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Friday, May 3


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#1 bobbi

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Posted 04 May 2002 - 04:32 AM

The program was (1) Raymonda, (2) Reunions and (3) Symphony in C, and it was a very nice evening at the ballet.

Raymonda is one of my favorite ballets, and it was given deluxe treatment by Jeny Ringer and Peter Boal. Special kudos go to Peter Boal: his is just pure classical male dancing at its most elegant; bravua with no vulgarity. Having been watching him since he was a Nutcracker prince, I now treasure every one of PB's performances and last night was no exception.

This was my first viewing of Reunions. The fun part was watching the up and comers: Seth Orza, Antonio Carmena, Amar Ramasar and Ashley Bouder. All are strong technicians with exciting stage presence. I'd recommend seeing this ballet just for its current cast. The choreography seemed a bit repetitous but you didn't care with these dancers; when the curtain came down I still wanted to see more of them.

The evening's treat was yet another terrific performance of Symphony in C. It was the same cast as opening night and they again turned in a top notch performance. All previous posts about opening night's Bizet apply. One added note: I'm so glad that Carla Korbes is back dancing. She was one of the corp ladies in fourth movement, but again, my eye kept gravitating to her. Stay well and healthy CK!!

#2 AmandaNYC

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Posted 04 May 2002 - 05:58 AM

It always takes me a performance or two to get back in the *swing* of things, but I did enjoy last night's performance, though not as much as I had hoped.

Having seen Raymonda three times last season with perfection from the soloists and Ringer, I was a little disappointed. Of course, there's nowhere to go from perfection but down. Ringer, Boal, Natanya, and Hanson all seemed less polished than usual. There was a lot of saving falling out of turns or more difficult sequences (Natanya's hopping on one leg) from complete disaster. Having seen the piece so many times recently, I noticed the difficulties. Bouder, Edge, and A. Stafford were in their usual beautiful form. I still get a thrill during the bounding corps part after Ringer's last solo. Stafford and Bouder were slightly not in sync for the first few fouettes, but seemed to rally together somehow by the end. One thing I enjoy about Bouder is that she relates to others on stage. She does not perform as if she is the only person on stage or in the universe. If she's paired with someone, she does not simply dance side-by-side. There's a relationship there. Even with another female dance, like A. Stafford.

And, it was there even more so with Ramasar in Reunions. It was a great pairing, as both are young and have a sense of humor about them. The audience loved them. But, the ballet truly belonged to Carmena. Wow. He captivated me with his performance-- one that was all about artistry and not also about high jumps (Which is the only type of solo I had seem him do previously). With his performance, I was reminded why I wasn't totally dreading a Diamond-packed season. Even with ballets I didn't like in the past projects, I usually had a great opportunity to see the dancers in a new light, since they were being used in different ways. I might have issues with many contrived aspects of much of modern ballet (just b/c a piece is made today doesn't mean it has to have jarring or modern dance-like movements), but I do enjoy seeing NYCB dancers perform these pieces. I gain a better appreciation of their talents as dancers. Nowhere was this more clear than in Carmena's performance. I wonder if it'll hold up today, on second viewing.

Ansanelli is always an interesting dancer to watch-- she really moves like no one else. In the case of Reunions, I don't think she had the chance to sparkle as she can--- the part was made on Ringer, who, even then, had a softness to her that Ansanelli does not quite have yet. I don't know if that's what was missing, but something was.

Orza, honestly, did not make an impression on me. Sure, I had seen Stiefel perform this part 10 years ago, so maybe, deep down, I wanted to see him. Orza just seemd rather bland to me. For the amount of time he has on that stage, he neither had (yet?) the command of the stage/ presence nor the beautiful artistry to involve me. Maybe this will change on 2nd viewing, when he's gotten the nerves out of the way.

Ah, Symphony in C. The audience did not merely exclaim the polite bravos at the end-- there was really cheering. It was almost as if this audience was craving the piece. Great audience.

As I had thought, it was absolutely wonderful to see Somogyi back in the 1st mov't. You all know I adore Ringer, but I think her more suited to the 2nd mov't (even if she doesn't have the extension for it). Somogyi is the one who invites me into to see the dance. I truly see the movement and appreciate it on whole new levels when she performs. While seeing RInger perform the part last season was nowhere near like seeing Irin Dvor...'s (I can never spell her last name) "Look at me" performance, it was still less about the steps and more about her as a person/dancer.

That's why I love both Somogyi and RInger both-- they offer me different experiences-- and rarely do I like them both in the same role. IMHO, La Source is more suited to Ringer and Bizet 1st mov't is more suited to Somogyi.

Since I had a nearly religious experience seeing Kistler do 2 mov't just last season, I can't really comment on Kowroski. Kistler's performance still hangs over me. I'm sure we've had this discussion before, but I would like to comment that, just b/c one can get the leg beyond a 90 degree angle in arabesque, does not mean one should. I find it distracting-- more about the ability.

The cast was not the same as opening night for 3rd mov't. Bouder, who had already danced twice, got a well-deserved rest. Instead, Janie Taylor joined Millepied. I prefaced this entire commentary by saying how I'm not totally back into the swing of things. Definitely not here. Easily distracted was I. Knowing that Ethan Stiefel was in the audience, I kept wondering during 3rd mov't, what he might think of it. Ah, well.

4th mov't sped by so quickly that I hardly had a chance to enjoy van Kipnis. This mov't could easily be a throw away mov't, since, I think, the demi soloists in 1st mov't (Hanson and Rutherford) have more stage time. But, van Kipnis makes the most of it. "There are no small roles" attitude.

Ok. I think I have made up for my lack of postage last season.
:-) On to the dance... this afternoon...

-amanda

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 04 May 2002 - 06:55 AM

You sure have, Amanda :) Thanks to you and Bobbi -- it's such a treat to get daily reviews!

#4 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 04 May 2002 - 10:05 AM

My thanks to both Bobbi and Amanda for the reports!

Re: "There are no small parts" I'm a van Kipnis fan, and saw Tuesday's performance. Watching her in fourth movement, I was reminded that the fourth movement ballerina is essentially a sort of Theme - there are several steps and enchainements you'll see throughout the finale, (the little stamps on pointe, the pas de bouree/fouette turn and the hellish turn to a la seconde snapping back to a kneel) that the fourth movement ballerina shows us for the first time. And van Kipnis shows them all so clearly and well. Watching her, the role did not seem small.

#5 Farrell Fan

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Posted 04 May 2002 - 10:19 AM

Like Bobbi, I was seeing Reunions for the first time, and thoroughly enjoyed it. For me, this David Allen piece from the Diamond Project of 1992 justified this year's policy of reprising past Project ballets. It makes a wonderful showcase for young dancers. I wouldn't mind seeing it become part of the regular repertory. The Ernest Bloch music is as engaging as the choreography.

Amanda's comment of having a nearly religious experience seeing Kistler's Second Movement Bizet reminded me of a gentleman I used to talk to years ago at NYCB intermissions. A diplomat, he'd lived a long, eventful life. He said seeing Symphony in C was the closest he'd ever come to having had a religious experience. I was pleased the audience for it last night was so enthusiastic, because its reaction to Raymonda had been tepid.


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