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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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  1. I just made it in time to see the final program. I don't care for a program of excerpts because it gives the feel of a youtube compilation rather than a real night at the theatre, but I understand why NYCB chose to put up a program like this. It would have been better though in the middle of the season and not as the closer. Easy - a fun Cliff Notes version of Jerome Robbins, but I would have preferred to see something else from Peck or something else from Robbins. [I have recently discovered that Robbins as ballet choreographer is an acquired taste for me, and I'm still not quite there.] Bartok Ballet - I loved it. The quirkiness, the quickness, the insect like arms, the costumes, the music - everything was so Art Deco. This is the first thing I've ever seen of Tanowitz but I will definitely be looking out for her. Indiana Woodward was so great. I listened to her interview with Megan Fairchild earlier, and they spoke about her story ballet roles (La Sylphide, Juliet, Aurora) so it was surprising to see her in a very modern ballet. Voices - I couldn't get a good grasp of it from the short excerpt. The sound was very grating. Lauren Lovette is an truly charismatic and dramatic dancer. Composer's Holiday - it was ok and fun and held my interest, but I hope that Gianna Reisen has a long career as a choreographer with more important and innovative pieces. The Runaway - Taylor Stanley is outstanding, but I thought he was better showcased in other ballets earlier in the Digital Season. Not sure what the ballet-Gaga combination looks like on stage, but the choreography wasn't earth-shattering IMHO. The Times Are Racing - I agree with nycvillager that Fairchild danced full out and Peck was more casual. I wonder whether that was a choice or just how they dance. This excerpt definitely piqued my interest and I would have liked to see the entire ballet. Oltremare - I feel bad making a judgment based on 5 minutes, but it looked like an epilogue to Fiddler On The Roof. It's a shame it was cut exactly when Kowroski was about to dance. On a more somber note, Oltremare was by chance a very pertinent ballet to end this season with. The USA is a country founded by immigrants - some came voluntarily and some were brought as enslaved people - and is based on the self-evident proposition that all men are created equal. This ballet is a good reminder of that fact.
  2. I don't think this is a unique opinion but - wow, Balanchine was a genius!! Amazing, incredible, inventive choreography! 100% classical and 100% contemporary. Miles ahead of anyone else we've seen on the Digital Season [but I missed the Ratmansky].
  3. Thanks, pherank. What a Mr. B. answer...
  4. Apollo is an amazing work of art. Hard to believe that it is 92 years old! I loved Stanley. I see a lot of similarities with the photos of Nijinsky in Afternoon of a Faun - that intense, other-worldly look - and I wonder whether the original Apollo looked more like Stanley than the typical tall blond Peter Martins type. Since I am off on a tangent, did Balanchine ever choreograph Rite of Spring? If not, I wonder why not 🙂
  5. This! I've never seen any of Peck's choreography live, and am unlikely to in the near future. Same goes for most of the other rep in this digital season. That said, the dark backdrop (on my computer screen, it looked murky brown) was depressing and the costumes were really terrible and unflattering. I was surprised that Daniel Ulbricht had so little to do. Looking forward to Apollo. I saw it once almost 10 years ago with an incredible Maria Kowroski as Terpsichore on a tiny stage which was too small for her never-ending limbs (can't remember who danced Apollo...)
  6. I watched Allegro Brillante as soon as I got up this Friday morning. What a wonderful, life-affirming beginning to the weekend! For me, this period of time is very busy and I can't find the time to watch the full-length ballets that the European companies are offering, so the shorter ballets NYCB and Ailey are streaming are perfect.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. I agree, but the juxtaposition seemed unfair. Nanushka - thanks for the info. Now I realky wish I could see Union Jack again.
  11. 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.
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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... 😃
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