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SFB at City Center, 10/10/02


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#16 Alexandra

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 08:07 AM

I have to agree with you on Chenchikova, Juliet. If she seemed sloppy, it must have been because she was dancing with no sleep on a sprained ankle, knee and back, with the flu! (My first Chenchikova performance was "Swan Lake" and I can't remember ever seeing such fouettes.)

Also, thank you for your remark about Manhattnik and spitfires :) I wasn't calling M a spitfire, just suggesting a permissible retort to someone who posted one's favorite dancer was dull!

#17 BW

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 10:20 AM

Sunday 3pm

My entourage cast their votes for "Night" as the diamond in the rough of yesterday's matinee. Vanessa Zahorian was excellent...and her supporting dancers did a good job, as well. It was interesting to have seen her first in "Paquita" - cupcakes and all ;) - where she caught my eye right away. I wish she had been the lead in Paquita.

"Solo" was entertaining to me, my offspring and husband thought it was kind of boring.....It reminded me of the kind of thing one might see at the end of a good summer program.

Having never seen "Rubies" - :eek: before, it's impossible for me to know what it is supposed to look like. The costumes were great and I thought Kristin Long danced well, though poor Yuri Possokhov looked exhausted... I really wish I had seen it performed before...the role that Ms. Maffre danced seemed at odds with the rest of the performance - and I found it/her to be disturbing.

The one thing that struck me most in watching the performance was how young and healthy the dancers appeared to be! :cool:

P.S. For those of us who didn't "hate" Center Stage, it was quite fun to see Amanda Schull!

#18 Paul Parish

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Posted 16 October 2002 - 07:10 PM

oooooooooh it's such fun to read y'all.....

I wish i'd been there to see how it went, and to compare how they look at City Center with how they look at the Opera House...

I do wish you all had gotten to see Tina le Blanc do Night..... it was made on her, and it's hard for me to imagine Ms Zahorian replacing her, though Zahorian is fearless and fleet.... Tina is REALLY SHORT, and Ben Pierce is REALLY TALL, and hte chemistry between them was fascinating (esp since he can be mighty bland, still, in Night he was kind of like Conrad ludlow in Barocco, the avocado in the salad, and he really made le Blanc soar)......
But Night IS too long.....

Every time we've seen hte Paquita pas de deux, it's looked so stuffy.... despite Feijoo and Solomakha, who're both very fine dancers, they look awful in those costumes, which are the color of something you don't want to drink -- you should have seen them in Dances at Gathering, or him as the prince in Swan Lake, dreamy, soft, floating, ardent, poetic --

in re Tan -- when she first appeared here ( she was REALLY young then) her show-stopper stopped the show -- it was Esmeralda, and she actually got lost in Italian fouettes -- just LOST -- and the audience didn't care at all, she was electrifying, in a huge bravura wire-drawn-but-made-of-steel kind of way, and hte audience totally forgot hemselves and shriekd and howled and bowed down......

but she had this Russian-Chinese training that's fine in all that stuff where you're so exposed and it's total placement anxiety but you almost never move, and we all wondered if she'd be able to do Balanchine, and then she came out as the secod violin in Barocco and was wonderful, esp in the finale, she really danced.....

She can indeed be really dull; she made almost no effect in Rubies; worse in diamonds, she hit all her lines but never danced; but in Dances at a Gathering she was awesome, esp in that dark scary Scherzo towards the end, she was like a thunderbolt -- I mean it, i saw it -- we all did, if there's terror in the music, she can be sublime....

I'd have to add that she made a character out of Desdemona that I didn't see in othe performances of the role -- she has -- maybe from her training, or maybe from hte qualities the Soviets adn hte Chinese value in heroines, an ability to portray a tragic HEROINE, someone who's going to die for her beliefs but she's not wrong and might does not make right and she's not just pitiful; I don't want to belabor this, but in fact there are NOT many actresses today who can play Desdemona in the play as a heroine rather than as a lovely weakling/ fool, but Tan had some heroic stuff to her....
People here complain about Kristin Long in Rubies, though I love her almost all the time.... RG, I wonder what you thought? She's not Patty, who was inscrutable, that smile could have meant what it seemed to but maybe not -- I never saw Patty do it, except on video, but i actually think Ms Long is radiant in a similar kind of way -- the bodies are for sure as different as can be, Patty wasn't very turned-out nor creamy in her action, but her timing was so preposterously right, WHO CARED? Long is rounded; secondly, her feet, though they are incredibly strong, she can melt up and down through them like butter; and 3) she's so rotated it's a joy.... and HER timing is so wonderfully right, I love the way she dances Rubies, but it's her own way of hearing hte music, and she has a sweeter, less Broadway-Baby relationship to her partner -- and Gonzalo Garcia has less of the rascal to his stage-personality than Villella......

Years ago, when Maffre first danced the tall girl in Rubies, she often failed to prepare her pirouettes without terror -- she literally couldn't get her feet into place and plie fast enough without turning in noticeably, and though she never wiped out in those turns, it was an ordeal for us as well as for her; but she mastered that long ago, and has commanded the stage in that role for years, building her performance towards the penchee exit, which she did with tremendous brass (if you didn't like her grand plies in second position, I don't know what to say; she spread her knees sideways and offered her thighs like park benches, it was simultaneously irreproachable and shocking)....
SHe DOES tend to dance Balanchine bad-girls as if she were Mme de Pompadour..... who was quite a bad girl, if I've heard right; if hte manners aren't quite jazz-age, still, I'd bet Mr. Combs would be impressed.

........Hmmmmmm.. I've gone on and on, gotten kind of carried away.... and I realize I wich I could talk with manhatnik half the night and find out what you all are used to in Rubies -- I know, al lot of what I 've HEARD has been complaints about Rubies, esp how wrong wrong wrong wat's her name was; was Long an improvement on ...... tracy, Margaret Tracy? on would like to know..... That's just for starters.....

#19 Michael

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 05:12 AM

Good point about Margaret Tracy. Re Rubies and City Ballet -- They would have a difficult time casting it at all right now. That goes for all of Jewels.

#20 BW

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 06:07 AM

Wasn't Diana White the original "Ruby"? I wish I had seen her dance it. :cool:

#21 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 06:36 AM

The role of the second ballerina in Rubies was originally performed by Patricia Neary. Edward Villella and Patricia McBride performed the pas de deux.

#22 BW

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 06:51 AM

Thanks Leigh - I can't think where I got that obviously wrong idea from! Maybe it was just a photo I saw once...:confused: :cool:

#23 Paul Parish

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 03:17 PM

BW -- I think i've seen that photo, too -- memorable.....

#24 glebb

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 07:36 PM

I remember Sarah Leland and John Clifford as the pas couple. Would it have been Colleen Neary or Wilhelmina Frankfurt as the tall girl?

#25 Ari

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 04:59 AM

Leigh is right. The original cast was McBride, Villella, and Pat Neary. Leland/Clifford/C. Neary or Frankfurt were in subsequent casts.

#26 glebb

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 05:04 AM

For sure about McBride, Villella, and Neary. No question about that.

I was just mentioning Leland, Clifford, Frankfurt and (the younger) Neary, to possibly revive more memories. :cool:

#27 carbro

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Posted 19 October 2002 - 05:08 PM

Wilhelmina Frankfurt did indeed dance the "Showgirl" in "Rubies," but I would be surprised :eek: to hear that she was doing it so early in her career as to have been in it with John Clifford.


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