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Everything posted by CTballetfan

  1. To respond to the posting that Russians prefer Russian ballerinas, it may be a cultural affinity. I have always preferred American dancers. I relate to their openness, geniality in their dance, free and unpretentious way of executing the steps, their lyricism, and in the case of my favorites--Sarah Mearns, Tiler Peck, and Gillian Murphy--their attack, go for broke approach to the role. Not to say that some Russian dancers do not have these qualities, but the Russian way of training is different from, let's say, SAB.
  2. It will be a loss but I too had a feeling it was coming. I feel like I won the lottery, though, because I have a subscription ticket to the October 15 matinee performance. Never did I dream, when I selected this program, that I would see him dance, much less at his farewell performance!
  3. Oh I am so disappointed by this lineup of ballets for spring 2018. Were it not for the chance to see a few of the exciting young ballerinas who were newly promoted, I would skip the whole season. Let's hope one of them will be Juliet. Even though ABT's R&J is interminably long, I would sit through it for one of them. Glad I have a fistful of tickets for NYCB's three seasons.
  4. Yes! Thanks for letting me know. I have not seen her in the role but I look forward to the passion she brings to every role she plays.
  5. Oh this clip of Tiler Peck is so beautiful. Exquisite dancing. I wish I was seeing her debut in SL. I am seeing whoever is dancing opening night--I assume Mearns or Reichlen. No slouches either of them! Casting should be up sometime this coming week. Can't wait for NYCB's fall season to start!
  6. My two cents: Jewels is all I need, but I would never tire of Glass Pieces. My third would be a toss up between Allegro Brillante and Theme and Variations. And if I could have my ideal cast it would be New York City Ballet with Tiler Peck or Megan Fairchild in Allegro Brillante or T and V. Dream on!
  7. Thanks so much, California, for these tantalizing clips. So much energy and joie de vivre! Wish I could have been there. Tiler Peck, always the best, and Lauren Lovette, so musical, fluid, and wonderful to watch. I'll have to remember to select at least one evening this season where she will be featured.
  8. Thanks, Helene, for the referrals. Gottlieb's book is in paperback, so I will order it. Thank you for locating the Kirkus review. I recently read his memoir, Avid Reader, which I had hoped would be more about book publishing (where I spent my career) and less about gossip--a bit of a letdown for me. The other book you cite is out of print but a few public libraries in CT have it so I'll borrow it.
  9. I was just reading the newly released list of grants just awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and see that Homans has been awarded $50,400 in support of the biography she is writing of Balanchine. Anyone know anything about her project? I have her compendious book on the history of ballet. Another question: Are there any other respected biographies of Balanchine written in the last 20 years or so?
  10. But you know, the current mix of full-length and mixed bill ballets is, to me, a strength of the company. To me, the company is so good at both. I just checked my choices for my upcoming subscription for 2017-2018 and I see that without thinking much about it I selected two full-length ballets (R&J and SL), one pure Balanchine classics mixed bill,and one new choreographers evening. For me this is the perfect mix and it plays to all the strengths of the company. To me, no other company can match this. I'm starting to salivate already for September's schedule.
  11. Just received a lovely email from NYCB announcing her retirement and final performance in October. So nice that she will stay with the company as a ballet mistress.
  12. Thank you for sending me to the Farrell Martins video of the Diamonds pas de deux, which I just watched. I didn't think Farrell was as good in the role as Smirnova. For one thing, she is tall, and that is accentuated in the lifts, which although smooth, made her look outsized. Her performance looked not as fluid as Smirnova, more stately. I know she was Mr. B's muse, and he mounted many ballets created especially to suit her talents and height, in which she was superb. However, I thought Martins was wonderful--dramatic, manly, and elegant. In fact I couldn't take my eyes off him. This video reminds me of my early ballet watching years, when NYCB was graced with the great dancers of this era--Villella, D'Amboise, and especially my favorite, Allegra Kent. Those were the days!
  13. Getting back to the discussion of Smirnova and Chudin in the Diamonds Pas de deux, since I did not attend any of the performances, I watched it (thank you, canbelto) on YouTube. In fact I watched two different videos of it, followed by a clip of Mearns in the same role. To me, Smirnova was textbook perfect and Chudin's partnering seamless. I admire every perfect placement of legs, feet, liquid arms, flexible back, every pose perfectly executed. But I was not mesmerized. I wondered, is there supposed to be some passion? Aha, I then watched a short clip of Mearns in the role, and found the passion I was looking for. So I apologize to those of you who think the Bolshoi version is the be-all and end-all, and maybe I would have thought so too if I had been there in person, but these clips reminded me of how much I love NYCB and am counting the days until fall season and Swan Lake, more Mr. B ballets, and a smattering of new choreographers. Oh for Tiler Peck, Sterling Hyltin, Teresa Reichlen and Megan Fairchild (so sorry to have missed their Rubies), and the magnificent Mearns.
  14. Thanks from me too, canbelto, for videotaping this. A beautiful send off. Marcelo, as always, is a classy and caring guy. So sorry the season is over. No more ballet for me until the fall season, when we can talk again about NYCB.
  15. Last night's program was my only chance to see ABT this spring. From my perspective it was a mixed bag. In order of performance, my comments: Mozartiana: I have seen this once before, but enjoyed it especially this time because (1) David Hallberg is back(!) and (2) it introduced me to Christine Schevchenko. Yes, thankfully he is still David Hallberg, to me the world's best classical male dancer, so effortlessly graceful and ethereal, even if the jumps are not as high. His dancing is still ambrosia and his partnering impeccable. Lucky me. He and Shevchenko had good chemistry. I was very impressed with her polished performance--everything perfectly executed, fluid, beautiful port de bras and adagio positions, real joy in her dancing. She looks every inch a principal dancer. Arron Scott did a good job as Gigue, but his dancing was eclipsed by Hallberg and Schevchenko. The minuet ladies were all wonderful, especially Zhong-Jing Fang. Nutcracker Pas: poor me, expecting to see Gillian Murphy, then having her replaced several days ago by Misty Copeland. The less said about this piece the better. The audience roar on her taking the stage was deafening, but I was expecting that. Her technique is awkward, her line less than pleasing. She seemed very aware of her fans and played to them, rather than expressing the character. Whiteside, after a busy, challenging season, seemed to be phoning it in, but even with less than his usual personality and pizzazz, he still excites the viewer. One lift was pretty awkward. On another, he did well to lift her into a standing position on his shoulder, a standard pairs skating move, which brought more screams from the crowd. I love the music but was glad when the piece was over. Souvenir d'un lieu cher: I had not seen this before and found the choreography and execution intriguing and I would like to see it again to learn more about it. The two couples were wonderful. Stella and Marcelo brought real passion to their dance and they moved me. Sitting close in the orchestra I could see their expressive faces and was transformed by their connection. Real artistes! Sarah Lane and Alban Lendorf were the other couple, but frankly I couldn't take my eyes off Stella and Marcelo. Someone on this board complained of the dim lighting of this piece but up front it was not a problem. I do think next time the two ladies should be of a similar height to enhance when they dance together. After Effect: This was the expanded, full length version (I had seen a short version in 2013). As someone else here commented, it seemed muddled. Some of the non-balletic steps, the stepping out of ballet position when walking, the Man sitting with his back to the audience, didn't work for me. And yet, the tone and the angst of the piece were conveyed, and I felt the personal connection between choreographer and feeling he expressed. The choreography was hit or miss, with some exciting dancing, especially from the male version of the corps--so much energy. Two standout dancers were Cassandra Trenary and Jeffrey Cirio. So fluid and expressive, she conveyed the sorrow of a woman in unrequited love. I hope to see her in many more roles. Cirio is a passionate powerhouse, so invested in his character, he exuded joy and lit up the house. Wow! Unfortunately, I did not find Cory Stearns wholly satisfactory in this role. He did not seem to inhabit the character as I would have liked to see him. But thank you, Marcelo, for this piece. I hope to see more of your choreography.
  16. That is a lot of dancing, but Souvenir is mostly partner work, being lifted and moved around, although there is some dancing of the two ladies in parallel. A pretty languid, fluid dance. I saw it last night and found it intriguing. I'd like to see it again. More on my impressions of last night's program below.
  17. That's right. as I recall, the announcement was made after the performance, when she received her bouquet. And that's all. I think that's the way she wanted it--no fanfare. I thought it rather odd. Then shortly thereafter she announced formation of her own small dance company.
  18. CTballetfan

    Veronika Part

    The cynic in me wonders if in order to promote 2 soloists to principal dancer and raise their salary from soloist to the lowest rung of principal, the money has to come from the fixed salary pool for the dancers, hence from dancers whose top tier salary will be freed up by their retirement --in this case Part and Vishneva. I am not intimating that either was encouraged to retire, but if promotions have some connection to retirements, in what dire financial straits is the company this year? They did not have to pay out for a string of guest artists who command top salaries in the Bolshoi or the Royal Ballet, to name two prominent companies. As far as I know only Ferri was a guest artist this season. What do you think? And do you think the AD will wait until the season is over and Part has retired before announcing promotions, to show some grace to Part? I remember when Reyes retired, amid what seemed to be an awkward situation, with little advance fanfare, and the cool reception she gave the AD when he presented her with flowers after her last performance. If only ballet did not get stuck in the mire, the way politics does.
  19. Yes, I checked my playbills and I attended the May 19, 2009 gala performance, where it was performed. I have no recollection of it at all but will see it again on July 6.
  20. Oh well, so many cast changes. Maybe these are not the last of them. I'll have to be satisfied with whoever is dancing. I like the mixed bill and I'm sure to find something/something exciting in each ballet.
  21. Oh no! Just checked casting for July 6 and see that Copeland has replaced Murphy in Nutcracker Pas with Whiteside. I was so looking forward to seeing Gillian in this. She is still scheduled to dance Tchaikovsky Pas July 5 and July 8. I wonder why she had to pull out on July 6. Copeland is my least favorite principal, especially when she has to carry a role. So disappointed, since this is the only ABT performance I will see this spring. hopefully the casts of the other ballets will not change. I would like to see the up and coming soloists dance.
  22. Thank you so much for the correction! The running times on the synopsis on the ABT webpage is incorrect then. I feel better and look forward to the performance.
  23. Right--it is usually expected that the gala program will be shorter because the dinner follows. On the occasions when I have attended a gala program (although I never went to the dinner) I understood that it would be a shorter program. But it bothers me that the amount of dancing in the July 6 mixed bill is so underwhelming and that ABT did not state up front how long the whole program is and how long each piece will be so patrons could decide whether to spend the money. In fact, on the programs featuring Aurora's Wedding, the synopsis does not state the length of time that piece will take. I wondered, considering that one of the programs features only AW and one other piece, how long that program will be. I think ABT needs to do a better job of communicating with its patrons on this issue. Transparency is everything, especially when you are trying to cultivate loyalty and contributions!
  24. I'm trying to find out how long the July 6 program is, because I have a ticket, and ABT does not make it easy. It took me a long time to find the synopses of these pieces on their website, along with the total time of each piece. Finally, buried somewhere I found the info, and to my surprise the total dance time is 65 minutes. It breaks down so: souvenir d'un lieu cher is 14 minutes; nutcracker Pas is 13 minutes; Mozartiana is 27 minutes; After Effect is 11 minutes. Only 65 minutes of dancing! I presume there will be one 20-minute intermission, but nowhere is that stated. I always thought that a ballet program should have around 90 minutes of dancing. On the Whipped Cream thread someone said that ballet is only 75 minutes. Those of you who are knowledgeable, what do you think of an evening where there is only 65 minutes of dance? Blink during one of the short pieces and it's gone. And I paid a premium price--$145--for center orchestra. Please weigh in with your thoughts. Was I robbed? Should ABT note on each program, as NYCB does, the length of the ballet so the patron does not have to hunt for it and can decide before buying if the price is worth it to them?
  25. I too would like to see another week of mixed bills. I save my playbills and in reviewing them I see that in the last 10 years I have seen a few evenings of wonderful mixed repertory pieces at ABT. In the earlier years some of these pieces were performed at the opening galas, which I attended sporadically. But I too would like to revive some Macmillan, Ashton, even Twyla Tharp, which I remember fondly from the days of Baryshnikov. I have a ticket for Tchaikovsky Spectacular, in which a potpourri of emerging great ballerinas are scheduled to dance, and I'm excited about that. I'm all for livening up the ABT repertory while keeping the big moneymakers like Giselle (still love it) and SL so the company can stay solvent. Maybe we need to start a new topic to discuss this? How do others feel?
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