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Writings/Reviews on Ratmansky Harlequinade Reconstruction for ABT

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Posted (edited)

Harlequinade has been reviewed by the Times, but by Brian Seibert. (I haven't read it yet...)

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/05/arts/dance/review-harlequinade-american-ballet-theater.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fdance&action=click&contentCollection=dance&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

*Edited to add: now that I've read the article, I see that Seibert makes some of the same arguments people here have in the Harlequinade thread. Was this reconstruction really worth the money? Wouldn't this have been better as just "variations" or a one act ballet? And, so on.

Edited by ABT Fan

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I thought the most interesting point he makes is about allowing modern style/technique.  While if I would have seen this multiple times if I'd been in NYC, I'm pretty sure that this would annoy me.

While I understand that this is an art, not silence, I prefer the "all-in approach" either be fully committed to the style, even if the effort isn't entirely successful and is uncomfortable, or don't do it.  

Perhaps, given the material, this would have been a better project for an elite school.  There is a frightening number of talent at that level, and not as much muscle memory.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ABT Fan said:

Harlequinade has been reviewed by the Times, but by Brian Seibert. (I haven't read it yet...)

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/05/arts/dance/review-harlequinade-american-ballet-theater.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fdance&action=click&contentCollection=dance&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

*Edited to add: now that I've read the article, I see that Seibert makes some of the same arguments people here have in the Harlequinade thread. Was this reconstruction really worth the money? Wouldn't this have been better as just "variations" or a one act ballet? And, so on.

To the extent that ABT raised money for this as part of a Ratmansky "trilogy" of reconstructions (Golden Cockerel, Whipped Cream and Harlequinade), you can't really separate out the worth of one over another.  It was presented, most likely, as a 3 pack of ballets for fundraising purposes.  Does anyone know who or what organizations were the lead benefactors?  Was it David Koch? 

In my opinion, the Harlequinade is more interesting  and worthwhile than  the Golden Cockerel.  All of these productions have had great design elements.

I think there are many other Ratmansky ballets that would have been more worthwhile than Cockerel or Harlequinade (for example, Paquita).  I would also enjoy seeing his Flames of Paris, but I'm not sure ABT has the talent at this point to fill an entire week of those bravura lead roles. 

Edited by abatt

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31 minutes ago, abatt said:

To the extent that ABT raised money for this as part of a Ratmansky "trilogy" of reconstructions (Golden Cockerel, Whipped Cream and Harlequinade), you can't really separate out the worth of one over another.  It was presented, most likely, as a 3 pack of ballets for fundraising purposes.  Does anyone know who or what organizations were the lead benefactors?  Was it David Koch? 

In my opinion, the Harlequinade is more interesting  and worthwhile than  the Golden Cockerel.  All of these productions have had great design elements.

I think there are many other Ratmansky ballets that would have been more worthwhile than Cockerel or Harlequinade (for example, Paquita).  I would also enjoy seeing his Flames of Paris, but I'm not sure ABT has the talent at this point to fill an entire week of those bravura lead roles. 

ABT's site says Harlequinade is a "co-production with The Australian Ballet."

Also (there's no mention of Koch):

"Leadership support for The Ratmansky Project, including Harlequinade and Whipped Cream, has been generously provided by Avery and Andrew F. Barth, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton E. James, and The Ted and Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund. Additional major support has been provided by Linda Allard, Sarah Arison, Lisa and Dick Cashin, Lloyd E. Rigler – Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, The Susan and Leonard Feinstein Foundation, William J. Gillespie, Brian J. Heidtke, The Marjorie S. Isaac/Irving H. Isaac Fund, Howard S. Paley, the Pearl T. Maxim Trust, Bernard L. Schwartz, Melissa A. Smith, The H. Russell Smith Foundation/Stewart R. Smith and Robin A. Ferracone, the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Foundation and Sutton Stracke.  ABT gratefully acknowledges Dr. Joan Taub Ades, Steven Backes, Mark Casey and Carrie Gaiser Casey, Linda and Martin Fell, Vicki Netter Fitzgerald, The Abraham Fuchsberg Family Foundation, Robin Chemers Neustein, John Leland Sills and Elizabeth Papadopoulos-Sills, and Sedgwick Ward for their generosity."

See here:

http://www.abt.org/casting-announced-for-third-and-fourth-weeks-of-abts-2018-spring-season-at-metropolitan-opera-house/

I'll have my own thoughts on Harlequinade after I see it later this week.

Personally, I'd love it if they did Ratmansky's Paquita. They have the female talent to do it well.

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Petipa was retired before Rimsky Korsakov completed the score to The Golden Cockerel.  Fokine choreographed it for Diaghilev not long after the opera's premiere, and it was revived by one of the successor Ballets Russes companies for Baranova.

When Ratmansky created it for the Royal Danish Ballet in 2012 -- King Dodon was Thomas Lund's last regular season role before he retired -- he created new choreography, but used the original set designs by Natalia Goncharova.

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