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Everything posted by bart

  1. Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty? Alastair Macaulay has already told us which way he would vote. From his overview of ABT's Met season, in today's NY Times: Castle Denizens Spring to Life (Some Especially)
  2. Thanks for that link, Kristen. As you say, an "interesting interview" -- and a good one, I think. He leaves out a lot, but what he says has the ring of truth. I didn't focus so much as you and sandik on the comments about Miami, several of which apply to the situtation he entered at the time the company was founded. Nothing isn't true in what he says. What struck me most was Villella's genuine passion for the aesthetics of the kind of ballet he grew up with as a student of Balanchine, an aesthetic which is arguably one of the most important American contributions to the20th-century arts. For example, his well-deserved tribute to MCB's marvellous pianist, Francisco Renno, leads to a memory of the way Villella structured his company classes, and what is to me a rather brilliant observation about Balanchine's work:: I was touched by the way he talks about the triumphant two weeks in Paris -- as a kind of summation of everything he had been trying to build since arriving in Miami. I think they were. His comment regarding Lopez is generous, and also wise. Miami and MCB are out of his hands now, and he seems okay with that and is signalling to the ballet world that he still knows a lot and has much that is unique and valuable to offer. Good for him.
  3. But there's so MUCH in this video to appreciate if you give it a chance -- Walking (more difficult than it looks, especially when you are doing it UP-hlll). -- Sharp martial arts kicks coming out of nowhere.. -- Synchonized calesthenics, with impressively stiff-arm gestures. The fact that none of this connected to the music means that everyone has to ... COUNT. As an homage to an iconic ballet scene this is impressive work, assuming that one considers smashing a grapefruit in someone's face to be an act of homage.
  4. Yes, thank you for the link. As with you, it left me wanting to "know more" about the complete process. Audiences seem to be fascinated by the workings of the backstage -- to wit, the many audience members who sit through the complete, and lengthy back-stage intermission scenes at the Met HD/Live. So many just watch, without moving, without talking, As a one-time super in a large-scale Nutcracker, I was able to observe from a number of angles the things that Ms. Green writes about. But I would have loved to hear her (or other stage manager) talk about what actually is being done. Opening up the behind-the-curtain world of stage managing, design, lighting, sets and costumes is something ballet companies should do more of.
  5. I was interested in the comment that the teachers need to separate them in class to remember who is who. The academic classroom was impressively orderly and undistracted --like a serious ballet class, in fact. "Physics, math, chemistry, literature" -- it sounds like a challenging curriculum for 13 year olds. . OFF-TOPIC. Here's a photo of identical twins Sara and Leigh-Ann Esty at the barre during the 2006 summer intensive at Miami City Ballet school. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151435983116090&set=a.78049846089.90769.10244171089&type=1&theater
  6. This is a fascinating and sad story. Setting aside the politics, the contractual issues, and the acrimonious history, just how valuable IS Tsiskaridze to the Bloshoi at this stage of his career? 1) As a coach in patron of certain younger dancers, he seems to have created his own school-within-a-school, and has been an enthusiastic participant in political infighting and name-calling, possibly to the detriment of some of his own students. 2) As a dancer, he certainly seemed to be out of shape and remarkably tentative in the clip of the Act II adagiio pdd from a "recent" Giselle, posted earlier in this thread. (On the whole, the dancing by both principals in that section of Giselle hardly seemed worthy of a great ballet company.) I was struck by a statement by the unidentified "female Bolshoi employee" in Ismene Brown's blog, posted here on June 10l:
  7. bart

    Tanaquil Le Clercq

    That is indeed one of the happiest, most at ease snapshots of Balanchine and friends that I remember seeing. Tanny's expression is a joy to behold. Thanks, phrank. And special thanks.for those long quotes from Edwin DENBY.
  8. This is an extraordinary story. It also seems a tribute to Kylian's commitment to "new" choreography -- a creative opportunity he, and NDT as well, benefited from during his own career. I wonder how many other Artistic Directors/Choreographers working today would be willing to follow Kylian's example.
  9. The complexities of "bring" v. "take" continue to elude me. I guess we all have our weak (weak-week: another homonym) points.
  10. Those are great memories, atm711. Thank you. Several NY Times reviews from 1943 (John Martin) mention Karnilova and Robbins. Apparently they began casting the same dancer in the roles of Helen and Aphrodite, which Martin found confusing. Karnilova danced both roles. Osato was the original Aphrodite, but that she then left to perform another Aphrodite on Broadway -- in One Touch of Venus. Vera Zorina was a guest star as Helen around that time.
  11. When I was young and living in the Village, The Voice provided an education in the lively arts in New York City. (Not to mention being a required source for information about available apartments in lower Manhattan.) The exciting part was the way that the classical arts were integrated into coverage of all sorts of other cultural events. An out-of-the-way alternate rock club/Carnegie Hall -- New York City Ballet/Meredith Monk -- and on and on. Times change, and so do the goals of management: To wit, this statement from a representative of the owners: .Why do I get the feeling that this does not include serious coverage of the classical arts?
  12. rg, can you tell us anything about how, and by what kind of photographer, publicity shots like this were taken? The 'slaying of Tybalt' strikes me as being one of the more static, artificial ballet photos I have ever seen, reminding me more of something from the days of Petipa than from the mid-20th century. On the positive side, it does allow us a clear look at the dancers' faces.
  13. Your image of lying on th beach made me think of the opening of Afternoon of a Faun. It occurred to me that this would be a great role for Rebello, who has a langorous quality both in repose and in adagio. Even in allegro, his ability to toss of perfectly formed jumps and turns make things look so .... EASY. And, quite amazingly, he seems to lack that show-off quality that many young dancers bring to technical bravura. For the past two seasons, Rebello has been cast in a variety of roles' and seems to be growing in all of them. He is even learning how to engage better with those around him on stage. Rebello 's definitely the kind of young dancer who makes me excited about sticking around to see what he does next. I am having a harder time thinking about what Cerdeiro will become, despite his obvious talent. Cristian and others who have followed MCB over the past couple of years, I would very much appreciate knowing your thoughts about both dancers ... and what you hope from each.
  14. Indeed it does. Sigh: why is there no emoticon showing a ballet lover bidding a bittersweet farewell to his or her $$$$'s? (Or euros, pounds, rubles, or whatever.)
  15. bart

    National Dancers?

    This is a non-issue. The Paris Opera Ballet and the Bolshoi also went through "lacklustre" periods that had nothing to do with their French-ness or Russian-ness. Mackrell implies that the Royal Ballet pushed through this phase by importing talent, but the POB and Bolshoi managed it without internationalizing. It had more to do with company leadership and promoting young talent. Good point, volcanohunter. I wonder why i was that the English/British ballet establishment lacked the will or resources to do as Paris and Moscow-Leningrad did. It does seem that this might be more accurate than "English," certainly, and even "British." So what IS the Ashtonian-Royal Ballet style? Let me play devil's advocate here. I have had the chance to watch Act I from the 1978 television performance of Sleeping Beauty, which you have kindly linked. I can see a certain subtlety in the use of hands -- an evident concern for proper head positioning and movement -- and a general delicacy of style among the women. At its best, this is elegant and lovely. But I can also see how, without energy and concentration, it might appear "lackluster" and possibly even affected. Has the problem at the schools and performing company of the Royal been a lack of will? inadequacy of teaching? a weakness in the "style" itself when danced other than by great dancers? a irreversible change in public taste? or what?
  16. I regret not having been able to make it to this, and hope (fat chance!) that the Met will repeat it during their summer encores. I actually remember quite well the Sills-Triegle production at City Opera, back in the 60s. I haven't heard the recording in ages, but recall vividly the visual splendor of the NYCO production and the unfamiliar (to me) wonder of the music. For some reason, the woman who sang Cornelia (a true contralto) sticks strongly in my memory, as does the Sextus. Helene wrote: I have the identical reaction. However, with countertenors appearing more and more in recent years, I have begun to realize that there are actually a great number of countertenor "voices," some of which I like more than others. But no one approaches Horne at her best, even when she was obliged to wear a little beard and moustache, as I remember from several productions.
  17. bart

    National Dancers?

    Judith Mackrell's piece on this -- Royal Ballet: just how 'British' do we want it to be? -- appeared in The Guardian yesterday. She seems rather unspecific as to what might constitute a 'British' style, and comments: And: Reading this, I was reminded of Luke Jennings' rave review of Tamara Rojo and Sergei Polunin in Ashton's Marguerite and Armand only a few months ago.
  18. Thanks for reminding me of his Faun, Cristian. He did dance Drosselmeier (and very good he was), but I agree with you on the rest. I liked the Trividic/P. Delgado chemistry. Based on the Facebook post, it sems that Cerdeiro may being groomed to replace him in that partnership. It will be interesting to see how he develops.
  19. As Helene posted above, we've discussed this several times before ... but the culprits are not listening. Bad audience behavior seems to be one of those gifts that goes on giving. My latest experience -- a performance of Wagner's Rienzi at Rome Opera. The last act has its longeurs before the thrilling conclusion. Several couples could not wait until the end and proceeded slowly down the center aisle, edging their way along the FRONT the of the first row. Since the conductor was standing quite a bit above the eye level of the audience, these early leavers could easily have kissed him on the neck or given him a backrub. The singers, at thay time singing their hearts out right at the edge of the stage, and orchestra members could not possibly have failed to notice.
  20. KLEBER REBELLO and RENAN CERDEIRO have been promoted to Principal, according to MCB's Facebook page. Also promoted were Christina Spigner and Sarah McCahill, to Corps de Ballet. Congratulations to all. On a sadder note, Principal YANN TRIVIDIC is retiring after 13 years with MCB (interrupted by a few years back in France to earn a medical degree). Trvidic -- with his long, lean torso, arms, and legs -- is. always one of the most visually captivating dancers on the stage, one of the few who are hard to take your eyes from. His Romeo, danced with Patricia Delgado in Cranko's version a couple of seasons back, was marvelous. Also: Facebook has an intriguing hint about MCB's travel plans for the future -- 3 photos of Patricia Delgado ...
  21. One of the dancers is Jeanette Delgado. (Visiting choreographers seem to fall in love with here.) Here's a brief interview from Pointe Magazine: http://pointemagazin...new-pas-de-deux It's interesting that Peck seems to have developed the pas de deux working one-on-one with Delgado. Who, I wonder, will her company partner be when the work is premiered? Here's a quote from the article linked by checkwriter: If Michael Tilson Thomas's New World Symphony is an indication of the kind of group Lourdes wants to work with -- and Peck, an example of the kind of choreographer -- I think that she s off to an excellent start on her "five-year artistic plan."
  22. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the book came along with video illustrating Balanchine's actual work? After all this time -- and considering Balanchine's position as one of the preeminent artists of the 20th century -- perhaps those who own the rights (individuals and institutions), plus unions and others who may have claims, could finally cooperate in making a visual "Balanchine retrospective" possible.
  23. The NY Times this morning reports that a new musical (scheduled for 2014) is being planned around the "life" of Degas's iconic sculpture of a young ballet dancer (in real tutu). Title will be Little Dancer. http://artsbeat.blog...-a-new-musical/ Sounds like it could be interesting -- or awful -- depending on what how far they carry their melodramatic take on the storyline. Another "Red Shoes"? From a ballet-lover's perspective, you have to wonder what the dancing will be like. The song-writing team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty will collaborate with director Susan Stoman. Premiere is planned for October 2014 at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
  24. I hope everyone has had the chance to click the LINK to Joan Acocella's piece in the latest New Yorker. Postscript: Maria Tallchief (1925-2013) Thanks to dirac for posting it. Acocella's text includes insights and information that I had not read elsewhere. Especiall relevant for this thread are -- some personal stuff which helps fill out the picture of a complex human being; -- the influence of hear early teacher Nijinska (Her husband and translator once came up in class to the young Tallchief and whispered, "Madame think you look like spaghetti."); -- her work with Balanchine, about whom Acocella writes, "she was the first woman on whom he practiced at length." I especially loved this verbal snapshot of Tallchief -- intense, devoted to every detail of presentation -- coaching a very young Jennie Somogyi in "Pas de Dix" back in 1995:
  25. I agree with Diane (and with Balanchine of course) ... If only more ballet choreographers in our own age could take the time to think about this, there might be less aimless busy-ness in so much of what they do.
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