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Everything posted by Hilarion

  1. I have read that the Hopkinton and Waltham studios will close, if that has not already happened. It's too bad that BB can't find a way to keep them open. For BB to call its Newtonville studio "MetroWest" borders on the absurd, but that's a moniker that would apply very well to Hopkinton. Although I don't know any of them, I feel badly for the parents and students who are now faced with a long, long commute to get to and from Newton or Boston.
  2. These days, it seems that every girl in the U.S. between the ages of 2 and 20 is either enrolled in ballet classes or has taken them. Judging from conversations with my co-workers who have daughters, ballet has evolved into a rite of passage for certain girls - girls, that is, whose parents can afford the lessons. Was a similar dynamic at work in Europe in the early 20th and in the 19th centuries CE? I've read that at one time, ballet was a not altogether reputable profession and that women who danced were considered by some to belong to the demi-monde. But if that was ever true, how, then, did men become dancers? Why were male dancers looked down upon in France but celebrated in Russia?
  3. Thanks, all. Fortunately, the Boston Ballet's Catalabutte was merely reprimanded by the king, although Carabosse did manage to box his ear. It's odd that the infant Aurora should be the primary object of her wrath, after Catalabutte confessed his guilt to her (in the BB version, anyway). But I suppose if Carabosse had turned him into a toad and but spared Aurora we wouldn't have much of a ballet. Still, I sympathize with Catalabutte. If only his office's budget hadn't been cut...
  4. Will they have a final spring performance?
  5. I went to the performance on Saturday evening, May 14, and was fortunate to see Larissa dance Aurora. She's replaced Jennifer Gelfand in my affections (although I had a brief flirtation with Adriana Suarez). Since Paul Thrussell left I've not been able to pick a favorite male dancer. A curious incident happened during last night's performance - the carriage delivering Carabosse to the christening went out of control and tipped over. (It seems the imps learned how to drive in Boston.) Carabosse nearly flew into the orchestra pit. "She" (Viktor Plotnikov) managed to stay on her feet and recovered without a momen't hesitation. I kind of wished that the dancers could improvise, at least a little bit - I would like to have seen Carabosse deal with her imps by miming, "I'll deal with you later," or something of that nature.
  6. I just saw Boston Ballet's version of The Sleeping Beauty last night, and I noticed that one of the characters named in the program is "Catalabutte," a role danced by a man. However, Catalabutte is not mentioned in the synopsis, so I have been wondering who he (or she) is in the ballet. Is that the name of the hapless courtier who forgot to add Carabosse to the list of invitees to Aurora's christening?
  7. Someone mentioned the new convention center... The Democratic National Convention will be held there next summer, so the convention center will be as done as it's going to get by then. Whether the building has suitable space for ballet or can be readily converted is another matter. On the other hand, by the time Nutcracker season rolls around in 2004 we may all be so engrossed in the recount of the votes in the presidential election that no one will care about the Nut.
  8. Maybe Rep. Rangel ought to sweeten the pot by also proposing a Federal dance secretariat. Cabinet-level, of course. Mel, I nominate you to this post. The Senate will shoo you in, if it knows what's good for it.
  9. At one time, dance and war were not incompatible. Far from it - the martial dance was an integral part of life in the field for the Roman legions. I wonder if the Romans had choreographers? Maybe an ancient counterpart to Ballanchine produced a very, very early version of Apollon Musagete.
  10. Mel, when you returned home from 'Nam, how long did it take you to resume your dance career? I imagine that dancers inducted into the armed services via the draft would return home with bodies fit for combat, and would have to be physically "rehabilitated" for dance. This would be especially true for women (if a putative U.S. draft were to include women). Israel has a compulsory draft for both men and women (albeit with a religious exemption). How do Israeli dancers cope?
  11. There's been some talk, lately, of reviving the draft in the U.S., in light of our government's increasing propensity to send lots of troops hither, thither and yon. Apart from the relative merits for the armed services of a new draft initiative, under which there would be no deferments or exemptions, wouldn't compulsory military service have a drastic effect on dance education? I mean, all of the young men (and, maybe, young women) whose schooling and/or budding careers would be put on hold for the critical ages 18 through 20. Mel, I know that you served in Vietnam; I assume that you enlisted, however.
  12. I've been a season subscriber for a number of years, but every time that I have to renew, I almost don't. It's not because of BB at all - it's the sightlines in the Wang. I spend a pretty penny each year for my orchestra seat, yet while I'm in it, I spend most of my time looking like a metronome. I lean my head to the right, then to the left, then back to the right, etc. The man who sits in front of me also holds a season ticket. He is only 5'8" or 5'9", not extraordinarily tall for a man. I am 6'4". Yet his head looms in front of me like the planet Earth seen from low orbit - filling all of the sky. Actually, it's not that bad. His head only occupies the central third of my view of the stage. It takes some time for me to get used to this, though, and it really, really annoys me (maybe you can tell). What he does to me, unwittingly, I must also do to the people who sit behind me in part because I am indeed tall and also because when I lean back and forth to adjust my sightlines I rob them of theirs. The only way I could achieve permanent satisfaction would be to buy out the man in front of me, so that seat would always be vacant whenever I attend. I can't afford to do that, so I have to ask myself every year if the aggravation is worth it. And that's my rant about the Wang. Sorry - I just had to get it out of my system.
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