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About Drew

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    Emeralds Circle

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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    United States
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  1. Drew

    Yulia Stepanova

    Thank you for posting the video...
  2. Drew

    Winter 2019

    A couple of years back, i found Segin just terrific in Martins’ Hallelujah Junction, and always imagined I would read/hear more about her in other featured roles. Anyway, I’m delighted to read about her receiving recognition. Congratulations to her!
  3. Big news! Congratulations to him—
  4. Drew

    Ballet Book Club

    When I was a little girl I received a beautiful (probably abridged) Little Mermaid--the book was illustrated with sort of "puppet/doll" stagings that seem to have been photographed and had a shiny or possibly holographic image on the front. I loved the book--the physical book--and its illustrations as well as the little mermaid herself and was devastated when I got to the ending. Not all my older siblings' attempts to persuade me that the mermaid's final fate was "really" happy nor my own daydreaming attempts to arrive at the same perspective ever got me past the sadness. By the time I read Ethan Frome I had somewhat better defenses.
  5. Drew

    ABT 2019 Met Season

    Given his international reputation, I found it surprising that ABT had not asked Mack to make at least a guest appearance and am pleased to read that they have now done so.
  6. Nice to see the recognition especially for the Unbound Festival which was so much a company achievement....Do the Izzies ever livestream their ceremony?
  7. Drew

    Job posting for artistic director

    Being 73 doesn't seem to be thought of as a disqualification when it comes to running for President of the United States--that's probably a more stressful job than Directing NYCB . But I, too, think the board is likely looking for a younger director. Trolls are primarily trying to get under your skin -- their complaints are not altogether sincere but crafted to get attention by causing online havoc of some kind, start fights on social media and get people to look ridiculous as they respond to something that was, after all, ridiculous to start with. Not exactly the OED but-- https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll I take it you mean something different, but I also don't think directors of ballet companies stress much about ballet fans online complaining/critiquing. They probably stress a whole lot more about fundraising.
  8. I found Bussell's dancing quite wonderful--sometimes even extraordinary--and her spotlight never bothered me. For the rest I can't speak to whether there is some vast cultural difference between how dancers court the media in Russia and in the UK, but I'm hesitant to conclude the situations are altogether different. But mostly I'm wary of trying to fix exactly what the line is between reasonable attention to one's career (in any country) and excessive trolling for publicity. And I suspect it's mostly when one has reservations about a dancer that the appearance of a publicity machine seems most irritating or problematic.
  9. I think Macmillan played a more important role in Bussell’s career than media —casting her and creating roles for her—as did her own powers of musical responsiveness. That she also got media attention is certainly true, but I don’t agree that that her career in the UK was “entirely” media driven.
  10. Stepanova has many supporters on social media, and was promoted to principal at the Bolshoi with some swiftness. She has faced career obstacles or, at least, complications, but she is not exactly a hard luck story--in part because she took matters into her own hands by leaving the Mariinsky, a company that is her natural home. If Stepanova had no "ambition" to dance more roles or to be promoted then she would have had no reason to leave the Mariinsky, which--as it happens--was a very smart move for her both as an artist (giving her more opportunities) and as a professional (becoming a principal dancer with a company of comparable prestige and, indeed, greater fame than the Mariinsky). It also took some nerve since there was no guarantee it would work out as well as it has or that she would end up at the Bolshoi at all. I can't read into people's hearts, but still can't help but feel that no-one becomes a principal dancer with the Bolshoi, without both dedication to the art for its own sake and ambition. It demands too much of one--not just in physical terms, but in terms of character, emotion, and grit. I would say this even of ballerinas at the Bolshoi I don't particularly respond to or like.
  11. Sounds quite extraordinary! How fun that you got to be there—
  12. I don't think Macaulay would equate Tchaiiovsky's ballets--or all nineteenth-century classics--with Corsaire and Don Quixote. Though from what he has written elsewhere, he probably would like to see less of the full length Bayadere, as he only sees value in the Shades scene. I happen to enjoy a great Don Quixote or even Corsaire, but can't help but agree that they have become waaay too frequently performed the world over. But I kind of doubt anyone who takes ballet seriously--even someone who disliked all nineteenth-century classics and thought they were a waste of resources for modern companies--would describe the Sleeping Princess as "trashily circusy, composed to minor league music." And it did rather inspire Diaghilev and some of his collaborators. I guess people who find ballet itself silly -- and Tchaikovsky middle-brow -- might. (When Wendy Perron objected to resources ABT spent on the Ratmansky Sleeping Beauty, she did so on different grounds--something along the lines of its lack of relevance to contemporary life.) I thought the article's plug for more ballets that eschew pointe work--invoking Justin Peck and made in the name of changing gender roles--was the most disconcerting thing in it.
  13. Drew

    Best and Worst Ballet of 2018

    Always a pleasure reading people's lists! I don't see anywhere near as much live ballet as many who post here but I'll give this a go: Best: Alina Cojocaru as Aurora in the ENB Sleeping Beauty. I didn't post about this at the time I saw it in part because I haven't the words... That's a stand alone "best"--and counts as a highlight in a lifetime of ballet going not just in one year. But other highlights of my year include: 1. Quality of Royal Ballet's dancers from top to bottom across multiple casts in the company's intriguing new production of Swan Lake. 2. Ashley Laracey's debut in the second ballerina role in Concerto Barocco (unfortunately, I did not see her debut in the first ballerina role); icing on the cake--her beautiful dancing in Peter Walker's dance odyssey the same weekend. 3. Programming at NYCB that enabled an out of town visitor to see two entirely different all Balanchine programs the same weekend alongside a program of new work that included substantial and/or much talked about works by Ratmansky and Peck (see below). 4. A spring NYCB performance of Ratmansky's Pictures at an Exhibition led by Hyltin, Mearns, and (Tiler) Peck that simply knocked the breath out of me. 5. Warm and charismatic performances of Sergio Masero-Olarte and, especially, Airi Igarashi in Atlanta Ballet's new Nutcracker. And, more generally, the emergence of Igarashi as an outstanding young ballerina at Atlanta Ballet -- as well as the consistently terrific dancing of Nikolas Gaifullin. Can't wait to see more of them. Honorable mention to the very high level of dancing that NYCB's Joachim De Luz sustained to the end of his career--I caught him in a Tchaikovsky pas de deux just a few months before his retirement. And to the premiers of Maxim Petrov's somewhat Ratmansky-esque Concerto Armonico and, allowing for a few caveats, Yuri Possokhov's quirky new Nutcracker--both with Atlanta Ballet. Worst: The sexual/photo-sharing scandal at New York City Ballet. Exactly what happened and how and when and to whom we may never fully know, but what we do know so far is bad enough. [Edited to add: if/as it leads internal problems at the company to be addressed, it could lead to positive changes; in and of itself, it’s still the “worst.”] That's a stand alone worst that transcends (if that is the word) one year's ballet going. Outside of that, I did have a few disappointments, maybe even "worsts," in my year, but I think I will let them pass unremarked. I will say that it appears that some life events/issues may take a bite--or, at least, a nibble--out of my ballet going in the future, and from a selfish point of view that would be the worst of the worst.
  14. Hope you feel better soon!