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Posts posted by ksk04

  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. On 3/11/2020 at 10:04 AM, sandik said:

    And your observation about Callirhoe's general lack of interior qualities makes me think as well -- we read about Helen of Troy's beauty, and it still seems like an external quality, but contemporary treatments of her keep trying to give her inner life ("how does she feel, what does she think").  The general culture is in the middle of a paradigm shift about the value of physical attributes -- I'm curious to see how this will be reflected in the art work we make.

    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)


    On 3/11/2020 at 9:07 AM, Roberta said:

    Not all music utilized is from the ballet Gayane. One of the loveliest pieces of music heard is the 2nd movement of Khachaturian's Piano Concerto, during the first pdd adagio danced by Callirhoe and Dionysius (particularly poignant when danced by Hurlin and Whiteside). The Pacific Symphony Orchestra did it great justice at all Costa Mesa performances, particularly because audiences had the rare opportunity to hear it as Khachaturian had intended, with the musical saw (or "flexatone") instrument during the repetition of the main theme.

    One of the few recordings of this movement, with this eerie instrument, is the following. Forward to the 2:38 mark to hear the segment of the musical saw. It lends a truly haunting sound to the work, echoing the sentiments that were racing through Callirhoe's mind. I wonder if the presentations at the Met this summer will include a musical saw in the orchestra pit?


    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.

  5. 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. 


  6. 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.

  7. If you are here enjoying the Mariinsky, Wendy Whelan will be in conversation at OCC in Costa Mesa this weekend.





    AWendy Whelan, one of the world’s leading dancers, is constantly reinventing herself and has worked with the great choreographers of our time. A former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet for 30 years, she was named its Associate Artistic Director earlier this year.  This is a rare chance to see her in an intimate setting.


    On Sunday, October 20,th 10-11:30 am, Ms. Whelan will give an artist talk, moderated by OCC Dance Chair Rachel Berman, in the Robert B. Moore Theater. (Parking lot C)

    Pre-registration is $25/ $30 (cash only) at the door.


    OCC Students with ID are only $5


    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

  8. 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). 


  9. 1 hour ago, Mashinka said:

    Osipova is the dancer that comes closest to Lynn Seymour, the role's creator, but perhaps the uninhibited quality may be unsettling for some.  Seymour also had a lot of detractors.

    I've never seen Seymour live (too young, wrong country), but have watched many clips online and admire Seymour's dancing greatly. I admit to not seeing the resemblance between them based off last night's performance, especially since Seymour is quite musical (there's also the beautiful feet...). Seymour is also sexy, erotic, and dangerous (based on what I've seen), while Osipova seems simply dangerous. Perhaps that is a valid interpretation but like I said, it didn't work for me, despite admiring her obvious talents/ability. Or maybe there is something else I am missing.

  10. Since this run opened last night, here is a place to give some impressions.

    Casting (Rudolf, Mary, Larisch, Empress Elizabeth, Princess Stephanie, Mitzi Casper, Bratfisch Emperor Franz Josef, Bay Middleton)

    Friday - Ryoichi Hirano, Natalia Osipova, Sarah Lamb, Kristen McNally, Francesca Hayward, Marianela Nuñez, Alexander Campbell, Christopher Saunders, Gary Avis

    Saturday - Matthew Ball, Sarah Lamb, Laura Morera, Itziar Mendizabal, Meaghan Grace Hinkis, Mayara Magri, James Hay, Gary Avis, Nehemiah Kish

    Sunday - Thiago Soares, Lauren Cuthbertson, Itziar Mendizabal, Lara Turk, Anna Rose O’Sullivan, Claire Calvert, Paul Kay, Alastair Marriott, Gary Avis


    Friday's 4 Hungarian Officers were Cesar Corrales, Nicol Edmonds, Tomas Mock, Valentino Zucchetti.

    I was there last night and will be there Sunday. Still need to gather my thoughts but am regretting not seeing the Saturday cast for Sarah Lamb's Mary Vetsera after seeing her Larisch. Going to go watch some parts of the live broadcast with her cast this last year. Not sure Osipova was my ideal Mary.

    On a side note, the Dorothy Chandler seems like it absorbs earthquakes pretty well!

  11. Finally!!! Thank you so much for being on alert!

    I am hoping Hirano is good (some reports online suggested a muted performance); I was holding out hope Watson would be on the mend enough to perform, but I guess we aren't so lucky in that particular way.


    edit: also would prefer to see someone with a strong RB background/training instead of Osipova (I know, I know...). I will have to settle for Cuthbertson on Sunday to do that.

  12. It's probably best to start a new topic instead of discussing in the SCFTA Season thread (though California diligently broke the news there!), especially as the year rolls onward with any information forthcoming. Here is the lineup! Mariinsky and La Scala cross over for the Southern California engagements.





    Performing George Balanchine's Jewels*
    Live music by Mariinsky Orchestra

    October 24-27, 2019
    The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

    Choreographed by George Balanchine in 1967, Jewels is recognized as the first great abstract  work of classical ballet. The piece, inspired by a visit by Balanchine to Van Cleef & Arpels, consists of three acts: “Emeralds,” “Rubies” and “Diamonds,” featuring music by Fauré, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, respectively.



    March 18-22, 2020
    The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

    Alvin Ailey returns to The Music Center following its triumphant 60th anniversary celebration. Alvin Ailey's performances unite and inspire. Under the leadership of its visionary artistic director Robert Battle, the company continues to honor the legacy of its founder, while stewarding the next generation of choreographers influenced by the African American experience. In all, more than 235 works by over 90 choreographers have been part of the Company’s repertory. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform different programs of mixed repertory along with the seminal masterpiece Revelations, which remains as poignant, relevant and moving as when it debuted in 1960.


    Palermo Palermo


    April 17-19, 2020
    The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

    Pina Bausch shaped the work of Tanztheater Wuppertal for 36 years, creating 44 pieces in a style and voice all her own. Her perspective was completely unfamiliar, empowering the dancers to take on characters that also spoke, sang and cried, conveying a full range of theatrical emotions. Bausch’s oeuvre not only influenced dancers and choreographers, but also theatre by often breaking the fourth wall during performances. Created by Bausch in 1989, Palermo Palermo is a post-war view of the Italian city as only Bausch can see it — beautiful and squalid, dangerous and ancient. The work transforms the everyday into the absurd as the audience is immediately taken on a dark journey rich with fractured relationships, beauty and surreal humor. 




    May 15-17, 2020
    The Music Center's Ahmanson Theatre

    Since its founding in 2012, Malpaso Dance Company has become Cuba’s leading contemporary dance company known for technically strong, agile dancers and its Cuban dance heritage. Led by Artistic Director Osnel Delgado, Executive Director Fernando Sáez, and dancer and Co-founder Daileidys Carrazana, the company collaborates on original works with prominent international choreographers and is dedicated to nurturing new voices in Cuban choreography.



    Giselle With Live Orchestra


    July 24-26, 2020
    The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

    Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company is one of the world’s elite ballet companies, tracing its roots back to 1778 with the opening of the theatre, originally known as the Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala. This revival of Giselle was staged by the late French prima ballerina Yvette Chauviré of Paris Opera Ballet. The ghost-filled ballet tells the tragic story of a beautiful peasant girl who falls for the flirtations of a deceitful nobleman, Albrecht. When the ruse is revealed, the fragile Giselle dies of heartbreak, and Albrecht must face the consequences of his careless seduction. Giselle transports audiences from idyllic folk scenes to otherworldly realms with the technically demanding original Coralli-Perrot choreography set to Adolphe Adam’s beautifully haunting score.



    According to the brochure online, Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake will also be here for a run from 12/3-1/5 (quite long!), but it is not a subscription series. Also no Miami Nut (never saw it while it was here for the two years).

    I find it strange La Scala is bringing back Giselle--it was just here in Southern California last year at SCFTA. I'm glad Onegin is coming to SCFTA and I can go once up to LA for this instead. Same with La Bayadere and the Mariinsky.

  13. I used the link here (https://www.scfta.org/Subscriptions/Packages.aspx?seasonID=671) and was able to select the exact seats I wanted from the available selection for the two new packages I bought; I also renewed separately by using the emailed link, but I didn't change seats for that package.

    I did have a conflict or problem when I had two tabs open earlier, one logged in and one not yet logged in, and that seemed to create a problem when I was trying to check out. I had to close out the browser and start over again.

  14. Josette, did you see that new subscriptions are select your own seats immediately? I thought that was nice instead of waiting months to see whatever random lottery you got. Maybe this isn't news, but I am always renewing instead of buying new. It does seem like a disadvantage to renewing subscribers though who want to upgrade or change seats; it would be nice to offer a bit of a delayed start for new subscriptions.

  15. It will be illuminating to see how the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion's season looks; if it's similarly sparse, there may be some larger issue affecting touring? (wonder when this will be announced?)


    Anyway, I bought two extra subscriptions in addition to my regular season seats, since I would go to see all these ballets more than once anyway and it's more economical as a package. Wanted to vote with my wallet upfront to express approval for such strange, yet pleasing, events!!

  16. That schedule does seem tight if he has a 7/31 show; thanks for that info, Dreamer. But, Bolle certainly came last time with Giselle; I hope that if they insist on a female guest artist, it's only Marianela Nunez not Misty Copeland, this time. I am thinking back to thisrevealing article from the programming director at SCFTA wherein she implied that Bolle/Copeland coupling were important in "selling" the La Scala Giselle and she did offer casting suggestions to the La Scala people. I imagine Onegin also needs "selling" as it's certainly less well-known among the general population.



    "If I am intent upon making sure that there would be what I would call success at the box office, I talk about casting," Morr said. "I would rarely interfere with an artistic desire on behalf of the company, but I think companies are already concerned about how they appear and what the thoughts are of the people they work with. I can't imagine that there isn't a presenter of dance that doesn't think about how it will shake out and who will dance the first night, the second night."





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