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Ringer's T & V?


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#1 Ari

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Posted 18 June 2002 - 07:23 AM

Did anyone see Jenifer Ringer's debut in Theme and Variations over the weekend? I'm dying to hear about it.

#2 bobbi

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Posted 18 June 2002 - 09:20 AM

I was there at Saturday matinee's debut of Jeny Ringer in T&V, and I can happily report that she was wonderful!!

I had been a little apprenhensive as I don't think of Jeny as a technician and my gold standard for T&V is still Gelsey Kirkland. No, Jeny didn't have Gelsey's "sharpness" in her solos, but nothing -- nothing -- was left out. Jeny even did those marvelous leg beats in the pas (which seem to have disappeared in some of the recent T&V's from ballerinas at both NYCB and ABT).

In addition to coming through with flying colors on the technical side, Jeny's performance -- it's Jeny after all -- was a model of rubato and lyricism. In fact, during the pas (Askegard was her partner) you could see her almost "leading" her partner to make sure she was with the flow of the music. And talk about the "grand manner"!! Jeny was the Grand Southern Belle (think Scarlett on pointe).

For me, this performance was one of the highlights of NYCB's spring season. I have another chance to see her at next Saturday's matinee, and am really looking forward to it. I would urge those of you who love ballet in the grand manner not to miss her T&V (this Wednesday and Saturday mat).

#3 E Johnson

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Posted 18 June 2002 - 10:06 AM

Hmm. I saw her on Sunday and thought she was miscast -- as was Askegard. Both lovely dancers, both terrific in the adagios and when dancing together, but neither, to me, really carried off the pyrotechnics.

#4 cargill

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Posted 18 June 2002 - 10:42 AM

I agree. Ringer is a lovely dancer, but she just didn't seem sharp or commanding enough for the role. To me she looked like she was dancing La Source, which of course she was made for! There is such a melting quality about her that just doesn't seem to go with T&V. The little leg beats you mentioned are, I think the gargouillades, which as I understand Balanchine added for Gelsey Kirland when he did it for NYCB. They weren't in the version he did for ABT in the 1940's.

#5 pville

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Posted 18 June 2002 - 11:42 AM

Hmm... I went to the Saturday performance and I found the to entire performance of Tsch suite #3 to be rather thought provoking. To start off with I was pretty disappointed that I missed yet another of the dwindling opportunities to see Monique Meunier dance with NYCB. Carla Korbes is undoubtly a great talent and I look forward to watching her develop as an artist, I felt she was prematurely miscast in Elegie (I was also quite upset about Meunier). It was a very good fluid performance, and there was nothing blatantly wrong that I could point to either. However, it just feels like one of those moodier roles better suited an older, more mature dancer, like Meunier. She just didn't convey the same aura and feel that came across it when Helene Alexopoulos danced it.

Consquently, I spent the next two moments trying to decide who I would have rather seen dance it. Nichols would have been the dream choice, but she's not really dancing. I don't know if Kistler would have been right for this role. Seeing Rutherford in the second movement made me think she could also be well suited for the Elegie. And then I got stuck, I couldn't think of anyone who would be perfectly suited like alexopoulos or meunier. Maybe Pascale Van Kipnis, maybe.

As for T+V. Well again I spent some time in my mind re-casting. First of all, I do think that Jenifer Ringer did an admirable job. It certainly has been her season, maybe Peter wanted to see just how far her range of roles could go. However this roles just didn't seem to highlight any of her best characteristics. I think of her as an upper body ballerina, and this role as focused on the lower body. I feel that she tried to adjust it, and it just didn't seem right to me. In addition, T+V seems to call for a certain sharpness and clarity in bringing out the choreography and Ringer is a dancer who has a lovely softness about her dancing that also didn't match. She did bring the grandeur to the role that was missing in Stafford's performances. But I think Somogyi, Ansanelli, Bouder or van kipnis would have been better suited.

All in all, I missed Helene and I missed Miranda.

#6 Michael

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Posted 19 June 2002 - 07:11 PM

I saw it Wednesday Night and thought Theme and Variations very flat and lifeless. Ringer danced all the steps cleanly but there is just a level of energy, an "attack" that this role requires that was missing, at least in my eyes. I never sat up in my seat.

Miranda Weese's performances of T and V a year ago were so amazing. If I thought that I would never see Weese dance this role again in this Theater I would be heartbroken. But it may be a fact that City Ballet, in Weese's absence, just has no ballerina who can really dance Theme and Variations with all that it requires. That thought goes for a couple of things in the Balanchine repertory right now, including some parts of Symphony in C.

The State of the Balanchine Rep there right now is kind of paradoxical. For while there's no one who really fits T and V in my opinion, the performance I saw of Who Cares last week -- and particulary Jennifer Ringer in that ballet -- was literally unforgettable, the kind of great performance I don't see except once in a blue moon. Who Cares and Vienna Waltzes have been the best things in my eyes this spring.

#7 Manhattnik

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Posted 19 June 2002 - 07:35 PM

I would kinda like to see Jennie Somogyi do Theme....

#8 sneds

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Posted 20 June 2002 - 03:49 AM

Hi!
I also saw T&V last night and though it was well danced by all. Ringer doesn't have the crispness that some dancers bring to the role (Gilian Murphy over at ABT is great), but she danced well and her pas de deux with Woetzel was excellent.
BTW, in the T&V section, did anyone notice whether Aaron Severini was dancing. I had though one (or two) of the new apprentices might have been dancing, but perhaps I was confusing one apprentice with Aaron Severini.
Kate

#9 Michael

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Posted 20 June 2002 - 03:56 AM

Ansanelli would also be a candidate for this role, She in particular seems to be inheriting this part of the repertory.

Severini did dance in T and V. And Kate, I was wondering if the conductor's tempi for Theme didn't seem a little slow?

#10 sneds

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Posted 20 June 2002 - 05:18 AM

Hi!
OK, I wasn't sure if it was Severini or not-the dancer in question looked a lot like one of the new apprentices and appeared to be a bit unfamiliar with the choreography. I don't think Severini has danced much this season, so he might just be getting back into the swing of things.

The tempo did seem a little slow, but it didn't take away from the dancing. I prefer it a tad slow at NYCB, rather than too fast for the dancers at ABT.
It was very nice to see how great the full corps looked in the finale of T&V. The timing and spacing, which had been just a slight bit off in some of the earlier T&V sections, was spot on and it looked beautiful!
Kate

#11 pville

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Posted 22 June 2002 - 08:49 PM

A friend got a pair to tickets to NYCB and against my better judgement I went for a second look, and I'm glad I did. I still wish I could have seen Monique more before she crossed the plaza, but I felt korbes was more believable in the role today, less smiling or something. Rachel Rutherford was her lovely self and gave weight and mystery to what is time spent waiting for T+V to start. I'm very glad that Janie Taylor decided to put her hair half back, it really was flying in her face last week, which was somewhat distracting. She seems to be growing into her role as Peter's chosen one. Its a good role for her, she can really dance all out.

I guess what I comment on last week was a case of opening night jitters. Today Jenifer Ringer was just marvelous none of the little flubs that marred her performance last week. Her smile as her dancing was unforced and executed with confidence. Its not the same as Miranda Weese a think a couple steps might have been delibrately left out, but it was still a satisfying performance. I did sit up straight in my chair.

#12 bobbi

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Posted 23 June 2002 - 05:12 AM

Pville, I'm so glad you took another look at Jeny R.'s T&V. Yesterday afternoon, she and Damian W. gave a wonderful account of this fiendishly difficult ballet. This time around, she gave a "tighter" account of the allegro work in her solos and looked more in commond of those sections, even playful. The pas was just exquisite. This pair are two people who working in tandem and musically as one. Damian in his solo work was his usual insouciant self, making it all look so easy.

Kudos for all.

#13 Manhattnik

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Posted 23 June 2002 - 05:53 AM

I'm beginning to think it's never a good idea to see Ringer's debuts, particularly in tricky roles. I remember her first Cortege Hongrois was quite shaky (Woetzal was clearly prompting her throughout the adagio), but she got considerably better the next time I saw her -- much grander and more authoritative. (But she wasn't Meunier -- sigh.)

I liked Ringer's performance yesterday afternoon, although I wouldn't have minded a bit more sharpness in her attack in the allegro. Woetzal was, well, Woetzal. What more needs to be said? And perhaps someone at NYCB reads Ballet Alert; the tempi were anything but slow, especially in the polonaise!

I don't know if anyone at NYCB can make up for Weese's absence, but I would like seeing Somogyi do this ballet. In a year or two I think Ashley Bouder would be just sensational.

#14 glebb

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Posted 23 June 2002 - 08:53 AM

I saw Ringer's 'Theme and Variations' premiere and thought she did well. I imagine the best dancer would be nervous every time, performing that ballet.

I fell in love with Jenifer Ringer when I saw her on tv in Wheeldon's ballet for the Diamond Project retrospective.

I was a bit let down in 'Theme and Variations' not because of her technique (leg wise), but because her port de bras did not seem gracious or feminine. I'm sure this will improve with time.

It was great to see 'Firebird' again!

#15 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 24 June 2002 - 04:42 PM

I saw Jenifer Ringer dance "Theme and Variations " at the June 16th matinee. I always love Ringer, but I agree that she didn't have the right crispness for the role. She's such a great romantic dancer. I think she would be wonderful in the Elegie. And Charles Askegard was really off. I saw Ethan Steifel in the role at
ABT, and there was just no comparison between him and Askegard. I also don't think Ringer and Askegard danced well together. Maybe it's the different in their heights, I'm not really
sure. I saw Askegard dance the role with Miranda Weese last year, and he was much better.

I was also a bit disapointed with the "Elegie" and "Valse Melancoliques" sections of "Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3". In the past when I saw Meunier dance "Elegie" it was so haunting. Carla Korbes was fine, but I didn't feel the same emotion this time. And Helene Alexopoulos was so sultry in the "Valse Melancoliques" section. Rachel Rutherford, though a very good
dance, seemed bland in comparison. Tom Gold and Janie Taylor
were outstanding, however, in the Scherzo.

And it was great seeing "The Firebird" again. (I haven't seen in like 15 years). What costumes, what scenery! And I usually find Stravinsky's music very harsh and atonal, but I loved the music for "The Firebird". I even went out and bought a cd of it.
what scenery.


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