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Everything posted by Rock

  1. Rock

    Sergei Polunin

    I googled David LaChapelle because he was behind what has been Polunin's biggest success and I be interested to know what he thought of all this. Wikipedia said he was gay! One wonders how he feels about Polunin's posts.
  2. I got a promotional email from ABT yesterday which featured last year's Harlequinade trailer by Ezra Hurwitz. To me the City Ballet Sleeping Beauty trailer is a howl. Delightfully short, Aaron Sanz is wonderful, but when Maria Kowroski gets out of that Lincoln Navigator like a supermodel arriving for a runway show, it made me laugh out loud. Her brush-off of the make-up person and then her response to the question were both perfectly done. I think she's hilarious. And there's the heart of the story - right there - what it's all about - in a couple of minutes. I think it's terrific.
  3. Well put Ms. O'Connell - but I'll give you two reasons why the Board will resist that: Jon Stafford was a principal dancer but not a "star", and if they hired him it would look as if they hadn't "done" anything. The best choice is already in place? Yes, he is. Unfortunately he's a he, so that box doesn't get checked either. But what you said about his dancing is telling. A calm, unruffled guy you can trust. No craziness, no agendas, no huge ego. What a lot of people don't seem to understand is that being a "star" dancer, a choreographer, a stager, a coach, or a teacher are all completely separate gifts, rarely combined. Who is good at coaching is rarely the person who could do it themselves when dancing. Same with teaching. And certainly with being an artistic director. That job requires the mental capacities of an over-view, looking at the long range - not something required of a dancer very frequently.
  4. Well Drew, you're right - I seem to have the wrong word. I wasn't talking about online stuff. That's easy to ignore. I meant print trolls. Like Sarah Kaufmann. Gia Kourlas. Those dance writers who essentially don't much like ballet. Ms. Kaufmann has been negative about the NYCB for years and years. I remember some article eons ago where she claimed Balanchine had ruined ballet in America. Vividly I recall her recent comment that anyone who bought a ticket to the NYCB had to check their conscience at the door. Her implication being the company was a repugnant hot bed of sexual harassment. Nice huh? That's A LOT of presumption piled on top of telling people not to go. Is that the place of a professional dance critic?
  5. I'd be surprised if Maria Kowroski were interested in a job like that. Farrell is 73, Kent 81 - it wouldn't seem realistic that either of them would be interested in a job with that kind of stress, guaranteed built-in trolling, and endless hours. (Is trolling the right word? I meant to refer to those people who carp and complain that nothing's good enough.)
  6. I read it as Clifford was mentioning Kent and Farrell as former dancers who should be around coaching. I didn't think he meant as AD.
  7. I can't help it, I'm in cubanmiamiboy's camp. I may be PIC (politically incorrect) but to me generic is generic. The Chinese dance in anybody's version is not about the choreography.
  8. You think we're going too far with this stuff? Coolie hats DID used to exist. Why's it so awful now? Some people are concerned we're going to bland out everything in a desperate effort not to offend. I don't get what's so offensive about a coolie hat. Or a mustache. Or pointing fingers for that matter. Why is that insulting? I don't quite get it.
  9. I don't find it gimmicky - on the contrary I find it charming and magical - and completely suitable as it fits in with Drosselmeier being a magician and doing magic tricks in Act I. One assumes the scarf was thrown over a floor side much like the one used at the NYCB.
  10. That's so interesting. That Balanchine remembered that theatrical trick and when he had the resources he put it in. What other ballets have stage tricks like that? Of course there's Bournonville's La Sylphide with the Sylph flying across the stage at the end. In some productions there's a bit with a bird in the tree isn't there? The Sylph flies up or it comes down or something. Also isn't Giselle coming from and going back to a trap door grave an old element in some productions? Swan Lake's ending - often incorporates a theatrical trick.
  11. I've seen it done before. I find it inelegant. (Is that a word?) The slide I think is a wonderful addition. It was not original to the production. That music used to be an arabesque promenade I believe.
  12. What's different? You mean the penché?
  13. To me the Princess section is usually the least interesting part. I've always found Jerome Robbins' monsters, in the Balanchine version, hilarious. I think he captures the Disneyesque quality of that music perfectly. I don't find that music scary. Goofy.
  14. The age difference got bigger as he aged. They stayed the same, he didn't. But it's quite common as we all know. "Bizarre" might not be the best word.
  15. Probably mostly about budgets and the allocation of funds.
  16. Don't forget about Lincoln Kirstein. I believe he dealt with fund raising personally.
  17. According to an article in the NYT by Michael Cooper on 8/14/18, the NYCB has an annual budget of 89M with an endowment of 222M. The School of American Ballet has an annual budget of 16M with an endowment of 71M.
  18. There are others who could teach their stuff: Patricia McBride, Suki Schorer, Pat Neary, Gloria Govrin, Mimi Paul, Frank Ohman, et.al. The bigger problem, as evidenced in the past when they did the Dream Scene on its own, is that is doesn't really make sense out of context. The Dream Scene is reflective of and responding to what happened to the Don in the previous acts - particularly the Act II humiliations. And the divertissements are performed before the Spanish Court. Dazzling as it all is, the audience is left hanging...
  19. But they HAVE danced Petipa, Forsythe, and McGregor.
  20. I was going to go on about block programming and block casting, but I caught myself just in the nick of time.
  21. I believe it's all about having a "tag" - the theory being people are more inclined to buy a program with a "tag" on it - All Balanchine, All Tschaikovsky, All New, 21st Century - Barocco/Balanchine/Broadway - any name they can think up helps sell the evening, or so the theory goes. I suppose it's true but boy do I miss rep. It was so thrilling to have a different mix every night.
  22. 352 likes alastair.macaulay2: The dancers of New York City Ballet are generally seen together as an assembled company only in costume during or after dancing in ballets. This evening, the company’s fall fashion gala, was importantly different. It began with the company as seen here in this photograph by Erin Baiano, assembled in mufti onstage. The image itself was important. Some were in gala haute couture, others (usually those preparing to appear onstage later in the evening) in casual attire; but here they were as an ensemble, standing while Teresa Reichlen (front row, center, full-length black and white dress) read a speech that was just what both dancers and audience needed: “Good evening. “We the dancers of New York City Ballet want to take a moment to thank all of you for being here tonight at one of the most important evenings of our year. “As dancers, we decided early in our lives to dedicate ourselves to this beautiful art form, many leaving family and friends as teenagers. Our teachers at the School of American Ballet led us through Balanchine’s teachings, and instilled in us a strong work ethic and a pursuit of excellence. Our teachers taught us to be proud and not settle for less than perfection. “With the world changing – and our beloved institution in the spotlight – we continue to hold ourselves to the high moral standards that were instilled in us when we decided to become professional dancers. “We strongly believe that a culture of equal respect for all can exist in our industry. We hold one another to the highest standards and push one another while still showing compassion and support. “We will not put art before common decency or allow talent to sway our moral compass. NYCB dancers are standard bearers on the stage and we strive to carry that quality, purity and passion in all aspects of our lives. “We want to be role models and create an inspiring environment in which future generations of girls and boys will have access to both the joys and responsibilities that we have as dancers of NYCB. “Each of us standing here tonight is inspired by the values essential to our artform: dignity, integrity, and honor.” MORE alastair.macaulay<continued> “And all of us in this magnificent theater share a love for dance, whether it is the physical act of performing, the nightly pleasure of watching, or both. “We, the dancers of NYCB, want to take this moment to thank you for appreciating and supporting this Company. And thank you especially for your continued support at this time. “We are proud of the work we do, and we are grateful for the opportunity – and the honor – to bring beauty into the lives of our audiences.” Reichlen spoke the speech; the words were penned by her and co-principal, Adrian Danchig-Waring. The words should become part of the history of City Ballet, which has been plunged into crisis by the Alexandra Waterbury lawsuit but which has been responding to reports of low life offstage by dancing high offstage.
  23. I just wanted to post a reminder that Ballet Arizona's program - New Moves - will open this Thursday at the Orpheum Theatre, and run thru Sunday. This promises to be a program well worth seeing.
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