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Jewels: September 26-27; October 2-6


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#46 Bored_on_Wall_Street

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 11:18 PM

I just saw the Saturday evening performance.   Through a weird array of circumstances, i managed to see NYCB's Jewels three times during their winter/spring season this year, and tonght is my fave jewels of the year.    Rubies had a directness/verve that was slighly lacking in NYCB's and while it may be a result of this being the first/seemingly last time I'll see Korbes in the role, her performance and musicality in diamonds were exceptional, even if she seemed to be carrying a slight injury/hesistancy at times.   (Emeralds always leaves me perplexed so i need to leave that aside for now.)   I can think of other parts of other performances that i preferred, but on the whole tonight was the most initially satisfying.

 

I noticed alastair macaulay hard at work during intermissions (he's generally a socially wandering about type at NYCB intermissions), so, as he seems to be one of PNB's go-to critics for quotes (see, e.g., tonight's program), will be interesting to see his thoughts.

 

 



#47 Helene

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 12:11 AM

Alastair Macaulay was at tonight's post-performance Q&A as well.



#48 Bored_on_Wall_Street

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 12:47 AM

Alastair Macaulay was at tonight's post-performance Q&A as well.

 

 

If he stuck around for more discussion, I suspect that bodes well for a good review...and that would not be not surprising for him for this company, which he took a shine to years ago, if i remember correctly.

 

I have always wanted to go the post-show Q&As that seem a uniquely PNB thing (at NYCB we get interns doing well-intentioned mid show talks for big rep pieces, and ABT does...uhhh....) but always seem to need to catch a monorail back downtown for dinner or something.   I was walking down the steps when I heard the announcement re the talk, knew i was meeting friends in belltown for sushi, but i almost wanted to march back up to ask 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.



#49 emilienne

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 06:47 AM

From Matthew Renko's post performance talk after his PNB Rubies debut on friday:

"I mean, halfway through the pas de deux, I'm dying, but then I look at my partner...Jahna (he gestures to her and everyone laughs), and I think, 'Yeah, I can rhumba some more!'"

More later.

#50 sandik

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 10:29 AM

Oh excellent -- I'm going to the Sunday (today) matinee for one more look!



#51 Jack Reed

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 04:10 PM

...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).  



#52 Helene

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 09:49 PM

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.



#53 Bored_on_Wall_Street

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 11:49 PM

 

 

 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 ;)



#54 Arizona Native

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 08:20 AM

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.

#55 Helene

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 08:44 AM

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.



#56 Helene

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 09:44 AM

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



#57 sandik

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 10:25 AM

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



#58 SandyMcKean

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 08:42 AM

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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