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Alexandra

Best of 2002

45 posts in this topic

With a little more passion, a little more focus, she'll have earned her "colors." :rolleyes: Sorry.

I am already turning blue, holding my breath in anticipation of her Nikiya here this spring.

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Ah, but in the best Manichean tradition, Giselle is black-and-white! Giselle = good, Albrecht = looks good, is bad, Hilarion, looks bad, is good. (Can't have this nobleman alley-catting about after peasant girls, after all!)

The second act is about the transitions from bad to good and so is in greys. Giselle was good, but now she's a Wili = bad. Albrecht was bad, but his repentance is sincere, so he presumably ends the ballet good. Hilarion ends up unshriven, so he ends up dead! By the end, Giselle's good qualities overcome the fate of the Wilis, and she is assumed into heaven!

...and now back to our topic....

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My Best of every year is always the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. This year I was especially happy to see Robert Swinston's marvelous revival for the 50th Anniversary (he did the work of putting it together; Merce of course looked at it before it was presented)of a dance from the 1960s called How To Pass, Fall, Kick and Run, which was on the first Cunningham bill I ever saw. THe company's Events across the street from the World Trade Center "pit" at the gallery of the American Express Tower were beautiful, and moving.At NYCB, I adored Ringer, Ansanelli, Somogi (was worried about Kistler, who looks so breakable, and Whelan, who looks so frail), and saw three Midsummers in a row, all of which enchanted me in different ways. The orchestra was NOT problematic, a real plus. I note with pleasure Twyla Tharp's Movin Out, with a fabulous John Selya, Elizabeth Parkinson, Benjamin Bowman, and Ashley Tuttle. (You didn't ask what I most hated, but it had to be Ballet Biarritz's Ballets Russes bill. )Oh, let's not forget best date: the young man who held my umbrella over me so I could take notes in the rain at the opening of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's new outdoor stage (MCDC performing). (You're not a cradle snatcher when yours was the hand that rocked the cradle...)

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There's a thread in the Dance forum for things we saw and liked that weren't ballet :) It's very bare.

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i got to see julie kent dance sugarplum with damien woetzel as her cavalier! it was wonderful! i love julie kent so much and she is such a wonderful dancer!! a dream to watch !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Ballet Tech's revival of AT MIDNIGHT made me very happy. I love that ballet. The company is coming along very nicely indeed. In the Spring, Feld is continuing his exploration of Conlon Nancarrow's avant-garde music - hopefully with the same four ballerinas who were exceptional in PIANOLA.

Both of Christopher Wheeldon's new Lyigeti (sp.?) ballets are incredible. Wouldn't it be fun if all three were danced on the same program? It was great seeing the San Francisco Ballet back in NYC. DAMEND was a shocking, surprising look at the Medea legend. It's powerful stuff. The other new work that made me

:) was Mark Morris's V.

While not strickly dance, the best night I spent at any theatre this year was for Mary Zimmerman's METAMORPHOSIS. It's beautiful. Her "take" on Orpheus will look familiar to Balanchine acolytes.

A healthy, happy New Year to everyone!

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The Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet in Los Angeles, especially the opening night rep. This company is equally at ease with classics and contemporary.

The Ailey II in their Cal State Northridge dates.

Also ABT's "Corsaire" at the Dorothy Chandler. Not for the production, but for the dancers taking liberties and trying to out-do each other as they traded roles throghout the run. It made for an especially zesty series of performances.

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This has been a good year. Many great things have happend.

Peter Boal in Opus 19/ the Dreamer. Abi Stafford in Theme and Variations. Darci Kistler in everything. Jock Soto and his partnering was stronger then ever. Rachel Rutherford and Abi Stafford getting promoted to soloists (hurrah!). Benjamin Millepied and James Fayette getting promoted to Principals. Winter Gala was the Gala of Galas. And the apprentices this year were strong. And as for the new Corps members, they were great. I can only look forward to this new year with excitement. I can't wait until Jan. 7 when the winter season gets more exciting.

This has been a great year for New York City Ballet, and something tells me that next year will be even better!

NYCB2B

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The best ballet for me was seeing Serenade at SPAC in Saratoga Springs this past summer. I think there is something magical about that place.

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Manuel Legris in Petit's "L'Arlésienne". Not a great ballet, but what a great dancer!

Seeing Isabelle Guérin on the POB stage again (in Robbins' "Other dances").

Getting to see the Kirov ballet for the first time (and with their magnificent orchestra).

The POB school program ("La fille mal gardée" and "Scotch symphony").

Seeing two of the only remaining real ballet companies in France: the Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse in a Balanchine mixed bill on tour, and the Ballet National de Bordeaux (especially their "The Four Temperaments", and what a joy to see Charles Jude on stage again!)

"Swan lake" at the Opéra Bastille, not so much for the ballet itself, but because I saw it with (and thanks to) Giannina :)

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This newspaper, the first to carry the thrilling news of Peter Martins' elevation to Living Landmark status, today has the year's best picks of its critic, Pia Catton Nordlinger.

Choreography --

David Parsons, "My Sweet Land." which Nordlinger declares "the best piece of the year." Her other choices, she says, are "in no particular order."

Peter Martins, "Hellelujah Junction." (I note that I liked this piece very much myself.)

Twyla Tharp, "Movin' Out."

Helgi Tomasson, "Chi-Lin."

Dance Performances --

Julie Kent and Angel Corella in ABT's "The Merry Widow."

Renee Robinson in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's "Sweet Bitter Love."

Jose Manuel Carreno, Angel Corella, and Ethan Stiefel in ABT's "Fancy Free."

Lorena Feijoo in San Francisco Ballet's "Damned"

Kirov Ballet corps de ballet in "La Bayadere."

Amanda McKerrow and Vladimir Malakhov in ABT's "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux."

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Seeing ABT perform for the first time, performing Giselle. I loved it.

NYCB this past summer in Saratoga Springs.....Serenade was amazing, and I'm glad I got to see it three times. The new diamond pieces, especially Haiku, choreographed by Albert Evans....incredible piece. Vienna Waltzes...gorgeous. I love seeing NYCB perform. Meeting Maria Kowroski was a treat, too.

Moscow Festival Ballet performing Swan Lake last spring.

Lots of personal accomplishments this past year for me as well regarding dance. What a great year, and I look forward to an even better 2003!!!

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Well, it wasn't a dance performance, and it just came in under the wire a couple of hours before the end of 2002, but my favorite Guilty Pleasure of the year was hearing Dmitri Hvorostovsky at the Metropolitan Opera's New Year's Eve Gala, singing the most over-the-top rendition I've ever heard of "O Sole Mio." At the instrumental interludes between each verse he was grinning like a Cheshire cat, and seemed to be on the verge of cracking himself up at the silliness of it all. If the opera thing doesn't work out, he can always get a job as a singing waiter.

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I'm still drooling over that Fancy Free cast. Farrell Fan, who danced the rhumba (I'm guessing Corella) and who had the pas de deux?

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First (Athletic) Sailor: Corella

Second (Dreamy) Sailor and Pdd: Steifel

Third (Rhumba) Sailor: Carreno (and he really brought the house down)

The guys were indeed great, but I thought the women left a bit to be desired. Kent's girl in purple was too pretty and one-dimensional.

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I wish I'd seen that "Fancy Free" cast too, Giannina, but I didn't. And the NY Sun critic, who chose it as one of the year's best performances, wasn't specific. All she said in explaining her choice was "Talk about an all-star team. This trio had a boyish and buoyant camaraderie on stage. Each was perfectly selected for his solo, and the execution was flawless. Their treatment of this 1944 Robbins work was a triumph." That leaves us more than a little frustrated as to who danced what. Maybe another Ballet Alerter saw it?

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This was an example of the whole being even greater than the sum of its mind-boggling parts. What was amazing, though, was the balance of the cast: Each sailor outshone the others equally. ;) Just incredible fun. :)

Anyone who can, go see this cast! (Actually, I liked Julie in the pas. But if I hadn't, I don't think I would have minded.)

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Vladimir Malakhov's staging of "La Bayadere" and his partnership with Diana Vishnyeva. Also, Zakharova with Malakhov in "Diamonds".

Merkuriev in "Manon".

Ruzimatov (though ageing and not as powerful as before) in "Scheherezade".

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