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cubanmiamiboy

Program III. "La Baiser de la Fee"

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Appreciate reading the reviews, but I'm still hoping to see this at some point.  I know I was not looking forward to Ratmansky's Firebird because of the bad reviews.  Then I saw it an loved it.  So I'm going to keep and open mind, but I do enjoy reading everyone's opinion.  From the W&P video, I liked what I saw.

Edited by Kaysta

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Ok.  I repeated tonight, if only originally for "Walpurgisnacht", which I saw from a box on the left.  For Baiser I went up to the second tier, to enjoy the company of our fellow BT'r Natalia-(hey Natasha...always a pleasure to have you over here!). Did the upper visual angle help me to better "see" the ballet tonight...? Maybe.  who knows. Last night it bored me-(although not as much as "Polyhonia".  Tonight I liked it, but I still  don't love it.  

Ok.  Here I go with Simone.  I still don't "get" her, and I still can't understand why she got all this roles-(Odette, Giselle, Titania and The Fairy)-in such rapid succession...and all of them in opening nights. I notice that she has a tendency to DANCE heavy.  She doesn't seem to be fluid in petite allegro, and he looks quite compact, body frame wise, Now, I know by experience that this doesn;t necessarily equals heavy dancing.  I saw many Cuban ballerinas back in the days with such frames...thick legs...ample torso/waist and there were still very airy.  Some famous men in ballet have had the same airborne quality with similar big bodies-(Andre Eglevsky or Yuri Soloviev).  Anyhow...I might like Messmer at some point, but definitely not tonight.

The character dancing I found dull.  I couldn't help but to remember great similar stuff I have seen like the village scenes of" Petroushka". 

Lauren Fadeley in "Walpurgisnacht". Simone Messmer as The Fairy and Jordan-Elizabeth Long as The Mother in "La baiser". Curtain calls for "La baiser". 

Image may contain: 1 person, dancing
Image may contain: one or more people
Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage and wedding
 
 
Edited by cubanmiamiboy

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Likewise a pleasure seeing you & your lovely, vivacious mom, Cubanmiamiboy!  Tonight's 2nd performance with same cast as last night went a bit smoother for Simone Messmer, who, though still not at total ease, completed the 32 fouettés at the end of the Forest scene.

 

I still don't get the silly elements of the choreography, such as the tossing of the baby among the fairies entourage, as if he were a football. On the other hand, I gained a greater appreciation for the vigorous villagers' dances in sc 2 tonight, even finding references to Bournonville's Galop at the end of NAPOLI! Well done & so in synch by the precisely-drilled Miami corps. BRAVI!

 

The 3 milk cartons remain BUT - big news! - most of the backdrop projections have been changed - now simpler and not distracting. The fussy cubism & general ugliness is now gone, thank goodness! On the other hand, the beige corps "bodysuit" costumes at the end now sport chiffon skirts...for both sexes. The guys appear bare chested with knee-length skirts; the ladies wear below-knee chiffon skirts. 

 

Not vintage Ratmansky - not remotely - but more palatable tonight.

 

WALPURGISNACHT greater than ever. Tonight all three leads were terrific: Fadeley, Furlan & Arja. Emily Bromberg & Ashley Knox dazzled in the pdd for two demi girls.

 

p.s. Also attended tonight's pre-performance chat with Robert Gottlieb interviewing Ratmansky...except that Gottlieb did most of the talking. The big revelation from Ratmansky was that Miami principal Patricia Delgado (sister of Jeannette) is the girlfriend of Justin Peck! Context: while explaining the end, he noted that he saw Patricia crying heavily backstage while watching the end...that she totally "got it" because of her involvement with Peck...the unconventional relationship.

 

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Perhaps the move up in the theatre was at fault, but:

Lauren Fadely danced the ballerina role in Walpurgisnacht both Friday and Saturday nights. She is pictured above.  Simone Messmer does not dance Walpurgisnacht.  She is 5'5" and not, by any stretch of the imagination, bulky.

 

The gypsy and bride costumes she wears are long and heavy.  They almost completely obliterate the dancer's movements. The lighting does not help, the solid dead white of the bridal dress calling attention to the fabric, rather than the dance. Jeanette Delgado looked stunning in her bridal gown and it lent a lovely, flowing touch to her variations, rather than hindering a quicker, more quicksilver quality of the Fairy. It also fit her properly (Simone's was much too loose and too long.)

 

I attended both performances this weekend, and will see the matinee tomorrow.  I reserve judgement until I see the same cast again tomorrow. 

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The same cast doesn't dance tomorrow. We saw cast 1 on two consecutive nights (Fri & Sat). Cast 2 doesn't appear until the 3rd & final performance tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon.

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7 hours ago, Juliet said:

Perhaps the move up in the theatre was at fault, but:

Lauren Fadely danced the ballerina role in Walpurgisnacht both Friday and Saturday nights. She is pictured above.  Simone Messmer does not dance Walpurgisnacht.  She is 5'5" and not, by any stretch of the imagination, bulky.

 

The gypsy and bride costumes she wears are long and heavy.  They almost completely obliterate the dancer's movements. The lighting does not help, the solid dead white of the bridal dress calling attention to the fabric, rather than the dance. Jeanette Delgado looked stunning in her bridal gown and it lent a lovely, flowing touch to her variations, rather than hindering a quicker, more quicksilver quality of the Fairy. It also fit her properly (Simone's was much too loose and too long.)

 

I attended both performances this weekend, and will see the matinee tomorrow.  I reserve judgement until I see the same cast again tomorrow. 

Yes, the first picture is Fadeley.  We miss her in PA.

 

I have to say, I also don't find Messmer visually compact (I find her quite petite, frame wise in the video), but I haven't seen much of her dancing, so I can't speak for whether she dances like she's bulky or compact.

 

 

Edited by Kaysta

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I'm more of a listener here than a writer, but I did want to note that I don't take the lack of curtain calls to be any sign against 'Fairy's Kiss'. MCB has never done them (I suppose the audiences are just impatient), with a very pleasant exception being 'Serenade' (and maybe 'Glass Pieces') last program.

 

Christian, it sounds like you are as big of a Delgado fan as I am, and if that's the case, I imagine you are excited about her debut in 'Walpurgisnacht' today. A major ballerina in a major Balanchine role. <3

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I have edited the pictures. I must had mixed up the names while posting them-(I have been thinking heavily about Messmer  during this run to why is that I still don't get her being, apparently, the most favored dancer of the company right now. Anyhow...  I saw both opening night and last night, and it was indeed the same casting.

I don't know what's up with the fairy costume, but I found it makes Messmer look quite square.

The tossing of the baby among The Fairy and her entourage was indeed awkward, although I suppose it hints at their general disregard for human life.

Oh...and last night I also "heard" the lovely "None but the lonely heart", which   came and went inadvertently over my head the previous night.

Edited by cubanmiamiboy

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21 minutes ago, brokenwing said:

 

Christian, it sounds like you are as big of a Delgado fan as I am, and if that's the case, I imagine you are excited about her debut in 'Walpurgisnacht' today. A major ballerina in a major Balanchine role. <3

 

I am...but I think she has been, for quite a time now, heavily underused, and for that matters totally absent from the big major roles of the company's last seasons-(Odette, Giselle, Titania and now The Fairy). She is being used rather as a soloist, and I just find that appalling.

Edited by cubanmiamiboy

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9 hours ago, Natalia said:

The same cast doesn't dance tomorrow. We saw cast 1 on two consecutive nights (Fri & Sat). Cast 2 doesn't appear until the 3rd & final performance tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon.

Actually, second cast pulled out of this afternoon. First cast on Sunday.

 

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4 hours ago, Juliet said:

Actually, second cast pulled out of this afternoon. First cast on Sunday.

 

 

So...only one cast for the three nights...?

 

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Thank you all for your comments.

 

I continue to watch my 'adored' four minutes of video posted above by Kaysta starting at 10:30. At 14:00 almost all the dancers exit the stage doing a lovely and probably very difficult, one foot double turn ending in a back bend. The men do it 'flat toed' as usual and the women do the first turn full pointe, second turn flatter toed.

 

The blond male dancer towards to end does a very graceful take. It makes me think about pointe work in general and if semi-pointe/lesser pointe isn't just as beautiful and a lot easier on the feet. This is a discussion that has been pursued here along time ago at another topic. Maybe we should revive it some day.

 

The reason that I mention it here, besides thinking that it's always very important, is that the video glimpse allows a comparison of the same move with different pointe usage. Another reason is that the Miami City Ballet is so capable and versatile, that it could be a very fine place to experiment with this. I've seen the company do some extremely fine dancing of ballet quality and grace without the use of pointework.

 

Any thoughts or comments anyone ? Maybe I'll revive the old topic if there's any interest.
 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Juliet said:

Actually, second cast pulled out of this afternoon. First cast on Sunday.

 

 

So nobody knew this last night, which made my statement about Cast 2 dancing on Sunday correct. I'm at the airport now but came close this morn to purchasing a tik for this final perf of the Miami run just to see Cast 2 w/ Arja as the Fairy.  Had I done that, I would have had to pay a hefty fee to change my airline tic. Decided no...need to get home. WHEW! I would've seen the same cast three times + paid airline fee to have changed my flight.

 

Thank you, Lord!  This has been a past 6 months of good luck for me...husband says that I should buy a lottery ticket.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Natalia said:

Thank you, Lord!  This has been a past 6 months of good luck for me...husband says that I should buy a lottery ticket.

 

 

 

Sounds like one of those times where you don't know if you're on a roll (hence the lottery ticket) or if you've used up all your luck and should be very careful crossing the street.

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1 hour ago, Cygnet said:

Thank you Natalia and Cubanmiamiboy for your reports :D!

 

Glad that you both got to see some things that you really enjoyed. I hope to be able to be there myself, maybe next year.

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19 hours ago, sandik said:

 

Sounds like one of those times where you don't know if you're on a roll (hence the lottery ticket) or if you've used up all your luck and should be very careful crossing the street.

 

Hardly, sandik. I just found out this morning that I've been promoted at my very large tech corporation. Let the good times roll...and more opportunities to patronize my beloved ballet, if less time to SEE it. Grrr.

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Additional quotations of famous ballets that I remembered this morning, after a good night's sleep, thinking about what I saw in FAIRY's KISS on Friday & Saturday:

 

 

1. SWAN LAKE - during the pdd of the Hero & the Fairy -  "Black Swan pdd"...the Fairy drops down to the famous swan pose, with waving-arms port-de-bras; hero reaches out to her, she hops up on pointe to a back-attitude pose

 

2. SLEEPING BEAUTY - during the finale, the fairies form parallel diagonal lines as "Prince Desire" chases after "Aurora" zig-zagging in & out of the lines of Naiads

 

3. RAYMONDA - during the finale a number of "fairy couples" do the high lift-carry from RAYMONDA A3 Grand Pas Classique Hongroise. During this segment, other couples strike poses/carries from MANON (A1 "meeting pdd" of Des Grieux & Manon), and a couple of others that I couldn't pinpoint immediately

 

4. DIAMONDS pdd - the famous penchee pose appears somewhere in that finale...before the sequence of famous couples' lifts and carries

 

5. HARLEQUINADE  - In the Soviet version of HARLEQUINADE, the final pose of the pdd adagio has Harlequin dropping to his knees and embracing Columbine's legs. The hero does this to the veiled Fairy, at the end of their adagio. Petipa did the same in the SATANELLA PDD, but I believe that Ratmansky was thinking of HARLEQUINADE to show the Hero's absolute enchantment with his veiled "Fiancee."

 

6. In tribute to Ashton (I think), the very last tableau features a circle of corps in the back-center (like Ashton's many large "corps circles" such as RENDEZVOUS, BIRTHDAY OFFERING, ONDINE, etc.), in the middle of which the Hero is slowly lifted by the corps, his arms outstretched like APOLLO.

 

There also appears to be a quotation of a Massine ballet, LES PRESAGES (cluster of tilting corps). In Saturday's pre-perf talk, Ratmansky mentioned Massine as one of the choreographers honored but didn't state which ballet. I think it may be PRESAGES.

 

Add this to all of the others cited above by Cristian or myself, e.g., the many quotations of NAPOLI and other Bournonvilles during the 2nd scene with the villages...those famous Bournonville jetes toward the audience, with back leg in attiture, for ex.

 

For all of its foibles, FAIRY's KISS is required viewing for every balletomane...if anything, just for this "spotting" opportunity.

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3 hours ago, Natalia said:

 

Hardly, sandik. I just found out this morning that I've been promoted at my very large tech corporation. Let the good times roll...and more opportunities to patronize my beloved ballet, if less time to SEE it. Grrr.

 

So lottery tickets it is -- congratulations!

 

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Jayne, just a note that the sets in Maillot's Romeo and Cendrilon are by Ernest Pignon-Ernest. Kaplan designed only costumes for these ballets.

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The main problem (beside some casting & the decors/projections) are the bizarre narrative choices made by Ratmansky. In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned the odd tossing of the baby among the fairies entourage in sc 1. If the Fairy and her group love the baby so much, why do they endanger him by playing "catch"?  (Such poor, insensitive taste, not to mention the snickering of some audience members!) The most bizarre directorial choice comes in the final tableau when the "three women" in the Hero's life (mother, fiancée and fairy) come forward to rest at the front-edge of the stage, their backs to the audience, watching the ascension of the Hero. So does this mean that the Fairy has become a mortal, on par with the mother and fiancée? Makes no sense. In past versions of the full ballet, the Fairy leads the Hero to the Other World *or* as in Balanchine, he climbs up to join the Fairy in heaven/other world. Ratmansky grounds the Fairy; she is just a viewer of what's happening.

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Marina Harss has a good piece on Ratmansky's "Fairy's Kiss" at Dance Tabs – helpful in explaining how all the quotes from other ballets fit in –

 

Quote

The dancers drift in and out of sequences from one ballet after another: Les Sylphides, Les NocesGiselleSerenade. Sometimes the young man watches, and sometimes he directs, like a choreographer. Finally he is swept up in a complex formation that encompasses the whole stage, each dancer forming one small part of the whole. The final image is poetic, grand, inspiring. It takes one’s breath away

 

http://dancetabs.com/2017/02/miami-city-ballet-the-fairys-kiss-walpurgisnacht-ballet-polyphonia-miami/

 

She also discusses the structural difficulties of the original H C Andersen story, and of Stravinksy's score: its lack of drive, Balanchine's and Nijinkska's difficulties with it.

 

Alistair Macaulay also has a helpful in-depth piece in the Times ("you watch the formations cohere, melt and change, fluently and enthrallingly, like sand patterns changed by successive sea waves"), and finds only the opening weak.

 

Both critics mention how good Miami's "Walpurgisnacht Ballet" looked.

 

One of the sources of the sets and the "milk carton" houses might be this (a facsimilie was in the background of the Works & Process presentation) painting of houses in Horta de Ebro, full of painterly puns and rhymes -

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pablo_Picasso,_1909,_Maisons_à_Horta_(Houses_on_the_Hill,_Horta_de_Ebro),_oil_on_canvas,_65_x_81_cm,_private_collection.jpg

Edited by Quiggin

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12 hours ago, doug said:

Jayne, just a note that the sets in Maillot's Romeo and Cendrilon are by Ernest Pignon-Ernest. Kaplan designed only costumes for these ballets.

Ah, right you are Doug!  I retract my comment above.  One must not offer critique to the wrong designer.  

 

Thank you for pointing out the correction.  

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