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KarenAG

Senior Member
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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    adores ballet
  • City**
    Albany
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    NY

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  1. Thanks for the review, Caesaritus. I like your forum name, too! The front row of the balcony is my favorite area at SPAC. I was in Section 15, then 16, both times Row H and I had a bit of trouble seeing well.
  2. Lovely review, FPF! I agree that Amar Ramasar dances with joy and freedom. I didn’t know he was retiring; Jonathan did not introduce either matinee. But I am glad all three retiring dancers were honored with bouquets and acknowledgments. Lauren Lovette will be retiring, too. So there will be promotions coming up for some lucky few.
  3. Thank you, Cobweb! And thanks to FPF and Caesaritus for your thoughts and reviews, too. Yes, next year Saratoga!!! ❤️
  4. I loved yesterday's program "Short Stories" as much as I loved Thursday's "All Balanchine". I am so happy to have been able to support the company, see them dance, and give them the standing ovations they deserve. It is sad that they only sold 35 % of the amphitheater space, as @FPF noted. I see those two programs as perhaps sparking interest in ballet-going newbies for future SPAC seasons and I wish there had been more tickets sold because they could have easily sold additional amphitheater tickets (they eliminated the pod seating on the lawn, I believe) and still have maintained meaningful social distancing. It seemed Thursday's matinee performance had a larger audience, and I'm sure the rainy forecast had something to do with it.. I loved that Maria Kowroski hosted and she was generous and fun in her recollections, comments and compliments. It was great to see so many corps de ballet members, as well as principals and one soloist, Sara Adams, dance principal roles and dance them with rock-solid technique and great artistry. I loved Tess Reichlen's delicate, soulful handling of Odette and as always, her interpretation of the Firebird. How I longed to see her dance the Berceuse! Meaghan Dutton-O'Hara was absolutely lovely as Aurora and danced her Rose Adagio with secure grace, a beautiful technique and great confidence. Miriam Miller did not disappoint as Titania in MSND; she danced gracefully and beautifully, and conveyed playful sweetness in her infatuation with Bottom. I would love to see both these ballerinas dance these full-length roles. I have never seen The Concert, believe it or not, but I am not going to let that stand; I have recently purchased the Tribute to Robbins DVD. What a delight Robbins' choreography is, and it is fun and interesting to see it side by side again with Balanchine's mastery and sensibilities. They complement each other, I think, and Jerry R's genius is certainly his own. I loved the athletic, jazzy choreography in Fancy Free, too; the danseurs were sassy and sexy, the choreography conveying the joy and release of being on shore leave. Sara Adams danced an elegant and stunning Princess Florine with her marvelous Bluebird, Spartak Hoxha. I think Emily Kikta danced "Chapeau Girl" (my name for her) in Western Symphony with the required sass and bodacious charm that I often find lacking in others' performance. I think Gonzalo and she had chemistry and the pairing worked very nicely. Overall, I am as impressed with the men dancers as I am with the ballerinas. I have felt depressed that the company will no longer have Maria, whose artistry has reached a stunning high, in my opinion, and who represents the end to an era, too, but I feel confident the company is in excellent hands and look forward to seeing these corp members grow and hopefully reach their own artistic pinnacles. I know I am very gushy in my assessment but I can't help it; it was a breath of fresh air to see NYCB perform this week and I am on Cloud Nine today! About yesterday, personally. We hosted after two years our annual ballet picnic. It was a small group of dear friends compared to past picnics where sometimes we had as many as twenty-five guests, which was grand fun, too. It was wonderfully relaxing, easy-breezy, but there was also a solemn feeling of gratitude and we were so grateful to be able to share this day together again. I have gotten into the habit of honoring dancers who have recently passed and so we honored Jacques D'Amboise. I shared the NYT obituary with everyone in an email and talked about his dancing with respect to the pieces being offered in both of the programs, including the elegant show-off, competitive-like shenanigans with Tanny in Western Symphony. We also honored fellow BA member, Katherine Barber, who graciously attended a few of our picnics with her friends, which was such a treat for my husband and me. Rest In Peace, departed souls.
  5. Thank you, FPF, we had mostly good weather, although it began to pour around 3/4 into the performance but no one in our party who had lawn tickets got soaked 🥰 (we were in the amphitheater). I hope the evening was okay weather-wise for you, too, and that you enjoyed the program. My thoughts about the program soon. FPF, regarding the new concessions, despite the asphalt, which I deplored for sure when the first mess went up under Herb Chessborough's leadership, I find the new buildings as well as the brand new pavilion to be tidier and a tad prettier (although there is still a lot of asphalt). Still, I agree with your witty assessment, "they paved paradise....". I have an anecdote to share regarding Sara Leland's suggestion to think of one's pet while dancing Titania's pas de deux with Bottom. In Suzanne Farrell's memoir "Holding On to the Air", when preparing for her PDD with a donkey and having difficulty with how to interpret the interaction, Mr. B asked her if she had a pet and when she replied she did not, he suggested she acquire one. She immediately adopted a female kitten from her local deli and named it Bottom. Later Suzanne acquired two more kittens which were named Top and Middle, and all three cats went to Belgium with her and Paul Mejia! One of my favorite YouTube clips is seeing Suzanne's PDD from the film version. She is entirely successful in conveying the playful and sweet relationship she has with her 'new love'.
  6. Cobweb, I was very impressed. Meaghan was wonderful. More on this in my post of thoughts about yesterday's matinee performance.
  7. Thank you, Helene, this is very interesting. Recalling the music, I can hear Delibes. I will either listen to the music today or watch the NYCB performance in Paris.
  8. I am so sorry it didn’t work out for you. And I would love to have had the opportunity to meet you.
  9. Canbelto, really? There were so so many seats empty today. Have you tried very recently? Because they have changed the rules daily.
  10. I definitely want to see Twyla Now. Thank you, California, for posting this information.
  11. ALL BALANCHINE THURSDAY MATINEE, JULY 15, 2:00PM FRIDAY EVENING, JULY 16, 7:30PM SATURDAY EVENING, JULY 17, 7:30PM Featuring Excerpts From APOLLO (Muses Variations): Teresa Reichlen, Emily Kikta, Sara Adams THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS (Theme): Jacqueline Bologna, Lars Nelson, Mimi Staker, Kennard Henson, Meaghan Dutton-O’Hara, Davide Riccardo AGON (Pas de Deux): Miriam Miller, Amar Ramasar EMERALDS (Pas de Trois): Claire Von Enck, Spartak Hoxha, Jacqueline Bologna RUBIES (Pas de Deux): Sara Adams, Gonzalo Garcia DIAMONDS (Pas de Deux): Miriam Miller, Tyler Angle WHO CARES? (Solo, Ladies’ Dance, Men’s Dance): Amar Ramasar, Meaghan Dutton-O’Hara, Emily Kikta, Jacqueline Bologna, Mimi Staker, Claire Von Enck, Davide Riccardo, Lars Nelson, Spartak Hoxha, Kennard Henson With Solo Pianists Alan Moverman and Nancy McDill Hosted by Gonzalo Garcia I just came back from the 2 pm matinee and it was WONDERFUL. And yes, FPF, I started welling up just before it started, I was so moved by the fact that NYCB was there, after the 2019 Coppelia heat wave cancellation and, of course, 2020 and all the sadness and sorrow the year brought, and would be dancing again on that stage as they have for the past 55 years. The dancers were in fine form and I loved seeing some new faces in principal roles. They were all marvelous, but I was thrilled to see Miriam Miller dance the Diamonds Pas de Deux - she was regally austere and splendid. She conveyed that unattainable quality that, in my opinion, the role requires. It was the highlight of my afternoon. The Who Care's selections were breezy and fun, and everything was danced really crisply and cleanly. I loved the other excerpts of Jewels, too, and Gonzalo Garcia, who hosted the intros and dancer 'interviews', danced so happily; he seemed to be having the time of his life. The black and white selections were excellent. Everyone danced so beautifully., as if they hadn't been away from performing for all that time. I can't wait for Saturday to see Short Stories! FPF, please enjoy tonight's performance. 🩰
  12. FPF, I feel the same way. We are attending both matinees and I just cannot wait! And thank you for posting this information.
  13. Rest in Peace, Carla Fracci. How I wish I’d had the privilege to see her perform. I was struck that she danced with the exquisite Roberto Bolle who is 29 years her junior, who I saw for the first time in London in Manon Fall 2019. I, too, am viewing Ms Fracci’s work on YouTube. She had a beautiful line and a gorgeous technique. So sad to know she is gone.
  14. So very sad to hear this news. I loved his dancing, his gigantic smile and his grand exuberance. RIP, dear Jacques. You gave the world yourself. We are so lucky to have been the recipients of your largess.
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