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Posts posted by cubanmiamiboy

  1. 18 hours ago, On Pointe said:

    Jerome Robbins experimented with combining live dancers with film projection in his ballet I'm Oldfashioned,  which featured Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire.  The live dancing couldn't compete,  because the film images were so overwhelming in size,  but mostly because it was Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire for God's sake.  Nobody on stage could come close to their style,  technique,  and charisma.

    I'm fresh from having just seen this in Miami, and it is true. Although I might add that , besides the obvious knowledge Hayworth and Astaire had on social dancing, ballroom style, AND the fact that there was an unmatched charm based on the real class and elegance these two had in real life, the ballerinas onstage are in pointes vs Rita's dancing heels, so the movements had to be adapted to the different medium. But I definitely agree....the little nuances, elegant quickness and unique accents on them two on the screen were quite hard to stand up to by the live dancers.



    4 hours ago, cobweb said:

    Also, I don't hate the production quite as much as I remembered. I do despise the color scheme. But I enjoyed the performance enough to consider adding in another cast, maybe Lovette and Ball. I've enjoyed Jovani Furlan since he arrived last fall, and I really loved him last night. Tall and strong, charismatic and intense, and fully committed. Beautiful stretched-out arabesque lines. Despite the lame ballroom scene, I found myself really moved by his anguish when realizing his mistake, and it was positively wrenching during the final lakeside scene. 

    It was great meeting cubanmiamiboy spontaneously during intermission! I look forward to your report on Peck and Gordon. 

    Same here , dear!! 🥰🥰

    More thoughts on the production here also.

    I really enjoy the choreography, pseudo Balanchine and all. The parts where the children show up in the act I waltz and later on during the Polonaise-(goblets dance)- is wonderful. This kids have nothing to envy the much celebrated Russian kids of Paquita's Mazurka.

    Also, the insertion of the deleted-by-Petipa "Dance of the Corps de Ballet and the Dwarves: Moderato assai, Allegro vivo" for the jester and the three jester kids-(maybe they're meant to be dwarves after all....as originally intended in 1877..?)- is a very happy idea. The dance is very fresh and alive, and the kids are adorable. 

    Echoing the feeling of not needing the now deleted pas de quatre-(which I have seen)- it is understandable that the ballet might become too long, and so many variations in act III would take excitement off from Siegfried and Odile's variations. Plus...as we know, the music came from the deleted-by-Petipa Grand Pas de Six for Siegfried and the princesses, and there's no record of what the whole feeling of the pas was-(I'm sure there was a little story there, mining and all)-, so to present an abridged abstract version of it doesn't seem to add anything to the ballet . 

    I truly love the choreo for the "Reunion pas" in act IV to the "Andante con Moto" from said deleted Grand Pas de six. One can only imagine what on earth happened onstage in 1877 for this grand, brass inflicted symphonic Wagnerian sound to be in that pas with the princesses. The choreo here works perfectly-(I have seen horrible try outs at it, including that film with Rudy and Margot), but I find the passage of a heartbroken Odette and a desperate Siegfried trying to find some resolution really moving. The four maidens/attendants to Odette trying to console her and protect her is a nice touch from the original libretto.

    Anyhow...back tonight for more.😆



  3. 13 hours ago, canbelto said:

    Alexandra's IG stories are full of drama. Again. At this point I do agree her lawyers should advise her to take a break from social media. She's threatening to get Alexa Maxwell arrested for supposedly impersonating someone via email. People are now going to Alexa's IG to harass her about this fake email account. 

    I don't even know have to use IG, but I have an old account. How can I see all this ..? Do I have to follow her to do so....? Is there a link to the drama....?

  4. Well well. A Swan Lake to remember, bad production and all. Bouder and Furlan reigned supreme. 

    Fouettenometer alert!

    I quite lost count. She was turning no stopping doing crazy triple pirouettes in between fouettes, so all and all she went beyond 32. I'm still hoarse from my bravi screams!

  5. Aghh..I love, love, LOVE Ashley Bouder. I'm here in heaven with her Odette, which has been SUPREME. Hers is not a fragile little princess in distress crying for pity. Her Odette is an alpha female..a Queen with capital C trapped in unfortunate circumstances. I adore the way she attacks tempi, and the accents she puts on it. And those ankles...for the life of me...they are made of steel!!! She epitomizes the type of ballerina I grew up watching and adoring in Havana. Atypically strong, compared to the willowy thing Russian standards, but a star in their own realm. Her technique is extraordinary.

    And Furlan....Furlan is her perfect match...a beautiful, tall, skilled partner who can keep up with her. Her Siegfried belongs to her ..not the other way around. At the end .. he's a Prince and she's a Queen.

    My trip was more than worthy.🥰

  6. 4 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

    I also hope NYCB doesn't become a repository of 19th century full-lengths, it's just that they seem to have the marketing down and they sell well. 

    Well, as many have noted, it was Balanchine himself who introduced all the XIX Century full lenghts he either danced on-( Midsummer's night dream, Nutcracker)- or that he cherished from his past at the Mariinsky-( Coppelia, Swan Lake). And he wanted to do Sleeping Beauty, AND he obviously worked a lot with Raymonda in different ways-( Pas de dix, Raymonda Variations, Cortege Hongrois). A full SL has existed for quite a while already at NYCB, so they might as well update its production.

  7. 33 minutes ago, ivanov said:

    I love the dummy swans!  And everything about the Balanchine version.  

    I do too love the dummy swans! They look deliciously mid century. Balanchine's "version" can really get away with the changing of the finale, given that it does not follows the original libretto at all-( no "lake of tears" explanation, no marriage anticipation...no ballroom ball...no Odile...no swearing of eternal love charade...no Odette imprisonment etc etc). But it is not an abstract piece either. It is just a prince falling in love with a queen. A love affair that doesn't get to bloom because she turns into a swan at sunrise. It would had really been problematic for Balanchine to try to follow the complicated double suicide finale sans backstory and technical resources.


  8. Last night I went to see this as a break from Swan Lakes. What a nice surprise! The text of the opera with the scheming of Empress Cleopatra to enthrone her son Nero after Emperor Claudio is transplanted into a generic modern times wife of a head of state. Now, I'm usually against this in opera, given that the results I've seen 99% of the times are more confusing to the audience than anything and don't particularly benefit the work at all, but this was not the case here. The opera, a long one... starting at 7:30 and finishing at 11:20, truly gained from this twisting of the historical setting, and more interestingly, from its morphing into a dark comedy. As we can tell from the lyrics, this is originally a historical drama, but here it is done with spicy, sexually charged humorous situations that work perfectly. It is a plus seeing how good DiDonato-( in the title role)- gets at comedy. I was truly laughing my heart out at times. 

    If you can, do not miss it. You'll have a great time. It has everything... wonderful coloraturas, a countertenor, a GREAT trouser role, a cocaine sniffing Nero, a bar drunk Poppea and lots of intrigue.

    Highly recommended.

  9. 2 hours ago, bobbi said:

    Cubanmiamiboy, I too enjoy the lakeside scene the best.  Is it any surprise that Martins said it is based on Balanchine's 1951 one-act Swan Lake?  If you ever get a chance to see that, I would highly recommend it.  I lucked out in my subscription series, as I have tomorrow's night's Peck/Gordon Swan and am very much looking forward to it.

    I have seen Balanchine's in Miami, but it has been quite a few years since they put it last. And I wonder if they'll keep it after they get Ratmansky's recon. Anyhow...I do not remember a lot, but I don't think I saw the black swans/white swans crisscrossing. From this bits here I can tell he did use Balanchine's patterns though, including Zorina's final round of pique turns for Odette's solo...😆


  10. After much of my harsh criticism of the production, let me be truthful and add the other side of the equation. In all fairness, I truly loved the lakeside acts, particularly the intricate crisscrossing of the maidens and patterns formations. It comes very alive and looks magnificent from upstairs. And because the lakeside acts don't really require too much of scenery-(in most of the productions it is just as what we saw...a mere backdrop)- the acts really gain lots of weight with the strong choreo for the corps and the beautiful white costumes. There's a moment at the end of act IV where a row of black swans crisscross a row of white ones at full speed to form a cross and it looks amazing.

    The transition from the drawing room to the lakeside is quite successful too with the moving scenery. Sometimes this compression of four acts into two and two can be problematic during such transitions. One I really felt didn't work was in Ratmansky's Bayadere in Berlin, for instance. 

    The false finale made me cringe.


  11. 10 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

    Given your knowledge of both Swan Lake and NYCB's dancers, I'm going to trust you on this! Presumably the company has enough of a connection to Ratmansky to give replacing Martins' version with his legitimacy.

    That if Lourdes Lopez doesn't move first in Miami! 🙏

  12. 3 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

    I don't know if his reconstructed Swan Lake could really be grafted on to NYCB's root stock, though.

    I say it would be a perfect addition. Swan Lake has become a lethargic, unmovable K. Sergueev realm, and sometimes even unrecognizable, ending wise. Act II is usually an endless slow showing of the Adagio, to the point that the music gets lost in translation. If there's something Ratmansky is instilling in his reconstructions is a quicker, brighter, petite allegro baseline, and I'm more than convinced that no one better than NYCB to honor this quicker tempi. It is also a "new old" entity, so much of the mime, steps and general portraying is quite new. Which better company than NYCB to have a "non traditional" approach to our current Soviet swan inheritance...?

    They should grab it before someone else's does.

  13. 11 hours ago, canbelto said:

    Coppelia, Harlequinade and Nutcracker are all extremely lavish, warm, family friendly full lengths.

    I agree. I came for the last run of Coppelias and enjoyed them tremendously. It is a traditional, charming production. And Nutcracker is sumptuous. I always have the feeling that Balanchine, given that he got to see and dance the lavish Imperial productions,  wouldn't present anything lower than such standards, and the perfect case scenario is his Nutcracker with the tree issue. Until he was sure he was going to have that tree the way he wanted it in the new State theater, he didn't settle for less at City Center.

    There's the idea floating about his apparent rejection/unlikeness of the full length ballets, but I believe it was more of a profound respect he had for the high technical and production standards they ought to require.

  14. 1 hour ago, abatt said:

     Furlan was the most impressive technically of the three Siegfrieds.  He and Bouder are both technical marvels...

    Yes, yes, yes. Their performance was the most exciting to me. And about Reichlen, she is definitely on the cold side. Her love duet was very technical, but quite emotionless. Her limbs are gorgeous though....

    Fouettenometer alert!

    She did 30 turns. Two fouettes to one double pirouette, and after a while reverted to singles. 

    Maybe the clean 32 singles TO THE BEAT OF MUSIC are gone for good....? 

  15. More musical cuts I see in this production. Whole bars during the entrance of the hunters at the lakeside. The end of the Mazurka at the ballroom. An addition I could go without...? The deleted-by-Petipa Love duet coda. I know Balanchine re inserted it-(I've seen it in Miami)- for his white act, but I feel Petipa was really clear about preserving the stillness of the pas, which never fails to touch audiences... particularly during the last slow pizzicattos. The 77 coda totally breaks the magic of the duet.

  16. 1 hour ago, BalanchineFan said:


    Gotta say, I'm really loving your updates. I saw Mearns do SL a few years back and she is phenomenal. Any thoughts on Guillaume Coté (to anyone who's seen him)?

    He's proficient, but quite uninspiring.

    Fouettenometer alert!

    Mearns did 27 singles and triple pirouettes at the end. Very important to note. As the score is played in this version at faster speed than other companies-( which I love, and it's probably closer to what Tchaikovsky had in mind)- fouettes can be problematic to count and/or maintain on beat. Case scenario today. Mearns' singles were done slower than the music, hence why she was done with her 27th by the time the music was over. Her triple pirouettes at the end didn't take music time at all. 

  17. And why..oh why..did Martins went away with the Two Big Swans dance, giving its valse-( and tweaking it)- to a most generic variation for Siegfried ..?!?!

    I can't get over all the insanity with this production, and excuse me all those who love but I'll keep ranting.

  18. 41 minutes ago, Leah said:

    The male variation music seems to be the most commonly used- the Burmeister La Scala production also uses it along with the “alternative” music for the pas de deux.

    The best way to compare is by playing the Charles Dutoit 77 version, with the original ballroom pas, the pas de six for Siegfried and the princesses. The so called "Tchai pas" is also included in the Dutoit, but we must remember it  was added after the premiere on request of the ballerina Shobeshanskaya with Petipa supplying the choreography.  Then you can listen to the Fedotov, which includes all the cuts, additions and tweaking Petipa and Drigo did in 95. I happened to like better the 77 score, particularly for act IV, sans the Valse Bluette or Un poco di Chopin and the great "stormy music" for act IV that is usually present in all versions now, but also deleted by Petipa for the 95 premiere.

  19. The fouettenometer report:

    Bouder was brilliantly doing the fouettes, with great speed and intertwining double pirouettes with her arms up, but...she stopped short of some 28/29. Unlike Mearns, she did not fill up the rest of the music...she just stood and Furlan started his pirouettes right away. In this production, as there is no stopping to applaud the fouettes, the miss is not as obvious as other companies where ballerinas have to bravely bow even if said section was a disaster. 

    I loved Bouder nonetheless. 

  20. On 1/30/2020 at 2:56 PM, FauxPas said:

    Hello everyone, I found online this Cambridge Scholars introduction to reprints of the scores of Giselle, La Sylphide and Le Corsaire.  There is a long explanatory introduction about the changes to the score over the years with music added by Bergmuller, Minkus and in the case of the Act II finale - Boris Asafiev.  The notes are by Robert Ignatius Letellier and reflect his research:

    "No. 16 In connection with the changes to the end of the ballet (the removal of the appearance of Bathilde, the
    hunters and the courtiers after Giselle’s disappearance), in 1913-14 a new variation of the music of the finale
    was composed by B. Afanasiev, which is performed in the theatres of our country to this day. Because of the
    major difference in the number of bars the composer’s finale is printed separately (Appendix I)."

    "3) Boris Vladimirovich Asafiev (1884-1949)
    Asafiev provided a variant of the final bars of the ballet for Russian productions in 1913-14. This allows the
    ballet to end quietly, instead of the vigorous closing bars that follow on Albrecht’s collapse in the original score.
    The Asafiev version is now included as an alternative in published versions of the score (as in the arrangement
    by Henri Busser and the Pas de Deux edited by Daniel Stirn). In the Russian version it is given as the preferred
    ending, with the original conclusion somewhat incongruously provided as the first appendix. The Asafiev
    conclusion is by no means typically used in most productions."

    I do remember well the late Mel Johnson commenting that this finale was done for Ana Pavlova's debut in the role. Or maybe it wasn't a debut, but certainly she was there.

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