Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Spring 2003 Week 5

Recommended Posts

I was lucky enough to see Wednesday night's program of Square Dance, Hallelujah Junction and Who Cares? and I thought I'd go ahead and start a thread for that performances and the performances to follow in this week.

Square Dance; in a word, phenominal. Abi Stafford has truly found a role that is *hers*. I missed her in the winter season, but she absolutely excelled this go around, and certainly surpassed other dancers I've seen in this role. Nikolaj Hubbe didn't perform this role last season, so it was great to see him this time, and as usual, he gave plenty of life to the role. Something that was fresh was just how different it was from Peter Boal's interpretation. It's nice to see that this company has dancers who can give two totally different approaches to a role and still make it their own.

Hallelujah was a last minute replacement for Morphoses, which I would have preferred, especially with Amar Ramasar set to debut. Still, Janie Taylor easily made me forget what I was missing, and Hallelujah is still one of my favorite Martins ballets. Sometimes I may not feel as strongly about certain dancers that Martins adores, the main exceptions being Alexandra and Janie, but I must say that no matter what, his choreography flatters the dancers he uses (the one exception being the bizarre Darci/Jock pas in ''Guide to Strange Places''). Even though he didn't choreograph Hallelujah on this company, he choses his dances well, and should be applauded for that.

Who Cares is such a perfect closing ballet, even if I always did find it to run a bit too long. Miranda is absolutely stunning in this ballet, although I admit I am a bit partial to her in it since it was the first time I ever saw her after her return. Janie Taylor danced with her signature abandon, and Jenny Somogyi was near perfection in her variation, nailing the fouettes, doing single-double and finally nailing a triple as a finish. Phillip Neal has presence enough to make me happy, and remains the best I've seen this role danced out of Nilas Martins, Charles Askegard and Mr. Neal.

Anyone else seen the ballet this week?

Link to comment

I was also there Wednesday night, somewhat put out because the sole reason I had for getting the ticket was to see Morphoses. I do not need to waste more of my life seeing a Martins/Adams ballet. (Also, who on earth thinks white unitards are flattering for anyone?)

I thought Abi was very good in Square Dance but still young. She is a very earnest dancer and appeared uncomfortable with some of the "cute" poses and mannerisms in the role. (Her ration of cute seems to have been distributed between Carmena and Andrea Quinn.)

I stopped being put out about five seconds after Weese got on stage in Who Cares. I am so happy to see her back (I didn’t realize how much I liked her until she was injured), and this is just a wonderful role for her. As much as she tore up the stage in Fascinatin' Rhythm, what I really found breathtaking was her pas de deux with Neal to The Man I Love. It was all the more wonderful because I think it showed how she has matured as a dancer -- the Fascinatin Rhythm solo is right in the middle of what I've always thought of as her range, but The Man I love is slower and much more emotional. She brought a depth of feeling and commitment that I don’t believe she had pre-injury.

Somogyi didn't do much for me. Technically strong but didn’t give much more than the steps.

Link to comment

Some scattered thoughts on the two performances i attended this week:

sat mat:

Square Dance - Abi Stafford seemed a new person to me. She seemed so much more mature (and I don't think it's b/c she is wearing more dramatic make-up, though that probably helps a little). And, so much more relaxed and happy! So, I felt as if I were watching a true performance from her, as opposed to a straight A student executing her homework perfectly. I hope her confidence and maturity continue to grow.


Ah, to have Weese back in top-notch shape! Her musicality and sharpness brought her role fully to life. Whereas Whelan seemed to struggle with the part two week ago, Weese seemed perfectly at home.

Bouder's return was quite welcome to me, as well. Not sure she has returned to full strength yet. She seemed to display her usually confidence and abandon in some areas, but then show cautiousness (too much) in other areas. She did have trouble with some of the steps, atypically-- but, again, she's just coming back after an injury into a major part. Her glow was there. It was clear she was happy to be up there.

For others who were there, I have a question-- toward the end of the third mov't when Bouder was with the corps doing all the FAST intricate footwork (I shall not even attempt to name the steps), I was rapt by her at first. She seemed so sharp and musical-- that embodiment of the music. Then when my focus expanded to include everyone else, she seemed to be going faster than everyone else. I wondered then if maybe she had been going too fast, though it had seemed fine to me. Bobbi commented to me that she also thought Bouder was the one who was in time with the music, able to keep up with the tempo. Other thoughts?


Honestly, as much as I love Whelan in some roles, this costume... accentuates what I don't love about her body, and so I watched everyone else. van Kipnis displayed a softness I had not expected (I tend to see her as more tough and solid, though not sure why), showing what seemed the right combination of grace and jazziness for the role.

Vienna Waltzes-

Vienna Woods-- This role seems tailor made for Rutherford. She is yet another *upper body dancer* in a lower body dancing company (to paraphrase Leigh's comments about Somogyi in Swan Lake). SO, in a dance where the legs are covered by a floor-length skirt, it is the upper body that must seduce the audience. And, she captivated me. I think she's one of those dancers, who, even after she has retired, would still bow with great grace (as Schorer does at SAB workshops, and Cynthia Gregory did this year at the workshop)!

Weese- again- welcome back. So refreshing to have that musicality and drama combined. I think she is one who has grown to use her upper body more (ever since doing her first Swan Lake?) than she did in her early days.

As Ringer seemed not quite right for the Coquette in La Somnambula, I think she is not quite right (right now) for her Merry Widow role. She does not convey an air of mystery that helps you understand why the men on stage, esp. one, are so taken with her. She seems too approachable, not distant and disinterested enough-- at least that's the way I imagine the part should be done! I never saw the piece before 1990!

Der Rosenkavalier-- I understand the rationale for putting Nichols and Kistler in this role. They are the senior ballerinas, and it's a special part. But, that doesn't seem enough of a reason to me. Neither seems suited for it. I want to see someone who seems to bear pain of loneliness and breaks my heart with the arching of her back. I know there are many that swoon at Nichols in this part. She just has never had that upper body softness to which I am drawn and which I feel this part needs. If only Somogyi were a bit taller and a bit older right NOW. (there really are things I don't like Somogyi in. really. honest. just a few.)

what does it mean that I am an upper body admirer at a company that concentrates on the lower body?

What about the men, you ask? Exc. for Sq. Dance, most of what I saw and experience was truly all about the women. I have commented on Marcovici in SD before. Nothing new to say.


Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...