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Everything posted by Drew

  1. I was intrigued to see the Raymonda debut as well. Hope it goes well!
  2. For me, the digital season's Theme and Variations really hit the spot...Bravo to everybody. I will allow I thought the performance [stitched together as it may have been] gave the impression of picking up steam as it went along, but it feels entirely appropriate for the energy and emotion to build to a climax here. My internalized recording of T&V is still probably the live Kirkland/Baryshnikov broadcast, but this--with its crisp HD-quality images--was a joy to see. I also very much enjoyed Russell Janzen's introduction--but when he admitted that when doing his at-home ballet class/practice listening to Tchaikovsky's music he found himself tearing up as the Polonaise began even though, as he said 'that's not usually an emotional moment,' I mentally began shouting at the television 'of course it's an emotional moment! At any halfway decent performance of Theme and Variations, I always tear up--or, at least, shiver with excitement--when the Polonaise begins!"
  3. This is performance of Les Sylphides I would have loved to see in the theater!
  4. I, too, think it would be better for Atlanta if Nedvigin stayed, but he has been here for a few years and I don’t think he is under an obligation not to put his hat in the ring for an opportunity like this, especially with a company (San Francisco) with which he has a long history. Especially when the CEO he has been working with here in Atlanta is retiring. I hope he doesn’t, and there are plenty of other contenders for the job anyway, but I would understand if he did.
  5. I'm an outsider too, and find myself curious why Gennadi Nedvigin isn't on your list. In addition to his long career at San Francisco Ballet he now has directorial experience at Atlanta Ballet (a company with a school attached) and where he has been involved in mounting major new productions/commissions and involved in major diversity initiatives. He also has a long-standing relationship with Possokhov so a Nedvigin/Possokhov pairing of sorts would be quite workable assuming the San Francisco board didn't find that too much of a Russian take-over. I'll add that there is a changing of the guard on the administrative end in Atlanta (the company's chief executive/ceo, who also used to work for San Francisco Ballet) is stepping down. So--again, just speculating as an outsider--perhaps Nedvigin would be all the more interested. On the whole I'd be sorry to lose Nedvigin from Atlanta. So I guess I hope I'm wrong...but he kind of seems like a potential candidate to me...
  6. What a wonderful tribute--thank you....
  7. Thanks for writing. And it's good to be hopeful. (Well, in this case...) I don't know if I will see anything live before 2022 but I'm hoping for mid-to-late Fall 2021...
  8. I remember first hearing about her from my mother who very much admired her accomplishments! What an impressive figure --what great contributions to ballet. May she rest in peace...
  9. I've seen her twice in the theater (two Kennedy Center appearances) and I agree with this assessment. Though I should add that I saw her in roles that at least don't demand much depth of characterization (Corsaire and a few months later Paquita) and I did enjoy the performances, especially the Paquita. In particular, I saw a lot of growth in terms of stage presence between the Corsaire and the Paquita. I also very much appreciated how easy and unforced her dancing looked. Of course the way she has been shot out of a cannon by the Mariinsky can't help but raise eyebrows, but I think I'm willing to call myself ...not yet a fan ...but a very well disposed member of the audience.
  10. I haven't seen Bourne's Swan Lake except an excerpt done as a "guest" performance on a mixed bill--the lake scene pas de deux. But in principle, it doesn't seem analogous to me. The Petipa/Ivanov libretto has Siegfried's actions and moral choices at its center even when Odette/Odile is the "dance" center of the ballet. (One of several reasons I am not a big fan of adding a prologue to Swan Lake in which we see Odette transformed into a Swan -- it seems to me to miss how much her entrance gains from the audience sharing Siegfried's startled point of view.) I guess I still don't think of Swan Lake as having simply a male-centric story, as the lake scenes' choreography for Odette and the swans --Ivanov's as it has come down to us--seems to me the ballet's greatest expression of the quest for freedom...but yeah...I don't think of it quite as I think of Nutcracker... Actually, many modern productions of Swan Lake--even ones that are quite traditional overall--make the ballet even more fundamentally about Siegfried (he hates his mother, he hates his life, he gets additional solos etc.). That seems more analogous to those Nutcracker productions that become very explicit about Clara's psychic development (she is becoming an adolescent, she is learning about love, she--and not the Sugar Plum Fairy--dances the big pas de deux etc. etc.) instead of leaving it as subtext in what appears to be a children's story. (In Bourne's Swan Lake, as I gather from my reading and the excerpt I have seen, there is a still more radical re-conception of the nineteenth-century story and the choreography altogether--though...uh...surely the original has something of a gay subtext which he is picking up on.) Anyway, mileages vary--and, also theatrical experiences sometimes make a big difference. What I don't like on paper, the Nutcracker description that began this discussion, I might like in the theater...and vice versa: something that sounded interesting on paper might prove disappointing in the theater.
  11. Wow! And not in a good way. Wishing the dancers and the company the best.
  12. In a traditional production, she has to cope with the breaking of her Nutcracker doll (a big deal to a child with all kinds of potential meanings), a dream with nightmarish elements including the battle of mice and soldiers—in which she intervenes—the journey through the snow to land of sweets and, though I don’t recall if this belongs to the original, waking up from out of her dream. It is not a realistic story, and it’s not presented as kitchen-sink tale of angst, but it suggests, in a fantastical way a whole psychic world of learning about oneself and the world and some of the pains and pleasures of that process...I am not a super fan of modernized productions that make her psychic development too explicit (though I do like scary rats and I don’t mind a pas de deux for Clara on pointe with a come-to-life romantic Nutcracker) but I find them at least to be based on something in the traditional ballet libretto and in the music I always take fantasy stories and fairy tales quite seriously. I think the music suggests that Tchaikovsky did too.
  13. This made me sigh --not because it isn't traditional but because it takes a story about Clara and her struggles to grow up and 'modernizes' it into a story about a male dancer and his struggles.
  14. Well, given that they are--or ought to be--the Balanchine standard-bearer, NYCB does right to stay true to Balanchine, but I can't help but admit that both of these decisions seem like excellent ones to me.
  15. I've only seen this pas de deux in excerpt and on video but in those out-of-context settings the peekaboo moment never appealed to me. (Even if it fit with Ratmansky's conception it didn't seem to me to fit with the music.) Perhaps in context I would feel differently--and I have a lot of interest in whatever Ratmansky decides to do--but I was quite happy to see the Ivanov choreography (as notated) and, like others who have posted, was struck by how closely it has been preserved in "traditional" productions.
  16. I admit that the note on that information in Wikipedia somewhat confuses me as to what the figures refer to--if you click the link for the note that gives the source and then click on the map for "Gorod Sankt Petersburg" in that source, it appears to include a lot of surrounding areas. But say it's not so...and the percentages are exactly as you suggest: the situation in St. Petersburg is still not good as you also say. I'd be tempted to speculate that someone close to the company will have to die of Covid19 for the company to change course, but in Moscow even that seems not to have made much of a difference, so it probably wouldn't in St. Petersburg either. It especially surprises me that, according to what's reported above, the Mariinsky has made no modification of seating in the theater--a theater which, in my experience, does not exactly have the best air circulation in the world. But that's what the company's leadership has decided and it is (presumably) their decision for the time being. As someone who loves the company, I prefer to say only positive things about the Mariinsky. And when it comes to things like repertory and casting--so passionately argued about among fans!--I've always believed that ultimately one has to recognize, 'well, I'm just an outsider.' Fans don't run the show and shouldn't run the show. (Even sophisticated fans with profound knowledge of the company's history and impeccable taste!) From a certain point of view, this is no different--I certainly don't get to make decisions for the Mariinsky. But I still can't help myself from thinking they are playing fast and loose with human life.
  17. I complete missed this news until this second--very sad. I think of Leland whenever I see Symphony in Three Movements--one of my favorite Balanchine Ballets. May she rest in peace.
  18. Happy to have watched this late Saturday night. I can't say much about the production from video, but it does seem very easy on the eyes (I might marry James JUST for the blue tartan). I found Praetorius a beautiful and touching sylphide but maybe not the 'sylphiest.' Hard for me to put into words, but there is some quality of ballon or easy (and speedy) airiness that I love in Bournonville that I'm not sure I entirely saw in her or in her James...But I do always enjoy her dancing, and seeing the ballet and the company was a huge pleasure.
  19. It’s a relief even reading about this production after only having read about the previous one...Thank you @Anne for the detailed report.
  20. I can’t respond to these comments without getting into very political territory. I can at least agree that a vaccine—once a substantial portion of the population has been vaccinated—will change the picture....No-one doubts your love of the Mariinsky @Buddy! Thanks from me, as well, @volcanohunter — I wouldn’t call the numbers a testimony to the wisdom or compassion of the company’s approach.
  21. "...Still ones hopes that this is being done as responsibly as possible for the benefit of the entire population." That is the issue... I don't know the severity of the outbreak in St. Petersburg and I certainly feel for the dancers--it seems to me that losing a season or a year to the pandemic must feel close to unbearable and depending where a dancer is in her/his career could have long term or even permanent ramifications for how that career unfolds. Yet, the risks performers take are not only risks for themselves. For that reason alone, the decision about performances can't be made based simply on their wishes --and presumably that isn't how the decision is being made, because the people who run the Mariinsky must have their eyes on other concerns including the long term financial health of the institution as well as whatever political pressures they may be under to keep up "normal" life given the status and importance of the company. (In any case, with the company performing, any individual dancer who thinks it is a bad idea is unlikely to speak up about it.) But is the company being responsible within the larger public health crisis for "the entire population?" Not limiting numbers of seats sold in any way and not re-arranging spacing of seats in the theater while leaving it to audience members to decide whether or not they want to attend the ballet especially raises a lot of questions about the wider risks to St. Petersburg. Because here, too, the risks people choose to take are not simply their own. They are risks for everyone in their circle and possibly others not in their circle -- with all the ripple effects we see every day in the States. (And, I kind of suspect that all these people buying ballet tickets during a pandemic are unlikely to be showing ultra caution in every other aspect of their lives.) So even as I root for the dancers and, so to speak, for ballet...still... I could wish in some ways that the company were taking a different approach...
  22. Is there no calendar section? I would think even for locals that’s a very useful function and the company knows it has an international audience....Let’s hope an easy-to-find calendar section is on its way....
  23. Thanks for the interview. I wish De Luz great success. (I wonder if the announced run of the Giselle will happen as planned--I'm even a little surprised about this week's repertory program, as a quick Google search shows cinemas are closed in Spain right now...)
  24. Many dance artists and dance writers are paying tribute and expressing their sadness on Instagram -- and posting a slew of photos of the Doris Duke theater mostly in happier times.
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