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Posts posted by vipa

  1. 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.

  2. 31 minutes ago, abatt said:

    I think Unity is a definite for the lead debut in Swan Lake.

    They already have so many ballerinas who do the role (Peck, Fairchild, Bouder, Mearns, Reichlin, Hyltin).

    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.

  3. 49 minutes ago, cobweb said:

    I'm trying to figure out if Chaconne is on the schedule for Winter or Spring, but it's hard to find that information quickly on the website (unless I'm missing some season overview page). Does anyone know if it's coming back? It definitely should!

    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.

  4. 2 hours ago, canbelto said:

    Well Tiler is amazing in Other Dances and she and Roman often dance together. I'm looking forward to it.

    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.

  5. 5 hours ago, mille-feuille said:

    I am convinced that the crowd would be in raptures if Ernie and Bert from Sesame Street were performing the After the Rain pas. I'm so sick of it but people eat it right up every time.

    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.

  6. 3 hours ago, canbelto said:

    Abi Stafford also made comments about how she didn't feel happy with the new regime in this Dance Magazine article:


    When Abi retired, Jon and Wendy did not come out and give her the traditional flowers. Jon and Wendy did do so for both Ask and Lauren, which makes me think Abi's retirement might not have been very cordial behind the scenes.

     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. 

  7. 9 minutes ago, nanushka said:

    Well, yeah, but personally I think it's a good thing when workers are appropriately compensated for their labor. I understand if there's a need for caution now, financially, but I certainly don't think promotions should be withheld for any sort of "motivational" purpose. Promote them and pay them, if they're dancing the roles.

    Until tonight, I had never truly gotten the appeal of Megan LeCrone. I loved her in Agon.

    Maria K was fantastic. Those legs will be missed.

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 1 hour ago, canbelto said:

    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.

  10. 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.












  11. 5 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

    I'm glad that they're giving new choreographers a chance. New ballets are always a gamble and the creative process enriches all the dancers, whether the ballets themselves are keepers or not. Who do you think they should be commissioning new works from?

    I haven't seen that many traditional ballet choreographers that interest me. Jessica Lang? Meh. I'm really not a fan of Ratmansky either. I like a lot of Christopher Wheeldon's work, but he seems to have moved on to more lucrative venues. Modern dance is traditionally where you would find someone willing to push the envelope. If Bill T Jones had any interest in ballet I'd love to see what he would do. Mark Morris, too, but they are both busy with their own companies. Kyle Abraham has been a huge success, imo, and Wendy brought him to NYCB. Kudos! People pooh-pooed Twyla Tharp when she first choreographed for ballet dancers. She is one of the few who is interested in ballet technique and the ballet idiom, but they'd be lucky to get her now. Finding choreographers is always a challenge and I think Wendy is trying to stay ahead of the curve, which is where new work at City Ballet belongs.

    In the vein of this conversation it would also be interesting to look at the reviews Balanchine got in his day. Not everyone was ready for him either, and not everyone considered it ballet. 

    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. 

  12. 4 hours ago, JuliaJ said:

    That might be the most scathing review of an NYCB program I've read, at least in the NYT. Maybe the company should stick to hiring choreographers with more ballet experience.

    I wish reviewers would move on from the Ramasar drama already. 

    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. 

  13. 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. 

  14. 34 minutes ago, cobweb said:

    Tonight’s Pulcinella Variations served as a terrific showcase for the dancers. Young new corpsman KJ Takahashi got a burst of applause after his solos. Emma von Enck was a ferocious bolt of energy during hers. Unity Phelan carries herself like a principal, nothing less. I look forward to seeing her in many great ballerina roles. For me the highlight was seeing new soloist Chu Wai Chan. First impression: EXCELLENT!!! Super clean, good height in the air, partners Miriam Miller with aplomb, and an irresistible smile, confidence, poise, all of the above - charisma. Glad to see him here!

    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!

  15. 19 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

    I was wondering if any among you had seen the ballet, Ballade, music by Gabriel Fauré? It was choreographed on Merrill Ashley and Ib Andersen in 1980,  towards the end of Balanchine's life. In her book she says she injured her hip shortly after the premiere so it wasn't performed much. NYCB seemed to do a deep dive in restaging Haieff Concerto before the pandemic and I hope they don't let the opportunity pass to restage Ballade. Both Ms Ashley and Ib Andersen are still working, setting Balanchine ballets.  There do seem to be pictures of it from the post-Balanchine era so maybe it isn't in danger of being lost. I am just curious to see it.

    Has anyone seen it? Do you think it would add to NYCB's current repertoire? Who might dance it? Does anyone know which dancers are pictured performing it on the NYCB rep page linked here? Is the woman Miranda Weise?


    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. 


  16. 13 hours ago, susanger said:

    I thought the orchestra should have played Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September”. After all, it was a memorable 21st night of September. 😘

    Do you remember, 21st night of September?
    Love was changing the mind of pretenders
    While chasing the clouds away
    Our hearts were ringing
    In the key that our souls were singing
    As we danced in the night
    How the stars stole the night away, oh yeah

    susanger this has to be one of the best ideas ever! Ha, ha everyone would have been dancing in their seats!

  17. On 3/4/2021 at 11:14 AM, cobweb said:

    And yet, I still found her radiant enough that I was irresistibly drawn to see her in the role again. 

    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.

  18. 1 hour ago, California said:

    Tickets went on sale today (Sunday, 9/19) for Fall for Dance Festival. I have never been to this Festival before, but coincidentally will be in town for one performance, so I thought I'd try. Logged on the minute they opened (11 am EDT) and was in the waiting room for an hour. But I'm surprised at how good the seat is. I am a Friend at the lowest level and have no idea if that might have anything to do with it. No seat selection, but okay.

    I had no problem, just now, buying tickets for programs 4 & 5 with no wait. Some shows now say limited availability but there are definitely tickets to be had.

  19. I saw the movie today at the Film Forum in NYC. I loved the footage of Balanchine teaching and rehearsing, and the audio of him speaking. There were also many stunning photos. Overall I think it will be enjoyable for any ballet fan, especially NYCB fans. That said, I don't think it was very well structured or focused as a documentary. It jumped around from Balanchine teaching, to various people coaching, to bits of NYCB history, to interviews, back to teaching and coaching, etc. It ended with wondering about the future of Balanchine works, but getting there was not a steady progression. It's hard for me to imagine what a casual ballet watcher would make of it. I agree that the choice of people interviewed was probably not the best. Lisa de Ribere seemed a particularly strange choice to me. Never-the-less, I did enjoy it.

  20. 5 hours ago, The Traveling Ballerina said:

    Hahaha, yes, you will definitely hear Villella's story! I was surprised that some dancers aren't even mentioned by name (although Suzanne Farrell is not an interviewee shown, she is discussed) nor given verbal screen time - Kay Mazzo's perspective was one I was really missing. Who were you hoping to see?

    Thanks for the review. I just purchased tickets for a NYC Film Forum showing. Some shows seemed to be sold out, and others have plenty of seats. I suggest that NYC folks get tickets now.

  21. 2 hours ago, cobweb said:

    Per Fairchild, one cast consists of herself, Gerrity, and Mearns. That must mean there's a second cast, likely consisting of Bouder, LeCrone (or Reichlen), and ... ?

    Yes, I saw a LeCrone post that she was cast, but she didn't mention the other principals.

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