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Kaysta

The Winter's Tale at Kennedy Center, DC

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Sorry, I didn't realize there was already a thread. Feel free to move this to that one!

Anyone else going to see this in DC?

I'm ditching my NYCB tickets to make the trek down to DC to see the US premiere of The Winter's Tale. I am anxiously awaiting casting, as I have tickets for the Saturday matinee. I loved this company in R&J, so I'm sure I won't be disappointed no matter which cast I get to see.

I just hope the weather holds out for me, because I am really looking forward to this one!

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Sorry, I didn't realize there was already a thread. Feel free to move this to that one!

Anyone else going to see this in DC?

I'm ditching my NYCB tickets to make the trek down to DC to see the US premiere of The Winter's Tale. I am anxiously awaiting casting, as I have tickets for the Saturday matinee. I loved this company in R&J, so I'm sure I won't be disappointed no matter which cast I get to see.

I just hope the weather holds out for me, because I am really looking forward to this one!

Very much wish I could see this...looking forward to reading people's reactions.

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Kennedy Center casting is up!

PRINCIPAL CASTING (subject to change)
Leontes
Piotr Stanczyk (Jan. 19, 21, 23 eve) Evan McKie (Jan. 20, 24) McGee Maddox (Jan. 22) Guillaume Côté (Jan. 23 mat)

Hermione
Hannah Fischer (Jan. 19, 21, 23 eve) Jurgita Dronina (Jan. 20, 24) Heather Ogden (Jan. 22) Sonia Rodriguez (Jan. 23 mat)

Perdita
Jillian Vanstone (Jan. 19, 21, 23 eve) Elena Lobsanova (Jan. 20, 23 mat) Rui Huang (Jan. 22, 24)

Florizel
Naoya Ebe (Jan. 19, 21, 23 eve) Francesco Gabriele Frola (Jan. 20, 23 mat) Skylar Campbell (Jan. 22, 24)

Polixenes
Harrison James (Jan. 19, 21, 23 eve) Brendan Saye (Jan. 20, 24) Félix Paquet (Jan. 22, 23 mat)

Paulina
Xiao Nan Yu (Jan. 19, 21, 23 eve) Svetlana Lunkina (Jan. 20, 22, 24) Tanya Howard (Jan. 23 mat)

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Oh man, I am so darn excited I get to see Cote and Lobsanova again! And I've heard wonderful things about Sonia Rodriguez!

Jan 23rd cannot come quick enough!

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On Sat 23 mat you also get to see Gabriele Frola, who was just named one of Dance Mag's 25 to watch in 2016.

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On Sat 23 mat you also get to see Gabriele Frola, who was just named one of Dance Mag's 25 to watch in 2016.

I will watch out for him!

I guess because of Cote's injury, this will be his and Rodriguez' debut performances?

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I will watch out for him!

I guess because of Cote's injury, this will be his and Rodriguez' debut performances?

That is correct. Guillaume has been resting during Nutcracker so that he will be in fine form for you Washingtonians. Sonia is a great dance actress. Of the ones I saw in November, my favourite cast was Mckie/Dronina

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Svetlana Lunkina was absolutely stunning and touching in the role of Paulina. I also recommend the Jan. 20, 24 casts because it boasts 3 international stars (Dronina/Lunkina/McKie) and they are in a different level from others. (I also went to see this in November)

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Svetlana Lunkina was absolutely stunning and touching in the role of Paulina. I also recommend the Jan. 20, 24 casts because it boasts 3 international stars (Dronina/Lunkina/McKie) and they are in a different level from others. (I also went to see this in November)

I wish I could see multiple casts, but unfortunately I can't make the 3 hour drive twice in two days, and I'm already spending the following weekend in DC for ABT.

I hope others are planning to attend though, so we can get some reviews of the different casts.

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I saw the McKie/Dronina cast in Toronto in November. Thought it was wonderful. I hadn't seen Dronina dance before; lovely seems like an insufficient word to describe, but vocabulary is failing me this morning. I always enjoy McKie. I thought Lunkina was very well suited to the role of Paulina. Lobsanova was wonderful in Perdita as well.

If I were to choose from the casts mentioned above I would not go with Maddox/Ogden, but this is because Maddox is not my favourite NBOC male principal. I'm sure Ogden will do wonderfully in the role. If you see that cast, you'll enjoy Skylar Campbell as Florizel (actually all men doing Florizel will be very good indeed).

One note about Stancyzk/Fischer: Ms. Fischer is a relatively new member of NBOC. She was in the corps only two years before being promoted to second soloist; this is her first year in that position. As she is first cast, I assume that Mr. Wheeldon chose her specifically for the role of Hermione.

Enjoy and let us know what you decide!

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I'm making the trek from California and will get to see all casts. I'm so excited!

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I'm making the trek from California and will get to see all casts. I'm so excited!

And report back here!

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Sorry to voice a different view - lack of enthusiasm for this - but I know I'm not alone, judging from slow ticket sales.

This is the second time in a row that the NBofC comes to the Kennedy Center with a second-hand Wheeldon/Talbot full-lengther that's already on DVD (with the originating company, the Royal). Maybe one of these years the Canadians will bring a nice triple bill of known 20th-C ballets or a Petipa classic, so that we can truly see and compare their dancers to those of other top companies in the world...to melodious music. Even a 20th-C classic by Cranko or Ratmansky's new Romeo & Juliet - created for the Canadians! - would have been exciting.

What's next? A co-production with the Royal of Scarlett's Frankenstein? (That one is set to debut at the Royal this spring but you get my point.) Very frustrating. I remember the 1970s & 80s when the Canadians used to tour with classics, to great music...and designs not dependent on lighting effects.

Saving my money and bypassing the NBofC for the second season in a row, sorry to say.

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I know opinions will differ, but I will tell my experience. I had seen The Winter's Tale in cinema, the casts were very good, and the first act was very dramatic and deep, full of ideas. The second act was full of dancing, of course Lamb and McRae were fabulous but the act seemed a little dull as it was packed with too much dancing. The last act was a nice conclusion but it seemed too short this time.

And I went to Totonto to see this live and I would say, seeing on the screen and seeing it live is a total different experience. The drama came out amazingly, to be honest I hate Wheeldon's Alice and thought he was not so talented, but this time I could see how good is he telling the story with the movements. The music in the second act is played by musicians and that was really nice, hearing it live was so lovely. I could enjoy the liveliness and virtuosity in the dancing. Moreover, the second cast are consisted by world-class dancers, Jurgita Dronina, Evan McKie and the great Svetlana Lunkina who is absolutely stunning and make a great ensemble and acting like Shakespeare drama actors. They are on the same level as the lead casts in the Royal Ballet filmed production, very strong, dramatic and there are much more dancing than you expect. It is a shame that they are not given first cast, the very strong emotions and drama here is fascinating.

Well anyway, there are matters of tastes and I know I can't persuade everyone around to see this but this is really worth the money (tickets are much cheaper than in Toronto) and it would be a great experience. I know Alice was crap but The Winter's Tale is a wonderful work and this will remain on both Royal Ballet and NBoC repertoire for a long time. (So I will come to see again)

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I always enjoy a live performance much more than a video tape. Plus, any chance I get to see Cote dance, I'm taking.

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With ABT's Sleeping Beauty and the Mariinsky's Raymonda coming to the Kenn Cen soon after the Canadians, choices had to be made. I saw the WT cinemascast and liked enough of it (the sunnier A2) to buy the DVD. I've seen enough and don't care for two-thirds of it. I vote with my wallet. Someday I'll see Cote and the others live, in repertoire that I like, even if it means flying to Toronto.

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Someday I'll see Cote and the others live, in repertoire that I like, even if it means flying to Toronto.

Now is a good time to take advantage of a favorable exchange rate. You'll find a troupe that's stronger than ABT, for one. But as for repertoire the Kennedy Center might find desirable, the options are more limited. Touring Cranko ballets abroad is the exclusive prerogative of the Stuttgart Ballet. It's true that the National Ballet of Canada performed Onegin at the Met in 1988--I saw it myself--but I'll assume that exception was allowed because at the time it was the only troupe in North America to have the ballet in its repertoire. The Kennedy Center had already programmed a Romeo and Juliet and Sleeping Beauty this season. James Kudelka's production of Swan Lake is horrible. It was performed in Washington in the past and got predictably poor reviews. Some Ashton and MacMillan overlaps with ABT. Neumeier ballets are more likely to be toured by his own company. Perhaps Ratmanky's Romeo and Juliet will turn up in a season or two. For now The Winter's Tale is the most obvious choice. (Frankenstein, if it reaches DC, will be performed by co-producer San Francisco Ballet.) I still hold out hope for a revival of the Schaufuss production of Napoli, which hasn't been seen in eons.

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I still hold out hope for a revival of the Schaufuss production of Napoli, which hasn't been seen in eons.

Last year when Ballet Arizona was doing Napoli they approached NBOC about renting this production but were told it is not in fit shape to be staged, so I think you will have to abandon that hope.

Natalia (and anyone else from the US) it is true you should look at the Canadian dollar right now. To our despair it is worth only 69 cents US. If you're Guillaume Cote fans you might also think about the Festival de Saint-Sauveur, of which he is the artistic director (and he also performs there). A lovely charming village for a nice relaxing weekend, not far from Montreal.

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Last year when Ballet Arizona was doing Napoli they approached NBOC about renting this production but were told it is not in fit shape to be staged, so I think you will have to abandon that hope.

Natalia (and anyone else from the US) it is true you should look at the Canadian dollar right now. To our despair it is worth only 69 cents US. If you're Guillaume Cote fans you might also think about the Festival de Saint-Sauveur, of which he is the artistic director (and he also performs there). A lovely charming village for a nice relaxing weekend, not far from Montreal.

Just looked up last years festival and it looked awesome, going to put this on my calendar! Plus I've been hoping for a reason to trek up to Montreal!

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Thanks, all. Great tips. Re. Ballet Arizona's Napoli - that production was rented (or bought?) from Copenhagen...these are the sets & costumes from the traditional 1980s RDB production...yes, the very ones seen in the famous video starring Linda Hindberg! I'm amazed that Arizona would, in turn, try to rent them out to anyone, let alone a larger national company like NBofC.

Not sure I'm reading this all correctly, but I think Katherine was saying that Arizona asked NBOC if they could rent the Canadian production of the Schaufuss staging, not the other way round.

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Not sure I'm reading this all correctly, but I think Katherine was saying that Arizona asked NBOC if they could rent the Canadian production of the Schaufuss staging, not the other way round.

You are exactly right, sandik.

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As pretty as David Walker's designs were, grander in scale than the old RDB production since they were designed for a very large venue, I don't think they were the ballet's main interest. (Although the costume switcheroos were pretty spectacular.) I do realize that re-staging the ballet would be an expensive undertaking; 35 years ago the production cost nearly half a million dollars. But I could think of far worse co-productions to undertake, and companies are always looking for story ballets to sell to audiences.

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It is a long time since a new narrative ballet has made such a positive impression on audiences and critics as Winter's Tale did at its London premiere. I think many harboured doubts about its suitability as a subject for ballet but Wheeldon received good advice as far as cutting and adapting the story for ballet treatment is concerned. The work that we saw in London was not perfect but it worked and I expect that it will have been altered for the better in its Canadian staging.

I don't think that you can judge any ballet on the basis of streamed performances or DVDs . They are better than nothing but they only ever provide a shadow of the performance as experienced in the theatre. While it may be possible to judge the choreography in pure dance terms it is much more difficult to capture the expressive elements that the work contains. Natalia's comments about the bits of the work which she enjoyed most from the streaming and DVD are the opposite of my experience in the theatre. For me the jollifications of the second act rather overstayed their welcome and were insufficiently varied for my taste. In particular Wheeldon failed to distinguish Perdita and Florizel sufficiently in their choreography from the rest of the people involved in the second act. It was the first and third acts which were most compelling in the theatre because of the range of emotions which were expressed in dance terms. The only changes I should like to see in these acts are a little less lurking behind statues by Leontes as this continues long after the audience has got the message and the recognition scene given longer to register as in London it was over in the blink of an eye. While the oracle at Delphi plays no part in the ballet the restoration of Leontes' daughter to him is an important element of the last act and should be given more time to register.

My reservations are little more than quibbles as the ballet does the job it was intended to do. I would urge anyone who can do so to buy a ticket and see it in the flesh. I don't think that you will be disappointed.I have already bought my tickets for the London revival later in the year.

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