2014/15 season announcement
Posted 13 February 2014 - 02:32 PM
Romeo & Juliet (Cranko)
Nine Sinatra Songs (Tharp)/Mercuric Tidings (Taylor)/Symphony in 3 Movements (Balanchine)
Carmen (Alston)/Sweet Fields (Tharp)/Allegro Brillante
Raymonda Variations (Balanchine)/The Concert (Robbins)/Justin Peck World Premiere
I must say I'm surprised how closely she's staying to the Villella mold of programming. It's a lot of Tharp/Taylor. 'Allegro' closing is a head-scratcher. But, always nice to see 'The Concert', new to the rep and the new work by Peck will be exciting.
What does everyone else think?
Posted 13 February 2014 - 03:51 PM
One of the few companies that's presenting more mixed rep programs than program-length works.
Posted 13 February 2014 - 08:44 PM
Still no Petipa...
And...why another R&J if the company recently presented McMillan's...?
Nice to see Raymonda Variations, which I have never seen. I do have nice memories of Pas de Dix, so I'm happy to see this.
Posted 13 February 2014 - 09:10 PM
Posted 14 February 2014 - 06:39 AM
My bad about the R&J-(but then...didn't they also danced MacMillan a couple of years ago...? I have to check, because now I'm confused...)
Yes, brokenwing...I'm sure we could had wonderful Auroras and Odiles over here....what a waste.
Posted 14 February 2014 - 04:01 PM
One difference from the Villella pattern that I noticed immediately was putting a single long ballet on Program I. With Villella, wasn't it usually Program IV, for some reason? Personally, I don't care that much. I do care how much Balanchine there is on view, though, and in Villella's last years there was some tendency toward less, with Taylor and Tharp and some Robbins added. Only three next season, and on different programs. This Chicago tourist and Balanchine addict would be happy to have them all on one! Two consecutive weekends! In earlier years, I think there was lots of Balanchine, and Villella's company danced it almost as well as Balanchine's own company did, better than Peter Martins's company, for my money.
Why is Allegro Brillante a cause for head-scratching, by the way? Too short for a closer? Ballet Imperial it's not. And the Shchedrin take, or take-off, on Carmen is not something I enjoy, I'm afraid.
In a promotional clip somewhere on the MCB site, Lopez says something about putting completely different dances on the same program to show something about the variety of ballet. She's talking about this season's Program III, but this kind of conceptualizing really does nothing for me, I'm afraid; it's as bad as Peter Martins's black-and-white programs. (Or "20th-Century Violin Concertos", the label for his program on February 18.) Different things, okay, but different things which go together, please. Like when you make a bouquet. Or better, like in a restaurant. (At the ballet, we don't get to choose a la carte, it's only a set menu, or table d'hôte.) As Mr. B. put it, in a restaurant, people don't want to eat beef three times. (Or hear those three concertos?) I say, it's not about demonstrating a point, it's about giving us a good evening!
One long ballet is a ready-made composition, though; it's a package deal. Of course, a contemporary stager will muck about with it, sometimes. Both Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty have suffered from this. I wonder if SB might be a little beyond this moderate-sized company, although it has had a large, excellent corps. (Remember their Giselle?) As for SL, I much prefer Balanchine's half-hour distillation, which MCB did with great distinction. It's really very good as a corps ballet, although I still remember Violette Verdy bringing great power to Odette in it, decades ago.
(I mean, with the traditional SL, we don't know if there's a real ballerina in the cast until Act II, so, part of the audience wouldn't even show up until then, in the Met years ago, and then they'd leave after Act III. Okay, Florida isn't New York.)
But Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet score does little more for me than Minkus's Don Quixote, which often turned up as Program IV in Villella's time, and I frankly don't feel it's suitable for choreography. To me, it's too heavy, like so much cast iron, although I have seen parts of the Ulanova film of the Lavrovsky setting, and I'm prepared to change my mind. (Just the way she comes down the stairs from the balcony...!) I watch the Czinner film of the MacMillan setting for Them (Fonteyn and Nureyev). So I'm not up for Program I next season.
Program II. That's my pick. Much as I like Raymonda Variations - maybe that program, too. (I think The Concert mocks its music, or worse, but maybe Mr. Peck will pull another rabbit out of the hat.) Anyway, when you live in Chicago, you already have a good reason to visit Florida in the wintertime.
Edited by Jack Reed, 17 February 2014 - 11:05 AM.
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