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  1. I thought Peck and Gordon gave a moving, exhilarating performance last night. Peck has physical limitations as Odette, even without the injury... I didn't go into her performance expecting deep backbends and long extensions. I was just happy to see her back on stage! Her artistry was still impeccable ---- Odette's solo diagonal turn sequence across the stage was one of my favorite parts of the whole night. Peck also brought out more drama and vulnerability than I expected; seems like she was able to channel her recent personal turmoils effectively. What an amazing debut for Gordon. Every pirouette was seamless and he landed his double tours in perfect 5th. Characterization was also convincing and he's becoming a strong partner. This was my first time seeing this production in almost two decades. Act I is atrocious -- how did anyone give these costume and set designs a go-ahead? Maybe in the '90s they were somehow more appealing? I do like the lakeside backdrop though, and the choreography in the Act IV finale. Even with the ugly costumes though, at least the dancers weren't drowning in them like they do in the huge heavy dresses in ABT's production. And I like NYCB's nationality dances better than ABT's. Speaking of which, Unity Phelan looked phenomenal in the silly "Russian" / Arabian number. I look forward to seeing her as O/O one day. Oh, and Ulbricht! Really flawless dancing despite the ridiculous jester costume. He does things that look physically impossible, like turning his turns à la seconde at lightning speed before stopping with total control (he does this in Rodeo too).
  2. In any case I hope we do get a Huxley/Woodward Tsch pas in the near future
  3. NYCB's official Instagram just posted a photo in the latest story of a rehearsal schedule from today, and "TSCH PAS" with Woodward and Huxley is listed. Could they possibly be inserting Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux into Swan Lake, per the original score? Maybe in place of the Pas de Quatre? Can't imagine why else they would be rehearsing it since it isn't programmed either this season or in spring...
  4. I have experienced some of the rudest audience behavior at Copeland's shows, from people who are surely only there to see her -- texting, bringing children who are too young to be there (including screaming babies!), talking, cheering like they're at a concert. This hasn't happened at any of the countless other ballet performances I've attended at ABT or NYCB, or at least it hasn't been as bad. I like Copeland's dancing in modern/contemporary ballet, and I'm sure she has introduced plenty of respectful, appreciative people to the art of ballet, but let's be honest -- her shows sell out because people are there to see a celebrity. I avoid them at all costs nowadays. Agree that her posts about Brandt were kind and gracious; she has 1.8 million Instagram followers so that's a lot of visibility for her less-famous colleague.
  5. Really wonderful show today.. if you haven't seen this program yet and you like modernist ballet, I'd highly recommend catching one of the next couple of performances. The company was really "on" and the audience responded accordingly. Episodes is a challenging piece because of the music but the last movement is jaw-droppingly beautiful and the solo was an interesting addition, especially with Michael Trusnovec dancing. I think Justin Peck's Rodeo is absolutely brilliant; even someone who doesn't care for the choreography couldn't deny that NYCB's dancers performed it with total exhilaration and joy this afternoon. As usual, Mearns, Stanley, and Huxley really shined.
  6. Saw last night's show. Overall it was very good but not one of those shows that had me leaving in awe. For me, Brahms Shoenberg Quartet was missing the "Sara Mearns treatment" in the final movement -- Reichlen was good in a different way, just more understated. Fairchild looked amazing in the 3rd movement; Garcia was alright. He still has a jump and a sharp 5th position but something about his dancing looks slightly belabored. Belle Lettres and In Creases are solid works from Peck, but I would have rather seen them on separate programs than back to back -- in some ways they are too similar (piano music, small casts). Between the two I preferred Belle Lettres, in part because of Huxley's solo moments. The costumes are also gorgeous and I like the moving shapes Peck creates in the ensemble moments. I noticed some very new corps members looking strong in the Peck works... Victor Abreu and LaJeromeny Brown, both (I think) in their first feature roles?
  7. Um, if Waterbury is implying that she has nude photos saved of Maxwell, doesn't that make her a hypocrite? Surely Maxwell's photos were never intended for Waterbury's eyes. I had some sympathy for Waterbury in the beginning of this debacle because what her toxic egotistical male of an ex-boyfriend did to her, but now that the story has died down it seems like she just wants to keep the drama going for, yes, attention on social media. As someone said upthread, keeping Ramasar out of work does not benefit her whatsoever except to satisfy some vengeful piece of mind. I don't condone Ramasar's behavior but hasn't be already been held "accountable" by being suspended and then fired by NYCB, not to mention all of public shame? And I do think Maxwell is a victim -- of social-media mob harassment. It's nice to see all of the outpouring of support for her (and Ramasar) on Instagram from other company members.
  8. FYI -- In addition to Of Love and Rage casting info being up now, Sarah Lane's R&J partner is now listed as Stearns, no longer Gorak... probably for the best.
  9. Really fantastic show tonight; I was on a high from start to finish. Gordon was a knockout in La Source... he hit a new high for me, and I've seen him dance a lot. Bouder was excellent too with her rock-hard balances and crisp technique (shoes were a tad squeaky though in the beginning of the piece). At the end when she leapt into Gordon's arms it looked like she flew six feet through the air. I enjoyed Bradley although she needs to gain some control of her long limbs and work on pointing her feet during jumps. She had some impressive moments though where her foot practically touched her head during backward kicks with where the leg is bent -- amazing flexibility. Fairchild and Huxley and the corps of Allegro Brillante were truly "brillante" and made the choreography look effortless. I could watch Huxley dance every day. He soared in the assemblés. I hadn't seen Firebird in maybe 15 years and really loved Mearns in it. She kind of "sexed up" the role and I thought it worked. Also she really did move like a big powerful ballet bird -- impressive!
  10. The company does offer pretty good discounts sometimes... if you're a subscriber you can get 50% off tickets to these shows: https://www.nycballet.com/Season-Tickets/Offer-Landing-Pages/FY20-BOGO-Offer.aspx? And there are a lot of seats for $35 during normal seasons. But charging $130+ for Nutcracker shows, for seats that normally are as low as $35, is ridiculous.
  11. I was at last night's show. I thought Movements for Piano and Orchestra with Reichlen/La Cour, and Stravinsky Violin Concerto with Lovette/Gordon/Stanley/Kretzchmar, were mesmerizing. Two examples of Balanchine modernism at its finest; both of these pieces on their own were worth the ticket. The Stravinsky Violin Concerto cast was stellar, and I thought Kretzchmar did very well considering she has such big shoes to fill in the role often danced by Korowski and Mearns. I actually prefer Lovette's sharper and more punctuated interpretation of the short-ballerina role to Hyltin's. In recent NYT pieces she and Gordon have talked about their great rapport, and it really shows. They were on fire. I found Monumentum Pro Gesualdo to be pleasant but forgettable, although Reichlen looked gorgeous. Danses Concertantes is definitely lesser Balanchine. It's a great showcase for corps dancers (Mira Nadon, Alston MacGill, and Jonathan Fahoury stood out the most to me), and I guess Ball and Pereira did what they could with it, but it's not a great piece.
  12. Personally I think the first week looks exciting. Harrison Ball sure deserves those debuts... he's one of the best male dancers in the company right now in terms of virtuosity. Erica Pereira is hit or miss for me but I like her a lot in classical allegro roles. I've seen her really knock it out of the park in roles like Swanilda (Coppelia) and Tarantella. Also exciting to see very young dancers like India Bradley and Mira Nadon featured. I can see Nadon inheriting more of Teresa Reichlen's rep. As for the winter season as a whole, there are some attractive programs mid-season, particularly the one with Episodes, but I wouldn't go out of my way to see Wheeldon's DGV and Polyphonia again. Will wait for casting on Swan Lake.
  13. To be fair neither Abi Stafford nor Pollack are really cast much.. although I actively avoid Abi in the roles she does do (ugh, two more years??). Nepotism aside, I also worry about the fact that both the AD and associate AD were in the company at the same time of many of the senior dancers and are undoubtedly friends with them. Abi isn't the only dancer ready to retire, or at least retire difficult roles. I noticed that Jared Angle didn't dance Cavalier this season; it looks like he's been slowly retiring his solo-dancing rep. Now we know that la Cour is on the way out. I would love to start seeing more of male dancers like Harrison Ball and less of Gonzalo Garcia. And as much as I love Ashley Bouder, I think she's too favored by management... she's a mismatch for most romantic and adagio roles yet still gets cast in them. It is weird that we didn't have more Nutcracker debuts, given that so many dancers were out of commission for various reasons (J. Angle, Janzen, Stanley, Ramasar, Bouder and Peck for most of the season, Sanz, Krestchmar, Laracey, Coll...). The fact that Indiana Woodward is still a soloist is just baffling. She dances worlds better than some of the principals. Are they going to pull an ABT and wait until she's in her 30s for a promotion? Emily Kikta needs to be moved up ASAP as well. Regarding the increased social media promotion and TDF sales, I'm wondering if sales are actually slower than in past years or if the company is just amping up digital-marketing efforts and trying new strategies.
  14. Baily Jones had a very successful Marzipan debut this evening. She has sharp, precise feet with nice arches and there's a real spark to her dancing. She reminds me a little bit of Ashley Bouder. I was actually pleased that Unity Phelan subbed for Abi Stafford as SPF. She danced beautifully, balances were strong, and she was partnered well by Adrian Danchig-Waring. Only downside was that Megan LeCrone subbed for Phelan as Dewdrop... LeCrone can pull off all of the steps and has such nice long limbs but she just doesn't move well with this music.
  15. Bests (there was a lot!): Manon with Sarah Lane and Herman Cornejo The four excellent Auroras I saw... Ashley Bouder and Indiana Woodward at NYCB, Lane and Cassandra Trenary at ABT (and shoutouts to Anthony Huxley's and Cornejo's Desirés) Christine Shevchenko's Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, and also her Medora in Le Corsaire (ABT) Sterling Hyltin in Rubies, Sara Mearns in Diamonds (NYCB) Bouder and Harrison Ball in Stars and Stripes (NYCB) Everything about a Midsummer Night's Dream at NYCB (I saw the cast with Miriam Miller/Joseph Gordon/Harrison Ball) Ratmansky's the Seasons (ABT) Union Jack at NYCB Not ballet, but the Batsheva Dance Company put on a hell of a contemporary show at BAM in the spring The very unique Broadway revival of "Oklahoma!" Worsts: Twyla Tharp's "Gathering of Ghosts" The return of Jessica Lang's "Garden Blue" Maria Kochetkova's program at the Joyce
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