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amckean

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About amckean

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    ex-dancer; avid balletgoer
  • City**
    Washington, DC
  1. amckean

    2016 Winter Season

    I have one orchestra ticket to each of the Balanchine Celebration performances on Sat. that I will not be able to use due to the impending weather in DC. I would be willing to sell them at a 50% discount. If anyone is interested, please send me an e-mail at ashmckean@gmail.com. Ashley
  2. amckean

    School of American Ballet Workshop 2014

    The program can be watched online here: http://video.wvpt.net/video/2365385279/
  3. Yes, I do this all the time! You can exchange them at the box office, unless you chose the print at home option, in which case you can exchange them over the phone. Seats often open up last minute because subscribers are able to change the day right up until the performance.
  4. Thanks so much for your perspectives on Somova--very helpful since as a first time viewer, you only get a snapshot and not the full picture. What an exquisite Odette and, yes, with some technical issues as Odile, but it does mean a lot that she has improved so much over the years. I have had many opportunities to follow NYCB and ABT through the years but have seen very little of the Russian companies and so do not have the same perspective on or knowledge of their style or dancers. I have to say that I tend to favor the American companies but I think it may be because it is just logistically easier to follow them and become familiar with their individual dancers at all levels in the company. So I very much appreciate hearing the perspectives of others who love and know the Russian dancers so well.
  5. Hi everyone, I attended last night's peformance as well and do not have too much time to write now but wanted to share a few thoughts. Overall I enjoyed the performance very much, but I thought that the first act in particular looked a bit off in places. Shklyarov seemed off during the first act but I actually thought that he danced quite well in the remaining acts. This was my first time to see Alina Somova and I chose the casting precisely because I had read so many different points of view about her dancing and was very curious to see for myself what she was all about. I have to say that it was a strange experience for me because I found some parts of her dancing to be so very exquisite (her Odette, and especially the pas de deux, brought my friend and I to tears), yet throughout the performance there would be technical issues that would distract me from what was otherwise a gorgeous interpretation. What bothered most was that each time she did pique turns, it looked as if her working leg in posse was almost completely turned in, and at times it seemed she was compensating for a turned in leg by sickling her foot. I still need to try to get my head around the performance and do not have the benefit of seeing throughout the years how her interpretations and technique may have changed/improved. But it struck me as very unusual to see a principal dancer of her caliber taking these kinds of technical liberties. That said, I admired her passion, energy and artistry very much--I would much rather see this kind of performance than a passionless performance from a dancer afraid to take risks. Shumakov's brilliant dancing and personality as the Joker practically stole the show for me last night. I enjoyed the corps very much as well although at times during Act II I thought some of the dancers looked a bit stiff. More later--would love to hear more impressions of Somova's dancing last night. Ashley
  6. amckean

    Sayaka Ohtaki

    I recently saw Ballet West perform in Salt Lake City and was taken with Sayaka Ohtaki (my review here: http://waltzgirl.blogspot.com/2014/01/two-unforgettable-dancers-at-ballet-west.html). What a special dancer! I was not familiar with her and researched her online after seeing the performance, but I could not find any videos. If anyone has videos you could share or thoughts about her performances, I would love to see/hear! Since I live in D.C., it is rare that I have a chance to see Ballet West. Ashley
  7. amckean

    Hello from Washington, DC

    Wow, would so love to join you! Maybe some day...
  8. amckean

    Hello from Washington, DC

    Katherine, your site look amazing--ballet tours, what a fantastic idea!
  9. amckean

    Hello from Washington, DC

    Thanks so much! Look forward to contributing here.
  10. amckean

    Hello from Washington, DC

    I have been on this site for some time and have loved reading it so very much but have been quiet about posting, in part because life always seems too busy with work, child-rearing, etc. But I have decided this year to start writing more about the ballets I see and so hope to be more active here. I have also started a new ballet blog this year (http://www.waltzgirl.blogspot.com/). I thought that readers here might enjoy seeing the picture of Kyra Nichols that I was able to post there (courtesy of Kyle Froman). There is also an introduction about me. I am working next on a post about a performance by Ballet West that I saw recenty in Salt Lake City, which I hope to post soon. Hope to be more in touch on Ballet Alert!
  11. The Kennedy Center is offering tickets to ABT's performances in DC this week at a major discount--orchestra seats in the $30s. Go the Kennedy Center website.
  12. amckean

    Kennedy Center casting

    This is disappointing news about Kajiya. The last time I saw Murphy do T&V was when Melissa Hayden set it on her at North Carolina School of the Arts--she must have been about 15 and was spectacular in it even then. These last minute casting changes can be quite disappointing. On the other hand, I am trying to keep an open mind about Kajiya as she has gotten some good reviews for Ballo. It will be great to see Hallberg but I'm not sure how well the pairing will work.
  13. amckean

    Kennedy Center casting

    Yes, it was supposed to be Murphy. I am very disappointed that I won't see Gillian (bought my ticket for that casting), though I have never seen Kajiya dance so this will be a good opportunity to see her in T&V.
  14. I attended last night's performance. Teresa Reichlen substituted for Sara Mearns in the 4th movement of Brahms-Schoenberg. I was a little disappointed not to get to see Mearns in this but Reichlen was amazing--technically flawless and radiant in the part. This was especially impressive given that she had just dance in the very demanding Slice to Sharp, which was the second piece on the program. Ashley Laracey was exceptional as a demi in the third movement of Brahms-Schoenberg--I wish I could see more of her! I enjoyed Slice to Sharp more than I thought I would--lots of pyrotechnics but also great dancing from all the performers. I especially enjoyed getting to see Robbie Fairchild in this--really impressive turns! De Luz was fantastic as well. Mercurial Manoeuvres took a little while to warm up to but Tiler Peck was phenomenal--amazing control. I like her much more in these types of roles than in the tutu ballets. Alina Dronova substituted for Kathryn Morgan as one of the demis and did a fine job, but I was disappointed not to get to see Morgan. Morgan still appeared in the third movement of Brahms-Schoenberg. Overall a very enjoyable evening.
  15. I also saw the Sunday afternoon performance, and while Ringer seemed a bit shakier than she has been other times I have seen her, I still thought she gave a lovely, technically assured performance. I thought the pas de deux was serene and extremely musical, and Ringer looked in top form. I agree with kfw with respect to Martins, as he was definitely out-danced by the other fantastic male talent that afternoon. Sylve was a radiant Titania--so warm and spontaneous and showing off her wonderful lines and feet. This is the first time I have been as taken with her dancing, and I have begun to understand the buzz about her. Alina Dronova sparkled both as Butterfly and in the Divertissement--so much dancing for her that afternoon, and she had such a crisp attack throughout. I thought Sterling Hyltin gave a brilliant performance of Hermia. It is clear from the moment she steps on the stage that she is a star in the making. She is so fully engaged in every moment, technically assured and not afraid to take risks, with feet to die for and an innate musicality. I wasn't sure whether Scheller was entirely well-suited for Hippolyta, possibly because of her small size, but she delivered a strong performance complete with a dazzling set of fouettes with alternating doubles thrown in. De Luz seemed to be a perfect Oberon and to be completely on with his jumps and turns that afternoon. I enjoyed getting to see so many of the new corps members and apprentices, including Erica Pereira, who is so tiny and delicate and makes everything look so easy. Rachel Piskin was a standout for me--fully engaged and connecting with the audience. Overall, I thought it was a stellar performance and especially commendable at the end of a long winter season.
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