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Syzygy

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    writer, former dancer, teacher, fan
  • City**
    Los Angeles
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    CA

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  1. Took the words out of my mouth. How incredibly sad for these young women (or, at the time for some, girls).
  2. Ah, I believe you're correct. It got me thinking/digging and according to her Instagram she is retiring: "I needed to be around friends and family: people who don't just identify with what they perceive as 'me' through an image, title, or job." It sounds like, to her, being a ballet dancer wasn't all she thought it would be—which is a good thing to figure out while you're still young.
  3. I wasn't clear: Yes, "retiring" vs. a word like "leaving" is what I was confused about. Anyway, I suppose only time will tell where she ends up.
  4. Wonderful! I wonder is soloist Emily Neale is really retiring, or if she's taking a job at another company. She seems fairly young and has been getting good press recently...
  5. It's worth noting that I (as well as friends and colleagues I've gone to shows with) avoid Mathilde-heavy shows because of her issues with musicality and articulation in roles like Swan Lake and Giselle—ones that any ballerina would dream of. I don't know if blaming lack of interest, a certain Balanchine role, or SFB's rehearsal schedule adds up with me when discussing critiques of a dancer that follow a pattern. And I say this not because I want to turn this thread into a pile-on about Mathilde's technique, rather something that fellow fans of SFB can note and (hopefully) watch develop as time passes.
  6. @The Traveling Ballerina I tend to altogether avoid Mathilde Froustey because of the “lack of tightness in musicality”—as you mention in your review—as well as general weariness with her speed and articulation (as @pherank mentioned). The phrase “floppy feet” has been mentioned to me about her before, and I can’t say I disagree. But my issue with her performance here reminds me of Robert Gottlieb’s polarizing review of The Paris Opera Ballet’s performance of Emeralds during the 50th Anniversary performance of Jewels in 2017 at the Koch: “The French style is elegant, suave, glamorous—and self-conscious. “Look how my beautiful foot is arched!” “What about this gorgeous arabesque?” And the foot is beautiful, and the arabesque is gorgeous. But Balanchine is about the music, about the subtleties of phrasing, not about narcissistic self-presentation.” “Narcissistic self-presentation” is harsher than I would put it, but isn’t too far from how I feel about her dancing. I’m reminded of an interview with Froustey when she was relatively new to the company. She said she’d look around the room and feel intimidated; so-and-so was such a good turner, so-and-so had jumps for day, but eventually she realized she was special because she was…French? Which. Fine. I’m sure if you’re a fan of hers that’s both true and charming. If you’re a bit more apprehensive, as I admit am, it’s very grating to watch a dancer push their self-appointed je ne sais quoi—especially in Balanchine. But! That’s the thing about San Francisco Ballet: Any bone I have to pick with a dancer’s self-conscious interpretation doesn’t matter because the rest of the company is truly stellar. I can’t say enough nice things about Misa Kuranaga, Angelo Greco, Wanting Zhao, and especially Sasha De Sola and Tiit Helimets. And pherank, you said it was Sasha De Sola's debut in Diamonds? If so, it’s a very impressive one.
  7. This is understandable given, you know, everything, but it breaks my heart. Selfishly, Santa Fe is one of my favorite cities in the world and to think of it without this small but special group makes me sad.
  8. I shouldn't be surprised that Amanda Morgan is the first Black woman in the company in over 30 years, but I am. That's just so disappointing. Here's hoping that gets corrected—especially considering the school is so eager to publish photos of diverse classes in their marketing materials this year.
  9. Some fun window shopping: Van Cleef & Arpels has created a trio of watches inspired by Balanchine's Jewels...which itself was likely inspired by Balanchine's walks past VC&A, a series of emerald, ruby, and diamond brooches by the brand in the '40s, or through conversations with Claude Arpels — depending on which source you look to. Not in my budget, but fun to look at. "Bringing the inspiration for Balanchine’s masterpiece full circle, Van Cleef & Arpels has placed each act on the wrist in a trio of timepieces that use gem-setting, enamel painting and mechanical watchmaking to create an intense and glittering distillation of the ballet, complete with dancers and musical accompaniment. No detail is too small: even the curtains and proscenium arch of each watch evoke an appropriate real-life venue: the Opéra Garnier in Paris, the Marinsky in St Petersburg and the Lincoln Center in New York." via the Financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/44f7b1bd-5e82-4aa8-a04b-314b2fee2b92?utm_source=The+Dance+Edit&utm_campaign=824272b975-TheDanceEdit20201119_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_71d672be74-824272b975-70139338
  10. Sofiane Sylve was my immediate thought when I heard Tomasson was stepping down, and this thread has only dialed up my enthusiasm! Does anyone know what Muriel Maffre has been doing since she left LINES?
  11. Ugh! I would happily sit through five hours of ads if it meant the actual dancing wouldn't be interrupted with them. So irritating! That said, I thought this was lovely! I'll never understand the spotting away from the audience in the adagio, but I'll take what I can get this year.
  12. Thank you so much for sharing, @Helene. I wasn't aware of this series, but now I'm looking forward to the next piece.
  13. Well. I don't really know what to say about this, but: "ballet dancer, 28, ‘shot dead her estranged husband during “domestic argument” during ugly custody battle’"" “The couple established a dance business based in Charleston, South Carolina, called American National Ballet (ANB) with Doug as the CEO and Ashley in the role of Executive Director. Their organization, which businessman Doug once described as “Uber-izing ballet," reportedly fired half its dancers back in 2017, per Dance Magazine. Ashley graduated from the Maryland Youth Ballet and is a retired professional ballerina, according to a company description on an ANB Facebook page, which is no longer in use.”
  14. If you're anything like me, you're welcoming any and all election distractions today, so: Vanity Fair just published a beautiful dance-inspired collection of photographs (taken over Zoom) by German-based photographer and visual artist Elizaveta Porodina, in collaboration with fashion house Carolina Herrera. They used real dancers rather than models (thank god), including: Wendy Whelan Misa Kuranaga Claudia Monja, Joburg Ballet Ako Kondo, Australian Ballet Ines McIntosh, Paris Opera Natasha Diamond, the Martha Graham Dance Company The colors in these are stunning—hope you enjoy as much as I did. https://www.instagram.com/p/CHG5KtIACZy/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CHFZF9onMPw/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CHEUYroHm-s/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CG-GOpegD6k/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CG8mBwvgK3z/
  15. Not surprising, but Sarah Lane's Instagram bio now reads "Principal Dancer" rather than "Principal Dancer @abtofficial."
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