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MCB Program IBallo de la Regina, Serenade, Polyphonia


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#31 Birdsall

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 08:58 AM

I saw the West Palm opening night last night and enjoyed it very much. I only knew Ballo Della Regina from the DVD of Balanchine choreography, and even though that video is a better overall performance, I found this ballet to be absolutely beautiful to see in person (and also without the 70's looking backdrop in the video)! Compared to the famous video Arja does come up short like everyone has reported, but I expected much worse after reading the reviews on here, and maybe she has gotten more comfortable, but to me it looked like she did all the steps including all the hops on pointe. I was actually amazed how much more I liked this ballet and its effect in person compared to just watching the studio taped video.

Polyphonia is a nice work, but I honestly can not imagine any ballerina or danseur saying, "I long to dance Polyphonia!" after having seen it. In contrast, I can picture a ballerina saying that about the other two works on last night's program.

I feel like the Kravis Center Friday night performances have more and more empty seats. I know the matinees are much more popular, but Friday night (Opening Night) used to be better attended, if memory is correct.

Maybe I have become spoiled watching videos of the precise Mariinsky corps and even seeing them in person in Russia, because I was shocked a couple of times at the corps being sloppy in Serenade.

Some thoughts on individual dancers: Cerdeiro looks meatier than before and has grown as a dancer. He used to have a "new born horse" look (all legs). He is looking much more like a man to me, although he was always very talented. To my eyes he keeps getting better and looks more confident and his physical beefing up helps.

Of all the males Rebello has more flow to his upper body than the others which is a fetish of mine. He has always caught my eye because of that. In my mind (and this is a personal taste) more flowing up top looks more elegant.

Kronenberg is the big surprise. Personally, I have always thought she was decent but boring. Maybe having a baby has changed her, because she lived the part in Serenade. I have heard having a baby changes the way a dancer dances, and it sure seems that way. I never considered her very passionate, but she was last night! Very strong emotionally and technically.

Her husband Guerra has always been the "hottest" male at MCB (talking about his looks), so I understand why some have commented about a little weight gain. He's probably still great looking walking down the street compared to other men, but on stage he is definitely no longer jaw droppingly attractive.

#32 Birdsall

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 09:09 AM

It will be Interesting to see if Arja dances Ratmansky's Symphonic Dances in Program II because she was a spitfire in the almost tiger-like role she created in that work. I think she does better in leaping aggressive roles.

#33 Drew

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 11:32 AM

 I was actually amazed how much more I liked this ballet and its effect in person compared to just watching the studio taped video.


 

 

I think these are words for everyone interested in ballet to remember every time they watch a video or even a film of a performance. With so much available so easily, it's easy to forget...



#34 Jack Reed

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 02:46 PM

... I only knew Ballo Della Regina from the DVD of Balanchine choreography, and even though that video is a better overall performance, I found this ballet to be absolutely beautiful to see in person (and also without the 70's looking backdrop in the video)!  ...

 

In some cases, if the stage version of the ballet had a very simple background, a fancier one was added in the television studio, I think to help viewers maintain their orientation to the space in which the dancing is going on - without anything in back, we're lost in "TV no-space", with no sense of where the dancers are.  If the camera moves to follow a dancer, we may not have any true sense of her travel, for example, unless we see a background.  

 

That was done in the case of the Ballo video with Ashley.  The MCB backdrop was a good approximation of what we got watching Ballo in Balanchine's theater: just a rich light display on the cyclorama, said to be inspired by mother-of-pearl, with the golden glow added with the final music, which some hear as the "coronation" of the queen or regina of the title (and also of the plot of Verdi's opera, for which he composed the ballet music).   

 

And this was done in some other ballets in that series of videos.  The scenery itself might not be so good to look at, but its use was a good thing.  Otherwise, would you have the same sense of place and pattern, and changing pattern?  Would you get as much of the ballet from the screen?

 

Ballet on screen inevitably gives less than the same ballet on stage.  The image is less clear than in the theater; what you see lacks some presence.  There's little or no "emanation", as theater-watchers call it sometimes.  And yet…  

 

When the "Choreography by Balanchine" material was broadcast first in PBS's "Dance in America" series, I had the good fortune to be seeing those ballets with those casts on stage, too, and I was tickled to see them - reduced, yes, as ballet on screen is, even at its best, which these videos are among, in my experience - but to get the same kind of experience in my living room as I'd had in the theater, not to mention playing back my tapes, and sharing the experience with friends, discussing it with them, which in the theater we could only do at intermission, was deeply rewarding.  It helped me to get through the times when I could not see the company on stage. 



#35 Birdsall

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 03:00 PM

Drew, I obviously agree since I experienced that and said it, but I do feel videos are the next best thing to being there if you can't be there. LOL Not arguing at all. I do think seeing a ballet live in the flesh is the absolute ideal. There is a je ne sais quoi element to a live performance that can not be captured on video (maybe our excitement plus having the performers in the same room). On that Balanchine video I always felt Ballo della Regina was ho hum as a ballet, but in person it was quite beautiful even with lesser dancers. So I think a ballet can move you differently in person. However, once you know a ballet and have seen it live and know the choreography well, I think a video can give much joy and excitement also. I will be the last person to say video watching is bad. I love that too!

#36 Birdsall

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 03:05 PM

Jack, yes, everything you say makes sense, and I will probably return to the video with more admiration for Ballo now and enjoy the video version more than I did b/c now I know it is quite gorgeous on stage.

#37 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 09:38 PM


Her husband Guerra has always been the "hottest" male at MCB (talking about his looks)....

 

I give that title to Principal Reyneris Reyes...

 

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