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


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by MarzipanShepherdess

  1. Loved this program! Twyla joined the “in the upper room” cast for their final bows Monday night as well, which got about the most enthusiastic ovation I’ve seen at abt outside a dancer anniversary or farewell. I wish ABT would do more Tharp. This program seemed to get such a warm response both from the audience and from the dancers themselves, judging from Instagram and the curtain calls. I’d only seen deuce coupe danced by the Joffrey and I preferred ABT’s rendition. The set could use a refresh, but despite being a millennial who could not care less about The Beach Boys I enjoyed the performance. It’s just FUN, and then becomes unexpectedly poignant in the last section danced to “cuddle up”. Standouts for me were Cassandra Trenary, who really captured the verve and playfulness of the piece perfectly and was just a joy to watch, Misty in her sexy solo, and James Whiteside. Not all of the dancers got the speed and humor of the piece—some seemed a bit “sleepy”. And though Katie Williams did a lovely job on the purely classical bits of her solos I didn’t think she quite nailed those occasional breaks into contemporary. Brahms-Haydn: enjoyed this piece and was surprised to find Misty was the absolute highlight for me. She REALLY gets Tharp: the wit, the play, the grace, the flair, all of it. She looked really in command of the choreography and like she was having a ball. Curious to see as the season proceeds how much of this was due to Tharp suiting her so well, and how much was due to her new coaching regime. In the upper room: my favorite piece of Tharp’s. So great: exuberant and moving and clever all at once, and ABT did it justice. Zimmi, particularly, was a delight to watch and kept pace and high energy all the way through. I echo those who complained about the smoke. It was really overdone. My husband had to leave our orchestra seats about 10 minutes in as his eyes were burning. There was a lot of coughing from the grand tier. I am not particularly sensitive to smoke but found my eyes and throat were irritated afterward.the last time i saw ABT do this piece was at city center and I don’t recall this being an issue. Maybe they have to use much more smoke at the Met due to the theater size?
  2. I love this idea! I saw Harlequinade last year and felt once was enough for the full-length due to the lack of adult dancing when you take the ballet as a whole. But Act II, or especially just the lark section, I would be glad to see again as stand-alones.
  3. Saw Wednesday night’s Ratmansky Trio, what a lovely evening! Seasons: a great addition to the rep. In the program, Ratmansky called it his “love letter” to ABT on their 10th anniversary and it really feels like one. It brims over with wonderful, distinctive solos that give many dancers a chance to shine (including those who don’t get the spotlight has frequently). Breanne Grandlund, a corps dance, doing one of the spring solos, stood out to me for the first time, as did Joo Ahn in the Winter segment. Catherine Hurlin I was already a big fan of, but she was absolutely stunning as a Bacchante. And Stella had a gorgeous, meaty role as the Spirit of the Corn. The Summer segment has a great sequence where students from JKO are incorporated in a way that actually deepens the choreography rather than distracts (obviously not always the case as in Harlequinade). It’s relatively long, so in future I’d rather see it as the first piece on a program rather than the last. Dnieper: I REALLY miss Veronika in the Natalia role. Seo looked beautiful but I didn’t get the emotional depth and nuance from her veronika brought. Shevchenko, though, is better than I remember Herrera ever being in the role when she premiered it. Intense, passionate, and emotionally compelling! She portrays the character’s torment so well you feel sympathy for her even though she’s not the most sympathetic character. Strong performances from James and, surprisingly, Cory in their roles (though Cory is no Marcelo). Songs of Bukovina has so much of interest, I felt like there was a lot I only really took in on my second viewing. Isabella danced the very tricky footwork and tempo changes very well.
  4. Thanks for your advice Mashinka and Meunier Fan!
  5. Hope this is OK to ask here—is wearing a tuxedo to a Saturday evening performance of the Royal Ballet something anyone does? Or is over-dressed? I’ve only seen RB in London a few times as I live in NY and I can’t remember how dressed up men were there. Context: My husband and I are visiting from New York and will be seeing Osipova and Hallberg dance R+J on Saturday night. He has to pack a tuxedo for Glyndebourne and is wondering if he can also wear his tux for the RB performance. He wouldn’t want to be the only, or nearly only, man there in a tuxedo.
  6. I noticed this winter season too—out of sync not just in tempo but with her port de bras.
  7. What a mess. Just when it seemed the waters were settling at City Ballet following the long-awaited appointment of successors to Martins, the AGMA decision rocks everything again. Whatever one feels about the validity of the AGMA decision, it’s certainly a nightmare for the company from a donor relations and PR standpoint, and it sounds like it is causing at least some internal tension as well. It will be interesting to see how much Ramasar is cast in the fall season, and with whom he dances. I for one will not attend any performances he dances in.
  8. Curious if anyone is familiar with Violetta? I came across Violetta as a performer in the recent Brendan Fernandes event at the Guggenheim. Was surprised to see she has 1.1 million Instagram followers! The only other ballet dancer I’m aware of with anywhere NEAR that many followers is of course Misty. Yet there is not too much information on Violetta’s dance career available and I don’t think she is well-known to balletomanes (correct me if I’m wrong!) She apparently was a member of Michele Wiles’ Ballet Next company previously, but isn’t part of the current website’s roster of dancers. She is friendly on IG with some of the ABT dancers like Isabella Boylston and Paulina Waski, posts some pictures from the ABT rehearsal studio, and is a co-host for their spring gala (along with her boyfriend the actor Ansel Elgort). Has anyone seen her dance? I wonder where her relationship with ABT is headed. Her Instagram is @violetta.
  9. This year’s Guggenheim Young Collector’s party had a “ballet kink” theme. I attended and it was...interesting. They commissioned the artist Brendan Fernandes to stage a piece inspired by his work “Master and Form”. Apparently Fernandes spent much of his childhood training towards a career as a ballet dancer, only to have a career-ending injury after which he switched to studying visual art. I’m not sure what the original piece was like, but for the party they staged the piece in the Guggenheim’s rotunda. There was a cast of about 8 dancers, male and female, including Elina Miettinen who some will remember from her years in the ABT corps, and Violetta Komyshan, a dancer who was formerly with Ballet Next but now seems to be more of an Instagram “influencer”. The dancers all had rope harnesses on their chests, and did simple choreography like bourées around the rig, while one dancer was suspended with rope from the rig itself. At some points the four female dancers broke away from the rig area and went up the rotunda ramp, using the side of the ramp like a ballet barre and doing some arabesques and plies while holding on to it. Often one dancer would hold onto the rope trailing off another’s harness, pulling him/her around for a few minutes or forming a chain with several other dancers. There wasn’t any real sense of momentum to the piece, it seemed like the dancers were improvising off of a pretty narrow set of rehearsed movements rather randomly. It got quite repetitive. My husband and I stayed at the party for about an hour and left, I think the whole piece ran for 3 hours (with different dancers rotating in and out). I was hoping for something a little more exciting from a dance point of view, but the piece was more interesting to watch than the video art or DJ performances usually featured at these types of events! Vogue write up: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vogue.com/article/the-guggenheim-young-collectors-party-2019/amp
  10. Attended Thursday night’s performance. To me, the highs were high and the lows were...abysmal. I loathed Six Years Later, which was sadly the longest piece by a significant margin. It was self-indulgent, boring, and repetitive. Hallberg and Osipova couldn’t save it. In Absentia (Hallberg solo) wasn’t AS bad but it was pretty “meh”. The piece is staged with a TV set, which Hallberg watches and returns to throughout the performance. A comment on the isolating nature of screen media consumption seemed intended, but it felt cliché and the choreography was pretty thin. Osipova was lovely to watch in Ave Maria but it felt like an odd choice of music. At least it provided the evening’s only opportunity to see her gorgeous jump. I enjoyed Flutter and felt it was the best of the contemporary works. Having only seen Osipova in classic roles like Giselle, it was fascinating to see her in a work that demanded such a totally different type of dancing. In Flutter the movements are loose and elastic—Osipova and her partner were flinging themselves around, yet both brought a grace and gravity to movements we think of as anthetical to such concepts. THIS was what I was hoping all the contemporary pieces would enable me to see Osipova doing, challenging herself with a different type of repertoire than her usual performances. But to me it was the only piece that lived up to that goal. Leaves are Fading was gorgeous as always, but to me the most exciting piece of the evening was Valse Triste (which Ratmansky choreographed for Osipova and Hallberg). So rich choreographically and it really showed off Osipova and Hallberg’s chemistry. As the piece built momentum, they looked like they were having the most amazing time on stage together. Great interplay between them and a sense that they were egging each other on to dance at their bests. The exuberance suddenly shifts at the very end of the piece, when there is a “fall” a la Serenade, and the music becomes more somber—but then the dancers pick up and continue, finishing with a series of sweeping, beautiful lifts. It felt like a miniature portrait of the ups and downs of any partnership, and how a successful one recovers from the “falls”. I hope I have a chance to see them perform it again someday. Even though I found some of the pieces disappointing, the Tudor and Ratmanksy works, and Flutter, saved the evening for me.
  11. Saw this afternoon’s program of Herman Schmerman, Principia, and The Runaway. Newest first: I found Principia really uneven. As an earlier poster said, the group choreography is the highlight. There is a repeated motif in which dancers clustered into tight circles around a single dancer, who breaks free and then touches another circle, starting the chain of movements over again—beautiful and engaging. But the pas de deux are really flat and choreographically repetitive. The work didn’t sustain my attention, which I found flagged outside of the group dances. I liked the music as music, but felt like it lacked momentum and was pretty scattered. The choreography felt this way too, a bit all over the place. Though the closing minutes of group dancing are strong, and the final position of dancers holding hands in one long chain at the very front of the stage with heads raised up is arresting, I was left wanting more from the work overall. Not so with the Runaway, which I loved. Very positive audience response, including a much-deserved standing ovation for Taylor Stanley. His dancing in this piece is the most exciting male dancing I’ve seen in a long while. He was able to instantly shift from the convulsive, shuddering movements that open the ballet into the most incredible, perfectly controlled balances. I didn’t want to take my eyes off him for even a moment, every gesture was so fully realized and captivating. The Runaway had great performances all around—a thrilling manege from Sara, especially. And I was glad to see Georgina dancing with all her wit and spark. I really hope NYCB commissions more work from Kyle Abraham. He definitely brought out the best in the dancers and created a unique, thought-provoking, and exciting work. Herman Schmerman—as others have said, the structure is rather odd leaving you feeling like it’s really two ballets with two separate casts (the pas de deux was choreographed later). I enjoyed both (liked not loved), though I disliked the music and felt like it was really dated and kind of grating. On to Sleeping Beauty!
  12. Saw the Sunday matinee. Happy to be back at City Ballet! Serenade: amazing cast. Mearns (waltz girl), peck (Russian girl) and LeCrone (dark angel) exquisitely embodied each role. Mearns, especially, was just breathtaking. It seems to be a minority opinion here, but I noticed the refurbished costumes and don’t mind them. Moziartiana: I was underwhelmed by Hyltin’s Preghiera which felt a bit emotionless, but the rest of her performance was stronger. Troy and Huxley were both great. Tchai Piano Concerto no. 2– I enjoyed bouder’s performance but Lauren king was the stand out for me. Sparkling, crisp, lovely dancing. She looked so happy to be on stage, beaming in a way that felt like a reflection of real joy rather than glued on in a pageant queen way as it does with some dancers. A few of the corps dancers looked REALLY under-rehearsed giving an overall ragged effect. When the corps were in their lines, you’d see 4 versions of the arm positions. 2 women had such awkward port de bras that I kept getting distracted by their jutting elbows and drooping wrists. Still, the performance overall had great energy and I enjoyed it. Looking forward to the rest of the season!
  13. Hmm. When I go to stella’s dancer page, her spring roles are all listed now. Also, in the master performance calendar her performances are visible: https://www.abt.org/performances/master-calendar/
  14. the website seems to be fixed—on the calendar, I now see Stella in her usual roles (Pierette, Tea Flower, Gulnare, etc). I assume she’ll do lilac fairies as well. I’m so glad we’ll be able to see her this season, I was heart-broken not to see her in the initial casting. I’m excited for Jane eyre, which is one of my favorite novels. Also glad the Ratmansky SB is back, and on the Dnieper. I won’t be seeing Harlequinade again, but everything else is something I’ll want to see.
  15. I attended the Thursday night performance and was so glad to have the opportunity to see such a great array of companies interpreting Balanchine. Apollo was wonderful and I agree with the others praising Maria Khoreva. I think her enormous success building a following on Instagram and getting in the press has caused some to wonder how much she can really deliver onstage (I did!) but she is a glorious dancer. It’s hard to believe Terpischore is her first major role. She gave such a confident, nuanced, rich interpretation. I really hope we get to see more of her in NYC! I thought NYCB were the weakest that night. They just didn’t seem to be giving it their all. I am not a big Abi fan in general, but I love Maria and found even her to be a bit flat. The performance just did not have the sparkle I’ve seen NYCB give it in their home theater. SFB were stronger in their performance of Divertimento—I’d rather see a performance like theirs with energy but a stumble than a performance like NYCB’s which is technically fine but flat. Anna Rose and Marcelino were fabulous in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, though. They really both went for it and danced with lots of brio and flair. Anna Rose nailed the backwards hops, and definitely did not play it safe with the fish dives, which provoked gasps and applause from the audience.
  16. Had the great pleasure of seeing Maria dance Terpischore this week in NYC. I’ve been following her on Instagram since her student days, and was wondering if she would be just an “Instagram dancer” who couldn’t deliver onstage. She’s definitely a true talent! She gave a gorgeous, gorgeous performance. Outshone even the NYCB principal ballerinas on the same bill.
  17. And "just joking" about raping a junior colleague would be OK, in your opinion? At any company I've worked for, that kind of "joke" ALONE would be cause for immediate termination. Who would want to work with someone who joked about raping their colleagues? It is truly amazing to me the behavior people seem to be willing to excuse from artists they favor.
  18. The victim-blaming in this thread is getting insane, with all these statements about how Waterbury knew Finlay had “a kink” and insinuating that Waterbury got what was coming to her for not having broken up with him after he asked her to pose nude. This is the same reasoning that is used to say that rape victims who wore sexy clothing or walked home alone at night were “asking for it”. No one deserves to have their consent violated! I understand that NYCB is a beloved institution that some feel is not culpable in these events, but it is perfectly possible to disagree with Waterbury’s suit against NYCB without descending to statements that imply abuse victims are complicit in their own abuse because they should have known better.
  19. To add to what Helene says--it is more difficult to file a frivolous lawsuit of this ilk than some may believe. Anyone can make accusations, yes. But Ms. Waterbury, as I recall, is claiming to have hard evidence in the form of copies of the messages quoted by her lawyer. I find it impossible to believe the lawyer would not have insisted on seeing that evidence before agreeing to proceed with the lawsuit. In these types of cases, lawyers for the plaintiff are usually paid ONLY if a settlement or court victory is achieved. Therefore, the lawyer has a vested interest in not filing a suit without due diligence and a belief in the validity of the evidence, because s/he stands no chance of being paid for all the work the lawsuit entails if the suit is obviously baseless. Furthermore, City Ballet's own statements state pretty clearly that they acknowledge misconduct by Finlay, Ramasar, and Catarzzano occurred--all they are disputing is that City Ballet itself is culpable in any way.
  20. I certainly agree they don’t get a free pass! Finlay and co have behaved reprehensibly, and I think that City Ballet’s response hasn’t been strong enough. What I was trying to say in my previous post was, I think this is both an individual problem (several specific men behaving badly) and one that reflects larger social problems (in both the ballet world and more broadly in our culture), and needs to be addressed on BOTH levels. It is important that individuals are held responsible, but also that the cultural conditions that enable or influence their behavior are addressed.
  21. Fascinating! I agree that given the homophobia/gay-bashing we know male dancers of all orientations can face, a similar dynamic could be operating here. It is a sad irony that men who may have been bullied for being “feminine” because they pursued dance grew up to bully women themselves in attempt to assert their own fragile sense of masculinity. Sexism and homophobia hurt everyone.
  22. Yes you are right that Finlay, not Ramasar, said the women would be “pissed”—I misread squinting at the complaint on my tiny phone screen! It is certainly a very poorly written complaint, which makes it difficult to have all the clarity one would wish for given the seriousness of the subject. However, if Ramasar was told by Finlay the subjects would be upset about he and Finlay (and others) sharing the images, I do think that indicates they both knew what they were doing was wrong. At this point, I’ve decided to write a letter stating that my husband and I will not be attending any performances (even those for which we already have tickets), or making further donations, until City Ballet takes meaningful steps to address their ongoing sexual harassment problem. We are also going to request to withdraw our fall gala donation. Reading this thread has helped me decide that this feels like the right course of action for us to take. I really appreciate being able to read the many thoughtful responses here, from the variety of viewpoints they represent.
  23. In articles 57-61 of the complaint, it is indicated that the men (Ramasar is named) to whom Finlay’s revenge porn images were sent WERE aware this was being done without Waterbury’s consent, and that they also knew she would be distressed to learn such images existed and were being shared. It is also indicated these men sent images in return which were also acknowledged as being shared/captured without their subjects’ consent (Ramasar acknowledges the subjects would be “pissed”). At least one such image was taken non-consensually of a dancer at work, while changing. To me this goes far beyond “describing sexual wishes” and “image-sharing”, and indicates that Ramasar and co knew they were receiving and/or sharing revenge porn with Finlay. It’s also worth noting that all the victims are described as being lower in company rank than the perpetrators—it sounds like these men knew who the company would let them get away with abusing.
  24. My husband and I attend City Ballet regularly and already have tickets to the upcoming Fall Gala (which we also attended last year), as well as another fall performance. We are disgusted by the allegations, of course, but also by what we consider to be a shameful response from City Ballet. Given that City Ballet's statement (via Scharf) does not seem to dispute the validity of the allegations, we feel only placing the perpetrators on suspension for a single season is inadequate given the severity of what occurred. We also are troubled that the statement did not indicate that the donor in question had been barred from further involvement with the organization. And beyond this, it is of course disturbing that these allegations follow on those against Martins, painting a picture of a pretty sickening institutional culture of exploitation of female dancers (and students!) After that episode I would have expected the institution to have done a lot of soul-searching and to have treated Ms. Waterbury's case more appropriately--but it has not. I would love to hear from any other City Ballet fans/supporters as to what they plan to do this upcoming season, or what you'd do in our shoes! Given the current situation, we are strongly considering writing to City Ballet and asking to withdraw our gala donation, with an explanation of our rationale. We aren't sure what to do with the tickets we have already purchased for the other performance either (we were taking friends, who would certainly be as horrified with the current events as we are)--just not use them? attend the other performance anyway but not go to the gala? Go to the gala but write a letter stating our outrage?
  25. Yay! Well-deserved. Happy we can look forward to seeing Zimmi develop with ABT.
  • Create New...