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

All Star Stravinsky


Recommended Posts

I'm a bit late, but I saw the program tonight and I have a few comments.

I saw Carreno's Apollo last season, as well, and it doesn't quite move me. I hate to say it, but I think it might be his feet. They are just not pliant enough for me to believe they are divine. I did enjoy this performance more than last fall's, but perhaps it was my lowered expectations.

I don't see much of ABT (no student rush, sadly), but Gillian Murphy is really something. I love Julie Kent, but I think Murphy's Polyhymnia outshined Kent's Terpsichore. Still, I was pleased with all the muses-- no oversmiling in this cast.

I see Jeu de Cartes is not popular on this board. Perhaps I am jaded, but I was so pleased to see a comic ballet that was actually funny. It was slapstick, sure, but sharp. Dvorovenko (Queen of Hearts) was absolutely fabulous, and Sarah Lane (Two of Diamonds) was funny, too. I agree that the second deal was the weakest link, but it seemed to me that the problem was the dancers themselves. They were a funny pack, but when they each took their mini-solos, I was underwhelmed with their technical skills. Lopez's Joker was fine, but he didn't steal the show, and it seems like the Joker should.

I love Petrouchka, but had never seen a live production, and this was what brought me out tonight. I enjoyed it very much, though I suspect other productions have been better. I also thought the crowd scenes didn't bustle enough (particularly the opening), but that is my only concrete criticism.

Link to post

:flowers:

The revelation tonight for me was Xiomara Reyes' Ballerina in Petrouchka. When the curtain rose on the puppets, all I saw were those huge, lifeless eyes. These are not the eyes of a cold-hearted being, because there is no heart. These are not the eyes of a creature like Bournonville's Sylphide who doesn't know her ability to ruin lives. They just are. And Reyes' performance consistently portrayed the same conceptualization. Brilliant!

Gary Chryst imbued the Charlatan with his powerful charisma and gift for detail. That gift for detail was apparent throughout this staging. Bocca's Petrouchka was naive and desperately needy -- reminded me of high school, full of teens striving for the acceptance of the classmates they envy. Very sensitive.

Jeu was negligible. The first two hands were mildly diverting but went on too long. The third hand was a pleasure due to the beautifully clear but understated dancing of the delightful Sarah Lane, one of ABT's most promising young corps dancers. We don't see her featured enough.

I liked Carreno's Apollo very much, particularly the moment when he realizes he has become a god. He sheds his playful bearing as he becomes aware of his own nobility. It was a phased progression through the course of the work. He brought a softer attack than I am accustomed to in this work, but this went well with Julie Kent's very musical Terpsichore. Maria Riccetto's Calliope was satisfactory. Gillian Murphy brought so much authority to her role that the ballet could as well have named Polyhymnia. The characters here should maintain a heirarchical balance, and Murphy threw it all askew.

It is hard to criticize a dancer for their commanding presence, especially when it is the result of such assured technical brilliance. But after years of wishing Murphy would just get on stage and let go, I now have to wish that at least as Polyhymnia, she would get on stage and hold back.

Link to post

I had heard that except for the fabulously funny, Julio Bocca as the Joker, that Cranko's Jeu de Cartes was a too cute, much lacking ballet. I decided, last night, to see Jeu for myself. It is definitely a very silly ballet, but if you get a chance, don't miss Irina Dvorovenko in the female lead, and Sarah Lane in the second female lead. They are each absolutely charming and wonderful in their respective parts. Carlos Lopez as the Joker did a fine job, but I was mainly impressed with Irina and Sarah as the two lady/cards. I can't imagine any others succeeding as well.

Irina's a natural comedian, a real Lucy Ball on pointe. She is absolutely unrestrained in her goofy dancing and acting. And as for Sarah Lane, red is her color!! Sarah dances the charming, radiant ballerina of Diamonds, a little flighty, nutty herself, shocked to be among all the crazy male cards (very a la Allegra Kent in Robbins' The Concert avec butterflies). Jeu is a hoot, though the choreography is rather crude and unsophisticated. But both Irina and Sarah are extremely entertaining in their wacky, fun worlds.

So why isn't Sarah Lane a soloist yet?! The last time I saw her (and also in red!!) was in The Upper Room at City Center's ABT fall season. Sarah's role in that Twyla Tharp ballet was very technically challenging, requiring speedy turns, jumps, multiple partnerings, as well as quirky Twyla movements. Irina performed the same role only a couple of days before Sarah's debut of two rehearsals preparation. It's extremely odd to me thinking about why ABT might throw a talented corps dancer into a very demanding principal part, and then we don't see this dancer again for months and months. This new Jeu role came only(!) seven months after Sarah's debuts in the fall. And the fall debuts were five months after one of the most demanding ballerina debuts possible, Balanchine's Theme & Variations with Herman Cornejo last spring. Very odd...

Anyway...

Also watched Apollo with Carreno, Kent, Murphy, and Riccetto. Murphy and Riccetto were each strong and sure, beautiful muses. I thought Gillian Murphy was totally in her element here looking so comfortable with the style and demands of Balanchine's choreography. She can be overpowering... but I think she was most outstanding here because the two main leads were weak. I especially found Kent to be distracting with affectation rather than enhancing the sublime music.

Btw, this cast fixed one of the starbursts!

Link to post

The competition for female soloist positions is pretty fierce. Lane, Zhong-Jing Fang, Yuriko Kajiya and Melanie Hamrick have all been tried out in prominent soloist roles recently, and I wouldn't view it as an injustice if any one of these ladies were promoted above the others. As one poster pointed out at the time, Sarah Lane looked like a perfectly radiant Aurora in her outing in Kaleidoscope. Personally, I'd like to make a plug for Kajiya. I always find myself watching her, even when she is only a peasant girl in Giselle. She brings a joyful attack and limberness to contemporary work like the Tharp and Gong. She seems to dance with a twinkle in her eye. If Fang is a future Giselle and Lane a future Aurora, I see her doing well in La Sylphide. She is light on her feet in a way few dancers are today.

Link to post

I would like to second Beck's opinion of Kajiya--I couldn't keep my eyes off her feet in Les Sylphides--though the rest of her was pretty wonderful too! They just didn't seem to touch the ground.

Link to post

Fascinating Apollo Thursday. People who saw both of Hallberg's outings here agreed that his second showed much growth over his first. There are still problems. He tends to exaggerate some of the staccato phrasings, and due to his sharp features, he seems to look angry much of the time. A different make-up plot should soften his face and allow him to look attentive and focused without the anger.

His dancing had a magnificently sculptural quality. As one friend said, "I hope I'm around in five years to see what he does with this." I hope so, too, but I think this Apollo will reach Parnassus' peak before then.

Part's Terpsichore was much improved over the City Center season. She is in fine shape, and giving every step and gesture full, unmannered value, she seemed to be relishing every moment out there. No mystery why Apollo chose her over the other muses.

I enjoyed Wiles' Polyhymnia enormously, although she seemed to be the one who was off her mark for the starburst. Abrera's Calliope was marred by overemphasis of the non-classical, off-center movements.

I was curious to see if Herman Cornejo could deliver a good Petrouchka. Indeed he did. His torment was not overdone, but very palpable. My only criticism was that he is too graceful a dancer. He understood Petrouchka's awkwardness, but even that was conveyed a bit too effortlessly. Hah! All dancers should have such problems. It was a near-great performance.

Link to post

Let us hope that it will not be too long before ABT does Apollo again!!!!

And let us also hope that Hallberg will have the same muses, esp. V.P., again. Did/do the Apollos at NYCB and other companies have

the same muses? At the very least, the same Terpishores????

Link to post

Last night's Apollo was much better all around (despite the continual problems with the Starburst). Part toned down the flirtatiousness, especially at the beginning. She still smiled a lot in the pas de deux but on Thursday her smile seemed to radiate the pure joy of dancing, rather than the overkill I felt the first time. And her dancing is glorious! Wiles danced with much more energy and attack & Hallberg continues to grow in the role. I think I liked his emphasis of the staccato phrasing, but agree with Carbro that he should rethink his makeup. I do hope they keep this in the rep for awhile. A friend of mine caught the Beloserkovsky/Dvorovenko cast and said that he really enjoyed it, he said she was quite restrained. Did anyone here see it?

Also thought Dvorovenko & Sarah Lane were both wonderful in Jeu. Dvorovenko was lovably zany, Lane's dancing was so pure it was breathtaking. I do think that ABT is doing the right thing by bringing her along slowly. As others have mentioned there are many outstanding young women in the corps who have been given chances at soloist roles in the past few seasons, I'll add Kristi Boone & Misty Copeland to those already mentioned. I hope they will all continue to get chances and look forward to seeing them this season in roles like Giselle's peasant pas de deux, Moyna, Zulma , Swan Lake pas de trois, ect. The temptation to fast track Lane must be especially fierce because a tiny, perfectly classical ballerina would be a great partner for Cornejo, but I really hope they don't rush her. It's different at NYCB where a talented kid like Scheller can get a crack at Tchai Pas or Peck and Hyltin in Bizet or Friandises. These may be principal roles but the whole evening doesn't depend on them (Mearns SL being the exception). Full length ballets make up the bulk of ABT's schedule, and lead parts in them can lay very heavy on the shoulders of an inexperienced dancer, no matter how talented. They only do 1 or 2 mixed rep programs in the summer and most of the soloist roles will naturally go to soloists!

By the way - sz - don't the 7 months between Sarah's appearances in Upper Room and Jeu conform to the time lag between ABT's two annual NY seasons? Ditto for the 5 months between her T&V at the beginning of last year's summer season and Upper Room at the end of their October City Center season. It's not like ABT performs continuously - though I don't know if she had any featured roles on their tours. We all want to see more of our favorites and it's fun to root for them (I know I gripe enough about Part) but let's give management a break once in awhile. I think they're bringing Lane along nicely!

Link to post
At a lecture at Barnard last year (or the year before), Frederic Franklin said he was Balanchine's ballet master for Card Game and remembers it.

To clarify, a follow-up was made into Franklin and Card Game. And according to FF, he now remembers one of the variations and a few steps of another. So, I guess the ballet is lost.

Link to post
Also thought Dvorovenko & Sarah Lane were both wonderful in Jeu. Dvorovenko was lovably zany, Lane's dancing was so pure it was breathtaking. I do think that ABT is doing the right thing by bringing her along slowly. As others have mentioned there are many outstanding young women in the corps who have been given chances at soloist roles in the past few seasons...I hope they will all continue to get chances and look forward to seeing them this season in roles like Giselle's peasant pas de deux, Moyna, Zulma , Swan Lake pas de trois, etc. The temptation to fast track Lane must be especially fierce because a tiny, perfectly classical ballerina would be a great partner for Cornejo, but I really hope they don't rush her. It's different at NYCB where a talented kid like Scheller can get a crack at Tchai Pas or Peck and Hyltin in Bizet or Friandises. These may be principal roles but the whole evening doesn't depend on them... Full length ballets make up the bulk of ABT's schedule, and lead parts in them can lay very heavy on the shoulders of an inexperienced dancer, no matter how talented.

....I don't know if she (Lane) had any featured roles on their tours. .....let's give management a break once in awhile. I think they're bringing Lane along nicely!

Dvorovenko is having one of her best seasons. She did very well in Terpsichore. I think she will be especially wonderful in Swan Lake and Le Corsaire too.

As for ABT's management and the development of it's corps dancers. No, I absolutely do not think they do much at all to bring corps dancers along nicely. And less so during tours. Corps dancers, if they're lucky, perform in a couple of gigs inbetween ABT seasons. That's how they nuture themselves!!!

I enjoy full length ballets too, but if Reyes is dancing the leads and also dancing soloist roles (Peasant pas, pas de trois)...

Remember all the press about Hamrich during City Center? What is she dancing this season at ABT???

I think ABT's management is far more concerned in bringing in "stars" to beef up interest in their rep, than bringing and maintaining a variety of rep that will show all their dancers well. Ballet Imperial, Symphony in C, Sleeping Beauty, quickly come to mind. And where are all the pas de deux specials we used to see? Don Q, Grand pas Classique, Diana & Acteon, Tchai pas. Why can a corps dancer be featured in Tchai pas at NYCB, but never at ABT??!!!

The truthful reality is that many dancers who are not principals at ABT are not dancing often enough. I think management doesn't need a break... The corps and soloist dancers do!!! If ABT's management brings along Lane, et al, any more "nicely," these dancers will be seen at their best elsewhere.

Link to post

I feel that if ABT thinks a dancer has huge potential, but is in the corp, they will probably keep them back..... and wait until he/she are sorely needed to take the place of a dancer at the last second. Even if they do an admirable job, more likely than not they will not move up from the corp for years.

During the 2005 ABT Met season, I remember Danny Tidwell dancing in Spectre de la Rose. Craig Selesian danced Eros in Sylvia. So, they do get their chances!!! I just wonder if they get any pay differential for dancing soloist or principal roles? Is the experience their pay?

ABT historically has always imported talent to bolster their roster. It has changed a bit over the years. Not much. But, Hallberg and Wiles are two of the newest principals at ABT, who have worked their way from the corp.

Link to post

sz, I agree with you about the rep. at the Met this season. It's been a long time since I can remember ABT putting on just ONE mixed bill. And increasingly, many of the new evening-length works that dominate the spring season don't have many secondary women's parts -- the type that can be used to push a young dancer forward.

Re: Hamrick. There doesn't seem to be any connection with how well dancers performed at last fall's City Center season and the casting at the Met this spring. It's almost as if we get two different companies now.

Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...