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Kathleen O'Connell

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About Kathleen O'Connell

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Member of the Audience
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    New York

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  1. Washington, DC - Spring 2018

    OK - I just looked at the entire casting sheet. Here's another way to think about it: if I had to choose between seeing Tiler Peck in Tschai Pas vs Symphony in Three Movements, I'd choose Tschai Pas. If you go with the Pech / Tschai Pas evening, you'll get to see Sterling Hyltin and Adrian Danching- Waring in the Symphony in Three Movements pas de deux, which is well worth a trip to the theater, plus Ashley Laracey's lovely, lovely performance in Divertimento No. 15, plus a look at Joaquin De Luz in what will likely be his last Kennedy Center performances. Plus Claire Kretzschmar's and Joseph Gordon's debut in Pulchinella Variations.
  2. 2018 Met Season

    I'd be interested in the venn diagram of people who follow any given ABT ballerina on instagram, the people who seek out Alistair Macaulay's New York Times reviews, and the people who buy tickets.
  3. Washington, DC - Spring 2018

    This is one of Tiler Peck's best roles; it showcases everything that's wonderful about her dancing. If you can only catch one performance, it would be hard to recommend against hers. That being said, Bouder is no slouch in the role and I, for one, would really like to see what Reichlen makes of it. I haven't seen any of the men dance the part, but they're not the dancers I ordinarily look to for Wham! Pow! pyrotechnics. I think we can trust Peck and Angle to nail the fish dives, though.
  4. 2018 Met Season

    I actually don't mind it when dancers talk openly about what's hard (or even just annoying) about their jobs. As far as I'm concerned, it's ok if dancers don't like matinees and say so, whether it's because of a physical challenge (e.g., being out of gas from last night's performance), a schedule challenge (e.g., not enough time between class and curtain to prepare physically or mentally for performance), or problems with the house (e.g., the theater is half empty or the audience is sitting on their hands). If anything, it makes me appreciate a good performance even more. What would tick me off would be a comment along the lines of "eh, I only gave 75% today because matinees, who cares amirite?" We've all had to give 100% in situations when we'd have preferred not to, because that's what grown ups and professionals do. I expect the same of the dancers, and frankly, they almost always deliver.
  5. 2018 Met Season

    But if the audience is no less deserving, why is it a discredit?
  6. 2018 Met Season

    Don't worry. Lane will get the Friday evening Giselle that Osipova will cancel when injury once again forces Hallberg to bow out. Okay, okay, I'm only half joking ...
  7. 2018 Met Season

    Murphy has two Wednesday matinees (Whipped Cream and Don Q.) Copeland has a Wednesday matinee (Harlequinade) Boylston has a Wednesday matinee (Firebird) Teuscher has two Wednesday matinees (Bayadere and R&J) Shevchenko has one Wednesday matinee (Swan Lake) Lane has one Wednesday matinee (Giselle) Seo has none, and neither does Abrera. I'm not sure what this tells me about ABT's casting policies, frankly, but it doesn't look like the Wednesday matinee is the Siberia to which only the up-and-comers and the less favored are exiled.
  8. 2018 Met Season

    Well, it's a very lovely thing for those of us who, for personal and professional reasons, have to opt for the matinees. I may have mentioned this before, but we are not chopped liver.
  9. Gia Kourlas on race in Agon

    Balanchine may well have been both concerned by the discrimination Mitchell was subject to as a black man in America and unwilling to accommodate it. Good for him. But that doesn't mean that Agon without a mixed race couple in the central pas de deux is somehow less of a ballet, which is what Kourlas seems to suggest, or that the ballet is in some way a statement about race. Interestingly enough, I think a mixed race couple might perturb today's audiences less than the central pas de deux' frank eroticism.
  10. Gia Kourlas on race in Agon

    Hmmm ... I take issue with Kourlas' assertion that the Agon pas de deux was "intended" for a black man and a white women or that "Skin color is as much a part of 'Agon' as its Stravinsky score." It was certainly choreographed on a mixed race couple, but "intended" for one for all eternity? That seems unlikely. I'd have to crack open the reference books to check, but I seem to recall reading that Balanchine liked the juxtaposition of Adams' and Mitchell's sharply contrasting skin tones but wasn't wholly alert to the fraught implications his decision to cast them had in the America of the 1950's and was somewhat surprised by the reaction he provoked.
  11. Winter 2018

    My general impression this season: more than a few dancers could lose five pounds and more than a few could gain five pounds. But many, many more than a few are dancing with all the power, musicality, and artistry that one could ask for, and that's a good thing.
  12. Winter 2018

    If Finlay can't dance the role with the requisite speed and elan, then he shouldn't be cast in it, irrespective of how much his appearance may evoke the role's originator. NYCB has plenty of men on its roster — short and tall — who can do Duo Concertant justice. I mean this as no disrespect to Finlay.
  13. Winter 2018

    Ditto Nikolaj Hübbe, who is also about six feet tall and blew through Duo Concertant like a whirlwind. I did see Finlay perform Duo Concertant early-ish in his career, and while he was no R. Fairchild, he was OK. Injury may have taken its toll in the interim.
  14. Winter 2018

    Sigh, it appears so, and it really makes it a different ballet. I still like it well enough (it's the only Millepied ballet I've seen that I do genuinely enjoy from beginning to end) but those Iris Van Herpen costumes were its chief glory. Herpen's costumes gave Neverwhere a quirky, Forbidden Planet-ish kind of vibe. Since Millepied relies as much on moody stage pictures as steps, those costumes gave it a bit of an unexpected edge. Millepied's vocabulary of stage imagery is ... stylish but predictable (think trendy boutique hotel lobby) and the original costumes at least gave them a bit of frisson. Now Neverwhere is just another black practice clothes & dark lighting ballet, and we certainly don't lack for those. I assume the decision was made to ditch the costumes now that half of the original cast has moved on; perhaps it was impractical (or too expensive) to refit or rebuild them for a mostly new cast. I saw the Sunday 2/25 matinee performance, and thought the dancers (Sara Adams, Emilie Gerrity, Lauren Lovette, Russell Janzen, Joseph Gordon, and Preston Chamblee) acquitted themselves more than honorably. ETA: To get a sense of what Herpen's costumes were like and what their effect was, go to Neverwhere's page in the Repertory section of NYCB's website for some videos and a slideshow. The one featuring Mark Happel and the costume shop making Herpen's vision a reality is worth a look.
  15. Winter 2018

    I enjoyed it too, and so did my husband, who was always thrilled when it was on the program. I'd like to see it on the schedule again, along with Forsythe's Behind the China Dogs, a product of that same American Music Festival.