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Darci Kistler and Kathryn Morgan


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It is ineffably sad to me, having seen this past Tuesday's NYC Ballet performance of Stabat Mater, that Darci Kistler, so wonderous a dancer in the 1980's and 90's, is still dancing. The comparison of her remaining technique and that of the dewy Kathryn Morgan in the same ballet was to me, cruel. Kathryn Morgan is the essence of springtime, flexible, swift, surprising, and - essential on the stage - bursting with watchability. It was painful to watch Darci's dancing, I felt worried with each of her solos. She should not be dancing in roles that place her in comparison with 18 year olds. In 1981, Darci was new, filled with promise, her extensions sky-high, and her joy in dancing dazzling. Darci was then what Ashley Bouder is now. Though Darci is retiring next year, it is a belated retirement. Speaking of Ashley Bouder, where is she??? I don't remember her being cast at all this season. Does anyone know?

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It is ineffably sad to me, having seen this past Tuesday's NYC Ballet performance of Stabat Mater, that Darci Kistler, so wonderous a dancer in the 1980's and 90's, is still dancing. The comparison of her remaining technique and that of the dewy Kathryn Morgan in the same ballet was to me, cruel. Kathryn Morgan is the essence of springtime, flexible, swift, surprising, and - essential on the stage - bursting with watchability. It was painful to watch Darci's dancing, I felt worried with each of her solos. She should not be dancing in roles that place her in comparison with 18 year olds. In 1981, Darci was new, filled with promise, her extensions sky-high, and her joy in dancing dazzling. Darci was then what Ashley Bouder is now. Though Darci is retiring next year, it is a belated retirement. Speaking of Ashley Bouder, where is she??? I don't remember her being cast at all this season. Does anyone know?

I just purchased tickets for Sat. 2/21 to see Bouder in Theme & Variations. I hope there will be not change in cast. I agree about Darci, she was dazzling and just embodied beauty and joy. I am sorry to agree that Darci's is a belated retirement. She should not go on another year, in my opinion.

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New York City Ballet doesn't have a lot of roles in which to age gracefully or to turn to character work, a natural progression that is built into Bournonville, for example. So many of the works demand such a high level of technical excellence, that it's as if the rep is a gang plank.

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yes, early in her career, Kistler experienced very serious problems with or around her ankle.

she had to have at least two surgeries if mem. serves, the first being not only unsuccessful but likely further worsening the initial problem.

all this kept her off stage for some extended period of time, during which it seemed she might not ever recover enough to return to the stage.

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Some years ago I took a friend from out of town to see a program that included Symphony in C, with Kistler doing the second movement PDD. She was breathtaking, and my friend, not a ballet fan, said it was so beautiful she had tears in her eyes!

I do hope Darci finds satisfaction in her future teaching and coaching, and I envy the students who are going to benefit from her guidance.

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Some years ago I took a friend from out of town to see a program that included Symphony in C, with Kistler doing the second movement PDD. She was breathtaking, and my friend, not a ballet fan, said it was so beautiful she had tears in her eyes!

I do hope Darci finds satisfaction in her future teaching and coaching, and I envy the students who are going to benefit from her guidance.

Just to share a memory, I saw Darci years ago in Mr. B's Swan Lake. I have never had the same feeling, before or since, of seeing such a radiant creature who was not quite human. Incidentally she fell at that performance and injured her elbow/arm. She has had more than her share of injuries. I know that the word beauty is overused but my memories of Darci's dancing at the time make me recall her glowing beauty. I don't mean pretty, correct, huge this or that technically (although not lacking in any department) but her beauty. That said, I believe she's stayed too long at the ball.

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That seems a cruel remark about Darci who has graced NYCB for thirty years, and yes no one at 44 is 16.

Accept the joy she has given us.

Darci was the first ballerina with whom I fell in love as she danced Ballanchine's "Swan Lake," and I love her still. We just met her on February 13 at SAB, and gifted her with a lovely card and Godiva; she loves teaching and her girls love her as much as she loves them.

I too love Kathryn Morgan , and I have had the pleasure of kissing her perfect 20 year old cheek; by now she should be a soloist.

She IS Juliet, and she shone in "Stabat Mater," as you noted.

I never saw Tanny or Diana or Merrill or Suzanne dance live since during the 70s and 80s my wife and I were raising three children in Port jefferson on Long Island, so we spent our cultural time in the museums of Manhattan and Brooklyn and Long Island.

But I have seen Darci and Wendy and Kyra and Heather and Yvonne who have spent many years at NYCB, some now as we know sadly gone, and I am grateful to and for all of them.

These days I can love seeing Katie Morgan, Janie Taylor, Charles, Andy, Megan, Abi, Gina P., Tess, Sar, Amar, the Brothers Angle, Jonathan, Danny,Ashley,Albert,Sterling, Maria, Sebastien, Benjamin, Phillip, Jennifer Ringer and Jennie Somogyi,Abi,Wendy still,Robbie, Savannah,Tyler, Rachel, Ana Sophia,Faye, Adrian DW,Kaitlyn G.,Megan Johnson, Lydia Wellington,Brianna, and every other dancer in the company.

I love NYCB becasue no matter how depressed I might be, the dancers make me feel elated to be alive.

We are so blessed to have NYCB and ABT and City Center and the Joyce in our Manhattan.

I'll close with love and praise and thanks to Darci for a great run.

This is my belated Valentine to NYCB.

Avec amor,

Jim

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Just to share a memory, I saw Darci years ago in Mr. B's Swan Lake. I have never had the same feeling, before or since, of seeing such a radiant creature who was not quite human. Incidentally she fell at that performance and injured her elbow/arm. She has had more than her share of injuries. I know that the word beauty is overused but my memories of Darci's dancing at the time make me recall her glowing beauty. I don't mean pretty, correct, huge this or that technically (although not lacking in any department) but her beauty. That said, I believe she's stayed too long at the ball.

If anyone doubts this lovely compliment, they need look no further than The Balanchine Photo Album and Memoir (published by Rizzoli, 1985) for the most radiant photo of a ballerina I have ever seen - Darci Kistler as the Swan Queen with Sean Lavery as Siegfried. transcendent!

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Nevertheless there is a time for every performer to leave the stage, and if one has enjoyed a major career, it may be particularly important to leave before the audience feels the need to reminisce about long-past performances and, in essence, apologize for current ones.

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Nevertheless there is a time for every performer to leave the stage, and if one has enjoyed a major career, it may be particularly important to leave before the audience feels the need to reminisce about long-past performances and, in essence, apologize for current ones.

There is a time, yes, but not everyone is going to agree on when that time is, and one could argue that a performer of Kistler's stature has earned the right to call her own shots. She wouldn't be the first ballerina of distinction to hang on a few years too long.

(Please note that a long discussion of Macaulay's article was already held on the thread related to the NYCB layoffs.)

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