Wednesday, May 22
Posted 23 May 2002 - 09:41 AM
The two book-end ballets were given the deluxe treatment by the casts. Again, it was Wendy W. and Damian W., who turned in another one of their superb performances. Disappointingly, the leads were to have been Maria K. and Philip N., but because of "illness and injury" Wendy and Damian replaced them. Not exactly shabby substitutions, but I had wanted to see the other cast (and I hope all are well soon). I do agree with a previous post on Mozartiana about the second male role. Although Tom Gold was very nice, the gold standard for me in this role continues to be Victor Castelli. Some day I would like to see a taller dancer (Antonio Carmena??) "take back" this role.
The Vienna Waltzes was a total delight. Highlights were: (1) Monique M. in the first movement, whose acting was just as good as her dancing; (2) Peter Boal and Alexandria Ansanelli in Patty and Helgi's roles. Peter Boal was at his most elegant last night and Ansanelli actually made me forget (almost) about how Patty McB. did the role; (3) Darci debuted with Askegard (who was to have been Jock Soto) in the Merry Widow; I expected this role to fit live a glove on Darci K. and it did. She is glamor personified!!; and (4) last but not at all least, was Kyra N. in Suzanne's role. Wow!! I urge all ballet lovers to catch as many of her performances as they can. A true prima ballerina!!
The best thing about the new ballet for was that it was actually a ballet (and not modern dance). The music (Handel) was nice and the costumes were lovely. However, it was lighted very dimly (it was named Twilight Courante) and was difficult for "old" eyes to see in the Second Ring. That was a shame because the dancers gave it their all. Of particular note was the variation for Jeannie Somogyi, which really played to all her gifts of speed and musicality.
All in all, a nice evening at the ballet.
Posted 23 May 2002 - 11:47 AM
A few additional notes:
I don't think Neal is injured, or at least very seriously, given that he was in "Vienna Waltzes" and still scheduled to dance in many more ballets this week. The principal guys had better stay healthy, as Woetzel is barely scheduled at all next week. Presumabley that's to give him time for final preparations on his new ballet, premiering at the SAB Workshop. In fact, I just saw him heading across the plaza to the Rose Building, CDs in hand.
I'm not sure that Mozartiana is a great role for Woetzel. At least yesterday, he didn't have the nice pointed feet and exact footwork in some of the solos. He spins beautifully and is spectacular when airborne, but I missed the precision that someone like Boal or Neal brings to the role.
I liked the Baynes ballet, but the buzz was (and I agree) that it was a fairly thinly veiled "variation" on Dances in a Gathering. Lots of walking on and off the stage and various bits for one, two, three dancers/couples. Also, much of the cheoreography was very reminiscent of Robbins. Nice as a whole, but the parts are all things we've seen before.
I did NOT like Darci Kistler in "Vienna Waltzes". To my eye, she looked rather stiff and over-dramatic. I believe someone near me said it was a "caricature of a caricature" and I'd agree. Kistler is a great ballerina, but she hasn't figured this role out yet. I wonder if Kowrowski might be a better choice (even though it;s definately a "mature" ballerina role.
Posted 23 May 2002 - 12:05 PM
If Monique Meunier weren't so good in the Tales from the Vienna Woods, I'd really want her to do the Merry Widow part. (Or the Farrell part, come to think of it -- she'd be magnificent.)
I think Eva Natanya could grow into The Merry Widow. And I would pay good money to see Aesha Ash. We'll probably get Kowroski next, I'm sure.
Posted 23 May 2002 - 08:57 PM
Seeing Darcy as The Merry Widow made me miss Helene. Kistler didn't seem comfortable in the role or in the costume.
I thought Motzartiana -- and Whelan in particular -- very beautiful last night. There is something in this role which suits her very well, plenty of room and space and time for her to do her thing.
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