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Everything posted by scoop

  1. Pan's Labyrinth is hands down the best movie I saw last year (well, there IS my secret guilty pleasure of a movie, Casino Royale, I feel exactly as Helene does about Daniel Craig ). The way the child's fable and the real war intertwined in Pan was truly amazing storytelling, and every performance was top-notch. The ending was just devastating, and brave. I can't believe it didn't win the Oscar -- so I'm guessing The Lives of Others must be a pretty amazing film.
  2. My main objection was to her statement that women don't do so well in a journalistic culture. That struck me as such a blanket statement -- and thus an inaccurate one. It's a culture that's biased in favor of those who aren't shy about speaking their minds -- it's a business based on the ability to express yourself after all -- and that's a characteristic that I don't think is necessarily gender based. In any event, she seems to have done just fine, becoming a dance critic at a major newspaper, so good for her.
  3. Heavens -- someone get the smelling salts and help the delicate Ms. Scherr to the fainting couch! I've been in journalism for almost 30 years -- and female my whole life -- and have never seen such a ridiculous description of the business. I can't count the number of tough, smart women I've known over the years who are doing just fine in this allegedly hostile "journalistic culture" and have risen to the absolute heights of the editing and writing and, yes, critical, ranks of their newspapers. If this critic didn't find her voice until her mid-30s, maybe she needs to look inward rather outward. I doubt it's because she's a "girl." :blush:
  4. I wasn't enamored with much of the music, except for the showstopper "And I Am Telling You ..." which just kills. The performances, though, are quite wonderful, especially Eddie Murphy, who displays a surprising depth, and lack of inhibition and all the Dreamgirls are fab. But did anyone else have the problem I had: The build-up to the "I Am Telling You" song was very weak, and took away from its power. SPOILER ALERT FOR ANYONE WHO HASN'T SEEN IT: Except for a little flirting, I didn't see that Effie and the Jamie Foxx character had become a couple. I also didn't see the diva behavior, ie, the showing up late at rehearsals, that is referred to in the song. So when the song comes up -- and Effie just unleashes this immense, emotional storm over being dumped, romantically and professionally -- it just doens't seem justified. (Although as a song and a performance, it's pretty amazing, the theater just erupted in applause!) I even thought maybe a reel got dropped by accident (which actually may have happened since I was just thinking about a clip I saw on Oprah that I didn't see in the movie)!
  5. Can you get Maryland Public TV? They're airing it Mon., Nov. 20, 10:30 p.m.
  6. Oh, pulling up the rear here .. I saw Tuesday night's performance (in the company of a lovely BT family -- you know who you are! ), and still feel enveloped in that nice glow of a really engaging program. (I must be talking about it a lot -- my husband and I were watching the seventh game of the NL championships, and at one point, when the announcers were talking about a Met named Valentin, he said, "I keep thinking they're saying, Balanchine!") Like Treefrog, I hestitate to say too much -- although this is my favorite company, I see them all too infrequently so I'm probably not all that discerning and tend to love everything! The highlights for me were the Bach and the Bizet. As different as they were, with Concerto Barocco so spare and Symphony in C such a spectacle, they both struck me as signature pieces for the company -- you understand from them, from the inventive use of the music and the ballet vocabulary, what makes the NYCB the NYCB. Wendy Whelan continues to astonish me. She is at such a special stage in her career, where she's dancing with complete confidence and maturity and joy. Even at the most devilishly fast and tricky parts of Concerto Barocco, she seemed to be riding the music, enjoying choreography that seemed as natural to her as breathing. Symphony in C was great fun -- just when you thought every last dancer in the company was already on stage, another line galloped in. I loved how it ended, with the four ballerinas downstage, knocking off pirouettes and jumps one after the other -- I held my breath for their partners, wondering how on earth they would catch them by the waists at just the right moment to keep them from flying into the orchestra pit. Duo Concertant left me a bit cold -- I was surprised at what an enthusiastic response it got from the audience. Yvonne Borree seemed awkward to me, kind of hunched over at the start, as if she was trying to imitate that shy quality that Kay Mazzo had (at least as I remember it from the video). Serenade was the piece I was least looking forward to seeing -- for some reason, as infrequently as I go to the ballet, this always seems to be on the program! This was a terrific performance though, and unlike in the past, where I just sort of watched it as pure dance, the drama of the ending really grabbed me.
  7. scoop


    What a lovely daydream, Hans. Baltimore can be such a frustrating place -- we have great opera, symphony, theater, etc., here, but zero ballet. There have been performing companies here, and decent studios, but they all eventually vanish, or move to the suburbs. I'm just an adult student, serious but by no means advanced, and there are few, if any classes, worth taking around here, so I go down to DC. I wonder (as long as we're dreaming here!): Would it be possible to offer, say, a one-week workshop, a master class kind of thing, in a space like, as a test for what could be done more permanently in this market? I can't even begin to figure out the logistics of something like that -- how you would manage a temporary rental, where the students would come from -- but it just seems that in a city this size there should be somewhere to go for serious ballet training. Anyway, best of luck with your blog, and thanks for raising this issue.
  8. Now I don't have to feel guilty reading BT while I'm at work! :shhh: We have a story running in the newspaper (where I work) on Sunday that had identified him as a soloist. Stop the presses!
  9. Here is the New York Times review. Not a very good one, alas, although I'd still like to see the movie. Having lived in South Florida for a while, I do understand the depth of antipathy that the Cuban emigres feel toward Castro -- although I always sensed that Andy Garcia's feelings were more emotional and nostalgic than political. I've been to Cuba several times and found it poignant and magical and tragic and a million other things -- and can only imagine the hold it has on someone who was actually born there.
  10. Did anyone see "Offering," a piece Eiko and Koma did for the one-year anniversary of 9/11? It had similar motifs, and seeing it performed in Battery Park, just blocks from Ground Zero, was incredibly moving. It involved a big vessel of dirt and debris, with candles burning in one corner of it, that Koma rotated slowly as a dancer in a saffron robe moved atop it, sometimes joined by Eiko. It was haunting -- the accompaniment was the wail of a solo clarinetist, and as dusk fell, the candles glowed brighter.
  11. I'd echo Brasserie Perrier -- great French food, more casual than Perrier's other restaurant, Le Bec Fin, but still elegant. Too bad Chinese is out -- Susannah Foo's is amazing, very upscale pan-Asian type of place. The Striped Bass has great seafood, also a beautiful space. I haven't been, but a friend who lives in Philadelphia loves Alma de Cuba. It looked very "scene-y" -- four of us tried to have dinner there one weeknight this winter, but they were full.
  12. Oh. My. God. Memo to self: visit Mom in Chicago Oct. 17. What an amazing night that is going to be. When I was growing up in Chicago there seemed to be almost no ballet (Joffrey hadn't moved there yet) except for Ruth Page's annual Nutcracker. We didn't seem to get much in the way of touring companies either -- I remember almost getting sick of Alvin Ailey, they at least seemed to come regularly. I do wonder, though, if the appetite for ballet has really increased in Chicago -- but surely ABT and NYCB both have marketing departments that research what the demand will be in a city before they commit to going there, so they must be on to something. This is great news indeed.
  13. I think J. Lo must have overdone the spray-on tan. At least I hope that was fake -- if not, her dermatologist needs to warn her about excessive sun exposure! The actress who looked best last night IMHO was Ziyi Zhang's -- her dress really suited her petite delicacy. The Oscars strike me as increasingly irrelevant. There's so much advance hype and handicapping that by the time the Academy members get to vote, it seems like what they're reacting to is the buzz rather than the actual movies. Very meta, ie, the Oscars have become about the Oscars. I agree with the analysts who have said that Brokeback peaked too soon -- I didn't see many movies this year, but that one haunts me to this day -- and by the time voting came around, everyone had moved on in search of the next thing...
  14. Hope I'm linking correctly -- this is a nice piece on Stacy, and once you get there you'll find other stories and pictures. (She's originally from Baltimore, thus The Sun's intense and IMHO justifiable interest!) article on Stacy Keibler
  15. I think Darci in an interview talked about how, when she was learning Symphony in C, she tried to touch her forehead to her knee during a penchee the way she remembered someone (Suzanne?) doing, and ended up rolling into a somersault! But she added she eventually was able to do that without falling over.
  16. One big difference between nytimes.com and the paper paper is you now have to pay if you want to read the op-ed columnists like Tom Friedman and Maureen Dowd online. That's definitely the wave of the future -- newspapers are realizing that they've been giving a valuable commodity away for free, and now are trying to start charging for it. I wonder, though, if people who have grown accustomed to free newspapers online can be convinced to start paying, or if they'll just do without.
  17. It's hard for me to be objective about this subject (should newspapers disappear so would my paycheck! :blush:), so I hope this doesn't come off as self-serving. These are truly awful times for newspapers -- we're just hemorrhaging money, losing readers, etc -- but I think it's sad situation not just for us. To me, newspapers are one of the few remaining institutions that bind a society that seems ever more splintered. For 50 cents or whatever, whether you're a factory worker or a CEO, you get access to the same information. There's no digital divide. I remember how my parents, when they were new immigrants, just devoured newspapers. It was their gateway. Something is lost, I think, when entire swaths of a community just don't read a newspaper, and instead get their information from partisan or special interest media. It's troubling that people increasingly seem to be narrowing rather than expanding their worlds. So now I've totally depressed myself -- maybe I'll just go home sick!
  18. In addition to those mentioned above, I greatly admire Rosalie O'Connor. I find her work poetic, and even if I hadn't already known it, I think I would have guessed that she was a dancer herself.
  19. Wow, I'm stunned. I'm so Balanchine-obsessed I can't imagine anyone, particularly someone so perfectly attuned to his work, wanting to dance anything else! (But that probably says more about my limited imagination. ) How admirable -- and courageous -- that she is willing to venture into something a totally different world.
  20. Sigh, this is very sad -- I really enjoyed (finally!) getting to see what all the fuss over her was about when NYCB came to Kennedy Center this year. She was just delightful -- "irrepressible joy" is it exactly. And it makes me crazy not to know what's going on! :blush: (Which is why I went into journalism, come to think of it.) Anyway, I called the New York Times to play tipster if case they were unaware, and got voicemail rather than a human at the arts and dance desk. I left a message asking if any of the dance writers was going to do something on this, so hopefully they'll take the hint or maybe already have something in the works...
  21. scoop

    Angel Corella

    Thank you! I've heard the library's collection is amazing.
  22. scoop

    Angel Corella

    I'm DYING to see that pirated film of Farrell -- anyone know how to get a copy?? (I'm imagining myself in a dark alley, someone going, "Psssst.... looking for the good stuff??")
  23. I'm in the process of moving, and thus weeding through my dust bunnies. It's heartbreaking the number of books I know I'm never going to get through and should take to the second-hand bookstore. Here are the ones, though, that I'm going to bring along, hope springing eternal that I'll get through them soon: Brick Lane, Monica Ali. I LOVED this book, or at least the first third or so that I read on the plane back from London this spring. All the Dawn Powells I picked up since I fell under her spell a couple of years ago. I've read several of her New York-based novels and -- someday! -- plan to get through the Ohio ones. Of course, if Arlene Croce's Balanchine bio comes out any time soon -- everything else goes back to making dust bunnies! Chauffeur -- do finish the Krakauer book on the Mormon sect, it's worth it. I had to read that for work, and was totally dazzled by the reporting.
  24. This is going to be a busy/crazy summer for me and I probably won't get to read much, so I'll be checking this thread for some vicarious pleasures. I do, however, have to read "Passion and Property in Manhattan," by Steven Gaines, for work, and I'm looking forward to it. It's supposed to be a dishy book about the fabulously rich and their real estate. I enjoyed his previous book, "Philistines at the Hedgerow," about the Hamptons, which was a total hoot.
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