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


Senior Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by volcanohunter

  1. 12 hours ago, canbelto said:

    Vaccine mandates are causing some orchestra members to be fired

    Strictly speaking, it appears no one has been fired yet. Where a mandatory vaccination policy exists, those who refuse have been placed on leave--paid for now.

    The interesting thing for me is the nugget on audience reaction to vaccine requirements and the fact that only 1% of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra ticket holders have asked for refunds as a result. That would suggest that requiring proof of vaccination isn't resulting in an exodus of patrons.

  2. 18 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

    I also wondered if perhaps the POB sets were better scaled to a smaller stage, as I believe they traditionally perform the ballet at the Palais Garnier rather than the Bastille.

    The Garnier stage is very wide, so I doubt the Giselle sets are scaled small.

    During that tour Giselle had eight girlfriends, there were 24 grape pickers and the hunting entourage included 16 nameless aristocrats, and I don't remember thinking that the stage looked cramped. But with many, many productions I wonder why the cottages jut out so far onto the stage. :dunno:

  3. On 10/21/2021 at 7:00 AM, abatt said:

    The Koch stage looked very cramped.  I'm pretty sure they were using fewer Wilis in Act II because the stage was too small

    In years past the Paris Opera Ballet and the Bolshoi had fielded a full complement of wilis on that stage. I'm looking at a POB program from 2012, and there were 24 wilis (including Amandine Albisson, Valentine Colasante and Laura Hecquet), plus Myrtha, Moyna and Zulme. My guess is that under the circumstances ABT decided to put fewer dancers into its studios for rehearsals.

  4. 29 minutes ago, Helene said:

    in Russia, the schools look at families when they choose children for their elite schools, believing that their adult parents are indicators of future physique

    Not just in Russia. This is part of the audition process for Canada's National Ballet School also.

  5. 2 hours ago, California said:

    Stearns did the brises and they weren't very impressive. They don't work as well with tall dancers.


    2 hours ago, abatt said:

    Maybe it's true that the brises don't work as well on tall dancers, but I thought his basic form was not even correct for the brises. He just looked lazy.

    I've seen brisés look great on tall dancers and bad on short dancers. It depends on the quality of the jumps and especially the angle of the upper body.

  6. 1 hour ago, Mashinka said:

    This thread has been of great interest.  We had seating restrictions in the summer, but that's all over now.  No masks, no tests, no proof of vaccination required at ROH, though they do provide hand sanitizer.  Some of us do wear masks.  By us I mean the older audience members only.


    Meanwhile infections and hospitalizations are on the rise.  Morocco has today banned all flights from the UK.  I expect other countries to follow suit.

    A few weeks ago I read about a Plan B of additional restrictions. Is it likely to be introduced? 

  7. @cubanmiamiboy, there were striking differences in my most recent theater outings. In New York theaters were at capacity, but everyone was vaccinated, and everyone wore masks. It seemed to me that everyone was wearing them properly, and there lots of KF94s and KN95s in use.

    Although masks are legally required indoors, in Moscow I'd guess that about 30% of spectators actually wore them in the auditorium, and there was no telling how many people were vaccinated, but only about a third of the population has been fully vaccinated. Furthermore, the Bolshoi has a creative interpretation of 50% capacity, closing off the rear rows of the side rings so that a larger proportion of top-price orchestra seats can remain open, and people didn't hesitate to move to a blocked-off seat. (In Saint Petersburg there are no capacity limits even though its infection rate is twice that of Moscow.) I relied on my American vaccine and Korean mask to protect me, and they did their job, but I felt a whole lot safer in New York. 

  8. 12 hours ago, nanushka said:

    I'd love to hear how LaFreniere and Danchig-Waring do in their Chaconne debuts tonight, if anyone's there! 

    They were confident debuts, very well received by the audience. I enjoyed Danchig-Waring in particular: the rapid changes in direction, emphatic croisés and elaborate style were all there. I'm at a loss to understand why he hadn't danced the part a lot sooner.

  9. The AP story on vaccine tourism mentions some of the issues holding up the Sputnik V review.

    "But the WHO has said global approval is still under review after citing issues at a production plant a few months ago.

    On Friday, a top World Health Organization official said legal issues holding up the review of Sputnik V were 'about to be sorted out,' a step that could relaunch the process toward emergency use authorization.

    Other hurdles remain for the Russian application, including a lack of full scientific information and inspections of manufacturing sites, said Dr. Mariangela Simao, a WHO assistant director-general."

    That's why another person quoted in the article says approval probably won't come until next year. By April? Who knows? It turns out it may not have been necessary for the National Ballet of China to cancel its tour, since the U.S. will accept two of the Chinese vaccines. There's no way, though, that the other two Russian vaccines will be listed by spring, so dancers who received those may be out of luck.

  10. On 9/20/2021 at 6:52 PM, volcanohunter said:

    As of November, the U.S. will require foreigners travelling to the U.S. to be fully vaccinated. No indication yet on which vaccines will be accepted: the three authorized by the FDA, the six authorized by the WHO or a broader list.

    The U.S. will be accepting the six vaccines listed by the WHO: Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sinovac (CoronaVac). That means that in November vaccinated travellers from the UK and EU will once again be able to visit the U.S.

    It also means that Russian vaccines are excluded. (Little wonder that some Russians are engaging in vaccine tourism to Serbia and a few other neighboring countries.)


  11. On 9/29/2021 at 4:50 AM, volcanohunter said:

    The National Ballet of Canada has announced rules about vaccination, masking and capacity limits:

    The company will set up a tent outside the theater entrance for checking vaccination records, and people are being encouraged to arrive up to an hour and a half before curtain.

    Full safety protocols:

    No children under 12 will be performing in The Nutcracker this season. Normally the company's production includes celebrity cameos in battle scene, but not this time around.

    Ontario has lifted capacity limits on concert venues. It's up to the National Ballet of Canada to decide whether to keep the 50% limit or open up all the seats. (And what happens if capacity restrictions return?)


  12. 5 hours ago, Marta said:

    About Balanchine's dislike of ballets on Onegin, somewhere there's a quote about the music; it may be that he complained that Cranko didn't use a note from the opera.

    I believe Cranko wanted to use music from the opera, but the director of the opera house in Stuttgart forbade it. Ultimately I think it was the correct decision, because opera time is slower than ballet time, and Cranko would have ended up with too much music, and the ensuing cuts would have been controversial. The first act of the opera in particular is really long, but Cranko interpolated the rejection scene into the second act instead. (As it happens, he did use some music from another Tchaikovsky opera, Cherevichki, whose setting and subject matter are entirely different.) If music from the opera had been used, I think it would have sounded strangely bereft without vocals. (There might even have been a temptation on the part of some in the audience to hum the missing vocal parts. :pinch:) The score to Ronald Hynd's Merry Widow has that lacking quality.

  13. 13 hours ago, vipa said:

    I don't want to see up and coming choreographers doing work on NYCB, that they'd do on any company. Works that look the same company to company. Personally, I don't want the further homogenization of ballet/dance companies so that where ever you go you see the same choreography done pretty much the same way. The last Pam Tanowitz ballet I saw at NYCB (pre-pandemic) would have looked the same on any company IMO - ballet or modern.

    It drives me batty when ballet companies perform works that don't really require ballet dancers at all. I don't mean works by Graham, Cunningham or Limon, which constitute a significant technical and stylistic stretch for the dancers (one that they often fail), but the sort of pieces that make virtually no use of ballet dancers' training and technique--other than their bendiness, in which case rhythmic gymnasts would probably do just as well. What's the point?

    1 hour ago, miliosr said:

    I think it's telling that the great male classicist and star at the Royal Ballet, Vadim Muntagirov, has never appeared (based on his Royal Ballet bio) in any of McGregor's works. Maybe McGregor doesn't want him. More likely is that Muntagirov doesn't want his classical technique strip-mined by McGregor and has enough power in the organization to say 'no'.

    More basically, he may be worried about what McGregor's contortions would do to his back and hip sockets.

    Some dancers I know love doing McGregor. It's an exploration of what their bodies can do; they get a kick out of feeling muscles and connective tissues sliding over each other in unusual ways. What I can't always bring myself to tell them is that choreography which feels exhilarating to do isn't necessarily interesting to watch.

  14. I don't have the quote on hand, but Balanchine seemed to have objected to the adaptation of the poem. Russian audiences have also objected to deviations from the text, which absolutely everyone reads in school. I can understand that, because even allowing for necessary modifications when switching genres, I have a lot of problems with a lot of balletic and operatic adaptations of Shakespeare. ("This idiot person couldn't possibly have read the same play I did!" :mad::yucky::angry2::wallbash:)

    I also don't have the old Ballet Goer's Guide on hand, but I remember Crisp/Clarke described Union Jack as  "affectionate," but clearly told from the other side of the Atlantic, which many British audiences find "disconcerting."

  15. 1 hour ago, dirac said:

    I can see why the British might not see the joke with Union Jack

    It's one thing to send up your own culture, whether in Scherzo a la Russe or Stars and Stripes. Doing it to someone else's carries a high probability of causing offense. 

    So yes, I get the distinct impression that Dromgoole's nose had been bent out of shape, which is why I can't take his criticism at face value.

  16. Dromgoole may have taken umbrage with what he saw as a perversion of his own culture. Even British critics favorably inclined to Balanchine would describe Union Jack as a work decidedly from the other side of the Atlantic. Balanchine was similarly outraged by Cranko's Onegin, and so were audiences when the Stuttgart Ballet first brought the ballet to the USSR. (Today Bolshoi audiences seem more willing to tolerate the completely inauthentic peasant dance, the fact that the sisters are present at the duel, Jürgen Rose's inaccurate flora and Tatiana's red dress.)

    When I took my future husband to see NYCB he was convinced he didn't like ballet, at least not the Soviet variety he knew vaguely from childhood. But for him Balanchine was love at first sight. "If only I'd seen this sooner, I would have thought completely differently about ballet." He became an evangelist for Balanchine.

    (I also knew a man who compared Agon to aerobics, but I never dated him.)

  17. The National Ballet of Canada has announced rules about vaccination, masking and capacity limits:



    In adherence with the Province of Ontario’s implementation of a mandatory vaccination policy for theatres and concert halls, and to ensure the safety of our audiences, artists and staff, all patrons will be required to show proof of vaccination along with government issued ID when they enter the Four Seasons Centre to attend a performance by The National Ballet of Canada

    All audience members are required to wear a mask at all times, except when eating or drinking

    All children under the age of 12 will be required to provide proof of a negative rapid antigen or PCR COVID-19 test – Note: Children’s tickets will be discounted to offset the cost of the test

    In adherence with policies for indoor venues in Step Three of the Province of Ontario’s roadmap to recovery, the theatre will be operating at 50% capacity


    The company will set up a tent outside the theater entrance for checking vaccination records, and people are being encouraged to arrive up to an hour and a half before curtain.

    Full safety protocols:

    No children under 12 will be performing in The Nutcracker this season. Normally the company's production includes celebrity cameos in battle scene, but not this time around.

  18. 9 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

    ETA: I just took a quick stroll through some 1970's era photos of Ib Anderson, Bart Cook, Adams Luders, and Peter Martins and I'm pleased to report that their hair was long, free flowing, and most definitely not shellacked into immovable pompadours. 

    I agree completely that this looked much better. Moving hair enhances the kinetic quality of a dancer's movement. More voluminous hair is also better at disguising perspiration.

    It's also obvious that facelift buns weren't always standard for women. Recently I came saw a video of a different company dancing a black-and-white ballet, and the gleaming, immovable French twists almost made it appear that the women were wearing racing helmets. A figure-eight bun at least looks like a bun, not like a part of an elongated cranium. I do appreciate that a dancer wants to be certain her hair will stay put while she's turning. But I'm very open to a rethink.

  19. There have been dancers who alternate between bald and wigged depending on the ballet. For example, at the Royal Danish Ballet Jonathan Chmelensky goes bald in contemporary ballets, but wears a wig in narrative and tutu ballets, such as the company's stream of Ballo della Regina during the lockdown. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet had a soloist named Alexander Gamayunov who was bald in Forsythe, but wore a wig in The Nutcracker. In both cases the wig was a version of the standard danseur coiffure. (It has to be said that Gamayunov pulled off the bad-ass bald look as well as anyone.) In recent years the Bolshoi's Vyacheslav Lopatin has been wearing a toupee in roles that require him to appear very young, such as Romeo or Lensky. Since Ratmansky was mentioned earlier, Lopatin wore one in Lost Illusions years before he began to wear it in anything else.

  20. 3 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

    The sooner the company ditches those shellacked pompadours as the default danseur do, the better. Beards would be fine too.

    Okay, but given that the women wear standardized hairstyles depending on leotard, tutu or tiara, you can kind of see how a default hairstyle developed for the men as well. And if the women are gelled and sprayed into total sleekness because strays and bangs would be distracting, it's not surprising  that the men should also be sprayed into some degree of hair immobility. And this is more of a rhetorical question, but if the men were to start wearing facial hair, would unibrows become acceptable for the women? (And would NYT reviewers pass over the issue in silence?)

    I guess I bristle at the idea of men being afforded greater flexibility in these matters while the uniformity of the women's appearance goes unquestioned.

  21. Yes, many American opera houses and concert halls have also adopted the WHO list. If the U.S. accepts the WHO listings, it would be difficult to say no to Sinopharm or Sinovac, although there is undeniably a vaccine pecking order. AstraZeneca has also been vetted by drug regulators in the UK, EU, Canada, Japan and Australia. Sinopharm and Sinovac have not. (I'm at a loss to understand why AZ hasn't submitted its vaccine for FDA approval.)

    As for people worried about the fate of the Mariinsky's US tour, there's still the matter of the three Russian vaccines. The WHO and European Medicines Agency reviews of Sputnik-V have been stalled for months. The other two are still in phase 3 trials, but already being administered, and some dancers have received them.

  • Create New...