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Mark D

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  1. Zerbinetta, I think you have made some some good observations. After my original post my wife and I talked about the ballet on and off all day. As much as we enjoyed the evening and the final pas de deux it is hard to remember any of the choreography or dancing that was particularly notable. When one injects comedic characters like the stepsisters into central roles in a ballet there is always a danger that their presence will distract from the dancing. You may end up with a comedy with some ballet in it, rather than a ballet that has comedic roles. I don't think that Kudelka did this bu
  2. We had seen a small preview of the ballet and a discussion with James Kudelka a few weeks ago at the Guggenheim's Works & Process program. Based on that I was not sure how I would feel about this ballet. We saw the performance last night and absolutely loved it. First Julie Kent and Marcelo Gomes are two of our favorite dancers and I can't add to anything that has not already been said on this board about both of them. She is so ethereal and delicate a dancer it is a pleasure to watch her. We both loved the pas de deux in the last act. Both stepsisters were hilarious. When denied
  3. Today (Dec 2) The Leonard Lopate show, which plays locally in New York on WNYC(93.9 FM and 820 AM at noon), will have the film makers and Freddie Franklin on to talk about the film. I think the interviews are posted later on the Internet as well. Here is the web site: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate
  4. We have been supporters of SAB for several years now and love attending those classes. We too went to the class taught by Jock Soto and as usual were not disappointed. For what it is worth, in introducing the class Kay Mazzo said the Peter Martins was the greatest partner of her generation. Martins told her that Soto was the greatest partner he had ever seen. But then I guess we all know how good Jock is. I have learned a great deal about ballet from attending those classes, but I get more out of it than that. I can remember attending my first class several years ago and watching Suki Sc
  5. We saw Apollo at Sunday's matinee and were disappointed. Dancers included Steifels, Herrara, Murphy and Riccetto. It was hard for us to put our fingers on the reason why. It simply lacked the elegance and grace of the performances we have seen at NYCB. We don't know whether the music was too fast, the dancing to frenetic or it was just too "bubbly," but it was not the same. The person sitting next to us, whom we did not know, also thought there was something lacking. I hope someone with a more educated eye than I have also saw this performance and can provide greater insight. We loved
  6. We too attended Ligeti-Wheeldon event at the Miller Theater. I cannot add much to harpergroup's comments about the ballets. They pretty much sum up my own feelings. The dancers were absolutely superb. I always fear that Whelan or Bouder will disappoint me some day. It never happens. I do want to add to the warning about the balcony. My sight line was framed by a railing that cut off the front part of the stage and two heads that cut off the sides of the stage. As they plan to have many more dance events everyone should try to get seats in the orchestra. Now to one of the male dance
  7. My fondest memory of Ansanelli is New Year's Eve 2003 when she gave a great demonstration of her charisma. As most of you know the dancers have traditionally used that performance of the Nutcracker to pull a prank on one of the dancers. That night she was dancing Dew Drop and the company picked on her. In the finale one of the Teas dropped her wig on the stage as she came out. She charged down the stage, scooped up the wig and held it up to the audience like a trophy. She continued dancing with the wig in her hand. As she leapt off the stage she threw it in the air. The audience just l
  8. For drb. Don't get me wrong I think Murphy danced this ballet extremely well. We are big fans of hers. That's why we went out of the way to get tickets for that performance. I'm in no position say it was her greatest performance ever as we only really noticed her last fall at City Center. (Too much time at New York City Ballet and not enough with ABT) We look forward to seeing a lot more of her. That said, I just found something lacking that I saw in Don Q and Le Corsaire earlier in the season. I'm just not sure that Carreno is the best partner for her. For example, I saw Don Q with Pal
  9. My wife and I saw Friday night's performance of Swan Lake with Gillian Murphy (Odette-Odile), Joe Carreno (Siegfried) Marcelo Gomes (Third Act von Rothbart) and Herman Cornejo (Benno). I was somewhat suprised to see a review of the performance by John Rockwell in Saturday's Times. Talk about fast turn around. As I am always suspicious of the motives of critics, I wondered if two-thirds of the review had been written even before the performance. I was wrong. Even more, I generally agreed with the review. See the Links section for the review. We went specifically to see Gillian Murphy.
  10. We saw the Fokine ballets on Saturday night. I am a hopless romantic but I still consider Les Sylphides one of the most beautiful of ballets. The audience gave a very audible sigh of disappointment when told that Maria Riccetto would be taking Julie Kent's place. However by the time the performance was over she had won the audience over. The Corps, which appeared so ragged in Sylvia, was in very good shape. David Hallberg was superb as were Yriko Kajiya and Melanie Hamrick. I had a hard time relating to Petrouchka. The crowd is so busy that I found it distracting at times. I enjoyed it
  11. I hade not heard this Robbins story before and have not heard it since. I think the issues between Balanchine and Kirsten stemmed from Kirsten wanting to be another Diaghilev. Balanchine thought Diaghilev had been too controlling and wanted to keep Kirsten at a distance. Gottlieb goes into this a little bit in his book on Balanchine.
  12. This talk was given at the Graduate Center of City University (The old Altman's Dept Store building) I need to find my notes on this event but at this late hour the most notable part of this conversation that I can remember occurred when Jacques d'Amboise got a little chatty about Lincoln Kirsten's private life and some of the politics in the company in the late 40s and early 50s. It was the first time I became aware that all was not love and kisses between Balanchine and Kirsten. He also suggested that Robbins wanted to take over the company at that time. Peter Martins did explain that so
  13. My wife and I saw Jacques d'Amboise's talk as well and are very glad we did not miss it. He was alternately amusing, informative, humble and very moving. He is 70 now and you get the sense that he has no pretensions at all. With him what you see is what you get. He is particularly proud of what he has done with his work with kids and The National Dance Institute. I hope it was taped as well and urge everyone to see it if it turns up on the NYCB website. He talked about his memoir and the fact that he was late. If I heard him properly, he said it was possible that it might not ever g
  14. BW, my wife forwarded it to me from work while looking for something else. I'm not sure where she found it. I, rather naively, assumed it would be covered in the press today. It looks like Ari has found the only coverage so far.
  15. Here are the results of a study on the economic impact of dance in New York City done by Dance/NYC which was released today. Dance generates more than $400M a year: study by Miriam Kreinin Souccar Dance generates more than $400 million a year in economic activity for New York City, according to the first-ever study to look at the art form's local economic impact. According to a report released today by trade association Dance/NYC, the direct and indirect economic impact of dance in the city totals $415.7 million a year. That includes a total of $135.4 million spent by dance audiences on
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