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Winter Season


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#61 Caesariatus

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 07:48 PM

On Saturday I saw Coppélia with Tiler Peck and Andrew Veyette.  Some thoughts:

I splurged this time, combining two Xmas presents and buying a second row orchestra seat.  It really makes a difference.  The nuances of expressions are much easier to see.  Although you can't see the overall patterns of the ensemble dances as well, you can get a better sense of them than you might think, and since they fill your field of vision they make a much more immersive experience.  I do think if I do this again, though, I'll pick a more romantic ballet, and less of a comic one.

I thought Peck was fine, but in truth I wasn't overly impressed.  One problem is that the only other Coppélia performance I've seen is a Ballet in Cinema broadcast of the Bolshoi doing it with Natalia Osipova dancing, and Peck had to compete with my memories of an exuberant Osipova.

I did not see the tiredness other commenters on this thread saw in Veyette.  In fact I remember thinking how atheletic he was.

In Act Three 24 little girls (maybe 8 yrs. old) formed the corps behind several soloists.  They were very good in the sense of being a lot better than you would expect children that young to be, but they weren't, of course, as good as the regular City Ballet corps, and I thought they were left onstage too long.

I didn't care for the sets, although I wonder if that was at least in part because they were designed to be seen from farther away.

So, the bottom line is, there was a lot of beautiful dancing, but I never experienced one of those transcendental moments I love the ballet for.  In spite of seeing this in person and up close, I prefer the Ballet in Cinema Bolshoi Coppélia.

I love that eye on the floor, though.  Here's my pic: https://www.facebook...&type=1

 



#62 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 07:36 AM

 

 

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.   

 

 

Adams was one of Swanilda's friends in the Sunday 2/16/14 performance of Coppelia -- she was lovely, of course, and now that Scarlett has let us see what she can do, I couldn't resist the temptation to watch her even when I should have been watching someone else. It would have been a real delight to see her in one of the Act III's allegorical divertissements. (Prayer would do nicely.) Let's hope the Powers-That-Be let her bloom. 



#63 cobweb

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:03 AM

I was at the Saturday matinee (Tiler Peck and Andrew Veyette). This isn't my favorite ballet, and definitely not what I go to NYCB to see. I'm I'm glad I saw it once, but I probably wouldn't go again. My favorite part was the Act III soloists... especially Ashly Isaacs. She was luminous and luscious, with a mature quality that I find very appealing. She's not a waif, and I like her physicality. I was sorry to miss her debut as Dewdrop in Nutcracker. If anyone can give a report, however belated, I'd be glad to hear it. 



#64 mira

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 12:00 PM

cobweb - so glad to hear your report about Ashly - I've been watching her dance since she was 11 years old!  always has been an amazing talent and sweet girl - she's got it all - jumps, turns, musicality and stage presence - I'm hoping it's time for a promotion soon.



#65 abatt

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 07:47 AM

I attended last night's performance.  While watching Opus 19 the Dreamer w. Taylor and Garcia, I kept thinking back to all the past great performances I had seen of this ballet by Wendy Whelan, Damian Woetzel and Peter Boal.  Instead of a Dreamer, I thought Garcia looked more like a sleepwalker at times.  There was no sense of urgency in his performance, which was sometimes too lethargic and underpowered.  I liked Janie Taylor's performance and will miss her when she retires, but she doesn't have the forceful technical brilliance or wild abandon that I recall from Whelan's performances.

 

Mearns and Jared Angle were brilliant in Barber Violin Concerto.  Absolutely riveting every second. Bouder was funny in her manic pdd w. LaCour, but the choreography of that section gets tiresome pretty fast.

 

Excellent cast for the Stravinsky Violin Concerto, but I especially loved the intensity of Robbie Fairchild.

 

At the intermission I saw Yo Yo Ma and Damian Woetzel taking photos together while leaning over the wonderful JR art installation on the Promenade.  (I think Ma and Woetzel serve together on the an arts council appointed by Obama.) 

 

The house looked well sold.



#66 California

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 07:58 AM

At the intermission I saw Yo Yo Ma and Damian Woetzel taking photos together while leaning over the wonderful JR art installation on the Promenade.  (I think Ma and Woetzel serve together on the an arts council appointed by Obama.) 

 

Yes. Both are members of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities: 

http://www.pcah.gov/members



#67 abatt

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:24 AM

A word about last night's Opus 19 the Dreamer.  R Fairchild and T Peck were excellent.  Robbie performed the role with technical strength and dramatic flair. He has been doing this role for a few years and has always been good in it, but the combo w. Tiler Peck as his dream/nightmare made the performace even more exciting than in the past   Tiler Peck, in her debut, danced with attack and technical brilliance.  Her jumps were huge. She covered vast amounts of distance with every jump Her characterization was mysterious and fierce. She dominated the action whenever she was on stage. A fantastic debut. 



#68 vipa

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 06:01 PM

I went this afternoon.  I agree with abatt about T Peck and R Fairchild in Opus 19 the Dreamer. It also struck me that as a piece of choreography, although well constructed (no surprise, it's Robbins), it's success is strongly dependent on the principal dancers.  This is something that has always interested me.  There are works that are more sturdy than others.  That doesn't mean they are lesser works, just that they are more performance dependent.  For me Serenade is an example of a very sturdy ballet.

 

Onwards - Barber is what it is.  Good performances by Megan Fairchild (always wonderful in this), Jared Angle (a master partner), Sara Mearns and Russell Janzen (a man with tremendous potential), but I've seen the ballet before and feel once you've seen it, you've seen it.

 

 

Stravinsky Violin Concerto is one of those works that seems to me to be inevitable.  Every moment is perfect.  I feel that Kowroski  is nearing the end of her career.  She can't jump, and really can't beat but is bringing something wonderful to the stage. Her engagement with her partner, in this case the wonderful Amar Ramasar, and everyone else on stage is beautiful, and wonderfully human.  I noticed this in her performance of Concerto Barocco. 



#69 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 12:37 PM

I saw 'Coppelia' on February 23rd.

 

I don't have much time so I'll just talk about Sterling Hyltin as Swanilda and David Prottas as Dr. Coppelius.  In the all important role of Swanilda Sterling Hyltin sparkles.  She is absolutely adorable, so much so that I can't help liking her no matter how badly she hurts Dr. Coppelius.  Hyltin's comic timing is spot on, especially in Act II when Swanilda is pretending to be the doll Coppelia.  Hyltin shows off Swanilda's mischievous nature as she convinces Dr. Coppelius that Coppelia has really come to life.  Her Spanish and Scottish character steps are vivacious and fun.  With regard to her dancing, Hyltin stands out for her mercurial footwork and fast turns.  She is a little wobbly during the Act III wedding pas de deux, but this does not take away from an overall wonderful performance.

 

As the elderly Dr. Coppelius, young corps member David Prottas is both amusing and touching.  In Act II Prottas' acting makes it clear that Dr. Coppelius truly believes that Coppelia has come to life.  The look on Prottas' face when Swanilda reveals that she is just pretending to be Coppelia is heartbreaking.  As Dr. Coppelius holds the naked limp doll in his arms I really feel sorry for him.



#70 abatt

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 07:23 AM

I attended last night's performance.  Lauren Lovette had a stellar debut in the soloist role of Walspurgisnacht.  Her technique was perfect and her stage presence is remarkable.  She is a brilliant dancer and a great asset to the company.  Adrain D-W's role in relatively small, but he was impressive in his debut in this ballet as well.  There were some minor glitches in the partering of Sara Mearns, but I'm sure it will be completely smoothed out by the second performance.  Mearns was a whirling force of nature as she moved with incredible speed and fearlessness.

 

The costumes for Walspurgisnacht looked a little different from what I remember. Does anyone know if the old costumes were recently replaced.

 

Hall and Taylor sizzled in Faun.  A very fine performance..

 

Even though I have not seen La Valse in years, I was bored.  Not Balanchine at his best.  If Janie can't draw me into it, I doubt anyone else could.

 

I missed Acheron.  Hope to see it on Saturday.



#71 bobbi

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:05 AM

For me, the Walspurgisnacht was the highlight of the evening.  I will second all of abatt's comments.  It was an fabulous performance.  I didn't notice that the corps' costumes were different but Mearns' costume didn't look familiar, now that you mention it. 



#72 Golden Idol

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:10 AM

Last week, I saw a brief video interview with Andrew Veyette, who said he was "excited" about his new tattoo. I groaned in dismay. Last night I saw it for myself, in Acheron (which--unexpectedly--I really enjoyed, by the way). Why do supremely athletic and attractive dancers feel the need to scribble all over their bodies? Their bodies are their art, for goodness' sake, so why would they deface them? Over at ABT I've bemoaned the ugly eagle on Sascha Radetsky's bicep, and Patrick Ogle has stuff all over him. Doesn't matter when they're costumed, but when bare-chested it's at least a distraction, at most distasteful. Bear in mind that the danseurs shave their armpits and trim the chest hair so they don't look messy onstage. I fail to understand why the artistic directors don't forbid dancers from tattooing themselves, on pain of dismissal from the company. Sound severe? I don't think so. Tell them to wait until they retire from the stage to "express" themselves in this deplorable way.



#73 abatt

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:25 AM

 I fail to understand why the artistic directors don't forbid dancers from tattooing themselves, on pain of dismissal from the company. Sound severe? I don't think so.

There would be some seriouis Constitutional issues with such a ban. I don't think any artistic director would want to get involved with exploring that legal mess in court. 

 

Also, NYCB is making considerable efforts to attract young, hipsters as audience members.  Young people seem to like getting tattoos.  The last thing NYCB would want is publicity that they are firing dancers with tattoos.



#74 Golden Idol

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:53 AM

Come on, it's not like they want to wear some kind of headdress or other accoutrement for religious purposes. But don't you see my larger point? Their art is their body. Keep it clean, fellas!



#75 mussel

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 12:57 PM

I think tattoo and ballet is a topic worth its own thread. May be the mods can spin off the related posts in a separate thread.

I am no lawyer I don't even play one on TV. I know NYPD bans its uniformed officers from wearing beards with exemption on religious ground. So I can't see how banning tattoos from ballet is unconstitutional if it provides exemption for religious beliefs but then I am not aware any religions that requires tattoos. I hate tattoos in general and especially on ballet dancers, they are distractions and could even break characters. I think banning tattoos is a valid artistic ground for ballet companies as long as it's non-discriminatory. If a ballet company institutes a no-tattoo policy, existing tattoos can be grandfathered.


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