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  1. According to Antonia Fraser in her entertaining THE WIVES OF HENRY VIII, Henry didn't become a slobbo until after his marriage to Anne Bolyen. Portraits of Henry as a young prince and king indicate he was a handsome fellow. He was full porker-size by the time he got to wife #5, Katherine Howard. How this works as a ballet will be interesting. Now let's be fair: if NYCB has Barbie, ABT should have Angelina Ballerina, right ?
  2. Disgusting. One would expect better from "professionals."
  3. Mafouz's CAIRO TRILOGY. A beautifully-written family saga with universal themes. That's a loaded sentence but a true one. I've never been to Cairo, but after reading the Trilogy, plus other things by Mafouz, I can see and taste it. Don't read on an empty stomach!
  4. It wasn't sold out last night. You should be fine. Have a good time !
  5. Courtesy of ARTSJOURNAL.com, I read Robert Gottleib's Eifman review. He was so angry and offended. He's been going to NYCB since forever, is well-informed about the main characters (on and off-stage), and took this ballet as an ego-tripping insult. I didn't see the ballet but I gather from what I've read on the message boards that others felt the same way - sans having their own weekly dance columns. As for the cell-phone "insult": The only time (once was enough) I saw Eifman's company, you bet there were cellphone converasations going on in Russian. When I was a NY Philharmonic subscriber, there were JUST AS MANY cellphone conversations going on in English. Phones went off when I saw JUMPERS over Memorial Day Weekend...isn't Tom Stoppard hard enough ? Even worse than trying to enjoy a performance is at the end of the workday is when people carry on cellphone conversations about topics you wouldn't discuss w/your analyist or mother. The issue of "what" the Eifman crowd is has less to do w/cellphones - that's a problem all by itself - and more to do w/programming catering to that audience. Only this time instead of lousy ticket sales for last summer's Mariinsky Opera performances at the Met, the NYCB has a major critical disaster on its hands. Sometimes demographics aren't everything. Many thanks to Alexandra for linking the background article on Robert Gottlieb. Editing Robert Caro's towering Johnson biographpy and Katherine Graham's candid, inspirational autobiography are impressive enough. And now he's got a million+ seller w/Bubba's lifestory That he loves dance and writes about it with passion and conviction is enough for me. It's better than reading Anna Kisselgoff mixing metaphors about Peter Martins as a dancer and choreographer. Maybe he wanted the same thing we all wanted from the Centennial Celebration - seeing the ballets we love danced with love. Some nights we got just that, and apparently at this Eifman thing, we didn't.
  6. Sofiane Sylve. He'd be delierious. Jennifer Ringer too!
  7. I agree with the list, but would elminate LIEBESLIEDER und :grinning: DAVIDSBUNDLER for EPISODES (including the penultimate solo that ties the whole thing together!!!) and SYMPHONY IN 3 MOVEMENTS. I'm not including my personal favorite: ORPHEUS. I love it because I love Ovid, Balanchine, Stravinsky, and Noguchi. All of them together is overwhelming. I loved Peter Martins in the title role and now there's Ask (does he count as an extended family member?) as the Dark Angel. This ballet depends so much on casting and rehearsal time. It looked beautiful last Thursday night - but, as always, the audience was indifferent to it.
  8. I saw SHAMBARDS Saturday night. I admit being biased ahread of time because I like both Wheeldon's choreography and MacMillan's music. Never mind Boris Eifman: James MacMillan is the big coup for a festive season. Would it be reading too much into things by suggesting that SHAMBARDS is a radical deconstruction of the nicities of both classical ballet and traditional Scottish tunes? Was this ballet a ritual ending with a sacrafice? The lighting, choreography, music, and forest backdrop suggested so. SHAMBARDS reminded me of the disturbing world depicted in "new" Scottish literature and film (i.e., TRAINSPOTTING, NEW ADAM, HOW LATE IT WAS...HOW LATE, Michel Faber's UNDER THE SKIN). Were Wheeldon and MacMillan adding to the trend, or taking a sideswipe at BRAVEHEART? It would be interested to know if the music or the ballet came first, or if SHAMBARDS was created in tandem. I don't like violence in ballet either. If my "theory" isn't correct about SHAMBARDS being a highland rite, then I don't see the need for seeing another ballerina (particularly Miranda Weese) victimized on-stage. Ms. Kisselgoff was outraged (I'm paraphrasing her words) by it in SHAMBARDS but said NOTHING when Darci Kistler was raped on-stage for no reason in HARMONIELEHRE (an orchestral masterpiece that deserves better than the pseudo-Massine/William Blake garbage "ballet" it got). Another time there was applause instead of silence was at a Diamond Project gala when the "smart" set thought Prajolac's (I know...spelling) ballet ending w/Emily Coates smashed to pieces was brilliant. SHAMBARDS has plenty of inspired moments. Wheeldon's corps choreography, particularly for the men, keeps getting more exciting. His "dances in a circle" are the best. The "End's" dual pairings of Ulbricht/De Luz and Boulder/Fairchild were outstanding. How I wish I could attempt to dance like those 2 women. :rolleyes: Had it not been for the "tacked-on" (?) ending, this section could stand alone from the rest of the ballet.
  9. I'd go just about anywhere that was dancing the Ashton ROMEO & JULIET. I'd also see a Tudor bill of ECHOING OF TRUMPETS, CONTINUO, DARK ELEGIES, and LEAVES ARE FADING. Looking ahead, in about a year's time I'll hope having a ticket & getting ready to see the Balanchine DON QUIXOTE @ the Kennedy Center. :rolleyes: Lately, the world's been coming to me with the upcoming Ashton celebration @ the Met and Tom Stoppard's JUMPERS transferring from the West End to Broadway.
  10. Carlo Merlo, Lauren Hauser, Emily Coates, Jeffrey Edwards, Riolama Lorenzo, and that Ethan guy grinning: My first Sugarplum fairy was Murial Aasen. I remember her being featured in PEOPLE (yes, the magazine once covered culture) but she vanished not long after the Ravel festival. Does anyone know if she danced elsewhere?
  11. I was disappointed with last night's premiere - not particuarly funny or cute...and he is! :yes: The only thing captured to perfection is Alex/Misha's Russian "insiders only" retinue. The truth is that I've never been a fan of the show. For the most part, the ladies look cheap (Why is Cynthia Nixon never styled when she's so pretty? Why is Sarah-Jessica dressed like a rag doll?) and act vapid when they're supposed to be "smart" and "sophisiticated." I'm at a loss to understand the fascination with those ugly, overpriced, turnout-destroying shoes. I know it's just a television show but it turns out a bleak message.
  12. The best part in the balle :grinning: t
  13. The dancing highlight 2003 was the Martha Graham Dance Company at the Joyce Theatre. I had my first look at STEPS IN THE STREET, which was incredible...so different from her "Greek" dance-dramas. Very exciting stuff. I hope the whole piece can be revived instead of the tantalizing fragment that left the audience cheering for more. Two dancers, one familiar and one new, gave memorable performances. Megan Fairchild gracefully glided her way through TARANTELLA and PIANO PIECES. Amanda McKerrow gave what - I think - was the performance of her career as Hagar. She was "something." I'd like to see her in the Stravinsky Triple Bill at the Met later this winter. Another "discovery" was the Performing Arts Library branch of the NY Public Library. I used the invaluable resources of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division for 2 of my NYU papers. The staff, which is at a bare minimum because of budget cuts, was incredibly kind and helpful. The non-dancing "best" was the Berlin Philharmonic with Sir Simon Rattle. They gave a solid, wildly exciting performance of Bartok's MUSIC FOR PERCUSSION, STRINGS, AND CELESTIA. Berlin is a young orchestra (average age=30) and they sound enthralled with their new music director - the coolest guy in classical music! :cool2: I wish a healthy, happy New Year for all.
  14. I never warmed up to DIVERTIMENTO #15...until I saw Suzanne Farrell's company dance it at the Kennedy Center. Even with Merrill Ashley frequently cast, DIVERTIMENTO always looked sloppy @ NYCB; the arms in the finale looked like the hula. Besides, the costumes are about the ugliest Karinska ever made. Perhaps because Suzanne's company was better rehearsed - or for the reason she staged it :rolleyes: - the ballet had coherence. I could also appreciate how fiendishly difficult it is. Another one I didn't like was LA VALSE. I know we're supposed to be polite, etc., but this had EVERYTHING to do with the NYCB company pet (circa 1980's-mid 1990's) who always danced the doomed heroine when I was there! After seeing it with more appropriate ballerinas, it's now one of my favorites. In reference to the gala thread: did Helene A. ever dance BUGAKU?
  15. On Friday I saw Amanda McKerrow's Hagar and she was brilliant. She's always been at her best in the Tudor repertory and never better than in PILLAR. She conveyed character by simply walking across the stage, lost in her unhappiness as the other couples danced around her. It was a complete characterization. The last time I saw PILLAR was w/Sallie Wilson. Honestly, back then I had NO idea what this ballet was about. I do remember Ms. Wilson and fellow Teaneck, NJ native Ruth Mayer as her gorgeous Older Sister. I don't think anyone has mentioned that Monique Menieur danced the Older Sister in the current revival. She, too, is too gorgeous. It was good seeing her dance again!
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