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  1. Not sure what happened with unity phelan tonight. She and Mejia debuted the scherzo last Sunday with no issues. It was almost like she forgot to rosin her shoes tonight or something. She was dancing brilliantly until her first fall (those beginning turns at fast speed, with perfect accents and phrasing). Megan Fairchild also had some uncharacteristic stumbles in T & V. Gordon did better than I expected, but the double tour variation was nowhere near as good or effortless as Joaquin’s. Missing both Joaquin and Tiler Peck in t & v this season. On a side note, I am not a fan of the redone principal woman’s costume - what is with that super-hero blingy blue whatsit on the bodice??? Ugh. Love Brahms Schoenberg. Ashley Bouder was brilliant in the first movement tonight. Having seen both casts I much prefer her and Janzen to Gerrity and Gordon. She has incredible phrasing, arms and presence, and Janzen makes those lifts spectacular. I also prefer Lydia Wellington to kikta (although I like kikta a lot). Wellington is more musical and more in synch with the men. Megan much better than pereira in the andante (although Huxley worlds better than Garcia in the same), and Lovette and veyette made more of an impact in the second movement than hyltin and Jared angle (I don’t get what’s going on with jared angle’s body shape right now either - he doesn’t look fat, per se, but he has a weird barrel chest thing happening that does not look good). Sara and Tyler were fantastic in the rondo. I liked Tyler better than amar- he doesn’t ham it up to excess and his technique is better. On a final note, mira Nadon seems destined for greatness.
  2. Went to the dec 27th perf with Maria k, Tyler angle, and unity phelan as dew (subbing for sterling). Best nut of the year for me. Maria is still the best SPF in my book - those beautiful extensions and the high back leg in arabesque during the promenade and the slide are pretty unique among nycb’s SPFs. Rock steady on the slide (in contrast to the disappointing Sara mearns a few weeks back) and great drama for the shoulder lifts. I’ve loved Maria’s spf since chuck askegard days, and she is just as good now. I also loved unity as dewdrop. I thought she was gorgeous with lots of presence. Someone upthread wasn’t happy with her jumps but I found them to be more than adequate. Certainly no worse than tiler peck, who doesn’t have a great jump either. And Phelan has beautiful extensions. I tend to prefer taller dews, as well. Sad to have missed Tess reichlen as dew this season. The other divertissement leads were all in fine form. Thought Christopher grant was a wonderful hot chocolate - huge jumps including a nice double tour to end (that the other guys I saw omitted); spartak Hoxha was a good tea with big height on the jumps; segin a strong marzipan with no issues with the tricky hops on pointe; Huxley a fine candy cane; gerrity an ok coffee (agree pazcoguin is the best among the current crop- although no one has done it quite like Tess when she used to dance the role). Best all round nut for me - so sometimes final week nuts can outshine earlier ones!
  3. I was at opening night and also the Sara/janzen/tiler performance. Opening night was riddled with distracting errors- not sure if this is a reflection of the company at this time, or whether it was a one-off. 1) a party boy’s ballet shoe was half off his foot and flopping around for a good portion of act 1, which i found very distracting as I kept expecting the shoe to come off. He managed to hike it back on his heel when he was in a cluster of kids; 2) Devin alberda was soldier and as soon as he started his hat fell off backward so the chin strap was almost choking him, he had to rip the hat off and throw it at a parent. His dancing was great, though (best flexed foot entrechats I’ve seen); 3) Marie dragged her blanket off the couch as she got off it and a mouse had to then pick it up, smh; 4) whoever was responsible for wheeling out the cannon in the battle scene forgot, so that we had a soldier stuffing an imaginary cannon with powder, then when they finally got the cannon out for the repeat they had too much cheese ammmution bc they didn’t use it the first time (I have never seen this in many years of attending nutcracker performances); 5) the traveling bed almost hit the scenery on its exit into the wings and had to BACK UP (this totally destroyed any remaining magic for me); 6) minor but added to the whole amateur hour atmosphere- Marie’s crown fell off her head at the prince’s first attempt to put it on; 7) an angel almost fell in her face; 😎a polichinelle lost her shoe on her way back into mother ginger’s skirt, and a flower then had to pick it up and throw it into the wings (to applause). In addition, I didn’t understand why Brittany pollack was opening night dewdrop. She doesn’t have the stage charisma of tiler peck, or bouder, or Tess reichlen. Smacks of nepotism to me (Stanford being her husband). Gonzalo Garcia was also very underwhelming in his solo- is he still not 100% recovered? He looked sloppy and heavy footed throughout. On the plus side, Georgina pazcoguin was a fantastic coffee, and Danny ulbricht always brings the house down as candy cane (he is the best, bar none, at the double hoop trick). And shout out to Silas Farley’s mouse king, who has the most elegant chaine turns - amazing in that getup! At the Sara performance, I was definitely disappointed in her performance. She very obviously almost fell off the arabesque slide and teetered on it noticeably. She was not dancing at her usual level for the entire pdd. And I don’t think she pairs well with Janzen, who is too tall for her. The first leap onto the cavalier’s shoulder was awkward. Tiler peck was her usual fabulous self, though. The little prince that night was great also- I much preferred him to the opening night prince. I also liked alberda’s elegant candy cane, though he doesn’t have the ease with hoop that ulbricht does (maybe bc he’s taller). A final note about columbine’s dress - the old color was much better than the cornflower blue. Not sure what karinska specified but the blue seems very jarring.
  4. According to Jared angle’s public Instagram page, he tripped Sara (and apologized). But there was definitely less trust after that mishap - she did look a little tense after, understandably. It’s another sign of city ballet’s dearth of men that they felt they didn’t have one good enough for the first movement and stuck tyler angle in it, when he normally would be doing the second movement. Jared doesn’t normally do that role. And maybe the company was still tired from Shanghai. Applebaum almost fell over after a double tour to the knee. I didn’t think city ballet danced at the same level as MCB the first night, or the other companies for that matter. And Kimin Kim is just otherworldly and superhuman. Loved Khoreva last night. She was stunning. She looks like a cross between a young Suzanne Farrell and vishneva. The pdd was gorgeous. Only thing lacking was the jazzy hip thrusts in her solo after. Not really a Russian thing I guess. But overall I loved seeing the Russian girls- their beautiful line and extensions, and feet, were a real treat and not something that’s so common in the us companies. Only maria k at city ballet is comparable. And she did a great Barocco! She and Janzen made a wonderful pair.
  5. Totally agree! What a gorgeous ballet. I didn’t want it to end. And the best Balanchine dancing I’ve seen from ABT. Hoven was a wonderful surprise. I also agree with Abatt about the dorrance. I found it interminable and not pleasant to look at. I will be sitting that one out in the future.
  6. I don’t disagree with you. I was just responding to the question of whether all Balanchine programs or mixed Balanchine/meh new works programs would sell better. From my point of view I would not want to spend money for a mixed bill over an all Balanchine one. If the company were to do away with all Balanchine nights in favor of mixed programs with only one Balanchine ballet, I would definitely attend much less frequently.
  7. I don’t get the peck mania. None of these modem guys (including ratmansky, dsch aside) comes close to Robbins or ashton, let alone Balanchine. It’s too bad Nycb does no Ashton. I’d like to see how they would do monotones, for one. Balanchine is like the bach of ballet. Pure genius. Even today, ballets like Episodes or Porte et Soupir are much more avant- garde than anything modern I’ve seen.
  8. I, for one, much prefer all Balanchine, or a mix of Balanchine and Robbins, to a mix of Balanchine and new. It’s so much more rewarding. I thought peck’s easy really suffered by comparison when it followed the genius allegro brillante. I find most modern works uninteresting compared to Balanchine, and I definitely avoid all new nights. One exception is DSCH, which I love, but it still wasn’t enough for me to keep my subscription ticket to that program this season, given the other works. So count me as one audience member who would go out of her way to attend an all Balanchine program, but avoid a mixed bill with meh new works. I’m less likely to want to spend money for only one banchine gem among a slew of blah new works. And I’ve never been a fan of ballets set to sung lyrics. I like when the dance speaks, rather than accompanying a song.
  9. She replaced Ashley Hod, who appears to still be out after her injury in Mozartiana last season. Agree that she was not the best choice- too tall, and I was also distracted by her dark tan. Among the tall corps girls, I really like Christina Clark- nice to see her getting more roles. Too bad about Maria- she had no trouble with the developpe balance on Friday. Also wanted to add that Taylor Stanley was fantastic in Stravinsky violin concerto on Friday. He dances with such grace and amplitude. I hope they cast him in Agon.
  10. I thought Maria was gorgeous throughout. Saw her on Tuesday. I found my mind wandering during Sara’s performance (which isn’t to say that I didn’t like it, I did) whereas I was captivated by Maria’s. She did lots of clean doubles from what I remember. And I like her musicality better in this than Sara’s. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I didn’t want others on the board to have a solely negative impression of Maria or anticipate a bad performance from her when I (and at least one friend of mine who also attended on Tuesday) found her to be beautiful and not at all lacking in technique. In contrast, one dancer I thought did not have the technical chops for a role was Ashley Isaacs as polyhmnia- those double pirouettes into arabesque were just not there.
  11. I feel compelled to disagree strongly with canbelto’s review of Maria. I love Maria in Mozartiana- her long legs, neck, beautiful extension are of course a given, but she transports you in this ballet in a way that Mearns cannot. Something about the way she looks so absorbed, and her gorgeous head positions. I did not note any sloppiness or fudged footwork. As for Hyltin, I saw her once in Mozartiana and vowed never again. I feel lucky Maria is still dancing Mozartiana and I’m looking forward to seeing her in Chaconne. Seen Sara twice now and there’s something lacking in her chaconne. It doesn’t pull you in- and she doesn’t have a great rapport with Danchig-Waring. Who, by the way, was excellent in his solos last night.
  12. Agree with what others have said about last night. Gilbert was light years better than Pujol. What a beautiful, supple back she has! I did think the lead men were a little better the first night but overall this was the pob's stronger emeralds cast. The Bolshoi Rubies was dreadful. First time I couldn't wait for Rubies to end! Costumes were awful - santa's little helpers meets the rockettes. And not really a ruby color on top of it all. The dancers just looked awkward through the whole thing. Spotted Tess Reichlen watching from the back of the first ring - wonder what she must have thought!! To be fair, the lead woman wasn't bad. But overall it was so clearly not their thing. City ballet did a great Diamonds - the contrast with the Bolshoi was so interesting. The diversity in body types and skin tones, the energy and attack (the tempi definitely sounded much faster), and the Balanchinean accents were all wonderful. It was good to see Olivia Boisson back - she was absent last season. One quibble - Emily Kikta's shoe ribbon came untucked at the end of the first sequence. Too noticeable when she was downstage center- sloppy!! Tyler and Sara danced brilliantly as usual, with Tyler upping the ante by doing some nice double tours with arms in fifth (take that Chudin!) and Sara did a fantastic scherzo solo. But after seeing Smirnova I couldn't help thinking that Sara looked like she had no neck! The Russians' beauty and grandeur really transform Diamonds into something unique.
  13. I believe it was Angelina Karkova (not sure about the last name but def heard Angelina).
  14. Was there for opening night of the LC Jewels. I was underwhelmed by the French, especially did not like Pujol's water nymph solo and her strange head movement affectations. As a whole the company did not dance with the musicality or cover nearly as much space as nycb. I did very much like Myriam, who reminded me of Ashley Laracey. Her walking solo was the highlight of Emeralds. And I thought all the men were great - super clean footwork and nice jumps. Overall though, I prefer city ballet's interpretation (and Karinska's costumes). Nycb did themselves proud in Rubies. Tess was fantastic as usual (those legs!) and Joaquin outdid himself. How does he keep getting better as he gets older?! Megan was fine- I think she was a little nervous/cautious, I've seen her dance the pdd better. She did not attempt to hold the balances she normally does in the pdd (where Joaquin puts her on her leg and then does a pirouette sequence). I thought I saw one of the corps girls slip and put her hand down at one point, but that was a minor mistake. But wow, the Bolshoi Diamonds blew me away. Worth the steeper pricing! All their dancers look gorgeous - impossibly long necks, arms, legs, all super tall and graceful and with sky high extensions. Diamonds just suits them to a tee. They are grandness personified! And I was pleasantly surprised how musical (in a Balanchinean sense) they were. I have never seen a more beautiful Diamonds, or a more moving pdd. Smirnova has no equal in the role. She is effortlessly regal, arms just lovely, she and semyon made time stop. You could hear a pin drop, the audience was so spellbound. At one point I thought I was going to break into sobs from the sheer beauty of it. Semyon was wonderful in his solos, too. Huge jumps and effortless technique. I've seen many great nycb Diamonds, but this Bolshoi one was truly a spiritual experience. Feel lucky to have seen it!
  15. Just wanted to note that in Restless Creature and in the article canbelto linked to, the timing is that Wendy was not injured in nov 2011 when Martins called her in and told her he didn't think she should dance sugarplum. She says in Restless Creature that the conversation affected her so profoundly she began to doubt herself, and suffered the hip injury - her first major experience with debilitating pain in her career - after that talk. She basically blames the sugarplum conversation for her injury. And after that she was no longer the same.
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