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abatt

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About abatt

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/23/arts/dance/new-york-city-ballet-balanchine.html NY Times review of Tues and Wed evening's performances. Maybe they have heard the complaints that NY Times doesn't do ballet reviews anymore.
  2. I think the new management is a little too generous in allowing some principals to continue despite their evident decline and physical limitations due to age and injury. Apart from decline, there is the issue of having too many side projects. Abi Stafford is going to law school. Good for her, but why is she still on the company roster. For that matter, why is Justin Peck still listed as a soloist. He is busy doing all kinds of other jobs, and has not danced in a long time.
  3. Thoughts on last night's performance. We started with a brief speech from Lovette and Veyette in honor of Balanchine's birthday. It was mercifully short. The days of Vodka toasts on Mr. B's birthday at NYCB are over. This was my first time seeing Tiler Peck back on stage since injury forced her to miss the spring and fall 2019 seasons. She and Tyler performed in Allegro Brilliante. Her Footwork and spins remain stellar. However, I thought the stiffness in her back was obvious. Having seen Tiler dance this role many times over the years, last night's performance was comparatively careful. Megan Fairchild was exquisite in La Source. What crystalline, clean footwork. It was a joyous performance. I also loved Emma Von Enck in the soloist role. She dances with lightness and abandon. Garcia was a good partner, but he no longer is the virtuoso dancer he once was. Bouder was thrilling in Firebird. Great speed and elevation in her jumps, and lovely in the adagio moments. Other than dropping the magic feather when Bouder handed it to him, Veyette did well in his new role. He is clearly leaving behind the roles that require great athletic ability, and transitioning into other types of roles. Added: Tyler Angle remains a great partner, but he needs to leave this allegro role behind. He no longer has the technique for this role.
  4. In a desperate attempt to sell tickets to La Traviata, the Met Opera is trying to leverage the fame of Sara Mearns. Use the Code MEARNS20 to get a 20 percent discount to Traviata for performances through March 13. Must purchase by Feb. 7. Offer applies only to certain sections of the house. Fair Warning: This is a ten minute role as part of an ensemble of dancers, and it is not a ballet role. She gets tossed around between various men, and she does some high kicks. That's about it
  5. The speech and public ceremony may be an effort simply to continue to garner support from the descendants of Janice Levin to keep this award going year after year. Doesn't every rich person who gives money to a company enjoy praise in an on stage ceremony? I had no idea that Ariel Tepper was Janice Levin's granddaughter.
  6. Or maybe its the fact that the person deciding the recipient of the award has changed. Stafford himself could be described as adequate and bland in his dancing during his relatively short dancing career at NYCB. Given Jones's youth, I am not ready to judge whether she has qualities to make it to principal at some point in the future..
  7. This was the first time that a Levin Award winner was the subject of a pre performance speech. I liked the fact that they gave Bailey Jones a special one page blurb in the playbill last night regarding the award and Ms. Jones, but the speeches were a bit much and over the top. Bailey still has a lot to learn about performing, in my opinion. She was the Marzipan Shepherdess at my Nutcracker performance in late December, and faltered badly in the final moments of the choreography for her variation. Agree with you about Mejia.
  8. The Times doesn't really do ballet reviews anymore, so dancer profiles and interviews now fill the paper space where reviews used to be. If Gordon doesn't have an issue with revealing his personal life, why should we. In fact, if you follow Gordon on instagram, it is well known that his boyfriend is Adrian DW. Adding a sentence about the circumstances of the departure of Martins is now apparently obligatory at the NY Times any time the paper refers to anyone presently or formerly in a management position, or anytime the name Martins comes up in any context. It's ridiculous. Actually, having a press rep is the worst thing Gordon could do. He's not looking for a glossy portrayal of himself. He presents himself as completely genuine without artifice, and he comes across that way in performances and in the article. That's completely refreshing as far as I'm concerned. PS Casting for week 3 is up on the website.
  9. Here is an article about Joe Gordon. I knew that both of his parents were deceased from an old Instagram post when he was promoted to principal, but I didn't realize how difficult his childhood was. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/22/arts/dance/joseph-gordon-new-york-city-ballet.html
  10. Not to side track too much, but there are certainly amazing dancing roles in Met operas. In particular, I'm thinking of Stravinsky's Rossignol (which featured Amanda McKerrow and Damian Woetzel during the last revival(, La Giaconda with incredible choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, and the most recent version of Carmen with choreography by Wheeldon.
  11. I agree with you. The choreography in this Traviata is trash. I can't imagine why Mearns would even be interested in doing it. I read on her Instagram that it had always been a dream of hers to dance on the stage of the Met Opera House. If that was the motivation, I would have hoped she would at least have found a more appropriate vehicle. Any mediocre dancer can do the "dancing" in the Traviata. I know Mearns like to experiment with many different dance styles, but sometimes her choices are baffling.
  12. I'm 0 for 2 in seeing Mearns in recent weeks. She was replaced by Periera a few weeks ago in my only Nutcracker, in which she was supposed to dance Sugarplum Fairy. Mearns was also replaced in Traviata yesterday at the Met in a nothing dance role. (That one I couldn't care less about because I was there to see the singers, not Mearns.)
  13. Nobody is disputing that the company management should be cognizant that blackface is offensive. But the issue here is that Copeland was insensitive and thoughtless in identifying the photo with the 14 year old girl's Instagram account. With fame comes responsibility. She knows very well that people on social media respond to all kinds of things in extreme and inappropriate ways. For someone who claims to be supportive of the dreams of young girls, and who herself was subjected to a media circus in her youth, the way she went about making her very valid overall point was uncaring.
  14. I doubt a 14 year old Russian girl has a firm grasp of the history of racism in America, so it is not fair to presume that the child knew that she was posting a "very offensive" photo to a "large chunk of the world." I know when I was 14 I was not studying the history of Russia in my classroom in NYC.
  15. I don't think Copeland could have effectively made her point without using a photo of what she was referring to. Perhaps if she could have posted the photo but not identify whose Instagram account it was taken from, that would have been the most appropriate solution. Given that Copeland has been the victim of very negative statements on certain social media platforms, I'm surprised that she wasn't more sensitive to the fact that these were young teenage girls that would suffer the backlash. By the way, I recall the Bolshoi bringing Corsaire to the Kennedy Center about 10 years ago. However, I don't think they employed the use of black face during that tour.
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