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ABT Fall City Center season Week 1

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About the "Pocketbook" scene in "Fancy Free": It was very playful and good-natured. The girl appeared to enjoy the attention, but wouldn't admit it to the s ailors---which was pretty typical of the time--look, but don't touch! One never felt there was a threat of rape. She was a bit haughty and might have thought the boys beneath her!.

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Thank you ATM711. I think the only way for it to work as not looking like harassment is to work on the woman's reactions when the handbag is being tossed around. Many times now, she has a look of terror, which makes us react that she's in danger. Maybe it should be more annoyance and the sailors should look like they're playing (which they do in many performances I've seen).

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Yes, ATM,thanks so much for clarifying. I thought I remembered the pocketbook scene being good natured but I couldn't remember the specifics, and I was just so horrified at meaness of the scene in the current production.

Alexandra, I'm going to see the Innovative program again, so I thought I'd wait before posting, but...

I liked the Forsythe piece a lot. This was the first time I'd seen any of his work, so I had no idea what to expect. I tend to prefer more classical compositions (both musically & choreographically) but I thought the choreography fit perfectly with the angularity and modernity of the music. When watching something for the first time, I usually try to sit back and take in the whole thing, to get a "big picture" perspective without trying to analyze the performance. Unfortunately that makes it difficult for me to recall & describe specifics ( I don't know how all of you manage to be so articulate about such an ephemeral art. If I even try to count fouettes I usually feel like I'm missing the character & the context of the scene) . I'll write more after I see it again. I liked the fact that it gave the dancers a different aesthetic to work with. I was thinking the same thing about Diversion of Angels. On the one hand, what is a ballet company doing presenting a work by Martha Graham? Her technique is probably as far from classical ballet as you can get. On the other hand, Diversion is such a beautiful work and it's not as if there's a surplus of brilliant choreographers around these days creating wonderful pieces for today's dancers to develop & grow with. I think it's good for them to be challenged, to stretch & grow as dancers. And I did enjoy watching it.

I also seem to be the only person in the world who likes the Harrison tribute. I think it's far from being a masterpiece, but I think it's entertaining, and very much in keeping with the spirit of his music

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What a truly extraordinary dancer Acosta is. .. what a thrill it was to see him on stage here once today.  Such a strange and wonderful combination of masculine weight and of lightness, Acosta has.  Of showing force and power and effortlessness at the same time.  He breathes in the air -- and it is that moment of breath that gives the illusion that he can soar and hang in the air.  In addition, after watching him, we no longer have to ask if ABT has a man who can cleanly complete a double tour. 


Oh, yessss. Watching Acosta is akin to seeing a panther unleashed onstage. There is a visceral quality to his dancing & to the audience response that I can only compare to that of a great tenor.

He has unusually shaped feet - rather spade-like, but beautifully stretched & pointed & they certainly get the job done without a sound.

He is also an extraordinarily sensitive partner, all the best assets plus he gives his ballerina that little bit of extra room to "breathe", making her part of a unit but the more important part. Not since Peter Martins have I so admired partnering skills - & that's saying quite a lot!

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I definitely thought that seeing Acosta was the highlight of Sunday night's performance... and I definitely agree with zerbinetta:

Watching Acosta is akin to seeing a panther unleashed onstage.
From the third row, his presence was almost overwhelming... its always incredible to see someone with do much presence in a venue as intimate as City Center (intimate for NYC, at any rate)

But speaking of the third row... from my vantage point I found both Kent and Reyes' facial expressions in Pillar of Fire extrememly overacted, and actually quite distracting. Found myself wishing I could see it from the balcony.

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Thanks for the reports on Acosta -- I wondered how people saw him. How would you compare him, as a technician, or personality, or dancer generally, to Carreno?

nysusan -- a belated comment. Thanks for your report on the contemporary evening. I think a lot of people here liked the Harrison ballet last season, so don't feel left out! (This seems to be one of those pieces that the critics bash and balletgoers enjoy.)

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I feel there are more differences than similarities between Acosta & Carreno. Other than having that wonderful Cuban pride, macho in the best sense, & that both are wonderful partners. they are very different in personality, stage demeanor & overall impact.

Carreno is arguably the more beautiful floor turner, Acosta the more beautiful leaper. Acosta's air turns land more accurately; he lands (from a great height) without a sound.

Both are innately musical & lyrical but each uniquely so. I suppose one could say they show the signs of being of the same school but encouraged to seek & develop their individual strengths & stage personae.

There are similarities between Jose & his half brother, Joel, as well but, again, two totally different types. Carreno & Acosta might be cast in many of the same roles; Jose & Joel not so much.

As a sort of sum-up: when Jose does something wonderful, I say "aah"; when Carlos does, I say "omigod".

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