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Drew

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Everything posted by Drew

  1. Thank you @Barbara--I have been eager to read about Forster's debut.
  2. Congratulations to Misty Copeland! I hope she will be dancing again soon....
  3. I didn't see the sugarplum gate performance, but when I DID see Ringer in Nutcracker she was, hands down, the best sugarplum fairy I ever saw. In my personal pantheon the best sugarplum fairy ever (allowing that Marilyn Burr in the National Ballet production has a special place since I saw her as a child). I even liked Ringer better than Farrell in that particular role and, come to think of it, better than Zakharova who, unlikely as it sounds, made a guest appearance in the NYCB Nutcracker and, as I remember, was quite charming too. Now to return to topic, I always loved Ringer whatever shape she was in, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't greatly prefer her in what I thought of as "ballet" shape. I put that sentence in past tense because "ballet shape" is just what people are rethinking and re-imagining nowadays (or at least, maybe we are) and I feel I should too. But @vipa seems to me to raise honest and important questions. That said, I don't think any slack should be cut whatsoever for someone capable of writing, as Macaulay has in his reflections, the equivalent of "some of my best friends are anorexic." Some passages almost read like deliberate self-parody -- I mean wow! he really answered the door for people who were overweight so they could meet with each other?! Award the guy a sugarplum....
  4. Completely agree about Baryshnikov. I believe I saw that Vishneva-Corella performance and, for my taste, neither then (nor at one other performance of Giselle that I saw him dance) did his brisés hold a candle to Baryshnikov's....(I usually liked Corella a lot when I saw him dance, but all the same....) Excited to read about Brandt's debut....
  5. The backdrops seem kind of ravishing as gigantic drawings, and I think I understand what Lacotte said about the characters-emerging-from-book effect he wanted but I did find myself wondering how the black and white look actually worked in the theater. (I have read some French comments about the production now...not a lot though.)
  6. Well, so far I have watched a big chunk of Australian ballet's World Ballet Day footage, a smaller chunk of the Bolshoi's and smaller still of Royal Ballet's (mostly just the Kaneko and Bracewell R&J balcony scene coached by Edward Watson and Leslie Collier). Plus all of the shorter POB offering and some of the Universal Ballet offering. And now I am deeply (and only a little bit ironically) disappointed not to be able to come onto this website and find outraged responses to Vaziev. Some may remember that most years I half-heartedly defend him, but this year I was going to join the chorus of outrage as I think he out-did himself in singling out a new company member for humiliation in footage that he has to have known would be used (and must later have approved) for International transmission. (According to the subtitles "Shameful! ...She should be ashamed! ...I could do a better arabesque than that...." etc.) Indeed the footage of the rehearsal was so brief I almost suspect the company of having included it just to thumb the nose at Vaziev's critics. As postscript to Russian Martinet ballet tropes for this World Ballet Day, I'll also mention listening to a young male dancer at the Universal ballet talk about his experiences with a Russian teacher at the Kirov Academy in D.C. -- which included crying through the night as he repeatedly wrote out exercises as a "punishment" and throwing up mid-class--even though he concluded his stories up with remarks to the effect of "it made me a better dancer...it helped me..." and the like. Happier highlights from what I have seen: definitely the Australian Ballet rehearsal of the Pas Des Alouettes from the Ratmansky-Petipa Harlequinade and their company class led by former company principal and now coach Fiona Tonkin. (I hope I have identified her correctly--because WOW! watching her demonstrate steps was a pleasure). I also very much enjoyed the Royal Ballet R&J rehearsal, for a lot of reasons, but partly because I'm so happy that Fumi Kaneko is coming off a successful debut as Juliet which, whatever I think of the ballet, is a huge landmark for her career. I hope eventually to watch more of the footage--usually I watch the RB class and I'd like to watch the Mariinsky class that was posted this go round as well. But my paying job is rather in the way....
  7. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It sounds as if some of the problems might be fixed with judicious editing...but not all...
  8. I'd be grateful to read any reports/reactions to Lacotte's staging of Stendhal's novel at the POB.
  9. Yes I hope so too. There is a lot of life getting in the way of ballet these days....Be well yourself!
  10. Thank you for writing about this. I definitely weary of watching ballet on video even though in many ways I have depended on it even when there wasn't a pandemic as I don't live in a city with (what I consider) a major ballet company or that gets tours from other ballet companies. I'd like to say I'm reading a lot about ballet and this work by/on Legat sounds very interesting....but I haven't been doing too much ballet reading either. (Other reading yes...developing some stay-at-home hobbies too. Also: work under present circumstances also just leaves me a lot more exhausted than it used to do.)
  11. The last time I saw Stafford dance was a few years ago in the first movement of Symphony in C--and that was my first time seeing her in some years: I noticed that she had, in the years since I had first seen her, developed a subtle warmth I found quite appealing. I hope she enjoys being a lawyer and does a lot of good ... and/or makes a fortune. I'm a little dismayed reading about both Jonathan Stafford and Wendy Whelan not being there for her final performance with the company. If there are going to be farewells for all retiring principals then I can't help but feel that the company leadership should show up for all of them--or none of them--whatever personal relationships are like behind the scenes. I guess I would understand people not showing if there were a legal dispute (to my knowledge there isn't) or if the retiring dancer had asked them not to be there. But farewells do seem to have a script of sorts and I guess it seems unfortunate to me--and even unprofessional--that everyone isn't able to rise to the occasion of following them.
  12. I find myself wondering if Mariinsky visit to D.C. will have to be cancelled then?
  13. Louise Fishman (1939-2021) is an interesting figure to me--also linked to abstract expressionism and an explicitly feminist painter as well: Her website: https://louisefishman.net/index.html Obituary in ARTnews: https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/louise-fishman-painter-dead-1234599995/
  14. Wonderful to read about the promotions. Congratulations to all of the promoted dancers!
  15. I can't argue with history--the ballet didn't get traction--but when I saw Gounod Symphony a few years ago with Farrell's company I thought it was pretty terrific and distinctive. The choreography for the corps de ballet doesn't look like anything else I've seen in Balanchine, even when it works through recognizable motifs ("London Bridge"). The choreography for the ballerina did in spots remind me of the choreography for the ballerina in Allegro Brillante, and both ballets were created for Tallchief so no great surprise there--but that's hardly a knock on Gounod Symphony. I think it should be regularly revived--by all means, with Farrell guiding productions as long as she is willing and able--if not by NYCB, which has no special relationship to it, then by other companies. Gaspard de La Nuit is another Balanchine Ballet that more or less disappeared--and more completely than Gounod Symphony. It premiered as part of the Ravel festival. If my memory is at all accurate it was not just distinctive but completely unlike other late Balanchine works in having choreography completely interwoven with costumes and scenic effects. It also belonged to the sub-genre of his work having a rather gothic sort of tone. I would be very curious to see it again, but surprised if it turned out to be a lost masterpiece. (I was always also curious about Seven Deadly Sins. It had staging requirements that perhaps meant that even as a hit it would not have been revived frequently. My impression is that it was well-received critically.) Anyway, Balanchine is important enough that there is a lot of leeway for interest in the minor and offbeat. Or should be...even if it can hardly be a repertory focus.
  16. What a fabulous quote...it's funny to me too because, as a layperson, when I watch rehearsals, one of the things that most strikes me, is how much they stop & start!
  17. I am on a bit of a moratorium for new (or old) ballet books, but this sounds wonderful...
  18. I must have read that at the time . . . and as I recall he also cast Ashley in the Verdy role in Emeralds which also seemed about 'stretching' her. I would be very happy to see Ballade revived.
  19. ENB brought this to Chicago a couple of years back. My sister saw it and described it as "sublime." It's too bad there wasn't a fuller tour or a NY appearance.
  20. I saw it with Ashley--probably just the one time. I vaguely remember (or thought at the time that) Balanchine seemed to be trying to stretch her in more lyrical directions. It wasn't just another Ballo Della Regina. I've occasionally thought NYCB should revive it and have been puzzled that they don't. But somebody should.
  21. Lovely to read about this emotional evening . . .
  22. He created Thirteen Diversions for ABT a few years back. I remember it getting good reviews and I thought they danced it one other season, but am not certain. I also thought he had done another work for them, but when I looked it up (VIII is the title) it turns out to have been created at Hamburg Ballet, and danced by ABT a few years later....
  23. I think documentary film-makers are sometimes stuck in ways they don't/can't talk about when it comes to who appears in their films. That may account for some of the oddity of choices -- at least when it comes to interviews...
  24. From what you say, I take it....very, very bad...😕
  25. Goodness--I didn't know anything about Joan Harris. Sounds as if she had some rather amazing experiences as a dancer. May she rest in peace.
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