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Sad state of ballet criticism in Philly


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#1 Ray

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 04:41 AM

Read this review of PAB's recent opening of Jewels and weep for humanity.   

 

One of the most vapid lines:  "Diamonds concluded with a large cast promenading in lines across the stage, forming almost streams of glittery tennis bracelets, and intersecting into tiara shapes."



#2 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 10:51 AM

Sacre bleu...yucky.gif



#3 sandik

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 11:12 AM

It's not a particularly thoughtful or informed review, but I did like their suggestion that an anniversary could be marked by a defile (and yes, I know that the author probably has no idea that was what they were suggesting)  Pacific Northwest Ballet turned 40 last year, and they missed an opportunity for that kind of celebration as well.  I'm wondering if the defile is just not something people think of any more?  I know it's a regular feature in Paris, but who else has done one recently?



#4 dirac

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 12:00 PM

Ms. Dunkel covers dance regularly for the Inquirer, a once very distinguished paper that's seen all kinds of trouble. I don't think she gets much space as a rule and I don't know how much background in dance she has, but she's done some okay pieces.

 

Still miss Julie Diana in "Diamonds".......



#5 Ray

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 12:57 PM

Just so everyone doesn't think La Dunkel is the only voice in Philly (and she has had very little viewing experience), here's a particularly thoughtful piece on Lucinda Childs, here recently for an amazing series of performances.

 

"Sparkling," to be fair to Dunkel, was part of the headline, which she did not write.  What's pathetic is that the Inquirer lifted that word from PAB's own (very lame IMHO) publicity material, where they called Jewels "ballet that sparkles."  Gag me. 



#6 kfw

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 01:08 PM

It's not a particularly thoughtful or informed review

 

I give her credit for trying, but I don’t think a good editor needs to know dance to flag phrases like the one Ray copied, or like “performing swirling arm movements,” as amateurish. And what about “Diamonds, emeralds, and rubies, like a company marking 50 years, are rare and majestic, worthy of celebration. But this one was a little low-key.” Never mind that 50 years doesn’t necessarily make something rare and majestic. I lack the grammatical knowledge to say why “celebration” needs to be “a celebration” to make “one” correct in the next sentence, but the mistake grates nonetheless.

 
Criticism in Chicago newspapers fed my love of the arts in the 70’s and 80’s. I feel sorry for people who read this stuff instead.


#7 mira

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 01:25 PM

The major celebration of the 50th Anniversary is planned for tomorrow, Sunday October 20th, with a gift to the city of Philadelphia of a free performance:

 

Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 3:00pm
Academy of Music

Pennsylvania Ballet's gift to the city- a sampler of performance highlights from the past 50 years in a free matinee at the Academy of Music, not to be missed. The performance will be filmed by WHYY in preparation for a national broadcast about Pennsylvania Ballet on PBS. Stay tuned for details.

 



#8 Ray

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 01:48 PM

 

The major celebration of the 50th Anniversary is planned for tomorrow, Sunday October 20th, with a gift to the city of Philadelphia of a free performance [...]

 

That's right mira, and they are also devoting the final week of their Spring season to 50th Anniversary celebrations.



#9 duffster

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:08 AM

All of the former dancers with the company(myself included) were invited to see this performance yesterday, as well as watching company class before the PBS taping. I have been told that it will be airing on May 2,2014. The night before we had a gala dinner honoring  Barbara Weisberger(the company founder) who at 87 yrs is still as engaging and sharp as ever. The company is dancing at a very high level. On the program( which was a gift to the city) the Diamond section of Jewels,After the Rain and a pas de deux from Under the Sun were performed.I especially enjoyed Julie Diana in the Diamonds,- beautiful clean lines,nothing forced- and maintained warmth without that severe quality that some ballerinas adapt when doing this piece.Her partner Zachary Hench was wonderful as well.When watching company class(in the theatre) I kept watching a dancer who stood out for his elegance,we were sitting back, it was a bit dark and later found out it was he. I also enjoyed After the Rain(the complete piece)with the excellent Lauren Fadeley and James Ihde. During the pas de deux ( I hope they will edit it for the broadcast) a cell phone went off and a baby started crying- enough to ruin the atmosphere of the piece.Kudos to the dancers for maintaining concentration throughout. The pas from Sappington's Under the Sun has some tricky partnering but was done well - I prefer seeing the entire piece, many years ago it was in the company rep. I remember being impressed by the scenery( Calders mobiles) Before the performance, Merrill Ashley was backstage and we former dancers had some pictures taken with her and told her how we appreciated her dancing and the work she is doing now.She was very surprised and gracious to us. At the end of the performance,all former company members, came out on stage to take a bow.  I hadn't seen the Academy of Music from that side of the stage for many years. It was a wonderful celebration for all of us with much emotion and joy.



#10 Ray

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:02 AM

I think the filming went extremely well (I have my own disagreements with duffster on the rep choices, but the dancing was all very good), and trust that the orchestra mics didn't pick up the baby and the cellphone.  But while it was great to see all the former PAB dancers onstage, from an audience POV it was handled rather haphazardly.  There was no announcement beforehand that this was going to happen; after the applause died down and the curtain closed, people naturally began to leave.  They waited a few beats too long before reopening the curtain, w/the dancers still frozen in position; Roy Kaiser (PAB's artistic director) ran onstage and got on a mic and basically barked everyone back into their seats. It felt very last-minute from an outsider's perspective. 



#11 ABT Fan

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:59 AM

Read this review of PAB's recent opening of Jewels and weep for humanity.   

 

One of the most vapid lines:  "Diamonds concluded with a large cast promenading in lines across the stage, forming almost streams of glittery tennis bracelets, and intersecting into tiara shapes."

 

This review ranks alongside the one of the Joffrey Ballet in Ohio about a month ago.

 

My "favorite" part: ""Rubies" was breathtaking...with long-legged prances en pointe...."
 

What exactly are "long-legged prances en pointe"?  And, what would be the opposite of that?  Short-legged prances en pointe?!

 

At least this is good for a laugh!



#12 sandik

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 06:45 PM

 

Read this review of PAB's recent opening of Jewels and weep for humanity.   

 

One of the most vapid lines:  "Diamonds concluded with a large cast promenading in lines across the stage, forming almost streams of glittery tennis bracelets, and intersecting into tiara shapes."

 

This review ranks alongside the one of the Joffrey Ballet in Ohio about a month ago.

 

My "favorite" part: ""Rubies" was breathtaking...with long-legged prances en pointe...."
 

What exactly are "long-legged prances en pointe"?  And, what would be the opposite of that?  Short-legged prances en pointe?!

 

At least this is good for a laugh!

 

 

I wondered about that.  I think they're looking at the parallel passes -- those seem like slow marching or prancing.



#13 wwwnyc

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 08:09 PM

It's beyond me why the NYC-based critics don't review the PAB on an ongoing basis.  It's certainly easy to travel those 90 miles to Philadelphia.



#14 sandik

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 08:26 PM

It's beyond me why the NYC-based critics don't review the PAB on an ongoing basis.  It's certainly easy to travel those 90 miles to Philadelphia.

I don't think it's the critics that make the choices about what gets covered...



#15 wwwnyc

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 11:42 AM

Then, who does?  Their editors?




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