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Everything posted by bcash

  1. The NYPL Performing Arts Branch is screening this version on June 20th. I remember the notes on the program saying it was filmed in 1967, so I assume it's the same one.
  2. North American audiences get to see this gorgeous dancer too little!
  3. bcash

    Gomes and ABT

    I saw this film way back in the winter of 2016-2017 as part of a Dance on Camera film series at Lincoln Center. Many of his ABT colleagues were in attendance that night. It follows Gomes around the world as he guests with different companies and dancers. As I recall, the film worked because Gomes became very comfortable with the presence of filmmakers, as they went through this long process of getting the film off the ground and during the actual shooting, and thus was able to relax in front of the camera almost at all times, letting many sides of his personality shine through naturally. One thread in the film is his somewhat strained relationship with his father, who at that point had not yet come to NY to see Gomes dance at the Met since he joined the company (if I recall correctly). But I thought there was a bit of a forced drama and sentimentality with that story-line. At the Q&A afterwards, though, Gomes said he still hadn't got word from his dad that he would come to New York that Summer. Overall it was great to see some good-quality footage of him performing on stage, as well as to feel his genuine warmth, adorable sense of humor and total lack of ego coming through the screen.
  4. bcash

    Gomes and ABT

    I consider myself lucky to have been present at his 20-Year anniversary performance. At least he has that moment.
  5. bcash

    Gomes and ABT

    Sorry to dig up an old post but watching Finlay this spring season (and some clips of his dancing in SL) I felt almost the same as Witchel. His upper body carriage is very distinctively danseur noble, compared to most other NYCB male principals. His proportions and looks are very princely on stage (some may say off the stage as well). But to me his legs aren't quite up to some of the challenges in the NYCB rep, including Balanchine.
  6. Why is that the case though? Isn't the Met season their only "main season" in the entire year? One would expect them to be fully prepared.
  7. Did NYTimes do a piece on Ricardo and his partner after a workshop performance a year or two ago? I was hoping to see more men being taken in, given how many male dancers have left/taking a leave/are underutilized this past few seasons.
  8. I'm surprised to read so many generous impressions on Sunday's performance. Perhaps my impression was colored by my seat, and the fact that I was and remain rather indifferent to both retiring dancers. Ashley Laracey was certainly much more expressive and spiritual than Reichlen in the primary ballerina role in Barocco. Reichlen, though technically secure, often appears impervious and too "objective" in many roles that calls for more interpretation. And Farley partnered her well, smooth and secure, fully utilizing his height during some of the more complex "pretzeling" moves. Lowery has expressive port de bras but there is this slight disconnect and lack of precision from the waist down. Agon really needs a great cast to exert its power. And this was not one. The (ideally) thrilling opening section (the moving blocks of four, the two rows with dancers switching places) did not project much power, at least not to the fourth ring. Peter Walker was completely wrong for the first pas de trois, his slender height making his central axis wobble wildly and discordantly. Last time I saw Lowery in the second pas de trois, her being one of the least slender women in the company obviously impacted the partnering of the two thinner men who were dancing with her, and this time it improved a little. Miller seemed competent enough in the pas de deux, but I did not sense any star quality or any reason to feel excited, especially given how well Kowroski has been dancing this pas this season. (Miller's Titania last Spring didn't make much of an impression either.) The ending of this Agon just fizzled completely. I'be been told by a seasoned NYCB goer that 4T has been in good shape for many years, while Agon is not. There may be quite some truth in this observation. I've never been "disappointed" by a 4T by NYCB in the past couple of years. I have no opinion on Dieck because he never stood out in any way to me. But I think overall it was a solid, solid performance. Sebastian V-V was lovely, though obviously not to the level of Huxley. Gerrity had projection and presence in spades. The finale never fails to move and inspire, particularly when the score opens up to the major note. I remember in a winter performance a lady sitting next to me exclaimed "This is a masterpiece!" right as the curtain dropped on 4T. With injuries, retirements, leaves of absence, the roster of male dancers at NYCB is looking depleted. I continue to hope for the emergence of a male dancer with the proportion, the presence, the expressive and technical prowess of a true danseur noble.
  9. I have been rooting for Sebastian V-V to get soloist roles for a while now, so I was obviously excited to see him dancing this part. He has a very easy musicality and a fluidity of movement with just the right inflection to make it interesting. (He also has movie star looks--just check out his "screen test" interview on Youtube.) As to this particular performance, I thought he could have been freer, but I guess nerves were understandable. I know LeCrone is not widely loved but I've always liked her in 4T and Agon, mixing angularity with a hint of seductiveness. I certainly prefer her to Reichlen in Choleric. Neither la Cour nor Janzen works for me as Phlegmatic. I wish I had seen Adrian D-W live for once.
  10. Agreed re. Discord and War. I think you are right. At least Macaulay seems to think those are what they stand for.
  11. What happened with Lendorf? Injury? I was hoping to see him in something this season.
  12. Last night was a delight. Tiler Peck is obviously in her prime and delivers every time. De Luz is in better form than last Spring. I always trusted his commitment to acting and his stage presence suits this role very well, but it was the air in his jumps/precision in his turns that surprised me. Apart from the usual highlights, I love the brief adagio passage in the 1st act where Franz briefly and lightly partnered Swanhilda when she was holding that golden wheat strand. As to the ballet itself, the music is so lovely and suited to dancing, as well as to comedic storytelling. The miming can be hard to read in full clarity (someone sitting behind me did not get it at all, presumably having not read the synopsis.) I felt the First Act character dance was a little too long, and I concur that Peter Walker was somewhat unsure in his execution in the 3rd Act, which made Discord and War feel more tonally out of place. I do wonder how much we should feel sympathy for Dr. Coppelius. I did feel for him at the end of the second act and I felt Swanhilda and Franz could have been kinder to him throughout. And I read in the Lincoln Kirstein program notes that he is supposed to be a "quasi-tragic" figure, a creative-genius type of individual mocked by the local philistines. But the joyful and radiant 3rd act almost made the audience forget whatever sympathy they might have felt prior. That moment when he came on stage to air his grievances to the Mayor at the start of the 3rd act did not register much, which I thought could have been acted with more thought and layers of emotions.
  13. Any info as to why the Pulcinella Variations was replaced for this one night? Injuries too many? Tchai Pas: It's an interesting paring. I don't believe they've danced this together and it should be Catazaro's NY debut.
  14. The thing is, McGregor doesn't make ballets. He does his own thing with the addition of some pointe work. There's a rehearsal video on YT of him and Wheeldon working one after another in the studio and the contrast in language used to convey ideas to the dancers and to fine tune their movements is so clear: that Wheeldon is a ballet choreographer and McGregor is not. Of course, this is not to deny other possible virtues and contributions McGregor might possess and make to a dance company. As to why the Royal under Monica Mason made him the resident choreographer, I defer to more knowledgeable commentators.
  15. Like many here, I thoroughly enjoyed DAAG on Saturday night. It's a rich playground of Robbins's imagination and sensibilities, and the dancers gave thoughtful and expressive articulation to them. I had seen the Paris Opera recording of this ballet in full and my impression then was just "a bunch of dancers looking pretty for too long". But I was engrossed by Sat. night's performance, noticing many passages of playful intelligence and lyricism, and wanting to reach for the meanings and figurative images suggested but never made fully explicit. For someone not familiar with Robbins or not a fan of Chopin though, it could still feel too long. One guy behind me remarked as such to his friend ("But it was sooo looong.") Tiler Peck always a joy, and her slow segment with TAngle is probably my favorite, alongside her duet with De Luz and the segment with Gordon and Lovette. I think it was the first time that I truly see what many other saw in Gordon, his lines and speed were both excellent. De Luz's solo in the middle was joyfully clean and dynamic, plus I think he has one of the best "epaulement" in the company, of a very noble masculine elegance. There was one moment where De Luz was walking, facing upstage, holding onto the waist of a bourreeing Lovette who's facing the audience, leaning his head slightly onto her cheek, and I was inexplicably touched by the tender melancholy in that image. I noticed the partnering problem between Finlay and Mearns too, which never quite settled down and that "jump and sit on his shoulder" moment looked labored indeed---he needed a moment to steady and adjust her position and I was worried they were going to miss the music for the exit. My impression is that Mearns's dancing became just a bit cautious because of that. To be honest that 3 consecutive throw and catch was less confident than could have been, and the applause from the audience was almost as unsure. Still, I find Finlay's upper body articulation to be excellent--a genuine danseur noble air, one of the best among the principal men, and certainly much better than Catazaro who despite a striking figure tends to lack clarity and articulation in his shoulders, arms and head movements. I have to say, DAAG has my favorite type of ballet costume, well, for a 20th century ballet at least. All in solid colors and for the men a darker shade in the tights than the "billowy" top, with faux leather boots reaching the lower calf. The women's ribbons and flowing knee-length dresses, only slightly cinched at the waist. Just an elegant and clean silhouette throughout. I wonder if Robbins came up with this look himself, as it appears in variations in many of his ballets. The photo exhibition that NYPL put up in celebration of the Robbins centennial has some great content. The 3rd and 4th photos are of Dances at a Gathering. Anybody know which ballet was being rehearsed in the photo after the Glass Pieces one?
  16. Yes at first I thought, oh she's losing it, but at the end the impression was that she made it into some new flourish, just barely though.
  17. The "30 under 30" tickets were all in the 4th ring for the Sunday mat. performance. They could be anywhere in the house and are supposedly assigned based on how well the house is selling as a whole, and I suspect this was because of the Sara M. debut. (For comparison, the tickets for Sat. mat. were in the orchestra.) The audience was certainly enthusiastic for her, right from the entrance, and I think both dancers fed off of the energy/good will in the house. She brought a sense of scale to the part, devouring space with each step and turn. T. Angle was better than I expected, with considerable lightness in his jumps (which I did not expect given his current shape). His partnering has the usual self-effacing ease, and you could feel that Sara M felt secure and confident dancing with him, as Maria K. did in Agon on Saturday. I particularly liked the way he caught her in those fish dives. With most couples I always fear that the woman is going to slip out of the man's arms, or the effort in containing the woman's momentum is very visible, but Sunday was probably the first time I didn't sense any effort from the man, impressive given Sara is not a petite dancer. The catch was secure and so timed as to make contact with Sara M. just before her momentum dips, yet without any sense of thwarting it prematurely. Catazaro did well in Apollo, and Sterling Hyltin was beautiful as always. I was not planning to catch this performance but certainly did not regret seeing it.
  18. Love hat picture of De Luz. Joyous lines. Did not know Megan and Andrew still don't speak.
  19. Wow, that's cool news. Inspired and assured by Maria K. and Ashley Bouder's journeys? She has brought a lot of new freedom and depth to many of her roles since her separation from Veyette. Her Le Baiser this past Winter was infinitely more moving and musical than Pereira.
  20. I very much look forward to the Opus 19/DAAG/Glass Pieces program. Three substantial and substantially long pieces in one evening.
  21. What? This is a shock. I follow Fairchild on Instagram but I didn't catch any of this. Admittedly, I wasn't very active on that app for much of last winter. None of the people I know who are NYCB devotees has alluded to any knowledge of this either. Fairchild and Peck have "curated" such a romantic image and narrative for their relationship in the public eye that I can't wrap my head around the fact that one of them left the other for someone of the same sex. I see that people here have known similar instances in their social circles, but for me it almost sounds like one of those unrealistic story lines in movies.
  22. Just got back from tonight's All Stravinsky. My very first time watching NYCB live, and in their home theater no less! My seat was in the middle of the last row of orchestra. Finlay and Lovette's Aria II in the Violin Concerto was not as full of feeling as what I saw in the NYCB video clip of Hyltin and Fairchild. I know there's much difference between watching an edited video and a live performance, but I just felt their timing was off by a tiny bit at a couple points, and during the part where their arms were tangled together while they both moved slowly across the stage, there seemed to me to be a bit disconnect between their bodies. The ending, an image rich in association as seen in the Hyltin/Fairchild clip, did not leave a particularly strong impression. Lovette's overall quality of movement I thought was highly enjoyable. Mearns and Danchig-Waring were their usual mature, present and expressive selves. In the final section Lovette had a slip while moving fast across the stage front; She and Finlay had a brief moment of trouble during the supported Pirouettes, causing her to wobble. Monumentum and Movements were two pieces that I felt needed a more expert eye to discern all the subtleties. Janzen certainly showed stage presence. And I was happy to see one of my favorite corps members Sebastian Villarini-Velez, who also danced in Symphony in Three Movements later on. Duo Conertant with Bouder and Fairchild was probably the highlight of the night. Their dancing was precise, lyrical, articulate, full of joy, play, touching reverie and evocative melancholy at the end. Easy rapport between them, though less romantically tinged. Great audience reaction. Three curtain calls. Two French ladies in front of me were also clapping vigorously. Sanz replaced Stanley, as mentioned by cobweb, in Symphony in Three Movements. The opening formation drew a hushed gasp from the audience. Strong corps dancing with the support of the full symphonic score. Hyltin was in form, LeCrone's stage presence was not so strong as I imagined. Sanz danced beautifully and to my eyes partnered Hyltin well. He had a pretty big slip towards the end where he lost his balance while lifting one leg high to the side, and had to support himself with one hand to the ground. It was when they all faced the audience with their backs. Huxley was the standout to me: Clean and articulate lines, secure and confident in fast movements, great elevation. Would love to have seen Stanley though!
  23. Didn't expect this at all. In the AOL NYCB web-series last year he appeared to be enjoying himself as one of the "veterans" of the company and quite confident about continuing and meeting new challenges.
  24. https://www.nycballet.com/NYCB/media/NYCBMediaLibrary/PDFs/Press/Casting/NYCB_Casting_May-3-8,-2016_lobby.pdf Week three casting. Two premieres. Interesting, there didn't seem to be much publicity about them. And I'm not familiar with Blanc at all, but glad to see Villarini-Velez in a featured role.
  25. Speaking about guest stars, I wish ABT had Friedemann Vogel on its list. If there's any international male dancer the american ballet-goers deserve to see live, its him. Superb line, technique, power and presence.
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