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YAGP Gala - Koch Theater, April 10, 2014

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#16 Razor



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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:52 PM

Waiting w/ bated breathe!

#17 abatt


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Posted 14 April 2014 - 09:55 AM

I thought the highlight was Chudin and Smirnova in Diamonds pdd.   Very, very well done.  There was a minor partnering error, but the performance overall was beautifully done.  I also enjoyed Chudin in the Sylphides excerpt (with Bouder).  Chudin's lines were gorgeous, and he was very technically accomplished in his solo work.  I thought Bouder was miscast in Sylphides.  Surprisingly, the Rubies pdd fell flat - mostly because Herman Cornejo had some obvious, repeated partnering issues.   Simkin was much better in Pas De Duke on Friday as compared to Thursday's performance.  I have not seen Momix in at least 15 years, so I enjoyed the impressive acrobatic/contortionists skills of the Momix performers in TUU.  NOt sure I could withstand an entire evening of Momix though.


The ballets performed by Lucia Lacarra and her partner were not technically challenging, and seemed to go on for too long.


The worst thing on the program was Evan McKie's solo. (Don't have my program, so I forgot the name of the ballet.) Thankfully, at least it was short.

#18 Helene



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Posted 14 April 2014 - 01:44 PM

[Admin beanie on]


We follow copyright rules:  only short excerpts may be posted for online publications. 


Our discussion forums are for our members to tell us their own impressions.  If a critic's work is worth discussing on its own, then the discussion can be opened in the "Writings on Ballet" forum.  Reviews from online publications are found in the Links forum, almost always within a day of publication (or two if published in Europe or Asia).


[Admin beanie off]

#19 Kristen


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Posted 14 April 2014 - 01:53 PM

I attended both galas and thoroughly enjoyed them.  I had only been to the YAGP gala in Tampa last year (the one that was filmed) and never to the ones in NY.  Like everyone else, I went to see the big name guests, but I have to say that I found seeing the YAGP kids dance during the opening each night a real treat.  The finale of the grand defile the first night was absolutely amazing considering they had 350 dancers to choreograph and very little time to do so.


Both nights they opened with kids from Julliard – very young and very talented -  a violinist and a pianist.


One of the performances the first night that REALLY stood out was by about 20 young men (from Monterey, Mexico, I think) – modern dance, totally captivating with some of the most interesting choreography I’ve seen in some time.


Each of the performances was introduced by a short film where the principals talked about what they were going to dance. That really gives you a greater connection with the dancing – I really liked that.  Some were better than others, obviously, but all in all, a good idea.


I agree that the first night Pas de Duke with Simkin was a disappointment.  It was much improved the second night. 


“Being Natasha” world premier – couldn’t wait for it to end.  So boring and to waste time interviewing the person who costumed it – REALLY?  Leotards with a piece of black fabric tying the dancers together. 


Smirnova and McKie so well matched in Onegin, though I found her costume to be a bit overwhelming – it robbed you of seeing how beautifully she dances.


World premier of Ameska – a ballroom style number with Misty Copeland.  I thought she was wonderful and so much more suited to this than Gamzatti (the last thing I saw her do).


Lucia Lacarra in white swan – she was magnificent – beautiful line without the foot up by the ear overextension that is so common.


The MOMIX dancers both nights – incredible.  I’m all about point shoes and tutus, but these people could bring me around to a different way of thinking.


Salenko and Gatti – good in Don Q, but better in Corsaire the second night, particularly with the added energy in the Pas de Trois from Brooklyn Mack.  He’s a little rough around the edges, but makes up in personality and enthusiasm for anything I might find lacking.  He did a high flying Gopak solo also that was perfect for him.


Lacarra and Dino in Three Preludes – ZZZZZZZZ – when will it be over.  Ditto for Kochetkova and de Luz saddled with an equally boring world premiere of Kubler Ross.


Smirnova/McKie very impressive in a premiere to Richard Strauss vocals and in Diamonds.


Bouder and Chudin – Abatt summed that one up well already.


Beckanne Sisk and Fabrice Calmels in “Light Rain” – not my cup of tea, but well danced and OMG – is he one gorgeous guy.


Worst of the second night – “On Velvet”  a premiere danced by Evan McKie – not his fault – it was just awful.


I’ll skip Rubies altogether since I absolutely hate it no matter who is dancing – hate the music, hate the choreography, hate the costumes  (calm down, all you Jewels lovers!)


I may have missed a few, but this gives you an idea.  This was far from the standard polite, enthusiastic ballet audience. The screaming teenagers in the audience took some getting used to, but it beats the Florida audiences with their whistling hearing aids, burbling oxygen tanks and clunking walkers (wish I were kidding ….)

#20 Razor



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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:38 PM

Great reviews! :-)

#21 abatt


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Posted 16 April 2014 - 12:23 PM

Alicia Graf Mack is recovering from spinal surgery that occurred earlier this month  (from her Facebook page).  That's why she was not at the YAGP gala.  Hope she returns soon to the stage. 

#22 sandik


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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:43 PM

Alicia Graf Mack is recovering from spinal surgery that occurred earlier this month  (from her Facebook page).  That's why she was not at the YAGP gala.  Hope she returns soon to the stage. 


Yikes -- sending her good wishes for recovery!

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