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Everything posted by balletmama

  1. And is Charleston big enough to support two ballet companies? I know Charleston Ballet Theatre is more contemporary, but still...
  2. July 28-August 9, Tharp dancers will performing. Call JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800 and mention code MANIA for $32 tickets. Limit 2. That's an $8 discount per ticket.
  3. Vagansmom, I've read The Red Tent. I found it massively overwritten in some sections. I also found the relationships between women to be rather depressingly centered on their ability to attract men...I had expected the book to be a bit like The Mists of Avalon, a really powerful tale from the point of view of the women, but optimistically so. If anything, it turned out to be a horrifying view of the lives of women in a patriarchal society. I love the red tent as a metaphor, though. What are your mixed feelings?
  4. Agreed. I am basically of the persuasion that Nina can do no wrong. However, in Anna Kisselgoff's review 6/23, she wrote, "As Kitri, that ballet's hoerine, she was well matched with a new partner in Mr. Gomes as Basil. Both are tall..." I was startled. That didn't sound like a metaphorical statement, but one that was intended as literal. As a fan who has not met Nina but has seen her from the fifth row at Jacob's Pillow, it just didn't compute for me. Now, if Kisselgoff had described her as a "giant," I would have had no quibble at all. ;)
  5. Well, she sure does "dance tall," or "huge," as you say, but I don't think it's factually accurate to describe her as tall if she is 5' 3".
  6. Happy to say I was there Friday night for what the Times says this morning was Nina's 10th anniversary performance with the company, a lovely Swan Lake. The Times notes that Nina is tall, which surprised me very much. Would someone please tell: How tall is she?
  7. Ticketmaster and Telecharge have no problem telling exactly which seats you're getting for a Broadway show, whether you order by phone or online. With ABT it's an enormous advantage to buy in person at the box office.
  8. In keeping with the ballet theme, how about Barbie as Lizzie Borden? ;)
  9. Didn't think parents could post on the Teachers' board, but I see it's ok, so here I am, responding to the YAGP comments. It might be helpful to know that this was the first year YAGP gave equal weight to artistry and technical scores. Also, there were several instances in which "flashy" dancers lost out to more solid but less flashy technical ones. Finally, anything one might say about YAGP must be said in light of the fact that the judges were teachers and ADs from ABT, BB, POB, the Royal Ballet, Cranko, San Francisco, Ailey, etc. and therefore represent not some isolated tendency of people involved in competitions, but decisions by a wide range of adults at the heart of the global ballet world.
  10. Carbro, thanks; you expressed that very clearly. To me the most moving dance conveys the union of body and soul. If all dancers had the same body type, I think their capacity for expression would be diminished, and it would certainly not be very interesting to watch!
  11. With Misty Copland at the front of the corps Monday night, Monique was not the only dancer onstage with a womanly body, I'm happy to say. Carbro, I like your comment that there is room for many types of dancers at ABT.
  12. I found it a bit jarring in person last night. Likewise with the arabesques, it was a relief when they were 90 degrees on occasion. Somehow so many high extensions felt like tricks designed to elicit a "Wow!" when other things I consider important were missing, but as Amy says, flexibility seems to have become an end in itself. Note in the review the comparison with Nina's performance: "It was left to Mr. Bocca, who delivered all the right technical bravura, and Ms. Ananiashvili, unabashedly sensuous in the first act and projecting her classical style with exuberant form, to supply the passion that the ballet should have."
  13. Agreed re Stella's lovely soft lyricism, but how it came across to me last night was that she was a worthy rival, rather than just a villain, which made it interesting. Lots of comments (in dress circle) of Alina looking very small on the stage. Clearly she is enormously gifted physically, but to me she had a quality I would almost call boyish, with not much in the way of magnetism that would explain Solor's attraction to her. I found myself being impressed by her extension rather than lost in her artistry. Seeing her again I would hope to see more of the acting I had read so much about. It was fun to see the corps do the Kingdom of the Shades after we'd seen them demonstrate it at the Guggenheim a couple of months back. It has come a long way, though as others have noted, they still aren't uniform. We enjoy their exuberance.
  14. Calliope, congratulations on Yale! Grad school admissions must be different from undergrad, because high school students have a month to reply and, except for those with rolling admissions, the colleges all follow pretty much the same schedule, with applications in either fall or winter and similar reply dates. I won't go into the gory details here, but if you go to the Moms and Dads board you will see that ABT has caused real distress in the SI world. It took it upon itself to create a reply schedule different from all other SIs, requiring parents to shell out a $750-1,500 nonrefundable deposit in order to hold a spot...long before many the young dancers had even had a chance to audition for other programs, not to mention hear back from them. I am interested to hear these dancers are going to perform in CK jeans. Wow. They must be really comfortable. Only kidding! No flames! Gee, I wouldn't want to try a grand jete in my Lands' End jeans... ;) Good post, Leigh. Life is complicated.
  15. Calliope, re ABT's SI, there have been several threads on the Moms and Dads boards detailing how very different their approach to money is than that of other SIs. And colleges do not require students to send half the tuition within two weeks of notification.
  16. It's my understanding that ABT's burgeoning summer intensives have done a lot to improve ABT's budget situation. If we are talking about consumer exploitation, a tagline mentioning Calvin Klein pales in comparison to the exorbitant fees ABT charges for their overcrowded auditions and their deposit schedules. I would far rather see them take money from corporations.
  17. Well, frankly, if I wore jeans, knowing Calvin Klein was sponsoring ABT I would be more likely to buy his brand rather than another one. Not because I have some dumb reaction to seeing the name that causes me to instantly rush out and buy, but because I want to encourage a company that chooses to spend its dollars this way. Of course, I am not a smoker and never did become one, despite the Philip Morris sponsorship. As an adult, I can think and make choices. At the time Michelangelo, Raphael, etc. were painting for the Pope, he was very much a secular ruler, determined to display his immense wealth and power in the company of other rulers of his day. The currency has changed, but I am not convinced the motivations were purer. ABT seems to constantly be in dire straits. They are looking for money where the money is. Too bad our government doesn't support the arts the way others do.
  18. I can vouch for the Apple Tree inn, which is on BW's list...
  19. Calliope, call Telecharge at 212-947-8844 and use this code -- CHPBEM8 -- which is the Playbill.com online club, and you can see the show for $35. Thank you, BW!
  20. Chicago the show is, pardon the cliche, loaded with attitude. To me the movie was a lobotomized version.
  21. That a particular media personality's style is recognized by or familiar to his/her audience does not imply that said style is above reproach. Dr. Laura Schlessinger, for example, makes all sorts of pseudo-witty negative remarks about homosexuals with which her listeners presumably agree and which they even find entertaining. Others, like myself, choose to point out the hostility and inhumanity of such remarks.
  22. No body type requirements in the Hindu theology of dancing, I guess. ;)
  23. Maybe many people -- especially on this board -- already know this, but I just found out today, and I thought it might be of interest on this board. In Hinduism, one of the manifestation of the god Shiva is Natraj or Nataraja, the god of dance who dances the universe into existence. Here is a link to a fairly simplistic site about Nataraja; I like the image, which most of us have seen for years but which I never had a name for before: http://www.indianartcraft.com/shiva-king-of-dancer.htm I am not proselytizing, by the way! Am not a Hindu -- obviously, since I only just found out about this major god -- but am interested in symbols. I love the image of a deity who continually sustains all of creation by dancing.
  24. Well, I guess it's partly because at one time dancers of certain races were considered aesthetically inappropriate to perform as snowflakes, for example. And being a ballet mom I so often hear about the admiration or envy young dancers have for their peers who have so-called perfect feet or amazing extension and yet terrible line and little to no artistry; I wonder where they get these ideas and I don't want to contribute any further to them. But mostly, truly, as an audience member I try very hard to participate in an artistic encounter -- to take in and value whatever it is that the artist is seeking to communicate. Judging something like head size seems awfully trivial and even a little dehumanizing. To give myself a little credit, I do think that, as Victoria says often here, there is no perfect body, and skilled dancers usually find ways to work so that even if their heads are oversized or whatever, the line is not spoiled.
  25. Went out for a belated Valentine's Day celebration and am back, Alexandra, wondering: do you really think it is ok for people to not like certain body types or aspects? I'm not talking about emploi now. I am not proud that I find Xiomara's rather large head distracting. I do think that is fetishistic. I don't like to think I'm buying into what I consider some pretty shallow aspects of ballet aesthetics, given we are talking about a dancer who is lovely in so many respects. As an audience member, I consider it my responsibility to try to appreciate the person onstage for who he or she is as an artist, not to act like a judge at the Westminster dog show.
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