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Everything posted by vendangeuse

  1. I think I qualify as a relative ballet newcomer. I’m under 40, and ABT is my favorite domestic ballet company. That being said, I read the description of the event and was deeply disappointed... and when my calendar alert went off for the event I kind of sighed and didn’t even bother. It sounds like I made the right choice. Not to say I speak for all new/younger audiences, but if that’s what they were going for here, I’m not sure they succeeded. The auction also seems to be doing rather poorly....
  2. Any idea when we might expect initial casting here? (Ditto the Kennedy Center dates.) I expect much like the lead up to the ROH performances last year that casting will change a lot, but I’m eager for any news on who might be dancing.
  3. As does Javier Camarena on Instagram. Disappointing from both, each of whom are gifted artists and whose performances I have enjoyed very much.
  4. For what it’s worth, I (a woman) had no intention of buying tickets to the Women’s Movement program—but I will almost certainly buy a ticket to the revised program when casting is announced. I found Garden Blue terribly dull last year and was not keen to see either that or the Dorrance piece again. (I usually love Dorrance works, but I didn’t feel her piece last year was among her strongest.) But I am curious about the new Bond piece, and incredibly eager to see Nee American Romance. I’ve been following Whiteside’s choreographic work and I often find it fun and fresh. I’m very pleased ABT is giving him the opportunity to bring his work to the NY audience. I hope it’s just as well received here as it was in Vail, and only opens up more opportunities for him to choreograph for the company. (As a side note, I wonder if this is the piece he was working on during the ABT Incubator last fall?)
  5. ! This was my first time seeing Ratmansky’s Sleeping Beauty and I did notice there seemed to be a remarkable lack of dancing for Desire. Honestly it took some of the wind out of my sails for Lane/Cornejo tomorrow. I’m happy to hear this was an accommodation (it seems) for Bell, and not standard. Looking forward to tomorrow with all the more enthusiasm. (And I agree—Boylston was lovely.)
  6. Ah, I see. Does this mean complete casting is not generally available until the night of the performance?
  7. This will be my first time seeing the Bolshoi on tour. Is it possible that full/complete casting will be available before the performance? Has this been done in the past? Some of the performances I am attending still have plenty of seats remaining, and I would consider upgrading the seats I have if certain soloists are performing.
  8. For those who are interested, Hallberg has confirmed via Twitter that he will be performing Program C, Aug 13-15. No further details on what specific pieces will be performed that evening.
  9. Agree with this wholeheartedly. I went last night to see Cornejo specifically, but I was astounded by the number of children in attendance—several of them with Misty Copeland dolls on their laps throughout the performance. It was incredibly moving for me to see so many young people so deeply engaged with ballet and excited to be there. From my perspective, Misty sells, which helps keep ABT afloat. I do not go out of my way to see or avoid her, but i recognize that she plays an important roll in the company, and I am grateful to her for the roll she has played in drawing new audiences to the ballet. ...which is not to say that I was, admittedly, a little excited when I saw the posting in the lobby about Sarah Lane. I have not been a big fan of hers in the past, but last night she really won me over. I do hope she gets an O/O next year; she has certainly proved capable and deserving of it. I also have tickets on Saturday (to see Hallberg) and I am very curious to see what casting changes (if any) occur for that performance... if I were inclined to bet I’d put money on Bolyston performing Act III Saturday night.
  10. ...who is also (if this board is any indication) one of the few male principals that can reliably draw certain audiences to the theater. (I also have tickets for Cornejo/Copeland; I really hope he will be back by then.) I’m sure the fact that it’s SL has quite a lot to do with it, and Copeland’s star power is undeniably a big draw for some audiences. These performances would sell well on those merits alone. But I also think Cornejo and Hallberg draw bigger crowds than say, Stearns, who seems to be partnered with Copeland a lot this season.
  11. It's also the only Swan Lake that Hallberg is dancing—and he is only performing three times this season. That performance has been quite well sold since single tickets went on sale. (I purchased a bunch of single tickets in addition to my subscription before they were released to the public, and was surprised to find how far back in the orchestra my seats were for this particular performance, despite ordering early and being an ABT member.)
  12. In other casting news... Cassandra Trenary posted a story to Instagram today advertising the Tharp strip program next week with the caption “Me and @HermanCornejo wanna see y’all at the Met Opera House” with a photo of the two of them dancing In the Upper Room. Not exactly a confirmation that his injury isn’t serious, but cause for hope, maybe, that he’ll be dancing next week.
  13. That was my plan—to get rush tickets and go back! Regrettably something came up literally at Intermission last night... ah well. Perhaps in the Fall. And could not agree more with @abatt above—Forster is doing wonderfully. (Which is partly why I wanted to attend the matinee—to see his Sergei in Dnieper.)
  14. Last night the Family Circle and Balcony were woefully undersold. That being said, there was a lot more energy in the theatre last night than there was at both performances of Harlequinade I saw last week. This was my third time seeing Songs of Bukovina—it grows on me with every viewing. This season I am noticing many lovely qualities in Boylston’s dancing that I had not before, first as Columbine last week and now in Bukovina. I admit, I bought tickets to her Manon for Hallberg, but now I find myself looking forward to her debut. Hoven looked great. (I saw him last week as well, but he hardly had any dancing as Pierrot.) I hope Cornejo recovers from his injury, but if not, I hope Hoven gets more opportunities to dance, as he did last night as Cornejo’s understudy for the Seasons. It was my first chance to see On the Dnieper—I wish I could see it again! What a dense piece. I have been listening to the Prokofiev score leading up to the season but that did not prepare me for the visual richness of this ballet. Choreography aside, I thought the costuming was gorgeous. I loved the muted color palette and the set design. Those petals...! I suppose it’s kind of a cheap effect (I think it would take my breath away even if the dancing was mediocre) but watching the dancers kick all of the fallen petals up during the wedding scene was truly beautiful. The choreography itself is so layered that I found my eyes constantly wandering across the stage—there was so much to take in. Shevchenko was as elegant as always as Olga. I was glad to see Seo—she seems to be back in good form after her injury in the fall. Tonight she moved with the same expressive delicacy, fragility, and vulnerability that I have loved in her dancing since I first saw her (and none of the tenuous hesitation I felt when I saw her in October in Garden Blue. It was Whiteside’s debut as Olga’s fiancé and he was on fire. His solo (dance tantrum?) during the wedding got some of the loudest applause of the night. He has always to my memory been a very athletic dancer, but this season he seems quicker and stronger than ever. I enjoyed Stearn’s dancing more than I usually do. The Seasons was enchanting—everything I’d hoped for in a new Ratmansky piece. It’s a little early to say because I’ve only seen it twice, but I suspect the Zephyr/Spirit of the Corn pas de deux will become one of my favorite. That being said, I have to reluctantly agree with the NYTimes: the piece looked like it could have used more rehearsal. Worse, it sounded like the orchestra desperately needed more rehearsal time. I’m familiar with the Glazunov score and while parts of it were played admirably, there were also parts (particularly around the Summer section) where there were a number of tempo changes, and the orchestra sounded very muddy and off-rhythm. But I think this piece has staying power: parts of it were so beautiful that, even despite the issues described above, I was moved close to tears. The parts of Summer with the JKO students was especially lovely. I hope to have the opportunity to see this piece again next Fall or Spring, after the dancers have had the opportunity to tighten it up. I dearly wish I could have seen this program again with the other cast, but unfortunately circumstances will not allow it. If only they were presenting the program on Friday as well.
  15. Stumbled upon this while looking for more info on the live screening today (May 19.) Thought I would share it here since the article above made no mention of the cinema relays. I've transcribed the dates below: May 19 2019 - Carmen Suite / Petrushka Oct 27 2019 - Raymonda Nov 17 2019 - Le Corsaire * Previously Recorded Dec 15 2019 - The Nutcracker * Previously Recorded Jan 26 2020 - Giselle (Ratmansky Production) Feb 23 2020 - Swan Lake Mar 29 2020 - Romeo and Juliet *Previously Recorded April 19 2020 - Jewels I'm delighted that we'll be getting a cinema broadcast of the new Giselle, and I'm curious to see who is ultimately cast in what is being advertised on the website as a "new cast" for Swan Lake. (No Zakharova?) I was hoping we'd get the new Klug (his upcoming adaptation of The Master & Margarita) but that premiere is set for May 21 2020—perhaps technically, then, there's still hope we might get it in the 20/21 cinema season.
  16. I, too, would love for ABT to do Bright Stream again. I am going to see the other Ratmansky programs this Spring at least once, but would have shelled out a decent sum of cash to see Bright Stream and bought tickets to see it more than once far in advance.
  17. I was also there on Monday, and found it similarly bare. It felt like a real whiplash of a difference after the packed houses for the Ring Cycle last week, but honestly, I've been at the Met during the opera's season and found it similarly empty on Monday nights. I remember specifically going to see La Fille du Regiment this year on a Monday. I sat in one of the side boxes and was amazed at how empty the theatre was—and if I'm remembering correctly, other nights towards the end of the run practically sold out. This is not to say it isn't dispiriting (it is) but filling the opera house is a task that the opera itself is not often up to—it is a big theater. Last year, I did catch Harlequinade, but only the first act (I had to leave in the middle of the performance) so it was nice to see the full piece. I do really enjoy the sequences of the children dancing, though I recognize that is not what most people are attending ABT to see. I don't mind a pantomime-heavy Swan Lake or Romeo and Juliet (I enjoy the music enough to carry me through those sections) but the music in Harlequinade is pretty forgettable IMO. For what it's worth, although he really didn't do any actual dancing, I thought Thomas Forster was hilarious as Pierrot. I saw Hallberg in this role last year and it was just kind of... sad? Dejected and dispirited, where Forster's character seemed more lighthearted. I definitely laughed a lot more this time around.
  18. I think the ABT site is probably more accurate. Several dancers have posted their performances schedules to social media, and as far as I can tell, those dates coincide with the casting on the ABT site.
  19. I was at the performance last night, sitting on the Mezzanine. I was a tentative going into it because there seems to be a prevailing opinion here about "vanity project" programs like this, but I was pleasantly surprised. The strongest pieces on the program IMO were The Leaves are Fading and the new Ratmansky piece, Valse Triste, which (although it was a mere six minutes long) put to shame some of the work that proceeded it. It was actually my first time seeing any Tudor work live, and I found it absolutely breathtaking... although, since it was my first time, I'm not really in position to comment on how the performance measures up to the long history of other pairs who have danced it. Valse Triste... what can I say? It was everything I hoped it would be. Maybe it's because it was so short (I think it was probably the shortest piece on the program, but I'm not sure) but the choreography here seemed considered, tight, and rich with meaning in a way some of the other pieces did not. Flutter was my strong third favorite of the pieces presented. I have a fairly ambiguous relationship with the work of Nico Muhly—sometimes it is to my taste, sometimes it isn't—but here I thought Perez made good use of the Muhly music with his choreography. There was a lot of playfulness, joy, and delight in the first third of the piece, a welcome change of mood after the Tudor. There were a couple of instances in which it felt like Perez was trying too hard to be "mysterious," and I think the piece suffered for it. (Notably there is one section where the lighting is changing very rapidly between 3-4 different arrangements, and I found this more distracting than it was effective at conveying any kind of significance.) But on the whole I really enjoyed it, and Osipova and Goddard danced together well. (The NYTimes review declares Goddard 'fades' next to her, but I'm not sure agree with that assessment.) The two solo pieces—Ave Maria and In Absentia—were inoffensive, and (I thought) mostly unremarkable, but I enjoyed them all the same. I'm especially curious to see In Absentia again tonight, since I was unable to give it the attention I thought it deserved yesterday—the woman beside me had her phone ringing quite audibly in her bag for almost the entirety of the piece. I did find the lighting for both to be very beautiful. (In the piece Hallberg dances, it is particularly unique: there is a prop television on the stage, which houses [I think] a projector that is throwing light and abstract images on the stage wall behind him. It also casts a very crisp shadow of Hallberg as he dances.) I didn't really care for Six Years Later. It was the one low point for me on the program. The NYTimes described it as "long winded" and with that I have to agree, but I do not necessarily think the repetition was always effective. Some of the 'choreography' is just Osipova and Kittelberger circling each other and acting. I don't always mind this—moments in dance when, for lack of a better way to describe it, the line between 'choreography' and 'stage directions' seems to blur a little—but here, I did not find it evocative in any way, really. On another note, I don’t know if the City Center actually attracts the rudest audiences in NY, or if the acoustics of the theater (or at least the Mezzanine) amplify rude behavior, but my goodness! The number of people talking loudly during the performance, pulling out there phones to look at their programs (light) or answering them (ringing) was astounding. Last weekend, I had a similarly bad experience when I saw Dorrance Dance. I absolutely LOVE the City Center—this season in particular has been fantastic—but am I wrong in thinking this problem is only getting worse? I think it strikes me especially because of how aggressive the ushers are there... right up until the lights go do. One can't navigate to one's seat (no matter how familiar one is with the theater) without being chased down by one of the ushers, but when phones are going off like crazy in the middle of a performance it's like they aren't there at all. This is especially frustrating given how difficult it is to secure a decent seat in the theater without spending upwards of $75.
  20. Tantalizingly few details about the new Ratmansky piece... I agree with Leah, though—I look forward to the chance to see Summerspace.
  21. I am planning on attending! Even if only for the Tudor and the new Ratmansky piece, which was featured in a lovely article in the New Yorker a few weeks ago: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/dancers-at-work-alexei-ratmansky-in-the-studio-with-natalia-osipova-and-david-hallberg ...Though I am a little nervous about whether or not Hallberg will actually dance, or how many nights; he just cancelled a show at the Bolshoi due to some leg pain. (At least I think it’s leg pain—the message is posted in Russian and the translation Instagram gave me is a bit confusing. Perhaps someone more tech-savvy than I can link his post for reference.)
  22. While I admit this doesn’t look good at face-value, I’m curious to see how this all plays out. Specifically, what are ABT’s obligations to Celebrity? How many dancers are they obligated to put on the cruise? And which? For example, I can envision a scenario where Celebrity only runs, for example, two week long “ABT cruises” (in the way that other cruise lines sometimes being aboard notable opera singers, or other classical arts performances) where the performances are somehow tied to the ports of call, and the off-shore programming might be tied to other classical arts history. Perhaps these cruises even leave from (or arrive in) NY around the time of ABT’s New York performances, and Celebrity cruises would be given the option to “add on” proper ABT performances to their travel via Celebrity. I’m not sure how much of the above is feasible. But I can see a scenario in which this opportunity actually does benefit ABT a little, if their costs are kept minimal. The news alarms me, a little, and while we may look back on this news as “the beginning of the end” in another decade or so, I don’t think that’s a foregone conclusion. But between this and the partnership with Duke, it doesn’t look like us New Yorkers will be getting those two Spring Season weeks back anytime soon.
  23. I was at the performance last night—I couldn't believe Camarena did the encore again! The Met is always quieter on Mondays and from where I sat on one of the sides it looked woefully empty, and I was sure he wouldn't sing the encore. But then I saw the conductor giving the cue for the encore and yes, I was absolutely grinning from ear to ear. I'm so glad I had the chance to see this.
  24. Every time I see this thread updated I'm torn between sadness and disgust. One almost wonders if he's self-destructing on purpose.
  25. Argh—what a shame. It really is lovely.
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