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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)
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  1. If I'm not mistaken, Watts originated the role. Leland replaced Mazzo.
  2. Believe it or not, you have to look under Robert Schumann's "Davidsbündlertänze."
  3. I'm going to hazard a guess that Macaulay's social media posts have more reach than his reviews, which may well have been locked behind a paywall for much of his presumed audience, and will likely remain there. But IG's algorithm, in its relentless quest for user engagement, will happily give his careless attempt at cuteness more prominence than it deserves.
  4. Congratulations! I know you're looking for classical music, but Talking Heads' "Naive Melody" — the tenderest little "we're spending our lives together" pop love song ever (yes! from Talking Heads)— might be nice for the party: Home is where I want to be Pick me up and turn me around I feel numb, born with a weak heart I guess I must be having fun The less we say about it the better Make it up as we go along Feet on the ground, head in the sky It's okay, I know nothing's wrong, nothing Oh! I got plenty of time Oh! You got light in your eyes And you're standing here beside me I love the passing of time Never for money, always for love Cover up and say goodnight, say goodnight Home, is where I want to be But I guess I'm already there I come home, she lifted up her wings I guess that this must be the place I can't tell one from the other I find you, or you find me? There was a time before we were born If someone asks, this is where I'll be, where I'll be oh! We drift in and out Oh! Sing into my mouth Out of all those kinds of people You got a face with a view I'm just an animal looking for a home and Share the same space for a minute or two And you love me till my heart stops Love me till I'm dead Eyes that light up Eyes look through you Cover up the blank spots Hit me on the head I got ooh!
  5. Many, many years ago I read an interview with Heather Watts in which she discussed the (to her mind at least) lackluster first five years or so of her career. She approached Balanchine for guidance and he recommended that she go watch (if I recall correctly) Gelsey Kirkland in T&V. "I wasn't even good enough to be in the corps of Theme!" she remarked to the interviewer.
  6. She was indeed! But then she was great in everything. I could never understand why her career didn't get more traction—to my eyes, she was a more interesting dancer than some who made it to the soloist (and even principal) ranks. Not just technically strong—actually interesting. She was in my fantasy cast for a lot of things. I will miss her.
  7. I'm not disagreeing, but it wouldn't be the first time a company's artistic leadership (and not just ABT's) appeared to be unfazed by something that looks less than ideal (at the very least) to the audience.
  8. Maybe the artistic staff thinks she looks just fine?
  9. I've often wondered if NYCB's 21st Century T&V ballerina casting has been more or less dictated by the requirements of its male roster. When Ashley, Nichols, and Kistler were dancing the role, the company had a luxury contingent of taller men to partner them like Sean Lavery, Adam Lüders, and Igor Zelensky. Lavery certainly put the lie to the contention that the male role is better suited to a shorter dancer: I think he was something like 6'3" and all legs.
  10. During the first decade or so of my NYCB-watching career, I only saw taller dancers like Merrill Ashley, Kyra Nichols, and Darci Kistler perform T&V's ballerina role. Nothing against Fairchild, Bouder, and Peck, but I wouldn't mind seeing some of the company's taller women get a shot at it—and would very much have like to have seen Teuscher dance it.
  11. Honestly, it doesn't matter what Macaulay meant. It's rude for anyone to refuse to refer to someone by their name, and worse than rude for a person of Macaulay's public prominence to do so. He's a journalist: part of his job is learning how to pronounce the names of the artists he writes about. He's also a human being and part of that job is according every other human being the dignity that is their right, rather than treating them as vessels for his wit.
  12. Woo Hoo! Olga Tokarczuk! I really enjoyed Flights, and Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead is the next book up in my TBR (to be read) pile. There's a good article about Tokarczuk and her work in a recent issue of The New Yorker: Olga Tokarczuk's Novels Against Nationalism. There's more than a little controversy around Handke because of his friendship with Slobodan Milosevic. Handke delivered a eulogy at Milosevic's funeral, and said once in an interview that he considered him a "tragic" man. I think many people would consider that to be a rather generous assessment.
  13. There is another: Richard Danielpour's opera Margaret Garner, for which Toni Morrison wrote the libretto. I saw it in 2007, when New York City Opera was still alive. Sigh.
  14. I tried that thought experiment myself. Then I went and watched some videos. I think there may be just too much recognizable Japonaiserie in the movement vocabulary to keep it from seeming like "a work that comments on a culture by someone who isn't a part of that culture," as On Pointe so aptly put it, even reduced to leotards without the wigs, costumes, and sets. (And the more I look at it, the cheesier it seems.) Anyway, here are two clips to compare / contrast. The first is of Miami City Ballet with costumes and sets. The second is a clip from a Sarasota Ballet rehearsal in practice clothes with no sets. The clips are from different sections of the ballet, but some of the motifs from the first are repeated in the second. Note that the ballerina in the Sarasota clip is Asian. (I don't know the Sarasota dancers well enough to know for sure who she is - perhaps Ryoko Sadoshima, who was born in Japan.)
  15. Honestly, I think Bugaku is a ballet we can do without. Simply presenting it with an Asian cast won't address all of its flash points: Asians aren't interchangeable, just as, in some contexts—whether benign or charged—Western Europeans of different ethnic or national origins aren't interchangeable. Furthermore, Bugaku does more than riff on the style of another culture's dance traditions: it appears to be saying something about the way that culture structures the intersection of hierarchy, gender, and lust. Stripping off the wigs and the kimonos might not be enough to take away the taint of, for lack of a better term, the Western gaze. Not every work by a genius is a work of genius. I think we have enough Balanchine to let Bugaku go. ETA: Just to be clear, I'm not criticizing anyone's interest in seeing Bugaku: ballet devotees are rightly curious to see and evaluate as many works by a creator of Balanchine's stature as they can. In this instance I think there are other matters that need to be taken into consideration. For the record, I've both lived in Japan and, as an employee of a large multi-national company, done business in a number of Asian countries. That's the filter through which I see Bugaku.
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