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About BigToe

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    Ballet Alert!

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. Hi, OBT just finished their triumphant run of Swan Lake. Did anyone see it? Did anyone see Kathi Martuza as Odette/Odile ? Did anyone see more than one swan ? The last one is a trick question. I have enjoyed watching Kathi in every role/dance I have see her in and Friday night was no exception. She is so physically strong, technically skilled, and she has those piercing blue eyes. Swoon.... Big Toe
  2. Hi, I made it to the matinee performance today (Sunday the 10th, 1pm). The cast included Gavin Larsen as Sugar Plum Fairy; Allison Roper as Coffee; and Kathy Martuza as Dewdrop. Gavin is such a lovely ballerina it's always a pleasure to watch her dance. She hit every balance and pose this afternoon, there just is no question that I'll see a wonderful performance when Gavin is on the bill. And is there anyone better than Alison Roper as Coffee? The answer is nope, although I have to put Kathi Martuza as Alison's equal in that role. Both have perfect timing with the finger symbols as they move around the stage. When it's time for the final pose the head, foot, and fingers are in perfect harmony. They remind me of when Tracy Taylor danced the part, this is the stuff of which dreams are made. Kathi danced the role of Dewdrop today and was great. Kathi is such a physically strong presence on stage, and I haven't seen her in a role that didn't fit. I love the waltz tempo and all the flowers were very graceful, even for ballerinas. Candace Bouchard was a flower today, I heard last year that she did a spectacular job as Dewdrop and I hope to see her in the role this year. These were the stand-outs for me, and I didn't see sore spot in the entire show. Merry Christmas, BigToe
  3. Hi Carbro, The OBT website is nice but it's a little to fancy for my slow modem. Here is a direct link to casting.
  4. Hello, OBT will open this season's Nutcracker on Friday the 8th and close on the 24th. The Oregonian ran an interview with some of the veteran dancers on Sunday. It offers some interesting insights on dancing the Nut. This will be the fourth year that OBT has performed George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, I hope everyone has a chance to see at least one performace. I can't wait to see it again this year. Merry Christmas, BigToe
  5. Hi, I attended most of the company classes at this years OBT Exposed. The first thing I noticed was that there were a lot of new faces on the stage. In fact, there were a whole lot of bodies on stage, familiar and new. I haven't heard how many new dancers have been added to the company but it was very noticeable here. [Admin note from Helene: I sent you an email.]
  6. Hi, I saw the program opening night. The show started with the OBT school kids performing a waltz from The Sleeping Beauty. They did a wonderful job and were very cute. I enjoyed ADIN very much although I don't remember it from 2004. It was wonderful to see Paul Destrooper and Kathi Martuza together. It occurred to me that I have not seen Paul dance a dramatic/romantic role in a long time. I usually catch him in the lighter character roles, if at all. The second part was lighter with some fun movement from Anne Mueller. She was certainly in her element and Steven Houser has a complementary onstage personality. I was concerned about Steven's ability to lift and toss Anne. The third part of Adin really caught my imagination as Arthur Sultanov took Gavin Larson ice skating. I really enjoyed the entire show. In fact I'm going back this weekend, something I rarely do.
  7. Hello, For those of you who attended the Portland premier of the movie Ballets Russes this past January, you will be happy to know that the dvd has been released. I'm sure it is available at your favorite vendor's website. Some of you may wonder why a post about a dvd release of a ballet movie is appropriate for this site. I'll try and answer... During the Portland showing of Ballets Russes the movie makers were present one evening for Q&A along with a technical advisor, OBT's Artistic Director Christopher Stowell. Some of the old film used in the movie did not have a front or back label and in fact could be put into the projector both ways. This means that you could run the film showing a dancer entering stage right, flip the film around and show the dancer entering stage left. The film makers relied on Christopher to advise them about the staging for dances so they could get historical film footage accurate. I certainly recommend the film which I found to be very enlightening and educational. There is a lot of information presented in the file which took away from any emotional impact it might have made on me. But see for yourselves, visit the official website for Ballet Russe .
  8. Hi, First time user here with my first post... This thread seems to have become a catch all for everything related to Swan Lake, so I'm passing along another press review... From a review in the Willamette Week written by Tim Duroche... The rest can be found here: WW I don't know what Mr. Duroche's dance background is, but it's always nice to see press on OBT and I look forward to reading more of his reviews. I do take exception with how this article, and others, have described the performance of Yuka Iino as mechanical. The first time I read that description I saw it as a compliment, as in flawless technical execution. But reading it in article after article I'm not so sure I like it... A machine like performance as in void of emotion? When I saw Act II I could feel the fear of the swan for herself and, eventually, for the prince as he was pulled into a dark curse. In Act III I caught myself laughing at how easily she toyed with the hapless Siegfried. I found plenty of emotion in both of Ms. Iino's performances. It's been so nice to find this site and to read all the thoughtful posts. I look forward to seeing what everyone thinks of next season.
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