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Posts posted by mom2

  1. According to yesterday's programme and the company website, David W. Binet is on the "Soaring Campaign Cabinet."


    The Goal of this Campaign is to raise $100 million dollars for the Ballet.

    In addition, David W. Binet is listed as a member of the "Director's Circle" (donors of $25,000 or more), and the "Music Circle and Orchestra," which indicates donations specifically in support of the ballet's orchestra.

  2. Went to the show today.  Feel like I should post here, although the thread is really for next season....

    First was Binet's piece.  Agree with JumpFrog - it was painful.  Student level choreography in my opinion, and LONG.  This piece was FORTY MINUTES long.  Five would have been quite sufficient.  Luckily for Binet, he had incredibly talented dancers to work with.  There are 9 or 10 dancers for this work - four changes were announced so I'm not really sure who I saw exactly.  Isn't this quite a high percentage of changes?

    Next was Kudelka's Four Seasons. This is a favourite of mine, both in terms of music and choreography.  I'll note that, in the Winter entrance, one of the dancers (Ottman, who was not named in the program) lost his eyeglasses and they stayed on the stage for the longest time.  I was amazed that nobody tripped!  Finally someone picked them up.

    Finally Pite's Emergence. This has been performed a number of times by NBOC in recent years.  I have seen this several times before, and I appreciate it but to be honest I don't really enjoy it. I try, but it's just not my taste (I know, I'm in the minority here).  That said, this work is well beyond the level of Binet's piece, just so we are clear.  Again, I think this work really showed the skill of the NBOC dancers, and I imagine that Pite was hoping for this when she created the piece.

    In summary, this is a company fully of extraordinarily talented dancers.  I think KK could have come up with a better program to show Canadian works on this company.


  3. Thanks for the review.  Am going to the matinee tomorrow (March 4).  I should check casting; am not anticipating a great start to the afternoon....

    I have always enjoyed the Four Seasons, so looking forward to that.  Emergence - have seen multiple times. Have issues with the bug heads and the dark lighting, but have always appreciated the dancing and Pite's work.

  4. I don't think folks are saying that Binet's bad (though I am not always excited by his work... in my view it has stood out because he's had wonderful dancers to work with). My take is that a lot of other aspiring choreographers would have done well with the opportunities he's received, and the dancers he's had the privilege to work with... and THAT'S the issue.  In fact, I've seen other student choreographers from NBS  present wonderful pieces at the school, but not end up with the opportunities young Binet has had.

  5. its the mom - I agree, it would have been great to see the Royal dancers partner with some from other companies.  I did quite enjoy the cross-company partnerships that we did see.  Imagine it is quite difficult to put everything together in a short period of time - at altitude I might add.  I can't believe they did Tarantella - (gasp).  A cardio challenge at the best of times.

  6. I attended both of the "international" evenings this weekend.  Both evenings were wonderful - almost too much to take in!


    I loved the couple from the Royal - they were clear standouts for me.  I also really enjoyed the new ensemble work evening II, and I always enjoy the movement of Lil Buck and colleague.  Just read the review in the NYT, which doesn't mention Lil Buck, which is unfortunate.


    The opening number on Friday with the kids and Bill Irwin was also very special - what a great opportunity for the young ones!



  7. I am not intending to suggest that Ms. Fischer is not talented.  Indeed she is.  It would still be my opinion that personal and professional growth might be facilitated for a young woman if she is not working under and with her parents on a regular basis.  I would have this opinion regardless of field of work.

  8. 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.



  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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. 

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. 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.



  17. Attended the show this afternoon.


    I have been known to complain a bit about Sunday mat casting  :angel_not:, 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.



  18. 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.  :)

  19. 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.  



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