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Kathleen O'Connell

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About Kathleen O'Connell

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Member of the Audience
  • City**
    New York

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  1. Alas, some (many?) of the most vulnerable—members of Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous communities as well as members of the precariat generally—won't be able to remain in quarantine. They will have to work outside the home, irregardless of the risk to their own health and the health of their families and loved ones. Someone has to work in the cafeterias that feed all those college students, and it's likely to be an older service worker making minimum wage with a cluster of risk factors setting them up for infection. If the arc of history were truly bending towards justice, these very essential workers—people who drive the economic engine just as much as a hedge fund manager or a silicon valley billionaire or a sportsball player—would be be at the front of the vaccine line along with medical personnel.
  2. New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs budget for the coming fiscal year has been reduced by just under 11% to $189 million. (It was $212 million last year.) Frankly, I'm surprised the cuts weren't more drastic given the city's current and anticipated revenue shortfall and the need to re-direct funding to help those communities that have been hardest hit by covid-19.
  3. It was a pleasure to revisit the company more or less as it was when I first started attending NYCB performances regularly w-a-a-a-y back in my salad days. I was particularly glad to see the Heather Watts I like to remember.
  4. Oh how sad! I agree with Jay Rogoff's comment above that BR made great strides under Hoshino's stewardship. I keep hoping that some academic institution will see fit to fold BR in under its wing. (Hello, hello Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University, are you listening? Might you at least digitize the archive? It would be a splendid way to honor his memory ...) PS - I did NOT know about the connection to the great Helen Levitt!
  5. I just stumbled across NYTB/Chamberworks' "The Living Room Series." (NYTB/Chamberworks is the new name for the little company formerly known as New York Theater Ballet. I don't know when they changed their name; it may have been when they decamped to St. Marks.) Here's Marina Harss' notice about the series in The New Yorker: The company formerly known as New York Theatre Ballet is one of the few places you can see the work of the twentieth-century British choreographer Antony Tudor these days. Rigorous and taut, these ballets are all the more intense for the contained manner in which they are performed. The company has put several of them online, including “Dark Elegies” and “Jardin aux Lilas,” both from the nineteen-thirties. “Dark Elegies” is an exposition of communal grief—a timely theme—set to Mahler’s song cycle “Kindertotenlieder.” In “Jardin aux Lilas,” four people are caught in a quadrangle of impossible love during a rather gloomy afternoon garden party. The dancers of this New York-based chamber company perform the works—which can be viewed on Vimeo—with bracing sincerity. On offer are programs featuring Tudor, Ashton, Limon, as well as contemporary choreographers such as Gemma Bond and Pam Tanowitz. To note: A number of the videos were filmed in Florence Gould Hall, which has a postage-stamp sized stage. The music is usually live, but it also often takes the form of the piano reduction of the full score. Still, it's repertory that's not easy to find elsewhere. PS: You can see them perform Merce Cunningham's Scramble here: https://www.mercecunningham.org/activities/calendar/
  6. He was always a genuinely princely presence onstage, and I'll miss seeing him there. I'm glad he'll still be contributing to the NYCB podcast and to the company in other ways as well. I wish him every success wherever his journey takes him!
  7. Me too! I'd always hoped to see her career blossom at NYCB, and I'm glad she found an opportunity to shine at PNB.
  8. The Merce Cunningham Trust has scheduled streams of 17 full-length performances of some of Cunningham's most notable works as part of the Cunningham Centennial Celebration. A new work is posted every few days and each will remain available for viewing for about one month. Notably, these are not archival films of Cunningham's own company, but rather videos taken during recent performances by companies such as The Stephen Petronio Company, Lyon Opera Ballet, and CNDC-Angers/Robert Swinston. The Petronio Company's performance of Tread goes offline on June 14, 2020, so if you have any interest in watching it, do so soon. The Merce Cunningham Trust's Vimeo channel has tons more content, including complete videos of the the Los Angeles, New York, and London performances of Night of 100 Solos; former Cunningham dancers teaching selected phrases from the works that will be shown as part of the streaming festival, interviews, and more. If you are interested in exploring Cunningham's work in more depth, or if you're just Merce curious, it's an interesting site to dip into and a little easier to navigate than the Trust's online dance capsules. The Trust's website is very comprehensive in terms of both the variety and scope of the material it makes available. If you want to learn more about the Cunningham technique itself, this video of Merce explaining an introductory class is a good place to start. Here's the schedule: Scramble / NYTB/ChamberWorks Film Online May.15.20 - Jun.13.20 Tread / Stephen Petronio Company Film Online May.18.20 - Jun.14.20 Totem Ancestor / John Scott Dance Film Online May.25.20 - Jun.21.20 Exchange / Lyon Opera Ballet Film Online Jun.1.20 - Jun.28.20. How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run / American Dance Festival Film Online Jun.8.20 - Jul.5.20 BIPED / CNDC-Angers/Robert Swinston Film Online Jun.15.20 - Jul.12.20 Summerspace / Lyon Opera Ballet Film Online Jun.15.20 - Jul.12.20 See MoreScramble / NYTB/ChamberWorks Film Online Jun.22.20 - Jul.19.20 See MoreTotem Ancestor / John Scott Dance Film Online Jun.22.20 - Jul.19.20 Sounddance / The Juilliard School Film Online Jun.29.20 - Jul.26.20 RainForest / CCN-Ballet de Lorraine Film Online Jul.6.20 - Aug.2.20 Night Wandering / John Scott Dance Film Online Jul.13.20 - Aug.9.20 Beach Birds / CNDC-Angers/Robert Swinston Film Online Jul.13.20 - Aug.9.20. Summerspace / Lyon Opera Ballet Film Online Jul.20.20 - Aug.16.20 See MorePond Way / Royal Ballet Flanders Film Online Jul.27.20 - Aug.23.20 See MoreNight Wandering / John Scott Dance Film Online Aug.3.20 - Aug.30.20 RainForest / CCN-Ballet de Lorraine Film Online Aug.3.20 - Aug.21.20
  9. AARGH! I really wanted to catch that Lulu stream! I tried a couple of times to no avail and gave up too soon, I guess ... ETA: Aha! for now, Lulu is still up and streamable. I don't know how long that will last, but for now it's still available.
  10. The nightly Metropolitan Opera streams resumed on Wednesday, 6/3/20 as planned. (The video of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice is still up.) For reasons that elude me, Lincoln Center has not yet updated the Lincoln Center at Home page regarding the advertised but unavailable Dance Week videos. They did manage to tweet out a reply to someone who asked what was up: I'm no HTML genius, but even I could manage to insert an update on the mother ship's web page. Even if the date for the rescheduled stream hasn't been determined yet, the powers that be should be able to put some sort of alert on the relevant pages.
  11. Woo Hoo! This is wonderful news—and not just about Creole Giselle. I'm delighted to see that Robert Garland's work will be featured as well.
  12. Episode 26: New Combinations: Pam Tanowitz & Justin Peck I was prepared for Bartók Ballet because I'd seen a lot of Tanowitz' work already. Although she seems to be choreographing everywhere these days, it's not always easy to see her work live. Fortunately, Bard College's Fisher Center for the Arts has posted a video of Tanowitz' 2015 SummerScape performance there in its entirety. Here's the video. Here's the program. Be sure to check out all of the good things Bard is making available online since they can't host live performances.
  13. My feelings about Kanye are ... complicated. It's OK to give something a pass if you've got strong feelings about one of the artists involved. The list of things I've refused to see or hear based on nothing more than my aversion to its creator is long and distinguished.
  14. Do you mean Abraham's work for his own and other companies, or The Runaway in particular? What Abraham and Stanley have wrought in The Runaway is magnificent, but there's more to that work than Stanley's solos. The haunting ensemble to James Blake's "Don't Miss It" that closes the ballet is but one example. (See the last video clip on The Runaway's repertory page for an excerpt.) There's a fantastic duet for two male dancers as well as a pyrotechnic (and witty) male solo set to "I Love Kanye." (This was up on NYCB's website for about two seconds. Maybe the music rights folks issued a swift take-down request since it was the whole cut, not just an excerpt. The track and the solo are so perfect together that Kanye should just license it already and put it up on YouTube as the official music video.)
  15. It was. Or at least I was one of the Alertniks making this suggestion. Honestly, I would plunk down more than a few dollars for a video with a complete set of alternate casts. So, I gather I am the only person who liked Bartók Ballet. And I mean the whole thing, not just the little excerpt the company deigned to show us.
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