sandik

NYCB in Paris on PBS

39 posts in this topic

In case you missed it, here's a link to the first half of the program -- it's up until March 17 (according to the website)

Share this post


Link to post

I watched this on my TV yesterday and am wondering if I just didn't have the right aspect ratio for my tv (which I tried to adjust but couldn't) or whether other people were also frustrated by feet  (and sometimes entire lower legs) being cut off. It's beyond me why camera operators on a long view give you a picture where the dancers take up the lower 1/4 of the picture and the remaining 3/4 is backdrop. News flash: the backdrop in Balanchine ballets is NOT THAT INTERESTING!!! I can't check it online because we can't watch PBS online from Canada (although goodness knows enough Canadians support PBS with their $$$$ grumble grumble grumble)

Share this post


Link to post

When it comes to PBS I'm constantly having to play with the aspect ratio to get a decent picture. However, I've also found that while this can be done with my west-coast station, the east-coast station I get simply has a picture that's zoomed in too closely, and there's nothing I can do about recovering the bits around the edge of the frame. I suspect you're in the same predicament.

 

(I tend to sound like a broken record on this, but I recommend investing in a good VPN subscription. The geo-blocks will fall away.)

Share this post


Link to post

I enjoyed this very much, but was very frustrated with the lack of complete casting listed. I checked PBS website and there is no listing of all of the Demi soloists etc.  any ideas on where to find this info? 

Thanks! 

 

Sandi

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, kbarber said:

I watched this on my TV yesterday and am wondering if I just didn't have the right aspect ratio for my tv (which I tried to adjust but couldn't) or whether other people were also frustrated by feet  (and sometimes entire lower legs) being cut off. It's beyond me why camera operators on a long view give you a picture where the dancers take up the lower 1/4 of the picture and the remaining 3/4 is backdrop. News flash: the backdrop in Balanchine ballets is NOT THAT INTERESTING!!! I can't check it online because we can't watch PBS online from Canada (although goodness knows enough Canadians support PBS with their $$$$ grumble grumble grumble)

 

It's possible that the broadcasting station was using the incorrect aspect ratio for this HD broadcast, or your television settings (more likely) are cropping the image. I watched the broadcast on a PBS station that is not HD quality (it's going to be re-broadcast on an HD PBS station next week), and it appeared at normal aspect ratio (I just happened to watch the online version again the day before the broadcast). I didn't notice any cropping of the image. However, the image resolution was low, and that was annoying.

 

I enjoyed these performances overall.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, SingerWhoMoves said:

I enjoyed this very much, but was very frustrated with the lack of complete casting listed. I checked PBS website and there is no listing of all of the Demi soloists etc.  any ideas on where to find this info? 

Thanks!

Sandi

 

Alas, I'm not sure where to find this.

Share this post


Link to post
11 hours ago, SingerWhoMoves said:

I enjoyed this very much, but was very frustrated with the lack of complete casting listed. I checked PBS website and there is no listing of all of the Demi soloists etc.  any ideas on where to find this info? 

Thanks! 

 

Sandi

 

Which piece are you looking for more info on? Before each piece, it did show the demi-soloists' names: Kristen Segin and Sarah Villwock for Walpurgisnacht Ballet and Marika Anderson, Meagan Dutton-O'Hara, Gwyneth Muller, Lauren King, Antonio Carmena, Ashly Isaacs, Sean Suozzi, Ashley Laracey, Zachary Catazaro, and Ralph Ippolito for La Valse. 

Edited by 83firefly
Unclear phrasing

Share this post


Link to post

One of the problems with television is that you can't pause, rewind, etc.  ;)

 

At least with the online videos it's possible to look over the credits carefully.

Share this post


Link to post
17 minutes ago, pherank said:

One of the problems with television is that you can't pause, rewind, etc.  ;)

 

At least with the online videos it's possible to look over the credits carefully.

 

Especially when a station or network shrinks the credit roll so that they can run other promotional stuff at the same time!

Share this post


Link to post
56 minutes ago, sandik said:

 

Especially when a station or network shrinks the credit roll so that they can run other promotional stuff at the same time!

 

LOL. At least they are not able to speed up the credits to a blinding pace, as is so often done with normal TV shows.

 

I was just reading Macaulay's review of this presentation - I like this bit:

"Above all, the “Walpurgisnacht Ballet” captures what for some years has been the single greatest ballerina performance of our day: Sara Mearns in its lead role. She has dramatic flair and heroic voluptuousness within technical brilliance. She embodies the music’s seductive diablerie."

 

I pretty much agree. It's the closest we get to experiencing a Violette Verdy or Allegra Kent -type dancer in the present day.

Edited by pherank

Share this post


Link to post

Well, I loved the first half of the program and can't wait for the second half. I had no trouble seeing the dancers' feet and I thought the camera work excellent. I have seen La Valse a number of times but appreciated it so much more on the TV screen. The camera seemed to capture the tension between the lyricism of the whirling dancers and the menace lurking there. I had not seen Walpurgisnacht Ballet before and it's now top of my list to see when next it is revived. Thank you, NYCB and PBS. My membership fees to both organizations were well spent on this program.

Share this post


Link to post

Fortunately, there will be another NYCB broadcast on PBS this Friday.  Brace yourselves:  "Symphony in C!"  :yahoo:

  

Share this post


Link to post
On 2/18/2017 at 10:35 PM, SingerWhoMoves said:

I enjoyed this very much, but was very frustrated with the lack of complete casting listed. I checked PBS website and there is no listing of all of the Demi soloists etc.  any ideas on where to find this info? 

Thanks! 

 

Sandi

Sandi, since you watch demisoloists as well, :) . be sure to watch the Bizet when it's broadcast; in the first movement, Claire Kretzschmar , recent winner of the Levin Award, is superb as the demi who begins, I seem to remember, on stage left. She is tall and blonde, so you can't miss her. Gorgeous. Why she was not promoted the other day in the mass of promotions to soloist is a mystery, to put it politely.

Share this post


Link to post

Watching the first installment of the televised performance felt like seeing the ballets from entirely new eyes. I had not previously enjoyed Walpurgisnacht as much as I did on this viewing. Luckily I have DVR so I was able to record the show for rewatching!

Share this post


Link to post

with regard to full casting for these performances, the following .pdf spells out the casts, with the following correction:
(There is a typo in the second movement demi-soloist: Sarah Villwock’s first name should include an ‘h’.)

NYCB Paris Tour 071616_Casting Pages.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
11 hours ago, jsmu said:

Sandi, since you watch demisoloists as well, :) . be sure to watch the Bizet when it's broadcast; in the first movement, Claire Kretzschmar , recent winner of the Levin Award, is superb as the demi who begins, I seem to remember, on stage left. She is tall and blonde, so you can't miss her. Gorgeous. Why she was not promoted the other day in the mass of promotions to soloist is a mystery, to put it politely.

I can't wait to see her. I caught her in Sleeping Beauty last week and am definitely impressed. 

 

Thank you rg, for the casting list! 

S

Share this post


Link to post

DC Export - it really was with entirely new eyes.

Share this post


Link to post
13 hours ago, jsmu said:

Sandi, since you watch demisoloists as well, :) . be sure to watch the Bizet when it's broadcast; in the first movement, Claire Kretzschmar , recent winner of the Levin Award, is superb as the demi who begins, I seem to remember, on stage left. She is tall and blonde, so you can't miss her. Gorgeous. Why she was not promoted the other day in the mass of promotions to soloist is a mystery, to put it politely.

 

Oh gosh, I am really reluctant to respond, but... When I watched the stream online, I was mildly disturbed by Kretzschmar's performance, which I found exaggerated, awkward and bumpy. To me it represented a distortion of the Balanchine style and everything that bothers me about young dancers today. Too much. I'm obviously getting old. :(

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, volcanohunter said:

 

Oh gosh, I am really reluctant to respond, but... When I watched the stream online, I was mildly disturbed by Kretzschmar's performance, which I found exaggerated, awkward and bumpy. To me it represented a distortion of the Balanchine style and everything that bothers me about young dancers today. Too much. I'm obviously getting old. :(

Well, Farrell was called exaggerated, awkward, distorted, and overdone rather often during her career, particularly during the Sixties, and perhaps in some ways she was. What I like about Kretzschmar is her energy and vibrancy, as opposed to the lobotomized, anesthetized performing so common with several current NYCB principals which is to me the true and utter distortion of Balanchine. This is epitomized for me by Lauren Lovette--a dancer with neither the personality nor the technique to give acceptable performances in leading roles. There are several others, of course.

Edited by jsmu

Share this post


Link to post

I'm a little late to the game, but happy to report that if you watch these performances via Roku or another streaming service, the clarity and the ratio seem to be completely fixed! I was dismayed at the pixelated quality and weird ratio when I watched them live, but it's been worth another view (or FIVE of Sara Mearns)!

 

Question: I've only seen NYCB perform Symphony in C twice before this broadcast, when they were touring the Kennedy Center (2 years ago now?) and was wondering if that--due to the nature of the choreography--the third movement female lead always tends to look like a baby fawn who's just found her legs? I actually thought Alston Macgill did a pretty good job though some of the difficult technical parts, for only being an apprentice at the time, but I found the performance jarring and thrown about. I suspect she'll develop more maturity in time, and don't wish to judge her now at all (I loved her smile through it all!), but it did bring back another memory of the two DC performances I saw. Imagine, if you will, the second movement just having been sublimely performed by Maria Kowroski, just to be followed by Erica Pereira, limbs thrown about, rushed-looking, etc. I had never seen her dance before, and was not impressed. To me it seemed incredibly ridiculous looking to have her and Kowroski side by side in the fourth movement, and I found this height and quality-of-movement difference to be distracting. 

 

Not wanting to be  a terrible person, I tried to go into the second performance with her in the same role with fresh eyes, but came away wondering why she was a soloist. 

 

I just wonder what joy the third movement could be in the hands of a dancer with more control and maturity (say, Peck, Bouder, Fairchild) yet incredibly speedy all the same. I'm not as familiar with the newer crop of soloists and principals, but I'd be interested to hear others' tales: can it be done better? Am I being too harsh? Is this a role that Peter Martins routinely throws dancers into to see if they sink or swim (as he has put it)?

Edited by Belka

Share this post


Link to post

Megan Fairchild used to dance the third movement. Not sure why she doesn't anymore. Ashly Isaacs in recent years has been an excellent third movement soloist. I think Alston McGill was the understudy in that Paris performance. 

Share this post


Link to post

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Symphony in C. There was a little too much cutting for my taste, but I've seen much worse, and the clarity was very good. They captured an excellent performance!

Share this post


Link to post

Curious why PBS chose to present this performance in two tranches...too much ballet for Americans in one swoop? I'm also wondering if the 3rd of the four ballets in the original European telecast -- SONATINE -- was shown to US audiences?

Share this post


Link to post

These didn't seem so well recorded to me – or maybe at this point I would prefer live performances of New York City Ballet. (Or I may be getting the visual equivalent of hyperacusis where I can't separate awkward details from the main attraction.) I really enjoyed seeing Sonatine though – I had never seen it before – for the economy of means and great inventiveness. 

Share this post


Link to post

Glad that Sonatine was shown in the US telecast. Still wondering why PBS split the evening into two showings.

Share this post


Link to post