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Everything posted by DeborahB

  1. I'm going to keep this brief but I really had a nice evening at the Mariinsky. The Royal Opera House was packed. The first ballet, "Serenade" didn't get quite the ovation I thought it would. The dancers -- although lovely -- didn't dance off the beat (any of them) and they don't lift their legs (the woman) as high (the extensions aren't, well, extended). Their upper body is, of course, beautiful. The lead ballerina (I always think of Kyra Nichols doing this ballet) doesn't take her hair down, and in general did not wow me (although she was quite good). I didn't get the emotional wallop that I always get from NYCB. I enjoyed it, but I didn't love as I usually do. I'm sorry I'm not adding the casting, but it's late here and I have an early morning meeting. "Rubies" was a bit all over the place -- i.e. the jumps/lack of jumps/non-flexed feet etc. The ballerina who does Ashley Bouder's part -- as I think of it now -- doesn't get her leg up very high, nor do the dancers hold the poses for very long.There were quite a few bent legs too (when they should have been straight. This was true for all three ballets). Many of the dancers (women and men) "set up" the spins and turns. I always find that distracting. Some of the women have plastered smiles on their faces too (seemed strange); the men are much more natural. Variations were also cut (which did bother me . This was especially true in "Symphony in C"). It seems like I'm nitpicking, but overall I liked it a lot (although not as much as NYCB's, MCB etc.). The audience seemed to like this ballet more than "Serenade" (the applause was more generous). "Symphony in C" was better. The lead male (a corps member) was terrific (although he cut a couple of the harder combinations). And the corps, in general, was excellent the entire evening. The orchestra was also superb. This ballet simply knocked the audience off their seat. The Mariinsky did a very good job with this one, but it wasn't an A (or even an A plus) for me. That said, the overall impression was excellent. The audience went nuts at the curtain -- they applauded for more than 5 minutes, whistled and more (not very usual for London. At least not at the Royal). The dancers seemed very pleased. I'll be seeing "Sleeping Beauty" on Sat. night. I'll try to read up on the individual dancers by then, but I'm sure the program is listed (tonight's) on the Royal Opera Houses website.
  2. I'm in London and will be going to the "Homage to Balanchine" performance tonight (can't wait!), and "Sleeping Beauty" on Sat. night. Will report back (as best as I can considering I've only seen this company once or twice). The performance is sold out tonight. It got rave reviews everywhere. They are performing: "Serenade" "Rubies" (from "Jewels") "Symphony in C"
  3. Since I'm most familiar with NYCB dancers, my choices are a bit biased. Most recent past: Jock Soto. Also loved Peter Boal, Damian Woetzel, Nicolaj Hubbe, Ethan Stiefel I also adored Peter Martins when he was Suzanne's partner. Currently: David Hallberg, Edward Watson (have been able to see him at the Royal, and also with Morphoses) and Adrian Danchig-Waring.
  4. I just received my copy yesterday and read it cover to cover. Besides all the great reviews, it's always interesting to read about so many ballet companies (many of which I've never seen, but get to know a bit through the reviews). Plus I always find that I learn things (things I thought I already knew, but didn't!) in each issue. A great read!
  5. Here's the preview clip of the new ballet for Wendy Whelan and Edward Watson. You have to be signed up for Facebook to see this (it takes just a minute or two): http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=...5423&ref=mf
  6. Joaquin De Luz is actually not performing with Morphoses but Gonzalo Garcia, Maria Kowrowski, and Jason Fowler -- as well as those mentioned above -- are part of the company. Former NYCB dancer Edwaard Liang is also with Morphoses. Morphoses will also be performing at Summerstage in Central Park (free too!) on 8/14 and 8/15. I'll miss it (will be in London), but if you haven't seen Edward Watson (such a wonderful dancer) of the Royal Ballet -- who also performs with Morphoses -- do try to get to one of these performances. A new ballet called "Whither Shall I Wander" was made on Edward and Wendy Whelan and will debut in Central Park (I can't believe I'm going to miss this!). From the very short preview clip that I saw it looks wonderful (I'll try to find the link and post if I do find it). And speaking of Wendy -- was anyone in Vail last night for Wendy's tribute (mentioned in the NYT on Sunday)? I'm hoping that there was press there too.
  7. Oops, sorry Dirac! I didn't think to look for last night's link, and before I sent this link I did look at today's (it wasn't up yet). Looks like yours went up a few seconds after I started this topic (I jumped the gun...).
  8. This was in the SF Chronicle today. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?.../DD3118UQ08.DTL
  9. Except in this case, I do agree with you about the NYT's blogs. In fact, I am a regular poster on both the ArtsBeat blog (I was out there defending Patti LuPone immediately!), and the Bats blog (huge Yankees fan. Going this afternoon). The posting about Frank McCourt ("Angela's Ashes" is a must read) from his former students had me in tears. However, this was a column that asked the public (most of whom have no idea what dancers have to go through to get where they are) to give advice to young, professional dancers. I read every comment and more than just a few were derisive, unflattering, thoughtless, crude (in more than one case) -- and these were directed at the dancers (!), not at NYCB. (That said, the first comment was about Career Transition for Dancers which is a fantastic organization. So many dancers, including former NYCB's, Stephen Hanna -- now the older "Billy" on Broadway, and ABT's Matt Murphy -- now with a thriving photography business, have made very nice transitions with their help). I do think an ArtsBeat column that would allow people to vent about how sad, angry, disappointed, concerned, worried, annoyed, and perplexed they are about the corps cuts would have been welcome, appropropriate, and interesting; it might have sparked a good discussion about the arts (and funding)in general. The NYT's story is officially coming out tomorrow -- perhaps the ArtsBeat blog will do a follow up story about NYCB (especially if they get a lot of comments about the Arts & Leisure piece).
  10. Agreed! It was set up to get a lot of comments, of course (and it has), but it just seems wrong. Afterall, who are we to give unsolicited advice to young dancers who have to figure out what to do next? That's what friends, family, colleagues, and professional counselors are for -- not strangers.
  11. Here's another story about NYCB cuts on the NYT's ArtsBeat blog. The comments are pretty interesting. http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/...mployed-dancer/ Also, Bart -- in England (or at least in London) the euphemism is being made "redundant." I don't think I've ever heard anyone there (I'm in London a few times a year) say "fired." So maybe it's not a euphemism, but what they say instead of "fired?" (or "let go" etc.).
  12. I did get tickets yesterday for two of the performances. I ordered online, and from the seat selection guide it looked like they were already selling pretty well.
  13. I went to yesterday's matinee and evening performances (drove back this am). I'll keep this brief. The dancers - especially Tess Reichlen in the 4 T's in the afternoon and evening performances, and Maria Kowrowski in "Swan Lake" in the evening, were all terrific. That said, I'm not sure how they deal with the heat and humidity at SPAC (especially when there's a lot to their costume). Plus the bugs were everywhere (more so than last year, or so it seemed). I even had bug spray on yet still got devoured. The afternoon audience (lots of very young, badly behaved children, and people talking throughout the performance) were not attentive. The evening audience were more attentive but still lots of talking (sorry, it's a pet peeve of mine). It was so nice to see the NYCB after the spring season ended, but SPAC itself is a challenge (mostly because of the elements, and because of too many people talking). I guess I'm too much of a city gal to enjoy this sort of thing (although I did go last year too). The afternoon attendance seemed more than half full (good for that huge venue). The evening attendance was sparser. Saratoga Springs itself is lovely. I enjoyed walking through the town (plus my stepdaughter lives there so I got to visit with her). Lots of good restaurants, and nicely restored upstate NY buildings.
  14. Looking forward to this week's repertory. Hoping for little rain and large crowds -- surely Coppelia will draw. And greatly missing Sara Mearns. Thank you for your fine review, Kabota! I'll try to add my two cents when I go to the Thursday matinee and evening performances (staying in Saratoga overnight). I so look forward to seeing the dancers again! I already miss them (and it's just been a few weeks since the spring season ended)
  15. and say a prayer of thanks for Tony Mendez! You are so right, KFW! Tony is not only a nice guy (to be honest, the entire Letterman crew is great), but he has enough clout (thank goodness!) to have helped make this happen!
  16. Just bought a ticket for the Marinsky in London (mid-August). Seeing "Swan Lake." I've never seen the Marinsky before (although I do see the Royal Ballet at the Opera House at least once a year. Have business in London). I'm so excited!
  17. It sounds like quite a cast. I wish I'd been able to see Murphy live when I was in NYC a couple of weeks ago, but "La Sylphide" isn't her rep. Thank you so much for posting this, Helene! I love Apolloinaire's pieces in the Financial Times, but didn't realize she also wrote a blog! I'll now check it out frequently.
  18. Cristian -- I said I was done with this too (LOL). All I can say is that having a ballerina on national tv is a minor miracle. She's not the star -- Letterman is/was (and Daniel Radcliffe etc.). And again, Ms. Part was charming and Dave was charmed by her. I'm sorry but there's just too much nit-picking going on here. Having Ms. Part on was a wonderful gift to ABT (and to her). I suggest we just be happy for ABT, and for Ms. Part ,and hope that this opens doors to for more dancers to appear on national tv.
  19. I'm going to keep this brief. I've never seen ABT's Romeo and Juliet before (the house was packed, by the way). I loved it! Jared Matthews (Mercutio), Daniil Simkin (Benvolio), Patrick Ogle (Tybalt), and Susan Jones (the nurse) were all excellent. It was great so see Victor Barbee (Lord Capulet) too. Gillian Murphy was a lovely Juliet. The orchestra was also in fine form. But it was all about David Hallberg. The man is a ballet god. Even though I'm a NYCB fan first and foremost, I do try to see at least 8 ABT performances each season (and always look for Hallberg). He was simply magnificent today (and actually every time I've seen him dance). Bravo!
  20. It's a great idea, Barbara but Dave is more than a bit of a recluse. He rarely goes to anything in NYC (he did attend "The Color Purple" with Oprah as part of his wooing of Oprah to finally come on his show. Long story). But Kelly Ripa, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. and a host of other national media personalities DO attend both ABT and NYCB.
  21. Peter Martins in his youth (actually he's still quite handsome). And, my favorite male dancer (ever) -- the gorgeous Jock Soto. Others: Gonzalo Garcia (stunning up close) David Hallberg Damien Smith Tyler Angle Edwaard Liang! (very handsome) Chris Wheeldon Adrian Danching-Waring Amar Ramasar Albert Evans Peter Boal (and the aftermentioned Nicolaj, Ethan, Angel, etc.)
  22. Cristian, I'm explaining national tv, which I do know. Veronika Part is a no-name to these demographics (and especially to the advertisers). And Plato wouldn't get booked on national tv either (at least not easily. That is very sad too, but it is what it is). You wouldn't believe how many worthy artists don't have a prayer of getting on national tv (especially late night tv). Hollywood celebs are the rule here; second are major musical groups. This is just a fact. Daniel Radcliffe IS a huge star. That's not circumstantial either, but how it is (although honestly, I'm not a Harry Potter fan, even though I did the PR on one or two of the Harry Potter books for Jo's publisher. I also haven't seen one of the movies. But young Mr. Radcliffe did a terrific job in "Equus" which I happend to see in London). Perhaps you don't watch national tv much (and I don't blame you for this. So much of it is less-than-great) so you don't know who is usually on. I'm not criticizing Ms. Part; I think she's wonderful. It's just the reality of national media. And again -- kudos to Dave and his producers for having her on. I admire your passion (and I actually share it); I think it would be wonderful if artists of all kinds were featured on national media more regularly -- but that's just not the case (again, b/c of ad dollars). Finally, national media exposure for ABT, NYCB or any ballet company IS a blessing (national tv numbers alone are in the milliions)..
  23. Really? This is my last post about this subject; I've posted far too much about this subject already. However, the opportunity for a ballerina to be on national tv is a huge deal, period. Believe me -- I know how hard it is to get people --even famous people -- on national media, and particularly national tv (as this is what I do for a living). What's not to like? Even if just one more person became interested in ballet after this interview (and Dave did show those gorgeous photos of Veronika), that's enough. And I repeat: Veronika Part was utterly charming with Dave. She made the best of the few minutes she got (since she's a "no-name" guest except to ballet fans, she would never have gotten more than a few minutes. The fact that she was booked at all was a small miracle. Daniel Radcliffe, on the other hand, is a huge movie star. He would get more minutes, and would always be a first guest. It's probably even written into his contract. That's tv. That's advertising -- adverters will pay more for "big" name guests.). End of explanation. Kudos again to Veronika Part, ABT, David Letterman and his staff for booking this lovely ballerina.
  24. Letterman was entranced by Veronika. He was very flirty, which he always is with gorgeous young woman (actually with women of all ages), even though he's now married to his girlfried of many years. His wife was a producer for the show -- years ago -- and is just great! I loved how he was trying to partner Veronika (and she was a great sport!). I know that Dave is an acquired taste for some, but I'm a huge fan (and also get some of my clients on the show). He was not outside of his comfort zone (this is partly an act). Again, he said he didn't know much about dance but that's not quite true. It's better entertainment for him to say things like this (the guy studies up on all of his guests -- he's a perfectionist even though it may not seem that way). Veronika's dress was to die for. ABT mentioned the designer on Facebook. Her appearance surely garnered a lot of new ballet fans.
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