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About Petra

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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    Tel Aviv
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**

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  1. Petra

    Royal Ballet Autumn 2018 Casting

    meunier fan - The last time I saw the Royal Ballet was when I was a teenager back in the 20th century... I was inclined towards the cast with Naghdi mainly because of her social media presence. Thanks for the reassurance. Mashinka - unfortunately, I'll be in London only on the weekend.
  2. Petra

    Royal Ballet Autumn 2018 Casting

    I may have an opportunity to see one performance of La Bayadere in November. Which cast would be recommended: Lamb, Hirano, Calvert or Takada, McRae, Naghdi?
  3. Petra

    The Green Table

    The Salzburg Museum of Modern Art currently has a video installation called Espiral by Isa Rosenberger, which is based on The Green Table. Most of the video shows a dancer dancing part of the role of Death outside an Austrian bank, with surtitles describing the involvement of Austrian banks in Eastern Europe. There is also an interview with the dancer, Amanda Pina (yes, a woman!!), and how she learned Joos technique and the connection of the technique to socio-political action. You can read more and watch it here. It was very interesting and I was very glad to have come across this work by chance, but it was quite obvious that the dance was made on a man and requires greater force and aggression than the dancer displayed. The installation was part of a wide-ranging exhibition of pwrks from the collection of the Generali Foundation titled "In dialog with 1918 1938 1968" - and some of it was hard to stomach. Otto Dix's drawings of WWI and its aftermath are incredibly evocative and sad and reduced me to tears but the video of a rat being immolated by napalm was just disgusting...
  4. Thanks, Drew. The more I look at it, the Tel Aviv series is the better one.
  5. The Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center (TAPAC) and the Herzeliya Performing Arts Center have the two major dance series in Israel. These are their offerings for the 2018/9 series. I would really love to expose my 12 year old daughter to world-class ballet and dance and we decided to allocate some of her bat mitzvah money to dance and theatre, but I am not sure which of these series is preferable. TAPAC: Tanzteater Wuppertala – Pina Bausch Masurca Fogo by Pina Bausch Eifman Ballet – Tchaikovsky and Russian Hamlet Company Wayne McGregor Yuri Grigorovich Dance Theater – Spartacus Les Grands Ballet Canadiennes – Vendetta-Storie di Mafia by Anabelle Lopez Ochoa Sasha Waltz & Guests Ballet Hispanico – Carmen [Looks good on paper but (a) Eifman is not my thing and (b) I’m not prudish but some of these shows do not look appropriate for a 12 year old.] Herzeliya: St. Petersburg Ballet – Swan Lake (with Irina Kolesnikova) Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Netherland Dans Theatre 2 Vertigo (Israeli dance Company) Bat Sheva – world premiere by Sharon Eyal [Previous seasons have been much more imaginative. This is rather meh…]
  6. Petra

    Hello again

    Thank you both!
  7. Petra

    Hello again

    Hi to this wonderful forum - I joined Ballet Alert as GWTW many moons ago and was active for a while. After that life happened, and now not only can I not remember my password, but I was using a now defunct e-mail address. I'm rejoining under a new name and look forward to continue reading and writing.
  8. Petra

    2016-2017 Season

    I visited Paris very briefly this week and was lucky to see both of the current ballet programmes. Cunningham / Forsythe Walkaround Time - I loved it! It's the first Cunningham piece I have ever seen. It may also be my last as I live very far from anywhere that is likely to present his works. This piece is so different from the current trends in modern dance (like Complexions-style jazz/modern or Ohad Naharin's Gaga) that I have a hard time describing the work, what it is that appealed to me and how to situate it in the contemporary dance world. One the one hand it is just dancers each one in a different (muddy) coloured leotard and tights dancing in a space with 7 plastic transparent boxes to 'difficult' music for a long time, but on the other hand it is superior beings dancing superbly with empathy together infinitely and with continuous creative flow. I wasn't bored for a second. However these dancers are also clearly human, ideal humans perhaps, but real people, unlike for instance the dancers in Concerto Barocco who are (IMO) dancing in celestial fields. Looking at the piece that way, although it is very Classical, it is also very of its time - of the Space Age and it is dated like 2001: A Space Odyssey or the aesthetic of the Jetsons is dated. It is saying, "This is how humanity could be, if we put aside our differences and see our common humanity". Trio / Forsythe - 3 needy dancers beg for the audience's attention, by showing off unusual body parts like a wrist or the small of the back. If the aim was to show the exact opposite of Cunningham's noble dancers, the aim was achieved! Herman Schmermann - the pas de cing was beautiful. Forsythe in full 'affirming-ballet-by-way-of-subverting-it' mode. I loved it. The dancers were amazing, the music was great, the clothes (ladies in black leotards with back detailing and men in black tights and T-s with the same detailing) - and it was perfect 21st ballet. The pas de deux (which I think is familiar to American audiences) was awful. Like in the Trio, the dancers are mugging the whole time, instead of dancing, and the dance language is boring. I like Jerry Lewis as much as the next grey haired audience member at the Paris Opera, but sending a lady out wearing a short skirt and a see-through leotard and then the man changing into a matching skirt and a bare chest just isn't funny. 2/4 pieces but the two that were good were GREAT!
  9. Petra

    Is Nutcracker the Greatest Ballet Ever Made?

    Nutcracker isn't the greatest ballet ever made,* but for me, like many other BT members, is inextricably connected to memories and emotions surrounding the American holiday season. I lived in the US for a number of years as an adult, and in the beginning, I was quite desperately lonely (and cold, poor and unemployed). I was lucky enough to be living in a city where Balanchine's Nutcracker is presented every year. A discounted matinee of Nutcracker was like a drink of water to a thirsty man. That was it - I became a total convert to the cult of the Nutcracker, worshipping at the shrine of the Sugar Plum Fairy. I do actually prefer my Nutcracker to include a Dewdrop, but I'll take it any way it comes. This year, I went with my husband and children to see the Israel Ballet's production of the Nutcracker, which, by the way, is edited to remove any reference to Christmas. My sweet son said afterwards that it was 'almost' as good as the Nutcracker we saw in New York. Well, no it wasn't (and I'm not sure he really remembers the one NYCB Nutcracker I took him to), but that's fine. As far as I'm concerned, the objective of the Nutcracker is to spread good cheer - and in American constitutional terms, to promote the pursuit of happiness. *Based on my current viewing experience, that's Concerto Barocco.
  10. Petra

    Nutcracker Chronicles - NYTimes

    Well, David Mamet has made quite a career out of being a nasty yet witty writer. By this point in time he's perfected the genre... What makes Mamet's statement unpleasant IMO, compared to Macauley's, is the fact that he had an axe to grind with Piven, since Piven very contoversially withdrew from Mamet's play. By the same token, I thought that it was disingenuous of Ashley Bouder to comment on Alastair Macauley's critique of NYCB's 'Nut' without mentioning that she had received a not-so-glowing mention (by Bouder standards, at least) in that same review.
  11. Kristen Bell played the eponymous character in the cult series 'Veronica Mars' and I believe she is the narrator of 'Gossip Girl'. Bell is blonde, petite and perky and IMO doesn't have a huge range as an actress. She was very good in the first season or two of 'Veronica Mars' but once the role had to grow-up and become more subtle/nuanced, it fell apart for me. I'm surprised she's being cast as a mother already. She's probably in her late twenties and looks younger.
  12. Petra

    Nutcracker Season at BAM

    This is super exciting - a world premiere of a ballet with music by Tchaikovsky!! I bet it's going to be a hit. I wonder how Ratmansky discovered the long-lost score and came up with such an engaging and original story. After all, he must have done that, because none of Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov and ETA Hoffman nor any previous production of this ballet are mentioned anywhere in the story book.
  13. Wow, that was a rant! Good luck, Americans, with the mid-terms today... cmb, I totally agree with this, however it's an over-simplification to say that It does take a village to raise a child. Finding the balance between the individual and the collective is one of the most important - and difficult - parts of raising a child in the Western world today.
  14. Petra

    'To Dance' - NYCB pick-up group

    jsmu, I didn't take any notes and it's been many years since I've taken ballet class, but the Q&As that I particularly remember were: - a question about heels being off the floor in plie. Ashley said that this was often misunderstood. Balanchine trained his dancers to have their weight on the balls of the feet and also to have the whole foot on the floor in plie. However, since his choreography was often very fast, there is no time to go down into a complete plie. According to Ashley, if you're well trained and your balance is forward, this shouldn't cause any injury to the tendons. - a question about spotting. The questioner noted that even in diagonales, Ashley (in the clips she showed) was spotting to the front and not in the direction she was going. Ashley answered that this was on purpose - part of the choreography. She noticed that when she coached dancers (presumably unused to Balanchine) this was particularly difficult for them, even though in her experience the difficult part had actually been to keep her body facing front when moving in a diagonal (i.e. Balanchine wanted the pique turns to start and end facing front even when moving in diagonal because that's a more aesthetic look) - and not the focus of the spot per se. - Once she understood the point shoe question, she laughed and said "Not much padding at all". She said her big toe was a lot longer than the other toes, so she put a little lambswool on top of the big toe and then more lambswool over the others to try to get to a more uniform length. Hopefully, I haven't mangled her answers...
  15. Petra

    'To Dance' - NYCB pick-up group

    There wasn't any indication as to how the name 'To Dance' was decided. The program states that this visit was a co-production between the Suzanne Dellal Dance Center in Tel Aviv and the Works & Process series at the Guggenheim. Is the dance portion of Works & Process called 'To Dance'?