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Everything posted by vipa

  1. In the midst of all the Giselle reviews I thought I'd say a word about this afternoon's Fall for Dance show. Ratmansky's Fandango - Roman Mejia again showed that he has it all - technique, musicality, command of the stage. Totally enjoyable performance. Tiler Peck and Herman Cornejo did Justin Peck's, Bloom (homage to Tshai Pas). The piece plays to their strengths. Herman seemed ageless, Tiler Peck radiant and joyful through-out, particularly in a spontaneous seeming sequence of turns. I do wonder how someone not familiar with Tchai Pas would view the piece. Last up was Ayodele Casel, and her company. She is a tap dancer/choreographer extraordinaire. Engaging piece with a fine singer and fresh arrangements of familiar songs. The program was just over an hour (no intermissions) and a fun time! I have gave up on going to see Giselle some time ago. I made an exception some years ago for Alina Cojocaru, and was rewarded beyond my wildest imagination. A few years after that I made an exception for Sarah Lane, and was again royally rewarded. Maybe I'll make another exception some day, but in the meantime thank you for all your reviews and thoughts for this years ABT season of Giselle.
  2. One thing about ABT tickets. I know a new ballet fan who used the discount code, but was really turned off by the service fee, facility fee & costume restoration fee. The fees cancelled out her discount and she was so annoyed she ended up not buying the ticket. I see her point. Honesty in ticket purchases would be helpful IMO if you want new fans in the seats. What does a newbie care about costume restoration, and why a service charge for an online interaction?
  3. I have 2 tickets for Fall for Dance at City Center. Friday, Oct. 22. 8pm show. Unfortunately I can't use them so I'm giving them away. Mezzanine Left, Row B, Seats 23 and 25. PM me if you're interested.
  4. In my view the essay was about way more than the Nutcracker review, or the reviews of other critics. The heart of the matter is the art form, and the way we "value" some bodies over others. I don't think there is a way around that. The question then becomes, what is the appropriate way to criticize a dancer? I've heard people say Lovette wasn't enjoyable in the After the Rain pas because she is small, and to do justice to the choreography a longer limbed dancer is needed. I have argued with friends about Daniel Ulbricht who I believe has always been underutilized. I have friends that say his thighs are too thick, and his lines not suitable for many roles. Before Megan Fairchild's Broadway run, Alistair was relentlessly critical of her. Was that all right because he never had reason to mention her weight? Is it allowable to be critical of neck length, flexibility of feet, height of extensions etc. but not allowable to criticize a woman's weight, or the thickness of her thighs or waist? (I'm not saying it should be). When we think about diversity of body types in ballet, how much diversity are we willing to tolerate? I for one think it's complicated, and the article left me asking myself a lot of questions.
  5. They were both in Vale this summer. Not dancing together, but at the same festival.
  6. I found the Alistair essay quite interesting. He brought up a lot of ideas that, IMO, can be difficult to grapple with. In ballet, we deem one body as better than another. I've read over and over how incredible Maria Kowroski's legs are and how seeing those legs in Slaughter or Agon etc. was special (and I agree). Some viewers didn't think Lovette suited to After the Rain, because of her small size. We look for some kind of "perfection" in ballet, and perfection can mean different things to different people. I remember the review that started the controversy, and was appalled. Jennifer Ringer was always lovely in her response. At the same time this essay gave me a lot to think about. For the record, I've know make dancers and ice skaters with eating disorders. There is a higher incidence for women no doubt, but it afflicts men too.
  7. Agree about Unity. It also could be that one of the ladies on the list will drop it from her rep for any number of reasons. Time will tell.
  8. I don't think Chaconne is going in the Winter or Spring. I love the ballet and wish we had more Chaconne and less La Valse and Slaughter! On another topic, it will be interesting to see who is cast in Swan Lake.
  9. Tiler Peck is indeed amazing in Other Dancing. It is a perfect vehicle for her because there is so much space for musicality. I hope Bouder isn't injured, or if she is it is minor. What a bummer it would be to be injured just when the company is coming back.
  10. I so want to see the Ernie and Bert version of After the Rain pas! What ever happened to the rest of that ballet? I've never seen it. As for Bransle Gay in Agon, I used to love Savannah Lowery. Her big, expansive style was great. I really miss her.
  11. Personally I thought Abi Stafford should have retired a while ago. She hadn't carried a full principal load for quite some time. Seems like she did Kammermusik and Concerto Barrocco, maybe some Ratmansky and not much else. She attended law school and managed to stay on the roster until she graduated and was ready to enter the job market as a lawyer.
  12. I noticed it too. I don't know the ballet as well as I do some others, and briefly wondered if it was by design.
  13. Just throwing out there, there is a pay differential in most contracts, for corps members doing soloist roles. I'm not familiar with NYCB's contract specifically, but I wouldn't assume that a corps member gets corps pay regardless of how many soloist or principal roles they do.
  14. Just saw the Friday show. Had a wonderful time. I'll leave others to comment on La Valse. Not one of my favorite ballets, so I'm interested in other reviewers. Other Dances reinforced my opinion that Tiler Peck is a dance genius. The blend of imagination, musicality and technique is extraordinary. The timing of even the smallest developpe brought out some musical nuance. Gonzalo Garcia was charming and wonderful. They looked great together. After the Rain with Lovette and Chamblee was lovely. It's a great vehicle for Lovette. I have to say that during the piece she was trying to connect with him, and he was a bit more business like! Agon - A ballet a could see a thousand times. Kowroski still looks great in the pas. Huxley, Sara Adams and Ashley Hod were the first trio. Hod and Adams are having good seasons. Huxley gets better and better. In Bransle Gay I thought Megan LeCrone looked cautious and tight. My husband disagreed. When entering the the theater the electronic reader was unable to scan bar codes on phones, so a bunch of us had to stand on line to get paper tickets. Not a big deal, but it did slow things down. Also, I noted that the house was pretty full, with some folks up on the 4th ring. Interestingly there seemed to be a lot of younger people there (younger to me, so 30's and 40's), yet it seemed to be a knowledgable crowd. It was clear the audience knew who was retiring. I wonder if this says anything about NYCB's outreach, publicity, social media or anything.
  15. Thanks Canbelto, I hadn't seen the official word. Does this mean promotions are done? I thought there would be more. IMO the principal rank on the male side is growing a bit thin with 3 retirees and the limited rep of some of the men. The women's soloist rank is a bit thin too, with King retiring, Phelan and Woodward promoted to principal, and (I believe) Pollack & Pereira on maternity.
  16. Just got back from Tuesday night performance. So great to be back at NYCB. I want to share my thoughts. Monumentum and Movements was my first look at Mira Nadon and she is wonderful. Poise, presence and projection in spades and musically sensitive even in this sometimes thorny music. I can't wait to see her in other things. My first time seeing Rotunda. I won't go out of my way to see it again, but I won't avoid a program because it is there. I enjoyed seeing so many of these dancers again. Indian Woodward still lights up the stage, Unity Phelan still had a warm yet glam presence. Daniel Ulbricht is still a great performer - and so many others were wonderful to see again. Gonzalo Garcia looked great in his solo. His movement quality was strong and fluid. However, part way through the solo I realized that any music or no music could be playing, and that would be fine. The piece on the whole isn't terribly musical. Justin Peck's strength is moving groups around, but partnering is sometimes so tight and busy, with the couple working so close together that there is not enough space or breath to see pictures, lines or register anything. Bottom line is I won't avoid it! Chaconne is a great work (shocking statement I know). I was pleasantly surprised by Teresa Reichlen's performance. For some reason I couldn't imagine her in this role, but she had speed, wit and elegance. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I feel terrible saying this. Tyler Angle is a great partner, and I"m sure that's why he is cast in some ballets but IMO he doesn't look good in this. I won't go on about it, because I have a deep respect for him and his contributions to the company but there are role he should retire if he can. Anyway, the corps looked great in Chaconne.Claire Von Enck was going along splendidly as the lead in the Pas de Cinq, until she had a nasty flop. She recovered nicely, and it's good to see her in a solo part. Lauren King had some difficulties with her turns in her Pas de Deux, and finished looking a bit less radiant that her usual self. On another note: To enter with proof of vaccine, there was one line for Clear Pass & Empire Pass and a separate line for folks with vaccine cards. Folks with vaccine cards and Empire Pass also had to show ID. I had Clear which has a picture as part of the vaccine pass. The performance began on time. I'll be back on Friday. Can't wait.
  17. An interesting discussion. In recent years, a couple of things have come to my mind when seeing new works at NYCB. First - did the choreographer use the abilities of these particular dancers to the max? Second - Do I need to see NYCB do this work? 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. Seeing that same work done by a little known company, at the Joyce Theater would have been fine. I relish seeing Balanchine and Robbins at NYCB because the company does those works like no other. I'm not a great Ratmansky fan, but when I watch the works he choreographed on NYCB I can see the company in those works. If I was hiring choreographers I'd definitely want to know - what about this company and these dancers makes you think different.
  18. So agree about Ramasar. I don't see the need to bring that up. I don't find it jarring to see him onstage, and don't want a rehash of that whole situation. As far as the rest of the review, it seems the evening is what I'd expect. At some point TPTB decided that it would be a good move to have a gala that merged the fashion and dance worlds, and the "fashion gala" was born. It's a money move IMO, and that's not criticism. I don't think anyone ever expected great art to emerge from pairing choreographers with fashion designers. It's not that great art couldn't happen but the odds are against it.
  19. I just rented the ENB film of Akram Khan's Giselle. It is $7.99 for unlimited viewing over 3 days. Absolutely riveting. The creation of atmosphere, drama and character is fantastic. There was a scene between Giselle and Albrecht in which I could have sworn I heard them talking. The group dancing is beyond powerful. The Willis are primal and scary. I loved it and would jump at the chance to see it live. ENB doesn't tour here, but I'd love an American company to take it on.
  20. Oh no, I will miss her radiant presence.
  21. Nice to hear Cobweb. I have to admit I avoid Pulcinella Variation because of the costumes! I just find them so distracting and IMO they don't at all enhance the movements of the dancers. Thank you for the report!
  22. I don't know what dancers are in that picture, but Merrill Ashley spoke about the ballet when interviewed by Meagan Fairchild. From what she said, it seems unlikely to go back into the rep.
  23. susanger this has to be one of the best ideas ever! Ha, ha everyone would have been dancing in their seats!
  24. I too was drawn to her radiance as Aurora, and because the role was right for her in so many ways, I hoped she would grow stronger in the technical aspects. As others have said, she was warm, lovely and brought a special beauty to many other roles. On the other hand she was sometimes cast in roles, Odette/Odile for example, that were way, way beyond her technical limitations. A mistake on management's part IMO. I wish her well as a choreographer, and hope some of her works having staying power.
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