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Drew

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Everything posted by Drew

  1. My great Abrera Sleeping Beauty experience was when I saw her dance Princess Florine in Ratmansky's Sleeping Beauty--I thought it was in every detail--down to her fingertips--the most beautiful, enchanting performance of that role imaginable. She danced with such purity and fluidity and inhabited so completely the fairy tale spirit of the pas de deux that one felt the whole spirit of the ballet was captured in her performance. Of course, I didn't get to see Abrera as often as many posting here, and I do think that performance of Princess Florine probably goes down as my favorite performance of all those I saw her give.
  2. This is wonderfully helpful information. Sadly, for myself, I can't imagine doing any ballet-travel until there is a vaccine for Covid 19 or, perhaps, if a vaccine proves impossible, until the disease is much more under control and we have much better treatments for it.
  3. I had the same experience as you--none of the posts I saw showed any irritation at being directed to the other hashtag. People found it helpful ... and, in turn, they wanted to be helpful. I've still been surprised at the degree to which companies and other organizations have felt they need to weigh in on the current protests. But mostly it's been a pleasant surprise. (One of the most strongly worded and explicit statements I read from an arts organization came from Atlanta Ballet--and, in the larger historical and social context, that did not surprise me.) Social media has its limits for sure, and most of us need a rest from it from time to time. But since (as we all know, even if our views on the situation differ) the current social media "noise" reflects things happening in the 3-D world, it's to be hoped some 3-D changes can still happen...
  4. Seeing announcements of promotions and retirements at Ballet West made me realize I should post about the retirement from Atlanta Ballet of wonderful ballerina Nadia Mara who has been dancing here for 15 years. She is returning to Uruguay to become a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Uruguay -- currently directed by Julio Bocca. Mara was one of the company's best and most versatile dancers--and one who always "delivered." I even recall one or two performances where (almost) everyone else seemed to be having an "off" performance -- or to be out of their depths (cough...Paquita...cough) -- where Mara's reliability and charm helped to save the day. I always especially appreciated that while she was technically one of the strongest ballerinas I've seen here in Atlanta (especially pre-Nedvigin), all of her performances were gently infused with warmth and emotion. I treasure many of her performances but will mention two (where, in fact, the whole company was "on" but her performance was the stand out): the lead ballerina in Allegro Brillante -- not as fast as Tiler Peck (!) but more warmly romantic in a way that recalled to me things Tallchief has talked about as important to the ballet; and Marguerite in Helen Pickett's Camino Real, a role that calls on the ballerina not just to dance but to speak and even cry out in anguish which Mara did convincingly. Here is the company's notice about her departure--as they write, it's sad that Atlanta Ballet and its fans won't be able to see her off in person: https://www.atlantaballet.com/news/a-fond-farewell-to-nadia-mara
  5. Yes....I had trouble finding the right word for what I wanted to say.... Very grateful for these streamed performances from San Francisco!
  6. (Kind of puzzled by the first remark....My questions about the ballet were whether it was coming to grips with its material in a formally and emotionally substantive way.) ”Witnessed” was a way to register that the ensemble —which figures fellow townspeople though also, at times, other forces—is on stage and feels very much present (does not just disappear into the background) during the pas de trois.
  7. Happy Birthday Alexandra--we are always happy to hear from you!
  8. When I read, just now, here on this thread, about the Instagram Kerfuffle, my first thought was that it was scarcely credible that Lane was completely ignorant of the implications of #alllivesmatter -- and my second that it wouldn't surprise me if Copeland isn't exactly in the most easy-going frame of mind these days. However, since Lane was so quick to change her formulation and to post as she has, I guess I do now credit it and...uh...props to her for making the changes. (Though I fear there is a certain way of being "naive" about issues that itself is part of the problem.) I couldn't find the original exchange with Copeland on Instagram--and perhaps Copeland took it down because she thought it was kinder to do so--but I'm not inclined to give Copeland a hard time on this one in any case. (By the by, I think it would be a mistake to assume that everyone on this site has a problem the #alllivesmatter hashtag--I assume there is some disagreement here as there is elsewhere in the country.)
  9. For me the pas de trois at the end (admittedly, a "witnessed" pas de trois) made the ballet; I found it not just emotionally, but formally the most interesting section--in part, because of the way it seemed to draw on and revise movements what we had seen before. Until then, I found the ballet engaging but wasn't sure it would bear repeat viewing or that I would particularly want to see it in the theater. But that intrigued me...
  10. I had the identical reaction. Thank you @canbelto for posting....
  11. I thought the "debut deferred" feature was a good idea--not depressing, but a way to acknowledge and show both what its dancers have accomplished and what they and we are losing this season. Especially since debuts were a big part of the planned season. (And I'm curious to see rehearsal footage while realizing that dancers don't necessarily want rehearsal footage to be shape people's ideas of their ability in a role.) I agree that Megan Fairchild is an excellent interviewer--and interviewing seems to me to be one of those skills that is harder than it looks!
  12. Just watched the video of Soiree Musicale--a ballet I had never seen--thank you @sandik. I don't understand why every smaller-sized company in the country that can't afford a live orchestra for all of its performances (cough...Atlanta Ballet...cough) doesn't have that in their repertory. (And how much credit does Tudor get for being in on the piano ballet craze decades ahead of time?) Edited to add: after writing the above I realized that of course the Britten was not necessarily a piano score at all -- that's just how NY Ballet Theater staged it. I still think it works very well with the piano and could be staged that way by other companies that can't afford an orchestra. Don't know how it was done by Rambert...
  13. Which is what Farrell has said as well...
  14. This was my first experience of Ballet Arizona--though I have occasionally read about them and their performances-- It was a pleasure!
  15. A long interview with Alina Cojocaru from January of this year-- https://www.thewonderfulworldofdance.com/alina-cojocaru-principal-ballerina-creating-new-show-love-dance-unexpected-words-wisdom For good measure, video of a Liam Scarlett pas de deux danced with Isaac Hernández at a festival in Mexico in (I believe) 2019:
  16. ABT's cancelled season actually looked to me to be one of their more interesting in recent years--with a number of promising-looking debuts and at least one important premier. I don't know what the answer is to the "digital" issue...that is, I don't know how much the problem is ABT's leadership--people here have persuaded me that some large portion of it must be--and how much is problems that go back to their seemingly constant financial precarity, their (non) relation to Lincoln Center etc.
  17. Missed this but was very pleased to catch Initials R.B.M.E. which was something of a blast from the past for me. Many of us old enough to remember performances by Richard, Birgit, Marcia, and Egon remember them as some of the most remarkable artists we ever had the good fortune to see. (I will mention Heinz Klaus too.) I find the choreography uneven as a whole—or at least not always in synch with how I personally hear the Brahms—but better and even much better in many ways than I remember from when I saw it live oh so many decades ago.
  18. In terms of risk to performers and audiences I think not enough is said about the fact that even survivors may be left with long term organ damage. I do worry about the fate of many arts organizations.....
  19. I watched some and fast forwarded through much but what struck me was that some dance-video bits were enjoyable to me (including the Tony Bennett/Catherine Hurlin/Aran Bell featurette--especially charming when he and the dancers waved to each other, they in the park and he in his apartment). I think several others might have been enjoyable or moving to me as video-dance or video "bits" in the context of at least one or two substantive excerpts. The absence of anything like that was very disappointing. And the music-video approach even when charming (as many bits were to me) is not charming for an hour... But perhaps the target audience for this fundraiser is not hard-core balletomanes (though some balletomanes, like @balletfan enjoyed it which is great). Let's hope they are saving substantive material up for later....(I did think the opening montage was good, maybe some of that footage at greater length?) I do like the company's plan to have a feature with dancers who were preparing debuts for this spring--I hope they are able to include better rehearsal footage than we saw this evening. I do feel great love for ABT and want them to make it through this crisis more or less intact....
  20. I was intrigued by the "new" La Sylphide too. I rather hope they opt for a more "romantic"--ie traditional--approach. There is a reason that ballet has lasted and it's not all luck-of-the-draw....
  21. Reading about this with distress--though I guess it saves me time watching it--Perhaps they remain convinced (as I think some still are) that seeing substantive ballet online keeps people from being willing to to see it live. But NOW??!!?? I would also understand if Ratmansky wanted to work more on Of Love and Rage before it gets seen by wider audiences, but is there really no 10-15 minute -- or even 5 minute -- clip they can show? Oh well. I still hope they get a lot of donations. And perhaps the second half will be better....
  22. Edited to add: This should not have gone in this thread. Apologies...and I see @imspear posted something about this under a discussion of fundraising--moderators can delete if they wish. Dancers from all over the world...I quite liked this: "American Ballet Theatre's Misty Copeland and her former colleague Joseph Phillips have launched the most recent fundraiser: Swans for Relief. They corralled 32 ballet dancers from 14 countries to film themselves performing Mikhail Fokine's Le Cygne (often referred to as 'The Dying Swan') from wherever they're isolating right now. The resulting film strings their movements together one after the other:" https://www.pointemagazine.com/ballet-dancer-relief-fund-2645934191.html?utm_campaign=RebelMouse&socialux=facebook&share_id=5523904&utm_medium=social&utm_content=Pointe&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR0rvVZLU_tgOQJDdyQtNn1p_8c3gUtjVqLdkUjza6pNvu8aLy58VpPA59s
  23. Aaahh...This makes sense...I see Mckenzie heavily criticized so often (and in ways that I, personally, find unbalanced) that I took your comment more generally...
  24. Yes--part of the 'cost' of getting Ratmansky was giving him complete freedom -- including letting him continue to choreograph for NYCB even if less frequently. I'd be surprised they didn't do something to limit that in his contract, but my memory is that he opted for ABT over NYCB precisely because they would let him choreograph where he liked as long as he fulfilled his obligations to them. I'm also a bit of an outlier in some of my admiration for Ratmansky's ABT ballets. I loved Seven Sonatas (which I saw danced by Atlanta Ballet); I loved Whipped Cream (even after attending three performances in two days); I was intrigued enough by Serenade After Plato's Symposium to want to see it again and actually know of two people who argue IT is actually his strongest work. And...extreme outlier opinion here...I prefer the ballet he created at ABT for Shostakovitch's Piano Concerto no. 1 to Concerto DSCH. But I realize the consensus is that he does his best work for NYCB and I do think several of those ballets--I haven't seen all of them--are absolutely wonderful.
  25. As I know you know, the Ratmansky landscape has a little more variety than that suggests (productions that continue to be performed at the Bolshoi, ballets that have been taken into the repertory of more than one company--even the Shostakovich Trilogy, which was created for ABT, was reported by fans on this site, to be a box office success when danced by the San Francisco Ballet... But in any case, "visionary leadership" partly means supporting things that may not have immediate box office appeal or things that divide opinion or piss people off....I think ABT's leadership, criticized for so much (perhaps rightly at times) should get credit for its support of Ratmansky. Also for maintaining some kind of limited connection to the Ashton repertory which otherwise would scarcely be seen in New York at all--except for the occasional visit by Sarasota or (even rarer) the Royal. Ashton, too, has not always been good box office for ABT--Fille, for example, doesn't seem to draw audiences. And Ashton is one of ballet's greatest choreographers. (Project plié should get a mention here as well...though one could wish it had happened sooner.) Like most ballet fans I can find plenty to criticize in my favorite companies including ABT....and, in fact, it's been a couple of years since I made a special trip just to see them, so take that as a strong criticism in itself--but they have done some things that to my mind qualify as artistically substantive. That's really all I wanted to say.
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