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2005 Spring Gala


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Here's the program for the 2005 Spring Gala:

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Tālā Gaisma (New Martins, World Premiere)

Double Aria (New Millepied, NYCB Premiere)

New Evans Ballet (World Premiere)

An American in Paris (New Wheeldon, World Premiere)

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The galas seem to be now all about the new works. It's been that way for a couple of years (it was like that sometimes during Balanchine's day too). It's interesting that some of these -- like the new Martins and Wheeldon works -- were not listed in the spring season brochure.

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What do you NYCB goers think about Wheeldon's "Broadway" oeuvre?

I know there was lots of criticism of Stroman's 'Double Feature' last year - and none of you have reported on it this season!!

Is Wheeldon doing this because this is what he wants to do, artistically, and can't get backing to do it on or off Broadway or is he doing this becuase that's what a resident choreographer has to do and let the less-renowned choreographers like Millepied and Evans take more chances?

I have to say I haven't seen any Wheeldon choreography yet (hopefully, I'll see something on PA Ballet's next triple bill) but his career is so fascinating.

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Dale, the new works by Millepied and Wheeldon were announced...it's just that now they have names. Albert's ballet was premiered in DC, I believe, but will be a

NYCB premiere.

I avoid Broadway-style ballets in general. WEST SIDE STORY, DOUBLE FEATURE, etc are just not interesting to me...not even interesting enough to try them. Chris Wheeldon seems to alternate between show-biz stuff (CARNIVAL, CAROUSEL - which is really quite dark - even the plotty VARIATIONS SERIEUSES) and more angular, abstract works (POLYPHOINIA, MORPHESES, LITURGY, etc) with MERCURIAL and SHAMBARDS sort of in-between. I always see his ballets at least once but only the "non-story, non-cutesy" ones keep me coming back. Until this season, I regarded POLYPHONIA as his best but now SHAMBARDS has surpassed it, for me anyway.

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GWTW -- I've seen Susan Stroman's "Double Feature" twice this season, after seeing it once last year, and I still enjoy it very much. I also enjoyed the fact that on Tuesday night the theater was filled with a large and enthusiastic audience. That night Sofiane Sylve and Janie Taylor stepped into the roles previously filled by Maria Kowroski and Ashley Bouder and were equally good.

Tom Gold still gives the performance of his life in the "Makin' Whoopie" half, as does the unnamed dog. The dog's trainer, however, does rate a line in the Playbill: William Berloni.

I'm looking forward eagerly to Wheeldon's "An American in Paris." In my opinion, what makes him interesting as a choreographer is his wide range. The comparison may be uncalled for, but it's worth remembering that Balanchine's ouevre did not consist entirely of leotard ballets.

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Wheeldon's already done Broadway, although the show didn't last long. It was a musical version of The Sweet Smell of Success, based on the film. It got very mixed reviews (that includes the choreography), although everyone raved about John Lithgow's performance.

Incidentally, I wouldn't assume that Wheeldon's choreography for An American in Paris will be "Broadway," just jazzy, as carbro said.

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Frankly, I'd forgotten about Sweet Smell but I do recall his very balletic treatment of the Rodgers in Carousel, A Ballet (that is the name, yes?).

"American" has always seemed to me a score that must be handled cinematically. It veers suddenly between themes, and Gene Kelly's choreography, with the camera's quick (for its day) cuts handles it . I wonder how Wheeldon will manage these musical traps on the stage.

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I guess this gala makes sense of the rep. listed in the Saratoga newspapers. It also pushes the Martins total for the season to six ballets and Wheeldon to five. I hope they are going to be added to the season rather than replacing something already announced.

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I hope Christopher fashions a role for the delectable Pauline Golbin!

i hope he forgets the whole thing

is he running through a personal laundry list of one-of-a-kind projects?

....."let's see: i've done one of these, one of these", etc.

how unoriginal

as to ms. g: isn't it time for ms. arthurs, and others in her category, to be given a chance?

presumably, they are tomorrow's soloists/principals

i would expect the senior corps members to be departing soon, after years of stalwart service

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I hope Woetzel is doing American in Paris. I've always had a blind spot for Mrs. Golbin, but I wouldn't mind her given a chance to do something significant.

I saw Millepied's new work in Paris, and it was dissapointing. But I'm glad Mr. Martins is giving him exposure.

As for the Martins piece - A thank you note to Jock for hauling Ms. Kistler all these years?????? I wonder

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For Jerry perhaps Ask LaCour, he seems to be using him more. For Lise who else but the reigning French belle, Sylve? :wink:

I thought of Sylve, too, although she doesn't have the temperament I have in mind. I was thinking more along the lines of someone "cute," like Megan Fairchild.

As for Jerry, the dancer has to be stong, athletic, AMERICAN (or American-like)...and being devastatingly handsome doesn't hurt, either. :wink:

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Wheeldon's already done Broadway, although the show didn't last long.  It was a musical version of The Sweet Smell of Success, based on the film.  It got very mixed reviews (that includes the choreography), although everyone raved about John Lithgow's performance.

I'd have to agree, it wasn't one of Wheeldon's best efforts. But he had to work with (or against) an undistinguished score by Marvin Hamlisch, so it's not all his fault. Actually, undistinguished maybe isn't the right word. It was very accomplished, as you'd expect, but monotonous, and not really very tuneful.

I wonder if Wheeldon knows that Stephen Sondheim has expressed keen interest in writing a ballet score. Now THAT could be interesting! Who knows, maybe the only reason Sondheim hasn't written that score yet is that no company or choreographer has approached him about it.

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