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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Former dancer
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  1. Surprising and moving insights about the creation of the familiar musical, with readings from Bernstein's own notes on the process. (Who knew that the original gang conflict was conceived as Jews vs. Catholics?!?!) Listen quick, though: BBC tends to shut down its streams for foreign listeners after a pretty short time. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b043wz2c
  2. Oh my bad--it's actually a very direct parody of a dancewear spot (which is already ridiculous). Here is another parody that hews close to the language of the original target of satirical attack.
  3. A funny parody here of all those ballet "reality" shows--or of ignorance about ballet in general.
  4. Just FYI, Woetzel is presenting PAB at Vail this summer: http://www.vvf.org/content/events/vail-international-dance-festival/2014-upclose-jewels
  5. This will be very challenging for this company which, unlike PNB or NYCB, has not spent the time/resources to develop a strong organization. IMHO.
  6. Also, I would argue that PAB's origin story is odder than most NYCB satellites: Barbara Weisberger, the putative Balanchine heir who founded PAB, was never really an NYCB company member, even if she was "a former Balanchine protégée" and had some singular and significant connections to the choreographer (a 2006 NYTimes article explains all).
  7. A brief answer to that careful response is that I don't see PNB's kind of creative and thoughtful curating an programming--whether or not it's to one's taste--at PAB. It's just not happening, at least not on a sustained, engaged level.
  8. The Academy stage is plenty large--they recently retooled to admit large Broadway shows. It's all about the way they filmed it; having attended the performance live, I also notices the legs seemed larger than usual for this show--perhaps, again, for the cameras?
  9. Not being a choreographer was a good thing--no quibbles there. And yes to Wheeldon and Neenan. But if you chart out the Wheeldon-level projects over the Weiss-level ones, the latter predominate. And numbers of Balanchine ballets performed have fallen off. Yes, fostering Neenan was of course great, but from my perspective, it's not part of a larger vision of mentoring or developing young choreographers. They were both lucky, basically. I agree that the board and subscribers are conservative, but they are also loyal; you can lead them to new places. I don't believe he ever really did that.
  10. He was fine as a dancer--from what I remember; but I've been very disappointed over the years with his programming. I feel that, in the field, he's been more of a follower than a leader. I'm not sure what he watched or sought out (in terms of the global context). Many rep choices seemed to me simply expedient (all those Ricky Weiss ballets, for instance); as a former dancer I sometimes wondered, from the evidence of what I saw on stage, what was going with training and coaching. And I have no strong sense of what the "Balanchine legacy" really means to the company, other than boilerplate.
  11. Wow, Sandi, I guess I need to hear more from you on this--it's too uninteresting, to me, to be good musical theater. And I was not compelled by the narrative at all.
  12. Sorry, Amy, I have to respectfully disagree here. I think his scope was very limited.
  13. The choreography is thin, the concept is cheesy; what's left? Sorry, I don't get the appeal at all; I don' t understand what the "nature" of such a company is.
  14. Sorry, guys, this was just awful. His choreographic vocabulary is so very thin. The angel-vampire figures just seemed a cheap piggybacking on pop-culture references. The music was great, though.
  15. Not to disagree with anything said here so far, but I think it's perfectly accurate to call Gergiev a "major musician of our time." To my ears, that sounds fairly neutral; I'm not sure what the problem is with that description.
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