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Everything posted by ksk04

  1. Just to get us started, here's the biggies for opening night casting: Aurora / Desire : Vishneva / Gomes Lilac: V. Part Carabosse: Nancy Raffa Florestan / Queen: V. Barbee / T. Ratmansky Catalabutte: A. Agoudine Fairies: Candide (Sincerity): D. Teuscher Fleur de farine (Wheat Fairy): M. Copeland Miettte qui tombent (Breadcrumb): S. Lane Canari qui chante (Canary): S. Brandt Violente (Temperament): S. Abrera Suitors: Hammoudi, Forster, Hoven, Zurbin Galifron, Prince's Tutor: C. Salstein Countess: Leanne Underwood Precious Stones: Diamond: I. Boylston Gold: S. Williams Silver: L. Post Sapphire: M. Hamrick White Cat / Puss in Boots: Isadora Loyola / Sean Stewart Florine / Bluebird: C. Trenary (wow what a discovery for me) / Simkin Lil Red and Wolf: Adrienna Schulte / P Ogle Cinderella / Prince Fortune: Gemma Bond / S. Baca (yes they do their actual variation) Ogre / Ogress / Hop-on-my-thumb (and brothers): R. Bowman / B. Travis / area students (they also do their variation) Bluebeard / Ariana: L. Estrada / D. Clemente Porcelain Princesses: B. Geoghegan L. Higgins Mandarin: K. Kodama Scheherazade: L. Miller Shah and his brother: R. Thierry / I. Ochoa Plus what seemed to be an infinite supply of corps dancers, extras, and dancing children.
  2. The balcony (the highest level, ex-Tier 3) hasn't been put on sale for dance performances all this season, I think. So there's only three levels open (orchestra, orchestra terrace, and loge--or whatever they recently renamed them). I am a bit surprised given the article that says 60 local dance students are performing in the production--I thought that would certainly fill the seats. It's one of those sad, self-fulfilling prophecies: you reduce the dance offerings because the "whole house" doesn't sell out, and then people don't want to come to your reduced offerings because they aren't seeing enough dance to get properly excited about it (and the crappy Ardani productions have certainly put off a lot of casual viewers, I'm sure).
  3. I will be there for opening night (Vishneva/Gomes), Herrera/the guy they are borrowing, and Seo/Stearns (with Gomes as Carabosse).
  4. There's an interesting article in the OC Register about this: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/ballet-642535-school-abt.html The director of Southland (the school California mentioned) is interviewed, and McKenzie appears to respond to some of the issues the article raises.
  5. Called again yesterday; they said that they only can refund by credit card for "special circumstances" and it requires individual approval from a manager (luck you, Giannina!). Then she said, "well I'd have to get your cc info all over again! We don't keep that on file!" Oh the horror. Still refused a credit card refund. Check still not processed or sent out yet. After they fumbled around for a few hours trying to get an eta on the check, I received a call back estimating it in another two weeks. In contrast, I bought some tickets for National Theater Live broadcasts at the Irvine Barclay and missed the (very small) byline that said if you bought three for the series you were eligible for a discount and reduced fees if you clicked through the special link. I called them up and asked if it was possible to retroactively receive the discount; they volunteered to cancel the order and redo it. Their machines were down and could not process a refund through my credit card at that time and so they sent a check refund that I received by the end of the week, for a mistake that I made. I offered this example to the SCFTA staff as a contrast and her only response was that they are a non-profit so it's very complicated. The Irvine Barclay is a non-profit that operates under the UCI campus, a public institution.
  6. Really? I was told by the person I spoke to that a credit card refund was not possible and that I could only get refunded by check (1-2 months out). Even more irritated now...
  7. Just to be clear, I did not contact SCFTA about a refund; however, the date change was not something they even made the slightest announcement about to the subscribers suggesting they felt no qualms about changing the date once subscribers paid for tickets (but before they received the tickets). As another anecdote, SCFTA completely cancelled a program from this season's subscription packet and subscribers were informed about it when tickets were finally mailed. The letter read that the ticket amount "will be held on account." When I contacted them, a bit pissed, about what that actually meant they said they could refund it but they just "didn't know what each subscriber would want to do with the money." Um, get it back? Without having to take time out of my day to contact you to get it back? They won't refund my credit card, so I am now waiting 4-8 weeks for a check in the mail. I am less than impressed.
  8. Don't regret it for a second. What a mess. (BTW the dates were also moved from January to mid July at the performances in CA with no formal announcement; subscribers did not get a chance to return tickets though if the dates were no longer viable which seemed like a big oversight to me as many plan vacations in mid-summer).
  9. Because it was an insult to a paying audience, both in time and effort put forth by the pieces. And I didn't buy the tickets with this programming; there was a distinctly different announced program for the CA engagement--I've been to enough Ardani schlock to know what I am walking into when the program suddenly changes into modern experimentation and this was the worst of it. I also don't buy the argument that because choreographers have done good work in the past, this is probably good too for their specific vein of work. Or that dancers who have done good work in the past will probably be good too. I thought Vasiliev, especially, looked uncomfortable in the choreography and Osipova seemed to relish in looking unattractive and being extreme for extremes sake.
  10. No, there were two intermissions: one was 20 minutes and one was 25 minutes. So that prolonged the torture. The audience at SCFTA will give a standing O to anything (including this and when Diana Vishneva cut up lemons onstage and passed them out to the first few rows a few months ago). Not the best arbiters of taste. One woman near me was heard loudly complaining about the second piece. People around me seemed grateful by the time the Pita rolled around that something somewhat tangible was occurring though. But yes, what Buddy said seemed to be the general reaction.
  11. Yes, to what Andre posted. See 2:09 for duck walk except Osipova and Vasiliev bounced more and held their hands at nipple height producing a much sillier effect. Not a full orchestra, no. However, Ardani has never balked from large swaths of recorded music.
  12. The umbrella of contemporary dance is really abused by Ardani in presenting these shows. I have seen modern dance and modern ballet, and contemporary dance and contemporary ballet, that I like. This is not that. Just a bit more in brief: "Mercy" joins the hundreds of revolutionary works to explore domestic violence through dance. The piece begins with Vasiliev beating Osipova in silence. The music then comes in (which featured live singers, a small blessing) and is operatic in nature and then shifts to Indian Classical music with a local male vocalist. There is a "pas de deux" of the beating, a "solo" for Vasiliev, and then another "pas de deux" with their relationship mended. My boyfriend commented that most of it looked like yoga. I agree. "Passeo" begins with noise and a lot of posing and preening. Then English traditional music kicks in (Greensleeves, I kid you not). There is a lot of really silly choreography including a sequence where Vasiliev and Osipova crouch down, walk like ducks with their hands folded up their chests like birds (imagine it over the chorus to Greensleeves), and then right themselves and beat their chests. There was a lot of flummoxed laughter around me. Both of these are a maximum of 10 minutes or so, I believe. Empty stages. Dark lighting. "Facada" is the only coherent piece. It's explained as being a possible back story to Myrtha from Giselle. There is live music as well in the form of a Portuguese-flavored guitarist (who plays a viola or violin at one point and a drum) who also plays during the preceding intermission. There is also a set (wow!) in the loose form with some potted plants and watering components. Osipova and The Lady in Black (played by Gay Storm) prep for the wedding (Osipova has a little real dancing for about 40 seconds); as Osipova stands with Vasiliev to say the vows, he looks nervous and screams and literally runs out of the auditorium via a side door. Osipova, comforted by Storm, cries buckets of tears (for about 5 minutes, not overestimating this) which are then used to water the plants. All the buckets are hung off of her arms and she walks around the stage despondently in heels multiple times. End scene. Vasiliev enters and does a solo (actual dancing again) and removes his tux so that he is down to his underwear. He struggles with a bow tie and gets a knife to cut if off. Osipova walks on and tells us "Faca in Portuguese means knife." Then she comes back on and puts a new bow tie on him (I guess the Chippendale's look is in?). She has a dream sequence where they are on their honeymoon. She then burns her bridal dress and gets down to her underwear as well (what a surprise). She then squishes or squeezes him to death??? The mode of death is not clear. She and Storm then put a table over Vasiliev's body and Osipova does a dance on top of the table and then walks away. I mean the fact I can even actually write about a plot is a considerable step up from the rest of the show, I do agree. If this were on a different bill, it might be more palatable but it's still not ready for prime time or the ticket prices they are charging for this type of event.
  13. This was awful (just back from today's matinee). If you are determined to see it in NY or London just to see Osipova/Vasiliev, I wouldn't pay more than $15-20 for a ticket (and that is pushing it immensely). I didn't think Ardani productions could get worse than Reflections, but this really takes the cake. Just for the record, there were about 45-50 minutes of dance in total. No piece was immune to the muted-colored underwear-as-costume trend. Having "agreed" to this as a subscriber when the program originally included the Kingdom of the Shades, I would really like some of my money back from Segerstrom.
  14. The thing I find weird about this is that Lane HAS performed O/O--with Corella and his company. Granted it was awhile back at this point, but there's no reason she (an longtime soloist with the company) shouldn't have been able to fill in there with a production she has been dancing in for probably a decade now. Baffling.
  15. I didn't even think to look inside the program, considering how awful DCP's programs usually are! Thanks. I swapped my tickets to opening night before seeing the cast and am glad I did since Cote is doing Romeo. I admit to not being familiar at all with NBoC but I quite liked him in a gala excerpt of Onegin at SCFTA a few years back.
  16. Restless Creature has been scheduled for Saturday February 7 2015 at Cal State Long Beach (Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts). I looked at the website today and the tickets are already on sale, and on discount for advance booking. There is a pretty large swath of center seats gone, so if you want a primo seat I would advise ordering soon (plus you get the discount through mid July). The booking fee is $3.75 per ticket and an additional $1 to have the tickets mailed in advance. http://www.carpenterarts.org/2014-2015/wendy-whelan.html
  17. NBoC arrives in LA at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in about two weeks to perform Ratmansky's Romeo and Juliet. Anyone know of any casting for these dates, or even where/when to find casting for the NBoC? I'm pondering swapping tickets to a different show, want to know the lay of the land, etc.
  18. Fouette means to whip, so there needs to be an in-and-out movement of the working (or extended) leg. Holding a leg to the side and turning (without bringing it to the front and back of the knee in retire--the whipped part) is just a turn a la seconde. Thanks for all the reviews and comments, everyone. I read them all!
  19. Hard to choose for me, from ex-ABT alums. I'd say Bocca or Gardner/McKerrow (someone needs to save Tudor and bring pathos and excellent training back to ABT) top the list. Though, Bocca is doing great things with his company (as is Corella), so it's hard to say that they should leave and have those companies potentially fall apart being so new. Regardless, most of these people should be coaching regularly (especially Kirkland) if they are not part of the admin--this is the second biggest problem after the director issue. Absolute no to Victor Barbee. He's a part of this mess right now, and while I have no evidence of whether he supports McKenzie's decisions he is certainly in the room about them and nothing seems to be changing.
  20. Not really; they don't usually start selling until 60 days-ish before the performance at SCFTA. Even for hotly anticipated ones, like the tour of Book of Mormon aside from subscriber rights to buy ahead of time and early promo deals. That's not to say that I don't have my doubts about this whole thing actually going through, but that is standard SCFTA policy.
  21. I see on the Carpenter Center for Performing Arts (in Long Beach, CA) website that Wendy Whelan will be performing Restless Creature during their 14/15 Season, in February 2015. I'm not sure if other tour dates have been scheduled, but it seems like the motions are in place to tour Restless Creature in 2015, and to tour it to places that were not originally announced.
  22. Agreed. In addition, I'd request a better distribution of dancers. They've already had Cuthbertson AND Lamb perform Alice for the screenings...and they are the only principals who do the role. Stix-Brunnell and Choe do it as well, but as they are soloists, I doubt they would be allocated a screening. So who is left for Alice next year (for the third time around)? I'm happy the screenings exist, but the RB has a very rich rep--let's see it!
  23. I saw this yesterday evening at the cinema. First, they should really rethink Darcey Busselll for announcing gigs; she may have some allure to British audiences who "know" her, but she is not a very good on air host and her interview with Kevin O'Hare was bizarre. As always though, the interval features are well done and add a lot to the broadcast. Again, I was incredibly impressed with Yuhui Choe (doing double duty as Fairy of the Crystal Vine and Bluebird). She seems as if she's been in every cinema broadcast and she is completely radiant, at ease, assured, and lovely to watch. Londoners who saw her Aurora were incredible lucky and I wish (though understand why it's not possible) we would have been treated to it via the broadcast. She would have been an ideal Lilac Fairy, as Laura McCulloch seemed very miscast. She lacks the strong technique and radiance that is required of the Lilac Fairy. Beatrix Stix Brunell (as the Fairy of the Enchanted Garden and Florestan's sister) seemed to be having a real off night; she is usually a highlight (last broadcast of SB and in DQ) but she seemed very uncharacteristically messy and nervous. Kristen McNally as Carabosse was an absolute delight--what a stage presence; I got excited every time I saw her onstage and missed her when she was gone. Her comment about hoping to pass on her insights in the future is a harbinger of good things to come when she (though she's very young) decides to no longer perform the role. On to the main couple--I wasn't really taken with Sarah Lamb or Steven McCrae. They both have strong technique (though they each had a bit of a hairy moment in the the Act III coda during some turns). To me, however, she came across as very brittle and stiff with regard to acting (and she is so thin--a look that would be more at home with Mariinsky than the rest of the Royal who tend to be less skin and bones). She was girlish, and in the Act I solo there were some shades of development into her burgeoning womanhood, but overall not my type of dancer, perhaps. He was quite good in the Act II solo and has decent acting chops, but whenever he got to show off you could tell he was REALLY enjoying it. As for the production, everyone has probably seen it by now but I will add the highlight for me is always Ashton's Vision scene solo for Aurora. I wish this could be incorporated into other companies' productions. The other highlight is, of course, the seriousness with which almost the entire cast/corps commits itself to acting, even in the smallest roles.
  24. This sounds great--I thought they were checking out of Segestrom in the past years (alternating their CA visits with Dorothy Chandler in LA), but this combined with Sleeping Beauty suggest a renewed commitment. I do hope, however, it's the Nutcracker + another program at some other part of the year and that they won't JUST be visiting during December for this yearly engagement. This might also indicate a filming possibility since they've filmed for PBS a few times here (and it's mentioned in the press release)?
  25. I have my subscription tickets, though since they moved the show dates from February to July I have been operating under the assumption it may not end up going through.
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