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Everything posted by gallerina

  1. I’m at tonight’s performance as well, and agree regarding Laracey—as someone mentioned upthread, she looks tense and out of her element. It might be emphasized by her efforts to fit the choreography, but she looks a little frail to me, especially next to Taylor Stanley and Emilie Gerrity.
  2. It also looked like Lauren Lovette's leotard had a hole in the seam near the hip (right above the skirt) during Stravinsky Violin Concerto! And I thought Sarah Villwock looked distractingly thin in Serenade this winter, so was sorry to still feel that way into the first weeks of the spring season. I'm with you 100% on the smugness, too—that's exactly what I meant.
  3. I agree that Huxley/Hyltin were perfection in Scotch—Sterling is so wonderful in that sort of role, and I think her partnership with Huxley is my current favorite. Mira Nadon was lovely in the corps—I'd really hoped to see her reprise her workshop role and was waiting for Week 5 casting in case of a debut, but Ashley Laracey will be debuting that and Stravinsky instead that week. Mary Thomas MacKinnon looked lovely, and Alston MacGill, whom I haven't seen in many featured roles, was bright, charismatic, and brought a huge jump that matched the two featured men. There was another slip in Scotch last night from the corps, but I'm not sure who it was from. I found Valse lovely, and thought Indiana Woodward balanced the strength required for the role stamina-wise with some lovely delicate port de bras—I thought Harrison Ball was good, but he didn't seem to connect with Woodward in the way that she seemed open to. It was a little more "inward" of a performance where a little more connection felt welcome. Taylor Stanley is pure magic, and I enjoyed Megan Fairchild much more in last night's performance than I did in T&V last week. She posted on her Instagram about dedicating the performance to Andrei Kramarevsky, former SAB faculty member and company class teacher who passed away in his sleep on Tuesday night, and their performance did feel imbued with something special. I hadn't seen Stravinsky Violin Concerto since the performance in which Adrian DW was injured, and it was a pleasure to see it back in full force. In the opening, I thought I'd be frustrated by Lauren Lovette's smiley-ness, but she did a really lovely and lyrical job with the role, and she and Joseph Gordon make a lovely pair. I enjoyed Sara's performance in the group sections, but find I miss watching Maria Kowroski in the pas, and though Sanz seems like he has really been stepping up, I wanted to see another cast or old videos to see if some of his epaulment and carriage of his hands/fingers were intentional. His performance, with regard to those details, felt very stylized in a way that I hadn't noticed when watching others in the part. A lot of standouts from the corps groups in Stravinsky last night, too—Laine Habony, Emily Kitka, Miriam Miller, and Meaghan Dutton-O'Hara all caught my eye.
  4. @abatt, Alastair Macaulay posted in his Instagram post about the performance that her tutu developed a tear during the adagio.
  5. Jonothan Stafford and Wendy Whelan spoke again before last night's performance, with Stafford introducing Whelan once more. Whelan's speech was well structured (Jon and I shared this stage for 20 years, but rarely together—the Stravinsky girl/Balanchine boy line—so excited to be exploring a new partnership. Maintain Balanchine and Robbins, and City Ballet's history of cultivating new choreographic talent, etc.) but both were rehearsed and to the point. I'm still trying to decide how I feel about "Bright." It was short, fresh, and lively, but I didn't love the music, and felt like I could have used a little more to grab onto in terms of understanding the piece (Peck commented in the Playbill article that it is about people coming and going into our lives, which didn't read to me). I thought the costumes were beautiful but didn't love the open gray stage/background, especially for a cast of only six dancers. Sara Mearns and Russell Janzen did a lovely job, and, based off of Mearns Instagram comments, returning to the piece that Peck first used for her for Fall for Dance in 2013 was an emotional and rewarding experience. I'd listened to the music for Bartok Ballet (thank you to @DC Export, the playlists are wonderful and so helpful!), and was intrigued to see what Tanowitz would do with such a complex piece of music. I didn't have the same negative response that some others on the board had, but I wished I'd seen more of Pam Tanowitz' work so that I had a better understanding of how this piece fits within her oeuvre. Though I was intrigued by many of its component parts (Indiana Woodward, all four men in the piece (Daniel Applebaum, Kennard Henson, Devin Alberda, and Jonothan Fahoury, the mazurka-esque group section, the use of the proscenium/the back of the stage/the wings, etc.), the piece was long and didn't quite come together for me. I enjoyed the gender neutrality of the costumes (leotards with black and gold shimmering tunic-esque tops transition into bright gold)—pointe shoes are the only distinguisher between the male and female costumes—and after looking at the pictures of the costumes NYCB posted to Instagram with Gretchen Smith and sitting up high with a great perspective of the entire theater, it was fascinating to think about how they referenced the space. In terms of choreography, it was very grounded compared to anything I can recall seeing at NYCB, and the choreography had some very staunch anti-balletic elements (a relaxed arm at the dancer's side in turns, most notably, but arms behind the dancer's head, too). Even though it didn't fully come together for me, I was impressed by Tanowitz's ability to revisit motifs and evoke them through subtle references to their previous use. I appreciated the legibility of the piece's presentation (in terms of structure and presentation), which, especially upon viewing the piece for a second time, might allow me to dig into the choreography a bit more. I believe this is Tanowitz's first time incorporating pointe work, but I thought it worked well with the piece. Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 was a lovely way to round out the evening. Tess Reichlen and Adrian Danchig-Waring were beautiful in the Elegie, though the corps of that section felt the least unified to me. I was impressed by Ashley Laracey and Erica Pereira (who has been looking absolutely fantastic recently, and historically wasn't someone I'd go out of my way to see) in the second and third sections (respectively). Megan Fairchild and Gonzalo Garcia's culminating T&V wasn't as majestic as it can be. I thought Fairchild did a nice job, but it didn't have the sharpness or fluidity that make that role so magical to me. In particular, the moments where she taps the box of her shoe in some of the low lifts really stuck out to me—I honestly thought she'd put her foot down or tripped. Like Abatt said, Garcia just didn't look as clean as De Luz did in this sort of role, and it wasn't my favorite last night. Lydia Wellington was one of the demi-soloists, and I was curious when I saw the demi-soloist roster for T&V, but she and Gretchen Smith (who also looked great in Bartok) were lovely.
  6. Now Megan LeCrone is back to back (pause indicated, not an intermission) in Hallelujah Junction and Herman Schmerman—I guess she'll have the first section to recover, but that feels like a difficult program!
  7. @nanushka, thank you! That is the post I was trying to cite—I'm sorry for the incorrect link!
  8. He posted what I've linked below, and one post prior to that, soon after the decision was made this fall. The first did not seem to express the level of understanding the second did (I'm sorry I can't figure out how to make the post embed!) https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn1VElYAjUE/
  9. A article in Dance Magazine just now publishes the AGMA statement that both Ramasar and Catazaro were offered reinstatement, and while Catazaro declined, Ramasar will be re-joining and undergoing counseling on the standards for his conduct. The article is here: https://www.dancemagazine.com/zachary-catazaro-amar-ramasar-firing-determined-wrongful-2635059461.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1 and the tweet with Ramasar's decision, from Michael Cooper of the Times, is below. https://twitter.com/coopnytimes/status/1119257641593769985
  10. I loved reading Miami City Ballet dancer's accounts of learning the Paul Taylor Episodes solo--there's a bit in an episode of Conversations on Dance in an interview with Eric Trope where he mentions that the dancers who learned the Episodes solo from Peter Frame were trying to get together to record and compile their notes and memories of the rehearsal process. I believe Ariel Rose (who recently choreographed a piece that was dedicated to Peter Frame for the students of Ballet Academy East), Eric Trope, Jovani Furlan, Neil Marshall, and I believe, according to the comments that were made, two others all learned it. I hope they've had the chance to do so. I'm hoping that Taylor Stanley is cast, and would be interested to see someone like Harrison Coll in the role as well. Article from Eric Trope on the rehearsal process with Frame: https://blog.conversationsondancepod.com/2018/09/18/remembering-my-time-with-peter-frame/ (I believe the MCB site has an interview with Furlan about the process at the time, as well)
  11. I just wanted to thank California and nanushka for the advice—I received my copy of More Balanchine Variations on Saturday, and was so thrilled for the additional reading material. Thanks to everyone who gave more context for Liebeslieder, too.
  12. She posted this yesterday, working on Symphony in C finale! https://www.instagram.com/p/Buz4P38A6Ed/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
  13. I feel like Erica Pereira and Brittany Pollack are cast quite often, as is Indiana Woodward (I'm hoping she will be promoted soon, though I have no idea if and when new leadership will decide to make roster adjustments).
  14. Abby Jayne DeAngelo is a PNB apprentice--also a "barn baby." I had a VHS of Children with a Dream growing up, and it made such an impact on me in terms of understanding the importance of a solid technical foundation. I'd love to see if it is available on the PBS website or online anywhere while I'm thinking about CPYB and MDW's legacy.
  15. I've been wondering about what will happen with the roster, too, though I don't have the experience of years of watching the company that I know much of this board does! I have been thinking about what might happen if a whole group of partners of taller dancers move along--Maria Kowroski and Tess Reichlen, in addition to Unity Phelan, Miriam Miller, Isabelle LaFreniere, and more all need taller men, but even watching Sara Mearns in Diamonds with Joseph Gordon, I wanted to see her with a slightly taller partner. Silas Farley, Peter Walker, and Aaron Sanz all seem like the right height, but I can't see them taking over with Kowroski or Reichlen all the time. I've also been wondering about Megan Lecrone, too--from everything I've read about her, it seemed like Peter Martins was a big fan of hers, and I wouldn't have expected a lot of debuts that have come her way this year (Sugarplum, Lilac, Hermann Scherman, etc.). The line from the Kourlas piece about friends casting friends made me wonder who she had in mind. Plus, even though Lecrone's dancing in no way reminds me of Whelan's, I think they sometimes get labeled the same way as dancers with comments on angularity and that sort of thing. I wasn't around to watch the beginning of Whelan's career, but lots of things I read comment on her work with Christopher Wheeldon opening up a real softness in her dancing, and I don't think that has happened (or that it will) with Lecrone. That might be very off base, but I have wondered about the roles Lecrone has been in and what she'll do going forward.
  16. I have the first but not the second! Ordering it now. Thank you for the recommendation!
  17. I was at last night's performance, where an announcement was made before the performance began. Wendy Whelan and Jonathan Stafford gave a brief talk, and though Whelan was obviously nervous (shifting her weight from foot to foot, and even admitting it in her introduction), her words were clear and concise, and the two both seemed delighted to be on stage and working together. Jonathan Stafford gave the introduction, and introduced Whelan in a truly humbling manner (something to the effect of what an honor it was to be standing next to one of the greatest artists of City Ballet). I found it interesting—it definitely felt more like he was her junior rather than vice versa, and it made me wonder how the dynamic between the two will continue to play out. They seem incredibly happy to be working together, though, which was lovely to see. Wendy was in the audience, and during intermission, seemed vibrant and engaged in a really touching way. I was reminded of touching moment from Restless Creature: When Peter Boal returns for her farewell performance, the two are talking outside of Lincoln Center and he says something the the effect of "You changed how people behave in this profession—they're kind, gracious, etc. They didn't used to be that way." He goes on to say how every time she walked into the theater, she knew the name of everyone in the costume department, backstage, etc. When I saw her embrace an usher in the orchestra, then stay deep in conversation as I left the theater, I got a lump in my throat—that energy is certainly something that I would be thrilled to see more of.
  18. I was also at last night's performance, and thoroughly enjoyed both Prodigal Son and Liebeslieder Walzer. Tess Reichlen was stunning, and in addition to evoking the essence of the femme fatale, she made the maneuvering of the cape and all of the runs en pointe look as if it was the only way that she could be moving. Daniel Ulbricht was also very moving, and I found the entire cast of men quite strong, too. I'd never seen Liebeslieder Walzer, and was blown away. I didn't expect to enjoy it—I'm not much of an opera person—but was intrigued regardless. The emotion and development of the rapport between the couples had me transfixed, and when the first couple emerged at the end with ballroom shoes and her long dress, I was sad that my glimpse into the world the dancers inhabited was over—I imagine it as a grown-up parallel to seeing versions of the Nutcracker where Marie/Clara is seen at the end asleep on the couch in her living room and you're left wondering what was real and what was a figment of the imagination. Sterling Hyltin seemed to float through the entire ballet (though her dress seemed just a tiny bit too long, and I found myself worrying she'd step on it at times). I don't know if I've ever seen Maria Kowroski out of pointe shoes, but I was amazed watching the articulation of her feet through her line even in the ballroom slippers. I enjoyed Ashley Bouder's performance, but I'd read Alastair Macaulay's analysis of her PDD and did not see the same nuance that he described, though I think after watching it a second time, I might find that in her dancing, too. I felt like Ashley Laracey and Justin Peck looked the least rehearsed of the couples, though honestly, I think what distracted me the most in watching their partnering was that Peck's suit bunched up so much in the shoulders that it really broke his line and made him look like he must be uncomfortable! I was hoping that the men would remove their jackets in the second half, but their gloves seemed like the only change costume-wise in moving from the portrayal of the "real" to that of the "soul". I wish I could read more about this ballet, as it certainly gave me new insight into Balanchine's world, both choreographically and intimately. Whelan and Stafford gave a brief talk, and though it was an odd night at the ballet (not a full house, and, as Macaulay's NYT piece points out, lots of departures both after Prodigal Son and the first half of Liebeslieder Walzer), they looked radiant and composed. I'll say more in the appropriate thread, but it was nice to see the two together.
  19. Laine Habony and Wendy Whelan (not a company member, but interesting nonetheless) are in the first that showed up for me, too.
  20. Unity’s public facing Instagram account has documented a pretty nasty sickness she’s been battling—cold/winter stuff I think. I don’t think she missed a performance, but she showed footage of making soup, picking up a prescription, etc. this weekend. An illness on top of her current rep (I’m thinking of watching her in Hermann—she was beautiful, but it definitely seemed like a ballet that would require a great deal of stamina!) might be to blame.
  21. Chiming in to, once more, remark on what a spectacular job Indiana Woodward and Anthony Huxley did last night. I had goosebumps beginning with Aurora's first entrance that continued throughout the performance! She had some spectacular balances that were really musical and solid, though did seem to have her weight forward in the third of four (I think of the second diagonal?). I found most interesting how different my interpretation of certain steps was watching Woodward vs. Hyltin. Her portrayal of Aurora was what really blew me away, though—her eye contact with the suitors, her rapport with her parents, etc. A delightful debut and a very natural fit for Aurora. I found Huxley charming as well, though I understand the less "princely" comments. His jumps are so clean, and the accents of his footwork so precise. It made me wish that I'd seen him in Bluebird, which I think he's done before, though Ulbricht was delightful in that role. This was the third time I've seen this run of Sleeping Beauty, and either last night's cast of prologue fairies was better able to handle the tempo, or I'm getting used to it. Meaghan Dutton-O'Hara as Tenderness, Olivia MacKinnon as Vivacity, and Claire von Enck as Eloquence were particularly charming. As has been mentioned when the casting was posted, I was curious as to the choice to put Megan LeCrone as Lilac—I agree that she's not especially well suited to it. Tess Reichlen's lines, manner, and comportment set such a high precedent, and Lauren King's came close to that splendor. However, I thought LeCrone's port de bras was expressive and fluid, and as I was sitting up high last night, I was less distracted by the tension in her face and shoulders as I have been in the past. She did nail some of the more difficult turns, too. I have loved Miriam Miller's presence in the past, but last night was a little distracted by her port de bras. Her arms are so long and thin, and it didn't quite seem to flow in her Generosity last night, though I'd guess that she'd be lovely in that role. Adrian Danchig-Waring's king remains my favorite, and I think in general that NYCB could enrich the portrayal of the character roles a bit. The courtiers (SAB students) were a little flat, and it's clear that pantomime and character aren't focal points for City Ballet. The Vision scene was wonderful and continues to grow on me (though I agree with other comments regarding intermission questions). Unity Phelan looked stunning as Diamond (as did Emily Kitka, who has been great in everything I've seen her in recently, especially Serenade), and Harrison Ball as Gold was spot on. I don't love the Puss and Boots/White Cat PDD, and definitely think that this version seems more feral than what I'm familiar with. While Ulbricht was lovely as Bluebird, I really did not enjoy Pereira's performance. Her use of epaulement seemed confused at times, and her arms not fully realized either. Perhaps it is because this PDD/variation is so frequently taught and performed to young dancers, but her performance had a bit of a student quality to me. If you're able, I'd highly suggest getting a ticket to see the final Woodward/Huxley performance. A wonderful end to (my) run of Sleeping Beauty!
  22. I know she has mentioned struggling with an eating disorder in the past (in a profile I've seen—https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a2508/ballerina-ashley-laracey-new-york-city-ballet-dancer/). I hope that she is healthy, as I really do love watching her perform.
  23. I was just logging in to comment that Ashley Laracey was STUNNING in last night's rehearsal when I saw Laracey's instagram post. She (and Brittany Pollack, actually) sparkled. Obviously, it was a rehearsal, and I know dancers are dealing with injuries, saving themselves for tonight's performance, etc., but the two of them brought great energy to the rehearsal, especially next to Megan LeCrone, who had a misstep part of the way through her variation/marked until she stopped dancing (I was seated pretty high so didn't hear all of the dialogue). She walked off stage, but the orchestra prepared to play her variation again and said something to the ballet masters, and the ballet master walked back stage (I'm assuming checked with her), then emerged saying that she said didn't want to re-run it. It was quite the juxtaposition next to Ashley Laracey. I can't wait to see more of her, and equally disappointed not to see her cast thus far this season after seeing her stunning performance of Barocco last year. All in all, the rehearsal was interesting to see—it was a full run with tonight's cast. I've never seen NYCB's Sleeping Beauty, and there were some elements that seemed like hallmarks of Martin's choreography. The prologue fairy variations felt rushed to me! I'm not sure if it was the orchestra's tempo or the sheer number of steps crammed into the music. Tess Reichlen's lines and movement quality were absolutely gorgeous, and though she faltered in the 2nd diagonal traveling back with the pique, arabesque, pirouette into the tendu, she spoke with the ballet masters, started the variation again from that diagonal, and re-attempted the step with much better results, which, a was quite the contrast from LeCrone. I'm seeing the same cast this Saturday PM, and I'll be interested to watch Martin's version in performance and now that I have an idea of what to expect.
  24. I was at Sunday's matinee as well, and completely agree with Marzipan's comments regarding the score of Peck's new work. It felt like music that I'd choose to listen to when I wanted to get work done, and though various instrumental accents were interesting (the accents corresponding with the cluster/fountain motif, the sections corresponding with the female dancer's hands coming together first with their palms facing themselves, then turning to the audience), the score didn't seem to give the choreography much of a direction and, though the group choreography at the end was definitely the highlight of the piece, it wasn't reflected in the music. I was happy to see it, and really love Justin Peck's ability to create formations in group choreography that are as visually intriguing to me as those of Balanchine, but if I came back for this program, it would be to revisit the Runaway (though Claire Kretzschmar's performance was truly lovely). I didn't see the Runaway this fall, and was initially hesitant, wondering how Kyle Abraham would incorporate the music I'd seen was in the score, and especially after seeing photographs of the costumes after the debut. Though the more excessive costume elements didn't add anything for me, as soon as the dancing began, I wasn't thinking about them. Taylor Stanley deserves every bit of attention he's received for this roll. I've always heard that Stanley is incredibly introspective and serious as a dancer, and I hope that working with Abraham was as rewarding for him as it seems to be based on the output. The impeccable control of his first solo brought a unexpected gravity to his second, and his performance made me think back to the NYT profile earlier in January—I can only hope that he stays with NYCB! I agree with Marzipan—I also hope that NYCB continues to work with Kyle Abraham. I saw an interview with him a few years ago (I think it was part of a PBS special) where he spoke about the difficulties of choreographing quickly enough to keep up with his demand post Genius grant receipt, and how it had led him to debut some pieces he didn't really feel were finished. I don't remember exactly, but I felt like the press surrounding the Runaway mentioned the timeframe, and I wonder how he felt about it. It felt realized, but I'd be interested to hear his thoughts. I was impressed by Ashley Bouder (a side of her that I didn't know existed!), and Sara Mearns and Georgina Pazcoguin both had wonderful performances as well. I'd held out on seeing this program because I was hoping to see Sterling Hyltin in Herman Schmerman, and was sorry to re-check the cast list to see that she was not dancing. However, I enjoyed watching Naomi Corti, and thought that she, Emilie Gerrity, and Unity Phelan's dancing was the highlight of that piece. Tyler Angle looked good in the PDD, conscious of matching Tiler Peck's energy and bringing a presence that I haven't noticed the last few times I've seen him perform. I'm attending the open Sleeping Beauty rehearsal tonight, and am looking forward to seeing who's dancing and a "preview" of what's to come!
  25. Vendangeuse, I was also at last night's performance, and was similarly blown away. I've never seen any of Bigonzetti's ballets at NYCB, and was traveling for work during the New Combinations program this fall, so missed In Vento then. Harrison Ball was breathtaking, and I was on the edge of my seat through the entire performance. Ball's solo parts were strong but light, and really stood out against the corps work that brought to mind a combination of the Barocco's daisy chain, Keith Haring's dancers and "partnered" figures, and something else that I can't put my finger on. Maria Kowroski's performance reminded of elements of Stravinsky Violin Concerto and the Cage that I love seeing her perform while watching, and all of the women in the cast had a seductive quality that I wasn't expecting. I've never seen any Balanchine like Variations pour Une Porte et Un Soupir, and was thrilled throughout. Kowroski's performance in the Sleeping Beauty trailer was hilarious, and this ballet showed a similar nuance. Sara Mearns was beautiful in After the Rain, and brought to life the memory of the piece to me, which I had not been expecting from the cast. Jared Angle seemed to lag next to her, and her never-ending lines reinforced where his could have reached further. Sterling Hyltin and Anthony Huxley are a lovely pair, I think, and I enjoyed their performance of Duo Concertant, though my non-ballet-going friend who came with me mentioned that the pink tights felt out of place on this program. The Times Are Racing brought down the house, though I noticed a few older couples seated around me duck out before it. I was glad to see Ashly Issacs on stage—she was captivating and really carried the piece. I'm sorry to say that I missed Amar Ramasar in the PDD with Tiler Peck. Watching the two of them, particularly with the turn into the suspended/rotated handstand sequence, was magical.
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