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Posts posted by bcash

  1. On 3/2/2019 at 10:33 AM, Kathleen O'Connell said:

    The Business Couple?!? I had to wipe away more than few tears every time I saw Wendy Whelan and Nikolai Hübbe dance that pas! No couple has packed more yearning and tenderness into those oh-so-simple but oh-so-glorious moments when the man gently lowers his partner to the floor and then even more gently lifts her into an arabesque while she slowly sweeps her foot forward along the floor. 

    Since it's beyond description (like the last few moments of the glorious Midsummer Divertissement pas) here's some footage with Lauren Lovette and Jared Angle. The moments I'm trying but failing to describe start at about 23 second mark:

    This same couple also get a few iconic moments in the first half when they dance to "Am Donaustrande." To me it always looks like they're recalling a lovely spring day when he pushed her in a swing. 


    Thank you for this clip! The most intriguing sequence originally danced by McBride. I was looking for clips to share with friends but found most to be from the first half. 

  2. On 3/7/2019 at 9:47 PM, BalanchineFan said:

    At the Friday evening performance I was surprised that people applauded after each of the waltzes. Each half of the ballet is one opus. I would expect the house to hold their applause until the end, which the Saturday matinee audience did (for all of Part 1, and most of Part 2). The applause struck me as strange, since the dances are so intimate and soul-baring. It's not like the dancers are performing for an audience (like Aurora's Wedding or the divertissement in Nutcracker). It was as if you walked in on a cultured husband and wife arguing about emotional betrayal and people burst into applause when they finished.

    It did appear that the Fourth Ring was empty, or nearly empty. Perhaps it was just SAB students watching from the nosebleed seats.

    I think for Spring performances other than SB, the fourth ring was just closed for tickets. I remember looking to buy individual tickets but the fourth ring was faded out on the website, hence not for selection. I'm not sure if this was the best strategy. They must have felt the pull of certain ballets during this time of year wouldn't be large enough? But I for one would have bought a few more tickets if they had opened up the fourth ring, considering the pricing. 

  3. On 3/2/2019 at 6:36 PM, Kathleen O'Connell said:

    Sigh. Liebeslieder is like Halley's Ballet: it only comes around every seven seasons. This wouldn't be the first time that NYCB threw a bunch of new dancers at Liebeslieder for a single performance at the tail end of the season and then didn't bother to give them a chance to dance in it again until three years later (if then). The last time this happened I had the same happy thought you did, cobweb, but alas it wasn't to be.

    I agree that today's performance was a uncharacteristically muted, which I chalked up to a mostly new cast. It looked as if they hadn't quite sorted out who they were, or at least, how to convey who they were. The vocal quartet and the two pianists were very, very good, however. 


    Agreed on the pianists and the singers. They brought much poetry and drama. 

    I only saw the Sat. one so couldn't compare. But a friend who saw both said she thought this "new" cast was the best. I thought Tiler was fantastic, Sarah quite good and all four men danced elegantly. 

  4. The best thing in this mini-program was Huxley's Melancholic. Lovely to see the 4Ts upclose. CB looked okay danced in this setting (imagine a rehearsal space surrounded by crowds). Farley was very articulate and had great bearing as a presenter. I just found his style to be too earnest. 

    Frankly I was a little surprised that the dancers would agree to this, six performances of the same excerpts over three days. (And Farley had to repeat what he said with the same enthusiasm and projection six times, and conduct an interview with one of the curators who did the same thing. Gotta feel a little mechanical at the end.)

  5. I think it would have been much wiser and tactful if Bouder had refrained from "giving a reason" as to why Hyltin was put in the first cast instead of her, which is essentially what her comment did. She could put across her point that she was being retaliated against quite forcefully without putting Hyltin in a compromised position. 

    I agree this article is quite confusing and alarming as to the internal tensions currently present. 

    Martin's move seems petty and vengeful, given Bouder never directly criticized him in public and that he had always championed her career.  Bounder speaking to the NYT this way seems to suggest there's no internal channels to address her concerns, which doesn't speak well of the running of the company now (and her remark about Hyltin implies division among the dancers). Stafford's comment is unexpectedly direct and angry, which is weird in itself since he seems to have attained his current positions under the guidance and support of Martins. Also, can Martins change cast without going through Stafford? If he can, why does Stafford promise to keep Bouder as first cast going forwad? If he can't, which means Stafford must approve final decisions, why is Stafford acting so blindsided and upset? Is he putting on a show for someone?

  6. 17 hours ago, canbelto said:

    Wow Huxley and Mearns ... can't really picture that pairing.

    The partnering was surprisingly well done, but of course Mozartiana isn't particularly heavy on partnering. And I was so glad to see Huxley dance that part! Really the cleanest technique and execution. 

    The last Tchaikovsky program last night was probably one of the flattest evenings I've witnessed at NYCB. Everything was done with competency but no spark, aura, fragrance. Orchestra sounded tired throughout. Much of Serenade looked like a student work; The male solo role in Mozartiana felt so sleeply (and with that awful period costume), Sara Mearns was all steps and no interior depth, and the use of children just puzzling. Piano Concerto, with the reliably reticent and cold Reichlen felt like it dragged on forever. Three men were the stars Huxley--never a foot wrong plus the partnering, Sanz--noble and elegant line adding much needed poetry to Serenade, TAngle--although he's losing hair and can look out of shape sometimes, his beats were clear and jumps had ample elevation last night, with his usual reliable, self-effacing partnering. 

    First time seeing this "new" Serenade costumes. They look like they have two stripes of yellow stain in the front. New costumes for Piano Concertno No.2 don't work. They look muted and dusty as if they've been used for ten years. Awful, shallow art installation in the hall---silly messages and the white surface already showing tracks of people's winter boots. 



  7. Just now, abatt said:

    I found it interesting that Craig Hall, who danced the role of Apollo only once, is coaching Stanley.  How much detailed knowledge could Hall possibly have regarding the role if he only performed it once?  Why didn't they call in someone with vast knowledge of the role to do the coaching?

    I'm a little worried about that too, because I remember Craig Hall coached/talked about a Balanchine role (maybe Apollo) at one of those rehearsal/demonstration events last year, and a long-time City Ballet goers who attended later said to me, referring to Hall: "He had no idea what he was talking about." 

  8. 11 hours ago, Rock said:

    For me what's coming is very exciting: Gordon, Ball, Coll, Chamblee, Sanz, Mejia - lots of very unusual men and quite different from each other. Who am I forgetting? Seems to be a lot of them. 

    I will admit it's upsetting that Danchig-Waring isn't doing Apollo.

    Sebastian Villarini-Velez and a new corps member Davide Ricardo. 

  9. 16 hours ago, DC Export said:


    I found the end-note a little troubling. City Ballet in jeopardy of losing a major talent because of the lack of clarity on the artistic vision? Could be author commentary.... but what if it isn't?

    I definitely found that worrying too, although I think the reasoning Taylor gave for his consideration of leaving didn't point to lack of clarity in the artistic direction as the main element. It sounds to me his internal probing has more to do with ballet itself. It would be a major loss  (graver than the loss of Finlay of late, Catazaro, on par with Ramasar) if he leaves. He's certainly the most well-rounded and articulate dancer among the male principals of now.



  10. On 10/17/2018 at 12:23 PM, abatt said:

    It took Rebecca Krohn a very long time to move up to principal.   I think it may have been around 13 years, but I can't recall.

    I missed Laracey's Concerto  Barocco performances last spring.  I was surprised they didn't give her a single performance of that ballet during the fall season.  Note that she is debuting on the tour this week in Shanghai in Stravinsky Violin Concerto.

    Laracey in CB last spring was very beautiful and sweet but I'm not sure there was enough depth or expansiveness. But then again, I was sitting in the fourth ring and maybe from that distance very few can project expansiveness. I mean it was certainly a much better performance than the frustratingly reserved and flat one Reichlen gave in the Fall. 

    I was more struck by her dancing in Emeralds in the Fall, which I thought was superior to Unity Phelan's.


  11. On 1/5/2019 at 8:59 AM, Kathleen O'Connell said:

    Both Kirstein and Robbins were alive and actively involved with both the company and the school when Martins assumed the role of "Co Ballet Master-in-Chief." Indeed, Robbins was the other Co Ballet Master-in-Chief and Kirstein was President of SAB. The current Board does not have that luxury. 

    If prior experience leading an arts organization doesn't matter, why not just keep Jonathan Stafford and his team in place? A year on, this team does in fact have some experience and from the outside, at least, seem to be doing a fine job. 

    By the way, I stumbled across this 1985 NYT article while I was confirming Kirstein's involvement with NYCB / SAB post-Balanchine:

    Art and Money in a Ballet Conflcit

    "The current conflict between Lincoln Kirstein's supporters and those who have recently challenged his authority in the School of American Ballet - which he and George Balanchine established before founding the New York City Ballet - has raised issues faced by arts groups throughout the nation.

    The concerns involve fund-raising versus directorial independence and the influence of major donors or board members on policy. Also involved is the clash between a corporate mentality brought into arts organizations by recently formed boards and the unorthodox spirit that guided pioneering arts enterprises such as the Balanchine-Kirstein ventures during the last 50 years."

    La plus ça change ...

    From what I know, Stafford was (and likely still is) in the running. He was, to a certain extent, groomed by Martins, yet during the interim team's tenure has shown openness to new approaches, including bringing in more past Balanchine dancers for coaching. That might be the incremental mindset that this board is most comfortable with. 

    As for the type of conflict touched on in the 1985 NYT article, I think the overall funding structure/culture for the arts in America (especially beginning from the Reagan era) created this unavoidable conflict. I'm curious if there was another route not taken back in the day, in terms of governance and operation of arts organizations.

  12. On 1/9/2019 at 10:35 AM, abatt said:

    I guess Adrian D-W is still injured.  I enjoyed his Apollo very much. 

    Garcia apparently did Apollo back when he was at SFB.  I guess it's a stroke of luck for him that the male ranks are now so depleted at NYCB that in the twilight of his career he is again cast as Apollo.

    I saw him a couple nights ago as the host of a talk/screening series on Robbins. No visible hindrance or extra care in his movement---he even danced some steps from NY Jazz Export on stage in his regular pants and boots.  I guess it wasn't healed in time for rehearsal. And he may still be going through PT now. though probably at a late stage. 

  13. I got a quite positive impression of Millepied from Releve. Charismatic and sincere, with substantive ideas.  After all the fuss surrounding his departure, almost all of his ideas are carried on by Dupont---the fund-raiser gala copied from NYCB, more Balanchine - Robbins ballets, casting decisions (that gorgeous mixed-race dancer) and promotions (at least three of the young dancers he used for his statement piece are now etoiles). 

  14. 1 hour ago, Leah said:

    NYCB just streamed a live rehearsal of Agon as an Instagram story. Probably will only be available until tomorrow so check it out!

    I caught a glimpse of Peter Walker in the first Pas de trois. To be honest I was really not impressed by his last outing in this part.

  15. 9 hours ago, aurora said:



    Given the activities they are accused of, I'm not sure why anyone should, at this moment, be more concerned with their feelings and their embarrassment, than those of the girlfriends and coworkers they traded images of for sexual gratification, and treated like garbage.


    Because they are artists whose work audiences shared in, and whose careers and lives people have watched for long. To be concerned with their feelings and their embarrassment is a natural reaction, and by extension that concern also touches somewhat on our own mixed feelings. 

    People don't know Waterbury. As of now nothing is proved in a court of law, nothing that suggests the firing is fully justified. 

  16. On 9/12/2018 at 8:56 PM, Longtimelurker said:

     I also don't believe she would become marginalized and have that explained away by artistic reasons given the said environment along with her value to the company as both a dancer and choreographer.

    Lauren Lovette is only a young principal and has only choreographed a couple pieces for the company. Ashley Bouder may feel more confident in speaking out but that still doesn't mean it's repercussion-free for her.

  17. 3 hours ago, balletforme said:

    This is what Pointe Magazine asked:

    But should aspiring ballet dancers really "run in the other direction"?

    Were her alleged experiences isolated indences perpetuated by a tiny percentage of just one company—or are they indicative of major problems in today's ballet culture within and beyond NYCB's walls?


    That quote at the end of NYT's article struck me as emotionally manipulative the very first time I read it. Using the imagery of innocent, eager, young female ballet students to blur the specifics of her case. Who did she expect to "protect" her, given that her relationship with Finlay started after she left SAB and that she was never associated with NYCB? And what Finlay was alleged to have done he didn't broadcast it for his company to know. How can she extrapolate from her sense of not being "protected" to the absence of "protection" for actual students of SAB, and by logic of her general reference, all the other ballet schools?

  18. On 9/10/2018 at 7:31 PM, cobweb said:

    But what about the very thin male soloist rank? If they are going to promote men who may make it to principal one day, it's time to promote Harrison Coll, Silas Farley, and possibly Sebastian Villarini-Velez. On the other hand, they could also promote a few men who may remain as, um, "flagship soloists." Dependable, highly experienced men who could fill this bill include Daniel Applebaum, Devin Alberda, and Andrew Scordato. 

    I would love to see Coll and V-V getting promoted. The last three names however do not excite me in any way. Come to think of it, the male corps ranks is not rich in talent either, certainly so compared to the female corps members.

  19. 6 hours ago, FauxPas said:

     Waterbury is a student at Columbia, so she has some intelligence (whether that intelligence guides her personal life choices at her young age cannot be guaranteed).  


    She is at the School of General Studies, which was founded to provide liberal arts education to adult and non-traditional students (veterans, etc). It's not part of the Columbia College, nor a graduate or professional school at the University. There have been retired dancers who went there (Garcia Gonzales's boyfriend graduated from that school this year or last year). I'm not saying that the academic standards are relaxed for them, but the school does take other achievements than traditionally academic ones into consideration when admitting their students. 

    Which reminds me of the slightly curious case of Waterbury. She is of traditional college age, and she did not enter NYCB or any other professional dance company to pursue a dance career. Coming straight out of SAB and PCS, she seems an unusual candidate for (and student at) the GS, as it is known within Columbia.

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