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Night of Stars 2013

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I just got the Night of Stars program ad in the mail. I'm so excited about this event! It's going to be a free event out on Boston Common on Saturday, September 21. They have more information on the programming than I've seen for it before:

Balanchine Serenade

Balanchine Symphony in Three Movements

Jorma Elo Plan to B

excerpts from Don Quixote and La Bayadère

excerpt from Christopher Bruce's Rooster

I'm looking forward to all of this except Rooster, which I didn't like at all when they performed it in its entirety. Some of Elo's work hasn't thrilled me, but Plan to B got such good reviews in London, I'm hopeful about it.

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The excerpts from Rooster will be the best of whole piece - Paint it Black and the Finale. Don Q excerpt will be the Grand Pas and for La Bayadere, it will be the Golden Idol. Plan to B is one of Boston's signature pieces, so it's appropriate to open the 50th Anniversary. I am disappointed they are doing Serenade (although it will be beautiful outside) and Symphony in Three Movements once again. We have seen those a lot over the past few years. But, since they are preparing for La Bayadere in the fall and Ashton's Cinderella in the spring, I guess it makes sense to have some programming the dancers are familiar with. They are also doing a new Plotnikov piece, which I am anxious to see.

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Last night was the big night!

It was honestly so exciting to participate in this event. I'm so grateful to the company. To give such a wonderful performance to the community for its 50th birthday really marks Boston Ballet as a special institution.

The place was packed. I got there at 4:45 pm and it was already hard to find a seat. Obviously the venue wasn't perfect for seeing ballet performances, but the excitement of the crowd and the feeling of community and participation made up for it.

The company turned in some excellent performances - especially Misa Kuranaga and Jeffrey Cirio in the Don Quixote pas de deux and Lia Cirio and Lasha Khozashvili in Symphony in Three Movements. Serenade was excellent as well (performing on the windy stage made the skirts fly around and I was actually worried about the final lift, but the dancers handled the elements with professionalism).

I wasn't a fan of Rooster, either on stage last year or in this concert. Jorma Elo's Plan to B was a much better showcase of the company's contemporary dance skills.

Full review here: http://itinerantballetomane.blogspot.com/2013/09/better-than-perfect.html

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Thanks, Swanhilda8. Sounds like a wonderful night. I wish Boston Ballet had danced on Common when I lived there in the 80's.

I love the last line of your blog review!

During intermission, one little girl darted through the picnic blankets, trying to duplicate the jumps from Symphony in Three Movements. That’s not perfection - that’s something much better.

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Why can't ABT or NYCB do a similar free performance in the Central Park? Maybe, PBS can filmed it for eventual broadcast.

What a great idea! I wonder why that hasn't been done? Surely Koch, the parks dept, and Bloomberg could have sponsored something like that. Maybe our new mayor will next year.

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Swanhilda8- Thanks for your review. I was unable to be at the gala due to emergency surgery, so it is wonderful to "see" the performance from everyone's eyes. I just wanted to assure you that La Bayadere is a beautiful program. Le Clerc does a lovely job of staging this ballet. I am not sure the wording they used to describe it, but I think it is more mysterious than erotic. Of course, there is the requisite opium scene, and I wouldn't recommend it for very young children. With the long shades scene, I think most youngsters could become bored. However, the ballet will usually give an age range so that parents can make the decision whether or not to take their children. I don't think it's feasible to just do ballets that serve families well. And, certainly, the dancers would hate it.

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Thanks, its the mom, I'm glad you liked the review. And I appreciate your comments about La Bayadere. I'm trying to withhold judgment on the ballet until I actually see the full program. My worries aren't actually about sexual content inappropriate for children or boredom, however, but rather about the kind of racism that setting ballets in 'exotic' locals tends to promote - where we use these other worlds to dream up fantasies about another life, more exciting than our own (more sexy or more dangerous or more criminal). I believe that it encourages us to imagine that people from those places actually live those lives, and therefore encourages and reflects various prejudices people in the US have about other cultures. I think that ballet companies in the US should exercise better judgment regarding these ballets than they normally do. But again, I haven't seen this production yet, so perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised when I do see it.

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I know that La Bayadere has been the subject of racism. I do, however, believe that it is a reflection of the time in which it was created. It's a fantasy. It's not meant to represent in actuality the culture of India. Maybe it was when it was written. I know the historians on this site could weigh in. The story in no way glorifies the lifestyle, nor is it "believable" in terms of being real life. It is a sad story of love and broken hearts. It's the one ballet, no matter how many times I see it, I cry when Nikiya does her death dance. I hope you will keep an open mind and enjoy it. I think we could find racism in many of the older story ballets. More concerning to me is the racism that exists within companies - minorities not being cast in certain roles because of their skin color.

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