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Everything posted by DeborahB

  1. Gia Kourlas' piece in the Arts section of the NYTimes tomorrow (well, today). The review is well written, thoughtful and interesting. That said, I don't agree with her assessment of Benjamin Millepied's ballet. However, even though we disagree, I found her comments and observations thought provoking and well put. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/09/arts/dan...t.html?ref=arts
  2. it's Вероника in Russian, and can be spelled either way, so no biggie, i guess The program (and every story I've read about Ms. Part) spells her name Veronika (with a K) so it's probably the spelling she prefers. ________ More misc. comments -- I didn't mean to demean your observations about Ms. Part's name YID. However, my own given name is Devorah (I won't even write out the Hebrew), but call myself Deborah because no one "gets" Devorah. Because of this I want my name spelled Deborah (and not Debra, which it often is). Maybe Ms. Part doesn't care how her first name is spelled in English, but since it's VeroniKA in the program, I follow that lead. I also agree with another poster -- I am no fan of City Center. Silly too since I spend so much time there seeing dancing. But the seats are uncomfortable; you are packed in like sardines and the foot and leg space are non-existent (and I'm just a normal size size 8 woman). Finally there seems to be no rake (or is it called an incline?) in the orchestra. If you get behind a tall person you're sunk (or simply can't see). But it does sound like I'm the only person on this board who actually liked seeing ABT at Avery Fisher. I had a great seat; had no problem seeing anything; had plenty of legroom and could see over my neighbor in front (and he was at least 4 inches taller than my 5 ft. 6).
  3. it's Вероника in Russian, and can be spelled either way, so no biggie, i guess The program (and every story I've read about Ms. Part) spells her name Veronika (with a K) so it's probably the spelling she prefers.
  4. I forgot to add this -- it was a very long program. It started at 6:30pm (they were fairly prompt) and ended at 9:30pm. There was one speech by Imani (spelling? She's a model) and also Veronica Webb. Ms. Webb butchered Benjamin's Millepied's last name. It might have been nice if someone at ABT phonetically spelled out his last name.
  5. ________________ From what I understand, people either love Veronika (no C in her first name) Part or they don't. I don't think that she preened or overacted. Nor did I see fake anguish. What a saw was a stunning (albeit too short) performance. Everyone around me (mid-orchestra) also loved her. But again, to each his/ her own.
  6. That was not an excerpt. That was Fokine's Dying Swan in its entirety. Sorry, Abatt. I wasn't familiar with that piece so didn't know.
  7. I thought Avery Fisher was actually a nice place to host ABT. It was cozy and I had no problem seeing anything (I was in row N; Orchestra). As MJ said, the evening was fantastic. And it was so much fun to see so many ballet stars (from other companies). SEVEN SONATAS (Ratmansky) I liked this ballet a lot. Outstanding dancers were Hallberg (when isn't he incredible?), Cornejo, Julie Kent (so good to see her back). Stella Abrera, Xiomara (a favorite), Gennadi Saveliev were all good too. I loved the music. ONE OF THREE (Barton) Didn't like this ballet at all. However the dancers were excellent particularly Misty Copeland, Paloma Herrera, Gillian Murphy, Cory Stearns, Eric Tamm, Carlos Lopez, Jared Matthews (and the others were good too!). I did love the music (I'm a huge fan of Ravel). THE DYING SWAN Veronika!!! The only bad thing is that the excerpt was less than 5 minutes. She is simply stunning. EVERYTHING DOESN"T HAPPEN AT ONCE (Millepied) Marcelo was brillliant. Isabella was excellent! I also loved Kristi Boone, Maria Riccetto, Alexander Hammoudi, Blaine Hoven, Leanna Underwood, Marian Butler andothers. But the standout -- was (no question) -- the brilliant beyond words Danil Simkin. Gorgeous technique, jumps, stage presence and more. He's not a show off either. Danil -- you rock! Bravo Ben! As much as I love him as a NYCB principal (and I do), he's a choreographer to rival the fantastic Chris Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky. I can't wait to see this program again on Sat. and Sat. night.
  8. Abatt, Your point is well taken. However, Stephen Hanna was on leave (he never quit). This was documented when he left (can't find the link). Also principal salaries are set by the union; Stephen is coming back as a guest artist, but a principal. Finally, if you check the corps listings NYCB took in a lot of new members (all of whom were apprentices). Sure -- they don't cost as much as a 10 year corps member, but their starting salaries aren't negligable either.
  9. I haven't read anything about Morphoses on BT in a while so I thought I'd mention that tickets have been available at CC for 3 weeks. This year there are several dancers that I don't know, but will look forward to seeing. Except for Wendy (or as I call her "my" Wendy. As I've mentioned she's my favorite dancer ever) there are no NYCB dancers this year. That said, several former NYCB dancers (Edwaard Liang, Carrie Lee Riggins and Melissa Barak) are dancing with the company. I was very disappointed to find out that the exquisite Edward Watson and Leanne Benjamin (RB) will be not at CC (sigh.... I'll have to catch them in London again). Do any other BT-ers plan on attending? (I'm going to 3 performances, as well as Wendy's evening, hosted by Damian (hooray!) Woetzel) I love to reading others opinions of the performances.
  10. Ambonnay -- Not to belabor the point (which I feel like we are doing now), but Ben chose Ms. Boylston to be in the first cast -- girlfriend or not. He feels she can handle the work (and certainly I do too). I'm sorry, but I have trouble with your term, "deserving." Each and every dancer at both ABT and NYCB (as well as other companies) -- as far as I'm concerned -- is deserving of a major role created on them. The caveat here is that they must be able to handle it. From what I've seen of Ms. Boylston, I bet she'll be wonderful.
  11. I agree with Marga. In fact, Ben did not use a previous girlfriend (also a ballet dancer and before Isabella) in earlier pieces. This says to me that he is extremely confident in Isabella. One note: I'm not sure it's appropropriate to talk about the personal lives of dancers. Moderators?
  12. Ambonnay, Agreed -- Ms. Boylston and Mr. Gomes are the first team. So what? Again, Ben chose whom he wanted to dance his ballet. In fact, there are many corps and soloists -- both at NYCB and ABT -- (and surely many other companies) that are as good, if not better, than the principals. In fact, this is how it's been for the 30 plus years that I've been attending ballet in NYC (many times a week when the various companies are in season). Feel free to be cynical (is is your right) though. That said, I'd rather see Hee Seo -- whom I adore -- than almost any female dancer at ABT. I only wish that David Hallberg was dancing Ratmansky's ballet with her. To each his/her own.
  13. Ms. Boylston also danced in Ben's small company (they were at the Joyce earlier this year). And there is an alternative cast to his new ballet (check out the ABT website). Choreographers have always had their favorites and their muses. Sometimes there might be a romantic involvement; most of the time (I'm guessing) there isn't. Ms. Boylston is a very talented up and coming ABT corps member; it's nice that she's getting a piece created on her (boyfriend or not). I'm attending Wednesday night and Sat. afternoon and am really looking forward to it.
  14. Here it is in the NYT Arts Beat blog. Such good news! http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/...to-city-ballet/
  15. Shanshan, I'd like to second Carbro's good advice. One caveat -- if you do get orchestra seats make sure they are not too close. I'd go for at least 10-12 rows back. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time! Enjoy!
  16. I went the internet route and gave up after a couple of hours (kept trying periodically). The system was overloaded from 11am on. Eventually I did get through but everything was sold out except the rear mezz and higher up. I'm not thrilled with City Center (despite going there often) even when sitting in "good" seats so I passed on getting tickets. Still, Fall for Dance is a wonderful series and I'm glad that so many people -- especially those who don't attend regularly due to high prices etc. -- have the chance to go.
  17. I should add that my seats (various subscriptions) are all over the first ring. One is, however, in the center section 4th row on the aisle (so I'm guessing that is pretty dead center, but maybe not?).
  18. I just opened my renewal tickets and the price of the first ring remains the same (they just went up a couple of seasons ago, if I'm remembering correctly).
  19. I thought it was very odd that Red Riding Hood & The Wolf were listed, and did appear on stage (albeit briefly), but then didn't dance (although they did come out at the end as well). But since I'm not very familiar with the Mariinsky (or Petipa's version of SB), I thought this might have been normal. I went Sat. night and it didn't get out until 10:50-10:55 pm (and started at 7:30pm). That's just nuts! The intervals seemed endless, and there were too many front of stage bows (not warranted or demanded by the audience either) during the performance. However, I was still thrilled to be at the ROH and seeing the Mariinsky.
  20. Let me add to my own post. I understand that NYCB must have new audiences which is probably the rational for adding a sure winner (i.e. full houses) like SB. But two weeks is one week too long, and again they could have added additional shows (just for SB).
  21. I'm with you Balanchinette. I'm not thrilled that NYCB is doing two weeks of SB (and not just because I saw the Mariinsky's in London). If anything they could have added additional shows (after the first week) like they did for Romeo & Juliet, so that their core audience doesn't have to switch so many tickets (like I'll be doing).
  22. Tonight I saw "The Sleeping Beauty." Alina Somova was Aurora, Leonid Sarafanov was Prince Desire, Islom Baimuradov was Carabosse (the first male Carabosse that I've seen) and Ekaterina Kondaurova was The Lilac Fairy. Once again the Royal Opera House was packed to the rafters (including standing room). Tonight they didn't seem to be in love with Somova (they certainly were -- and so was I - in "Homage to Balanchine."). I did think she had a lot of problems in this performance (balance, extensions, some calf shakiness etc.). I kept thinking that Sterling Hyltin (from NYCB) would have been perfect in this role. However, Somova continued to look beautiful, and perhaps she was having an off night. Islom Baimuradov (a soloist) was a truly fantastic Carabosse. It was the best performance of this role that I've ever seen (note: I haven't seen that many, but have seen quite a few). Ekaterina Kodaurova was a breathtaking Lilac Fairy. Everything about her performance was brilliant -- her lines, her upper body, her legs, her arms, her presence in general. Unfortunately, the Lilac Fairy is not on stage very much in the 4th act (3 intermissions. Far too long a night). I truly hope she does make some guest artists appearances (as Susan wrote earlier). I want to see more of her! I'm saving the best for last -- Leonid Sarafanov. He looks about 15 (and resembles D. Simkin from ABT), but is so brilliant that his youth (I have no idea how old he is) is an afterthought. His solos were magnificent (and received the biggest cheers of the night at the Royal Opera House); he is an excellent (truly) partner, and is totally invested in the role. I need to see more of this dancer as well (field trip to St. Petersburg perhaps? Just kidding!). I adore him! Honorable mention goes to corps members Maria Shirinkina (Princess Florine) and Maxim Zuzin (The Bluebird). They were terrific. Ksenia Ostreikovskaya (The White Cat) and Fedor Murashov (Puss-in-Boots) -- both in the corps -- were also very good. I was disappointed with Vladimir Ponomarev (a soloist) as "The King." He looked bored most of the time. His Queen (in the corps), Elena Bazhenova, was better but I kept wishing that Dena Abergel (again from NYCB) would pop in (she does a great Queen). The ballet started at 7:35 pm and got out at 10:50 pm. There were four acts and three (long) intermissions. In my opinion they could have combined the "Prologue" and "Act I" to cut down these endless intermissions. I have a few other small quibbles (no need to mention) but I will also say that the orchestra was superb, and the sets and costumes were outstanding (truly gorgeous!). The audience was not as enthusiastic about this ballet as compared to "Homage to Balanchine." But there were exceptions (again, huge and much deserved ovation for Leonid Sarafanov, as well as a very nice reception for Ekaterina Kondaurova, Islom Baimuradov and a few others, including the orchestra!). I was also extremely impressed with the audience! They actually pay attention! I didn't hear even a hint of a whisper (and certainly didn't hear any talking). Honestly, this is true when I see the Royal Ballet too. Plus most audience members got dressed up. That was an additional pleasure! Finally, there were plenty of young people there (in their 20's. Most looked like they were on dates) as well as oldsters like me (I'm 52); I saw many snazzy elderly (80's perhaps) couples as well. Not one cell phone went off either! Bravo audience members! I'm heading back to NYC tomorrow but I'm so glad I was able to see two performances (as well as a bunch of plays) of the wonderful Mariinsky. Next time I'm in London (December), I'll be seeing The Royal do "The Nutcracker." (I've actually never seen their version so it might be fun).
  23. She was great, Susan! But again, since I only saw this one performance I don't feel educated enough on the Mariinsky to say too much. I will post again tomorrow night after "Sleeping Beauty." (tonight I head to the National Theatre for "All's Well..." Clare Higgins is in it and I love her!). I can't believe I'll be missing Morphoses tonight! You know how much I love them. Oh well, I intend to go to every performance at City Center. Have fun tonight!!
  24. Sorry for all of the posts everyone. I do want to add that this is only the second time (the first time was years ago at the NY State Theatre, as it was called then) that I've seen the Mariinsky (Kirov). I don't have a lot of points of reference. However, overall I was much more impressed than I'd thought I'd be. And unlike some of the criticism in this thread (earlier), I very much liked Alina Somova. The corps, in particular, was incredbily impressive. Ditto the orchestra (and the pianist for "Rubies" -- Ludmila Sveshnikova). Although I do see the Royal Ballet at least once a year here, I just adore the Royal Opera House too. I'm looking forward to tomorrow night!
  25. Here's the main casting for "Homage to Balanchine": "Serenade" -- Ekaterina Kondaurova, Daniil Korsuntsev (excellent!), Ekaterina Ivvanikova, Daria Vasnetsova and Denis Firsov. ** Note: Staged by Karin von Aroldingen and Francia Russell "Rubies" -- Irina Golub (lovely technique but seemed a bit tense. Had a strange smile throughout too), Denis Matvienko, Yuliana Chereshkevich (she's in the corps; I thought she was quite good) and then Fedor Murashov, Alexi Nedviga, Anton Pimonov and Maxim Krebtov (all in the corp. Strong dancers). ** Note: Staged by Karin von Aroldingen, Sarah Leland, Elyse Borne and Sean Lavery. "Symphony in C" -- Alina Somova (the "one" that everyone is talking about. She's their newest "star" principal She's blond and very beautiful. You can't help but watch her), Maxim Zuzin, Ekaterina Kondaurova, Evgeny Ivanchenko, Elena Evseeva, Vladimir Shklyarov (I thought he was terrific), Evgenia Obraztsova, Kirill Safin. ** Note: Colleen Neary staged this.
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