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Everything posted by JuliaJ

  1. ^ totally agree regarding masks. If I had to guess, they made the decision about no intermissions during the spring or summer, changed entire programs around that decision (such as taking out Slaughter and 10th Ave with its elaborate set), and after all of that, didn't want to walk back that decision even as it became clear that it was pointless.
  2. On August 18 I received a promo email that included the following paragraph: YOUR SAFETY NYCB remains committed to the health of our audiences, performers, and staff. With safety for all of the utmost concern, we will be implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for all employees and visitors. Audience members must be fully vaccinated and upon entering the Theater will be required to show in-person proof of vaccination. Fall 2021 performances are not planned to be socially distanced but will be performed without intermission to minimize overall time at the Theater. [emphasis added] A separate email from a few days after that (a confirmation of purchased tickets) says the following, with no mention of intermissions. YOUR SAFETY New York City Ballet remains deeply committed to the health and safety of our visitors, artists and staff and has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy for all audiences attending Repertory Season performances and Public and Access Programs. At this time, children under the age of 12 will not be permitted to attend performances but are able to attend Public and Access Programs, masked at all times. Specific health & safety protocols are determined by the Theater in its sole discretion and are subject to change. Learn more at nycballet.com/safety. By completing this purchase, you agree to acknowledge and comply with our COVID-19 policies outlined at nycballet.com/safety. So it's not entirely clear, but it sounds to me like no intermissions.
  3. It makes absolutely no sense. I seriously question the judgement of management for making this decision. (Same with their decision to only program Symphony in C once, and for the sold-out opening night.) Vaccination rule and masks should be enough. There's no way Broadway and the Met Opera across the plaza are taking away intermissions; they have complex set changes. It just sounds like another example of "pandemic theater," so to speak... a precaution that serves no actual purpose but to make the institution look like it's "taking health and safety seriously." Taking health seriously should mean letting people use the restroom between acts.
  4. I watched the first three numbers and enjoyed Whiteside's the most. The choreography wasn't groundbreaking but it was whimsical and entertaining, and a solid technical showcase. I tried to like the Lovette and Lil Buck number but found it a snooze. I've seen Lil Buck live and he's at his best when he's in full-on "jookin" mode... this was just too slow and the music wasn't particularly danceable. Tiler Peck showed a lot of promise with her choreography chops in the men's ensemble section of her piece. Roman Mejia and Christopher Grant really shined. But the Mira Nadon section got repetitive and I hated the vocal music. Thankful that Vail aired this for free. They did a good job with the camera work and editing, especially considering it was a livestream. I'm jaded on filmed dance though and can't wait to see these dancers live again.
  5. NYCB sent out an email saying Abi Stafford is retiring on 9/26 with Russian Seasons, which has replaced Namouna (which was briefly replaced by Concerto DSCH) on the Robbins/Ratmansky program.
  6. Note that if you go to NYCB's "your safety" web page, the language is a lot more vague, and there's no mention of intermissions being taken away anymore. Yesterday, Gov. Cuomo gave a speech in which he strongly encouraged all theaters to make vaccination mandatory for attendees, citing Radio City Music Hall's policies as an example. (If you look at their upcoming events, Radio City allows children under 12 to show proof of a negative COVID test instead.... Met Opera says no kids allowed though.) I predict we will see a similar policy announced at NYCB, maybe even by Sunday when single tickets go on sale to non-subscribers. Makes a lot more sense than trying to enforce a mask rule.
  7. Great news about Giselle. Does this mean we're guaranteed an intermission between Acts I and II? lol...
  8. Interesting. Not sure how not letting people get up to stretch their legs and use the restroom helps "maximize audience safety," but ok. I won't miss having two intermissions in one program, that's for sure. Another update to the calendar: the last show of the spring season, a Midsummer Night's Dream, is Ramasar's farewell: https://www.nycballet.com/season-and-tickets/spring-2022/a-midsummer-nights-dream/. I wonder what role he'll be dancing? Doesn't he normally just dance the Divertissement?
  9. On the NYCB website, in the fall season, Ratmansky's Namouna has been swapped with Concerto DSCH. It's on the program with Robbins' Opus 19/the Dreamer, and nothing else. That's a total of around 40 minutes of dancing for the evening... they have to be adding something else to the program, right? And Slaughter on 10th Ave has been swapped out for La Valse
  10. JuliaJ

    Sarah Lane

    My interpretation was that she was offered the consolation Juliet after the 2020 Met season had already been cancelled (she was cast in two other ballets that season, after all), and around the time of her mysterious departure, with the expectation that she would dance it in the subsequent Met season as a sort of farewell, perhaps as a "guest artist" after having been taken off the company roster.
  11. JuliaJ

    Sarah Lane

    It seems strange that height may have played a role in holding back Lane's career, since short women are often paired with tall men. She was dancing Nutcracker with Ahn before the shutdown and was supposed to dance R&J with Stearns. Brandt dances with tall men too, and her career is undoubtedly on the up. This part of the interview does remind me of the time she was paired with Gorak for Theme and Variations in fall 2019 though. He was a terrible partner. What a bizarre, punishment of a casting choice -- was that the intention??? Who knows when it comes to ABT. Anyway, I'm glad we got some clarity on her departure and the mystery of her fallout with a certain principal. This interview was super sad to read though, especially finding out that she could have been a principal at SFB Age-wise, she's probably past the point where she could get a truly fresh start again. It's infuriating to read that McKenzie told her that her stunning 2019 performances were subpar. She was the real star of Manon and Sleeping Beauty, not Cornejo. Maybe it was poor judgement to ask not to be partnered with a star company member again, but to get punished in such a way seems like overkill. Surely we don't know whole story, but it's clear that Lane's talents have been under-appreciated by ABT from the beginning, whatever personal conflicts may have transpired.
  12. I can definitely sit through Peck's Pulcinella Variations in between Serenade and Glass Pieces, and I'm looking forward to seeing Ratmansky's Namouna again, but the other fall programs I can take or leave. Gems like Agon and Slaughter on 10th Avenue appear again in winter/spring. Seems like a risky move to put the Bell and Miller commissions on the same program, since neither are tried-and-tested ballet choreographers (reminds me of something ABT would do for poorly programmed fall season). I'd like to see Western Symphony but may wait to hear reports of the new pieces before committing to that program. Would like to see Chaconne but Rotunda is on the same program... meh. (I do like, or in some cases really like, some Justin Peck ballets but not that one.)
  13. Agree on Stafford's lack of charisma. He also seems way too friendly with some of the veteran principals of his generation. I would like to see a couple more retirements than the 4 principals who we already know are leaving. Hopefully the upcoming season marks a new era. I sincerely hope that whoever takes over the top post at ABT is someone who appreciates the classics. I can't see myself subscribing to an ABT season consisting mostly of contemporary and "message-driven" works that don't even look good on the Met stage.
  14. I thought it was a great digital offering overall -- high-quality filming and production thanks to City Center. Worth the $25. Dancers looked fantastic considering how long they've been away from a stage. I wish we could have seen Brandt do the Aurora birthday-party solos as well as the rose adagio. Looking forward to seeing the Bernstein ballet live at some point -- great technical showpiece (especially for Brandt) and also very unique and whimsical. The music almost made it feel like a Jerome Robbins work but the choreography was very Ratmansky.
  15. As an audience member, I do hope that a proper balance is struck between discouraging eating disorders and upholding the aesthetic of ballet. As is, a substantial number of top female dancers at NYCB, including some of the company's biggest stars, don't conform to the rail-thin ballerina archetype, and that's totally fine. But a part of me is a little worried about the future of leotard ballets in particular should "putting on a few pounds" be normalized or even encouraged. Staying thin -- not emaciated or unhealthy, but thin -- is critical to the art form IMO. I wouldn't want to see that standard changed in the name of body positivity or inclusivity. I admire and feel for someone like Kathryn Morgan but to me, she doesn't look like a classical ballerina at this point.
  16. I enjoyed the program but there was a stiffness and awkwardness to the interview in particular, like the subjects were all too aware of being on camera. This is understandable. The City Center Zoom series, plus Megan Fairchild's interviews, benefit from the fact that everyone acts relaxed and more authentic in their living spaces or in empty studios (a strange positive side effect of socially distant programming). In case anyone missed it, the very end of the Clark-Jackson-Kowroski video -- after Jansen gives his closing notes -- shows Kowroski doing the cape solo herself.
  17. I also watched this yesterday and skipped past most of the the non-dancing parts. I'm sure this concept works better as an in-person experience than a film, but there were parts I really enjoyed. I thought Schumacher's choreography was strongest in the Marzipan scene and the grand pas de deux. Candy Cane and Hot Chocolate were close to the Balanchine version. Waltz of the flowers was a bit repetitive, but Mira Nadon as Dewdrop was fabulous. Overall a very commendable effort from everyone given the circumstances. But yes, the underwhelming drama and the limits of the setting really emphasized what we're missing with theaters closed.
  18. No I didn't find it distracting; it showed off the dancing effectively while making the party scene feel appropriately cinematic. No jarring zooms or pans like you see in some dance films. There was one moment in the middle of the SPF solo where the camera cuts to close ups of the angels' faces, but that might have been strategic to conceal a wobble or something.
  19. Actually the production value was very high with sophisticated camerawork, editing, and sound quality; not like the archive footage they've been showing. This may have been a collaboration with Marquee TV from the beginning, or maybe the company produced it on their own with plans to sell streaming rights at some point. If they were simply drawing from archive footage, they probably would have better performances to choose from.
  20. Kowroski and Angle were better than I expected after reading the reports, but it wasn't a performance that's indicative of NYCB at its best. Odd choice of casting for a high-production filmed show. Angle screwed up pretty noticeably in the turns à la seconde; it looked like he started late and finished early before stumbling out. But Fairchild, King, Ulbricht, the snowflake and flower corps, etc. made up for the flaws.
  21. Shevchenko and Bell appear to be rehearsing something (classical) together as well, according to Instagram. It may be for something non-ABT-related though. Other dancers have posted class/rehearsal footage as well. So the dancers are definitely "working" in one way or another. For whatever reason the company isn't -- at least not yet -- showcasing the classical talent and drive among its own employees. Instead, dancers like Brandt and Shevchenko get to perform for Instagram, or organize their own virtual events while the company prioritizes mediocre commissions that aren't even ballet. A real shame, and the company's loss, because people would actually pay to stream things like pas de deux from Swan Lake, Giselle, etc. I'll give them the benefit of a doubt that those events might be in the works, but we haven't seen much indication yet.
  22. I can't bring myself to watch the event, even though I miss ABT a lot. I see no evidence of demand for this type of work. Yes, modern-dance duets are easier to put together for a virtual pandemic offering than Swan Lake, but people go to ABT for the full-length classics. Couldn't they show some classical pas de deux and solos, similar to the Royal Ballet's recent virtual program? (That was fantastic, btw, at around $11 USD to stream for a month). Make use of quarantine couple Bell and Hurlin! Or Brandt and Shayer, who, based on Instagram, have been rehearsing together. As for the "wokeness," it comes off as so forced and desperate for relevance. I'm really not sure whom they're trying to appeal to with all of this. The "youth"? The New York Times? I'm a millennial and unless ABT manages to put together a virtual (or outdoor) program with actual quality and substance, I'll probably just wait for the next Koch or Met season.
  23. The ticket-purchasing system is actually very well designed (other than the part that shows you the prices), but the website is overall not as great for "browsing" as it used to be. The lack of a "calendar" section is particularly annoying. And the marketing photos look more like ads for an upscale gym or fashion brand than for a ballet company. Lots of great stuff on the new season but some of the programming is questionable. Did Bartok Ballet, Rotunda, and DGV really need to come back? Not too confident about all of the commissions from modern-dance choreographers. I did like Andrea Miller's piece for the digital season so that one sounds the most promising to me.
  24. Ohh thank you for the correction. When you select two subscription tickets for a particular show, the window shows the price of both combined, not each one. Not as clear as it could be . Sorry for alarming anyone.
  25. Jesus they've essentially DOUBLED prices for subscription tickets. I know they need to make back lost revenue but are enough people going to shell out this much?? Also this website redesign is not user-friendly.
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