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ABT in LA - July 2013 Le Corsaire + Mixed Bill


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#16 California

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 06:41 PM

The options for these casting changes might be more complicated than we realize. Gomes, e.g., is scheduled to do Onegin with Vishneva in Moscow on July 19, just 6 days after his Corsaire with Murphy in LA. He might not have been eager to delay his departure from LA by adding yet another performance.



#17 vipa

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 06:51 PM

The options for these casting changes might be more complicated than we realize. Gomes, e.g., is scheduled to do Onegin with Vishneva in Moscow on July 19, just 6 days after his Corsaire with Murphy in LA. He might not have been eager to delay his departure from LA by adding yet another performance.

 

Excellent point.  



#18 nysusan

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 05:41 AM

 

The options for these casting changes might be more complicated than we realize. Gomes, e.g., is scheduled to do Onegin with Vishneva in Moscow on July 19, just 6 days after his Corsaire with Murphy in LA. He might not have been eager to delay his departure from LA by adding yet another performance.

 

Excellent point.  

 

Yes, good point. I'd forgotten that Gomes was doing Onegin in London. Still its a shame Part has to lose the performance.



#19 California

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 05:51 AM

 

 

The options for these casting changes might be more complicated than we realize. Gomes, e.g., is scheduled to do Onegin with Vishneva in Moscow on July 19, just 6 days after his Corsaire with Murphy in LA. He might not have been eager to delay his departure from LA by adding yet another performance.

 

Excellent point.  

 

Yes, good point. I'd forgotten that Gomes was doing Onegin in London. Still its a shame Part has to lose the performance.

 

I think he's doing it in Moscow, which means adjusting to the raked stage, along with everything else:

 

http://www.bolshoi.r...rformances/655/



#20 DocM

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 07:43 AM

Last night I went to the opening of the ABT program at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion.  The program was a mixed bill consisting of Apollo, followed by Chamber Symphony, and finishing with Symphony in C.  Overall it was a very lovely progam, the auditorium seemed full, and I left feeling very inspired.  Some of the dancers who stood out from an excellent cast of dancers were Marcelo Gomes and Paloma Herrera in Apollo, James Whiteside and Isabella Boylston in Chamber Sympony, and Stella Abrera in Symphony in C.  I will write more later when time allows. 



#21 bad feet

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 12:50 PM

Did anyone get to see Part/Forster??? I heard that it went very smoothly and they made an excellent looking partnership.



#22 carbro

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 01:19 PM

Thank you very much, DocM, for your quickie review.  I look forward to whatever details you'll provide.  I so envy your having seen Marcelo Gomes' Apollo.  I don't know that he's ever done it in New York -- my hometown.  I imagine he gave a magnificent performance.

 

Welcome to BalletAlert!  :flowers:



#23 pherank

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 03:14 PM

Hello All:  I managed to attend the ABT's mixed rep performance at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on 7/11/13. [This required an Amtrak train ride to get there from San Diego]. I was sitting in the Circle Balcony area which affords a nice angled view of the stage. Plush seating in that area too. [Though I've heard that much of the other seating has little legroom]. DC is a fairly good-looking, Modernist, clean theatre (it was my first time). Acoustic quality of the Pavilion was fairly average - definitely not great. But the orchestra played well and the conducting was effective.

Apollo
One of my favorite ballets, so it's difficult for me to watch in a disaffected, impartial way: I'm full of expectations. I was thrilled that ABT dance's the older, longer version of Apollo.

Marcelo Gomes is certainly commanding as Apollo. He's an excellent dancer in general, as we all know. I doubt that there was a lot of rehearsal time for this performance, but Gomes seemed to have everything down cold. And that leads to my first nit-pick: Gomes tended to be so ultra-precise in his performance that it felt a bit stilted at times when the steps just needed to flow and show genuine agitation. Even the crazed/agitated moments are uber-controlled by Gomes (think Apollo emerging from the swaddling clothes, or the moments when he is testing his new, physical body). I wanted more edginess from Apollo the character (the Muses also tended to smile at inappropriate times which further takes the edge off).

The birth scene with Leda was more forceful, and perhaps more explicit, than I'm used to seeing. But I liked this more intense portrayal (although some of the same arm movements - the thrusting towards the belly movement - was used later in Calliope's variation). The repetition of the "belly thrust/hit" was kind of odd. And I'm not sure if it's a good thing to relate Leda's giving birth to Calliope's performance for Apollo.

The "nice flying lesson" portion of the PDD had problems - it looked like Paloma Herrera was not on the optimal balance point and they were both straining to maintain the position for the necessary seconds. The effect was somewhat ruined by their strain, but, they're both such fine dancers that they managed to keep things moving along.

I should say that I really enjoyed Melanie Hamrick's dancing as Calliope (and she appeared again later in Chamber Symphony). I hadn't seen her in anything before, so I'll just say that I liked her lines and general carriage.

 

There was a bit of awkwardness at the end when Leda and the handmaidens assemble at the foot of the stairs below the Muses. I don't mean that anyone stumbled, but that the flow of things was not so good, and it distracted from the Muses as they raise their front leg on pointe, on the stairs. The final pose of Apollo and the Muses should have a certain grave thrill to it: mysterious, and yet expectant.

I tend to think Gomes remains more marble statue god, than living, breathing god though. It was a very good performance, but not as some ABT fan's like to say, transcendent.

 

Chamber Symphony
I'm starting to sound like a broken record regarding Ratmansky ballets: there's a whole lot of intense goings on, but much ado about nothing? I mean really, what is it all about? Chamber Symphony either alludes to, or simply borrows, themes from a multitude of ballets: from Onegin to Dances at a Gathering to Scotch Symphony to even West Side Story, but I couldn't see the relationship to the Shostakovich score (that was merely Ratmansky's departure point). James Whiteside danced the lead with real energy and angst (Gomes' Apollo could have used a bit of that), but, to little avail - he ends up back in the same enervated, depressed mood he started in, thanks to Ratmansky's choreography. And why exactly? Who are we observing, and what all is he going through with the various groups of dancers (and what do the different groupings symbolize?), if anything? And I don't think it's a case of, as Balanchine said, "How much story you want?" We're missing some needed pieces of the puzzle. The ABT soloists and Corps dance with great vigor - but much of the effort seemed wasted on a largely incomprehensible "story". The audience was appreciative though - heck, it's ballet in Southern California, after all.

Hollywood Moment: During one of the breaks I saw Nigel Lythgoe ("So You think You Can Dance?") walking about with his lovely "companion" (girlfriend? wife? "associate"?).

Symphony in C
I'll just say that it was very well danced, and the energy level generally remained high throughout, building to the climax in the finale. In the 2nd Movement with Veronika Part there were some slow points where she should have flowed more serenely with the music, instead of 'falling out' of the music at points. But this is being very nit-picky.

NOTE: The little Tina's Tacos stand in the plaza gets 4 out 5 stars (great quality - you decide what condiments you want to add, but there could have been more selections to choose from). That's the place to eat for 'cheap' (well, cheaper).



#24 nanushka

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 04:43 AM

We're missing some needed pieces of the puzzle. The ABT soloists and Corps dance with great vigor - but much of the effort seemed wasted on a largely incomprehensible "story". 

 

This was my one real complaint about the trilogy -- and it seemed most a problem in the first ballet, Symphony No. 9, with the lead couple.  It's strange to watch the melodramatic emotiveness without knowing what it's really in service of.  I love much abstract dance and I love the story ballets -- it's what's stuck in the middle that I have trouble with.



#25 pherank

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 12:14 PM

 it's what's stuck in the middle that I have trouble with.

 

 

I think you have it exactly right, Nanushka: when Ratmansky can't decide between pure dance and story ballet, his choreography is apt to confuse rather than delight. I think he's having trouble with the idea of an allegory - and Chamber Symphony is not an allegory, by me. Apollo is one of the most successful allegorical ballets. Symphony in C is a successful 'pure dance' ballet. So I guess placing Chamber Symphony between the two Balanchine pieces signifies its "inbetweeness". But it's not really bridging the gap in a meaningful way. There are some lovely moments, to be fair, but because many of those moments seem reminiscent of other well-known ballets, the impact is slight. Still, Balanchine would rework his favorite ballets, so there's no reason Ratmansky couldn't continue to improve Chamber Symphony.

Ratmansky is rather more successful with the obvious "story" ballets, such as his version of "Little Humpbacked Horse".



#26 Balanchinomane

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 02:46 PM

It's so charming. I really hope ABT will do it. I think their audience would love it.



#27 Josette

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 11:23 AM

Did anyone get to see Part/Forster??? I heard that it went very smoothly and they made an excellent looking partnership.

 

I saw both the stage rehearsal earlier in the day and the performance.  Tom Forster did a wonderful job.  He was ardently attentive and chivalrous in his partnering of Ms. Part, and gave us elegant, unrushed, and precise dancing in the fourth movement. It was a pleasure seeing this tall, 6'3" dancer in the final movement -- a true danseur noble.  Eric Tamm in the first movement was also excellent in every way. 



#28 bad feet

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 03:11 PM

Thanks Josette, sounds great hope they get to do it again.




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