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Peter Boal farewell performance


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The afternoon began with Boal alone onstage as Apollo, receiving a prolonged ovation. The dancing proper began with the pas de deux between him and Terpsichore. Yvonne Borree was wonderful, betraying not the least nervousness Ballet Talkers often mention. The other muses, Jennifer Ringer as Polyhymnia, and Miranda Weese as Calliope were superb as well, as befit the occasion. What can one say about Peter Boal? His was an Apollo for the ages and I only wish we could have seen it in it's entiety.

Agon too, was given a splendid performance -- Maria Kowroski and Albert Evans in the pas de deux, Teresa Reichlen and Ben Millepied, Ellen Bar and the exciting Amar Ramasar, Jennifer Tinsley and Andrew Vayette. After the intermission, we had West Side Story Suite. I'm not sure what the relevance of this to the rest of the program was, other than to give such NYCB stalwarts as Damian Woetzel, James Fayette, Millepied and Ringer again, as well as Amanda Edge and Faye Arthurs a chance to shine. Personally, I could have done without it.

I'd seen Opus l9/The Dreamer on Friday night and like that one, this was a superb performance by Peter and Wendy. The curtain calls were prolonged and deeply felt. Particularly moving was the homage to Boal by Jock Soto. Peter Martins was there, too of course, as were Boal's ballerinas, all of whom brought him a bouquet

and an embrace. His wife, former NYCB dancer Kelly Cass came out with their three children. Peter hoisted the girl overhead and she looked like a miniature Terpsichore. The flowers kept on coming and finally began raining down from the flies. Another emotional farewell at NYCB. I've seen so many of them. This was the first I'd seen from the Fourth Ring. The seat wasn't bad.

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Peter Boal is one of the greatest dancers of his or any other generation. It was just a privilege to be apart of his farewell to performing. His Apollo is undescribable! It's something that only being witness to can someone can truly understand his brilliance!! That moment when the curtain open with him just standing there was as beautiful a moment you can expect from the stage. And oh the response from us in the audience was so spontaneous, so full of love and appreciation for his many years of enjoyment and artistry he has given us on the years. It was a wonderful moment.

The whole afternoon performance of course will stay with me forever, but the moment I know I will never forget was in Opus19/The Dreamer. There was that moment when Boal was in front center stage and behind him scatter about the stage was the corp. Just then according to the choreography Boal grabbed his heart and suddenly he turned and with the hand he grabbed his heart with he stretch out his arm and point it from what it seem from dancer to dancer in the corp. It was almost as if symbolically he was giving away his gifts as a dancer, his genius, his intelligence, his dancer's soul to the next generation of dancers and the fact they was kneeing before his just make the moment even more spiritual.

Watching the Peter Boal response to the ovation at the end of the performance was also wonderful. Mr. Boal is a true modest gentlemen. He doesn't seem to understand the love the audience and indeed his colleagues. At one point Peter Martins had to push Boal up to front of the stage to acknowledge the applause. And oh that moment when Boal grab Jock Soto and brought him forth to share in the applause, I thought the we in the audience was going to go crazy! All of his ballerinas was there to give him flowers - an emotional moment for all them I'm sure. His wife and children - a sweet and loving looking family. Noble, elegant, regal, Peter Boal is a dancer we will not be seeing again for a long, long time!

It was also my first time on the fourth ring and I'm telling you it was bad it. I might start saving money by bring more tickets up there.

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I think both of these posts sum it up quite well. The specialness of the day seemed to give an extra, inspired kick to everyone -- particularly Yvonne, giving a truly lovely Terpsichore.

The audience was full of alumni, another indication of the high esteem in which the ballet community holds Peter.

I don't know if it was intended to be symbolic, but as the NYST curtain was about to fall on Peter for the last time (can't believe I just wrote that!), he lifted his little daughter overhead, and she spread her arms. It seemed to be a statement about the continuity of it all. Touching and reassuring.

It was also my first time on the fourth ring and I'm telling you it was bad it. I might start saving money by bring more tickets up there.

GeorgeB fan, I think you mean it's NOT bad up there, yes? I completely agree. Just a reminder: you can save even more if you join the Fourth Ring Society! And you will learn that some of the best people live up there! :wink:
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:wink: Thank you Peter Boal. What a joy. What a pleasure to watch. He is the most nobel and most elegant dancer that I have ever seen. His line, his body, his movement. He just exudes elegancy, charm and nobility. He is perfection. He never seemed to me to be the bravura show stopping type of dancer. But no one is as elegant and nobel as Boal. No one.

The afternoon was fantastic. What could be better. My favorite ballet (Agon) with my favorite ballerina (Kowroski) with Boal doing what he does best. Who could ask for anything better? And West Side Story Suite - a little lighteness seemed to make Opus 19 even more interesting.

And I set in the very back of the orchestra and must admit that seats in the first two rows of the 4th ring are no worse. Sat there for a few gala's. But I do prefer or regular seats in the center of the front of the orchestra. They have been in the family since City Center days.

I think there was a program note tha Krone danced instead of Tinsley in Agon. I think that is correct although sitting where we were with my deteriorating eyesight I wouldn't bet on it. But Kowroski, Evans and Reichlin were all amazing.

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The descriptions are just wonderful and I hope more people will share there feelings about the afternoon here, since I was unable to attend. Which of Peter Boal's frequent partners were on hand to present him with flowers?

I must echo Carbro's note about 4th Ring Society: I would never be able to go as often as I do if I had to pay full price. At the half-price offered by the Society, you don't hesitate to go to a programme that you might otherwise skip: you can re-visit a new ballet to get a second look, or check out fresh casting in a masterpiece without destroying your bank account. It is also a great chance to get an extra ticket for a friend and introduce them to NYCB.

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Previous posters have pretty much said it all. The emotional highlight for me -- and I hope we get a picture in tomorrow's Times -- was Peter Boal lifting his daughter over his head: that's when my eyes got very misty indeed. It reminded me though that just when one door closes, another starts to open. I mention this because of the absolutely fabulous performances by both Andrew Veyette (even sans one slipper) and Amar Ramasar -- along with the stunning Teresa Reichlen -- in Agon.

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I have been watching many Apollos since my first one (Andre Eglevsky) many years ago and Boal was the only one for me who brought out the sweetness, naivite and grandeur of the role. It is refreshing to see a dancer of his talent getting his "due". I have always felt that Boal was in the same mode of another American dancer I greatly admired, Lawrence Rhodes (who did not get his "due").

It was an exhilarating afternoon and Teresa Reichlen was superb in Agon---and Oh--those gorgeous bourrees of Whelan's in Opus 19. The West Side Story opus doesn't seem to work well out of the framework of the musical---it looks terribly dated.

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Oberon -- wish I could identify the ballerinas who presented Peter with hugs and flowers, but though the Fourth Ring has the attractions you pointed out, it requires someone with better vision and opera glasses than I. I'll be back for Jock's farewell, but I have to say I found the steps up there daunting for my shaky legs. I was scared to go down to the Promenade at intermission for fear I'd never make it back. It astounded me that some people dashed out immediately after the final curtain, apparently unaware of the occasion.

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I just put up a piece on DanceView Times about this performance. I'm posting it here since most people seem to check the site Monday morning, and it wasn't up at that time.

Susan Reiter on Peter Boal's Farewell Performance:

White Knight

It felt appropriate that for the final two ballets he performed with NYCB Peter Boal was dressed in gleaming white. For 22 years (or longer, for those who recall his student performances), Boal has been a beacon of classical purity and effortless nobility. The uniquely honorable, universally admired position he attained within the company and the affiliated School of American Ballet were summed up by the sight of him, dancing still with such quietly intense focus and restless intelligence, all in white. Not that Boal's dancing didn't encompass more explosive, extroverted roles (think of "Prodigal Son")—and certainly he ranged far afield from his NYCB image in his forays into contemporary dance. But the scrupulous and modest elegance of his dancing—the aspect that led Jean Pierre Bonnefoux to compare him to Erik Bruhn—came through particularly well in this farewell performance.
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The performance began and ended with a solitary figure in white onstage.

With such a warm audience in attendance all he needed to do was just stand there.

But boy, did he dance. He danced as beautifully as he ever had. There were so

many moments in both Apollo and Opus 19 that are etched in my memory as

gestures of farewell.

The first flower was a single white rose tossed onstage when Peter and Wendy

were still in front of the curtain. She picked it up, kissed it and handed it

to him. He got on one knee and kissed her hand.

My binoculars were fogged up by my tears but I believe the 3 raven haired

muses presented flowers - Boree, Weese and Ringer and Maria Kowroski.

The were all glammed up in party attire - hope they all had a wonderful time.

The flowers and golden confetti rained down and we hated to see it end. I think

the people who left early were running down to the orchestra - the aisles down

there looked full of people trying to get closer to the stage.

George B Fan, once you see Union Jack from the 4th Ring, you'll never want

to sit anywhere else!!!!! :wink:

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Which of Peter Boal's frequent partners were on hand to present him with flowers?

Borree & Kowroski were 2 of the ballerinas who came onstage in street clothes and presented him with bouquets, and I believe the other 2 were the afternoon's other 2 muses - Weese & Ringer. Whelan also gave him a bouquet.

The thing that struck me immediately about Boal's Apollo yesterday was the sheer sense of joy he showed dancing it. I have not had the fortune of watching him through much of his career, only the past couple years. For me, as for many people, he has been the definitive Apollo. I always identify him with the Belvedere Apollo. His characterization is inquisitive and questing but also the most contemplative, reasoned & elegant Apollo of them all. At this farewell performance, that sense of unflappable serenity was tempered somewhat by the smile that lit up his face early and often as the dance unfolded. He really seemed so happy to dance this one last time. Borre's style is still a bit florid for me, but I agree, this was the best I've ever seen her dance.

Agon was danced wonderfully and it did look like Krohn up there instead of Tinsley as the insert indicated. I had been looking forward to seeing Kowroski & Evans in this and they did not disappoint. Reichlin, however took me by surprise. I don't know why, I always love her but she really seems to have taken her dancing to another level this season. She was phenomenal. I enjoyed WSS, and the house seemed to agree. It's not pure ballet, but it works as dance theater and shows off an unexpected side of these talented dancers. I didn't find it dated at all. NY Export: Opus Jazz is the Robbins piece I find dated!

I can see why Boal chose Opus 19 for his farewell performance, what a great range of movement and emotion it allowed him. It was a privilege to watch him & Wendy dance together one last time.The farewell was so heartwarming, and Boal was so modest. He will be missed greatly.

I must echo Carbro's note about 4th Ring Society: I would never be able to go as often as I do if I had to pay full price. At the half-price offered by the Society, you don't hesitate to go to a programme that you might otherwise skip: you can re-visit a new ballet to get a second look, or check out fresh casting in a masterpiece without destroying your bank account. It is also a great chance to get an extra ticket for a friend and introduce them to NYCB.

Let me add my endorsement of the 4th ring society. I really prefer to sit closer, but who can afford to attend 2-3 times a week at the regular prices? So I have a 2nd ring subscription, and then I fill in the rest of the season with 4th ring society tickets week by week after the casting has been posted...

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Yes carbro, that is exactly what I ment! Thank you for clarifying that because I certainly wouldn't want anyone thinging I above going to the fourth ring. Because it's beautiful up there, its like totally different world. A world in which obviously the most passionate lovers of ballet regard themselves at home! It's also as if this was well-kept secret that only a few privilege are aware of. WELL NOW I KNOW AND I LIKE IT!! The view does give you a different way at viewing the ballet. You see better the choreographic design or picture design or whatever way you called it much better then seating in the second ring where I usually seat. Your right Balanchinomane seeing Union Jack from that view would be great to see.

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I'm sure it will appear shortly in Links, but there is a truly wonderful photo of Peter Boal in the NY Times today taking a bow at his gala with a beautifully expansive gesture as his colleagues applaud him with genuine admiration. The photo, to my mind, is the crowning touch on Peter's performing career: Prince of the Dance.

Bravissimo, Peter Boal...I hope Seattle comes to love you as much as NYC has!!!

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Everyone has written so beautifully about Peter Boal's farewell performance, so I'll just add a few thoughts. It was really an unforgettable afternoon. "Apollo" was never a favorite ballet of mine until I saw Peter Boal dance it for the first time this past February. All of a sudden I "got" "Apollo", and for the first time the sheer beauty of the ballet and Boal's dancing brought tears to my eyes. I felt the same way Sunday afternoon. I also discovered that I really really like "Agon". I saw it a long long time ago, and had convinced myself over the years that it was a ballet to avoid. What a big mistake that was! (But I'm only 51, and hopefully have many many more years to attend ballet.) I have always loved "West Side Story Suite", but I thought it seemed a bit out of place on an afternoon dedicated to Peter Boal.

I kept thinking "This should be part of Jock Soto's farewell performance, not Peter Boal's". (I think an excerpt from "West Side Story Suite has now been added to Jock's farewell performance, hasn't it?) I don't know if Peter Boal's like will ever be seen at New York City again. I canonly hope that 20 or 25 years from now Ballet Alert posters are writing about the farewell performance of some New York City Ballet dancer presently in the corps.

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Re: Apollo. I couldn't have imagined a more fitting work for this program -- one which so many of its interpreters (as well as its choreographer) mark as an artistic turning point -- much as the hero himself undergoes a transformation from youth to maturity. And the day marks for Peter a milestone as he heads towards a Mount Olympus in his own life.

I have loved Apollo since I first saw it. Peter's performance with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet in Newark two years ago will remain one of the glowing memories of my ballet-going career. His recent ones with NYCB have come close, but that one remains unequalled.

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Of course I'm prejudiced, but I think that in the last ten years Peter Boal did some of his best dancing for Suzanne. I agree about the Apollo at NJPAC, but even before there was a Suzanne Farrell Ballet as such, there was "Suzanne Farrell Stages Balanchine" at the Kennedy Center in 1995. I remember sublime performances of Mozartiana and Chaconne with Susan Jaffe and Peter Boal. What a partnership that was!

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I have loved Apollo since I first saw it.  Peter's performance with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet in Newark two years ago will remain one of the glowing memories of my ballet-going career.  His recent ones with NYCB have come close, but that one remains unequalled.

Oh God I couldn't agree more!! I remember that performance so well and truly feel lucky to the fact that it was the only full-length performance I have ever seen of that ballet. Peter Boal is the only Apollo I have ever seen in where I truly understood why the ballet is regarded as a masterpiece. I've seen others danced it, but that's the point - they've danced it. Peter Boal was the only one who gave me the illusion of a moral who touch by art became a powerful and noble Greek god. He is going to be sooooo miss!

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