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About vendangeuse

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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    New York City
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    New York

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  1. As unimpressed as I had been with Swan Lake, I was very pleasantly surprised by Don Quixote, so much so that I would have been tempted to see it again on Saturday had they not cancelled the second date. The energy level on stage seemed much higher... but, this could be because over the course of 3 hours, Don Q appeared to have more actual dancing (instead of mime/gesture) than all 4 hours of SL. I really thought the dancing was terrific, from Basil, Mercedes, Espada, Cupid, the gypsy soloists... and I thought Tatiana Melnik’s Kitri was more enjoyable than her O/O. Kind of a shame, since from where I sat it looked like this show sold more poorly than SL. (The theater was still pretty full, but I thought I saw more empty seats than usual down in the orchestra.) I did wonder if people who had tickets maybe saw the NYT review and decided not to come.
  2. Reporting back on an underwhelming performance last night. Unfortunately I have to agree with Dreamer—I don’t know that they really “pulled off” SL for me. I have no classical dance training, and have only become interested in ballet in the last few years. Sometimes the technical discussions on this board go over my head, but even to my eyes some of the dancing looked a little sloppy last night. The "swan" scenes were generally better, but some of the dancing in Act I and III was, IMO, pretty mediocre. Also, the orchestra played a fair bit of the score at a slower tempo than I have come to expect; I couldn't help but wonder, based on what I saw, if it was because the dancers could not have performed the choreography at the usual speed. The principals were the exception, but I did not find their dancing particularly exciting, even if it was a better performance from a technical standpoint. I was also put off by some of the elements of the van Dantzig production; some of the choices struck me as very bizarre. For example, the prologue opens with Siegfried’s mother—maybe grieving? I couldn’t quite tell, it seemed like maybe it was supposed to depict her remembering the events of the ballet after Siegfried has “drowned”? (Which he does offstage, and not clearly; had it not been for the synopsis I would have no idea that was how he died, or even that he had died, until his friend carried his body out from behind a set piece.) But it struck me as odd to center her in the prologue when she has such a small role in the rest of the ballet. Nor did I find the choreography particularly exciting. During some of the my favorite moments in the score, there was no dancing on stage at all: just people crossing from one end of the stage to another, making empty gestures. Which is more or less my general criticism of the performance, generally: I love the Tchaikovsky score, but I don’t think the performance ever really came near to marching the intensity or the beauty of the music. I have tickets to see Don Q on Friday, and trying to be cautiously optimistic about it. It looks like Tsvirko is still set to dance Basil. I know he is not everyone's cup of tea, but I think the role will suit him well. I have never seen him dance live, and I am really looking forward to it. Maybe he will be able to bring to Don Q some of the personality and excitement that was lacking in SL. One thing I am very pleased to report back about—no nationalistic speeches! It seems that was unique to the gala.
  3. vendangeuse

    ABT 2019 Met Season

    I was on the Met Opera's website perusing Spring performances today, and curiously, though ABT has said nothing about it (as far as I know) Olga Smirnova is listed dancing with the company in the spring: two performances of Le Corsaire (as Guinare), Manon (as Lescaut's Mistress), Harlequinade (as Pierette) and Whipped Cream (as Princess Tea Flower.) https://www.metopera.org/season/2019-abt/le-corsaire/ Is this perhaps a mistake on the Met's part? (There are other mistakes—Hee Seo is listed as dancing Prince Desire, for example.) I would be surprised if the Met let slip a Guest Artist before it was officially announced by ABT, but it seems like a difficult error to make accidentally on the Met's part.
  4. vendangeuse

    ABT 2018 Fall season

    I'll chime in with some general impressions from last night: I actually specifically attended this program for "Le Jeune." I saw "Not Our Fate" at NYCB last spring, and was interested in seeing more of Lovette's work, so I went out of my way to attend the program last night for that reason. I find myself agreeing with nysusan—not great, but enjoyable. I was so excited about the Dorrance piece, but I also found it felt a little underwhelming. I think for me it looked like the dancers really needed another two weeks to tighten it up. In fact, while waiting for the program to start, I actually could hear the thudding of the dancers practicing backstage... a lot of the dancing looked either tepid or hesitant, and I found this to be more of an issue than the style of movement. There were a couple of moments that I thought would have had a lot more "oomph" (thinking of the women tapping out rhythms with their pointes) if they had been a little tighter. That being said, I thought Murphy, Whiteside & Royal all danced wonderfully. If I am remembering correctly Whiteside actually started out (very young) as a jazz dancer, and more than the others he looked like was actually having fun with the choreography. I've thought about seeing the piece again later in the season, but I don't think my schedule will permit it. I loved In the Upper Room, but it was my first time seeing the piece, so I can't compare it to other performances/casts. Also, I didn't listen too closely to the speeches, but Netflix was apparently one of the sponsors of the Gala. Knowing absolutely nothing about how these things work—I wonder if Netflix and ABT are also working on some kind of deal for Netflix to distribute recordings of their performances? Others on this board have lamented the lack of ABT DVDs available. Now that streaming services like Marquee Arts and Medici seem to be gaining some kind of foothold, I wonder if ABT is looking at digital/online distribution? I imagine it must be cheaper than having all those discs printed, labeled, shipped, etc.
  5. vendangeuse

    ABT 2018 Fall season

    Not sure if this is the right forum to ask this, but looking for a little help. I have a ticket to the performance the night of the Gala—which seemed like a good idea at the time, as there were several ballets I was avoiding on other programs, and juggling some other commitments for October—but I'm not really sure what to expect tomorrow. I know the Gala is a "black tie" event, but as I am not staying for dinner, I assume I can dress a little more casually than that?
  6. vendangeuse

    ABT 2019 Met Season

    That's fair, abatt. (Although I thought last Spring he got pulled from a bunch of his shows because of his injury?) This does make the questions raised in the 'Roster in Review' thread all the more interesting though, doesn't it, if even Hallberg is only scheduled to perform a handful of times?
  7. vendangeuse

    ABT 2019 Met Season

    Especially if Hallberg is only dancing two ballets! I'm excited to see Manon, but can't help but be a little salty that his participation in the Spring season will be minimal. And this after skipping out on the Fall season entirely (though with the ballets they've chosen, I can't really blame him.)
  8. Even in NYC, I don't see any theaters offering Mayerling. The only thing I can find is a cinema in Queens broadcasting a previously recorded performance of Swan Lake on September 30th.
  9. K'Arts Dance Company will perform their original 'fantasy ballet' Song of the Mermaid October 20 + 21 at NYCC, with Kimin Kim (Principal at the Mariisnky) set to dance as the Prince. https://www.nycitycenter.org/pdps/2018-2019/Song-of-the-Mermaid/ As far as I can tell, Song of the Mermaid has only been performed in Korea, so it has been a little difficult for me to find any reviews. The tone of some of publicity makes it seem like it is geared mostly towards families with children... but even with so little to go on, I plan to get a pair of tickets in the cheap seats. Kim danced so beautifully last spring with ABT that I would not pass up another chance to see him so soon.
  10. Sappho, I got my hands on The Noise of Time last week and just finished it—I tore through it. It was a fantastic book, one I expect I'll return to again in the future. Many thanks for the recommendation. The Volkov book is one of the ones Barnes references in his author's note. I think I will take your suggestion, and try to find available copies at the library or the bookstore, of both this book and Elizabeth Wilson's biography (which seems much less contentious) before I make my next selection.
  11. There have been comments on this thread questioning the role NYCB as an institution should or can play in this situation—eg, how accountable is the employer for the behavior of their employee, especially if that employee's behavior is consistent with broader, societal issues? Now, I have not yet read the entirety of the complaint (I admit I had to stop part of the way through) but it seems to suggest that Finlay's behavior was part of a broader pattern of abuse. In the first few pages, if I recall, there are allegations that at least two instances of domestic and sexual abuse have been brought to NYCB's attention. Personally, I don't care if it happened on NYCB property, or at a NYCB event; if an NYCB dancer is assaulting other members of the company, that person shouldn't be allowed to continue dancing there. And if this is true—if there is a history of assaults occurring and those responsible being allowed to return to work? Yes, that creates an environment that emboldens behavior like the kind Finlay is accused of, and that is NYCB's fault, IMO. Of course, none of this has been proven yet. But I do feel that NYCB has an obligation to provide a safe work environment for all its dancers, and part of that includes not hiring sexual predators.
  12. What truly vile accusations. If they're substantiated—if it's really as bad at NYCB as Miss Waterbury suggests—I hope the NYCB is taking far more significant steps beyond Finlay's resignation and the other two dancer's suspensions to correct (what has been described in the court docs as) an incredibly toxic work environment.
  13. vendangeuse

    NYCB 2018-2019 Season

    I only just received mine on Monday, so I would think they are still trickling out.
  14. vendangeuse

    ABT 2018 Fall season

    Actually, bingham, now that you mention it, I emailed the ABT Membership office today (about a matter unrelated to casting) and received an auto-reply that stated all the offices were closed until next Monday. So I suppose that's a fair indicator we won't hear until next week at the earliest?
  15. vendangeuse

    ABT 2018 Fall season

    I'm also holding out for casting before I purchase tickets, and I'm similarly puzzled over how it benefits ABT to wait this long... especially since (and this is a complete shot in the dark) but I would think people who just want "a night at the ballet" would be purchasing their tickets closer to the performance dates. It is becoming a little frustrating, too, because there are other performances (with tickets already on sale) that I want to see during those two weeks, but I feel the need to wait until I've pinned down what nights I'm going to ABT first.... But in any case it seems there are still plenty of seats for the programs I'm (tentatively) interested in.