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Everything posted by Terez

  1. Oh, now I'm really sad! (Such a shame he didn't want to finish the season and his SFB career off with Romeo, but his future job sounds amazing.)
  2. I was shocked to read more closely and discover that this will be Vitor Luiz' farewell performance with the company. Noooo! Can't believe that's all the notice and viewing opportunity we're getting from this esteemed senior principal. He will be missed.
  3. I enjoyed the "Nutcracker Close Up" article, Pherank; I've never seen that one before. Elizabeth Mateer looks gorgeous in Arabian; that would have been a fun performance to see. BTW, I was referring to Swane Messaoudi when I queried whether others had seen her perform it. She was a sub for Lizzie P, whom I saw perform it last year (beautifully, of course). Hope it was just a minor issue that took Lizzie P off the cast list for Sunday afternoon. Thank you, too, for posting the link to the discussion about Allan Ulrich's passing. That was nice to read. There doesn't seem to be a reviewer currently who can match his artfulness. But there you have it -- just like dancers moving on, so do the reviewers.
  4. I attended both opening night and Sunday’s closing matinee performance and was delighted by the energy of the latter – maybe it was like horses sensing they’re close to home/dinner and picking up the pace. (Or is that cows?) The Opera House had a full house; I think there was some hugely popular 11th hour promo (that made picking up will-call tickets a perfect nightmare but we won't go there...). Lots of fun dancers to see in solo roles: Jahna F and Wei Wang rocked as Queen and King of Snow. Agree with PeggyR’s comment that Jahna dances big, and really looked at home in the role; great upper body presentation throughout. She nailed her final pirouette—four rotations and a clean finish. And Wei Wang has those big leaps, those clean, quiet finishes. Jennifer Stahl danced SPF and she was a delight to watch. I don’t think I’ve seen her dance that role before (she’s one of my favorite Snow Queens although YY and Carlo on opening night were predictably stunning). It seems each year Jennifer S refines her style, and this year she had a subdued refinement that reminded me of Sofiane in the SPF role. A late change swapped Elizabeth Powell for Swane Messaoudi in Arabian, and she did wonderfully. I’m thinking I’ve never before seen her in a soloist role; anyone else see her dancing this? Gorgeous extensions and arches, she easily maintained the mystique the role requires. Even though she was stepping in on short notice, she worked well with the two males, Sean Bennett and Alexander Reneff-Olson. Bennett was Dr. Stahlbaum in Act I and really stood out, in a good way. I didn’t realize he was so tall. He made a great Dr. Stahlbaum. I was very much looking forward to seeing Benjamin Freemantle as the Nutcracker Prince and he did not disappoint. He’s still young, green, (some landings could have been softer) but that always makes it that much more of a thrill to watch. He's got the important stuff: the instinct and the technique (not to mention the talent) for big roles. What I find particularly appealing about him is this enthusiasm and good will that flow from him. (One gets this feeling watching Angelo Greco too.) He and Sasha -- I guess now we have to add “de Sola” since now there are two Sashas -- seemed to work very well together. They both had this youthful enthusiasm that, combined, seemed to make this the happiest (bad description) grand pas de deux I’ve seen performed. Better put, they seemed, as characters, to take delight in it all. The energy, from the audience, the orchestra, the stage, seemed to keep building throughout the grand pas de deux, as the two danced without any visible hiccups/bumps. It was hard to believe it all was at the end of a 30-performance (?) run. Benjamin just gave and gave, and Sasha skipped the single fouetté business in the coda in order to go with all doubles, just tearing through them in perfect form, and you got the sense she could keep going. The audience just went wild at the end. In Spanish, I really enjoyed seeing Carmela Mayo and Natasha Sheehan. Although the guys certainly deserve a shout-out (Daniel Deivison-Oliveira, Davide Occhipinti, Jacob Seltzer), my eyes are always drawn to the females dancing here, and those two were really fun to watch. Oh, and in Act 1, Joshua Jack Price threw in an aerial flip/walkover during his solo as the harlequin/jack-in-the-box, which I don’t think I’ve seen a dancer do before. It was very cool, and as surefooted and soundless as the rest of his dancing. Nice. No new Waltz of the Flowers costumes in sight; that was indeed a strange little blip last year, reading the news in the Chronicle and then, nada. Oh well. I've made my peace with those costumes, and the icky-colored French costumes. Great show, both times, but I think I would have to say I enjoyed the second one more. (My review for opening night is at Bachtrack, but I'm thinking I'm not supposed to post links here, so I won't, but links can be found at The Classical Girl.) On a somber note, and this might have already been discussed elsewhere, but Allan Ulrich passed away this past July, and I, for one, will forever miss his elegant, eloquent reviews. Not that I always agreed with what he said, but it amazed me, the poetry and insight he’d put into a 350-word review. As someone who writes about dance (always a work in progress), I've been studying his reviews, his words, over the past 10 years, and just marveling at how interesting they were to read, how much they said about the art form. I will sorely miss his presence in the dance world.
  5. Oh, so very sorry to hear Vitor Luiz has left. I very much enjoyed all his performances this past season in particular. Wishing him the best!
  6. Just saw this too. Gasp! The instant I saw Misa K's name, my first thought was, "Who'd they lose?" Sensed that it was Scheller, because otherwise there would have been a "final performance" at the end of last season. Or have any senior principals just up and left, post-season? Glad to see Vladislav Kozlov still on the roster - I felt he was a bit underused last season and I really liked what he did do (but that could have simply been that he was performing other roles on nights I wasn't there). He paired wonderfully with WanTing Zhao. I see Nicolai Gorodiskii is no longer on roster; I never saw him perform at all last season. I guess that sometimes happens, too. (Injury?)
  7. Gorgeous post, Meunier fan - so enjoyed reading it. (Wish I could have been there in London to watch it all, as well!)
  8. Love the pics, but am not sure about the second female in red for that performance, in the second pic...
  9. Couldn't feel happier!!! Congratulations to the two dancers on well deserved promotions!
  10. Wow, they got that cast list up [relatively] early! Looks great. I'll be attending opening night; crossing fingers that there will be no replacements. (And all set to shrug philosophically when there are.)
  11. Thrilled to see WanTing listed as the mermaid for 2nd cast. Agreed that both casts look very exciting. Am gnashing my teeth that I will likely have to miss this entire production. Sigh... So much good dance, so little time.
  12. THRILLING news! I think the promotion for Conley was a no-brainer, particularly since learning he was a soloist at Tulsa Ballet before coming here. He's got a soloist's energy onstage. I saw that the minute he started dancing Russian during Nutcracker in December. I saw Esteban Hernandez dance 4 of 6 ballets last weekend, in Programs 5 and 6. He seemed to be getting stronger with each one. Although I do agree that Benjamin Freemantle has been looking sensational as well. And Max would have fit that "tall, princely, danceur noble" type, too. Ah well. As for Madison Keesler, YAY!!! I was sorry to see her leave, those years back, and happy to see her return. She's earned her promotion.
  13. Well. My seeing this performance was doubly amazing, then. It's always so touching and poignant to watch a married couple in a pas de deux, especially one so poignant and emotionally loaded as Die Toteninsel. It is triply poignant now.
  14. Well, I loved Die Toteninsel [last Sat pm] and I'm not all that surprised. The music, after all. I was surprised how much I enjoyed "Rodeo" and I'm glad I got this chance to see a different side of Peck's choreography. I liked the contrast in stage lighting of all three of the program's ballets (I ranted about "dark" stage lighting in the thread for Program 5.) I liked the contrasts in the program in general (again, ranted in the other thread about this too-homogenous feeling I got from Program 5). The dancing in "Rodeo" was all supreme. So happy to see Sofiane Sylve, and she looked amazing. Nice pas de deus with Carlo. Esteban Hernandez was on fire all weekend long; the trio work with him, Wei Wang and Hansuke was well delivered. Ditto for the "other" group of males: Cauthorn, Freemantle, Castilla, Morse, Orza. Orchestra sounded wonderful; I will always gravitate to the ballets with orchestral classical music. Die Toteninsel was dark, yes (and not just figuratively), but it was supremely effective. So good to see Lauren Strongin dancing; she had a beautiful pas de deux with Joe Walsh, also a great dancer to see, whom I haven't seen enough of this season. The tireless Esteban Hernandez did a great job here, too, as did Luke Ingham (stepping in for Vitor Luiz), Dores André and Wei Wang. The whole cast looked great. I hope this one gets repeated next year; it's a winner. I was fine watching Bjork Ballet last year, but didn't feel compelled to see it a second time. Oh well. I'm not about to complain about surplus time spent watching these great dancers. Elizabeth Powell just tore up the stage in the role SVP had last year. She was very exciting to watch; it seems she is having a stunning season, growing as a dancer by leaps and bounds (no pun intended). Carmela Mayo danced the role Masha had last year - talk about an impossible act to follow. She did just fine, but wasn't able to produce the "wow" factor, and I would have been shocked if she had. Masha just isn't someone who can be easily subbed. But it was exciting to see Mayo give it a strong go. I also enjoyed seeing Ulrik Birkkjaer dance - another of those dancers I haven't gotten the chance to see too much of this past season. Great program.
  15. Loved all your comments, Quiggin! (I failed to notice these last few posts/comments before I posted my own.
  16. Reporting in from attending the Sun April 7th matinee performance. I'd seen the other program the night before, and that sort of colored my perspective. (Was that the reason I found myself thinking, "Here we go again, more guys lifting guys" and "great, more 'dark' lighting and music that challenges my ears"?) Pherank, you were right, that the "prize" was seeing Vladislav Kozlov, partnering in a pas de deus with one of my personal [underused] favorites, WanTing Zhao. I was just dazzled by that, in "...two united in a single soul...", which also wins the award for the most awkward title of the season (the decade?). Also very memorable was the pas de deux between Max and Sasha -- and to my favorite aria, "Lascia ch'io Piangia" - and thank goodness composer Daria Novo left this masterpiece by Handel free of the electronic whistles or creaks that made many of the other parts of the score "more interesting." (Her words, not mine. Definitely not mine.) Esteban Hernandez was amazing as Narcissus. So much energy, and he was very good at filling the stage space, in a way that seemed a bit lacking as The Bluebird in Sleeping Beauty. He'd had a big role in Die Toteninsel (LOVED it) the previous evening, and was in Rodeo and was in Bound To. Basically, it seemed like he was everywhere, and in a good way. He had to have been exhausted by the end of Sunday's program. Mixed feelings in general about Yuri's ballet. The moods were just too different, the "Narcissus" and countertenor (beautifully sung by Matheus Coura) theme, and then there's this "Hooked on Classics" rendition of Handel and an exuberant corps of 6 [or 8, or 4] dancers bounded around onstage, doing folksy Russian steps, and it just was too much of a stretch for me. A resounding "yes!" to what was said above, about the "Team USA" costumes. I was okay with the women's, but found the men's particularly unflattering. When their backs were to the audience, the look was distressingly feminine, so at odds with the men's strong dancing. Loved "Your Flesh..." and thought everyone danced it very well. Didn't get to see this one last year. Ethan Chudnow did a really good job in that male lead role (lots of solo dancing, so that might not be the right term). Sasha de Sola really stood out too - I don't see her in much contemporary dancing, it would seem, or I've certainly never had the "wow" factor happen, but I did on Sunday. Loved the pas de trois she shared with Elizabeth Mateer (who very much held her own alongside Sasha, always a delight to see with a corps dancer) and I believe it was Sean Bennett (someone correct me if I'm wrong) dancing with them. It was a delightful trio to watch. I was rather "meh" on "Bound To." The message was so crammed down the throat, I got it seconds into the first movement and was just irritably waiting for the cell phone theme to end. Yes, there was great dancing. My friend loved the music; I found it just "meh." Again, I can't help but imagine that I would have found it all much more energizing if it hadn't been following "Your Flesh" and the previous night's Bjork Ballet. I feel compelled to whine about the lighting -- why is "dark" lighting (an oxymoron, that) becoming so vogue? It annoys me. It makes me squint, to no effect. It seems to be cutting off some of my sensory abilities. Of the six ballets I saw over the weekend, it seems at least 4 had compromised lighting. (Thank goodness for Rodeo!) Whining aside, it was truly great dancing, all weekend long. While I would have liked to see the first cast of this program, it was very gratifying to see how wonderfully the second cast danced it all.
  17. Additional casting... I'll be seeing the Sat pm performance, and am particularly looking forward to Die Toteninsel. Seems it's being reviewed well, and I'm crazy about the Rachmaninoff tone poem it's set to. Only regret is that I can't see both casts. Wednesday, April 3, 2019 – 7:30 pm Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes Choreography: Justin Peck Music: Aaron Copland Conductor: Ming Luke Dores Andre Ulrik Birkkjaer Max Cauthorn Daniel Deivison-Oliveira Cavan Conley Die Toteninsel Choreography: Liam Scarlett Music: Sergei Rachmaninoff Conductor: Martin West Esteban Hernandez Lauren Strongin Joseph Walsh Dores Andre Vitor Luiz Wei Wang Björk Ballet Choreography: Arthur Pita Music: Composers: Björk Gudmundsdottir, Alejandro Ghersi, and Sjón Conductor: Martin West Miranda Silveira Ellen Rose Hummel Madison Keesler Wei Wang Henry Sidford John-Paul Simoens Saturday, April 6, 2019 – 2:00 pm Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes Choreography: Justin Peck Music: Aaron Copland Conductor: Ming Luke Dores Andre Ulrik Birkkjaer Max Cauthorn Daniel Deivison-Oliveira Cavan Conley Die Toteninsel Choreography: Liam Scarlett Music: Sergei Rachmaninoff Conductor: Martin West Cavan Conley Jahna Frantziskonis Max Cauthorn WanTing Zhao Luke Ingham Steven Morse Björk Ballet Choreography: Arthur Pita Music: Composers: Björk Gudmundsdottir, Alejandro Ghersi, and Sjón Conductor: Ming Luke Miranda Silveira Ellen Rose Hummel Madison Keesler Wei Wang Henry Sidford John-Paul Simoens Saturday, April 6, 2019 – 8:00 pm Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes Choreography: Justin Peck Music: Aaron Copland Conductor: Martin West Sofiane Sylve Carlo Di Lanno Esteban Hernandez Hansuke Yamamoto Wei Wang Die Toteninsel Choreography: Liam Scarlett Music: Sergei Rachmaninoff Conductor: Martin West Esteban Hernandez Lauren Strongin Joseph Walsh Dores Andre Vitor Luiz Wei Wang Björk Ballet Choreography: Arthur Pita Music: Composers: Björk Gudmundsdottir, Alejandro Ghersi, and Sjón Conductor: Martin West Carmela Mayo Dores Andre Elizabeth Powell Joseph Walsh Luke Ingham Ulrik Birkkjaer
  18. More casting. I'll be seeing Sun 2pm performance - can't wait! Friday, April 5, 2019 – 8:00 pm Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem Choreography: Trey McIntyre Music: Chris Garneau Benjamin Freemantle Isabella DeVivo Sasha De Sola Jennifer Stahl Steven Morse Jaime Garcilla Castilla Alexandre Cagnat Esteban Hernandez Lonnie Weeks Bound To Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon Music: Keaton Henson Conductor: Martin West Dores Andre Sasha De Sola Isabella Devivo Jennifer Stahl Yuan Yuan Tan Jaime Garcia Castilla Carlo Di Lanno Benjamin Freemantle Angelo Greco Lonnie Weeks (final solo) ". . .two united in a single soul. . ." Choreography: Yuri Possokhov Music: Daria Novo, after George Frideric Handel Conductor: Ming Luke Countertenor: Matheus Coura Joseph Walsh Yuan Yuan Tan Aaron Robison Sofiane Sylve Luke Ingham Sunday, April 7, 2019 – 2:00 pm Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem Choreography: Trey McIntyre Music: Chris Garneau Ethan Chudnow Jahna Frantziskonis Sasha De Sola Elizabeth Mateer Cavan Conley Alexandre Cagnat Mingxuan Wang Davide Occhipinti Sean Bennett Bound To Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon Music: Keaton Henson Conductor: Ming Luke Wona Park Ellen Rose Hummel Thamires Chuvas Ludmila Bizalion WanTing Zhao Alexandre Cagnat Steven Morse Max Cauthorn Esteban Hernandez Davide Occhipinti Jaime Garcia Castilla (final solo) ". . .two united in a single soul. . ." Choreography: Yuri Possokhov Music: Daria Novo, after George Frideric Handel Conductor: Ming Luke Countertenor: Matheus Coura Esteban Hernandez Sasha De Sola Max Cauthorn WanTing Zhao Vladislav Kozlov
  19. Pherank, I know, whoopsie on me! Was horrified when I caught it, over the weekend. I should have come here to the forum, where I would have seen your note earlier. Belated thanks. Reminder to self: this is a great forum for confirming all the correct information. Yeah, I'm still regretting the Dawson being pulled. On the positive side, Rodeo looks more classical and less propulsive, so I'm glad I get to see this other side of Peck's choreographic skills.
  20. What, not promoted to soloist?! (Kidding... Sorta.) Well deserved! Congratulations to her.
  21. PeggyR, I was glad to read your comments here. I was at that same performance, and I was rather surprised at the way Froustey had to struggle through some of the Rose Adagio's holds and turns. I do get a sense it was a partnering thing; she's usually so impeccable here. At one point during the back attitude hold (when switching suitors' hands), I thought she was going to fall back. The audience clapped when she didn't (are you remembering this too, or am I dreaming?), but I can't help but think that a dancer must hate that supportive, "it's okay, you're great, even when you [almost] fall!" clapping that comes when a dancer has a noticeable gaffe/wobble. My heart was in my throat, watching that last hold. I adore her; I didn't want her to have a bad balancing experience. It was fascinating to me, watching her maintain her balance in that last hold - it was pure determination that kept her there, which came off as very "Aurora" (read: rebellious 16-y-o girl who's not going to come down without one last splash of a balance). I was glad to see her holding it after the earlier wobble. Now I get that she might have had the earlier imbalance because she was striving to hold onto it, instead of grabbing for the next hand. Like you, I thought she looked/seemed tense. I certainly felt tense, watching! I thought Jasmine Jimison was an absolute delight. Good heavens, what is she doing as an apprentice?! I guess Helgi only had so many corps de ballet spaces available to slot new members into. Her performance reminded me of Dores André's Enchanted Princess. I also was thrilled by Conley and Erni's performance as Cavaliers. Both of them looked great. I'd seen Conley in Russian Dance during Nutcracker, so I had my eye on him, but Erni was a surprise. I also attended opening night, but am thinking that it was oddly unmemorable. That sounds bad; Sasha danced beautifully and without a hitch. Carlo di Lanno was a solid partner. Jen Stahl was a great Lilac Fairy (so funny, to see her and WanTing Zhao switch roles on Sunday, with Stahl as Fairy of Darkness, etc), all the fairies did their variations with charm and distinction. I'm a big fan of WanTing Zhao and it seems her talents are underused. She was absolutely lovely as the Lilac Fairy on Sunday. Lastly, I thought Vitor Luiz was a fabulous Desiré to Froustey's Aurora. He danced well, was the perfect amount of support, managed to act the role without looking bland or vaguely bored (I think di Lanno still needs to acquire a level of animation/artistry so that he looks like he's found his true love). I don't think I've seen the two of them paired in a story ballet before. Enjoyed it.
  22. Oh, so many exciting casts and pair-ups, so little time (and too far to drive). I'll look forward to hearing others' reports about Naghdi/Walsh and Park/Greco, in particular. Seconding others' comments that Cavan Conley really rocked as one of the Russian dancers in the Nutcracker performance I attended. As soon as the lights went up, I went diving for my program to find his name -- it was brand new to me. Always fun when that happens.
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