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SAB Workshop

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The School of American Ballet has announced the program for its annual presentation of the future of American ballet.

For anyone not on the mailing list, here's the news of this year's workshop performances at the School of American Ballet:

The future of American classical dance will be on display on Saturday, June 1st at 2:00 and 8:00 PM (plus a benefit for the high rollers on Monday, June 3rd).

Program and commentary:

Ballo della Regina (Verdi/Balanchine). A technically demanding showpiece created for Merrill Ashley and Ricky Weiss. Its presence on the program seems to confirm reports that Ashley is playing a more active role in teaching students and coaching young dancers. Given her keen eye for details and analytic mind (displayed in her book, Dancing for Md. B.) this should be good news indeed. But it may be difficult for young dancers to master the complexities of the choreography.

New Woetzel Ballet (Copland/Woetzel). Continuing the so-far successful trend of letting fledgling choreographers work with fledgling dancers.

Les Gentilhommes (Handel/Martins). Martins created this elegant little all-male divertissement to show off an exceptionally strong male "recruiting class" at NYCB. Its presence here suggests that SAB has a bumper crop of what were once called ballerini.

Brahms-Schoenberg QuartetThird and Fourth Movements (Brahams/Balanchine) A large ensemble and a flashy finale make this a wonderful curtain piece, affording many dancers the chance to appear on stage and enjoy the tutelage of Suki Schorer. If I may pre-empt FF, it's a pity the original "gypsy" isn't available for coaching.

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I will be going to Monday's show and was wondering if anyone has an idea how long they usually run.

Could not spring for the tickets that included the reception, so I want an idea of when to make dinner reservations for afterward.


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When to make your dinner reservations depends on a couple of factors, not just the length of the performane....if you have a dancer with whom you are planning to dine and they are in B/S, they will need time to get out of costume, make contact with *all* their friends, meet their friends' friends and parents, and do the usual post-performance decompression. This takes time and should not be rushed as it is an important element of the evening for them.

I know that some families eat dinner beforehand, and then meet the dancer afterward for post-performance light fare (or dinner for the dancer) as this keeps some dispositions sunnier. I imagine that if you make your dinner reservations for 10 p.m. you should be fine---it is a Monday night, after all, and a relatively late hour for weeknight dining. You might not even need reservations, unless there is a large group involved, in which case it would be a courtesy to the kitchen staff to know this.

Some people simply go off to the restaurant and tell the performer where they will be and are met at the site, knowing that the dancer will not be there as early as you expect. This is a common scenario and one which seems to keep all parties happy.

Given the energy level both onstage and in the audience at Workshop, a post-performance gathering is a great idea.....:D

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