Natalia

NYCB's April 2014 Kennedy Center-DC season

44 posts in this topic

I am not impressed by casting Megan Fairchild in Rubies or Savannah Lowery but would be happy to be proven wrong. I am eager to see Andrew Veyette, whom I spotted at an SAB Workshop years ago and knew he would be a leading danseur.

Fairchild was fine, in my opinion, and Veyette was even better, except for his serious expression, which broke only during the chase scene. It's always a treat to see husband and wife dance together. Poor Lowery suffered in Reichlin's shadow, but then who wouldn't? In the evening, Mearns was all I'd dared to hope for in Diamonds, which is high praise indeed. During Emeralds in the matinee, she at first seemed rushed and not always in step with the music, but she settled in quickly and was her usual glorious self. Stafford was fine, but she's the girl next door, not the dreaming woman of the Verdy role. Peck had more perfume and imagination, in the evening, and Krohn was lovely as the second soloist.

There was some interesting curtain business today. There were no front-of-the-curtain bows for Emeralds in the matinee - the curtain opened as usual after the ensemble bows, but the applause died down quickly and no one appeared. There were only front-of-the-curtain and no corps bows for Diamonds - the curtain didn’t rise, and when Kowroski and Tyler Angle came out the first time they reached back as if to acknowledge the corps. For the evening performance, there was no red and gold curtain at all, only a black drop, and hence no front-of-the-curtain-bows.

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I saw the matinee yesterday. Laracey was one of the pas de trois in Emeralds-long beautiful lines and epaulment. Applause, bravos, standing ovation were well deserved for Rubies principals.

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Curious - not to throw off topic, but for those who've watched the current performances, see any potential 'promotables' for this year?

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Laracey plus a girl in the corps who looks similar to mearns facially but a smaller physique. Blond. I have no idea who she was. Wonderful musicality, arms, etc.

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Maps - was she a super petite blonde, the shortest person on the stage? If yes, that would be Claire Von Enck.

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In case anyone back in New York is interested, there are five apprentices dancing each performance of Emeralds this week: Jacqueline Bologna, Laine Habony, Isabella LaFreniere, Jordan Miller, and Mimi Staker.

One more thing about last night. Someone at the Kennedy Center had the dubious idea of having a three week-long hip hop festival, which meant that ballet patrons in the evening were treated to - in fact could find no refuge outside the Opera House from - hip hop before and after Faure and Stravinsky. They even had speakers set up on the plaza out back. I hope everyone who came for hip hop will buy a ticket to something else at the center. Or maybe I hope none of them do, so those of us who go there to get away from pop culture for a few hours, and to reflect on what we're there to see and hear, can do so in peace next time.

""I Look Forward To An America Which Will Not Be Afraid Of Grace And Beauty." - JFK quote engraved on a Kennedy Center wall.

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Do you think NYCB would benefit from holding open auditions?

I see the company infrequently, so people who have more regular access might feel differently, but my answer would be no. Right now most of the professional dancers in the country have either studied at SAB or auditioned for the school -- there are a few outlier dancers who haven't been seen in that context, but honestly -- I don't know that the number of performers they would glean from an open audition would justify the expense and disruption of the process.

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Oh, yes- she was also in that Citibank/Aol documentary for Nyc Ballet last Fall. Too early to tell if she 'd make the ranks?

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In case anyone back in New York is interested, there are five apprentices dancing each performance of Emeralds this week: Jacqueline Bologna, Laine Habony, Isabella LaFreniere, Jordan Miller, and Mimi Staker.

Thanks. Any new danseur apprentices? So out of touch.

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In case anyone back in New York is interested, there are five apprentices dancing each performance of Emeralds this week: Jacqueline Bologna, Laine Habony, Isabella LaFreniere, Jordan Miller, and Mimi Staker.

Thanks. Any new danseur apprentices? So out of touch.

None listed, no.

I thought Saturday's performances were wonderful overall, and I was especially delighted by many other dancers I didn't mention earlier, including Sterling Hyltin, so frisky in Rubies, and Ask LaCour, so noble in Diamonds. I'll miss the soon to retire Jonathan Stafford, who partnered Sara Mearns in the afternoon's Emeralds. Kowroski was underpowered but still grand in Diamonds.I wish the corps wouldn't grin in Diamonds, but Lauren King stood out nonetheless. I wish I could have Reichlin's Diamonds. Thank you, New York City Ballet.

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W/ the few principals going on retirement the past season, wonder who may be in line to promotion.

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Maps - was she a super petite blonde, the shortest person on the stage? If yes, that would be Claire Von Enck.

Thanks

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Funny you mention Claire Von Enck. Whenever she is on stage my eyes are drawn to her in the corps. She is a wonderful dancer and has the face of an angel.

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I attended the Sunday matinee on April 6 at the Kennedy Center. I was surprised, to say the least, to see Tess Reichlen in Diamonds partnered by Russell Janzen, a corps member. And then I met him before the performance at the cafeteria! We spoke and I asked him whether Peter had been casting him recently, I did express surprise that he was (temporarily) plucked from the corps for a starring principal role. He told me Peter didn't single him out otherwise - except he did a Cavalier in the Nutcracker last December. Then I realized - Tess is all limbs and tall - Russell is 6'3" and can perfectly partner her. I felt I was bursting his balloon. But men are often chosen for height in ballet, and I wish I had told Russell that Peter himself was recruited by Balanchine because Suzanne needed a tall partner as Jacques was nearing the end of his ballet career, and he had been her perennial partner. When Suzanne met Peter (fresh from the Royal Danish Balet) she observed, "At least he's tall." I don't think that was an auspicious beginning.

Now to the performance: I watched Russell intently in Diamonds. The boyish young man, very nice, whom I had met a few hours previous had been transformed to a danseur. He partnered Tess beautifully. He had an air of authority. What he needs is the quality Suki described in Sara Mearns as student and now artist: "we just needed to bring her "out", and now [smiling] she's out!" Russell needs to become confident in a leading role so can be more "out", express more, extend himself from a emotional point of view. His leaps are not all they could be, but he has promise.

The Diamonds piece was beautifully supported by the corps de ballet. The ultimate promenade was as impressive as I've always seen. No one handles large numbers of dancers on a stage like Balanchine.

Speaking of Sara: In Emeralds, Abi Stafford had the first female role, and she was correct but did not project personality or commitment. She was all technique. Then another dancer, blonde, entered for a second section and she simply sparkled in comparison. I think technique is one part of the perforance, personal commitment the second, equally important aspect. Every time she entered, the stage lit up with her presence. I glanced at the program at intermission and realized, this was Sara Mearns. Even in a "secondary" role, she stole the show. I'm so glad I had a chance to see her again, even if not Odette-Odile.

Rubies' principals did not make an impression on me. Savannah Lowery has never projected that sparkle. Everything was correct, but I missed Tess's spectactual extensions.

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Thanks, Eileen. In the performance I saw, Lowery had plenty of projection (granted, I was in row O), but lacked Reichlin's technique, especially her speed. Reichlin made it look easy, which in turn allowed her to look both playful and imperious. I enjoyed Lowery, but she had to work, and she lacked Reichlin's big, plush jump.

How was Reichlin in Diamonds? I imagine that at this point the role is a work in progress for her.

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I saw no imperfections, but my attention was mostly focused on Russell, whom I had just met before the performance. I like to see who's "up and coming". But he must "come out" more, and I think that will happen in time, especially if he is suited to Tess dance-wise.

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May I add - I took a photo (35 mm not postable) with Tyler Angle at the Kennedy Center. All the young dancers I met there were really approachable and for want of a better word, humble. You could have a chat with corps members while they waited for the cafe to open.

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Watched the NYCB screen test on Russell Janzen. Seems like a nice intelligent young man w/ an interesting personality. He resembles a teeny bit like actor Hayden Christenson.

So he's been put into a principal role? That's cool.....too early to say what it is?

and 6'3 is kind of giant - isn't Ask Le Cour about that height also?

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I was also at Sunday's matinee and agree with Eileen; Russell Janzen does need to be more confident and project authority in his solos, but he definitely has a lot of potential. His lines with Teresa Reichlin were absolutely gorgeous in the pas de deux and I hope this will be a partnership that continues to develop.

In Emeralds I thought Sara Mearns started a little tight (her shoulders seemed high) but she quickly relaxed into the music and promptly stole the show.

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