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Everything posted by ggobob

  1. Leonid, thank you...I remember her Empress Elizabeth in Mayerling where Macmillan wonderfully used her repressed fire. I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and attended her first class at ABT in Santa Barbara where the company was touring. She coached and mentored so many wonderful dancers. She lives on in the technique she taught. Good thoughts to Roy and Tobias.
  2. Thanks...it's great to see here will a triple bill in addition to Swan
  3. I'm a bit behind in making a report on Suzanne Farrell Ballet's visit to Berkeley. Two interesting programs, Balanchine pas de deux with narration by SF and a triple bill featuring Agon and Bejart's R&J. The Bejart was the least substantial item on either of the programs. It may have been given in tribute to Cal Performances as Suzanne Farrell danced with Bejart at Zellerbach Hall when she was on the Balanchine banned list. The Agon was excellent! I enjoyed the pdd program thought no one really stood out. The night before the opening, SB did a talk with the Cal Perfs exec director - who after she had said she didn't watch DVDs of her dancing, twice went out of his way to talk about her working with Peter Martins in Apollo which he watched on dvd! I had the chance to ask her if there were any choreographers she watched and thought promising - parsing through the reply, I learned two things: no, there isn't anyone she would single out and the she doesn't want to choreograph but loves to teach what she has learned. Houses were about 50% with rush tickets being available.
  4. I can't find ABT's Chicago dates on the company website. At some point in time, I entered April 12th as the opening night. Unfortunately, I have no idea where I got that date and am trying to confirm if they will be in Chicago and when. I remember Miami disappeared from the calendar last year and the company didn't dance there. I need to go to Chicago in the spring and would like to coordinate visit with some ABT time. I also have written in my calendar that Swan Lake is the ballet of choice for the visit. Anyone know if Chicago is happening? Thanks
  5. I am a fan of Julie Kent and had been considering going down to OCPAC to see a Giselle, knowing she hasn't danced a full length since the MET in 2008( given her pregnancy and the birth of her daughter in June). So, after reading reviews in the Times and the Register that were diametrically opposed, I flew down to OCPAC for Thursday night's performance. Jose Manuel Carreno was out for a reason not given and Marcelo Gomes was Albrecht to Julie's Giselle. I learned that this was the first time they had danced these roles together. Marcelo had just danced Albrecht the night before. When I arrived at the box office, there was a line of at least 100 for rush tickets. I picked up three tickets in the center of the orchestra at the last minute...they may have been house seats as Kevin McKenzie and his staff/guests were two rows back. It was a very professional performance, Julie appeared to me to be over her "return to full length" jitters and was playful with Marcelo - her dancing looked light and other than one balance where there was some strain she was again a young girl. Second act was better as the Kent/Gomes partnership brought out the best in them. Would not mind seeing them in this in the future. Cheers to Gennadi Saveliev - he has the makings of a great Hilarion. He uses his whole body to convey the story (when he finds that Giselle has not taken the flowers he left, his shoulders slump and his pacing changes)... his first entrance was played more to the audience that to the flow of the story. ABT should be able to coach a bit more and make his interpretation stronger. Weakest point for me was the peasant pas de deux (Lopez and Kajiya): it was boring and took the air out of the moment. Lopez seemed to be having all sorts of problems. On the box office, I noted the number of rushers and how easy it was to obtain really good seats; the back few rows of the orchestra were clearly empty; there looked to be empty seats in all levels. ABT keeps going and I wish the company well. I'm glad I flew down from Berkeley for the performance.
  6. I am wondering if it might be Shadowplay - Mischa danced it in 75 or 76 when Tudor brought it to ABT. The lead character (Dowell, Baryshnikov, Bujones) was dress in reddish tights and wore a chain mail type of light shirt. Don't think it was ever filmed, there were lots of photos, and it might have been on a television story.
  7. Updating...baby Josephine arrived on June 15th. Congratulations Julie and Victor
  8. Wild A** guess...since I have no idea how long the paid vacation period is/was nor the amount of pension payment involved: guess is the reductions are probably equal to 9 dancers salaries on the low end of the estimate as many as 16 at the top end (4 weeks vacation and 5% pension). When it is equal to 11 - 18% of a company's roster -that's a pretty serious cost reduction. London isn't selling very well, Miami was canceled, a rumored trip to the Gulf didn't happen, no Chicago and no Orange County this season. I remember the dark days of 1993 and the strike back in Lucia's last days. Too much is riding on the MET season for me to feel comfortable.
  9. Lynn Seymour...another good example of the RB's tradition of talent spotting. It just occurred to me that Wayne Eagling was born in California.
  10. Livestation.com connects to Kultura and to RTR Planeta. I didn't know about them until I read this post; thought "what the heck" give it a try. The connection for Kultura was smooth. The Planeta was slow. With Livestation it depends on the time of day...also one has to know when something is on. Livestation picks up most of the major French channels.
  11. Is this really new? If I'm not mistaken, Merle Park, who was head of the RB School as well as a great dancer, was born in what was then Rhodesia; and the head of the RB, Dame Monica was born in South Africa.
  12. This is a very good discussion. I am just catching up with it and as I read along and a comment started to well up from me...someone else voiced it or a response. Moving away from Dance in America...Live from Lincoln Center presents dance / ballet and yet nothing is ever released. The MET has its HD player to show past performances and pay broadcasts. There is either a rental or monthly fee. This may be the way... Thanks for all the insights.
  13. Just updating...SF Ballet has had a 50% Nutcracker offer on its website for subscribers...it might also be out to its email list.
  14. Years ago, well maybe it was decades ago, I was very involved in bringing dance companies to Los Angeles. That involvement sparked my interest in estimating "houses" - i.e. the number of seats filled as a percentage of the seats available. I also like to reason out what the average price is - which means are there discounts, rush tickets, etc? It has become an unconscious habit with me. Recent estimates are that ABT did well during its MET season, NYCB had seats to spare in June. Out here in California, Mark Morris Dance Group averaged 1,500 patrons in a house of 2,000 / no rush, no special discounts / average price around $55. Four performances...suspect there had to be a donor subsidy as a full orchestra was used. Kirov is due here next week. My premonition from the amount of last minute advertising is that the box office may be sucking air. Will know more on Tuesday at the opening of he triple bill. SF Lobby talk is about 401ks and the stock market rather than who is dancing. (One of the ushers where I was last night - not dance - was questioned by patron as to why with the economy in the tank he was smiling as he welcomed folks!) The smaller dance companies (local and visiting) in the Bay Area are drawing houses of 50 - 60% (750 seat houses). Lots of comps to be found and lots of discounts. One source among the bigger presenters mentioned to me that the largest concern is that the donors were cutting back and that annual pledges are dropping off. If I had more time, I would start to check out on-line ticket availability. The better sites allow one to see what seats are available...that can lead to some constructive at these sites hold guesswork...remember these tend to hold back 5% of the better seats for last minute patrons or contracted tickets for the artists which if not claimed are released before the performance. My hunch, and for many reasons I pray it is wrong, is that the next year will be a tough one for the arts in general and dance in particular. If I was in NYC at the moment, I would be instinctively counting SF Ballet's empty seats and ABT's - I've received several email blasts for discounts to ABT.
  15. I've been away from the board for a while and so am just catching up...thought I'd add my two cents to this topic. Julie Kent tends to dance many of the last nights of the MET season because she is popular and also because her husband has to be there through closing night; she doesn't go off for other gigs during the season (caveat: usually doesn't); on the tutu ballet question - not sure if she is past her prime; do know that she had serious problems with a knee injury and was being treated almost up to the time she went on as Aurora; and for retirement...suspect is will have something to do with the school age of her son.
  16. Just finished watching the DVD. I agree with those who believe this is one of he better ones (the best is always in one's personal memory bank). enjoyed the comments about watching the princes...that's the way I first discovered David Wall supporting Margot.
  17. ggobob

    joseph phillips

    Thanks for the link to his blog...I still view him more as a potential star. Right now he is a skyrocket...let's see him over time....then again should not miss a chance to see him.
  18. This appears to be developing into a relatively hot topic! I find it hard to believe that ABT which runs a "star based" season at the Met changes casting on a whim. I suspect that the scheduled dancer is in pain and the artistic staff along with the dancer walk around with fingers crossed hopitng health will break out. And when it doesn't, then the scheduled dancer is replaced, but...whoops this dancer has only rehearsed with another partner...and that partner with the schedule change will have to be replaced in another ballet... It all rolls down hill. I wish everyone could be healthy all the time. Now as to the draw of dancers and how plans are made around them...I am fnot immune and am flying in two weeks from west coast to east to see Julie Kent dance with Gonzalo Garcia in the Robbins Festival...tickets, hotel, airfare, food...fingers crossed. As a sidebar...the worst memory I have of a substitution a performance was many years ago at the Music Center in LA. It was an ABT matinée, Baryshnikov was scheduled to dance Prodigal Son, house was not only sold out but sold out at scalper prices. While warming up, Baryshnikov seriously injured his leg and could not dance (source for this is Peter Marshall, ABT's physical therapist); after a very extended intermission, some brave soul came out and announced that due to an injury Prodigal would not be performed and something else was being substituted (I can't remember what it was) and the booing and shouted started and continued way into the performance of the substitute. Nasty for the dancers. I am not sure if Baryshnikov every danced a significant classical role after that injury.
  19. I meant to respond to this earlier. This could be quite an epic, as it seems I'm seeing new dances with chairs all the time!We could even expaaaaand it to include famous sitters in ballet: Lizzie Borden's mother at the end of Fall River Legend? The kids in Nutcracker Act 2? Coppelia (can't remember if she's sitting, actually...)? The King and Queen in so many ballets? And isn't there a character in The Concert who sits without a chair (now that's deep). Lucia Chase was one of the most durable chair sitters of all time
  20. One more factoid - Rashna and Nikola are related, I believe they are cousins.
  21. A bit post performance ruminating...agree pretty much with the reviews on this site; less to with the Times and Chronicle. In general, little of the choreography will live beyond a season or two as SFB attempts to draw dividends from its investment. What was spectacular was the level of dancing - ABT's Kevin McKenzie was in the audience and noted during an intermission that there is nothing like the attention of a first level choreographer to draw out the best in a dancer and that was evident in what we were seeing in the Opera House.
  22. I remember Jimmy Carter at the opening night of Baryshnikov's Don Q at the Kennedy Center. Paul Newman and Joannne Woodward were often seen at dance in LA. Eliot Feld's Company, ABT, Nederlands, etc. Sat in front of Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters at an ABT performance. Nancy Reagan was at the Royal Ballet's Sleeping Beauty in 1978 I'm sure someone who lives in LA can detail the celebs who now attend. I go back to the days of Herb Ross who cross pollinated the dance and movie crowds. I used to run into Herb and Nora Kaye at almost every performance of major companies in LA and they always were with dancers and actors. I remember Christoper Isherwood coming backstage after a performance of Roland Petit's company. David Soul used to hand out with some of the corps ladies of ABT...I presume he saw some performances.
  23. After a less than stellar attempt at a mixed bill; Nina Ananishvili in true Giselle spirit danced; and her company,much like Albrecht, made it through the night. The State Ballet of Georgia began a run of Giselle's on Friday night (2/15) at Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall. I managed to see Saturday's performance with Ananishvili as Giselle. She is marvelously charming and it is easy to include her in the top dozen or so Giselle that I have seen. The production is simple and follows the traditional format - with the interesting take that Albrecht has to have Wilfrid toss money to the woman in the house where he stores his sword. Overall the dancing in the first act is solid, Vasil Akhmeteli, was not the most inspired Albrecht but seemed to have no problem believing that the problems he caused were not his problem. One observation - the company when dancing as a group has some difficulty in ending dance phrases in the same position. In the pas de six, Lasha and David Khozashvili (same last names) seemed to be competing for something or other. I wold have given a prize if they could have simply finished in fifth together. Lasha had been Albrecht on Friday night and was one of the two saving graces in the Triple Bill on Thursday. Mark this fellow for future reference. (I went back on Sunday to see the first act with He as Albrecht partnering Anna Muradeli - and found them more emotionally together than Ananishvili and Akhmeteli) Now...lets get to Saturday's Act Two -Nino Ochiauri was Myrta. Fantastic! This act was worth the price of admission. Ms Ochiauri was regal, serene, glorious. Totally surprised me and made me think back to Martine Van Hamel. Overall, a good grade of B+ for this Giselle. Act Two gets an A. Observation - there were a number of SF ballet dancers in house during this Berkeley run. Georgia seems to grow tall dancers. Not the case with SF Ballet.
  24. I would definitely recommend taking a look at this company. It is a new company in the sense that it represents a new nation and has lots of political support to grow. There is talent on stage, it is just that it is raw. I give it credit for attempting things (e.g. Chaconne) that it isn't quite prepared for. There were technical problems that undermined the performance I saw - especially the lighting. Musically, the orchestra was uninspired (inspiration was back for Giselle).
  25. The LA Music Center web site states that the La Scala Opera Ballet will not be performing in July and that tickets should be returned for refunds. No reason given, but word from Milan is the tour promoters did not get the financial backing they needed. No Roberto Bolle -Dinana Vishneva R&J in California this summer - Hmmmmm....Just checked the Orange County Performing Arts Center web site and it is still listing June dates for LSOB. Either the word hasn't made it to Costa Mesa or there is an Art Center problem rather than a promoter financing problem.
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