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Everything posted by ksk04

  1. From their Facebook page: Fathom Events Link: http://www.fathomevents.com/event/san-francisco-ballet Sounds like some other companies are in too. Exciting!
  2. Copeland was a lot better (both dancing and characterization wise) than Osipova in the premiere run at SCFTA. Didn't see Boylston who was 3rd cast. Thought all of the second cast--Copeland and Cornejo and Zhurbin--were miles beyond first cast Gomes and Hallberg and Osipova (heresy, I know). Thinking about it makes me miss Messmer and Ricetto who were both the Maiden.
  3. Three. Copeland is from San Pedro. I don't see why Kotchekova couldn't dance both Nutcrackers, unless a contractual reason prevents her. ABT will be doing it for almost 3 weeks, while SFB goes for longer. In and out--that's how it's done (not that I am encouraging this). Interestingly, I wonder how ABT's Nutcracker residence will affect local Orange County dance studio Southland Ballet's Nutcracker. They usually drum up ABT dancers to guest during it which I assume will be out--guess they will cast the net a bit wider.
  4. STELLAAAA! Wow--never thought I would see the day. How tall is Lendorf? I know I saw him the the Royal Danish Ballet on their visit a few years ago and got the impression he was not tall (which is not good with Part, Semionova, Murphy, etc. on the roster still) I am not surprised by the Kotchekova addition but would have rather seen the short girl principal spot wait for Trenary or Lane or or or. I have never been sold on her on a classicist which is obviously what they need a short girl for.
  5. SFB doesn't perform in the Fall, but it does rehearse their Spring ballets all throughout the Fall (though I'm not sure of the start date). So the company is in residence, though not performing until Nutcracker opens. Their time off period is the summer, barring their outdoor performance Stern Grove in July (which is just one show usually).
  6. Interesting. We saw Chamber Symphony in LA (on an ABT bill between Apollo and Symph in C) in 2013, so I guess we will get the rest now. I would still really like to the see On the Dnieper, if they are programming an All Ratmansky bill (dreaming on...) for the west coast.
  7. I saw Up&Down, or rather the first half of it, on Friday. I thought the portrayal of mental illness was pretty offensive (and it certainly wasn't acting as a critique of early psychoanalytic "treatments" so please don't start with that). Not surprising. People around me seemed to love it. Also not surprising. Make that the second production for Eifman for which I haven't made it to the second act. More pressing: What is Jiri Jelinek doing with this company?
  8. I'm not getting any ads on mine and I haven't paid. I do have AdBlocker--perhaps you could try adding that to your browser?
  9. I thought sitting far left was better (that is far left when you are looking at the stage). When on the right, I completely missed the stuff that happened in front of the bassinet in the Prologue, missed the King/Queen acting, Carabosse's entrance in Act 1, the big kiss to wake up, etc. Obviously none of these are MAJOR issues, but I saw two from far left and one from far right, and sitting far left was my personal preference.
  10. I thought they were pretty good in it in CA, Seo especially. I wasn't expecting much due to complaints about Seo's technique/stamina, but I would say certainly worth it based on what I saw.
  11. http://www.musiccenter.org/1516dance The season was just announced today. Surprisingly both the Mariinsky will be there with Cinderella and ABT with a mixed bill that includes Ratmanksy's Firebird which I guess predicts that the Firebird will be on the MET season platter next year. I hope the rest of the mixed bill includes a Tudor piece (like Pillar or Jardin) since they are doing them this year (yeah, right, I know). Mariinsky Ballet 10/08-10/11 (2015) American Ballet Theater 7/08-7/10 (2016) et. al I would have thought the Nutcracker pact with SCFTA would have limited ABT's touring to SCFTA for their SoCal engagements.
  12. Probably about 6-8 weeks ahead of the run. They usually do promo codes for priority access, though, through email or Facebook. I'd be really surprised if you had problems getting tickets (and good ones) even after single tickets go on-sale.
  13. The roll out for this season is bizarre, as there is no mention on SCFTA's FB page or on the front page of their new website of it. Line-up: Mariinsky Ballet: Raymonda One of the most elegant and celebrated ballets of all time – and rarely seen in its entirety - the full-length Raymonda will be performed for the first time in Southern California. These will be performances of extraordinary virtuosity in the grand ballet style as only a company such as the Mariinsky can achieve. 9/24-9-27 (6 shows) American Ballet Theater: The Nutcracker A new Southern California tradition begins with American Ballet Theatre's newest Nutcracker, created by Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky and featuring sets and costumes from Richard Hudson (Broadway's Lion King). A cast of more than 100 performers - including students from our own ABT William J. Gillespie School - accompany young Clara on a dreamlike journey amid colorful, larger-than-life scenery, magical toy soldiers, mischievous mice, sparkling snowflakes, and a glittering Christmas tree! 12/10-12/20 (14 shows) Les Ballet de Monte Carlo: Choré Choré is a full-length ballet of epic scope that casts a fresh, provocative light on Hollywood musicals by setting their evolution against a turbulent historical backdrop. Tears and laughter, hope and fear, war and peace are evoked in a ballet that stirs the mind as well as the heart. 2/11-2/13 (4 shows) Alvin Ailey Segerstrom Center for the Arts welcomes the return of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with a program of works drawn from the company’s large and captivating repertory. Center audiences join all dance lovers around the world in reveling in the Alvin Ailey spirit, imagination, commitment and energy. It is one of the most celebrated and beloved dance companies in the world. 4/7-4/10 (5 shows) Royal Swedish Ballet: ?????? (I think it's Swan Lake though based on the fact they have Tchaikovsky listed as the composer; edit: Nope after googling it's likely Romeo & Juliet. Very clear promo material!) A romantic story in a brutal environment. A clash of people and power. A struggle between generations. Love, hate and jealousy. Who can win? The Royal Swedish Ballet returns to the Center for the second time since 1999 to perform Mats Ek’s compelling and daring version of the world’s most celebrated love story, envisioned by Ek as revelatory and, as critics agree, haunting. (<- This is literally the description with no reference to what the actual ballet is) 6/10-6/12 (4 shows) Thank god for Raymonda and The Nutcracker.
  14. Man, I hope we still get Raymonda in Socal. Feeling a little wary after this and mussel's statement that the Mariinsky was reconsidering the rep.
  15. I finally have some time to chime in regarding the Suday matinee with Seo/Stearns/Shevchenko/Gomes. Zhurbin/Underwood = King/Queen. Prologue Fairies in order: Hamrick/S. Williams/G. Bond/ Z. Fang / A. Giangeruso. Bluebird = Lane and Zhang I know Seo has her detractors, but I thought she was radiant and totally on-form in this role. Probably the most well-rounded Aurora I saw this week, and she looked genuinely happy to be dancing--not just acting happy. If you are deciding whether it's worth it, I think it is. She has great chemistry with Stearns, who was not so wooden and seemed really engaged with acting in the role. Shevchenko, as Josette noted, was technically wonderful as the Lilac Fairy and also gracious and warm (and managed to overcome her slight height)--great casting. Gomes was a hoot as Carabosse; this is also great casting. I thought he had some costume malfunctions in the prologue with his cape and hat. He was gripping it like it was going to fall off for the first few minutes. If this was not a malfunction, then it's a weird choice; but it if is a malfunction, he certainly never broke character while it was occurring. I've been seeing Elina Miettinen in the corps all week, noticing her as the petite but precise girl in the front and for the matinee she was a convincing White Cat (with Alexei Agoudine). Really lovely dancer. I would like to see Lauren Post and Gemma Bond together as the third act fairies; both have been the neatest most precise ones this week and they would look great together. Lane was expansive and delicate as Princess Florine, and while Zhang didn't make as big of a splash as Simkin as Bluebird, he certainly partnered her well. Unfortunately, I swapped my sides for the last show (from house left to house right) to get a different perspective and wasn't able to see much of Zhurbin and Underwood's stage acting, aside from what was done in center stage. I would encourage people to avoid a far house right seat for this production, though I was closer so that enhanced the performance in different ways (and that was the reason I swapped, despite thinking it would block some action). When I sat far house left for the first two shows I hardly missed any big moments.
  16. The partner issue seems like a likely culprit. I don't understand how assigning her who she wanted for her farewell performance wouldn't be a priority for ABT. But I agree it's insulting only if she felt like she was pushed into it--not if she decided she just didn't want to dance in SB as her final performance (though you'd think during the rehearsal process you'd realize whether it was a role you were comfortable in or not, especially with her experience) and would prefer it to be Giselle.
  17. There is a tutu costume for the Prologue for the variation, rather than the long dress/giant headdress. She also wears pointe shoes in the Prologue, versus character heels for the rest. Josette: thank you for your report. Could you say who all the Fairies were in the Prologue for the Boylston cast? I see you listed Trenary as Canary, but I'm wondering who else was in the line-up.
  18. Very few cast changes from opening night to the Friday show with Herrera/Nedak, so I struck the repeat cast (hopefully will see some new faces on Sunday). Everything except Diamond Fairy (Shevchenko), The Countess (Luciana Voltolini), and Red Riding Hood/Wolf (Nicole Graniero/Arron Scott) were the same, I believe. There were a few things that were immediately noticeable as changed. First, the curtain doesn't open in the prologue to reveal the castle backdrop. The Lilac variation was scrubbed and replaced for Part; instead of the complicated turns that seemed to falter on opening night there was a more expansive variation with posing attitudes and some jetes. I don't think it showed her off to any better effect, but she certainly didn't stumble in it. The Lilac entourage also made it on in the opening of Act III--I thought it was weird on opening night that they only brought her out to pose in the last 10 seconds, but this time she was carried out along with Carabosse, and then they both came out at the ending as well. I thought Sarah Lane was even more expressive in her Breadcrumb variation; her arms sang beautifully and I wished I could see her perform Aurora's Act III solo. Cassandra Trenary was still as lovely as on opening night and I hope her Aurora is not too far off and that she doesn't get caught in the death knell that is the ABT corps. She partners Simkin well, and perhaps this will secure her assent. Shevchenko was much, much more effective as the Diamond Fairy, stylistically fitting into the production better with beautiful head placement in her giant crown and soft jumps. I stuck with these tickets despite the main casting; I've never had strong feelings toward Herrera beyond thinking she was technically well-equipped and had gorgeous feet, but I wanted to see her once more before retirement. She is not as expressive as Vishneva, but you never feel like she is going to have trouble doing anything--and she didn't. She was pitch perfect technically in all acts and I think she was more relaxed than I've seen her in the past (though I enjoyed her in the Bright Stream quite a bit). It's hard to understand her retirement when she is capable of a role like this still. Her Rose Adagio was without fault, but my heart did not beat faster (as it often does) before that last crescendo of attitudes in promenade and maybe this is down to her technical excellence: I don't expect her to falter. Notably, she didn't bend her foot in B plus (croisse derriere) as is the norm for the production. Nedak was essentially forgettable, and given how little the prince has to do in this (and the fact that he wasn't impressive) I don't understand why he was brought in--though he appears to be a fine dancer, just nothing special. He and Herrera have no real chemistry and I thought the fish dives (especially bringing her out of them) were a bit precarious. Onto Seo/Stearns and GOMES as Carabosse.
  19. Totally agree with this. I think this style is also something that will settle into some of the dancers over time, hopefully. Changing instincts about the way you've been even standing onstage, for your entire career, is something small that really requires on-stage practice to get right. For now, they all have to be extra vigilant about hitting it all properly and that will ease with time. I agree with Josette that Boylston stood out badly for me as the Diamond Fairy; her solo seemed to mark a jarring stylistic variation from almost everything else we saw. I will be interested to hear if she looks better and softens up as Aurora, so I am glad you'll be able to report.
  20. Volcanohunter: I really don't remember, but I'll watch for it on Friday for you. And to be clear, I think the style of the production is great; it just seems at odds with the flash-bang-whirl of the Met Season, fly-in guest artist schedule, especially when there does seem to be little rehearsal time and, in the past, a lack of emphasis on blending styles. I hope it is something that isn't lost in the rush or discarded when it becomes too hard to schedule the time for fixing it--that's my only point.
  21. Was the pas de deux similar to what Doug Fullington presented with dancers from Pacific Northwest Ballet at the Guggenheim? (Starting about 1:05:30). https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=6xpOVN3cfGc#t=3931 I'm also curious whether the "long" or "short" version of the Bluebird's variation was used. Yes, very similar to that with the addition of fish dives (which were fantastically snappy) in place of the developpes seen in the video. But still, lower passes, lower arabesques/attitudes, and honestly it seemed to me like the dancers started with a slightly modified fourth position for pirouettes--rather more open than crossed. By the way, I forgot to add the Desire variation is FIENDISH. It's almost entirely very fast, petite allegro. Gomes handled it like a champ, but it looks like a real killer and will definitely expose anyone who has been slacking. What would I be looking for with the Bluebird variation? The Male solo seemed essentially like every other Bluebird solo I've seen, but I do not claim to be an expert. Or do you mean the pdd?
  22. That's enough to make my mouth water! Thank you so much for posting, and can't wait to hear more from you and all others who were there. BTW how long did the performance end up lasting? Did it come in at 3 hours? It sounds like there was a LOT of dancing. I had to leave after the first round of bows (before individual ones front-of-the-curtain ones, I assume) and it was ~10:35 when I walked out with a 7:30 start time. Notably, I did not see McKenzie come out on stage; though again, I left a bit early. I thought he would have been out after the creative team (Ratmanksy, Hudson, etc.) took theirs. So someone correct me if I'm wrong about that. Pleasantly, I think the third act was sped along by the fact that there wasn't a stop for bows after each variation (except during the two big pdd to allow the dancers to catch their breath). edit to add about the tutus: They weren't particularly floppy as they appear quite heavy and weighed down. But there's very little extreme movement, I think, with an eye toward that. I think I only saw the "bloomers"/crotch of a tutu a handful of times throughout the night, really.
  23. They did a little walk-stylized movement around in the entrada and apotheosis, but no real dancing. They could have been older dance students, perhaps? I didn't recognize their names either, but they are listed individually on the casting sheet so I wanted to include them in case I wasn't up to date on the apprentices/etc.
  24. I don't think I have it in me to do a big review but here are my overall impressions (and if you have a question, I'm happy to try to answer): - The costumes are gorgeous. Really. I've never seen an ABT production where people were compelled to applaud a dress (or the woman stuck wearing the dress--poor Tatiana Ratmansky; it looked so heavy), but the people did. It was hard to focus on the dancing whenever someone new came on the stage as I had to get the binocs out to see all the costuming details. - There is a clear turn away from the way today's dancers perform "classical ballets". Low passes (very few done at the actual knee), chainee turns on demi-pointe (making it revelatory when Aurora ends her 3rd act solo with chainees on full pointe), saute arabesques with softly bent knees and low legs (for all--men and women), back foot on demi-pointe when standing in B plus (rather than arched over--even the bows are done like this). Soft soft soft, pose pose pose seems the mantra, which is what makes it jarring when a dancer isn't able to quite do this. Which leads me to my next point... - How/why this production was made for a company that imports a lot of its "star" dancers is very unclear to me. The grand pas de deux is vastly different from the text we are used to, and vastly different from even the 1890 Mariinsky recon (I watched this morning for verification). A dancer has to completely subsume all the training and style they are used to in order to blend into this production. I don't see how it comes with a few short rehearsals. Does this indicate a shift in casting? Doubtful--isn't Osipova cast in this for one performance at the Met? - Vishneva acted her butt off through the Rose Adagio which I've never really seen someone manage (since they are usually gripping for dear life); she had a whole storyline of surprise and playfulness at being the center of attention: one moment totally serene, the next unable to help herself from a quick stealing smile to her parents. Both she and V. Part often danced (and Part mimed) with a mischievous, playful twinkle in their eyes and I don't know, yet, whether this is the dictate for the production or just how they decided to play it. Part is the quintessential Lilac Fairy for me (though she had some trouble with a pirouette in her solo), and she has a warmth, grace, and humor that shines through (Desire to her: what do I do to wake this girl up? Lilac: think you stupid boy! [big sly grin]) - Other Stand-outs: Cassandra Trenary--wow, wow, wow. Not sure if I've seen her dance (certainly not in a solo), but she was fantastic. I'd love to see her paired with Cornejo (since she's small enough to dance with Simkin) in some classics. Could easily see her as Aurora. Lauren Post as the Silver Fairy--so precise and on form. Stella Abrera as a sterner-than-usual Violent. V. Part's giant feather headdress for Act 1 onward. The Hop-on-my-thumbs kids, what they lack in accuracy is made up for in attitude. Nancy Raffa (though the weird long fingers look a little floppy and might be best left off the costume). The sheer number of people packed onstage for the Garland Waltz. edited to add: Vishneva's wig in the 3rd act was so, so, so terrible. Put on totally poorly; I hope they figure it out. No one else seemed to have such a bad wig application. Really heinous, especially on the opening night when these things are still in mint condition.
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