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Everything posted by BalletNut

  1. I was thinking the same thing when I saw it...on that day also. Not that a movie or a musical should be a public service announcement, but if it gets people thinking about it, that's a good thing, especially when people with HIV/AIDS are portrayed sympathetically. Hans, I can see how having to hear it 800 times a day might turn you off...I feel the same way about Grease, myself, having been to sleepaway camp in my childhood...
  2. In regards to NYCB's version: Amen and amen. You took the words out of my mouth. The designs gave me a headache. "Jackson Pollock Goes To The Ballet." The production on the whole gave me nightmares. Editing to note my sincerest apologies to Jackson Pollock and his fans.
  3. What a "nutty" idea. As to the new casting, I'm especially interested to find out how the three new principals (Helimets, Karapetyan, and Pascal) will do in their SF debuts.
  4. Here is a thread for everyone to discuss the SFB Nutcracker performances this year, and to share our impressions of this year's run of Nutcrackers. If you've seen a performance of The Nutcracker this year, please tell us what you thought. It's always interesting to read everybody's different takes on the same ballet. Even if you haven't written many "reviews," we'd all love to know what you thought about this year's performances. Happy Nut Season!
  5. I saw the movie adaptation of the musical Rent yesterday, and I have to say I was impressed, because beforehand I was under the impression that the Broadway version was probably one of the least adaptable plays for film I'd seen in my not-so-long life. For the movie, there were many changes, but it was surprisingly faithful to the overall feel of the play; if anything, it was even "darker" than the stage version. What surprised me most wasn't even that some of the songs were omitted or switched, but that, even though the majority of the principal characters were played by members of the original Broadway cast, their voices sounded much different than they had on the Broadway soundtrack recording. Of course, we're close to a decade past the recording of that version, and the orchestrations/arrangements in the film were different as well. I know a lot of movie critics had objections to the idea of making a movie-musical about AIDS with members of the underclass singing and dancing in subways, alleys, and strip clubs, and maybe quite a few ordinary viewers feel this way as well, but I don't think it's any worse to do that than to have orphan girls turning backflips as they're forced to clean their orphanage, for example. :rolleyes: I could start up on a cultural critique where I explore the validity of commodifying the struggles of the urban underclass through musical theatre, and the ways in which it is often used by the capitalist establishment to mollify ruling-class guilt...but I won't. Did anyone else see this?
  6. Thank you for posting that, sfshaza.
  7. Casting posted on sfballet.org, for the following performances: Nutcracker Friday, December 02, 2005 7pm Saturday, December 03, 2005 2pm Saturday, December 03, 2005 7pm Sunday, December 04, 2005 2pm Nutcracker Opening Night Friday, December 02, 2005 7pm Drosselmeyer: Ashley Wheater Queen and King of the Snow: Yuan Yuan Tan, Ruben Martin The Sugar Plum Fairy: Muriel Maffre Grand Pas de Deux: Tina LeBlanc, Gonzalo Garcia Nutcracker Matinee Saturday, December 03, 2005 2pm Drosselmeyer: Jorge Esquivel Queen and King of the Snow: Lorena Feijoo, Moises Martin The Sugar Plum Fairy: Frances Chung Grand Pas de Deux: Kristin Long, Joan Boada Nutcracker Evening Saturday, December 03, 2005 7pm Drosselmeyer: Ashley Wheater Queen and King of the Snow: Muriel Maffre, Pierre-François Vilanoba The Sugar Plum Fairy: Vanessa Zahorian Grand Pas de Deux: Yuan Yuan Tan, Tiit Helimets* Nutcracker Matinee Sunday, December 04, 2005 2pm Drosselmeyer: Peter Brandenhoff Queen and King of Snow: Sarah Van Patten, Sergio Torrado The Sugar Plum Fairy: Rachel Viselli Grand Pas de Deux: Katita Waldo, Davit Karapetyan* * Premiere in a role Casting subject to change.
  8. Unfortunately, I haven't engaged in very many true ballet marathons, unless one counts videos, DVDs, and television. :rolleyes: What did you see -- and over what period of time? I did get to see SFB in Giselle on a Friday evening, and then again on a Saturday matinee. It's entirely possible I went home and watched a video after that, but it was a while ago. Why? There were two people who wanted to see it with me, so I exchanged another pair of subscription tickets for a second Giselle performance. What were the positives? Being able to compare casts and see minute differences. Any negatives? It's kind of expensive. Would you do it again? Absolutely, if money were no object. Thank you, bart, for starting this topic.
  9. For Helgi Tomasson's production of Sleeping Beauty, I'd prefer if he'd given the "Maids of Honour/Pages" dance to, well, the pages and maids of honor, instead of the four princes, which is what he did. I'd also prefer to see it without those powdered wigs. I always used to think that SF Ballet's old Nutcracker (Christensen version) would have been perfect with different costumes and sets than the clunky, Sanrio-pastel ones it had. Of course, with the new Nutcracker at SFB, this item is moot. Lambarena would look better, in my opinion, without the fake ponytails on the male principals. I already love the women's costumes to death.
  10. The current spotlight is on Davit Karapetyan; the current choreographer is Lar Lubovitch.
  11. No, the one for sale on Amazon is the version put out by Bel Air Classiques.
  12. Have you tried contacting the publisher directly? I'd hate to think it went out of print that quickly.
  13. Unless this is some sort of highbrow gala, I agree that evening gowns and the like are unnecessary. Business wear (suits, blouses, jackets, nice shoes) with some nice accessories (scarf, pin, jewelry, purse, etc.) should work quite nicely.
  14. The Australian Coppelia is danced beautifully, and Dr. Coppelius is portrayed as a "mad scientist" of sorts in this production; a little eccentric, perhaps, but nothing that would give a child nightmares. The costumes and scenery are also quite nice. Lisa Pavane and Greg Horsman have great chemistry, and their interactions onstage are often quite humorous. If Balanchine's Nutcracker video with Culkin was out when I was five, I probably would have loved it (I do now, more or less), but I grew up on the Baryshnikov/Kirkland version, which isn't too bad either.
  15. This ballet is so full of choreography, it's like four ballets in one! When I got my copy and watched it all the way through, I was exhausted by the end. I suppose one could characterize it as "fussy"; a more positive spin would be "never a dull moment." In addition to the principals, I was particularly impressed by the three river variations and the ballerinas who danced them: Yatsenko, Shipulina, and Andrienko. One small drawback is that some of the dancers perform in blackface in this film (eg Ramze/Alexandrova's child attendants), but this may not bother others as much as it bothered me and my political correctness. It isn't necessarily something I'd introduce to the ballet-uninitiated, but it's an interesting piece of ballet history. As it is written: "People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like."
  16. I agree with Helene, and since this topic has too much potential for getting too gossipy as far as which dancers use drugs and which ones don't, I think it's best to close the thread.
  17. Me too. Or else, the 3rd movement of Western Symphony, with The Hat, of course.
  18. Since Halloween is not that far away, I thought I'd start this topic up again. Imagine that you've been invited to a ballet costume party. Which ballet costume would you wear, and why? (You needn't rule anything out just because it's usually worn by the opposite sex...)
  19. The featured dancer in sfballet.org's Spotlight feature is now soloist Frances Chung. It is a very interesting interview. Click on the link from the company's homepage.
  20. Maybe you are, Hans, but I could think of worse ones... Lacroix has done the designs for several ballets (POB Jewels, ABT Gaite Parisienne), and from what I've seen, Parisienne looks very gaudy and flamboyant. Can't comment on Jewels right now, but with the DVD coming out in the future, it'll be interesting. Anyways, his "regular" couture, when he first arrived, was similarly "out there." If he was a choreographer, perhaps he'd be Bejart? Or Eifman, perhaps. Not that Lacroix is my favorite designer, of course, but that's what his company might look like.
  21. If you look at some of SF Ballet's print advertising from the past couple of years, you will indeed find several "hunky men" featured quite prominently, and their hunky bodies displayed prominently as well. I'm thinking particularly of one billboard from a couple of years ago which showed a topless Chidozie Nzerem in a grand plie. I have a hunch that this and other "sexy" images of male dancers didn't catch only the interest of heterosexual women, either. San Francisco being what it is, if you'll pardon the stereotypes. :shhh: Many companies like to sell themselves and their repertoire by displaying their dancers, male and female, in advertisements designed to make them look sexually attractive. And if it gets people in the door, it's effective advertising. There certainly is no need to hide the fact that many dancers are easy on the eye. I can't tell you how many times I've heard references to Baryshnikov's "nice a**", for example. It would be a shame, though, to showcase and promote dancers solely based on physical attractiveness without as least as much attention paid to technique, musicality, dramatic presence, personality, etc. Tomasson and the SF Ballet are lucky to have so many attractive male dancers who are more than simply "hott." Oh, and just because I feel like it, I would like to point out that SFB's ballerinas are not necessarily anything to sneeze at either.
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