Roberto Dini

Shakespeare

37 posts in this topic

Seven Sonatas was brought back by ABT for one of the ABT fall seasons, and has also been taken on tour with ABT. It's cheap to present on tour (very basic costumes, no scenery). That's about it. Firebird tanked. Tempest was supposed to go to DC in April but got switched out for something else. On the Dneiper came back once.

Yes, it is odd that the Ratmansky ballets created at NYCB are among his most successful (Russian Seasons and DSCH). Maybe he is better at short abstract ballets than short story based ballets.

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I loved Symphony No. 9 (the first of the trilogy) when it was presented by itself in fall 2012 at City Center, and I think it stands on its own. I hope they are not under performance restrictions that they have to present the entire trilogy or nothing at all. Bright Stream seems to have run its course -- it's the sort of ballet that's fun to see once or twice, but that's enough. Not enough serious dancing to want to go back again and again. I have a hunch his SB will do well, though, as he seems to have had success restaging classics for other companies.

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I only wish I could have seen the Dream more than once this season - I would wish they include it in any of the short programs in the future.

Cornejo embodies Puckishness and his jumps and spins are breathtaking,

I love Gillian in whatever she dances - I love her as O/O. I love her Titania even if her hair gets tangled! Not only for the technical beauty but for the spunkiness and strength of character

there beneath the surface. Yet it is a gentle pair they make with Cory. She is the opposite of all the bland and the Disneyesque ballerinas.

I thought Adrienne Schulte characterization too strong - after all Ashton finds these human follies endearing.

Did not stay for Tempest. The choice of music eludes me - Met's Enchanted Island has great music but that would be a different ballet.

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I'm very interested in reading these reviews. Thank you all for posting. I didn't by a ticket for this program because I couldn't bring myself to watch Tempest again, and couldn't bring myself to pay to see half a program.

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I've been reading with some amusement the scathing comments about "The Tempest." I saw it twice last fall across the plaza in its premiere week, with both casts, and decided then and there that I was done with that ballet. What a waste of so many talented dancers, as others have noted. Was this co-produced with another company, so at least the (apparently) extravagant cost could be shared? Perhaps they could recycle that boat for another ballet. At least we know that Ratmansky (as with Balanchine and other notables) is not perfect. They all make mistakes. It's just too bad so much money apparently went down the drain.

It seems that except for his trilogy last season, none of Alexei's short`ABT`` ballets has been succcessful enough to last for more than a season.His ballets made in other companies seems to have a longer run.

I loved Symphony No. 9 (the first of the trilogy) when it was presented by itself in fall 2012 at City Center, and I think it stands on its own. I hope they are not under performance restrictions that they have to present the entire trilogy or nothing at all. Bright Stream seems to have run its course -- it's the sort of ballet that's fun to see once or twice, but that's enough. Not enough serious dancing to want to go back again and again. I have a hunch his SB will do well, though, as he seems to have had success restaging classics for other companies.

Ratmanksy's NYCB ballets have certainly been very successful. I'm not myself a total convert to Concerto DSCH, but I found Russian Seasons lovely and think Namouna is one of the most wonderful new ballets in memory! But I wouldn't be so quick to write off Ratmansky's ABT creations.

I recently saw Seven Sonatas with the Atlanta Ballet and on them (admitedly a very different company, dancing on a smaller stage) thought it looked a very fine ballet. Subtle, but substantive. Atlanta Ballet is repeating it next season and I plan to go. I do not attend all Atlanta Ballet programs by any means. I note that it was created on a strange non-ballet stage--Avery Fisher--and that may perhaps account for the fact that there has been no attempt to transfer it to the Met. It might look good at the Koch theater.

Bright Stream always seemed like an odd choice for ABT: its history, its themes, its approach all have a real, if troubled, home at the Bolshoi where it was created. (Hearing a Mom tactfully explain to her -- very well behaved -- young daughters that the hammer and sickle above the stage stood for "hard work" did make me laugh.....ruefully. I say nothing about what the Koch brothers might have thought.)

Still ABT gave some excellent performances in the ballet -- both classical and character parts -- and as the heroine Herrera gave what I should think was one of her best recent performances. I would not mind seeing it again and would love to see it at least once with the Bolshoi. But I agree that, in addition to being a less than ideal fit with ABT, it may just not have enough substantive choreography to hold up over repeated viewings.

I have only seen the Piano Concerto no I from the Shoshtakovich trilogy, as it was presented at the Koch in the Fall as a separate ballet. I saw three performances with two different casts and loved every one of them. I won't say "masterpiece" because time will have to tell. But new ballet of substance? In my eyes, absolutely. It had tension; it had tenderness; it had wit; it was musical and it was splendidly danced by dancers both more and less experienced. The whole trilogy has already also been performed by SFB as well. I would love to see one of the major Russian companies take it on...but this work premiered at and thus belongs to ABT which is no small thing.

I'm on record as having mostly loved the Ratmansky Firebird (about which opinion was divided) and liked aspects of The Tempest (about which opinion has been largely negative), but these works did also feature ABT dancers in new and exciting ways eg Messmer in Firebird, Lane and Gorak in Tempest. (From what i read, On the Dnieper, did something similar for Hallberg.)

When I see Ratmansky's ballets I feel that ballet is alive as an art profoundly in touch with its past, while still offering new creative visions to the future. Would it be great if we had a list of more "slam dunk" Ratmansky ballets done specifically for ABT? Well, sure. And he seems to maintain a superhuman schedule of staging and choreography around the world that occasionally makes one wonder if he does not 'spread himself too thin.' But let's just say he appears very driven, and I for one am delighted he is working with ABT on a regular basis. It gives them a calling card as a serious artistic enterprise that they would otherwise, in my opinion, be decidedly lacking.

The Tempest? Let's say I'm wrong and it's simply an unsalvageable disaster. At any rate it's not "meh" (a word that is one of the internet's best contributions to critical vocabulary)--it's trying to do something serious.

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When I see Ratmansky's ballets I feel that ballet is alive as an art profoundly in touch with its past, while still offering new creative visions to the future. Would it be great if we had a list of more "slam dunk" Ratmansky ballets done specifically for ABT--well, sure. And he seems to maintain a superhuman schedule of staging and choreography around the world that occasionally makes one wonder if he does not 'spread himself too thin.' Let's just say he appears very driven, and I for one am delighted he is working with ABT on a regular basis. It gives them a calling card as a serious artistic enterprise that they would otherwise, in my opinion, be decidedly lacking.

The Tempest? Let's say I'm wrong and it's simply an unsalvageable disaster. At any rate it's not "meh" (a word that is one of the internet's best contributions to critical vocabulary)--it's trying to do something serious.

You've put your finger on something substantial here - Ratmansky does seem to both honor the past and look towards the future, and does both using ballet as his material, rather than hybridizing the art form with other dance traditions. From what I've seen and heard, he's learning from his experiences, challenging himself and his dancers by taking them and the work seriously. You take chances, you make a lot of stuff -- not all of it will be unalloyed successes. But in the long run, it's good for the artist and it's good for the art form.

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I agree with Drew and sandik, and I, for one, actually really loved The Tempest. I thought it captured perfectly the tone of Shakespearean "romance." I can see how, without a detailed knowledge of the play, one would feel lost in the narrative, and I think that's a fault. But having that knowledge, I could see what Ratmansky meant in aiming to create "at once a fragmented narrative as well as a meditation." Evocations of narrative moments from the play were simultaneously precise and subtle -- the ballet seemed basically a collection of such moments conveyed in distilled essence. This was in keeping with the form of the music: incidental music written to accompany key moments from the play in actual performance. I found the music to be quite beautiful. I agree that it doesn't sound as if it lends itself well to dance, but I felt that Ratmansky found inventive ways of drawing "danceability" out of it. He created a vast range of characters and styles of movement, for a story that has distinct yet overlapping clusters of characters. Caliban in this version does not strike one as a conventionally impressive dance role -- I can see why people were disappointed seeing Cornejo in this part -- and yet the challenges of movement and character were, I think, just as great. Caliban is earth-bound, unlike Ariel, and so his range and style of movement needs to reflect that. (And I'd like to imagine that Cornejo appreciated the challenge of a very different sort of part from the one in which he's usually cast, or even type-cast. Whiteside, too, made much of this role in Monday's performance.)

The one part that really didn't work for me was the long portion about 2/3 through when the island spirits are tormenting the shipwrecked nobles. In general, I found the corps spirits to be the least inspired roles in the piece.

But otherwise, I was quite enchanted by the work. I'm sad that I possibly won't get a chance to see it again, given the general reception it's received.

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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 want to say that I watched The Dream DVD tonight (Tuesday) and Puck is NOT supposed to overshadow Oberon as Herman did to Cory last night. When Stiefel was Oberon, he was commanding and virtuosic and Herman was considerable toned down compared to him (and last night's performance). (I also saw them live, the night ABT premiered The Dream in 2002) I just think Cory (maybe even David) is not up to doing what the role of Oberon needs in terms of both acting and dancing.

Are you speaking of casting or performance? It probably has to do with comfort with returning to a role the he has danced before, but Herman has only grown in the role. I would never want him to tone down his performance so that someone else might not be overshadowed. Whether one performer outshines another has more to do with the totality of the production. There are so many variables, beginning with the casting, that help decide who might dominate a performance. Who hasn't seen a performance where a supporting player outshines the lead? That's why they say never to fight over the order of bows. The audience always decides whom they like best.

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Alexei Ratmanksy’s ‘The Tempest’, however is a ballet I hope never to see again. Wednesday’s matinee is my second viewing of the piece and it still makes little sense. Ratmansky’s ‘The Tempest’ is a waste of a lot of dance talent. Marcelo Gomes, Daniil Simkin, James Whiteside, Sarah Land and Joseph Gorak all dance very well, but I see no point to any of their steps and movements. The music, by Jean Sibelius, is atonal. My only thought throughout the whole ballet is the hope that it will end soon. Obviously not every great work of literature can be made into a ballet.

A point of clarification: Jean Sibelius wrote tonal music. There's a discussion of his style here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Sibelius#Musical_style

"Despite the innovations of the Second Viennese School, he continued to write in a strictly tonal idiom." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Sibelius#Reception

I was disappointed when I first saw the Tempest, but it has grown on me with repeated viewings.

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I obviously don't know musical terms. But I really did not like the music Ratmansky used for The Tempest. And even after seeing it a second time the to me the story made no sense.

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No argument there. I don't really care for the music to The Tempest either, but it is growing on me on repeated hearings. The first time I saw the Tempest I wondered what drew Ratmansky to the music in the first place. To my ear, the majority of the score does not cry out as music to be danced to.

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No argument there. I don't really care for the music to The Tempest either, but it is growing on me on repeated hearings. The first time I saw the Tempest I wondered what drew Ratmansky to the music in the first place. To my ear, the majority of the score does not cry out as music to be danced to.

I wouldn't be surprised if it were the subject that initially interested him rather than the music. The music may then have presented itself as a natural option for a Tempest ballet, despite its unusual style. Just a guess, though.

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