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  1. Past hour
  2. Thoughts about Swan Lake: To me it is the most dramatic ballet because of its music and its story; unlike Solor and Albrecht, Siegfried is not at fault for being unfateful since he was tricked and if you do not like the ending you can see another version and hopefully get one you like better. The first version I saw of Swan Lake had Siegfried die fighting Rothbart and to me that seems the most authentic version. According to the Marius Petipa website that is not the original ending. In the 1877 production due to Siegfried’s not wanting ever to be separated from Odette, they both died. Th
  3. Today
  4. I agree completely. I watched it several times. She was phenomenal both technically and expressively.
  5. Yesterday
  6. You got me thinking (which is always dangerous)... I'm in the "make it your own, but make it effective" camp. So I don't really care what other dancers/répétiteur/directors have decided about how Titania should be characterized except perhaps for NYCB's original castings. And so your statement made me wonder if there was any chance Melissa Hayden, or Suzanne Farrell, played Titania in an over-the-top or haughty manner. So I went digging, but haven't found much so far. Probably the more exaggerated characterizations that you've seen were developed later by other dancers and répétiteurs who
  7. Signing on to this, as well. The poem didn't do much for me, but Gorman is plainly a talented kid. These inaugural poems tend not to show off their authors at their best anyway, and her enthusiasm was contagious, if I may use the word.
  8. Agreed on all counts. "Hallelujah" has taken on something of the status of a secular hymn, and I'm guessing that's why it was chosen, even if it's mainly about sex. (You can just listen to the "hallelujah" part.) I think John Cale said that when he asked Cohen if he could cover the song, Cohen sent him enough pages of lyrics to fill the Sunday NYT, so there's a lot from which to pick and choose.
  9. There's a lovely instagram clip of Maria Iliushkina performing Princess Florine (with Nikita Korneyev) from The Sleeping Beauty recently. In December she was given an extra Odette/Odile (Swan Lake). As a Second Soloist, it's always nice to have Odette/Odile as your specialty. 😊 The vibrant and indomitable Renata Shakirova has performed four leads in the last ten days. She has another tomorrow. It's fun sometimes to look around the edges of a performance. I remember the Rajah in La Bayadere, who's imperiously seated at a game chess that he's just won, paying no attention to Nikiya,
  10. Please delete. Posted at wrong place.
  11. While I enjoyed the performance of MSND I am used to the Titanias at NYCB to be much more queenly and over the top in their haughtiness.
  12. The original lyrics to "This Land is Your Land": This land is your land, and this land is my landFrom the California to the Staten New York Island,From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters,God blessed America for me.[This land was made for you and me.]As I went walking that ribbon of highwayAnd saw above me that endless skyway,And saw below me the golden valley, I said:God blessed America for me.[This land was made for you and me.]I roamed and rambled and followed my footstepsTo the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts,And all around me, a voice was sounding:God blessed America
  13. I thought "This Land is Your Land" was an odd choice for JLo and doesn't really suit her in terms of style or content - but I totally teared up when she quoted from the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish. That came from her heart. Amanda Gorman - she looks like a baby ballerina! I didn't care much for her poem itself (I'm not American) but her poise and presentation were incredible. Also see the generational change between her hairstyle and those of VP Harris and Michelle Obama.
  14. For anyone watching AMND at SF Ballet @ Home, I recommend also watching the interviews with Max Cauthorn and Tyla Steinbach which include talk about AMND as well as how dancers have coped with the pandemic. Also recommended - the SF Ballet School 2020 Virtual Open House: Jennie Scholick interviews the three new school faculty members Jason Ambrose (formerly Elite Classical Coaching, St. Petersburg Conservatoire) Larissa Ponomarkenko (formerly Boston Ballet) Vicktor Plotnikov (formerly Boston Ballet) The rehearsal pianists are also interviewed, and there's a virtual tour of SFB'
  15. LG needs a conductor who can respond to her phrasing - the band had no swing, and just sounded plodding. "Hallelujah" is just a weird choice - the chorus is spiritual/religious in theme, but the actual lyrics don't remind me of Americana or presidential inaugurations: Your faith was strong but you needed proof You saw her bathing on the roof Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya She tied you to a kitchen chair She broke your throne, and she cut your hair And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah Personally I've heard enough "Amazing Grace" for a long while.
  16. I don't think it is. At least I know that die-hard conservatives who hate that song.
  17. As Sasha De Sola reminds us, today is George Balanchine's birthday (January 22nd, 1904): My very first exposure to Balanchine‘s choreography was at the Stiefel and Stars summer intensive, way back when! (PS. Thank you Ethan, @gillianemurphy and Sascha for that opportunity 🙏) I was cast to do the Fascinatin’ Rhythm solo from ‘Who Cares?’ for the final performance. I remember feeling quite intimidated by this seemingly drastically different style compared to the Vaganova training I was accustomed to, but the musicality and the sense of freedom in movement was incredibly exhilarating for me. Sin
  18. Last week
  19. Opening night of SFB's A Midsummer Night's Dream was the entire program, as it turned out. The city of San Francisco then imposed a lockdown on all of the large venues (I think the order went out the same day that the opening occurred on). The film that you see here was actually of the 2nd cast (a fine cast though, given the "deep bench" at SFB) that was allowed a window of opportunity to gather together one last time, but without an audience present. The orchestra and dancers kind of act as each other's audience - their applause can be heard at the end of the performance and it is strangely m
  20. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and conductor Myung Whun Chung perform the Sibelius Violin Concerto, with concertmaster Liviu Prunaru as soloist, and Brahms' Fourth Symphony before an empty Concertgebouw. https://www.concertgebouworkest.nl/en/video-overview
  21. Facebook memories just pulled up photos from my visit to NYCB's Balanchine Birthday celebration eight years ago. I had included a photo of the orchestra pit showing those Lucite panels they use for noise protection from each other (an OSHA regulation, also written into the musicians' contract). Now I am thinking those same panels will be useful for COVID protection when they finally return. (Good time to buy stock in Lucite?)
  22. Thank you! And wasn't it sadly strange to see an unmasked, full orchestra? I feel like we're referring to things that were the norm in a distant past; in some ways it feels so long ago yet because we're still living this pandemic so deeply, it's not history.
  23. Watched it this morning and plan to watch it many more times while it's available! Nice review. This is so sad and eerie -- their last performance before the lock-down 10 months ago. It's like looking back at newspapers from September 10, 2001. Of course, this is a familiar ballet to many -- from PNB's recordings, NYCB's frequent season end. But it's lovely to see and, yes, sparkling throughout. The chance to see Ratmansky's Symphony #9 again later in the season sold me on taking the plunge for a digital subscription, but so many other nice things are included. And, if I understand correctly,
  24. Midsummer is absolutely gorgeous! In general, I love this production and to see SFB perform feels like such a luxury. Here's my review. Has anyone else watched it yet?
  25. Lady Gaga has pipes. Other items on the day's menu okay, if predictable. "Hallelujah?" "Amazing Grace"? lmspear writes: It just makes my blood boil when that song is presented as feelgood patriotic pablum.
  26. Here is the digital program book for A Midsummer Night's Dream - opening tonight, January 21st, at 6pm! https://www.sfballet.org/tickets/2021-season/program-book/#a-midsummer-nights-dream
  27. Most famously, of course, Vestris (choreographed for Baryshnikov) is on the Baryshnikov Live at Wolf Trap DVD. I thought the coaching of the BB dancer was quite good -- very reminiscent of the performance immortalized on that DVD by Baryshnikov. The other two pieces were so different -- very interesting.
  28. The Vienna State Ballet in Nureyev's Vienna production of Swan Lake https://play.wiener-staatsoper.at/event/6fe0f2a5-1ed2-46b6-8ed6-163e32bc20a6
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