Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×


Senior Member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by mom2

  1. The school now has its own syllabus.  That said, the teacher training program does prepare candidates to teach Cecchetti and/or RAD.

    As a subscriber for many years I would have to say that my observation has been that in recent years more Apprentices/First year corps are taken from schools other than NBS.  I've no idea why, other than the company is truly searching for the best talent and fit for the company.

    Just doing a quick look - of the current corps of 26, 10 identified has having had some training at NBS.  Of the 13 principals, 6 were associated with NBS.

  2. I received an e-mail from the Company about retirements and promotions, but didn't see anything about leavers.  Can you give a link naomikage?  Curious to see where they are going.

    In terms of the racial issue - following the Dance Magazine article I linked to above, Mr. Rose did post that he had a positive meeting with the company - so that was good.  Next, Dance Magazine did a follow-up article, interviewing Ms. Daumec and and quoting Mr. Rose - it seemed as though they had interviewed Mr. Rose as well.... Not exactly.  He called out the publication on his Instagram feed.  Subsequently there was a follow-up article, which does quote Mr. Rose: It's been difficult to follow the situation, to say the least.



  3. Yesterday a family member pointed me to the instagram feed of company dancer Nicholas Rose. See his instagram via link below, from a Dance Magazine article:

    Nicholas Rose and other dancers on racism


    Lately his posts have been quite critical of the way the ballet world in general treats dancers of colour, and he specifically criticizes individual staff and leadership of NBOC.  To say that I was very saddened to hear what he had to say is an understatement; and I hope that the company pays attention.

  4. I wandered over to the NBOC website the other day and read that the remainder of the season had been cancelled.  Although I've been a subscriber for over 20 years I did not receive notification of this via e-mail.  The company also messed up with notifying me of the March cancellations (sent the notice to an old e-mail address), which I subsequently clarified via telephone and the member portion of the website - so I really don't understand why they can't get my e-mail correct.  Perhaps they've downsized office staff at this time.  If this is the case, perhaps they should make that public and I'd adjust my expectations accordingly...

  5. I braved the crowds for the Santa Claus parade today and went to the ballet.  Has anyone else here seen this program?

    I enjoyed the Balanchine piece - new in NBOC's rep.  Heather Ogden and Harrison James danced the leads - nice to be able to see them for a Sunday matinee. 

    I should point out that Chaconne runs 30 minutes.  Binet's piece in contrast was 73 minutes.  In my view, 73 minutes for that work was way too much.  I could see 15-20 minutes, which would mean losing some of the random bits (such as the "kitchen" scene and the silly receptionists of the Underworld).  I understand what Binet et al were attempting to do - I think - which was to tackle a very dark subject in a variety of different ways.  In the end this was more of a play (yes there were speaking parts, so it's very clear that Eurydice has died and Orpheus wishes to have more time with her lover) with a bunch of dancing.  Binet has created Orpheus as a female role, and Eurydice as a male - just to clarify - it really doesn't change the story but does make it a little more difficult to remember character names. In this iteration of the story it appears that Eurydice's death was likely the result of suicide, however this is implied and not overt.  There was a small child in my row - she seemed to be about 5 years old - and I wondered how she felt being inside watching this and not outside watching the parade.  I can't imagine the questions she posed to her adult companions afterwards.  

    I don't recall getting an alert about content from NBOC, and perhaps everyone should have anticipated this because of the Greek Myth, but I'm thinking the people with the small child would probably not have chosen this particular program if they'd known.  Again, perhaps they should have but an alert from the Ballet would have been in order.

    The dancing itself was excellent - leads were Hannah Fischer as Orpheus, Brendan Saye as Eurydice and Tanya Howard as "Eurydice's mom."  This role in the program seems to be "Mourner."  Sometimes I find Ms. Fischer to be a bit stiff - this was not the case today.  She danced very well, and we could feel her emotion.  Brendan Saye also did very well - he didn't have the talking parts however that Fischer and Howard did.

    So.  Is it a ballet?  A play? A drama or a "comedy/drama"?  Who really knows.  I just know that for me it was too long, and a bit more to chew emotionally than I really care to do for an afternoon out.

    There were a lot of "Bravo's" in the audience at the end of Orpheus so clearly my lukewarm reception wasn't the only opinion out there.  I can only say that as a season's ticket holder for many years I am really going to think twice about renewal going forward.




  6. I thought Saye did well in the roles I saw him in this season.  I've been watching him since he was an Apprentice - has certainly come a long way.

    In other news, I see on Felix Paquet's twitter that he is going to dance in Hamburg.  I've not seen anything from NBOC indicating that he is leaving the company - has anyone else seen news?

  7. I was also there this evening.  Agree about Siphe November, but I would add that Felix Paquet really shone in that piece as well.  He is getting more opportunities this season, which I think is a good thing.  I first saw him in Banff, summer a few years ago.  I also would say that Sonia Rodriguez continues to amaze me with the depth and breath of her skills.  (did notice her husband in the house tonight, with two boys I assumed to be their kids.  Nice to see the family out - in the past I've only ever seen him at shows).

    I admit there was a lot I don't think I "got" - but the dancing spoke for itself, as did the skill of the dancers.





  8. 18 hours ago, Xiaoyi said:

    Due to the weird casting list, I can not tell all the dancers. I recognized Greta Hodgkinson, Sonia Rodriguez, Chelsy Meiss, and Félix Paquet.

    Looking at the cast list I think I would add Stephanie Hutchison, Calley Skalnik, Selene Guerrero-Truijillo (though perhaps I am mis-remembering this person), Kathryn Hosier, and Giorgio Galli.  Some of the others I am less sure of.


  9. Today I went to the matinee performance of the Forsythe programme.

    I quite enjoyed the first piece - not sure I processed the other two.  Here's what happened:

    (note that I have a seat very near the front, with space next to me for wheelchair seating).

    A woman and her elderly father sat next to me.  The woman mentioned that her dad was 98 years old and had never been to the ballet before; both seemed to really be looking forward to the performance.  

    The first piece in this show is 12 minutes, then there is a two minute pause followed by another piece which is 20+ minutes.

    During the pause, the woman attends to her father attempting to make him more comfortable in his chair.  Unfortunately he ends up sliding completely out of his chair so that he is literally lying on the floor, with his feet under the seats in the next row.  Several of us tried to help, but couldn't get the elderly gentleman back in the chair.  The gentleman was of course uncomfortable, and saying so, an saying that he wanted to leave.  Before I knew it the second piece was happening on stage, and the gentleman was still on the floor.  Finally the medics arrived, managed to get him in the chair and the gentleman left with his daughter.  Meanwhile onstage the dancing continued.

    After the second piece there were bows; the dancers were warmly applauded.  I could see someone hovering in the wings - this person came out onstage and motioned for the audience to stop clapping.  I believe this was William Forsythe himself, but am not sure.  Anyway, he basically said that those who were talking during the show shouldn't have been, and that we don't come to the theatre to listen to the audience talk.  So - he scolded the entire audience for a medical situation.

    After the intermission, the elderly gentleman and his daughter returned to their seats - and told me they had heard the scolding.  I don't know that I have words for this - I am so incredibly sad that this happened, and unfolded right in front of me.

    I have no idea how it is that the front of the house didn't get the issue communicated to backstage.  I was hoping that someone would come onstage later and apologize; this didn't happen.

    After all this I found it difficult to concentrate on the dancing.  When I could process it, I saw great dancing.



  10. Well, I have to admit that Apollo isn't my favourite - never has been - but that's just me.  I am glad that Felix Paquet is getting some nice casting opportunities, however he had a lot to do on Sunday afternoon and seemed a bit tired after "Night."

    I completely agree with you about Binet's piece - the best I could say is that it seemed that the female costume was really nice, and the dancers did the best they could with what they were given.  Thankfully it was a short piece and I did like the choice of the Mahler piece.

    I enjoyed "Night," and I can't say that putting it in the same program with Apollo bothered me, but then again as I'm not a huge Apollo fan... I've never seen NYCB perform Apollo - perhaps I'd see it differently from a company more known for Balanchine works.

    Paquita - well, on the one hand I do enjoy a nice classical performance from time to time, and it certainly was that.  The leads were H. James and H. Ogden, who danced very well.  I felt that the corps work could have been more synchronized (under-rehearsed, perhaps?), but generally it was danced well.  I had to look up historical reference for the costumes however as I thought there must be a reason why the women were all in some hideous shade of orange.  Haven't managed to find a reason... 

  11. At first glance, the new season looks ok.  We'll see what they do to ticket prices.  

    I would like to see the Pite piece - I saw last week that her company is in Banff preparing a new work, assume this is the one?

    Not sure how I feel about the Swan Lake.

    I like the idea of three fall shows, however I admit to not being a Binet fan so we'll see how that goes.


  12. Hello everyone,

    I did have a reply from NBOC.  Basically they said that AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) Standards require that they accommodate patrons who require the assistance of a Service Animal.  I knew this, however I'm still not clear if they were required to admit an animal "in training."  

    I got the impression that the Ballet was aware that the dog wasn't perhaps yet ready for the show, if you know what I mean.

    I was told that my comments would be forwarded to those managing the Front of House, as well as Ballet Senior Management.

    For those of you with extreme allergies to animals, I'd suggest that you contact the ballet before your ticketed performance to make your issue known.  I would hope that if a service animal is to attend the same show that you'd also be accommodated.

    In terms of issues relating to scent sensitivity/allergy - I know that workplaces are more frequently making spaces "scent free," but I don't know that I've seen this in a performance space as yet.

  13. Hi California,

    Thank you for this.  I know a bit about the issue as I worked for a large school board here in Canada for many years, and we had to deal with this challenging legal issues a number of times.  It's perhaps a bit more complex in a school setting for a variety of reasons, but certainly a dog "in training" wouldn't be allowed in a classroom that I'm aware of.  There are many different agencies out there now training service animals, and with that the behavioural expectations for the animals and their people varies too. 

    Coincidentally, on the train ride home from the ballet I saw an individual with a dog whose vest said that he was an "emotional support animal." 

    At any rate, two weeks ago after I attended NBOC I had an e-mail asking for feedback about the performance.  I didn't comment then, but this time I think I'll draw the issue to the company's attention.  If they don't have a policy yet, they should.

    Edited to add:  just went on NBOC website and found their policy regarding service animals:

    Service animals are welcome in all parts of The Four Seasons Centre that are open to patrons.

    Service animals will be accommodated in select areas of the theatre where aisle or leg room allows space for the animal and does not obstruct other patrons while considering fire codes and evacuation procedures. Please note: Seating is subject to availability.

    It is the responsibility of the person using the service animal to maintain control of the animal at all times. We request that anyone using a service animal informs the box office prior to the performance by calling us

  14. Yesterday as I was in the lobby at the Four Seasons waiting for the doors to open, I noticed someone with a dog.  This was certainly unusual, so I took a closer look.  The dog had a vest on which said "Guide dog in Training."  Now I know these dogs need to be acclimated to all kinds of situations, but I'd never seen one at the ballet before so I took note. The person with the dog went off to a seat in a different area of the theatre than mine.

    I didn't think about the dog again, until we were into the Dream and the boy's choir was singing.  Then we heard the dog.  More than once.  I don't mean to imply that the performance was ruined (it was not), but we certainly noticed the canine presence.  I doubt  the professional dancers and musicians were impacted by this; however it may very well have had an impact on the young boys singing.

    I imagine the Human Rights Code covers the fully trained dogs with people whose disability necessitates them; does "The Code" also cover dogs in training?

  15. Thanks for your post Blackcurrent.  I'll add my thoughts below.  The cast I saw was different than yours - Cote as Vronsky, McKie as Karenin; Ogden as Anna.  There were some changes announced in other roles - I think it was the third cast I saw as Levin and Kitty, whereas other roles were 2nd cast.  

    First of all I have to say that these are talented dancers, who as far as I can tell were doing the best they could with the work they were given.

    As a whole, I did not like this work at all and hope I never have to sit through it again.  That said, there were pieces here and there that I did like (such as the opening act).  I felt that it did not hold together as a story, that the attempt to set it in the present day was inconsistent, and the jumps in musical genre were just too much for me.  It was jarring to say the least to transition from Tchaikovsky/Schnittke in the Lacrosse scene to Cat Stevens and hay bales.  Say what?

    Perhaps Neumeier just doesn't know much about modern farming, but one would think that he's at least driven past a farm somewhere.  If he had, he would know that harvesting is not typically done with scythes these days.  I did like the "farmer" scene, however it just doesn't fit in with a ballet which also uses a cell phone as a prop.  I thought the use of an older model (yet moving) tractor was unnecessary.  The farm costumes were way too stereotypical for me.  Just overalls would have been fine.

    Casting an adult male as Anna's son I found somewhat disturbing.  Not sure why this bothered me the way it did, but there you go.

    I saw Felix Paquette dance the role of "A Mushik" (essentially this is the worker who dies at the train station).  I thought he did quite well, not sure how I feel about the way Neumeier created the role itself, but Paquette certainly gave it his all.  Ditto the scene of Kitty in the mental hospital, and Cat Stevens again.  It almost felt like Neumeier was looking for a reason to include some Cat Stevens music.  Don't get me wrong - I really like Cat Stevens, the music just didn't fit for me in this ballet.

    McKie was for me the perfect choice as Karenin.  I enjoyed the opportunity of seeing Ogden and Cote dance together - I don't know that this happens very often, at least not in the shows I've been to.

    I saw Kota Sato as Levin - he did well but I have a bit of a soft spot for Campbell so was disappointed I didn't get to see him.  Calley Skalnik danced Kitty and did a wonderful job.

    So, in sum, some interesting bits but I would not buy tickets for this one again.  If KK spent millions acquiring this work, not a good choice in my view.

  • Create New...