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AmandaNYC

SAB workshop

40 posts in this topic

General impression (not suprising since Les Gentilhommes was being performed): Men, men, men. They were fantastic. Lots of potential in this class of men. What struck me was that they not only pulled off some difficult men's variations in all the pieces, but they all had such passion- I don't think I can really single any one out-- though Adrian Danchig-Waring had the right gypsy energy for the Rondo of Brahms-Schoenberg! Alas, I felt, for the most part, that they were not matched in that passion by their partners. The girls showed their youth and typical nerves. That's not to say there isn't great potential there. I saw the 15 year old Ana Sophia Scheller- wow, to pull of Ballo at that age! Jessica Flynn in Woetzel's and the Andante of B-S was also a stand-out. Great potential. Would like to see her loosen her hands, facial expression and upper body more. Time and experience should help with that.

A word about Woetzel's piece. Didn't find it that coherent or interesting a piece. The men looked great. BUt, as sneds had said to me before the piece-- and still holds true-- he doesn't seem, yet, to know how to choreograph well for women. I don't think he showed them off very well.

-amanda

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I saw a different cast on Saturday afternoon; the students looked carefully rehearsed and did well.

Jessica Flynn took the lead in Ballo and did a very fine job. Her performance reminded me a bit of Megan Fairchild, who will be doing the lead on Monday and did the lead I saw last year in Divertimento #15, they're both smaller, nicely proportioned dancers whose leg-work is like fine embroidery, and they both took one of the speediest and toughest roles in the repertory with impressive aplomb.

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Amanda, did you attend both of the Saturday performances or which cast did you see? I am very excited to be attending the performance tomorrow (Monday 7pm) and am looking forward to reading about impressions of yesterday's performances (Saturday 2pm and 8pm).

Central PA is just bursting with pride over a handful of young dancers in this year's SAB Student Workshop!

t

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I was at the 8 o'clock performance Saturday and enjoyed it very much. Ana Sophie Scheller was the lead in Ballo, with Allen Peifer, and they were terrific. The lead Gentilhomme was David Blumenfeld, but they all deserve mention: Daniel Applebaum, Hyek Chen, Radoslaw Kokoszka, Austin Laurent, Keith Mearns, Lucien Postlewaite, Avichai Scher, and Nicolai Smirnov. How's that for an eclectic collection of names? Woetzel's piece, Copland Portrait was episodic. The piano music didn't sound much like Copland until the end, but the ballet looked a lot like Robbins. Anyhow, the young dancers took to it and looked great. Giovanni Villalobos (another great name) stood out. The final two movements of Brahms-Schoenberg ended the evening. The andante was led beautifully by Jessica Flyn and Tyler Angle (Jared's brother), with Sterling Hyltin, Zoe Zien, and Stephanie Zungre. The Rondo, by Ashley Laracey and Adrian Danchig-Waring. When Ashley's ribbons whipped across Adrian in the finale, they put me in mind of Suzanne and Peter. What more can I say?

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Did anyone notice if Laura Gilbreath danced at all? Thanks.

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She was listed as being in the corps for the Rondo of Brahms-Schoenberg. I don't know what she looks like, but I assume she danced.

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Originally posted by Leigh Witchel

leg-work is like fine embroidery

What a wonderful phrase!

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As I recall, the old imperial ballet phrase that was often used for detailed footwork is making lace with the feet.

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I keep waiting to hear about last night's performance. Anyone?:D

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So I was just curious to see if anybody was going to review Mondays performance. I hear that is the day to see the show. Im really curious! Thanks!

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Monday, June 3, 2002 7:00 pm

I can reiterate what I hinted to earlier, central Pennsylvania is thrilled to know 3 of the 2002 Mae L. Wien Award winners very intimately. Gina Pazcoguin, Tyler Angle , and Allen Peiffer are all from central PA. Along with the fourth of the award winner, Jessica Flynn, they danced what my friend called, "A Wien worthy" performance.

t :D

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Oh come on PAmom and others out there - we need more info than this!

Congratulations to all those Wien award winners!:D You deserve to be very proud. :)

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Did Emmy Hendrickson dance? I didn't notice her name in any reviews, another CPYB alumni.

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Gina Pazcoguin didn't dance on the program I saw (Sat eve)-- what did she dance Monday night? Or is she injured? just curious...

-amanda

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She had the Rondo in Brahms-Schoenberg 4th Movement.

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At the Saturday matinee, Emmy Hendrickson danced in the corps of Ballo and did one of the three demisoloist parts in the Andante in Brahms Schoenberg.

I apologize, BW, I'm not trying to be mysterious, they all did a very nice job, but I just feel like I know too many people involved in the performance (and it's kids) to comment on it analytically. That said, after I saw Flynn in Ballo I had guessed she was going to get the Wien award.

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I was certainly impressed with Saturday afternoons performance .Although I felt some of the choreography didn't show (off) the dancers well and was at times repetative,the students looked quite nice.One dancer was quite a special standout.For those of you who have gone in past years-are there usually a few exceptional dancers?

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The NYTimes published its workshop review today which included a listing of the Mae Wien award winners and a nice picture of Tyler Angle and Jessica Flynn in the Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet.

Mae Wien Awards for 2002:

Tyler Angle, Allen Pfieffer, Jessica Flynn and Anna Pazcoguin.

Kate

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Leigh, I understand and you're quite right.

I appreciate everyone's comments and I did read the piece in the NYT today. I just was hoping for a bit of flavor - I'm glad I have my other sources.;) Once again, congratulations to all the dancers at the Workshop Performances. Sorry we missed it this year.

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My impressions of the Monday Gala performance:

I felt the Men's technique was definitely cleaner than the ladies, but being the mother of a male dancer, I have a better understanding of men's technique.

I really enjoyed the evening and my son left very inspired. It was quite amazing to see 9 very talented young men dance Les Gentilhommes. Benjamin Griffiths, Tyler Angle, Adrian Danchig-Warnig, Andrew Kaminski, Austin Laurent, Neil Marshall, Vincent Paridiso, Arron Scott, and Christian Tworzyanski did a wonderful job.

I enjoyed Copland Portrait more than those who reviewed Saturday shows. It was a bit episodic, but I enjoyed it for the most part. Damian Woetzel had some wonderful choreography for the guys and they seemed to really enjoy it. Giovanni Villalobos was a pleasure to watch. He really looked like he loved performing and therefore, I loved watching him.

Ballo and Brahms-Schoenberg were nice, but I felt Les Gentilhommes stole the show. But that is my bias showing. Give me a stage full of Danseurs and I am a happy gal!

OK, I went....now someone else needs to add their 2 cents worth.

Miss

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One idle comment about Ballo, which is a ballet I've seen quite often at NYCB - if there was anything that felt different about the SAB staging, done by Ashley, it was that I never noticed all the fifth position sus-sous in the ballet as much as I happened to in this performance. It seemed almost like there was a brief emphasis given everytime the women returned to that position that I don't recall in NYCB performances. How did people feel the stagings of any of the works compared with their counterparts at NYCB, if applicable?

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I'd like to echo the general enthusiasm for the quality of the performances on Saturday night.

I was especially impressed (though not surprised) by the Ballo. Ashley is known to be a stickler for detail, and her students have responded magnificently to her tutelage. Ana Sophia Scheller whizzed through the technically demanding part with cool aplomb, and her partner, Allen Peiffer, was not simply tall (always a virtue!) but proved he could deploy those long limbs with speed and elegance.

I have nothing to add to other remarks on Gentilhommes and Brahms-Schoenberg, but I do have some thoughts on the Woetzel dance. Set to a group of short and unfamiliar piano pieces by Aaron Copland, it's obviously designed to show off the youthful energy of its cast. The first section, a densely modernist Passacaglia, consists mostly of a lot of grappling, as the men (dressed in black street clothes, like a posse of downtown performance artists) manipulate the women (in hot-colored leotards) through a lot of awkward postures. The sprightlier sections (with titles like "Down a Country Lane, "Jazzy," and "Midday Thoughts") give the dancers lots of flashy and playful moments, more than a little reminiscent of Jerome Robbins.

The 8 dancers bring a lot of energy, conviction, and style to the piece. Giovanni Villalobos was especially impressive with his grasp of the power of simplicity, but his colleagues all danced with great panache: Jessica Flynn, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Alan Peiffer, Elysia Lichtine, Austin Laurent, Melissa Capellan, and Sterling Hyltin. These are dancers any choreographer would be pleased to see in his studio!

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I thought I must be alone in liking Damien Woetzel's ballet. To me, if it evoked Robbins at all, it was only by being a piano ballet and having the structure of a suite of dances. The movement vocabulary of the ballet, however -- the steps and the enchainements --were not Robbins but pure Damien Woetzel and Damien at his most animated as a dancer, like the soul of his dancing when he is interested in it, very personal, and that is what I liked about it.

I particularly liked the way the Student Dancers responded to Woetzel's short little etudes (two to three minutes each) and to each other while dancing. In contrast to the structured classicism of the other workshop offerings, Damien's piece allowed these kids freely to display their personalities as dancers -- what is unique about each of them. And I loved that and loved seeing them. Like Melissa Barak's ballet last year for Charlene Cohen, et al. (sorry both principals left the school), in Damien's piece it was thus almost impossible to "tell the dancers from the dance." It was therefore the only thing I saw last weekend that differed from a class recital and that had merit on its own account. It was fresh work.

The trouble with the Woetzel, on the other hand, is that after dancing this, the kids are just ready for the Diamond Project. But Damien's pieces were more beautiful and moving and interesting, if those are to be the criteria, than any of the Diamond Project ballet I saw this year.

I'll be a bit of grinch. I thought this year's workshop the weakest, the most like a High School Play, that I've ever attended. All you parents out there, I don't mean this as a criticism of your kids. They were great. It's just that it is a High School Recital after all and we must not make too much of it. Nikolaj Hubbe's Bournonville pieces the past two workshop years had the virtue of providing an interesting vehicle which couldn't really be criticised much, for it was an unfamiliar idiom and, anyway, we wanted to see a bit of Napoli or Konservatoriet. Stars and Stripes two years ago was just the sort of thing to get us out of our seats and to use all that youthful enthusiasm. But Gentileshommes is shallow and much too long. And the Balanchine pieces seemed perfunctory.

Too much importance is probably being attached to the workshop by the general New York scene as opposed to the parents and the School. If we don't confuse these with professional performances they are wonderful. The problem is that they tend to get confused. I particularly question the school's decision the past two years to bring Apprentices who have been dancing with the company for almost a year back for certain pieces for their Monday Night Gala audience. I actually preferred the Saturday afternoon cast.

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I saw the Saturday evening workshop and had mixed reaction. One one hand, they looked more like young dancers than students. I've seen many professional ballet companies with dancing at this level. On the other hand, one of the things I like about seeing student performances is how "studentish" and careful the dancing is. I'll be reconciled to the lack of polish at SAB -- splayed hands, clawed hands, no hands. I want more than that from a great academy.

I also thought the dancing overall at this performance was rather slack, especially Gentilhommes. But in Ballo, too, every single musical accent was smudged in the ballerina solos -- and I don't think this piece is appropriate for students. They can get through it, but they can't really dance it, and there's a difference.

I saw a lot of Robbins in Woetzel's ballet, from actual steps to the idea and atmosphere, and although I liked parts of it, it was (like Gentilhommes) just a string of steps, in the same way a pop music album is a string of songs, but that's far short of a symphony.

I did like the two bits of Brahms-Schoenberg, especially the Rondo.

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