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    longtime ballet goer
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  1. Anyone else see this Le Corsaire repeat yesterday? I didn't catch most of the cast but Medora was Ekaterina Krysanova and Conrad was Igor Tsvirko. I didn't know anything about this production coming in, got there a few minutes late, and was very confused by how very different this was from the Kirov production I saw in person and on video around 1989 and the very similar ABT production. For example, there was no Gulnara up to that point and no Ali. And some of the steps seemed different than I remembered. Then I came back toward the end of the first intermission and saw Alexei Ratmansky being interviewed and realized that this was a reconstruction. The Jardin Anime was wonderful (but not for everyone--a woman sitting in the row behind me commented that "they really didn't need that last part"). On the whole, I really enjoyed this production, lots of beautiful dancing. But I found the anti-semitism in the portrayal of Lanquedem really disturbing.
  2. She's now listed on the NYCB website under Alumni, so she must have retired.
  3. I just watched Coco on Netflix. I'm not sure what a child would get from it, but I found the ending very moving.
  4. I also saw it yesterday in the movie theater. Agree that it was too dark. I've seen this production once before in cinema, but I've never seen Raymonda (other than the Balanchine takes on it) in person. A lot of the dancing was beautiful and I especially enjoyed the third act, but I just don't find this production as a whole to be very compelling.
  5. Thanks for letting us know Roberta. If anyone is interested in going, here's the information: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-hall-of-fame-induction-ceremony-tickets-70287079547
  6. Won't the Broadway version have about a year head start on the film? The film could even increase the audience for the show--lots of people seem to want to see the Broadway Disney musicals when they could easily stay home and watch the movies and just by generating more buzz about WSS in general. Also, isn't Justin Peck the choreographer for the movie?
  7. You're right, it was Tesori's music--Thompson did the libretto. I think he was doing most of the publicity so that's the name that stuck in my mind.
  8. There was a new one, Tazewell Thompson's Blue, this past summer at Glimmerglass.
  9. I thought that the original donkey retired (and then died) a few years ago and was replaced by a pony.
  10. She also says that she's joining PNB starting with Nutcracker.
  11. I found the episodes on the history of the company pretty dull (I've been going to NYCB for ~30 years now, so there wasn't anything new for me). And Farley is a little too gee-whiz in his delivery for me and I find his vocal fry a bit grating. But I thought that the latest episode on Opus 19/The Dreamer was a big leap forward. Silas's interviews with Taylor Stanley, Jean-Pierre Frolich, Kurt Nikkanen, and Peter Boal were very interesting and I think Silas sounded somewhat more natural in conversation than on his own.
  12. The Masters at Work program also looks good to me--Serenade, Summerspace, and Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2. I've never seen Summerspace, but I think that the other two works would be great for a newcomer to Balanchine/NYCB. I think that Nutcracker can be a great introductory ballet--I think having a story to follow can be very helpful for a newcomer.
  13. I finally read this book a couple of weeks ago. Ms. Sills is a very engaging storyteller and seems a very positive, upbeat person--the book is written as though she's talking to you directly and telling you about herself. I was particularly interested in the perspective of someone who was not a NYCB principal dancer but was in the company during the Balanchine years. The book covers her childhood on Broadway, her ballet training, years as a corp dancer and soloist with NYCN, and finally her work as a dance professor teaching ballet (primarily to students of modern dance) and staging Balanchine works. I did find some of the material on the Balanchine years interesting, particularly her work friendship with Suzanne Farrell, who she believed recommended her for roles. But, from my point of view, she didn't seem particularly reflective about her experiences or her relationships with others. I think that this is maybe what the NYT review was getting at--not just about Balanchine, for example, but also her relationships with her parents--a more pessimistic reader (like me) might interpret some things less favorably than Ms. Sills does.
  14. I went to see the Boston Ballet at Jacob's Pillow yesterday. This was my first time seeing this company, and I ended up being very favorably impressed. The program consisted of Jorma Elo's Bach Cello Suites, two works by Leonid Yakobson, Pas de Quatre and Rodin, and excerpts from William Forsythe's Playlist (EP). The Bach Cello suites featured live music from cellist Sergey Antonov, who was seated on the far right sight of the stage throughout. Somewhat to my surprise, I enjoyed this ballet, although I did feel that it went on a bit too long. It also had some false endings--lighting dims, dancer strike a pose, audience begins to clap, ballet goes on. And on. Although the dancers were excellent, I don't know them well enough to recognize/remember who was who in the cast of 10 dancers. MadameP's description of Leonid Yakobson's Shurale a few months back, piqued my interest in Yakobson's choreography, so I was particularly interested in seeing his two works. The first was Pas de Quatre, featuring Dawn Atkins, Nina Matiasvili, Lia Cirio, and Lauren Herfendahl. The back wall of the theater was opened for this ballet, so it was danced against the beautiful backdrop of the trees behind the theater on the Pillow grounds. It began with all four dancers, dressed in romantic white tutus, in the traditional posed seen in the historic Pas de Quatre, although the choreography was not strictly romantic in style. The first section is danced with the dancers holding hands the entire time. Then, there were variations for each of them, followed by a finale, ending with the dancers again in the iconic pose. The dancing of Cirio and Matiashvili particularly impressed me in this ballet. After a brief pause, the curtain opened on the second Yakobson piece, Rodin, where the first thing we see is four pairs of dancers, each pair lit by a spotlight, on an otherwise dark stage. Each pair was posed as one of four Rodin sculptures: The Eternal Spring, The Kiss, The Eternal Idol, and Minotaur and Nymph. Costumes were beige unitards. The lights then dimmed again, then rise on the first pair of dancers who danced and then returned back to the starting pose--this general structure was followed for each of the four "sculptures" in turn. The first three were choregraphed in 1958, whereas Minotaur and Nymph was from 1971 and was stylistically different from the three previous sculptures-- sexier and more abstract. This was a big audience favorite. All of the dancers were, again, excellent with Soo-Bin Lee and Matthew Slattery in Minotaur and Nymph. Last was the excerpts from Playlist (EP)--I was surprised at how much I liked this. Although the playlist was modern (Surely Shorty/Pevan Everett, Location/Khalid, Vegas/Abra, and Impossible/Lion Babe/Jax Jones), it was very danceable and the ballet was exhilarating to watch, particularly the dances at the beginning and end featuring 12 male dancers. There was also a lovely pas de deux for Chrystyn Fentroy and Desean Taber. Next to last was a dance for six women, with Lia Cirio and Viktorina Kapitonova particularly featured, and both wonderful. Costumes were short hot pink dresses for the women and hot pink tops with bright blue pants with hot pink racing stripes for the men. You can see the post-performance talk here: https://www.jacobspillow.org/events/boston-ballet/ Slightly off-topic: Yesterday was the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first slaves in what would become the U.S.A, and all of the U.S. National Parks and Landmarks held commemorative ceremonies at 3 pm to mark this event. Because Jacob's Pillow is a National Historic Landmark, there was a ceremony during the intermission--Pamela Tatge, the Director of Jacob's Pillow, made some brief remarks and then there was four minutes of bell-ringing, one minute for each century. It was quite moving.
  15. Email from SPAC says that we will have another "1-week" season next year, July 14-18, 2020. No word yet on programming.
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