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Everything posted by fiddleback

  1. As the NYT obituary makes very clear, Katherine’s professional career was as lexicographer, ultimately to become Editor of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Over the last decade, in her role as Canada’s Wordlady, Katherine wrote a blog describing “the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language” (YES! Katherine, you DID use the Oxford comma!!), entitled Wordlady. Her wonderful (and not infrequently acerbic) sense of humor is sprinkled liberally throughout each posting - and there are hundreds of them! Katherine’s last blog post – just a few weeks before she passed – was mischievously entitled Dearly Beloved, and dealt with the usage and misuse of the word “beloved”. If you’ve never been exposed to this side of our beloved Katherine’s personality, take a look – just about any blog posting is likely to educate in a most entertaining fashion... https://katherinebarber.blogspot.com/2021/
  2. This virtual gala presentation consists of samplers from Balanchine productions over the last few years. Includes excerpts from Emeralds, Walpurgisnacht, Symphony in Three Movements, La Sonnambula, and Western Symphony. Also a portion of Mambaz by Nayon Iovino. Only available for 24 hours. https://vimeo.com/546622055
  3. Sarasota Ballet has sent out the following email regarding changes to their upcoming season: The Sarasota Ballet Announces an Important Update to our Fall Season in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic The Company’s opening three programs of its 30th Anniversary Season will occur as specially devised and purposely filmed programs that will be streamed to ticket buyers. The Sarasota Ballet today announces that we will be offering unique and specifically filmed performances that will be streamed to ticket buyers, and will replace in-theater performances for the first 3 programs of our 30th Anniversary Season. The decision to do so has been made in order to safeguard audience members, dancers, and staff from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while also allowing the Company to continue to perform so that the audience will be able to experience remarkable ballets this coming Season. “While we’re still finalizing the exact programming elements, this newly created Digital Fall Season is something we’re all excited about,” explains Iain Webb, Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “Our aim is to continue to bring breathtaking works to the stage and ensure that we’re keeping the safety of our dancers in mind. Therefore, as we start this new project, we will focus on ballets and works that have smaller casts in order to limit the number of dancers rehearsing together. Additionally, we are continuing to investigate other innovative performance experiences for audience members and patrons of The Sarasota Ballet.” The Digital Fall Season will emulate as close as possible the traditional experience audience members expect from The Sarasota Ballet. Additionally, the streamed performances will include extra features to bring audience members behind the scenes with special guest interviews and rehearsal clips, and a look into the process of a world premiere. The three programs will be released to ticket holders at approximately the same dates that the three in-theater programs were scheduled to open. The ballets will be filmed with multiple cameras to ensure audiences can see every aspect of the performance. These programs will then be emailed to ticket holders, who can watch the performance at their leisure over a period of time. “Since the pandemic hit, we’ve worked tirelessly to support our dancers and staff through this extraordinary time,” says Joseph Volpe, Executive Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “It’s the reason why, after we cancelled most of our Spring Season, we continued to pay all our dancers through to the end of their contracts. As we open this newly created Digital Fall Season, we hope that our audience members will engage with these performances, and our donors will remain steadfast in their investment in this great Company.” Webb adds, “Even though there are still relative unknowns at play, we are still planning on bringing all the dancers back in January, and we all look forward to theaters fully opening in the New Year.” Full programming details for the October, November, and December programs will be announced in the future. Subscribers who currently have tickets for the first three programs of The Sarasota Ballet’s 30th Anniversary Season will be contacted shortly regarding their ticketing options.
  4. One of the more unique and amusing aspects of this ballet is the character of Madge, the fortune teller. One can only imagine that a young Ib Andersen growing up at the Royal Danish must have witnessed some rather creepy Madges over the years, and that they would have made a lasting impression (if not nightmares) for a child. The character role of Madge is portrayed by the lovely Tzu Chia Huang, who had retired from Ballet Arizona several years prior to this 2019 performance. Ms. Huang had danced many lead roles, including Cinderella, Juliet, Odette/Odile, DonQ Mercedes, Rubies Tall Girl, and more. Here’s a short compendium of some of her roles: Ms. Huang said that Mr. Andersen spent a full four hours instructing her in meticulous detail on how to portray Madge. Judging by the video, she absorbed it all…
  5. Here’s the lead casting: Act 1 The Sylph Amber Lewis Anna, a tenant Sasha Vincett James, her son Helio Lima Effy, her niece Arianni Martin Nancy, Effy’s Friend Colleen Buckley Gurn, a young farmer Serafin Castro Madge, a fortune teller Tzu Chia Huang Act 2 Four Witches Alberto Penalver, Erick Garnica, Enrique Solis, Adrian Durham First Sylph Alison Remmers Next two Sylphs Colleen Buckley, Ana Maria Spear
  6. Ballet Arizona and the Phoenix Symphony will stream Bournonville’s La Sylphide, starting Sunday, August 2, 2020. Lately, BAZ has been advertising 24 hours only, but in reality, the Symphony has been leaving videos up for at least a week. They will be posted on the Phoenix Symphony’s youtube page: WARNING: This video is incomplete (thanks, canbelto!), so you may want to defer watching until the video is (hopefully) fixed...Still busted as of late Wednesday, Aug 5 PM... This production is from February, 2019, and shared the program with Ballet Arizona’s much heralded new production of The Firebird. Choreography: August Bournonville Staging: Ib Andersen Music: Herman Severin Lovenskhold Lighting: Michael Korsch Costume and Scenic Design: David Walker Costumes and Scenery: Courtesy of Houston Ballet The Phoenix Symphony conducted by Timothy Russell
  7. And, at long last, act III of Napoli, which is definitely worth waiting for:
  8. Just for fun, here is Hamburg Ballet/Lloyd Riggins take on a more modern Blue Grotto:
  9. And, an important point that we’ve skipped over: Why was Dane August Bournonville setting a ballet in sunny Naples (of all places) in 1842?? During a performance at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen in 1841, a ruckus erupted. Bournonville, who was dancing that evening, stopped to address the king’s box to ask if the program should continue… The king nodded and the performance proceeded. Nevertheless, Bournonville had committed a serious breach of etiquette by addressing the king in public, and was obliged to take a six-month leave-of-absence. Jennifer Homans (Apollo’s Angels) says: “During this time, it was a nine-week stay in Naples that had an overwhelming impact on his creativity. In Naples, Bournonville found everything that Denmark seemed to lack: warmth and a warm-hearted people, spontaneity, sensuality, and a life lived on the streets with unrestrained exuberance and physicality.”
  10. Here’s a bit of historical perspective on Bournonville’s setting of the blue grotto: The Blue Grotto (Italian: Grotta Azzurra) is a sea cave on the coast of the island of Capri, southern Italy. Sunlight passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the seawater creates a blue reflection that illuminates the cavern. The cave extends some 50 metres into the cliff at the surface, and is about 150 metres (490 ft) deep, with a sandy bottom. (Wikipedia) Here are a few notes on why Bournonville may have chosen the Blue Grotto as a mise-en-scène: Bournonville attended a ballet, Il Duca di Ravenna, in which a shipwrecked young Duke is exposed to the temptations of the naiads of the Blue Grotto. Bournonville, himself, also visited the Blue Grotto. Known to the ancient Romans, and statues from that time have been found in the grotto. For centuries, the grotto was avoided because it was said to be inhabited by witches and monsters. ‘Rediscovered’ in 1826 The grotto became a favored tourist destination in the 1830’s. It owed its popularity in part to an autobiographical novel published by Hans Christian Andersen , The Improvisatore, published in 1835. Bournonville was a contemporary and friend of Andersen. The Blue Grotto today:
  11. The Ballet says streaming for 24 hours only, but it’s posted on the Symphony’s youtube site, and the Symphony kept Act I posted for an entire week. So watch on Sunday, or take your chances later in the week… The RDB Blue Grotto set is multi-layered, and looks rather nice even on the video. And be sure not to blink during the magic costume change when Teresina renounces her naiadship (toward the end)! Lead Cast: Golfo, a demon of the sea Brian Leonard Coralla, a naiad Kenna Draxton Argentina, a naiad Jessica Phillips Teresina, Gennaro’s beloved Arianni Martin Gennaro, a fisherman Alejandro Mendez (Additional naiads and tritons available upon request…) If the back-of-the-hall view is a bit far away, you might enjoy these promotional clips: With close-ups from the 2014 production: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyIP_kXoECc A lengthier studio promo with Mr. Andersen demonstrating character moves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsK2zYzTqjM Here is Mr. Macaulay’s review: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/arts/dance/review-ballet-arizonas-napoli-embodies-a-culture-of-exuberance.html?searchResultPosition=1
  12. Dancing the roles of Teresina and Gennaro in Napoli must be a portent of future marital bliss in real life. Alejandro and Arianni have since married, as have Jillian Barrell and Nayon Iovino, who also danced the leading couple. Perhaps there’s magic in the Blue Grotto! And Joseph (Skip) seems to always play the monk to perfection, even to the point of being called back out of retirement, be it Romeo and Juliet or Napoli... Stay tuned for the Blue Grotto (Act II) next Sunday!
  13. This is apparently the 2015 production, which used the authentic Royal Danish Ballet lavish costumes and well-worn sets. The costumes were flown in, and available well before the performance. The sets, on the other hand, were shipped on a slow boat, and, as luck would have it, encountered a longshoreman’s strike on Longbeach. They were in danger of being stuck on a ship for the performance. Apparently by the grace of the Madonna’s medallion, the sets were allowed in, and arrived just in time… Cast: Gennaro, a fisherman Alejandro Mendez Teresina, Veronica’s daughter Arianni Martin Veronica, a widow Kanako Imayoshi Fra Ambrosio, a monk Joseph Cavanaugh Giacomo, a macaroni seller Carlos Valcarcel Peppo, a lemonade seller Roman Zavarov Giovana Jessica Phillips
  14. Act 1 of Napoli will be streaming for 24 hours, starting at 9AM PDT, Sunday 7/12/20. Acts 2 and 3 will be streamed on Sunday, 7/19 and 7/26, respectively. Note that this ballet is posted on the Phoenix Symphony YouTube site.
  15. Ballet Arizona and the Phoenix Symphony will stream one act from their production of Napoli, on three successive Sundays, July 12, 19th, and 26th. These are allegedly posted for 24 hours only, however Act I was left up for a week. Each of these will be posted on the Phoenix Symphony’s YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/c/ThePhoenixSymphony/videos More info and discussion here as the ballets become available: Ballet Arizona Forum Ballet Arizona announcements here: https://balletaz.org/virtual-events/ The sets and costumes are originals, imported from the Royal Danish. Here's Act II:
  16. Ballet Arizonans might enjoy this Live from Lincoln Center program from 1983, featuring Suzanne Farrell, Ib Andersen, and Victor Castelli in George Balanchine’s Mozartiana. Presented shortly after Balanchine’s death in 1983, this two hour Tribute to Balanchine also includes Vienna Waltzes and Who Cares? Performed by NYCB and NYCB Orchestra, and presented as part of the Lincoln Center at Home series through July 14, 2020. Link to Mozartiana Link to Complete Program
  17. Music and Casting: Three Studies After Couperin: Les Amusements Music by Thomas Ades Amber Lewis Helio Lima, Randy Crespo, Roman Zavarov, Eric Hipolito Jr, Jackson Dwyer Three Studies After Couperin: Les Tours de Passe-Passe Music by Thomas Ades Amber Lewis Arianni Martin, Chelsea Teel, Michelle Vagi, Rochelle Anvik, Jessica Phillips, Alison Remmers, Lauren Flower Syrinx Music by Claude Debussy Natalia Magnicaballi Bri George, Sasha Vincett Naomi Tanioka, Sarah Walborn Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun Music by Claude Debussy Nayon Iovino Roman Zavarov, Eric Hipolito Jr., Jackson Dwyer, Randy Crespo, Brian Leonard, Randy Pacheco, Annier Navarro, Fan Shi Suite No. 4 in E-flat, BWV1010: Sarabande Music by J.S. Bach Mimi Tompkins, Nayon Iovino Daphnis et Chloe, Suite No. 2 Music by Maurice Ravel 1st Movement Rochelle Anvik, Jessica Phillips, Chelsea Teel, Randy Crespo, Roman Zavarov, Jackson Dwyer, Brian Leonard, Eric Hipolito Jr., Helio Lima, Arianni Martin, Amber Lewis, Alejandro Mendez 2nd Movement Jackson Dwyer, Natalia Magnicaballi, Helio Lima, Mimi Tompkins Alllison Remmers, Lauren Flower, Michelle Vagi, Sasha Vincett, Ethan Price 3rd Movement Jackson Dwyer, Helio Lima, Arianni Martin, Mimi Tompkins Roman Zavarov, Eric Hipolito Jr. Annier Navarro, Fan Shi, Randy Crespo, Randy Pacheco, Brian Leonard, Michelle Vagi, Alison Remmers, Sasha Vincett, Lauren Flower, Amber Lewis, Chelsea Teel, Jessica Phillips, Rochelle Anvik
  18. Ballet Arizona is streaming the complete production of Round for 24 hours only, starting 9AM PDT, Sunday June 21, 2020. More info here: Ballet Arizona Forum
  19. Ballet Arizona is streaming the complete production of Round for 24 hours only, starting 9AM PDT, Sunday June 21, 2020. Round was the second of Mr. Andersen’s work at the Desert Botanical Garden. It was performed on a circular stage, with four ramps for dancer entry/exit. The audience was evenly distributed on all four sides, so there literally was no ‘front’ of the stage. Composers were Thomas Ades, Claude Debussy, J.S. Bach, and Maurice Ravel. Some more programmatic aspects of the music included elements of Afternoon of a Faun and Daphnis et Chloé. Audiences (including myself), perhaps not being particularly familiar with the underlying stories/mythology, were somewhat hard-pressed to comprehend the action. Fortunately, Mr. Macaulay was able to provide some tidbits of explanation: NY Times review of Round
  20. The program notes for Eroica say: “Created in response to these divisive times (May 2018 premiere), Andersen devises a contemporary allusion to the philosophical innovations, personal realizations, and political confrontations that Beethoven experienced when he wrote his Third Symphony…” So there was apparently some sort of allusion to contemporary politics underlying the choreography. Personally, I never got it, and contented myself with simply enjoying the evening. Then again, there were those attendees who misread the title of the ballet and came expecting something a bit more steamy… My favorite movement: the third (Allegro vivace). In the pas de quatre, Ricardo Santos makes every move look perfectly natural... https://youtu.be/jbmPo21EPOQ?t=1834
  21. Ballet Arizona is streaming the complete production of Eroica for 24 hours only, starting 9AM PDT, Sunday June 14, 2020. Eroica, an al fresco, site-specific work, choreographed to Beethoven’s Third Symphony, was Mr. Andersen’s third work to be performed at Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden.
  22. Ballet Arizona has announced streaming of two more ballets from the Desert Botanical Garden. Each 24 hours only, starting Sundays at 9AM PDT. More info at the Ballet Arizona Forum once the videos are available… Videos link below. Ib Andersen’s Eroica, to Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony – Sunday June 14, 2020 Ib Andersen’s Round, to music from Thomas Ades, J.S. Bach, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel – Sunday June 21, 2020. Round is performed 'in the round', on a circular stage, with audience seating on all four sides.
  23. I have to relate a standout moment from Topia. After a lively first movement, the second movement (‘Scene by the brook’) features three couples arrayed across the ultra-wide stage. At one point, they’re actually sitting on the stage (as if they were sitting on picnic blankets). Then the boy offers his hand, and the girl takes it – the simplest of movements, but it can be unbelievably majestic. At one performance, I was seated on the right hand side, fairly close to the stage. Helio and Arianni were perhaps fifteen feet in front of me. The majesty/eloquence/poise with which these two performed this movement (it’s hardly even dance – they were seated!) was simply stunning. I’m sure it had something to do with their elegant posture, and the grace with which the simple movements were performed. It was just stunning. Here’s the spot, near the end of the second movement; the three couples dance a bit, then seat themselves on the stage floor, pause, then take hands. Helio and Arianni are on the right: https://youtu.be/LjL14DE0a4g?t=1306 It may be hard to appreciate in a video from a great distance, but it was a sublime moment from a few feet away. I’m glad this video has been made available so I could share it.
  24. UPDATE: The complete ballet is no longer available, but you can still watch several minutes of the actual performance at the Desert Botanical Garden here: Ballet Arizona presents TOPIA at Desert Botanical Garden Ballet Arizona is streaming the complete 2017 production of Topia for 24 hours only, starting 9AM PDT, Sunday June 7, 2020. Topia, an al fresco, site-specific work, choreographed to Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony (Pastorale), was Mr. Andersen’s first work to be performed at Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden. 2017 Casting 1st Movement Jackson Dwyer, Eric Hipolito, Jr., Alejandro Mendez, Annier Navarro, Ethan Price, Roman Zavarov Rochelle Anvik, Kenna Draxton, Katherine Loxtercamp, Jessica Phillips Amber Lewis, Ricardo Santos Alison Remmers, Chelsea Teel, Lauren Flowers 2nd Movement Natalia Magnicaballi and Randy Pacheco Jillian Barrell and Eric Hipolito Jr. Arianni Martin and Helio Lima Rochelle Anvik, Ava Cobb, Lauren Flower, Katherine Loxtercamp, Kaelyn Magee, Jessica Phillips, Alison Remmers, Ana Maria Spear, Chelsea Teel 3rd Movement Nayon Iovino Rockelle Anvik, Ava Cobb, Kenna Draxton, Lauren Flower, Katherine Loxtercamp, Kaelyn Magee, Jessica Phillips, Alison Remmers, Ana Maria Spear, Chelsea Teel, Mimi Tompkins, Sasha Vincett, Riley McGregor* 4th Movement Jackson Dwyer, Erick Garnica, Eric Hipoloto Jr., Alejandro Mendez, Annier Navarro, Alberto Penalver, Ethan Price, Ricardo Santos, Roman Zavarov 5th Movement Entire Cast *Member of Studio Company An recent online discussion of what it is like to prepare, rehearse, and perform Topia, as experienced by dancers Jill Barrell and Sasha Vincett is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3VLDMtzeyw
  25. Ballet Arizona will stream Ib Andersen’s Topia on Sunday, June 7, 2020. 24 hours only, starting at 9AM PDT. More info and discussion at the Ballet Arizona forum. Thanks for the head’s up, California!
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