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ksk04

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About ksk04

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    dancer
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    los angeles
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    ca

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  1. It's not ballet but I saw that the Center Theatre Group in LA won't be open for performances until April 2021: https://www.playbill.com/article/los-angeles-center-theatre-group-to-remain-closed-through-2020 The Ahmanson/Mark Taper share the plaza with the Dorothy Chandler (dance season), so I don't know if this will influence anything there, but this may be the direction for a lot of places. Segerstrom announced they were laying off 63% of its staff (250 part time, 77 full time and pay cuts for the remaining 37%): https://voiceofoc.org/2020/06/segerstrom-center-announces-63-staff-cuts-joining-oc-arts-organizations-struggling-with-coronavirus-impact/
  2. I'll give credit--the classes with Stella/Sascha and Susan Jaffe have been pretty enjoyable. It's not "footage unearthed from the archives" but it's probably the type of content they should be doing regularly during Met season to familiarize people with the ballets.
  3. All the dance footage (except the truly poor Hurlin/Bell thing) was even available before this--SCFTA posted a longer clip of Of Love and Rage (the actual dancing) on their FB page. I'm glad I put it on while chopping vegetables for dinner instead of deciding to sit down and watch it. Terrible.
  4. SCFTA posted a clip if anyone wants a little preview. This is in Act 1 after the wedding ceremony (the blue ribbony overlays and bracelets were put over their original costumes as wedding apparel):
  5. Very interesting connection, sandik--I am interested to hear what others will make of the character in NYC (hopefully...feeling good we got to see this before everything shut down) Thank you so much for this info and for knowing what this piece was called, Roberta! I thought this music was perfect in the scene and was so fascinated by the flexatone's effect.
  6. It's been great to read other impressions of this new ballet. I saw it three times--opening night, Friday, and Sat mat, so the Hurlin/Bell cast 2x and the Shevchenko/Forster cast once. The ballet is really busy with a lot of background movement but, in my opinion, the most restrained balletic busy-ness that I've seen from Ratmansky in a long time. Fewer ungainly jumps, lifts, etc. (I thought the Dionysius character was maybe the one exception, especially in the Act 2 dance-off battle between Dionysius and Mithridates). Basically, instead of balletic busy, Ratmanksy has traded in for plot busy: in the first act alone, Callirhoe falls in love, gets broken up by parents, gets married, faints and fake dies, is buried alive, gets captured by pirates, gets sold into slavery, and marries the guy who bought her. It's a LOT and again that is just the first act--the second is also jam packed. I wonder how much discussion there was about making this into three acts because there is hardly any time to let emotional poignancy develop over such rapidly moving plot lines, but maybe that is not the point! I agree with Josette's critique that the ballet itself seems a bit regressive--Callirhoe isn't particularly clever or intelligent or funny or...anything. People just see her and want her (this happens at least 4 times in the ballet not counting when she gets abducted). She shows one bit of smarts when she covers her wedding bracelet in the crypt before getting abducted. Otherwise she is mostly a moving plot piece that action happens around. That's why it's important to cast the part with someone who can invent charm/wittiness in her dancing because otherwise the character has literally no discernible personality traits. With regard to characters here is some of the notable extended casting(for what I saw): Callirhoe - Hurlin / Shevchenko (love Shevchenko and Forster together, just ok on the Hurlin/Bell cast) Chaereas - Bell / Forster (first guy to fall in love with her. I don't want to be too rude but I found Bell a bit hulking and hunchy in his neck and shoulder which I found a bit distracting and unballetic esp in comparison to Forster) Dionysius - Whiteside / Hoven (second guy to fall in love with her.) Mithridates - Stearns / Hammoudi (Stearns is TOTALLY unrecognizable, to great effect, in this role as the third dude to fall in love with Callihroe; he excelled. What a wig!) King of Babylon - Zhurbin / Roberts (fourth guy to fall in love with her, played with a senile-groper vibe) Queen of Babylon - Williams the whole time (if you are buying a ticket to see someone in this role specifically, it's not worth it. It's a bit part really and I'm surprised it was cast at the principal level with Teuscher supposedly. Williams' hair/makeup makes her look dead like Kate Middleton) Callirhoe's maid - Luciana Paris / Zimmi Coker (soloist female role in first scenes who accidentally gets her mistress accused of having an affair; Paris was excellent, bright, sunny, caring, exuberant) Polycharmus - Tyler Maloney / Eric Tamm (Chaereas' buddy throughout. Both excellent in the role. Tamm looked great like he never left) Plangon - Courtney Shealy / Zhong-Jong Fang (Soloist role. Dionysius' servant who helps convince Callirhoe to marry him for the sake of her baby. Played as an older, wiser. clever woman. Shealy was unexpected and quite good.) Three Suitors - Lyle, Gorak, Tamm / Frenette, Gonzalez, Woo Han (these guys are lurkers who try to disrupt Callirhoe's marriage and concoct the cheating plot that causes her fake death. Frenette was unexpectedly good--as I've not sure I've noticed him much before in terms of range--in the second cast as the lead-creep and the three first cast guys were all excellent together). There are some other named parts, but they don't do anything in the way of solo dancing. Basically what is good about this ballet is there is actually a lot of substantial solo dancing for many many dancers, as you see above. That, imo, is its strongest suit. Ratmansky has done some experimenting with same sex partnering that is quite interesting throughout. Callirhoe and Plangon, for example; the 3 suitors together; and Chaereas/Polycharmus. The battle scene is great because it's quite unlike any ballet battle I've seen before--no slashing around with swords, just frenzy to the Sabre Dance which is exactly the musical/dancing pick up needed at that point in the ballet when you are thinking, "oh god, there's going to be a whole F***ing war now?!" I have to say, I was left befuddled by the ending--Callirhoe builds a life for at least a few years with Dionysius who seems like a decent guy (except the whole buying a wife from a pirate deal--I mean he stopped his servants from raping his other servants at one point; he seemed sad when we met him about his other wife dying, etc.) and she ditches him for the guy who she was married to for about a week who is such a hothead that he did something to her to cause her to faint hard enough that she seemed dead, causing her to be buried alive, etc. (this is off stage so we don't know exactly what happenen between them)? That's "of love" I guess.... Oh the costumes are generally great too, though I didn't love the second of Callirhoe's outfits (the second one with the red/gold accents seemed particularly ill-matched to Dionysius and also ill matched with the gold/ivory tones to the bright white pearl hairpiece. The second act costumes are gorgeous in dark hues, deep grays, deep purples, deep turquoises with lots of beading and detail.
  7. I was at the opening night and will be at the two Kondaurova shows as well. Not a lot of time to express my thoughts fully right now, but I want to give huge credit to Svetlana Ivanova for leading the line of shades out, in what I imagine is, her 40s??? Without breaking an ounce of sweat or having a flagging arabesque. Wow. She was exquisitely poised (in the Bayadere divertissement in Act 2 as well)--definitely a different generation.
  8. If you are here enjoying the Mariinsky, Wendy Whelan will be in conversation at OCC in Costa Mesa this weekend. https://tickets.orangecoastcollege.edu/shows/dance master class series - an artist talk/events?utm_source=COAST+TO+COAST+-++2019%2F10%2F17&utm_campaign=Coast+to+Coast&utm_medium=email
  9. Casting's up: https://www.musiccenter.org/tickets/events-by-the-music-center/Glorya-Kaufman-Dance/Subscriptions/subscribe/mariinsky-ballet/ I'd copy and paste but it's all images--sorry. Anyone have thoughts? Is there someone that is particularly stand out in one of these roles? Weighing the options with SCFTA La Bayadere the week before.
  10. Luck of the draw got me Shevchenko/Forster for one performance (loved them last year) and I just exchanged the other ticket to a Lane/Ahn performance.
  11. Especially since the casting is up for their engagement at SCFTA. Even a "cast a" / "cast b" deal would be nice!
  12. Single tickets for the 2019 portion of the season go on sale tomorrow, Monday August 5.
  13. Hi Buddy, I have three sets of tickets already so I am sure I will see Somova who I have seen dance before. I have never seen or heard of Khoreva, which is why I was asking for opinions about her. Thanks! It would be nice if they had sent out subscription tickets before now, so I could easily see what I booked....
  14. Thanks Dreamer! Much appreciated. Any thoughts? I am familiar with many names, but what are people's impressions of Khoreva?
  15. I'm glad you posted first California because I was going to make some of the same points--about the motifs from other Macmillan ballets (which I noticed more because I have been binging on filmed versions of Mayerling, Manon, and R&J so they were fresh in my mind), the performance notes (my companions flummoxed by the synopsis which ignores the political elements entirely)--and you did so better! About being unable to tell the various women apart, I feel very badly for people who just showed up at the theater and were hoping to make sense of it. The first act happens so swiftly and relentlessly that there is not a lot of time to figure out who is who if you aren't familiar with the ballet or the dancers. I think this is made especially worse with Empress Elisabeth because she looks so young as played by McNally and Turk. McNally seemed older at least and had the bearing of an older woman, but Turk looked like a young mistress to all these older men (who are actually literally older making it all the more obvious how young she is), and in her first pdd with Rudolf she seemed like a scorned mistress more than his cold, imperious mother. Could a greying wig or some makeup help? I can see how this is a tough role to cast because it's a pointe intensive role but so much of understanding Rudolf's character arc hinges on the performance here that it seems necessary to cast so right. In the end, while it's not fair to make comparisons, I found myself enjoying Soares and Cuthbertson today over Hirano and Osipova. While I wasn't in love with the way either played their character arcs necessarily, I feel like they had arcs which is what lacked for me on Friday (apart from Lamb/Larisch). Soares seemed like such a mommy's boy, and you could see how he was sort of stuck in that young boy phase (he was so excited as he flipped the pages of her book to get her attention). I felt he was at his peak in acting in Act 3--he really looked horrified and destroyed after shooting Mary, but also loved the scene where he is pleased with himself that Larisch is going to bring him Mary post-tavern. It's clear Soares is winding down his career and at times this showed in his technique but never to a point where he was bad or incapable; he obviously still had a lot to offer in the role (he was very charming during the bows and was caught hugging both Cuthbertson and Mendizabal, at different times, by the curtain coming up). Cuthbertson was a little too neat for me, but she also had an arc: she was very playful as opposed to dangerous (at one time she seemed more Manon to me), and to me, she seemed to hold onto that idea of being playful until the middle of the last pdd. When she goes over to the gun, looks at it, she turns on the same flirtatious look to Rudolf that she used in the Act 2 pdd to seduce him; she figures it might knock him out of his misery--she didn't, however, realize they weren't playing anymore until Rudolf made her put the gun down. I wasn't sure this Mary worked for me either but it felt more cohesive as a character with forward motion. I couldn't really understand the character motivations of Osipova's Mary--on one hand she was so over-the-top youthful with exuberance in the scene with Marie Larisch and on the other she seemed like a crazed person, grimacing and tossing herself around. It was hard to see the connections there, though she and Hirano were impressive physically. Loved Lamb's Larisch. She seems like she directs so much of the ballet and you can tell what to look for in the scene by watching whatever she is watching. I always feel Lamb is a very cool (remote) dancer, but she was excellent in acting and dancing which is why I wanted to see her Vetsera (please share reports!). Mendizabal, in the Soares cast, was less satisfying after Lamb, though she and Soares had a good rapport. I felt her Larisch was a bit more self-involved versus Lamb's who was focused more on trying to help Rudolf; Lamb looked like she would stand up to the Empress as much as she could, but Mendizabal cowered in their interactions immediately. Also liked seeing Francesca Hayward as Stephanie though I think she is better cast as Mary in the future. Anna Rose Sullivan as Stephanie had a strong characterization (she was very clear on her worry about Rudolf from the very beginning of the ballet and seemed frozen in fear even before the wedding night pdd), I didn't think she was there technically; she wasn't really able to do the leg-shaking-in-terror-while-being-held-aloft move that is so signature from that pdd and I saw a lot of preparation faces (I make them too when I'm about to do something complicated!). Hayward, on the other hand, really threw herself in this scene in a rage, almost, at Hirano at points. I'm sure I have a lot more to say (haven't even touched on Nunez--fab; Bratfisch, played by Campbell and Kay--also fab), and like California, tried to absorb as much as I could because I love following the RB through their broadcasts/insight streams/etc. and figured I wouldn't frequently/ever get the chance to see Mayerling. As much as I quibbled above, I really enjoyed both performances and it's clear the RB has a lot of depth, both in technical strength and acting ability for a ballet that hinges so much on interpretation. I'm trying to envision ABT casting such a production and it's a mess (love them but it's true).
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