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About Drew

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. "'We mourn the death of our friend and colleague Raffaella Maria Stroik. She was a wonderful dancer and a beautiful person,' Gen Horiuchi, executive and artistic director of the Saint Louis Ballet, said in a statement. 'We extend our condolences to her family.'" Disturbing and very sad story. I hope that the authorities find out what happened to her and that her family and loved ones can find a measure of peace.
  2. That's a shame about losing the Balanchine gala--and Prodigal Son and Symphony in C is not exactly wildly avant-garde programming! But you certainly will get a chance to see a number of terrific dancers in Swan Lake. (From the casts you list, I would particularly love to see Osmolkina in Swan Lake myself.) If you are able to see any of these performances, then it would be great to read your impressions.
  3. For me, that sounds like a great approach to producing the classics, but I had thought the term reconstruction was meant to be reserved for productions that were rigorous in their attempts at historical accuracy and therefore bound to be pretty radical (allowing that the most rigorous of historical reconstructions runs up against some limitations including missing materials in the notations, changing bodies, different kinds of pointe shoes etc.) Rigorous at least as regards choreography/music and general style of the physical production, sets/costumes etc. I know some commentators argue that without re-creation of original sets/costumes the word reconstruction is misapplied. I guess this is just a semantic point. I'm myself quite happy to have the evolution of works taken into account in productions of 19th-century ballets (actually, in many cases, I may prefer it) but I'm not sure at what point the word reconstruction becomes too inexact to be useful.
  4. Drew

    Job posting for artistic director

    The coaches being taped are supposed to be getting a lot on record as Helene addressed above. Clifford and Mimi Paul--with whom he is working--danced the ballet when Balanchine was there to work with them, so that's the potential value people see in their coaching, not how many years they danced with the company. (And does Clifford's style seem patronizing? It didn't seem to me he spoke to the dancers as if they were newbies or corps members.) Hyltin this past season spoke positively about working with Mcbride on Rubies though she commented precisely that she got so very much new information, especially about the musicality, that she couldn't include it all in her performance as it would take time to process. That doesn't sound as if McBride just gave her a few notes and sent her on her way as an experienced principal. And it also didn't sound to me as if Hyltin wasn't pleased to be getting the information. I don't hold any brief for Clifford and I don't believe for a second he is going to be the next director of New York City Ballet or even influential on whoever that director is. But for that very reason, the eccentricities of his personality and the problems he has had with leadership and administration don't seem to me to carry huge implications for the future of ballet as we know it. More likely the future of youtube . In the meanwhile, I'm happy to learn what I can from the video he posts and find some of his comments insightful and others ... less so. Certainly, he is not the first and won't be the last to raise questions about what is being "lost" in the way Balanchine is being danced since the latter's death. Since some such changes are inevitable, and the process has been underway for decades, the laments can get wearying or come across as self-serving, but a number of Balanchine's dancers seem to me legitimately to have a huge amount to offer and you can see it in the results they get. (I personally think you can see some results in this Valse Fantaisie documentary--with the ballet looking less generic when the dancers respond to things Clifford and/or Paul pass on to them.)
  5. Well, I WAS really looking forward to seeing this, but life has intervened. So I will certainly miss it in the theater and likely not be able to catch it on the Bolshoi website unless they leave it up a while....Oh well.
  6. Drew

    Tribute to Jerome Robbins

    You had mentioned this before and over a year ago I started trying to use a free VPN service (Windscribe) ...but even with multiple tries and broadcasts, I find it has never once gotten me past a geo-block. In some cases--like this one--I just get the same message that I always get about the network being unavailable (only I get it in French not English) and in a few other cases I have gotten a specific message that VPN addresses aren't acceptable. Is there a step I am missing or does one need to upgrade to higher quality (pay) VPN? (I realize this may not be answerable on a message board, but thought I would ask.)
  7. Thank you @Amy for the detailed description of the production.
  8. Drew

    Maria Alexandrova

    Thanks for the updates....
  9. Great to know...it still seems plausible to me that the renovation of their usual theatre would make this a season when they opted for some major tours. Self-aggrandizement is rarely charming and fascism never, but there are links between Hungary’s modern struggle for independence and Hungarian immigrants in the United States. (There’s even a statue of Kossuth in Washington D.C.) Sounds like the evening @Dreamer describes went overboard in bad ways, but perhaps once the season is underway, dancing and other elements will pick up. At least, for the sake of those with tickets, I hope so.
  10. Drew

    Yulia Stepanova

    Thank you @Quinten for posting the Swan Lake excerpt...
  11. Thank you @laurel for the summary. The Budapest opera house is stunning. And if it's being renovated, then touring of the opera and ballet companies in the meanwhile seems rather normal to me whatever other goals or meanings may have accrued to the tour. That is, whoever was in government, the companies would presumably have gone on tour if they couldn't perform at home.
  12. I will be interested in reading your responses to the production. I'm very curious about it... Not sure how I feel about the anniversaries issue. Anniversaries of major ballets in the ballet repertory make the most sense to me if it's a ballet created on one's own company and/or definitive in some fashion or another for the company's history and identity (like Sleeping Beauty at the Royal) because otherwise where does one stop really? Every year could be a 25th/50th/75th/100th anniversary of some significant ballet and even of some significant ballet that a company has occasionally danced. (All of which is a separate question from whether Massine should be revived more often--to which I think the answer is yes.) I was mildly surprised at the Royal's decision to celebrate Bernstein's centenary. The result may have been musically/choreographically interesting, but I thought perhaps it reflected musical tastes and the desire to create an "event" around new work as much as anything else--unless there is an important historical link between the Royal and Bernstein I'm unaware of?? (And if there is, then I'm guessing @Ashton Fan will know!) On the other hand the lack of announcements regarding the Fonteyn Centenary at the Royal initially seemed genuinely shocking to me, though I have lately been wondering if O'Hare's idea is that the Fonteyn celebration is going to be in Fall 2019 and so announcements should wait until announcements of 2019-2020 season. Still one would have thought a May 2019 birthday gala or special repertory program would have been an obvious thing for the Royal to do this season. So that is a bit of a head-scratcher ... That said, the Royal is dancing so well these days, there is plenty to celebrate about their performances....
  13. What has been most interesting to me reading about this festival is the wide variation in people's responses to the same performances--and I've found the same variety (and more, for example, regarding the Joffrey) on other social media. One always reads different and even conflicting opinions here at Ballet Alert, but often there is some clear tilt in the overall response--sort of the way in this discussion almost everyone has some criticisms of Tchaikovsky pas de deux as danced by Tereshkina (especially) and Kim--even if someone writes to disagree with that tilt. Or else the opinions fall into two clear "strands" or perspectives (say, responses to the Bolshoi from people who admire Grigorovich and people who don't). But it's not that often, as far as I remember, to read such a wide and widely swinging variety of responses to so many performances and not easily categorizable responses either since everyone is interested in Balanchine at the least. And where one person's favorite performance is another's worst disaster and yet another person's nice and another person's meh. Perhaps this reveals how strongly people feel about the different ways Balanchine can/should be danced and what they expect from non-NYCB as well as non-American performances. Though there does seem to be something consistently wrong with the City Center stage that so many falls are happening -- Canbelto commented on this on her blog too.
  14. Drew

    Job posting for artistic director

    This discussion assumes that Clifford really knows what he thinks he knows and that his commenting on it won't itself have an impact on the board's process--which it probably won't (or wouldn't)...but stranger things have happened. That said--thinking about company ballerinas who joined after Balanchine's death, I find myself wondering if Jenifer Ringer is in the mix at all, though I understand why Whelan draws the most attention.