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About FPF

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    longtime ballet goer
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  1. Except for some fourth ring seats, every seat is sold for every performance of Swan Lake this week. I hate this production, but they don't actually need a better one to get people in the door.
  2. Very sad news. I used to buy NY Magazine for her reviews and the crossword puzzle.
  3. The Fisher Center at Bard has announced their Summerscape programming and NYCB Moves will be appearing there from June 26-28. The program will consist of Pam Tanowitz's Bartok Ballet and Kyle Abraham's The Runaway. More information and link to purchase tickets here: https://fishercenter.bard.edu/events/nycb-moves/. I missed The Runaway at SPAC last year due to the extreme heat, so I hope to be able to see it at Bard this time.
  4. FPF

    Winter 2020

    I was at last night ‘s New Combinations program, sitting way in the 4th ring. In contrast to the descriptions of the earlier performances of this program, the house was quite full last night, as this was one of the Art Series performances where all seats were $35. I ended up staying in the city overnight, so I did get to see the whole program, which included the second casts of some of the ballets. There was an intro from Jean-Pierre Frohlich, who took a long time to say very little. Special shout-out to the ushers who pounced on cell phone users early on. First up was Polyphonia, with Unity Phelan, Peter Walker,Brittany Pollack, Harrison Ball, Emma von Enck, Sebastian Villarini-Velez, and Indiana Woodward and Alec Knight. My friend who came with me (even though she said that she didn’t really like ballet) loved it, so we were off to a good start. The audience response reminded me a bit of seeing NYCB at SPAC, as there was a group down below who cheered wildly at the end. Next up was Bright, with Sara Adams, Emily Gerrity, Sara Mearns, Gilbert Bolden III, Andrew Scordato, and Preston Chamblee. Preston seemed to do a great job partnering Sara, who was lovely. I enjoyed all of the dancers, and although I don’t think this was Pecks’s best work, I did enjoy it. After the pause was Opus 19/The Dreamer, with Brittany Pollack and Gonzalo Garcia. I had been up extremely early that morning, and my attention really started to flag here, but I think that was more me than the dancers. Brittany was, I thought, lovely. Last up was the second cast of Voices, which both of us really enjoyed. I am grateful to Kathleen O’Connell for her thoughts on the music, as it allowed me to not focus on trying to make sense of the words, but to treat the sounds as part of the music. I thought that it was very original and it definitely held my interest throughout. The cast for this performance was Teresa Reichlen, Indiana Woodward, Mary Thomas MacKinnon , Megan Le Crone. and Alexa Maxwell. I particularly enjoyed Alexa’s performance, and although I don’t generally love her dancing. I thought Megan also was very good. The men were Harrison Ball, Jovani Furlan, Preston Chamblee (replacing Ask la Cour), David Riccaro, and Peter Walker. One thing that really stood out to me was that all of the applause seemed to be responding to bits of male bravado between the segments for the women. I agree with the earlier comments that the final section was not as interesting as what came before. Afterwards, there was a dj and free drinks. We wandered from level to level to look at the various portraits on display (the gift was a booklet of the portraits). It was a really enjoyable evening.
  5. FPF

    Winter 2020

    I haven't seen Voices yet, but all of the previous Ratmansky ballets for NYCB have, I think, well-chosen music and beautiful choreography. I love Concerto DSCH, and also very much enjoyed Namouna and Odessa. I've also seen a few of his ballets for ABT (e.g, On the Dnieper, Seven Sonatas, Piano Concerto No. 1), also with good music and choreography. But Ratmansky's ballets are, I think, more concerned with people/relationships than just steps to music, even when the work is "abstract," compared with the various abstract Balanchine ballets you mentioned (and that I also love). He's also not a direct descendant of Balanchine, so I don't think that style should be expected of him. And as mentioned above, even Balanchine had his oddities and less pleasant musical choices (e.g., Variations pour une porte et soupier, Episodes). In contrast, I think that Justin Peck's ballets are much more, "Balanchinean" (with influences from Robbins and others as well), but he doesn't consistently pick music that really provides a foundation or impetus for ballet. For example, I loved Pulcinella Variations, which I think is his best work to date (at least that I've seen)--I found the choreography really delightful and apt for the music. I've also liked InCreases, The Times are Racing, and Rodeo, to name a few more. But I've found some of his ballets dull, and I think it's because the music just lacks something structurally (e.g., the Sufjan Stevens ballets). But I am generally pretty happy to see the latest from these two choreographers. I don't miss the days of new Martins ballets every season.
  6. Alexandra Waterbury is a woman. I believe she is now 22 years old. She is suing NYCB, SAB, two former principal dancers (Chase Finlay and Zachary Catazaro), current principal dancer Amar Ramasar (on leave to play Bernardo in West Side Story), and former donor Jared Longhitano. There are a ton of posts on this board about this, going back to around September 2018. There are also a lot of newspaper articles about the case, especially in The NY Times , if you want to know more about it. Briefly, she has accused Finlay, her former boyfriend, of taking photos without her knowledge and consent, sharing them with others, including Ramasar and Longhitano, and NYCB and SAB of being co-liable for the men’s behavior.
  7. FPF

    Winter 2020

    Thanks Leah. Looks like I may need to skip the last ballet next week in order to make my train. 😞
  8. FPF

    Winter 2020

    Sunsteph and/or Leah, how long was the program/what time did it end?
  9. FPF

    Winter 2020

    I agree with Helene’s take on NYCB casting—opening night and being a muse are the prestige positions. I used to subscribe (late 80s through most of the 90s) to the Sunday matinee and got to see all of the principals regularly, including Baryshnikov when he guested, plus soloists and corps dancers. When I subscribed to one of the weeknight evening series in 1999, there was no real difference in the overall quality or prestige of the casts. Although there might be differences in programming between subscriptions, things tended to equalize over time. One of the things I appreciate about NYCB is that they treat all of their audiences pretty equally in terms of both casting and programming on different days of the week.
  10. I interpreted it the opposite way--that the church was on the far side of the lake that Hans/Hilarion gets tossed into, emphasizing that Giselle was buried at a distance from it.
  11. I saw it then (1996?), too. I'd definitely pass this time.
  12. If, as we see in this production, Giselle's death is not by suicide, why would she be buried in the woods, rather than the churchyard?
  13. This discussion is fascinating. I've always thought that at the end of Act 2 (in every production I've seen), when Giselle returns to the earth (either her grave or to a random pile of earth, as in this production) she would no longer be a Wili and would just "rest in peace"--she doesn't belong with them because rather than pursuing vengeance against men, she defied Myrthe and protected Albrecht.
  14. The Wilis in this production particularly reminded me of those in the Cuban National Ballet's Giselle, which I saw a few years ago. I noticed yesterday that Viengsay Valdes was one of the people acknowledged by Ratmansky at the end.
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