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Petra

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About Petra

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

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  1. On March 12, the Israeli government prohibited all gatherings of over 100 people. That includes 99.9% of all performing arts events, and most venues have announced complete closure until at least the end of the month. On March 12, the Israeli government prohibited all gatherings of over 100 people. That includes 99.9% of all performing arts events, and most venues have announced complete closure until at least the end of the month.
  2. Stars of American Ballet is a pick-up group of NYCB dancers organized by Daniel Ulbricht. They're currently touring Israel and I saw them last night at the Herzeliya Performing Arts Center. Bottom line: it was a fantastic evening. Slightly more in detail : First up was "In the Night". I have complicated feelings about this ballet. I find Robbins' choreography is an acquired taste, and it took me a while to get used to the style. I love the spareness of the movement and Robbins' ability to create a definite sense of time and place but there are also all sorts of quirks that make the ballet look dated. The first couple were a little tentative compared to the other two, but maybe that's part of the choreography. Unity Phelan as the 3rd woman, the tempestuous one, was amazing. Next ballet was 'Les Lutins', a trio choreographed by Johann Kobborg to gypsy-style music. It's a virtuosic crowd-pleaser originally made for Alina Cojocaru, Sergei Polunin and Steven McCrae and I was prepared to dismiss it as a cheesy gala dance. But the dancers especially Ulbricht, but also Sebastian Villarini and Brittany Pollack, danced with such grace and flair, making all the jumps and turns look so effortless and they were so charismatic in their faux-competition of virtuosity that I was totally sucked into the ballet and it was so enjoyable. The second half of the program was made up of three dances. After the Rain is a beautiful duet. Miriam Miller was outstanding but I wasn't as impressed by Jared Angle. The performance was surprisingly different from the version available online. Maybe because the online version is in memory and honor of 9/11, but also because Miller is much younger than Maria Kowroski who dances in the online version, last night's performance was more vital, and instead of having an elegiac quality, I thought of Adam and Eve starting a new life after the fall. Diamonds pas de deux was the weakest section of the evening. The transition from live chamber music to recorded orchestral music was jarring, and IMHO an adagio pas de deux taken out of context is a bit of a drag. That said, Teresa Reichlen and Ask La Cour were incredibly glamorous and regal. The finale was Who Cares? This was my first time seeing it so I'm not sure if this was the full ballet or if it was redacted, but it was so good! The whole cast was spectacular but since this was the only ballet Megan Fairchild danced in last night, I'll just say that she moved so fast her hair tumbled out of her bun. 12 dancers, 1 pianist, 1 violinist - and so much joy!
  3. Jan, the reason I commented on the racial makeup of the company is because it was a comment made by a naive teenager. These are issues that many of her generation are very sensitive to - regardless of their own skin colour or privilege. Of course it begins with danxe education, and I wouldn't like dancers to be promoted on a quota system. However unlike most world-class companies in the West, almost all NYCB dancers are American. That in itself is unusual. The USA is a diverse country and as of 2019 that isn't reflected in NYCB. But please go back to discussing the season. It seems like this is a great Fall Season at NYCB.
  4. I agree, but the juxtaposition seemed unfair. Nanushka - thanks for the info. Now I realky wish I could see Union Jack again.
  5. I attended the 10/01 performance. I hadn't seen NYCB in NYC for eleven years, so it was a special evening for me. Happily, it didn't disappoint. Not even my youngest daughter falling asleep halfway through Union Jack and lying on my arm for half an hour could dim my joy at the all-Balanchine program, especially since each work was better than the previous one. Valse-Fantasie was ok as an opening work. The dancers were great and if I hadn't read that it was Roman Mejia's debut, I would never have known that. He looked as secure as if he had danced it a dozen times already. I loved Kammermusik No. 2 much more. The inventiveness of the male corps (although why do they get a front-curtain bow when the demis in Valse-Fantasie do not??), the mirror-yet-not-mirror images of the soloists. This is the modernist ballet I've been craving for a long time. I loved the severity of Abi Stafford. Reichlen was almost too leggy and graceful for the part (I know, just shoot me...). And Union Jack (at least, the first two parts) was divine. I am one of those that find the first part very profound. The Busby Berkeley-esque soldiers dancing on into infinity can be interpreted in more than one way, and each member of the audience can consider what it means to be a patriot and to serve one's country. My only complaint is that the headgear made it very hard to identify dancers. The Costermonger part was lovely - I'd never seen Lauren Lovette before and both she and Daniel Ulbricht are fantastic actors. It was funny and moving, just like the best comedies. Interesting that the 'theatrical' section is danced on a bare stage and the other sections have proper backdrops. I didn't get the last part. Most of it was too Gene Kelly and On The Town, and not Royal Navy enough. And finally - the first thing my middle daughter said during intermission, after the first two ballets, was "why are all the dancers white?" After 3 days of running around Manhattan, and seeing people of every possible skin colour, the lack of diversity was striking. Union Jack was more balanced but right now the make-up of this company does not reflect the city it represents so well.
  6. Who is dancing MacDonald of Sleat in the other cast? Is that Ashley Bouder's role? I'll be at the Oct. 1 performance. I haven't been in the US for over 10 years, and I'm so excited. I can only get to one NYCB show, and I'm so glad it's this all-Balanchine, well-balanced, million featured dancers program!
  7. Tanzteater Wuppertal toured Israel last fall, and I saw them in Pina Bausch's Masurca Fogo, a work created specifically for EXPO 1998 in Lisbon. The dancers are all beautiful and were very committed to the piece, but it was clear even to a casual observer like myself that the company cannot survive solely on Bausch's work. For example, although Masurca Fogo had lovely sections in it, the idea that a foreign company can come to another country, have a residence and create a work representative of the host country sounds rather patronizing in 2019. I think things were different in 1998, and although I haven't visited Lisbon, I think most European capitals have changed quite a lot in the past 20 years. That said, Pina Bausch is much loved here and the company is returning this October, this time with the classic Carnations.
  8. Since West Side Story doesn't have an original story, I do wonder why van Hove and de Keersmaeker [love how they both have 'aristocratic' surnames] didn't decide to do their own musical version of Romeo and Juliet instead of updating WSS.
  9. Promos look great, but it's hard for me to get my head around Williams being a Broadway dancer. Her "celebrity" persona is almost the opposite. Also, the only info I know about Fosse's life comes from All That Jazz. I didn't realise that was a sanitised version... 😃
  10. I saw this movie tonight. It's a love story set in post-WW2 Poland (and other places. The middle section feels a bit like a Soviet travelogue...), but it's much more than that. It raises thoughts about love of country and homeland even when your country's policies are oppressive or different from one's own. It's also about art - the transformative power of art but also its limitations. The way art creates identity - national and individual. All this in 90 black and white minutes - and IMHO despite a terrible hole in the plot... 🙂 What will probably interest many BAers are the backstage scenes of a Polish folkdance company: the auditions, rehearsals and performances, and it gives a lot of insight into the ballet dancers who defected during the Cold War years and those who didn't. Has anyone else seen it? It's nominated for a couple of Oscars.
  11. I've heard of her, but I'm embarrassed to say that I did not know she was still a performer. Maria Juncal comes to Israel once or twice a year and my teenage daughter has taken workshops with her. The girls love her classes.
  12. 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.
  13. 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?
  14. 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...
  15. Thanks, Drew. The more I look at it, the Tel Aviv series is the better one.
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