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CHERI by Martha Clarkewith Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo


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#16 abatt

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:39 PM

Blizzard?  There was a few inches of snow, at most, depending on where in the area you live.



#17 ABT Fan

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 02:06 PM

For me it was a blizzard.



#18 abatt

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:47 AM

For those of you who are still interested in seeing Cheri but not for the price tag of $75, I received a discount code from the theater..  

 

SPECIAL OFFER: Use Code Cheri55 for $55 tickets (reg. $75) for performances beginning December 26

 



#19 AlbanyGirl

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:25 PM

I went last evening and also spent an hour in rapt fascination watching Ferri, her toes, her bare legs showing through the slits in her nightgown, her extraordinary ability to convey emotion while standing in absolute stillness. I found Cornejo a less credible actor, but then I would pay to see him walk down the street. There is a moment when he is rolling on the floor downstage really fast, and I was sure he was going to roll right off the stage into my arms in Row A (I suggest seats further back for a more panoramic view), but he came to a dead stop with only a coattail draping off the edge. They are both extraordinary artists, performing in an intense "theater piece," neither a ballet nor a play, and I'm very glad to have seen it, but I can't recommend it unless you're someone who takes pleasure in seeing the details of dancers performing out of their natural milieu, not to mention their gorgeous bodies in underwear.

 

I went to this Saturday night (in a blizzard) and as others have said, $25 is pennies to spend to see Ferri and Cornejo.  Granted they didn't "dance" much but their acting was superb.  Cornejo, in what I'd call "the second half" of the show, nearly broke my heart; I felt he beautifully showed his torment between duty and love and the emotional aftereffects of war.  I've always felt he was a good actor, but as abatt mentioned above his portrayals sometimes get lost on the huge Met stage.  I was sitting in the 2nd row and could see every nuance.  The choreography was not always impressive though (too many embraces and vertical lifts).  Amy Irving was lovely.  The scenery was impressive including the effect with the mirror.

 

One embarrassing note: I got to meet Cornejo after the show (very briefly) and gushed like a giggly teenager.  But, totally worth it!

Hello, Everyone,

 

I wish I could have seen this performance, but as I live in Albany, I'm down for my NYCB subscription every few months and last week for Nutcracker so no time to see.  Angelica, are you sure it wasn't wishful thinking, your point about Cornejo rolling into your armsflowers.gif - he's so gorgeous and his dancing is just so lovely - only kidding, of course, but I wouldn't mind if he rolled into my arms!  And ABT Fan, I'd have gushed, too.  He's just a love.  Thanks for your posts!  ~ Karen   



#20 angelica

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:41 PM

 

I went last evening and also spent an hour in rapt fascination watching Ferri, her toes, her bare legs showing through the slits in her nightgown, her extraordinary ability to convey emotion while standing in absolute stillness. I found Cornejo a less credible actor, but then I would pay to see him walk down the street. There is a moment when he is rolling on the floor downstage really fast, and I was sure he was going to roll right off the stage into my arms in Row A (I suggest seats further back for a more panoramic view), but he came to a dead stop with only a coattail draping off the edge. They are both extraordinary artists, performing in an intense "theater piece," neither a ballet nor a play, and I'm very glad to have seen it, but I can't recommend it unless you're someone who takes pleasure in seeing the details of dancers performing out of their natural milieu, not to mention their gorgeous bodies in underwear.

 

I went to this Saturday night (in a blizzard) and as others have said, $25 is pennies to spend to see Ferri and Cornejo.  Granted they didn't "dance" much but their acting was superb.  Cornejo, in what I'd call "the second half" of the show, nearly broke my heart; I felt he beautifully showed his torment between duty and love and the emotional aftereffects of war.  I've always felt he was a good actor, but as abatt mentioned above his portrayals sometimes get lost on the huge Met stage.  I was sitting in the 2nd row and could see every nuance.  The choreography was not always impressive though (too many embraces and vertical lifts).  Amy Irving was lovely.  The scenery was impressive including the effect with the mirror.

 

One embarrassing note: I got to meet Cornejo after the show (very briefly) and gushed like a giggly teenager.  But, totally worth it!

Hello, Everyone,

 

I wish I could have seen this performance, but as I live in Albany, I'm down for my NYCB subscription every few months and last week for Nutcracker so no time to see.  Angelica, are you sure it wasn't wishful thinking, your point about Cornejo rolling into your armsflowers.gif - he's so gorgeous and his dancing is just so lovely - only kidding, of course, but I wouldn't mind if he rolled into my arms!  And ABT Fan, I'd have gushed, too.  He's just a love.  Thanks for your posts!  ~ Karen   

 

 

Hi AlbanyGirl, It was truly an OMG moment. I had my arms outstretched. But actually I was greatly relieved when he came to a dead stop, because, after all, what do you say to one of the greatest dancers of all time when he misjudges the stage and essentially falls off it? "Buenas noches, Senor Cornejo"? And probably my arms would not have been strong enough to hold him up and we would both have tumbled to the floor, audience gasping. It would have been a grand fiasco. Happily, artist that he is, he did not misjudge. (But you're right, one can dream.... innocent.gif )



#21 AlbanyGirl

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:40 AM

Hi AlbanyGirl, It was truly an OMG moment. I had my arms outstretched. But actually I was greatly relieved when he came to a dead stop, because, after all, what do you say to one of the greatest dancers of all time when he misjudges the stage and essentially falls off it? "Buenas noches, Senor Cornejo"? And probably my arms would not have been strong enough to hold him up and we would both have tumbled to the floor, audience gasping. It would have been a grand fiasco. Happily, artist that he is, he did not misjudge. (But you're right, one can dream.... innocent.gif )

 

You're too funny, Angelica.  Yes, that indeed would have been a sight!  I'm chuckling as I sign off......



#22 Helene

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 03:18 PM

Following her review of "Cheri," Marina Harss published excerpts from an interview with Cornejo which she translated from the Spanish:

 

http://dancetabs.com...nejo-interview/

 

I was particularly struck by his comment,

 

"[Ferri] mentioned at some point how surprised she was by our chemistry, because even though she knew I was a great dancer, she still thought of me as the sixteen-year-old I was when I first joined the company.

 

That's a perfect set-up to the story, at least as Collette wrote it.



#23 FauxPas

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 08:15 AM

I saw this lovely, if choreographically slight piece on December 11th.  There was a talk-back afterwards with the cast.

First of all, the music chosen is lovely.  Poulenc, Debussy, a little Massenet and a lot more Mompou - all beautifully played by Sarah Rothenberg.  A lovely evocative set and effective lighting.  Basically there are four pas de deux's on different stages of a relationship - love's happy fulfillment, sad parting of the ways, joyous reconciliation and morning after regrets/separation.  In between there is narration by Amy Irving as Chéri's mother and moody solos by the two protagonists.  Cornejo's final solo as Chéri shows off a few pirouettes and ends in suicide.  Just over an hour long.

 

One of the newspaper critics described the choreography as watered down pas de deux's by Kenneth MacMillan without pointe work or bravura steps for the danseur.  True - however Alessandra Ferri was a definitive MacMillan stylist and this role shows off much of what made her Juliet or Manon magical.  There are also big echoes of her Marguerite Gautier in Neumeier's "La Dame aux Camellias" though I never saw her in the part since she retired from ABT by the time they did it.  (Imagine her with Julio Bocca in that piece, I think at La Scala?).  Ferri still has an amazingly flexible back and high extensions and when she is lifted (which is often) she points those arched feet like a ballerina.  Ferri also changes in appeance remarkably without any makeup.  In the joyous early love scenes, she can look like a teenager and later on like a careworn older woman.  Every inch of her communicates deep emotion.  Cornejo gives it right back to her and if he seems more callow and less complex that is true to the character of the younger feckless Chéri.  He is moving as the broken man in the last scenes.

 

However, the stage is small and the seating area intimate so you are very close to the dancers which is good.  But not a lot of room for big jumps or barrel turns - that is not Clarke's style anyway. 

 

A few gems from the talkback:  Ferri mentioned that every step was grounded in a dramatic motivation - there were no steps that were for pure technical display or abstract form.  So if Herman put his arm around her waist it was to caress her and the lift that followed was their mutual response.  Ferri said it was different from ballet where you do the steps and then try to inject human feelings and motivations into them.  Each gesture or move was part of a conversation between the two dancers.  Clarke mentioned that when Ferri was in her prima ballerina peak, her vocabulary was too simple for her.  However, now Ferri was "ready".  Also she mentioned that the big barrel turns and leaps that Herman Cornejo, in his prime, specializes in would not work for this character or the slice of life story.  Cornejo charmingly interjected that he sometimes does do bravura leaps and turns at home...  Amy Irving said that she was amazed at the acting of both Ferri and Cornejo and if they ever wanted to stop dancing that they could shine on the dramatic stage.




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