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Everything posted by piccolo

  1. piccolo

    Leslie Browne

    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing her picture as part of some SI ad in a dance magazine. I'm glad to hear she's still around and involved with dance.
  2. piccolo

    Leslie Browne

    I was watching "Baryshikov dances Balanchine" and Leslie Browne dances with him in both Apollo and Who Cares. I just loved her as a dancer. Never got to see her live, unfortunately. What happened to her? Did she retire with NYCB? Did she go to another company to dance? Is she coaching somewhere today?
  3. piccolo

    Muriel Maffre

    I saw her about 9 years ago -- a graduation present from my parents -- and I loved her. I didn't realize she was still dancing. Fantastic! Deidre
  4. I just saw the Suzanne Farrell Ballet in Santa Fe this weekend. From my vantage point, both nights looked sold out. The first night was: Divertimento No. 15, Waltz of the Flowers, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and Serenade. The second night was: Div. again, Variations for Orchestra, Tzigane, and Apollo. The first night the audience absolutely loved Waltz of the Flowers. I thought the chiffon skirts were gorgeous and especially effective at the end of the number when most of the corps are bouree-ing around and around in place. Wonderful effect. I did not like the way the dancers used their arms in Div. the first night (arms flying without any connection to the back) but strangely, I didn't have that criticism the second night. One thing about touring performances in Santa Fe -- most companies think that they'll be "ok" with the 7000 ft. altitude and don't come early enough to acclimate. I was glad to see that, with very few exceptions, the dancers looked full of energy. (I believe it was Fournier who danced the Pas de Deux on the first night and didn't quite make it off stage before slumping...) Serenade was gorgeous. Unfortunately, the stage in Santa Fe is a bit small for the large sections of Serenade. The girls stayed in formation but on occasion had to dance in the wings. I was mostly excited about seeing Apollo. I hadn't seen the version with the birth of Apollo in the beginning, and the climbing of the stairs at the end. I have to say, I do prefer the shortened version. I just adore the pose of Apollo and the three Muses legs at different levels at the end and I didn't get it with this version. But, it is always good to expand your horizons, right? The three Muses were absolutely fantastic, easily the best dancers in the company, again with the blond, redhead and brunette. Peter Boal as Apollo was great and I have videos of Peter Martins and Baryshikov doing the role. A very exciting company to watch.
  5. Did anyone see either of their performances in San Diego this week? (Does this post belong on the non-European companies board?)
  6. I find out about dance performances and put them on my calendar long before I buy tickets. I usually buy my tickets 2 weeks out. I plan to go for much longer than that, but I just don't buy the tickets until later. Basically, I am the bane of Marketing Directors everywhere. I guess I am part of the trend to buy single tickets instead of a subscription. I watch for performances at the Orange County Performing Arts Center (just saw the Kirov do Jewels), I'm getting treated to Suzanne Farrell in Santa Fe next week, but am skipping Ballet Nacional de Cuba who is doing Don Q & a mixed program here in San Diego this week. I plan on attending several performances by City Ballet of San Diego, especially their Balanchine tribute in May.
  7. I know ABT has a second company for younger dancers -- is it ABT II or Studio Company? How does it work? Do these dancers then get taken in by ABT? Do they dance on their own or with ABT or both? Thanks.
  8. I'm going to go to Santa Fe the weekend before Thanksgiving to see the Company perform and for the Symposium. Of course, wanting to know more, I asked the box office about the symposium and it sounds like they show a rough documentary made up of various clips and then the documentary person (who is famous but her name is escaping me right now) talks about it. So it doesn't sound like your typical symposium format...
  9. I'm just now realizing I don't have the cast list with me as I write this. Sorry about that. They presented Jewels. Overall, I'd give them 3 out of 4 stars. The dancers were lovely, young (is this the full company or the young dancers sprinkled with a few soloists?), well-trained but not particularly exciting. I've seen the Stuttgart Ballet and San Francisco Ballet recently and they are definitely exciting companies to watch. I am not particularly familiar with the production itself of Jewels so maybe you guys can help me out. The costumes were the gorgeous Karinska creations we're all so familiar with: the green, the red, and the white. But while they had a gorgeous green backdrop for Emeralds and an interesting black & red backdrop for Rubies, they used the rubies backdrop again for Diamonds. What's up with that? The video clip I have of Farrell & Martins doing Diamonds has a completely white background for Diamonds. A minor issue, but one I was bugged by. The dancing for Emeralds was beautiful, Rubies was pyro-technical and done very well (I did not agree with some critic who said that the American style dancing didn't suit the Russians), and the principal pair in Emeralds was fantastic. It is just that when I walked out the front door, I didn't feel like I could turn right around and sit through another performance of Jewels right then and there.
  10. You may already know this but Lynn Swann appeared on Mister Rogers neighborhood. He took Mr. Rogers to his ballet class...
  11. Catlady, I agree! Where is the TV special commemorating his life?
  12. Oooo, dirac, thanks. I will look that up. Yeah, you could go either way. I don't usually bone up on ballet before I go, but I certainly do when I go to the opera. With art, I usually go with the initial response, then read up on it, then look at it again -- of course, this is easy because it only takes a few moments to look at a painting. Giannina -- Yes, the version I saw was with Merrill Ashley. She is wonderful. I got her Dancing With Balanchine book from Amazon's used book service -- it took them 7 months to get it for me but I'm so glad I have it now!
  13. My local library doesn't have a huge selection of ballet videos but I did just borrow a tape with NYCB dancing The Four Temperaments. I believe it was taped in 1977. Edward Villella introducing each dance. I can't believe that after all this time I'd never seen the ballet in its totality. I was only familiar with a few clips here and there. Well. What an amazing ballet. I absolutely love it. It is so interesting and clever and wow. Villella explained how the ballet works before they showed it -- how many of you were familiar with the structure of the ballet before seeing it? Did it make any difference in your enjoyment of it once you learned the structure? (I often ask a similar question with art. You can enjoy a painting not knowing anything about its artist, origins, meaning but it can enhance your viewing of it once you know.)
  14. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/30/arts/tel...sion/30SEX.html Didn't Baryshnikov do an interview with Larry King years ago when he said acting wasn't his thing? Hmm. Ah well. I'm looking forward to it all the same.
  15. http://www.dancehorizons.com/ This is a great site -- they are always updating their dance books & video lists.
  16. I'm totally late with this thread but here goes. When I was 15 I was moving from Japan to the US -- very traumatic. I didn't want to leave Japan but here I found myself, the day we were to leave, having a grilled cheese sandwich at the hotel we were staying at in downtown Tokyo. (All of our stuff had been shipped to the US at that point.) My younger brother and I, shoulders caved in, are barely eating. I look up and in walks Baryshnikov wearing off-white linen shorts and matching jacket and a white T-shirt. He looked awesome. He was with a very, very large man -- maybe his manager? In any case, I ran out to the lobby, asked a lady for some hotel stationery and a pencil (yes, I hadn't started using pens yet) and she asked what for. I told her I wanted Baryshnikov's signature. She smiled and said, oh honey, you're going to want a pen for that. I rushed back in, and as calmly as I could muster, I said "Mr. Baryshnikov, may I have your signature, please?" He gave it to me -- no other words were spoken -- and he transformed my day. The entire flight over to the States, I held his signature in my hand, and looked longingly out the window back towards the rapidly disappearing island. One of those best/worst days. I did have another opportunity to meet him about 15 years later. Turns out he's a golfer, my dad's in the golf business, B. came to the company to get fitted for clubs. I got to see him swing a golf club (no comment) and then I had lunch with him and some of the guys from the golf company. Pretty cool. And no, I didn't tell him about the time he gave me his signature.
  17. Suddenly, a scream eminated from an office building in San Diego and to this day the people of this Great Town wondered what was the cause of the disturbance...
  18. I'm a bit late for this discussion but how many seats are there in the City Center? I saw their R&J production in San Diego at the Civic Theatre which holds just under 3000 seats -- let's just say that there was a lot of paper in the audience. They were throwing free and severly discounted tickets right and left. I wonder if they are already so far in the hole that they couldn't risk losing more in NY?
  19. Maybe it was Onegin and not Taming... Hmmm. I'll have to go to my various video sources and see what I can dig out of Crankos. Thanks!
  20. I saw Stuttgart's Romeo & Juliet last night at the Civic Theatre. Wow. I knew I was in for a good performance because my mother had just seen it in Orange County. We are both huge fans of the Prokofiev score and love MacMillan's staging of R&J. We'd heard good things about Cranko's version and sure enough, we loved it! An interesting side note: One of the directors of the regional ballet company here in SD was a member of Stuttgart and actually appeared in their R&J at the Civic Theatre back in 1971! He said the choreography is the same step for step. Also, for whatever reason, none of Cranko's ballets are on video (with the possible exception of Taming of the Shrew.) Too bad. Does anyone know why? Afraid of people copying? In any case, Sue Jin Kang and Filip Barankiewicz were the leads and they were fantastic. One thing I really appreciated was that they both added elements in their dancing to project youth. Sometimes Romeo and Juliet come across as very regal, grand, and mature but let's face it. We're talking about a couple of teenagers here -- youthful love full of drama and excitement. I love it when dancers can project that and they did. Also, this was mentioned elsewhere but I have never seen a double tour more amazing than Filip's. Before they enter the ball, Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio do a dance where they have to do, I don't know, at least 15 double tours. Most of them are done at the same time standing next to each other. They all go up an down at the same time but Filip's is so high and crisp and perfect! Wow. The production is magnificent. Gorgeous costumes, lovely sets, wonderful dancing and not just for the leads, a great Mercutio, the orchestra did a pretty good job with the score -- and the Sunday matinee crowd loved it. I've never heard a San Diego crowd clap as much as they did -- and that was just at the first intermission! Go see it.
  21. I'm not that familiar with Houston Ballet but I'm curious why Ben Stevenson is leaving to work for another ballet company in Texas. He was enjoying so much success in Houston but now he wants to start over? Any thoughts from those of you who know the situation better? That reminds me -- do any of you know how their unique marketing piece went over? They sent it out about 6 months ago -- it was a piece where you could request a free brochure but it was set up like a tabloid. "Geisha kills herself over betrayal!" (for Madama Butterfly), etc.
  22. Thank you TreeFrog! I am definitely taping this one!!
  23. A lot of these are out of print, but I got a copy of both Ashley's and Villela's book through Amazon.com's out-of-print service. It takes a while for them to track these used books down, but it is a great service! Otherwise, if you have a good university library near you, that may be a good bet.
  24. I wish for the start of another Ballet Boom! (And if kfw's time machine is still working, I'd like to borrow it to see Judith Jamison perform "Cry" for the first time.)
  25. Baryshnikov wants to do things that interest him and he is definitely in a position to do so. I like his concept of the arts complex and wish him well. In the article, I found it most interesting that he doesn't want to have to pander to a board of directors, sponsors, etc. -- something nearly every arts organization has to do. If he doesn't much like fundraising, well, he's got a problem. I'm a fundraiser myself and I don't find it particularly impressive that out of the $8 million he needs to raise, he's already raised $3 million -- when $2 million is from himself and a $1 million grant from another source. Now a $1 million grant is nothing to sneeze at, but outside of himself, he only has ONE other major funder? Uh, Mr. Barishnikov, you're going to have to start using that star power of yours and hitting the pavement whether you like it or not.
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