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Bill

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About Bill

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan/balletgoer
  • City**
    Alexandria, VA
  1. I meant jaded as in "weary," not bored or cynical. Until the finale of the review, quoted above, the reviewer struck me as being at a bit of a low ebb. I mean, were the good old days really so much better? Maybe so, but he sounded so hopeless to me. He rallied at the end, absolutely (and expressed some hope, good for him).
  2. I remember seeing some hookah-puffing on Saturday evening, too. This was my first Bayadere. As I said in an e-mail to a friend -- another casual but interested ballet fan: "It was magical. The first two acts are a campy melodrama about an Indian temple dancer and unrequited love. The third act -- the Kingdom of the Shades -- is supposedly an opium dream but it seemed to me to be a proto-Balanchine piece - very abstract. Each act got stronger, which is so rare. This was first staged in 1877, and it must have blown away the audience way back then. The lead ballerina was much too thin but (admittedly) had a beautiful line. The male lead looked like Roger Federer and was very solid but not spectacular. Overall, awesome." I can see how Macaulay could get jaded, having seen La Bayadere evolve over the years, and his review does seem to be a bit weary of it all. But I think that this production would be a great "starter" ballet for young audiences. The plot is simple enough so that the mime works with a minimum of confusion, and the last act reminds audiences of how glorious ballet can be. I'll be interested in the reports from New York.
  3. The Serenade shots are outstanding.
  4. Wonderful reviews...Ms. Farrell's company is such a treasure for D.C. and it's great that the company is attracting national interest.
  5. Did anyone attend the Balanchine/Bejart performances? I can't, this time around, and would love to hear about them.
  6. Episode 8, "Final Preparations," is now up on the R+J website, TragicLoveNYC.com. Paints a convincing picture of how the cast and Company feel before Opening Night. Looking forward to reading accounts and reviews as I remain in exile in Washington DC.
  7. "For never was a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo. Exeunt"
  8. [ The TragicLoveNYC website does have a Q&A with Romeo Mr. Fairchild. And The Winger has a couple of casual Hyltin/Fairchild photos. As to whether there will be a video segment on R+J themselves, the suspense keeps building...
  9. I've been remiss in posting but saw the Friday March 2 performance of Dream at the Kennedy Center. This was part of DC's "Shakespeare in Washington" year-long celebration. I re-read the play before the perfomance (it's been a long time since 10th grade). I was amazed at how well Act 1 and the very end of Act 2 capture the plot and mood of the play -- if anything, the choral parts (the only spoken words in the ballet) were a distraction from the plotting. Renewed evidence of Mr. B's genius as a dance showman. Like the Bolshoi's Cinderella the previous week, I thought this was a male-dominated performance - Ulbricht as Puck stole the show in Act 1, with Carmena as Oberon not far behind. I thought that Kyra Nichols looked very tentative as Titiana -- a jarring contrast with the energy of Hippolyta (Scheller) and her hounds. I'm a Borree/Hubbe fan and they did not disappoint in the Act 2 divertissement. If it's possible to be romantic and authoritative at the same time, they managed to pull it off.
  10. In contrast to the Sarah Kaufman review, Jennifer Dunning blasted Cinderella (Friday Feb 23 performance) in the New York Times (posted in the Links thread). More evidence that this staging can safely be described as "controversial."
  11. How could I forget -- I agree with Rosa that the orchestra and conducting for Cinderella were beautiful. Indeed, her review captures the strengths of the production much better than the geopolitical Kaufman review in the Post. And I took the orange kick in Act II to be a bit of well-timed resourcefulness from the corps. Did anyone see the Friday performance?
  12. LOL -- he's guilty on both counts! (I actually liked the Ratmansky/Kirov Cinderella more than most)
  13. I went last night and sat in orchestra. My feelings on this Cinderella are between those of Natalia and ZB1 -- I enjoyed myself but to me this was very uneven. The plot device of having a male storyteller in place of the fairy godmother was jarring. The storyteller kept reminding me of the dissolute father in the Kirov Cinderella of a couple of years ago -- not a positive connection. I enjoyed Zakharova's dances with the wooden broom in Act I but the scene later in that Act when she dances with the living tea set and broom was odd, in part because of the cheesy costumes. The dances of the Four Seasons were lovely but the accompanying bug costumes did not add to the magic. Regarding the stepmother and stepsisters -- once again I found myself comparing these key characters with those in the Kirov Cinderella and these are not as memorable -- they're much more buffoons than the main sources of misery in Cinderella's life. The ballroom scenes of Act II were OK, but the plot devices -- the storyteller at the ball, the drug-laced oranges (or were they magic?) -- were distracting. I actually thought the high point of the production was the Act II pas de deux -- graceful, athletic, and romantic. Filin was a dynamic Prince and I was impressed with the strength and dash of his dancing and that of his male companions -- the strongest steps in this production seemed reserved for the men. Act III features the Prince visiting a Marlene Dietrich/Blue Angel character and an opera singer in his search for Cinderella. An OK idea, if not easily integrated with the story line, but this Act also included some of the female dancers in horse costumes which were ugly and a bit demeaning. Again, uneveness -- those costumes contrasted with some beautifully simple costumes for Cinderella and the Prince. As Natalia indicated, the closing pas de deux was a wonder, which may have helped fuel the ovations. I did ask myself whether the applause was in part to welcome the Bolshoi back to the Kennedy Center. The evening had a festive atmosphere (I heard much Russian being spoken in the audience during intermissions), and I went home happy, but skeptical about the production.
  14. Ms. Nichols is slated for the Friday and Saturday evening performances -- suitable venues for the DC audience to wish her well...
  15. http://www.observer.com/20070122/20070122_...thelovebeat.asp A cute feature story in the New York Observer.
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