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Kathleen O'Connell

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Everything posted by Kathleen O'Connell

  1. 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!
  2. 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/
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. All I could think of was the East Village's famous The Baroness, where everyone goes for their latex looks. (And everyone includes Beyoncé and Lady Gaga.) That chalkboard "You Need LATEX" sign is always out in front, rain or shine, to lure you in if the window displays don't.
  10. Also Jiří Bubeníček's Carmen for Rome Opera Ballet, featuring Amar Ramasar. NYCB has a Bubeníček ballet in its repertory: Toccata, choreographed in 2009. I appear to have liked it just fine when I saw it. I haven't done more than scrubbed through the video to get a sense of what Bubeníček was up to. This review suggests that Ramasar and Susanna Salvi were worth watching, at least: "Susanna Salvi as Carmen was dancing with former New York City Ballet principal dancer Amar Ramasar. She didn’t allow him to steal the show, which is to her credit, as Ramasar is impressively charismatic, a fine actor, and moves beautifully contrasting his noble line with more modern contortions, most notably during his Flower Song solo which Bubeníček has constructed with loving care. He has a twinkle in his eye, style in his body and warmth in his heart. Salvi has a lot of spark and was fiery without being hand-on-the-hips ordinary as often happens on the opera stage. She has a personality that hits you between the eyes and was never obviously trying to be sexy unless she was deliberately teasing. It was clear why Don José was smitten by her and the chemistry between Salvi and Ramasar was winning."
  11. I assume the Metropolitan Opera uses a more elaborate camera set up for its HD broadcasts and that it's beyond the financial reach of ABT to do the same. Agreed. It's dreadful for dance. Too big with bad sight lines and a stage that magnifies pin-drops, much less pointe shoes.
  12. Late for Fred Day, but here's a video I can't watch too often. The dance is great, of course, but what a feat of editing! "Smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy" as the lyrics would have it.
  13. It's not exactly performance streaming, but the NYPL's Jerome Robbins Dance Division is making some dance-related materials available online that you can access even if you don't have an NYPL library card: 1) Dance Oral Histories: "Would you like dance stories while social distancing? Tune in at: https://www.nypl.org/blog/2020/04/21/dance-oral-history, for excerpts from recent Dance Oral History Project interviews with Sandra Rivera, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Dyane Harvey-Salaam, Janet Adler, Pat Catterson, Heather Cornell, and more!" 2) Dance Division Coloring Books: "The staff of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division are excited to bring to you our first volume of colorable images from the Dance Division in The New York Public Library’s Digital Collections! We’ve selected 10 images of dancers moving together that we hope you’ll enjoy coloring, whether on your digital device or printed out on paper. We know many of you have found coloring to be a creative and relaxing activity at this time, and what better inspiration than images of dance?" Jerome Robbins Dance Division Coloring Book: Volume 1 "We hope you enjoyed volume 1 of our coloring books, featuring items from the Jerome Robbins Dance Division's collections in The New York Public Library’s Digital Collections! For volume 2, we turned to collaborations between visual artists and dancers to find images to share with you. These are 10 of the more than 3,000 original works of art in the Dance Division's physical collections, and include the work of four visual artists: Boris Anisfeld, Léon Bakst, Natalia Goncharova, and Rouben Ter-Arutunian. We hope just as dance inspired these and other artists to produce beautiful art, so too will your lives be brightened as you create your own versions of these masterpieces. As always, we invite you to post your finished image on our Facebook and Twitter feeds (#danceincolor), or you can email your masterpiece to dance@nypl.org." Jerome Robbins Dance Division Coloring Books: Volume 2 3) Online Jigsaw Puzzles posted at jigsawplanet.com. https://www.jigsawplanet.com/JeromeRobbinsDanceDivision 4) The Jerome Robbins Dance Division continues to make many of the digitized items in its collection freely available online via both its own web portal (https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/divisions/jerome-robbins-dance-division) and The Digital Public Library of America: (https://dp.la/search?partner="The New York Public Library"&provider="Jerome Robbins Dance Division. The New York Public Library"&page=1) Note that not all of the NYPL Dance Division items are available online: many of the performance videos can only be viewed on the Library's premises even though there's a thumbnail of the video displayed on the digital assets page. ETA: I forgot to include a link to the NYPL Jerome Robbins Dance Division home page. Here it is: https://www.nypl.org/locations/divisions/jerome-robbins-dance-division
  14. I don't want to be a pain since the good folks at PNB likely have their hands full with all kinds of stay-at-home challenges and my donation wasn't huge, but maybe I'll give it a shot. I really did want to check out this particular Giselle. (And would cheefully pony up some bucks to own a copy of the video, if one were available for purchase ... )
  15. Sigh. I made a donation, but never got the invite. $$$ for a good cause, nonetheless.
  16. From Stanley Glover of BalletX: Black men in Concert Dance - The Don't Rush Challenge
  17. There's an occasional sighting of toilet paper in groceries and pharmacies in my neighborhood (downtown Manhattan), but we haven't seen a drop of proper hand sanitizer in months. Even liquid hand soap is hard to come by. However, you can buy face masks and bleach on the street corners now from the same guys that sell umbrellas when it starts to rain, so that's progress! (I would love to know the ins and outs of that particular supply chain, which probably involves things falling off of trucks out by the airport ...)
  18. Ballet—and every other performing arts form—has managed to survive wars, plagues, and depressions. I have every confidence that it will survive Covid-19 too. Yes, it will sustain some real body blows and may very well look different when the dancers (and students!) can return to class and rehearsal, the theaters reopen, the audience feels safe, and the donors feel flush again, but it will be back.
  19. Thanks for the link, Helene—I think Dr. Fuller is pretty good at laying out a complex topic for a non-scientific audience. I did chuckle at this description: "The way antibodies work is that they decorate the outsides of the pathogen, or the virus, and prevent the virus from being able to infect your cells." I'm having fun imagining pathogens festooned with antibodies like Christmas trees.
  20. Well, on a more hopeful note, Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced today that they have begun US clinical trials on their jointly-developed Covid-19 vaccine candidate BNT162. (Now there's a name that rolls right off the tongue.) What's promising about BNT162 is that it's an RNA vaccine: if it works, it should be much easier to produce at scale than vaccines based on other platforms (e.g., live-attenuated vaccine, inactivated vaccines, subunit vaccines, or viral vector vaccines). The downside? So far no RNA vaccine has been approved for use in humans for an infectious disease. Still, a bright spot, and compounded by the fact that there are at least 17 other RNA vaccines targeting SARS-CoV-2, that virus that causes COVID-19 under development. Pfizer and BioNTech believe that they could produce the several million doses by September for use where most needed. (Hopefully, front line health care workers and other essential personnel, not basketball players and billionaires.)
  21. No, No! You didn't come off as a crazy anti-pharma person at all, and I'm so sorry if my response was intemperate! Look, I worked in pharma for 2+ decades and even I don't have the best impression of the industry. I do have the tremendous respect for the front-line professionals who do their utmost to discover, develop, manufacture, and distribute safe and effective therapies. But, as with every industry , there's always a cohort who can't see past their own wallets or their desire to rocket up the corporate ladder. There are also dedicated professionals who get so invested in their promising compound, or their potentially breakthrough technology, or their possibly landmark deal that they can't shut down a failure even when it's flashing bright red warning lights at them. This is one of the things I'm worried about in our current situation—that one of the teams in pursuit of a vaccine, or a therapy, or a break-through production process won't acknowledge failure fast enough (for very human reasons) and we'll have wasted time and resources doubling down on a losing bet. Because I've seen so many promising therapies crash and burn despite the best efforts of crack teams of scientists and engineers, I'm reluctant to do more than embrace radical uncertainty, plan for the worst, and hope for the best.
  22. I thought you were referring to pharmaceutical products as not being necessities. Apologies if I misinterpreted your comment.
  23. I am optimistic that one of the many organizations working to discover and test a vaccine will in fact develop one that works. I expect that the first doses will be allocated towards front-line healthcare workers, and that those workers may in fact be part of the first rounds of human testing one the safety tests have been completed. I am much less sanguine that the capacity to produce vaccines specifically can be sufficiently ramped up in the short term to cover the developed world's population (US, Canada, Europe, Japan, South Korea, China) much less the developing world. Just thinking about the supply chain for things like adjuvants and production equipment makes my head ache. And, I would not want to be the person to tell an insulin dependent diabetic that there was no insulin because the world's capacity to produce sterile injectables had been commandeered for Covid-19. We can't even get hand santizer, toilet paper, and clorox wipes onto our grocery store shelves.
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