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ShakespeareThe Dream and the Tempest


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#1 Roberto Dini

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 08:13 PM

I'm surprised no one's starting a new topic, or did I somehow miss it?



#2 Helene

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 08:21 PM

People have been reviewing and discussing the ballets in the performance threads.  I'm really behind myself.

 

Maybe people are taking a breath after the weeks of full-lengths.  I hope people are going to see this mixed bill and will report back.



#3 Roberto Dini

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 08:24 PM

I loved the performance tonight.  Of course, I was looking forward to Herman Cornejo dancing Puck, and he did not disappoint.  He was amazing.  You'd never know it's been 12 years since he premiered the role of Puck at ABT.  I thought the entire cast was great.  Gillian Murphy was Titania, Cory Stearns - Oberon, Herman Cornejo was Puck, Blaine Hoven was Bottom, Adrienne Schulte was Helena, Stella Abrera was Hermia, Grant DeLong was Demetrius, Jared Matthews was Lysander.  The lead fairies were Nicole Graniero, Misty Copeland, Luciana Paris, and Yuriko Kajiya.  It was nice to see Adrienne in a role.  

 

I thought Cory and Gillian were a good match, and I think this part suits Cory very well.

 

I also liked the Tempest.  The music is growing on me.  The choreography looks good on everyone.  Marcelo Gomes was Prospero, Sarah Lane was Miranda, Daniil Simkin was Ariel, James Whiteside was Caliban, Roman Zhurbin was Alonso, Joseph Gorak was Ferdinand.  Everyone was wonderful, and I thought James Whiteside was especially good.  Ratmansky seems to suit him.

 

I'll try to post more later, but need to try to get some sleep.



#4 mimsyb

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 08:35 PM

I'm surprised no one's starting a new topic, or did I somehow miss it?

"The Dream" seemed to go off without any major glitches.  The company looks good in this work, although it's annoying that the fairies' pointe shoes make such a lot of racket as they scurry around the stage.  What should be light, airy, and bewitching comes off as a herd of cattle!   Why can't the ladies of ABT do something about their noisy shoes?   Gillian was petulant at first, then amazed at her love for the donkey and then finally all girlish wonder at her love for Oberon.  Cory looked solid, if a bit impassive at times.  It's simply his way.  I don't mind.  Herman was, well, Herman.  His Puck is surely the definitive one now going.  He defies gravity and seems to not want to come down off his jumps.  So happy to see him back dancing after his short hiatus.  (still sorry to have missed his and Alina's "SL" last week, but Boston Ballet put a smile back on my face!)  And a nice shout out to Blaine Hoven as Bottom.  His pointe shoes were actually fairly quiet!

As for the "Tempest", the lighting seems a bit brighter this time around at the Met, so now you can actually see what's going on in this ballet.  Oh, sorry.  Not much.  Better to have left it in the dark.  Those sea creatures in those jazzy bathing caps really take the cake!   But at least Simkin didn't look quite as white faced as last year.  This ballet totally eludes me.  That's all I can muster at this late hour.



#5 Amour

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 09:34 PM

Just got home from seeing The Dream and The Tempest. The Dream was really superb but Herman (Puck) completely stole the show. His jumps were so high and buoyant it seemed he would never come down. He did endless pirouettes and went whizzing across the stage. I saw Herman as Puck the night ABT premiered The Dream (Ferri was Titania, Stiefel was Oberon) and he has really just gotten so much more virtuosic. The audience erupted in applause virtually every time he came on stage.He truly stole the show.

Gillian was quite lovely as Titania. She pulled off some quadruple pirouettes and pencil turns at the beginning that were a marvel to behold. And this from a ballerina who,1 week ago, sprained her foot mid performance and had to leave the stage. She was also quite lovely in the more dramatic moments (such a flexible back). She is rather different (maybe not as dramatic) from Ferri but probably more assured technically (at this late stage in Ferri's career). She also obviously is very focused and has a strong work ethic. I'm very impressed.

Cory Stearns was not impressive as Oberon. He has all the physical gifts: tall, handsome, long legs, relative good technique. However, his dancing and acting both don't have enough confidence or authority. Oberon is also supposed to be a virtuosic role and Cory just was not able to pull that off. Also because of this lack of confidence the love/reconciliation PDD was a bit shaky at times. Part of the problem may be that he has been subbing for David Hallberg (who injured his foot) and just didn't have time to get comfortable in the role. However I read somewhat similar criticism of him on this board so the short notice may not be the real reason for his lack of confidence/stage presence. Since ABT's original Oberon (Stiefel) is in town, maybe he should have a talk with him,

I would be remiss to not give a huge shout out to Jared and Stella as the wonderful first couple, Lysander and Hermia. They were touching and funny in all the right places. This had to be a disappointing day for Stella (no promotion) but she gave a standout performance that may have been designed to show Kevin what he is missing.

The Tempest is another thing altogether. It has a rather convoluted storyline that t will not attempt to explain. Suffice it to say that the performances from all - Marcelo as the deposed Duke, Sarah Lane as he daughter Miranda and Joey Gorak (who got promoted to soloist today) who plays Ferdinand who falls in love with Miranda, were all excellent Ditto for the slaves Ariel ( danced with great virtuosity by Daniil) and Caliban (James Whitside) and Roman Zhurbin (also promoted today) as Alonso King of Naples. Despite the great performances the ballet still didn't work for me any better than last fall. Since Ratmansky was in the audience tonight, I assume he is still tinkering with it:( something about it just feels too cute (costumes with the funny headpieces)!and yet not dramatic enough. I think I need a few more times seeing it to see if I understand it any better.



#6 cobweb

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 04:55 AM

Cobweb *loves* Herman Cornejo! 

Cory Stearns will never be my favorite dancer, but I thought he was fine, and the pas de deux with Murphy sizzled with sexual chemistry. Jared Matthews was vivid and funny. All in all, I found this the most satisfying performance I've attended this season. (The Dream, that is... never mind about The Tempest.)



#7 abatt

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 05:10 AM

I thought Cornejo and Murphy were both pretty wonderful.  Murphy looks completely recovered from her injury.  Her footwork was sparkling and great technique.  Herman always excels in this role. Stearns was okay, but I've seen others do the role better. In fairness, a lot has been dumped on him in a short time. 

 

I'll be seeing the Dream again this week, but will not stay for the Tempest.  While it held my interest last night, there just isn't enough there to justify paying another visit.  My favorite parts wer the Lane/Gorak pdd and Simkin's solos.  Most of the Tempest plods along and feels endless, especially since the music is largely unsuitable to choreograpy.

 

Agree that the  ladies pointe shoes in the Dream sound like a herd of cattle.

 

As an aside, I was watching a Charlie Rose program last week in which he interviewed a Shakespeare scholar.  (Forgot the guest's name.)  He mentioned that "Caliban" from the Tempest is a re-arrangement of the letters of the  word cannibal..  I thought it was an interesting observation.



#8 Silks

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 06:57 AM

I was at the performance last night, and really enjoyed myself.  The Dream is always such a treat, and like everyone else, I thought Herman was superb.  He tossed off several 10 turn pirouettes like they were nothing, and his jumps remain incredibly high and clear.  The whole cast was very light and charming.  

 

I thought Tempest was significantly better than in the fall; everyone seems to have settled into the music and choreography, and the dancing and drama was much clearer.  I do think it's a valid complaint if people have a hard time following the plot just watching the choreography, but I know The Tempest fairly well and was able to follow along (and give kudos to Ratmansky for the plot distillation that he did; it's not an easy one!)



#9 Classic_Ballet

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 07:42 AM

is The Dream performed first and then The Tempest or the other way around ?

 

 i want to avoid another Ratmansky fiasco at all costs, so would be nice if I can skip it



#10 abatt

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 07:44 AM

Last night the Dream was first, an intermission, and then Tempest.  Evening ended about 9:45 PM.  The intermission was long..  They had to take down the Dream set and install the Tempest set.



#11 Rose1186

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 08:27 AM

I don't have much to add about The Dream... I thought the whole cast looked great.  Obviously Herman as Puck stole the show - partly that is the nature of the role, and partly it is because Herman is one of the most spectacular dancers ever, anywhere.  

I thought Cory looked great (despite a few wobbles in the pdd) and thought his characterization of Oberon was good - thoughtful, humorous, cunning and arrogant.  

I think I read somewhere that Gillian said this is one of her favorite roles - I could tell. She really seemed to be enjoying every minute of it and looked really gorgeous.  

I don't mind the sound of the fairies' feet in this piece.  I always sort of think of it as a substitute for buzzing fairy wings... it amplifies how quickly they are moving and for me, that somehow makes it seem more magical.

 

The Tempest... a mess or a "meditation" on the themes of the play? That is the question.  I think it's somewhere in between honestly.  I've now seen it three times and I think I've enjoyed it more with each viewing because I am less focused on the "plot" and am able to just take in the choreography and the portrayal of each character.  It's almost like this piece is a "coming attraction" for the feature length version of The Tempest.  

I actually think that, while the plot is definitely muddy and choppy, the characters are fairly vivid.  The individual pieces of choreography are quite good - especially with this lead cast, since I think it's fair to say, much of the choreography was created with these exact dancers in mind.  Viewing it again was worth it just to see Sarah Lane in this role - perfection.  Same for Marcelo - he's able to look strong and dangerous and graceful and profound all at the same time.

Many of the moments with the waves/sea creatures I actually think are very cool and well-done, but often there are way too many of them on stage and too much going on (Ratmansky-style).  The production looked less cramped at the Met than it did at Koch, but that was still a problem for me.  I think it is an issue in several of Ratmansky's works (like the battle scene in Nutcracker, etc.), even though I like all of his works on the whole very much.  I don't love the costumes but I don't hate them... some of them I like.  



#12 Helene

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:59 AM

A great photo from backstage, tweeted by Marcelo Gomes, with Gomes and Simkin:

 

http://instagram.com/p/p6ukwhiubB/



#13 Roberto Dini

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 07:07 PM

I'm not sure that a lesser dancer could steal the show in the role of puck.  Cornejo really outdid himself.  Comparing his performance to that on the dvd, his turns were faster last night, especially the chainé turns.   I agree that Murphy was really delightful. 

 

I think they should have performed the Tempest first and the Dream second.  I'd much rather end the evening with the Dream.  I wish they'd shorten their intermissions.  I think the intermission length has more to do with selling concessions than changing sets.  



#14 mimsyb

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 07:53 PM

I'm not sure that a lesser dancer could steal the show in the role of puck.  Cornejo really outdid himself.  Comparing his performance to that on the dvd, his turns were faster last night, especially the chainé turns.   I agree that Murphy was really delightful. 

 

I think they should have performed the Tempest first and the Dream second.  I'd much rather end the evening with the Dream.  I wish they'd shorten their intermissions.  I think the intermission length has more to do with selling concessions than changing sets.  

Except performing "The Dream" first allows us (if we wish) to leave early!  It's something I've always hated about the Peter Martins ballets at NYCB.  He always places them in the middle of two superior works, so one either has to endure his ballet to get to the last one on the bill, or spend the time in the lobby and drink!   So, go see "The Dream", leave before the lengthy intermission and go home with beautiful thoughts!



#15 onxmyxtoes

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 07:56 PM

 

I'm not sure that a lesser dancer could steal the show in the role of puck.  Cornejo really outdid himself.  Comparing his performance to that on the dvd, his turns were faster last night, especially the chainé turns.   I agree that Murphy was really delightful. 

 

I think they should have performed the Tempest first and the Dream second.  I'd much rather end the evening with the Dream.  I wish they'd shorten their intermissions.  I think the intermission length has more to do with selling concessions than changing sets.  

Except performing "The Dream" first allows us (if we wish) to leave early!  It's something I've always hated about the Peter Martins ballets at NYCB.  He always places them in the middle of two superior works, so one either has to endure his ballet to get to the last one on the bill, or spend the time in the lobby and drink!   So, go see "The Dream", leave before the lengthy intermission and go home with beautiful thoughts!

 

That's what I did two nights in a row :)




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