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Andre Yew

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. You're welcome! Cinderella and her prince also get their own dance, though they're dancing character steps (ie. not ballet steps). Bluebeard, 18th century Chinese stereotypes, and Persian stereotypes are just in the ensemble.
  2. That is an odd thing for her to say. If we take her at her word, the exemplars of the modern port de bras are Balanchine's and Forsythe's, neither work of which she's especially known for. I'd characterize both as taking the classical port de bras to ever more stretched out extremes, with Forsythe being an even more extreme version of what Balanchine did. There is more contrapposto in the body, with the shoulders and hips twisted apart each facing more disparate angles. The head is tilted and turned more. Basically everything is bigger, more exaggerated, and more aggressive, and the lines are longer. But that's kind of what we already have today with other Sleeping Beauties compared to Ratmansky's. So I'm not sure what she's getting at.
  3. Helene's comments remind me that the pointework in SB is really intense. It's all compact, intricate, and elegant, but so beautiful to look at. Throughout the night, I was thinking of the Danish style or maybe Ashton when I watched the footwork in the new SB.
  4. There were a few 6-o'clock penchees. I'm not sure how prevalent that was. I also just read the LA Times feature on it, and Ratmansky does say how difficult it was for the dancers to adapt to the different style. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-cm-american-ballet-theatre-sleeping-beauty-20151-story.htm=page1
  5. The Bluebird variation was the short version, though it felt slightly longer than the Russian one, but that may be my imagination. The whole BB pas was completely charming, and the grand pas actually makes sense now in terms of the steps they do: the version we normally see always felt asymmetric to me in terms of the steps she does versus what he does. I think ksk accurately describes what we saw on stage last night, and I think it's great. I think it's great that they have done all of this in service to the art of ballet. It wasn't about superstars doing tricks, but it was all in service to the dramatic arc of the story. The company danced beautifully and the mime, port de bras, and epaulement all had meaning. They showed that you don't need tricks to get the audience on your side. Yes, some of the dancers looked a bit uncomfortable doing it in the old-school style, but it's important for them to try rather than be stuck at where they are. I hope this, along with Ratmansky's long-term employment, is a sign of the direction ABT's going. This was the best dancing I'd seen them do in a long time.
  6. Passeo sounds like Naharin doing his usual remixing of past works. In this case, it sounds similar to a piece called Passomezzo that Hubbard Street carries. Here's a video of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MchFB9z5X78
  7. The casting is in the electronic copy of the program: http://www.musiccenter.org/documents/2013-14/Romeo-and-Juliet-Program/#5
  8. Whether one agrees or not with Macaulay, the way he went about writing his review was not the right way to do it. Certainly negative reviews are necessary, and I'd argue that well-written critiques are few and far between today, but far more needed today than ever. The problem with Macaulay's review is that he's telling us about his internal emotional dialogue without giving us a basis on which to judge or even understand his pronouncements. It doesn't help that he uses somewhat disingenuous devices like his imagined Forsythe dialogue, too. Imagine two different people describing the same sunrise: "Ugh, why am I still up? I hate this job!" Or "That's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." Both are equally valid impressions of the same event, but how much does it tell someone who's never seen a sunrise before?
  9. Is there a way for non-Kickstarter participants to buy a copy of the film?
  10. There is an interesting interview with Allison about Breaking Pointe here: ... Allison insisted nothing on the show was staged. However, many moments seemed "insincere" because of the filming process. It took time to prepare shoots and, sometimes, restaurants or shops had to be closed in order to film without interruptions or complications. How to behave in front of the cameras, which were in her apartment some days from 7 am to 1 am, was a learning curve. Yet, there was no denying that some of the more dramatic aspects were played up for entertainment sake. ... We certainly didn't see a lot of the dancing through the first season. Allison explained that the rehearsal and performance sequences were sliced and diced to the extreme because of rights issues—not just for choreography, but for the music as well. There were a lot of technicalities affecting the aired rehearsal and performance footage, which other professional dancers may not be aware of.
  11. In both my posts, I said pretty clearly that the dancer has to take class to audition. They were invited for the audition in the first place because of word-of-mouth. They had to send in the standard package of headshots, CV, etc. You still have to see the dancer move in person, as well as how they get along with the rep and the company. I just quickly looked at the principal and soloist dancer bios on San Francisco Ballet's website, and only four dancers mentioned traditional academic schools in their training info. One is a prep school (Damian Smith), while the others are arts conservatories (Vilanoba, Scribner, Sofranko). Of those, only Sofranko lists a BFA in his bio, so the others may have attended summer programs. The data from at least one top classical company would seem to disagree with you.
  12. I know a few classical dancers who graduated from college before working, and their technique was pretty much in place before college. For girls, this is almost a given, and guys can on rare occasion start that late and make it. We're talking classical ballet here. Much (not all) contemporary/modern stuff is a bit easier for late starters. That's really great news about your auditions --- it's pretty hard to find jobs through that process. We'll just have agree to disagree on the word of mouth thing. The most common situation is that an AD knows he/she will have an open spot next season, and either puts the word out to their professional network (teachers, other ADs, dancers, etc.), or just calls up someone they've seen or worked with before. Open auditions can be useful here when the artistic staff has seen you several times, and an opening comes up. Different companies do different things, YMMV, etc. Even with the word of mouth thing, unless you're some kind of superstar, dancers still have to take class with the company or in some kind of audition to be considered.
  13. I wouldn't be so quick to judge the characters of the dancers based on the show. I have a feeling that the editing is pretty unfair to them, in the name of making TV drama. Dancers are generally recruited by word of mouth, which then gets them a serious audition, as opposed to a cattle-call. Some people get dancers from competitions: there's some amount of scouting that goes on there. In general, colleges don't produce many ballet dancers that can get a job in a good professional ballet company. The good ones skip college and pretty much devote their lives to their art and craft to reach that level, and they enter companies at or sometimes younger than college age. Beckanne is a great example of that, and you'll find dancers like her in all of the major companies.
  14. I wish they'd shown more of Christiana in Emeralds along with the correct music, because what little we saw of her looked very, very good. And if Sklute thought she was the best he'd ever seen, then her Emeralds must be very special indeed. And speaking of music, who is editing this show? When the correct music was used, it was all off with music from some other part of the ballet put on top of the wrong steps.
  15. Ford's used ballet in a previous commercial. I wonder if someone in the marketing department is a ballet fan.
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