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About KarenAG

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    adores ballet
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  1. Hi Daniel - thank you. An interesting and provocative thought because many of us can view interpretations of Balanchine through the lens of 'how should the piece look' or 'is it being performed in Balanchine's style', or 'does the company understand Balanchine?'. As for Merrill Ashley coaching Diamonds a few years ago, yes, I remember that and it was discussed in an issue of Ballet Review. Also, the program from the LC Jewels performance I attended (Bolshoi performing Diamonds) states that the staging is by Merrill and Paul Boos.
  2. Daniel, I would LOVE to hear their thoughts about how Balanchine is performed today, by both NYCB and other companies. I wonder if they still coach, as Merrill Ashley, Maria Calegari and others do.
  3. Hello from Detroit!

    Greetings, orangerose and welcome to Ballet Alert! Ah, Giselle - what a great introduction to live ballet! Giselle is one of my absolute favorite ballets and ballet heroines (and a favorite to sooooo many others here on BA ) - you will find many interesting and intelligent opinions and comments on this gem of a ballet. I hope to hear more from you soon.
  4. Mine as well, Helene!
  5. Rest in Peace, Mr Campbell. I loved your music, your great guitar playing, and your warm, sad voice. Wichita Lineman! We'll remember you in your songs. Thank you.
  6. Oh my word! What beauty. Alexandra is stunning, fragile but imperial, her dancing is so lovely and she has such presence. This is really special. Thank you, vipa.
  7. Thanks, nanushka and abatt, for these links. I have the Goldner essays but I'll read the other two.
  8. POB dancers in Linc Ctr Festival's Jewels

    Thank you, Gnossie, for your answers to my questions and your opinions - I have some thoughts and will respond later.
  9. Fall 2017 Season

    I'm almost certain it was Tiler Peck, but I don't know who the male was. But that would explain, in part, my feeling that I wasn't seeing (at SPAC) the ballet I had seen at Bard the previous fall. They're such strong and talented, but very different, dancers.
  10. Fall 2017 Season

    I saw Murphy and Gomes dance this at the Fisher Center at Bard several years ago and they were wonderful. Interestingly, the next summer at SPAC, NYCB danced it and I thought it looked so different.
  11. Thank you, Canbelto. These are good points! Rubies is not a 'polite' ballet .
  12. I agree about the gloves- I really dislike them. If the women were wearing tea-length tutus (like in La Valse), they would work. But this is a classical, imperial ballet.
  13. Diamonds: I'm not sure where to begin. I thought the performance was breathtaking, stunning, despite a few problems. Visually, the company is gorgeous. I agree with many posts about their look, their uniformity of height, their long legs, arms and necks, etc. They are so beautiful! I really liked the tutus, especially the gorgeous bodices with capped sleeves. They were very white, but it didn't bother me. Karinska's original costumes are the best, but since this was a Russian company, they were dressed in their Imperial Russian ballet finery. I seem to remember the style of the tutu skirts to be similar or maybe even the same style as the tutus in the dream scene of their Don Quixote. I didn't have a problem with the tempo and I am usually sensitive to tempos that are too slow for a particular ballet (I'm thinking of some Russian Sugar Plum Fairy or Swan Lake Act II PDD videos where the tempo is agonizingly slow). The company danced quite beautifully and classically with amazing and solid technique, they just don't look like Balanchine and I don't think they can, despite the coaching by Merrill Ashley (and Paul Boos, whom I don't know). This is where Kovaleva, who was both physically and technically gorgeous, had some issues, I think. I agree with Kaysta's comments about her dramatic presence. I'm sure she will grow into this role, but for now, I think she lacks a kind of aloof and impassive grandeur, a you-can-look-but-you-cannot-possess me quality that the role demands. Some key moments were too soft and lacked the drama associated with the music. First, the moment in the PDD where she bourees and then pirouettes(?) into the cavalier's arms and almost looks trapped and she must get away - it's a single unbelievable pose wherein she establishes she can't be there (in his arms). (On the YouTube video with Farrell and Martins it starts at 8:02 for those who may want to see what I'm talking about). The other underwhelming moment yesterday happened when the ballerina sort of marches forward on point with her arms over her head, his arm protectively around her waist. Both of these moments, at least from my seat, which was very good, seemed under-expressed. These are iconic Balanchine choreographic moments. There is such tension in this PDD. The cavalier pursues her, they walk as if in love, they dance, but it's fleeting because she is ultimately unattainable, regardless that there is something in her that wants to be possessed. Those two moments, I believe, help to establish that unattainability. Tissi was lovely, but the hand kiss was, IMO, not properly executed. For me, that kiss is the cavalier's resignation and acceptance that he cannot posses her, and he bows down in reverence and kisses her hand Tissi's seemed to me a stolen kiss. I have often thought - did Balanchine have Diana the Huntress in the back of his mind when he choreographed this PDD? Those port de bras, iconic and beautiful, where her arms are over her head, one bent behind, the other outstretched above and forward, doesn't she looks like a statue of Artemis, imaginary bow in her exquisite hands?.