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Everything posted by Ambonnay

  1. More information from a brochure sent by the Baryshnikov Arts Center: -- Oct 4 event begins at 7 pm -- Event is followed by cocktail reception "with the artists" -- Tickets are $350 ($250 of which is tax-deductible)
  2. I think the inclusion of soloists Cory Stearns and Hee Seo does not probably come as a surprise, esp in the case of Stearns who has been getting a lot of principal roles (leaving aside the question of whether he deserves all of them). I'd say that Ratmansky, if he were reading the situation with Stearns' surprising rise, would know that he should include Stearns. Daniil is being given additional opportunity, and his height/smaller body type and youthful appearance limit the ballerinas who can pair with him and exclude most of the principal ballerinas (except Reyes, who is paired with, and traditionally has been paired with, Cornejo). Therefore, Yuriko K or Sarah Lane would have been the most likely choices for Daniil; Yuriko got the role. I also think that the fact that a piece is being created for the ABT by any choreo tends to give rise to additional opportunities. If you are an ABT principal, you are more likely to be disgruntled if the work is newly created, but you are on the "B" team for the work, where it is obvious that the role was created for a different ABT principal who is your contemporary. That is a starker choice, not in your favor, than if the role had been created long ago and two ABT principals were dancing the same role. So, in "On the Dnieper", it was politically more palatable for Hallberg to be the second male lead on the "A" team (as Olga's fiance) and to have a role created by Ratmansky for him, than to be the returning soldier lead on the "B" team. I'd say the people who might be disappointed are: Wiles; Maria R.; Sarah Lane; Jared M (esp for having a corps member picked to pair Hee Seo over him).
  3. Got my seats, and quite happy with them. Physical box office at BAM apparently opens at noontime, but the BAM phone line started at 10 am today. Here's the "regular" BAM seating chart (ie not specific to Nutcracker) to help people booking: http://tickets.bam.org/checkout/seatingchart_popup.aspx?seatingchart=seating_operahouse.jpg Orchestra starts at Row A (ie no Rows AA, BB and CC like there are for some other productions). For row A, the $30 seats to the side (partial view) cover the right-most and left-most three seats on each side (ie on the right hand side of the diagram, which is from the perspective of somebody standing on the stage, A29 is the best of the three $30 seats on that side). That might be different depending on which row you are booking. The operator confirmed there are no exchanges (or at least officially so). Note that the fact that only the casting for two roles has been listed does not mean there is no Sugar Plum Fairy in Ratmansky's production. Just like, say, Sleeping Beauty, where only Aurora and the Prince are typically listed when the casting is first released, despite Lilac Fairy being a substantial role.
  4. http://www.abt.org/performances/nutcracker.asp (seating chart/pricing map) To me, the seats in the Orchestra don't show that much price difference, unless one goes for the very right or very left hand side of the Orchestra ($30 partial view at rates for standard pricing; shown in light green in the chart above). Does anyone know what these seats are like at BAM? I'm thinking of buying them for a Herrera/Stearns performance, while buying better seats for a Hallberg/Murphy performance.
  5. I wonder if having Hallberg/Murphy as the premiere leads (esp Hallberg) is McKenzie's way of trying to make sure that Alistair M (who will likely be reviewing the premiere) has maximum possibility to give a rave review to this production, and thereby increase ticket sales with respect to people buying at that time? A second aspect is that Murphy is more reliable as a technician than Part and has worked a lot more with Hallberg than Part, so that choosing Murphy as Clara (once Hallberg was decided as The Prince, if that was the sequence) increases the chances of an excellent review. Is it unlikely that a preview would be the subject of a critic's write-up? Each of Ratmansky and Kevin M also has an interest in making Ratmansky's first full-length ballet created for the ABT since he took up residence here, well-received by the critics from an artistic perspective. So, if I were Ratmansky and I had been reading Alistair M's reviews, I would designate Hallberg as the premiere's lead danseur. The need is not only commercial success, but also a version of The Nutcracker that does not make it seem like the ABT is placing commercial appeal/popular appeal over aesthetic considerations. What better danseur to portray the artistry in this piece than Hallberg? ADDENDUM: TICKET PRICES FOR EACH SECTION, AND FOR EACH DAY, ARE OUT! Also more of the costume designs than had been earlier released (see later parts of page linked). The piece will include "Bumble Bee" ( ), Spanish Dancer (male costume), Arabian Dancer (female costume). Prices can depend on time/day of performance: Preview; Standard; Peak; Premiere. Children are the same price as adults. http://www.abt.org/performances/nutcracker.asp
  6. christian -- The press release indicates: "Veronika Part and Marcelo Gomes will debut in the leading roles of Clara and The Nutcracker Prince". So, an adult dancing Clara and the Prince. I recently viewed a DVD of the ABT 1977 production of The Nutcracker, with Gelsey Kirkland as a dancing Clara and Baryshnikov as the Prince. From what I could tell, there wasn't even a Sugar Plum Fairy (or at least not one that had a sustained role distinct from corps de ballet fairies). I think having a dancing Clara occupied by a principal or soloist is a good idea. It is one factor distinguishing the Ratmansky Nutcracker from its most direct competitor, if a family were to only attend at most one Nutcracker a year, the NYCB Nutcracker. I'm not sure how I would feel if I were Gomes or Part, dancing the preview, but not having the technical premier's leads. If I were Wiles, I would not be happy. Maybe she will be Sugar Plum Fairy in some productions, but, if I assume she would have wanted to be female lead in at least one of the productions. It's also presumably a somewhat disappointing outcome for Sarah Lane, with Yuriko K being paired with Simkins. Working well with Simkins is going to give Sarah, Yuriko or another dancer of similar height some meaningful opportunities going forward. That it's Yuriko who is getting this first major opportunity opposite Simkins is interesting (and appropriate, in my mind, at least relative to Sarah Lane).
  7. November 3 and 4 programs: Theme and Variations Cast to be announced Seven Sonatas Cast to be announced Pas de Deux (which one TBA) Cast to be announced Fancy Free Cast to be announced November 5 and 6: Program TBA
  8. Joseph: http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/education/works-and-process/events-schedule The cost is $30 in general, $25 for Guggenheim members, and $10 for students under 25 with valid ID.
  9. Not sure what cities Kings will visit in 2011, but it sounds preliminarily like there may be some version of this performance coming up next year. Ardani, the presenter of this program, recently tweeted: "Reviewing new art work commissioned for #KINGSOFTHEDANCE..." http://twitter.com/Ardani
  10. The below information is from a Guggenheim newsletter I received today: "ABT’S NEW NUTCRACKER Sun and Mon, Nov 7 and 8, 7:30 pm American Ballet Theatre offers a special sneak peek of The Nutcracker by Alexei Ratmansky, prior to its world premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. ABT dancers perform excerpts and the artistic staff discusses the process of mounting this new production." The discussion is part of the Guggenheim's "works and Process" series. I'll attend and be among those to report
  11. The website for Ardani, which organizes/presents Tour de Force II, says the following (although of course, things can change): "Artists scheduled to perform include Bernice Coppieters, Natalia Osipova, Tiler Peck, Polina Semionova, Diana Vishneva, Guillaume Cote, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg , Joaquin De Luz, Giuseppe Picone, Gil Roman, Ivan Vasiliev and special guest Savion Glover. Plus members of the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg and Cirque de Krakatuk." http://www.ardani.com/news-reflection_051910.php
  12. Now the same info, including the phone number to call if the person is booking by phone, is on the ABT website's front page. Wait a while if you don't initially see the number.
  13. The following info was released recently: http://www.ardani.com/news-reflection_051910.php "Reflections Bolshoi Ballet Partnership| World premiere January 20 23, 2011 in Segerstrom Hall Center audiences have seen the Bolshoi dancers ignite the stage before, but they have never seen them like this. Reflections will showcase the unrivaled Bolshoi artistry like never before. The Center partners with the famed Bolshoi Ballet to continue its tradition of presenting world premiere dance events that showcase todays most acclaimed dancers and choreographers. The Center is proud to present Bolshoi-trained dancers Maria Kochetkova of the San Francisco Ballet, Yekaterina Krysanova, Natalia Osipova and Yekaterina Shipulina of the Bolshoi Ballet, Olga Malinovskaya of the Ballet Estonia and Polina Semionova of the Berlin Staatsoper Ballet plus special guest appearances by Bolshoi stars Alexander Volchkov, Viacheslav Lopatin, Denis Savin and Ivan Vasiliev. World premiere pieces will be created for this dance event by famed choreographers Mauro Bigonzetti, Wayne McGregor, Karole Armitage, Lucinda Childs and Yury Possokhov. The program also features works by Nacho Duato, Susan Marshall and George Balanchine. Part I Remansos by Nacho Duato Part II works by Karole Armitage*, George Balanchine, Aszure Barton, Lucinda Childes*, Wayne McGregor*, Susan Marshall, Wayne McGregor*, Yury Possokhov* Part III FIVE by Mauro Bigonzetti* * = world premiere" Osipova is one of the featured women , and it sounds like, at least on one of the evenings, I Vasiliev will be performing (at least on a limited basis). Sorry -- Please feel free to delete this topic. I just noticed the same info under the "Performing Arts Center" subboard.
  14. Barbara -- I called the ABT office last week to ask the same question, even though I plan to attend more than one Nutcracker if practicable. The ABT office said, at the time, that the casting is not likely to be made available by August 25. I asked whether Met 2010 subscribers will get exchange privileges for Nutcracker performances, and the answer was in the negative. All -- What do people plan to do, in terms of balancing buying tickets on August 25 versus waiting to see who gets cast?
  15. Hallberg and Cojocaru are to perform La Bayadere at the Teatro Colon, Argentina on December 17 and 19, 2010: http://www.alinacojocaru.com/page3.htm
  16. As mussel guessed, Hallberg is performing in certain Melbourne Nutcrackers -- 3 performances: http://australia.broadwayworld.com/article/Australian_Ballet_Presents_The_Nutcracker_Featuring_David_Hallberg_20100816
  17. When I called ABT on Friday, they indicated that a card or something like that would be sent by regular US mail to ABT members and possibly subscribers regarding Nutcracker ticket purchase opportunities. Has any BT member received such materials?
  18. Exciting news -- Osipova & I Vasiliev are also performing in Indy: http://www.indianapoliscityballet.org/icb-artists.php If BT members live in Indy, this sounds like an event to really think about attending
  19. The Stars of the 21st Century event in Toronto on October 14 is apparently expected to include, among others: Denis Matvienko/Anastasia Matvienko (Kirov), and Michail Kaniskin/Elisa Carillo Cabrera (Berlin). Apart from the Stars of the 21st Century event, there seems to be a Nutcracker performance in Toronto involving certain Kirov dancers on December 18 and 19: "Holiday PERFORMANCE OF THE NUTCRACKER BALLET WITH THE STARS FROM KIROV BALLET, ST. PETERSBURG Winter Garden Theatre, Toronto December 18 & 19, 2010"
  20. bingham -- No, according to my online research. I don't have direct information, but I believe Hallberg/Murphy were in "Other Dances" together in 2009 and possibly during the China tour. carbo -- I'm making one attempt during the upcoming NYCB seasons, involving the A Ratmansky choreographed piece from last NYCB season. We'll see. I'm also considering seeing a performance of the Seven Deadly Sins, in part because I'd be interested in seeing the dance depiction of/singing with respect to gluttony. As an aside, the celloist for B Millepied's piece, A Kim, seemed to be (I think) the celloist performing as part of the Mostly Mozart Orchestra at Lincoln Center recently when Gil Shaham was the violin soloist. The orchestra members, and Shaham, were in all white jackets or white tops.
  21. I found it interesting that Ivan Vasiliev doesn't have a strong sense, at this point, whether his working with Osipova would reach "historic partnership" levels and that he seems realistic in his assessment: " 'What Nurevey and Fonteyn had was magic.' Because he often dances with Natalia, is that perhaps a partnership he wishes to develop further in the future? 'Nobody knows what will happen. We have to wait. It is always interesting to live when you don't know what will be in the future.' 'Of course, I want our partnership to continue. I always want to work. The important thing is not to stop." http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1300688/The-new-Nureyev-The-Bolshois-Russian-rocket-Ivan-Vasiliev-hailed-superstar-just-21.html?ito=feeds-newsxml (also confirms that I Vasiliev/Osipova are a real-life dating couple) Part of me thinks that if it's not Vasiliev/Osipova, it could well potentially be Hallberg/Osipova (if Osipova is part of any historic partnership), but, as Vasiliev said, we'll have to see how things develop...
  22. Marcelo Gomes has tweeted that he "is going to dance at the teatro amazonas, manaus this weekend" (a venue located in the Brazilian rain forest, apparently). http://twitter.com/marcelogomes47 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Theatre
  23. 2010 Nantucket Atheneum Dance Festival Saturday, July 31, 2010, 6:30 pm Nantucket High School Auditoriumn This event took place at a better venue than the high school auditorium venue name suggests, although the stage was small and the musical equipment used to broadcast music (when soloist instrument musicians were not accompanying) left a lot to be desired. I have not before seen dancers from so close. The Met has the area where the orchestra is that separates the audience from the dancers. This auditorium did not. My seat in the row second closest to the stage, on the side, left me with a closer view than that I have experienced even in the first seat of the first Side Parterre box at the Met (1) Other Dances (Chopin/Robbins/Cameron Grant playing piano): Hallberg/Murphy This piece seemed longer, in a good way, than the 18 minutes it actually was. What a wonderful opportunity to see this, sitting so close up to the stage. The dancers have never looked to me to be so immediate or tall. They are in beautiful, ethereal-looking, light lilac costumes. Hallberg came across as being "spiffier" and more animated than his usual dancing style might suggest. He made good use of clean, sharp actions with respect to moving his elbows and hands at indicated times in the mazurka pieces. Nice use of a little rock of the head at opportune times, to add accents to some of the dance movements. Hallberg seemed to be making playful eye contact with Murphy at other times. First solo by Hallberg involved a lot of leaps and jumps that were beautiful, and involved somewhat abrupt hand and elbow movements initially, some connoting a salute from a military officer to me. Murphy danced very well. The program has a background piece on the festival, by Joseph Carman. The piece includes the following: "Other Dances, created in 1976 for Baryshnikov and the legendary Russian ballerina Natalia Makarova, has its roots in an earlier Robbins ballet to Chopin's piano music, 'Dances at a Gathering'. Using four mazurkas and one waltz by Chopin, Robbins created a wonderful pas se deux that is now coveted as a showpiece by international ballet stars. In the beginning of the duet, the steps take the form of a warm conversation between two people who seemingly know each other well. The choreography alludes to Slavic folk steps and unadorned gestures. Each dancer performs two solos. For the man, the first solo is explosive with breathtaking jumps; the second variation is more muted and introspective. The ballerina engages in one solo, where she darts like a bird, changing direction. For her second solo, she she dreamily and languorously stretches her lines into space as if to joyfully experience the full magnitude of her surroundings. During the energetic coda, they both jump flirtatiously to a lively mazurka." (2) Tschaikovsky PDD (Balanchine: coached by Millepied): Hoven/Riccetto I thought Hoven danced very well. His jumps were high and his lines strong and classical-looking. It didn't look like this was only his second time performing this piece. His partnering was good, except that he looked too deliberate (i.e., too much like he was making a strong effort) when he was spinning Riccetto by turning her waist. I thought Riccetto could have been a bit more fluid in her movements, but she danced well. The prior evening (Friday; not watched) had been Hoven's debut in this piece. (3) Suite of Dances (Bach/Robbins/Ann Kim playing cello): Millepied dancing Well, this was the first time I have seen Millepied dance live. It's a modern piece, with Millepied relaxed at times in the performance, and not so at other times, as is intended by the piece. Millepied was dressed in a loose cherry-tomato-red blouse, with red pants of a slightly more red-orange hue. He danced the piece appropriately, but I left with the impression that any number of danseurs could have danced similarly (not that that is necessarily a negative). This was not a short piece and I saw an interesting effect, being seated so close to the stage. On several occasions when Millepied was spinning in the second half of the piece, a large number of beads of sweat were flung from his face/back of his head at high velocity. (4) Romeo and Juliet Balcony PDD (Prokofiev/K MacMillan): Riccetto and Stearns Being seated towards the far right, I missed the initial parts of this PDD where Riccetto was apparently on a simple construct that mimicked a balcony. This was the first time I had seen Stearns as Romeo. His Romeo seems a bit immature, and he did not convey a deep love for Juliet through his dancing -- infatuation and youthful exploration, yes; a soulful and life-sustaining love, no. At a few points, I thought Stearns moved too quickly, thereby causing his Romeo to seem a bit rash and seem almost impulsive. Maria's Juliet was reasonably well-executed overall from a technical standpoint. Her positions were nice-looking on the lifts. I thought her back could have been considerably better-arched at certain times (other than during the lifts, where it was fine). However, batting one's eyelids at Romeo and smiling touch only a part of the surface of what character development could occur in this scene. Maria does not communicate how Juliet is falling deeper and deeper for Romeo as they dance. Also, Maria needs to act more with her body as well as with her face. (5) Polyphonia (Ligeti/Wheeldon/Cameron Grant on piano): Whelan (NYCB principal), T Angle (P), J Somogyi (P), G Garcia (P), T Reichlen (P), A Danchig-Waring (soloist), Amanda Hankes (corps, replacing K Morgan, who is ill), C Forrest Hall (soloist). I find this piece difficult to understand, and was disappointed by T Reichlen's performance, among others. I am going to leave it at that, because I have not tried to understand NYCB dancing and have extremely limited experience with watching it. I will invoke the politic approach that, if one doesn't have anything nice to say, it may be better not to say anything. Overall, I enjoyed the Hallberg/Murphy and Hoven/Riccetto parts of the performance very much. Stayed at the Jared Coffin house, right in the middle of Nantucket town. Ate at Cy's Lobster (an informal restaurant where a properly cooked Nantucket 1.5 lb lobster was $25), The Galley (where a slightly overcooked, 2 lb Nantucket lobster deshelled, prepared in a truffle butter poaching with hon shemeji mushrooms and English peas, was $59), and Black-Eyed Susan's (breakfast of egg scramble with Thai curry, broccoli and cilantro). The restaurants I visited would not confer an independent reason to go to Nantucket. Ice cream flavored with native island blackberries from the Juice Bar was good. Overall, Nantucket is such a sweet, relaxed place.
  24. Hallberg's bio in the program for the Nantucket Atheneum Dance Festival includes the following info: "Other guest artist appearances include ... , beginning in September 2010, Principal Guest Artist with the Australian Ballet." It's not clear whether the use of the words "beginning in" signals that Hallberg may be periodically guesting there (??), or whether that is just when Hallberg guests for a single set of performances.
  25. Pointe magazine has a page on Veronika Part's Dance Bag (the title of the article misspells her name as Veronica). There is a snippet re: Part having been injured last year that I was not previously aware of: "Part suffered a labral tear -- an injury to the cartilage surrounding a ball-and-socket joint -- in her hip last year and chose not to have surgery. So now, on show days, she goes through a special two-hour workout in order to prepare her body to dance."
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