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Everything posted by mom2

  1. Re Streetcar - I don't know that I would call the performance emotionally flat in any way - it was just disturbingly graphic - even more so really when you consider that it's not a new ballet. I appreciate that Neumeier wanted to get people thinking, and I understand that art shouldn't always be "easy" or "pretty" - however this went, in my view, well beyond thought-provoking.
  2. I did see Streetcar, I believe a brief comment above. Still taken aback by the violence, and wondering why anyone would want to choreograph that? My seat is near the front (Row F), so the enlarged stage not overly appreciated by those around me, especially those in front of me. A number of people moved. I feel that the NBOC should have forewarned patrons of this. I did think it was well danced and acted, but like you not sure I would want to see it again. Am also going to Swan Lake next week. It is not my favourite version but oh well. It's around this time of year when KK announces promotions, etc. Anyone heard anything yet?
  3. I feel for her as well. Wonder if her casting was tied to Maddox's? Can't remember now. Certainly I do wonder sometimes if Hannah F. would be doing all the roles she's doing if her parents were not ballet master/mistress. She is a talented dancer, yes. Can't help but wonder. Honestly starting to regret that I've renewed my subscription. I cannot understand all the excitement over Binet - TWO of his works in the gala? Yesterday I saw Streetcar. Holy catfish batman, that was a lot of trauma and violence for an afternoon.
  4. Thanks for this JumpFrog! I saw the show at the last performance. I enjoyed Genus but then I hadn't seen it before so couldn't compare it like you could. I agree with you on - does an intellectual theory make a good basis for dance question. I had a hard time seeing the connection with Darwin. Lindsay Fischer tried to explain/defend during the ballet talk - but I'm not sure that he was really sold on the connection either. I too loved Tarantella. In this show the male lead was Skylar Campbell, who was also superb. In fact he was in Genus too - so quite a day's work for him that day. Concert I enjoyed but not quite as much as I had hoped. There were a few mis-steps with timing (an action that was supposed to match with something from the percussion section) - too bad. I thought most of the dancers did well with the acting - the piece was enjoyable for me overall. Self and Soul - Binet did this piece for the Erik Bruhn competition (which I didn't attend this year), and the dancers I saw were the ones in the competition. So I enjoyed seeing them re-create their roles. I don't think there was anything special about this choreography other than maybe one lift. Personally I think that Binet has had the extraordinary good fortune to be able to work with dancers of such high calibre. I don't know that his young works would present half as well with other dancers.
  5. Yes I did see Pinocchio (referenced above). As I said, not your typical afternoon/evening at the ballet. I was glad I went, but more because I got to see someone I've watched for a number of years in a lead role. Not what I would call classical ballet by any means, however. My daughter went the other night (she is a dancer, a much more critical eye than mine to be sure). She saw a different dancer as Pinocchio (Campbell), and thought he did very well. I had seen a props issue with the nose - this wasn't present in the show she saw. She liked some of the more creative aspects - like the screen projections (portraying the ocean, for example). I thought these went on a bit too long; she did not. We both agreed that the lumberjack scene at the beginning needs work. It's hard to describe - others are so much better with that than I am. Perhaps I can say it's more like a play without words that has some narration, and a fair bit of dancing.
  6. I attended today's show. Very interesting - not your typical afternoon at the ballet, to be sure. Pinocchio was danced today by Robert Stephen, who I've had the pleasure of watching since he was a student. I'm sure that all lead men are wonderful in the role, but I feel I just have to give Mr. Stephen kudos for a wonderful performance! I can't imagine that anyone else could have embodied the part better.
  7. This is a very interesting development indeed. All the best to Mr. Maddox, though I admit that he was never my favourite to watch. So who to replace him? I agree about Campell's height. Partnering was something I felt he struggled with early on - this has most assuredly improved, however is it strong enough? All of the first soloist men seem to be shorter... I enjoy all of them, don't get me wrong. I probably enjoy watching these dancers more than I ever did Maddox... but if we are looking for a tall male principal it wouldn't be one of them. As a side note I've always felt it curious that KK tended to hire tall women (e.g. Fischer), but short men (e.g. Tedaldi). Should we consider second soloist potential? I would look at Brendan Saye and Brent Parolin. Perhaps not quite ready for principal, but these men are tall and with beautiful lines.
  8. Just saw this: http://national.ballet.ca/Meet/Backstage/Creative/Christopher-Stowell
  9. Saw the Nutcracker on Dec. 26. Had forgotten how much I enjoy the "King of Candyland!" Overall a great show, and a wonderful crowd on a very icy night.
  10. JumpFrog, I'm glad you were able to see the show, and that you enjoyed it. It really is nice entertainment! Because I've been around for a while now I have the odd piece or two of trivia. One of these is that I remember seeing Robert Binet (now choreographic associate) in Nutcracker - one of the roles he played was a little chef - and I remember that he was so incredibly cute, and really seemed to enjoy the stage! Curiously I don't recall him being overly tall for his age then (he's quite tall now as a young adult).
  11. I admit that I do like this Nutcracker, though it's been a few years since I've seen it. There is something for everyone - but it does have a LOT of roles for children - I agree that the battle scene is quite busy - it's hard to know where to focus your attention - but also a reason to see it more than once. For me, it's hard to justify the expense when I've seen the production a number of times, and have nobody special to share it with. I will be going to Nut in another city though.
  12. Attended the show this afternoon. I have been known to complain a bit about Sunday mat casting , however not this time!! Today I was incredibly thankful to have my ticket today! First of all I ran into some dear ballet friends I hadn't seen in a long while - that alone was priceless! Next - we had the amazing cast of McKie, Lunkina, Frola, Lobsonova, and company. What an amazing performance! The audience just about leapt to its collective feet when the curtain closed, and I was right there! I don't know if I even have the words. McKie truly embodied the role, in every way. Lunkina almost - my only possible criticism is that she doesn't always look as young as one expects Tatiana to be. That said, none of the women cast in that role would have. Both lead couples were wonderful together - none of the awkward lifts that I noticed in Cinderella. Speaking of Cinderella, also saw nothing today which would have suggested a lack of rehearsal. At any rate, I have nothing but superlatives today - and thanks to the Ballet Gods that I had the opportunity to see this cast. Slightly off topic - I do note that S Campbell, D Tedaldi, R Stephen have not been seen by me so far this fall and none of them were cast in significant roles in Onegin. Don't remember about Cinderella now - would need to check my program but I'm not at home.
  13. Guess this is why they're wanting to raise 100 MILLION dollars....
  14. My tickets are for Sunday matinee, so for Onegin I think I've won the lottery - not so much for Cinderella. That said, I've seen this Cinderella quite a few times now so my expectations were high, and Maddox is not my fave. Emma Hawes was lovely in the role of Cinderella, however there were some lifts in Act 2 that didn't seem to go quite right. I'm not sure what it was - under-rehearsed if that is possible? Regardless, they looked very tentative which is not they way they should look. As one of the Stepsisters Hannah Fischer has some growing to do also. Of course she can dance perfectly, but in Acts 1 and 2 she seemed more like Regina George in "Mean Girls" than the comical character for the ballet. Act 3 was better. The "other stepsister" was Tiffany Mosher, who has danced the role before. Ms. Mosher was quite a comic treat. Georgio Galli was hysterical in Act 1 as the dance teacher - probably the most I've ever enjoyed watching him. The "Four Officers" in this performance seemed a bit under-rehearsed as well, as they were out of sync with each other more often than not. In this performance all the men were very tall. The women who joined them in Act 2 at the ball were some of the company's shortest. This seemed an odd bit of casting to me. One of the best parts of the afternoon for me was watching parents bringing young children to the ballet for the first time.
  15. Interesting. This appears to be a new position. Wonder what is up. I can think of one or two people who are currently doing much of the role as posted - carving more of an opportunity for them? Or is there more to this?
  16. I didn't see this, but my daughter did. I don't know that I would have come in from the burbs to pay $50 for this event. I should also mention that I have been an NBOC season ticket holder for a long time and received very little information about this event. Oh- am also an AGO member. At any rate, my daughter liked parts of it (the obvious talent of the dancers, as you mentioned) - but wasn't overly keen on all aspects of the choreography. One thing she mentioned was that she felt they shouldn't have taken a bow at the end - that this ruined the aspect of "dance as art" for her. She attended the dress rehearsal - did they do a bow (with expectance of applause) for other shows? It was the bow/applause part that she felt was awkward. She did really like the interactive aspect of the event, and hoped that it would make dance more relevant to people. I will have to talk to her about your review JumpFrog. Beyond that I would say that personally I think Binet's talent as a choreographer is a bit over-rated. He is an exceptionally lucky young man, and I do wish him well, however I do wish that NBOC/KK were a bit more open to those beyond the NBS/NBOC circle. mom2
  17. Adding my thanks California for the review. I'll be in Denver soon (sadly not Vail this year), and plan on visiting the exhibit.
  18. The Canadian competitors Saeka Shirai and Yue Shi both won Silver medals in the Senior competition. They are with Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet and are listed on the company website as apprentices.
  19. oh - forgot to mention that I really didn't care for Giselle's 2nd act costume. It must be new, and the Willi's older - it was so different from theirs (yes whiter, but different in style and embellishment also), and I didn't think the bodice fit as well as it should have. An unfortunate distraction for me.
  20. I could never report as fully or articulately as volcanohunter, but did want to comment briefly on the performance yesterday, which was both the last of the season and the premiere for Jurgita Dronina as Giselle. I have quite enjoyed Dronina this season, and Giselle did not disappoint. No technical issues that I could see (though I would not have expected any!). In the "mad scene" her Giselle went mad quite quickly - don't know that I've seen it portrayed quite that way before. Certainly was convincing! I thought James did very well overall, but on reflection perhaps he wasn't as sympathetic as he could have been in the first act volcanohunter - however he danced it so well I could forgive him this time. Wilfred was danced by Ben Rudisin, who needs to learn a few things about portraying a character. He has some good opportunities for expression which unfortunately he did not utilize. Nerves? Don't know that I've ever seen such a "mean guy" Hilarion - however that is the way Renna portrayed him as you mention above. Probably one of the better performances I've seen from Renna. I would imagine his dancing quite different from that of say Campbell of course - but if a "mean guy" was the intent, Renna did it well. Giselle' friends in the first act were Selene Guerrero-Trujillo/Rui Huang and Christopher Gerty/Ethan Watts. Again I would agree with volcanohunter. I thought the women were very accomplished - the men inconsistent and perhaps not quite ready for the roles. Clearly they have potential, but there were some bobbles. I always enjoy seeing Huang in any kind of a featured role - I watched her with the Washington Ballet doing principal and solo roles before she came here, and am glad she is getting more opportunities now. Alexandra MacDonald was Myrtha - I thought she did quite well, maybe a bobble or two, but overall a very nice representation. We did not have the problem with timing or dancers not being able to hear the music in yesterday's performance. Jordana Daumec and Chelsy Meiss were the Lead Wilis. Daumec I think overdid the "face" a bit - and it came off just angry rather than ghost or wili-like. Not sure that was the intent. All in all, a wonderful afternoon and great way to end the season.
  21. Thanks so much for this volcanohunter! You are lucky to have seen so many performances! I go tomorrow; I believe casting is Dronina/James.
  22. Thanks for the news kbarber - re Harrison James: wow. Quite unprecedented for NBOC, don't you think? He hasn't been with the company all that long, and from what I recall completely skipped the ranking of second soloist, going directly to first soloist from corps? Am I remembering that right?
  23. So I gave my ticket to a friend on Sunday as I had too much else going on. Wow - guess I picked a good show to miss! My daughter saw the dress rehearsal on Friday night, and reports pretty much what was said in the Globe and Mail article...
  24. very interesting indeed. I think my ticket is for the 19th - am happy to see Dronina!
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