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abatt

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Everything posted by abatt

  1. abatt

    2018 Met Season

    Osipova guesting with ABT in Giselle. MARK YOUR CALENDAR! https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/26/arts/dance/american-ballet-theater-spring-season-wayne-mcgregor-alexei-ratmansky.html
  2. http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/event/BSBSJ Bringing Don Q and Giselle.
  3. La Sylphide and Sleeping Beauty to be revived next season. New choreography is discussed in the attached article. Not much other substantive info revealed. The article is mostly about the trials and tribulations of planning the season by the interim directors. Oh, and the search for Martins' replacement is in the "early" stages. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/16/arts/dance/new-york-city-ballet-new-season.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront
  4. This was in another thread regarding the musical Carousel, so I thought some people might have missed it. (Craig is presently a dance captain at Carousel. He is on leave from ABT.) Tonight is Craig's final performance with ABT. He is retiring from the company. Michelle Dorrance has created a tap solo for him in her new piece that will premiere tonight at the gala.
  5. abatt

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    I was sitting in the orchestra on the right side. I could see something protruding in the area where she tripped during the entire second act, even before she tripped. In fact, the protrusion was so obvious I thought to myself that someone was bound to trip on that before the show is over. Sure enough, several minutes later Hee tripped. The protrusion appeared to be part of the set. Her accident had nothing to do with Bolle.
  6. abatt

    2018 Spring Season

    NYCB's spring season will include a new ballet forty minutes in duration which features reconstructions of the choreography of 8 Broadway musicals "closely associated with Jerome Robbins (that Jerome Robbins directed or choreographed). It's part of the Robbins centennial celebration. Sounds exciting. Some dancers of NYCB will take on singing roles too. It would have been a perfect project for R. Fairchild. Too bad he's leaving. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/04/arts/city-ballet-to-celebrate-the-broadway-side-of-jerome-robbins.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=sectionfront
  7. abatt

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    I thought the choreography looked like most of the other McGregor works I've seen in the past. He uses the same jerky overwrought movement style, but the bells and whistles change - the set design, the lighting, the "concept".
  8. abatt

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    The fact that the gas chamber was the means used to exterminate an entire race means that any depiction of the use of a gas chamber on stage, in film or in other contexts should be undertaken with sensitivity and thought. I've seen scenes in films like Schindler's List and Life is Beautiful where gas chambers were depicted, but those films were addressing the Holocaust. In those instances, it seemed appropriate as part of the story being told. In contrast, the McGregor chamber appears to be a terrarium or greenhouse throughout the entire work, until the very end when it suddenly becomes a gas chamber. If Howard Stern is the shock jock, I guess Wayne McGregor is the shock choreographer With ABT's apparent blessing, McGregor decided that a device that killed millions could be used to serve his desire for a coup de theatre.
  9. abatt

    Peter Martins Retired; Succession Discussion

    This is not good news for dancers who deserve promotions, unless the interim team plans to take on that task.
  10. abatt

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    Watching an adult woman dance herself to death by jumping around and up and down seems far less terrifying for a child than watching an actual little girl be placed in a gas chamber and gassed to death. Also, people have been referring to kids who read Lord of the Flies and the Lottery. When you read a book you use your imagination. That's a completely different experience from a child sitting in a theater and seeing a little girl on stage placed into a sealed box and gassed.
  11. abatt

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    Schindler's List had an R rating, so I assume the school obtained the permission of parents before allowing 8th graders to see it. Is that the case?
  12. abatt

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    The problem with that is that you have paid full price to see half a program. ABT tickets aren't cheap. They should have given a parental age warning at the time subscription sales began. Since they failed to do that, they should offer a full refund to anyone who requests it regarding this program. We all know there is a snowball's chance in hell of that happening. Yes, by becoming so incensed about the gas chamber I forgot about the hood and the other violence in this.
  13. abatt

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    California raises a great point about issuing a warning to parents. Many children will be seeing this program because it starts with Firebird. Can you imagine a little kid watching the second half of the program, and seeing a little girl be killed in a gas chamber? As far as I know, no warnings were ever issued by ABT that the content may be inappropriate for children under a certain age. It's irresponsible.
  14. abatt

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    ABT has embraced works that are challenging. Ratmansky's Shostakovich trilogy comes to mind. It had overtones as well as specific overt references regarding the oppressive nature of the Soviet Union. However, unlike the McGregor piece, it did not trivialize suffering and oppression for a grand theatrical effect.
  15. abatt

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    ABT is also the only ballet company that performs 8 consecutive weeks of mostly full length classics in a 3,800 seat house. The major European companies have a system where opera and ballet are performed simultaneously at the same venue . It is very difficult to have a stable of lead dancers who can perform without injury for 8 consecutive weeks. It is also difficult to attract audiences to 8 consecutive weeks of ballet, particularly when your main competitor is performing a few feet away. Also, European opera houses are much smaller and therefore easier to fill than the huge Met auditorium. All these factors have weighed into ABT's use of guest artists. Moreover, the guest artist invitations at ABT started a long time ago, before McKenzie ever took over. During the golden age of Carreno, Corella, Ananiashvilli and so on, they were not guest artists. They were full company members who performed with ABT during the entire Met season and for the most part during all ABT tours. I don't think the vast majority of principals now at ABT come close to the skill level and artistry level of the dancers we saw during the golden age. And I don't believe that situation is caused by lack of past opportunities to hone their skills. For example Seo and Stearns were both promoted at a relatively young age, got major roles as soloists, have been principals for years and have danced the classics many, many times. Neither one will ever be at the level of Nina Ananiashvilli or Angel Corella.
  16. abatt

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/22/arts/dance/review-abt-spring-gala.html FYI, see attached. While watching the McGregor work, it was never intimated during the entire ballet that this set piece would turn into a gas chamber. It was a verdant space with plants and light. As noted in the article, it was a space where the two little girls in the work simply stood, sometimes with Ferri. The change into a gas chamber during the final moments was, in my opinion, a way to gratuitously shock the audience. Now it will be known as the Gas Chamber Ballet.
  17. abatt

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    My objection to this work relates to the gas chamber element of it. Absent that aspect, it would just be another piece of choreography I didn't much care for but had no particular reaction to one way or another. Ask yourselves this question. If McGregor had decided to raise his survival of the fittest theme by showing a slave beating on stage, do you think McKenzie would have allowed that to proceed? NO WAY. It would have been shut down at the first rehearsal. ABT is led by a tone deaf hypocrite. Allowing an instrumentality used to murder a race of people as a ballet gimmick crossed the line in a big way and trivialized the suffering endured by people who were and are victims of gassing.
  18. abatt

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    We shall see what the lead critics say, but as far as selling tickets, this program has been a box office bomb. Virtually every performance this week was previously on TDF. Without Misty in Firebird, full priced ticket sales for this week would have been even more dismal. I don't think McGregor sells a lot of tickets in NYC. The one work he did for NYCB a few years ago has not been revived. In London McGregor may be much more popular.
  19. abatt

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    On the way out of the theater last night, a complete stranger on the elevator asked me if I go to the Joyce theater downtown? I responded sometimes. She replied that the McGregor work is something that belongs at the Joyce, not at ABT at the Met. Her sentiment was that she doesn't go to see ABT for this type of work. I completely agree. Additionally, McKenzie seems to be hypersensitive when it comes to certain race issues, but he has completely MISSED THE BOAT that having a gas chamber killing on stage might be offensive to , say, audience members whose ancestors were actually murdered in gas chambers. CLUELESS. I guess the ABT political correctness machine only applies sometimes, but not in matters involving the gassing of millions of real people in real gas chambers. Nothing wrong with allowing a mechanism used in an attempt to obliterate an entire race from the planet to stand in as a theatrical gimmick.
  20. abatt

    2018 Spring Season

    It never dawned on me that your students would try to find a blog written by their teacher. Hope you can remain incognito with the new blog title.
  21. abatt

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    Stella's Giselle did indeed have some lovely qualities, but overall I felt that there were so many technical flubs and limitations that it would have been better for her to have withdrawn than to dance the role in such a diminished way. Since her promotion two years ago, there has been a precipitous decline in her technique. Her Giselle last year was also diminished, but this year it was far worse.
  22. abatt

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    I thought by now there would be an outpouring of comments about last night's performance. I had to miss the first half of the show, so I only saw AfterRite. In retrospect, I wish I had gone to the first half and skipped the second half. AfterRite had the usual McGregor hallmarks of push me, pull me, bend me, extend my limb in the most extreme awful position choreography. However, this was McGregor with some added grotesque twists. SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT The set has a constructed box with clear plastic doors on the side of the stage. At the end of the ballet, there is a little girl in the box, and white gas starts filling into the box. In other words, the ending of the "ballet" has a little girl being gassed to death. Oh, and did I mention that a video recording device set up on the stage in front of the glass box is recording the gassing? Am I misinterpreting what was going on there? I sure hope so. Clearly McGregor was going for a grand theatrical effect. While the work did have some interesting ideas, as a Jew I found the gassing gimmick at the end completely offensive and inappropriate. Thank goodness I have no tickets for any additional performances of this program. Anyone else attend?
  23. abatt

    Macaulay on ABT 2018 Met season

    But how could he know anything about her personally, since he does not have a personal friendship or relationship with her. As a critic, his remarks about each dancer relates to what they did on stage that he observed, not what they are like off stage.
  24. abatt

    Alexandra Ansanelli

    I can understand putting large items like clothing and shoes in storage. However, for important documents, photos and papers, a bank vault would always seem to be the better choice. These storage places frequently have issues with water damage, mold and theft. Sorry to hear that she lost all these items.
  25. abatt

    Macaulay on ABT 2018 Met season

    I think he meant that Misty does not present any affectations and is not mannered. I was real happy that Lane and Simkin got favorable reviews. I couldn't see them this year because I couldn't miss work. Maybe next year Lane will get an evening Giselle. Any maybe, just maybe, she'll get a Swan Lake instead of the peasant pas!
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