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#46 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:32 AM

I'm still putting my thoughts together about yesterday's fantastic performances and will post later in the week.  I just wanted to mention that I saw James Fayette in the lobby of the David Koch Theatre yesterday.  I went over (he was by himself) and told him I was a big fan, etc., etc.  He could not have been nicer.  I asked him if his kids would be coming onstage during the final bows.  He said they were too little and there was a fear they might fall off the stage.  How old are they?  4 and 2, something like that?  Anyway, as has been said so many times already I will really miss Jennifer Ringer.



#47 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 01:09 PM

Here are my thoughts on Jennifer Ringer's farewell performance.

 

It is not surprising that someone with Jennifer Ringer’s generous nature chose two ensemble ballets – ‘Dances at a Gathering’ and ‘Union Jack’ for her farewell performance with New York City Ballet.  ‘Dances’ is a gorgeous work choreographed in 1969 by Jerome Robbins to eighteen of Frederic Chopin’s piano pieces.  There are ten dancers at this gathering – five women and five men.  Each dancer is distinguished by the color of the outfit they are wearing.

 

There have been recent complaints in the social media about ‘Dances’.  Some say it is too long. (The ballet lasts one hour.)  Others say it has never been the same since the original cast retired (a common complaint about the works of both Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine).  For me, however, time flew by while I was watching this ballet.  I found myself wanting to stay in Jerome Robbins’ enchanting world for the whole afternoon.

 

Robbins always said there was no story to 'Dances' but I see real people with real human emotions at this outdoor gathering.  All the dancers are fresh and natural whether they are performing alone, with one partner or in larger groupings.  ‘Dances’ is truly a masterpiece.  Robbins’ choreography flows seamlessly from Chopin’s music.  His wittingly romantic lifts and steps are endlessly innovative and inventive.

 

All the dancers are marvelous, but it is Jennifer Ringer’s day.  As the girl in pink, Ringer is radiantly lissome.  Her body is the ideal vessel for Chopin’s gorgeous piano pieces.  Other performers also deserve mention.  Corps member Zachary Catazaro (in blue) stands out for his soaring leaps.  As the boy in brown Gonzalo Garcia whips off exciting turns, most notably his turns a la seconde.   Maria Kowroski (in green) is very funny as the girl who flirts with several partners but ends up losing them all.  I am totally captivated by ‘Dances at a Gathering’ and hope to spend more time in Robbins’ sunny and poetic world.

 

The afternoon ends with ‘Union Jack’ choreographed by George Balanchine in 1976.   It is a three part salute to Great Britain.  It uses military tattoos, Scottish folk songs, music hall ditties and sailors’ hornpipes to set the mood.  The score is adapted by Hersey Kay who did similar arrangements for Balanchine’s cowboy ballet, ‘Western Symphony’ and his Sousa piece, ‘Stars and Stripes’.

 

Part I is a salute to the Scottish and Canadian Guards Regiments.  70 clan members, dressed in complete tartan wear, march onto the stage in complex formations.  Then the parading evolves into spectacular dancing.

 

Part II is the costermonger pas de deux.  It is set in an Edwardian music hall where a down on their heels couple performs.  Both Amar Ramasar and especially Jennifer Ringer are adorably hammy as the Pearly King and Queen.  Ringer shows off spot on comic timing as well as gorgeous high kicks.  At the end of the pas de deux the couple’s daughters, the Pearly Princesses, arrive in a pony cart.  Then the whole family dances together, the Princesses as well as the Pearly King and Queen all trying to upstage each other.

 

Part III is a tribute to the Royal Navy.  All the dancers join in the high-flying hijinks.  For years no dancer in ‘Union Jack’ flew higher than former NYCB principal Damian Woetzl.  In my mind’s eye I still Woetzl performing his solo, his endless leaps and turns so light asnd effortless.  On Sunday, Tyler Angle does a good job in this role, but he’s still not up to Woetzl’s level of dancing.  Ashley Bouder is a very impressive leader of the Wrens.  Usually the part is danced by a tall performer, but Bouder, with her commanding presence and impeccable footwork, truly owns this role.

 

‘Union Jack’ ends on its usually happy note.  As the orchestra plays “Rule Britannia”, the cast uses semaphore to signal “God Save the Queen” and the Union Jack flag rolls down the back wall of the stage at the David Koch Theater.  Then it is Jennifer Ringer’s turn to take her final bows with NYCB.  Company members past and present honor Ringer with huge bouquets of flowers and hugs.  The audience gives her a standing ovation and throws flowers onto the stage.  At one point Ringer holds up her hands in a mock gesture meaning “Please don’t hit me”.  Jennifer Ringer is a ballerina who will truly be missed.



#48 Eileen

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 01:25 PM

Colleen, thank you for your thoughtful and informed review of Jenifer Ringer's farewell. I would have been there, but left New York last year unfortunately. Jenifer R always impressed me, whether appearing in the video on Jewels speaking about her role in Emeralds, or hosting a Dancer's Choice evening several years ago. She had refinement and presence. Most important, compared to many more pyrotechnic dancers, Jenifer Ringer was womanly. Her careful footsteps in Emerald evoked adult feminity. Of all the brilliant NYCB dancers I saw over the many years I attended NYCB faithfully - she is my personal favorite. I also remember her some twenty-five years ago as an apprentice (or corps newbie?) - she and Dena Abergel entered as the nurses in Sleeping Beauty holding the baby Aurora. At least that is my memory. Who would know she would become a principal? She has had a glorious career. And I'm glad the Times gave her full appreciation - and Macauley did not review her.



#49 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 06:03 AM

New Combinations Program - Tuesday 2/11/14
 
I don’t have time for a full account of last night’s program, but I did want to rave about Sara Adams’ beautiful performance as one of the leads in Liam Scarlett’s Acheron. I saw the second cast, and I believe Adams took on the role danced by Rebecca Krohn at the premiere. Adams has Krohn’s brand of lovely, long-limbed grace, but she dances with more juice—at first I thought she might have been cast in Mearns’ role! Anyway, she looked terrific in the part, and I’m glad I had a chance to see her in it.
 
It was my first look at Acheron, so I’m only guessing, but here’s how I think the two casts line up:
 
Rebecca Krohn & Tyler Angle = Sara Adams & Andrew Veyette
Ashley Bouder & Amar Ramasar = Meghan Fairchild & Gonzalo Garcia
Sara Mearns & Adrian Danchig-Waring = Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild
Anthony Huxley = Antonio Carmena
 
It was my second look at Preljocaj’s Spectral Evidence. This one’s going to be a guilty pleasure. It’s hooey, but hooey of the very highest order. I love the selections from Cage, and Preljocaj is not shy about working a theatrical effect for everything that it’s worth. Oh, and I like the we get to see Gretchen Smith in a featured role. 
 
Bigonzetti’s Vespro doesn’t even rise to the level of hooey, but everyone looked good in it anyway. There seemed to be an awful lot of shout-outs to several of Balanchine’s leotard ballets—especially in the big duet danced (gorgeously) by Sterling Hyltin and Amar Ramasar. Has anyone notified the Trust? 


#50 DanielBenton

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 06:50 AM

I agree; Spectral Evidence is kind of trashy and still enjoyable. Cage's music,rarely to be taken
seriously, is at the core. The best part of Vespro is when the dancer puts his forearm
down on the bass register of the piano, twice I think - then he puts his body onto the pianist.

#51 abatt

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:28 AM

I would have had a better reaction to Spectral Evidence if R. Fairchild's lip sync solo had been deleted.  That was the part where I really started to roll my eyes at the pretentiousness. It seemed to go on forever.



#52 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:33 AM

I would have had a better reaction to Spectral Evidence if R. Fairchild's lip sync solo had been deleted.  

 

I'm not too proud to admit that I enjoyed that part ...



#53 abatt

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 06:54 AM

I attended last night's performance.  I'm skipping over Bal de Couture.because there isn't much left to say about it.  The "second" cast took over DGV.  Mearns and R Fairchild were exquisite as the first couple.  M. Fairchild and G. Garcia replaced Bouder and DeLuz as the second couple.   The anticipated debut was Lauren Lovette w. Craig Hall as the third couple w. the long pdd.  I thought Lovette was miscast.  She is so short that the stretched out positions and elongated lines that are important components of the choreography are completely lost.  Hall was a strong and intense partner for Lovette.  I thought Britanny Pollack and Amar Ramasar were very, very good as the fourth couple.  This kind of modern choreography suits Ramasar's style. 

 

In the Four Season, Tiler Peck was breathtaking in her musicality and timing in Fall.  Veyette was pushing a bit too hard in Fall, and ended up flubbing a landing by landing on both knees instead of one knee.  Hyltin and T. Angle were a breath of springtime air in Spring.  I find Summer goes on too long, but Reichlin and Adrian D-W were sultry.

 

Forgot to add that I'm pretty sure the casting notice in the lobby indicated that Bouder will replace M. Fairchild tonight in Barber.  Seems fair since Megan is doing 2 Copeilia's this weekend.  Surely there will be tons of empty seats tonight because the weather here is brutal and getting worse.



#54 canbelto

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 08:15 AM

Well I saw yesterday's performance of Coppelia with Tiler Peck and Andrew Veyette. Awesome, lively performance from Peck. Her musicality really helps her in the second act. She used her limbs as weapons, and timed each "doll" movement so it matched the music exactly. Veyette looked tired and labored but I heard he had subbed for de Luz the night before. The production is as charming as ever and wish they'd do it more often. I actually prefer it to the ABT production. The third act featured so many SAB kids who were so well-trained and cute.



#55 Swanilda8

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 08:44 AM

 

I would have had a better reaction to Spectral Evidence if R. Fairchild's lip sync solo had been deleted.  

 

I'm not too proud to admit that I enjoyed that part ...

 

 

That was hands down my favorite part. I thought it was hilarious. 



#56 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 11:28 AM

After reading Canbelto's posting re: Coppelia I looked on the NYCB website and saw that Veyette is dancing the part of Franz four performances in a row.  If he was noticedably tired at yesterday's matinee, what is he going to be like at today's performance?  And I've seen Veyette twice as Franz and he was wonderful both times (this was in 2009).  There are three couples dancing the leading roles in Coppelia.  I already thought it was strange when I looked at the casting page on the NYCB website and saw that Fairchild/DeLuz and Peck/Veyette don't even have a fulll day off before they dance again.  I'm treating my niece to the February 23rd matinee of Coppelia and it worries me that Hyltin/Garcia will have danced Coppelia the night before.  I hope both Hyltin and Garcia won't be noticeably tired when we see Coppelia (a ballet which I really love).  And with regard to Veyette dancing Franz four performances in a row that seems like it should be against some union rule.  I assume DeLuz is injured.  Why not divide the Franzs between Veyette and Garcia?  I never saw Garcia in the part but I know he's danced Franz with NYCB.  And isn't there at least one other dancer who can dance Franz?  So far the NYCB Winter season has been so good.  I hope it doesn't come to a disappointing conclusion with these strange casting decisions.



#57 canbelto

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 12:50 PM

Well he looked out of gas yesterday. Maybe today some of his variations can be cut? That's the only way I could think they could make it easier for him, poor guy. 



#58 bobbi

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 05:43 AM

It was a delightful afternoon of ballet at yesterday's Coppelia.  I will add my kudos to Tiler Peck's wonderful performance (and do understand that Andy Veyette, although obviously tired), still gave it his all.  But I just want to add a word about the wonderful soloists in Act III.  Two dancers in particular were absolute standouts:  Lauren Lovette, doing the waltz and having to compete for attention with the adorable little ones, was marvelous.  Another of my favorites is Ashly Isaacs, who IMHO, is really one to watch.  She has it all:  good technique, musicality and a winning stage presence.  And Gretchen Smith, as Prayer, and Georgina Pazcoguin, as Spinner, gave full throttled outstanding performances as well.  And capping this all was the forceful dancing of Discord and War:  Emily Kikta and Harrison Ball.  Emily is very tall and is a stunning dancer (another one with a bright future).  Harrison Ball gave a bravura performance.  NYCB followers have much to look forward to in the coming years.



#59 Michael

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:58 PM

 

New Combinations Program - Tuesday 2/11/14
 
I believe Adams took on the role danced by Rebecca Krohn at the premiere. 

 

Adams was phenomenal in that role - Kathleen I could not agree more.  I left the show just blown away by her.  It really had to be seen.  Extraordinary lines that the lighting picked up, and a movement quality that Scarlett really displayed, as well as a classical structure, in the  limbs and feet like Maria Kochetkova only on a bigger woman.  

 

Do - or will - the powers-that-be at NYCB have any idea what to do with her?  That's another topic I guess.   But before last week they had used her very little.  One lead in a pas de deux in one cast of the Wheeldon "Soiree de Ballet" with Zach Catazzaro and another in a Justin Peck ballet; but she's not a girl for the corps de ballet - I mean she can dance there sure (and a Rosemary Dunleavy will of course want to keep her there) - but there are lots of good women who can do what she does there.  But very very very few, maybe no one else, who has the unique qualities she showed in the Scarlett ballet.   



#60 abatt

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 06:43 PM

I saw Sunday's matinee of Coppelia.  Veyette seemed fine.  T. Peck was marvelous.  She is the most musical dancer of all the current NYCB ballerinas.  I also liked Lovette and Ashley Isaacs in the last act.  I recall when they threw Isaacs into the role of one of the muses in Apollo a few years ago. She really wasn't ready at that time for such a sophisticated and difficult part.  However, since then then they have given her more appropriate demi soloist roles in which she has done very well.  She seems like someone who will move up to bigger and better things in due time.




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