Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  1. Not socalgal, but I can interject some thoughts on Neenan's choreography. I love "Vicissitudes" which is a piece he did several years ago (might have even been his first for the company). What do I like about it? Well, he cast a lot of corps members in starring roles which was fun to see! But beyond that, it has a circus-like quality; the finale of the piece has the dancers creating something akin to a rotating circus tent with their bodies- that's the only way I can think of to describe it, as there are a lot of people on stage at that point. There are also a lot of funny, quirky little movements in the piece, like when a female dancer is sitting on a male dancer's shoulder near the wings. He suddenly picks her up and throws her up so that she flies offstage and is (we hope!) caught by an unseen person. He also did a different piece a few years ago, the title of which I can't recall, that was very disjointed and critically reviled around here- but I thought it had some great moments, including the end when the whole cast came and sat on the edge of the stage with their legs dangling down into the orchestra pit. Neenan also created a great solo for Francis Veyette in that piece that included some breathtaking jumps. I know he's done some other pieces for the company, but I can't remember any of them at the moment...which may say something...nevertheless, his current piece sounds promising- wish I had seen it.
  2. I couldn't make it, but was wondering if anyone else had the chance to see this program. I saw Washington Ballet perform Trey McIntyre's Blue Until June a few years ago and thought it was good (if not amazing) work- I imagine PA Ballet's dancers could probably do a lovely job with it. Anyone attend? Thoughts?
  3. Read in the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday that the PA Ballet heard from the Guiness people last week- they officially set the record for most people standing on pointe for one minute- a grand total of .... 126 people. A little underwhelming, in my opinion, but now there's a new record to be broken by dance companies all over the country!
  4. Just from observation, I don't think Philly ballet audiences like seeing the same ballets even every other year- I've heard other ballet-goers complain about Midsummer Night's Dream, Taming of the Shrew & Romeo & Juliet (just to name a few) being performed too much and those are never performed two years in a row. The subscribers would probably revolt if "forced" to see Swan Lake two years in a row. People don't seem to understand the huge cost of these productions... On a different topic, perhaps the company isn't starting till November next year so they can take Swan Lake on tour somewhere in October? That would be exciting!
  5. Wow! I'm so excited for next season! La Fille, Ballo & The Concert are definitely company premieres, as (I think) are the Tharp and Wheeldon pieces. I'm really pleased that the Robbins Trust in particular has been giving Pennsylvania Ballet the rights to more pieces in the past few years; his works deserve to be seen outside NYC! The only piece on this schedule that I'm not overly excited about is The Waltz Project...but I can live with that!
  6. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be going as I saw the production two years ago & I'm saving my pennies for Swan Lake. I hope Martha Chamberlain is Kate again, she was a riot! I especially like the scene with the horse. It's a really fun production.
  7. I think that's the eventual goal of the program- for the moment, my understanding is that Pennsylvania Ballet II does a lot of school performances (lecture-demos, that sort of thing.) I don't know if they have their own shows open to the public or not, though I think they perform at the Kimmel Center in festivals and things like that. I know that they've revived some old choreography for the group, stuff that the main company has not performed in many years, but I don't think they've had anything new created for them in the way that the ABT studio company has. They (PA Ballet II) also dance in the main company's Nutcracker and other ballets requiring large casts- does the ABT studio company appear in ABT productions? I would imagine they probably do.
  8. I have to do a little more research to get the full scoop but it sounds as though Clear Channel is about to become a major player in the Philadelphia theater scene as well. From what I understand, there are plans for the company to restore the SamEric theater (a boarded up movie palace) and book shows like The Lion King, etc. for six-month bookings. This might be ok except that the non-profit RPAC/Kimmel Center recently sunk a considerable amount of money into renovating the Academy of Music to accomodate touring broadway shows (they extended the ceilings to accomodate larger sets). If Clear Channel joins the fray here, that will make four theaters (Academy, SamEric, Forrest, and Merriam) vying to present the national touring shows. So far, RPAC seems to have been good about allowing the Ballet & Opera companies having their choice of bookings in the Academy- but it does seem like the Rockettes may be coming to town if Clear Channel gets their own theater.
  9. I know I had "Drina Dances Alone" when it was reissued in the US (by Scholastic, I think?) in the late 1980's. That one was about Drina going to the boarding school and dancing in the woods; it might also have been the same book in which she was cast in the J.M. Barrie play? "Drina Dances in Exile" seems like it would be an appropriate alternate title for this book, so I'm pretty sure they're one and the same.
  10. GWTW, Eh, I don't mean to knock it exactly but Stevenson's Dracula really is a big honking spectacle. Huge sets, flying people, horse drawn carriages, etc. Actually, the "Like the Phantom of the Opera" tag might be meant to demonstrate how it's a similar level of spectacle to that musical. There are some good scenes, but overall it's not my favorite ballet. Like you, I will probably miss it and go to Nutcracker instead (I dearly love PA Ballet's Nutcracker and am excited to see all the new company members in some of the roles.)
  11. So, anyone planning to attend Dracula? I have to admit, I have been intrigued by the way in which the company has chosen to market this ballet. There are some interesting events planned- an audience costume contest, a costume ball, and I think a character brunch. The last time PA Ballet did this production it was in the spring, so I imagine they are capitalizing on the Halloween timing this year. However, a friend of mine (a theater guy who knows I love ballet) mentioned to me in passing that he thought the ad campaign for Dracula was terrible. I asked him what he was referring to and he said the radio ads say, "Dracula: it's like Phantom of the Opera but with pointe shoes!" He thought this was silly because Dracula is probably a better known story than Phantom of the Opera and it might also confuse people into thinking that the Dracula ballet (this is the Ben Stevenson version) follows the Phantom storyline...I thought about what he said, and though I didn't think it was quite such a bad tagline as he did, I came up with a question of my own- do you think the average non-ballet person knows what "pointe shoes" are? Is this common parlance? Or would "ballet slippers" perhaps be a more recognizable term? Just wondering...anybody else have any thoughts on this campaign?
  12. There's a pretty nice review of this program in the Philadelphia Inquirer today: http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/enterta...end/6976032.htm
  13. Dale, If you have specific Concerto Barocco needs, I'm not sure that they'll be met with the Barfield/Chamberlain pairing. I like both dancers a lot, but I'm not sure they fit the adjectives you used. Barfield is a very pretty, diminutive and winsome-looking dancer who is typically cast in "princess" roles. I would not describe her dancing as especially spiritual- she is more of a clean, straightforward dancer. Chamberlain is an interesting dancer- I like her a lot, but I like her best in roles where her comic talents shine (Swanhilda & Kate in Taming of the Shrew come to mind.) I would say that of the two, she is the more spiritual dancer... The women in Cast B (Aldridge & Ochoa) come closer to fitting the ideals you described, I think. Thoughts from anyone else? Agreements? Disagreements?
  14. I'm pretty sure that Phillip Colucci (corps) and Tara Keating (soloist), both of Pennsylvania Ballet, are Juilliard graduates. I believe Colucci actually won the Princess Grace fellowship for modern while he was at Juilliard! Not sure how two Juilliard grads ended up at the same company, but it might have had something to do with Ben Harkarvy? He was the former Artistic Director of PA Ballet and left the company in the 70's (I think?) to go to Juilliard. He has since passed, and I don't know if he was still an active teacher when Colucci and Keating were students there...
  15. Thank you, Dale! Both casts sound good, in my opinion though I'm tempted by the B cast since I'd like to see Jamar Goodman in his PA Ballet debut. Very exciting to see that Philip Colucci is in both casts of Fancy Free- he's wonderful to watch and I think this ballet is an excellent fit for him. I'm also excited to see Jennifer Gall cast in two featured roles- she did a terrific job back when she was an Apprentice in demi roles in Interplay & Arden Court and I was actually surprised to see how much responsibility she was given so early on but then this past year she didn't seem to be cast so much...I was slightly worried that her trajectory would be that of some of the NYCB girls who get lots of early exposure and then seem to fade out a little, so the two roles in this program is a good development!
  • Create New...