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Everything posted by oberon

  1. One of my favorite dancers when I started going to the ballet in the 1970s...
  2. I'd like to draw everyone's attention to the upcoming performances (May 15 - 17) at the Miller Theatre/Columbia University by TAKE Dance, a young Company created by former Paul Taylor dancer Takehiro Ueyama. Here is their website: http://www.takedanceny.com/home.htm Take, as he is called by everyone, blends a Taylor style with Asian influences and an intrinsic feel for the music. He continues to dance and watching him in a rehearsal the other day reminded me of the many times I saw him with Taylor: a sort of masculine lyricism that is rare. Take's generous invitation to the rehearsal introduced me to his very exciting mix of dancers including Taylor's Amy Young and James Samson. I was honored to meet Linda Kent, who danced with Paul Taylor Company in the 1970s and 1980s and who works with Take in an advisory capacity. Meeting her and watching Take's beautiful young dancers made me deeply aware of the generational continuum that is so much a part of the dance world.
  3. The Minuet in MOZARTIANA is musically one of the most fascinating parts of the suite with its occasional use of the odd harmonic and its subtly bubbling undercurrents. For those of us who are corps-watchers at NYC Ballet this segment is always of real interest since it's assigned to four tall senior corps girls. The other night we had the unexpected pleasure of having soloist Rebecca Krohn stepping in to the quartet for an ailing Gwyneth Muller. For me the Minuet has always been an integral part of MOZARTIANA.
  4. I was there and it was a thrilling evening, building to a spectacular finale and then Tess & Jon & Savannah being called out before this curtain four times. There was a tingling air of excitement in the house as the Piano Concerto proceeded. My impression of Darci is rather different; I like her very dramatic approach to the role despite her obvious momentary struggles technically. Possibly if Jenifer Ringer wasn't on leave of absence Darci would not have been dancing this ballet; they need to groom new women for several of the big Balanchine roles (giving Tess the TPC2 is a great idea) and the news that Janie Taylor will debut in SERENADE in Washington DC gives us something to look forward to at the next NYC revival.
  5. Bessmertnova was my first Swan Queen when the Bolshoi visited the Met in 1975. It was the only time I ever saw her dance 'live' and even though it was at the beginning of my ballet-going 'career' she left a memorable impression which made SWAN LAKE my favorite among the full-length classics. I remember at the time thinking her Odette was rather cold but then I had no frame of reference. Her Odile was brilliant and she reaped several ovations during the Black Swan pas de deux.
  6. I don't know if it has been mentioned here at Ballet Talk, but Nikolaj revealed at the interview session last Monday that he will be dancing WATERMILL at NYCB this Spring at the special invitation of the Jerome Robbins Foundation.
  7. Sylve created the role of the Woman in Red in RUSSIAN SEASONS and it was later danced by Rebecca Krohn. Krohn was announced for this revival but was replaced by Pazcoguin. Glenn Keenan stepped into Pazcoguin's smaller role...very nice...and Rachel Rutherford took on the Woman in Green which Ringer created at the premiere. Wendy, Abi and Alina Dronova retained their roles as did all the men. I did think the vocal soloist Irina Rindzuner was not quite as attentive to pitch as last year's Susanna Poretsky...also Rindzuner being a soprano and Poretsky a mezzo cast a different light on the songs. I did feel that OLTREMARE and RUSSIAN SEASONS do not make a good programme match-up...a bit too much darkness and working class/peasant feel...not that I have anything against the working classes!...but I think each ballet will benefit by being seen in a more contrasted programme.
  8. SZ, I agree with you about the intrinsic beauty of Scheller's performance and I also noted a momentary bit of sloppiness from Garcia. What I loved most was seeing how clearly taken with his partner Gonzalo was. David Prottas actually debuted in GENTILHOMMES last week in place of Rob Fairchild (Rob was also to have been in a FANCY FREE debut last night but Tyler Angle replaced him). Prottas has a wonderfully vivid presence and sense of self-assurance. Adrian D-W is one of the most intriguing guys in an intriguing Company of dancers. I'm so happy to have seen Scheller's BALLO!
  9. Carbro, I sympathize with your frustrations in dealing with noisy neighbors at the ballet. Over the decades I have had many a ballet and opera evening ruined by people who come to the performance and then don't know how to behave. I've learned to spot potential distractions in my vicinity pre-curtain (small children, people with lots of shopping bags & gear, folks who talk too much before the show starts) and move to the 5th Ring which is usually half-empty. It's not the best vantage point but at least you can concentrate. Of course, once the ballet starts you are stuck and must endure inconsiderate people. Some of the regular 4th Ringers have been talking about asking the Management to set aside the AA area or at least one side of it as a "members only" spot where children and the uninitiated won't be allowed. There ought to be some small safe haven in the house where those who really care about the performance won't be disturbed by those who don't.
  10. Kyle Froman will be signing copies of his book IN THE WINGS at the Lincoln Center Christmas tree-lighting festivities on Monday November 26. Kyle's book is a word-and-picture record of a dancer's typical day at New York City Ballet. The signing is scheduled to start at 5:00 PM and at 5:30, the live programme begins featuring Met Opera singers Jennifer Aylmer & Kate Lindsey, dancers from NYCB in the Candy Cane number from NUTCRACKER, and Christmas carols from vocalist Dar Williams. At 6:00, Mickey & Minnie Mouse will light the big tree.
  11. Violin Concerto: You refer to the Liang ballet but it has not appeared yet...perhaps you were misreading the programme which listed all the works the Company is performing. Liang's piece makes its City Center debut tonight (Friday). It's a little unfair to compare Liang's work unfavorably to Wheeldon's when it hasn't 'arrived' yet...unless you saw it out-of-town.
  12. Carbro, your story about the boorish behavior of some audience members reminds me yet again of why I don't go to free, outdoor performances. While it's nice to have 'dance for everyone' or 'opera for the masses' these are not venues for serious watching & listening. If a few new devotees are won over to the art forms through these offerings, that's great. However all my experiences have been that the inattention and bad manners of a few louts spoil everything. Not that paying for your seat and trying to choose a location at the Met or NYS Theatre where you can concentrate eliminates all such distractions - not by a long shot - but the odds are a little better that you'll get something out of the performance.
  13. Parsons is using all ten of his dancers; the three major singing/speaking roles all have dancing 'doubles'...at the rehearsal I saw Koeppen was doubling the title role as someone was absent. Pablo Pugliese is co-choreographer working on the pure tango aspects which are fused with the free-wheeling Parsons style. It looked sensational at the rehearsal; I can only imagine what costumes and lighting will add.
  14. Helene, thanks for posting the link to the Seattle review. Interesting that the Seattle production used a narration in English. Gotham Chamber Opera has the good fortune of having Diego Arciniegas in that spoken role and Mr. Arciniegas has one of those gorgeous and slightly ominous voices that gives the Spanish narrative a powerful dimension. He is 'doubled' in the opera by Miguel Quinones, one of the Parsons dancers with that rare ability to keep you watching him no matter what else is happening onstage. In the principal singing roles, Nicole Piccolomini and Ricardo Herrera {both of whom I have known since their Juilliard days} are ideally cast. Nicole is about to start her second season with Deutsche Oper, Berlin. DRB: Thank you for the link correction! I am so clumsy...
  15. Today I attended a rehearsal for the upcoming performances of Astor Piazzolla's tango-opera MARIA DI BUENOS AIRES which will be presented by Gotham Chamber Opera at the Skirball Center (Washington Square South/NYC) on September 26, 28 & 29. David Parsons and co-choreographer Pablo Pugliese are creating some exciting dance sequences for this dark, sexy and ultimately tragic work. The Parsons Dancers looked sensational in rehearsal today. http://www.gothamchamberopera.com/upcoming_fall2007.html
  16. Not a very interesting season, though it will be good to see TOMBEAU DE COUPERIN again. CHAIRMAN DANCES is one of Peter's fun ballets...very tongue-in-cheek.
  17. In theory I don't really like the block programming but in practice it proved interesting. Being 'forced' to see DYBBUK three times this year made me try a different approach on the third viewing: watching specific dancers, especially among the corps, rather than following the narrative and steps. This ended up being the key to liking the piece; it even got me listening to the music differently. I'd like to see the block programming continue - I do think it makes the corps work-load more manageable - but also at least once a week there should be a 'Wild Card' programme in which ballets are mixed and matched in the old format. I would also suggest that the most successful programmes were the ones which mixed composers and styles; the all-Bach and all-Stravinsky evenings were lacking in contrast. In the poll I voted c: no difference. I went even more than usual.
  18. Thanks, Abby. A really nice dancer, and I bet we'll be seeing more of him.
  19. Hmmm...nobody by that name was listed in the programme that day, although he may have subbed. And they don't announce corps-level substitutions.
  20. Does anyone know the name of the dancer on the right in the GENTILHOMMES photo...the Hispanic boy who looks a little like Bujones?
  21. Amen, Farrell Fan! It should also be noted that many of the dancers Ivanov cites have had to deal with major injuries. Also, not everyone is destined to be a star, or even a soloist. Every major ballet company needs some steady, long-term corps dancers to keep things on an even keel. Many NYCB corps dancers are pursuing their education while doing what they love and earning a living dancing; some also pursue writing, painting, composing, modeling and other 'artistic' endeavors as their dance careers continue. And two have recently become mothers.
  22. I've always thought it would be good to see ORPHEUS revived as a black & white ballet. I think the costumes, however "rad" they might have once been, now look sort of funny to me. Balanchine was known to sometimes discard fussy costumes and sets (4 TEMPS, SYMPHONY IN C) and though I am sure the decision to do a black & white ORPHEUS would be controversial, I cannot see the harm of trying it for one revival to see how it looks and how the public takes to it. Stephen Hanna strikes me as a potentially fine Apollo, and I would love to see Adam Hendrickson try Prodigal as he is such a good actor. I agree that thinking of Apollo only in terms of blondes is very limiting. Has Marcovici ever done it? He sure has the physique. I think De Luz would be great in Apollo. I could see him with Bouder, Fairchild & Tiler Peck as the Muses.
  23. Well, I'm sorry Helene. But the topic has been discussed here many times, in various guises. That is why I yawned. Dancers certainly do end up in limbo sometimes at NYCB, mainly - in my view - due to injuries, or sometimes due to illness. If you look at the roster, you will see a number of dancers who either have been or are currently dealing with injuries. I am not talking about a turned ankle that takes a few weeks to heal, but injuries which take the dancer out for a year or more. Whelan, Weese, Somogyi, Ansanelli (well, she is gone now), Janie Taylor, van Kipnis, Abi Stafford, Philip Neal, Stephen Hanna, Jared Angle, Benjamin Millepied, Ask LaCour, Adam Hendrickson, Maria K (serious illness). All of these have discussed their situations in interviews, and I may have missed a few more. Naturally coming back they are going to be more cautious, or they may find certain roles no longer feel "safe". People who are unaware of these injuries or problems may simply see a dancer not doing as well or not cast as often and feel that the dancer has fallen into a void. My impression is that the Company goes beyond the merely contractual duties of seeing the dancers thru injury or "bad times" but also with emotional support and a careful "easing back in" process when the dancer is ready. Some of the dancers who might be viewed as having shot up too fast are on this list of the wounded-in-action. They are finding their way into roles that suit their sometimes altered strengths. All of these situations are part of the life of a ballet company or any other large performing arts organization. Perhaps it would clarify matters if someone would cite dancers who have been badly coached in specific roles. In the past season there were many examples of some of the youngest dancers taking on established rep and doing wonders with it: of special note were Ramasar & Bouder is a wondrously detailed NUTCRACKER pas de deux, Tyler Angle in IN THE NIGHT and (tho I didn't see it) FANCY FREE - reportedly; Reichlen's perfection in the first movement of B-S Q, the much-admired Sara Mearns in SWAN LAKE, and Megan Fairchild's priceless incarnation of the "muse" in WESTERN SYMPHONY. Whoever coached them certainly knew what they were doing. And the dancers certainly absorbed it all and then took it onto the stage and made it their own.
  24. That's Ana Sophia Scheller. The Kowroski poster has her in her Titania costume standing dreamily under a tree.
  25. Same ax, and Gottlieb keeps grinding it. Boring.
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