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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan and balletgoer
  • City**
    New York City
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
  1. I too enjoying watching the live stream. Skylar and Aran are two up and coming stars. They will be fixtures on this site and internationally for years to come, IMO. It will be interesting to see how much they are matched up together at ABT -- and what roles Skylar will tackle over the next two years. I like the pair together and I most definitely like Sky with Herman as well; but with all the changes lately, there are many possibilities with pairing among the new principals. I compliment both Aaran and Skylar for taking on the task for several reasons. It was a full length ballet obviously. I was told they had a full dress rehearsal the fist night to coordinate with the other dancers, the first performance the second day (which was streamed) and then the final performance on the third day. This is absolutely exhausting for a principal dancer. Usually, you have several days between performances to physically recover. So, compliments to them to doing it. Another thing to point out is that the core dancers in these ballet schools get really inspired by top notch talent coming to dance with them. It really was great to see this as it marked the beginning of the end of this horrific pandemic for me.
  2. Canbelto, full length classical ballet is almost impossible to pull off during a pandemic but I agree some companies were better able to get out content for us to enjoy. Pherank, I also noted McKenzie's reluctant acknowledgment of digital media in ballet -- it has to be a difficult thing for a classical AD to navigate, let alone even accept. It would have been nice if ABT had some good quality footage of past performances it would have been willing to share with its audiences during the pandemic. I hope in the future, companies carefully and with high quality camera work and sound capture live performances in good times, especially with works they are particularly proud of, which can be streamed in the future, whether live stream like the Met Opera or in other ways. I am concerned though with the artistic liberties taken by those making the videos because they change everything and not having an audience also detracts greatly from the experience. When there is no awareness of an audience, energy is lost. I am ok with some liberties taken in a new a contemporary work with consent and collaboration with the choreographer, but with classical ballet I think it is distracting and waters down the sanctity of what a classic should be.
  3. This distinction between filming a dance from one set perspective vs a film in which the filmmaker is changing the nature of what you see and how to see it and from what angle is very interesting. I have been extremely frustrated too by the focus of the lens and perspective, when it is not what I want to see. But I also feel that it is the nature of the beast. And, agree on Skylar Brandt in terms of her believability in the iconic Rose Adagio scene and her astonishing ease at which she handles the difficult technique. Back to filming dance; How do you film anything without making some decisions on how far back you will be from the dancers and from what angle will you see it from above, slightly below stage or even with it. In the end there is no adequate substitute for live, in theatre viewing. It may be that you (and the Times for that matter) may not adore the B in Bubble piece as I did and that is perhaps because I prefer chocolate and you like well, what you like. I point out that the Times criticized the piece on two main basis, none of which is really a fault of the piece itself; 1. it was filmed with imposition by the filmmaker and 2. that there was lacking the energy derived from an audience. This is not a knock on the choreography or the dancing, and certainly not the music; all of which was solid and creative (and for the gals, especially, tough to do). PS I favored your review to that of the NY Times.
  4. Traveling Ballerina, I thought you write a splendid review. Clearly I liked the Bernstein piece a great deal, but the things that distract you with the filming is completely understandable. Some of the creative ideas, contrasting music and technical difficulty of the B in the Bubble piece really resonated with me and made me happy for the dancers and I found myself smiling and even giggling. I do think some of it was comical (and technically difficult -- especially for some of the ladies). The three males doing the off tempo (not 3/4) waltz, the scene with the two males spinning and lifting a seeming surprised and humorous Brandt, the somewhat more traditional ballroom-ish interlude with Hurlin and Bell, the frenzied yet still coordinated ensemble work... I think you will see this again IMO. Cheers.
  5. I saw the performance and I was very pleased with the production of all four, considering the circumstances. I thank ABT for getting something new out there. My understanding is that the dancers went into a 1 or 2 weak bubble to learn the new piece near Lake George. I very much enjoyed the new piece -- the Times had perhaps an unfairly mixed response highlighting that the filming has some spotty abrupt changes and some unwarranted close ups, but isn't that also a possible advantage -- to see from different perspectives? What I did agree with in the Times is that there is no substitute for the energy offered by an audience, and dancers need the audience. So, film is ok, but being there and them knowing you are there is critical. The music that was written by Bernstein for the BSO is a celebration of artists and I believe Ratmansky's direction focused on letting the artists celebrate a return to dance with something that seemed fun... I liked the different tones -- blues, waltz (very catchy...in an off meter of sorts -- it was whimsical and thought it was interesting he had the guys dance that). I also found Ratmansky emphasized traits of the dancers that show their particular strengths .. ... Congrats to Brandt and her debut of sorts, performing the Rose Adagio scene ( perhaps due to her prolific balances shown recently on ABT's social media and debut deferred section of their site). Welcome back ABT.
  6. Give ABT credit for quarantining a strong group to work on a new piece in a bubble during the height of the pandemic; and it is set to interesting music. It may not be a full length ballet, but that would have been tough to do during a pandemic. Like you said, it is a start; a glimmer of light.
  7. I wonder if there may be outdoor performances come the Spring. Thanks for welcoming me to your site.
  8. I learned about Ballet later in life and find the combination of outstanding dancing with music to be rapturous. I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I do. I live in the NYC area and am disappointed that there will likely be no ballet venues for a while.
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