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Tammy Spadina

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About Tammy Spadina

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    parent and fan
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  1. Thanks to Lucie for the excellent review. As a lapsed member of this forum, I had also written a note about the Sunday matinee of Genius 2, but in the end didn't post it. Why ? Because I don't want to participate in a forum that continues -- as in the past -- to include supercilious remarks about fellow audience members. If forum members want to promote interest in ballet in general, and the Washington Ballet in particular, they might reflect on whether it furthers that goal to label an audience as odd because it includes older people and first-timers, and to assert -- via mind-r
  2. Okay, let's see if anyone has encountered this before: At a Nutcracker performance recently (professional - ie $75 ticket price) a middle-aged lady near me was murmuring loudly and without stopping -- a continuous drone of sound. When I asked her to knock it off, she said she was describing the performance to her elderly mother, who was blind. I was stunned. Is there such a concept as ballet for the blind ?
  3. Re Morphoses -- It is not Wheeldon who is an arachnophobe, it was Ligeti. Mr. Wheeldon mentioned this in his fascinating chat for fans at the WB studio on last Monday evening, and Septime Webre was referring to this. Mr Wheeldon said he first became aware of Ligeti through his score for the movie Eyes Wide Shut, then listened to his complete oeuvre, and of course has gone on to make several ballets to Ligeti's music. Ligeti died just a year ago, btw.
  4. Friday night's performance also generated a cheering SO and at least a dozen bows for In the Upper Room, a work ideally suited to the WB's ensemble capabilities and into which the dancers poured tremendous verve and skill. I haven't seen WB dance better. Luis Torres again -- as Natalia observed him do on opening night - danced as if he were the happiest person alive. Earlier in the evenening, in "In the Night", I had mentally been calling the first two pairs "Puppy Love Couple" (the girlish lavender costume didn't help) and "Dignified Couple" -- then Luis Torres and Sona Kharatian wo
  5. Washington Ballet subscribers have just received a card to say that the first perf of the season ( a mixed bill) has been pushed back from late Sept. to late Oct. Anybody know what is happening ?
  6. In Kyrgyzstan they usually just refer to her by her first name. There is an attractive ballet/opera house in the centre of Bishkek (the capital), and I understand there are occasionally ballet performances -- which is rather miraculous since the country is very poor. Bibisara's photo and bio are displayed, along with other performing artists, in the foyer of the opera house. At the opera house I saw part of a variety show for International Womens Day, which featured a dramatic reading in Russian, a tenor, and local kid pianists. Almost certainly there was dance too but the hall was so o
  7. On a recent trip to Kyrgyzstan, which was part of the Soviet Union until 1991, I discovered that the ballerina and teacher Bibisara Beishenaliyeva is one of their nationally revered figures. There is a big statue of her in a tutu in the middle of the capital, her portrait is on a banknote, and the original of that portrait is in the national museum. Everyone seemed to know about her. She did not dance with Soviet ballets, but only with Kyrgyz companies. Apparently she had a prominent admirer who followed all her work slavishly, and his portrait seems to be next to hers in the museum. I
  8. At Friday night's performance, the principals were Heather Ogden and Nehemiah Kish as Seigfried. Ogden danced exceedingly well, with liquid arms, but she frowned the whole way through even when she was supposed to be falling in love. The corps was ill-served by the choreography. A lot of times especially in the first scene, it first seemed that they were drastically out of sync, but gradually we realized that it was unevenness in the choreography that made it look that way. Actually the dancing throughout was fine. During the court scene, Siegfried left the stage during most of the
  9. NPR aired a comprehensive story on Wash Ballet's labour troubles, reported by Elizabeth Blair. The link is below. The story includes sound bites from the Board chair, the articitic director and Chip Coleman, a dancer, among others. Performing Arts Washington Ballet's Labor Problems Jar Dance World by Elizabeth Blair Weekend Edition - Saturday, January 7, 2006 · Ballet companies around the country are watching a strike at the Washington Ballet with anxiety. The dancers' union feels an overly demanding work schedule is causing injuries, and union reps are pushing to organize companies
  10. here's a 'cross-over review' from the Washington Post's restaurant critic's on-line chat today " Washington, D.C.: If you were selecting a restaurant in the vicinity of the Kennedy Center before a performance, which one would you choose and why? Tom Sietsema: Just blocks from the KC, Notti Bianche at 824 New Hampshire Ave. does a terrific job with its food and wine. I like being able to walk off a bit of my dinner before sitting down to a couple hours of "Carmen" (Wow, what a fabulous ballet performance! Bravo, Septime!) or whatever else you happen to be taking in."
  11. Friday evening's performance of Nine Sinatra Songs got a wildly enthusiastic standing ovation. To our eyes, there was a big difference between the most of the pairs who "got it" and those few who seemed to be dancing in a foreign language. Maki Onuki, Jonathan Jordan, and Sona Kharatian are probably too young to have even heard of Sinatra but they definitely 'got it'. Carmen with Michelle Jimenez also got a deservedly favourable response. Thanks to her well-rounded characterization, I found myself gripped by the plot even though I knew how it all turns out. The dancers were clearl
  12. Until last night I thought that the ultimate oxymoron was "low-carb bread" but Suzanne Farrell's Don Quixote presents us with "low-dance ballet". Not only was there very little dancing -- perhaps 15 minutes in a two-hour performance -- but half of that dancing was invisible, because it was underneath head-to-toe velvet gowns, or, in the case of the men in Act three, hampered by stiff ruched collars, long sleeves, and worst of all, the puffy turkish bedroom slippers with curlicue toes that Nehemiah Kish had to risk his limbs and dignity to dance in in Act 2. All the pageantry and mime and s
  13. I saw Sunday's matinee with Brianne Bland and Jonathan Jordan. Bland's dancing was crisp and compact, as always, and a pleasure to watch. She somehow packs a lot of dancing into a small space. She and Jordan didn't convey the "We're in love and we don't care who knows it" bliss that Jimenez and Du portrayed on Tuesday in the pdd -- rather, they always seemed a little worried about what they were getting into. A different, but reasonable, interpretation. She started out suitably innocent -- getting betrothed to boring old Paris (one hardly recognized the actually not-boring Chip Colem
  14. On Tuesday night, at the gala to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Washington School of Ballet, they performed two excerpts from Romeo and Juliet -- a ball scene and the balcony pdd -- with Michelle Jimenez and Runqiao Du, who I gather also danced last night at the preview. Michelle danced great , and what was striking was how she conveyed unalloyed, even delerious, joy of being in love. There wasn't any dark or ominous note of trouble to come. Runqiao's partnering was very strong and confidence-building. He was head-over-heels too, but in a slighter older-and-wiser way. The ball
  15. The advance notices for Rite of Spring -- which I saw Saturday evening with Laura Urgelles (the unwilling fiancee), Erin Mahoney (her mother -- think Mrs. Robinson meets Cruella de Vil) and Brianne Bland (the fiancee's assistant) had led me to expect soemthing outrageous, even raunchy -- oh goody, I thought -- but what the choreography delivered was actually rather coarse and repetitive. The dancers deserve great praise for making their artistry overcome the unimaginative choreography -- especially Urgelles, who excelled in what was a very demanding evening due to last-minute cast changes.
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