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ABT Fall Season Mixed Rep PerformancesNovember 1-10


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#46 Drew

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 09:32 PM

Deleted after I made a mess of quotes...



#47 Drew

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 09:35 PM

 

 

 

There would be a lot more sympathy for Caliban if it were done chronologically, because you'd see Propero de-throned and set to sea, then landing with Miranda on the island and having Caliban help them and his thanks was to be enslaved.


Prospero is Christopher Columbus?

 

Since Caliban was the only inhabitant when he got there in a smashed up ship, Prospero didn't/couldn't murder the inhabitants or steal their natural resources to send to another continent, and I wouldn't put him in Columbus' circle of Hell. 

 

 

Quite a bit of recent criticism of the play takes it up from the perspective of the discovery and colonization of "new" worlds in Shakespeare's time. Similarly Césaire's adaptation, Une Tempête.



#48 Helene

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 10:00 PM

Prospero was definitely a colonizer, but on the scale of things, was less worse than Columbus.  Of course had he beheaded Caliban to scare off the natives, that would have been self-defeating.



#49 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 12:20 PM

 

 

In terms of T&V I'm afraid you have to go over to the other company to get a satisfactory rendering.  On the woman's side Peck or Bouder.  On the men's side De Luz or Vayette.  In fact NYCB has a nice video of Vayette doing one of the variations on their website.  As for of ABT I enjoyed the Lane/Cornejo T&V I saw a few years ago.


 

 

Unfortunately Ballet Arizona isn't doing T&V in this year's "All Balanchine" program --

 

It would had been interesting to see the newly appointed Martin doing the ballerina role. T&V got a recent restaging in Cuba, while she was still dancing there.  She was not a principal, but I'm sure she knows about the role and the way it is performed there.



#50 California

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:33 PM

Robert Gottleib's just-published review includes a photograph showing Simkin's whiteface. But note that hands, feet, and ankles are left in their natural flesh color. With the big push to bring in more dancers of color, it would be nice to avoid thinking that facial colors need to be altered, no matter the reason.  Ratmansky's use of black-face in a Bolshoi production made many here cringe, even though that could also be rationalized as dramatically necessary.

 

http://observer.com/...p-show-the-way/



#51 abatt

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 06:30 AM

I thought the casting of Bach Partita made a big difference in how I felt about the ballet.  I thought the first cast, with Murphy, Gomes, Abrera ... was fantastic, and I couldn't wait to see the work again.  Last night I saw the second cast with Herrera, Boylston, Part, Gorak..., and somehow the ballet looked a lot more boring.    Maybe the fact that Twyla was in the house watching gave the first cast extra energy last Friday. I thought Part was trying to "emote" too much, and Herrera did not dance with the kind of abandon I saw from Murphy.

 

I've seen Clear many times at ABT, and I think I also saw it again when Corella Ballet brought it to NYC during a tour. (I miss Angel!)  Even though there are lots of silly gestures in it from the guys pounding their chests and stomachs, I still always enjoy the ballet.  Kent did look great, and Gomes was magnetic.  Calvin Royal was a standout.  I hope we see a lot more of Royal during the Spring season.



#52 Natalia

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 09:02 AM

Also went last night. Unlike Abatt, I did not see first cast of the season in BACH PARTITA. Absolutely love the work - it is one to be savoured many times over, if it would be possible to see it many nights running.  I was most impressed by the beautiful positions and timing of Isabella Boylston BUT the stand-out couple was, in fact, one of the demi-solo pairings: Sarah Lane & Sean Stewart! I agree with Abatt on Part's over-emoting, just as she seems to do in all neo-classical ballets, such as APOLLO.

 

CLEAR was a bore, although the final adagio-pdd by Kent and Gomes is lovely.

 

I very much like THE TEMPEST. A gorgeous deluxe production that tells its story clearly...well, I read the notes during intermission, which further helped. smile.png Bravo, Ratmansky! I've long been a fan of Sibelius' score, especially the segments for Miranda and Fernando (the young lovers) and the catchy Spanish-infused tune for Ariel.  I've loved the evening's Ariel, Gabe Stone Shayer, since his days in the Bolshoi school, through his graduation performance last year with the JKO School/ABT II. He is extraordinary. That said, I'm sorry to have missed the original Ariel, Simkin.  Cory Stearns as Prospero delivered more passion & emotion than I think I've ever seen from this ABT principal - evah!  Yuriko Kajiya's pliancy and liquidy movements are spectacular; time to make her a principal, please! The evening's greatest kudos, though, are reserved for Jared Matthews, who was featured in all three ballets of the night...The Jared Matthews Triple Header! His gorgeous and high entrechats in THE TEMPEST alone were worth the price of admission.



#53 puppytreats

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 11:07 AM

I know Jared has a lot of enthusiastic fans who always praise him, and he is praiseworthy, but he often gets solo spinning parts, which are central to his section of the dance, and I think he is not the best spinner.  The Spring brochure shows him as "Puck", and I can't imagine him in that role. (Besides, I really want to see Herman in that role).

 

I agree  with comments regarding how good Gabe Stone Shayer, Jose Sebastian, and Tom Forster were in "Clear."   I was surprised by Forster, since I really did not think he had any presence in the rehearsal for "Sylphides".  



#54 aurora

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 11:50 AM

Yuriko Kajiya's pliancy and liquidy movements are spectacular; time to make her a principal, please! The evening's greatest kudos, though, are reserved for Jared Matthews, who was featured in all three ballets of the night...The Jared Matthews Triple Header! His gorgeous and high entrechats in THE TEMPEST alone were worth the price of admission.

 

Natalia, I haven't yet seen this season, but I agree with you on both dancers. They have made major strides in the last few seasons. It would also be lovely if they are promoted together as they have been a couple for years.

 

Can't wait to see some performances this weekend, the great divergence of opinions on the works on offer is actually building my anticipation...



#55 Helene

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 03:31 PM

Guys, you know the drill:  discuss critics' reactions elsewhere.  I've moved the Abrera discussion to Stella Abrera's thread in Dancers:

http://balletalert.i...rera/?hl=abrera



#56 ABT Fan

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 12:00 PM

I was at last night's performance and it was fantastic.

 
Les Sylphides - I am so glad this was revived.  One of my all-time favorite ballets.  Hee Seo was lovely; adagio/lyrical dancing is definitely her forte, but she wasn't luxurious enough in Prelude.  I wanted her to take a deep breath and let that breath move through her torso, port de bras and her head.  Sarah Lane was gorgeous; perfect port de bras, light-airy jumps, but her penchees could have been lower and deeper.  Isabella Boylston did a very nice job; I didn't see too many broken wrists that others have talked about here.  Most of her arm placements were what they should have been for Fokine.  But, the wonder of the ballet was Joseph Gorak.  He had some nervous energy to start, but settled in.  He is a young David Hallberg - in physique and technique and potential.  He had the right command here and was a secure, confident, strong partner; he was very engaged with Boylston during their pas.  He dances like a seasoned soloist (despite his nervousness at first).  And, I must acknowledge the corps who were obviously very well-rehearsed.  Their port de bras were perfectly matched and they had the right Fokine style.  A beautiful performance.
 
The Moor's Pavane - first time I've seen this.  It's so affecting and emotionally wrenching.  Roman Zhurbin was a potent Moor; here is a corps dancer among 3 principals and he held the stage.  His eyes pierced through the audience every time he looked forward.  Hee Seo was perfect as the Moor's Wife - innocent and delicate.  Cory Stearns really excels in the dramatic ballets; he and Zhurbin were a force together.  Veronika Part was delicious as the Friend's scheming Wife.
 
Gong - I loved this!  Great to see so many principals and soloists in one piece.  The 2 pas de deux's in silence were almost startling.  Gillian Murphy, James Whiteside (he has taken everything on so well) and Misty Copeland really stood out for me.  Really liked the crazy, colorful costumes (except the fact that Xiomara Reyes' costume was the same color as the backdrop so she practically disappeared) and the ending (very Balanchine).
 
A nice surprise announcement after the final ballet's (Gong) curtain calls - Cory Stearns came out onstage dressed in street clothes with a microphone to ask the audience to please donate to Dancer's Responding to Aids (dancers with buckets were in the lobby to take donations).  He gave a great, short speech for a often-forgotten cause nowadays.


#57 abatt

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 09:13 AM

I attended Thursday evening's performance.  I thought Semionova and Stearns were wonderful in T&V.  Semionova was radiant and performed the difficult choreography with ease and grace.  Cory was a gallant partner, and executed his solo with panache.  (I like his hair slicked back. It makes him look more sophisticated.)  There was one minor problem I saw in the partnering, where he arrived a tad late to support Semionova, causing her to come off pointe too soon. NYCB has been assigning the T&V role to people I regard as soubrette (Peck, M. Fairchild, Bouder).  It was refreshing to see a tall, regal Ballerina in the role.

 

Kent and Cote were fantastic in Month.  I was not looking forward to this revival, because I found Kent's performance disappointing during the Met season. I thought that she was tracing the steps instead of performing them full out.  (I much preferred Hee Seo, but she is not doing the role during this Fall Koch engagement.) Kent surprised me in a good way.  First, I thought she added a lot more to the acting of the role than when she first did the role last spring.  I also thought her dancing was more robust last night than in the spring.  Cote was fantastic.  His partnering was effortless, he had dramatic insight, and he executed his solo work very well. Gemma Bond was perfection.

 

Re Piano Concerto 1, Murphy and Royal danced with brio.  In fact, I think I prefer Murphy over Vishneva in this.  I guess it's not a fair comparison, but I found corps members Brandt and Shayer paled in comparison to the dynamic duo of Osipova and Vasiliev who originated these roles.

 

There were many empty seats last night, and the fourth ring only had a handful of peoplle.   



#58 Golden Idol

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 11:42 AM

I'm delighted to read that A Month in the Country is worth revisiting. I hadn't been planning to see it again until I learned that Cote would be dancing (this being the best rationale there is for guest artists!), but will do so on Sunday.  However... many empty seats? It's a disgrace that ABT doesn't make these available on TDF; neither do they offer the $29 tickets on the far sides of the orch, second, and third rings that NYCB does. For shame. Vergogna!



#59 Rose1186

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 02:26 PM

I went last night as well.  It was my second time seeing T&V with Semionova and Stearns.  I thought it was better than the first time and they both seemed more comfortable. She executed all of the difficult and fast choreography very well. Her feet are incredibly strong and articulate.  The first time I saw this last week, Stearns looked like he was very unhappy to be dancing, but he definitely seemed to have a bit more energy and enjoyment last night.  However, I felt like he was running out of steam by about half way through.

 

I was not looking forward to seeing A Month in the Country, as I did not like it last spring and also because I haven't enjoyed Julie Kent so much as of late. And unfortunately, my reservations were well-founded.  I can't totally explain what it is about this piece that I don't like.  I very much like other Ashton works like The Dream and Cinderella.  And I found Julie Kent to be very awkward.  I felt like she was overacting to make up for her lack of technical capacity.  However, I did think Cote was great!  While I am not a fan of the abundance of guest artists in ABT's spring season, I would love to see Cote in a full-length principle role.

 

I really enjoyed Piano Concerto No. 1 - I am a fan of the Shoshtakovich Trilogy and this piece in particular.  I think it shows what Ratmansky is best at. I thought that Gillian Murphy was wonderful, and while Skylar Brandt didn't quite match Murphy's confidence or precision, she was also very strong and incredibly capable.  I actually think they're very similar dancers.  I thought Calvin Royal was fantastic both in his solo work and in partnering Murphy.  Gabe Stone Shayer seemed the least comfortable, but he also looked like he was enjoying the performance immensely, which was great to see.  He is definitely a wonderful dancer and it seems he is being given opportunities to grow so... fingers crossed!



#60 bad feet

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 02:48 AM

I know Jared has a lot of enthusiastic fans who always praise him, and he is praiseworthy, but he often gets solo spinning parts, which are central to his section of the dance, and I think he is not the best spinner.  The Spring brochure shows him as "Puck", and I can't imagine him in that role. (Besides, I really want to see Herman in that role).

 

I agree  with comments regarding how good Gabe Stone Shayer, Jose Sebastian, and Tom Forster were in "Clear."   I was surprised by Forster, since I really did not think he had any presence in the rehearsal for "Sylphides".  

I think that it's a bit harsh to make firm or hard judgements on a dancers performance which are based soley on the rehearsal. Rehearsals are for the benefit of the dancers not the audience.




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