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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    pianist for ballet
  • City**
    New Orleans
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    United States

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  1. Is Gelsey Kirkland working with ABT again this season? If not, does anyone know what she's doing? juliajane
  2. Joseph Phillips graciously flew in at the last minute to replace an injured performer to dance the Prince with us in New Orleans for some Nutcracker performances, partnering Janessa Touchet from Cincinnati Ballet, Julia Woodward Burka with Delta Festival Ballet
  3. In the company I worked with, we just had a man inside the boat who walked it around the stage where it was supposed to go, while the Lilac Fairy made "look at this" gestures and gently brushed the "vines" out of the way, and the Prince dipped his hands in the "water" and made sort of "wow, I'm so amazed" gestures. Very simple. Naturally he had a concealed window so he could see where he was going and there was dry ice to make fog which added to the effect. The wings and a scrim which were painted to be the vines which had overgrown Aurora's castle over the hundred years slowly came in as the boat glided past so it looked as though it was actually traveling through real terrain. The assumption was that it was the Lilac Fairy's magical boat and she was magically guiding it without having to pull out an oar and row it herself. Funny story - one year the fellow "walking" the boat (not a dancer) wanted to take class with the company before the performance and when the director said no, he quit, so at the last minute we shoved somebody's brother-in-law into the "role." That's how easy it was.
  4. Well, my respects to you, Mr Witchel. You certainly have an impressive resume and I did not intend to single you out personally as a critic. I would love to meet you some day. I do think the level of writing about classical ballet today is not high. I do know this particular ballet very well - I won't bore you with my resume - and I disagree with most of what's been written about the new ABT version and I do think much of it is people waiting breathlessly for Miss Kirkland and her husband to fall on their faces. I have watched the fairy variations being coached so many times and love what Miss Kirkland did with them. Perhaps we must agree to respectfully disagree. And perhaps I am not used to the vehemence of the users of this forum. I don't think labeling the King as "Burger King" and laughing at the performance is helpful. Rather a cheap joke. I've seen much worse. But that is only my opinion.
  5. That's interesting because I found Kirkland so hammy and over the top that I was laughing out loud (quietly) in spots. She immediately brought to mind a man overplaying the role. While I'm not convinced that they belong in this production, I loved Carabosse's minion's costumes. Dvorovenko and Beloserkovsky danced well. Wiles did not move me. I was disappointed that they cut several of the variations in the last act. I was also disappointed in Saveliev. He didn't seem to have the stamina for the Bluebird. His jumps markedly lost elevation as his solo progressed, and it seemed to me that he dropped some of the beats towards the end. I saw the June 8 performance and loved it. I should say, I disliked the sets and costumes but felt Miss Kirkland's coaching of the female roles, particularly the fairies in the Prologue, paid off beautifully. Jacquline Reyes is from our school in New Orleans so let me state that first - I have watched her grow up. She danced the Fairy of Charity and received applause in the middle of her variation which does not often happen. Much of the stinging and sarcastic criticism from the professional critics in my view has been extremely personal to Miss Kirkland and based on a lack of knowledge of classical ballet and this ballet in particular. There are not many good critics these days. People seem to derive a lot of enjoyment bashing the production team's concept of this Sleeping Beauty and with the exception of praising their particular favorites, ignoring the magnificent coaching, the quite interesting concepts, and the fabulous dancing of almost everybody in the company. (I do agree about Saveliev.) The orchestra sounded great. I am new to this forum, however, this is a ballet I know very well and I'd love to see it again. Plus, Gelsey is still wonderful to watch on stage.
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