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Everything posted by pbl

  1. I think those details matter. Even if almost everyone in the audience knows the story, those props and expository actions support important story beats, and they act as fulcrums for dramatic interpretation. I don't know why anyone would omit them or make them indistinct.
  2. Also, Bell did the entrechats wonderfully - but I always prefer the brises.
  3. I saw Shevchenko/Bell/Teuscher last night, so wonderful to be back seeing live performances. I enjoyed all the principals, especially Teuscher and Bell, and also Fangqi Li. A few things I was curious to hear others' thoughts about: First, the mime and narrative/expository acting in ABT often seems less clear in ABT's productions than, for instance, Russian companies' productions. Little things, like Albrecht not wearing his sword when he enters in Act I, and not changing his costume to look like a peasant; or the whole business of Albrecht wanting to sit next to Giselle on the bench and her naïve obliviousness to this, are simply unclear, and this saps some of opportunities for dramatic expression, even for an audience which largely knows exactly what is going on. Bell, in particular, in both entrances looked as though he had nothing to do, nothing to express dramatically for long stretches. Bell has what it takes to dance with feeling and bravura, and I wonder if perhaps he just needs to watch the Brayshnikov/Makarova tape ten times to inhabit those acterly moments more - the happy rake of act I's entrance and the depths of regret and shame for Act II. Later in both acts his acting came closer to the standard of his dancing.
  4. My daughter (13) and I have tickets to see Shevchenko/Bell/Teuscher in Giselle on Sat Oct 23 8pm. Curious if any of you have observations or thoughts about these dancers' styles, what makes them distinctive, strengths & weaknesses, etc. Also, if anyone else on this list is going and would like to meet at intermission, DM me or reply.
  5. When will they release the casting? Is there some way to get an alert when the casting comes out for Giselle?
  6. Can anyone in the forum point out public information which could solve this mystery? https://www.npr.org/2020/11/10/933387878/struck-with-memory-loss-a-dancer-remembers-swan-lake-but-who-is-she A touching video showing a former ballet dancer afflicted with memory loss gracefully dancing as she hears the music from Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake has gone viral worldwide. The video was recently shared by the Asociación Música para Despertar, a Spanish organization that promotes music therapy for those afflicted by memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Since then, media organizations, celebrities and individuals across the globe have shared the video of former dancer Marta C. González. The video is undoubtedly moving and uplifting, and it speaks to the power of music and dance for those suffering from memory loss. González elegantly moves her arms to the music, her eyes flashing with purpose. But many questions have arisen about González — and what the video purports to show. Música para Despertar says that the video was taken in Valencia, Spain in 2019, and that González has since died. The charity also claims that González was a former prima ballerina with "the New York Ballet" in the 1960s. There is no such known company and the New York City Ballet does not list anyone by that name as one of its alumni. Alastair Macaulay, a prominent dance critic formerly with The New York Times, has been chasing González's history and posting his findings to Instagram. On Tuesday, Macaulay posted that he has located a mysterious 1966 document, bearing what appears to be a Cuban governmental stamp, from a non-existent organization called "The Higher School for Professional Studies, Nueva York," saying that "Marta C. González Saldaña" could be called a "prima ballerina" in the "Ballet de las Américas" — but there is no such company in New York or anywhere else in the U.S. Furthermore, the 2019 video of González is interspersed with archival clips of someone dancing, which casual viewers have assumed to be González performing at the peak of her career. But it is apparently not González dancing — and the archival performance is not of Swan Lake, either. Macaulay says the clips are of a former prima ballerina from Russia's Mariinsky Ballet, Uliana Lopatkina — performing not Tchaikovsky's ballet, but the solo piece The Dying Swan, a dance set to music by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns from his longer piece Carnival of the Animals. The Asociación Música para Despertar did not immediately respond to NPR's questions on Tuesday about the video and González. The Alzheimer's Association notes that music can be an important form of therapy for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. No matter what González' personal history actually was, Tchaikovsky's music clearly evoked a strong, truly visceral response from this former dancer.
  7. Got it. So in a sense this applies right now to the other emergency physicians, and the nurses and techs and other staff I work with. If one of us has symptoms that might be COVID we need to stay home until we've been tested and ruled out or recovered. You might think that would keep too many people out of work, but in practice at 50 I'm the oldest person working this shift in the ER today, the vast majority of people my age and younger don't have such symptoms most days and it's pretty rare that people call out sick. Winter might be different of course. I've had about ten of my friends who are also ER docs get COVID. A few of them were flattened for a couple of weeks, others had milder illnesses, one of my friends died (she was widely reported in the news). But for most people it's pretty clear - if you have some combination of fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, body aches, loss of smell, diarrhea - stay home, get tested. Thank goodness I didn't get it myself, or if I did I had a very mild illness.
  8. Helene can you clarify the question? I'm an ER doc, BTW. Standard disclaimer: nothing I write here should ever be construed as medical advice or take the place of consulting your own doctor.
  9. "Two models attempted to estimate the number of infections caused by asymptomatic, presymptomatic, or mildly symptomatic infected persons (30,32). These models varied widely; 1 model suggested that up to half of infections were transmitted from infected persons who were presymptomatic (33), and another suggested that up to four fifths of infections were transmitted by persons with no symptoms or mild symptoms (32). Both models suggested that a large number of persons with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic infections were not detected by the health system and that these persons meaningfully contributed to ongoing community transmission (32,33). Although models are highly dependent on the assumptions built into them, these models suggest that the speed and extent of SARS-CoV-2 transmission cannot be accounted for solely by transmission from symptomatic persons." https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-1595_article
  10. Does anyone know if the major companies in the United States are planning outdoor events? It seems like a great idea.
  11. Helene and Nanushka- I hope my posts didn't come across the wrong way. I really appreciate the site, the community of people who regularly contribute, and all the attention the two of you personally give to it. In asking about the site rules, I was really just curious. When mentioning Scott Gottlieb, whatever his associations, he shares interesting material, much of which can be vetted directly. And in talking about writing off 2021, I wasn't responding to anything I claimed others had said, just expressing some cautious optimism. It can be hard to convey the right tone on the internet, with the absence of facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and the back-and-forth of a real-life conversation. For what it's worth, my own reading is that we don't need to have a vaccine or treatment with 90% efficacy, or production and delivery to 90% of the population, in order to shift the cost/benefit balance and thus public health measures. At the same time, what you said makes sense: even if there is major progress on COVID in the next 6 months or so, I can see how the lead times involved in ballet would it challenging to stage large productions in theaters in early 2021. Thanks again for everything you do.
  12. No offense intended, I was just curious as to the original reasoning. This is a wonderful site and I appreciate all you do.
  13. My suggestion is to just check out some of his writing and then follow through to his primary sources and vet it for yourself. You might be surprised. People from across the spectrum appreciate his work. The post I linked to sounded more equivocal but he and some other people with fingers on the pulse have been quite optimistic. Anyway, at bottom, I don't think we can write off 2021 quite yet.
  14. Two things: 1. Whatever your politics, former head of the FDA Scott Gottlieb https://twitter.com/ScottGottliebMD shares a lot of interesting detail and perspective on COVID-19, and he's very much in the camp that thinks we'll have a vaccine and/or treatment by the beginning of 2021. We don't need to be able to reach 100% of the population for this to benefit the performing arts. Among the first to be vaccinated and/or be candidates for treatment should they become sick would be healthcare workers (like yours truly) and those at risk i.e. older or with comorbidities. And of course ballet audiences skew older. If we can prevent or improve outcomes for covid in older people, that in itself may be enough to make performances feasible, in theaters, with a live audience, in 2021. 2. I realize that this group discourages sharing of non-public information on companies, dancers, etc. I'm not entirely sure why that is, and perhaps someone can enlighten me. But regardless, can anyone share information that is already public, or information in the aggregate, or perhaps even their impressions across the industry, regarding how many companies we're likely to lose outright i.e. not just bankruptcy but liquidation? Again in the aggregate, does it look like we'll lose any of our top-ten-ish companies? Best, P.
  15. You know, that's a really good point. Here's my best attempt at an answer. First, I have purchased tickets to see Mel Gibson films, putting money in his pocket. Mixed feelings? Sure. But in keeping with my first post, my intent was to judge the work. (I have found it lacking.) Second, Polunin seems more addled and even incoherent in his comments than focused. Gibson was drunk when he gave his most famous rant, but it was quite clear what he meant. I haven't read all of Polunin's posts, just summaries in newspapers, so I might be missing something. But what I read did not seem as cogently bigoted as Gibson's comments were antisemitic. Third, a dancer performing canon/repertoire pieces does not have much scope to inject bigotry into the work, whatever he says offline. I have a deep respect for the other contributors on this forum and thread, and the videos I have seen of Polunin are several years old, so I suspect the other posters may be right and it may not be worth a lot of trouble to see him perform. I would be interested to hear from Josette about her favorite male artists. My first post reflects my worry about a world in which judgment is summary, due process and proportionality are an afterthought, and the punishment is: . . . and no, the irony of the Putin tattoo isn't lost on me. Regards to all.
  16. Oh, that's sad to hear. The classical performances on Youtube look beautiful. Whatever it is that is going on inside him, whether it is mental illness, or substance abuse, or just inner turbulence, probably does have to have an impact at some point.
  17. Frankly he comes across in interviews as not just saying some BS, but unhinged. I don't care. I'm coming to see him perform in a wordless art. If we had seen Nijinsky interviewed, or posting in social media, I'm sure it would have appeared pretty unhinged too. But who would give up the chance to see Nijinsky perform? How many men are performing at the level of Polunin, and are in their prime today? It's a shame that POB and other organizations are running so scared on this. Do they not think the public can separate the art from the artist? Is there any art form in which someone's utterances are less relevant than ballet? My grandparents were survivors of Auschwitz but I can still enjoy Degas' paintings despite his anti-semitism. I can still enjoy Jean Cocteau's films. And so on. We need to get back to a world in which boards, executive directors and artistic directors treat their public as discerning adults, and stop responding to the angry adolescent puritanical spirit of the moment.
  18. Is Marianela Nunez guesting in the United States any time this year or next?
  19. Is Polunin guesting in the United States this year or next? I don't see any kind of calendar for him other than his FB page.
  20. I only have the opportunity to take my daughter to one performance of Giselle this season, and I was wondering if people could share their opinions on the contrasting styles, strengths and weaknesses of the dancers in the lead female role (Maslova, DiPiazza, Iseda, Pineiro, Torriente & Hughes). Of course it is understood that these are your personal takes - that is what I am hoping for, particularly with some feel for the differences. Thank you for sharing.
  21. Really appreciate any recommendations for who I should try to catch in the role of Giselle
  22. Is casting out for Giselle? If I can only make one performance, any suggestions for who I should try to catch in the role of Giselle? (And why doesn't the company release casting at the beginning of the season?)
  23. Hi everyone- I haven't been able to make it to ABT in a couple of years, and I have a few questions for the group: 1) Which principals and soloists should I aim to see, having been away? 2) Which performance of Harlequinade should I aim to see? 3) Which performance of Whipped Cream should I aim to see? And, for those who have already seen it once or twice, I'd appreciate your thoughts on the ballet itself. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, opinions and advice! Paris.
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