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About motwins8391

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. Well stated. It was a poignant send off for these two.
  2. From Scienceblogs weekly: http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/2...e_over_time.php
  3. I respectfully disagree with Treefrog's "thumbs down" to Kettentanz. I think Gerald Arpino cleverly set these Strauss waltzes and polkas - simple, popular dances - on his contemporary ballet dancers in a way that does come off -- well, simple and broadly appealing. But isn't that appropriate for the material? I think that's one of Arpino's signature strengths as a choreographer: his ability to get to the heart of the music and weave his keen musicality with emotion, the unorthodox, and a nod to populism. In Kettentanz, he constructed short, classical (or should I say neo-classical?) variations for his company, which tended not to do the big story ballets. At any rate, in this program these balletic divertisements were a welcome balance for me, especially placed at the beginning. I'm happy to see the recent technical growth evidenced by the young dancers under Ashley Wheater. He is willing to take chances through his multiple castings -- and the Joffrey audience will reap the benefits of this increasingly over the coming years. I do agree about the odd insertion of the Cotillon pas de deux/excerpt. It was difficult for me to appreciate this scene out of context. I hope audience members appreciated the physical marathon that the "Chosen One" endures during a performance of Sacre. I thought The Chicago Sinfonietta did a fine job with Sacre.
  4. This may not qualify as "news", as there are really no surprises here, but Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun Times covered this trio's final Joffrey performance nicely in this article "Three Joffrey greats go off on the right foot". Plus there are links to some marvelous photos, both from Sunday's performance and from their careers with the Joffrey.
  5. The current "Chicago" magazine has a brief profile on Ashley Wheater: Chicago Magazine 5/08. A photo shows him "playing with matches" in the Joffrey's storage space.
  6. I was there Saturday night (Dvorovenko and Beloserkovsky) and Sunday (Herrera and Corella). Was also at Wednesday afternoon's dress rehearsal, where we were teased with glimpses of Lane/Cornejo and Kent/Gomes. So I was fortunate in seeing a generous sampling of ABT pairings. Even though they were rehearsing (and so not "going all out"), Kent/Gomes were the most exciting in the pas de deux. They looked simply great together. This was my first time seeing Irina and Maxim, and I thought they were charming and ideal for their roles. She was lovely in the Rose Adagio, with a bit of flirtation tossed in to make it not just a solid performance but an interesting narrative too. I liked her attention to dramatic detail in her dance with "the dreaded spindle" too. Shades of Giselle. The pairing of Corella and Herrera was less than ideal. I agree with all that Treefrog said in that department. Corella brings such excitement and charisma; he never disappoints. My hunch is that Treefrog must be talking about Jared Matthews' final series of turns as Bluebird. That was perfection. Sascha Radetsky was more impressive with his leaps and flexibility, but his turns weren't as clean. Anyway, they're both exciting soloists. Part did the Lilac Fairy both performances -- I believe she was filling in for Stella Abrera Saturday PM. I was sorry to have missed Abrera. The sets and costumes were a big distraction (headache?) for me. Gaudy, garish, heavy, crowded. Too much frosting on this cake. And it pained me to see some of the world's greatest dancers riding that silly animal-hybrid sail contraption. I was hoping a fairy would whisk them away to a Land of Tasteful Sets so I could simply enjoy the dancing. (Some of the costumes I actually did like -- those for the four princes who came to court -- I've read were replacements, the originals being garish as well).
  7. But what about the Ashton, Cranko and Massine ballets? I would hate to think that the Joffrey won't be able to readily stage those in the near future.
  8. The Chicago Sun Times' Hedy Weiss reported on Friday that Cameron Basden, Joffrey Ballet associate artistic director, has resigned from the Joffrey. "It's the latest indication of major changes taking place since the arrival of new artistic director Ashley Wheater", according to Weiss. "Basden, who was responsible for maintaining the overall quality of the Joffrey repertory and its dancers, is one of few people to be given the authority to stage ballets by Ashton, Cranko, Massine and Nijinsky, as well as other more contemporary works."
  9. Watching the Joffrey the other night I was wondering, ironically, who Maia would be partnered with, with Willy Shives' retirement at the end of the season. Theirs were such a magical, beautiful partnership. I was also noticing what a strong, fine job Michael Levine was doing in this two roles....
  10. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think she's been cast as the "star" on any of the opening nights this season -- which is unusual and noteworthy as it WAS almost a given in recent years.
  11. I completely agree. This new format, with casting printed on weekly inserts without dancer photos, started this past fall and it has a makeshift feel. These artists DO deserve better. And how can the Joffrey build a knowledgeable audience when the audience can't easily identify the dancers?
  12. Amen! Very nicely expressed -- yes, it was palpable!
  13. Unfortunately, I don't think it's been formally announced, which is a shame as he deserves more notice.
  14. Thanks for the post, Treefrog. I was hoping to read some feedback from those who attended this season's run, especially since there seemed to be so many different casts, with many dancers taking on new roles. Is "Nutcracker" deemed too much of a mainstay to merit discussion? I hope not. As Treefrog points out, things are continually evolving. (Yes, hooray for the macho Waltz of the Flowers dancers!) We attended the 12/30 show as well, as we didn't want to miss Willy Shives' last performance as Nutcracker Prince. He was always such a comfortable, confident and thoughtful presence on stage that he was able to fine-tune and polish the dramatic details to perfection. For instance, the way he would rise out of the mist (as the Snow Scene begins) with such grace and fluidity was magical. His miming of the Nutcracker's story at the beginning of Act II was masterful. And his facial expressions were always honest and pure -- he was never campy. He will be hugely missed. Fortunately he remains as a Joffrey ballet master and mentor. (In another performance, we saw Mauro Villanueva as the Prince -- has Willy Shives passed the mantle on to him? He's also a smooth, confident, musical dancer and his technique is superb.) Heather Aagard has taken the role of Clara to heart. Her sweetness, joy, curiosity and enthusiasm greatly enhance and legitimize the story. Megan Quiroz as Snow Queen and Coffee: outstanding! Matthew Adamczyk wins the male flexibility award for his Coffee. (Valerie Robin was breathtaking in Coffee as well.) We loved David Gombert's dramatic flair as Mouse King and Soldier; same with Michael Smith as Drosselmeyer. My only pet peeve: double casting the Nephew/Nutcracker Prince. It ruins the continuity of the story.
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