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Kathleen O'Connell

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About Kathleen O'Connell

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  1. Kathleen O'Connell

    New York City Ballet Fall Season

    Well ... if I had to catch anyone in fish dives β€” much less Ashley Bouder at full velocity β€” I'd look a bit tense too. πŸ˜‰ I'm glad Ball did well. He's a terrific Puck β€” not just technically, but in terms of the persona he creates (less cutesy and more faerie) β€” and is excellent in the Emeralds pas de trois too. I'd like to see him break out into other kinds of roles.
  2. Kathleen O'Connell

    New York City Ballet Fall Season

    Jewels - Wed 9/19/18 This performance was really all about the debuts, so I'll take them in order of appearance. Emeralds — Tiler Peck & Taylor Stanley (debut); Unity Phelan (debut) & Adrian Danchig-Waring; Sara Adams, Meagan Mann, & Sean Suozzi. Probably one of the best all-around performances of Emeralds I've seen in a while. Both debuts (Stanley and Phelan) were all that might have been asked for and more, and the rest of the cast brought their A game. With regard to Stanley, I can only ask "what took them so long?" — his elegance, musicality, and beautiful pliancy, plus his ability to evoke reverie and an inward gaze while still being very much present (a quality he shares with Wendy Whelan) would seem to make him a natural for the world of Emeralds. He's not one of the company's demon pyrotechnicians, but I like his approach to bravura steps: rather than just punching them out, he folds them into the music and the contours of his line. He was an excellent foil for Tiler Peck: there's a passage in the opening section where the ballerina takes her partner by the hand and runs across the stage in front of the corps, swirls around him a few times, and skims off in the other direction with her danseur still in tow. Often enough it looks like a bit of running hither and thither to fill out the music and whip up a nice froth of tulle. Without any kind of undue fuss, Stanley made something more of it: it really looked like he was letting her lead him into some secret, magical realm, — a place where only she could take him. Unity Phelan's debut in Mimi Paul's role was just gorgeous, especially her Sicilienne solo, which was was hands down the best dancing I've seen from her yet: she was musical and focussed, with a genuine perfume and an interpretive and stylistic throughline that I haven't seen from her before. If I hadn't known it was a debut I would have thought her solo was the product of more than a few seasons of thoughtful refinement. I cannot say enough good things about it, and frankly, I thought she pretty much walked off with what I had expected to be Tiler Peck's show. Phelan was also lovely in the "Walking" pas de deux (with Adrian Danchig-Waring), though I still prefer Ashley Laracey (again with Danchig-Waring) in that pas. Laracey and Danchig-Waring dance it like they are already halfway through the portal to the vanished world that Emeralds becomes in its final, elegiac moments; they are so other-worldy that they put me in mind of Ashton's Monotones, of all things. Phelan's approach had a bit more flesh-and-blood yearning to it, but was still a lovely interpretation. My only reservation about last night's performance of Emeralds concerns Sean Suozzi. I have no complaints about his dancing per se, but his style is and always has been a bit brusque. It serves him very well in his best roles — e.g., Agon and the hat and boots guy in Cortège Hongrois — but seems out of place in the world of Balanchine's Emeralds. Rubies — Sterling Hyltin, Andrew Veyette, and Claire Kretzschmar. Sterling Hiltin was absolutely terrific: fast, funny, expansive, and endearing. Andrew Veyette did a decent job of emulating bravura. He seems to have recovered from whatever was so grievously amiss last season, but has lost some of the easy flair he brought to this role half a decade ago. As was noted further up-thread, Claire Kretzschmar debuted as a last-minute substitute for Isabella LaFreniere as the Tall Girl. (Fingers crossed that it's nothing serious! LaFreniere had to scrub her big debut in Firebird a few seasons ago; I hope she doesn't have to scrub this one too.) Simply by virtue of her dynamism, verve, and bold attack, Kretzschmar should be an ideal Tall Girl, but she's just not quite tall enough to be a natural fit for the role. Some uneasiness in the big, unsupported arabesques aside (which I will chalk up to Surprise! You're debuting tonight! nerves), she danced well, and was just as saucy and cheeky as I would have liked. She wasn't notably taller than some of the women in the corps, however, and sometimes got lost in the crowd. I'm not sure the choreography can really accommodate an Almost-Tall Girl who otherwise nails the steps, even if she does so as vividly as Kretzschmar surely can. I've seen her take center stage with authority, though, so I'm hoping she and the ballet masters can get this one sorted out. Diamonds - Cast: Sara Mearns & Joseph Gordon (debut). Bravo, Joseph Gordon! He rightly brought the house down with his solos, which were more than a display of pyrotechnics: he danced his bravura jumps and turns like a poised and confident Prince rather than hurling himself through them like a circus showboat. Although Gordon did comport himself like a prince — albeit a young one — and certainly seemed to be a capable and gracious partner, I think he and Mearns are something of a mismatch: they looked a bit like the Marschallin and Octavian, and I was half expecting Sophie to put in an appearance. They nonetheless seemed to have a genuine rapport, and I think much credit is due to Mearns for making sure Gordon's debut was a success. I want to see them both in Diamonds again, but maybe with different partners. And of course, I'd like to see Gordon in about 50 other things, too! So, last night it seemed like everything really is beautiful at the ballet.
  3. Kathleen O'Connell

    New York City Ballet Fall Season

    She danced in the corps of Diamonds last night with the apprentice "+" after her name. Apprentices listed in the program as dancing last night: Naomi Corti, Lily-Frances Cosgrove, Jonathan Fahoury, Ally Helman, Mira Nadon, Maxwell Read, Davide Riccardo, and Lily Zerivitz,
  4. Kathleen O'Connell

    Alec Knight on Australian TV

    What a nice feature! Knight is a total stage animal, and I mean that as a compliment. (He also happens to have a fine line and a strong technique.) He's only been in the corps for about two years, but has already made a great impression in a couple of featured roles, notably in the Third Variation of Four Temperaments. Tonight in Diamonds he looked like the happiest man in NYC, and considering that he was sharing the stage with Silas Farley β€” one of those dancers who brims with joy night after night β€” that's saying something. I'm looking forward to watching his career grow.
  5. I agree that the company needs to look first to its policies and to its commitments under its agreement with AGMA, but testing its available options against legitimate employee concerns about the workplace isn't just PR. ETA by way of clarification: The company may have determined that its legally available options ranged from doing nothing, to sending a strongly worded letter, to what we used to cheerfully refer to in my workplace as "a come to Jesus meeting," to rehab, to demotion, to suspension, and finally, to firing. Before Waterbury's complaint was made public, company management might have believed (perhaps rightly) that a suspension was the most feasible sanction it could impose without sending the organization into a tailspin. Once the nature of the transgression was made public and its contours were more than just idle gossip, it may have decided the workplace would be sent into a tailspin if it didn't dismiss Ramasar and Catazaro. I don't know what the company's thinking was, and I certainly don't know what the right answer is without knowing more about who did what to whom.
  6. Kathleen O'Connell

    Apologies for the Temporary Outage

    Oh, I think we needed the break.
  7. I suspect that it will be difficult for any union that believes its primary mission is to defend its members from the depredations of their employers to re-orient even a little bit of its focus towards workplaces made toxic by some of the very people it has been charged to protect. I remember one of my grad-school professors telling me way back in the 70s that we would get around to solving the problem of sexism once we'd solved the problem of capitalism.
  8. Kathleen O'Connell

    Apologies for the Temporary Outage

    πŸ˜€πŸ’
  9. Go union! It really is good that the dancers, musicians, and stagehands have one. It would be a fine thing if even more people had one.
  10. After just about every Senator who is also a woman voted him off the island. I think it's safe to say he resigned under duress. I don't know if the requisite number of Senators would have voted for expulsion after an ethics probe, but he didn't have enough support within his own caucus to make it that far.
  11. We don't know β€” or at least I don't know β€” what kind of feedback the company may have gotten from its employees regarding any of its other employees prior to this event. I agree that the decision to dismiss an employee shouldn't be a popularity contest, but the company would also be within its rights to take any employee concerns about the workplace into consideration when making such a decision. The decision will be taken to arbitration per the company's agreement with AGMA in any event, which is a good thing. That's why the union is there.
  12. I'm prepared to make my own assessment once all the facts are out, if they are ever out. I respect Kowroski as an artist, but honestly, I need more than a few emoji from her in an IG comment to sort my thinking out on this one.
  13. It may be that they received feedback from dancers and other NYCB employees after the Waterbury's complaint was made public that either advocated for dismissal or indicated that dismissal would be tolerated by the organization at large.
  14. It is dead simple to save an ENTIRE Messages conversation to PDF and email it to someone. No need to scroll through the whole conversation β€” on a Mac you go to File >Print>Save as PDF. Save the PDF to the desktop. RIght click on the PDF's desktop icon, select Share, select Mail or Messages, send it to yourself, and you are done. The PDF it generates is of the entire conversation, beginning to end, irrespective of what may be showing on the screen. Is it legal? Is it admissible? I have no idea. However, if I happened upon a text conversation featuring explicit photos of me taken without my permission, you best believe a PDF of that conversation would be winging its way through cyberspace to one of my own devices. The lawyers could come get me later if it came to that.
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