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vipa

Senior Member
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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Former ballet dancer, former ballet teacher, fan, ballet lover
  • City**
    New York
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    NY

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  1. I share abatt's hope and believe there will be a lot of movement in the ranks before things settle in. Is there official word on Sterling Hyltin? Did I miss something? I ask because she is not a big social media presence and, I believe, was on maternity leave pre-pandemic. She can fly below the radar, but is a favorite of mine. Also, I didn't buy a subscription for the first time in many years, but just bought tickets to a performance with a single ticket discount code. I noted that 3rd and 4th ring tickets are not for sale. Hope they figure out how to fill the house!
  2. IMO she gains nothing from lying but she is putting forth her point of view, perspective and memory. When the book comes out, I'll be interested in reading her POV and interpretation of events. Ballet is a tough profession. It's a zero zum game. If you're not cast in a role someone else is. GP was, by her own account in interviews, very aggressive in getting a Dew Drop performance. Her getting it meant that someone else didn't. There's a story there too! It's complicated.
  3. The NYT article on the GP book makes me think about how complicated things are, and how unusual the ballet world is in some ways. Thinking back to the dark ages when I was a dancer in a company, I am sometimes amazed at how young and experienced we were in many ways. Teenagers/young adults who are in a job situation in which, because of the focus ballet takes, didn't take the normal route to growing to adulthood. You are in a school/company with a lot of attractive people and touching is part of the job. In NYCB it's further complicated by the fact that so many young dancers are in the school together, spending time in each others dorm rooms, hanging out, being buddies. Looking at the way Ramasar's behavior was described, it's easy to say he should have known better, but at the same time if GP was a buddy who never objected but just laughed and rolled her eyes he might have thought it was their joke. On the other hand, it's easy to say Gina should have spoken up if she was offended but there are a zillion reasons why she may not have. I just don't see bad guys, good guys here. One thing that sadden me is that I've heard and read over a number of years, interviews with GP in which she says that if she had done Ballo in workshop, her career would have been different. Who knows? If she had messed up the performance she may have not had any career in NYCB. Even if she had done well she would still have had stiff competition for the tutu ballets she wanted. Dancers have leads in workshops every year, most of them don't become stars. Gina actually became a star in the company another way, Lastly, having a screaming match with your boss shouldn't be a point of pride IMO.
  4. I too wondered about Abi Stafford. She's had a very limited rep for a while. For the last couple of performance seasons, I've felt that casting her was taking needed opportunities from other dancers. She was never terrible but never great, and only useable (it seems) in a handful of ballets. She is about 40 years old. IMO it looks a bit bad for Jonathan Stafford to keep his sister employed in this way. Perhaps I don't know the whole picture.
  5. I for one have gotten nowhere with ABT Rockefeller Center ticket links, even from the ABT website. I'm assuming tickets are all taken. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Anyone been successful?
  6. This discussion is so interesting to me. The dance world is covering new ground. The above statement would hold true for any dancer that is hired in any company. If a dancer is not sufficiently useful in the rep and/or suffers repeated injuries and misses a lot of performances, that dancer is not likely to continue being employed. The goal of any dance company is to have dancers who fill the needs of the rep, and who can stay injury free enough to be useful. That is the bottom line in hiring, and re-hiring.
  7. I saw this. I don't know why I'm so lethargic about it, but I didn't subscribe and I'm willing to take my chances and buy single tickets when they go on sale Aug. 1. Maybe part of me can't believe we're truly post pandemic.
  8. I think Vienna Waltzes is one of those works that is best viewed live. Video somehow diminishes it. This particular video doesn't hold up well against the earlier version with the original cast for three reasons IMO, Von Aroldingen, Martins, Farrell. It's interesting to me that Peter Martins extraordinary career as a performer isn't mentioned more often. He and Karin Von Arondingen brought a real sophistication to their section. Reichlin and La Cour looked like they were play acting. Farrell's impact can't be overstated. Kowroski was sweet. It's not that I don't think a new crop of dancers can make as big an impact as the original cast, but I think there is a lack of imagination in casting. Height, seems to be a big factor in casting these roles. What if that wasn't a requirement? I was just thinking that Gina P seems to me to be a performer of some drama and depth. I know there is a big push for diversity in terms of who is asked to choreograph new works, and people of color being hired. Wouldn't it be interesting if casting for old works didn't get divided up by height, but other factors were deemed more important.
  9. vipa

    Sarah Lane

    The more I read here, and the more I think about it i agree that there is a lot missing. I wonder how her conversation about the unwanted partner evolved? It's hard to believe she marched in and said - I never want to dance with him, ever again. It would be interesting to know the progression that conversation took. On the other hand, she must have known that she has never been a Kevin M favorite. Making demands at all was risky. Obviously a risk she was willing to take. I agree with others that Sarah Lane is a rare talent. Yes, streaky in that sometimes her nerves get the better of her, but her port de bras, radiance and loveliness, when combined with technique (on her on shows) are magical. There are dancers who, deliver the goods no matter what, but who will never take you to another place.
  10. vipa

    Sarah Lane

    I understand she said she turned SFB down because she didn't want to be apart from her husband who was iABT corps at the time. I guess they couldn't make it work, but Maria Kochetkova was a principal in both companies for a time, which means the schedules were at least somewhat compatible. I guess every couple knows what works for them. Interesting that her husband stopped dancing and went into real estate for a while!
  11. vipa

    Sarah Lane

    Interesting interview. I always thought Lane was a special talent that was unappreciated at ABT. I saw that Aurora debut, all those years ago. She was a bit too smiley, but had a refreshing presence, touching moments and a technique that was spot on. Not bad for a first timer. I remember leaving the theater and saying to my husband that Sarah Lane had the goods. I truly expected her to sky-rocket from there. Obviously KM thought differently and had other considerations.
  12. I've been ignoring the idea of renewing my NYCB subscription, for a number of reasons, laziness included. I got an actual mailing today and looked through it. Some things bother me. Correct me if I've made factual errors. It seems they re doing Symphony in C on opening night and not again. Am I correct? Why rehearse for one show? Slaughter is on two different programs. I don't mind seeing it, occasionally but don't want to see it several times a year. There is a strong focus on new choreography. I know this is a particular love of Wendy Whelan's. I don't want NYCB to be a museum, however I do want it to remain unique. They do the Balanchine rep like no other company. Do I really need to see NYCB do so many works that other companies could do as well or better? Maybe I'm just an old fogey but I want more Balanchine rep, and more careful programing of the works. Needless to say I'm not convinced a subscription is a good idea this go-round.
  13. I loved the video. I totally accept that watching filmed dance is a different experience that watching a live performance, no matter how it's filmed, because the film maker is directing you eye. Sofia Coppola made convincing and often moving choices. I enjoyed watching several times, however, I will always prefer watching dance live and can't wait to get back to it. It is a different animal. Of course a choreographer directs your eye by structure and content, but as a viewer you have more freedom. You can say, for example, I've seen this ballet a dozen times but never focused on the corps, I think I'll pull out my opera glasses and do that. Or - who's that radiant dancer off to the side, I think I'll watch her. Film will always have the director's vision, as an added element, and is enjoyable on those terms.
  14. The Gala video had its ups and downs in my opinion. I'm looking forward to going to the theater and seeing live dance.
  15. Love this game/discussion. For my money Roja would be quite a catch. Directorial experience in a big company. background in the classics, promoter of new works and female choreographers.A fantasy that won't happen. I wonder how much say Ratmansky will have in the pick. One problem for me is that former principal dancers have name recognition but don't necessarily have directorship skills.
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