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ABT Gala at City Center


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#16 Manhattnik

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 12:32 PM

Sneds, while there certainly was a half-baked look to Reyes' sautes de basque, I don't think it's humanly possible for a dancer to launch into a single and then decide in mid-air to add a second turn. Maybe if your name's Baryshnikov. I think Reyes simply didn't get a lot of elevation on her jump, or snap to her turns. It certainly would've been no surprise to her that Corella (or Steifel, for that matter) would be doing doubles. And damn good ones, too. I suppose we could start up an online petition to send those doubles off to the same retirement home where Kevin has banished Tudor's Romeo and Juliet, but I doubt he'd listen.

It's a man's job to make his partner look good (in ballet as in so many other things), and I don't think Molina is without blame for the weak showings had by Ananiashvili and Part opposite him in Second Movement. It's his job to get her up on her leg for those heart-stopping balances before the big backfalls (which were heart-stopping for the wrong reasons last night), and, while Part often exhibited the stability of a bowl of Jello, it was still Molina's job to get her up there, and keep her up there. Look at how Jock Soto can turn Kistler into a stronger dancer, as if by osmosis. (Part could've used a partner like Soto, although I will bite my tongue before describing any of the visuals which come to mind!) I don't know what you consider a major problem, but, while it's true that nobody actually fell over, there were enough white-knuckle moments to make me file this performance under "P" for Problematic.

Most striking was the moment near the end of the adagio when Part stepped backwards in big, tippy-toe steps and swooned back into the arms of the waiting Molina. Molina caught her and slowed her nicely enough as she fell to near-horizontal, but when he lifted his shoulders to stop her movement and bouncer her back onto her feet, she just kept right on sinking. It took Molina only a moment to make a second, stronger effort, and up Part came, but, shall we say, the magic spell was broken. Well, it can only get better.

And while Radetsky and Wiles got through Fourth Movement in fine form, I wouldn't want to see him partnering her in Second.

#17 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 02:54 PM

Didn't see the performance, but in all fairness to slight partners, I know what it felt like to be paired with a woman I just wasn't big enough to partner. I was 5'10" and about 155 (not a little guy) but she was about 5'8" and maybe 115 or 120. It's not that she was overweight, or difficult, but I just didn't have the bulk to save her if something wasn't working. She needed someone about four inches taller than me. I had always prided myself on my partnering and I loved it, so it was very frustrating.

As for deciding about jumps in mid-air? Damien Woetzel. I really think he does.

#18 carbro

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 04:35 PM

I've never noticed Dvorovenko pushing herself forward as first among equals. But am I the only one to notice, after NYCB performances of such as Liebeslieder, Serenade, Bizet, Divert 15, etc., how Darci always waits until all the other leads were on their knees to begin her bow, and then rises particularly slowly? Tsk, tsk!

As for Ananiashvili looking better with Carreno than Molina, well, as a sentient woman (and not to take anything away from Molina), all I can say is "Duh!":rolleyes:

#19 carbro

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 04:49 PM

Man, I post, then remember something else. Oh, well. Sorry, all.

It appeared to me that Part was pretty nervous last night, especially after she/he/they botched the grand fouette, and I wouldn't be surprised if her nerves were contagious, wiping out any confidence Molina may have had as well as her own.

#20 sneds

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 06:25 PM

Hi!
Dancing aside, I'd take Molina over Carreno :D)

Anyway, comparing Molina and Carreno is not really fair because Carreno has had years more dancing experience and is much more solidly built (perhaps it would have been better to switch Carreno and Molina in Symphony in C).
BTW, is Molina actually 26 or 27, as I read somewhere??-he looks much younger.
I didn't think that Part looked perturbed on Sunday night, but I'd agree that there were more than a few white knuckle moments. Again, Molina looked MUCH better in "Sin and Tonic" with Paloma Herrera, which leads me to believe that with Part there was just a huge mismatch.

BTW, I'd agree with Leigh on Damien Woetzel. Sometimes you can almost see him thinking mid-air.
kate

#21 carbro

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 07:12 PM

Just to clarify:

I love Jose largely for the way he coaxes his ballerina along, whether or not she needs it. He always tries to engage her in a shared experience, sort of saying, "I'm having the time of my life. I just love being up here with you, and I want you to feel the same." Usually, that will cause his partner to open herself up to the moment, feel freer to be spontaneous and dance with an extra measure of energy and joy.

#22 Alexandra

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 07:49 PM

Just a gentle reminder....it's a new season, and perhaps it's a good time to reread this post by rkoretzky, "A Word to the Wise."

http://www.balletale...=&threadid=6041

We try to preserve a distinction on this board between frank opinion and mean-spirited remarks -- even those made in the spirit of dazzling wit. I doubt they would seem so witty if you're the victim of them, and at least five comments on this thread have made me wince.

Dancers read these boards. The companies read these boards. And more importantly, even if we're the only ones who read them, dancers are people with feelings. Please keep that in mind.

Thanks!

Alexandra Tomalonis
Director, Ballet Alert! Online

#23 Manhattnik

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Posted 22 October 2002 - 07:37 AM

Well, I'll own up to being too harsh on Part. She was out of shape -- alarmingly so in places -- but she also had an appealingly dramatique way of plunging herself into each big pose and holding back nothing, which was commendable and brave indeed as she surely knew that her technique that night was unreliable, to put it mildly. She has something of Farrell's intensity, and something of Farrell's mannerisms, such as the "hands-parting-invisible-cobwebs" gesture I remember so fondly.

Part could've said, "Screw this, I'm phoning the rest in," but she didn't hold back, even when this honesty brought her close to disaster in the big pirouette to the knee in Fourth Movement.

I will admit that I preferred Lopatkina's ice-princess Second Movement to Part's more florid one three years ago when the Kirov did Symphony in C here, and Part has never been one to impress with great technical strength in even the best of times. But I think when Part gets back in shape she could be a very special dramatic dancer indeed.

I've been picturing a Meunier/Part Symphonie Concertante, but I've been having more fun picturing a Meunier/Dvorovenko one. Let's just hope we get something more than a Meunier/Part Moyna and Zulma.

#24 pumukau

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Posted 22 October 2002 - 02:29 PM

I saw the Oct. 20 evening show, which included the complete George Harrison ballet. Please redirect me if the following should be a new topic; as you can see I'm a new member.

I thought the two Georges were a surprisingly good match. Balanchine and Harrison were both men who never sought the spotlight even at the height of their celebrity. They both demonstrated to the American public that sexual love and the love of beauty on the one hand and the love of God on the other were not as incompatible as the Puritans lead us to believe. Ballet is the perfect vehicle for depicting this refinement of the flesh. Within You Without You is a balletic examination of five aspects of love and spirituality that I found both enjoyable and thought provoking.

In "Something" I liked the irony of Angel Corella dancing all the 360 degrees of infatuation while the object of his affection stood inert facing upstage. "Guitar" was deliciously sexy. In "Within you without you" a bright overhead spotlight and a black backdrop made Mr. Cornejo's striking physique dematerialize onstage. the line "With our love, we could change the world" is as succinct an expression of a dancer's role as I can think of. Divorcing this lyric from the heavy handed Lennon-McCartney counterpoint "when I get older" that it's been glued to there on the album for thirty years is a revelation in itself.

It was an evening I will never forget.

That said, I did not find myself sharing Ms Kisselgoff's enchantment with the finale, "My Sweet Lord". I felt it snatched tepidity from the jaws of triumph. Seeing the choice of music I anticipated a rousing crowd mover, a sort of hippie "Wade in the Water". Instead, the composition seemed to owe a great deal to the influence of those news banners that crawl along the sides of buildings in Times Square or the stage treadmill used to imply travel to Padua in "Kiss Me Kate".

And then there was the fleeting blurry projection of George Harrison's face. To me the image created was 30% Big Brother 20% Heere's Mickey! and 50% Shroud of Turin. Am I way off base here?

Can anyone tell me why the order of the ballets was reversed from what was in the program?

#25 Dale

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Posted 23 October 2002 - 11:06 AM

I was told the order was changed for Sunday's performance because the company felt the Harrison piece is more of a closer. And the Swan Lake pas de deux was put on in place of the Grand Pas Classique the balances of the later ballet put too much stress on Dvorevenko's formerly injured leg.

I agree with Manhattnik, Dvorevenko looked a lot more "Balanchinian" in the first movement on Sunday night than she had earlier in the week. Gillian Murphy was exceptionally strong in the first movement, but was really high-flying with Stiefel in the third movement on - I forget which night - Saturday mat. I think. The energy level really rose when they came on.

My two cents on the parallel moves in the third movement is that it should be together. Whatever is done, should be done together or made to look similar.

Part did seem nervous (there was a moment when she was standing in the back furiously licking her lips and looking worried), but at Manhattnik pointed out, she did have some lovely moments, such as those gorgeous lifts and the way she parted the air with her hands. And her nervousness might have contributed to Molina's partnering mishaps (I mean, they would have been rehearsing together, right. And if things weren't going well, the coaches and the director most certainly would have changed things). He's young and might not have the experience partnering-wise in every situation. I remember he did a very good job with Jaffe last year, but she was a veteran. However, when Part danced on her own, she was very fine, especially in the series of pirouettes - maybe the best I've seen them done at ABT. I loved her in the role in 1999, and hopefully tonight things will be more comfortable for her.

#26 Manhattnik

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Posted 23 October 2002 - 12:11 PM

(I mean, they would have been rehearsing together, right. And if things weren't going well, the coaches and the director most certainly would have changed things).

And people say I have a dry wit!

#27 carbro

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Posted 23 October 2002 - 06:41 PM

Originally posted by Dale
I was told the order was changed for Sunday's performance because the company felt the Harrison piece is more of a closer.


I was told by one of ABT's pianists that, due to the misprint in the Times (which stated curtain time as 8:00 instead of 7:30), and the likelihood that many tickets were bought specifically for the Harrison, it was placed last as a concession to latecomers.

It is wonderful how Murphy and Steifel can project their joy at dancing together. I think the sauts de Basque should always be single. Doesn't it just feel better with the music? Doesn't the double feel "off"?

#28 Manhattnik

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Posted 23 October 2002 - 06:48 PM

Actually, at the State Theater they do chassť en tournant, which feels a lot better than even a single saute de basque.

#29 Dale

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Posted 25 October 2002 - 04:41 PM

Manhattnik, I wasn't trying to be witty or hurtful, all I was saying was that whatever went wrong in the partnership between Part and Molina must have manifested itself on stage that night. Naively, I would think that if he was deemed too weak or not a right partner for her, the company would not have put them out there together. Unfortunately, we never had a chance to see them do the second movement of Symphony in C again this season as Part was replaced by Nina Ananiashvili on Wednesday night.


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