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Everything posted by nysusan

  1. Minority report here. Corsaire is far from my favorite Petipa, but I'd been anticipating it with such excitement it almost felt like I was waiting for ABT opening night - finally classical ballet! I have to say that (with a few exceptions) I found it to be rather dull, even the music lacked propulsion and I wondered if they'd revised the score. First the good - great, really. Simkin was just amazing last night. His pas de trois solo was jaw dropping and definitely the highlight of the evening. He was also one of the few dancers who really acted the part - he was Conrad's devoted slave from his first entrance to his last. I thought Brooklyn Mack was ok, good even - but not great. He was a swashbuckling Conrad, his acting was very dynamic but I was less impressed with his dancing. He had great elevation but his positions in the air weren't well articulated and overall he looked a bit sloppy to me. His partnering was solid, though and I'd certainly rather see him than Whiteside or Stearns so I wouldn't be upset if they signed him. I wouldn't avoid him like I do them, I just wouldn't go out of my way to see him. Lane was lovely, though the role is small. Brandt has beautiful arms, lovely line and is quite a turner, but to me she doesn't yet have the ability to command the stage. There are some dancers you just can't take your eyes off and I don't see that in her. Still, she is very talented and young, perhaps she will develop that quality. I found Hoven disappointing as Lankedem. His dancing was adequate, but no more that that. Anyone who saw Malakhov's Lankedem back in the day wouldn't even recognize the role. There was no bite - not in his characterization and not in his dancing. Sometimes it looked like he was just focused on getting through the steps. I'm going to see this again on Saturday with Simkin and Mack again, this time with Shevchenko and Trenary. Perhaps it will have settled in by then.
  2. Worst: Dorian (after the Picture of Dorian Gray). Even Gomes & Hallberg couldn't save it. I concur with most comments here re; Jane Eyre. I don't think it was the worst I've seen from ABT but it certainly wasn't good. I went to see Forster and I'm glad I did - he was wonderful. I found the first 30 minutes or so - the "Young Jane" part to be interminable. Once Boylston came on it improved, but not enough. She is a very intense and compelling actress and while the choreography was a whole lot of nothing, she held my interest. It improved even more when Forster came on. He was gorgeous and I thought they had great chemistry. I loved the pdd that ended the first act. Unfortunately, that was all I loved. I can't imagine what would make me go see this again unless this is the only leading role they ever give Forster, which would be tragic. I certainly hope ABT doesn't waste a whole week with this in future seasons.
  3. Last night's gala program had its highs and lows. I'd never seen any of Pam Tanowitz's work before and was very much looking forward to seeing her first work for NYCB. Five minutes in I was thinking "Well, I don't love this, but I don't hate it either". At about the 10 -15 minute mark I was solidly in the hate camp. I found her choreographic style inscrutable. Why were the dancers performing these ugly steps that were dull, repetitive and almost unmusical - though the music she chose was very difficult. This piece felt like it went on forever. The Peck was slight and brief, but enjoyable. I've seen sharper performances of Tchai Ste #3 but even with an occasionally out of sync corps, some flagging energy and less than ideal soloists it was the standout of the evening. I love Garcia, but he is not a virtuoso. Fairchild looks to be in great shape but she will never be my favorite in T&V. She has the speed, but her arabesque isn't very high and she doesn't stretch them out or hold them very long so the ppd was not as expansive as I like. Laracey, however was simply gorgeous with J. Angle in the waltz and Pereira and Ulbricht were great in the Scherzo. I was particularly surprised at how much I liked Pereira.
  4. Ashley Bouder has posted on her Facebook page that she & Huxley will be dancing T&V on the 5/18 & 5/19 mats https://www.facebook.com/Ashley-Bouder-139894626040602/?__tn__=kC-R&eid=ARAL1Dv75kjBcUSbwTo94av5iitLSVVYLmLYHlOCSv8O-FmcftscKJMelLEBQYlWwY1-kXW8I1gQt9Om&hc_ref=ARSCpkbEYWEKkWJd1yf0YiBXBio1zmj-_1-Jx7ekRbkV20xDZ2Tdolynym3ev1H6XyM&fref=nf
  5. I agree with you 100%! I did renew my subscription so I will be going, but it was quite a challenge to find performances I wanted to go to. Almost everything was a compromise - a ballet I wasn't crazy about to see a specific dancer, one dancer I loved paired with another I dislike. And there is way too much Ratmansky. I like him but come on - Ratmansky trio, his Harlequinade, Whipped Cream and Sleeping Beauty. Four programs in an 8 week season? Its just too much. And as to exciting debuts in Swan Lake - I haven't seen Shevchenko yet (hoping to see her this season, another compromise since she's dancing with Whiteside) but I would definitely not consider Teuscher's O/O exciting. I thought she showed a lot of promise in her debut but last year with Stearns she was just awful. Her Odette had a stiff back, low arabesques, unstretched and unheld positions and was boring, boring, boring!
  6. I went to the three weekend performances. Corsaire is my least favorite Petipa ballet but it contains some spectacular dancing so when its performed by great dancers it can be a lot of fun. All of them were enjoyable, each had its strengths and weaknesses. My favorite, by far, was the Saturday night performance led by Ekaterina Kondaurova and Andrei Yermakov. Kondaurova was a fabulous Medora. Her technique dazzled , as did all 3 Medoras, but she was the only one who truly commanded the stage and was dramatically present throughout. Yemakov was everything you could ask for in a Conrad - high leaps, great elevation and quite the swashbuckler. May Nagahisa was a lovely, delicate Gulnara and its always wonderful to see Yana Selina - she, Gonchar and Shamala Guseinova were great as the 3 Odalisques. Kimin Kim brought the house down both Saturday night and in the Sunday matinee. When he did Tchai Pas at the City Center Balanchine festival recently, even though it was obvious how amazing he was the small stage took a lot away from his dancing. On the big KC stage he was absolutely gasp-inducing and the KC audience erupted for him numerous times. While all of the elements of his dancing were amazing I think his grand jetes were the most amazing of all. I've seen a lot of great dancers as Ali - Carreno, Corella, Bujones, Baryshnikov & Nureyev, among others. Kim definitely belongs in that company. I don't think I've seen the height and hang time in those grand jetes since Baryshnikov. The only weak spot in that cast was Victor Caixeta as Lankedem, his dancing was very sloppy. I really loved the Saturday afternoon cast's Medora, Ekaterina Chebykina. A tall blond she had the requisite high extensions and strong technique but her dancing was very soft and lyrical. Philipp Stepin on Sat afternoon and Alexi Timofeyev on Sunday were my co-favorite Lankedems - both danced brilliantly and were suitably evil. It was a pleasure to see the tall, darkhaired beauty Maria Bulanova with Ionova & Nuikina as the Odalisques. All danced well but Bulanova was especially notable for her strong, floaty turns. Unfortunately, Timur Askerov was no more than adequate as Ali. As for Khoreva, its clear that she is immensely talented and will be a big star but I think they're pushing her too fast. While her dancing was awesome she didn't make much of an impression as Medora. She needs to develop more stage presence to take on major full length roles. Her Conrad, Konstantin Zverev was great and Batoeva was my favorite Gulnare, she's really one to watch.
  7. I am not a fan of contemporary dance, so its no surprise that I didn't like Flutter, In Absentia or Six Years Later. However, none of them were unwatchable, each had something to admire. I loved, loved, loved Leaves are Fading, Ave Maria and Valse Trieste and that made the evening more than worthwhile. ABT has revived The Leaves are Fading a couple of times in the past 10-15 years (sometimes the whole thing & sometimes just the pdd) and I remember the pdd looking rather wan in those revivals. I don't think Osipova has ever done anything that could be considered anywhere approaching wan, and she didn't in this. Watching last night it struck me how different Osipova & Hallberg are from the roles originators, Gelsey Kirkland and Jonas Kage. Almost opposite Kirkland's ethereal lightness and Kage's stalwart presence (and I mean that in a good way).Technically the roles held no challenges for them and they conveyed the changing moods beautifully. Hallberg looked good but this one was all about Osipova, and she gave a passionate, ravishing performance.
  8. Thanks for posting vendangeuse. I've been to enough of these vanity projects to come in with low expectations. I figured that no matter how bad the rest of it was, seeing them in the Leaves are Fading pdd would be worth the price of admission for me. I'm glad to hear that the rest of the program also holds some interest. Going tonight & looking forward to it.
  9. I was also there opening night, and I know what you mean about the lack of intensity in Herodiade. I was lucky enough to see it at City Center back around 2004 - about a year before they booted Capucilli & Dakins and brought in Eilber. I saw Fang-Yi Sheu and Katherine Crockett, both of whom were magnificent. Chien-Pott and Diamond-Walker danced well but there was no comparison to the forcefulness and simultaneous calm and intensity Sheu and Crockett brought to the stage. I had never seen Secular Games before and I really enjoyed it. As for the new works - I thought I Used to Love You had some fun moments but it was pretty lite on actual dance. And the less said the better when it comes to Deo - what a waste of time & talent. I'm looking forward to the gala with 3 pieces by Graham - I can never see Errand or Diversion too often and it should be interesting to see Mearns in Ekstasis. I will close my eyes & ears for the Deo excerpt - at least its just an excerpt!
  10. They are switching to November at the State Theater, which is why they aren't playing there now. For any fans of Michael Trusnovec, he is retiring in June- his last performance will be in Cascade. So if you want to see him one last time better grab a ticket for one of these performances! https://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwdance/article/Paul-Taylor-Dancer-Michael-Trusnovec-Announces-Retirement-20181024
  11. Sine the geniuses at ABT didn't program Giselle this spring, and I've been curious about PA Ballet under Corella - this seems like the perfect time to make the trip. I wanted to see DiPiazza and Baca but they're only dancing the first Friday performance and that date just doesn't work for me. I was hoping to see one of the Cuban ballerinas as Giselle but based on my availability the 3/16 evening performance worked best. The lead pair is Maslova and Soca and since they are first cast I figured they must be pretty good. Happy to hear that Wallis likes her, hopefully I will too! Dayesi Torriente is dancing Myrtha, so I'll get to see one of the Cubans, though not as Giselle.
  12. The tempo was probably not entirely at the discretion of the conductor. I recall that when this production was new it was described as being done "our way" (NYCB's way) and found this on their website: "...Martins' version is streamlined into Two Acts, that combine the drama and beauty of the original choreography with the speed and energy for which New York City Ballet is known." The music has always been played at breakneck speed, especially the fairy variations. For me this is always the low point of the production because it robs the variations of their meaning and often makes the dancers look ridiculous. Its just impossible to keep up with those tempos and the fact that NYCB always ignores the port de bras is just insult packed upon injury. Over all though, I like this production. I like the projections, I like the costumes, I like the use of children and, of course, I love the Garland Dance! I recall seeing Means the Lilac fairy role several times and she was always amazing & expansive. Also Bouder dispatching the Rose Adagio like it was the easiest thing on earth. I'm going to my first performance tomorrow night & very much looking forward to it.
  13. Last night certainly was a great way to start the season. It began with a curtain speech by Tyler Angle & Maria Kowroski. They told us that it was Balanchine's birthday and wished him a happy one. Then they spoke a bit about their favorite Balanchine/Stravinsky roles. He said that "third rock" in Orpheus was his first role with the company. Maria said that Arthur Mitchell coached her in the Agon PDD shortly before he died and she wished they had been able to spend more time on it - he provided her with numerous insights that she hoped to incorporate into her performance. Last night's Agon was great, Maria was so sharp and authoritative and executed all of the treacherous moves beautifully. She and Tyler really sizzled. As mentioned above, LeCrone looked very good in this, it is her type of role. Orpheus is not my cup of tea but it was done well and I love the music & Noguchi scenery. Apollo is one of my favorite ballets and I loved this cast. I didn't always love Tiler's Terpischore, but it is growing on me and this time I loved it. She doesn't have the most beautiful arabesque, but she is so musical and just right on rhythmically. Woodward was lovely as Calliope and Pollack's Polyhymnia was fine. Of course the real story of this Apollo was Taylor Stanley. He was superb, if not quite 100% there yet. He danced it well with intense focus and presence but there is some room for improvement in his characterization. Still, it was a very impressive debut and a great evening!
  14. "Pretty but bland" - thats a good description of Seo in pretty much all of her roles. I saw Trenary's Aurora. It was awhile ago and I don't remember details but I remember thinking that she was wonderful. I also think the prince is a better role for Gorak than for Bell. I think Bell has the potential to be a great dancer and I'm looking forward to seeing several of his debuts this season but I'm skipping this one. In Ratmansky's version most of the prince's dancing is petite allegro and I think that usually looks better on a shorter dancer. I'm planning to go to Lane/Cornejo and Trenary/Gorak.
  15. Thanks Barbara and rg for identifying Nick Palmquist as the prince on 12/15. I asked several ushers and was told there were no programs or casting info.
  16. I went to the 12/15 performance. For the first 20 minutes or so I thought Sleeping Beauty Nightmares would have been a better title - typical contemporary dance angst choreography. Though since this was a Vishnea project it was danced at a very high level. It improved - the projections were interesting and while the electronica music bore no resemblance to anything I can imagine accompanying Petipa's Aurora's 100 year's worth of dreams, if you took it on its own terms it was interesting. Gomes did not appear in tonight's performance - the prince was danced by a thin blond dancer. There were no programs or cast lists so if anyone knows who it was please post his name.
  17. The difference between their SL and their DQ was like night & day. van Danzig's SL was a turgid, muddled affair. The tempo was so slow it dragged the whole production down. I'm not talking about just the white pdd, in every scene the music was played at what seemed like 1/2 speed. He interpolated some really bizarre choreography that did nothing to clarify or add to the plot, it just confused things. Other have mentioned the unintelligible prologue, here are a few other examples. In act 1 the prince and his mother sit and watch the pas de trois - but the prince gets up and partners one of the girls - turning it into a kind of pas de quatre. In the first lakeside act von Rothbart is there almost constantly - lurking or directing the swans, really destroying the visual beauty of the white act. It would take longer than the 4 hr production time to describe all of the bizarre changes to the 3rd act. To start, the prospective brides no longer enter with their retinues - they are pulled, pushed or cajoled by the master of ceremonies. Not terrible in and of itself except that this renders the national dances pointless. And they are danced pointlessly, interspersed with a pas de quatre to the same music that Martins uses for his pdq in his SL. Except in this version, one of the women looks like she is trying to seduce the prince. Then, after the whole black swan pdd Odile waltzes with the prince before revealing her treachery.I'm sure the 4th act was just as bizarre but I could't bear any more so I left at intermission. By contrast, their DQ was pretty traditional. There were a couple of minor changes but it basically followed the Bolshoi/Mariinsky stagings. The music was played at tempo and it was wonderfully danced by Melnik, Tsvirko and all the rest. In fact Melnik was so much better as Kitri than as Odette that she looked like a completely different dancer.I would gladly see their Don Q again but you couldn't pay me enough to sit through that SL again!
  18. I was on the side in the third ring and looking down at the orchestra before the show started I thought I saw someone who looked like you! Hope you enjoyed your time in NY. Unfortunately you did choose a rather dull program. I think the Lang is pretty but no big deal and I do not like the Dorrance. I love In The Upper Room (I saw MCB do it several years ago, did you?) but think ABT did not do it justice this time around I agree that even a less than great performance of ITUR can't kill it, but it saddens me that ABT didn't do it justice this time. I hope they re-think the casting and get better coaching for the Met spring season. In particular I thought pairing a very tall dancer with a very short one as the 2 main stompers threw things off. I can't recall this ever being done before and I saw all the casts ABT fielded the last 2 times they did this, plus Miami City Ballet once. I also recall that while those 2 stompers went thru their marathon, in the past they really radiated joy and ecstasy. I saw no joy from Teuscher, to me she looked like she was just determined to get thru it. I know that she is fully capable of executing all of the steps, and assume that she wasn't actually having a hard time with it but I just didn't like her presentation. Also Boylston didn't have the authority necessary for the ballerina role. In the past with Dvorovenko or Herrera in the role it was clear that she was the leader and the other ladies on pointe were secondary. This time they all looked like equals.
  19. I was just looking at availability for tonight's performance and they are essentially sold out everywhere except the 4th ring. There are 4 seats left in the orchestra, 8 in the 1st ring and then just the 4th. I know that a lot of the tickets were probably sold at a discount but still - this is great news. Its so disheartening to sit in a half empty theater and I can only imagine how badly the dancers feel in those circumstances. Here's hoping that Abrera is recovered from her injury. She is supposed to dance in the Lang again tonight.
  20. I'm going to second the recommendation Faux Pas made. Had Copeland danced Columbine as originally cast I think it would have been disastrous. However Pierette is a much less technically demanding role that really requires a lot of charm and Copeland should be great in it. Lane is a wonderful Columbine and I'm sure Lendorf will be a great partner for her. This is the cast I'd choose If I was going.
  21. I agree. This was the same cast I saw on opening night (this time there was a casting update slip in the program) and they all brought at least 10x more energy to it on Friday night. Especially Brandt. She was kind of meh on Wed but she was fantastic last night. I also agree about Gorak. I don't think I've ever seen him look more relaxed and joyous. Even through all the smoke he was so easy to pick out due to his lyricism, gorgeous line and those beautiful feet. I'd also like to add a big shout out to Aron Bell. This was my first time seeing him in a soloist role and boy, was he fantastic! I did not love Garden Blue, but I liked it a bit more than Laurel did. Rather than athletic, I thought it was very lyrical and that it played to the cast's strengths. There were no technical demands made on Seo and Copeland and they both looked lovely. It was great to see Abrera and Forster and I thought Katie Williams was a real standout. The Ratmansky I just found dull.
  22. I'll jump in here - considering that the first cast didn't exactly knock it out of the park on Wed I'm happy that with only 4 performances scheduled they are getting all of them. Hopefully they will improve with the extra stage time and give us great performances for the rest of the run. We all want to see corps and soloists get chances, and I'm sorry that it looks like the ones scheduled for the second cast won't get their chance with this, however second casts usually get much less rehearsal time than the first. In a piece like this which is so foreign to classical ballet DNA, and without proper rehearsal time I think we have a better chance of getting a good performance from the first cast. And I'm not paying to watch rehearsals. On the other hand, the casting on the ABT and Koch calendars has changed completely from the initial casting (see chart upthread), and my gala program does not match up with the old casting or the ABT and Koch calendars - so who knows who we'll get. I double checked my gala program and it lists Zhurbin, Hoven and Cornejo as the trio of male stompers. The ABT and Koch calendars do not show Zhurbin listed at all, and I think it was Bell who danced. Also, the program listed Granlund and Hanson as the 2 secondary dancers in the red pointe shoes, where the calendars list Lall and Katsnelson. I don't know what any of these dancers look like, but one of the pair I saw on the stage was black, and neither Granlund and Hanson look black on their ABT headshots. Lall definitely does, so they may have switched them
  23. I was there last night. ABT's fall gala started out with a lovely, short introductory speech by the ever elegant Caroline Kennedy. It was followed by Lauren Lovette's work "Le Jeune" performed by ABT's Studio Company. If not a great work, it was charming, enjoyable and well danced. During the "pause" between Le Jeune and the new Dorrance piece we were treated to what felt like at least 20 minutes of speeches by Lauren Post, Misty Copeland and 2 women from among ABT's patrons or board. I guess I should be grateful that McKenzie didn't decide to speak. I was really rooting for the Dorrance piece, but I was disappointed. It was set to Duke Ellington and while the women were on point, the choreography was basically lindy-hop inspired movement mixed with tapping with some ballet tricks thrown in - a triple pirouette here, a grand jete there. In between she had the women tapping out rhythms with their pointes and looking like somewhat spastic holdovers from another era. I love In the Upper Room, and its the main reason why I decided to go to any of ABT's fall performances. It was enjoyable, but not nearly as good as it had been in the past. It still built to that exhilarating finale, and it started ok, but the middle kind of dragged. Somehow, it seemed slower (although I know it couldn't have been, because its danced to a tape and those speeds don't change) and the 2 main stompers - Teuscher and Brandt - didn't dominate anywhere near the degree I remember from past casts (I think it was Murphy/Boone and Wiles/Abrera most recently). The printed program doesn't jive with the online casting so I'm not 100% sure who some of the corps dances were. Most of the cast was new and at soloist & corps level so hopefully they will improve.
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