Balanchine Celebration Program #2
Posted 15 September 2000 - 11:50 PM
Divertimento No. 15 (Suzanne Farrell Ballet)
Agon (Miami City Ballet)
Tarantella (Joffrey Ballet)
The Four Temperaments (Miami City Ballet)
Posted 16 September 2000 - 01:07 AM
We've seen Miami City dance Agon with more energy. The pas de deux was the exception, it was Jennifer Kronenberg and Eric Quillere tonight, they had the chemistry and the technique.
We'd seen Miami City dance Tarantella live and McBride and Villella dance it on video and never cared for it all that much, and for our money -- this will probably ruin my credibility for good, and I should know better than to compare a live experience to video, but .... -- I'll take tonight's Joffrey performance, we loved it. Maia Wilkins couldn't match McBride's quickness, but she had the charm, and Calvin Kitten reminded me of a young Villella. Of course I never _saw_ the young Villella, but I'm sticking with this opinion!
The Four T's -- Miami City is always impressive in this, they catch the style better City Ballet has in my experience.
Posted 16 September 2000 - 09:36 AM
(a parenthetical postscript - lest it be mistakenly construed that I am slamming the formidable Messrs. Villella and Kitten, I merely meant to state that they were both stagewise, craftsmart artists at the times they first essayed this meatgrinder of a pas de deux - it has defeated many other fine male dancers!)
One of the most fiendish things about "Tarantella" is its constant flow of pyrotechnics, which is derived, as all of Balanchine is, from the music. Louis Moreau Gottschalk wrote the music originally as a duet for violin and piano, with all of the double-bowing and technical fizz the former instrument is capable of. Its transformation into Piano and Orchestra happened shortly after Gottschalk's death, in an arrangement by his editor, Arthur Napoleao. The Hershey Kay reconstruction of this work goes even farther that Gottschalk himself did in providing left-hand material for the pianist that is just beastly to perform, but at least doesn't include the nearly-impossible intervals found in much of the composer's piano works. Gottschalk must have had huge hands! In all, the Kay arrangement places the piano and the orchestra on equal footings, and makes it ideal for a pas de deux of shared fireworks!
[This message has been edited by Mel Johnson (edited September 16, 2000).]
Posted 16 September 2000 - 12:21 PM
Posted 16 September 2000 - 11:49 PM
Lots of children this afternoon, many balletic looking preteens. Despite that this wasn't a "children's program" -- "Agon" AND "Four Temperaments" -- the ones sitting near me seemed quite happy. One of the pleasures of this week (aside from the fact that there are No Bad Ballets, of course ) has been the audience reaction. It's obvious that for many people the ballets are new to them (you can tell by the applause patterns) you can also sense that people actually *like* "Agon" and "Four Ts."
I thought Miami City Ballet's "Four Ts" was the best I've ever seen that ballet danced--at least, the best I can remember it. No harshness, no overselling, no rushing anything. The tone, the phrasing, the whole approach to the ballet was beautiful. It was a pleasure to see.
Posted 17 September 2000 - 12:36 AM
Posted 17 September 2000 - 09:51 AM
Posted 17 September 2000 - 12:21 PM
We are fortunate to see Askegard and Neal perform frequently, but Eric Lindemeyer (as well as the remaining beautiful, beautiful soloists) was such a treat to see. The corps of, I believe, fairly young dancers, was lively as well as polished...this was a very, very well executed performance.....almost made you forget how difficult and layered the choreography is....
And they came up with new, lovely jewelled headpieces for the soloists to make my cup truly run over!