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Everything posted by Sonora

  1. Symphonic Dances is featured this weekend in the "Open Barre" series (without the Cleveland Orchestra, unfortunately!). I, too found the ballet very exciting - abstract yet not abstract, full of emotion and interplay between and among dancers and groups of dancers - and can't wait to see it again.
  2. Ratmansky's new ballet premiered last night on the wings of the great Cleveland Orchestra. It was wonderful: rich, lushly romantic, complex and evocative. Ratmansky is quoted in the program notes as saying: "There is no real story. I want the audience to leave with the images and feelings that the movement gives them," and in that he succeeded - the ballet left my companions and me marveling, questioning, wondering. I didn't love the work completely, but can't wait to see it again. Its very imperfections seemed to me to contribute to its beauty and interest. The costumes were fascinating - thin, flowing shifts in shades of tan and cream; ethereal masses of brilliant colored tulle (?) suggesting ball gowns, draped to reveal the dancers' forms beneath; hooded tunics for the men...strange and provocative. What was the red splatter on Nathalia Arja's costume - ? Fascinating. The costume designers rightly took a bow with Ratmansky, the dancers, and the conductor.
  3. Which two of the performances did you see? Did Patricia dance at either? I saw Saturday night and Sunday matinee. Patricia Delgado danced Bugaku on Saturday and the Viola in Fanfare on Sunday. I thought she was lovely in Bugaku, with Reyes. Tricia Albertson danced the Viola on Saturday. She was charming, fleet, elegant.
  4. That's great news for the company. Interesting that they are not bringing any of Martins' ballets.
  5. Some thoughts on Miami City Ballet's opening program this weekend: I thought the program itself - Fanfare, Bugaku, and Theme and Variations - was well-chosen. Fanfare heralded the opening of MCB's 25th anniversary season as well as the return of live orchestral accompaniment, and was danced in spirited fashion. The costumes, while colorful, clever, and amusing, somewhat overwhelmed some of the smaller men. I thought the company shone in this ensemble piece, and looked particularly grand in the opening theme and closing fugue. It was wonderful to see Bugaku danced by two casts (Haiyan Wu with Isanusi Garcia-Rodriguez and P. Delgado with R. Reyes) so fascinatingly different in physicality and tone. The pairing of Haiyan and Garcia-Rodriguez - her ultra-femininity and perfectly proportioned loveliness offset by his magnetism and powerful grace - left its imprint firmly in my mind. Although I am not old enough to have seen Allegra Kent in her heyday, this seems to contain her essence and perfume, in its beautiful evocation of feeling and form, and its slightly kitsch-ey style. It is impossible to speak about Jeannette Delgado in the ballerina role in Theme and Variations without recalling the joy she transmits - to the audience and to the atmosphere on stage - through every glorious movement phrase. Her technical command of the role is a joy in and of itself, but her shimmering musicality, grandeur, and musicality are the stuff of long-term memory. She illuminated this great ballet.
  6. In Martins' version for NYCB, are the first-act fairies named or otherwise identified - cannot recall.
  7. Maybe I'm just used to NYCB's way of dancing Rubies, but I thought this work quite a peculiar choice for the two visiting dancers, as it would seem antithetical to the Paris Opera Ballet style. Still, I preferred it to the horror that followed it... I can't help asking, what was the horror that followed?
  8. As has been noted, the interview is full of perceptive insights. She is honest and courageous! I agree that New York City Ballet under its present direction has isolated itself from the rest of the ballet/dance world, to its detriment, and to the detriment of its artists. It's a shame that this important company with its rich legacy of timeliness, innovation, and creativity does not seem to be setting an example in terms of respectful treatment of its dancers, and, by extension, its public.
  9. I was hoping someone would comment on her Ondine (she replaced Cojocaru in the performance I attended). I had not seen her perform it before and found her charming and spirited in the role, her long arms and expressive face used effectively.
  10. We attended the Sunday matinee. Completely sold out house, with people still clamoring for tickets. The first 10 minutes of the anniversary video were interesting and especially helpful to audience members unfamiliar with the Ailey story; however the second 10 minutes started to look alot like a PR presentation, and a friend wondered if they were going to conclude with a toll-free number. Revelations has held up amazingly well over the years, and, predictably, brought the audience to its feet. It is moving on several levels, due in no small part to the beauty and resonance of its score. The first two thirds of the dancing were collections of snippets from a chronology of AA works - while I understood the objective, I found this arrangement unsatisfying, and the friends who were unfamiliar with AA were disappointed without really knowing why. I was surprised that even "Cry" was cut into a manageable piece; it seemed a bit unfair to present a few minutes of the whole. I don't feel I can comment with any authority on the state of the company as it has been several years since I saw them perform; it was my impression that the dancers managed to illuminate the choreography by means of their particularly lush and powerful movement quality.
  11. I expect to be in Miami for several programs and look forward especially to Dances at a Gathering! Have not seen that ballet performed by other than New York City Ballet. As for programming, it's not hard to imagine that the economic situation has had significant impact on next season's offerings. I just hope Miami City Ballet will be able to return to New York in the near future!
  12. And they informed the dancers by mail, according to the Miami Herald.To give Peter Martins credit, he (1) spoke personally to the dancers involved and (2) took a pay cut himself. Good for him. I don't know that I would rely on the Miami Herald for complete and accurate information about contract negociations. As for Peter Martins, he may very well have been required to speak personally to the dancers, and the pay cut may have been mandated by the Board; who knows?
  13. Nevertheless there is a time for every performer to leave the stage, and if one has enjoyed a major career, it may be particularly important to leave before the audience feels the need to reminisce about long-past performances and, in essence, apologize for current ones.
  14. I was able to attend one of the City Center performances (Saturday evening) and by happenstance to catch the Cleveland Orchestra/MCB joint appearance - only able to see the second half of the latter, which included a Mendelsohn overture and the Bizet. Of course, the Orchestra was fabulous, every note seeming to pour out of the orchestra pit, and to fill the air with a fullness and warmth that delighted ear and heart. The company, fresh after their splendid New York debut, performed Symphony in C very well. I would think no one interested in the health and preservation of this wonderful ballet, not to mention the rest of the Balanchine repertoire, could possibly fail to appreciate the clarity, freshness, and joy with which it was danced. This is an interpretation (led with particular joie de vivre by Jeanette Delgado) that seems to me the opposite of stagnant and perfunctory, that might, under the best of circumstances, stimulate and recharge other companies' performances of the ballet.
  15. Jeanette Delgado has a remarkable musicality and joy. She ought to make an impression when Miami City Ballet comes to City Center in January.
  16. I am out of touch with the board and am not sure if this is the right place to comment - or maybe others have already noted - that Nicolaj Hubbe is 'back' to dance Watermill.
  17. Is it possible to find out the dates and schedule for Saratoga at this point?
  18. I had not seen Miranda Weese in some seasons, and she was beautiful last night in Evenfall. The contrast between her and some of the younger, less experienced principals in the company is marked; she has abundant 'class' and style and character. Her departing will be a loss to those younger dancers who might continue to learn from her.
  19. I was impressed with Alina Dronova's lead Marzipan on Sunday night (12/10), including her quadruple pirouette to the knee. She was clean and confident, lovely. I'm sorry not to have been impressed with either Megan Fairchild or Sterling Hyltin in the same cast. Megan Fairchild is full of talent, but so lacks coaching that might coax from her some kind of artistry and maturity in a role such as Sugarplum. And my companion and I must not have seen the same Dewdrop (Hyltin) witnessed by Gia Kourlas. Both of us found Hyltin dry and punchy and lacking in femininity. Her musicality and phrasing were rushed, even forced in places. This was our first Nutcracker of the season, so perhaps we don't have a baseline comparison.
  20. Charles Ives' The Unanswered Question: was Balanchine's ballet to the music called Ivesiana? When was the last time NYCB performed it? I don't have a good reference. Thank you!
  21. Eiko and Koma are on a national tour with their newest piece, “Cambodian Stories”, in which they collaborate with young Cambodian artists. I saw them at Gammage auditorium in Tempe, Arizona... Apparently E and K taught in a Cambodian school for visual arts, and were impressed by the ability of some of the students to "inhabit their bodies" and to express through movement, even though they had never before had dance classes. They returned to the school a year later and developed this piece that merges dance and art, creating both simultaneously. Eight young men, bare-torsoed, wearing bright yellow-gold sarongs, walk out solemnly onto the stage in front of a large painted drop, and announce themselves one by one as aspiring artists, or teachers, or bankers even, in loud, clear voices. The painted drop crumples to the floor and is carried away by the men, who then return to the bare stage where a blank canvas lies - they begin to paint the canvas, rapidly, with broad brushes and bowls of paint, and their brown bodies and yellow sarongs, black hair and movements as they clamber over the canvas create a kind of dance. There are a series of large painted drops hung from each wing, large portraits of Cambodian women, bare-torsoed on stage left and wrapped in sarongs on stage right, and the drops move slightly and are sometimes even set astir by the artists. A young girl, wearing cream-colored silk, moves very slowly, raising her bare feet only inches off the floor, arms outstretched to the sides, hands flexed, crossing slowly, slowly. Finally the men are finished with the canvas - I thought it might be scribbles of color - they hoist it to face the audience, and it turns out to be a painting of a woman wearing the same style clothes, arms outstretched in the same posture. Eiko and Koma make their appearance, but are unobtrusive, like powerful old trees, slow and deliberate, first in regular clothes, then in white makeup and robes...they seem to facilitate more than anything, sometimes interacting, dreamlike, with one or several of the young artists, leading them, bending over and with them. The dancer/artists reach, yearn, sink back against the hanging paintings, move heavily and pass in and out of the stagespace and wings. At one point the side drops are lowered, and a black backdrop is revealed - it, too, is quickly painted, and becomes the image of a woman lying down on a mountain - or is she the mountain itself? a large sun and stars filling the sky. The image of the woman was foreshadowed by the sole Cambodian girl, who stretched out centerstage on top of a mound of what appeared to be earth, or sawdust, or could it have symbolized cremated remains? In painting the huge backdrop the men become canvas as well, ending up with blue and yellow palms and big splotches of paint on torso, head, and feet. Finally all kneel and bow with E and K, closing the ceremony. This production is apparently appearing at the Asia Society in May.
  22. Is the detailed casting for all performances listed somewhere?
  23. Part is glorious in her femininity and musicality, the long, harmonious lines of her legs and feet, and her expressive ports de bras. She more than made up for the sketchiness of the plot and character development. I thought Gomes seemed a bit small for her. Hallberg and Tidwell were all one could ask for. It is difficult to tear one's eyes away from Hallberg. I imagine he and Part would look well together.
  24. I performed in Coppelia first as a young student and, although I loved dancing it, even then thought it was an unpleasant story in places and the score programmatic. Ib Andersen just did a new Coppelia for Ballet Arizona, and I found it thoroughly enjoyable; apparently so did the audience. They seemed charmed by the mime and humor, the corniness of the story, and the pretty sets and costumes. Most impressive to my mind was the choreography for the corps in the first and third acts. Wonderful czardas and mazurka, delightfully musical and fresh. Lots of fine dancing by the men.
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