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5 minutes ago, abatt said:

She only completed 4 Italian fouettes in her big solo for Gamzatti, and filled out the rest of the music by doing something else.  In that same solo, she only completed a few regular fouettes, and then filled in the rest of the music by doing something else.

I wasn't sure exactly what the standard number was for these, but in the Scala video of the Makarova version Isabelle Brusson does 6 and 10, respectively.

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16 minutes ago, abatt said:

I have no specific information on why Misty is not appearing in Harlequinade.  However, I can offer these facts about her Sat evening performance of Bayadere.  She only completed 4 Italian fouettes in her big solo for Gamzatti, and filled out the rest of the music by doing something else.  In that same solo, she only completed a few regular fouettes, and then filled in the rest of the music by doing something else.  The audience cheered anyway: either they were completely unaware of the standard choreography or they knew but didn't care.   I don't think Ratmansky takes kindly to alterations of his choreography, whereas it seems to be standard practice now to permit alterations of works of classical choreography at ABT.  Petipa can't say no to these alterations.

(Boylston and Cirio were excellent in Bayadere.)

Yes, I noticed that abatt.  It goes right from the Italian fouettes to the regular ones.  She fared better on Thursday night with her fouettes.  Trying to gather my thoughts to post on the La Bayadere thread after seeing a few shows.  

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Actually Makarova version is easier one to perform compared to the other versions because the music ends earlier. In other versions Gamzatti has to do 20 something fouettes after the 6 Italian fouettes to fill the music. 

Here's a video of Irina Dvorovenko at age of 18 performing Gamzatti with the longer music. 

Back to the topic, I'm very excited to see 2 Harlequinade this week. If anyone is seeing Lane/Cirio tonight please leave a review. I'm seeing them on Friday. 

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That video of Dvorovenko is amazing.

I'm very excited to see Harlequinade as well. If I like it enough, I may go a second time (I have a feeling I will).

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Another interesting factoid:

The ABT Harlequinade playbill thanks Edward Villella and Ethan Stiefel  “...for their invaluable assistance during the Harlequinade rehearsal process.” How cool is that?

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2 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Another interesting factoid:

The ABT Harlequinade playbill thanks Edward Villella and Ethan Stiefel  “...for their invaluable assistance during the Harlequinade rehearsal process.” How cool is that?

Well Villella learned the mime and probably some of the choreography directly from Balanchine who loved this ballet when he was a student in Imperial Russia. So short of having Marius Petipa or Mr. B there, Eddie is probably the most direct link to the original Petipa production.

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In a little note...I hope they somehow fixed the dummy of Harlequin for tonight. They ripped off one of his legs, and I don't think it was intentional...😂

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the dismemberment of the dummy limbs of Harlequin is definitely a part of Balanchine's staging and perhaps even of Gusev's...

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3 hours ago, rg said:

the dismemberment of the dummy limbs of Harlequin is definitely a part of Balanchine's staging and perhaps even of Gusev's...

Yes! I just realized about it tonight, when they repeated the stunt. Tonight was even more violent.

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

Yes! I just realized about it tonight, when they repeated the stunt. Tonight was even more violent.

Question: I watched it tonigh -  you were there last night as well: did one of the kids fall (dressed in black second act) and was dragged by the partner on purpose or this just happened tonight? I could not tell if it was on purpose d since the boy dragged her! Also, I was so disappointed with how empty the house was. Bartender told me only 36% of seats sold

Edited by BrazilianBAllet

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, BrazilianBAllet said:

Question: I watched it tonigh -  you were there last night as well: did one of the kids fall (dressed in black second act) and was dragged by the partner on purpose or this just happened tonight? I could not tell if it was on purposed since the boy dragged her! Also, I was so disappointed with how empty the house was. Barman told me on 36% of sold 

Well....the choreo calls for the boys to drag the girls by their dress while both are running backwards. The boy apparently was trying to follow somehow on the steps even though the girl was still on the floor, so she couldn't keep her balance-(due to the dragging)- when trying to get up and then fell back for the second time.

Edited by cubanmiamiboy

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9 hours ago, alexL said:

Actually Makarova version is easier one to perform compared to the other versions because the music ends earlier. In other versions Gamzatti has to do 20 something fouettes after the 6 Italian fouettes to fill the music. 

Here's a video of Irina Dvorovenko at age of 18 performing Gamzatti with the longer music. 

Back to the topic, I'm very excited to see 2 Harlequinade this week. If anyone is seeing Lane/Cirio tonight please leave a review. I'm seeing them on Friday. 

I thought they were both amazing. This is the 1st time I see it so cannot judge how they compare. Sarah’s solo in act II was so hard she was in perfect control and amazing length / lines. She had a silly fall before that - came out of nowhere (slipped), but I am glad she did not seem to mind. Audience loved Círio beautiful jumps and turns. The setting and costumes are insane and it made me sad that the turnout was so low 

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Posted (edited)

I'm gathering my thoughts for a better review than this, but...

Jeffrey Cirio's partnering was pretty bad tonight. I can sit through almost any fault except uneasy lift after uneasy lift. It's a shame, because I really wanted this role to work for him. His solo was great, but his characterization was very flat. Turns out, a so-so Harlequin really sinks this ship. 

Hallberg was surprisingly one-note. It was good, but I expected a little more from him . Lane was solid, also a bit one-note. Colombine is the 'straight man' of the group, so I'm more inclined to focus on Colombine's technique than her acting here. Lane's solo work was lovely, and made the difficult choreography look easy.

To my surprise, Abrera was the one who lifted the show. She just 'gets' Ratmansky's work. She was the only one who had the right feel for the material and her character projection was wonderful. Every moment with her was golden. 

I heard grumbles around me that the two leads 'need more personality.' Unfortunately, I agree. I'm seeing the first cast on Thursday. 

Edited by Inge

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Posted (edited)

So this is the deal. Harlequinade is yet another attempt at reclaiming a ballet world many of us thought to be lost. Much back and forth has been said about the pros and cons of said reconstructions or recreations...the sense or not at attempting them, or the success or lack of it of the end result. Harlequinade belongs in a more difficult cluster for Imperial productions to be revived, and it is the simple fact of being a very light comedy. Cutting it short...the libretto is probably the weakest of all Petipa ballets that are currently on repertoire. Even the most criticized ones on this board, Raymonda and Corsaire, look way meatier than Harlequinade. And comedies...? Well, we have La Fille Mal Gardee-(which had its triumphant return to the mid twenty century thanks to the beautiful Ashton choreography)- and then Coppelia, which is a whole different animal due to its memorable music...and then probably Balanchine.

Yes...the production is sumptuous....the costumes to die for, and most of all we see lots of allegro footwork and combinations that are not usually the bread and butter of the Soviet treatment of the warhorses at the turn of the century. 

Among the dances, the ones that I remember the most are of course the second act pdd with those sautees on pointe for Columbine's variation and the batteries for Harlequin. The waltz number for the Larks was also very pretty. The kids section I am a bit partial. I found it too long.

Last night's cast was stronger than tonight's. Boylston nailed the choreography and steps way more secure than Lane who, tragically, took a nasty fall onstage, which was somewhat concealed for it happened right behind an umbrella that a kid holds open center stage. Hers wasn't the only fall. A girl in black also fell forward during a group routine, and then when trying to get up she was dragged, I believed as a part of the choreography, by her partner holding to her skirt, to which she fell once again. It was quite messy. Cirio's lifts looked really labored and stressful.

Generally speaking, performance tonight was underwhelming compared to last night's. Lane/Cirio-Abrera/Hallberg weren't really a match for Boylston/Whiteside-Murphy. 

Oh...and Murphy was WONDERFUL last night. She really lighten the role.

Ana Kisselgoff was seated next to me and she looked bored. 

Edited by cubanmiamiboy

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1 minute ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

 The kids section I am a bit partial. I found it too long.

YES. By the time the third group came out I felt like I was at a recital, not The Met. 

Quote

Last night's cast was stronger nthan tonight's. Boylston nailed the choreography and steps way more secure than Lane who, tragically, took a nasty fall onstage, which was somewhat concealed for it happened right behind an umbrella that a kid holds open center stage.

I wouldn't call it tragic or a nasty fall. She just sort of slipped when she was walking and got right back up. 

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Posted (edited)

I guess I'll offer a dissenting opinion on Harlequinade. I don't mind that it's not a grand ballet, like Bayadere or Sleeping Beauty, but so much of the choreography for the ensembles was pleasant in an anodyne sort of way at best, and repetitive and boring at worst. And the ballet is filled with a lot of ensemble dancing. I can't imagine Ratmanksy looking at the notation and seeing the work of a genius choreographer. Much of it felt like Petipa at its most basic, and least inventive.      

The exception to this would be the Wedding "Lark" Pas, which was exquisite and offered a much-needed dose of pure dance spectacle. With the exception of that one fall, I thought Lane really sparkled in this section and pulled off those hops marvelously. I wish Cirio could have handled the partnering better. And I agree he didn't project much personality over the footlights; I imagine this is where Whiteside must have really excelled.     

Act I is really mostly action and mime, though I did love Columbine's solo (again, excellent hops from Lane), as well as Harlequin's somewhat understated solo. But there's just a ton of slapstick and mugging that didn't really feel funny at all. Maybe with a stronger cast it would have been entertaining, but to me it just felt boring. I think it's a big challenge to make commedia dell'arte characters funny to a modern-day audience, and the comedy didn't really land tonight. There were lots of people, soldiers, etc. entering and exiting the stage. It wasn't very engaging. I could have used some actual dance. The ensemble of villagers dancing did nothing for me.

In Act II, you do get some good dancing, but you have to wait through endless ensemble dances by child corps members that seem to go on forever, with each dance barely distinguishable from one another. They basically consist of the same hop-prance-stomp moves over and over and over again. Maybe it's something to record for archival purposes, but it's one of the biggest snooze-fests I've ever experienced. Then, finally, the Lark Pas, which very much justifies being reconstructed and should probably be presented on its own or as part of a suite of dances from Harlequinade. But, overall, I was just shocked by how repetitive and unimaginative by much of the dance in this act. My problem is not that this is a minor work by Petipa; it just seems like a rather poor one.

In terms of the physical production, the costumes are absolutely lovely, but I cared less for the scenic designs. The look like they could have been borrowed from a regional opera company's stock of tired old sets.

I'd advocate for ABT to present this in the future as a suite of dances or as a condensed one-act ballet, with a much-reduced prologue based on Act I and a wedding scene with the repetitive child-corps dances cut down. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

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2 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

 

In Act II, you do get some good dancing, but you have to wait through endless ensemble dances by child corps members that seem to go on forever, with each dance barely distinguishable from another. They basically consist of the same hop-prance-stomp moves over and over and over again. Maybe it's something to record for archival purposes, but it's one of the biggest snooze-fests I've ever experienced.

The child suite of dances is also in the Balanchine version. They actually sort of dance the "story" again. I agree it got a little repetitive but I think it's an important part of the ballet's structure.

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3 minutes ago, canbelto said:

The child suite of dances is also in the Balanchine version. They actually sort of dance the "story" again. I agree it got a little repetitive but I think it's an important part of the ballet's structure.

Important because the "story" is so compelling the first time that we need to see it all again? Count me among the dissenters.

I have been a defender of Ratmansky in the past. I loved The Tempest. I didn't mind Firebird. I see real value in the Sleeping Beauty reconstruction. But I couldn't agree more with Brian Siebert's review of the ballet in the Times (and I don't think I've ever said that about a Siebert review before). Turn this into a one-act, please!

Edited by nanushka

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, canbelto said:

The child suite of dances is also in the Balanchine version. They actually sort of dance the "story" again. I agree it got a little repetitive but I think it's an important part of the ballet's structure.

I guess I missed that they were retelling the story. All I saw was hop-prance, hop-stomp, over and over and over again -- with the same ports de bras motions over and over and over again. All that distinguished the dances for me was that the costumes varied. But my eyes were glazing over by that point.

Edited by fondoffouettes

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Oh...and on another matters, I get into the orchestra section very early, and right then and there are Villella and his wife seated quietly. So I pulled up a beautiful pic of him as Harlequin with McBride, and when passing by I put it right next to him and call his attention. I go.."here, Eddie...this is THE REAL DEAL!" He started laughing and Linda grabbed my phone and goes.."awwww" looking at the pic. I took the moment to thank him for having left such a great and strong ballet legacy in Miami-(he seemed moved by this). He did shake my hand and muttered a very honest "thank you". 

Then I left. By then people were literally jumping on him already-(and on Baryshnikov, who happened to be seated right at the other side of Villella).

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1 minute ago, nanushka said:

Important because the "story" is so compelling the first time that we need to see it all again? Count me among the dissenters.

That's a Petipa trademark. In Nutcracker the Prince mimes the story of the rat battle again in Act 2. Mr. B's Nutcracker preserves that mime. 

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1 minute ago, canbelto said:

That's a Petipa trademark. In Nutcracker the Prince mimes the story of the rat battle again in Act 2. Mr. B's Nutcracker preserves that mime. 

The Prince's mime takes all of 60 seconds.

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4 minutes ago, canbelto said:

The child suite of dances is also in the Balanchine version. They actually sort of dance the "story" again. I agree it got a little repetitive but I think it's an important part of the ballet's structure.

Balanchine's Coppélia children's corps is wonderful. Harlequinade's excessive use of children is a little tiresome whether it's Balanchine or Ratmansky. 

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Just now, canbelto said:

That's a Petipa trademark. In Nutcracker the Prince mimes the story of the rat battle again in Act 2. Mr. B's Nutcracker preserves that mime. 

It's so lively and exciting there -- not to mention beautifully tied to the music. And...it takes all of a minute? We don't have to watch children stomping and prancing for I don't know how long. It was awful.

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