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NYCB Fall 2014 Season


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Week one casting is up. Many exciting debuts.

Robbie Fairchild and Tiler Peck are cast! I guess they are not expected at their new gigs yet. Tiler Peck and Lauren Lovette debuting in Apollo.

Best of all, one last chance to see Whelan in Sonnambula.

Counting down the days till the season begins.happy.png

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They have been saying there are delays in ticket printing every single year. It's laughable. It's code for we are understaffed and/or imporoperly managed and/or we screwed up. Maybe Kathy Brown should spend less energy on trying to artificially control the supply of tickets by disallowing sales of the 3rd and 4th rings and more time shaping up the adminstrative staffing at NYCB. If I were you, I would ask for my subscription handling fee back. They have not earned it, as a matter of principle.

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They have been doing this for a few years. This is Kathy Brown's genius solution to NYCB's money problems. Initially they will only sell orchestra, first and second rings. If those sell well, then tney eventually open up the 3rd and fourth rings. It's a way of trying to manipulate people into buying tickets at higher prices in the lower rings because the upper rings are not available for purchase. This is old news. The cheaper tickets in the lower rings sell out quickly, so a purchaser is asked if they want to buy tickets at the next higher price level. This happened to me this season, when I went to the box office during the first week of sales and the lower priced tickets were already sold out for some shows. I just waited a few weeks until they opened up the third ring, but I'm guessing a lot of people agreed to buy tickets in the next higher price point.

For the Fall Season they recently began selling third ring seats for most shows. Not sure if they opened up the fourth ring for any shows.

FYI, I never got any confirmation of my purchase or my seat location when I subscribed in June. It's one more symptom of the administrative laxness there. Every other organization I've ever subscribed to has sent a confirmation.

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They have been saying there are delays in ticket printing every single year. It's laughable. It's code for we are understaffed and/or imporoperly managed and/or we screwed up.

Not to minimize the lousy service you've received, but they deserve a plug too. I ordered Nutcracker tickets Sunday, and in my haste I managed to buy them for a week before I'll be in town. After buying tickets for the date I actually wanted, I emailed NYCB customer care, and within the hour received instructions for getting a refund for the first set. Then the next day, someone from the box office actually called me to give me further instructions. They certainly didn't have to do that - the standard No Refunds warning is right there on their site.

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I've just returned from the Gala. Briefly stated, Justin Peck's new ballet was my favorite of the evening. It is completely different from his other work for NYCB. It is sweepingly romantic with gorgeous pdd for 4 couples, intricate footwork and lifts. A. Huxley is a lone figure who interrupts the action and urgently splits apart the couples. The costumes for the women were ravishing. Not sure I'm loving the men's costumes though.

I disliked Schumacher's ballet. To me it looked like a classroom exercise and lacked musicality. I also thought the music was monotonous and the costumes, by Thom Brown, were ugly.

I liked the Liam Scarlett pdd, but there was nothing particularly distinguished or memorable about it. It was a stormy, romantic pdd for T. Peck and R. Fairchild on a darkly lit stage. It reminded me of Robbins' In the Night, but not quite as good. The Sarah Burton dress was lovely, but it was not suitable for ballet, obscuring Peck's legs completely. Moreover, the skirt completely covered and draped over Fairchild's face and head during one of the lifts.

The new costumes for Morgen are more elegant and formal looking than the old costumes. The Herrera designs incorporate some sequins and crystal hair accessories for the ladies. Mearns has taken over Darci Kistler's old role. If you've seen this ballet before, you recall that Janie Taylor's daring choreography was a highlight. Hyltin is a wonderful successor in the role.

The audience gave Whelan sustained and loud applause after This Bitter Earth.

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Thanks for sharing your experience, Abatt, wish I were able to attend.

Were there other NYCB dancers who weren't performing, but were seated at the gala tables to cheer their colleagues on?

Trying to find online pictures from the gala also....

Try looking for Getty images tomorrow. I don't know about seating but there should be lots of red carpet photos tomorrow.

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I was there last night (Wed.) and want to give a few impressions. I'd love to hear others'.

1st - Who wouldn't want to see this program? Serenade, Mozartiana, Tchai pas, Tchai Suite #3. You just have to leave the theater with a smile on your face!

Serenade - Sterling Hylltin (Russian Girl) was exuberant, eating up space, musical, her technique flowing easily. For me she's suddenly become a dancer to seek out, not just see because she happens to be cast. Sara Mearns (Waltz Girl) & Teresa Reichlin (Dark Angel) danced expansively and musically. The moment when Mearns is on the ground and Reichlin, over her, promenaded in arabesque (by the thigh) followed by fully extending her glorious arabesque, was heart stopping.

Mozartiana - Maria Kowroski pulled it off with beauty, wit and musicality. I wish she had a bit more technique to back it up. There were a few seconds of struggle and lack of sustain. Tyler Angle sailed through some of the variations and held his own with them all. (funny how that Ib Anderson/Suzanne video still holds up so well). Daniel Ulbricht (gigue) was wonderful. His entrance alone said - I'm here, I'm ready, I'm happy to see you. He has an incredible ability to etch full pictures and lines very quickly without seeming rushed.

Tchai Pas - Ashley Bouder in true ballerina glory. The pas de deux was beautifully phrased, her port de bras and use of her head lush. Her variation taken at breakneck speed, full of rubato and imaginative phrasing. Hers was an incredible performance. Gonzalo Garcia is a dancer I've never quite gotten. He doesn't have much of a presence, although his variation was good as was his partnering. In the coda he went for too much with the start of his a la second turns, and things got a little bumpy, but overall it was a nice performance. The flying fish catches were the most exciting I've ever seen! Bouder was actually horizontal in the air with space around her before she was caught.

Tchai 3 - First 3 sections nicely done. Clair Van Ench really stands out in the corps (short blond) dancing her heart out. T&V - Tiler Peck - What can one say? There seems no end to how far this dancer can develop. In the opening theme she and Joachim Du Luz did the most exquisite phrasing with their port de bras. They seem so right out there. Her variations sang with different tones. She was in total command all the time. Du Luz looked wonderful with his sunny, yet noble bearing and presence. His turn, double tour - variation outstanding. He partnering is a total pleasure to watch. The way he used just one hand for the turns in the coda, just beautiful.

The 4 solo girls King, Pollack, Sell, Wellington not only pulled their fast, difficult sections off without a hitch, but the all seemed amazingly happy to be out there!

A wonderful night at the ballet. The audience seemed very enthusiastic and appreciative.

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I was there too. The all Tchai program is ballet Nirvana. Agree with vipa that the dancing was at a very high level from nearly all the dancers. Garcia's technique has been bumpy for a few years now, but it was a bit less bumpy than what I've seen from him in other performances. Tiler Peck's footwork in T&V was so crystalline clear and exquisite. I think she sometimes gets a little sloppy with her arms and hands, but it's a small quibble. DeLuz was exciting and still has great technique. I think Maria handles Mozartiana pretty well, but there has been some slippage of her technique. (After Wendy retires, Maria will be the "senior ballerina" in the company, celebrating her 20th year with NYCB in 2015. Somogyi never dances so I don't count her in the mix).

A great program to welcome back the faithful to the Temple of Balanchine.

Onwards to all Stravinsky tonight.

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I also was there for the all-Balanchine/all Tchaikovsky program on Wednesday night. What's not to love?

Serenade -- I agree with vipa, Sterling Hyltin suddenly seemed more interesting. The minute she came onstage she seemed to have more presence and more purpose in her movement than I have seen in her before. Jared Angle is such a noble and gracious partner -- I love watching him. Teresa Reichlen, Sara Mearns, Adrian Danchig-Waring all wonderful. Looking ahead to next week, I have some doubt about Savannah Lowery in this ballet, but we shall see.

Mozartiana -- I enjoyed this more than I recall enjoying it before. I liked the contrast of the little girls with the adults. In the simplicity of the girls' movements, one can more easily notice the building blocks of ballet. I particularly noticed the angling and changing directions of their heads and shoulders, which I don't notice as much or as clearly in bigger, adult choreography. The girls looked beautifully rehearsed. Maria Kowroski gave a charming and individual, nuanced interpretation. Tyler Angle terrific. I totally look forward to Sara Mearns and Chase Finlay next week.

Tchai suite #3 -- Justin Peck has great dramatic presence. Looked to me like a potential principal dancer. Antonio Carmena has amazing leaps -- they seem to come out of nowhere, suddenly arriving in position high in the air, especially the grand jetes. Tiler Peck & Joaquin de Luz -- wonderful. De Luz seems to be getting more noble and more serious as he ages, while keeping a sense of irrepressible good humor.

All-Balanchine/all-Stravinsky last night. More on that later!

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Why would they retire Firebird? It's one of their most popular ballets.

Robbie Fairchild did an excellent job as Apollo on Thursday night. There are still some details that I recall from the Boal, Hubbe days of Apollo which Fairchild hasn't yet incorporated, but overall it was a beautiful performance. I thought Tiler Peck was completely miscast as Terpsichore. She is essentially a soubrette type, and that role calls for a grand, tall ballerina. Sterling Hyltin was breathtaking in Duo Concertante. I think it may take Chase some time to get back into top form following his long period of injury last season. Excellent cast Ago. Korowski's stretched extensions in Agon were, as usual, amazing. Ramasar sort of faded into the background.

Whelan was better than ever in Sonnambula last night. The speed at which she does those bourrees is breathtaking. It's depressing to see that Danny Ulbricht is still doing the jester role after all these years. Can't they find some new roles for this guy? Bouder was astounding and thrilling in Donizetti Variations. Her gigantic jumps devoured stage space. It may have been the best account of the lead female role in that ballet that I've ever seen.

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