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laurel

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About laurel

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan/avid balletgoer
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    New York
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    New York

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  1. laurel

    2018 Met Season

    Tweet from Marina Harss earlier today briefly notes the upcoming retirement of Craig Salstein: <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The tap innovator Michelle Dorrance prepares the dancers of <a href="https://twitter.com/ABTBallet?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ABTBallet</a> to make a joyful noise (also, Craig Salstein is retiring!) <a href="https://t.co/wd0ccvVGN0">https://t.co/wd0ccvVGN0</a></p>&mdash; Marina harss (@MarinaHarss) <a href="https://twitter.com/MarinaHarss/status/997548641857531904?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 18, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> More info. from The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/making-noise-at-the-ballet
  2. laurel

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    At least Lane will get another chance to perform. Because it looks like she will be off all of next week. Hoping Trenary will be back in time for the debut of the McGregor piece on Monday. Not to mention her upcoming Gamzatti in Bayadere.
  3. laurel

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    A Wednesday matinee, nonstop rain, many empty seats at the Met, an audience that did not know when to applaud, and didn't seem to care about applauding, either . . . Multiple elements combined to prevent today's Lane-Simkin Giselle from reaching the top-drawer level of last year. That breathless, edge-of-the-seat astonishment which was palpable at Lane's debut performance was missing today. And while a rainy day can put a damper on anything, an electric performance on stage should be able jolt a sleepy, apathetic audience utterly awake. Even during Lane's stunning Act I performance, response from the audience was so muted, it was as if they were home watching TV. I was greatly relieved to hear, finally, some applause coming from other parts of the theater. Both Lane and Simkin gave deeper, more complex emotional performances than last year in Act I, making Giselle's mad scene more climactic and frightening. Unfortunately, with Act II, Lane's energy seemed diminished. Did anyone else notice Lane nearly lost her balance with the first of her two long, penchee arabesques? She moved so very slowly, held on, and kept going, but that was the first indication to me that something was no longer the same. Then there was Simkin's trouble with the lifts - after all these years, he's still having trouble with lifts! I also noticed Lane's odd head and neck movements, but it struck me that this was part of her performance, as if she were experimenting with character nuance. Her Act II Giselle was far less of a blank-faced ghost than last year. Maybe that's not the usual classical interpretation, but Christine Shevchenko's Myrta was also very vividly emotional, a far cry from last year's much milder performance. Her astonishment at her inability to separate Albrecht and Giselle, her triumphant pleasure at forcing Albrecht to continue dancing - it was great to see how much she has grown into the role. Gabe Stone Shayer in the peasant pas de deux was a real revelation for me. His wonderful, classical lines, with movement stretching through his limbs completely, all the way out to hands and feet, his supreme musicality - this was the first time I've seen him dance this way. He landed his jumps perfectly. With the music. Perfectly. His only problem seemed to be the big toothy grin which never left his face. He and Catherine Hurlin danced very well together, but it seemed an odd pairing - on pointe, she is at least two inches taller than he is. But both appear to be well on the way to much better things. In addition, MAJOR props to the audience members upstairs and in the rear orchestra, who kept applauding and cheering for at least two minutes after Lane and Simkin's front-of-curtain call ended, forcing the stage manager to bring them back out for a second call. Whatever problems each experienced during the ballet, they deserved every second of that cheering, and the look of gratitude and happiness on Lane's face was worth it. The performance remained a remarkable display of their technical skills and ever-growing dramatic ability, and another wonderful Wednesday matinee for me. I hope Simkin will return next spring as a "guest artist" in order to continue his Giselle partnership with Lane.
  4. laurel

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    Eduardo, thanks for your excellent review! I'm glad you were able to see the great Cornejo as Albrecht, giving one of his superb performances. It's always worth the price of a ticket just to see him dance. Because Misty Copeland is so famous, you can now tell people that you've seen her dance, and give an honest explanation of why you didn't enjoy her. It's so important to view performances first-hand, for yourself, rather than rely on the opinions of others. I'm also happy to hear you enjoyed the dancing of Skylar Brandt. She is one of the most promising of the soloists, and we expect great things from her. Hope you will be able to return soon to New York to experience more of our local ballet companies - next time, better weather, without a rainstorm!
  5. laurel

    2018 Spring Season

    I couldn't agree with you more. We saw both shows in reverse order: Me and My Girl yesterday, and the Robbins program today. Warren Carlyle has staged Encores musicals for many years, and is a marvelous choreographer. The number which opened the second act of Me and My Girl, "The Sun has Got His Hat On," is absolutely the most insane and hilarious piece of staging I think I've ever seen on Broadway or anywhere else. And with the contributions of Rob Berman, Jonathan Tunick and Toni-Leslie James, all of whom are associated with Encores (Rob Berman is their long-time Music Director), I expected a much more generous and Encores-like offering. My problem with “Something to Dance About” was the concept of this program as “moments” from great production numbers by Jerome Robbins. By slicing out a couple of random minutes from here or there in a dance number, the drama and characterization encapsulated in the original number is completely lost. These production numbers aren’t just bits of choreography, they’re about characters in dramatic situations in each show. But for some reason, they’re treating them here like excerpts from the Cliff Notes version of the dances, slapped together in a non-meaningful way. Even if you’re familiar with the shows and the original numbers, it’s a deeply disappointing experience to get merely a fragment or a snippet of something which is so much better in its original place, as part of the larger piece. Just as you’re getting ready for the “good part” of one number, it simply vanishes in front of your eyes as characters from another show suddenly dance onstage for their 2 minutes in the spotlight. And on and on it goes. I disagreed with many of the choices they made. Andrew Veyette and Ashley Bouder in “All I Need is the Girl” were so poor at line-reading, as well as such weak tap dancers, the number should have been cut and the extra 2 minutes or so added to, say, the Billion Dollar Baby Charleston. As it is, all we saw were the Charleston’s final 2 minutes, when all the fun and characterization in the number happens in the first two minutes. And “America” from West Side Story was little more than Sara Mearns in a sparkly red dress. Really? Come on! In addition, I disliked “guest vocalist" and her nasal tone. It was especially grating listening to her shout her way through songs closely identified with the much warmer voices of Mary Martin and Barbra Streisand. It makes me wonder what Carlyle’s mandate was for this work. “Do whatever you want but bring it in under a half hour.” Or something along those lines? Honestly, I was so disappointed by this piece, I “forced” myself to down two martinis with dinner afterwards. And I’m still depressed just thinking about it. And all this after the really smashing first half of the day’s performance. The four Robbins ballets which opened the show – The Four Seasons, Circus Polka, Suite of Dances, and Easy, were superb, and so beautifully danced, it made the second half of the program doubly disappointing. Outstanding dancing in the Four Seasons from Joseph Gordon (Winter), Emily Gerrity (Summer), Roman Mejia (Fall), as well as Daniel Ulbricht (Suite of Dances), and the entire cast of Easy; I would have sat through each of them a second time. If the performance had ended right there, it would have been enough.
  6. laurel

    2018 Met Season

    Oh, no, no! Stella!
  7. Now, at least, we have a bit of confirmation that there are some company members who are as displeased with the endless, tiresome Misty myth as some ballet fans. No matter who it may be writing the stories, the headlines, or the photo captions, in this instance it's management at the NY Times that publicly reveals itself as complicit with Copeland's personal management in promoting her in perpetuity, to the great detriment of others.
  8. laurel

    2018 Met Season

    Absolutely. No excuses for this.
  9. laurel

    2018 Met Season

    I'm sorry to hear about Lendorf, but I really like Cirio and it's excellent casting. I think he'll be fantastic!
  10. laurel

    2018 Met Season

    I'm in absolute shock after noting the casting of Aran Bell as Romeo. This is his second season in the corps de ballet. I still recall him in last year's Whipped Cream, as a gingerbread soldier in the back row, out of step with the other soldiers. He's very tall, and he's a hard worker, but he's a VERY SERIOUS young man who does not move his face on stage or register emotion. Hopefully, Teuscher will be able to work some magic and loosen him up. Otherwise, there's a very real possibility that Gabe Shayer may steal the spotlight with a memorable and showy performance of his own.
  11. laurel

    2018 Spring Season

    Oh, that's what that was! I was there last night, was busy concentrating on Sara Mearns and Jared Angle, and suddenly something flew into the wings ... I had no idea what I'd just seen tossed offstage! Mystery solved. I've just returned from tonight's performance, too. I loved experiencing all the classic Balanchine ballets, one after the other, each one more beautiful and compelling than the one before, with amazing dancing from virtually everyone on stage. Naturally, Peck & De Luz were the showstoppers of the evening in the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. I can't remember how many curtain calls they took, four or five maybe. Both are such astonishing, virtuosic dancers, and I don't think the audience expected anything less than the speed and precision with which they danced. What I found interesting was the large number of people who left after their performance. Maybe it was a combination of the late hour plus the damp, foggy weather, or else the Symphony in Three Movements which followed was not compelling enough after the Peck-De Luz fireworks. As an aside, I've never seen Savannah Lowery perform before (she was in Symphony in Three tonight and also in Agon last night), but I can now understand why she's not a favorite. She seems ... ungainly. Even when on pointe, she appears flat-footed. Glad I was able to see her perform, though, and wishing her well in her future endeavors. Unfortunate for her that she had to dance tonight alongside the likes of Sterling Hyltin and the wonderful, elegant Taylor Stanley. They made Symphony in Three a wonderful, uplifting way to end this great evening.
  12. laurel

    2018 Met Season

    Family emergency, maybe? I know if I missed her performance, I would have an emotional breakdown, the likes of which my family has never seen, and they would definitely consider that an emergency situation . . . This will be the third Wed. matinee in which I've seen Lane perform the leading role. The earlier ones were in the old Sleeping Beauty production: first was her NY debut as Aurora, and and the second her follow-up Aurora performance six years later. Both of which were astonishing and unforgettable displays of technique and art. Somehow, it seems, if Lane is dancing the lead at a Wednesday matinee, pure magic happens on stage. I would never miss one of these matinees. I cannot allow an AD with very poor judgment and little taste to keep me from seeing the dancers I want to see perform. He can keep on trying to shove mediocrities my way by giving them more convenient time slots, but I know who I want to see and I will rearrange my life for a day or two to do it. This fool can't stop me. Theater performances are ephemeral, they vanish with the fall of a curtain, and don't intend to miss the great ones if I can help it.
  13. laurel

    2018 Met Season

    If she doesn't, it means she'll have two weeks off in mid-June, with nothing to do. A newly-promoted principal, with nothing to do for two weeks. There are no roles for her in R&J. And if anyone is injured and unable to dance O/O, the replacement will be Boylston, Seo or Shevchenko. Not Lane. I think it would be fantastic if she found herself a guesting gig someplace during that time, especially with the kind of small regional company where they always appreciate her presence and generosity. Unlike her home company, where the AD seems determined to keep her away from principal roles as much as possible. Which is why, sadly, I expect her, along with Brandt, Gorak or maybe Cirio, to perform once again in the Swan Lake PDT. Very sadly.
  14. laurel

    Washington, DC - Spring 2018

    Thanks so much for posting the wonderful rehearsal footage, it's the mom. It was exactly what I needed to help me relax after a difficult day.
  15. I apologize. I meant to say you could tell your friends and family what you thought, if they will be interested in your opinion of the performance when you return home. As long as you enjoy your evening at the ballet, that's what's important.
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