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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan, contributor to criticaldance.com magazine, moderator for criticaldance.com forum
  • City**
    Maryland, USA
  1. I took my mother on Mother's Day to see it. Very enjoyable. The dances I found most interesting were These are the Days of our Lives: Michele Jimenez was, as usual, mesmerizing. Fractures: sad and expressive. And the show stopper was Ritual IV, again Michele Jimenez was fabulous, doing oodles of pirouettes just inches away from me. And Jason Hartley and Jonathan Jordan performing a very macho duet all the driving rhythms of African Drums.
  2. The program had all the cast including the changes. Sara Ivan was Michele Jimenez's replacement. IMHO I thought Erin Mahoney was superb in the Balanchine piece and new-comer Brian Corman showed lots of promise. Erin is developing into a true 'Balanchine' dancer with her crisp movement and those lovely long arms and legs. She was also quite good as the Mother in Rite of Spring. Sara Ivan was a bit disappointing, her extensions were good but all the smaller movements were vague and wishy-washy and she looked quite strained. Runqiao Du seemed to be adversely affected by his partner's tension.
  3. Actually I thought the corps were a bit ragged on Thursday night. And Gillian Murphy not quite up to par, is she perhaps slightly injured? Her right foot/leg seemed a little wonky. The highlight of Thursdays performance was Herman Cornejo as Benno, I wish he had some dancing in Act III.
  4. If you saw Herman Cornejo in Le spectre de la Rose at the Kennedy Center last week you would surely agree with me. Wow.
  5. First let me say I adore Christopher Wheeldon, my absolute favorite is "Mesmerics". So you realize what I say is most probably prejudiced. The reviews in the papers seem to be very positive for the most part. I would love to see it. I do hope it comes to DC soon, since I can't get up to NY anytime in the near future. I find Chris' work to be some of the most lyrical being made today. From what I have read the name Shambards is taken from a poem by Edwin Muir (see Star-ledger review 5/10/04) where Muir refers to Burns and Scott as "sham bards of a sham nation" So that perhaps explains the vision for the dance.
  6. I too, have to agree with Sarah Kaufman's review, what a treat. For me the most outstanding part of the show was Erin Mahoney. She danced in 3 of the 7 dances, each very different and each was wonderful. But 'tink tank' choreographed by Vladimir Angelov was a real gem and very funny too. Erin absolutely shone in this piece.
  7. Based on what I heard yesterday at lunch in the KC Cafe and during the intermissions, I would say the dance public is getting excited about the Washington Ballet's direction. I enjoy talking to 'ballet' people and the two women I sat with at lunch didn't know a lot about ballet but they had just become interested and have found this season to be exciting and enjoyable. Having recently seen both the ABT and NYCB I think the WB compares very favorably. We have some very exciting and beautiful dancers and, as you say Mike, Septime Webre is proving to be excellent at developing them.
  8. The actual website, Willkemp.org is a fansite dedicated to Will Kemp of Swan Lake, CarMan and soon to be movie fame. Dani does an excellent job of keeping it fun, friendly and positive. She wanted to honor some other outstanding dancers and choreographers, hence the Dancers who make us Swoon page.
  9. For Jason Hartley fans a nice tribute to an up and coming star: Dancers page
  10. BTW "Broken Fall" won the Olivier award. Congrats to Russell Maliphant and the Boyz
  11. DancingGiselle: Jean Battey Lewis in the Washington Times also really liked Ethan Stiefel's "Without Words" ""Without Words" reached its apotheosis in Mr. Stiefel's transcendent solo. A dancer with finely burnished technique, he brings a feral alertness to everything he does. This combination of intensity and refinement made for a riveting performance." I saw his performance of this in the open rehearsal and agree completely that it was 'transcendent'. I think that is why when I saw his performance in "Raymonda" I was so disappointed. I also thought Marcelo Gomes was wonderful too. Such stage presence.
  12. Well, after all these knowledgeable people talking about the ABT, I feel a bit stupid making my review but here goes... ABT - Mixed Bill Opera House, Kennedy Center Thursday February 5th, 2004 I also saw the open rehearsal on Tuesday afternoon and in the cast was different. There was a buzz going round the crowd about the provocative review by the Washington Post writer Sarah Kaufman. From the sounds of the audience around me during intermissions and at the end, they did not wholly agree with Ms Kaufman's scathing review. Raymonda Divertissements (Staged by Anna-Marie Holmes, after Petipa. Music by A Glazounov) I found the choreography to be less than inspiring. The bright spot was Xiomara Reyes, she sparkled and danced as if she were in the most glorious ballet. Ethan Stiefel, on the other hand, looked stiff, and when dancing with Reyes he leaned way away from his partner (as if he really didn't like her). In the open rehearsal Marcelo Gomes danced Jean de Brienne and did a lovely job. In the Grand Pas Hongrois, Sascha Radetsky danced beautifully he demonstrated how I would think a real Hungarian csarda would dance - elegant, cocky, fluid and strong. But his partner Sasha Dmochowski tried a bit too hard and her movements were too quick, making her arms and especially her head movements rough. Without Words (Choreography N Duato. Music by F Schubert). This piece was very enjoyable, a beautiful combination of modern and classical movement. Even the costumes (flesh colored) were designed to not detract from the dancers' bodies. The piece opens with 3 dancers, but it features relationships between 4 different couples dancing to music that originally were songs. The couples sometimes break up or combine to form different groupings with different dynamics. When I saw the open rehearsal Ethan Stiefel danced in the final couple and was wonderful. Last night Maxim Beloserkovsky danced that part and I may have appreciated him more if I had not seen the open rehearsal. Irina Dvorovenko danced with Maxim and though she danced well, her part looked almost too rehearsed, she didn't really look like her movements were in response to him. Overall a very nice piece combining modern and classical movements to create an intriguing series of relationships. The dance was also very well received by the audience. Within You, Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison The costumes for this, at least, were mostly just jeans. Nice colors! I did not get to see this in rehearsal. "Something" (choreography by S Welch) Angel Corella - Wow! He did a super job with the sometimes frenetic choreography. And, I am sure people will think I'm crazy....something in the way he moves...reminded me of Baryshnikov. "I Dig Love" (choreography by N Weir) I did not care for the choreography of this piece, it did not gel. It seemed too disjointed. That said, Marcelo Gomes was extremely good. Gillian Murphy and Herman Cornejo did the best they could with the choreography, but were not as effective as Marcelo. "While My Gutiar Gently Weeps" (Choreography A Reinking) Again I did not care much for the choreography, a little too dramatic and emphatic. But again Sascha Radetsky was so fluid. And again his partner, this time Sarawanee Tanatanit, looked a little forced and too quick. It made me wonder what it is of his style and form that is so fluid and supple, that it contrasts his partner so that in two totally different dances, with totally different styles, the effect was the same. Is this a bad thing for a dancer in a company of this size to have a negative effect on the dancing of his partner by being apparently so much better? "Isn't it a Pity?" (Choreography S Welch) Dark set at first, slowly becoming brighter. Enjoyable but not very exciting or particularly interesting. "Within You, Without You" (choreography N Weir) I wondered how someone would choreograph this song, and Natalie Weir did an interesting job, but what made it work was Marcelo's dancing. I could see how someone else might run into trouble and have it look just a mess. But Marcelo made the choreography his own and he really became the song. What a wonderful dancer, everything about him, his presence, his form and his movement is a joy to watch. For me this was the highlight of the whole dance (and this is not one of my favorite GH songs!). "My Sweet Lord" (choreography D Parsons) Just a parade of dancers doing their thing. Not bad, not great. Fun but innocuous. Overall an enjoyable evening and, perhaps because I sat up in the 2nd tier and did not pay a whole lot of money for my ticket, I did not feel cheated. But one of the advantages for me is that, especially with more modern choreography, the balconies are a better vantage point to see the patterns.
  13. Thank you for your lovely review chauffeur I saw Baryshnikov last summer at the Columbia festival for the Arts. And I think that at 55, Baryshnikov is still a virtuoso, he just demonstrates his masterly skill and technique in ways that no longer include gravity-defying leaps. Yes I saw him when he was young and fabulous, now he is older and in many ways even more wonderful. His acting ability is truly amazing. His humor and the way he relates to an audience. For me the two most beautiful dances were Opus One, choreographed by Lucinda Childs, music by Alban Berg, "Sonata, op. 1", and In a Landscape, choreographed by Cesc Gelabert, music by John Cage, "In a Landscape". In these two dances Baryshnikov danced with such fluidity and emotion, it was breathtaking. His technique is masterful, his extensions close to perfect. Opus One is full of contrasts sometimes soft and fluid other times hard and rigid. In a Landscape Baryshnikov does something that is very difficult to describe, parts of his body suddenly appear to not belong to him. His right arm is not his as his left hand uses it to wipe his brow. Or he looks at his leg as if wondering where it came from and how did it get there. Then his body becomes whole again and off he goes in to some wonderful turn or series of leaps across the stage. I am so glad that he has been able to come back from surgery and is completing the tour. A must see.
  14. Jeannie: Too bad you didn't attend the Sunday matinee. I believe the Cavalier danced more as you would have liked. And the audience was very appreciative. Lots of curtain calls and cheers.
  15. Jeannie, Dani, thank you for your views. It is very interesting to read about the other cast. I wish I could have seen both. In the cast I saw Oberon is the true lover of Titania, and the Cavalier is just a dalliance for Titania.
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