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Spring 2003 Week 1

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I was drawn to tonight's program by a good program, expecting my personal highlight to be Jenny Ringer in Donizetti, with Damian. Alas, that was not to be. The dreaded program insert noted that Yvonne would dance in Jenny's stead, due to injury.

Dale, do you have any info on the seriousness of said injury?

So, inhaling and resolving to banish my prejudices, I decided to try to enjoy the evening. :) The corps looked better than was reported last night. On her first entrance, Yvonne was fine, and her coda was really pretty good. It was her adage and first variation that were really troublesome, though. She just looked so disjointed, couldn't keep a steady flow of movement. :(

Damian, supporting his ballerina both physically and morally, was nearly his usual brilliant self; some of his familiar flourishes were missed. The fast releve pirouettes of the coda were astonishing, though -- like lightning, and on a dime.

Agon followed. The work looked reborn. I have not seen it danced at this high a level for at least a decade. My two criticisms are relatively minor: In the first pas de trois (particularly the girls' dance) McBrearty's exaggerated head movements tended to be distracting, and Somogyi's variation in the second pas de trois could have been conducted just a hair slower. I'd have liked to see the movements a little more attenuated. Outstanding work by Peter Boal, and electrifying pas de deux by Whelan and Soto. What a thrill to see details restored. And the easy intimacy that this partnership has attained is gratifying in itself. The sparse audience responded accordingly, sounding like a very happy full house. If I'd checked casting before I bought my ticket, I would have missed this amazing Agon for the ages. :):D :D

Kowroski and Neal in In G Major completed the program. Don't know if it was the dancers or the dance, but I drifted out of this a few times (kept returning to the Agon) and don't feel it would be fair to remark on the performance.

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I will look into Ringer.

I don't have time to elaborate but I second what Carbo wrote about Agon. It was one of the better performances of that ballet I had seen at NYCB in a long time. A major reason was that it was performed more like Balanchine and less like Forsythe, especially by Whelan in the pas de deux. Boal was his usual excellent self but I really appreciated McBrearty's use of epaulement (in the first trio) - it made her dancing really come alive.

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Swan Lake-May 2

Greetings! brief comments...

Opening night of "Swan Lake" at NYCB was stunning (well, the dancing, I'm still not fond of the sets & costumes). Standing ovation, and three curtain calls, plus a big bouquet of roses for Whelan.

Both Woetzel and Whelan were at their best, with the partering superb-it flowed and there was nary a glitch in the whole evening. Woetzel was perfetctly stretched in the turns in second, and Whelan got to about 28 fouettes.

Hubbe danced in the Hungarian pas de deux with Borree and it was a delight to see him back on stage.

The children were excellent and Gold was a great jester. Ansanelli fell off point once, but was otherwise good in an early debut in the pas de quatre (sp?). The pas de quatre was excellent, with the three women absolutely spot on during the fouettes. Marcovici was solid as Benno, making the best of his solos.

The swans were also excellent, looking well rehearsed and generally very much in synch.

But, the evening belonged to Whelan. She managed to get through some overly fast conducting by Andrea Quinn in the first act, and absolutely flew in the series of entrachets (??) in the second act.

Other changes for next week-Kowroski will be dancing for Ringer, partnered by Neal one night and Askegard on the other. Ulbricht is dancing in two performances.

Oh, Tyler Angle and Vincent Paradiso danced tonight, (I think) their first performance with the company.


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Could you give us some of the casting for Swan Lake -- usually the pd3, pd4, and divertissements in Act II are listed, but this year they aren't. I especially like to see who's new, who's back, etc. in these parts just as much as I want to know the leading dancers! By the way, your review makes me want to run out and get my ticket right away!

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When the curtain went up on the ugly scenery and costumes, I felt the same instant revulsion at this production that I had four years ago. But as soon as the dancing started, with Tom Gold's jester, the feeling went away. I agree completely with sneds -- it was a marvelous performance on the part of everybody concerned. Whelan and Woetzel were the best I've seen in this. Even James Fayette's disappearing act as Rotbart at the end, so reminiscent of the Wicked Witch of the West's meltdown, was nicely done. It was a very fine evening.

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I must admit to not knowing all of the casting, as there are many, many parts, but I'll piece together what I do remember (and will update as I see the casting next week at the State Theatre).

Bennos: Hanna, Millepied (Wed 5/7, Sun 5/4), Marcovici

Albrechts: Neal, Askegard, Martins, Woetzel, Boal

Jesters: Gold, Hendrickson, Ulbricht (debut 5/7, also 5/10 matinee)

Odile/Odettes: Somogyi (debut 5/7), Whelan, Weese, Somogyi, Kowroski

Hungarian:Rutherford & Fowler, LaCour & Ash (Sat 5/10, other times),

Russian: Hubbe & Borree, ????

Pas de Trois: Taylor & Stafford, ??? (Riggins??)

Pas de Quatre: Ansanelli, Somogyi, vanKipnis, Neal (last night)

Spanish: Ash, Bar, Hanna, Ramasar (last night)

Neopolitian: Edge & Carmena (nice debut last night)

Von Rothbart: Fayette, Seth, LaCour (does anyone know if LaCour danced in the RDB production-I believe the NYCB version was first done on the RDB...)


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I'm not sure he had the opportunity, Sneds. During the Bournonville festival in 2000 he was an aspirant (apprentice) - have they done it since then?

I'll be going tonight, and try to look closely at the casting. I wonder if Somogyi will get the final Swan Lake on 5/13. She's only gotten one so far, and unfortunately I'm going to ABT that night.

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Casting for today's matinee, which I attended (so can type from the program-- will do the same for tomorrow's):

Koworoski, Askegard, Seth cast

Benno: Hanna

pas de trois with him: Rutherford, Natanya

Jester: Hendrickson

Queen: Muller

four swans: Barak, Fairchild, Mandradjieff, Walker

6 princesses: Abergel, Arthurs, Bar, Hankes, Hanson, Keenan

pas de quatre: Borree, Riggins, Taylor, Millepied

Hungarian: Ash, la Cour

Russian: Ansanelli, Martins

(while i am refraining from commenting on this performance until i have seen others, I did want to note Ansanelli's performance here: she is no little girl anymore! she was sultry in just the right way :-) )

Spanish: Beskow & Fowler, McBrearty and J. Stafford

Neopolitan: Fairchild, Gold

btw, is Bouder still out (i.e., does amanda have another season of pining to see her dance)?

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(I've put the diverts in order of variation so you know who did what if you know the production)

Weese, Boal

von Rotbart: Seth

Benno: Marcovici

pas de trois with him: A. Stafford, Taylor

Jester: Gold

Queen: Abergel

four swans: Barak, Riggins, Edge, Walker

6 princesses: Golbin, Krohn*, Korbes, Natanya, Beskow, McBrearty

pas de quatre: van Kipnis, Somogyi, Neal, Ansanelli (subbing for Ringer)

Hungarian: Rutherford, Fowler

Russian: Borree, Hubbe (by the way, she was very good in a role that was created for a totally different sort of dancer. It was a very pleasant surprise)

Spanish: Bar & Ramasar, Ash & Hanna (that's what the program says, and the dancer's in a wig, but for some reason I thought it was Higgins. Anyone else there?

Neapolitan: Edge, Carmena

Mostly good work from everyone. Boal and Weese were as I recalled them from '99; they pick up steam as the ballet goes on and are at their most moving in the final act. Stafford looked very nice in the pas de trois; it's a good fit for her and shows off her accuracy and cleanliness. As mentioned above, Borree was a very pleasant surprise in a role I'd never expect to see her in. Good work from all in the pas de quatre. As before, I find elements of the production that I think are very nice touches, especially the Princesses' dance in Act III and the Reconciliation pas in Act IV. It isn't my dream Swan Lake, but it isn't even close to my nightmare either.

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Thanks for the casting, everyone. I know it's a lot of typing but I appreciate it..............and would love to see next week's as well, especially the Somogyi/Martins night and the Ringer(sub?)/ Neal cast.

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