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About SandyMcKean

  • Rank
    Gold Circle
  • Birthday 03/23/1945

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    totally consumed with balletomane fever
  • City**
    Guemes Island (90 minutes north of Seattle)
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**

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  1. One more example of new media sapping readership of the print media....a trend that won't reverse I'm afraid. What saddens me more than anything is the loss of editors (and the professionalism and honesty they bring) on the internet. Basically, anyone can say anything.......be it truthful or not (witness our very own President!). Saddest of all is that too many people, way too many people, believe some of this stuff simply because they want to.
  2. "Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan"

    PNB's "Second Stage" program (cool name, isn't it!) has several wonderful qualities, one of which is that it is funded by both the audience and the dancers. At all perfomances of one rep in the season (there are 6 reps total), one of the dancers (in normal clothing, not costume, and normally not performing that night) comes before the curtain and presents the idea of Second Stage to the assembled audience. Naturally, the dancer requests contributions. There are PD students in tutus in the lobby where you can give money; there are envelops you can use to send money; and many subscribers give on on-going basis. The talk is also a great opportunity for a dancer to speak before hundreds of people.....a great experience for any career ambition (some are born to it; others are extremely nervous). But best of all, the announcing dancer ends her/his talk with the declaration that all the dancers in the company are giving their full salary from opening night of that rep to Second Stage. Audiences love it.
  3. Jewels: 22-23 Sep and 28 Sep-1 Oct

    Nicely said Helene.......I couldn't agree more.
  4. Jewels: 22-23 Sep and 28 Sep-1 Oct

    A quick shout-out to Elle Macy.......you were dazzling in your Rubies "tall girl" debut in the Sept 23 matinee performance. I've been watching you for a while now (Waiting at the Station, Emergence, Little Mortal Jump, or even just in the back of the corps someplace ), and the thrills just keep on coming. You dance with such energy, with such commitment, with such pure joy.....sometimes I just can't tell which is you moving and which is the music -- you swim in the music. However you decided to make dance your life's work, you chose well.
  5. Nah, it just takes time (took me 3 hours to figure out ROH, MetHD, and Bolshoi performances, which cinemas, and to get the schedule into my calendar). The trick for the Pickford is to step thru the calendar month by month found on their website looking at Sundays.
  6. sandik, The Pickford is showing the Royal. Here's what I found in my research yesterday. Note my format is weird (I have my reasons ). Bottom line is to look at the end of each line to see the Pickford dates/times. Also note that as far as I can tell Die Zauberflöte is not being shown in the USA. Ballet - Wheeldon/Talbot: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - 23 October 2017; at Pickford 12/3/17 @ 11:00am - Wright/Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker - 5 December 2017; at Pickford 12/24/17 @ 11:00am - Wheeldon/Talbot: The Winter's Tale - 28 February 2018; at Pickford 4/1/18 @ 11:00am - new McGregor/The Age of Anxiety/new Wheeldon all-Bernstein program - 27 March 2018; at Pickford 5/20/18 @ 11:00am - MacMillan/Massenet: Manon - 3 May 2018; at Pickford 6/17/18 @ 11:00am - Petipa, Ivanov (Scarlett)/Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake (new production) - 12 June 2018; at Pickford 7/15/18 @ 11:00am Opera - Die Zauberflöte - 20 September 2017 (apparently not being shown in the USA) - La Bohème - 3 October 2017; at Pickford 11/19/17 @ 11:00am - Rigoletto - 16 January 2018; at Pickford 2/11/18 @ 11:00am - Tosca - 7 February 2018; at Pickford 3/11/18 @ 11:00am - Carmen - 6 March 2018; at Pickford 4/22/18 @ 11:00am - MacBeth - 4 April 2018; at Pickford 6/3/18 @ 11:00am
  7. Having just spent 3 hours updating my calendar with ROH, Bolshoi, MetHD performances, I have a word of warning. Most of my time was spent going to the websites of the cinemas I typically go to to find out when the performances listed on the company websites will actually be shown. Lots of room for error here. Some theaters present the performances on different days or at different times. Some performances are not presented at all. The most "easy to miss" performance I ran into was Bolshoi's "The Taming of the Shrew" which is listed by Bolshoi as shown on 11/26/17, but at my theater it was moved to 11/19/17 (the only Bolshoi they moved).......I presume it was moved due to Thanksgiving. In another theater all performances were moved to 11:00am on Sundays (which is actually good for me).
  8. Jewels: 22-23 Sep and 28 Sep-1 Oct

    PNB just posted on Facebook a wonderful 20+ minute video (Lindsey Thomas, of course) compling a number of clips taken in 2014 when 4 of the original Jewels cast members (Violette Verdy, Mimi Paul, Edward Villella and Jacques d’Amboise) came to Seattle to coach PNB dancers. (I presume this video has been published before, but I don't remember it all together like this.) This is a must see IMHO. Here is the direct YouTube link:
  9. Keeping Up With...

    I always loved the way Barry danced at PNB. He put so much energy and pieces of himself whole-heartedly into his performances. His comic sense was of the highest caliber. His Puck was the best I'd ever seen.
  10. Allow me to throw in this "data point"...... My home company is also PNB. I have little direct experience with other companies other than SFB many years ago. From what I hear, PNB is unusual in the ballet world in that dancers tend to stay in the company for years....many even for their entire careers. The audience gets to know the dancers very well....even corps dancers to some extent. So my surmise is that it is "more" natural for big send offs at PNB than at many other companies given the chance for the dancer and the audience to bond over many years. Case in point, is the recent retirement of Carrie Imler. As I've often said, Carrie is/was my most admired and respected dancer. But not only that, she was in PNB for her entire career (23 years I think it was). Her admirers were legion....and there must have been 1500-2000 of them there for her well billed send off.....all screaming their heads off.
  11. Royal Ballet cinema season 2016-17

    I saw the Ashton presentation in Bellingham, WA at the Pickford (an arts cinema house) last Sunday the 9th. What an experience for me! Altho I have been watching ballet for many decades, I'm pretty sure I've never seen an Ashton before (except maybe sometime in the '70s which is too far back to remember). I hardly know what to say. I did learn one thing.......as the name of one of BA's members declares: I am now an Ashton Fan! I don't know enough to make meaningful comments except that it seemed to me to be a wonderful bill with which to be introduced to Ashton. Three very different works from story ballet to pure abstract. I was stuck by Ashton's deep commitment to story telling; I'm not sure I've ever seen so much drama packed into ballet as Ashton is able to do. I was probably the most emotionally involved during Marguerite and Armand since we all knew that this was Zenaida Yanowsky 's farewell performance. Having recently attended the farewell performance of my most-ever admired dancer Carrie Imler at PNB, I was struck all over again by how much an audience can love a dedicated artist who gives so much of herself in the name of art and humanity. The endless standing O at the end of the video was worth the entire day. That performance of Yanowsky's still haunts me.
  12. UNBOUND 2018: A Festival of New Works

    My brother, who has season tickets to SFB, just sent me a graphic of the April and May 2018 calendar that shows specifically how the 12 New Works programs are distributed across the performance dates at the end of April and the beginning of May 2018. (They label the 4 performances of 3 ballets each as: A, B, C, D.) As it turns out, SFB is packing performances into nearly every available date. Looking at this chart of dates, I can see several ways to see all 12 works in 4 consecutive days........indeed, there is even a way to see all 12 works in 3 days (4/27, 4/28, 4/29). So the rumor I heard at PNB is true after all.....one can see all 12 works in a long weekend!
  13. UNBOUND 2018: A Festival of New Works

    Looking at the actual schedule it seems I can see all 12 new works if I stay in the SF area for a week (4/20 thru 4/26 inclusive). Not quite a long weekend, but close enough for me to make it happen. I've informed my brother in San Anselmo to expect my wife and I as guests for that week . It will be real fun for me to go to SF's Civic Center and enter the War Memorial Opera House once again. I grew up in Marin and started my 50+ year love affair as a ballet spectator in 1964 while attending UC Berkeley. As it happened, I latched onto what was called in those days an "usher ticket" from the student center. This ticket allowed a student to see a performance at the opera house for free if they came early to usher. I thought I was going to hear a symphony. I didn't even know it was going to be ballet.....my first ever! Well, thanks to my lucky stars, the 1st piece was Balanchine's Serenade. When the curtain opened to that iconic tableau of 17 women basking in the moonlight I was stunned by the beauty. By the time the music and all those feet hit first position, I was in love.......a love that has never diminished in all this time. What a treat to go back to where it all started for me!!
  14. Sara Orza Elizabeth Murphy Leah Merchant Cecilia Iliesiu
  15. Royal Ballet cinema season 2016-17

    For those in Seattle, USA or Vancouver, Canada (and environs), the Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, WA is showing this b'cast during the 3rd week of May (a Sunday and a Wednesday). So for those willing to drive, it is an option. http://prod3.agileticketing.net/websales/pages/info.aspx?evtinfo=245183~f6f09a43-2b29-4bfa-8fdf-eec896542d8e&epguid=80e0a251-d516-4ede-8086-478b7c96b89a& P.S. I go to this theater all the time for ballet.....it is a nice "artsy" complex that does a fine job. Screens are a bit small, but more than adequate. Sound system is fine too.