Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by odinthor

  1. Tall people in the orchestra section? OK, that would be me (6' 3 1/2"). Sorry!--I always try to hunch down when the curtain goes up. Anyway, will be there Saturday evening 12/12 to see Veronika and Marcelo! And side seats? Me, I like my longtime side seat. "Less than ideal," yes, quite so; but there are certain plusses to the un-ideal: One gets a rather different experience of the performance proper from what one would get on, say, a DVD or the like, which can be thought-provoking and perhaps can give insights of one sort or another. Also, it's fun to be able to see a bit into the wing
  2. I was present, in my usual way up front seat, for the Saturday night performance of Raymonda. While I can't make dancer-specific comments with good overview and perspective, as many of you have done, I feel I should make some remarks because, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I have strong reason to believe that Raymonda appeared here, premiering on the West Coast, specifically because a letter of mine to the management about two years ago mentioned not only it but also everything else on this season's regular roster (meaning "not Nutcracker," which is an optional add-on); at least, if this was a
  3. Many thanks (please excuse the delay; cataract surgery--perfectly successful--has thrown a monkey-wrench into the smooth flow of life, for the moment) for your very enlightening and detailed post! Very good to know and reflect on. Yes, I'm almost certain that the Segerstrom Center had a hand in producing the ABT Sleeping Beauty, recalling the press when the season was announced. Right, my idea was along the lines of the venue's availing itself of different companies scattered across the globe to present the various Petipa works (of course, I'm just using P. as an obvious example; I'd be jus
  4. Stepping up to the plate would have to be someone with vision, dedication, resources, an ambition to make a name for him- or herself . . . Begging pardon for a bit of thread-drift; but it pertains to our discussion: In a nutshell, what, generally speaking, is the succession of events and time frame for a venue in planning a dance season for its subscribers?
  5. Yes, thanks, my brain--such as it is--knows that you're completely right; but a little of me always sings, "If you don't have a dream/How you going to have a dream come true?" . . .
  6. As a sort of PS to my note above: It often seems as if, considering multiple adjacent seasons at a particular venue, ballet seasons comprise just a sort of better or worse miscellaneous choreographic hash slung at subscribers. We're used to that, so nobody squawks too much, however they might feel about it; but wouldn't it be an improvement if there were some sort of integral coordination or multi-season "build," not necessarily taking in all presentations of the seasons, but including some portion of the shows? To clarify with an obvious example: I know that, if SCFTA would, over successi
  7. This season is all the more interesting to me, as--if memory serves--most of the companies, and indeed one of the specific shows (Raymonda), are among those on the not-very-long list of those I recommended to the Segerstrom management a year and a half ago when I wrote a letter bitterly complaining about their then-recent seasons and scheduling. (In protest, I for the first time in decades didn't renew my long-held subscription for the 2013-2014 season [i've been a subscriber since I believe their 3rd season; their 30th season is the upcoming one]; I'm back in my usual seat for the current se
  8. Saw the Saturday night performance, with Vishneva, and Gomes as topliners, both in top form; Veronika Part brought a striking truly royal elegance and caring placidity to the Lilac Fairy. Others have expressed well most aspects of the production; I'll touch on a few strays: Elizabeth Kaye gave the pre-show talk effectively, even touchingly. I've always found her effective and touching in her remarks. Her subject was mainly Tchaikovsky and his ballet-writing career; she ended her talk with an interesting and affecting story of how the ABT show indeed went on the evening of 9/11. For the s
  9. Just to report that you'll have one more (rarely-posting!) member present for this production: I'll be there on Saturday night in my long-held seat just a few rows from the stage. Many thanks to earlier posters who are thereby prepping me for what I'm to see . . . Sounds as if I'm going to be very pleased indeed! Will be closely observing in order to post any interesting details which might escape the sharp eyes of other posters. Any comments about the pre-performance lecture? Who was the speaker?
  10. I attended the 7:30 November 29 performance at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa. Almost everything I could state has already been eloquently discussed in previous comments about previous performances elsewhere. I can add that rarely have I seen a ballet audience so completely captivated from beginning to end as happened last night. The audience was truly "with" the dancers in spirit throughout, and with increasing intensity as the evening went on--electrifying! Some numbers were performed through continuous applause; and never have I heard so much enthusiastic vociferation from an Orange Co
  11. The number of viewings of this thread has made me think that perhaps some readers would be interested in my expanding on some of the remarks I made in my initial posting: 1. Why do we attend a story ballet? Each of us will likely have a different answer. Many, noting that members of the audience are rarely in doubt as to the outcome of the tale, essentially attend ballet as a sort of dance exhibition in fancy dress; neither the story nor the theme hold much interest to these folks, except inasmuch as they give the dancers varying opportunities to show their stuff. Others such as myself, w
  12. I see that in composing and recomposing my comment, I accidentally edited out my mention of our Odette/Odile's name: Oxana Skorik. I read the review in the Los Angeles Times, was excited about what it seemed to forebode, and was disappointed in the outcome. I think my hopes began to disintegrate during the first act pas de trois; the "friends of the Prince," while proficient, seemed to me to be just going through the motions. The excellent speaker at the preview spoke of that moment before the curtain goes up when the people on both sides of the curtain are anticipating the give and take o
  13. Last night's performance of Swan Lake by the Mariinsky Ballet at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa was decidedly one of the most unexpectedly odd I have experienced. Setting aside my standard complaint about usage of the "happy ending" version, which, for this work, I A) Despise; B) Abhor; and C) Abominate, my general remark is this: The members of the company--other than the impeccable, as ever, corps--seemed largely distracted and wrapped up in their own thoughts such that I wondered if something had happened backstage or back home to take their minds off of their performanc
  14. I had the good fortune to attend last night's perf. of Cinderella by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. Though I'm very much a lover of traditional ballet, I found the contemporary ballet choreography of Maillot to be enthralling!, fulfilling!, eloquent!, and touching! The sets, while spare, were absolutely appropriate to the production; the costume design showed sensitivity to the values of the production; the dancers, one and all, were focused and enthusiastic; and the only regret I have is that the music was canned (such, I suppose, are the eco
  15. Thanks, Anne! Just wanted you to know I caught your thoughtful comments, which made me reflect further. When a show is "modernized"--even only modernized so far as the 1950s--some such as myself walk into the performance already burdened with suspicions and apprehensions (it's the "too much modernized Shakespeare" syndrome), and so--sometimes unfairly--quickly lay the blame about anything which displeases one at the feet of modernization and its adjuncts. When we're dealing with a show that has a certain flaw to begin with, I can see that companies are between a rock and a hard place: Com
  16. Interesting--thanks! The best I can do, so far, is only that the Oxford English Dictionary--by which i mean in this case an abridgement of the OED dating to the 1930s (hey, it's what I have on my own bookshelves)--gives the earliest usage of "star" in the "performing luminary" sense as 1824. But (1) my abridgement doesn't give the 1824 quote it's citing, so I don't know if it was referring to a ballet dancer; (2) it of course doesn't address "étoile" but only "star" proper; and (3) it's likely that the OED has advanced in its work since the 1930s . . . But 1824 gives us a (going backwards)
  17. I'd suspect that, in the presence of a beaming Louis XIV, the prudent stars carefully hid whatever light they had under bushel baskets...
  18. I've had the impression that using the term "star" for the most talented (or at least most renowned!) performers originated in the world of Ballet by the early 1800s, subsequently spreading to the other performing arts; but I'm questioning my impression. Can those familiar with early dance literature give any citations of early usage of the term "star" (or, more likely, "étoile") in this way in Ballet? Thanks for your thoughts!
  19. I attended the October 22 evening performance of Kings of the Dance at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, said Kings being, alphabetically, Guillaume Côté, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Denis Matvienko, and Ivan Vasiliev. The performance preview talk was conducted by, non-alphabetically, Messrs. Gomes (throughout) and Côté (in the last half). Of my many years of attending dance performance preview talks, this was certainly one of the best such, the two speakers being relaxed, responsive, and eloquent. (Myself, I have long felt a "connect" with Mr. Gomes' performances; as you might imagine, i
  20. I attended the June 18 evening performance of Ballet Nacional de Cuba at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, at which The Magic of Dance, a program of selections from Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, and Gottschalk Symphony was performed. It was interesting to read CubanInUSA's review of the Washington, D.C., performances of the company. I can agree that there was an air of inexperience in the efforts of the lead dancers, particularly in some very tentative dancing in the "first act" (Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker) . . . and yet . . . and yet .
  21. I'm at a bit of a disadvantage to offer cogent remarks on the Napoli presented at Segerstrom Center in Orange County, California, Saturday night, as, despite forty years of ballet attendance, this was my first Napoli. It was for that reason, as you'll readily understand, much anticipated by myself; and perhaps it was also for that reason that I found myself just a bit disappointed. As we expect with the Royal Danes, the dancing was strong and focused, offered with that easygoing confidence which excites the bonhomie of the audience towards the performers. This production was something of
  22. Boris Eifman's "Don Quixote, or, Fantasies of a Madman" premiered at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa on April 26. Having seen several of Eifman's works before, I attended, with feelings of foreboding, the April 30 evening performance--Walpurgis Night! Ballet instead of bonfires for me... The Los Angeles Times bestowed on its readers a harsh review of the April 26th performance. With those facts as background, let us move on to the two issues we have to cover: (1) the work itself; (2) the performance. Eifman's "Don Quixote, or, Fantasies of a Madman" is not to be looked upon as a new or p
  23. Thanks, Giannina and Mel! As this is an "introduce yourself" area, maybe I shouldn't be stretching out this thread; but it's interesting how many of my memories are Joffrey-related, when my Joffrey experiences were limited to the short time the company had a second home in L.A. When the Nederlands company was at then-OCPAC several years ago, I had the pleasure of "meeting" Glenn E. at a pre-show talk (that is, I was in the small talk audience); which leads me to what is perhaps the most unusual pleasant ballet memory I have, which unfortunately has a lot of set up without much payoff: At th
  24. Having joined the site several years ago, I have put off for much too long both introducing myself and posting comments! I'm Brent, alias BCD (from my initials) or odinthor (from my e-mail moniker). I've attended ballet performances regularly, as a season subscriber, in the Los Angeles/Orange County area since the mid-1970s--ye gods, has it been so long?--first primarily at the L.A. Music Center, and now at OCPAC or I should say the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. If I were asked to reach back and tell you of memorable performances of single artists which I saw in the earlier part of my bal
  • Create New...