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Kennedy Center Honors for 2014

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I also thought Peck was fabulous, esp. in her first solo from Who Cares? And I enjoyed Copeland a lot too in the Tchaikovsky pas de deux bit--even found her rather sprightly in spots if not as absolutely effortless as Peck. (Uh...no-one is). I did think the Rubies pas de deux w. Lovette and Cirio was not as successful, though I'm still glad they included something from Rubies, and I was very glad to see dancers from Mcbride's own company join in at the end.

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I also thought Peck was fabulous, esp. in her first solo from Who Cares? And I enjoyed Copeland a lot too in the Tchaikovsky pas de deux bit--even found her rather sprightly in spots if not as absolutely effortless as Peck. (Uh...no-one is). I did think the Rubies pas de deux w. Lovette and Cirio was not as successful, though I'm still glad they included something from Rubies, and I was very glad to see dancers from Mcbride's own company join in at the end.

Seconded on all counts. "Effortless" is the word - Peck makes everything look so easy it's a little eerie.

I could have done without the reaction shots. It's not as if these were lengthy dance excerpts to begin with and I didn't need them interrupted in progress by cuts back to McBride and the general audience to get that they were enjoying it. Otherwise, very nice segment.

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Who Cares is one of Tiler Peck's "signature" ballets, in my opinion. I've been going to NYCB since the late 90s, and in my opinion nobody else I've seen in Tiler's roles in Who Cares ever came close to the brilliance that Tiler displays. It's not just the technical wizardry. Others have also displayed technical brilliance. It's Tiler's timing, phrasing, musicality and stage presence that all come together in this particular role. They didn't do "the Man I Love" segment from the ballet, but Tiler and her husband Robbie absolutely sizzle together in this and are unparalleled.

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I agree that Tiler was amazing. I've seen Lauren Lovette in much better light in NY. Misty? She's a favorite in DC so her inclusion made sense.

The preceding segment of blues songs for Al Green went on and on. Were all of those audience members asked to 'bop' for the cameras? It looked ridiculous, IMO. Non-stop bopping. At least McBride did not constantly bop up and down; she clapped and graciously smiled.

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I agree that Tiler was amazing--she can hold the stage without a partner, other dancers, or sets and enthrall us. But the ballet excerpts were too short--in the blink of an eye each one was over. I did note as the credits rolled by that the dance segment was produced by Damian Woetzel. The audience was polite but not nearly as enthusiastic as they were for the musical tributes. Contrast the tribute to McBride to the lengthy and cast heavy tributes to Sting and especially Tom Hanks. The parade of patriotic numbers and cast of hundreds seemed overkill and perhaps even embarrassed Mr. Hanks. In light of this patriotic display I thought it should have been the last tribute. Nevertheless, the show was by far the best thing on an otherwise paltry TV evening.

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I agree that Tiler was amazing--she can hold the stage without a partner, other dancers, or sets and enthrall us. But the ballet excerpts were too short--in the blink of an eye each one was over.

I did think this dance segment 'felt' shorter than the dancing that was done for the recent Makarova Kennedy Center tribute. I can't know--well, not without doing more research than seems called for--but I'm pretty sure we got some longer excerpts for that one if only because more in the way of pas de deux...

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The performance segments for all ballet dancers for the last 30 years have always been shorter than the other tributes. For Danilova, it was the White Swan adagio...about 8 minutes? That may have been the longest. The total McBride segment was 14 mins and 38 seconds, counting the intro talk by C. Baransky, the wonderful mini-documentary and the performance bits.

I'm just grateful to see any ballet on prime-time TV. Sigh. (We'll get a bit more tomorrow with the annual Vienna New Years show on PBS.)

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Al Green’s a soul and gospel singer, and hearing Sam Moore and Mavis Staple sing Take Me To the River was one of the highlights of the night for me. Same for “POTUS”’s imitation. But to each his own. I agree about the "bopping," heh. I almost wish David Byrne had joined them, but they probably would have blown him off the stage. I always want to like Lily Tomlin’s comedy since I like her so much, but most of it falls flat for me. Seeing Esperanza Spalding was a nice surprise, even though her singing’s not my thing. Sting is not my thing either, but I have to respect his songwriting, and Bruno Mars sounded amazingly like him. When is Garrison Keillor going to get a KC Honor?


I thought Copeland was lovely and Peck was out of this world. I agree about Lovette, but then Rubies is a ballet for which I have an impossible ideal in my mind’s eye, so I’m often disappointed. But McBride and Bonnefous seemed to genuinely enjoy it all, which is the most important thing.

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I agree that Tiler was amazing. I've seen Lauren Lovette in much better light in NY. Misty? She's a favorite in DC so her inclusion made sense.

The preceding segment of blues songs for Al Green went on and on. Were all of those audience members asked to 'bop' for the cameras? It looked ridiculous, IMO. Non-stop bopping. At least McBride did not constantly bop up and down; she clapped and graciously smiled.

I actually felt that the Al Green tribute was shorter than the Sting tribute, and definitely shorter than the Hanks tribute. Loved the inclusion of Mavis Staples at the end. Also, the crowd was full of square politicians, which is why the 'bopping' probably seemed awkward.

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I agree that Tiler was amazing--she can hold the stage without a partner, other dancers, or sets and enthrall us. But the ballet excerpts were too short--in the blink of an eye each one was over.

I did think this dance segment 'felt' shorter than the dancing that was done for the recent Makarova Kennedy Center tribute. I can't know--well, not without doing more research than seems called for--but I'm pretty sure we got some longer excerpts for that one if only because more in the way of pas de deux...

I had the same impression, but I also seem to remember there were fewer individual excerpts for Makarova, so maybe these seemed/were shorter because they were including more (?)

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I was thrilled to see Staples and Moore perform (and when is she going to get a Kennedy Center honor?).

If you're interested in passing along your own ideas for a nomination, there (of course there is!) a form on their website.

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CBS This Morning did a follow-up interview with McBride, featuring maddeningly short clips of her and Villella in Diana and Acteon (poss from the same Ed Sullivan program as the Corsaire clip) and her and Conrad Ludlow in a B&W Stars and Stripes.

(Currently kicking herself for thinking that the broadcast was today instead of yesterday. Agh!)

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emilienne: Thanks for posting the CBS feature.

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... ... ...

(Currently kicking herself for thinking that the broadcast was today instead of yesterday. Agh!)

Don't tell us you didn't record it, then? Ouch! But the clip of her and Mischa in Mr. B's Harlequinade pas de deux down the column on the right on that YouTube page must cheer you up! With the White House East Room chandelier for extra fun! Agh? Urk. I haven't seen that performance for a while, maybe since 1979.

Thank you, emilienne, and Happy New Year anyway! To you, and to everyone here!

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Happy New Year, BA! Thank you, emilienne. Please also see on YouTube 'Raising the Bar' - PBS News Hour Nov 6 - a news report on Patricia's Kennedy Center Honor and Charlotte Ballet. It's as lovely as the Winton interview!. I found it when I viewed the above clip and it ended. I'm sorry, I still don't know how to post a video sad.png it just doesn't work for me.If someone would post it, that would be great and thank you.

Anyway, Patricia McBride is a great artist and ballerina in the best sense -such a gracious Lady. Congratulations, Ms McBride, and many blessings to you!

Karen

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Regarding the broadcast, I agree that Patricia's segment felt 'short' and also hurried. I would have also liked more examples of her extraordinary dancing in the video to celebrate her unique and gorgeous gifts. And it was fun to see Ms McBride enjoy herself so much at the celebration.

Tiler never fails to dazzle and uplift. How lovely she is! Misty's performance was nicely done, even if it didn't quite sparkle. Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux is one of those tour de force ballets that absolutely demands wit, brilliance and effortless speed. YouTube had (probably still does) a clip of several ballerinas dancing it - Bussell, Zhakarova, Somova - outstanding ballerinas all and great artists in their own right - that demonstrates quite clearly how difficult Balanchine choreography can be for dancers not trained in Balanchine technique.

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It's interesting, though not in a good or satisfying way, how the ballet segments are edited to be kind of short and sweet, while they allow other tributes, Tom Hanks', for example, to be broadcast in all their over-the-top glory.

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It's interesting, though not in a good or satisfying way, how the ballet segments are edited to be kind of short and sweet, while they allow other tributes, Tom Hanks', for example, to be broadcast in all their over-the-top glory.

I'm afraid that the producers don't really trust that dance will communicate to the audience, which is too bad, since I think it's a much more direct art than music or spoken theater.

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It's interesting, though not in a good or satisfying way, how the ballet segments are edited to be kind of short and sweet, while they allow other tributes, Tom Hanks', for example, to be broadcast in all their over-the-top glory.

I'm afraid that the producers don't really trust that dance will communicate to the audience, which is too bad, since I think it's a much more direct art than music or spoken theater.

I would guess it has more to do with the fame differential. Hanks is a very big star. McBride is a homegrown ballet star and not even a defector, unless defecting from New Jersey counts, so she isn't as well known to the general public as Baryshnikov or even Makarova. It's unfortunate that Baryshnikov didn't introduce her segment last night, I think it would have helped.

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It's unfortunate that Baryshnikov didn't introduce her segment last night, I think it would have helped.

As I remember from assorted "Google Alerts" and Tweets when the show was taped, Baryshnikov was in London for the opening of his photography exhibit. But he is on the selection committee for dance and no doubt was happy to endorse her.

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Sandik and Dirac, very true. And also because ballet is a classical art and therefore, unfortunately, not the mainstream public's taste. It would have been lovely if Baryshnikov could have introduced the segment, although I don't demean Christine Baranski's intro by saying so.

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I actually felt that the Al Green tribute was shorter than the Sting tribute, and definitely shorter than the Hanks tribute. Loved the inclusion of Mavis Staples at the end. Also, the crowd was full of square politicians, which is why the 'bopping' probably seemed awkward.

Bingo. A bunch of squares trying to bop looked hilarious and so fakey.

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I'm just grateful to see any ballet on prime-time TV. Sigh. (We'll get a bit more tomorrow with the annual Vienna New Years show on PBS.)

I watched the dance segments of the Vienna New Year's show. The choreography of the first piece I thought odd. But Olga Essina and Alice Firenze were lovely in the second piece. Manuel Legris has done a good job with this company.

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Manuel Legris has done a good job with this company.

off%20topic.gif Perhaps, but I watched the Vienna State Ballet's stream of The Nutcracker on December 26, and the company I saw was not top flight, lacking in technical and stylistic consistency. Of course Davide Bombana's confections are one thing, and Nureyev's clotted mass of steps is quite another.

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