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Everything posted by nysusan

  1. Speaking of male soloists, what ever happened to Joey Gorak? Is he injured - because I don't see him on the spring schedule at all. A couple of years ago when people were bemoaning his lack of advancement I was thinking , no problem, they're letting him develop out of the spotlight. But at this point its crazy! He is so talented and at one point he was getting a few principal roles - but now - nothing. If he's healthy I suppose he'll get some Bennos & Benvolios and Giselle pdd, but he should be doing a lot more than that by now. Are there too many short dancers ahead of him?
  2. R&J AND Giselle. I'd be at both in a heartbeat if she was pared with a decent partner but I just can't do it. No more putting up with one poor dancer to see a great one. The one exception I'm making is the Seo/Bolle Giselle, because who knows when/if we'll have another chance to see Bolle. Alas, no Stella for me this season except for Pierrette and Dryad Queen..
  3. There was a time when subscribers could purchase addition additional tickets during exchange week, but they stopped allowing that about 2 years ago. That is now the priority period when members can buy single tickets - I got an email about a week ago encouraging me to become a member and that was one of the perks. In the past the new policy really pissed me off, but now I can't even find enough performances I want to see to fill in for the tickets I want to exchange. I'm going to hold on to my WC ticket at the end of the season in case a cast change or late guest brings about a performance I want to see.
  4. Best: The Mariinsky's Bayadere. Wonderful performances from all the principals and that corps is absolutely the best! Veronika Part's last ABT Swan Lake. Heartbreaking and not her best, but definitely a highlight of any year Veronika Part's Mozartiana - spirituality personified The Superjewels - especially NYCB's Rubies & Diamonds and the Bolshoi's Diamonds - it was heaven! Lane & Simkin in Giselle. Sarah's Giselle was luminous and so was her O/O in Swan Lake. Despite the fouettees it was a wonderful debut The return of Maria Kowroski - especially her warm, wonderful and gorgeous Sugar Plum The return of David Hallberg - not at 100% yet, but so wonderful to see him back on stage The Times are Racing - I absolutely loved it Vishneva's farewell performance with Gomes. I'm not an Onegin fan but this was so special Tiler Peck in NYCB's Swan Lake - just exquisite Agree with Canbelto - Tony Yazbeck's insanely wonderful tap dancing performance in "The Right Girl" from Prince of Broadway. I will never forget it and will miss it now every time I see Follies Worst: Absolute worst - ABT's despicable treatment of Part & Gomes. At this point they are on very thin ice with me Vishneva's retirement from ABT The Joffrey's R&J - just awful The Bolshoi's Taming of the Shrew - we get to see them so rarely, wish they had brought something better ABT's fall season - dull, dull, dull
  5. I'm hoping to catch Kowroski's Sugarplum now that she's back from maternity leave and injury, and feeling that there may not be too many more in years to come. Pair her with Bouder or Peck's Dewdrop and I'm in heaven.
  6. I saw opening night at City Center and I enjoyed it. Very little of it was on pointe, the choreography was mostly more musical theater than ballet, but then, they're not a ballet company. I found it entertaining, and it held my interest from beginning to end. I'm going again to see Mearns and Gomes, so it should be interesting to see if they change the dynamic at all.
  7. Lane posted on her instagram awhile back that she was learning Harlequinade so yes, we can expect to see her there. I know that dancers always want to work with Ratmansky and be seen in new ballets (even new -old ballets) but despite her height I see Lane much more as a ballerina than a soubrette so I'd much rather see her as O/O and Juliet than Kitri and Columbine.
  8. Sounds dismal. But on the other hand, I rarely agree with Gia Kourlis reviews. Any Ballet Talkers see it?
  9. Woo Hoo! And just when I was contemplating a trip to London in March to see Osipova & Hallberg in Giselle. Guess this means I can save some $$, and I'll be keeping my Friday night subscription!
  10. I would not be so sure about a Lane SL during the NY run. But we'll know for sure soon.
  11. Last fall season when I saw ABT dance Symphonic Variations some 10 or so years after they first helped me discover it, I was too disappointed for words. It had gone from a wondrous, Apollonian delight to a dull, static affair devoid of lyricism or flow. I chalked it up to a lack of Georgina Parkinson's coaching and some bizarre casting. Last night all was right in Ashton's world again. The dancers may be settling into Ashton's style again, they may be getting better coaching than they had last year, or it may just be that re-casting the men in this has really helped enormously. Last year I remember combinations of Royal and Whitesde in the lead male role with Salstein, Cirio, McCune and Lendorf alternating in the other male roles. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Salstein, but he's a demi-character dancer, neither he or Cirio are beacons of classicism. Lendorf has some wonderful qualities but his line is not exactly elegant looking in white tights. Last night we had Royal with Gorak and Scott, and they made the choreography sing, especially Gorak. The women (Shevchenko, Copeland and Brandt) were not the best I've ever seen in this, but they were fine. Copeland looked particularly lyrical and Brandt's brightness & lightness worked well here. Shevchenko was stately but she wasn't particularly lyrical, nor did she really show that open expressive upper body that's so important in Ashton. But as a group, these six were able to imbue stillness with breath and keep the quick, staccato steps from looking frantic - something none of last year's casts were able to do. Hallberg and Seo were beautiful in Other Dances, but neither was really able to convey the humor in it. If you can forget Makarova and Baryshnikov (I can't), ignore the slavic folk dance elements and just focus on the bodies, they were gorgeous. I was less happy with the rest of the program. Last year I really liked Her Notes, this year I found it pretty dull, although Forster looked great in the Gomes role. Teuscher faded away totally partnered with S. Williams, if that girl is going to dance principal roles lets hope she develops some presence & style. Ratmansky's Serenade has some wonderful dancing for a whole bunch of male dancers, lots of beautiful individual moments but for me, the whole is less than the sum of its parts, after a while I just find it tedious. There was a slip in the program that said that Lendorf was injured, Hammoudi did his role.
  12. Exactly. It would also be perverse if she doesn't get an O/O this year - after her poignant, beautiful performance last season subbing in at the last minute.
  13. I went to last night's Swan lake an thought that Hyltin and Catazaro looked great together. In the past he has struck me as tentative, so I was glad to see him take command of the stage from the beginning. His solos were fine but not great, but he was a good partner to Hyltin and I felt like they had a great rapport. She was more of a mixed bag. I did not like her portrayal from her first entrance to the end of the white swan pdd. Although she is short she has long legs so she reads taller and has a beautiful line. Her dancing was fine, but not very expressive and I never had a clear idea of what her Odette was feeling - just generic sad. Someone once said that a ballerina is a dancer who creates her own world onstage and pulls the audience into it (paraphrasing). I didn't get that from Hyltin, until the white swan coda. Then she perked up and became a passionate, hopeful swan queen. I really loved her black swan pas de deux, and not just the fouettes. Her dancing from the black swan entrance though her solo and the pdd was spot on and so sharp and her Odile was gleefully evil, really enjoying the seduction. Her fouttees were not the most beautiful I've ever seen but they were done very confidently. She started with a triple and then peppered the first 10 or 12 with doubles moving forward in a straight line and then switched to singles which stayed on the spot. I counted 29 before she finished with a double or triple (sometimes its hard to tell!), all perfectly timed with the music. She and Catazaro were very effective in the last scene, and she, in particular was very expressive there. Maybe she's just more of an allegro than an adagio dancer. I guess I thought she gave maybe 2/3 of a great swan lake but since, for me, the white swan pdd is the heart of the ballet it didn't add up to a performance I'd want to see again. Next time I'll stick with Mearns and Fairchild, and am looking forward to seeing Tiler tomorrow. It was so great to see Danchig-Waring back on the stage again, he and Gerrity were great in the Arabian - err, Russian dance. Kitka was very energetic and also sensuous in the Czardas with Peck, an approach that I haven't really seen before. Hod once again showed pure clean, clear musicality in the pas de quatre. On to tomorrow's last Swan Lake of the season!
  14. abatt I didn't see your comments before I posted, looks like we are thinking along the same lines...
  15. I saw Kochetkova at least 5-6 times with SFB before she came to ABT, and I liked her a lot back then. She was dancing almost exclusively in modern works (at least on tour) and they suited her well. When she came to ABT she was dancing the classics almost exclusively and I thought she was terrible in them. Hated her O/O, disliked her Aurora intensely. I thought Bayadere would suit her but it did not. I'd enjoyed her in the DQ Pdd so this past season I went to see her in Don Q where she was totally underpowered and unimpressive. I'm thinking she may have been nursing an injury but I had already been so disappointed in her dancing that for me it was 4 strikes and she is totally out in my book. The one thing I enjoyed her in at ABT was the Ratmansky Shostakovich piece - I guess I still like her in modern but as far as I'm concerned she has no feeling for classic Petipa roles. Just because you are Russian does not mean that you are suited for the Russian classics, her sensibility is far too modern. And yes, my feelings were exasperated by the fact that there were numerous ballerinas on the roster who were much more classically inclined than she is and who weren't getting the roles.
  16. I agree 100%. I think Teuscher would make a great Nikyia, in fact I'd love to see her with Schevchenko as Gamzatti - but I don't see Teuscher as Juliet. At all.
  17. I've seen Bouder's SL every season since her debut, with the exception of this season. I've enjoyed most of her performances for her great technique and vivid presentation, even though in the early years she really did dance the white swan adagio as if it were an allegro. I thought she improved steadily over the years, so I'm glad to hear how well she did this time, and sorry I didn't get to see her this year (it wasn't deliberate). Then we come to Reichlin. I'm with you abatt! Based on conversations at intermission Sat night I thought I was the only one who didn't like Reichlin's interpretation. She has such a beautiful body, such long legs that you'd think she'd be a perfect fit for the modern taste for tall leggy O/Os. But IMO she really didn't take advantage of her attributes. Yes, her legs are long but she really didn't stretch her arabesques, didn't hold them, didn't engage her back, shoulders neck and head. And the adagio was played MUCH slower than it had been for Mearns. Except when she was doing an actual backbend her torso was stiff and rigid. Whats more, she didn't use her body to communicate Odette's feelings - fear, despair, hope - I saw none of it in her adagio. Then, in the Black Swan PDD she had trouble with the fouttees. She traveled forward and got to around 10 or 11. Then she visibly slowed and it seemed like it was taking forever for her to get those long legs around. It was a very disappointing performance. I'm looking forward to seeing what Fairchild and Garcia make of their roles tomorrow night.
  18. The quickness of the music, the abstract setting (with no lake whatsoever) and the garish & non specific costumes for everyone except the swans all contribute to creating a distance from the narrative and the characters. However, I find NYCB's rendition of the music very powerful and emotional, as compared to ABT's which is somehow very flat. I also find the final lakeside scene to be really moving, with a heartbreaking end that always gets to me. So despite its faults, and the need to tough it out through the first scene, this production always leaves me with the cathartic feeling that you get from a great Swan lake. DEFINITELY not saying that this is a great production, just that in this case the end and the music justify the production. Although last night the music certainly was played way too fast. Perhaps the pace, compounded by adjusting to a new partner, contributed to what I felt was not a performance from Mearns at the level of her earlier O/Os. Though she was still pretty great, and I'm glad I went. By the way, the Washington Post recently published an article called "This is your brain on art" that explores the relationship between art and the brain and uses Swan lake as an example. There is some great footage of Mearns and Jared Angle from 2013 interspersed throughout, as well as footage of former ABT corps member Nicole Graniero and her partner Corey Landot Click here to see it.
  19. Last year's scheduled O/Os were: Murphy, Boylston, Copeland, Kochetkova, Seo, Teuscher and Part. Assuming that Kochetkova returns ( and, unfortunately, there's no reason to suspect that she won't) and that everyone is healthy, that only leaves one O/O spot open. I REALLY hope that it goes to Lane. Schevchenko has many great attributes but she hasn't struck me as a particularly lyrical dancer. She'd kill the fouettees, but not so much the adagios. At least not yet. R&J is a different story. Last time they did it in 2016 Vishneva & Ferri both danced Juliet, so there will be at least 1 and hopefully 2 openings. I hope that Lane gets one - she actually went to Ferri for coaching for this a few years ago - and I'd love to see Trenary get the other spot. But they have to give roles to the new principals so I wouldn't be surprised to see Teuscher or Schevchenko cast. Ferri hasn't danced Nikiya in at least ten years so she doesn't factor into casting. However Vishneva and Part both did, so we should have 2 spots open up. I'd like to see Abrera get this, and expect Teuscher or Schevchneko as Nikiya, too. Or maybe we'll get a Teuscher Nikiya with a Schevchenko Gamzetti.
  20. Lets not forget that we're talking about the Martins Swan Lake here. There's no way I'd go to see it for the production itself - the production is horrid. Yet I'm going to see it 5 times. Why? For the ballerinas! Also - for the person who was debating switching Bouder for Reichlin - Reichlin is a great dancer but I don't love her O/O. She has the perfect body for it but my recollection of her last time around was that she was rather cold and although the instrument is amazing she didn't really stretch and hold those positions and I don't recall very deep or pliable backbends. If you haven't seen it yet and you're only going to one I'd go for Mearns.
  21. They actually sent an email with casting for the full Swan Lake run. This is the browser version - casting
  22. The scenery is horribly garish. It always takes me the better part of the first act/scene to get over it, but it does get better from there. Two things in its favor - the music is played beautifully, with much more depth and urgency than at ABT. And the ending is devastating - truly tragic. I'd try to go see Mearns, she's magnificent. Not a standard O/O if she was dancing this with a traditional company, but the most traditional of the NYCB O/Os (so far), and yet with her own idiosyncratic take on the role, and thrilling dancing. I'm sure we'll see her on opening night. .
  23. I'd love to see ABT do The River again. I see it every time Ailey programs it and while its enjoyable, its not the same without the point work. I am also going to WAY fewer performances than usual this season, partly because of casting but mostly because of the rep. Anyone else notice that ABT has a real aversion to BALANCE? Its either guest artists everywhere you look, or no guest artists at all. One soloist gets all the opportunities while the others stagnate - until this past spring season they have never spread it around. And now, all current contemporary work and nothing from their great historical repertoire. Would it have killed them to include 1 by Tudor, or Fokine or Massine or DeMille along with the Wheeldon, Scarlett, Millepied and Ratmansky? It doesn't have to be a choice between "nurturing working choreographers" or performing great works that were made on them in the past. As great as he is, we really don't need 3 by Ratmansky in a 13 performance season. Symphonic Variations is the only piece I really want to see, and I'm pretty conflicted about that. I fell in love with it the first time I saw ABT do it back in 2003 with Ashley Tuttle & Maxim Beloserkovsky, but when they did it last year, I thought it looked stiff and rather unmusical. I'm not sure if it was the casting or the fact that since we lost Georgina Parkinson ABT really hasn't had a coach familiar enough with the Ashton rep. I was also let down by their recent performances of Sylvia.
  24. Lopatin/Marchenkova were WAY better than Ovcharenko/ Grebenshchinkova. It still looked like the Bolshoi was dancing in a foreign language, but Lopatin got the vernacular whereas Ovchareno just looked lost - like Siegfried wandered into the wrong ballet. Marchenkova's approach to the Tall Girl role was a little too sexy/sultry for me but she certainly had presence & was assertive. I'll try to write more tomorrow
  25. Three quick things about the Friday night performance: 1 - I LOVED Dorothee Gilbert (and Baulac/Louvet did the staccato movement) 2- The Bolshoi doesn't have a clue about how to perform Rubies. As magnificent as their Diamonds was - that's how bad their Rubies was. Corps, tall girl, lead couple - none of them got it 3- Watching NYCB's Diamonds right after the Bolshoi's made me realize how far afield the Bolshoi has taken it. Yet the Bolshoi's is a magical alternate version. NYCB gave us the energy and attack that characterizes Mr B's choreography. PS - There was no announcement but I thought I saw Ashley Hod as one of the Diamond soloists - perhaps replacing Laine Habony? They did announce a change in one of the Bolshoi's "four men" but I didn't catch the names
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