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cranedragon

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About cranedragon

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid balletgoer
  • City**
    Austin
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    Texas
  1. I was intrigued by the Royal Danish Ballet production, which I saw in the summer of 2018 -- it is the first production, to my experience, that shows "what comes next": Odette has died, Siegfried survives and is trapped in marriage to Odile, with von Rothbart pulling the strings at the royal court.
  2. This is the second year of Ballet Austin's new Nutcracker, with Stephen Mills' choreography and an entirely new production and sets. This is a classic Nutcracker, with no startling innovations or radical departures -- there is the party, and Herr Drosselmeyer with nephew in tow, the fight of the Nutcracker and Clara with the rat king, and the kingdom of the Sweets. The prologue of families walking through the neighborhood on their way to the evening's festivities is omitted and the overture is played through by the orchestra. The standout dancers at the 12/31 evening performance were Britta
  3. Yes, I know the music and have seen the ballet before. It wouldn't be a ballet that I would choose on its own, but I do like the Firebird, and particularly the recent SF Ballet version. My problem with the Ballet Austin production had to do with the dancers' level of energy and engagement, which seemed to me to be lacking.
  4. Stephen Mills did the choreography for the Firebird, with lighting by Tony Tucci and designs by Alun Jones.
  5. We say the double bill of Agon and Firebird yesterday evening at Ballet Austin. I was, to put it mildly, underwhelmed. Agon was, as the program noted front and center, "presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style and Balanchine Technique Service Standards established by the Trust." Really? When did the Balanchine Style become synonymous with boring? There's not a lot you can do with the T-shirts and black tights of the "workout" type ballets, but put a bit more energy in it! And then there was the Firebird. Here
  6. I saw the performance of From Houston to the World this afternoon. It had three parts: ONE/end/ONE, choreographed by Jorma Elø to Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 in D. This had classic staging and costumes, with the ladies in short black tutus with gold embroidery and the men in black tunics and tights. The choreography, however, was much more modern, with a lot of circular movements of the arms, lifts done by the men from behind with rigid arms under the ballerinas' armpits, and repetitive motifs. It was very good; all of the dancers were sharp and Aaron Robinson, in particular, was reall
  7. We saw the matinee on Saturday, June 7th. It was our first visit to the Houston Ballet and we're already considering a subscription for next year. Sara Webb played Odette/Odile and Connor Walsh was Prince Siegfried, with James Gotesky as Rothbart. The choreography was quite traditional, and listed as being by Stanton Welch "after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov". The structure included the transformation scene in the prologue that shows Odette being caught and cursed by von Rothbart. This ballet also included a final assembly of the swan maidens, restored to their human form after the defeat
  8. We saw the final program of the 2013/14 season, The Sleeping Beauty, last Friday evening, May 9th. The costumes and scenery were courtesy of the Cincinnati Ballet and it appeared to be a faithful staging of the Tchaikovsky/Petipa Sleeping Beauty. The artistic director, Stephen Mills, played Catalabutte and his assistant, Michelle Martin, did a dramatic turn as Carabosse in a fiery red wig. Of the dancers, I would single out Ashley Lynn Sherman, as Aurora; Jaime Lynn Witts, as the Lilac Fairy; Jordan Moser, in the Jewels divertissement in Act III; Michael Burfield and Grace Morton, as Puss '
  9. I am devastated that I missed Cinderella this year. I had tickets to last weekend [saturday evening 3/15 and Sunday matinee 3/16] but a seriously ill cat kept me home. Oh, what we give up for our children, even the furry, four-legged kind. I saw Cinderella in its debut year [was that just 2013?] and loved it.
  10. I was fortunate to see Giselle on two consecutive days. The cast for Saturday evening was Yuan Yuan Tan as Giselle, Davit Karapetyan as Albrecht, and Ruben Martin Cintas as Hilarion. The next afternoon had Mathilde Froustey, Tiit Helimets as Albrecht, and Pascal Molat as Hilarion. It was an amazing experience. Both Tan and Froustey were marvelous, but the different approach of the gentlemen made it two entirely different ballets, for me. Karapetyan seemed more like a "player" -- he knew from the outset that he was just dallying with Giselle and his future was with Bathilde, daughter to th
  11. So, it's early morning in Austin, TX, and I've just stumbled across the wonderful site. I've been a dedicated follower of [not fashion] ballet for many years and have had a season subscription to the SF Ballet since the late 1980s. I enjoy seeing other ballets when I travel, and had a great experience over Christmas when I could see ballets in both London and Zurich the same week. Such different approaches to ballet, and astonishing how different the venues were.
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