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A Visitor's Review

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Paula Citron, a Canadian dance critic, saw an NYCB program and spoke about it on the radio. Here's a link to the transcript. Any comments, natives?


It is always good to catch up with New York City Ballet and see how the land lies. Given the program I caught at the State Theatre, the land is lying very well. There has been a lot of grumbling by Balanchine fanatics about Peter Martins' stewardship of the company, but what I saw was an energetic, talented group of dancers who, for the most part, performed with verve.
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Oy, vey! Did that review make me feel old! I remember Opus 19's premiere, and it really couldn't have been so long ago! But I looked it up, and it was, so maybe it is somewhat dated.

I am glad that Ms. Citron was so impressed. I'm very curious to know what the dancers of NBoC look like these days, as I assume they are the habitated, "neutral" basis to which she compares all else.

Dated?!! Tsk, tsk.

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While we're copy-editing here, I was amused by the typo which rendered "Boal" as "Bola." I foresee a leading role for this dancer in the next Mauro Bigonzetti piece.

Seriously, I'm always happy to hear about it when visitors to our fair city have pleasant experiences.

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Somogyi's legs aren't short, but "quintessential, long-legged Balanchine sexpot" aren't the first words I think of for her, any more than I think of Jenifer Ringer as "sinuous". I guess it's different from farther away.

I think most of the typos could be explained by the fact that the copy was for radio (but when they put this up on site, didn't someone check for spelling of names?) and I'm glad she likes the company, but there's a lot she says that seems like it wasn't fact-checked.

For example, only portions of Agon are in serial technique, so it doesn't make sense to describe the whole ballet as "severely twelve-tone", it isn't. She also seems to think that Jenifer Ringer is a good deal younger than she is. My guess is that Ringer is about 30 and Whelan is 35. Ringer became a principal relatively late. When you're dealing with a 30 and a 35 year old, even in dance, it's odd to call one of them young and the other "ageless".

Calling Square Dance "a joke shared between the dancers and the audience" also is a bit of a surprise to me, especially with the grave man's solo from the 1976 version.

In her defense, I've read a lot of Citron's pieces on NBoC and I like them a good deal. I've got an article coming out in the next issue of Ballet Review about her turf in Toronto. If she read it, I wonder if she'd have a similar reaction!

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