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gottadance07

PBS Tonight

37 posts in this topic

I'm copying this from the 'Diamond project Poll' at the top of this thread. This is a more appropriate spot for my little rant-and-rave! :)

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I finally got around to watching the videocassette of the PBS special, which Mom kindly made for me while I was in Russia. Judging from what I saw on TV...it's THUMBS DOWN all the way! ('Red Angels' & 'Mercurial Maneouvers' saved the night but, still...)

Thank God for Jenifer Ringer. Thank God for Peter Boal. But what-the-heck was with that pudgy blonde in the first number...sorry, I have a problem with baby ballerini-cheerleader-with-'heehaw smile' types. Not the type of dancer who I envision at a

Tsar's Ball. Ballet is derived from royalty - kings & tsars, isn't it? Basic elegance is the

hallmark of ballet & all that we love, isn't it? Excuse me. You have no idea how looking at that cheerleader affected me.

I'll take a second look at that video soon & perhaps I'll change my mind.

- Jeannie

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Are you talking about Janie Taylor?! I definitely wouldn't call her pudgy, if that's who it is, the girls a twig.

And in some fairness to her, she doesn't have much to work with.

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I don't recall the name , Calliope, but I *do* recall seeing Darci Kister in this role ca-1992/93 & the effect was definitely diferent. Kistler was (is) a million times more elegant than the 'cheerleaders.' [There are several in today's NYCB - not just this one.]

Sorry to rant about this - I know that they all work hard & try their best - but I can only think of the recent Parma-Verdi Festival telecast (seen in Europe - I saw it) in which Martins cast several of these 'pudgy blonde cheerleader types' (sorry - just a gut reaction) and I don't remember such seemingly-inelegant & immature-looking dancers being given principal roles back when I used to follow NYCB in earnest.

THEN, on top of all that, I have months of looking at Russian-Vaganova-trained dancers in my mind & can quickly pick-up on sloppy upper bodies. [Yes - I know my prejudices & am first to offer 'mea Culpa!' :) But I also have years of following & admiring NYCB, as do many of you.]

YET the Jeni Ringers & Maria Kowroskis of this world can certainly fit into a 'Tsars Ball' - they are so elegant. They are miles ahead of the 'cheerleaders'!

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I thought Borree did the Jeu de Cartes years ago.

I can't remember anymore, they all start to look the same after a while, just different music.

As a former cheerleader though.... can't we just call them ingenues?! :)

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I like "ingenue" a lot, Calliope. I'm all for it. :)

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I don't think Borree danced it, but I could be mistaken. The part was made on Kistler, and was very much about the virtuosity of her and her partner (Damian Woetzel, who has always done the lead, I think). Miranda Weese took the role in the mid 90's, and danced it like it was made on her.

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I think I'm thinking of Jazz. Like I said they all start to blend after a while

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I've been hoping to hear what Leigh and Alexandra and other longtime City Ballet watchers who were away thought. In enormous, instructive detail! ;)

I loved Mercurial Manoevres and the Lynnne Taylor-Corbett piece and was pleasantly surprised at a lot of Jeu de Cartes. But I don't care to see male dancers in red shorts, and that 2nd Martins piece was about the dullest ballet I've ever seen.

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I saw it on TV -- I was in New York, but had to be at another performance that evening. I'm afraid I can't say anything in enormous instructive detail -- I can't judge dances on TV unless I've seen them live, and I hadn't in this case.

I was grateful to have seen these ballets, but my overall impression was....dull.

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I hated Jeu de Cartes. It didn't seem to have a point, or follow the music, or anything. After 5 minutes I started to tally how many times Janie Taylor did the splits, and how many turns Woetzel did. [unfortunately i lost count! :eek:

Chiaroscuro was pretty, but kind of boring after a while. I couldn't tell the 2 blond ballerinas apart.

Them Twos: I pitied Yvonne Borree, having to wear that obnoxious skanky costume. Dreadful music. Darci Kistler is a good dancer, but she really ought to cut her hair; it was getting all over the place!

Viola Alone wasn't too bad, but nothing special either.

Ancient Airs and Dances was a breath of fresh air musically and choreographically, but what's up with all these skirts-over-unitards costumes? Can't they come up with anything more...original? Lots of *long* blond hair at NYCB, I've noticed. Either that or they wear hair extensions.:P Ansanelli has nice feet. Janie Taylor looked better in this than Jeu de Cartes.

La Stravaganza was awful. I don't want to talk about it.

Red Angels was the highlight for me. All four dancers were great, the costumes were fitting [sorry]. Yes, it's just like every other sexualized, stretchy, athletic Forsythe-esque ballet being choreographed, but at least it held my interest.

Which is more than I can say for the Wheeldon, although I have become fond of Ringer and Bouder because of it. It seemed very repetitive, or else I was just tired at that point.

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Originally posted by kirovboy

I must say that I cringe at the sight of Jock Soto.  The man has absolutely no expression, and doesnt seem to care on his appearance on stage, I dont care if you are the best partner in the company(which he is very good, but I dont believe the best) Ive seen non dancers lift girls for shows, but who would put a football player on State Theatre's stage?  I think it is time for him to move on. I rewatched the tape the other day...and incidentally fast forwarded the tape every time he was on stage, I couldnt bear to watch him.

I can't believe what I'm seeing!:eek: Jock may not have the perfect danseur body, but he is certainly not expressionless- he was one of the few I saw really become emersed in each role he did. Nor do I appreciate your comparison of him to a football player. He and some others of the company are a bit past their age for being in their top physical condition, but I enjoy watching these dancers continue on as they do just for the joy of dancing.

Everyone should be entitled to their own opinion, but I have to defend one of my favorite dancers. :)

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[putting on Board Host beanie]

You are certainly allowed (and encouraged!) to defend Soto, and discuss the show, pro and con, all you wish, but I don't think any of us should take other people's opinions of our favorite dancers personally, no matter how misguided, benighted and just plain wrong they might be ;) One balletomane's La Sublimova seems to inevitably be another's La Dreckova and I don't think we'll ever got to the bottom of that mystery. By all means, no one should attack a performer, but I think that metaphor was well within the bounds of a discussion.

Back to the discussion!

[removing Board Hoast beanie]

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