cubanmiamiboy

Program III. "La Baiser de la Fee"

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On 2/11/2017 at 4:59 PM, Quiggin said:

 

The Balanchine 1972 "Baisee" has a brilliant car-showroom hardness about it – but I do see some things in it that lead to the great Stravinsky Violin concerto (though it could be just the way it was rearranged and filmed for TV).

The solo variations, particularly Tomasson's, are anything but hard and commercial; Tomasson's variation, one of the greatest pieces of choreography ever made on a man, calls for off-balance landings from difficult jumps, off-center turns, and emotions Balanchine never called for elsewhere in a male part. McBride's lovely variation ends with a triple turn, two on pointe, the last on half-pointe. The penchee in the pas de deux is only one of many striking images. The final parting of the lovers is unforgettable. I find this ballet quite as good as Violin Concerto, particularly Violin Concerto without Bart Cook and Kay Mazzo.

Edited by jsmu

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1 hour ago, jsmu said:

The solo variations, particularly Tomasson's, are anything but hard and commercial; Tomasson's variation, one of the greatest pieces of choreography ever made on a man, calls for off-balance landings from difficult jumps, off-center turns, and emotions Balanchine never called for elsewhere in a male part. McBride's lovely variation ends with a triple turn, two on pointe, the last on half-pointe...

 

I didn't mean commercial, just that as filmed and in the poor video copy, it looked a bit glossy and hard, though I think Tomasson's haunted solo comes over well. I've never seen it done on stage, so thanks for the firsthand impressions.

 

Tomasson said that Balanchine choreographed the solo for him in a very short time, maybe one session. He did a interpreters video coaching Gonzalo Garcia, but never programmed it here in San Francisco – maybe too hard to get all the pieces to fit together. Pacific Northwest Ballet did it no so long ago, maybe Sandik remembers what it there.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yKHXS8gH9o

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It was done beautifully in Seattle as part of a Fall 2011 mixed bill called "Love Stories," which included the last act of "Sleeping Beauty," "Black Swan Pas de Deux," Robbins' "Afternoon of a Faun," and the Balcony Scene from Maillot's "Romeo et Juliette." 

 

The first weekend, Kaori Nakamura and Jonathan Porretta danced in one cast and Rachel Foster and Benjamin Griffiths in the other.  I was living in Vancouver at the time, and only came down for second weekend.  By then Porretta was injured, and Nakamura replaced Carla Korbes in the Maillot, while the younger casts, Liora Reshef and Matthew Renko in one and Leta Biasucci and Kyle Davis in another, got an extra performance each, and they were the dancers I saw in three of four performances in the run.

 

They were all superb -- it was probably the French-trained Reshef's best role, although she was also a lovely Bluebird, and her epaulement was exquisite -- and Kyle Davis was a revelation in the Tomasson role.  Nothing he'd done before made me expect him to own something with such a strong point of view in a knockout performance.

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2 hours ago, Quiggin said:

 

I didn't mean commercial, just that as filmed and in the poor video copy, it looked a bit glossy and hard, though I think Tomasson's haunted solo comes over well. I've never seen it done on stage, so thanks for the firsthand impressions.

 

Tomasson said that Balanchine choreographed the solo for him in a very short time, maybe one session. He did a interpreters video coaching Gonzalo Garcia, but never programmed it here in San Francisco – maybe too hard to get all the pieces to fit together. Pacific Northwest Ballet did it no so long ago, maybe Sandik remembers what it there.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yKHXS8gH9o

I understand. I was extremely young when I saw Tomasson and McBride do it, several years after it was made, but the impression was indelible. Their partnership was an entente cordiale, not just a business deal or a working relationship--much as I imagine McBride's partnership with Villella, from what he says about her. I do not think any film of McBride, sadly, conveys the presence and elan she brought to every role. Her personality was extraordinary and completely unforced. I saw this with Nichol Hlinka, a vastly underrated NYCB ballerina, who was ravishing and crystalline, and a performance at PNB with Biasucci and Davis. I liked that performance very much too. Biasucci was at her most delicate there.

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11 hours ago, Helene said:

The first weekend, Kaori Nakamura and Jonathan Porretta danced in one cast and Rachel Foster and Benjamin Griffiths in the other.  I was living in Vancouver at the time, and only came down for second weekend.  By then Porretta was injured, and Nakamura replaced Carla Korbes in the Maillot, while the younger casts, Liora Reshef and Matthew Renko in one and Leta Biasucci and Kyle Davis in another, got an extra performance each, and they were the dancers I saw in three of four performances in the run.

 

They were all superb -- it was probably the French-trained Reshef's best role, although she was also a lovely Bluebird, and her epaulement was exquisite -- and Kyle Davis was a revelation in the Tomasson role.  Nothing he'd done before made me expect him to own something with such a strong point of view in a knockout performance.

 

I saw those same second weekend performances, and absolutely agree about Davis.  I still remember his otherworldly quality, and keep looking at him as he deploys his considerable technical skills in ballet after ballet and hope that he taps back into that combination of articulation and poetry. 

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I actually loved Ratmansky's The Fairy's Kiss! It was as if he was determined to throw in everything including the kitchen sink (fouettés, lifts, emboites, chaine turns, changements, grand jetes, character dancing, etc.) and have it all totally flow with the music and story. It told a story of an artist and the ending was inspiring showing how mother, lover, and muse lift up the artist to greater heights! I was reminded that ballet is woman even if a man is lifted up high.

 

More later. It's late. I will see it again tomorrow night. 

 

On a sad note....Florida ballet performances now have multiple police officers wandering in the theater as we enter and security is checking bags and wanding us with metal detectors. I feel like I live in a third world country now.

 

 

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It was late, and I was tired, so I did not put all my ideas down about MCB's show. A former BA contributor sat with me before MCB's show and listened to my woes about my father and how I am re-teaching this past computer genius how to email me, so we can keep in constant contact. He's forgotten how to email, and I went with my parents to one of their banks to find out his online banking username which he had forgotten and had not written down anywhere. So this is what I am dealing with.

 

I mention this to say how BA introduced me to this person and because of that I had someone to vent to before the show, because my drive to the Kravis Center was very emotional. It is like watching a hero fall in battle to have to teach a former computer genius these simple tasks.

 

Anyway, the final moment of Ratmansky's The Fairy's Kiss was very moving to me. The fairy (Simone Messmer), the mother (Jordan-Elizabeth Long), and the lover (Jeanette Delgado) all come on stage and sit in a reclining position while the corps lifts the Artist (Renan Cerdeiro) up high. For me this means that every artist is given life by a mother, kissed by a muse, and has loves in his life, and all these relationships create and lift up the artist......I thought it was a beautiful way to end the ballet after seeing all the "quotes" from various ballets.

 

The "quotes" from various ballets in the last part had the corps in brown/clay colored costumes......almost like the dancers were clay that the artist forms into shapes.

 

I feel the story is very clear and every move matches the music, so I consider the ballet a success. Ratmansky continues to use classical ballet vocabulary but puts his own personality into the character dances of the villagers. I felt many of the villagers' movements reminded me of the villagers in his Little Humpbacked Horse ballet.

 

Messmer has never really impressed me, but last night I thought she did a great job. Even for this Mariinsky fanatic I thought her arms flowed better than usual. Maybe Ratmansky coached her to do this. No idea. I did not see any problems with her fouettes last night. She also seemed "on" and committed to the story. So she won me over last night. I have to admit that I am a bit puzzled that she gets all the choice roles at MCB and every Opening Night. But last night I feel she must have ironed out the kinks in her Miami run (I was not at the Miami run but going by the reviews above).

 

It was a delight to see Jeanette Delgado in a main role again even if it was basically a character role (no pointe shoes). She has been absent from main roles at MCB for a while it seems. She was a good foil to Messmer's Ice Maiden (the original fairy in the fairytale). Delgado exudes warmth and humanity whenever she dances, so it was like she was playing herself.

 

Renan Cerdeiro was great as The Young Man (or The Artist). There were lots of jumps, turns, lifts, etc. that he had to do. He had always been good but he used to seem gawky in appearance, but he has grown into a "man" before our eyes and become a good artist.

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Forgot to mention......MCB's Walpurgisnacht was gorgeous. It was just what I needed to take my mind off my family troubles. Balanchine includes everything we love about ballet, and it comes off as a frothy, light ballet that is pretty but with little depth. However, when you see the main female's variation you realize there is depth.....very difficult combinations of steps. Like I said, it includes everything we love in ballet.....gorgeous corps formations, a duet, a female variation and adds wild flowing hair at the end which we rarely get to see.

 

I loved the rising soloists Lauren Fadeley and Jovani Furlan as the main couple. They danced beautifully, and so I look forward to seeing them more often. Nathalia Arja is MCB's answer to Osipova.....solid technique with fast footwork as the female soloist with the corps.

 

I saw Polyphonia back in 2013 but did not remember a single thing about it and last night I actually enjoyed it even though I had no memory of it. It starts with 4 couples dancing with their shadows behind them and they continually return to arabesques after turns. It ends almost the same way except with more modern movements.

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Is everyone experiencing more extensive bag checks and metal detector wanding as they enter theaters in other places? This month I went to the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville and now the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, and both times the screenings were more heavy duty than I ever experienced and I noticed that audience members can only go outside of the Kravis Center using the two main entrances/exits  on either side, and the glass doors behind the concession that allowed one to walk outside for fresh air now have signs "no re-entry"......multiple police officers were in the lobby also. I feel like we are now in a police state. Very depressing. I guess this is supposed to make us feel safer. Instead, it is just depressing.

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Thanks for the detailed review Bart! I'm sorry to hear your dad is unwell :( 

 

Fairy's Kiss sounds fun and like Ratmansky could very well stage it in NY. I certainly hope so. Certainly the score itself is gorgeous. In my experience Ratmansky ballets vary based on the quality of the music. He seems one of those choreographers who has to be inspired by a piece of music to do his best work. 

 

 

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Thanks for these reviews. I was very interested in this premier -- the rest of the program too -- and almost planned a trip to see it, but had to give up the idea. (I am glad, Birdsall, you were able to enjoy the performance after helping your father...)

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I wonder if the recent attacks on Jewish sites and anti-semitic graffiti have spooked Florida, which has a vibrant Jewish comunity?  Many attend classical cultural events.  Perhaps a building named after a Jewish benefactor has received threats?

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Maybe so, Jayne. Crazy times. There is definitely a large Jewish community in West Palm, Palm Beach, and Jupiter (where my parents live) as you say. If that is the reason for extra security then I am glad. I love what the Jewish community has brought to Palm Beach County. They have helped fund the arts here.

 

Btw, it was announced that The Fairy's Kiss was sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Hope the NEA funding doesn't get cut. 

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I saw the program again tonight and liked it just as much. In fact, Walpurgisnacht seemed more energetic.  Polyphonia has made me want to investigate more of György Ligeti's music. Some quite moody and moving pieces.

 

I think the Fairy throwing the baby is supposed to mean that even though she (as an artist's muse) kisses him she also causes mild harm or potential danger (baby never hits the ground) because the artist suffers to create his art and often chooses art over his relationship. So the fairy's Kiss is a double edged sword. It gives him artistic inspiration but sort of dooms him throughout his life as well. Anyway, that is how I read the throwing of the baby. A muse gives love but at a price.

 

I think the final moment brings it all together. Mother, muse (fairy), and girlfriend sit downstage as the Artist ascends. They made the artist possible.

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Thank you for your wonderful reviews, Birdsall.  I greatly enjoyed reading them.

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On February 26, 2017 at 0:02 AM, Birdsall said:

 

 

Btw, it was announced that The Fairy's Kiss was sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Hope the NEA funding doesn't get cut. 

 

BTW, I don't want my tax dollars paying for ugly designs, like the three milk cartons and cubist projections that totally interfere and distract from the fine dancing.

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We all have our preferences for where our tax dollars go, and we all have our opinions on the decor and decor in general.

 

If the NEA is abolished, then the discussion becomes moot.

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I choose love!!!! I choose love!!!! Lmfao

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13 minutes ago, Natalia said:

 

BTW, I don't want my tax dollars paying for ugly designs, like the three milk cartons and cubist projections that totally interfere and distract from the fine dancing.

 

BTW you do know that the NEA also funds the fine fabrics of which you're so fond to make expensive tutus in classical productions. 

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On 2/25/2017 at 9:02 AM, Birdsall said:

Is everyone experiencing more extensive bag checks and metal detector wanding as they enter theaters in other places?

 

Yes -- around here, the theaters run by the Seattle Theater group are all looking in handbags when you enter, and have banned large bags or backpacks.

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3 hours ago, sandik said:

 

Yes -- around here, the theaters run by the Seattle Theater group are all looking in handbags when you enter, and have banned large bags or backpacks.

 

 

I went to a Russian National Ballet Swan Lake on Sunday in Ft. Lauderdale and same thing, so it isn't just a Kravis Center thing. It is all over the state (so far Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Lauderdale......will be in Sarasota soon for Sarasota Ballet's show). This seems to have happened this month......

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I have been seeing the checkpoints at the Arsht Center for a while...and although it doesn't look too glamorous I am VERY happy that patrons' safety is being prioritized. Two thumbs up.👍👍

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On 2/27/2017 at 1:39 PM, canbelto said:

 

BTW you do know that the NEA also funds the fine fabrics of which you're so fond to make expensive tutus in classical productions. 

 

NYCBallet has a call to save the NEA on its website. 

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Posted (edited)

Should there be a separate topic for NEA? 
Edited by maps
moved

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31 minutes ago, maps said:
Should there be a separate topic for NEA? 

 

Yes.

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