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Some brief notes...

I was up in the 4th ring, and had forgotten my binoculars, so it was a different view than normal.

Kammermusik No. 2

Looked a tad under-rehearsed, especially the two principal pairs. Definately not one of my favorite Balanchine ballets, though it was interesting to watch the guys' costumes. Though the costumes were exatcly the same, the different proportions of each man's chest made the dark/light pattern of the shirts look very different.

Valse Triste

Very moving, but for different reasons...First of all, it made me very sad to see Jock Soto, as he has definately put on some weight(the costume highlighted this) and his technical skills just aren't there anymore. It seems like just recently, he was at his peak, but not so anymore. He looked very "heavy", as if he had to put a lot of effort even into the simplest moves. Darci has a lot more dance left in her, but I felt that much of the time she was "acting" more than "dacing". I have admired both of their dancing, and hope that they both leave the company gracefully before their loss of skill becomes too obvious. I want to be left with memories of their wonderful talent, not their technical demise.

Also, Darci's hair was driving me NUTS....!!! It was in Jock's face a lot, and got very tangled in her headpiece and ended up in knots. Hair should complement the ballet, and not take it over. Her hair is gorgeous, but she needs to wear it up more so that it's not in the way!

Duo Concertant

Boree and Martins did a great job-best I've seen him dance in a long while. With his musical talents, this is probably a great ballet for Martins-a chance to really listed and react to the music.

Cortege Hongrois

OK..the women next to me and I both though they left out the Pas de Quatre. Was I asleep or did they skip this section?

Aesha Ash danced with great verve in the Czardas, and James Fayette was a gallant partner. I agree that Ringer could dance with more abandon-she looked a bit placid next to Damian who was letting fly with his usual pyrotechnics. Gotta love the multiple pirouettes into near motionless developpe. Sigh redface.gif )


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Kate -

I was there and also thought they omitted the pas de quatre. I'm not sure why.

Under the category of "Chacun a son gout" I had somewhat differing opinions of Kammermusik and Duo. As Arlene Croce wrote of it when it premiered, I'm not sure I'll ever love it, but I find it more and more fascinating on repeated viewings, mostly for what it tells me of Balanchine's aesthetic. What's most interesting to me is the voyage backwards in the ballet about half a century from the time of its creation to the time it seems to refer to - the 20's and the era of "physical culture". It reminds me of Prodigal Son. I like the ballet paired with Duo very much because they are two sides of Balanchine's "jazz age" aesthetic. It's a very useful part for Korowski too; the sportive aspects of it push her in a new way from her more adagio roles. Meunier looked less comfortable with her part last Saturday and seemed to be more at ease last night.

I was watching Borree more than Martins in Duo; I'd echo the comments people have been making all season about her improved confidence. It was a very nice performance. I have to admit about Martins, at the opening section of the ballet, I know that the man and the woman are supposed to be paying attention to the musicians, but it seemed he was doing it so literally that I had no sense that he was even aware Borree was at the other end of the piano. Why were the standing so far apart, literally and mentally? It looked like they had all the emotional connection of two people who find themselves in the same train compartment.

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When I saw Cortege last week they did, indeed, omit the pas de quatre. At the time, I believe it was because someone (I think probably Alina Dronova, since she was listed but didn't appear, had to pull out at the last minute. There was an emergency rehearsal beforehand, and Laura Paulas took her place. Not sure why it's still not in, as there's been time to rehearse someone new. Ah, well. One less opportunity to focus on Ashley Bouder...

Kate... I agree that Duo is a good piece for Martins. He's good in pieces that are more about the form and music and less about the... jumping. I think he's great in the Square Dance solo.

As far as Cortege and Meunier. I saw her do it last week, and can't say I am as fond of her in the role as many of you, and, even, as much as I had thought I'd like her. I felt she was too glamour queen, and not enough Hungarian passion. When the music goes threw those tense, typically Eastern European moments, I want someone who is deeply feeling it, as opposed to simply dancing. I just didn't get that from Meunier, though I know she has it in her (I LOVE her Brahms-Schoenberg 4th). As people sometimes say about an actor's performance, she didn't interpret the role as I see it and feel that it needs.

Same goes for Kathleen Tracey, though I wasn't as surprised there. The czardas even more so has those plays with tension in the music. She was having fun with the role. That's good. But, she didn't seem to be *feeling* it.

I guess my issues with dancers and performances say a lot about my audience... aesthetic! When the choreography, music, and dancer's performances come together as one, it's definitely something more than the sum of the parts.

So, for example, I appreciate Abi Stafford's technical skills. But, I love the Symphony in C music and choreography, and her performance did not quite match it in umph. She seems much happier on stage this year than in the last two, so I am hopeful that she will continue to develop presence.

As much as I love Ringer, I wasn't crazy about her 1st mov't performance either. As Kate described Kistler's Valse Triste perf. so would I describe Ringer's. I felt she was performing-- and I still prefer her performing to most others' dancing-- but the choreography got overshadowed (not so nearly as much as it did when Dvor...-can't remember how to spell her name... did it). When Somogyi does 1st mov't, she invites you into the dance and makes you truly see the choreography as if it were the first time you were seeing the dance.

So, I have managed to chime in here while getting in some of those other comments I have been holding onto needlessly...


p.s. i'm at nycb fri night and sat matinee, so stop by the gift shop and say hi... for those of you who know what i look like!

[ January 18, 2002: Message edited by: AmandaNYC ]

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