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Everything posted by fondoffouettes

  1. While I think it is extremely rude to shout out during the middle of the performance, I really do wish people would not applaud so early or so frequently. In my opinion New York audiences honestly tend to be so provincial in their knowledge of ballet that they applaud awkwardly and at moments that are not proper. Too much applause makes me think I'm at a sporting event. It always makes me feel so uneasy when they applaud when Siegfried throws himself off the precipice during the finale of Swan Lake. I'm not a fan of the Tosca-like ending, anyways, but it just makes it worse when people applaud during it. Do they know that Odette and Siefried are killing themselves and that it's not just a jumping contest? My other pet peeve is when people applaud after every dramatic or pronounced coda in the music, even if there was no remarkable dancing leading up to that coda. Well, I was watching a Russian video of Coppelia (or perhaps it was some other ballet) in which audience members were clapping to the music--at least we don't have that problem!
  2. I've come up with another objection to the overture, although you may not be able to comment on today's version. After von Rothbart grabs the young Odette and lifts her in the air, she is lifted and held in a series of stark, rapidly shifting positions, before the part with the stuffed swan. The unnecessarily "posy" and dramatic nature of each of those Odette positions does not seem in keeping with any other part of the ballet. Those positions are even more dramatic and rapidly placed together than certain very tension-filled moments in the ballet later on. So I think the choreographic style in the prelude is not appropriately matched to the remainder of the ballet. I've never thought about that aspect, but I think you are entirely right. Between the loose hair, flowy dress, and series of rapid, dramatic lifts and poses, it almost seems like something that belongs in a MacMillan ballet.
  3. I first saw ABT's Swan Lake four or five years ago with Gillian as Odette/Odile. Since that time, she has seemed to improve her artistry and build on her already impressive technique. I agree with Ambonnay that something felt unemotional and slightly unsatisfying about her portrayal. She has obviously tried to soften her Odette and add nuance to her arm gestures and expression, which is a welcome change. Her black swan was very exciting, as expected. Whenever she appears on stage in that black costume with her seemingly lavender-white skin, I can only think of Madame X. Her fouettes were spectacular; she incorporated wild swam arm gestures during her triples. Angel's Siegfried was certainly very good, but lacked the finesse and energy he's brought to the role in years past. His jumps weren't as buoyant; his turns weren't as buttery smooth. It is strange to see Angel appear as if he's not completely engaged in a role. It's hard for me to judge Savaliev objectively in his role as Rothbart because David and Marcelo inhabit the character so completely... Jared, Stella, and Maria were all very secure and clean in the peasant pas de trois; it wasn't the over-the-top virtuosic pas de trois that Cornejo has created in past years, but it was very satisfying and musical. Stella wasn't quite as buoyant as she sometimes is, but still very lovely and expressive. I was worried about her earlier this season when she was pulled from some roles, but it's great to see her dancing so well again. My new technique for 'coping' with the stuffed swan in the prelude is that I simply keep my eyes shut for the entire overture. Though this presents another problem--I end up focusing on the orchestra's thin sound. The brass section didn't produce any cringe-worthy moments as in past years, though, so that was a sign of improvement.
  4. I cannot agree more--and it always looks like Rothbart is strangling the ridiculous stuffed swan rather than caressing it, anyways. I also seriously question the need to have the 'swamp monster' incarnation of von Rothbart--it really seems like an unnecessary complication to the story. I really wish Kevin M. had a better editorial eye or sense of aesthetics... I know this is off topic, but did anyone else notice the significant swath of unpainted wood on the mechanical branch in Act II of La Sylphide (the one that the Sylph appears to be perched on)? That and the rickity stuffed sylph that glided (jerkily) off into the sky at the end of Act II really made me wish there were someone at ABT who could edit out such clunky, inelegant details...
  5. It's too bad Gomes won't be dancing Orion; I remember he was excellent in the role...but it will be nice to see some soloists and corps members in the role, as well.
  6. Had Veronika originally been scheduled for an evening Sylphide at some point? Or was she always just scheduled to do the matinee? I am glad I will get a chance to see her!
  7. I know this may be wishful thinking, but is there anywhere online one can go and see a full cast listing? Even if not in advance, for ticket buying purposes, I'd like to be able to check out what dancers get cast in various roles. I'm with you, vipa! I wish we could know casting for these demi-soloist roles... and Isabella Boylston is someone I'd go see, if only I knew! I was there on Tuesday night when she danced the third odalisque, and it was nice to see her in the role. She did several beautiful double pirouettes(?), but then she started to look shaky and nervous in the ones towards the end. It almost seemed as if the applause from the audience acted as a distraction and threw her off--I suppose that can happen? In any case, it was nice to see her dancing boldly and taking risks! I must admit I am growing a little tired of Riccetto. I think she's very musical, crisp, and technically gifted, but somehow her performances are starting to seem a bit severe. I really enjoy the three Odalisques, but I was thinking the other night that I've never really seen a trio in which all three dancers look comfortable and/or cohesive as a group. I wonder why that is the case with these variations?? Also, I am really starting to warm up to Paloma so far this season...her dancing was so radiant and plush in the Tchai pas de deux and she really was lovely in Corsaire--very warm and emotive. I've often found it difficult to connect with her in the past, so this has been a nice surprise.
  8. I'm waiting to buy tickets for the D.C. Corsaire engagement until it gets closer to the actual performance date. If the casting holds, I would like to see Alexandrova on the 18th and Osipova/Vasiliev on the 19th. Since I will not be able to exchange any tickets for the DC performances (I live in NYC), I'm holding back on purchasing tickets for the Kennedy Center for now. Hopefully it won't sell out. I think tickets tend to become available close to the performance date. If not, so be it. TBA on the 19th at ABT could end up being someone very interesting. I would love to see Sarah Lane in Sylphide, for example. Doubtful they will train an additional person for the role, though. They will probably just assign the role to one of the other ballerinas who is performing that week. It's hard to imagine which of the other principals would take it on--Nina dances it the night before, and Reyes and Part the next day. I suppose that since it is not a full-evening ballet it wouldn't be quite as strenuous to dance it two days in a row. My hope is that they will cast someone like Lane in the role, but now I wonder if I should just trade my ticket in for the 17th...Does anyone have any other hunches as to who could possibly dance on the 19th?
  9. A letter to the editor responding to Macaulay's critique of Sarah Lane was published in today's NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/27/arts/27a...S.html?ref=arts I was at Lane's debut, and I can't help but agree--I really do think she proved herself as a ballerina who can carry a lead role like Aurora.
  10. I believe David was using that link to YouTube to illustrate how that leap is generally performed in case readers had not seen the current ABT production of Swan Lake. That PBS filming of Gillian and Angel is probably the only commercial recording that represents that leap (or the current ABT production of Swan Lake, for that matter).
  11. Just bring your student ID...they never ask for proof of age. Usually they push away your student ID and never even look at it.
  12. It is best to call the box office at 10am when it opens. They can tell you whether or not they are offering student rush tickets for that day, so then you don't have to run down to the box office in person. Also, the tickets are supposed to be $35 dollars on Friday and Saturday, but they recently charged me only $25 dollars for a Saturday night performance. I'm not sure if this is a change in policy or if it was just a slip-up.
  13. Today's edition of the casting sheet handout at the Met agrees, giving her partner as M. Cote. This is her big opportunity, don't you think? Yes, I think this is an extremely exciting opportunity for her!
  14. You are probably right but a Murphy- Hallberg cast would be nice too.Any ideas for "Leaves..." Abrera maybe, she is unlike Kirkland (who I saw in the role) but has an air of mystery and fluidity that might work. A connected topic - ABT is ripe for promotions. I had assumed that Part would become a principal soon. Is that happening? Could Abrera be on the principal track? Also, I have been rooting for a Lane promotion to soloist. Are any promotions likely to be announced any time soon? I feel like this site is sometimes like "the oracle." It is difficult to know whether Abrera could be promoted to principal, but I certainly hope so! She is lovely as the Lilac Fairy and as Myrta. However, it is difficult to know if she will remain permanently as a soloist, like Carmen seems to be doing. It seems like Part would be the next obvious promotion, though I don't think ABT knows quite what to do with her. She dances lead roles in Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, and yet she is completely absent from other ballets.
  15. The program insert on Saturday night said she was injured. I'm wondering about Ethan Stiefel, too, after he was replaced at intermission on Saturday. David Hallberg said in a pre-performance talk that Xiomara hurt her foot. I'm not sure how badly, though. In a rehearsal for Manon, Stiefel and Gillian (dancing the drunken pas de deux) both fell over. Stiefel acted as if he had hurt his neck, so perhaps that is what is currently ailing him.
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