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Everything posted by Michael

  1. They certainly caught Darci Kistler at a very sweet moment with the kids ! Also at the end, you saw just what makes Suzy Pilarre great at staging Balanchine - everything she's done at workshops always has the feel of the ballet, the spirit, the way of moving for that work - so you watch her coaching the young woman for the rondo in Western Symphony and the note she gives, is that when she goes up in big leg swings, to go up with her entire body, to lift through chest and shoulders and arms and not just in the leg . . . it's simple and perfect and just right. But dancers don't always get things explained in just that right way.
  2. Hooray for Skyla Schreter, late of SAB (and maybe late of Boston Ballet II?), landing here in the Corps. Very musical young woman. Very shrewd hire once again by SFB. How they cherry pick the world's various companies.
  3. By leaving, Hilaire and Legris position themselves well to return to the top job at POB should Millepied for whatever reason leave. It's a good strategic move for them either way. It's good politics.
  4. If there's really a difference in how they dance, it's probably more a question of both company class and of how things are rehearsed and coached for the stage than of where dancers trained as students. School accents disappear pretty fast in company style.
  5. Well it's Balanchine isn't it, not Martins. And if I remember right Baryshnikov came back and coached those 2004 performances quietly in rehearsal, or at least paid a visit.
  6. Michael

    Veronika Part

    You should know all the same Bart, in reading Wolcot, that he's a huge personal fan of hers - he and his wife Laura Jacobs are a virtual cheering section at her performances. I may be wrong about this, and if so, I apologize in advance - but a few years back wasn't Jacobs calling for her to dance Kitri in Don Q, and then reviewing the performance or writing about it in Dance or Pointe magazine as the greatest Kitri ever? and actually, she was a pretty damn good Kitri contrary to all a priori limitations. But certainly not the greatest ever. But pleasant in the role; and for all the tall stature, and the fact that I don't think her partner was able to handle her very well in lifts, I remember liking it last spring a lot better than Osipova's Kitri the prior couple of nights because of Part's innocent, sincere and uncalculated approach to the role.
  7. I wonder if there's even a ballet master now at NYCB who knows it well enough to teach it? They may have it on video of course, because they have a lot of video. From what you are saying, I'd love to see it revived - maybe for an SAB workshop because a tribute to Williams would be particularly apt in that context. And I didn't mean to imply it had to be cast short - that was just an outgrowth of my reading that the Ballabile from Napoli was part of the scenario - and in my mind seeing that as middle sized women, a preconception that has nothing at all to do with the ballet as Williams conceived it or NYCB performed it. Wonder why it fell out of repertory when evidently it had been done by some of the names you mention? I don't remember seeing it during their 50th anniversary season back around 98 or whenever it was. MP
  8. Do you think the company could or should, or ever will, revive "Bournonville Divertissements"? Never saw it but I'd love to see what it looks like and I think the idea of what some of the current dancers could make of it very interesting. Or maybe an SAB workshop? Not the taller principals, or necessarily even the principals. In principle it seems to me there should be sparkling roles, something to show off a glittering technique (supposing that it's based on things like the Ballabile from Act III of Napoli). And there are so many women in the company these days who have a Danish physique - rather square in shoulders women of middle size, with the waist bisecting the body - it's a type that Peter has developed more. I could see Abi Stafford, Lauren Lovette, Tiler Peck, Ashley Bouder, Georgina Pazcoguin, Indiana Woodward, Kristen Segin, Jenelle Manzi, Megan Mann, Ashly Isaacs, Sara Villwock, and even an apprentice like Daniela Aldrich cast in such material. And men like Taylor Stanley, Harrison Ball, Ralph Ippolito or David Prottas,. (Prottas danced "Flower Festival" on that stage with Katie Morgan didn't he, once upon a time? Maybe it was Nikolai Hübbe's farewell?). and in principle wouldn't it be nice for the company to remember Williams in a program note?
  9. A nice point Jenny made in her New York reading, at Barnes and Noble, involved Peter Boal. It was about how her first kiss was with Peter on stage in her debut in the balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet (in Sean Lavery's version). That it was her first starring role (or one of them) and that in rehearsal Peter never kissed her, always "respected her modesty" or her "innocence" or something like that, is what I remember her saying (it's in the book anyway). So he'd just do a little air kiss while they were learning the parts. And that later on their first night was thus her first real kiss. She was very respectful, kind and sweet about Peter during that reading.
  10. The portrait is to Sara, as one of Alex Katz's seagulls is to a real bird, is as his profile of Mt. Desert Island is to Acadia.
  11. That was a key thing about Carley - she would go all quiet when she loved something, there would be a moment of silence when the curtain dropped - and then a solemn appreciation. Temperamentally she was not about criticizing things or dancers; when she didn't like something, she'd articlate, sure, but I never felt she liked to, she'd rather forget it, that wasn't what interested her. It was the opposite - she was truly happy, deeply happy when a show was great. La Danse. It's a very rare quality, to have a heart like a tuning fork that resonates truly at the highest pitch when something truly fabulous evokes it. That resonance is a kind of note from a Vedic hymn. In NY she split her time between ABT and NYCB, no partisan. And as Paul says it felt like she'd seen everything. Recently, one memory (I particularly remember - we talked about it last year) - a single performance about 2009 of "Scotch Symphony" at NYCB in the spring with Robby Fairchild and Katie Morgan, kind of an odd interpretation, they made the ballet a little story, much more than usual - but we just sat there stunned when it was over it was that good. And then Morgan got sick and I think that was about the end of her brief career here. Anyway, I just think of that show and of Carley's reaction as part of this. That's the specific moment I was thinking of when I wrote the above. And of course this is just my memory of what she was like, everyone will have experienced her in their own way.
  12. You couldn't ask for a better friend. Very kind, loving, tactful, intuitive, a feminine touch and lovely to be around at a show. She'd just get what you got, even with disparate people and be so moved when something was beautiful that it helped you understand the beauty. Always in harmony. My plan on her passing is to see the shows doubly well - I know she would have loved them. That's what I thought last night. She's got to see them through our eyes and feel them in our hearts now.
  13. Adams was phenomenal in that role - Kathleen I could not agree more. I left the show just blown away by her. It really had to be seen. Extraordinary lines that the lighting picked up, and a movement quality that Scarlett really displayed, as well as a classical structure, in the limbs and feet like Maria Kochetkova only on a bigger woman. Do - or will - the powers-that-be at NYCB have any idea what to do with her? That's another topic I guess. But before last week they had used her very little. One lead in a pas de deux in one cast of the Wheeldon "Soiree de Ballet" with Zach Catazzaro and another in a Justin Peck ballet; but she's not a girl for the corps de ballet - I mean she can dance there sure (and a Rosemary Dunleavy will of course want to keep her there) - but there are lots of good women who can do what she does there. But very very very few, maybe no one else, who has the unique qualities she showed in the Scarlett ballet.
  14. Elle est très très belle
  15. She could certainly gain some attack in her chainés and other similar elements. Get off center a little more comfortably. Though Nutcracker pas isn't somewhere you'd necessarily see that.
  16. The similarity is thus classicism. The classical body. That's what Macauley prefers and it's the source of a great deal of his criticism of dancers. What one's discerning in him is the fact that he's asserting those values.
  17. Nice jumps in the coda - didn't know she could jump like that
  18. Halberg and Gorak don't seem like the same body type at all. Just the immense difference in height is enough to draw the line I'd think.
  19. What in the world qualifies Ms. Homans to appear at this event? Couldn't they find someone more connected to Kirstein, someone appropriate. Publish a book about anything - knowing more than most people in the street on the subject but actually slightly ignorant and opinionated in expertise - and you're the instant talking head for all occasions on that subject. Is Lincoln rolling in his proverbial grave? Probably not, he had plenty of reason to be tolerant of self taught passionate opinions. Yet I for one would love to have seen "Lincoln acting badly" for this event.
  20. The opera star paradigm for star dancers means a standard repertory. Osipova can jump around in interchangeable Giselles or Juliets. (True, If she joins a company for a season, she may add some of their other repertory: at ABT Ratmansky made roles on her in new works). The opera paradigm is an absolutely standard, "greatest hits," repertory. Not a good thing for La Danse as my ideal. Maybe a good thing economically for the big companies? It's not surprising though that an Osipova would advocate for this. First, she's walking that walk. Second, it's a walk that totally maximizes her $ and freedom economically. Being a brand is big bucks. You absolutely can't blame someone in this culture either for wanting or getting the big dollars, which are modest really compared . . . she's not a hedge fund. The money we saw ABT principals making isn't what a fifth year associate makes at a Wall Street law firm. As it shakes out, maybe even it's not bad for La Danse. We get to see her all over the globe; and meanwhile the companies continue to do their own thing. If the second half of this equation holds, then we can have our Danse and Natalia too.
  21. Beautiful the way she nails that balance in sous-sus right before the end - great mélange of technique and feel for the stage drama of the moment.
  22. But frankly Gottlieb just doesn't know what he's talking about. Mearns is in great shape this season, neither worse nor better than over the past couple of years. She's actually been very consistent.
  23. My theory - well everyone saw Tiler at Osipova's "Don Q" and at the Ratmansky. Then comes this: an absolute breakout performance, one I've been waiting for from her. She stops smiling in Theme, raises her chin a little regally, and dances rich in the upper body, with a little epaulement, through her shoulders and into her arms - Imagines (with a capital "I") herself as a Russian Ballerina and nails the role. For Theme is very very Russian. She's still got room to grow in it. Some of the phrasing in the big variation after the quiet stuff with the soloists, the one that takes of on a series of diagonal pas de chats flying downstage right after some complex phrasing in the upstage left corner, was a little punchy and rushed - compared to the Miranda Weese standard circa 2000 (which in my mind sets the bar in the ballet in the past decade) - but that's a quibble. That was a just a great, breathtaking, lovely performance from Peck and totally transcending her limits. By far the best she's ever danced the role. Imagination.
  24. Getting back to all the video - what I see is such a delicately beautiful, yielding, feminine quality - alas missing today in these same ballets. She was one of the greats.
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