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All Balanchine program (sat mat 6/8)

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What a fabulous program!

Divertimento No. 15


Who Cares?

I saw the first piece from the 2nd row of the orchestra. That was a new viewpoint of this piece for me. Somogyi and Rutherford were as gorgeous as usual. Even from the 2nd row, A. Stafford still does not quite have the presence to match her impressive technique. I do hope that changes.

The revelation for me on this program was Janie Taylor. Maybe what I have been missing is not seeing her in Balanchine. That is, great Balanchine roles (as opposed to 3rd mov't Suite No. 3, for example). I think she still rushes too much for a ballerina in Div No. 15, but she really did pull me in and show me the choreography anew. She has a unique way of moving-- not as soft and luxurious as a Somogyi, but I still learned something about the dance watching her. And, boy, I loved her as the girl in burgandy in Who Cares? As in her PBS Jeu de Cartes performance, she's loosened up (lost the fear?) quite a bit, and seems to have more fun losing herself in her roles. She had charm and independence (which that role demands). With both parts on Saturday, Taylor seemed to relax and enjoy the dance, which, in turn, allowed me to enjoy her dancing a great deal more.

back to Divertimento No. 15-- Ansanelli was new this week to the central ballerina role. The usually quick tempo of the solo seemed even more so this time-- unless it was just that I saw the ballerina having to work hard from close-up. Much of her solo seemed about Ansanelli trying to get through it. Hope it was just the tempo for that particular perf. If not, hope she is able to handle it better as she gains more experience in it.

Fowler and Hanna were the two supporting men (Neal the main one). Both have really lovely classical form. Hanna was the MVP for the day, dancing leads in Div., Agon, and demi in Who Cares?

Agon was great as usual. Don't really have anything to say about it.

Who Cares?

Wow, have i missed this ballet. Wow, did the dancers and audience both seem glad to have the ballet back. And, wow, did the dancers dance the hell out of the ballet.

I had forgotten how the ballet takes place against a backdrop of NYC. Not sure if that had anything to do with the reception. It did affect my perspective a little.

The solo girls were all solid (Natanya, Golbin, Hanson, Edge, McBrearty). Of special note was Edge, who I think was new her part-- glad to see them giving her the part, though she is significantly smaller than the others. She just has such passion and *umph* when she dances. Just right for this part.

The men were fantastic-- most were from that great class of '95 (both Fromans, Capps, Seth, and Hanna). Wonderful form, timing, and energy.

The best for last...

ahhh... I had been waiting sooo long to see Ringer and Hubbe in the Man I Love-- a fave pas de deux of mine. Ringer was made for this role-- she was sexy, she was poignant, she was in love, she was stunning. And Hubbe responded in kind. I could have watched this performance over and over again.

The ballet continued on a high level. Taylor came next in her solo. Then came Somogyi in blue with Hubbe. Although I have always adored Somogyi, I did not think her ready for this role when she first did it (when she was in the corps?). She had the technique and solos down. But, there was no chemistry with her partner. No relating. She has matured greatly in this respect. (Or else, Hubbe just brings out the best in his partners, when he's having an *on* day-- maybe both). Somogyi made a good case for herself as a good match for the man. And, so did Taylor.

In WC?, it was definitely a case of the whole being greater than the sum of two people. Hubbe with each of his women held us rapt. The audience did barely utter a peep... until the end when they erupted in cheers (as they had for Symphony in C in the first or 2nd week of the season). Nothing like great performances in great Balanchine to send an audience home happy.

I am still on high.


p.s. how glad am i that I am seeing 4 performances of WC? this season???

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I saw the same cast for Divertimento #15 at a different performance and was struck by how immature all the performances were except those of Neal and Somoygi. I know there were a number of debuts and they were well done but this is clearly a ballet that requires some growing into.

A few random observations -

Rutherford may some day be great in the third ppd (what I always think of as the "Saland" role) but she needs to make some technical improvements particularly in the way she uses her feet. She doens't really work them (contrast her with Stafford)and it deprieves her dancing of a kind of fine edge that it should have.

I thought Taylor overdanced. Divert does not really need a six o'clock penchee in every arabesque. Less would be more here but I remember Kistler having the some kind of flaw when she first went into the piece. Taylor could also try to emulate the kind of creamy movement from step to step that Somoygi had in this performance.

Neal was having a good night - no problems with his turns.

Asanelli made a decent technical debut but there was little of the ease and charm we've seen in other of her performances. Unlike Weese, she did not command the ballet but again this may just be a matter of time and maturity.

All in all, this performance did not have the magic of recent performances by the cast that included Weese and Korbes.

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