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Helene

Winter 2017 Season, Attempt Deux

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February 14, 2017 at 4:33:40 PM EST (notification date)


@Emma posted:


I'm hoping soon!  If I recall correctly, the last large group promotion was during Sleeping Beauty.  Let's see if history repeats itself.
 

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February 19, 2017 at 3:15:52 PM EST (notification date)


@canbelto posted:


Per Cameron Dieck's instagram, Unity Phelan has been promoted to soloist:
http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/index.php?app=core&module=system&controller=embed&url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BQtG5pCgCDq/?taken-by=camerondieck


So has Emilie Gerrity:


http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/index.php?app=core&module=system&controller=embed&url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BQtKFe6lDOL/?taken-by=joaquindeluz


Not sure who else was promoted. Congrats Emilie and Unity!
 

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That's everything we've been able to recover, again with gratitude to @angelica, and with our sincere apologies to anyone whose post we've lost.

 

A note that the discussion of the recent promotions is continuing in this thread:

http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/42247-nycb-winter-2017-promotions/

 

Also a belated welcome to @variated.  It's always great to read a visitor's impressions of our home companies.  

 

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So glad I could help this forum in some small way, since I derive such pleasure from reading it, as well as some great tips--got a front row seat in the second ring at NYCB because a member (can't remember who) was kind enough to post when casting went up. And that is just one example.

 

 

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I attended Friday night (the Rodgers program) and Saturday night (the Robbins program). Enjoyed both very much. Sara Mearns gave one of the most delicious, lubricious performances I have ever seen, in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. Obviously hugely enjoying herself and throwing herself, her legs, and her mane of hair into the role with irresistible gusto. She was also outstandingly beautiful in Thou Swell, elegant and alluring in the pale blue gown. I don't generally care for Peter Martins pieces, but Thou Swell is appealing. The simple structure allows the audience to focus on and enjoy the outstanding dancers. They were all terrific, but Amar Ramasar especially embodies elegant form and gallant good humor. 

I had been a little surprised by the Emilie Gerrity promotion (if they were going to promote a tall girl, why not my favorite, Emily Kikta??). But she was looking pretty grand in Moves. (Although for me the standard in that "serpent" pose is Rebecca Krohn a few years back, whose face caught the light perfectly and who blinked at just the right moment -- so memorable!) Am I just noticing Gerrity more, or did being promoted give her more confidence? Whatever, I look forward to more of her. It was great to see Taylor Stanley too, I feel like he wasn't given much to do this season. Finally, Devin Alberda. I can't help noticing him whatever he does. I don't understand the Troy Schumacher promotion. What new roles do they envision for him? Alberda IMHO is far more deserving, taller which makes him more versatile, not to mention more consistent and far more polished. 

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13 hours ago, cobweb said:

I attended Friday night (the Rodgers program) and Saturday night (the Robbins program). Enjoyed both very much. Sara Mearns gave one of the most delicious, lubricious performances I have ever seen, in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. Obviously hugely enjoying herself and throwing herself, her legs, and her mane of hair into the role with irresistible gusto. She was also outstandingly beautiful in Thou Swell, elegant and alluring in the pale blue gown. I don't generally care for Peter Martins pieces, but Thou Swell is appealing. The simple structure allows the audience to focus on and enjoy the outstanding dancers. They were all terrific, but Amar Ramasar especially embodies elegant form and gallant good humor. 

I had been a little surprised by the Emilie Gerrity promotion (if they were going to promote a tall girl, why not my favorite, Emily Kikta??). But she was looking pretty grand in Moves. (Although for me the standard in that "serpent" pose is Rebecca Krohn a few years back, whose face caught the light perfectly and who blinked at just the right moment -- so memorable!) Am I just noticing Gerrity more, or did being promoted give her more confidence? Whatever, I look forward to more of her. It was great to see Taylor Stanley too, I feel like he wasn't given much to do this season. Finally, Devin Alberda. I can't help noticing him whatever he does. I don't understand the Troy Schumacher promotion. What new roles do they envision for him? Alberda IMHO is far more deserving, taller which makes him more versatile, not to mention more consistent and far more polished. 

 

Hi cobweb. I agree with you about Troy.  He's been in the corps for over a decade, and I'm having trouble remembering a single role he performed.   My take on the Schumacher promotion is that Martins tends to promote in-house choreographers to the soloist level regardless of whether their dancing skills merit the promotion.  Martins did the same for  J. Peck and Wheeldon, neither of whom were distinguished dancers.  Leigh Witchel a few months ago aptly referred to NYCB as a sausage factory with respect to new choreography.  They just keep churning out the product (new ballets) and Troy seems to be one of the new sausage makers.  His two works for NYCB were generally well received in the NY Times.   Every year Martins seems intent on presenting a large number of new works, and the big three (Wheeldon, Peck and Ratmansky) have so many other gigs going that they are not readily available to NYCB every season.  I think Martins may envision more ballets to be created by Troy in future seasons, and promoting him to  soloist  gives him more credibility. 

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That seems like a crazy waste of a soloist slot, but since I can't account for Schumacher's promotion otherwise, you may be right!

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13 hours ago, abatt said:

 

Hi cobweb. I agree with you about Troy.  He's been in the corps for over a decade, and I'm having trouble remembering a single role he performed.   

 

Schumacher is a very winning Puck, and my personal favorite among the current crop. (Although I will add that Harrison Ball's debut made me see the role with new eyes. I do want to see him in the role again ...) 

 

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On 2/27/2017 at 9:00 AM, cobweb said:

I don't understand the Troy Schumacher promotion. What new roles do they envision for him? 

 

I can respect the drive to promote a promising choreographer as a tool for the company to retain talent. But I actually do see roles for Schumacher to expand his current rep. He already covers a lot of the same ballets as Daniel Ulbricht and I'm sure that will expand further in forthcoming seasons.

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I haven't seen this group often since I moved from NYC, but when I saw Schumacher's name I remembered how much I loved his Puck, which I've never seen surpassed.

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I was in town last weekend and was able to hit up the final Saturday matinee of Winter Season. Finally getting around to sharing my thoughts on that day's All Robbins program. I had seen Suzanne Farrell Ballet do The Concert a few years ago at the Kennedy Center, but this was my first viewing of both Glass Pieces and Moves. One huge bonus to me seeing shows at the Koch Theater is NYCB's 30 under 30 program. A $30 ticket got me dead-center of the first row of the first ring. I was floored at the amazing location. I have a few years to go until I'm ineligible for the program, but I'm definitely going to be taking advantage of it more often.

 

First up, Glass Pieces. Orchestra was in full form, saxophones were beautiful and the drums in the third movement had serious life. I've always admired the sets and lighting from pictures and video, both did not disappoint. The ballet is very regimented in many ways, and I felt the strength of the Corps was really the heartbeat. This was the first time that I've noticed Peter Walker as an individual dancer. His powerful coordination in the first and third movements were striking, and my eyes naturally went directly to him when a group would enter the stage. On the flip side, I felt like there were a few in the male corps who weren't matching the energy level of their peers or the music. Understand that it's the end of season, but I was surprised that the recently-promoted Joe Gordon didn't seem to be very energized when the piece has such a tempo. Krohn and Ramasar were the pas de deux in the second movement. Nothing good or bad really stood out.

 

I didn't know what to expect when seeing Moves. I thought there was a chance that I wouldn't like the piece without the framework of music, but there was no need to worry. The juxtaposition of complete still silence and then the sudden clap of a point shoe or shuffle of a step was mesmerizing. And I really was impressed with the stillness and balance the group showed, especially Unity Phelen. Look forward to seeing her grow into more principal roles.

 

The Concert is always a good note to end on. You could tell that Lovette was new to the piece, with some missteps in foot placement here and there. Loved De Luz as the husband and Meghan Dutton-O'Hara as the wife. I love the fluidity of her movements when she's in traditional dancing roles, but I worry they're setting her up for long-term senior corps with no opportunity to progress.

 

This will probably be my last opportunity to see the company before their June tour at the Kennedy Center. Looking forward to that program so much!

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Thanks for the update on the Robbins program, DC Export! (I like getting reports on his part of the repertory.)

 

Schumacher's a solid, thoughtful dancer (and I like his Puck also, Helene).

 

The men we primarily see in the "short" male bravura roles (De Luz, Ulbricht, Veyette, Garcia, Carmena) are fast approaching or past the two decade mark. And Gordon has only been onstage about 5 years. Martins might want a mid-career dancer with experience in those roles other than Huxley in order to maintain a consistent talent pipeline. Someone with Schumacher's intelligence and stage experience in the "short" male bravura roles will seem a worthwhile investment in about three years.

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Hmm, looks like the men being groomed for the short bravura roles are Harrison Ball and Joseph Gordon. Both have danced the Brick Boy in DAAG, Candy Cane in Nutcracker, Ball has danced Puck, Gordon has danced the third movement in Symphony in C and Symphony in Three Movements. 

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On 2/19/2017 at 11:32 PM, Helene said:

February 12, 2017 at 12:19:38 AM EST (notification date)


@Caesariatus posted:

 

 
My reaction after the Awaking scene was, "That was it?  Shouldn't this scene be a bit more dramatic?".
 
 

 

 

How effectively the Awakening Scene is presented in Peter Martins’ or any other production of The Sleeping Beauty is up to the individual viewer to decide. This scene’s powerful symbolism, its profound significance and meaning, and its rich psychological insight, nevertheless, make it intrinsically extraordinarily dramatic and doubtlessly one of the greatest literary scenes of our cultural heritage.

 

 

On 2/19/2017 at 11:36 PM, Helene said:

February 13, 2017 at 10:44:43 AM EST (notification date)


@Colleen Boresta posted:


  
After The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty is perhaps the favorite ballet of children (and adults who never quite grew up).  The story is a well known fairytale and young dancers take part in the performance, particularly in the Garland Waltz segment.  Peter Martins’ streamlined production of The Sleeping Beauty seems to be choreographed especially for little viewers.  In some versions of this ballet the plot can be lost amidst all the dancing.  Martins’ Sleeping Beauty allows the story line to shine through.

 


New York City Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty is close to a perfect ballet.  

 

NYCB’s production of this ballet is outstanding, in my view. However, —

 

When Prince Désiré awakens Princess Aurora with a kiss (preferably) in the brow, he transports her from the land of dreams to the real world. To properly assess the gravity of this act and grasp the tremendous responsibility involved in carrying it out (or not, for that matter!) require a comprehension of—Reality! Fundamentally, then, The Sleeping Beauty is a fairy tale which leads one to ponder the nature of Reality.

 

And Love! (By no means just in the romantic sense of the concept, either.) Finding himself inside the chamber of the castle where Aurora lies asleep represents the culmination of a quest for Désiré—a man who deserves to be there and who can awaken her! Questions about the nature of Reality and Love—convoluted and thorny, to say the least—have preoccupied preeminent human minds since the dawn of civilization.

 

The Sleeping Beauty is, therefore, a ballet for people of all ages … and levels of sophistication. There is, of course, no guarantee that any particular person will appreciate and enjoy it. That is not, however, a fault of the ballet—a ballet in which dance and philosophy are masterfully joined together.

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Watching the enchanting Ashley Laracey in the “Summer” section from The Four Seasons last evening reminded me how fabulous last year’s The Sleeping Beauty with her as the Lilac Fairy was. Two moments remain vivid in my memory. First, how radiant and discerning Laracey appeared as the Lilac Fairy was explaining to the King and Queen that Princess Aurora was not dead but asleep, and that one day a handsome prince from a foreign land would awaken her! Later in the ballet, I observed—from an advantageous vantage point during one performance—an incandescent, beatific Laracey (as the Lilac Fairy) lightly, elegantly pointing to her head by way of reminding a perplexed Prince Désiré his course of action. What a thrilling, epiphanic moment! Isn’t mime in narrative ballet offered as much for the benefit of the audience as it is for the sake of the characters on stage? On the surface, the Lilac Fairy’s gesture serves to remind Désiré how to awaken Aurora. Obliquely, it is a hint to anyone in the audience seeking understanding to reflect deeply, soberly on the meaning and significance of the Awakening Scene.

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On 2/19/2017 at 11:46 PM, Helene said:

February 14, 2017 at 4:50:58 PM EST (notification date)


@lmspearposted:

 

 
 
Tangentially, I've often wondered what happens to the four princes from the party scene.  Does the Lilac Fairy send them home or on to further adventures, or does she put them to sleep along with everybody else?  

 

On 2/19/2017 at 11:47 PM, Helene said:

February 14, 2017 at 4:50:58 PM EST (notification date)

 

@Kathleen O'Connell replied:

 

What happens in Florestan's castle stays in Florestan's castle.
 
Or maybe, The first rule of Prince Club is you don't talk about Prince Club. 

 

In the midst of all the laughter let us not ignore the insight: only an outsider who does not belong in any "Prince Club" can awaken Aurora.

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20 hours ago, Royal Blue said:

 

 

In the midst of all the laughter let us not ignore the insight: only an outsider who does not belong in any "Prince Club" can awaken Aurora.

The question -- what happens to the four princes from the birthday party?  Perhaps they meet the six princesses from Prince Siegfried's birthday party and they all settle down in a commune.

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In the Ronald Hynd version that PNB does, one of them gets run through while trying to fight off Carabosse's minions, and Prince Desire finds his pile of bones and is mortified when he finds the dead Prince's sword and realizes what happens.

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17 hours ago, Helene said:

In the Ronald Hynd version that PNB does, one of them gets run through while trying to fight off Carabosse's minions, and Prince Desire finds his pile of bones and is mortified when he finds the dead Prince's sword and realizes what happens.

Yes, so we only need to find wives for three of them.  But not in the joking mode, that moment when Desire finds the sword and recognizes the bones is a real acting opportunity for the dancer playing the prince.

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That was my second-favorite Bold moment in the ballet.  The first was when, facing upstage and assessing the overgrown mess, he registered from behind that this was a gignormous task, not just swish, swish with his sword, kiss the girl.  Finding the dead Prince was like a (false) horror ending, until it turned into goodness.

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On 3/6/2018 at 1:11 AM, sandik said:

The question -- what happens to the four princes from the birthday party?  Perhaps they meet the six princesses from Prince Siegfried's birthday party and they all settle down in a commune.

At long last somebody mentioned them! It did not escape my notice that no one inquired about what happened to the six princesses from Prince Siegfried’s party! Let’s be fair to both sexes! Women perhaps would find it more difficult though to adhere to the first rule of Princess Club.

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1 hour ago, Royal Blue said:

At long last somebody mentioned them! It did not escape my notice that no one inquired about what happened to the six princesses from Prince Siegfried’s party! Let’s be fair to both sexes! Women perhaps would find it more difficult though to adhere to the first rule of Princess Club.

Deborah Jowitt paid them some attention in a review of American Ballet Theater several years ago, remarking that whomever danced the smallest princess had a great moment where she realized that she was being passed over.  Some productions make this ensemble very uniform, while others attempt to create a dramatic arc with individuals -- both approaches have merit, but reflect different perspectives on the balance between narrative and abstract work in the ballet.

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