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Posts posted by vipa

  1. 50 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

    I understood that part of the article completely differently. I took it as her first SL rehearsal back, a few weeks ago (the author mentions it being the beginning of last month) where she decided to stop at 10 fouettés even though she felt fine. She was never "having difficulty" with the step, she was just being cautious and, like a good athlete, building her strength and endurance step by step, over time.

    For example, you don't return from an ankle injury and do two hours of hops on pointe the first day. You do a few hops on day one and add hops each day to strengthen yourself and to be sure your body holds up. I found it funny that Tiler is quoted as saying she used to consider fouettés a "rest step." If her endurance and her health hold I see no reason to doubt her fouettés.

    I agree, I think the point of the fouette mention was that in that initial rehearsal she was going to do 10 turns, ended up doing straight doubles and then stopped and said she thought it would be fine. I wouldn't be worried about the fouettes.

  2. On 2/7/2020 at 10:01 AM, Sal said:

    I think what Brandt is experiencing at ABT is what a lot of dancers experience during their careers. It's a subjective art and ADs are super subjective -- sometimes a dancer is going to be in favor and sometimes, or for some dancers, most times,  they're not going to be the favorite, ever. I think Brandt shows a lot of character and grit by going after a role she wants and one that she thinks she can do well.  More power to her! I hope her performance goes so well that she gets more Giselle performances in the future. She's taking an active role in her professional and artistic growth and not passively sitting back waiting for the powers that be to grant her opportunities.  So many dancers end their careers deeply frustrated and resentful because they feel they didn't achieve their potential or weren't recognized for what they have to offer. No matter what, at least Brandt will know she stood up for herself. 

    I quite agree. There are many things in a dance career (or any career), that an individual has no control over. Brandt took action. She spoke more frankly to Kevin M, paid for coaching, put in hours of hard work on her own time, and put the results out there. Good for her. 

    On another note, I seem to remember that Sarah Lane got coaching from Irina and Max, before her ABT Giselle debut. The article mentioned that Boylston is now seeking their coaching. It seems that quite a number of ABT dancers are getting coached on their own time & dime.

  3. On 1/23/2020 at 2:17 PM, ABT Fan said:

    I saw that clip. Wonderful!

    She also recently posted a long clip of Nikiya. Also, beautiful.

    She has been posting many clips and many of the with Cornejo. I particularly enjoyed her 2nd act Giselle clip. Her Giselle was one of the best I've seen.

  4. I started studying ballet before I actually saw a ballet. Living in NYC I was lucky in that I could see (be taken to) NYCB, ABT and visiting companies. 5 ballets that I remember opening my eyes:


    Theme and Variations

    Apollo (The opening music had such an impact)

    Intermezzo (Feld ballet done by ABT. Wonder if anyone else remembers it. I don't know if I'd like it now, but back then it swept me away)

    Lilac Garden (Tudor. The moment of pause took my breath away)

  5. 3 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

    I didn't really take Brandt's Instagram posts to be an audition for T&V, as I believe she was dancing the demi-soloist role in all the videos she posted. If they'd shown her rehearsing bits of the principal role, then I'd feel differently. They certainly highlighted her technical prowess, but then again, so do all of her videos.

    I agree, and I really like these postings. Even though I've seen the ballet many, many times there are sections in which I'm so focused on the principal that I don't pay a lot of attention to the demi-soloists. This gave me a new appreciation for how much dancing they do, and how difficult it is. 

  6. I've been following the NYCB season and see more clearly that the NYTimes doesn't review dance anymore. They review plays, art exhibits, music etc. but not dance. Instead there are articles about dancers.  Is there a reason for this? My husband sings in a amateur (but well know) chorus which has been reviewed by a Times music critic several times recently. What's up with dance? 

  7. Agree with the Lane Cornejo distress. It is a paring that the AD should promote. It's pretty obvious that Lane has never been a favorite of the AD's, I'm still a bit surprised she ever got promoted. Now she's finally getting one Juliette. A role that she is incredibly suited for. Sorry all of you Trenary fans (I like her too). I think Trenary could have waited another year for the role and Lane could have been given two. As for Giselle, Lane is one of the best I've seen. To give her one (and a matinee) is wrong. The Giselle casting is not a ticket sale consideration - it's the AD's taste.

    Here's my thing about Lane. She is more a complete artist than most of the other female principals, and she has grown. Given half a chance, she could be one of the great dramatic ballerinas.  IMO Hee and Boylston have their strengths, but haven't really grown since becoming principals. Copeland should be giving up some of the roles she was never suited for. 

    I agree with others, that if Lane wants opportunities, for the 4 to 6 years she has left in her career, she should go elsewhere. He husband is in ABT, but as a corps member in his 30's,  he doesn't have a lot more years there anyway.  But, I certainly have no insights into how she feels about the whole thing. I just know that the ABT casting makes ticket buying a challenge for this ballet fan.


  8. 1 hour ago, nanushka said:

    Pretty underwhelming T&V tonight. Those tempi are just awful — everything ends up so disconnected, step pause step pause step. No sense of the phrasing, which was especially deadening in the PDD.

    I just got back tonight. I'm going to use a word to describe T&V that I rarely use when describing a performance - bad. This from a long time Sarah Lane fan.  As nanushka said - awful tempi and unnecessary stops and starts have a deadening effect and take the driving pulse out of the piece. Performance wise the trouble started in the opening theme when Lane somehow moved downstage so much that she was far from in line with Gorak. She tried to correct but couldn't, so the little bow they do to each other, before exiting, had no connection between them, because they weren't next to each other. The tone was set! Gorak approached the whole thing with determination. I give him credit for executing the pirouette/double tours sequence well, after reading it was a problem in the last performance. Still he danced everything as if he was getting through the steps. He didn't cover space, have breadth, musicality or elegance - just getting through. It was pretty much the same for Lane. To me it seemed a joyless performance - getting through the steps. It was OK until the solo after the adagio with the girls supporting her. The solo started OK but, in the diagonal, she did some weird catch steps to keep going. The biggest problem was the traveling across stage step with the pas de chat - pirouette. She didn't finish the turn front enough so had to face front with the pas de chat (sorry if I'm getting too much into specifics). It got worse each time until she stumbled slightly. The finishing turns into a big fourth had a stumble too. Then came the pas de deux. Don't these people have coaches? Lacking in musicality, shaping, dynamics - just step after step. At the very end, Gorak barely got Lane up into the shoulder sit. She was on the edge of his shoulder. I could go on and on about the missing moments that make this piece amazing. I'll just say there were a lot.

    A Gathering of Ghosts - I'm not sure why there were named characters. Cornejo looked great and I found myself wishing Tharp had just choreographed a solo for him. Not a memorable piece IMO.

    Seasons - I always find this delightful (if a bit too long). I missed Sarah Lane as Rose. She brings something special to it. Everyone looked good. I wish Boylston would do something about her port de bra. Brandt continues to impress and Trenery continues to have a delightful performance quality.

    All in all not a great night at the ballet!

  9. I just wanted to add a comment about Bugaku. Allegra Kent had a movement quality that had some, what one could call, mannerisms, quirks, personality, etc  It included the way she tended to tilt her head, moved, shaped her hands etc. It always seemed to me that Mr. B. incorporated the things that were in Allegra's natural movement quality, into Bugaku and exaggerated them. As for the ballet today. Frankly I was uncomfortable with it back in the day. It's hard for me to imagine a dancer today being comfortable doing it. I'd be curious to see the whole thing done in leotards without sets, to see if it works, but I don't think casting Asian dancers is the answer.

    I don't think Porgy and Bess is a comparable work of art, for a many reasons. I love Balanchine but I could stomach losing Bugaku, it's not great Balanchine. Porgy and Bess on the other hand, I believe is great music and even in the 1930's, when it was written, Gershwin insisted on black singers instead of singers in black face. As far as accurate depictions - we are talking opera.

  10. 2 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

    I think both Abraham's The Runaway and Peck's Pulchinella Variations with their attendant designer togs delivered big time, and I will die on that hill. 😉

    I haven't seen The Runaway but enjoy and admire Peck's Pulchinella Variations. However, I don't thing the designer designs particularly enhance it. I believe it's a strong enough ballet to survive costumes that may be less than ideal.


  11. 29 minutes ago, cobweb said:

    . Take the tutus. They are split open in the front, and pull up sharply in back, exposing the rear end. I can't quite tell how to take this. Is it meant to be shocking? Humorous? Doing something crazy just for the sake up making a statement that this is different? All I get is that she's taking a starting point, say traditional norms, and opposing it - rather than presenting new ideas, or ideas towards some new vision.  I also found it overwrought generally. Even if the message were clearer, as a dance piece I didn't find it very pleasing. Would hesitate to see again. Great use of Georgina Pazcoguin, though. 

    Thanks for the review Cobweb. When I saw the Lovette piece, I didn't know what make of the costumes and even thought them silly. Then I saw an interview with Lovette in which she said that the costumes were something of a surprise to her, and sent her in a different direction choreographically. That reminded me that the fall season has the fashion designer tie-in. I believe it's a Sarah Jessica Parker innovation that keeps going, in which a fashion designer is assigned to a choreographer. The extent to which they work together seems to vary. If the fashion gimmick brings in a lot of interest, donor dollars and ticket sales that's fine. If it no longer serves that function it should be dropped, because it doesn't serve the ballets particularly well. 

  12. 8 hours ago, cobweb said:

    There is a video on the New York Times "Speaking in Dance" series, showing Mearns rehearsing MacDonald of Sleat. Wearing a halter-top bike-short leo, she looks fabulous. 

    Thank you Cobweb. I just checked it out. she does look fabulous

    13 hours ago, sohalia said:

    Maybe I missed this, but how long will Tiler Peck be out? I gather she's injured since she's not cast anywhere.

    I believe she's been out since last April. If I remember correctly, she said in an interview that it was a herniated disc. 

  13. I just returned from tonights performance and had a lovely time. Opus 19/The Dreamer is not one of Robbin's best works IMO. It has a lot of the folk dance motifs he uses in other works. It's not a distinctive or memorable piece. It was done as a vehicle  for Baryshnikov, but I can't imagine his performance made a whole lot of difference. Anyway, it's pleasant enough and tonight, Garcia's movement quality served him well and Hyltin was absolutely beautiful - musical, lovely, responsive. 

    The Shaded Line, the new Lovette piece was interesting. It had the feel of a choreographer working things out - moving groups, creating drama & tension, partnering etc. The gender bending aspect was interesting, and clearly another part of Lovette's explorations. Frankly, I was confused by the costumes. Some seemed silly, so I wasn't sure what to do with that. For me the whole thing didn't quite hold together but it held my interest and left me thinking about it. I look forward to seeing more of Lovette's work.

    Lineage - Edward Liang's piece was quite enjoyable. He played to everyone's strength - Mejia's virtuosity, Kowroski's legginess, Bouder's strength and speed - etc. It was an enjoyable mix. I felt the Mearns/Jansen pas the most interesting. My only criticism of the piece was the abrupt and anti climactic ending. BTW Mearn and Bouder look incredibly athletic and fit - beautiful to behold!

    Symphony in C is always fun. Fairchild seems to be in her prime as a ballerina - radiant, secure, playing with the music. Gordon was great. He is so technically secure that a minor glitch is only - a minor glitch. I have never been a Reichlin fan. I root for her - there is a real earnestness to her dancing, but, except in Rubies, I have trouble liking her.  Despite her tall legginess I never feel a regalness (is that a word) or amplitude. In tonight's performance she seemed tentative at times. Jared Angle (who looks out of shape) was a flawless partner. Not many man could partner her the way he did. Baily Jones was exuberant in third movement. Villarini-Velez danced well. His four pirouettes finishing up, seemed to surprise him! Erica Pereira (never a favorite of mine) looked great in fourth movement along with Scordato. 

    Symphony in C always leaves me smiling! The show seemed fairly well attended but they didn't open the 4th ring.

  14. 10 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

    Sarah Lane has been replaced as The Rose in The Seasons by Zimmi Coker (for both of Lane's previously scheduled performances). These are on the same programs that Lane is cast in T&V, so perhaps it was thought it would be too much in one performance. Good for Coker, who keeps getting bigger roles, and it'll be great to see her in this, but I'll be disappointed to not see Lane.


    I expected this to happen. I was surprised to see her in two ballets on a T&V show. 

  15. 7 hours ago, aurora said:

    Hasn't paid her dues?

    So we criticize the company for not promoting people fast enough, and then we criticize dancers for wanting more?


    She joined the company in 2011 and was made a soloist in 2015. She's been dancing leading roles for several years now. I think she's paid her dues.

    I agree, and I say more power to her. She put in hours of hard work (not to mention coaching money) working on Giselle. If she proved to Kevin M. (and anyone looking for a guest Giselle) that she can do a role they might not have thought of her for, that's great. This was not some easy gimmick or publicity stunt. This was work she was willing to put in when the only guaranteed reward was artistic growth.

  16. 5 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

    No Nutcracker. Your friend might get bored during Act I. Any of the other options mentioned here might work better. Symphony in C is definitely the big winner, as the one with the most "classical" choreo, and amazing, easy on the ears "musique dansante"-(if your friend agrees with both Ana Pavlova and myself re ballet music, she will find "Rubies" hard to digest, both music and choreo wise). Valse Fantaisie would also be a delightful intro to the art form. Ballet Imperial I'm not sure. It is beautiful, but can be dense.

    Cubanmiamiboy's comments made me realize how helpful it is to know a first timer's background.  Opera lover?  Watches dancing with the stars? Tastes in music? etc. 


  17. I agree with Drew that Kammermusik 2 can ask a lot, and that Jewels is a great bet. Maters at Work as suggested by FPF is a good idea too. I can't think of a better introduction to ballet than Serenade.

    Now you have doing fantasy programing for newbies!

    I'm still iffy about Nutcracker. I don't think I'd take a newbie. 

  18. 6 hours ago, Drew said:

    I'm not a fan of Nutcracker as an introduction to ballet -- though that is probably an unpopular opinion.  (Think of all the people who go to Nutcracker every year, year after year, but never attend another ballet. And it plays into the incorrect idea that ballet is somehow especially linked to recitals by and for children.)

    If I were choosing, then from the programs you list I'd probably pick a classic NYCB program, (depending on the ballets). But what about  Jewels? Jewels has three "different" ballets, different in mood, music etc. Your friend gets exposed to different ways ballet can appeal. And all of the ballets--Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds, are "accessible" and sophisticated at once. And it has always been a very popular ballet with audiences. I know NYCB is dancing Jewels this Fall season at least....

    I agree about Nutcracker, Drew. There are a lot of kids and it has a lot of spots that can sag. I believe the program NYCB is calling Classic NYCB is: Opus 19/Dreamer, New Lovette, New Liang and Symphony in C.  I don't get why it's called Classic NYCB. The all Balanchine program is: Valse Fantaisie, Kammermusik 2 and Union Jack. That might be good for a first timer. However, I agree that Jewels might be the best idea. 3 different styles, moods, composers with lots of corps work as well as solos and partnering. Individual dancers get a chance to shine. Finding particular dancers engaging, is often a hook for first timers.

  19. 4 hours ago, nanushka said:

    I guess I'm just uncomfortable with the idea that Gillian should retire roles merely because of those numbers (that she's 40, that she's been a principal for 17 years, etc.) in and of themselves. (Similar for her coming back from maternity leave.)

    If the quality of her dancing has deteriorated, I think that should be the determining factor. But just because she's hit certain numbers or had a baby — obviously, those details may relate to a loss of technique, but they don't in and of themselves indicate it.

    That's why I'm more comfortable with the argument that Gillian has perhaps never been a natural Giselle in the first place.

    I don't disagree but I believe an AD also has to be realistic about how many more years a dancer has, and what opportunities younger dancers are being given in order to develop. This should play a role in casting decisions. As has been stated before, ABT has particular challenges because so much of the rep is comprised of full lengths and there are not a lot of performance opportunities.  Given all of that, I see nothing wrong with an AD reducing Murphy's rep to give younger dancers opportunities, if that's what makes for a healthy company in the long term.

  20. 15 hours ago, nanushka said:

    This has come up a few times here, and it makes me wonder — Is this a question now because Murphy was never a great fit for Giselle to begin with? or because of her age?

    If the latter, had her dancing really shown such clear signs of age-related deterioration pre-maternity that it would seem time for the AD to be encouraging her to retire such roles?

    (Obviously, having had a baby presents its own further complications, but we really don't know now in what shape Murphy will return from that; it's my understanding that some dancers do better with this than others, and Murphy seems pretty strong and hard-working.)

    For me, Murphy is not a natural Giselle, but I recognize that she can bring a lot of technique and stage smarts to the role. The question for me is, is it wiser for an AD to give a 40 year old ballerina coming back from maternity leave another shot at Giselle, or should he give another shot to Lane (a natural Giselle in her prime in the role) or first shots to Brandt or Trenary. There are winners and losers, but I come down on the side of not giving Murphy the role, and going with one of the other possibilities. Murphy has had a long career and has danced both Myrtha and Giselle. 

    I've heard Sara Mearns talk about giving up Lilac Fairy. One of the things she said was that it was time for younger dancers to get a chance at it. Granted NYCB is a different animal - more shows, more rep, more to go around. 

  21. 43 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

    Isn't it a question of there just not being enough performances to go around? ABT's seasons aren't all that long and the rep has SO many full-lengths meaning there are only two or sometimes three principals per performance. There are never going to be enough opportunities in a company that size, imo. I remember this same conversation from the 1970's with a critic commenting that the ballerinas were either "dying to get into a role or dying to get out."

    I agree that the rep and number of shows is part of the problem, BalanchineFan. There was a time when ABT did long tours. They were tough, but dancers had opportunities to perform a role numerous times and I know one former soloist who got some Swan Lakes on tour (she never did it in NY). ABT's current reality is what it is. Casting decisions are hard when there is so little to go around. I still question the wisdom of the current system. IMO Abrera is a wonderful dancer who missed her prime, with a late promotion. Lane is in her prime. Brandt is more than ready. Should Murphy really come back to Giselle? I guess I'm glad I'm not an AD!!

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