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Spring Season 2014


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#1 abatt

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 11:25 AM

The casting is up on the NYCB website for week 1 of the spring season.  Whelan returns, dancing This Bitter Earth.  I will be there cheering for her.   Now it finally does feel like spring, even if the air temp. when I left this morning was only 36 degrees.



#2 cobweb

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 02:28 PM

Casting up for the second week. I was wondering if there would be any debuts for symphony in c. Tiler Peck in the first movement and Ashly Isaacs in the third. Both to look forward to! Also Jared Angle in the second - it hardly seems possible he hasn't done it before! Also a relief to see Chase Finlay listed again. I was a little worried when he didn't appear in the first week casting. Looking forward to the season!

#3 abatt

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:42 AM

Happy to report that Wendy Whelan was in fine form last night (with Tyler Angle) in This Bitter Earth.  The excitement regarding her return was palpable during the tumultuous applause at the curtain calls. No time right now to write about the remainder of the program.



#4 Razor

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 09:04 AM

Cannot wait to read the rest if your review! How was the JR piece, & audience reaction?

#5 abatt

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 10:06 AM

I think JR should stick to photography.  The new JR piece wasn't awful, but it wasn't distinguished in any way either. As noted in a recent NY Times article, the opening motif "borrows" from Balanchine's Four T's.  At 10 minutes in length, it was a harmless trifle.  I'm not a big fan of hip hop, so the dancing of Lil Buck didn't do a thing for me.  Lauren Lovette's choreography was classical ballet on pointe, but nothing too demanding.  The house was crowded, but I'm not sure if that was due to interest in JR.  The audience reaction was positive.

 

The performances in Barber Violin Concerto were terrific.  Mearns, in particular, was riveting and intense.

 

I haven't seen Herman Shmerman in quite some time.  These sexy romps where Maria K. can strut around in a bodysuit and  twist her long limbs into all kinds of impossible positions are fun to watch.  Amar Ramasar was a terrific partner.  I only recall seeing Albert Evans in the role previously, and I thought Amar brought a lot more energy to the part than I had ever seen before. 

 

Namouna was brilliantly danced, but its length can be frustrating.  Bouder's effervescent footwork in the cigarette role was dazzling. Mearns was a fearless force of nature. Hyltin's elegant refinement made her difficult choreography look like a breeze. Robbie Fairchild's charismatic charm is perfect for the role.  As usual, Ulbricht's high flying jumps were amazing.

 

It was an excellent way to begin the season, and so wonderful in particular to see Wendy Whelan back where she belongs.

 

(Just noticed that there is a review up on the NY Times website, with a photo from the JR ballet.)



#6 Eileen

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 10:50 AM

I had no idea who or what JR was til I glanced at the caption of the Times photo. I still don't know who Lil Buck is. I do not go to the ballet to see hip hop. If this is what Peter Martins is trying to incorporate into City Ballet in a dubious attempt to win new patrons, then I have no regrets about leaving New York and City Ballet behind. There are still moments, shreds, of former glory, but this romancing the latest fad (gads! JR is a "street artist" - does that mean a nontrained, nontalented nonentity that Peter picked up from the street?) is fatal for the quality of City Ballet. Helene, if I am too emphatic, given that I have not seen the ballets I mention - please advise.



#7 abatt

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 11:15 AM

Actually, while I don't support the idea of giving JR the job of choreographer, he is an accomplished photographer.  The art installation by JR that was installed during the winter season on the promenade level of the Koch Theater was very impressive and exhibited a high level of skill and creativity. JR is famous in connection with his photography, I believe.



#8 canbelto

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 11:21 AM

JR is a well-regarded photographer. I think "nontrained, nontalented entity picked up from the street" is a rather harsh way to describe a famous photographer.



#9 abatt

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 11:35 AM

I think "street artist" is a phrase meant to signify a few things. First, his subjects generally are ordinary people, not celebrities or models. Second, his art installations are often displayed on the streets in public spaces, rather than at museums. He is certainly talented and trained in photography.  He has a website where you can gain a greater understanding of his numerous projects.



#10 kfw

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 12:29 PM

The art installation by JR that was installed during the winter season on the promenade level of the Koch Theater was very impressive and exhibited a high level of skill and creativity. 

 

I'm open to persuasion on this - did it garner praise from photography critics? - but I thought it was a pretty pedestrian idea, the execution of which threw off the color scheme of the promenade. 



#11 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 04:03 PM

I had no idea who or what JR was til I glanced at the caption of the Times photo. I still don't know who Lil Buck is. I do not go to the ballet to see hip hop. If this is what Peter Martins is trying to incorporate into City Ballet in a dubious attempt to win new patrons, then I have no regrets about leaving New York and City Ballet behind. There are still moments, shreds, of former glory, but this romancing the latest fad (gads! JR is a "street artist" - does that mean a nontrained, nontalented nonentity that Peter picked up from the street?) is fatal for the quality of City Ballet. Helene, if I am too emphatic, given that I have not seen the ballets I mention - please advise.

 

Yeah, it's a gimmick and Martins is more prone to gimmickry than one might ideally like, but putting Lil Buck on a ballet stage isn't as preposterous as it sounds. I think you'll find the music and some of the moves in this video from the Vail Dance Festival familiar enough. It's not the kind of thing I'd want to watch for hours (but then, neither is Fokine's Dying Swan ... ), but as a dancer and performer, Lil Buck is the real deal. Even Robert Gottlieb and Joan Acocella approve.



#12 vipa

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:39 PM

I thought of buying tickets to this program but not having unlimited means I decided to skip it.  2 questions for those who've seen it.  

1. I know that 21st century was the idea, but it seems to me they could have called it something else and included a Balanchine ballet like Agon or 4T's.  I've enjoyed Namouna but it is long and really is a take off on "story ballets" so might not be the best for new comers.

 

2. Did anyone feel that a new audience was drawn in? Particularly one that will return.

 

I saw Ocean's Kingdom which was another gimmick.  It was boring music, to bad choreography in ugly costumes.  The night I went the audience response was tepid. but the audience came alive for La Sonnambula.



#13 Razor

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 09:45 PM

So judging from what's shared -- perhaps it doesn't look like the JR piece will prevail to become a new NYCB classic, or stick past its 1 week debut.  Or maybe they can take it out on the road to find its audience alternatively.  oh well.

 

Excited for next week.  Got a tkt for the 10th.



#14 abatt

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 05:40 AM

The JR piece was always intended as a short term work that would not become part of the rep.  The performances depend on the availabiltiy of LIl Buck.   Nobody at NYCB performs "jookin" (nor should they).  Actually, I think more young people know Lil Buck than JR.  Lil Buck appeared with Madonna at the half time show for the SuperBowl a few years ago, and he makes regular appearances on rapper videos.  He's a busy guy.



#15 abatt

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 01:41 PM

I attended last night's performance.  There were some important debuts in Year of the Rabbit.  Tiler Peck was explosive (in the role originated by Bouder).  I haven't seen much of Harrison Ball or focused on him much in the past, but based on what I saw last night, he has a bright future at NYCB.  Gorgeous lines and excellent technique (in the role originated by DeLuz).  The other important debut was Lauren Lovette (in the role originated by Janie Taylor).  She and Craig Hall performed the adagio pdd. It was an expressive, romantic interlude.  I'm liking this work more every time I see it.

 

Wish I could say I like Stravaganza with each additional viewing.  It was a choice of wandering the streets in the pouring rain in order to avoid Stravaganza or sitting in my seat.  I sat in my seat.  I chose the wrong option.

 

DGV is one of my favorite Wheeldon ballets, and the cast was terrific -especially Tyler Angle and Maria K.

 

Considering that there was a mandatory See the Music before Rabbit, plus the new JR at the beginning of the evening, the program lasted too long, in my opinion.

 

Switching gears, the casting is up for week 3.  It seems to be the season of Lauren Lovette.  (No complaints about it from me.) She will debut in Raymonda Variations during week 3.  Also a large number of exciting debuts in Robert Schumann's Davidsbundertanze during week 3.   




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