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Royal Blue

Senior Member
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About Royal Blue

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    Senior Member

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid balletgoer
  • City**
    New York
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**

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  1. Regardless of what Jerome Robbins' precise intentions may have been when creating Afternoon of a Faun, and notwithstanding its brevity, the performance by NYCB on the 100th anniversary of the choreographer's birth revealed a work not just of great beauty but also of considerable depth and meaning. Coming simultaneously on an anniversary of the company's own and at a challenging juncture, it was a luminous, beneficial success. And certainly it was heartwarming as well as thrilling to observe recently how the haunting performances by Sterling Hyltin and Joseph Gordon retained their power when vi
  2. What a welcome respite is the middle section of In G Major from all the contention, disorder, ugliness and angst besetting the individual in the modern world! What a gem the Haieff Divertimento/Concertino/Episodes/Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes program has proven this season! Not surprising, but nonetheless impressive this week: the depth and awareness Sara Mearns brought to superb performances of the Ricercata section of Episodes one evening, and that sublime middle segment of In G Major the next! (And to the pas de deux in Rotunda also on two successive nights.) On the other hand,
  3. Two factors have impacted my formerly lukewarm appreciation of Episodes. With the inclusion of the solo Balanchine created for Paul Taylor the ballet has gained a more symmetrical structure, its three other movements now separated by a pas de deux and the solo. After viewing the added part by itself in the fall, I listened repeatedly to the pieces by Webern in Episodes (all besides Ricercata). The music may be strange, mysterious, seemingly random, austere and clinical, but perhaps perfectly describes the world we live in. This new perspective on the music in turn led to reflection about
  4. The ending of Swan Lake represents an eminent composer's attempt to express through music not only a climactic conflict between good and evil, but also the intricate yet inescapable relationship between love and death. Without a doubt, it is one of the most dramatic and powerful moments in classical music—one whose capacity to move deeply never pales even after countless hearings at the theater or in recordings. In New York City Ballet's controversial production this extraordinary moment—and the buildup to it: the rest of the second lakeside scene—is realized magnificently! The three most rece
  5. All four ballets by Justin Peck so far this season—Bright; Belles-Lettres; In Creases; and Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes—have afforded me considerable satisfaction. None more so than Belles-Lettres with four glorious women in its cast—Unity Phelan, Lauren Lovette, Indiana Woodward and Brittany Pollack! With such dancers, one can watch this gorgeous ballet over and over. (Anthony Huxley, who has danced superbly this winter in Allegro Brillante, Rodeo, and the third movement of Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, is likewise excellent in this.) Three of the women mentioned are also in the second cast o
  6. One reason for my delay in buying a ticket for the Joaquín De Luz farewell performance was the insertion in the program of A Suite of Dances, a work not particularly appealing to me. When I finally obtained my serendipitous ticket it was for a seat located in—the fourth ring! From that perspective—far from a brightly lit stage, occupied only by a cellist and an esteemed retiring dancer, in a theater made darker by the absence of light in the orchestra pit—the performance magically acquired an existential dimension which made me realize its tremendous appositeness for the occasion. Since it bro
  7. A year ago I attended no less than ten NYCB Nutcracker performances, more than any previous season. One especially satisfying and beautifully performed section was "Marzipan," with Sarah Villwock as a shepherdess in eight of them—three as the lead. Two of her assignments during the fall were particularly notable. First, it was a lovely gesture to cast her as one of the demi-soloists in the supernal second movement of Symphony in C, including at the final performance of the season. Additionally, in a work which includes a segment titled "To Live in the Hearts We Leave Behind," Villwock's p
  8. All four retiring dancers—Michelle Fleet, Parisa Khobdeh, Sean Mahoney and Jamie Rae Walker—have had unforgettable moments during the Paul Taylor Dance Company's 2019 Lincoln Center Season. So I am glad they chose to remain a while longer, and wish the same had occurred with Michael Trusnovec and Laura Halzack. Not complaining though, but instead am grateful to have seen the company during the last years of Taylor's life. As well as to have been in attendance at what was at the time, and even more so in retrospect, a deeply moving performance (Musical Offering; Runes; Mercuric Tidings) on Marc
  9. Shorter ballerinas, of course, can appear regal and/or take on serious roles. Up until this ABT run, I had only seen Theme and Variations with the three NYCB women mentioned. It is undoubtedly exciting to watch a tall ballerina like Devon Teuscher perform the part.
  10. When preparing to watch Theme and Variations with ABT, I hardly expected the company to equal let alone surpass the magnificence of NYCB's performance with Tiler Peck and Joaquín De Luz last fall. Although no match for NYCB's production, ABT's possesses its own loveliness, and is worth seeing. Moreover, even slower speeds adopted by ABT cannot deprive this ballet of all its beauty. Certainly Sarah Lane's performance would have been more effective with stronger partnering; however, I enjoyed it nonetheless. Far from being reluctant to see Theme and Variations with ABT again, I await with eagern
  11. Devon Teuscher's splendid debut in Theme and Variations was, indeed, far and away the most exciting thing about ABT's 2019 fall gala.
  12. On October 11, 2018 NYCB performed in its program: Afternoon of a Faun; Other Dances; Moves; and Something to Dance About. There were two other events of interest that evening, and no compelling necessity to view three of the ballets scheduled. However, the two gorgeous performances of Afternoon of a Faun with Sterling Hyltin during the previous spring's Jerome Robbins Centennial Celebration struck a chord deep enough to induce me to immediately snatch a ticket as soon as a convenient seat became available in the auditorium. The superb performance of the ballet that evening—with an excellent J
  13. A weekend that began with irritation at the failure of the MTA to get me to Lincoln Center in time for Saturday afternoon's performance of Dances at a Gathering ended with reflections of gratitude that mass transit makes it possible to attend wonderful live art events like the NYCB Sunday matinee in the first place. Again Maria Kowroski came to the rescue following the intermission Saturday with her sublime dancing in Everywhere We Go. This time, however, it thankfully came within the context of stronger overall work from everyone else, culminating in the superb execution of the moving ch
  14. Even though I do not feel as keenly about Union Jack as you do, cobweb, I admire your enthusiasm. For those who love the art form and have seen many performances, it is interesting to reflect about which ballets and which moments in a particular ballet mean to us the most. * All ten members of the cast at each performance of Dances at a Gathering must be chosen with great care, as it seems to me has been done in this run of the ballet. (I like what little I have
  15. Not only do spectacular scenes with a crowded stage in opera and ballet reflect inescapable realities of mass society and civilization, they also—ironically—contribute substantively (through contrast) to our understanding and appreciation of—human intimacy! Depending on their placement and function in a work, the accompanying music, and their handling in a given production, such scenes can be anything but tedious or pointless. One need not be enamored of militarism or nationalism, or hunger for military parades in order to deem the entire first section of Balanchine's Union Jack—along with the
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