Helene

Jewels: September 26-27; October 2-6

61 posts in this topic

...how the hell did they turn my least favorite jewels piece, Rubies, into something that turned me into a grinning bufoon, wanting more? I mean, there were technical flaws others could latch onto to criticize, but it stripped away the dustiness and formalism of NYCB's, and just felt like fun at a very high technical level.

For me, someone who began watching NYCB regularly with a weekend of Jewels in January 1973, the fun pretty much went out of their Balanchine in Spring 1986, and I've rarely watched the company since. I've just seen PNB's weekend, too, and I also think Saturday evening's Rubies leads led the best performance of the four.

I agree about Korbes; saw her Diamonds both times, and consider her really, really something. (Pity about her retirement, but that comes with the territory, and, after all, it can't take away we've already got from her.)

As for Emeralds, speaking of retirements, Mr. B. made something of a kluge out of that when Verdy retired in 1977; maybe that is contributing to your perplexity.

People say, they have to do it like the Trust tells them to, but I wonder if the Joffrey Ballet still gets away with mixing up new and old parts of Square Dance in their original costumes - Western dress for the old parts, plain gray for the two new ones. Fortunately, TSFB still puts on the original Apollo (when they can afford to put on anything).

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The period after Balanchine's death was a very hard time for the NYCB dancers. While I haven't seen many NYCB performances since the mid-90's, it's a different generation dancing now, and I've seen some brilliant performances the few times my trips to NYC coincided with the company's seasons.

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the fun pretty much went out of their Balanchine in Spring 1986, and I've rarely watched the company since.

Well,as I was born in the 80s, i can't speak from first hand evidence in the same way you can, but I think there's been a real development in NYCB over past 5 years or so. I wasn't there back in the day, but based on video snippets, and my interpretation of what people remember balanchine being like, i think the company is closer to that now than it had been, or at least closer to presenting in a more artistically cohesive way. At the least, NYCB certainly seems more interesting to me than it was 5 or 6 years ago, and would encourage you to give it another shot when you're next in NYC ;)

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I'll bite, Jack! ; )

Jahna Franziskonis in "Rubies" on Friday night was uncontainable, captivating, and utterly charming. She gave us the speed and smoothness of a cheetah, managing to be both fun and sexy. Yes, we also saw a huge personality -- as befits Rubies' New York City. While such strong individuals can be lacking as partners, not so, here - she proved herself a very nice partner, relatable -- and as quoted above, she fueled him with energy.

Her musicality -- love a dancer whose relationship with the music is such that I hear it more clearly, or more fully. She made the jump rope and running sequences, which can be quite awkward and look just plain weird -- fit right in, still dancy. Huge, gorgeous jetes. Petitie, she "dances big," helped by felicitous proportions. It looked as though her part had been choreographed just for her, she danced with ease, and there was not a fraction of a moment that was careless, thrown away or unattended.

Did I mention she is just a second year corps member?

Bravo, Peter Boal, for casting her. She demonstrated she is ready for prime time.

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I think Twyla Tharp is to thank for how quickly Frantziskonis has been recognized, especially in a company know for tall, and with formidable competition from fellow young "shorts" Leta Biasuccci and Angelica Generosa, who also debuted in the role. Tharp asked Boal for two bodies at the beginning of last season, and the free bodies were Frantziskonis and Steven Loch. She used them to work out the choreography for her new work, and they helped to coach the other dancers. Tharp rewarded them with roles in the ensemble, in which they were both standouts.

I wasn't able to see her debut and only performance in the McBride role in "Rubies," but her dancing in the "Diamonds" corps reminded me of what d'Amboise said about the young Suzanne Farrell: he knew she'd be successful because there she was, in the back corner, in the dark, dancing her heart out. No matter where she was onstage, no matter which male giant she ended up behind, no matter which direction she was facing, Frantziskonis was dancing with full commitment.

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I didn't see this until today: a video of Elizabeth Murphy in the Verdy solo from "Emeralds."

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And here I was feeling sorry for myself that the run is over and there'd be no more Jewels...

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Violette Verdy coaching her solo in "Emeralds" to Margaret Mullin (orange skirt), Carla Korbes (grey/black skirt), and Elizabeth Murphy (blue skirt)

Correction: it's Mullin in the blue skirt and Murphy in the orange skirt

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In an interview in amNewYork mainly about his residency with Ice Theatre New York, Edward Villella spoke about coaching:

Do you still dance?

No! I've had three hip replacements. When you have these surgeries, you don't want to pop a hip. But I can still teach. I'm at a place right now where I derive enormous pleasure from coaching. I will never work for a board again and I will never raise money again. It's a beautiful freedom. Balanchine said dance was a passing art form: You pass it from body to body and from mind to mind. It's a mind-driven physicality. There is a certain time to do it, a certain time you don't do it as well and a certain time when you pass it on. That's where I'm at now: I'm now taking care of all the ballets that took such good care of me. I'm returning a great debt.

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In an interview in amNewYork mainly about his residency with Ice Theatre New York, Edward Villella spoke about coaching:

I'm now taking care of all the ballets that took such good care of me. I'm returning a great debt.

That is very sweet.

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In an interview in amNewYork mainly about his residency with Ice Theatre New York, Edward Villella spoke about coaching:

I'm now taking care of all the ballets that took such good care of me. I'm returning a great debt.

That is very sweet.

Yes, that's a nice quote, and a nice attitude.

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