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Balanchine Celebration Program #2


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#16 Estelle

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 05:05 AM

I'm feeling really jealous of all the people who saw that program- it really sounds wonderful...

It's interesting to see that Quillere seems to get more interesting roles with the Miami City Ballet than with his own company (he used to be cast quite a lot in Balanchine ballets a few years ago, for example in "The Prodigal Son" or as the Melancholic in "The Four Temperaments", but now seldom dances).

About "Divertimento n.15": reading the comments about it in Nancy Reynolds' "Repertory in review" (I can't quote them here, since the book is at my parents' home, but they were very laudative) really made me looking forward to seeing that ballet one day... Unfortunately, the POB hasn't performed it for about ten years (and the only other French company having it in its repertory is the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, but they don't tour much in France, and when they do they seem more likely to schedule full-length works by Maillot Posted Image ).

#17 The Bard's Ballerina

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 06:13 AM

Chiming in, a little belatedly....

Yesterday was one of those epiphanic ballet experiences that, sadly, don't come along too often. I had always appreciated Balanchine before (I'm pretty good at knowing good choreography when I see it), but I never truly loved it before.

The whole program was superb. I could nitpick here and there, but with 99.9% pure perfection, I don't really see the need. Some special highlights in the individual performances:

-- Veronica Lynn and Christina Fagundes were both utterly radiant in Divertimento No. 15, as was the man that I assume was Charles Askegard (big, blond god-like dancer)
-- Jennifer Kronenberg and Eric Quillere in the Agon pdd -- was this really the couple I found only "OK" in Rubies on Thursday? They were fantastic, especially the sultry Jennifer.
-- Calvin Kitten's infectious energy in Tarantella ppd
-- absolutely everyone in 4Ts
-- the orchestra

Looking forward to more this week!

#18 Natalia

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 09:35 AM

samba38 - So are you into name-calling now? ("Jeannie-Gimme-Russians") Perhaps you could post me a private e-mail if you have a personal quarrel to pick, rather than subject Alexandra and the kind readers of this Forum with this sort of name-calling, which has no place on this board. It is particularly ignorant & out-of-place, as my recent review on the Balanchine Celebration's programme #1 gave the least amount of praise to the one ballet performed by Russians (the Bolshoi's "Mozartiana").

[This message has been edited by Jeannie (edited September 18, 2000).]

#19 kfw

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 10:17 AM

Jeannie, I get the impression Samba38 was merely making a comparison to a fellow fan with strong favorites, no insult intended. As for me, I wouldn't call you names, but every time I check this thread and see you haven't yet posted one of your typically detailed reviews that I always look forward to, I do mutter underneath my breath. Posted Image

#20 Alexandra

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 10:22 AM

Jeannie, rereading Samba's comment, I think she meant it good-naturedly, trying to say that she's as much a fan of Miami as you are of the Kirov, rather than as something pejorative, BUT I can well understand that it could be interpreted as name-calling. Which is why it's best to avoid addressing other posters, or making remarks that could easily be interpreted as a dig.

#21 Alexandra

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 11:12 AM

Jeannie, I deleted your post. Perhaps you didn't get my email before you posted--I only have your erols email, not your business one.

Samba, please check your email, as well.

Except for a comment from Samba, which I agree is called for, I don't want this matter discussed further on board.

Thanks.

[This message has been edited by alexandra (edited September 18, 2000).]

#22 Natalia

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 12:26 PM

Thank you, Alexandra. I'm with you 100%. I'm also pleased that this thread will remain open for the reason why it was created in the first place (BC #2).

[edited to delete a business email address]

[This message has been edited by alexandra (edited September 18, 2000).]

#23 Guest_Barb_*

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 04:13 PM

I went to the Kennedy Center matinee and evening show Saturday....and it really made me wish I could have seen the first program, as well as the programs this week. I thought all the companies did a great job of showing their best.

I was also very impressed with what seemed to be packed houses! Yeah, Washington! I hope this week's are as full. The matinee crowd seemed especially warm and vocal.

Only question I had was about the costumes for the first piece...were they a remake of an original costume? I found them rather distractingly fluffy tutus.

#24 liebs

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 04:33 PM

I assume the Farrell company was wearing the same tutus in DC that they wore in New York last season, were they purple and white? If so, those are not the original designs which are pale blue, pale yellow and white and quite exquisite. Some reviewer once compared these costumes to frosting. I did find the purple and white tutus designed by Holly Hynes to be a bit large and floppy. A strange mis-step coming from this very gifted designer.

#25 Guest_Barb_*

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 04:52 PM

They were indeed purple and white...with the lattice-work top.

#26 Guest_Ginny_*

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 05:10 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Barb:
[B]I went to the Kennedy Center matinee and evening show Saturday....

Barb, since you saw both of the Saturday performances, could you please comment on the two Tarantellas? Overall, this was one of the most glorious afternoons of ballet I've experienced in a very long time and one I'd like to have seen again (and again)--so much subtlety, so much nuance in Divertimento, Agon, and Four Temperaments. However, Allan and I had differing impressions of Tarantella. Would be interested to hear what you thought of it, having seen the evening performance as well.

Like you, I was gratified by the audience response. Perhaps the Kennedy Center will realize that the Washington ballet audience aspires to more than The Merry Widow and Dracula.

Incidentally, Edward Villella happened to sit right in front of us during part of the performance, a small added thrill in an altogether thrilling afternoon.

#27 samba38

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 05:26 PM

My apologies! By no means did I intend my flippant dig at my own bias for MCB to be mistaken as name calling, Jeannie. I had intended to poke fun at my own enthusiasm but it was clearly a poor choice to attempt humor by teasing about how we all have our favorites among companies. That's the fun of this board -- to share what we love and learn from each other. So, once more, I apologize and will message you personally, Jeannie, if the wise moderator slips me your email address which, for reasons unknown, I seem to no longer have.

[This message has been edited by samba38 (edited September 18, 2000).]

#28 cargill

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Posted 19 September 2000 - 09:01 AM

It was Arlene Croce, always good for an apt quote, who wrote once that Divertimento #15 was famous for never being performed well--I suppose somewhat of an overstatement, considering the original cast! But she did say (I am quoting from memory) that if not done well it could look a bit chocolate boxy. But that was the dancing, not the ballet itself, which is really perfection. It is like visiting the prologue fairies at home--it may be a concidence that there are five main women, and then again it may not. I really think the more Petipa you have seen, the more extraordinary Divertimento looks. It is just so concentrated, it is like mainlining Beauty. I am fond of well-made fluff, and wouldn't use the term as a putdown necessarily, but Divertimento is rock solid with deep foundations going back through ballet history.

#29 Natalia

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Posted 19 September 2000 - 09:28 AM

Thanks, Samba!

Regarding the program, which I saw Saturday night, I'll give the nutshell-summary (as we have entered a crazy period at work).

* DIVERTIMENTO #15 (Farrell Troupe) & TARANTELLA (joffrey) were the absolute-highlights for me. I agree with Cargill & others that Divertimento #15 is one of Balanchine's most obvious and captivating tributes to Petipa and the art of the female variation. Whoever loves 'Sleeping Beauty' would be a nut not to love "Divertimento.' Among the fantastic soloists, I was most taken by the beautiful line and crisp dancing of Chan Hon Goh. [I'd love to see her Aurora. Isn't she a star with National Ballet of Canada?]

* AGON & FOUR T's (Miami City Ballet) - While I honor & respect these two ballets as masterpieces, they personally don't do much for me. Sorry--'Balanchine black-and-white' is simply not my thing. However, the well-drilled & uniform corps de ballet allowed these two works to triumph over so-so soloists (IMO)...as I continue to have trouble with the 'short line' of some MCB soloists. I saw MCB's AGON at Wolf Trap three or four years ago & much-preferred the soloists on that occasion.

I'm very much looking forward to the greater variety of costumes, music, & style promised by the 3rd & 4th programmes in this Balanchine Celebration, later this week. - Jeannie


[This message has been edited by Jeannie (edited September 19, 2000).]

#30 kfw

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Posted 19 September 2000 - 10:11 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by cargill:
[B]It was Arlene Croce, always good for an apt quote, who wrote once that Divertimento #15 was famous for never being performed well ...

I've read that the excerpts of this on video, originally shot for a PBS "Dance in America" broadcast aren't considered top notch. Anyone care to give more detail? Who do you think stands out, and why? Who is lacking?


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