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Roberta

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    audience member
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    Washington
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    District of Columbia

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  1. Peter Schaufuss was head of the RDB back when they performed a version that I saw. Around 1995/96? I remember that Juliet was danced by a novice who left or retired soon after that. However, the Romeo (Kobborg) was fantastic. I feel that the '95 staging lost many of the Ashtonian nuances. I was not so impressed, overall, with the exception of Kobborg and some of the senior character principals (nurse, Lord and Lady C). Many people swear that the original 1950s production for RDB was lovely and with more energy. I believe that Ashton bequeathed the ballet to Schaufuss. I'm hoping that the Sarasota staging will be done by one of the Ashton Trust's main notators, Grant Coyle, who staged Apparitions this year nd has staged a number of other works.
  2. You should, if you could. The March/April 2020 time period would allow you to see revivals of both Romeo & Juliet (last seen in Denmark in the late 90s?) and Dante Sonata (in BRB's rep a few years ago?). The weather is usually heavenly during that period. It was so in early March this year, during the revival of Apparitions. Packed, appreciative audiences at all performances, not only at the gala opening nights.
  3. ABT website casting now indicates a different pair of female soloists for The Seasons-Spring: Trenary & Granlund. It won't be Lane & Brandt at every performance. https://www.abt.org/event_dates/ratmansky-trio-5-21-19-730pm/
  4. Similarly, ABT is ignoring its Tudor heritage. I last saw Gala Performance in Sarasota, Florida, in 2015. It was wonderful! The Joffrey is similarly ignoring its heritage ballets - the Joffreys and Arpinos. I last saw a Joffrey heritage ballet in Oklahoma City, of all places, a month ago -- a fantastic Pas des Deesses. So sad that none of this is seen in the larger ballet cities of the USA.
  5. So sorry to read about the low audience turn-out for Harlequinade, a ballet that I loved last season. I'm afraid that, this season, I'm attending only next Monday's "gala" - in quotes because half of the program is the nice but gloomy Serenade on Plato's Symposium...hardly gala fare --and the opening Jane Eyre. I'm attending the "gala" for The Seasons. That's all.
  6. re. Giselle by Ratmansky, the article states that this will be "a new choreographic edition." So it could be totally new or it could be "new-old," using the Stepanov Harvard notes. Didn't Doug Fullington work with the Harvard notes on a partially-reconstructed version of Giselle for Pacific NW Ballet, a while ago?
  7. Martha, thank you for mentioning the newest documentary "Nureyev." I had never heard of it until now. If I may ask - who is the director, the country of production, method of circulation, etc.? My favorite docu about Nureyev's total life - with heavy emphasis on post-defection - remains the one from 1990/91 by Patricia Foy.
  8. I also completely agree with Bobbi and must add kudos for the leading ladies. Sterling Hyltin was light as air and delectable as the lead in Scotch Symphony, reminding me of her stellar Sylph in Martins' La Sylphide. Hyltin and Huxley make a great partnership. Megan Fairchild brought out her inner Violette - that je ne sais quoi - in Sonatine. I'm still in awe of the rapid-fire brilliance of the entire six-member cast of Valse Fantasie; what an aerobic workout is that ballet! Lastly, I could only grin from ear to ear when Sara Mearns and her "four guys" trotted onto the stage at the beginning of Stravinsky Violin Concerto - the finest tribute to Karin Von Aroldingen imaginable. Lauren Lovette, in the Kay Mazzo role, was also quite impressive. NYCB is truly on a high these days, after the recent tough times. Editing to add: Yes, there also were a couple of stumbles among the Scotch corps ladies in the 3rd movement but the much-talked-about India Bradley was impeccable and in-time. Let the record show!
  9. I remember having read about Misty's US debut as O/O in Swan Lake; thanks for the confirmation, California. I'm sure that Kent/Barbee's version will be interesting. They consulted the Harvard Stepanov notes and spoke with Ratmansky for certain details in their recent Sleeping Beauty for the Washington group so perhaps they'll do the same for their Swan Lake?
  10. Washington, DC is one of the few US cities fortunate enough to be showing Ralph Fiennes' new movie, The White Crow, during its initial limited release. I attended the DC opening last Friday at the historic Avalon Theatre in NW. As a major admirer of Rudolf Nureyev, I simply could not wait for any small-screen or online version to become available. Were my expectations satisfied? Uh...mostly yes. Certainly it is great to have the early dramatic story of the Russian balletic comet committed to dramatic film. The two previous films about the early years of Nureyev that I've seen are the 2016 BBC documentary (with partially-dramatized scenes, featuring Artem Ovcharenko of the Bolshoi as Nureyev) and an earlier "pure documentary" that ran on PBS around 2014 which, to me, was most notable for introducing to the world the pirated films of Nureyev's German friend, Teja Kremke. My main complaint about the current dramatic film is that it doesn't touch on or develop all of the elements that were so fascinating in the two documentaries. Some characters from the documentary appear; others are not mentioned. For example, Alla Osipenko, Nureyev's main partner on the 1961 Paris tour, is seen but, unless I missed it, her name is not uttered in the Fiennes movie. (When the credits rolled at the end, we learn that Anastasia Meskova of the Bolshoi played Osipenko. So that must have been the ballerina dancing the Black Swan pdd, I suppose.) Also, the new movie does not give us the full story about the incident of Nureyev and his Paris room-mate and fellow star, Yuri Soloviev, in the way that the 2016 BBC docu did. Furthermore, Ms. Mencia, the Cuban dancer who was a girlfriend of Nureyev in Leningrad, features prominently in the PBS documentary but isn't mentioned in the BBC doc or the Fiennes movie. Teja Kremke (Nureyev's gay friend) is depicted in the current movie and was mentioned in the PBS docu...but not in the BBC docu, that I recall. Was it the POB ballerina Claire Motte (in the Fiennes movie) who accompanied her friend Pierre Lacotte on the automobile tours throughout Paris, showing Nureyev the City of Lights...or was it Ghislaine Thesmar, as in the 2016 BBC doc? So we are left with three different films giving three different versions - each introducing different sets of characters - of the pre-defection Nureyev saga. A big plus: The characters of Alexander Pushkin - the great Vaganova Academy teacher of Nureyev and so many great male dancers - and Pushkin's wife, Xenia, are developed only in the current feature film, with Ralph Fiennes performing admirably as Pushkin. A big negative: None of the three films mentions Nureyev's fellow-graduate of 1958, Alla Sizova. According to books, she featured prominently in Nureyev's life in the late 50s even sharing an apartment with Nureyev at one point. Or did she? In addition to director-actor Fiennes' great work, the current film includes a fine dramatic performance by Ukraine's Oleg Ivenko (whose dancing career has been in Kazan, I think...if so, most appropriate, as this is in Tatarstan). The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous, worth seeing it on the big screen (locations include the real St Petersburg-Leningrad and Paris). As someone else mentioned earlier, the realistic depictions of balletic life behind the curtain is admirable. In sum, The White Crow is a fine addition to films about Nureyev. It's definitely worth my second look. Next time I watch, I'll try to rid my brain of pesky details about those years in Nureyev's life.
  11. Thank you, California. I am especially excited that the Feb 2019 Ashton+Balanchine program includes Ashton's Birthday Offering. I'm a bit surprised, though, that next year's Swan Lake is being marketed as a first for the company. Wasn't there a Swan Lake in 2015 that starred ABT guest Misty Copeland? The 2015 full-length SL was staged by Kirk Petersen so maybe Julie Kent is referring to a totally-new staging by herself and her husband. It's not as if the company has never danced a full-length Swan Lake. In all cases, it is exciting to see three full-length classics in next season's rep: SL, Coppelia and Nutcracker. https://www.washingtonballet.org/events/swan-lake/ Julie Kent on SWAN LAKE: Presenting Swan Lake, the beloved, iconic ballet that is arguably the backbone of our art form, is a very exciting moment for The Washington Ballet. This production is the logical next step in building the repertoire for the company. All the romantic ballets the company has performed over the last few years – Giselle, Les Sylphides, The Sleeping Beauty – have prepared our dancers for this very moment.
  12. Roberta

    Hello!

    Thank you, Drew. I know that it's in limited release in the USA at present but will hopefully expand to more theatres.
  13. Roberta

    Hello!

    My name is Roberta. I'm a dual Italian-U.S. citizen, currently living in the U.S. capital city. My two passions are helping migrant populations and watching dance - an odd combination, I realise. I firmly believe that the arts, particularly dance and the visual arts, can help heal a wounded spirit. I wish that the bureaucrats and politicos would understand. I've been attending performances of ballet for many years, in many places. I've watched the main European companies for a long time and am slowly becoming more knowledgeable about NYCB, ABT and the Washington Ballet. POB, the Mariinsky and NYCB are my current favorites although I also raise the flag for my dear La Scala in Milano. I'm also in awe of the headway made by ballet companies in the Far East, such as in Japan and Korea. I also enjoy dance films and anything in which Rudolf Nureyev is featured. Of course, I saw and enjoyed The White Crow at its local premiere, this past Friday. I hope to be able to discuss this in the future.
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