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Boston Ballet in New YorkJune 25-29, 2014


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#16 Helene

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 04:06 PM

I started to respond to the discussion of Macaulay and Forsythe when I realized this is the Boston Ballet forum.  I've moved the posts about the issue to the "Writings on Ballet" forum, where critics are discussed:

http://balletalert.i...on-ballet-tour/

 

If you saw the program, we want to know what you thought of it.



#17 Amour

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 08:55 PM

Just came back from seeing Program 2. I have to say this was a more disappointing night than Thursday probably because of the inevitable comparisons to other companies.

Symph in 3 started the evening off and it was nowhere near the level that NYCB performs it. The corps seemed sloppy and needed more energy. However, as the main female dancer, Lia Cirio was wonderful -much better than anyone else on stage.

Afternoon of a Faun was well performed but I have only seen the Joffrey do it (on TV) before. I am not a Jorma Elo fan and found the choreography of Plan to B dull. It was well performed though and, to my surprise, received a standing ovation at its conclusion.

Kylian's Bella Figura was another piece where Boston Ballet suffered in comparison to another company - here,NDT. NDT dancers always have the most lovely legs and feet. Not so here. Something was just lacking. But, again, I applaud the company for bringing the piece here.

BTW, my husband and I saw Kevin McKenzie outside the Koch tonight. We paused to chat ( we joked he was in front of the wrong theater). He looked exhausted, said he needed some fresh air and was "playing hookey" tonight by seeing BB. No excuse for the SL casting drama that has happened this week but Kevin sure looks like he needs a vacation.

#18 its the mom

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 02:51 AM

I was at the opening of that Program 2 (Friday night).  From what I heard, Friday was a better show than Saturday night.  I thought the casting was a little strange for a Saturday night - in one of the couples in Symphony (usually it's J. Cirio).  But that would not account for the sloppiness in the corps.  Also in Faun - Erica Cornejo in Faun was pretty spot on in Friday night's performance and was first cast.  Why not put her on Saturday night?  I also believe Elo's Plan is better danced with the original first cast (actually not the original from 10 years ago, but the cast who has done it the most the past few years), and they danced it on Saturday afternoon instead of the evening show. I think the audience appreciates how fast the dancers are able to move in Plan, hence the standing ovation.  It's a bit crazy that they are able to stay with the music.   I usually love Kylian work, and I think Bella has some beautiful moments, but call me a prude, I dislike the nudity.  I feel that it's just not necessary.  But, that's me. 



#19 mimsyb

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 03:35 AM

I was at the opening of that Program 2 (Friday night).  From what I heard, Friday was a better show than Saturday night.  I thought the casting was a little strange for a Saturday night - in one of the couples in Symphony (usually it's J. Cirio).  But that would not account for the sloppiness in the corps.  Also in Faun - Erica Cornejo in Faun was pretty spot on in Friday night's performance and was first cast.  Why not put her on Saturday night?  I also believe Elo's Plan is better danced with the original first cast (actually not the original from 10 years ago, but the cast who has done it the most the past few years), and they danced it on Saturday afternoon instead of the evening show. I think the audience appreciates how fast the dancers are able to move in Plan, hence the standing ovation.  It's a bit crazy that they are able to stay with the music.   I usually love Kylian work, and I think Bella has some beautiful moments, but call me a prude, I dislike the nudity.  I feel that it's just not necessary.  But, that's me. 

I guess I saw something else on stage last night (Saturday).  I thought it was one of the most exciting, thrilling and provocative evenings of dance I've seen in a long while.   The Balanchine had a clean energy and drive that caught all the jazziness and fun of the choreography.  In contrast, while more subdued, "Afternoon of a Faun" mesmerized for different reasons.  I hadn't seen this since the Joffrey many years ago, but found it moving and well danced.  The Elo work took my breath away with it's speed and punch.  The dancers maybe broke the sound barrier here!  The standing ovation was well deserved.  As for the Kylian, one word.  Stunning! What a joy to see these dancers!  Everyone looked well trained, coached, committed to the works at hand, joyful to be on stage.  Unlike some of the dancers recently at ABT who seem to be joyless and phoning in performances.  What a refreshing evening of dance!  Theater was packed!  I was in the Second Ring where the buzz of energy was very much in evidence.   Yes, saw Kevin, talking with Mikko, looking almost relieved to be on this side of the Plaza.  Also caught a glimpse of Wendy Whelen: guess she's been there a bit also.  All in all, last night was like a fresh glass of champagne after six weeks of a fair to middling glass of red!  Bravo to Boston.  (the Red Sox also managed to whip Tanaka of the Yankees last night!)



#20 its the mom

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 03:47 AM

mimisyb - I am glad to hear you enjoyed it!  I thought Friday night was danced beautifully also, but I know the dancers are tired - it has been a long season with relatively little time off since London last summer.  I believe one of the hashtags they are all using on twitter, instagram and facebook is "#longestseasonever."  In reference to Bella, it's one of those ballets that I think either you love or you don't.  I prefer some of Kylian's other works - probably Wings of Wax, Symphony of Psalms, Falling Angels and Sarabande among my favorites.    



#21 mimsyb

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 07:50 AM

mimisyb - I am glad to hear you enjoyed it!  I thought Friday night was danced beautifully also, but I know the dancers are tired - it has been a long season with relatively little time off since London last summer.  I believe one of the hashtags they are all using on twitter, instagram and facebook is "#longestseasonever."  In reference to Bella, it's one of those ballets that I think either you love or you don't.  I prefer some of Kylian's other works - probably Wings of Wax, Symphony of Psalms, Falling Angels and Sarabande among my favorites.    

If that's what their "tired" looks like, I want some of what they're drinking!  I thought the company looked energized and happy. Thrilled to be dancing!  Yeah!   I'm seeing the other program at today's matinee.  While I don't think the ballets themselves will be as interesting, still I look forward to seeing more of the dancers.



#22 Rick

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 08:39 AM

While Symphony in Three Movements wasn't on the same level of NYCB I enjoyed the rest of the program last night. The Kylian piece was particularly striking. The nudity, like the complete absence of music in the prologue and epilogue, challenged my own expectations of ballet. It suited the choreography which was primal and also poetic in many segments. I hope that Boston Ballet schedules more trips to NYC. Their point of view is refreshingly progressive and courageous.



#23 bingham

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 12:23 PM

Although not a Balanchine expert, i thought the S in 3 movements was well danced particularly by Lia and Lasha in the PDD and by the high-jumping pair of Jeffrey Cirio and Misa Kurunaga.I loved Bella Figura inspite of the strange ending. We were seated in the back of the orchestra that one can't really see the nudity( unless  one has better vision than me).

   The BB dancers are very impressive.They should come back to NY again with ,at least, one classical ballet. Nikko better be careful, KMc might be shopping for dancers.FIREdevil.gif



#24 atm711

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 02:01 PM

I saw Program 2 on Sat Mat and was glad to hear that McKenzie saw the program...hopefully it will give him the courage to improve his programming from a week of this and a week of that.....Sym in 3 MM is such a marvelous work that I am happy to see it whoever performs it and always enjoy it immensely...what a master class in how to choreograph!  I liked Altan Dugaraa's "Faune"---the sweetest Faune I have ever seen---a charming adolescent.  The nymphs did not appear to view him as a threat, but seemed to 'lead him on'. It was good to see Erica Cornejo again.    There were a  few gimmicks in the décor for the last two works...the large lighted square off to the side in the Elo piece and the 2001 floating dreamers in Bella Filgura...although I could understand why they were there.  As to nudity in ballet---some wag has said before me....

"as long as the moving parts don't move too much"

 

I was intrigued by the 'moving curtain' in Bella Figura---what a great way to blot out something you do not like----just move the curtain ever so slowly to eradicate it.



#25 Barbara

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 02:21 PM

My husband and I attended Friday evening. I'll preface this by saying I'm a classicist at heart so you can imagine this wouldn't be my cup of tea. Turned out it was an it wasn't. I'd never seen Symphony in Three Movements before and while not a fan of this Stravinsky I appreciated the constant drive and energy. Maybe one day I can compare it to NYCB's. My husband noted similarities to West Side Story choreo in the high jump with legs together and off to one side. I loved Plan to B! Fair-haired Dusty Button and Whitney Jensen were whirlwinds! I was very much looking forward to Afternoon of a Faun. I love the music and was happy to see it again after so many years. I saw it danced many years ago with George de la Pena as the faun. I'm not sure if this would have been ABT or the Joffrey. While I liked it, Altan Dugaraa didn't compete with my memory of de la Pena. And lastly, Bella Figura. I agree, beautifully danced but afterwards, my husband and I looked at each other and shrugged, "we're so confused". This is an example of why I don't care for most modern ballet/dance. To me it seems pretentious. Kind of a "let's throw in the kitchen sink" kind of work. Dancers moving to silence, bodies hanging from the ceiling, odd grappling with the curtain, male and female upper body nudity, fire on stage. My husband quoted the Three Stooges, "I keep trying to think, but nothing happens!" Well, we were baffled, I'm not a prude but I thought the nudity added nothing. I did like the way the dark red skirts moved but that was about all. It's my first Kylian so maybe one day I'll have the chance to see one of his other works that were mentioned by other posters on this forum. I thought the applause for this piece was appreciative but not ecstatic as it was for Plan to B. I applauded enthusiastically for the efforts of the dancers who were marvelous. It might sound as if I didn't enjoy the evening but I really did. I knew it would be out of my comfort zone but I appreciated that in itself. I also noted that the house was very well sold and that makes me happy for the BB dancers. And a cherry on top, I saw Gillian and Ethan in the audience. She appeared to be walking just fine so I'm hoping that will translate into seeing her in the Dream on Wed!



#26 vipa

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 03:43 PM

Went to Sun. mat with my husband and had a delightful time.  This was my first viewing of BB so first off the dancers - beautiful bodies, technically strong, teeming with energy and joy.

 

I liked The Second Detail (Forsythe) but know he isn't everyone's cup of tea.  I think he is an excellent craftsman.  He can move groups well and have a lot happening on onstage while still directing your eye, so it never feels like random chaos.  I really enjoy the combination of attack and fluidity in the work.  In the piece I also felt as if the dancers were creating a community onstage, a community of individuals.  It was like the ballet was a world of its own.  I just want to add the the piece shows the dancers off very well.

 

I didn't like Resonance (Martinez), but the dancers again looked great.  I just didn't find the piece very musical or interesting.  There were elements that I guess were supposed to be meaningful such as having a wall that was moved, sometime casting large shadows of the dancers, and 2 pianos.  One was upstage and one at the lip of the stage.  Anyway I lost interest in the piece, took out my opera glasses and started watching individual dancers!

 

Cacti was delightful.  I was surprised to read that the choreographer, Alexander Ekman is just 30 years old.  The piece is funny, charming, self referential, inventive and well constructed.  I smiled and laughed the whole way through.  The dancers on squares beating out rhythms, the voice over coming in with pretentious nonsense, the dancers carrying cacti in stage, the couple dancing to the voice over saying their thoughts.  I was totally delighted and charmed.   There were a lot of children in the audience who obvious loved this.  It is a piece that is funny on so many different levels that I can see how it would appeal to a child as well as an experienced theater goer. 

 

I look forward to seeing more of these dancers.  I have a relative in Boston who I'll be making well timed visits to see.



#27 mimsyb

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 07:23 PM

Although not a Balanchine expert, i thought the S in 3 movements was well danced particularly by Lia and Lasha in the PDD and by the high-jumping pair of Jeffrey Cirio and Misa Kurunaga.I loved Bella Figura inspite of the strange ending. We were seated in the back of the orchestra that one can't really see the nudity( unless  one has better vision than me).

   The BB dancers are very impressive.They should come back to NY again with ,at least, one classical ballet. Nikko better be careful, KMc might be shopping for dancers.FIREdevil.gif

Or perhaps more ABT dancers wishing to go and dance with BB!   At today's matinee, the orchestra was filled with ABT dancers on their day off.  I can't help but wonder what they thought of all the actual dancing the BB dancers do.  And to see a few ex ABT dancers (Cornejo, A. Ellis, Bo Busby, Roddy Doble) all looking exceptional here must give a few pause.  



#28 Golden Idol

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 12:28 PM

For the most part enjoyed Program II but Bella Figura was absolutely wretched. Pointless silent warmup prologue and epilogue, noisy slapping of body parts, idiotic comings and goings of curtains, that stupid fire at the end. So there were a few brilliant red chamises twirling about? This is impressive? Very, very hard for me to believe such a piece is taken seriously, as it looked like sophomoric posturing on an undergraduate choreographer's level. On the plus side, I must say, however, that despite what others have remarked above about the company possibly being exhausted after a long season, the corps looked extremely well rehearsed in the Balanchine. I won't presume to compare them to NYCB, but ABT's corps should look that neatly in synch all the time.



#29 abatt

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 12:50 PM

I too, hated Bella Figura.  The rest of the program was enjoyable, though..  




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