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About balletchic101

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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    new york, new york
  1. Has anyone seen or does anyone know anything about this company? The last I heard was that Espen Giljane, former NYCB dancer, is the director there. Every so often the company is mentioned in the NYTimes, mainly in passing -- they performed a piece to commemorate Glen Tetley's 80th Birthday this season and Christopher Wheeldon has set some pieces there, among other things. Just curious...
  2. I just saw an amazing exhibit at the Vincent Astor Gallery in The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (by Lincoln Center). Entitled, "500 Years of Italian Dance: Treasures from the Cia Fornaroli Collection" it is a true treasure. Curated by Lynn Garafola, it contains sketches, lithographs, posters, personal memorabilia, et cetera, all of which is painstakingly labelled. There is such a wealth of knowledge that the exhibition offers and it so wonderfully put together, I would recommend it to absolutely everyone! I am not sure for how much longer it is open, but there is also a terrific website with even more resources. (www.nypl.org/italiandance)
  3. It is unbelievable that Kyra is really the last Balanchine ballerina (excepting Darci of course). Her retirement will be the end of an era. It is also sad to think that the majority of the company, especially the corps de ballet is so new, most joined in the past three years or less, that they were never able to watch Kyra at her peak. Wouldn't it be a treat if Kyra were able to stay on and coach younger dancers in various parts? Wishful thinking!
  4. Is anybody else surpised to see that Peck seems to have replaced Kathryn Morgan in Carousel after her debut at the gala? And it certainely seems like an odd fit for Peck who is so clearly a perky allegro dancer....Morgan seems so much more suited to the part. Easy come, easy go....?
  5. I disagree. I do not think that a choreographer would be the natural or best successor to Peter Martins. In picking a successor I think it is important to remember that Balanchine can never be replaced, and that his choreographic genius coupled with his amazing ability to lead a company and shape and nurture dancers is basically an anomaly in the ballet world that has yet to be paralleled. Also, he had Lincoln Kirstein with him, always. I would say that it would be best not to have a choreographer leading the company. As we have seen from Martins' repeated choreographic endeavours, good choreography is hard to come by. And while Martins feels the need to choreograph each and every season, sometimes more than one ballet per season, plus revive various of his earlier works, an Artistic Director who does not choreograph would have more time to spend working with the dancers, rehearsing other ballets (like the Balanchine works!), and dealing with the multitidue of other issues at hand. Directors who double as choreographers, especially those to follow in Balanchine's stead, must inevitably feel pressured to live up to their predessecors' genius, an impossible task. So why not try to better preserve the multitude of Balanchine ballets, nurture and develop the talent in the company, coach the principals in prime roles, and play a more active role in the daily company life. I am not saying that NYCB should not perfrom new works, but the Artistic Director should not be compelled to choreograph them, merely recruit those more talented who should. The main problem with post-Martins NYCB era speculation is that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. Essentially, whoever succeedes Martins could prove to be an even more divisive figure than Martins. And as highly coveted as the position is, it is also a thankless job -- it is impossible to please all of the avid NYCB fans and attendees. My personal pick would be a Heather Watts - Damien Woetzel team. They are savvy, clearly ambitious, and fearless of provocative decisions.
  6. Personally, I find Martins' production of Sleeping Beauty wholly strange. In his attempt to reinvente the classic, he loses the beauty of a traditional Petipa story ballet (the mime which carries the plot, the delicacy and nuance of each gesture -- like the Princess Florine's flutterings, and the classical ballerina who reigns over the entire production). These flaws are mainly drawn from inherent characterists of NYCB. How can the fairies, jewels, and divertissment dances show refinement and convey emotional depth if there is no coaching? (A perennial problem with the company). And how can Martins expect to cast young up-and-comers in leading roles, which essentially epitomize classical ballet, when they not only have little to no guidance but also lack the rock-solid classical technique necessary for one of the pinnacle parts in the classical repertory? Sterling Hyltin, for example, performed admirably -- she got through it, and with legs and feet as elegant as hers, even when her stamina began failing her, she still looked quite pretty. But she is not strong enough for a part of this magnitude and there seemed to be many others who were passed over in her stead -- why not Miranda Weese? Or Abi Stafford? Both surely have the technical prowess to pull off such a role. The other major flaw the production highlighted was the weakness of NYCB's male contingent. Jonathan Stafford as Prince Desire?? He has neither the technical ability (to say he flagged by the end of his variation is an understatment) nor the emotional depth and imagination for this part. But this problem was seen at all levels of the company. Stephen Hanna, as Gold, was also severly lacking in techincal refinement. And some of the corps boys (especially the fairy cavaliers) seemed to be struggling greatly as well. However, the flip side is that no other company could even attempt to perform Beauty at this tempo. The speed and clairty in the women's footwork is unparalleled in the dance world. The fairy variations are performed at break-neck speed and most of them were able to keep up. Whether the produciton could benefit from a slightly more luxurious tempo is hardly a question, but it was impressive none the less. And as to the Royal Ballet dancing Balanchine, they too have their own inherent idiosyncracies that hinder the performance. However, because of the strict rules of the Balanchine Trust, each ballet is set by a repiteur who at least attempts to bring the proper attack, style, and dynamics to such neo-classical works, while when NYCB dances the "classics" there is no such classical counterpart.
  7. What about Lindy Mandradjeiff? Does anyone know what happened to her. She left the company a few years ago, and I always thought she was a really lovely dancer. Any clues?
  8. I attended the repertory program last night. wow was all i can say, the company was much more in its element and certinaly impressed! artifact suite was powerful - the corps danced fantastically and lorena fejoo out of the principal couples was especially great. i also liked quarterney very much. the central pas de deux for muriel maffre was beautiful. simple lines but with intricate partnering...a bit like 'after the rain' but visually stunning. and even though i though 7 for 8 was the weakest piece on the program, it served its purpose at showing off several dancers. (I love Rachel Viselli. I think her perfromance quality and elegant carraige of the upper body are truly stunning.) Kudos to all. I thought is was a wonderful performance.
  9. I attended the performance with Zahorian tonight. I must admit that I was more than a little disappointed in the production overall and her performance. I wonder what gave SFB the incentive to bring Morris' Sylvia to Lincoln Center. I felt his interpretation was garrish and too sexually overt (much in the same way that Nureyev's Romeo and Juliet is.) The orgy like scene of the driads was particularily unnecessary, and I felt that his take on Eros was wrong not only in so much as if Eros is gay (as is implied when he strokes Aminta's legs and wears outlandish costume after outlandish costume) why does he end up with Diana at the end of the ballet (?), but also because his ultra stylized characterization does not allow for much dancing. The score by Delibes is so danceable, I thought it a shame that so often Morris relied on stiff and trite archetyple moves and poses for the dancers. (And he needs to realize the difference between a leitmotif and pure repetitiveness.) I also found the second act to be a bit of a poor man's Prodigal Son with the drunkards resembling the bald cap-sporting goons. Vanessa Zahorian who was technically superb, conveyed little emotion in her dancing. Her face was far from expressive -- it never seemed to register fear, delight, or longing. Much like Abi Stafford (who, to her credit, has had several break out performances in the past season at NYCB), the technique is all there, but the stage presentation is missing. The enjoyment and ease of conveying some sort of story and meaning behing the steps is missing. (Is this possibly a CPYB trait?) The corps was quite varied I felt. There seemed to be a great range in talent level and some of the group dances appeared a little under-rehearsed. Sometimes as a whole they did not engage, and at others it was drastically over-acted. I especially like Mariellen Olson and Nutnaree stood out beautifully. Why she, and not Brooke Moore, was not Sylvia's friend was beyond me. Sarah van Patten was also pleasantly alluring as a slave girl in the third act. Ruben Martin was excellent as a Herald, although his younger brother's technique is not as crisp as the former. Moises also seemed to lack Ruben's smooth and effortless performance quality. I disliked both the costumes and the sets, but I thought Martin West conducted admirably. i hope the repertory program tomorrow night brings better luck.
  10. who danced the four couples in allegro?
  11. That's too bad, I hope everything is okay. Another question for those of you lucky enough to see SFB's Nutcracker -- which younger dancers are doing featured roles? The casting only lists the principal roles, and I was wondering which up-and-comes were dancing (and shining) in the divertissments? I feel as though Nutcracker can often be an excellent gage of the company's artistic sensibilities in regards to younger members of the corps, etc. It's a bit of a mixed blessing I suppose that they perform it ad infinitum because I am sure it gets a bit repetitive, but it does allow newer company members to demonstarte their prowess in soloist parts.
  12. "I love the Spanish dance, but it's so SHORT!" Who did you see perform the Spanish divertissment? I heard that its terrific in the new Tomassan version. And the Russian, any opinion on that?
  13. i am confused as to why Liz Miner seems to be dancing so little. I think she is a beautiful dancer, and her name barely appears on the principal casting. Is she injured? (Although she is making a debut so I doubt this is the case) Or maybe she is doing other soloist parts in Nutcracker whose casting isn't posted on the website...? Curious.
  14. i did. i thought the program was a bit bizarre, weaker as a whole than in past years. wasnt crazy about either of the new pieces (by millipied and christopher d'amboise) and western symphony seemed a bit stale to me.
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