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NYCB's April 2014 Kennedy Center-DC season


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#31 kfw

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 09:37 AM

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. 

#32 sandik

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 11:09 AM

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.



#33 Razor

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 04:58 PM

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?

#34 Razor

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 05:07 PM

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.

#35 kfw

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 06:08 PM

 

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.



#36 Razor

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 07:48 PM

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

#37 maps

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 03:28 AM

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

I just checked the photo's on the NYCB website.  That must have been Claire Von Enck unless an apprentice is similar facially.  I didn't notice she was the shortest. 



#38 abatt

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 05:01 AM

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. 



#39 Eileen

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 05:14 AM

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.



#40 kfw

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:48 AM

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.



#41 Eileen

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 11:52 AM

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.



#42 Eileen

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 12:58 PM

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.



#43 Razor

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 03:54 PM

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?



#44 sjmiller

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 06:23 PM

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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