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  2. There are a lot of tributes on the internet; I'm sure there are hundreds more from opera people across the world. I'm considering this Friday's performance of the Verdi Requiem at the Met as dedicated to him. Michael Fabiano dedicates tonight's "Manon" at San Francisco Opera to him.
  3. Today
  4. Nutcracker Casting

    I have. She has the power for the role and then some, but when I saw her last year she needed a lot of refinement. Was sort of sloppy.
  5. Nutcracker Casting

    I just watched the 1958 televised version of the NYCB Nutcracker on youtube. Marzipan was done by a pretty impressive dancer named Judith Green. I've never heard of her or heard her mentioned in any interview with former NYCB dancers. Anyone know her story? A very young Allegra does Dewdrop. The Sugarplum (Diana Adams) pas is replaced by the Sugarplum dancing with all the male characters - no cavalier. Moderators, I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to mention this. I didn't know if it warranted a new topic, or if a topic existed.
  6. Yesterday
  7. MacMillan "insight" evenings

    We don't get to see much MacMillan in North America, alas. I'm still hoping, however, that Houston Ballet brings its Mayerling to Lincoln Center next July to fill the hole left by the POB cancellation. I can dream, can't I? I think I made that point some time ago during the floods, but I'm hoping that somebody from Houston or LC reads this board!
  8. Nutcracker Casting

    Has anyone seen Kikta’s Dewdrop?
  9. MacMillan "insight" evenings

    Thanks for this very informative report. The Macmillan work I would most like to see again is the Faure Requiem...which was certainly emotionally ambitious though it could not be considered ‘gritty’...Unsurprisingly perhaps, my happiest experience of Macmillan in recent years has been Song of the Earth which, at any rate, has never fallen out of the repertory and seems at no risk of doing so. Unfortunately, the only genuinely ‘pure dance’ Macmillan I have seen —several times when young—is Concerto. And, honestly, I remember being bored to tears by it. (Elite Syncopations also seemed very thin to me even with its original cast.) So it’s intriguing to read Ashton Fan making the case for the ‘pure dance’ part of his oeuvre. I do remember how compelling I found the (neo)classical pas de deux at the end of Prince of Pagodas, so in the unlikely event I get the opportunity, I will be very happy to find out if there are Macmillan ‘pure dance’ works that speak to me more compellingly than Concerto did. After so very many years, it is possible my reaction to Concerto itself might change... On the realism versus artifice front: a former Sadlers Wells (or BRB) dancer in the Insight evening spoke about rehearsing the Invitation with Macmillan and how after rehearsal he came up to her NOT to see if she was emotionally okay, but to say two words, ‘it hurts’, which, as SHE explained it, was his way of conveying that she had to really feel the pain of the rape. This anecdote did not exactly make me feel better about Macmillan’s occasional taste for sexual violence and sexual coercion in his ballets. Um...sort of the contrary. On a very different front: Rather unexpectedly I have tickets to see Macmillan’s production of Sleeping Beauty as danced by the English National Ballet this June. So, if my trip goes as planned, that will be my ‘live’ Macmillan celebration. And I am looking forward to it.
  10. In other words, it's complicated. ;) Thanks for that information, Apollosmuse. I can't help but wonder though about the details (naturally): such as who benefits, and how, from removing rehearsal footage. I'm guessing that both the Robbins Foundation and the Balanchine Trust don't like to make long sections of performance footage available - although the Balanchine Trust finally seems to have relaxed their policies regarding videos appearing on YouTube and similar sites. I think they finally understood that this is free marketing that also keeps interest alive in the ballets. A significant number of people still don't see live performances of Balanchine and Robbins ballets, and online video is one way to inform the public about this work. The only real downside I've noticed is the proliferation of 'commentary' from Internet Trolls - and the truly uninformed but grouchy - but that could all be solved by eliminating comments entirely. That would force the people who genuinely want to discuss the subject to Forums and Blogs. Everyone else can throw things at their TV. In fact, it might be a good idea for the big ballet companies to post videos with comments turned off, while providing a link to a web page listing the many available reputable (hopefully) forums for discussion.
  11. MacMillan "insight" evenings

    I think that one of the main problems with the MacMillan repertory is that we only ever get to see a limited range of his work. We get to see the three full length money spinners on a triennial basis but apart from them we are more likely to see a work such as Judas Tree than we are to see much of his classical choreography.I am not sure whether this one sided approach to his choreographic output is solely attributable to Lady M's views as to where MacMillan's greatness lies.She seems to believe that his most significant contribution to the development of ballet was his desire to achieve a sort of gritty realism in his works and to push at the boundaries of what ballet was deemed capable of doing. Cultivating his image as an iconoclast who challenged the conventions of classical ballet and overturned a repertory in which ballets about fairies played a prominent part is, of course,risible as it ignores the staple repertory of the first half of the twentieth century; the range of works created by Ashton and the works of two of the choreographers who played a significant part in MacMillan's development namely Antony Tudor and Roland Petit. The worst thing about this carefully cultivated version of the choreographer is that it has the effect of suggesting that MacMillan's classically based works, some of which have not been seen in decades are not worth reviving and that their neglect is totally justified. I went to two of the performances in the Clore studio as well as two Insight evenings. I saw Sea of Troubles an evocation of Hamlet which MacMillan made for a small company performing in small venues which had been formed by a couple of dancers who had previously worked for the Royal Ballet companies and " Jeux" a piece that Wayne Eagling had stitched together from some choreography MacMillan had created for a film. I think that "Sea of Troubles" suffered from being performed in an area that was probably two or three times the size of the area in which it was originally staged. This slowed the action down and generated lengthy pauses as dancers who had left the performing area needed time to return to it. The occasional lengthy pause between the sections made it feel more episodic than I suspect was originally intended. As for the style of dance movement employed it was expressionist and on occasion came perilously close to being characterised as little more than rolling about on the floor. I actually found myself thinking that Helpmann had made a far better job of making a dance work based on Hamlet than MacMillan had managed. I found Jeux much more interesting. It had far greater coherence and it had a cast which included Muntagirov, Naghdi and Gasparini. Of the two other Insight evenings I saw one showed dancers from the guest companies endeavoring to get to grips with unfamiliar choreography the other brought together current and former members of the RB to discuss dancing the roles of Romeo and Juliet. The Insight event in which sections of "Gloria " and "Baiser de la Fee" were rehearsed demonstrated the technical demands the choreography makes on the performer and the advantage enjoyed by dancers for whom works like "Gloria" are regular repertory pieces. The event with dancers talking about Romeo and Juliet fell a bit flat. Listening to retired dancers and current members of the RB talking about dancing a ballet like Romeo and Juliet will only take you so far. Once you have heard several dancers say that MacMillan ballets demand truthfulness rather than artifice and that you leave something of yourself on stage at the end of a performance you have essentially learned everything you need to know about dancing in one of MacMillan's major narrative works. The most interesting event for me was the screening of a documentary made by the former dancer Lynne Wake who danced with SWRB/BRB before going to work for Kevin Brownlow the film historian and expert on silent film. Her documentary had originally consisted of interviews with dancers who had worked with MacMillan during his early years as a choreographer. It has now been re-cut to include film clips of the ballets which the interviewees were talking about.The documentary covers works that I saw in my early days of ballet going and others which have only ever been titles and dancers whose work I had heard about but had never seen. The ballets documented included Laiderette, House of Birds, Solitaire,Danses Concertantes, The Burrow, The Invitation, Baiser de la Fee and his version of Agon. We were told that the filmed performances which were used in the documentary were made by Esme Wood who was married to someone senior in the company's administrative team. The films had been handed over to the British Film Institute for safe keeping but by the time that Lynne Wake approached the BFI to gain access to them the BFI had come to believe that the films had been donated to it and were its property. The BFI had demanded quite a substantial sum for access to the recorded material which would have made it impossible to include excerpts from the films in her documentary . It was only when someone found the receipts which proved that the company had paid for the film stock that the BFI backed down and Wake was given access to the material. We were told that the film of Baiser de la Fee used in its reconstruction, was found in a biscuit tin at the Opera House. Most of the films had been transferred to DVD but the transferred images could not be used as they were just so many white blobs on a black background. Wake almost abandoned the idea of using the film but when she inspected the negatives she found that they had crisp clear images. The problem was that the negatives have no sound track. However when she spoke to Antoinette Sibley and Merle Park they were both relieved that the film with soundtrack was not being used as the sound track on the film had not been properly synchronized with the movement which it was supposed to accompany. The film of Baiser is the only record that there is of the ballet. Although both MacMillan and de Valois were enthusiastic proponents of ballet notation in the early days it was not possible to record everything as there was only one notator available. Ballets created for the Touring Company were only notated if they were transferred to the Covent Garden stage. It was only possible to revive MacMillan's original version of Baiser because it had been filmed. Not all of the early ballets included in the film would work today.I strongly suspect that The Burrow was very much a ballet of its time and depended for its impact on its original cast, which included Lynn Seymour, and the cast's and the audiences's shared knowledge of what had happened during the Nazi occupation of Europe. I certainly thought that "The Invitation" lacked real impact when it was recently revived. I can't say how much this lack of impact was attributable to the cast not including Seymour and Gable and how much was attributable to MacMIllan's later challenging works desensitising us. As the revival was strongly cast I think I will go for the desensitising option. There are other ballets mentioned in the film which would still work today and should be revived such as Danses Concertantes and MacMillan's Agon. I can only assume that the reason for their neglect has more to do with the fact that they are, in Lady M's eyes, the wrong sort of MacMillan ballet. Solitaire is charming and tuneful, hangs on by a fingernail at Birmingham and is obviously not the right sort of MacMillan work as it is not "challenging". Danses Concertantes suffers the same weakness. It is a quirky enjoyable take on the vocabulary of classic dance which fits the score perfectly. I suppose that Lady M may have come to feel that she has exhausted the income generating capacity of the works which she has been reviving regularly. Next April we shall have the opportunity to see excerpts from House of Birds, Danses Concertants and the full Laiderette in performances given by a group of dancers described as Viviana Durante's company who are in reality a handful of dancers from the RB including Francesca Hayward and Ed Watson and Ballet Black. We can always hope that at least Danses Concertantes might find its way back onto the Covent Garden stage and that MacMillan's Four Seasons might not be far behind it .
  12. This! And, as others have already said, both of these guys have only themselves to blame if they were put off by canbelto's re-posting of their public feeds.
  13. In 2015 I saw him in one of his three Il Trovatore performances at the Met. During the curtain calls the orchestra members threw flowers at him and Anna Netrebko wept openly. It was a wonderful moment but when I saw how the other singers were crying I knew that the diagnosis had to be very serious. I wasn't wrong.
  14. His Onegin was spine chilling. Thank goodness it is preserved on DVD. A tragic loss of a great talent who died far too young.
  15. POB 2018 US tour cancelled

    I assume that this could be figured out from the 990s filed with the IRS, which has to include grants and gifts, although a lot of other things are on that form and it might not all be itemized. But remember how much aggressive fund-raising went on for the three-company Jewels last summer -- all sorts of high-cost Friends options + very expensive tickets.
  16. Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck...........

    I think it would be a fine thing if people could be low-key about any aspect of their personal lives if they'd rather. The perceived need to have a robust social media presence makes it difficult, although some public figures manage to thread that particular needle quite nicely.
  17. Part of what I don't get is, unless you're Diana Spencer or Katie Holmes, and when you're 16 you tell your friends you're going to marry Prince Charles or Tom Cruise -- and, beloved children aside, look at how well that worked out for them -- it's all a fantasy anyway -- dancers, actors, opera singers, athletes -- for 99% of the human population, so if you're not the gender one of them prefers, that makes about .00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of a difference to your real life, so why let it interfere with a good fantasy (or two or three)? While I don't think anyone should be outed unless they are working against other people's rights, this is much ado about someone who outed himself, repeatedly and publicly.
  18. Yup! Your lips to the gods' ears.
  19. Or a really clueless guy, who had no idea how to choose a new "special gift."
  20. It's a new world, but it's getting here in chunks, depending on where you live and what you do. I'm thrilled when people are publically out, but I can certainly understand when they'd rather be low-key.
  21. PNB and The Robbins Centennial

    Dances! And Interplay (I haven't seen it in years and years!). And yes, opportunities to travel for dance...
  22. POB 2018 US tour cancelled

    I have to specific knowledge, but I'm willing to bet that it varied greatly from event to event. The Festival was a series of one-off programs, rather than a long-term production. Some companies travel with a great deal of support from their home institution, while others are project by project groups.
  23. If you go back to Bournonville, you have men and women dancing pretty much in parallel, and the place in class where technique differs is way past barre to the big jumping combinations. I think it's more the fundamental physics of partnering technique. It was interesting to hear dancers who performed in "Plot Point" and/or "Afternoon Ball" in PNB's "Her Story" Q&A's talking about whether Company class was useful for that work, and the answer was pretty much "no" for "Plot Point." There's the current argument about whether to present works that came out of a specific period authentically when it comes to partnering and the underlying assumptions about the relationships of those times. Ratmansky got himself into boiling oil when he probably was thinking about classical ballets presented in as authentic a way as we can, and Balanchine in many of his tutu ballets maintained this relationship, while both choreographers, in their more modern-day/contemporary ballet works present(ed) quite different relationship dynamics (ex: "Central Park in the Dark," "Odessa.") Last night I was at a Seattle Opera presentation about Puccini by Jonathan Dean. In one part he played examples of music representing famous kisses in Puccini, and one of the questions to the audience was "Who is kissing whom?" To the Turandot (last act) example, I replied, "It depends on the production." Dean replied, that no, Puccini's stage instructions were from a specific time, with specific assumptions that it would be the male. I smiled, because in the last production of Turandot Seattle Opera did, and which I saw last month performed in Vancouver Opera, Turandot kisses Calaf at that moment
  24. Jerome Robbins Centennial

    Heaps of information indeed -- glad to get a heads-up on performances! And if you haven't listened to this yet (Woetzel and Peck at the Kennedy Center), you have it to look forward to!
  25. "Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan"

    That was such a fraught moment for me -- I didn't realize I'd see him, and there he was.
  26. Which is to say that gay men and women often have the same variety of experience and opinion that het men and women do! It interests me that this conversation (implied violence against women represented by the ballet rep) is being pursued at the same time as the discussions in the bigger world about harassment and aggression. I'm not always a believer in serendipity, but there are times when it seems pretty obvious. There's all kinds of element to this discussion, not the least of which is the fundamental physics of ballet technique, which was developed at a time when male/female relationships were very different than they are today. The technique and the repertory tend to replicate and reinforce those mores, while the world has moved on.
  27. World Ballet Day Live - 5 October 2017

    Different companies have different contractual obligations with regard to the period of time that lifestreams can stay up and with the length of the highlights videos. These matters are negotiated with the various unions that work with the companies as well as with the rights holders for the ballets and the music.
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