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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Former ballet dancer
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  1. I know this isn't the place to discuss reviews, but I have to link to the latest review of City Ballet's season in the New York Times for the lead photo alone. It may be one of the most stunning dance photos I have ever seen. The rich purples of Mearns' costume contrasted against her wild hair and free spirit are incredibly striking. It really made me regret having missed that exact moment in her performance. Kudos to photog Andrea Mohin! http://www.nytimes.c...?_r=1&ref=dance
  2. NYCB tweeted list of theaters that will be showing the Nutcracker on Dec. 13. It's rather comprehensive: Link to list of movie theaters: http://new.lincolncenter.org/live/images/digital/nutcracker/pdf/NYCB_The_Nutcracker_US_theaters.pdf Link to tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/nycballet
  3. I love that this is happening. Also found it interesting that the blog post on NY Times pointed out the opposing view point that it could dilute the audience. I am of the completely opposite viewpoint. I think that very few people who will go see this in their respective cities outside of New York would have been able to travel to the city to see it live. Therefore, we are drastically increasing the audience, not diluting it. Just my opinion. Also, in my mind it is never a bad thing to give more people the chance to see quality art. Thank you NYCB for finally jumping on this bandwagon. Let's hope it is successful and that we see it more and more.
  4. NYCB has added two new videos for the 2012 winter season. Ocean's Kingdom with Sara Mearns, Peter Martins and Paul McCartney: http://www.youtube.com/user/newyorkcityballet#p/a/u/0/Xn-gvd6GCks Allegro Brillante with Megan Fairchild and Andrew Veyette: http://www.youtube.com/user/newyorkcityballet#p/a/u/1/S0xBZEbN2IY I thought the videos were nicely done, especially the Allegro Brillante video. I think something that could bring ballet into the mainstream is humanizing dancers and showing just how difficult performing ballet is. Showing that Veyette and Fairchild are a real life couple that have to deal with the normal problem of creating a healthy working relationship with your spouse is something many people can relate to. Also, when Veyette discussed the difficulty of landing in fourth from a jump and not being able to bounce up to your next step was insightful. It's a moment that may look incredibly easy to an audience member, but him speaking about it and showing it from that telling camera angle will probably make me notice it when I see it performed. It also made me want to go see the ballet
  5. Sorry to have left him out...the review was getting very long. Simkin danced the Don Quixote Grand Pas de Deux with Kochetkova in the final dance on the program. I found his performance technically sound and I would definitely say that he is quite the turner and jumper. However, I wonder if he would manage to captivate an audience in a full length ballet?
  6. Saturday, September 10th was the third annual "Evening with the Stars" in Indianapolis. It is a real treat to see such wonderful dancers in the midwest. Highlights from Act 1: After the Rain by Christopher Wheeldon with Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith was dance in its purest form. The choreography comes off as being so simple (although I'm sure it isn't at all) that the emotion of the dancers takes the spotlight. Yuan Yuan's technique is truly impeccable. She may be the closest that I have ever seen to the ballet ideal in appearance and technique. Damian Smith was a strong partner that did manage to tear my eyes away from Yuan Yuan periodically, which is really saying something. Maria Kochetkova performed One Overture, choreographed by Jorma Elo. What a treat this piece of choreography is! Maria wore a very modern costume with a half tutu. The eccentricity of the steps were a perfect fit for the unique costume. She almost appeared to be extra-terrestrial, and the steps were like ballet meets crumping. Maria has fantastic isolations and focus, and this piece is a must see. I am definitely looking forward to seeing more of Elo's choreography. Benjamin Millepied's pas de deux from the ballet Everything Doesn't Happen at One was performed by Isabella Boyleston and Marcelo Gomes. Marcelo really didn't have much to do other than lifting. However, as the main focus of the choreography, Boyleston did look like a true professional. She has beautifully arched feet. I would like to see her in classical rep as well. I will say that I absolutely hated the music (by David Lang) for this piece. It was unsettling. Paloma Herrera and Guillame Cote performed the pas de deux from Rubies. Paloma is so strong! She performed the powerful swinging battements with ease, which has not been done by everyone that I have seen perform this dance. She did not look like the Balanchine choreography fit her like a glove, but she was beautiful. It was nice to see NYCB dancers perform Balanchine choreography when Tiler Peck and Daniel Ulbricht performed Tarantella. They are the type of performers that dance for the audience. They are technical whiz kids, and Tiler's musicality is always astonishing. Ulbricht's jumps sent the audience into a frenzy. Highlights from Act 2: Victoria Jaiani and Fabrice Calmels of the Joffrey Ballet performed Edwaard Liang's Age of Innocence. This was my first viewing of Liang's choreography and I was very impressed. To me, it felt like Liang had found the perfect blend of edge of your seat modern choreography and a traditional coda pas de deux. There was a moment when the two dancers walked up from downstage to upstage on opposite sides of the stage that reminded me of a traditional coda. Jaiani and Calmels are first rate dancers, and I would love to know how tall Calmels is. He was so commanding and well over a head taller than Jaiani even when she was on pointe. Next up were Tiler Peck and Joaquin De Luz in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. If the master of ceremonies Edwaard Liang had not told us that this choreography was originally created for Violette Verdy it would have been believable that it was created on Tiler Peck. Tiler has such an attack in her dancing. Her pique turns ate up the ground in record time, and her fouette turns were soooo solid. But even more than her stunning tricks, her musicality and love of dance were evident. I was very surprised to see that Ami, danced by Thomas Forster and Alexandre Hammoudi was choreographed by Marcelo Gomes. This was a very fun dance. Pianist Conrad Tao played the Chopin score on center stage with the dancers. The dance had a sort of one-upmanship feel to it, and Forster and Hammoudi were very exciting. I have to say, Thomas Forster's first tendu almost took my breath away. Maybe I'm just a total ballet nerd, but I don't think I've ever seen someone use their feet so strikingly. He has a stunning arch, but he was also very precise and lightning quick. Piazzolla Tango, performed by Daniel Ulbricht, was a real audience favorite. It was light on artistry and heavy on tricks, but I suppose that is standard gala fare. Ulbricht seems to be unaffected by gravity. His aerial acrobatics were definitely impressive. Edwaard Liang was a slightly nervous MC, but it was fun to see him in Indianapolis.
  7. Krystin

    Kathryn Morgan

    Sorry to bum you all out but it looks like (per her Twitter handle)Kathryn won't be back this season. Here's hoping for Nutcracker though. See her posts below from August 19th: KMorganNYCB Kathryn Morgan Hello all. Thank you for your kind words and support. Well, I've been 100% honest this whole process and I am going to be honest again... 19 Aug KMorganNYCB Kathryn Morgan Few days ago I went for a doc checkup- thinking this would be the last one, and I got a bad report. My thyroid is still not good. 19 Aug KMorganNYCB Kathryn Morgan So, I have to sit out ANOTHER season. I'm very upset, but I just want to be 100% well before I get back onstage. But... KMorganNYCB Kathryn Morgan Everything else seems to be in line that was previously awful (liver, blood count, etc) so I should be back for Nutcracker. I'm 99% sure! KMorganNYCB Kathryn Morgan Not fun, but this is what I have to do to be at my best when I come back. I will keep tweeting though and let you know what I'm doing. 19 Aug KMorganNYCB Kathryn Morgan I PROMISE I will be back! This is NOT the end of my career! ;-) Lucky for me, I get a whole new start! 19 Aug
  8. There was also a feature on Ocean's Kingdom in Dance Spirit Magazine this month. The article has some nice photos of Georgina Pazcoguin. Great to see her get some recognition with this opportunity! Link to story: http://www.dancespirit.com/articles/3044
  9. We seem to be getting more and more video of City Ballet dancers...fantastic! The link below shows excerpts from the Ravello Festival in Italy. Odd that the videographer was so close on Tiler Peck's fouettes, but other than that very professional. Enjoy!
  10. City Ballet has uploaded three new videos to their Youtube channel, and they are very well done. They have created videos for Jewels, West Side Story Suite and Mercurial Manoeuvres. These are probably the most appealing,and even endearing promotional dance videos I have ever seen. Hearing Sara Mearns talk about performing Diamonds was very insightful, and Tyler Angle comes across as a very intelligent and nice person. Kudos to City Ballet's digital marketing team on pulling off some top notch work. If I had never been to the ballet I think these videos would pique my interest, and isn't that the goal? Link to New York City Ballet's Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/newyorkcityballet
  11. This morning I had Bravo TV on in the background while I was getting ready, and I was surprised to see Tiler Peck on TV! She was on Rocco's Dinner Party, a show taped in NYC. Rocco has two chefs create two different themed dinner parties and invites celebrity guests to enjoy the dinners and choose a winner. Tiler was a celebrity guest. They spoke about her being a consultant to the film Black Swan and about how her feet were not ugly, despite being a ballet dancer. She also showed one of the guests the five feet positions of ballet. Very cool for Tiler. I wonder if Bravo TV sought her out through New York City Ballet or if she has an agent that lands her special gigs like this? Link to episode info with Tiler Peck: http://www.bravotv.com/roccos-dinner-party/season-1/episode-5-town-and-country
  12. Sophie Flack has written a young adult book about ballet--check it out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bunheads-Sophie-Flack/dp/0316126535 I haven't read it yet but have heard good things about it.
  13. Take a moment to view this beautiful slideshow by Erin Baiano on Vail International Dance Festival's Flickr page. I really wish I was in Vail right now! I seems like Vail does a fantastic job in promotion and social media each year. Great to see!
  14. I agree that your opinion of Rubies can be completely dependent on who is dancing. This season I first saw Rubies danced by Fairchild/Deluz/Lowery, and I was underwhelmed by Fairchild and Lowery's performances. I left the evening thinking that Emeralds was by far my favorite of the three acts. It is worth noting that on that evening Emeralds was danced by Tiler Peck and Sara Mearns, whom I thought were fantastic. Peck's musicality is pure joy to watch, and Mearns has the ability to draw your eye and refuses to give it up. However, the next night I saw Bouder/Garcia/Reichlen in Rubies and I was blown away. Bouder dances with such precision and attack-- the music could be playing in fast forward and she would still keep up. And Reichlen has such a solid technique that she was free to play with the steps and really push her boundaries. And the many extensions in the Tall Girl role of Rubies seems tailor made to show of Reichlen's assets.
  15. I was excited to compare a different cast of Jewels to the Friday evening performers tonight. Abi Stafford started off the evening in Emeralds, and I have to say I didn't find her as captivating as I had found Tiler Peck the previous evening. Jeni Ringer was great in the second Emeralds solo, even if her extensions weren't fantastic. She makes you remember that the best ballet dancing is about more than high extensions and multiple turns. This cast of Rubies was about as opposite as possible from the Lowery/Fairchild cast. Tess Reichlen is a marvel! She is technically perfect and every move was exciting. And just when I didn't think anyone could even come close to Tess's level of dancing, Ashley Bouder came onto the stage. She attacked the steps with pure gusto, and the excitement from her dancing seemed to ripple through the audience. She articulated steps that I thought Megan Fairchild glossed over the previous evening. The corps was strong and in unison, and I felt like I had seen a very special performance when the curtain came down on Rubies. When Maria Kowroski began Diamonds, a thought crossed my mind that this ballet suited her so well that it looked like it could have been made for her. Her sky-high extensions produced audible gasps in the audience, and Charles Askegard showed highly developed partnering skills. I'm sure the tall women in the company will miss Askegard when he retires next season. It is incredible how different a dance can seem with a fresh cast. I think my dream cast with this run of dancers would be Tiler Peck and Sara Mearns in Emeralds, Ashley Bouder and Tess Reichlen in Rubies and Wendy Whelan in Diamonds.
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