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About BalanchineFan

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid ballet goer, particularly NYCB, former modern dancer, teaches dance
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    New York
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  1. Regarding Ramasar, Broadway contracts are usually for one year. If WSS runs, which is expected given the material and Ivo Van Hove, Ramasar will not be available to NYCB until one year from WSS opening. Regarding Woodward, Phelan and Gerrity I don’t think any of them have danced the Balanchine/Tschaikovsky or Balanchine/Stravinsky masterworks (at least not with NYCB), which might be expected before a promotion. I love how the three of them dance and expect each might one day make principal. Unfortunately there is no rhyme or reason and certainly no SCHEDULE on which NYCB announces promotions. The timing is on a whim. In Balanchine’s day the dancers sometimes didn’t know until they got a bigger paycheck Joseph Gordon, meanwhile, is kicking it as a principal. And, in contrast to a query about his height, I think Russell Janzen has only grown artistically. His PC2 was great.
  2. I thought Olivia MacKinnon was good in Piano Concerto #2. She was very expansive and technically solid. If I hadn't known I'm not sure I would have guessed that it was a debut. A lot of dancers show their nerves in their face. O. MacKinnon is among them, but that should iron itself out. PC2 is fiendishly difficult. Even Sara Mearns seemed a bit subdued until she got to the last movement. I saw Lauren King perform the role last week and she was like a ray of sunshine. There's really no shortage of talent.
  3. Yes, I just saw tributes to Garcia on IG from Sara Mearns and from Indiana Woodward, two of his DAAG castmates. He was beautiful last weekend when I saw it, too. That will be a loss. I miss Gonzalo Garcia already. In other news, I saw Robbie Fairchild perform at Fall for Dance. Another beautiful Brown Boy from DAAG past. He looks fabulous.
  4. Any possibility he just means the last DAAG of the season? Or maybe they all know it won't be performed next year (2020/21) and he expects to be gone after that.
  5. I certainly understand the impulse to root for a favorite dancer. I know it well. However, I'm not sure what qualifies as being "passed over." Sara Adams has a role in Summerspace. Preston Chamblee recently made his debut as one of two principal men in Serenade and danced a leading role in Not Our Fate all last season -twice with his picture in the NY Times. NYCB is a company full of talent and full of more opportunities than most large companies. Take a look at the ABT forums on this site. Posters are all complaining that PRINCIPALS only get one or two NY performances of favorite roles, or don't get roles AT ALL. Principals! I have a ticket for NYCB this weekend and expect to see 5 or 6 principal ballerinas and as many principal men, in addition to the up and comers in supporting (and sometimes leading) roles. Tell your favs "take heart, keep working, your time will come!" These days dancers can also make their own opportunities, be it at Vail, or with a smaller group; Ashley Bouder, Daniel Ulbricht, Tiler Peck, Silas Farley and many others have created small outside performing groups. And by small I mean smaller than NYCB. I wish there was more information about how dancers can challenge themselves to further their dancing careers.
  6. Thank you, Helene, for the clarification. As for Merrill Ashley, she writes in her memoir about her challenges with Emeralds. Did you ever see her dance it? Kathleen, thank you for posting the Bugaku excerpts! For those who suggest omiting the costumes, I remember a lot of ritual connected to the costumes. The principals enter decked out in several layers (including a tutu for her) and the attendants help them disrobe. It adds to the formality and "nakedness" of the occasion. I can see why NYCB doesn't mount it today, and I also agree, there's lots of Balanchine rep to keep audiences busy, but I JUST LOVE WATCHING HIS WORK! Yes, the cultural appropriation is problematic, but as an essay on pas de deux, male/female relations, or the plasticity of the body, I find it captivating. I'm not making an argument for including it in the rep. Maybe I'm trying to talk myself into getting on the subway and watching film of different casts at the NYPL for the Performing Arts. Even with Porgy and Bess, sometimes I think, "let's all agree it's racist and then enjoy the music." It's not an instruction manual for how to live. But I'm Black and I feel I've earned the right to say that. I wouldn't want to force racist art on anyone who was offended by it, and probably ... we can't all agree, anyway. And sometimes I *do* identify with Black people from other countries, particularly in stage characters.
  7. I’m afraid I missed your meaning here. Pretty sure I could follow your other points. What is it those parents see in the company rosters on the internet?
  8. Lol! I’m so glad you said that. I can always see both sides.
  9. I’d love to see Bugaku. I must have seen a film of it on tv in the 1970’s or 80’s and it’s definitely worth doing with the right cast. ... however they decide to deal with the cultural issues... maybe just omitting the white/yellow makeup and wigs. Though I agree with Ms Whelan, it’s problematic. Another issue is the intersection of sex and race. I saw Allegra Kent’s lovely talk at NYPL last night and Villella was there too. So much of Balanchine’s work was inspired by such unique talents, dancers he trained to develop and nurture their individuality. No one is remotely like Allegra Kent. There is an argument to be made for retiring ballets once the original cast is gone.
  10. I've been watching NYCB since 1979 and, though your middle daughter's observation is telling, NYCB now has more women of color dancing in its corps de ballet than at any other point during its storied history (three were in Union Jack). This is not because of any quota system, but because the people who audition young dancers for the school have started looking in more places for talent and have questioned their own prejudices about what skin color the talent might have. It's mentioned in the SAB newsletter from time to time and they talk about it at events. No white children (or other races) are denied the chance to audition for the school, at least not based on the color of their skin or on financial considerations. Once admitted, the students are treated the same and advance solely based on their ability and artistry. That's the official policy. Dancers are chosen for NYCB based on their dancing and the needs of the company at the time (i.e. tall men/women one year, short men/women the next, though the subjective matter of talent probably plays the largest part in decisions). On to dancing! I was interested to see Summerspace this weekend. I was at the dress rehearsal, and had often seen the Cunningham company, though not in this particular dance. The NYCB cast should be proud of the work they did. The group of former modern dancers with me all particularly admired the dancing of Abi Stafford, Adrian D-W and Lydia Wellington. Cunningham plays to Stafford's strengths, her sense of weight, the clarity of her technique, her rhythmic daring. She seemed quite bold, the others too, but I felt I'd never liked Stafford's dancing more. Watching Adrian do those crazy Cunningham jumps, hops really, with one foot tucking up under him while the other stayed in arabesque...watching him jump, change direction and stick the landing with one leg extended in front... well, whatever injury he had, that's over and he's BACK. Kudos to Andy Veyette, Emilie Gerrity and Sara Adams as well. I hope they get a chance to grown in their roles. Other highlights of the weekend were Sterling Hyltin leading a fantastic cast in DAAG, the return of Everywhere We Go (with Maria K, Taylor S, Teresa R, Indiana, and Russell J all in fine form), watching Mira Nadon in the corps of Serenade, and (with a special disclaimer for the costumes) seeing Piano Concerto #2. What a wealth of riches!
  11. I think it's Ask LaCour with the toupee, not Tyler Angle.
  12. 4T was my first favorite Balanchine ballet. I still LOVE it but there’s something about the Dance in America film with Merrill Ashley that is unmatchable. Writing that, however, I remember another spectacular film with Patricia Wilde dancing Sanguinic. YouTubers take note. Liebesleider Waltzer is my newest favorite. I saw it for the first time a few years ago. It’s one of the few ballets (or theatrical experiences of any kind, honestly) where I’m sad that it has to come to an end. (Robbins’ DAAG and Goldberg also hit me that way) Agon Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto #2 or Symphony in C or Symphony in Three Mov’ts or... Mozartiana... or Midsummer AND “whichever Balanchine ballet I’m currently watching.”
  13. LOL! What a perfect answer. Any Balanchine list that doesn’t include “the one I’m watching “ is incomplete.
  14. What happened with Isabella Boylston in Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux? Could someone please explain?
  15. I'm curious, what are your top five favorite Balanchine ballets? I enjoyed Union Jack immensely (it wasn't terribly different from what I expected) but I'd probably place it somewhere in my top twenty.
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