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Everything posted by MJ

  1. Let's stay out of the personal gossipyness please.
  2. I was in Manhattan that afternoon for a job interview (good news! I got a verbal offer today! ) The afternoon before I checked the ABT web site and saw plenty of tickets in almost all price ranges. If my interview went well I would treat myself, If not I would go home and eat Chinese Food. My interview ended at 3pm so I took a leisurely stroll up Broadway to Columbus circle, by the time I got to the box office, only Standing room tickets were available. The Ticket agent said "if we knew you were coming...." They are nice people at the Met Opera House. I had no clue Michelle was going to speak. I went up to the terrace and watched Imam, Kelly Rippa, (paparazzi went wild for her!) and others make their way in. A gentlemen pair wore dark blue and purple velvet suits, Another gentleman wore a jacket of a white floral material. I had my best suit on, so I blended very well. No Fordham/NYU/CUNY graduations this year to get that academic and gala attire mish-mosh that make NYC so special. The security was minimal, though present. Two Agents stood on stage when FLOTUS Michelle Obama spoke. Nice speech, better than Chuck Schumer. After the last performance, I ran to get my briefcase, two Secret Service agents gave me that "Don't **** with me look" Considering all the heads of state who come to the Met, I'm sure the staff have been pre-cleared and trained to examine bags. Anyone trying to get at her would have to leap over the orchestra pit as well. I know someone in the physical security business, and you'd be surprised where they can hide metal and other weapon detection systems. (Not telling you either!) 5 or 6 of NYC's Bravest in the Plaza. Now that Lincoln Center has moved the steps out to 9th avenue, vehicle access to LC is more limited. I will review the performance at a later time. I loved the JKO students! Bravo! Looking forward to a spectacular spring season!
  3. The World Trade Center will take over 30 years to build, across the street Fordham University has spent 3+ years getting approval for the expansion of the LC campus. NYC construction firms are notorious for delays. NYC has only built two new subway stations in the past 30 years, South Ferry and Jamaica. I love NYC but hate delays and waste.
  4. This is a review I wrote for the Friends of Connecticut Ballet Newsletter: Several Friends of Connecticut Ballet went to the Wadsworth Antheneum to see the Ballet Russe Collection owned by the Wadsworth. The exhibition included real costumes worn by Nijinsky and the Ballet Russe, along with costume and set drawings. This exhibition is part of the Centennial anniversary of Diaghilev's Ballet Russe company. In the 1940 Wadsworth Director Chick Austin purchased drawings, costumes, and posters for 10,000 dollars. The Wadsworth is now the de facto center of research for Ballet Russe. The exhibition, http://www.wadsworthatheneum.org/view/exhi...amp;type=Future included drawings by Joan Miro, Picasso, Matisse (no, not our wonderful Company dancer from Hartford!), Baskt, and others. Drawings were hung next to original costumes, one could see repairs and stains that all ballet costumes go through. I spoke to a retired curator at the Wadsworth, and mentioned how different current ballet costumes are: the hand work was amazing, everything was hand painted and embroidered, no sequins and sparkly bits. Several Ballets Russe performances were shown on projection screens, including L¹Après-midi d¹un faune, Firebird, Petrushka, and Le Sacre de Printemps. In another Gallery, I had a brief moment to see Couture inspired by The Ballets Russe including drawings by Erte', and fashion inspired by "Orientalism." Certainly worth a few moments to view. So much to see, so little time. After a delightful, but brief, dinner in the museum cafe, (One of our servers danced with the Hartford Ballet!) We proceeded down to the Historic Aetna Theater, A basement theater with and Art Deco wall paintings that reminded me of Cavemen drawings in France. The theater is doubly significant as it is the first American stage George Balanchine performed on, with the Wadsworth sponsoring "Mr. B's" immigration to America. We attended a short discussion by NY Times Ballet Critic Alistair Macaulay, who discussed the history of the Ballets Russe and the relationships between Diaghilev and his Dancers. Alistair discussed the scandal that accompanied Nijinsky and the Company and the influence the company had on ballet since. More details about the Centennial celebrations are in the current issue of Forbes Life Magazine: http://www.forbes.com/forbes-life-magazine...rt-culture.html A copy is in the Periodical room of the Darien Library, which has some exceptional photographs. The Wadsworth exhibition continues through 12 July 2009, and the Costume exhibition until 2 August 2009. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center will have an Exhibition from June 26 through September 12 (www.nypl.org/research/lpa). The Friends of the Connecticut Ballet and Director Brett Raphael will attend a performance of ABT's Swan Lake in June, I'm planning on including extra time to visit the Exhibition at the NYPL across the plaza. My friends and I enjoyed the evening and all agreed we would do it again. -Mike Young
  5. !st thing, lots and lots of rehearsals burn into your mind where you should be. I was recently in the fight scene in Romeo, I could tell how close a dancer was behind me by peripheral vision and hear the swords behind me.
  6. I'm watching it in Hi-Def, glorious production! Sander, I suspect a standard def telecast had to do a lot of "pan and Scanning" to fit the smaller screen. Chereo is good, with subtle balanchine homages in it. Some pieces were a little too gymnastic, like the ribbon dancers. The company and principals certainly know how to pirouette! Sugar Plum did not move much on stage for a waltz. Waltz of the flowers ended asymmetrically. Blue Jenie/Arabian was wonderful and masculine. Mother Ginger had a "trained" circus bear, I expect the animal rights folks/PETA to ask it be removed. Russian had the bravura the Tch piece demands. Sets Costume scenery and orchestra were spot-on brilliant. Bravo to all!
  7. The best dance coverage by a NYC Newspaper will cease tomorrow. The NY Sun has announced tomorrow's edition will be it's last. NYSUN.com
  8. Do painters learn to waltz? Do photographers learn to sing opera? Maybe. Dancers learn dance, and perhaps some music. I would recommend training dancers in a wide variety of dance, ballet modern jazz ballroom ethnic aboriginal "Country and Western".
  9. I saw an ad in marie claire with a gent in a ballet cotume, he looked like a dancer, but could just be a model in tights. There were scuffs on his shoes, makes me think it was a real dancer or a very good wardrobe mistress.
  10. AD told us we are doing R&J in a few months, and we will have swordplay training. I hope I don't turn into a Psychiatrist over it! I hate contacts, but will have to get used to them for this.
  11. Kevin McKenzie of ABT did "judgement of Paris" at their Gala this spring. It was a hoot. He played an elderly drunk watching old dancers in a parisian bistro. Interesting on many levels. THeir brochure for their fall season will include JoP, I wonder if Mr. Mcmillan will reprise his performances, or will the unions insist on using a paid dancer or actor. Might be a good role for a comedian with stage presence.
  12. Wasn't there a Lizzie Borden Ballet?
  13. Hey, Bees are very important to agriculture, most of the fruit you eat get pollinated by bees. Birds are in ballets (Swans and bluebirds) Why Not the Bees? (This message brought to you by the American association of bee-keepers and honey makers)
  14. I said hello to Maria B, she was lost in the concourse. Unfortunately, you need to invite the celebs to get in the papers/glossies. Bodyguards have no place taking up valuable real estate. If a celeb is concerned for their personal safety, they should sit in a box seat. I hate to say this, but I noticed no bag searches at MOH, but lots of discrete security. That is the way it should be. Understandable Caroline Kennedy could not be there, Her uncle being in Mass General with a mystery Illness. I felt sorry for the women in silk/couture who had to deal with the San Francisco type weather we are having: breezy damp and cold.
  15. It was a great evening, I spotted Al Roker, Kelly Rippa, and The Donald coming in. Like going to the Oscars. Fasionistas and even some men were truly decked out. During Intermission Fordham (alma mater) students were marching from the FU LC campus to Avery Fischer hall. Someone went and stole the fountain in the plaza, there was no evidence it had ever been there. I wonder what happened to everyone who said "I'll meet you at the fountain" I actually loaned my cell phone to a lady who could not find her daughter. Loved DonQ, Corsaire, Giselle, and Etudes. The opening scene of Splendid made the crowd in the balcony gasp. I doubt the folks in the orchestra got the full effect. Would make a great poster. Critiques: A off pitch trombone in Corsaire. The orchestra should record Corsaire this summer/autumn, there are no good versions out there. Dancers cheating in Etudes, I expect them all to dance in the light, not in the dark, the company men spoiled the whole effect. First male slave solo of corsaire was slow, but made up for it 3 minutes later. Costumes: One of the men wore dark charcoal gray M.stevens tights, (donQ?) the shiny-ness and color made his legs disapear. All I saw was the shiny-ness. A lighter color of gray would have been better, or a lighter floor. After last year's Technicolor sleeping beauty, the costumes were more subdued, or borrowed . Lighting: Very Very good, Dying swan was a little too dark from the balcony. Compared to last year, less daring but no discernible train wrecks. I would have liked to see a musician the likes of Lang-Lang (he brought the house down last year). Kudos to the AD, looks like it will be a great season. Speaking of the AD, it was fun to see him on stage.
  16. Short guys can partner too, but finger turns might be a little difficult with a tall dancer. Are you past your growth stage? You may want to speak with a nutritionist to ensure you are eating a proper diet. Let us know where you go!
  17. Where are the new blogs about Ballet Companies? Cheers,
  18. LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!! SHE'S A HUMAN!!!! [Channeling Chris Crocker]
  19. I was backstage as a Super in Tosca, they used a mattress and several stagehands. We called it.... Diva Diving! A dancer can pick up more speed than a Opera Singer, is a single mattress used or perhaps a track and field high-jump "pit"?
  20. Boy, you'd have a richness of cross-cultural sources for that one! It could be very exotic, and very scarey, depending on how far you went with it. As a companion ballet ... for the men ... how about Cain and Abel? Has that ever been done? Noah and his Ark might make an interesting, but tedious, children's ballet. Samson and Delilah would be exciting. Bringing the temple down would take some SFX.
  21. The really exciting aspect is the ability to show performances at any time, anywhere. With satellite transmission and digital projection, any movie or performance can now be sent to any well equipped movie theatre.
  22. So I guess a kilt is perfectly acceptable for the Irish and Scots?
  23. Angie, I was in two different productions of Belle this year, one as the King, the other as courtier. Each had very different bows. In one production the king and queen sat in their thrones and gestured to the audience.
  24. I went to opening night at ABT, it was like going to the Oscars! I wore a suit, but everyone else had Tuxes and gowns on. There was a woman in a "southern belle" dress with way too many pink and yellow ribbons on it.
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