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About CharlieH

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid balletgoer
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  1. Australian Ballet's Nicola Curry (ex-ABT corps) posted this excerpt of Misty Copeland and Kevin Jackson's on-stage rehearsal of the Grand PDD for Aurora and the Prince, including the fish dives: https://www.instagram.com/p/BbwjRwahYUn/?taken-by=currycoops Toi, toi, toi for all of the weekend's guest stars in Sydney!
  2. Ratmansky R&J Coming Up - Casting a Mystery !

    The exact casting is up for the initial cluster of performances in November but not yet for the second cluster of shows in January, including the all-important live cinemacast on 21 January, for those of us without the resources and time to simply hop on a plane to Moscow. Is it too much to hope for Genya Obraztsova for that one, with a possible DVD to follow? https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/4008/roles/#20180119190000
  3. That's all? Just a professional connection? I thought that they were also personal friends, from the looks of the posted photos.
  4. Just two days to go before Misty Copeland's debut as Aurora with the Australian Ballet in Sydney (Nov 22 and Nov 24 evenings), opposite AB principal Kevin Jackson. I hope that we may be able to read reports. https://australianballet.com.au/behind-ballet/misty-copeland-comes-to-australia Two other current or recent ABT favorites are also guesting this coming weekend, all in different performances, dancing with AB principals: David Hallberg (Nov. 23 & 25 evenings) and Yuriko Kajija (current Houston Ballet principal) on the Nov. 22 & 25 matinees.
  5. POB 2018 US tour cancelled

    Join the club. With the exception of the miraculous annual visit by the Mariinsky, the Kennedy Center here in DC has scaled back considerably from the seasons that used to feature four or five top-tier international ballet companies within a year's time. We used to get the likes of the Bolshoi, RDB and RB (plus the expected Kirov-Mariinsky) in a given year. POB rarely came but we got most of the other top six or seven int'l companies on earth. Stuttgart. National Ballets of Canada and China. New National Theater Ballet of Japan. Now it's slim pickin's on the classical front. Some int'l companies that have toured in the last couple of years have danced only contemporary works, as did the Royal Swedish and Scottish Ballets. At least New York-area residents still get to enjoy two of the finest companies on earth in their back yard, ABT and NYCB. Of course, touring the big companies in grand classical works requiring elaborate sets and costumes has become prohibitively expensive. That is coupled with presenters' change in policy to become more inclusive (code for fewer tutus and tiaras).
  6. Uh, not quite right. They have a rather extensive active rep: http://www.balletcuba.cult.cu/repertorio/ No need to go with same-ol', same-ol', performed in ratty-tatty costumes and sets, unless they've been overhauled since the Spain tour that I attended a couple of years ago. I'd love to once again see their iconic pieces by Alberto Mendez, the newer pieces by Quantz and J. Peck, their Magic Flute/Drigo recon. etc.
  7. Sorry to be Mr. Grumpy here but is this all they ever dance on tours? Whether it's DC, Paris, London, Russia, Spain, we see these two ballets, usually opening with Viengsay Valdes and the Cuban Danseur of the Moment (since they all seem to defect quickly, there's a new top classical guy on every tour). It's either these two full-length works or their classical potpourri, la Magia de la Danza. Why don't they tour with newer mixed bills or other full lengths in their rep, such as their unique takes on Fille Mal Gardee, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella, which was seen once at City Center, about 20 years ago?
  8. "Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan"

    The dance extras run from 4-5 minutes to 11 minutes each. I think that After the Rain is complete. I've particularly enjoyed the Sleepwalker pdd from Sonnambula. Wendy's quick bourres on pointe are wondrous.
  9. RDB season 2017/18

    Thanks for the affirmation on Bournonville but it's too bad about the lesser number of tour participants. Even with less Bournonville, Copenhagen is a delightful destination for first-time visitors and ballet lovers, for so many reasons, e.g., touring the old Court Theatre and Theatre Museum in Christiansborg Palace or attending an open-air commedia dell'arte ballet in Tivoli Gardens Peacock theater. I do wish you the best success with this tour, kbarber.
  10. Three new apprentices

    Mira Nadon favors Audrey Hepburn, as somebody pointed out when reviewing the SAB performance of Scotch Symph last June. Looking forward to seeing all three dancers on the stage.
  11. "Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan"

    I received and viewed my DVD yesterday. Eventually a story of triumph in the face of adversity and sadness. I admire Whelan more than ever. The generous extras, particularly the extended portions of four ballets (Concerto DSCH, Sonnambula, Dances at a Gathering and After the Rain) alone are more than worth the cost. Another nice extra is the 45-min interview with the ballerina. On the negative side, I could have done without the bloody details of her hip operation but we see worse on reality-TV nowadays.
  12. RDB season 2017/18

    Thanks for the answer, kbarber. The 2005 festival was fantastic, creating memories to last a lifetime. Are Bournonville Lovers a dying breed? RDB seems to think so. It would be bad if the Mariinsky thought the same way about Petipa.
  13. RDB season 2017/18

    It appears that the "Somewhat Bournonville Non-festival" in early June 2018 will consist of one Napoli on June 1 and one Bournonvilleana program of excerpts on June 2. Did I miss something? There's a Gala one week later (June 9) but there's no guarantee that Bournonville will be in the program.
  14. Fall 2017 Season

    I ended up being in NYC for a professional conference during the last weekend of ABT's NY run at the Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center. My wife and I bit the bullet and purchased 2 last-minute tickets to see the performance on the evening of Friday, October 27, even if it included the new Millepied. Or should I make that plural - two Millepieds, if we count the intermission synchronized aerobics by JKO students and ABT Studio dancers ? The ballets on the main program included two Ratmanskys (the new Songs of Bukovina and relatively-new Serenade on Plato's Symposium), one well-known Robbins work (Other Dances) and the new Millepied (I Feel the Earth Move). Hate to report that my/our instincts were correct with the Millepied which may have been created to appeal to a few millennials, if not classical traditionalists. First the good: the lighting was cool, particularly in the 2nd movement of Rockette-style synchro moves by three female principals (Copeland, Seo, Teuscher) and an all-female corps of twelve. Also good, if one loves Phillip Glass: the repetitive, minimalist score that included a large piece also used at the end of Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room, with a female chorus thrown in. The not-so-good: Utter waste of talent of all the dancers, including (eek!) the usually-fantastic three males on stage -- Hallberg, Cornejo and Stearns. The darn thing gave me a headache but at least it was not as loud and hideaous-sounding as the score for Peck's recent The Times are Racing. The three other ballets on view were so superior to the Millepied that I'm so happy to have been there that night. Ratmansky's new Songs of Bukovina, to a solo-piano score by one of my favorite living composers, Leonid Desiatnikov, is a gorgeous hit, to be savoured over and over, whenever it may be repeated. It is a tribute to the culture and moods of Ukraine. Ten couples in colorful costumes alluding to folk elements dance at a village celebration, led by a couple in red -- stellar Christine Schevchenko (her feet!) and Calvin Royal III (so aristocratic in manner). The four corps couples are also magnificent; I most loved lithe redhead Catherine Hurlin and Jose Sebastian, a veritable hero of the night, also impressive in the Plato. I've seen better performances of Robbins' Other Dances throughout the years but Isabella Boylston and Cory Stearns were still lovely, performing with great musical sensitivity. The staging, by former POB etoile Isabelle Guerin, ensured correct phrasing and spirit. The lad, Cory Stearns, danced with elegance and more facial excitement than I've seen from him in a while. Isabella Boylston truly floated in her slow mazurka variation, displaying a grand range of emotions and sensitivity, be it slapping the floor or waving her arms in lyrical port de bras. Delicious! The timing of the high lift-into-quick-drop in the mazurka coda (music made famous in Les Sylphides jete variation) was on the money. Exhilarating! And finally to Ratmansky's Serenade on Plato's Symposium, to Bernstein piece for full orchestra and solo violin (yes, we finally had an entire orchestra in the pit with the final ballet of the night). I see why most balletomanes love this clever, intellectual piece for seven solo males and one female who appears in one of the last movements but...not exactly something for the general paying public. (If ABT only presented ballets like Plato, it would become bankrupted very quickly.) Like Bukovina, it is a Ratmansky ballet to be seen many times to be truly appreciated, savouring every clever solo. OK, the designs were a bit blah; did we need the word "SYMPOSIUM" emblazoned over the proscenium at the start, just in case we forget where we are? But moving on to the positives - the dancers. It began with one of the great up-and-comers in the corps, Zhiyao Zhang - ten steps and this tall, elegant dancer had me eating out of his hands! And it only got better. Hammoudi, Sebastian, Gorak, Maloney (incredibly fast feet!), Scott and Forster...impossible to select a favorite among them, all brilliant! (Is ABT the current great company of magnificent men, much as the Danish were in my youth? Seems that way.) Nothing to add -- just GO SEE THIS and enjoy every step. And if it is not to your liking at the start, keep going back. It will become embedded in your soul. Guaranteed.
  15. Happy to read about the Lane/Cornejo debut, too. Is my old mind playing tricks or has the originally-announced mixed bill changed a bit? We were to have seen a pdd from the Liam Scarlett With a Chance of Rain, I believe, as well as the latest Ratmansky (in addition to Plato's Symposium). No complaints with Other Dances but the Millepied has been added to the original mix of two Ratmanskys, one Scarlett and one "tbd." Also announced was Thirteen Diversions, which we'll see. A conference took me to NYC last weekend, where I ate my words and attended the Friday night mixed bill at the Koch (Bukovinia, Other Dances, Feel the Earth Move and Plato). Will write a short review for the Fall 2017 thread, when I get the time. A night of very mixed results.