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About samba38

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  1. What are we in DC, chopped liver? We get ABT before their NY season and a significant amount of the time they are underrehearsed (including the really uneven changed-before-NYC-Swan Lake opening a few years ago). The excuse is that they are warming up for NYC. And now we should make excuses for a sluggish corps and off-the-music dead dancing by Millipied (sp?) in T & V because NYCB comes here after NYC season? Excuse me but the Kennedy Center isn't a school gym in nowheresville. Maybe this is why so many DC dance fans enjoy companies like Miami or PNB or San Francisco which treat a sti
  2. There's trouble when the second act costumes and the 1st act character dancers get all the applause. This was one twisted fairy tale and i'll say that it was at least coherent -- if you want to buy in to that vision. I was rooting for the prince to pick the step-mother -- who has truly inventive choreography delivered with a punch (literally). At least I was until I saw the prince who will sweep no one off her feet. No chemistry with Cinderella. No chemistry with the audience. And hampered by idiotic costuming that had him dressed initially like a Good Humor salesman (he arrives with an inex
  3. Thirty years ago Rockwell was a rock music critic for the NYT. In the intervening decades he's covered music and opera, in the US and, I believe in Europe, and moved on to edit the Arts section (so he's been influential in the coverage for a long time, editing Kisselgoff and others). By my lights, this is called having a career -- learning, growing, pursuing different opportunities, enriching one's experiences. I wouldn't disqualify him for failing to lock into his life at any once stage. I note an astute earlier poster who notes that he doesn't say he LIKES crossover, only that it
  4. Call it eclectic, call it confused, but whatever it is, even if such a scattershot/market-driven approach to repertoire work for a company, it will not, work for a school. ever. Young dancers need a coherent, consistant syllabus. Pick your fave -- RAD, Vaganova, Balanchine, or Mary Day's brilliant blend of general classical (Day was an extraordinary teacher). But let's hope for the sake of the next generation of WSB dancers that they are not given the same zig-zag approach Webre brings to the company. Frankly, I like what he's done with some -- not most -- works and he's brought some fine danc
  5. I can't add to the analysis in many of the posts above but I can thank you all for bringing such interesting insights, particularly Hans's charming critique. I disagree with him 100% but I enjoyed his way of stating his objections. I've always seen 4Ts as simultaneously cerebral and passionate, like a brilliant piece of rhetoric or a Frank Gehry's Guggenheim in Bilboa. While I'm up for a great Giselle or Swan Lake, it's like a candy hangover later (except for the occasional broccoli performance, green and wooden). While a great 4Ts leaves me energized for days.
  6. Actually, I thought she had a cold demeanor because, isn't this the kingdom of the shades? Isn't she a ghost? So to me, potentially wallowing in ignorance on this ballet plot, cold worked. But kiddo wasn't buying this. Which raises a question: When presenting a scene from a larger story ballet, how much context is required? Does it take on different meanings? Or is it like looking at just one painting from a tryptich. Perhaps, suddenly, you see it differently, notice things you hadn't before or find that it loses power -- even though the object itself is unchanged. Another observation:
  7. I'm not a source for unbiased views on Miami City, my favorite company, or 4Ts, my favorite ballet, so take with liberal salt that I thought they owned the evening. They had some advantages -- --a work of genius to perform. --a work that fit perfectly on the small stage and required no scenery or costumes (a major problem for other companies in the 2-week fest and the earlier ABT collision course with the Concert Hall stage) -- the right dancers in the right roles. I must have seen Yann Trividec before. He's not new to the company. But in this role he rises to stellar attention -- a muscia
  8. I'd be interested in other aBT-viewers comments on whether the misdirection of talented men (see earlier thread on the Kaufman story on McKenzie and the pyrotechnic trend) is interfering with character development in roles. Will we have a string of young Romeos who, since this is not a jump/turn/jump role have inadequate dramatic range, while the supporting roles like Mercutio are all turned into grinning tops, regardless of circumstance.
  9. Oh please, can we chill here? It sounds more to me like over-the-top newspaper reporting than over-the-top parenting. These baby ballet classes are a fancy-dress version of creative movement. Of course they don't get discipline and technique, kids aren't ready for it until they are 8 anyway. So what do they get for going here instead of---- suzuki violin, tot gymnastics, baby soccer or for that matter vacation bible school or the mommy-and-me play classes that ran rampant in every church/synagogue community center when my kiddo was that age? Exposure to some of the world's best music (music t
  10. ABT can make several modifications if they step on it -- change the make-up, work with the lighting design, and sorry to say, get rid of the supers. There are at least 10 supers roaming and packing the corners of the stage -- including one fellow hauling a pig carcass. Their costumes are bulky (ugly, too) and they have no where to go when the dancers need to move. I know this is a tradition, that the talented young folks and old friends who get these posts have a blast doing this but ABT's obligation is to the audience. Now, I have to add nice stuff i forgot although I should be slapped sill
  11. I had hoped to write about ABT's opening night in DC but I find that the collision between the company and the staging is too overpowering. The Kennedy Center Opera House is under renovation so the plan is to present dance in the Concert Hall. Bad idea for a full-length narrative ballet. How many ways did it defeat the best efforts of Ferri and Boca? Let me count the ways. Most strikes go against KC -- Hamburgers under the heat lamps at McDonalds have kinder lighting. I could read my program easily in the full glare of the lights and I was in Row P. But the greater problem is that this is a h
  12. Genius and good character are no more or less likely to mix than genius and bad character -- and jerks with no talent at all. For every great human artist -- Yo Yo Ma comes to mind -- there are people whose company you would shun and people whose personality you simply don't care about. Would you do a kindness/character screen on the best heart surgeon in town if you really needed his talents?
  13. hmmm. well, I do have some experience (like 30 years) with interviewing... but I've been lucky. I have not done it from the delicate position of a specialty publication but with the powerful access of a major daily at my back. Generally, people will talk to a major daily even if they don't like what we ask. And we have the freedom to hone in on them. (It was in a published interview with the late critic Laurie Horn, for The Miami Herald, that Gelsey Kirkland first publically admitted her cocaine use. ) But I can see where that can be a challenge for a niche publication where a key source in a
  14. So, Alexandra, can you get an interview with Kevin for Ballet Alert on these points. Maybe Kaufman will pose these interesting points raised above with McKenzie as an advance feature interview before the Feb. 18 opening. I can be had for cheap thrills -- for a time -- but it worries me that the next generation audience doesn't know these are cheap thrills. There's a parallel here to today's Kisselgoff review of the latest Graham company performance where technique -- the essential Graham was blurred or deliberately distorted. Quite fascinating.
  15. I, for one, would be interested in an interview/rebuttal from McKenzie. Kaufman casually tosses in toward the end that he is doing possibly lasting damage to the arts by an emphasis on "tricks" over technique, athleticism over artistry. Now, having last seen ABT in the flamboyant Corsaire where tricks are the point of the evening, it's fun, like having dessert for breakfast -- not something you want as a dailydiet. But I don't see enough of ABT to have an educated opinion on this. I hope those who do will jump in on this.
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