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2017 Spring Season

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I think Tller Peck's  best roles to date have been Allegro Brilliante, Who Cares and the pdd in Act 2 of Midsummer.

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I saw this afternoon's Allegro Brillante, 4Ts, and Symphony in C. What to add to the superlatives about Tiler Peck in Allegro Brillante? I don't have the words but I can think of no better performance by a ballerina that I have ever seen. At the end she even playfully nodded her head to the audience. I'll always remember this performance. Andrew Veyette seemed to have to work very hard--noticeable, as I was sitting close to the stage. I thought I would not like 4 Ts but was so surprised to be entranced by it and would like to see it again. Each movement was perfection, even by dancers I did not expect to be terrific, like Gonzalo Garcia, who really conveyed the melancholic mood, and Ask la Cour, so much more graceful, fluid, and mesmerizing than I expected. Sara Mearns and Tess Reichlen were both excellent as usual. Symphony in C flowed so effortlessly from movement to movement. Megan Fairchild showed the expressiveness she learned on Broadway and Chase Finlay had great energy and beauty of line--they were the perfect pair. Sad to say that Maria Kowroski seemed to lack sufficient energy to make it through the whole ballet, although her extensions were of course beautiful, but by the finale she seemed to drag. Tyler Angle was a supportive partner and beautiful in his solos. Very impressed with the lightness and effervescence of Harrison Ball--he is a comer, hopefully a promotion to principal is in his future. Alston Macgill, his partner, has the steps and grace, and hopefully will add presence and pizzazz as she matures. Brittany Pollack and Taylor Stanley kept up the excellence in the fourth movement. I'd like to see him get more solos--he has all the goods and more. In both 4Ts and Symphony in C the corps were excellent and added to the excitement of the afternoon. When 14 principals dance in a single afternoon and the program is chosen to showcase and contrast three quintessential Balanchine ballets, what more can you ask for? I was in heaven.

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I agree with much of CTballetfan's report, especially regarding Allegro Brillante. Tiler Peck is a wonder. Such a blend of technical brilliance and expressive grace is so rare. Her turns were phenomenal, and so many small moments with the hands and arms were infused with fresh insight.

 

Andrew Veyette looked positively run down. Especially in the segments where he dances in unison with the other men, he stood out as the weakest of the five. Some steps seemed only marked rather than danced full-out. Low, low energy.

 

I've warmed to Megan Fairchild from seeing her more this year, but I was not impressed by her Symphony in C 1st movement. Perhaps I've been too obsessively watching the Paris video of Tiler Peck dancing this, but I missed the latter's musicality and expressiveness. I particularly enjoyed the third movement with Harrison Ball and Alston Macgill. When jumping, Ball seems to just hang in the air.

 

Standouts in 4T's were Teresa Reichlen and, announced as a replacement before the performance, Aaron Sanz in the 3rd theme PDD. I was entranced by Aaron's gorgeous hands. Also, I've seen Indiana Woodward in the Sanguinic corps twice now this year, and her total commitment to even a small part such as that is striking; she fully embodies the role.

 

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With so little Balanchine on tap this season, I decided to make the most of it and attended all four performances of the Balanchine program last week. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I agree with what everyone has said about Tiler Peck in Allegro Brillante, Sara Mearns and Maria Kowroski in Symphony in C, the electrifying four ladies of Phlegmatic, and the charm of Alston Macgill and Harrison Ball in Symphony in C (I was glad to see Ball smiling; sometimes he looks like he’s not enjoying himself)… to mention just a few of the outstanding performances. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned Amar Ramasar, partnering Peck in Allegro Brillante. He was perfect -- handsome, commanding, and with sprightly beautiful form. Whereas, as mentioned above, Andrew Veyette looked heavy and tired. Also Chase Finlay struggled with the choreography in the first movement of Symphony in C. Aaron Sanz has been earning his pay, dancing in all three pieces Saturday and Sunday. I find him magnetic. His whole bearing is so elegant and he has a very pleasing address to the audience. I thought he and Unity Phelan (demisolosts Symphony in C, first movement) looked especially good together. I’d love to see more of that pairing.

 

Now, onto the, um, Here/Now festival… I’ll be saving a bundle on tickets not bought for the next few weeks. Will hold out for Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Edited by cobweb

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....Continuing... Tiler Peck was truly amazing. I don't think I've ever seen a dancer totally embody the music the way she did yesterday in Allegro Brilliante. Just pure joy in expression. I was sitting very close, and at one point Andrew Veyette gave Tiler a little smile seeming to acknowledge just how on fire she was. What an unforgettable performance. I love 4Ts and was excited to see Sara Mearns. Sara just ate up space. She wasn't perfect but that didn't seem to be the goal -- she just threw herself into the steps with abandon. Amazing to watch. I was surprised at how moved I was by Maria Kowroski's performance in Symphony in C. Tyler Angle is such a sensitive partner and he and Maria created what was, for me, a very vulnerable, dramatic, and moving performance. Her energy did seem to lag near the end of the ballet but she kept fighting on and in her struggle created something beautiful, in my opinion. I know the ballet is so often about striving for perfection and effortlessness, and we saw that yesterday in Tiler Peck's performance, but art is also about expressing a kind of universal humanity and I found that in Maria's performance. All in all, an extraordinary afternoon at the ballet!

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I have only two negative comments regarding these fabulous All Balanchine programs and the incredible performances by stellar dancers.  First, Megan LeCrone should not be doing Choleric.  She is timid and tentative in this role- the exact opposite of what is needed.

 

The second quibble is my amazement at the continued technical weakness of Chase Finlay.   Personally, I can't wait to see someone technically brilliant take  over the first movement of Symphony in C, but we may have to wait a few years. 

 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, abatt said:

I have only two negative comments regarding these fabulous All Balanchine programs and the incredible performances by stellar dancers.  First, Megan LeCrone should not be doing Choleric.  She is timid and tentative in this role- the exact opposite of what is needed.

 

Your disappointment in LeCrone reminded me of a similar comment I made about her in spring 2016 in Symphony in 3 Movements:

 

"Biggest disappointment: Megan LeCrone. I know she has a lot of fans on this board, but...I was near the front on Friday night and her pasted-on grin was appalling. Her variations alone were limp and uncommitted. In this ballet, as with many others, Balanchine interwove non-ballet moves with classical steps and positions -- jogging, arm pumping, odd shapes, etc. LeCrone almost seemed embarrassed to be doing them. Saturday afternoon, the grin was dialed back, but the movements were just as limp and uncommitted. She needs to OWN that choreography and I just didn't see it. Joseph Gordon had the thankless task of partnering her, but couldn't compensate for her flaccid performance, to my mind. Sorry!"

 

How much coaching do these people get?

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In my opinion, Maria Kowroski  performed a beautifuly yesterday afternoon in Symphony in C.  I have to disagree with @CTballetfan Felicia.  In fact, she brought another level of artistry to the adagio section.  Her beautiful long lines really hypnotized the audience.  She also did an extra bow and pleased the wild applause of the audience.  

For the grand finale, not only that she kept up with the other dancers but she stood out like a true queen.  This is my second time seeing her this week in Symphony in C (this time in 4th ring, first time in Orchestra).  Even from the cheap seats, I can feel her dancing.

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I disagree with Kowroski. Even before she went on maternity leave and had her injuries I never saw her make it through a classical tutu ballet like Symphony in C or Diamonds without a major mistake. Doesn't mean she wasn't/isn't a lovely dancer. But I saw her twice in Symphony in C and her trying to get through those pirouettes was painful to watch. 

There's plenty of roles where Kowroski's warm stage manner, her comic timing, and her beautiful figure are still valuable, I just don't think a role like Symph in C is one of them.

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28 minutes ago, canbelto said:

There's plenty of roles where Kowroski's warm stage manner, her comic timing, and her beautiful figure are still valuable, I just don't think a role like Symph in C is one of them.

 

Personally, I'd hardly go so far as to say that seeing her in it is not a "still valuable" experience, despite the fact that she may not be ideal for the role. The 2nd movement was quite beautiful; I can forgive the 3 minutes she's onstage for the 4th.

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I agree with nanushka. Maria's (and her partner, Tyler's ) 2nd movement on Sunday was so mesmerizing and beautiful, and judging the reactions of the people around me, I wasn't the only person who felt this. It was one of those live theater experiences. I was sitting quite close, so I don't know if people sitting further back had the same experience. Her 4th movement and finale were a bit rough, but the 2nd movement was so beautiful, I didn't care. And, you know, in a day and age when 12 year olds on youtube can perform 16 pirouettes, I'm definitely looking for something more than technique from the professional artists I go see perform. Just my opinion :)

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I also attended the matinee performance on Sunday.  Tiler Peck was the star of the afternoon.  Her technical ability and expression in this ballet are matched by hardly anyone currently performing the role.  I'd also like to add that the piano solo in the middle was played beautifully and poignantly which I felt that Tiler matched completely.  Truly a spectacular performance.  The 4t's was also performed very well, highlights being the 3rd theme, and Teresa Reichlen in Choleric.  She was able to occupy so much space and has such fantastic range of motion that it is so exciting to see the crisp and sharp lines of her beautiful legs attack the space.  Sara Means on the other hand seemed to be having an off night and she let it show.  She hardly kept her eyes off the floor and seemed defeated and not totally present.  To me Symphony in C is the perfect way to end any ballet program and I never could get tired of watching it.  Megan was charming and secure, and though Chase is beautiful, and benefits from having perfect proportions and great presence, he can't quite meet the technical challenges of the first movement right now.  He's been plagued with injuries the past and though its nice to see him finally back on stage, their is a clear diminishment in his technical ability now, than from when he was first promoted to principal.  Maria Kowroski was in perfect form, and had such a special quality to her dancing.  She moved so seamlessly and was so invested in the movement that I found it near impossible to take my eyes off of her, and the connection she had with her partner Tyler was palpable.  I was excited to see Alston for the first time in a Principal role and she delivered on all accounts.  All she needs now is time to continue growing and I think we'll have a very special artist on our hands.  Her partner Harrison was also delightful to watch and has shown a lot of growth since first joining the company.  All in all it was a very special performance, and one I was very glad to have not missed.

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I was at Sunday's matinee as well.  Tiler Peck was at her very best with brilliant, sparkling musicality and artistry.  Yes, she dances the steps too(!)..... with utmost, amazing confidence and joy. 

And what a great surprise to see Harrison Ball command the stage with such artistry and ease in the very exhausting, very demanding third movement of Sym in C of endless jumps, large and small, turns, tours in the air all with unforgiving tempi speed.  Harrison struggled with nothing!  He's a fine partner too. 

I'd love to see Tiler and Harrison perform Allegro Brilliante or any other allegro type Balanchine ballet very soon.  Sigh....Maybe in Saratoga.....Maybe next season.....  Not soon enough for me.
 

Edited by sz
spacing

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On April 24, 2017 at 9:30 AM, cobweb said:

With so little Balanchine on tap this season, I decided to make the most of it and attended all four performances of the Balanchine program last week. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I agree with what everyone has said about Tiler Peck in Allegro Brillante, Sara Mearns and Maria Kowroski in Symphony in C, the electrifying four ladies of Phlegmatic, and the charm of Alston Macgill and Harrison Ball in Symphony in C (I was glad to see Ball smiling; sometimes he looks like he’s not enjoying himself)… to mention just a few of the outstanding performances. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned Amar Ramasar, partnering Peck in Allegro Brillante. He was perfect -- handsome, commanding, and with sprightly beautiful form. Whereas, as mentioned above, Andrew Veyette looked heavy and tired. Also Chase Finlay struggled with the choreography in the first movement of Symphony in C. Aaron Sanz has been earning his pay, dancing in all three pieces Saturday and Sunday. I find him magnetic. His whole bearing is so elegant and he has a very pleasing address to the audience. I thought he and Unity Phelan (demisolosts Symphony in C, first movement) looked especially good together. I’d love to see more of that pairing.

 

Now, onto the, um, Here/Now festival… I’ll be saving a bundle on tickets not bought for the next few weeks. Will hold out for Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Unity had been paired with Cameron Dieck (her off stage squeeze) in "Symphony in C", but Cameron suffered an injury during the first movement, and while he finished the movement, he was replaced for the Finale.  Hope this new injury is both minor and short lived.   I love him, both as a partner and when he's just dancing on his own.  Such elegance and style!  He deserves a promotion.

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2 hours ago, mimsyb said:

Unity had been paired with Cameron Dieck (her off stage squeeze) in "Symphony in C", but Cameron suffered an injury during the first movement, and while he finished the movement, he was replaced for the Finale.  Hope this new injury is both minor and short lived.   I love him, both as a partner and when he's just dancing on his own.  Such elegance and style!  He deserves a promotion.

 

I believe Dieck was injured on Friday night. He was scheduled for Sat evening & Sunday matinee but did not dance.

I also went to all 4 performances of this program and found it wonderful and exhilarating all 4 times. There are no words to describe how wonderful Peck was in AB - so I have nothing to add to the comments that have already been posted.
 

I basically agree with most of the comments - Finlay, and LeCrone were not great, but they were not awful either and didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of this program. 
 

I really loved Maria in the adagio movement of the Bizet. Her lines, balances and just the magic she injects into this pas make it totally mesmerizing. I agree that she was losing steam in the coda, but its not like she couldn't execute the steps, they just weren't as zippy as they should have been. I'll gladly put up with a slightly under-powered coda for her sublime adagio! 

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On 4/24/2017 at 10:55 AM, abatt said:

Personally, I can't wait to see someone technically brilliant take  over the first movement of Symphony in C, but we may have to wait a few years. 

 

 

 

I could see Taylor Stanley and Brittany Pollack taking over the first movement. Then they could put Indiana Woodward and maybe Harrison Ball or Devin Alberda in the fourth. 

I have a feeling that Unity Phelan has the second movement in her future, perhaps w Russell Janzen. 

Edited by cobweb

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And I hope that next time Four Temperaments returns, Anthony Huxley and Adrian Danchig-Waring are available. They were missed. 

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There are many casting changes this week, including one just posted today.  Mearns is replacing Georgina Paz. in Russian Seasons tonight.  (Gina is also replaced  tomorrow in New Blood.)  I still remember Mearns' blazing abandon in Russian Seasons when I saw her in it a few years ago.  This is a performance worth catching.  I have other commitments tonight. Otherwise I'd be there in a heartbeat.

 

Also, casting for week 4 is up. 

 

Those who wouldn't go near the Here Now Festival with a ten foot pole will be amused to know that Martins came out and made a curtain speech before last night's all Wheeldon performance.  He is very proud of the festival, and Wheeldon joined Martins on stage for a vodka toast.  Martins wryly stated that they were giving Balanchine "a vacation". 

 

No time to comment on the show right now.

 

 

Edited by abatt

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2 minutes ago, abatt said:

Those who wouldn't go near the Here Now Festival with a ten foot pole will be amused to know that Martins came out and made a curtain speech before last night's all Wheeldon performance.  He is very proud of the festival, and Wheeldon joined Martins on stage for a vodka toast.  Martins wryly stated that they were giving Balanchine "a vacation". 

Sure, but does the audience want a vacation from Balanchine? I think not. 

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15 minutes ago, abatt said:

Those who wouldn't go near the Here Now Festival with a ten foot pole will be amused to know that Martins came out and made a curtain speech before last night's all Wheeldon performance.  He is very proud of the festival, and Wheeldon joined Martins on stage for a vodka toast.  Martins wryly stated that they were giving Balanchine "a vacation". 

 

Ick in about four different ways.

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I'm sure there are plenty of  audience members who wish for a  Martins vacation, as in retirement of Martins as Artistic Director/Ballet Master in Chief  of NYCB and removal of his works from the NYCB roster.  But that's a conversation for another thread...

Edited by abatt

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Is Georgina Paz back for good, or is she just taking time off from Cats? Also, I will be interested in how heavily attended the Here Now festival is...

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Well they are certainly spending a ton promoting Here Now. I have been getting served the ad 20 times a day at least. Anytime I'm on the NYT website the ad plays on a continuous loop. 

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