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justafan

Senior Member
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About justafan

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Just a fan
  • City**
    New Jersey
  1. I think this is such a good idea because it may be way to capitalize on the recent interest in dance in general (ballroom, modern) and woo them to the ballet. You probably have to start with the Nutcracker in order to get people into the theater but if it proves successful, you can move on to Sleeping Beauty, then maybe less traditional (i.e. Robbins, Balanchine) fare. If it works, you'll develop more balletomanes which will be good for all companies, regional or otherwise. I keep thinking that the ballet world has to be better at connecting the dots for people. When shows like "So You Think You Can Dance?" are so popular, I can't help but think that exposure to truly wonderful dancing and choreography might convert the public to ballet.
  2. Ocean's Kingdom

    I don't know. I saw Ocean's Kingdom today and thought McCauley was pretty much on the mark -- and I generally think he's a bit hard on both Martins and many of the dancers. I was surprised at how much I liked the music. The choreography, on the hand, was dull. Not horrendous but it really dragged. And there were not nearly enough steps -- just lots and lots of lifts and turns. I'm not a fan of most of Martin's choreography but he can do and has done better than this -- he should have really put more effort into it.
  3. Ballerina Among the Firefighters

    Thanks, Eileen
  4. Ballerina Among the Firefighters

    What's a hoyden, if I may ask?
  5. NYCB Moves Tour Dates? Fall 2011

    Wow! That's strange, as Princeton is well within the radius of subscribers. Kyra Nichols has always lived in Princeton, even when she was dancing. Maybe they are hoping to pick up new fans and ooax them to the State (er Koch) Theater?
  6. NYCB Spring Season 2011

    I was at the Saturday matinee and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Unlike the earlier poster, Rubies is my favorite act of Jewels and I thought Sterling Hyltin did a lovely job. Her technique is spotless, she's incredibly quick and her extensions and angularity are perfect for the role. I don't understand why someone would say she is miscast. Indeed, although my very favorite dancer is often Bouder and had wished to see her in the role this season. I imagined her in my mind's eye while watching Hyltin and I thought, "No, I'm not missing a thing -- Hyltin's doing a very fine job." I also thought Tess Reichlin was spot-on. Emeralds has always been my least favorite act and so too on Saturday. I know people say you have to appreciate the perfume of the first act but I've never gotten it -- and I've seen Jewels performed many, many times. I was eager to see Sara Mearns but she was replaced by Maria Kowroski, who I think performs this role to perfection. Unlike many grand Balanchine ballets, Diamonds emphasizes arms as well as the feet and Maria really demonstrates this style beautifully. Maybe it comes down to a matter of taste. If you don't like Rubies much, you won't like anyone's interpretation. And vice versa with Emeralds. (Although I'm not being critical of either Rachel Rutherford of Jenifer Ringer. It was fine, just a bit bland for me.)
  7. You professionals shouldn't sneer at gimmicks. Gimmicks work. I became a subscriber after 1988's American Music Festival, which I think many of you thought was a disaster. But I bought tickets for my husband and myself because I wanted to hear Ray Charles. Not being much of a judge of ballet back then, I do remember being knocked out by the sheer athleticism and technique of the dancers. So I wanted to see more. My tastes may have changed but I've been a loyal fan ever since. A few weeks ago, I took a friend to NYCB who had never been to any ballet. I thought it was a great program for a beginner -- Divertimento No. 15, Magic flute and the Stroman. She liked everything but her very favorite was the Stroman and because of the Stroman, asked if she could join me again. I doubt she'll become a lifelong fan but you never know. And here's hoping that the past few weeks Swan Lake sellouts create some new ballet-goers. You may not like this version but someone at NYCB was thinking ahead when they timed the run with the release of Black Swan. I bet there will be more than few converts as a result. Say what you about the production, people's taste evolve. It is the idea of ballet as enjoyable that needs to germinate with audiences at first.
  8. Wheeldon Leaves His Own Dance Company

    It also sends a message to potential donors to any institution he is tied with in the future. I'm sorry, I like a lot of Wheeldon's choreography but it seems to me that this move demonstrates a lack of leadership qualities. His statement is all about how difficult things were for him. Whether they should have been expected or not is besides the point, I think. When you form a company and make your vision central to the endeavor, you need to go down with the ship -- finding some way to either make it work or fold up shop without rancor or embarrassment. To manage a ballet company requires an incredible amount of leadership -- you need all sorts of people to follow you (artists, dancers, donors, politicians, administrators.) Certainly, it reflects poorly on Wheeldon to make makes public statements reflecting an essential unhappiness with what what's been built by those who threw in with him. If I were on the board of the Royal Ballet I would look askance at his resignation, if the whispers of a hoped-for appointment to the Royal are correct.
  9. British Police Novels

    Thanks for this thread, Ed. I've gotten some ideas from it myself. I think you'd like Camilleri if you like Leon -- Sicily instead of Venice but the same sense of frustration with Italy's corruption. And I definitely urge you to read Larssen -- the acclaim for the first book was well-deserved.
  10. British Police Novels

    I agree. It is so sad that some of my favorite authors are coming to the end of their series. Indeed, my husband worked with Bartholomew Gill (really Mark McGarrity) and he died a few years back, although a relatively young man. Some authors I've enjoyed, although not necessarily British. S.J. Rozan: New York author who changes her point of view between two main protaganists, P.I. partners. I always like reading series from the beginning but she keeps getting better and better. The last few books are quite good. Steig Larssen: Worldwide phenomena beginning with The Girl with Dragon Tattoo. Kate Atkinson: I think she's just getting started. Has gotten rave reviews but seems to just be hitting her stride. Andrea Camilleri and Donna Leon, both character-based mysteries set in Italy. Not that much action but I love the sense of place. I hope you enjoy!
  11. NYCB Winter Season: So Many Story Ballets

    Sales are definitely down for NYCB in general -- I'm not sure it has so much to do with story ballets. It's the economy. Indeed, I think management might have scheduled so many story ballets because of the economy. These usually sell well, if not out, even at NYCB. This year, my husband is out of work and my business has been down. So I really was determined not to renew my subscription -- not that I wouldn't go, but I just thought a subscription was a luxury I couldn't afford. I don't mind giving up my seats because I usually change them in any case. So I thought "let's just go two or three times this season and resubscribe in the spring." (Also, the number of story ballets didn't appeal to me.) But NYCB offered me a "create your own subscription option" whereby I chose two nights this season and they counted it as a subscription. They've never done that before for me. So I still am counted as a 20+ year subscriber with whatever perks that go with that and I only had to pay for the two subs. I'm not sure they would have done that in years past. Actually, I congratulate management for being so flexible and thoughtful.
  12. Delightful! What year was this? Danilova must have been 50!
  13. NYCB Dancers Cut

    I totally understand why corps dancers are so flipped out that they are being laid off. To get to NYCB, you have to be the best of the best, and to achieve that you have had to dedicate your life to the art. To have this seemingly snuffed out --although I'm sure there are ways they can use their training in the future -- must be a horrible blow. And like many Americans these days, it is making these dancers question the choices they've made up to this point. Still, I totally agree with Beatrice. I think that NYCB just decided they didn't need 100+ dancers in this era of austerity. What number does ABT have? 60+? Given that, they made the kinds of choices that all management does -- and cannot speak about. Certain dancers, for whatever reason that we are not privy to, were determined expendable. Management can't say why but it doesn't make it untrue. Given the fact that these professionals danced with NYCB -- two years, nine years, whatever -- should be what recommends them in the future. They not only went to the nation's best ballet school, they were chosen by the company. They should be proud of that and use that experience to drive their futures in some way. Chewing over what the issues were that led to their layoff can't help them. And making Martins a villain is just plain silly-- it holds him to a ridiculous standard. I'm so sick and tired of the venom that is always directed at Martins. He's no Balanchine. But he's not only kept the company afloat, he's made it an Institution. And Institutions go through periods of peaks and valleys. That's why it is so criticized but I don't think anyone should take this criticism as evidence that NYCB is poorly run or other ballet companies are so exemplary. I just don't see it. I thank these dancers for their many, many years of work that resulted in so much pleasure for me and others. And I wish them the best of luck in the future.
  14. Who was your "first love"..as far as ballerinas go....

    Without a doubt, Darci Kistler. My husband fell hard for her as well --to the point he rarely goes to the ballet with me anymore. No one has matched her for him. That's what makes both her last few years and pending retirement so heartbreaking for me. (On the other hand, I've found so many others to love. But maybe not quite as much as your first love.)
  15. ABC'S "Dancing With the Stars"

    Back to the point about football -- I too found it strange that these HUGE men like Sapp, Emmit Smith and Jerry Rice are so relatively light on their feet. Not being a football fan, I asked my husband who wasn't surprised at all. He noted that football players spend an enormous amount of time on their footwork, learning to move laterally, around players and the like. Think of the classic pictures of teams training where they jump through rows of tires. He said given that these three players are among the best players of all time, he thought it was to be expected that they could move around a dancefloor.
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