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  1. Casting is up for the Nutcracker at Segerstrom Center this winter: ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie has released principal casting which will include Hee Seo as Clara, the Princess, and Cory Stearns as The Nutcracker Prince on Opening Night, Friday, December 10. * Indicates first time in role. Friday, December 10 at 7 p.m. – Hee Seo, Cory Stearns Saturday, December 11 at 2 p.m. – Skylar Brandt*, Herman Cornejo Saturday, December 11 at 7 p.m. – Christine Shevchenko, Thomas Forster Sunday, December 12 at 12:30 p.m. – Devon Teuscher*, Joo Won Ahn Sunday, December 12 at 5:30 p.m. -- Skylar Brandt*, Herman Cornejo Wednesday, December 15 at 7 p.m.- Isabella Boylston, James Whiteside Thursday, December 16 at 7 p.m. – Catherine Hurlin*, Aran Bell Friday, December 17 at 7 p.m. -- Christine Shevchenko, Thomas Forster Saturday, December 18 at 2 p.m. -- Hee Seo, Cory Stearns Saturday, December 18 at 7 p.m. -- Devon Teuscher, Joo Won Ahn Sunday, December 19 at 12:30 p.m. - Isabella Boylston, James Whiteside Sunday, December 19 at 5:30 p.m. - Catherine Hurlin, Aran Bell Artists and program subject to change. * Indicates first time performing the role. https://www.scfta.org/events/2021/the-nutcracker
  2. 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/
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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):
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Especially since the casting is up for their engagement at SCFTA. Even a "cast a" / "cast b" deal would be nice!
  13. Single tickets for the 2019 portion of the season go on sale tomorrow, Monday August 5.
  14. 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....
  15. Thanks Dreamer! Much appreciated. Any thoughts? I am familiar with many names, but what are people's impressions of Khoreva?
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