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About Birdsall

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. Just so you know there are websites like "a view from my seat" where people have posted views from their actual seat in various theaters. Not every single seat is shown, but you can find views from seats that are in a similar section. This might help for future reference. It is something that someone at a box office can't show you. I don't live in NYC so for me buying online for me personally is wonderful, and I buy online locally also for tickets here in Florida. No line, no waiting, very fast, sometimes you can actually get a seat view, but not always. You can buy tickets wherever you are or whatever you are doing. Tickets went on sale at 12pm for NYCB yesterday and at 11:45am even knowing tickets were about to go on sale I took my dog on a walk here in Florida and when it hit 12pm I bought the tickets on my phone as I was enjoying the walk. I remember years ago having to wait at the computer for tickets to go on sale and sometimes the site would not work well and you would watch the seats you wanted get bought up before your eyes as you are trying to make a choice. Or before online sales having to call just as tickets went on sale and that was a nightmare. There was so much stress involved in trying to get a good seat asap before the good seats were gone. I even took a day off work in the past to make sure I could get good seats to all the operas I wanted. For me regular ticket buying was SO stressful. Online buying has taken all the stress out of it for me. I think it took me like less than 3 minutes to choose and buy my NYCB tickets yesterday once I logged onto the site on my phone.
  2. Just to play Devil's Advocate......I suspect the majority of ticket buyers (I could be wrong) purchase online (so convenient), b/c you can choose the exact seat you want from home or even your phone the minute tickets go on sale. If you choose "Choose your seat" option rather than "best available" you get a seating chart and are able to choose the exact seat you want. I love this about most online purchasing. When I purchased tickets for Nov. 2 and 3 for these performances it was easy. I can't remember if City Center allowed me to see the view from the seat I selected, but some company sites have that option as well. I hated buying tickets before the whole "choose your own seat" option became widespread. You basically had to have the seating chart open on your computer as you talked to the person on the phone. Today single tickets for NYCB went on sale and I was walking my dog and purchased my tickets online on my phone. I personally LOVE the convenience of online purchasing. They probably do not need to charge a fee. It is probably way easier for them just as it is for us, so the fee charge is ridiculous, but I am okay with it for the convenience. Years ago I could not walk my dog and purchase opera and ballet tickets.
  3. Birdsall

    2017 -- 2018 Season

    Shouldn't two principal openings come up (or 3 if Makhalina finally retires)? Lopatkina announced her official retirement but continues to be listed on the Mariinsky website as a principal. Now Pavlenko has retired officially. So that gives room for 2 new principals.
  4. Birdsall

    Chase Johnsey leaves Trocks; Joins ENB

    I am not sure if I can find it. It was an email notification for Dance Spirit which I do not subscribe to, but had a link, and I clicked and read the short article. I think after reading it and mentioning it on here I deleted the email. If I can find it, I will post it.
  5. Birdsall

    Are there any great Classicists today?

    I agree. Her Swan Lake at the Mariinsky (before she moved to the Bolshoi) opened my eyes to how touching and exciting the final act can be. And during the white swan pdd near the end as she bourees toward the center away from him she broke your heart with the longing gaze that fit the music. Her Firebird was also incredible for its musicality.....the way she removes her arms from Ivan's embrace, the way she commands the stage as the monsters are running amok, etc. I don't understand why there is so much animosity toward her on BA.
  6. Birdsall

    NYCB 2018-2019 Season

    I am a Generation Xer and I never trusted faxes either. Faxing is so retro. WTH is wrong with NYCB??????? I didn't think anyone faxed anything anymore! Seems like a ticketing system that would happen in a third world country! Although we do seem to be sliding into the third world now!
  7. Birdsall

    Chase Johnsey leaves Trocks; Joins ENB

    There is another up and coming transgender ballerina Jay Ledford according to Dance Spirit magazine.
  8. Birdsall

    ABT 2018 Whipped Cream

    A friend also mentioned that Simkin did that, and I totally missed it just like Imspear. I remember Simkin getting the crown and I guess I just thought it was over and was looking at all the various characters, because I totally missed the bowl of whipped cream at the end. Or maybe I was in sugar shock and in a coma......
  9. Birdsall

    ABT 2018 Whipped Cream

    LOL I love your questions! Maybe Ratmansky could do a Whipped Cream 2 (like a horror film sequel) and it could depict the End of the World (cannibalism)......Mark Ryden would have a field day! LOL Maybe this ballet does have something to say afterall.....we are living in a time of decadence and excess and it can come to nothing good, but we will enjoy it all while it lasts!
  10. Birdsall

    ABT 2018 Whipped Cream

    Nanushka, I am speaking in general, not to one particular posting or comment, so hope I am not making you feel defensive (you don't sound it and probably just adding the conversation but just making it clear). I wasn't responding specifically to your post, but you are right. The Ryden designs definitely appeal to all ages and all types. Art can appeal to all types. I have a painting by the tattoo artist Pooch hanging in my dining room (of all places), and that seems totally out of character for someone like me (51 year old librarian with zero tattoos who still wears a sport coat to every ballet or opera), but I have a soft spot for alternative art, etc. I was just saying that I can picture the art loving "punk" types (not really sure what the new term would be) loving the artwork of Whipped Cream. Others like me can enjoy and like it as well. However, for me personally, it is the opposite of "imperial"........it is leaning more toward avant garde, so I think Canbelto's comparison to the Ballets Russes is more like how I would compare it. I don't have children but wonder if some moments would actually scare children (the big eye that blinks, for example, or the huge syringes that the nurses dance with). The children near me didn't seem to flinch or be bothered (the one behind me fell asleep), and the age old Grimm's Fairytales are actually very gruesome also if you read the originals. So maybe it doesn't scare children. Just wondering. I love the intent......current biggest choreographer of today's ballet world joins with a contemporary artist to create a new ballet that is fun for children (something needed to build young audiences).......I just don't think the finished product achieves what it sets out to do, but that is my opinion, and it sounds like plenty of people (including children like it). I liked Ratmansky's Fairy's Kiss much better in which it told the plight of the artist often choosing art over his own love or life.......for me it was touching and showed the anguish of the artist. Whipped Cream, in stark contrast, has nothing to say except you get a belly ache from too many sweets, but go ahead and eat them anyway and you'll be happy. I mean, what is the point? For me personally the artwork (sets and costumes) had a lot more substance than the story. It is like if you open up a children's picture book, and the paintings for each page are amazing and thought-provoking, but the story is just "meh" or simply lousy. It is very disappointing. Ratmansky's choreography is nice, but compared to other works he has done it doesn't seem very inventive or exciting to me. So for me even the choreography (nothing bad) is nothing to rave about. I actually enjoy his Humpbacked Horse (and Fairy's Kiss as I mentioned). It is almost as if Ratmansky intended this as a private joke and told a close friend, "I am going to create a totally superficial work but cover it up with lots of fluff and see if people eat it up and don't realize what a complete piece of fluff it is!".......sort of like he was just looking for a big paycheck so he could have more time to think up and do his more inventive work later.
  11. Birdsall

    ABT 2018 Whipped Cream

    I actually loved the sets and costumes and processsions (least boring part of Whipped Cream). I flew up to see The Boys in the Band and Carousel and added Whipped Cream as an after thought. I mainly went for the artwork and enjoyed the art. However, even watered down, sweeter Mark Ryden still had a definite progressive edge to it. I think millennials with nose rings, tattoos, and purple hair would love the sets and costumes. I have always been friends with progressives so I am not making fun of them, btw. However, that is the main reason I find it a little strange to view the sets as Imperial Russian in style. I view them as cutesy punk rock! LOL
  12. Birdsall

    ABT 2018 Whipped Cream

    Canbelto, thanks for the big laugh! I personally need some sort of story. For me that is the biggest problem I had with Whipped Cream. All fluff and no substance. I guess that’s fitting for a ballet called Whipped Cream, but I think Imperial ballets had more substance. The music was another problem (like a lullaby that lulls us to sleep). The little girl behind me fell asleep. It just isn’t an exciting score. La Traviata is also filled with waltzes but somehow excites over and over. I did enjoy Mark Ryden’s ironic/alternative/creepy artwork (sets and costumes) as “art” but didn’t feel like I was watching Imperial splendor....more like something progressive millennials with purple hair and tattoos would enjoy.
  13. Birdsall

    ABT 2018 Whipped Cream

    Cobweb, I was there too and agree 100%....the lack of substance (although I guess Whipped Cream would be a fluff piece simply knowing the name) and the surprisingly boring Strauss music (no climaxes) made for a boring afternoon. The wonderful dancers can’t save it. Mark Ryden’s sets and costumes (surreal and sort of creepy) are the main reason I decided to see it.
  14. Birdsall

    Marcelo Gomes

    It is crazy to watch "Triump of the Will" and be both repelled and amazed at the same time. Not just her craftmanship, but how she somehow evoked a feeling of beauty and goodness (for an evil cause). I think film students will study her work for centuries. I basically can love the artist but hate the human being......however, not sure if I could ever love an artist who helps create mythology around a current world leader......that's where I draw the line! LOL That would hit too close to home and that film director would become persona non grata immediately!
  15. Birdsall

    Marcelo Gomes

    Wagner is, indeed, one of the biggies of the "Can I love the art of a horrible human being" controversy. I totally understand why some would be repelled by his music mainly because of his personality and possible stereotypes. However, I have heard arguments for and against whether his music actually depicted racism. His writings and the actual libretto can be interpreted that way, but it is still up in the air if his actual music can indicate racism. It is sad that someone could create a work like Parsifal in which "compassion" is one of the most important themes and Christianity mixed with lots of Buddhism is apparent throughout the opera. The opera still inspires people today. It just goes to show you that it is a complicated issue. It is tough. When we love the art that someone creates we want to like the human being as well. I think that is probably something innate in us humans. However, it is obvious that sometimes we have to choose to divorce the two (artist and human being). Leni Reifenstahl is the famous director of "Triumph of the Will"......a propaganda film that helped create the mythology around Hitler.....I believe almost all film students study her work, because in many ways her artistry was amazing in that she created a feeling and emotion (not to mention camera angles and shading) that was close to genius if you can divorce it from its actual purpose (which was HORRIFYING). I saw a documentary years ago in which she was shown to have spent her later life photographing Africans and trying to overcome her label as a racist, but then she was asked certain pointed questions about her Nazi past, and she literally lost it....she stood up and walked torward the interviewer and got VERY defensive and you saw she was in denial about her role in Hitler's Germany. So art and the artist as a human, often very flawed human.....is very heart wrenching stuff........it reminds us that life is very complicated and sometimes we feel very uneasy liking an artist who we think is not a very good human being.