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Amy Reusch

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About Amy Reusch

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    balletomane, videographer, formerly serious now recreational student
  • City**
    Connecticut, USA

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  1. Oh wow, he asked permission, was demied, and did it anyway! Shows something of his personality!
  2. Yes, in this slow time, the silver lining is perhaos more time to read. Was it Perrot who sued Petipa (and won!) for intellectual property theft, or was it St. Leon? I think Perrot? Wishes she had the books in hand... [edited to add] it was Perrot. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/arts/dance/looking-for-the-real-petipa-in-classical-ballets.html
  3. Good to know... Ratmansky has been good, I believe, in carrying the story. I don't get to see much these days, but in the little I have seen has been brushing up of old classics, he's done an excellent job with telling the story...
  4. That is still a long ballet... Romeo & Juliet carries two hours... is the story strong enough to hold the audience that long?
  5. A lot of "flu" going 'round... perhaps someone was under the weather in the program proofing department...
  6. My daughter went with a crowd from BU's honors college opening night and they all adored the Forsythe and Glass Pieces. I was surpised Agon was less well received, but I think their ears and eyes have been more trained for the other two... Remembe back when the repetitiveness of Philip Glass & Steve Reich was controversial? This generation grew up with that style of music as soundtracks for movies and tv advertisements (different sure, but more similar than 12 tone) And the Forsythe sure speaks to the Instagram generation. Balanchine's Agon lines are best delivered clean cool and with stillness. Not made to be punched or muddled. The timing is tricky... as is the movement intention... if there is no reach in the extension because it came so very easily, perhaps it misses a subtle dramatic quality... and yet if the reach is over emphasized, the sophistication is lost. Decades ago PA Ballet used to do a killer Agon, but the dancers had the advantage of being closer in time to the originsators. Not sure what the answer was, but I imagine the casting makes a difference. I don,t have my program handy (which oddly had the wrong cast anyway, but I wrote down the corrections) but some of the dancers seemed better in it than others... who looked like they were doing Rubies or Forsythe or Elo perhaps... the muscle memory must be so close in some of those movements! I remember liking the blonde dancer in the pas de trois. The toss somehow did not quite hit it though. And there were some strange overly fay wrists in some sections that I don't remember having that quality in other productions... bent, sure, but not flipped.
  7. So very post modernist, it interests me that Robbins tried his hand at that... I see more Balanchine descent in Forsythe than in Tharp.
  8. So happy that my daughter me (nice role reversal) to see Boston Ballet's rEVOLUTION on Friday, Feb 28. i was really looking forward to Agon, one of my favorite Balanchine ballets... and I was looking forward to seeing Forsythe's In the Middle, somewhat elevated.... as I had never seen his work live before, only on the flat screen. I was mildly curious to see Glass Pieces, but not particularly, as the video clips I've caught in the past never particularly piqued my interest. But wow!! Glass Pieces!!! Boston Ballet really gets this piece! And Lia Cirio, wow, just wow! I've seen her dance every few years, but hadn't seen her lately... she has truly come into her own... as if she stole the "evolution" in the title to show just how far she has come. But, back to Glass Pieces...I have never seen Einstein on the Beach, (and my memory is infamous) but someone who was in it described how he just continually jogged across the stage always in the same direction... imagining what this might have looked like has stuck in my head for almost 40 years... is Robbins dancers among walking people derivative? I don't know, but it was so effective...it was like watching Dances At Gathering performed in the subway walkways during rush hour. Cirio however was in Facades, which I was sorry to learn was not called Ahkenaton... as it seemed performed against a Nile of corps dancers... The Coda was my daughter's favorite and much as I admired Boston Ballet's male contingent in it, the choreography mostly reminded me of Robbin's Broadway work, which I think I am just the wrong generation for. But I loved watching the large ensrmble manage to fill the stage with tremendous energy travelling in every direction without crashing into each other... loved the eye contact between the dancers, hard to explain, but what a company! I had never heard Thom Willems' music with the extremely dimensional sound design. I was familar the music, but it was as if it had been taken apart with certain elements exaggerated and given direction. It was kind of distracting... as if it was darting around the house while the dancers were behind the proscenium. The dancing was fantastic, with all the dancing virtuostic but certain dancers asserting their own signature onto the movement more convincingly than others. I have always felt no one quite looks at home in the movement as much as Guillem did, but some of BB's male principals pulled this off as well. Wonderful to see. i must be getting old. Perhaps I am losing night vision, but the only lighting I liked (and liked quite a bit) was for Glass Pieces. For both Agon & In the Middle... the hot highlights on the dancers were hard to look at... in Agon, the men's white Tshirts were so flourescently bright it distracted from the movement. For In the Middle.... the hot light from above made my irises want to close down like a video camera, making the shadowy black even more shadowy. I would say sit closer than under the balcony if you go, perhaps it looks better up close..
  9. A Brisé is a glissade through fourth that is "broken" by a beat... so the carriage of the weight/jump is different from an assemblé. I would say there is more floating upward elevation in an assemblé battu than in a brisé which more of a traveling step along the ground. Brisé volé is a little different, but that really isn't an assemble as it is landed on one leg, not two assembled together.
  10. I was thinking not of that film, but rather the photos...( I wouldn't have called a resemblance from the film either)... more the small head and the neck line more in evidence here... https://ballet.blogberth.com/2018/07/19/tsiskaridzeolga-spessivtseva-as-giselle/
  11. Would really like to have more of the pantomime explained... what was the thing where they strike 3 times on their arm as if hitting chimes... what was that broken cross sign made in Act II? I missed the foreshadowing of Giselle's weak heart during the peasant dances. Why did Loys send all the peasant girls away before the aristocrats arrived? I appreciated what the camera was trying for in the arabesque voyagé crossing but wished they perhaps had more practice at it as perhaps with a little tweaking it would have succeeded better. Was the lighting was adjusted for the video, was it brightened? It seemed like it might have been. Could Giselle not have have looked at Albrecht in the dancing before Myrtha arrives, it is as if she can't see him? Surely Giselle can see Albrecht, it would be the mortal having difficulty seeing the spirit, not the other way around? Giselle directing Albrecht to the cross was so beautifully and clearly done here, it would be hard to miss that plot point.. I am still waiting for a graceful femme fatale Myrtha... everyone in the role seems to show strain in their arms during the jumps and the lillies just make it more abrupt. Certainly her line was beautiful, but does Myrtha's coldness always have to be so taut & stony, it always has been in the productions I've seen but it has not won me over. Did the original Myrtha really have a great success with such an interpretation? Does cruel always have to be harsh arm movement? I kept wondering if Smirnova would have evoked Spessitseva had anyone seen both perform live. Her acting was beautiful, as was that of a great many in the cast. I would see this again in a moment. Especially if they could widen the the shots just a bit... the Willis looked so beautifully trained, particularly when they toss Hans to his death but the camera was almost too close for us to see the successional transition. I want to watch again to see how Giselle was wingless and then after spinning at Myrtha's order, the wings were visible. I guess I have always managed to miss that detail! All that said, I could watch Artemy Belyakov all day long... and then some.
  12. Oh god yes, the lillies... they should have taken them off their plastic stems amf put them on florists wire... something... anything... I had forgotten but my companion and I both deplored the lillies... and yes, the veils... the willis did have them on but the losing of the veils happened so much in the wings that it was pretty unnoticable... I can understand why getting it to happen like they did at Paris Opera might be beyond Boston's means, but what happened here was almost pointless... POB veils at about 18 seconds in: re the talented Hilarions... are those lifts in the second act dangerous if there is any prior back injury? I am not making assumptions, I just wonder if there is a reason like that which might leave a principal out of the pool for Albrecht...
  13. Apologies for taking so long to report back... Oga was a delight... if you ever wanted to explain the difference between the movement signature a principal and someone only able to support a corps de ballet role, show them Oga's work with steps below 45 degree extensions... so beautiful!!! No tricks to distract, just beautiful movement. Truly a charming Giselle. Her Albrecht, Derek Dunn, I could watch execute jumps all day... that one diagonal run of Brisés would have been worth sitting through an entire performance of mundane work just to catch. I enjoyed seeing the willies flickering in & out from the wings, something I don't recall ever seeing before. The sets were charming. Isaac Akiba was the best Hilarion I've ever come across (not that I have seen dozens of productions, but I have seen a few). He held the stage with a brute force that made me want to see him bring life to other roles... has he played a role in Corsaire yet? He could be very worth seeing in that. The man is not afraid to act with the energy he puts into his character's sequences of steps. i hope they do Giselle more often. ----- Things I would love to see changed.. the lighting design... in the second act, I did not mind the swirling lights giving the "other worldly" vibe, but the erractic xmas lights were just plain distracting. And the cross on Giselle's grave being upstage did not help Albrecht's entrance (or is that Hilarion's?) this long slow walk toward nothing in particular with lots of light effects... the cross was rarely visible... not sure what was up with that... and it almost seemed like they could not afford enough followspots? Often Giselle & Albrecht were entreating a Myrtha left wholly in shadow. The props... I felt like the props department thought everything must be extra extra because surely we would never "get it" otherwise... so Albrecht has a short red ermine trimmed cape (might have been borrowed from a Snow White production?) for his first entrance... And his sword looks more like Excalibur than the quivering rapier needed for the snake moment in the mad scene. Myrtha wears a big crown in case you didn't get that she was Queen of the Willis, and her asphodel sprig is so large that it is terribly distracting when she has to get rid of it off-stage... also, strangely, the peasants have bright shiny solid gold goblets stored in the cottage in case visiting aristocrats stop by. I just don't get what the deal was with the props department... they clearly didn't take the job seriously. Coaching of Albrecht in Act II... he has to sense Giselle's presence... not just turn and look her immediately straight in the eye... it should be like sensing at the back of the neck that someone is watching... if he sees her plain as day, why does he miss her when he reaches for her later... In the act 2 pas de deux, that lovely adagio was missing legato in the dancers' musicality... i don't know if it were the conductor playing with it or the dancers themselves, but the setting Giselle down on pointe shouldn't be so precisely accented to the note... it's not a moment to express precision... it should be like a dream... I missed the power of the Willis' rolling gesture of pointing... it was more like a Busby Berkeley wave than the inexorable command the drama requires... and I have to say that one of the Russian touring pick-up companies did a better job of the willi's arabesque voyagé crossing,.. the willis should not appear to hop, no air time in the chugs... it spoils the magic, they lose that ghostly crossing clouds affect when gravity appears to jar the arabesques, or even merely dancers popping up individualy... floating has to be communicated or the moment is nothing... Some of the dancers in the ensemble's of Act I were lovely, but many needed more practice with the Romantic style of epaulement and heads... they were trying to get the heads right I guess, but with the slamming force of a leg extension in Forsythe... not with a soft tilt.. Hopefully the Peasant PDD went better in other performances. Coaching of Giselle's mother... she never so much as looks at Albrecht... which seems a little weird... that she doesn't give this interloper even a passing glance... especially since she clearly is happy with Hilarion's courting of Giselle. Why was Bathilde's father younger than Albrecht? Surely a ballet master could be pressed into service here! The young man was tall, yes, but he looked barely 18. And why on earth did the Prince put his mouth on his servant's hunting horn? All these things could be easily fixed in future performances... and we would have the magic that has carried this masterpiece over 175 years... ------------ I loved Chisako Oga's Act I, though I thought her mad scene could use a little more angst.. she is still so young, perhaps she has not yet had her heart broken to know how to express that desperation? She was so gorgeous in the floating lifts (this might have been all to Dunn's credit, but there is one crossing where he carries her and she seems so light as if he is carrying a spectre not a real woman... and surely she had something to do with managing that). I don't know if it was a costume problem or what, but I was surprised her line didn't haunt in Act II. Sure, she is petite, but so too historically were a great many magnificent Giselles, and frankly it should not be danced by a tall ballerina if rules of emploi are followed? Peasants are supposed to be shorter the aristocrats I believe? So why did her line not extend? There probably isn't a female dancer in Boston Ballet or among the apprentices without line, so surely it isn't her physique... did the costume dwarf her or did she just not emote the extensions? Did her fingers curve and not suggest eternity? What was the problem? I could not figure it out, but I hope someone does and corrects it... she was a perfect pre-mad scene Giselle, best I have ever seen... she should be allowed to grow into Act 2. In all fairness, this was her debut with Boston Ballet, and not being first or second cast, perhaps this was her first time on stage with that conductor and that orchestra and in that lighting with that partner... she did a gorgeous job of what could not have been ideal conditions.
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