it's great to see him work.)



#28 sandik

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:39 PM

Just back from opening night -- casting changes due to Cruz's injury. Bakthurel Bold and Leslie Rausch danced the pdd in Agon, Kaori Nakamura and Seth Orza danced the pdd in Diamonds. More changes to come, check here for full details, but the Cliff Notes version is that Rausch and Bold repeat in Agon tomorrow afternoon, and he dances in diamonds with Carrie Imler in the evening. So far no change to the second week casting, so it looks like Korbes won't get a turn at Diamonds during this rep. Perhaps she'll get a turn during the Encore program...

#29 Jayne

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 06:11 PM

quick and dirty - I just got back, but will depart shortly to go see the evening performance, I bought tix specifically to see Carrie Imler, so darn it, she'd better not lose another partner!

Agon: A few months ago Alexei Ratmansky posted on his FB page that Serenade is the perfect ballet of all time. Personally I'd say Agon is the perfect non-story ballet of all time. PNB looked pretty great in it. The audience really responded to Leslie Rausch / Batkhurel Bold in the ppd I think Jonathan Poretta came out of the womb ready to dance Sarabande. The only drawback were a couple of wobbles by Kylee Kitchens in the Triple ppq, but that's a devilishly difficult piece of choreography. Lindsi Dec made the Bransle look as easy as walking down the street. Watching her this afternoon I realized how exciting she looks on stage in everything. Of all the soloists, she's the one I would want to see in the lead in Diamonds. (more on that later). The audience contained plenty of newbies for Agon today. Fortunately they were very well behaved (minimal talking and cell phones were silent). The fun thing was listening to them gasp and laugh at Balanchine's humorous details in Agon. Normally we think of it as such a serious milestone in the neoclassical genre, but it's a lot of fun to watch!

Tide Harmonic: The drawback to this piece is the music. To me it sounds like generic movie sound track music that underplays your typical fantasy or animation movie. Could be Danny Elfman or any other screen composer. Very forgettable. The choreography was interesting, it had a definite aquatic feel, both of waves and movements of water creatures or fauna. About 80% of the choreo was partnering - and you can see the influence of horizontal lifts and drags that Balanchine used. I saw a lot of movement that I would normally see in competitive ice dancing as well. Indeed I kept thinking of Christopher Dean. Same first name as the choreographer for Tide Harmonic and they even look somewhat alike. Carla Korbes and Joshua Grant were the featured dancers. Mr Grant cannot quite keep up with Korbes' beautiful posture and technique, but he is growing as a dancer, and presents her nicely. Lindsi Dec *again* looked terrific. James Moore and Jerome Tisserand had a very interesting male ppd that resembled some sort of sea creature.

Rachel Foster was in this one, but she was kind of a blank. If Hee Seo was promoted too soon for her Giselle at ABT, in front of Stella Abrera, then I'd say that Rachel Foster was promoted too early for her Giselle, in front of Lindsi Dec. As I said, I'd love to see Ms Dec dance the lead in Diamonds, Midsummer, and many other pieces in the years to come. But I just can't get excited about Ms Foster.

Diamonds: More newbie audience reaction - as the curtain came up on the costumes (from National Ballet of Canada), reaction to the waltz, and to just about every trick. I felt like I was watching a skating competition (in a good way). Kaori Nakamura and Seth Orza led a happy corps. Ms Nakamura looked light and secure on every step. There was no shaking on the holds, it was very very smooth. But it wasn't flashy, she never went for 180' extensions. This was danced much closer to the original choreography's intent. Seth Orza doesn't have the emotional pride that other men show through their panache in Diamonds. But he was a steady partner, and his solos were pretty fantastic - the audience really loved them. The only mistake I saw in the corps (I was sitting orchestra front so more difficult to see spacing issues) was a handhold correction between Leta Biasucci and her partner (sorry I don't remember who it was). Emma Love and Elizabeth Murphy were particularly winning as the featured four women.

At the post performance lecture, it was mentioned that 7 substitutions were made with professional division students, to account for injuries. Par for course, according to ballet master Otto Neubert.

ok, off to see the evening show!

update: The evening show confirmed my feelings about Tide Harmonic's music. Carrie Imler was great, but I have to work tomorrow, so the review will have to wait.

#30 Helene

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 10:10 PM

PNB has a hit on it's hands with "Tide Harmonic." In my experience, Saturday matinee audiences tend to be on the measured side with their reactions, especially when the music is new, but there was an outburst after the ballet, and in the evening, there was a standing ovation in at least the Dress Circle/Gallery Upper/First Tier sections within three seconds of the curtain falling. (My reaction after the matinee was "Wheeeeeee -- I get to see this three more times!") That followed monster debuts in the "Agon" Pas de Deux by Laura Gilbreath and Joshua Grant.


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