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About Drew

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    Sapphire Circle

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. Alyona Kovalyova Swan Lake Debut

    I think a video of a performance is really just so different from a live performance it's like a different entity--and I don't think there can be any question but that ballet in all its greatness is a live performing art. So, for me the value of someone's thoughts on what they saw/felt in the theater counts for a lot. That's also why I asked about projection. It's interesting too....when I have loved something live, I often don't want to see video of it or even of the same dancer in the same role. I feel as if the video image will obscure/replace my live experience even when a few images in my head and the memory of my response to the performance are all that's left to me. It's not a hard and fast rule and I am able to see so little ballet now, I am really becoming "dependent" on video for much of what I see...but I do have mixed feelings about the whole transformation of the ballet going experience. I suppose one day a mature Kovaleva may not be altogether thrilled that excerpts from her first stab at Swan Lake are all over the internet.
  2. Yulia Stepanova

    Thanks for the background re the nomination.
  3. Alyona Kovalyova Swan Lake Debut

    Unfortunately I have only see Zakharova a handful of times. I will say that I found that the young Zakharova sometimes used her ultra long limbs in rather undisciplined ways--almost like a gymnast--a flaw that also made her seem unmusical at times (for example, as Aurora with the Mariinsky). In these videos there is nothing of the gymnast about Kovaleva, though she certainly has beautiful long tapering limbs and can extend them outward and upward. It may be she isn't as ultra flexible as Zakharova, so she isn't tempted in that direction but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Either way, in these particular video bits, Kovaleva isn't going for super high extensions at every moment and flinging her legs in the manner of the young Zakharova -- and that is to her credit. Obviously I haven't seen video of the Act II adagio. To be clear--I don't mind high extensions per se. Indeed I've come to like them on certain dancers (those who don't have to distort their line) even in a few parts of nineteenth-century ballets, especially Swan Lake. What I dislike are extensions that are undisciplined, undifferentiated, and come across as flexible for the sake of being flexible. I also think Zakharova has developed a lot as an artist since her Mariinsky days--and even when young had a lot of charm and charisma. From everything I read I thought I would not care for these videos at all, and there is quite a bit to criticize. Still, these are debuts and watching these snippets, I was also pleased by some things--Speaking as an amateur, I think Kovaleva might develop just beautifully (Lilac Fairy anyone?) and I would definitely like to see her live. I'm curious though--how did she PROJECT in the giant Bolshoi theater? That seems an important piece of the puzzle that one can't judge in video of this kind.
  4. Alyona Kovalyova Swan Lake Debut

    This is VERY true. Something to remember about live performance ... and also just one of the reasons why the "youtube" examples of dancers can be misleading. I don't live in a city with much in the way of ballet and my travel budget is limited, so I'm grateful to youtube and the people who post videos there, but...I can't help but be aware of the problems. So much of the joy of ballet is a "live" and living joy.
  5. I don't think you can go wrong--thought depending on which ballet I might marginally prefer one or the other cast--at least judging ahead of time. If Les Sylphides is the ballet you care about most I would recommend matinee (Osmolkina/Stepin) but honestly I think the leads in the evening performance (Skorik/Parish) are also likely to give lovely performances. Still, Osmolkina is an exemplary Mariinsky ballerina... For at least one other ballet on the program, Scheherazade, I might give the preference to the evening performance. Kim seems to me likely to be much more exciting than Askerov. Umm...I don't know which ballets on the program most interest you though.
  6. Yulia Stepanova

    I didn't have much luck on the website. Do you know how the prize is determined? Is there a jury or is it just a director's or the 'board's' decision etc.?
  7. 2017/2018 season

    Thanks for the updates. The Vikharev Coppelia is wonderful--I am glad the Bolshoi still plans to stage it. And I hope that staging has a long, long, long life on the stage of the Bolshoi. Other theaters too!! I also very much hope Nureyev does get a fair showing--and, ideally, a showing at the historic theater, not the new one, as that was what was originally intended. But I will not be holding my breath. CANCELLING the Petipa celebration? It can't be done without Vikarev?? At the least, the best way to honor Vikharev's legacy is to go on with "The Great Petipa." Other stagers were always to have been involved and perhaps there are Vikharev stagings, or excerpts from them, that could be featured as well. Petipa's 200th-anniversary should be celebrated! And even if the Bolshoi considers its Grigorovich productions of Petipa to be more than adequate "Petipa" and that, therefore, they are "celebrating" Petipa all the time...still, wouldn't it make sense to do something special -- even if nothing more than a gala of highlights with a few less well-known bon-bons thrown in? Oh well.
  8. Thanks for this. I have never seen the English National Ballet, but if my summer plans pan out, then I may try to see the Sleeping Beauty...
  9. 2017 Spring Season

    I remember finding Spectral Evidence very compelling and I found Fairchild and Peck (in the cast I saw) just amazing -- I don't applaud difference for difference's sake, and I love NYCB's regular repertory, but given how interesting I found the ballet and the performances it elicited I also appreciated how different it was from much (if not all) of the company's other repertory.
  10. RB 'Alice' rehearsal

    Thanks for the heads up. I tried to see this ballet with National Ballet of Canada when they brought it to D.C., but ran into practical problems. I do hope to see it at some point in future.
  11. 2017 Fall Season

    Though I think Fairchild's departure from the company is a big deal, I don't see the necessity of scheduling Duo Concertant last, especially since he is not retiring and hasn't even been dancing much with the company for the past couple of seasons. If they do schedule it last...well, lovely. But if they don't...well, still lovely. (Of course people need to know if they can't stay for the whole program.) But I will add that, though Duo isn't a blockbuster, 'dessert' closer, it is-in other ways-a very poetic way to end a ballet program.
  12. 2017 Fall Season

    Internet is back in time for me to read this news. Hope it holds (the internet, that is, not the news)-- I think Fairchild's departure from a classical ballet career is a big loss for New York City Ballet, a big loss for American Ballet, and a big loss for ballet period. I wish him great success whatever he does. He has earned it....but the ballet world isn't exactly overflowing with fabulous male dancers with his special qualities. So, as a ballet fan, I am bummed.
  13. Daniil Simkin Joining Staatsballett Berlin

    Simkin has done very well at ABT--he certainly has glowed there--and been dancing all across the repertory from major classics to world premiers. He may prefer Berlin's rep or prefer Berlin for other reasons (personel, family etc.), but from an audience-member point of view he unquestionably has flourished at ABT. I'm glad he speaks positively about the company even as he is off to join a new one. One notable feature of his ABT career: Simkin has created any number of roles in Ratmansky's ballets. I was able to see him in three of the roles he 'created' -- the boy in Whipped Cream, Shostakovich Piano Concerto No 1, and Ariel in The Tempest. Each ballet drew on and developed his talents in different ways. (I didn't see him in Ratmansky's Serenade After Plato's Symposium, but that was another major role he created in a very different kind of ballet.). Those three Ratmansky roles, along with his performance as the son in Ashton's A Month in the Country, were the finest work I saw him do at ABT. I hardly imagine that his performance in Whipped Cream or Tempest will be bettered--and I think I even preferred him to Wayne Sleep in A Month in the Country! Sleep, as some will remember, created that role. (People may be surprised that I mention Simkin's performance in The Tempest. It was an uneven ballet, but had absolutely remarkable passages: I'm sorry it's considered a dud and unlikely to be revived. Ratmansky was genuinely doing something different with it and when it worked--not always--it was very powerful.) Still, I wish ABT would/could develop some more properly danseur noble types in their male ranks....and strong partners in the Nagy, Gomes tradition. The company was right to develop Simkin as they did, so I'm not complaining--he's a rare talent--but still a very sui generis dancer. When it comes to other, smaller men at ABT, I regret that Gorak's progress has stalled--I don't know why or what can be done, but he seems to have enormous potential ...and is no longer a kid. I think I am about to lose electricity and other mayhem is threatening -- so computers off!