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Agree with what others have said about last night. Gilbert was light years better than Pujol.  What a beautiful, supple back she has!  I did think the lead men were a little better the first night but overall this was the pob's stronger emeralds cast. 

 

The Bolshoi Rubies was dreadful.  First time I couldn't wait for Rubies to end!  Costumes were awful - santa's little helpers meets the rockettes.  And not really a ruby color on top of it all. The dancers just looked awkward through the whole thing.  Spotted Tess Reichlen watching from the back of the first ring - wonder what she must have thought!!  To be fair, the lead woman wasn't bad.  But overall it was so clearly not their thing.  

 

City ballet did a great Diamonds - the contrast with the Bolshoi was so interesting.  The diversity in body types and skin tones, the energy and attack (the tempi definitely sounded much faster), and the Balanchinean accents were all wonderful.  It was good to see Olivia Boisson back - she was absent last season. One quibble - Emily Kikta's shoe ribbon came untucked at the end of the first sequence.  Too noticeable when she was downstage center- sloppy!!   Tyler and Sara danced brilliantly as usual, with Tyler upping the ante by doing some nice double tours with arms in fifth (take that Chudin!) and Sara did a fantastic scherzo solo.   But after seeing Smirnova I couldn't help thinking that Sara looked like she had no neck!  The Russians' beauty and grandeur really transform Diamonds into something unique. 

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Reichlen says she is usually jealous when watching other dancers in Rubies, so perhaps that was her reaction:

 

http://www.pointemagazine.com/nycbs-teresa-reichlen-on-the-challenges-of-dancing-rubies-2463097530.html

 

I look forward to seeing the alternate POB cast (especially Gilbert) tonight as well as NYCB Diamonds tomorrow.  At least Bolshoi Rubies will have two different dancers in the leads on Sunday: Vyacheslav Lopatin in the Villella role and Olga Marchenkova as the Tall Girl.  The grass isn't always greener with a different cast, but Marchenkova did stand out to me as one of the demis in Diamonds.  Krysanova I can at least picture, but Ovcharenko is so wrong for Rubies.  He is a beautiful dancer who doesn't seem to project much of anything: an issue not isolated to his miscasting in Rubies. 

 

I wish all three companies got a chance to perform each gem throughout the Festival.  It's a shame especially that Emeralds only has one company performing, and I would be interested in seeing POB Diamonds.  Of course logistically it would be much more complicated, but the contrasts would be fascinating across multiple shows.

 

Also can't speak enough about the genius of Balanchine.  No one work of "Jewels" is my favorite, but the evening becomes something greater than the sum of its parts. 

Edited by MRR

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On 7/16/2017 at 0:33 PM, alexL said:

Yes I did see her last year but I think she was cast in the role more frequently before. I think I've seen Lowery and Kikta as well and they were all underwhelming. 

Lowery is nothing if not underwhelming in every role.  Sorry Kikta wasn't better--she has talent. You would also have loved Ariana Lallone, former PNB dancer, and Kelly Myernick, former Houston Ballet dancer, as the Tall Girl--both devoured the stage in it, as Reichlen does.

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On 7/16/2017 at 5:40 PM, Kathleen O'Connell said:

 

Me too! That's my clue that she's either transformed the role or really plumbed its full potential. 

 

Maria Korowski has also danced the Rubies Tall Girl, although I don't know if it was when she was in the corps, or as a soloist or principal. She was a soloist for something like five minutes before being promoted to principal, so who knows ...

Kowrowski is one of the very rare dancers to have performed ballerina roles in all three sections of Jewels.

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Anyone see the afternoon cast with Kovaleva in Diamonds?

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5 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Anyone see the afternoon cast with Kovaleva in Diamonds?

I did.  I was disappointed though the crowd loved her.  I thought as stunningly beautiful as she is, she lacked the maturity and dramatic presence of Mearns.  Rubies was out of this world though.

 

wish I could have seen the Smirnova cast.

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6 minutes ago, Kaysta said:

I did.  I was disappointed though the crowd loved her.  I thought as stunningly beautiful as she is, she lacked the maturity and dramatic presence of Mearns.  Rubies was out of this world though.

 

wish I could have seen the Smirnova cast.

 

Kaysta the good news is that there are a number of videos of Smirnova and Chudin dancing Diamonds. It's not the same as the real thing but this interpretation has been filmed for posterity. 

Now can the NYCB puh-lease release their own commercially filmed, HD version of Jewels? 

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1 minute ago, canbelto said:

 

Now can the NYCB puh-lease release their own commercially filmed, HD version of Jewels? 

Yes! Before De Luz retires.

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6 hours ago, mimsyb said:

And please.  If there is ANY doubt out there about the sheer inventiveness, the imagination and the musicality of this great choreographer, it can be totally put to rest.  Every choreographer working today needs to study and study hard about how it all works.  Free of the clutter.  Empty of all false artifice.  No kitchen sinks in sight!   Pure dance, revealed in the most musical and magical of fashion.  I bow down to Mr. B. and humbly so.

 

Truth.

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34 minutes ago, canbelto said:

 

Kaysta the good news is that there are a number of videos of Smirnova and Chudin dancing Diamonds. It's not the same as the real thing but this interpretation has been filmed for posterity. 

Now can the NYCB puh-lease release their own commercially filmed, HD version of Jewels? 

Thanks, I'll look for it tonight.

 

DeLuz was the highlight of today for me.  He dances as if he's 20, I swear he must not age.  

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I was quite underwhelmed by tonight's Emeralds, though apparently almost everyone else here disagrees with me. Huge screaming ovations especially from up top. Three complete sets of curtain calls after the regular bows.

 

Gilbert was fine. She managed to come off pointe twice in a single climactic supported pirouette but her balances (especially at the very end of the first movement) were very nice. Unfortunately she has the face of Patti LuPone and the upper body of an Olympic track and field star. Her iconic ports de bras in the solo were perfunctory, as if she were admiring her new bracelet from Woolworth's. She has a very flexible back but has a tendency to deploy it only at the end of a step, rather as an afterthought.

 

Of the other couple, Louvet was the stronger. He's committed throughout, at least.

 

Moreau, in the trio, covers space well.

 

Overall, though, just about zero sense of having entered a different world. No magic. Yawn.

Edited by nanushka

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Intermission at tonight's performance. POB's Emeralds felt like an all-too-prim affair. Certainly it should be the most subdued of the three acts, but it needs a rapturous quality that was almost completely missing. Gilbert's serpentine ports de bras in her variation was a particular disappointment; it looked like she was inspecting a recent manicure! She also fell off point twice when she and the male lead first dance together, during the supported turns. Yes, her supple back was gorgeous, and added a lot. I found it odd how she milked some balances, eliciting a smattering of applause. This doesn't really seem like the proper ballet for that. It made me miss Tiler Peck so much!

 

Baulac was fine and did the segmented arabesques and arm motions. But again there was a prim and somewhat brittle quality to her dancing.

Edited by fondoffouettes

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Well, Rubies was like an IV drip of Red Bull after the soporific Emeralds. The company was on fire and going for broke. De Luz and Fairchild were giving it their all and complemented each other so well. Fairchild may be a bit diminutive and girlish, but her attack was impressive. And Reichlin, well, nothing more can be said about how she owns the role. She didn't look quite as comfortable as usual in the deep arabesques penchees that she does while going offstage; she didn't really go down deep into the last one and hold it like I've seen before. But that's a minor quibble. The whole ensemble was embracing the athletic, jazzy, casual, bravura aspects of the piece. The audience was going nuts.

Edited by fondoffouettes

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I think tonight must be the "take the summer intensive kids to see Jewels" night. The entire top ring screamed their heads off when the curtain rose on Rubies, before anyone had even danced a step.

 

Reichlen fantastic, though I recall last fall being fantasticer.

 

Megan Fairchild doesn't seem to me to have enough oomph for this part. Too much the soubrette. Someone said on a recent ABT thread that Tchai Pas should seem "dangerous" and I think the same is true here. I didn't get that from her.

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Agree with Nanushka and fondoffouettes 1000% on POB Emeralds. Will update more later.

 

Fairchild was better today but Reichlen slightly diminished from Thursday. De Luz fantastic as usual.

Edited by MRR

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That was the most astounding rendition of Rubies I've ever seen, and I've seen this cast plenty of times. Wish they did it with this energy every time! I think they were feeling the spirit of the occasion and perhaps showing off for the visiting companies! De Luz absolutely amazing, pulling out all the charm, and putting to shame those young bucks trotting along after him. 

Edited by cobweb

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Ok the Beatles-worthy screaming applause was kinda cute at the start of Rubies but I really could have done without the frequent interruptions of the Diamonds PDD. Never heard anything quite like that before, but then again I don't usually attend YAGP galas.

 

Smirnova and Chudin were breathtaking, gorgeous, perfection. Those turns a la seconde in the scherzo with his perfectly shaped and pointed foot -- ahhh.

 

The polonaise was a bit chilly for my taste and seeing the whole ensemble together, well....#balletsowhite let's just say. Their idea of diversity is apparently a lone redhead in the front row.

 

A great end to the evening though!

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I never heard so much hollering and screaming in my LIFE, as after Diamonds. Well deserved! Thanks to all who posted on earlier shows, making me realize I really had to find a way to go. To have missed tonight's performance would have been a blight on my entire balletgoing career. 

Edited by cobweb

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9 hours ago, mimsyb said:

And please.  If there is ANY doubt out there about the sheer inventiveness, the imagination and the musicality of this great choreographer, it can be totally put to rest.  Every choreographer working today needs to study and study hard about how it all works.  Free of the clutter.  Empty of all false artifice.  No kitchen sinks in sight!   Pure dance, revealed in the most musical and magical of fashion.  I bow down to Mr. B. and humbly so.

Thank you mimsyb. Like!

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The pirouette that went awry in Emeralds was a finger pirouette from fouetté en dehors and not a "supported" pirouette. Her handsome partner's hand slipped away and Gilbert miraculously releveed straight up, twice, to save it.  It was an amazing save.  She is a beautiful, musical dancer.  

 

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4 minutes ago, Josette said:

The pirouette that went awry in Emeralds was a finger pirouette from fouetté en dehors and not a "supported" pirouette. Her handsome partner's hand slipped away and Gilbert miraculously releveed straight up, twice, to save it.  It was an amazing save.  She is a beautiful, musical dancer.  

 

By "supported" I simply meant partnered. I'm sorry I don't have the exact vocab. 

 

I would personally not describe anything about the performance as "miraculous" but à chacun san goût, right?

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This might be sort of delicate to ask but ... when did the Bolshoi men become so pretty? The ones I saw on the tour have these elegant insteps and slender thighs. Very different from the old-school Bolshoi dancer, who could do all those lifts in Spartacus without breaking a sweat. You know, strong upper body, thick thighs, powerful jumps.

 

Like where did these types of dancers go?

 

597fc68730071a412a87ad1ad061f771--sparta

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1 minute ago, canbelto said:

This might be sort of delicate to ask but ... when did the Bolshoi men become so pretty?

 

I noticed quite a lot of eyeshadow onstage in the last movement tonight, FWIW, and mostly on the men.

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