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Everything posted by KarenAG

  1. I'm almost certain it was Tiler Peck, but I don't know who the male was. But that would explain, in part, my feeling that I wasn't seeing (at SPAC) the ballet I had seen at Bard the previous fall. They're such strong and talented, but very different, dancers.
  2. I saw Murphy and Gomes dance this at the Fisher Center at Bard several years ago and they were wonderful. Interestingly, the next summer at SPAC, NYCB danced it and I thought it looked so different.
  3. Thank you, Canbelto. These are good points! Rubies is not a 'polite' ballet .
  4. I agree about the gloves- I really dislike them. If the women were wearing tea-length tutus (like in La Valse), they would work. But this is a classical, imperial ballet.
  5. Diamonds: I'm not sure where to begin. I thought the performance was breathtaking, stunning, despite a few problems. Visually, the company is gorgeous. I agree with many posts about their look, their uniformity of height, their long legs, arms and necks, etc. They are so beautiful! I really liked the tutus, especially the gorgeous bodices with capped sleeves. They were very white, but it didn't bother me. Karinska's original costumes are the best, but since this was a Russian company, they were dressed in their Imperial Russian ballet finery. I seem to remember the style of the tutu skirts to be similar or maybe even the same style as the tutus in the dream scene of their Don Quixote. I didn't have a problem with the tempo and I am usually sensitive to tempos that are too slow for a particular ballet (I'm thinking of some Russian Sugar Plum Fairy or Swan Lake Act II PDD videos where the tempo is agonizingly slow). The company danced quite beautifully and classically with amazing and solid technique, they just don't look like Balanchine and I don't think they can, despite the coaching by Merrill Ashley (and Paul Boos, whom I don't know). This is where Kovaleva, who was both physically and technically gorgeous, had some issues, I think. I agree with Kaysta's comments about her dramatic presence. I'm sure she will grow into this role, but for now, I think she lacks a kind of aloof and impassive grandeur, a you-can-look-but-you-cannot-possess me quality that the role demands. Some key moments were too soft and lacked the drama associated with the music. First, the moment in the PDD where she bourees and then pirouettes(?) into the cavalier's arms and almost looks trapped and she must get away - it's a single unbelievable pose wherein she establishes she can't be there (in his arms). (On the YouTube video with Farrell and Martins it starts at 8:02 for those who may want to see what I'm talking about). The other underwhelming moment yesterday happened when the ballerina sort of marches forward on point with her arms over her head, his arm protectively around her waist. Both of these moments, at least from my seat, which was very good, seemed under-expressed. These are iconic Balanchine choreographic moments. There is such tension in this PDD. The cavalier pursues her, they walk as if in love, they dance, but it's fleeting because she is ultimately unattainable, regardless that there is something in her that wants to be possessed. Those two moments, I believe, help to establish that unattainability. Tissi was lovely, but the hand kiss was, IMO, not properly executed. For me, that kiss is the cavalier's resignation and acceptance that he cannot posses her, and he bows down in reverence and kisses her hand Tissi's seemed to me a stolen kiss. I have often thought - did Balanchine have Diana the Huntress in the back of his mind when he choreographed this PDD? Those port de bras, iconic and beautiful, where her arms are over her head, one bent behind, the other outstretched above and forward, doesn't she looks like a statue of Artemis, imaginary bow in her exquisite hands?.
  6. Yes, you're right - she trained, at least in part, in Australia. Thanks for the correction, Katherine.
  7. This is my 500th post! It took me some time to get there as I hardly posted last year. Continuing with my thoughts on Jewels..... Rubies: Not sure I have anything much to add that hasn't been said already about NYCB's fantastic Rubies at yesterday's matinee. Except they had to repeat the performance in the evening. Wow! I thought they were spectacular. Tess Reichlen is a fabulous tall girl, scintillating and sexy. She's so cool and contained but definitely in charge. It's apparent she really loves to dance this role. I'm increasingly delighted with Megan Fairchild's dancing these days. I find her more musical and her technique is lovely. Perhaps that long stint on Broadway contributed to growth and maturity in her classical dancing. She is more assured, perhaps more daring even. She looked like she was having the time of her life yesterday. When I saw her at Saratoga in Jeu de Cartes, she was the best thing in it; she was commanding and dynamic and truly fun to watch in an otherwise problematic ballet (for me) . Back to Rubies, Joaquin is amazing! I can't believe he's 41. He has so much energy and joy in his dancing. He was the same in Tarantella a couple of weeks ago. The whole performance Rubies, I mean) was just sublime and I loved it.
  8. I absolutely agree with this statement. I have seen each of these dancers, as well as Suzanne Farrell years ago, dance the role and Mearns' interpretation is not quite the chilly, remote goddess. She is a queen, however, but with more fire than ice. I love her interpretation, but also love Tess Reichlen's. Farrell's will probably always be the standard.
  9. Hello, Gnossie, I referenced this in my post about Emeralds in the LC thread. Is your statement a reference to what some have stated is a neglect of the French style at POB? I know Hannah is from Australia and received her training there, and I surmise with Park, it's a similar situation, but aren't they learning the French style by being company members? What do you see as the impediment? Why do you think of them as outsiders? I am curious because I don't know the French school much at all and I'd like to better understand now that I've had the pleasure of seeing them yesterday. Thank you.
  10. I did. Was kicking myself that I didn't plan to take in a performance and missed the opportunity, but on Friday evening a couple of seats miraculously opened up (donated back, I suppose) and I grabbed one. I'm thrilled that I did. I have never seen POB and I saw the Bolshoi only once, at Saratoga for DQ three years ago; I also saw Eugenia Obratzsova in R&J at ABT. So this was a real treat, regardless that the two guest companies had some issues with Balanchine's choreography, which IMO is to be expected - Balanchine is not in their DNA, although it is indeed unfortunate that the Russians' Rubies was as bad as it was. I read everyone's comments here and I must say, what interesting and provocative observations and insights, as always. Canbelto, I also enjoyed your review in your blog and title - Superjewels - what fun! My husband took to calling it The Supernova, as an in a very bright celestial event. Emeralds: I agree that this was the weakest section, although I cannot quite put my finger on why, probably because I don't intimately know the French style. The dancers were impeccable and all elegance, but without that Balanchine look. Ould-Braham is a beautifully lyrical dancer - I loved her dancing in the Pelleas and Melisande Sicilienne - that music is so gorgeous! I agree about the odd moves of Pujol, but she is lovely. Fabian Revillion danced the Pas De Trois in Francois Alu's place. I've been casually following Hannah O'Neill since her win at Prix de Lausanne in 2009 and it was great have the opportunity to see her. Both she and Park were lovely and I thought the trio had good chemistry. Gnossie mentioned in the POB discussion that 'Park and O'Neill are outsiders' - does that speak to the discussion of the French style being neglected at POB? I'll ask that on the thread Gnossie posted with a quote. These are things I can't readily discern, however, any dancer coming into a company with a distinct style and training (e.g., the French school, or Balanchine's) from the outside must learn that company's style. Perhaps O'Neill and Park aren't there yet? Although I didn't see anything wrong with their dancing - I thought they were soft and elegant and fit into the company's aesthetic and style, which seems to be cool, classical, refined and very restrained. I didn't really like the costumes - too much turquoise and forest green (someone else mentioned these colors, too, here) - they actually jarred with the emerald green NYCB set, and I didn't like the bodices of the tutus. Perhaps they look better with POB's sets. Other than that, I enjoyed the performance very much and I am thrilled to have finally seen the French! On to the other reviews of this unique event.
  11. I look forward to reading your review, Canbelto, and others of this three-company event.
  12. I'm on my tablet, which is so much more difficult for me than using my PC. I edited my first paragraph to clarify the statement about the DVD's production, but some how it ended up as another post. Sorry for any confusion.
  13. Thank you, Jack. Yes, I was writing my post in my usually-rushed fashion that I forgot about 'Choreography by Balanchine'. I wish someone would clean up those old films and videos, including MSND, and release them. I have the DVD set and it's not too bad, but, as you mentioned, it doesn't contain Davidsbuendlertaenze nor does it include Allegro Brillante, which was also in that series, I believe. As for your comment about the luxury of being able to watch a performance repeatedly, yes to that! As with musical recordings, I gain such a deeper understanding of a work by viewing multiple times, honing in on sections, dissecting parts and coming back to the work as a whole to better understand it's fully realized glory and artistic statement. And doing so gives me a much more informed viewing experience when I see the work again in the theatre. There is so much to take in during a performance in the theatre. Also, it goes without saying that the seat one occupies can affect the experience.
  14. New York City Ballet had a short season at SPAC this year; only 12 performances, over two weeks (with July 4 being a Tuesday, opening night was Wednesday, instead of the usual first Tuesday following July 4, and for some reason unknown to me, they have eliminated the first week's Thursday matinee since 2016. Perhaps someone can shed a light as to why this precious matinee has been eliminated the last two seasons? For those of you who may not know, City Ballet had its first performance with A Midsummer Night's Dream at Saratoga on July 8, 1966, which began its 51-year summer residency. In those good, old days, their residency spanned four weeks (that was before my time), then to three weeks in 1977, which was the season length when I went to my first NYCB performance at SPAC in 1980. In 2009, the season was reduced to two weeks. In 2013, NYCB came to Saratoga for one week only. Since then it has visited for two weeks, giving twelve to fourteen performances, depending on the year. You may sense the undercurrent of anxiety I am experiencing relating this bit of history . For me, there is nothing like seeing the New York City Ballet at Saratoga. With it's tall pines, cool air, burbling Kayderosseras Creek, gorgeous baths and spa buildings, and Museum of Dance, all within the graceful and stately Saratoga State Park, a perfect harmony of nature and art exists. When I see the company in its home at Lincoln Center, I'm thrilled. If I'd had the good fortune to have seen them in Paris last year, I would have been ecstatic. But to see them on the SPAC stage is just pure magic, breathtaking. Somehow, the dancers dance different, the ballets feel different. The dancers and musicians are exuberant, relaxed and seemingly very happy; of course, who wouldn't be happy dancing and performing under the stars in that night air? Because SPAC is also their home, even as their residency has grown shorter. It is truly one of the great summer offerings and I can't imagine being anywhere else; it's my home, too. It's late so I will write about the ballets I saw tomorrow.
  15. Hi Balanchinomane! Balanchine Short Stories was my favorite at Saratoga, too, along with the other all-Balanchine program.
  16. Thank you, NinaFan. I completely understand - I am going through withdrawal and the company only left Saratoga four days ago . And I did not see them nearly as much as I would have liked. But I'm grateful for the four performances I saw. And happily, the Fall Season is only a couple of months away.
  17. I just LOVE this performance and was ecstatic to receive my DVD last week! What a treasure. What a gem! Finally, we can see Balanchine danced by his current company, dancers dancing now, in HD and glorious color. I love the old films of his classics and the VAI Balanchine series of DVDs, but it is truly gratifying to see the dancers we see live in a video dedicated to great Balanchine works. Now if only Miami City Ballet would release a DVD of their Dance in America program from, what, four years ago or so? I so adore their Square Dance with Jeannette Delgado and Renan Cerdeiro - sublime. I used to be able to watch the full performance on YouTube, but it was taken down .
  18. I attended Thurs matinee and and Friday evening. I'll be at the matinee today and will write about all three performances soon. Suffice it to say that the company is just wonderful this season, dancing so well. I have so many impressions, I need to get them in order, but suffice it to say that last night's Balanchine Short Stories was beyond. The three female leads - Sterling, Maria and Theresa - were so well-fitted to their roles, they were just phenomenal . More later.
  19. I am so happy for all Sarah, Christine, Devon and Calvin, but especially happy for Sarah Lane. And they have no role in Veronika Part's dismissal - that belongs to McKenzie, as abatt notes. I feel bad for Part and an so sad I won't see her dance. But these promotions are very well deserved.
  20. Well, I've gotten off to a slow start this season for a variety of reasons,which is very disappointing, but I did see the the matinee on Saturday and it was spectacular! I will see several performances this week. The company is well covered with reviews in four newspapers and much enthusiasm. This is the best time of the year for those of us who live here and adore ballet! Each work was danced beautifully. Allegro Brillante with Tiler Peck and Andrew Veyette, as well as the corps, was brilliantly danced. It was thrilling, more so than when I saw it danced by Miami City Ballet at Jacob's Pillow two weeks ago. Perhaps because it was live v taped music and the stage is much bigger at SPAC. This is not to take away anything from MCB and it's wonderful dancers. Tarantella was danced by Joaquin de Luz and Erica Periera and it was a lot of fun. Joaquin was pretty sensational. Erica danced the role nicely - I think she needs to work on her speed and personality in the role. Swan Lake kind of brought down the house. Sarah Mearns is a wonderful Odette - she embodies a 19th c Russian Odette with all the gravitas and tragedy but with killer American technique. She was amazing. The corps was marvelous - they were so musical and ate up the stage - they were really dynamic and at least half the equation. Von Rothbart had the best wings I've ever seen. For the record, I have seen this production several times. Stravinsky Violin Concerto was also beautifully danced - so flirty and charming. I am gaining a deeper understanding of Sterling's gifts. It was Taylor Stanley's second performance of this - he premiered it on Thurs night - and he looked great. i apologize this isn't anything more than a sketch.
  21. My husband, Joe, was humming the tune of 'Codfish Ball' just now, and I started singing the lyrics, which made us crack up. So, of course, we had to find it on YouTube. I provide it here for your immense pleasure. What a little dancer Shirley Temple was! And that Buddy, well, he's almost as rubber-legged at Ray Bolger. A little lazy-hazy summer fun. Enjoy!
  22. Yes, it is, Sandik! And what a terrific festival it is, nestled in the Berkshire Mountains. I was there last Saturday for the Miami City Ballet matinee and they were great. It was my first time seeing them. The program was Allegro Brillante (which is also being performed by NYCB at SPAC this season, so it will be interesting and fun to see two companies perform the same work in such a short space of time), Barber Violin Concerto and Polyphonia. I was particularly impressed with Polyphonia, but found each ballet on the program quite delightful and enjoyable. This is the second time I've seen 'Barber' and so appreciate Peter Martins' choreography much more than I did the first time I saw it (with NYCB). It's quite intricate choreography, although I still don't have a sense of what he's trying to actually say in the piece, except to pair and unpair unrelated dance styles, perhaps? I'm sure this work has been discussed elsewhere on the forum, so when I have some time, I'll visit some of your posts.
  23. Greetings, Everyone. I didn't see a thread on this year's season at Saratoga Performing Art Center, July 5-15, 2017, so I'm starting one. Here is the schedule and casting: SARATOGA PERFORMING ARTS CENTERSARATOGA SPRINGS, NYJULY 5-15, 2017BUY TICKETSCastingWEEK 1WEEK 2Wednesday, July 5Fearful Symmetries (Adams/Martins)The Times Are Racing (Deacon/Peck)Stars and Stripes (Sousa/Balanchine)Thursday, July 6 eveAllegro Brillante (Tschaikovsky/Balanchine)Tarantella (Gottschalk/Balanchine)Swan Lake (Tschaikovsky/Balanchine)Stravinsky Violin Concerto (Stravinsky/Balanchine)Friday, July 7Fearful Symmetries (Adams/Martins)The Times Are Racing (Deacon/Peck)Stars and Stripes (Sousa/Balanchine)Saturday, July 8 matAllegro Brillante (Tschaikovsky/Balanchine)Tarantella (Gottschalk/Balanchine)Swan Lake (Tschaikovsky/Balanchine)Stravinsky Violin Concerto (Stravinsky/Balanchine)Saturday, July 8 eve (Gala)Carousel (Rodgers/Wheeldon)Thou Swell (Martins/Rodgers arr. by Kelly)Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (Balanchine/Rodgers)Tuesday, July 11Dances at a Gathering (Chopin/Robbins)The Concert (Chopin/Robbins)Wednesday, July 12Jeu de Cartes (Stravinsky/Martins)New Peck (Desyatnikov)New Ratmansky (Desyatnikov)Thursday, July 13 eveDances at a Gathering (Chopin/Robbins)The Concert (Chopin/Robbins)Friday, July 14La Sonnambula (Reieti/Balanchine)Prodigal Son (Prokofiev/Balanchine)Firebird (Stravinsky/Balanchine)Saturday, July 15 matCarousel (Rodgers/Wheeldon)Thou Swell (Martins/Rodgers arr. by Kelly)Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (Balanchine/Rodgers)Saturday, July 15 eveLa Sonnambula (Reieti/Balanchine)Prodigal Son (Prokofiev/Balanchine)Firebird (Stravinsky/Balanchine I will be attending opening night and several other performances. This is the best time of the year for Mr. KarenAG and me! I'm looking particularly forward to the two all-Balanchine programs, the all-Robbins, the two Peck ballets and Ratmansky's Odessa. I have not seen Fearful Symmetries before, either, so that will be good. I noticed Robert Fairchild is not dancing at all. Who else is visiting Upstate NY and SPAC?
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