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About beck_hen

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    Senior Member

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    former ballet student, balletomane
  • City**
    New York, NY
  1. Oh wow. I can't imagine anything I'd like to see more than those two Ashton pas de deux—if they can come anywhere near the Sibley/Dowell performances in the Dowell documentary at the NYPL, which are sublime. I've seen the Bussell/Cope version of Awakening and it didn't have the same magic.
  2. I was there last night too—apologies for being longwinded, I'll probably split posts... About the Peasant pdd I find Giselle the most perfect dramatic ballet, with no narrative interruption, IF the peasant couple acts as if they are in love. Then, there is a wonderful dramatic contrast between their sunny, uncomplicated love of equals and Giselle's doomed mismatch. Simkin's own dancing was spectacular (over-the-top and pulling it off), but he did a disservice to the narrative flow of the act and to Lane. Standard promenades and pirouettes had off timing where her lovely positions were not al
  3. A promotion or two or three or four is definitely in order. I am eagerly waiting to see who will be selected to compete for the Erik Bruhn prize. That will be a big clue, after all, the last competitors were Wiles, who won, and Hallberg, who didn't win but has since blossomed into a danseur of world-class stature.
  4. Forgive the bad pun, but somehow I feel this discussion has come full circle. If there is a consensus, it is that the fouettes are both fun and irreplaceable. In that case, Vipa's advice is best. It is true I've seen videos of corps members performing spectacular fouettes (Zhong-Jing Fang!)—there is no shortage of dancers who can do them. Meanwhile, I'll continue to enjoy some of the dancers who can just barely get through them.
  5. For me personally, they are not important. I accept the argument that they exemplify Odile's cunning and overpowering character, but I am still taken out of the flow of the story at that moment because we are all evaluating the technical feat. Plus, there isn't too much to discuss about this aspect of a ballerina's performance. Can she or can't she? If she can't, is she still worth seeing? I have never seen a dancer equally strong as Odette and as Odile, but I am more disappointed by Odettes without poetry than Odiles without fouettes. One role where I do expect pyrotechnics is Kitri. But the
  6. Hmm, maybe I will see that program after all. Thanks drb!
  7. I've only seen it twice, but I feel like I could never tire of Episodes. It's as if a gloriously weird dialect of classical ballet (and music) developed independently in a parallel universe. I think Janie Taylor's performance in the third section was the highlight of the ballet. It may seem to be a reach, but for me, the choreography of the third section references Coppelia. There's no Dr. Coppelius figure; the dancers are like dolls who teach themselves how to dance. There are some spastic movements but Taylor presented them as if they were completely natural and unpremeditated, like synapses
  8. Great news, and I think we saw it coming through his casting of late. I'll be the first, but I'm sure not the last, to say I'm a little curious about the lack of female promotions. At this point, I would love to see the corps ladies enter a POB-style concours for soloist spots. Either that or find a way to shrink myself and sprout wings so I can be the fly on the wall of Kevin McKenzie's office.
  9. I feel like the ballet is a contest between the choreographer and the dancers. There should be no doubts or fudging. They need to assert mastery. If you question what's happening at all, they're not doing it right. On the other hand, it's not that the piece can or should be 100% clean, given the element of risk and excitement in the choreography. Bart, you're an old NYCB fan, I think? As in that company's style and repertoire, there is somehow a distinction between good messy and bad messy, between pushing the envelope and barely keeping up. But really comparing casts was the only means for me
  10. I think the word we're looking for to describe it is "cathartic." (Of course, I can experience catharsis from a great Giselle or Swan Lake, but of quite a different kind.) I think Natalia's point about the intensity of live performance is important. The stage magic of story ballets can look dated and artificial compared to the special effects in movies, but this piece's effect could not be supplanted in that way. At one point I thought Tharp was trying to kill the dancers. She stretched the ballet form close to the breaking point (I find hers the definitive statement on this, and could skip a
  11. Yes and yes, and I'm one of those. Not that my seats are the best, but well placed in the section I can afford. It does make sense to subscribe, particularly since you can exchange out of the duds in your series. However, I'm always letting mine lapse until they finally call me not wanting to lose my subscription. This is mostly because of the casting issues mentioned. The "make your own series" was a new innovation last year, and I was really pleased about it. Maybe it wasn't that popular and got dropped, because I would have expected to see it mentioned in one of several brochures I've recei
  12. I can only echo that sentiment. I feel Lane has in her favor a fervency, freshness and innocence to her presentation that is unusual, helpfully married to technical aplomb. Maybe in the past this was par for the course for a young dancer, but more seem to be ironic, studied, coy, or simply direct rather than evocative. She dances her roles rather than "selling" them. What do I know? I'm young and jaded myself. I read somewhere a ballerina should possess generosity of spirit, and I have caught glimpses of that from her. Also, it was noted at the time, her performance as a lead in Quanz's Kaleid
  13. I'm thrilled Gomes has found another signature role, and will be lining up to see it! On Cornejo in starring roles: picking up the nuances of partnering is an area I need to improve in. However, as far as I can tell, Cornejo isn't the greatest at it, in a way that's not just a function of his height. I think ABT appreciates him and is eager to offer him opportunities, but this poses a problem... Parenthetically, sensing a lukewarm reception of Rasta Thomas here, I'm really hoping former ABTer Danny Tidwell doesn't follow the same peripatetic path. I saw that Complexions Ballet, where he was
  14. I think if you're as big a star as she is, the companies you guest with allow you quite a bit of latitude. She probably always does the pas de deux and her solo work the same way, and only needs to rehearse the blocking and mime scenes with the company. Of course, I also detect a hint of sarcasm in that review...
  15. Carreno indeed has prodigious technique and presence, but over the last four years I've attended a string of performances where he lacked chemistry with his partners. His Siegfried and Apollo looked cold and impassive compared to my vivid memories of him on the night of Susan Jaffe's farewell performance of Giselle. Of course, that was a special night, and one other poster wrote the only flaw in it was that Albrecht loved Giselle too much—he wouldn't have betrayed her. Even aside from flat partnerships, I've never seen him as a dance actor who disappears inside his roles. Of course he does in
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