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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    balletgoer, former ballet student
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  1. I absolutely agree. I can't stand reading his reviews anymore. They are joyless, bitter, and pompous. He seems like a miserable human being. I wish he would leave the Times (or they would get rid of him).
  2. I've just started taking ballet classes again, which caused me to look up my old ballet school on the internet (New Jersey School of Ballet), where I came across the news that Mr. Tomal had died. And then I found this thread. Mr. Tomal lumed large at NJ Ballet. He was a co-founder of the company with Carolyn Clark. They danced at the same time with ABT. As Amy Reusch describes so well, he was known for his eccentricities and also loved for them. I, too, was one who was usually chosen (at least during one particular year) to demonstrate the adagio at the barre. He'd usually be kind and show off the things I did best; that was the choreographer in him. His adagios in the center of the floor were beautifully musical, beautifully phrased. And, yes, he would create them while we stretched on the floor after barre. He could be so funny; he'd work hard to make us all giggle. At the end of class, he'd show us how to clap more loudly, how to cup our hands just right to make more noise -- for him, of course! And like any good ballet teacher, he wasn't above jealously and possessiveness. Unfortunately, one of my last memories of him was the day I returned to NJ School of Ballet after doing a summer intensive elsewhere without having informed him or gotten his blessing beforehand. He ignored me on my return, never said hello, acted like I wasn't even there in the studio taking class. Sadly, I don't remember if I ever talked to him again after that, not out of anger on my part (I understood his jealously), but because I left for college soon thereafter. He was a great, great teacher. I can't imagine how many thousands of New Jersey children he taught the art of ballet over the past 50 years, including some gifted dancers: Eva Natanya and Julie Diana were both in my classes with Mr. Tomal. RIP, Mr. Tomal.
  3. Beautiful proportions? Oh, that's easy. Maria Kowrowski. Beyond compare.
  4. I saw Ferri and Corella today too. Corella moved me to tears in the second act. (Well, starting in the second act...) The way he was looking at Manon from across the room, watching her with Monsieur G.M., it was heartbreaking. I couldn't take my eyes off him. And then later, the way he was protecting Manon from the jailor, he was so tender towards her and so fierce in his passion. He danced as if his love for Manon was going to tear him apart. By the end, in the swamp, I was weeping. Yes, Ferri's characterization was brilliant as well, but it was Corella who had me searching through my bag for a tissue. As far as dancing, Ferri was incredible. As per the discussion above, I was torn at any given moment between using my opera glasses to look at her beautiful facial expressions vs. using my eyes to appreciate her fluid, strong dancing. I can't believe I'm never going to see her perform again... The last time she came out for the curtain call, she bowed quickly and immediately turned around and went back again. I think she wanted to save herself for the audience on the 23rd. But this audience gladly would have kept on clapping and shouting if she had stayed. I have to say, on the heels of Sleeping Beauty, I am incredibly grateful for the choreography of MacMillan and the staging of Monica Parker. Oh, and Stiefel and Abrera were excellent! I laughed out loud during their drunken pas de deux. They were perfect.
  5. Oops. I got it. Last Manon is tommorow night, Thursday. She is also performing today's matinee.
  6. I'm sorry to start a new thread for this, but I'm confused. Is it today's matinee? I should call the theatre...
  7. Eleanor D'Antuono in pic 6, in the front row, 3rd from the right, in a lovely, short black dress. (Also all the way over on the right, waving, in pic 4.)
  8. I always pronouned Sylvie Guillem's name this way too, like the French word fille. However, I was recently corrected by one of my French roomates, an artist from Paris, who told me it is pronounced "gee LEM." (That's a hard "g.")
  9. I saw Sleeping Beauty last night with Dvorovenko, Beloserkovsky, Wiles, Kirkland. I have to admit I didn't love it. My overiding impression is that somehow the beautiful music of this ballet got lost somewhere in translation. I don't remember musical moments from this ballet. The dancing and the music didn't draw each other out. Something felt muddled. Act II was very strange to me. I completely lost the story, and found myself asking, "Why? why did they do this?" It was ironic to me, having read Kirkland's autobiographies in which she talks extensively about the importance of the dancing the story, how poorly told this story was. And, as I said, how ill-fitted to the music it seemed. The highlight for me was seeing Gelsey Kirkland on stage, and I thought she did a magnificent job. For me her Carabosse was a real, true characterization that I could believe. She was a lonely, mad woman turned evil. That's what I saw. It was a characterization in a totally different league from what I've seen before, which is often generic and canned, especially, as someone else mentioned, when danced by a man. I didn't like the parts where she was hoisted on wires. I thought that weakened her performance. I have never loved Dvorovenko and still don't. She doesn't move me. But the audience was very enthusiastic. Her balance was off (e.g., with the four princes), but it seemed to get better for the pax de deux. Beloserkovsky's dancing was strong, but even together, they don't move me. My favorite dancing was from Stella Abrera in the Bluebird pas de deux. She was crystalline but with a beautiful, lush upper body. Michele Wiles -- I can't get past the line of her head, neck, and shoulders, which just seems very un-balletic. But I did feel that she truly loved the baby Aurora and was a force of goodness, rather than just of beauty as sometimes happens.
  10. I sort of agree with Mary Lynn. I wouldn't block someone from leaving their seat early, and I don't like it when irritable (snobby? miserable?) audience members chastise other audience members. However, I do think, in general, it's "not in the right spirit" to leave before the curtain calls. Most of the excuses for leaving early are just that -- excuses. Everybody's in a rush to get where, exactly, that is so much more important than it was twenty years ago when people didn't leave before the curtain calls? It's just a cultural shift. We think our time is incredibly important. It doesn't surprise me at all that this trend of leaving the threater early began and is most pronounced in NYC, USA. It strikes of spoiledness -- the theater and live performance are nothing special, definitely not more special than an individual thinks of himself and his time. Of course it's optional to applaud after a performance. I don't think that is the issue. On the rare occasion that you really don't like the performance, of course you don't have to applaud or stay for the curtain call. However, I think most people leaving early did in fact enjoy the performance. The curtain call is our gift of our time and our presence to the dancers after they have given us two hours of dancing. It's our chance to connect with them and give something back. I think it's a shame (and, yes, even selfish) to walk away without participating in that gesture of appreciation in the name of saved minutes.
  11. I have never seen her perform, and to be honest, only found out about her via an omnipresent music video she did. Anyway, my curiosity is peeked now, and I'd like to see her perform if given the chance. Whom does she guest with? Does her company tour? Will she be in New York anytime soon?
  12. Thank you, Carolina, for the link! I don't know who is more privileged -- Maliphant to have worked with Guillem, or Guillem to have worked with Maliphant. They are two extraordinary artists, and Push is an extraordinary piece.
  13. susibee

    Paul Sutherland

    Paul Sutherland was part of the leadership of New Jersey Ballet, along with Carolyn Clark, George Tomal, and Eleanor D'Antuono, in the 1980's. (I'm not sure exactly when he started or left.)
  14. susibee


    I'm having so much fun poking around this site. I can't believe I never knew it existed! I fell in love with ballet at a young age and studied at a quasi-professional school quite seriously. I'm too tall, however, to have ever made ballet into a career. No matter, my interests are diverse now -- from life in Africa to a career in medicine. I will always love the ballet though. I'm in my early thirties which means I've seen (and remember) dancers from the mid-1980's onwards. I have lived in New York and around London, and I am most familiar with dance in those two cities.
  15. The photograph of Edward Villella and Allegra Kent in Bugaku -- you know the one, I'm sure. I can't find a good link, but it's near the bottom of this page. It was the City Ballet's 50th Anniversary poster photo apparently. Gorgeous.
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