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BalanchineFan

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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
  • City**
    New York
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    NY

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  1. Merrill Ashley's husband Kibbe (that's the spelling from her book) gives her THE BEST ADVICE! I wish every ballerina had a husband like him. She says in her book that they agreed early on he should tell her any "notes" he saw in her dancing without worrying about how hard it might be for her to attend to them.
  2. Here's another article about Silas Farley and his retirement from performing. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/23/arts/dance/silas-farley-new-york-city-ballet.html I'm so sorry to hear about it. Silas Farley is such a lovely performer - a true prince. I remember Mr Martins having him demonstrate for the audience when SAB's advanced students took class on the stage in celebration of Balanchine's birthday. I saw Farley's debut in Concerto Barocco a few years ago (with Ashley Laracey) and I can attest to seeing him at many a dance lecture and event. We shared the stage briefly when Victoria Simon spoke at the NYPL about teaching Balanchine's works for the trust. She wanted volunteers to learn the beginning of Serenade. When he presented himself, she said, "only people who haven't performed the ballet." Silas responded, "These are women's roles. I've never done them," and she let him come up and learn it. He has such enthusiasm for all aspects of dance and Balanchine, always wanting to learn. I wish him every success.
  3. I utterly agree. The past, (especially Balanchine!!) is the foundation that everything else is built upon.
  4. It was a significant decision to end the Digital Spring Season with a program of new ballets. It says to me that NYCB, with their impressive, unmatched repertory of Balanchine and Robbins, and perhaps the largest working repertory of any ballet company, is focused on creating NEW WORK. That was one of Balanchine's core principles, make new ballets. The art of creation is foremost. Put a choreographer, a dancer, and live music in a studio and see what can happen. As if ballet were a verb. Any ballet company, perhaps every ballet company has old ballets that people have seen. Some build their entire rep around old, traditional ballets (see ABT). This company is about the new, which means it is perpetually perched on the cusp of reinvention. It, they, can always speak to the present moment. Dancers need new ballets to grow and by ending the Digital Spring Season with new works NYCB is inviting the audience to think to the future. It is probably why they included so many debuts, too (Taylor Stanley's Apollo, Mira Nadon's Rubies, Roman Mejia's Western Symphony). What could be? Who might develop? What partnerships could bloom ... when the company continues? If they had ended with Balanchine (not that anyone would mind) that would have been about the past, as if they were over. Start with the past, whet our appetite and move into the future.
  5. What a lovely reminder! I watched Midsummer last night. As much as I love the ballet, and as many times as I've seen it, I discover new delights each time. This time it was the quartet of lovers, and Hermia's mad scene which is quickly followed by the Mechanicals and more much needed comedy. There's another stunning solo from The Runaway posted on the NYCB site, trigger warnings for those with rap music issues... https://www.nycballet.com/Videos/Ballet-Detail-clips/The-Runaway-Taylor-Stanley-excerpt-Kanye-2.aspx
  6. I'd pay to see different casts of The Times Are Racing in its entirety, too. I'm warming up to Bartok Ballet. Sometimes the first time seeing a new ballet is just shock. Imagine if you're expecting Dances at a Gathering and you get The Cage instead. Isn't there a podcast where Tanowitz talks about the ballet? I may need to listen to that before my next viewing.
  7. Another duet from The Times Are Racing. I don't typically like the idea of comparing artists and artistry, every dancer brings their own unique and worthy gifts to each role. But I like the idea of seeing the different possibilities in a single ballet. So in that spirit... I was inspired by Taylor Stanley and a fellow BA poster's suggestion of watching the various casts and genders in The Times Are Racing. Was it you, Kathleen?
  8. I agree about the ensemble, they are killing it in Donizetti. The tempo is so fast and everything they do is clear and full and beautifully phrased. They have a lot to do in Donizetti, too. I watched the last digital offering last night. I'm not going to write about each excerpt, but I thought the section of Bartok Ballet was really well chosen. I saw the piece live, didn't like it, and I don't remember it moving through space as much as the excerpt they showed. I thought the excerpt came off well, and enjoyed the ballet more last night than in the theater. It could have been because I had lower expectations, or because I had a better idea of what to expect, but it's also because the directors chose such a good excerpt to share. What a difference editing makes! So nice to see Robert Fairchild and Justin Peck dancing in The Times are Racing. And good to know that their unison was built on years and years of knowing each other and dancing together for fun even before they got into the company. I hope all the Peck doubters got a little taste of Peck's choreography at its best. I also enjoyed Easy more than when I saw it in the theater. Peck was trying to fulfill a specific assignment and honor a particular vein of Jerome Robbins' choreograpy. It's not a major ballet, but it achieves the modest goals he set for himself. I respect that. The other thing I want to write about is Taylor Stanley. Just wow! I am always amazed at his work, but nowhere more than in The Runaway. This is one of, I believe, five solos he has in the ballet. The mood is introspective. He articulates different joints and the movement quietly grows through his body and then unfolds into a perfect tendu croisé or we find ourselves marveling at the purity of his line in arabesque. He holds a developpé to the side for so long the audience starts to applaud but it’s not a circus trick, he’s searching. It's like he morphs into a fully formed classical artist in front of our eyes and brings his and the choreographers' wealth of culture and history with him. I'm so glad this was included in the Digital Season. When dancers say that they enjoy originating roles or want to be a muse, this must be the sort of experience they are looking for each time; a perfect alchemy of choreographer, dancer and creation. Stanley and Kyle Abraham seem to have had a meeting of the minds. In Megan Fairchild's interview of Indiana Woodward they talk about dancing with Taylor Stanley, and with good reason. I think it's 30 or 45 minutes into the interview. Stanley is a beautiful dancer and a one of a kind artist. He doesn't remind me of anyone dancing past or present and seems to have created his own mold; a dancer for our time.
  9. I should have said larger houses, as in larger than the places people of modest means have in NYC.
  10. Outside of New York people of modest means have large houses, and some dancers seem to be filming in public parks. Maybe they went to the house of a donor to make their films (though my guess is that Tiler Peck is dancing in her family's backyard). Many of my clients have empty vacation homes. We just don't know where the dancers are or how they happened to be there. If you were making a film, wouldn't you choose a beautiful location? I was impressed that Peter Walker got someone to follow him with the camera. That was some tricky camera work.
  11. I also like Wheeldon's DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse. Lauren Lovette has been dancing the lead in that, including the pdd with Andy Veyette, recently. It may have been too long to fit in with this Digital Spring Season. Though Carousel is not among my favorites, there's no other ballet remotely like it in the NYCB repertory and it shows another facet of what they can do. It's kind of part of the Digital Spring Season, I suppose, are people aware that A Part of Together, a new six minute ballet choreographed during the pandemic by Tiler Peck, Troy Schumacher, Lauren Lovette, Ashley Bouder and Peter Walker is now on the nycballet.com front page? I found it quite charming. It's a series of solos to Bach's Brandenburg #6. Each of the dancers appears outside in their own location.
  12. Thank you for this Dale. What a great evening. Having played in orchestra as a child I always appreciate Litton's perspective, and the dancing is glorious. It's amazing to see Reichlen and Janzen, such long, tall dancers, negotiate the small space with such amplitude.
  13. It could be an issue with the platform you're using. If you have Apple TV and YouTube, I suggest using it to view the season. The sound is better and more synchronized with the movement. I had some trouble with pages loading when I watched the digital season via Facebook on my computer. Everything was off, or it would freeze and then speed up to catch up. Ughh.
  14. I love Sara Mearns' dancing as well. I've seen her subtlety in Mozartiana. She is the picture of simplicity, rising on pointe with bourreés straight down the center of the stage. I'm scratching my head at this entire thread. I find it hard to believe we were watching the same Diamonds, though sometimes the ballet itself is just not one of my favorites. I also love her boldness in Walpurgisnacht.
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