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      2018 Joint Fundraiser for Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers   02/03/2018

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  1. Today
  2. Watching the Olympics

    Just watched the free skate. I agree with many who have already posted, Medvedeva should have won. It bothers me (though I realize it’s within the rules) that Zagitova beat her because she put all of her jumps in the second half of the program. Had she not done that, I think Yevgenia would have won. I just thought Medvedeva’s artistry was head and tails better than Zagitova’s, though both are obviously amazing.
  3. Drew, I think that there would be plenty of people who would love to see the Bolshoi's reaction to the news that they would be dancing a Ratmansky reconstruction of La Bayadere. But I can't make up my mind about what would cause the company greatest consternation, whether it would be the news that everyone would be dancing in period appropriate style with low extensions, the loss of Solor's Soviet style choreography, the loss of the Golden Idol, the full restoration of mime sequences or the news that everything was to be performed at the tempo indicated in the score ?
  4. Live streaming of Giselle on Thursday 1st of March http://oopperabaletti.fi/en/live/giselle/
  5. New York Times had an obituary yesterday: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/21/obituaries/nini-theilade-dancer-in-reinhardts-dream-dies-at-102.html?emc=edit_th_180222&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=60038520
  6. Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Breeden interviewed retired Suzanne Farrell dancer and current Editor-in-Chief of "Pointe Magazine" for their podcast, "Conversations on Dance." http://conversationsondancepod.com/2018/02/12/amy-brandt-pointe-magazine/
  7. Winter 2018

    During the last run two years ago Peck also danced R&J with Catazaro. Their partnership in this isn't brand new.
  8. Winter 2018

    In Macmillan's R&J, the Capulet parents especially can often have a decent impact and a decent degree of individuality, if performed by the right dancers/actors.
  9. Winter 2018

    I saw R&J last night (Thursday) and I did find some parts lacking. I know in story Ballets the parents are just there to guide the narrative/give the female lead someone to react to but I wish Lord and Lady Capulette had more to work with. I think the fact that their choreography is “point, take Juliette aside, point, take Paris aside, repeat” doesn’t create a very engageing performance. What stood out most for me was how young/inexperienced the cast looked during village scenes with Daniel Ulbricht; he has a wonderful stage presence and his experience and confidence really stuck out in those scenes with the younger corpes. I was very impressed with Alec Knight, he appears to be really growing as a dancer. I don’t know if Zachary Catazaro will ever be an extremely emotive actor, I think he’ll always be more subdued. Who has Tiler typically performed with in this role? Maybe it’s just a matter of getting used to a new partnership. I will say I have spent the past few days in the Virtue/Moire ice danceing wormhole, which will taint your idea of how infatuated love should look on stage. I thought the worst part of the ballet was ‘Juliette’s friends’. I think it was a combination of bad choreography and where I was sitting in the orchestra but both their dances looked very sloppy to me. Does anyone else have thoughts on those brief scenes?
  10. No Slingerland pas de deux either? I'd love to see all the works you list here, but I'm also looking forward to this rep. I've been listening to the Poulenc, and it feels very kinetic to me. Curious to see what Ezra T makes with it.
  11. Yesterday
  12. Watching the Olympics

    Evgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova Could I chime in for a moment not having had a chance yet to read other comments, which I look forward to. I just watched my recording from last night. I used to watch figure skating religiously until I switched completely to ballet about 15 years ago. Fortunately I saw almost all of Michelle Kwan. You have to love them both, in fact, maybe all of them. I’d never heard of either until a few days ago. I watched Alina Zagitova on the internet perform her team event. I never saw Evgenia Medvedeva until the final skate last night. I was sure I would prefer the youthfully vibrant and athletically amazing Alina and last night she was amazing. Then Evgenia started and I loved her immediately. When she was done I applauded softly from my easy chair and had tears in my eyes when she did. My first thought when she started was “She’s lovely.” Then one of the commentators called her Soulful and that word remains the key. Who won ? For me, they both did — probably they all did. It was beautiful to see.
  13. Winter 2018

    Yes, I think so too. (I guess at times there is room for debate as to who fits the bill and maybe the occasional experiment. At least when budgets allow.) In that regard, at least, Kirkeby was a known theatrical entity to Martins when he collaborated with him on Romeo and Juliet, as they had already collaborated on Swan Lake. It seems fair to assume Martins was not dis-satisfied with what Kirkeby had done for the earlier production and considered him a good choice partly on that basis
  14. Winter 2018

    By someone who isn’t staying in New York to see the whole season.
  15. Following this season's multiple successful Carmen debuts Vaziev's choices include Krysanova, Nikulina, Shipulina, Smirnova, and Stepanova in addition to Zakharhova. I would bet on Smirnova or Stepanova based on (informal) reviews of their debuts, with Smirnova being the more likely choice. There is always Nikulina, however, who seems to have a lot of backing at the moment in spite of lukewarm responses to her debut. Candidates for Nikiya currently include Krysanova, Nikulina, Obraztsova, Smirnova, Stepanova and Zakharova. Again, I think Smirnova or Stepanova (the latter the more likely choice) or a dark horse like Kovalyova, who is no doubt preparing the role. Current Gamzatti possibilities include Kretova, Krysanova, Marchenkova, Shipulina, Tikhomirova or Zhiganshina. Kretova is probably the most likely choice, although if Nikiya is Kovyalova, Vaziev might well choose another newbie for Gamzatti. Eight performances are scheduled for this spring and summer, and no doubt many debuts that will give us a better picture.
  16. I'd guess Carmen is Zakharova's, if she wants it. I mean, they have to put her something. If she doesn't fall over in Flames of Paris, perhaps Sylphide will go to Shrainer. That would be Vaziev's style.
  17. Winter 2018

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/23/arts/dance/new-york-city-ballet-winter-season.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront An evaluation of the current state of NYCB .
  18. Winter 2018

    It reminds me of those fashion galas where famous fashion designers design costumes for the dancers and it's obvious they haven't a clue how a ballet dancer needs to move or how those designs will play out over the footlights. The worst was a fuzzy red Valentino concoction that would have looked great on the runway but looked horrible on Sara Mearns.
  19. Winter 2018

    It does seem worth pointing out (without intending to suggest that Drew was unmindful of the point) that the skill set of a successful scenic designer for a dance production is not one that every (many? most?) serious contemporary artist who otherwise doesn't work in that medium is going to possess. When choosing such an artist, I think it would be essential to keep that in mind, and to look for one who not only creates the type of work that could translate to effective scenic designs but also who is adaptable enough to create work that does work in that very different medium. In other words, being a respected serious contemporary artist is not a sufficient qualification for success as a scenic designer. (That probably goes without saying, though.)
  20. Watching the Olympics

    Papadakis/Cizeron's Le Parc on Ice is genius. My fav performances in this Olympics were Zagetova, Medvedeva, Savchenko/Massot, and men's finals of Hanyu and Fernandez. NBC's live streaming of every skater for the Olympics enabled me to see a common denominator even among non-medal contenders. The coach-ie Orser [perfect combo of music, choreography, costume for each skater]. The NYT has a tech graphic for historic skates and a 2018 scoring spreadsheet https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/22/sports/olympics/womens-figure-skating.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news Lipinski and Weir were amusing and the outfits fun with the Hunger Games esthete. Weir's comments were often on point. Diplomatically called one's skating complacent. Another was "She skated to AC DC. She didn't skate to Carmen." His comment didn't track with quality scoring. Noted they see other skaters using music and want that but none were Witte or Thomas. "140 is a very good score. 150 and up is Russians."
  21. Watching the Olympics

    Yes. I meant that they got the same number of points in the free skate.
  22. I wouldn't say they cannot dance contemporary. They don't have as many opportunities to dance it, which is why sometimes it looks slightly awkward on them. I think it is a good thing that they are trying new work, rather than continuously performing the classics. Regarding Etudes - for the broadcast they only had about 3 weeks to prepare for that behemoth of a classical work, which is nowhere near the necessary amount, and their premiere of it was the broadcast. They don't usually broadcast the premiere evening but if you remember there were changes in the programming at the last minute due to rights issues and dates of broadcasts cannot be changed so they had to make it fit somehow. They have since improved a great deal on Etudes. Same with The Cage - casting was done in a hurry and they just didn't have the necessary time for rehearsals unfortunately.
  23. Watching the Olympics

    A tie in the FS is broken by total PCS, and Medvedeva is listed as having won the FS (rank=1) because her total PCS were higher. A tie in the SP is broken by TES.
  24. Winter 2018

    I'm not sure if that's the case, but I don't think you are alone in having these impressions. I think characterization becomes an innate talent for dancers at a company like ABT, where story ballets are their bread and butter. You can see the difference when you compare ABT and NYCB in Fancy Free or Prodigal Son (I find ABT absolutely delightful in the former, though some may argue they go too far with the acting in Prodigal Son). I've sometimes been left cold by NYCB dancers' acting abilities in Swan Lake (both the full-length and one-act versions) and, to a lesser degree, Sleeping Beauty. But sometimes it's the choreography itself, or fast pacing, that doesn't really allow room for characterization. I agree that I'd like to see NYCB continue to collaborate with visual artists for scenography. I think David Hockeny could be an interesting choice, if the right project came along.
  25. Horrible to bring Clug instead of reviving the Petrushka recon done FOR the Bolshoi. I suppose Vaziev is still convinced that he can make the Bolshoi dance some hardcore contemporary stuff. They can't. Last year we had Etudes and The Cage to laugh about, this year we'll have a new Petrushka to laugh about. I shake with fear thinking about the castings. It's obvious who will be dancing Nikiya😯, and the candidates for Masha are also very obvious but who will get Carmen? La Sylphide? 😲
  26. Watching the Olympics

    No, it was a tie. The short program scores made the difference for Zagitova. I didn’t care for all the open-mouthed miming in Medvedeva’s free skate and the train whistle was kitsch, although that performance would win at many Olympics. Zagitova showed the nerve of a champion by throwing in the difficult triple-triple combination she missed earlier in the program and hitting it. Neither was at her best last night. “Zagitova is a ballerina on the ice.” – Dick Button.
  27. I guess my problem is that I love ballet!
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