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Performances Week of Feb 17


abatt

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Well, it was worth the nine-year wait: Ashley -- and Andrew Veyette's -- first T&V. It's been so many, many months that I had seen Ashley dance that I almost forgot why she has so enthralls me. But it all came roaring back last night. The one word that encapsulates it all is: musicality. There was no rushing through any dance phrase and her incredible rubato shone through. She manages that trick that only the greatest dancers do: even in allegro work you see every movement as smoothly as silk and crystal clearly. There is no rushing here: time and images stand still in your mind. Andrew did a very nice job indeed in his own killer variation. There could have been a little improvement in the partnering area. I'm sure he was going for some soaring lifts but they didn't look clean. Hopefully, this will be fixed in today's performance.

Stay well and healthy, dear Ashley. Your performances bring great joy to the ballet world. There was great applause and bravos (bravas) last night.

It was also the debut of Megan Johnson in Barocco. Very nice indeed. She seemed to have her own fan club already in place -- or maybe most of SAB was there but loads of applause for this up-and-comer.

On a bit of a sour note, I know the audience seems to like Oltemare, but I can't take another one - despite it's being dance wonderfully. Tastes change over time. This is just not my thing.

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....Stay well and healthy, dear Ashley. Your performances bring great joy to the ballet world. There was great applause and bravos (bravas) last night.

.....

Thanks for this, bobbi. Just in the nick of time! Knock-on-wood that Ashley will appear in all of her glory two weeks from now in Wash, DC, then the following week as Kitri in St. Petersburg, Russia. :dunno:

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Ashley B. and Andrew V. are both very strong dancers, but neither looked right for the leads of Theme. Ashley was too punchy, tomboyish, hardselling, and overbaked for the female role -- T&V is not Stars and Stripes(!). Andrew doesn't have the prince, elegant, beautiful lines needed for the male role either. The partnering however, overall, was quite good. Today, it will be Bouder with DeLuz per the Theater's casting sheet...

I'm happy to see Bouder back, but she's far better suited for a role like Kitri or anything else with lots of jumps and firey energy.

One day soon, I hope to see Erica Pereira and David Prottas in the leads of T&V. Now that would be something amazing and *beautiful.*

And what about the lead's tutu in T&V this season?!! A droopy, dingy little skirt???!!! Shameful.

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I saw both the Sat night and Sun matinee performances. I thought Bouder was wonderful on Sat night but I did think she looked a little too "athletic" in the role, or for a more precise, articulate description sz put it perfectly:

Ashley was too punchy, tomboyish, hardselling, and overbaked for the female role -- T&V is not Stars and Stripes(!).

To me the punchiness was a small flaw but it didn't bother me too much, especially not when compared to most of the lead ballerinas I've seen in T&V in the past few years. However, even as I was watching her I thought to myself "I'm so glad I have a ticket for tomorrow's matinee, I'll bet she has it completely toned down by then", and of course, she did. Sunday's Tchai #3 was just magnificent from 1st movement to last, from corps to principals. Bar & Fairchild replaced Mearns & la Cour (I'm sorry I missed them in the elegy), Veyette danced again instead of de Luz. Bouder's allegro dancing seemed even more clearly articulated than it did on Saturday night, her first variation turns were so fast they were unbelievable and she really varied her phrasing to differentiate each of her solos – from youthful and charming to elegant and commanding. Her arms took on a greater elegance, she toned down the punchiness and her pas de deux just breathed with longing and mystery.

I enjoyed Concerto Barocco at both performances with Megan Johnson & Justin Peck making their debuts along side Abi Stafford. I thought Johnson was good for a debut, but still has a ways to go. Her line was beautiful in the adagio but she seemed to me to be a bit behind the music in the first movement as opposed to Abi who was right on it. She (Abi) may have been a bit too emphatic, but at least you really felt that the music was poring forth from her, wheras Megan just seemed to be following it. I skipped Oltremare, but Sunday's T&V alone was more than enough to send me out of the theater glowing.

I also saw Davidsundleranze at the Saturday matinee, and thought it's performance by Kistler, Neal, Somogyi, Martins, Taylor, J. Angle, Mearns and Askegard was the most moving I'd ever seen. It was a very good weekend for NYCB.

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