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BalletNut

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  1. For San Francisco: After promoting Chidozie Nzerem, Amanda Schull, and Pauli Magierek out of the corps and hiring Alexandra Ansanelli as a principal, I would schedule the following ballets: Program 1 is the company premiere of Makarova's full-length La Bayadere. (Kingdom of Shades is already in the rep.) Cast: Lorena Feijoo as Nikiya, Boada as Solor, and Yuan Yuan Tan as Gamzatti. Alternate cast: Ansanelli as Nikiya, Gonzalo Garcia as Solor, Sarah Van Patten as Gamzatti. Program 2 is a mixed bill with Dances at a Gathering, a world premiere by someone well-versed in ballet, and In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated. Cast for D@G: Pink--Ansanelli, Mauve--Yuan Yuan Tan, Yellow--Kristin Long, Green--Muriel Maffre, Blue--Sarah Van Patten; Brown--Gonzalo Garcia, Green--Ruben Martin, Purple--Chidozie Nzerem, Brick--Hansuke Yamamoto, Blue--Jaime Garcia Castilla Only saw a snippet of the Forsythe, so not sure how to cast it, and the world premiere is up to the choreographer Program 3 is a revival of Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardee, with 4 wonderful alternating casts: LeBlanc and Garcia; Ansanelli and Blanc; Zahorian and Nedviguine; Feijoo and Boada. Program 4 is all-Balanchine. Square Dance: Tina LeBlanc, Gonzalo Garcia Serenade: Tan, Frances Chung, Magierek, Stephen Legate, Nzerem Stars and Stripes: Other than Ansanelli as Liberty Bell, I'm not sure how I'd cast it, but I'd like to see SFB do the full ballet (They did the finale a couple of years ago). Program 5 is an all-Mark Morris bill: Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, Maelstrom, and Sandpaper Ballet. Program 6 is an international Jewels extravaganza somewhat like what the Mariinsky did a couple of years ago, with guest artists in the leads. Emeralds: Ayupova, Kolb, Cojocaru, Kobborg. Rubies: Ansanelli (who isn't really a guest artist because I got her to join SFB ), Woetzel, Kowroski. Diamonds: Zakharova, Uvarov Wow, that was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Especially the rule about only six programs!
  2. I think you've raised a number of important points about some of the issues with government funding of the arts. It seems to be a double-edged sword at times; on the one hand, "the arts" as we tend to define them can be a great source of cultural pride for this country, and helping to develop them can make the US a richer, more interesting place to live. On the other hand, government agreement or refusal to fund a specific project, particularly the more controversial ones, can be taken as either an endorsement of specific viewpoints or as discrimination against those who adhere to or oppose said viewpoints. As far as ballet is concerned, there are many questions related to this issue that merit further discussion. I'm especially interested to hear about how ballet companies go about obtaining government funding, and how much they depend on it, as well as how the situation regarding arts funding in the US compares with the situation in other countries. What are other people's thoughts on this?
  3. A question for those with more personal experience than I have: If they don't do ballet in "toe" classes, what, pray tell, DO they do? Or shouldn't I ask?
  4. There's "still hope" for me. I guess I'm not working hard enough...
  5. Thank you for the review, cygneblanc. If it was LeBlanc you saw, and Maffre as the Dryad Queen, they must have been rather interesting to see dancing next to each other in the dream scene, given the considerable height difference. It's too bad you didn't get to see it in a proper theatrical setting, without the time constraints, but thanks for keeping us updated.
  6. I'll second Grand Pas Classique, especially with Sylvie Guillem. Guillem's rendition of the ballet, with Legris, is on one of the aforementioned execrable POB tapes with Schmucki ballets. One of them, with quasi-matador choreography, could be called "a bad ballet I sort of liked." Entertaining in the same way as a Dolly Dinkle recital, perhaps. My favorite "bad" ballet for now, however, would have to be La Fille Du Pharaon, the plot of which makes Le Corsaire look simple and profound. (Of course, the dancers in blackface were rather painful to watch). But seeing so many steps and so many variations crammed into one ballet, with ridiculously opulent sets and costumes, set to over-the-top "Drinkus" music (Pugni, actually)...it's like the ballet equivalent of a pint of Ben & Jerry's. A guilty pleasure if there ever was one, and one of the most politically incorrect I've ever seen. I don't even mind Zakharova's extensions here; they're somewhat fitting. Another one that deserves mentioning is the Barber's Adagio on the Mariinsky Ballet-Kirov Classics video, featuring Evteeva and Aliev in Vinogradov's attempt at fusion choreography, alternately rolling around on the floor and posing geometrically in sequined blue unitards. Vinogradov's avant-garde Petrushka, in the same compilation, is bad too, but just plain boring.
  7. On the ABT Now tape/DVD, Ferri dances the balcony scene with Bocca. Not the full length, and with minimal scenery, but it's better than nothing.
  8. Great quiz, Hans! I always wondered who wrote it.
  9. As we enter the slow/silly season here on Ballet Talk, I thought this would be the perfect time to post a poll. This one involves a quiz from Quizilla: Which Dead Ballet Choreographer Are You? So, which choreographer did you turn out to be? Comments are encouraged, of course.
  10. Is this picture online? What's the link? If it's not online, can you describe it?
  11. Sounds like Stern Grove (minus the rain). They just can't win, can they? Thank you for the links, and I hope your ankle gets better!
  12. From Links for July 10, a review by Jann Parry on SFB's all-premiere program: Paul, I couldn't agree more about LeBlanc in Square Dance!
  13. I'm curious as to who would agree to go under his skirt in the first place...
  14. Martin West has been named SFB's new music director. Article in the SF Chronicle.
  15. I'm fond of the step shown in this photo, but I'm not sure of the exact name of it (some variant on the pas de chat, I think). It shows up in a lot of Balanchine's ballets.
  16. My parents always took me to the Nutcracker when I was a kid, but it was my first non-Nutcracker performance--Swan Lake--that did it for me when I was about 15 or 16. Plus discovering the Kultur catalog, and the public library. And, as Bart says, Ballet Talk just made it official. I gave myself the only username I could think of. And the rest, they say...
  17. This is a very complex topic, I think, and one which has the potential to become a bit heated in some circumstances. I'll try my best not to step on any toes here, but as far as attitudes toward "regional" companies go, there does seem to be a certain New York-centricness as far as American ballet companies are concerned, where NYCB and, to a slightly lesser extent ABT, are seen as the gold standards of American ballet. I find that a certain attitude comes up every so often in reviews of "regional" or "smaller" ballet companies in "national" publications, especially when said small/regional companies perform "bigger" ballets (such as Balanchine or Petipa), which may take different forms, depending on the quality of the performance: if the performance is well-received, some reviewers (not all) will express sentiments of "not bad for a regional company" among their appreciations of a praiseworthy performance. If it is poorly received, however, the review might say something to the effect of, "This company is taking on too much; they are just a regional company and not suited for the rigors of Balanchine/Petipa/whatever." In both cases, if the regional/smaller status of the company in question does not directly color the critic's--or viewers'--perception of its performances, it tends to get mentioned in published evaluations of it, though not all the time. This is not to generalize all reviews and critics reviewing "regional companies" for "larger" publications, or viewers in dance hubs like London or New York who like going to the ballet. In most cases, it's perfectly understandable to use one's "home company" (like ABT or NYCB) as a standard to evaluate companies from elsewhere. The issue lies in the creation of a hierarchy where "national" or "international" level companies are held to higher standards than "regional" companies, and regional companies are not expected to be capable of meeting those higher standards, which can sometimes lead to a patronizing approach to these companies and their endeavors. I hope my opinions on this issue weren't too confusing. What do other people think?
  18. I like your first suggestion, about the multicompany Balanchine extravaganza. If it ever happens, they should tape LeBlanc in Square Dance. And ABT in Ballet Imperial, if they have that connection with DIA. Or Mozartiana. Serenade would be nice too, and Symphony In C. And I absolutely agree about Barocco. For non-Balanchine, how about Dances at a Gathering? Symphonic Variations? Am I greedy, or what?
  19. While Tiit Helimets is indeed joining SFB, there is no indication that Molly Smolen will be dancing in San Francisco.
  20. From www.sfballet.org, here are the latest roster updates for the following season: Promotions/Level Frances Chung, Soloist Moises Martin, Soloist Hansuke Yamamoto, Soloist New Company Members/Level Tiit Helimets, Principal Davit Karapetyan, Principal Andrea McGinnis, Corps de Ballet Shannon Roberts, Corps de Ballet Lily Rogers, Corps de Ballet Danielle Santos, Corps de Ballet New Apprentices/Training Daniel Deivison, San Francisco Ballet School Jennifer Stahl, San Francisco Ballet School Quinn Wharton, San Francisco Ballet School Congratulations to all, and best wishes for success in the season(s) to come!
  21. Another link to another article on this topic, from June 14.
  22. Thank you, carbro. drval01, since you've been redirected (I hope you find the answer to your question), and since I agree that this is a topic for BalletTalk for Dancers, I'm going to close this thread.
  23. Maybe in Europe? (European DVD players are different than American ones, and there are compatibility issues.) I did see an ad for a DVD of this production due out in July, I believe, in this month's (June) Dance Magazine. Not sure I remember the label, I don't have a copy of the magazine where the ad was. I'm pretty sure it isn't Kultur, though.
  24. Interesting topic. I'd like to think that, even in the event that downloading a person's entire mind were to become possible--not likely--people would not abandon ballet, choreography, or art as it exists today, because the creative process of experimentation, trial and error, and of watching one's own works take form in front of you surprising you along the way, is one of the great pleasures of art and choreography. Either that, or I'm a hopeless romantic. :nopity: I'm young enough that it is entirely possible that I'll be around in 50 years, and my prediction is that I'll be one of those old farts shaking their head and saying sadly, "I remember Zakharova, Lacarra, Herrera, and Volochkova. Those were the days. They just don't make them like they used to..."
  25. Welcome to Ballet Talk, John. I think it's important to do some research on the art of ballet, and training and all those things which seem nitpicky to a lot of people but make a big difference as far as authenticity is concerned. The pointe shoe age thing is one example. I encourage you to look around our forums, including our sister site, Ballet Talk For Dancers, to find the information you need, as well as other websites. That being said, although your questions are legitimate, I think this topic has served its purpose. While many of us on Ballet Talk love to read and write, this site is intended for the discussion of the art of ballet; we are not set up to give general writing advice. I'm sure there are forums and websites (and real live human beings) out there that can help with that end of things, but Ballet Talk isn't the best place for that. Of course, if you want to learn more about the art of ballet, you are more than welcome to join in our discussions. I'm closing this thread.
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