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Everything posted by MJ

  1. Wow, I'm glad you enjoyed it. THe Jorg is an unusual building, I think Uconn Basketball may have begun there in the 1940s. It has that Westchester County Center Art Deco feel to it. No warm spots in the dressing rooms, the green room was the only warm spot in the theater. Ladies Corps only had two make up stations, many came over to the mens dressing rrom, which had 6 makeup stations. Balcony lobby was converted into childrens dressing rooms. Minimal privacy up there. No Fly space to speak of, wings are biscected by the acoustical shell. THere is a smaller stage UNDERNEATH the Jorg, so there is no hope of lowering the stage or ever having an orchestra pit. Scenes had to be creatively raised and lowered. Snow transition was a bit iffy. Stage is very wide, but shallow. Concrete floor. THe Jorg is a student run theater, a lot cheaper than the Bushnell and other stages around the state. Jorgensen theater was a co-producer with Connecticut ballet, less risk for both groups in case of bad weather. Did I mention how cold and dreary it was this weekend? Mr. Raphael works hard to keep CT Ballet the State Ballet company of Connecticut, many of us have performed all over the state in towns and cities that have never seen a full length ballet. He played Dross like he has been doing it for decades. He's a hidden treasure in the Nutmeg state.
  2. You Don't have to tell me, I went to Fordham University in the Bronx. Lehman College has a great arts center as well. Midtown is the Christmas capital of the world, you can't walk down Fifth Avenue this time of year. ABT will need to aggressively market this Nutz to the out of towners. Hotel Concierges, tour operators, AAA travel agents, and ticket brokers. If word gets out this is a great Nutcracker, folks will take the subway two stops beyond downtown to Brooklyn. I was in a Nutz this weekend, 80% of the attendees were families with children under 8 years old. Matinees will do better than evening performances. Merde to everyone in their Nutcrackers this year! I'm halfway through my tour.
  3. I love ABT and BAM, I just wonder if the out of town tourists will go to Brooklyn. Long-islanders certainly will. NYC subway map does not list BAM as a Station. There are about 8 subway lines within a 3-4 block walk, and the neighborhood is a little creepy at night. ABT is willing to try nontraditional venues, what about a Broadway theater? Rose Theater at Columbus Circle? The Met is too big and City Center is awful .
  4. I just heard Kent and Carreno will only be palying Stamford, other company soloists will be in Storrs. Hope you can make it. MJ
  5. I see Kent an Carreno are performing with Connecticut Ballet (shameless plug). Are other ABT dancers performing in Nutcrackers?
  6. Mr. Raphael said they will be dancing both weekends. Tell your friends, tell your foes! Kent and Carreno will be attending the Gala Party immediately following opening night. Contact Connecticut Ballet for more info: www.connecticutballet.com (203) 964-1211 (860) 293-1039 ctballet@ix.netcom.com
  7. From ConnecticutBallet.com: The full-length holiday classic with a cast of 100 local children and guest stars Julie Kent and Jose Manuel Carreno, principal dancers from American Ballet Theatre. Called "beguiling and a feast for the eyes," by the Connecticut Post, Brett Raphael's production comes to Stamford Center for the Arts for the first time. OPENING NIGHT GALA PERFORMANCE: Saturday, December 5 – 7:00pm* Sunday, December 6 – 1:00 & 4:00pm Palace Theatre, Stamford Center for the Arts 61 Atlantic Street, Stamford Box Office: 203-325-4466 Visit www.scalive.org Sunday, December 13 - 1:00 & 4:00pm Jorgensen Auditorium, UCONN 2132 Hillside Road, Unit 3104, Storrs Box office: 860-486-4226 Visit www.jorgensen.uconn.edu
  8. There are archival films at the New York Public library at Lincoln Center, but you need to be a researcher or choreographer to see them. The music industry (classical & opera) records many of their performances, yet Broadway and Ballet rarely do. The trusts and the repetiteurs would lose a important source of revenue.
  9. Agreed, will NYCB claim squatters' rights? I would like to see NYCB at the MOH as well. NYC has plenty of great venues: BAM, Park Avenue Armory, Radio City, NJPAC.
  10. Looks like the people in the Orchestra had a different opinion of Millipied's "Everything", versus those in the Tiers. It looked more organized from above, where I could see it would appear less organized at eye level.
  11. Does OBT still do Balanchine Nutz? Does the trust have to approve the conductor? Somebody asked that our conductor be changed when we used to do a Ballanchine Nutz (pre-bankruptcy)
  12. I liked "Everything" From the Second Tier. AFH has lovely wooden walls in a subtle brown patina. AFH forces you to focus on the stage I recall everyone detesting Sleeping Beauty because it was "too Colorful" Please make up your minds!
  13. Not a fan of city center, even though you may be closer to the stage, the low ceilings and bad rakes (very steep in the balcony, hardly any in the mezzanine.) No lobby to speak of for entertaining afterward (the reason the Donors pay the big bucks is so they can sit down with a dancer and enjoyed a yummy re-heated meal.) Jazz at Lincoln Center has some nice stages too. Since AFH is a different kind of venue, I suspect the union house rules are slightly different. No grips, no riggers needed. AFH may be a "cheap date"
  14. They closed with Danil doing multiple pirouettes to a hard bump to black, very cool, very dramatic. This is a very short fall season, I'm sure they are economizing like we all are. It's a pity they don't broadcast the Galas and black out NYC. It may drive ticket sales.
  15. A fantastic evening tonight as ABT performed for the First time next door in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. For non-New Yorkers, AFH is the Philharmonic hall of LC, it has a permanent orchestral shell and a trapezoidal shaped stage. No Preocenium as well, so the audience watched the dancers warm up and practice. Special lighting and speakers were brought in over the stage area. My Comments: Lighting: Perfect and well done Kudos to the stage hands! Sound: Could use a little more oomph, sound was weak from the back of the house. Seats: AVH seats certainly are not like MOH, not very comfy. Good sight lines. 1st piece: Seven Sonatas Choreo Alexi Ratmanski Music: Domenico Scarletti Costumes: Holly Hynes Lights: Brad Fields Piano: Barbara Bilach Dancers: Abrera, Reyes, Kent Saveliev, Cornejo, Hornberg Nice piece, Cornejo danced with Athleticsm Julie Kent was lovely Costumes were all white but no two were identical, nicest costumes of the evening Short section had the men holding hands and dancing, I don't think I've seen that before Very Lyrical piece that flowed well 2nd piece: One of Three Choreo: Azsure Barton Music: Ravel (Violin Sonata in G) Costumes: Yannik Larivee Not my favorite piece, First section was elegent, the men in suits flirting with Murphy in a long gown, best of the three. In the next section the Men took their jackets off and pulled out their shir tails, it looked sloppy. The last section they put their jackets back on and still looked sloppy. Paloma wore a one piece suit that was ok, but did not reflect the music or dancing very well. 3rd Piece: The Dying Swan Choreo: Fokine Music: Saint-Saens Veronica Part did a magnificent job, Arms and hands were beautiful, she is very talented. This was the *only* Female-majority piece of the whole evening, ABT has great Male dancers and this was a great showcase for them. Cellist missed a note, come across as very flat. Final Piece: Everything Doesn't Happen at Once Choreo: Benjamin Millipied Music: David Lang Costumes: Karen Young Lighting: Brad Fields Mini Orchestra in the back on a small platform: Violin,Cello, Piccolo, Clarinet, Piano, Percussion. Good job gents! WOW!!!! Most of the company was in this piece, Amazing Pas de Deux by Gomes and Boylston! Simkin was amazing! The Partnering was very slow, but wonderful. Choreo was great! I want to see this again! One small section was all women, another was Simkin and the women, were they jealous of his dancing when they threw him off stage? Crew placed a square of White Marley on the floor, lighting was from above, and behind using Xenon light bulbs for a "bluish-white look" and Incandescent bulbs used for certain pieces. Lighting design was excellent! Costumes were black shorts and open vests on the men, and black leos on the women. nice to see a ballet without tights and frilly pink stuff. Very enjoyable evening.
  16. Adding to all the financial data: NYC and NYS are in DIRE financial straights. Tax revenue is way down, NYCB's annual checks from cultural affairs departments will be cut substantially. The only variable cost a non-profit arts company has are its' own employees. Stage unions, costumers, ballet masters, rehearsal coaches, rents, electric, insurance, are fixed costs. The company also has access to a great school for apprentice dancers, a cheap(er) source of labor. The current credit crunch is extreme, it is not possible to borrow your way out of debt. A world-class Ballet Company is right next store, ABT, only 20 meters away. local competition. Kennedy's and Obamas show up at their ballets. Dance Theater of Harlem's bankruptcy is a sobering reminder of what can happen. The economic dynamics of a Ballet Company are similar to Macroeconomics: Globalism, supply and demand, competition, fixed and variable costs, raw materials and finished goods. Wish all you want, but the arts are not immune to the economic downturn. Mike
  17. From the Albany Times Union: NEW YORK -- Prosecutors say a lawyer ripped off a small union representing 80 dancers and stagehands with the American Ballet Theatre at Lincoln Center. Leonard Leibowitz was to appear Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan to face embezzlement charges. The 70-year-old Leibowitz was an attorney for the Independent Artists of America. Prosecutors say he used the union checkbook to write more than $350,000 in checks to himself, his law firm and his wife. The name of his lawyer was not immediately available. [end quote] Hopefully most of the money will be returned to the dancers and/or their retirement funds. Funny he was arrested just days after their very successful MOH spring season. Wonder if the arrest was scheduled until after the last performance in order to not spook the dancers.
  18. I went on Wednesday evening's performance (Paloma and Gomes) Very nice production. Lighting was a bit off, Fight scenes were poor. The Corps and principals could have spent some time learning to fence. Manhattan is full of great fencing instructors, there is no excuse for a male dancer not knowing how to fight on stage. Not a single parry or block on stage. Why were only a few dancer wearing masks? It is called un Ballo in Maschera (a masked ball) for good reason. Casting was perfect, really well thought out for the roles.
  19. I liked it. As I said on another board, I felt the beginning scene could have been more powerful. A Son/lover/boyfriend returning from the battlefield has to be an incredibly emotional scene. The ending scene could have been more emotional as well. Women weep when their boyfriends break up with them! Lighting was awful. Orchestra is the same as usual, outstanding, pitch perfect, and never missing a note. I'm sure it will join the repertoire, when ABT or other companies want to do an "all Russian (& Ukraine) evening" I see this ballet replacing ""Aurora's Wedding" and others over time if a company want to do a short Prokofiev piece.
  20. Loved it! The evening really shows the strength of the Male Corps! I felt "On the Dnieper" was poorly lit, it could have been a little brighter. Principals were often in dark spots. The fight scene was in red and the cherry blossoms on the stage floor made everything look ultra Barbie pink. I felt the beginning scene could have been more emotional. A Son/lover returning from the battlefield in Springtime. The Photograph scene was very well executed, I have never seen anything like that in a Ballet before. "Desir" had the women corps in the back for most of the piece, and the men were dancing up front, nice change. I've never seen PS before, I found it touching.
  21. Iman's *(SP?) dress in Vibrant Kelly Green was stunning. The ABT Gala is turning into a NYC version of the Oscars. Ivanka Trump was stunning as well, she took time out to sign some Children's autographs, she was very nice. Enjoy the weekend!
  22. Danil is a great dancer, he needs to beef up to improve his partnering. I liked Michelle's dress, it looked even better in the papers and on TV.
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