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ABT 2018 La Bayadere

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It's up to each ticket-buyer to determine whether the trade-off is worth it.  Our dear late carbro -- may her memory be a blessing -- posted here that, at a certain point, she would no longer watch Kistler dance.

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I didn't think the Shades corps was that bad last night compared to other revivals. They've never been very good at this and I always remembered wobbling legs, one shade out of sync, etc. I was more disturbed by the arabesque chugs last week in Giselle when several legs never made it across the Met stage and dropped in the middle of the chugging sequence.

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Posted (edited)

I've never seen the shades corps look as bad as they did last night, but specifically when they were in block formation doing uniform steps/poses after the completion of the winding entrance.

The entrance itself has definitely looked worse in the past (it didn't look too bad last night — having read reports on here, my initial reaction was, "Oh, they must have improved since opening night"), but the amount of wobbling/shaking/readjusting/hesitating/etc. (to the point of nearly falling over, it seemed, in some cases) in that later block sequence definitely seemed unprecedented to me. And much of it was in the front row. There were numerous murmurs all around me from others who apparently saw the same.

Edited by nanushka

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I attended the dress rehearsal on Tuesday. I've seen a couple of DRs each of the past 12 or 13 years, and I cannot remember a previous one that had so many corrections called out by the rehearsal director (not Kevin McKenzie) sitting in the orchestra seats.  Most of these were directed at the corps (and also the supers); a couple of times she made them repeat a sequence.  In the last act, with about twenty minutes remaining in the rehearsal, she asked the conductor to stop and repeat a piece of music so that another performer (in the Gamzatti role, I believe) could do the dance.  The conductor began to argue with the director; she told him to just follow the instructions.  After exclaiming that they would run out of time, he gave in (and the third act was completed before 5:00).  All in all, I perceived more tension among the performers than usual, and some of the wobbles that have been commented on from the early performances were also noticeable in the rehearsal.  The spring schedule this year is like it always is, with one big story ballet after another, but this week in particular (so far) the company seems a bit under-rehearsed.

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I think ABT needs a big overhaul of their Spring Season repertory. Way too many ballets being performed just out of some sort of outdated necessity. The audience is bored which reflects in low ticket sales. 

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19 hours ago, bingham said:

Have not seen ABT’s La Bayadere for a while. The L Samaritani scenic designs are as beautiful as ever. It was a very good performance by all but especially for the debuts of Devon, Christine and  Joo Won. Act II was very well done esp by the principal couple. Also notable was the debut of Anabel Katsnelson as the first shade. As usual, Arron Scott was a spectacular Bronze Idol. 

 

I saw that performance and there was an announcement made at the start that the 3 shades were being replaced and 3 names were hastily and garbled noted and I have no idea  who was dancing.....I agree, whoever danced the first shade was the highlight for me---the program listed Anabel Katsnelson---but who knows?  The 3 principals were OK......

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25 minutes ago, atm711 said:

I saw that performance and there was an announcement made at the start that the 3 shades were being replaced and 3 names were hastily and garbled noted and I have no idea  who was dancing.....I agree, whoever danced the first shade was the highlight for me---the program listed Anabel Katsnelson---but who knows?  The 3 principals were OK......

The second Shade( C Trenary) was replaced by Stephanie Williams. Anabel did the first Shade beautifully.

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39 minutes ago, Fleurfairy said:

I think ABT needs a big overhaul of their Spring Season repertory. Way too many ballets being performed just out of some sort of outdated necessity. The audience is bored which reflects in low ticket sales. 

I don't think it's necessarily that the audience is bored by the rep.  I think they are bored by the dancers. to a large extent. It's no coincidence that the only show that has sold out during the season  was the Osipova Hallberg Giselle.

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17 minutes ago, abatt said:

I don't think it's necessarily that the audience is bored by the rep.  I think they are bored by the dancers. to a large extent. It's no coincidence that the only show that has sold out during the season  was the Osipova Hallberg Giselle.

This is certainly the reason I am only lukewarm about ABT.

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1 hour ago, Fleurfairy said:

I think ABT needs a big overhaul of their Spring Season repertory. Way too many ballets being performed just out of some sort of outdated necessity. The audience is bored which reflects in low ticket sales. 

I think this is where I ritually chime in with a rant about the infelicities attendant to mounting an eight week season at the Metropolitan Opera, a house wholly unsuited to productions of less than gargantuan scale, and just all wrong for dance generally. 

I can't help but think that the need to get butts into 3800 seats and fill a giant* stage drives the spring rep. It doesn't help that it takes a special kind of performer to project out into the vast cavern that is the Met's auditorium, nor that the sight lines are lousy from more than a few seats, including the expensive ones. 

Threading the needle of what ballets work in that space, what ballets you have the dancers for, and what ballets people will show up for is a genuine challenge. 

* The proscenium is 54 x 54 feet; the stage itself is about 100 x 90 feet, including the apron and the wings. By contrast, the Theater Formerly Known as State seats 2550, has a 56 x 30 foot proscenium, and is 54 feet deep at the center. 

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23 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I think this is where I ritually chime in with a rant about the infelicities attendant to mounting an eight week season at the Metropolitan Opera, a house wholly unsuited to productions of less than gargantuan scale, and just all wrong for dance generally. ...the sight lines are lousy from more than a few seats, including the expensive ones. 

And this is where I ritually chime in with my opinion that every seat at the Met is a compromise for ballet. Except, maybe,  J1, K1, and L1, and one can almost never get those. In fact, last night I had to change my seat after the first act because the tiny woman in front of me had a bouffant hairdo that was twice as large as her head and completely obliterated most of the stage. It turns out that there is a Performance Manager who deals with such matters, since the box office closes at 8:00. Thankfully, the new seat was ever so much better. Sometimes I want to play Whack-A-Mole, and we're talking about Orchestra seats.

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20 minutes ago, angelica said:

And this is where I ritually chime in with my opinion that every seat at the Met is a compromise for ballet. Except, maybe,  J1, K1, and L1, and one can almost never get those. In fact, last night I had to change my seat after the first act because the tiny woman in front of me had a bouffant hairdo that was twice as large as her head and completely obliterated most of the stage. It turns out that there is a Performance Manager who deals with such matters, since the box office closes at 8:00. Thankfully, the new seat was ever so much better. Sometimes I want to play Whack-A-Mole, and we're talking about Orchestra seats.

Oh thank you, Angelica for the Performance Manager revelation! I'm pretty sure I have been trapped behind that same bouffant! 

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Posted (edited)

The misty and mcgregor sat night sold out

Edited by Vs1
My quotes keep getting misquoted or merged improperly

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12 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Oh thank you, Angelica for the Performance Manager revelation! I'm pretty sure I have been trapped behind that same bouffant! 

LOL! He comes to the ticketing area, so you get a ticket to go out (which lets you back in), and then you go around the column, and you think this can't possibly be right because you are in a kind of no man's land. But then the PM comes out with his computer and you hope that the new seat doesn't have a twin in front of you. But if a seat is so bad that you'd rather leave than stay for the rest of the ballet, the new seat has got to be better. Also, I think that Row B Orchestra at the Met is somewhat lower than Row A. Is that possible?

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A few years ago I saw Veronika Part, Gillian Murphy and guest Denys Nedak give the most compelling performance of La Bayadère I've ever seen. I hadn't suspected it was possible for the ballet to be so involving. But of course Part is no longer around. The theater wasn't sold out on that occasion either, although it also wasn't half empty.

I'll chime in with my usual refrain that it's time for ABT to move back across the plaza and share the theater with City Ballet. It won't be possible to get eight weeks in a row, but that isn't working very well for ABT now, is it? I know the company won't do it, because "The Met" is the last bit of prestige it still has.

(I haven't lived in New York for many years, so as a visitor to the city, I've taken advantage of the NYCB/ABT overlap more than once, but it's no longer sustainable.)

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

A few years ago I saw Veronika Part, Gillian Murphy and guest Denys Nedak give the most compelling performance of La Bayadère I've ever seen. I hadn't suspected it was possible for the ballet to be so involving. But of course Part is no longer around.

That was a remarkable performance. Seeing Bayadère this year makes me really miss Veronika. She truly shaped my conception of the role of Nikiya.

Edited by nanushka

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8 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

I'll chime in with my usual refrain that it's time for ABT to move back across the plaza and share the theater with City Ballet. 

If I were a billionaire, I would throw money in great handfuls at all the relevant boards to make this happen. 

While I was at it, I would also buy up whatever rights are keeping the Great Performances, Dance in America, and Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts locked away and out of the public view and digitize, digitize, digitize for broad consumption. 

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2 hours ago, angelica said:

And this is where I ritually chime in with my opinion that every seat at the Met is a compromise for ballet. Except, maybe,  J1, K1, and L1, and one can almost never get those. In fact, last night I had to change my seat after the first act because the tiny woman in front of me had a bouffant hairdo that was twice as large as her head and completely obliterated most of the stage. It turns out that there is a Performance Manager who deals with such matters, since the box office closes at 8:00. Thankfully, the new seat was ever so much better. Sometimes I want to play Whack-A-Mole, and we're talking about Orchestra seats.

1

It sounds like you may have had the pleasure of sitting behind Gia Kourlas.

gia-kourlas-height-weight-age-informatio

Edited by fondoffouettes

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Oh my, I really hope she doesn't sit in a front Orchestra seat with that hairdo! The hairdo of the woman in front of me was shaped like a round watermelon.

Edited by angelica

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4 minutes ago, angelica said:

I really hope she doesn't sit in a front Orchestra seat with that hairdo!

Yes, I see her sitting there often, always with her hair done that way. But, then again, the Met was built in an era when such hairstyles were de rigueur. They should have raked the floor more!

Edited by fondoffouettes

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8 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Yes, I see her sitting there often, always with her hair done that way. But, then again, the Met was built in an era when such hairstyles were de rigueur. They should have raked the floor more!

Yes, the Met should have been raked from Row A, but remember that it was built for opera, not ballet. I think it's selfish and narcissistic for people to dress in such a way that precludes the person behind them from seeing--at least at the ballet. 

5 minutes ago, canbelto said:

During the opera season there is always this exquisitely dressed couple and the wife often wears big fancy hats and fascinators. There was even an article about them:

http://www.metorchestramusicians.org/blog/2014/12/3/opera-fanatics-the-soderquists

I love their sense of style but wouldn't want to be sitting directly behind them in the orchestra.

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Not as bad as at the ballet, but very sad that people put their own primping and preening ahead of their fellow audience members' right to see the stage. Nobody taught them proper manners. They should be sitting in Center Parterre, not Orchestra.

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2 minutes ago, canbelto said:

During the opera season there is always this exquisitely dressed couple and the wife often wears big fancy hats and fascinators. There was even an article about them...

I love their sense of style but wouldn't want to be sitting directly behind them in the orchestra.

Not sure if it's the same couple, though they look like it, but I was a few rows directly behind them last year for Lane's Giselle debut, and she was wearing a much wider brimmed hat. Envision one you'd wear to a southern garden party.  I did what I've never done before and asked an usher to intervene to ask her to remove her hat (this was moments before the curtain). I couldn't believe that the usher defended her saying "you mean the couple who is here EVERY night? Hmsh.". He was not going to do anything about it, but thank heavens she removed her hat as the curtain rose. At least three other people near me were about to either remove it for her or chase down a house manager. 

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1 minute ago, angelica said:

Not as bad as at the ballet, but very sad that people put their own primping and preening ahead of their fellow audience members' right to see the stage. Nobody taught them proper manners. They should be sitting in Center Parterre, not Orchestra.

I wonder if there is, indeed, a "right to see the stage," though. What about an audience member sitting behind a rather tall person who blocks their view? Surely the tall person can't be faulted their height? Though I do agree with you, in general, that one should at least be mindful of the possible effects of one's wardrobe choices on others in an audience. (Jangling bracelets are my personal pet peeve.)

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