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lillianna

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About lillianna

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  • Birthday 01/21/1952

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    California
  1. Julie Diana retiring

    Julie has the ability to make the most difficult dance moves look effortless, ethereal. She is a real artist. I am so sad to see her performing career end but am happy that she will have more time with her young family.
  2. Duets program

    I was able to attend Sunday's matinee performance. Since my tickets are Sunday matinees, I often don't see the first cast, principals and soloists. This program gave me the chance to see the best and brightest of OBT. It was a very nice program. But the intermissions and pauses were long to allow the dancers to change and catch their breath. I LOVED seeing some of the corps men get nice opportunities. And they rose to the challenge beautifully. Christian Squires was wonderful in Tharp's piece. He really had the movements nailed and I loved his facial expressions. He looked confident and Fun to watch. Lucas Threefoot appeared in Tolstoy's Waltz and Duo Concertant. It is wonderful to see the improvements in his dancing this year. Known by Heart Duet by Tharp was fun. Yuka Iino was the ballerina. She is always wonderful but for this number was a bit too ballerina like. Squires nailed it and made the number extremely enjoyable to watch. I could hear giggles coming from the balcony with the humorous music and movements. I enjoyed the movement in the piece by Emery Lecrone, "Divergence". It had lovely movement,and interesting costumes. I would like to see more of her work. Very nice. Like a Samba by Trey McIntyre closed the program. I have seen this piece before on Sacramento Ballet. It is another fun number to watch and looks fun to dance. This cast included Kathi Martuza , Yuka Iino, Artur Sultanov, Brian Simcoe and Brennan Boyer. They were all excellent. My least favorite number of the day was Stowell's Tolstoy Waltz. Just not my cup of tea, I guess. The part with Kathi Martuze and Artur Sultanov was nice, but I was so worried about them tripping on the long dress that I just couldn't relax to enjoy the number.
  3. OBT's Nutcracker

    I just returned from today's matinee performance. I took my 4 year old grandson to see his first ballet.. He LOVED the first act, especially the battle scene. He was so excited at intermission that he didn't want to leave his seat in case it started again---didn't want to miss anything. By the middle of the second act, however, he kind of melted to the floor ONce he figured out that there was no dasterdly Sugar Plum fairy coming to try to scuttle the festivities, he lost interest. There were some high points today. It was Brian Simcoe's first performance of Cavalier and he was wonderful! What a great jumper! CAn't wait to see more of his performances this year. Leta Biasucci was a standout in both Snow and as HOt Chocolate. Love her smile and lines. Also outstanding was Alison Roper as Dewdrop. I have never seen the OBT performances of Nutcracker before. The sets in the party scene set the tree back away from the action making it seem to be of little importance. Not usually how the tree is seen in the other Balanchine performances that I have seen. Also, having the stage totally cleared except for the tree and the soldiers at the beginning of the battle scene was unusual. The stark set made the tree seem smaller than it should have. The children were all well rehearsed. Sarah Stone was wonderful as Marie. She was very animated and lovely. As were Wyatt McCoy as Fritz and Lucas Pitts as the Little Prince. The SNow corps and Flower corps obviously contained dancers not part of OBT. Snow seemed a bit rough, some of the dancers seemed confused about where to go and how to use the snow pom poms. Even though I do not know the company very well, having only seen a few peformances, it seemed pretty easy to pick out the OBT dancers from the students in the production. I was very surprised to see teenagers as pollichinelles. Usually that is a part for younger children. They were taller than the Flowers. I have season tickets to OBT so am anxious to see the company in other performances this season
  4. Rio was cast to appear in the Kennedy Center shows but has , unfortunately, had an injury preventing her from appearing.
  5. I'm planning to attend Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Kennedy Center. Any other Ballet talkers going?
  6. Sacramento Ballet

    I had the opportunity to see Sacramento Ballet's Nutcracker last night. I have always loved this version. Ron Cunningham's Nutcracker contains lots of magical moments. The audience members around me were also enjoying the special effects. Lots of ooos and aaahhhs. The Ballet has had a hard financial time this Nutcracker season. Ron made a speech before the curtain discussing the difficult financial situation the ballet was in. Then at the final bows, dancer Kirsten Bloom took the microphone and again discussed the financial woes. Then the dancers were sent to the doorways to accept donations. Sounds really serious for the ballet. I hope that they can survive this downturn. I enjoy watching Sacrmento Ballet and would really hate to lose them. Aussie Timothy Colemea was the Cavalier last night and did an excellent job. I enjoyed Chloe Felesina's Rose--new to Sac Ballet this year, I am going to enjoy seeing her performances. Also excellent were Nicole Haskins' Marzipan lead and Amanda Peet's Sugar Plum. If I had one criticism of this choreography, I wish the Pas would be updated. I think that the dancers are capable of more than this choreography allows. Otherwise, it is a great production. I hope that we will have Sacrmamento Ballet around a long long time to enjoy.
  7. Sacramento Ballet

    I am very happy to have them both in Sacramento Ballet. I have season tickets to the ballet. Heidi is someone that I have been noticing and hope that she gets the opportunity to do some featured roles. They are both great additions to the company.
  8. Recent perfs at PAB reviewed in NYT

    I, also, was very happy to see the positive review for this amazing company. I had the privilege of seeing 3 performances over the weekend. They company looks great! I always do love their performances of Balanchine pieces. Ballo is one of the Balanchine pieces that I am not as familiar with. The corps of PA Ballet always looks extraordinary. Having the opportunity of seeing different companies, large and small, across the country, I am always impressed with the dancing of the PA Ballet corps. I must agree that Kasmir's Colours was not my cup of tea either. The company danced it well. I just don't get most contemporary ballet. The stage was dim, the costumes were not attractive. The angles were interesting and there were lots of difficult moves going on up there in the darkness. The Philadelphia audience certainly seemed to love the number. It was danced well, just not my favorite type of ballet. I enjoyed Push Comes to Shove. Zach Hench seemed a natural for the male lead. I loved every moment of his performance. I also enjoyed Francis Fayette in the role, a slightly different interpretation bringing smiles at just the right moments. I was sitting near some ladies who had seen Baryshnikov in the role. They had such fun watching that I couldn't help but enjoy the production. I loved seeing the dancers enjoy themselves and their abilities to act in comedic roles. Great fun. Thanks PA Ballet for a great weekend.
  9. Yes, I am very sorry to see James retire. He is a gorgeous dancer, sensitive partner and very nice man. I have enjoyed seeing him dance in PA for years. I think that he is leaving while on top. He says that pain is causing him to leave dance, but you cannot tell it in his dancing. Amazing, amazing dancer. He will be deeply missed.
  10. PA Ballet's Messiah

    What amazing performances!!! The PA Ballet production of Messiah was a feast for the senses. It included amazing dancing, vocals and orchestra. When I had heard that it had 53 scenes and was 3 hours long, I was a bit hesitant. But it was glorious. I saw 4 of the shows and wished that I could have seen more. There was so much wonderful dancing. The pas de deux were beautiful. I especially appreciated Martha Chamberlain's performances. Her technical excellence was so clear. This was a perfect role for her. Both Zach Hench and Sergio Torrado were wonderful as the Messiah. PA Ballet is known for its wonderful corps work. And this series was no exception. Standing ovation for the corps who danced most of the 3 hours in all of the shows (plus dress rehearsals) all week. Amazing stamina, technique and presence. The quartet of soloist women was also beautiful, techically strong and energetic. The choreography was interesting and was interspersed with tableaus, which I think, were scenes from famous paintings. It all flowed except for a few scenes. The story of the Messiah was not in chronological order, so some of the scenes were a bit confusing. I am still not sure what the war scenes were about. War scenes would have made more sense without Confederate and Nazi flags. This section seemed very out of place. But, I would not have wanted to miss Jermel Johnson grand jeteing across the stage carrying the flag in the dim light of war. Gave me chills. The other scene that I didn't quite appreciate was the angel with the huge golden wings. Corps dancers held the wings behind the angel as she was carried about the stage. Although a pretty scene, it was awkward since the angel often moved and left her wings behind. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the winged pas de deux between James Ady and Arantxa Ochoa, in one cast and James Ady and Amy Aldridge in the other. It was very beautiful and flowing. The audiences loved this production. On Friday night they were on their feet cheering even before the curtain went up for the bows. There were standing ovations in every show that I saw. This is a production that I would love to see again.
  11. Pennsylvania Ballet's Nutcracker

    I had the opportunity to attend most of the 6 performances on opening weekend. I , also, enjoyed the new sets and costumes. They are a major improvement. A few of them would not have been my choice, like the lead candy cane costume, but the others are very attractive. The new sets are much nicer. As for the dancing, WOW! PA Ballet keeps getting better and better. I have long been a fan of the younger dancers in the company. They are really coming into their own now and it is so much fun to watch. My favorite dancer to watch over the last few years has been ,without a doubt, Gabriella Yudenich. I was so thrilled at her promotion to soloist this year. Richly deserved and it makes it more likely that we will get to see her dance in great roles this year and years to come. Gaby performed her first Sugar Plum that weekend and was so elegant. She has great control, can hold balances beautifully and has such exquisite movement quality. I just adore her dancing. Another first Sugar Plum performance for Abi Mentzer. Abi was also gorgeous in the role. She looked confident and radiant throughout her performance. Loved her smile. It is so wonderful to see the young ones raising the bar. Some new additions to the company were also wonders to watch. Brook Moore has joined the company from San Francisco Ballet. She danced demi-Flowers, Dew Drop and Arabian in some of the shows that I saw. She is also an amazing dancer. She would be new to the Balanchine Nutcracker but didn't miss a beat. I loved her Dew Drop. She is a great addition to the company. I look forward to seeing greater and greater things from PA Ballet. Don't miss the chance to see this great company!
  12. Pennsylvania Ballet at City Center

    The second violin in the Saturday matinee performance was Brook Moore, formerly of San Francisco Ballet.
  13. Pennsylvania Ballet at City Center

    Abi was in the Russian corps. She is the red head.
  14. Who are the most (verbally) articulate dancers?

    I would add Muriel Maffre to the list. She is extremely interesting and articulate whether speaking to young dancers at a Summer course or to a group of ballet affectionados.
  15. Boston Ballet Summer Tour in Spain

    Thanks Its the Mom for the link to the diary. What an articulate young lady! I am going to enjoy the tour through her eyes. Sounds amazing so far. I am always happy when our dancers have the opportunity to dance on the world's stages. A great step for Boston Ballet.
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