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Miss

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  1. I would too if I got the chance!
  2. I saw him play the good guy and loved him in that, but WOW I think I would have rather seen him be evil! I enjoyed the PBS performance very much. I thought Angel looked wonderful. I only wish the times I have seen him live he looked that clean. But, I guess 3 chances to film plus extra filming of any needed footage helps. I loved Gillian in the Black Swan pas de deux, but not even close to when I saw her last Met Season. The little shortie "lederhosen" are very silly, but wow what quad muscles those gents have. All in all, I think it is just great to have classical ballet, especially ABT, featured for the more casual ballet fan. Miss
  3. I saw the Saturday 6/19 matinee, and must add the the kudos for Gillian Murphy. I am not a Swan Lake fan, but went to see Arron Scott in Neapolitan. Arron did a great job and it was exciting to watch this young man begin what I hope will be a long and wonderful profession career. His jumps and turns were crisp and thrilling. Gillian Murphy's performance in the Black Swan pas was jaw dropping, goose bump making, jelly leg amazing! When we left, my son asked why we were taking the elevator instead of walking and I had to confess my knees were so weak from watching Gillian, that I did not think I could make it down the steps! all I can say is WOW! Miss
  4. I saw the final 3 of 4 performances performed by American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company this past weekend at the new Skirball Center. All performances included Anthony Tudor's "Continuo" and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" by Scott Rink. Evening shows also featured William Forsythe's "The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude" as well as "SpringScape" by Peter Quanz while the family matinee on Saturday included "The Nutcracker" pas de deux. * ABT's Studio Company has performed "Continuo" at a few different venues this fall. Staged by Donald Mahler, it had a wonderful silken softness and started off each of the performances. Caitlin Seither and Matthew Murphy were noteworthy out of the 3 couples in the piece. Ms. Seither had a comfortably confidant presentation, her controlled technique was consistent in each performance. During the matinee, Sandra Brown's brief prologue pointed out a lovely lift that the dancers executed called a "ribbon lift". I had never noticed it in any ballet prior to this. Melanie Hamrick, Matthew Golding, Jennifer Lee and Roman Zhurbin gave fine examples of the move. * Less classic in Stephen Galloway's costumes with velour for all and platter tutus for the ladies, "Vertiginous" was a slight gear shift in the evening performances. Balletomanes that braved the blizzard were thrilled and received Jacquelyn Reyes, Lara Bossen, Ana Sophia Scheller, Blaine Hoven, and Arron Scott with enthusiasm. The five crafted their way through the intricate latticework of steps as a tightly woven group as well as careful individual strands. It was generally the best received piece each evening, truly outstanding Saturday evening but I am told that Thursday's performance was even more solid and exact. * It being a story ballet, I feel more comfortable sharing my opinions on "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." I had many preconceived images of which I am still trying to let go so that I might give this work fair merit. Having premiered in New York on this run, it is an edgy thoughtful piece with many layers. The music collage by Paul Marshall based on Paul Dukas' "L'Apprenti Sorcier" gave it a contemporary "techno" feel that would strongly appeal to the very limited crowd of the 20 something year old theater goers. It was mixed in a way that occasional phrases of the well known theme snuck through then blended with some very unearthly vocals. The music tended to keep me off balance in a good way but the awkward audio transitions for each scene were so abrupt that, at the conclusion, made me question if the ballet was over or if should I be waiting for another jarring scene change. The costumes, designed by Tracey Christensen, were effective in creating a menacing 10 foot Sorcerer (carefully introduced in a non-threatening way to the family matinee audience) and his very human Apprentice. Impressive were the wood-grained and knotty unitards united with crutch-like appendages to create the surreal dancing Broom(s). I did overhear some comments that they looked like trees or characters from "The Lion King." The Sorcerer was convincingly danced by Jacquelyn Reyes, Roman Zhurbin and Matthew Golding. The form of the magician glided and shape-shifted before my eyes with just a few of the movements a bit contrived to accommodate the length of the costume and the partnering holds that were required. Arron Scott brought heart and human nature into the virtuosic role of The Apprentice. Casting a spell with a series of complicated and well executed jumps and turns, Mr. Scott introduced The Broom, brought to life by Melanie Hamrick. Ms. Hamrick's robotic gestures and countenance projected a chilling and beautiful performance of an inanimate object come strangely to life. The couple's playful pas de deux expanded into a deeper appreciation mostly on the side of The Apprentice. Hamrick and Scott rose to the challenge of showing that they could connect despite the cumbersome broom extensions that, because of choreography or inability, kept The Broom a more grounded than I would like to have seen. As goes the story, The Broom can not break free of it's original purpose and goes overboard in cleaning thus requiring the Apprentice to horribly destroy it into what becomes a band of eerie broom duplicates. Hamrick along with Lara Bossen, Jennifer Lee, Jacquelyn Reyes, Caitlin Seither, and Ana Sophia Scheller gave remarkable performances as a corp of brooms gone bad. Most impressive were their piqué turns and chaînés with four foot long arms whipping around. Leaping his way through the twirling brooms and buckets of water while trying to right things gone wrong and reunite with the original Broom, Scott's Apprentice was overtaken by the army as they forced him to spin out of control. The Sorcerer's climactic and shocking appearance demanded things returned to a more nearly normal state. In the blink of an eye, The Apprentice's consequence of sporting broom arms allowed The Broom to retain the life wrongly given to her. Hamrick, admiring her new lovely arms, lightly and innocently danced off leaving behind Scott's gravely tormented Apprentice. The performance would have had felt more polished and less like a work in progress if the set and lighting could have been tweaked. White cloths representing the overwhelming magical water could have been colored. Dancers' facial expressions were occluded by large dark areas on the stage contributing to the overall disconnected and disjointed feeling. These things undermined the integrity of the ballet. "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" was received in a manner similar to the reception of American Ballet Theatre's production of "The Pied Piper", a politely cool. Some people did not know what to make of it, some did not like that it wasn't an original story ("If you are going to do a new ballet, why not make it an all new story to all new music?"), some were just uncomfortable with the disturbing ending and I have to suppose some were unimpressed with everything including the dancing. I liked the many layers of this ballet but I know I could appreciate it more completely if it were somewhat modified. I enjoyed the dancers and felt that they were cast very well but I would have liked to been able to compare the roles on different dancers. When a company is limited to 12, it limits who can dance each role. * Evening performances concluded with the New York premiering "SpringScape." Created during the company's three-week residency at the White Oak Plantation in Yulee, FL, it reflected the easy grace that this intimate company shares. Caitlin Seither, Blaine Hoven, and Matthew Murphy were featured in a series of solos, pas de deux and trois. Exceptional performances were given by Mr. Hoven and Mr. Murphy in a sportive dance that progressed into a more introspective and familial interaction between the duo. Ms. Seither's contributions were a sweet counterpoint. The lighting by Brian Sciarra should be mentioned as it clearly communicated the mood shifts along with Benjamin Britten's music. The ensemble of Melanie Hamrick, Jennifer Lee, Jacqueline Reyes, Ana Sophia Scheller, Matthew Golding, Arron Scott, and Roman Zhurbin showed all of what ABT's Studio Company is comprised of this season. It was surprising that the family matinee was attended as well as it was with the winter weather raging that afternoon. Those who made it to the warm and beautiful theatre were treated to Sandra Brown's tidbits of ballet information between each of the pieces. She shared the secrets of how pointe shoes made the young ladies look like they were floating and gliding, encouraged attendees to cheer a hearty bravo at appropriate times and pointed out specific steps to be watching for in each dance. The set change for "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" was done with the curtain open and Ms. Brown's informative dialogue assuaging any fears that youngsters might have of the somewhat spooky visual effects. This thoughtfulness unfortunately lessened the theater magic in general by allowing a peek at all of the costumed brooms placing their "arms" upstage. Some young audience members still had to leave during the 20 minute piece but it was due less to fear than lack of a needed intermission. * Melanie Hamerick put in a marathon day appearing in the matinee's performance of "The Nutcracker" pas de deux. She and her attentive partner Blaine Hoven shared a taste of the season's favorite for this family oriented audience. Mr. Hoven was as steadfast as a young Nilas Martins and Ms. Hamrick danced an abbreviated Sugar Plum variation, both were a bit careful and tired but their performance was sure. ABT's Studio Company is a talented company that clearly works well together. I was glad to have seen them and look forward to seeing the only member who did not dance, Grant DeLong, perform in Kirk Peterson's "The Nutcracker" in Hartford CT. Miss
  5. At our SAB parents orientation, we were told that 22 advanced SAB year round students were offered professional contracts. I was impressed! Miss
  6. I loved all the "Ramona the Pest" books when I was very young. Walter Farley and the happy Hollisters series. In my teen years, I moved on to Science Fiction in my teen years and love Madeline L'Engle, Robert Heinlein, Ursula K LeGuin, Phillip Klass and Isaac Asimov. Miss
  7. Time to reread my favorite book, Beach Music by Pat Conroy. I am currently reading the Natural History of the Rich. It is funny and insightful Miss
  8. I attended both Saturday performances, and was much impressed. I enjoyed it much better than last year, but I prefer the classics. I admit Chopiniana also made me sleepy, although I attributed this to the 5 hour car ride into the City. The Corp work was nice and the principals all did a nice job. The Flower Festival did indeed bring the house down in both shows. The chemistry between Barette Vance and Arron Scott was wonderful. They were playful and fun and let you know you could have fun watching ballet. Scott’s jumps and footwork were amazing and drew audible grasps from the audience. Wow! The Swan Lake Pas de Deux was nice in both performances, but I agree that the Swan Lake Pas might have worked better leading into the Bournonville pieces. Napoli was very nice. The guys were great although occasionally sacrificed musicality and togetherness to get height in the jumps. All in all, I have to say I was quite impressed with the group of young men at SAB. Sleeping Beauty was impressive in both performances. In the afternoon show, the Grand Pas was breathtaking with Ana Sophia Scheller and Tyler Angle hitting all three fish turns. The Divertissement were quite fun. The Court Jesters (Anthony Carr, Troy Schumacher, and Nicolay Smirnov in the afternoon and Hyek Chen, Radoslaw Kokoszka, and Giovanni Villalobos in the evening) stole my heart with the White Cat and Puss in Boots (Cassia Phillips and Barry Kerollis in the afternoon and Miriam Rowan and Jason Chinea in the evening) close behind. Both casts did a fabulous job with a wonderful blend of technique, humor and charm. What a great job by all the dancers and a wonderful day of ballet!
  9. Is the $150 per performance paid for each performance done or for the whole run? I know PBT uses students to fill out casts, but this sounds like more than that. I would be interested in hearing from any PBTer who can let us know how this is effecting the school. Miss
  10. Anyone know of a VHS/DVD of Taming of the Shrew? Thanks, Miss
  11. on the DVD version of Center Stage, you can listen to the director's comments while watching the movie. He talks about how they took the buildings around Lincoln Center and computer generated the ABA on the buildings and even were able to add the shots of the ballet classes looking from outside to add authenticity to the movie. miss
  12. My impressions of the Monday Gala performance: I felt the Men's technique was definitely cleaner than the ladies, but being the mother of a male dancer, I have a better understanding of men's technique. I really enjoyed the evening and my son left very inspired. It was quite amazing to see 9 very talented young men dance Les Gentilhommes. Benjamin Griffiths, Tyler Angle, Adrian Danchig-Warnig, Andrew Kaminski, Austin Laurent, Neil Marshall, Vincent Paridiso, Arron Scott, and Christian Tworzyanski did a wonderful job. I enjoyed Copland Portrait more than those who reviewed Saturday shows. It was a bit episodic, but I enjoyed it for the most part. Damian Woetzel had some wonderful choreography for the guys and they seemed to really enjoy it. Giovanni Villalobos was a pleasure to watch. He really looked like he loved performing and therefore, I loved watching him. Ballo and Brahms-Schoenberg were nice, but I felt Les Gentilhommes stole the show. But that is my bias showing. Give me a stage full of Danseurs and I am a happy gal! OK, I went....now someone else needs to add their 2 cents worth. Miss
  13. Promoting men may be making room for some of these wonderful young men I read about in the workshop reviews. Miss....anxiously waiting a train ride to NYC to see the Workshop on Monday!
  14. NO BOOTS AND CAPE!!!!!! He already thinks he needs the dance boots he saw at the Sansha store last trip into the City and he has had a things for capes all his life! Thanks for the input. It may be a good excuse to get him real dress pants. He insists khakis count as dress pants, but I may drag him in to get something dressier. He needs to show his best buddy how proud we are of him. Miss
  15. Thanks Leigh great idea. Now my next question. How do people dress for the Monday Gala? I have a good idea for myself, but my 14 year old son is usually only happy in jeans or tights. Are Khakis and a dress shirt and tie appropriate or should I spring for a dress pants and a jacket? I don't want to look the Beverly Hillbillies go to the Ballet. But, here in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania, I don't have alot of occaisions to dress my son up. so HELP!!!! Miss
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