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Everything posted by nanushka

  1. Yes, he was. Very sorry that we won't be seeing him in the role. Still, he works quite hard enough as it is!
  2. It would probably not make it easier, though, if indeed they changed their dates to come after the NYCB season. The later in the summer it gets, the harder it is to fill the seats, I'd guess.
  3. So glad to hear this! It always feels so awkward having to wait before clapping in this ballet -- especially for a dancer one is so thrilled to be seeing again.
  4. Cornejo did them on Friday, competently though not spectacularly.
  5. I completely agree. I can't wait for their R&J, which was so emotionally intense last time around. Gomes seems to have a great capacity for forging these partnerships. For this reason, I'm sad that he's not dancing with Part as much any more, now that they seem to be pairing her mostly with Stearns. (The upcoming Bayadere is a notable and not-to-be-missed exception.)
  6. Devon Teuscher: gorgeous arms, good bourrees, nice turns, low and lazy (or just not yet strong enough) arabesques. Xiomara had some wonderful acting: the first set of heart palpitations, the mad scene, etc. And Kelley Boyd had some of the most crystal-clear and effective miming I've seen. All in all, a night of fantastic expressive elements, though not perhaps the most technically proficient dancing.
  7. I got the same brochure, except my inside back cover is the order form for tickets by mail. Confused....
  8. I can't find that information in the brochure I received today. Is that correct -- Nutcracker only from Dec 7-16? Only 10 days, and so early in the season?
  9. I sat in the second row of the balcony last year, which was really great considering the price. Would have loved to have been closer, but it really didn't detract from my enjoyment of the performance.
  10. from Time Out New York #830 (Sept 29 - Oct 5) p. 45: "[Charles] Askegard, 42, started out at American Ballet Theatre in 1987, where he remained until moving to NYCB in 1997. Known for his height (he's 6'4"), his stellar partnering and his gracious classicism, Askegard will continue dancing with statuesque ballerinas. Among his upcoming ventures...he is starting his own company, Ballet Next, with the former ABT principal Michele Wiles." ("Moving on: Charles Askegard busts out of New York City Ballet" by Gia Kourlas)
  11. Are they not going to release the full schedule of casting before the tickets go on sale?! It's awful enough they haven't yet released the casting for City Center in November, but to make people start buying tickets for a full-length ballet without casting...I can't believe it. This is ridiculous.
  12. A few more on this other page from the same blog: http://ja-ballet.seesaa.net/category/9459798-1.html
  13. As much as I love Veronika Part's dancing, I have to admit that Zina's opening dance in The Bright Stream (holding the book) didn't make much sense to me when I saw her dance it. It was only when I saw Xiomara dance it at a later performance that I really got how the music and the steps were meant to go together. Someone mentioned above that they never seek out her performances but are always pleasantly surprised; that's been my experience several times this season.
  14. Based on my limited reading of the Macaulay forum, I gather that what goes on over there is more a meta-critical discussion about the criticism. What happens here, it seems, is quite natural and quite different: those who post at times refer to the views of others in order to illuminate their own descriptions of what they have seen and of how they analyze and understand what they have seen. Sometimes those "others" are previous posters; sometimes they are published critics. So long as the emphasis is on the topic at hand (what I, the poster, have seen and how I analyze and understand what I have seen), I'd like to think we could all have a little leeway to bring in the occasional outside references. But then, of course, I'm not in charge! No ballet viewer watches from a vacuum. Just as I take to each performance the views and opinions I have read here, so I am also informed by what I have read in the pages of the Times. These are all inevitable parts of what Helene, in "Why This Forum Exists," refers to as "the point of view of the audience."
  15. Because boards rarely fire the boring and uninspired?
  16. I'm not sure how you can say no new star dancers have been cultivated from within ABT in recent years. Gomes, Hallberg and Murphy each came up through the ABT ranks in recent years. Although Herman Cornejo came in as a soloist, I regard him as having been primarily cultivated at ABT. Each of the above listed dancers is a star, in my opinion. There are also several promising soloists. This has occurred under McKenzie's tenure. Note that Amour wrote "No new star dancers are being cultivated," though -- an observation in line with many of the views expressed on the "ABT's Male Principal Problem" thread.
  17. Very sorry. It's at times difficult to disentangle the two, given that we see as much through others as through our own eyes (as these forums themselves attest). To clarify, the thrust of my comment was to solicit others' impressions of what they had seen in Simkin's dancing on that or other nights.
  18. Honestly, I often suspect that Macaulay must feel the need to temper a positive comment with something negative and so he relies on vague phrases such as this. I felt this with the Swan Lake article, when he called Part's dancing "monotonous." I understand he's working with limited space, but he could often do more to make himself clear. Perhaps, though, someone on here can explain what he meant about Simkin, if they're seeing whatever he's seeing. Personally, I thought the only thing wrong with the Bluebird pdd was the partnering; individually, Simkin and Lane both looked fantastic to my eyes.
  19. I look forward to that turnaround -- Veronika deserves the attention! I agree with all that you say about Tuesday's performance, and last year's. She was solid on Tuesday, for the most part (a slip here and there), and there were some typically gorgeous moments, but you could tell at times that she was getting through it; last year she seemed fully absorbed in the role. She definitely still has her off nights. Still, I'll see her on an off night, fully recognize all the problems, and yet still find it completely worth it for those moments of breathtaking gorgeousness. I thought that Macaulay very fairly captured that experience in his description. Renata Pavam, IMO, was the standout among the fairies, at least in Act I. Simkin and Lane looked great, apart from the partnering problems. This is the best I've seen her in awhile. The company as a whole, though -- as you said -- looked low on energy, even sloppy and uninspired. I'd be willing to chalk it up, as you do, to the end of a long season, but I feel they've looked like this, off and on, all season long. At least, by now, the main problem with SB seems to be just the physical production: sets and costumes, etc. Other than that interminable opening to Act I (the death sentences, pleas, exonerations, etc.), the staging seems to work.
  20. Yes, but it's all rather silly, isn't it? The whole framing conflict hinges on a forgotten party invitation, and too much of the evening is spent with fair maidens swooning over spindles.
  21. I have a very odd story to report from tonight's performance. After a very solid Rose Adagio by Veronika, a man walked briskly down the left orchestra aisle carrying a bouquet of red roses and shouting "brava!" He was stopped about ten feet from the orchestra pit by an usher, but he clearly wanted to throw the flowers onto the stage. The man became very upset and threw the flowers at the usher's feet. The man then stalked back up the aisle, muttering angrily to audience members around him. The usher picked up the bouquet and followed him out. It was crazy! More to come on the performance later...
  22. Yeah, I love how he always complains that ABT audiences are suckers for athletic feats, going ga-ga over fouettes, etc. -- but this once when it serves his "argument" he decides to interpret those gasps as "not because of its virtuosity but because of its unexpected rightness." Give me a break.
  23. I completely agree with this -- and let's not forget that just because a company does story ballets doesn't mean there have to be so few opportunities for corps members and soloists to have great stage time. Many of ABT's story ballet productions seem unnecessarily light on actual classical dance. I was just watching the 1980 Royal Ballet Swan Lake, for instance, which uses much of the original pas de six music in Act III (they do it as a pas de quatre) but has considerably less junky corps filler in Act I. Some great opportunities there to showcase more solo dancers in variations, rather than having such a huge gap between principals on the one hand and national dancers / character roles / general peasants and aristocrats / swamp monsters on the other hand.
  24. As a teacher, I can totally sympathize with the groans and shudders a suggestion like this would provoke among the creative team -- it's generally important not to let such work become too "democratic," to maintain a certain professional integrity and creative control. On the other hand, such a relatively closed system depends upon a certain degree of excellence or at least competence among those "in control" (whether they be teachers and school administrators, or choreographers and artistic directors). Unfortunately, based on the results in recent years (in terms of both roster and repertoire), I just don't have much faith that Kevin McKenzie possesses the degree of excellence that ABT truly deserves, and that its audiences are justified in expecting.
  25. There are certain moments in performance that make my gut clench up in anxiety -- e.g. David's lifts, Veronika's supported pirouettes, anybody's Rose Adagio.
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