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Everything posted by davidsj

  1. Ah when you said "private teachers" I thought you meant private lessons.
  2. They also charge like $300 + /hour + studio rental fees! Sure some dancers get special deals but for a typical corps member there's no way you can afford regular privates from distinguished teachers outside of what your company offers you.
  3. Simon, I'm confused as to the morale and cohesion that you speak of in the corps. Surely you don't assume that there aren't at least a few dancers at NYCB who are glad to see these 11 go. Ballet companies can be very ruthless and extremely competitive among the dancers. Even at ABT, despite what the board members here have characterized as the "right approach" to layoffs, there are intense rivalries among the dancers. Sure there are cliquies, but outside of that many are enemies. (it is always so funny to watch the dancers greet each other so pleasantly on stage). On a related note, I don't think having "senior corps" is a good idea at all. There is so much young talent out there that will never have a chance to shine simply because they began their dancing career at a time where the top companies were "full" with "senior corps." Again, this is just my personal view, because I tend to embrace the vicious competitive nature of ballet companies rather than reject it as damaging to morale. I think joining a ballet company is inherently bad for morale! And I also have to agree with Beatrice that her interview made Ms. Flack appear unprofessional. I can't comment on NYCB's company class policy, but generally speaking for a lot of other upper-tier companies company classes are required for the Corps, not so much for principals and soloists. It does appear to me that 9 years in the corps without any significant roles should have sounded some major warning bells, that she has been "passed over." In fact, I think 5 years in the corps without any progress is more than enough time to realize that you're not moving up, with a few exceptions. Thus, for Flack to state how surprised she was at her layoff makes me think she had a naive perspective, if she thought she coudl be a 20 year corps member at NYCB. Of course I do feel for her, because she did work so hard early in her career to rise up to NYCB. And on a final aside, I have noticed fewer ABT and NYCB dancers at Steps, notwithstanding that it's summer season. I know that ABT at least would fund all external classes at Steps for even Corps, is this not the case for NYCB? I'm wondering if both are cutting back...
  4. Just saw Vishneva and Steifel perform tonight. Absolutely fantastic. Reminded me why I love Russian-trained dancers. Steifel is fantastic and charismatic, even though his technique is not nearly as clean as it was in his prime. But such a fabulous artist. The music of Delibes is absolutely heavenly. The corps I thought were good today surprisingly, with lots of great performances. I've never been a fan of Daniil when he's partnering anybody, but today he impressed me. Audience also was pretty perfect today, which was a relief after last week's Swan.
  5. I think it also depends on the performance? I know that option wasn't available for tonight's Swan Lake.
  6. While I think it is extremely rude to shout out during the middle of the performance, I really do wish people would not applaud so early or so frequently. In my opinion New York audiences honestly tend to be so provincial in their knowledge of ballet that they applaud awkwardly and at moments that are not proper. Too much applause makes me think I'm at a sporting event.
  7. I agree with this sentiment whole heartedly. The ABT corps is just not good. In my opinion, awful to be blunt. And ballet audiences are WAY to forgiving. I cringe when I hear the audience rupture into thunderous applause everytime the corps appears to do something that looks "good," despite there having been so many flaws in their synchronization or individual performance issues. I've seen over a dozen shows so far this season, and never once have I seen the corps dance together in unison. In all the giselles I saw, the Act II arabesques by the corps were all at different levels of height, and would rise and come down at different times. Surely they can rehearse that better? But as long as the tickets keep selling, I don't know if ABT will do anything about it. But then I'm not sure they have much power over it. I still dance and I get to see the up and coming crop of professional dancers at the top level and I have to say I'm not impressed at all. The American ballet training is severely lacking in many regards. Far too much emphasis on turning and jumping is placed on many of these schools and summer intensive programs. Artistry is not taught until far too late in the game. Worst of all, there are too many different styles and mixing. The individual members of the corps all seem to think it's their day to shine and are too busy being their own starlet in their own minds to care about dancing together as a group. This is why I can't say a good thing about Danil Simkin. He does not seem to care at all about partnership, and instead seems to just be waiting to show boat again. Ballet is not an athletic event. Yet everytime we applaud him for his jumps, we make it into one.
  8. Sadly I think Swan Lake audiences are incorrigible. I would say the same applies to the Nutcracker. You could however ask multiple ushers for assistance, but who knows if they'd do anything. A pet peeve of mine that I've noticed a lot lately are "Seat Crashers." These are basically people who buy the cheapest tickets, and then hang around the Orchestra section like vultures scanning for open seats and then take those. That's fine, except most of the time those empty seats are actually taken but the person is running late or coming after intermission. This causes an awkward, "hey! you're in my seat!" conversation, ticket flashing, usher-getting, and the entire row having to get up to let the seat crasher out and the ticket holder in, just moments before the ballet starts.
  9. I prefer middle orchestra or one of the side boxes. I have seen a ballet from the upper levels (it was for NYCB and I refuse to spend $$ to watch NYCB), and it was simply too far away. I had a hard time keeping up with the leg movements, and no chance of seeing the dancers' feet from that angle (looking down). Also, you miss the facial expresions unless you have binoculars, but at that point you also miss the big picture.
  10. I guess you missed the part where Max failed to get out of the way and got kicked by Irina during the end of the Act II pdd? That is a very serious mistake for a professional at this level of the game. Almost as bad as falling off of a pirouette and having to flail your arms to catch your balance, as one of the corps did in the opening of Act I.
  11. I was very disappointed in tonight's performance. Having seen Swan countless times I left at the intermission, not wanting to stick around. As someone mentioned earlier, Odette was completely devoid of any emotion. Maxim also is struggling with his injury. Also, I know this is to be expected given that it is Swan Lake and draws the masses to the opera house, but audience today was quite unruly. Someone was blatantly taking photographs with the flash on. A person brought a "Slim Jim," no joke, and started munching on it. People all around me were talking and commenting throughout and during the performance. One young man actually started chuckling audibly during the Act II pas de deux! This girl in front of me claimed she was a dancer and offered to explain certain motions during the performance! (she clearly did not look like a dancer!!!). And these were orchestra seats. Plus it was hard to focus on the music with the audience erupting into applause seemingly every single time somebody jumped or Irinia made an appearance or exit, disregarding the fact that the sequence was not yet completed. On a plus note: I thought the Pas de quatra (cygnets) was very well executed, and I was very pleased with the peasant solos of Act I, and thought the Corps did well tonight in Act II. Can't comment on the rest, as I had left. p.s. Did anyone happen to catch that funny final arabesque in the Act II pas de deux? Where Irinia extended her arabesque into Maxim's chest?
  12. I think the choreography of La Sylphide just doesn't have the "dazzle" factor as Giselle does. Far fewer jumps and spins, and solos for that matter than Giselle.
  13. It was rather empty on Tuesday, entire swaths of empty orchestra rows, especially near the rear. However, she did receieve a standing ovation at the end, and I saw a whole lot of people gathered by the stage throwing flowers (most of them falling into the pit unfortunately). However, compared to today, where the audience applauded nearly every appearance Osipova made on stage and every jump, the audience was very subdued throughout the entirety of Nina's performance. Even the opening curtain there was not a single clap in the audience.
  14. Was anyone else sorely disappointed by tonight's performance? (Nina/Hallberg). I thought Airs was especially awful tonight.
  15. I should have gone! But I'm already watching two La Sylphides this week, including Wednesday. The Met box office wasn't showing any good seats in prime orchestra however. Was it really that empty??
  16. Can someone compare the reception Osipova receieved on Saturday with the reception that Alina Cojocaru receieved when she guest performed in 2003?
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