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About fondoffouettes

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  1. An absolutely beautiful reflection on Tiler Peck's artistry, from Macaulay: He really captures exactly what makes her so special.
  2. This element was also an issue for Smirnova and Chudin, but I believe it was due to a partnering glitch. It wasn't that it was de-emphasized; it just came off awkwardly because of some sort of lack of coordination between the two. That said, I've never seen anyone able to pull it off as swiftly and with such impact as Farrell. I've been disappointed at NYCB, as well, that the ballerina doesn't do it with nearly as much snap. And yes, I'd prefer no gloves if at all possible, but if we have to have them, at least not the fingerless ones, please! Maybe the Bolshoi added them as a nod to Karinska's designs. I agree that NYCB's scenery for Diamonds is by far the weakest of the three acts. The netting that holds up the chandelier-like jewel clusters is so thick and clunky that it ruins any illusion of them floating in space.
  3. Well, while we're talking about whiteness, I found the Bolshoi's costumes blindingly white. I mean, obviously it's perfectly valid to go with bright white for a ballet called Diamonds, but the ivory tops in Karinska's costumes provide a bit of a relief for the eyes, while also making the dancers' white-tight-clad legs stand out. And Smirnova's bodice was so encrusted with crystals that I had to force myself to not focus on it as she began the PDD. The Karinska bibs are heavily decorated, as well, but a variety of materials are employed so that it doesn't become overwhelmingly blingy. The Bolshoi bodices also seem to have virtually no heft to them; they read like stretchy gymnast/figure skater tops. I guess the idea is to make the dancers look as thin as possible. The upside: the corps women wear perfectly fitted opera-length gloves, complete with fingers, in the final movement -- no cut-outs for the fingers, like in the Karinska costumes, which I always think looks sort of odd. Agree with what others have written about Smirnova and Chudin. It was a treat to see a male dancer really make the most out of the turns a la seconde, which has not been the case the last several times I've seen Diamonds at NYCB. Also, I agree with canbelto that the Bolshoi men are looking very good. When they visited back in 2005, I remember thinking many of the men looked positively gaunt, and some seemed to lack the strength to execute lifts. But that wasn't the impression I got last night. And regarding race, I think it's completely normal for an American audience member to look at a Russian company and remark upon the overall whiteness of the dancers. Especially after weeks of watching ABT, which has become increasingly diverse in the past couple years, it is a stark contrast to see a practically all-white company. I'm not expecting anything different from a Russian company; it's just a reality.
  4. Well, ABT's old press release for the Avery Fisher Hall season was no help in determining who danced Other Dances back then (it says TBA for all performances of the piece). But this old thread confirms that both Hallberg/Murphy and Gomes/Part danced it: So, I guess ABT didn't feel like they needed to cast short for this one. I remember enjoying Hallberg/Murphy in Other Dances, though It was my first time viewing the piece so I had no point of reference for how it should be danced. The reactions in the thread above are rather tepid/negative. Seems like Part/Gomes were more enthusiastically received.
  5. Well, Rubies was like an IV drip of Red Bull after the soporific Emeralds. The company was on fire and going for broke. De Luz and Fairchild were giving it their all and complemented each other so well. Fairchild may be a bit diminutive and girlish, but her attack was impressive. And Reichlin, well, nothing more can be said about how she owns the role. She didn't look quite as comfortable as usual in the deep arabesques penchees that she does while going offstage; she didn't really go down deep into the last one and hold it like I've seen before. But that's a minor quibble. The whole ensemble was embracing the athletic, jazzy, casual, bravura aspects of the piece. The audience was going nuts.
  6. Intermission at tonight's performance. POB's Emeralds felt like an all-too-prim affair. Certainly it should be the most subdued of the three acts, but it needs a rapturous quality that was almost completely missing. Gilbert's serpentine ports de bras in her variation was a particular disappointment; it looked like she was inspecting a recent manicure! She also fell off point twice when she and the male lead first dance together, during the supported turns. Yes, her supple back was gorgeous, and added a lot. I found it odd how she milked some balances, eliciting a smattering of applause. This doesn't really seem like the proper ballet for that. It made me miss Tiler Peck so much! Baulac was fine and did the segmented arabesques and arm motions. But again there was a prim and somewhat brittle quality to her dancing.
  7. I just noticed, on the bottom of the new homepage, that they credit a company called Infor with the design. Assuming this is the same organization, they don't seem to specialize in website design: They have a lot of high-profile clients, but I don't see any from the arts world. I think it can actually be advantageous to use a firm that doesn't usually work in the arts (they can bring a fresh perspective), but one has to wonder how ABT arrived at the decision to use them. And what tech firm in good faith could allow ABT to function with their weird hybrid website? My first thought was "Who on ABT's board has a connection to Infor?" This may be unfair; it's just the first thing that crossed my mind. There are far smaller performing arts organizations that have decent-looking, mobile-responsive website. ABT's website isn't even very deep, content-wise, so a redesign would seem minimal compared to many organizations. Maybe I'm missing something, though... And with regard to the menu titles, they certainly reflect a dated approach. They don't focus at all on the customer experience. Edited to add: The highlight of this morning's experience of viewing ABT's website was when the banner image about the fall season (on the 1998 home page) began fading in and out on a loop. This was on mobile...
  8. That's what immediately struck me too -- his arms seem to have a beautiful fluidity.
  9. I agree, canbelto. When she had glitches, they were usually in turns, though she became much more reliable in the past several years. She also learned how to roll with the punches and not let imperfections interfere with her performances. For instance, in her recent Swan Lake, she had to switch legs during the end of the adagio in the Act II pas de deux (the part where Odette flutters her free foot). This must have been necessitated by her ankle injury. In her early years with ABT, Part often became visibly disturbed by issues like these, but she got to a place where the bobbles were far less frequent, and when they did happen, she didn't let them interrupt the overall flow of the performance. There has been some loss of flexibility in the past couple seasons (perhaps also related to a back injury), but she still looked beautiful. She also managed to stay in remarkably good physical shape, despite being given reduced performance opportunities. I expected her to have at least one more season, if not two or three. I still think she has some beautiful Odette/Odiles and Nikiyas left in her. It's too bad she didn't get to dance Aurora after the Kirkland production was scrapped, but I understand she's not everyone's idea of an ideal Aurora. And I can't decide whether or not the reconstruction would have been a good fit for her. Edited to add: I hope this isn't too dramatic, but I still feel like I'm in a state of mourning about not being able to see those future Odette/Odiles and Nikiyas on the Met stage, or possibly anywhere. It hasn't fully sunk in for me.
  10. It's been noted by others on here that Marshall Whiteley has been standing out as potential tall-ish, strong partner among the corps men. He looks quite good in the clip below (he's dancing the Black Swan pas de deux with Paulina Waski at SUNY Purchase). He previously danced the same pdd with Scout Forsythe, I believe also at SUNY Purchase. There are some additional clips on Forsythe's, Whiteley's and Waski's Instagram accounts, too. It's hard to judge from such short clips, but Whiteley really seems to have great potential (not to mention Waski and Forsythe!). It's interesting to read in his ABT bio that he started out as a hockey player. He certainly doesn't move like one anymore!
  11. The only upside I saw to the Veronika debacle was that she left the company still giving beautiful performances in her signature roles.
  12. What was his reason for phasing her out of those roles, or was none given? I didn't follow her career too closely, so I'm wondering if it was just physical/technical deterioration? Or do you think she was still fine in the non-tutu roles? It would seem less cruel to part earlier with a dancer (at around age 42, 43?) rather than keep her on till 46 but deny her the roles she's most closely associated with. But like I said, I didn't follow her career that closely, so I'm curious to hear your take on things. I remember seeing her in Diamonds a few years ago and left feeling as if I'd rather avoid her in classical tutu roles. I still find the stage makeup at NYCB to be rather extreme at times, with very pronounced contouring. It doesn't really bother me, since distance and lighting, of course, soften everything, but they really do lay it on thick.
  13. The comments on Ratmanksy's Facebook page have now been deleted, either by Part or Ratmansky.
  14. I hope Part finds another outlet -- either speaking with a journalist or penning something herself. I wonder if she would face any legal repercussions by speaking out about ABT, though. (I presume they sign non-disclosure agreements?) Her comment on Ratmansky's page and her other negative comment about Whipped Cream seem to indicate some resentment toward the choreographer. I wonder if she feels he could have done more to advocate for her as an asset to the company. He certainly utilized her quite a bit, though. Maybe James Wolcott can get martinis (vodka ones, naturally) with Veronika and Irina and publish the subsequent conversation on his blog. Now THAT I'd like to read
  15. Or there's Semionova. It looks like she's dancing in one of Roberto Bolle's galas at the moment, so she has returned from maternity leave but has not been reengaged by ABT (unless they have plans to do so next season). My bet is on Kotchetkova, though. Lane and Brandt are both filling the short girl role. And perhaps even Shevchenko could be partnered by Simkin, Cornejo or Cirio. She was partnered by Shayer in the Shostakovich Trilogy, and he seems rather short. Edited to add: Oops. I now remember Shayer partnered Brandt, not Shevchenko.