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Everything posted by Rose1186

  1. I would agree with onxmyxtoes... Sarah was certainly closer to finishing the sequence than 16 or even 20. She was so close to the end when she stumbled. And they were beautiful fouettes to boot. I thought her whole performance was really stunning and that any wobbles (most during partnered moments) were outshone by her grace and emotional dancing... I felt it was a total triumph for her!!
  2. I encourage everyone - on their next viewing of The Tempest - to take the first line of the "synopsis" really seriously if you haven't already. I'm paraphrasing here, but it says something like "This ballet is a meditation on the themes of Shakespeare's play, The Tempest." I did not notice that the first time I saw it (and have always wondered if it was included from the beginning) and was really frustrated after that viewing because I had no idea what had been going on, but upon the 2nd, 3rd and maybe 4th viewing, I enjoyed the ballet much more because I was less focused on needing to understand the narrative. Instead, I focused on each character, and what was happening in each scene. From that perspective, I felt like Ratmansky did an excellent job developing the characters in such a short amount of time. So now, my only gripe with The Tempest (and maybe with Firebird although I remember it less well) is that there was too much going on at times or too many people crammed between really big set pieces (as with many Ratmansky works). But I was able to over look that because of the beautiful and exciting choreography for many of the characters. And - also as with many/all Ratmansky works - the energy is always different from the dancers. You can feel their sense of pride, excitement and determination when dancing his work - it's not just another Swan Lake. On a separate note - these two ballets would make a good mixed bill also because, I believe, that they both use the same shiny (and squeaky) black floor.
  3. Gorak is dancing Bluebird at the June 12 performance with Boylston.
  4. Same people - Nicole Graniero and Luciana Paris, Cassandra Trenary and Devon Teuscher. P.S. I thought Stearns was awesome in Raymonda. Especially in comparison, because I thought Whiteside and Hammoudi were so NOT awesome in it. Whereas Whiteside and Hammoudi made the variation look like the most difficult and exhausting thing they've ever danced, Stearns soared through the huge leaps and jumps and made it look so much more effortless.
  5. Bingham - it is this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8hecxDjyYE Note: In the diagonal hops on point, Devon Teuscher did entrechat quatre instead of straight changement.
  6. Rose1186


    I attended the September 26 performance of Manon with Marianela Nunez and Frederico Bonelli. It was great! Only my second time seeing Manon and my first seeing the Royal Ballet!! (I live in NYC). I was beyond excited to see Marianela and she definitely did not disappoint. She is just sort of perfect - so graceful, musical and strong. I went with someone who generally dislikes any ballet and even he said she was leagues above the other dancers. Bonelli was ok - he is very handsome and has beautiful lines. He was a bit shaky in the act one solo, which is all about control. Their chemistry, however, was not 100% - I didn't feel totally detached, but I was not overly emotionally engaged either. I really thought all of the supporting characters were very good. James Hay who I have seen in a few of the ROH YouTube videos was notable as the beggar chief. Ricardo Cervera was also excellent as Lescaut and his mistress was Laura Morera. I have not been excited by the role of the mistress in either production I have seen but she definitely executed it very well. Yuhui Choe really stood out to me as one of the courtesans (I thought she was more engaging than Morera). The character actors - Christopher Saunders as Monsieur G.M. and Gary Davis as the jailor - were also very impressive. The ROH is so beautiful. Both the actual theater and the surrounding buildings. We also did a tour a few days later and got to see a bit more behind the scenes. We were able to watch about 5 minutes of Carlos Acosta and Natalia Osipova rehearsing Manon in one of the studios, which was very neat. I feel like this is a very inadequate review... I just wanted to say something since there wasn't anything posted yet. I don't feel like I know the ballet well enough to be able to pinpoint certain moments that really stood out like I would be able to with R+J or Don Q or something like that. Anyways.. I'll leave it there for now and come back if I think of anything else to add.
  7. I don't have much to add about The Dream... I thought the whole cast looked great. Obviously Herman as Puck stole the show - partly that is the nature of the role, and partly it is because Herman is one of the most spectacular dancers ever, anywhere. I thought Cory looked great (despite a few wobbles in the pdd) and thought his characterization of Oberon was good - thoughtful, humorous, cunning and arrogant. I think I read somewhere that Gillian said this is one of her favorite roles - I could tell. She really seemed to be enjoying every minute of it and looked really gorgeous. I don't mind the sound of the fairies' feet in this piece. I always sort of think of it as a substitute for buzzing fairy wings... it amplifies how quickly they are moving and for me, that somehow makes it seem more magical. The Tempest... a mess or a "meditation" on the themes of the play? That is the question. I think it's somewhere in between honestly. I've now seen it three times and I think I've enjoyed it more with each viewing because I am less focused on the "plot" and am able to just take in the choreography and the portrayal of each character. It's almost like this piece is a "coming attraction" for the feature length version of The Tempest. I actually think that, while the plot is definitely muddy and choppy, the characters are fairly vivid. The individual pieces of choreography are quite good - especially with this lead cast, since I think it's fair to say, much of the choreography was created with these exact dancers in mind. Viewing it again was worth it just to see Sarah Lane in this role - perfection. Same for Marcelo - he's able to look strong and dangerous and graceful and profound all at the same time. Many of the moments with the waves/sea creatures I actually think are very cool and well-done, but often there are way too many of them on stage and too much going on (Ratmansky-style). The production looked less cramped at the Met than it did at Koch, but that was still a problem for me. I think it is an issue in several of Ratmansky's works (like the battle scene in Nutcracker, etc.), even though I like all of his works on the whole very much. I don't love the costumes but I don't hate them... some of them I like.
  8. I went last night as well. It was my second time seeing T&V with Semionova and Stearns. I thought it was better than the first time and they both seemed more comfortable. She executed all of the difficult and fast choreography very well. Her feet are incredibly strong and articulate. The first time I saw this last week, Stearns looked like he was very unhappy to be dancing, but he definitely seemed to have a bit more energy and enjoyment last night. However, I felt like he was running out of steam by about half way through. I was not looking forward to seeing A Month in the Country, as I did not like it last spring and also because I haven't enjoyed Julie Kent so much as of late. And unfortunately, my reservations were well-founded. I can't totally explain what it is about this piece that I don't like. I very much like other Ashton works like The Dream and Cinderella. And I found Julie Kent to be very awkward. I felt like she was overacting to make up for her lack of technical capacity. However, I did think Cote was great! While I am not a fan of the abundance of guest artists in ABT's spring season, I would love to see Cote in a full-length principle role. I really enjoyed Piano Concerto No. 1 - I am a fan of the Shoshtakovich Trilogy and this piece in particular. I think it shows what Ratmansky is best at. I thought that Gillian Murphy was wonderful, and while Skylar Brandt didn't quite match Murphy's confidence or precision, she was also very strong and incredibly capable. I actually think they're very similar dancers. I thought Calvin Royal was fantastic both in his solo work and in partnering Murphy. Gabe Stone Shayer seemed the least comfortable, but he also looked like he was enjoying the performance immensely, which was great to see. He is definitely a wonderful dancer and it seems he is being given opportunities to grow so... fingers crossed!
  9. I agree that Tempest wasn't very successful in telling the story or making me feel anything about what was happening. However, I liked the actual choreography for all of the characters (I always enjoy his choreography), I thought the costumes were fun and elaborate and I thought the dancing was all really spectacular. I thought that Sarah Lane was perfection and looked like a total star - it really did make me want to see her do Juliet in a major way. It was so wonderful to see Marcelo do this choreography - it suited him wonderfully and really showed how much more he is capable of in addition to being the finest partner and Romeo, prince, etc. A lot of people have said that they felt that Herman was wasted in the role of Caliban, but I actually thought it was fantastic. It was a type of role we've never seen him do and he did it brilliantly. When he was dancing (vs the movement on the floor), it did show how talented he is and how special he is - everything is so effortless - his turns were perfect and his jumps were beyond. While Danil, is incredibly talented, I feel like with him you can see the effort and the hard work behind each of the steps - when Herman dances, it feels like that is his natural state and that he never has to think or work to execute. I am looking forward to seeing it again. I don't have too much to add about Theme & Variations or Aftereffect. Gillian is incredibly competent and was very pretty in this role, but I wasn't excited by her. James Whiteside was... fine. He stumbled through some of his turns but seemed to partner Gillian very well (although she seems to need very little support since she is so strong!). I thought the soloists were very good. It was wonderful to see the men featured in Aftereffect - they all danced wonderfully. It would be wonderful if there was another opportunity to show this piece - I'm sure they could benefit from more rehearsal time and some tweaking.
  10. I just want to add that I definitely thought it was a problem in the orchestra. I was sitting pretty close (although off to the side) and the lead in was totally missed except for maybe one note. I think I had the same expression on my face as the dancers like "whoa wait!" But they pulled it together quickly and the rest of the variation was great. This was my first time seeing NYCB's production and overall I really enjoyed it. I was worried Sara Mearns wouldn't live up to the incredible amount of hype surrounding her performance in this role but she absolutely did. I thought she was wonderful. I agree with everything that has been said about Jared Angle - I don't think his dancing was very good at all but as a partner, you could tell that he was very secure and that she felt very comfortable and was able to throw herself into the turns and lifts. I always feel that the women of the corps struggle in more classical works. Their hands and arms - which look excellent and precise in Balanchine works - totally distract me from the rest of the movement and to me it looked like they didn't know exactly what to do with their upper bodies in this ballet. But overall I was really glad to have seen this production - wish I could see it again this week but no such luck.
  11. Off topic, but just further on this... She is called Clara in Baryshnikov's Nutcracker (I think I watched this video 200 times when I was little) and Ratmansky's is Clara as well!! Also, I remember the name being Marie (not Maria) in other versions, but obviously possible that all of the above have been used!
  12. I have the impression that his interaction with soloists is so compelling because it reflects genuine friendship and respect, not acting (although he is a superb actor as well). One of his many endearing qualities is the way he always signals back to the soloists and corps to acknowledge their contributions during curtain calls. He himself worked his way up through the corps and soloist ranks, so that partially explains it, of course, but it always seems very genuine to me. Yes I definitely agree. (Sorry if it seemed like I was saying it was all an act). But I also think that David Hallberg is genuinely friends with a lot of these dancers too - he had a similar trajectory to Marcelo's - and yet it doesn't come across as much so I think it's in the way that they interpret the role different, and for me, Gomes' is much more affective and winning.
  13. I saw three performances - Vishneva/Gomes, Osipova/Hallberg and Kent/Bolle. It's hard to say which I enjoyed the most! It's just my most favorite ballet and I could have seen it ten more times. I think the cast I enjoyed the least was Kent/Bolle - while their PDDs were beautiful and they do have a great partnership, it was a little lackluster to me. It will probably come as no surprise that Kent struggled with some of the solo work and her acting didn't seem fresh at all. I always watch other Juliets and think that their bourrees backwards, away from Paris, are never as good as Kent's that I have seen in the past - but on Saturday, she even struggled with these - one of the surest signs I think of her diminishing technical capacity. Also, Bolle who I normally don't worry about at all really struggled in the gate dance with Mercutio and Benvolio. He fell out of turns and also just completely missed some of the steps. Supporting cast was great though! It was fun to see Blaine Hoven back as Benvolio and Roman Zhurbin as Lord Capulet. Grant DeLong is my new favorite Paris and Sascha Radetsky gave another great turn as Tybalt - his death scene was so forceful he actually did a backwards somersault while falling back off the stairs. Salstein was fun-as-ever and technically great as Mercutio, although I do not love his death scene. (I think Matthews' is better in this regard). Gomes is by far my favorite Romeo - ever. Others said his dancing was somewhat low-energy on Monday and I do agree that it wasn't as pinpoint as it usually is, but that didn't take away from his overall performance for me. Vishneva was gorgeous but her portrayal isn't my favorite. Basically same great supporting cast as above except for Simkin as Benvolio - he was just fine. But Gomes' interactions with his supporting cast is one of the things that sets him apart. His rapport with Salstein and the Harlots is superb and helps make his Romeo so believable. I really loved Osipova on Friday - her energy was really high and you got the sense that she was truly enjoying the role, which was great. Her weightlessness and quickness perfectly lent itself to Juliet's youthfulness. I don't know that she has 100% nailed the role yet, but I thought it a great compromise between Vishneva's overacting (IMO) and Kent's subtlety, and felt the most genuine to me. It was really great to see Hallberg dance so wonderfully on Friday - I haven't seen him dance that well in a long time and had started to forget why he was such a superstar. I wish I was seeing him in something else before he goes back to Moscow. HOWEVER, he is not Romeo to me so that was a bit of a let down. I'm loving Matthews a lot this season, as it seems others are too, and thought his Mercutio was very good. Gorak danced wonderfully as Benvolio but didn't nail the character in my opinion. I was glad to see Nicola Curry as Lady Capulet because I think she is a great actress and dancer, but it didn't compare to Stella Abrera's portrayal.
  14. Well even if it was someone very recognizable there would still be little chance anyone would know since it seems she is going to be laying on one of the tombs in the crypt - hard to tell those bodies are even living people.
  15. I agree with onxmyxtoes' review of last night's performance except that, from my seat, I didn't feel the connection between Isabella and Daniil. Every time they needed to show affection to each other, it felt more like friends or siblings than a romantic couple... perhaps I was just too far away. Also - I agree that Hee Seo looked beautiful in the Dream scene (I think the loudness is related to the landing from the glissades in this variation more than her particular shoes because I've noticed it before with other dancers) - but it definitely seemed that after the mishaps with the Italian fouettes over the weekend, the orchestra really picked up the pace at that section for both Misty and Hee.
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