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Sleeping Beauty, Jan 31-Feb 2 and Feb 6-Feb 9


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#31 SandyMcKean

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 11:22 AM

Like Jayne, I am extremely excited to see Leta Biasuccci as Aurora (a PNB debut for sure, but has she perhaps danced it elsewhere?).  She is one of the most exciting dancers I've seen in a long time.  Her acting skills and passion will please us all I venture.

 

No one has mentioned this, but although I can completely see Leta as Aurora given her artistry and skills, it is quite a leap from the corps.  Could it be that she was the understudy for a principal.......Carla perhaps?.  In the past, Carla danced Aurora with Cruz, but given Biasucci's height (or lack of it wink1.gif) that pairing makes no sense.  So maybe Cruz went to Rausch and Bold to Foster.

 

(OK....you're right....far too speculative!!)



#32 sandik

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 11:36 AM


 

(OK....you're right....far too speculative!!)

 

But why are we here, except for speculation?

 

I don't think she (Biasucci) has danced the part before, unless it was in school at CPYB.  Yes, she's a corps member as far as her contract is concerned, but she's been dancing above her paygrade for quite awhile.  I know that promotions are always a dicey proposition, considering the budget, but I imagine that she'll get raised in the next set, whenever that happens.

 

When the company has done SB in the past, there's usually been someone making a big debut in it (I remember when Pantastico started in it, and Vinson the next time around)  The last time they presented SB, Rausch debuted, at a Valentine's Day matinee, though she was a soloist at the time (if I remember correctly) and had danced big parts before. 



#33 Helene

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 11:54 AM

Korbes's injury was from the last rep of last season, and she spoke about it last fall in a long interview on the Ballet Initiative podcast.  I'm sure when Boal scheduled "The Sleeping Beauty" last spring, Korbes was one of his choices for Aurora, but they wouldn't have started rehearsals last season, and Biasucci couldn't have been her understudy.

 

Biasucci joined PNB in 2011.  In her second rep, she danced "Divertimento from 'Baiser de la fee'" and Little Red Riding Hood in the "Sleeping Beauty" Wedding Act in the "Love Stories" program (Nov 2011).  Korbes was cast in "Afternoon of a Faun" and "Romeo et Juliette PDD," with Chapman, Ricard Orza, and Rausch dancing Aurora, but Korbes withdrew first from weekend one, and then, finally from week two, and missed the rep.  If Biasucci understudied Aurora at the time, not a given with everything else she was doing, which might have included learning multiple corps roles from scratch in "Nutcracker"by then, she didn't dance it.  I don't think PNB has understudies or fourth/fifth casts for specific Principals:  if she were understudying Aurora, it would have been for all other casts, and often, the understudies/last casts for full-lengths, at least, are in separate partnerships.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing Rausch and Cruz together:  they both have such long lines. With Chapman doing a run of Queens, and Ricard Orza dancing Lilac, the other Auroras are on the short side -- Nakamura, Foster, Biasucci -- and would look out-of-proportion with Cruz.  I'm glad to see Rausch and Bold with other partners, too, because he tends to focus on partnering her and lose his own character, and I think he and Foster could have a great dynamic together, as well as having good proportions.

 

I don't know what would have happened had Chapman, a radiant Aurora in "Love Stories," and Korbes been able to do the role. If he had five casts, that would mean one cast with one performance, which is rare to assign to a Principal.  I suspect there would have been four casts, with Biasucci an understudy in this round.  She was given great opportunities up front her first season, but she also understudied a number of roles that year and ended up being featured in every, or almost every rep that year.  She's been given wonderful opportunities since, but in some reps last season, hadn't been cast prominently.  I'm glad she's being featured again.



#34 SandyMcKean

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:03 PM

......she's been dancing above her paygrade for quite awhile.....

Absolutely....like from the very 1st second she stepped onto PNB's stage!!! smile.png
 

I don't think PNB has understudies or fourth/fifth casts for specific Principals: if she were understudying Aurora, it would have been for all other casts.....

Agreed.  I didn't mean to imply that the understudy assignments were specific, but just that since Korbes has been hurt, perhaps this is what allowed Biasucci to dance Aurora (if indeed she had been an understudy).
 

I think he and Foster could have a great dynamic together, as well as having good proportions.

I too like the Foster/Bold pairing.  She is so expressive, and he rather stoic.  The "dynamic", as you so aptly put it, will be interesting.



#35 sandik

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 04:05 PM

Ran across this very nice little video of Nakamura discussing her pointe shoes -- we see a lot of her modifications of the shoes.  Like many dancers, it looks like she carries around a nice toolkit!



#36 Grace8

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:34 AM

New to this forum (have attended PNB performances for about 5 years or so) with a question for those who have gone to the Thursday dress rehearsals -- typically which cast will dance? I'm on the fence about going since it's longer and I have to be at work early on Friday.

 

I have tickets to see Foster/Bold on the 2nd Saturday evening, but am debating also going this Sunday to see Leta Biasucci (and 50% off!).



#37 Helene

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 11:18 PM

I can't answer your question about Thursday dresses in general, but go to see Leta Biasucci and Jerome Tisserand this Sunday.  The Super Bowl doesn't start until 3:30pm Pacific Time, and by the time the ballet is out, ~ 4pm, all of the sports fans will be holed up in bars or parties at their friends, and the streets should be quiet and safe for a get-away.

 

And welcome to Ballet Alert!



#38 Helene

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 04:56 PM

Heads up from sandik --  we're between Saturday performances:

If you are in the theayer, make sure you pick up a copy of Sheila Dietrich's essay in the lobby.  She's got an exhibit about Kaori Nakamura,  and the essay goes with it.  Sadly, it's not  available online.

 

There's also a two-page spread about Nakamura in the "Sleeping Beauty" program, including photos and quotes from colleagues, choreographers, and staff.



#39 Helene

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:02 PM

After seeing two casts, I'm in an advanced stage of verklemptitude.  Rachel Fosteer and Batkhurel Bold are a wonderful pairing.  They are cats for the student performance next Friday at 11:30am.  The kids who see it, many of them seeing ballet for the first time, couldn't be in better hands.  They also perform the ballet next Saturday night at 7:30pm.



#40 Helene

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:24 AM

Lesley Rausch was just stunning tonight with Karel Cruz and Carrie Imler's spectacular Lilac Fairy.



#41 Jayne

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 10:22 PM

I saw the Sunday Matinee and then walked to Racha and watched the Superbowl in a bar with a friend.  I have good things to say about Leta Biasucci:

 

she was good in Rose Adagio, but had one small foot-down halfway through the first set of balances, due to a wonky partnering balance with the 2nd cavalier (name escapes me at the moment).  She was better in the Vision scene, and she was Excellent in the wedding scene.  

 

Jerome Tisserand really deserves to be a Principal, I'll expand on my opinion tomorrow.  

 

Unfortunately I have to be at work at 6am (it's 10:18pm now), I'm downing a Sleep Aid to get me through the night.  Cars are still honking horns, fireworks going off, and general rebel yells throughout Lower Queen Anne to celebrate the Seahawks' superbowl win.  Fortunately I think everyone will be worse for wear on Monday at work, so I won't be the only one.

 

So the full write up will come Monday night when I get home!  



#42 SandyMcKean

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 09:18 AM

Jerome Tisserand really deserves to be a Principal, I'll expand on my opinion tomorrow.

 

Of course there are many other factors that go into promotions other than skill and artistry (no quibble that he has those two under his belt).  Just to mention one, that can easily affect company morale, is "time in grade".  Jerome has been soloist not even 2 years (he was promoted in 2012).  In contrast, his wife Laura was soloist for almost 5 years, and Lindsi Dec was soloist for 6 years.



#43 Helene

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 09:47 AM

There's no one formula.  Under Russell and Stowell, dancers were brought in from other companies as Soloists and promoted to Principal within a year or two:  Stanton, Gibson, Nadeau, Nakamura, Wevers, Maraval, for example.  Seth Orza, Karel Cruz and Carrie Imler made it from Soloist to Principal in two seasons, Korbes in one,  (Cruz and Imler spent more years in the corps before their promotion to Soloist than Orza.)

 

Elizabeth Murphy and Leta Biasucci came into PNB the same time.  Both have been featured.  After yesterday, Biasucci has carried two full length ballets; I don't remember what other corps woman has done the same in the last 20 years at least.  (I don't think Imler did, because Barker and Derieux were featured a lot at the time.  Pantastico? She was a Soloist after being in the corps for three years.  I'm not sure if she had enough time.)  Murphy was promoted to Soloist; Biasucci was not. After yesterday afternoon, Jerome Tisserand had performed the leads in "Swan Lake," "Sleeping Beauty," "Romeo et Juliette," and "Coppelia,"  That would mean Principal status in many of the world's ballet companies.

 

Many promotions at PNB have been delayed because of money.

 

There's no one formula.

 

Barry Kerollis just posted a great entry on his blog, "Life of a Freelance Dancer" that, I think, address some of the smoke signals:

http://lifeofafreela...-in-ballet.html



#44 Helene

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 10:42 AM

I don't know how I missed this video about the "Rose Adagio," featuring Leta Biasucci in a stage rehearsal and Lesley Rausch in a studio rehearsal and both speaking about the piece:

 



#45 sandik

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 11:55 AM

Very sweet to see this video today, after spending the weekend immersed in Sleeping Beauty!




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