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NYCB Fall 2014 Season


abatt

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Agree with abatt. The Donizetti has a Bournonville quality to it - intricate, clean dancing, everyone having a good time.

Today I thought Whelan was even better than last night (or I watched her more closely). She seemed more ethereal. An "old-timer" told me at intermission that Allegra Kent carried off the poet's body from the center of the stage - a long ways! I saw two things go flying - one was the shoe, directly toward the Coquette in the downstage right corner, and not sure what the other was.

Why should Firebird be retired? It has great music, great dancing for the firebird, nice dancing for a lot of other people, beautiful sets and costumes, children love it (so do I), and it occupies a special place in the history of NYCB.

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Should they retire Firebird?

I see no reason to not keep it in the rep rotation. Great music, a narrative that's easy to follow and the creature like beauty of the Firebird is compelling. Over the years I've found it a great ballet to take kids to.

That said, any ballet has to have context. By that I mean it's position in the overall plan of a given season. Personally, I won't go to see a program that has both Firebird and La Sonnambula on it. Frankly, I'm not actively interested in seeing those two ballets, so a program with both of them keeps me away. If Firebird was sandwiched between a ballet (like Donezetti) that I actively like, and a new piece I'm curious about I'd go.

Is there a reason you asked Mazurka?

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What is it about this beautiful Stravinsky score that brings out the worst in choreographers.. We just saw the Maryinsky perform Fokine's version in London. I think it's the most complex of the 3 ( uses the entire score, not just the suite) but seems rather dated. Balanchine's seems like Balanchine light. I also did not like Tess Reichlen as the Firebird. She's great in certain ballets but here she need to project much more personality. I don't remember much of Ratmansky's except that I didn't like it and the costumes were ridiculous. Maybe Justin Peck should try his hand at it.

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Vipa, I was wondering what others thought about this production. The music was the best part on Friday.

It sadly lacked magic - a must in a fairytale. I am not fond at all of the Chagall scenery nor backdrops - I like the opulence and lushness of Gocharova - truly Russian/20ies exotic,

Chagall seems, dare I say it, a little passe.

I concur with Amour this is Ballanchine light.

I wonder if Firebird is not relegated to a vehicle where you go because you are curiouos how ballerina X, Y or Z is going to dance it.

Also as a culmination of an evening program children dancing the dark/evil forces seem out of place (maybe esp after Somnambula) , though children may perhaps love seeing their counterparts

during a matinee.

I think you are right - the context/programing detracts from it.

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The programming is definitely off: the all-Tschaikovsky program is almost 3 hours long; having watched Serenade earlier, emotional fatigue is setting in by the time we get to the Theme and Variations of Suite no.3. For the other program, almost any combination could have been better than putting together Donizetti, Sonambula, and Firebird.

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The programming is definitely off: the all-Tschaikovsky program is almost 3 hours long; having watched Serenade earlier, emotional fatigue is setting in by the time we get to the Theme and Variations of Suite no.3. For the other program, almost any combination could have been better than putting together Donizetti, Sonambula, and Firebird.

I was wondering about this...A side-effect of having so many heavy-weight programs (as wonderful as they may be) is that I notice there are a number of what I can only call lightweight programs. I'm coming in for performances in two weeks (barring natural or other disaster) -- I chose the dates so I could see the season premiers, and even experience them more than once, but my other programs are all kind of odd mixes. Not bad ballets necessarily, but not...well...the greatest balance.

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The all Tschai programs were heavily sold. In fact, they could have done that program a few more times and probably sold out the house. They are very into "theme" programs nowadays, and this theme was a real hit as far as audience attendance. The All Stravinsky did not sell as well. (It was on TDF for Sept 25 and Sept 27, and the upcoming Stravinsky programs on Oct 3 and 12 are also on TDF..)

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The programming is definitely off: the all-Tschaikovsky program is almost 3 hours long; having watched Serenade earlier, emotional fatigue is setting in by the time we get to the Theme and Variations of Suite no.3. For the other program, almost any combination could have been better than putting together Donizetti, Sonambula, and Firebird.

I was at Saturday evening's all Balanchine / Stravinsky program, and I don't think that one really works either despite the fact that every ballet on it (Apollo, Monumentum/Movements, Duo Concertante, Agon) is either a masterpiece or within a hair's breadth of being one. (All of the dancing was at a very high level -- that certainly wasn't the problem.) If it had to be all Stravinsky, I might have swapped out either Monumentum/Movements or Agon for Le baiser de la fée or Firebird, even though I like a leotard ballet as much as the next girl.

(Aside: I wish someone would endow Baiser with new costumes and maybe even a backdrop. It's been trapped in its Roma hand-me-downs for its whole life, and deserves better ...)

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Release about Public Programs:

NEW YORK CITY BALLET

PUBLIC PROGRAMS FALL 2014

Family Saturday Programs, Movement Workshops, Seminars and More To Be Presented by NYCB Dancers, Artistic Staff, and Insiders

Seminar on October 6 to Pay Tribute to NYCB Principal Dancer Wendy Whelan

NYCB Principal Dancer Daniel Ulbricht Appointed Creative Director and

Host of NYCB Family Saturday Programs

This fall New York City Ballet will present a series of public programs for both children and adults designed to give audiences a closer look at NYCB and its repertory. NYCB dancers, choreographers, ballet masters, and musicians will share insights and behind-the-scenes stories to help audiences better understand and appreciate all that goes into a performance.

A highlight of this fall’s public programs will be a special seminar on Monday, October 6, honoring NYCB Principal Dancer Wendy Whelan, who will retire from the Company at the end of the 2014 fall season, after 30 years dancing with NYCB. The seminar will be hosted by NYCB Principal Dancer Tyler Angle, Whelan’s colleague and frequent onstage partner.

Another highlight of the fall will be the Family Saturday program on Saturday, October 11, Fancy Footwork, that will offer an inside look at the remarkable dancers of NYCB and the complex and energetic steps featured in the Company’s fall season repertory. New for the 2014-2015 Season, NYCB Principal Dancer Daniel Ulbricht will assume the role of Creative Director and Host for the Family Saturday programs, leading all three programs throughout the 2014-2015 season. Additional Family Saturdays will take place during the 2015 winter season on February 7, and during the 2015 spring season on May 16. -more-

Complete schedule of Fall 2014 public programs follows. For additional information visit:

nycballet.com/publicprograms.

Saturday, October 4, 10:30-11:45 AM

BALLET ESSENTIALS: Adult Movement Workshop

75-minute movement workshop intended for adults with little or no dance training. NYCB dancers lead participants through a ballet warm-up and movement combinations with choreography inspired by repertory from the Company’s Fall season. Workshops also include a brief Q&A with the artists.

* Appropriate for 21 and over

* Location: NYCB Rehearsal Studios at the Rose Building (165 West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, 7th Floor)

* Tickets: $22 per person; available at nycballet.com, 212-496-0600, or at the David H. Koch Theater Box Office

**Currently Sold Out**

Monday, October 6, 6:00-7:30 PM

SEMINAR – A Tribute to Wendy Whelan

90-minute discussion with Principal Dancer Wendy Whelan, who will give her NYCB Farewell performance on October 18, after 30 years dancing with the Company. Hosted by NYCB Principal Dancer Tyler Angle.

* Appropriate for all audiences

* Location: David H. Koch Theater (Entrance at West 63rd Street and Columbus Avenue)

* Tickets: $15 per person (free for NYCB members); available at nycballet.com, 212-496-0600, or at the David H. Koch Theater Box Office

Friday October 10, 6:45 PM DANCER CHAT

Informal pre-performance dancer chat, featuring the opportunity to ask NYCB dancers questions one-on-one.

* Appropriate for all audiences

* Location: NYCB Rehearsal Studios at the Rose Building (165 West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, 7th Floor)

* Tickets: FREE; for reservations visit nycballet.com, 212-496-0600, or at the David H. Koch Theater Box Office

Saturday, October 11, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

FAMILY SATURDAYS – Fancy Footwork

One-hour onstage presentation featuring short works and excerpts from New York City Ballet's diverse repertory, performed by Company dancers and members of the NYCB Orchestra, and hosted by Daniel Ulbricht, NYCB Principal Dancer and newly appointed Family Saturdays Creative Director. The October 11 program will offer an inside look at the remarkable dancers of NYCB and their extraordinary footwork from company class to onstage performance. Ulbricht will lead a tour through complex and energetic steps featured in ballets performed during the Company’s fall season including The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Interplay, Mozartiana, and more.

* Appropriate for children 5 and older

* Location: David H. Koch Theater (Entrance at West 63rd Street and Columbus Avenue)

* Tickets: $20 per person (both children and adults); available at nycballet.com, 212-496-0600, or at the David H. Koch Theater Box Office

Saturday, October 18, 12:45 – 1:30 PM

CHILDREN’S WORKSHOP

45-Minute interactive pre-performance program exploring the music, movement, and themes of George Balanchine’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier. NYCB Teaching Artists guide children in a ballet warm-up and movement combination, concluding in a performance for accompanying family and friends. No prior dance training needed.

* Appropriate for children 5-8

* Location: NYCB Rehearsal Studios at the Rose Building (165 West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, 7th Floor)

* Tickets: $12 per person (both children and adults); available at nycballet.com, 212-496-0600, or at the David H. Koch Theater Box Office

Children’s Workshops take place before family-friendly matinee performances. Performance tickets must be purchased separately (you do not have to attend the corresponding performance to enjoy this activity).

Saturday, October 18, 12:45 – 1:30 PM IN MOTION WORKSHOP

45-Minute pre-performance exploration of the music, movement, and themes of Jerome Robbins’ The Concert. Each workshop is led by led by artists of NYCB and features a ballet warm-up, a movement combination with choreography inspired by the featured ballet, and a brief interview with a NYCB dancer. No prior dance training needed.

* Appropriate for children 9-12

* Location: NYCB Rehearsal Studios at the Rose Building (165 West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, 7th Floor)

* Tickets: $12 per person (both children and adults); available at nycballet.com, 212-496-0600, or at the David H. Koch Theater Box Office. Performance tickets must be purchased

In Motion Workshops take place before family-friendly matinee performances. Performance tickets must be purchased separately (you do not have to attend the corresponding performance to enjoy this activity).

The Travelers Companies, Inc. is the Global Sponsor of New York City Ballet.

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I'm so pleased to see that Daniel Ulbricht has been appointed creative director of the Family Saturdays program. I attended his program last spring (discussed on another thread) and he is a master teacher and communicator. If you want to see how to interest young children in the ballet, take somebody (the younger the better) or just go yourself. He's terrific.

I'm also pleased to see that the Adult Movement Workshop on October 4 is already sold out, even thought they raised the price from $15 to $22. I believe some BAers are attending. Please tell us about it, especially the choreography from the repertory that they teach you. It's great fun, and let's hope this is another revenue enhancement to the NYCB budget.

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I have a Ballet Essentials ticket for Oct.4 Sat @ 10:30am in the Rose Building to give away. This event is currently sold out. (I tried to give it back to the ticket office to resell but they were not interested; I have two performances and a dinner to go to Oct.4 and this would no doubt wipe out my old bones so I would like to give it someone who can use it).

If you can figure out how to private message me on this site we can figure out how to get you the ticket. I am currently in NYC and can mail it to you or pass it to you at the DHK theatre sometime. I will be at every performance this week and rehearsals on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

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Daniel - it's not a real class...it's more a demo-follow-along thing. When I went to this last spring, Daniel Ulbricht and a corps member demonstrated things, to show us some differences in Balanchine and traditional technique (e.g., the preparation for a pirouette). He taught us the opening steps from Concerto Barocco and an excerpt from Who Cares. The room was too crowded for us to even line up at the barre for warm-up, so we did a few very simple things in the center. The room is filled with klutzy non-dancers, and nobody feels out of place. Great fun, and I've recommended it before on this site.

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I have a Ballet Essentials ticket for Oct.4 Sat @ 10:30am in the Rose Building to give away. This event is currently sold out. (I tried to give it back to the ticket office to resell but they were not interested; I have two performances and a dinner to go to Oct.4 and this would no doubt wipe out my old bones so I would like to give it someone who can use it).

If you can figure out how to private message me on this site we can figure out how to get you the ticket. I am currently in NYC and can mail it to you or pass it to you at the DHK theatre sometime. I will be at every performance this week and rehearsals on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

I sent you a message.

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The programming is definitely off: the all-Tschaikovsky program is almost 3 hours long; having watched Serenade earlier, emotional fatigue is setting in by the time we get to the Theme and Variations of Suite no.3. For the other program, almost any combination could have been better than putting together Donizetti, Sonambula, and Firebird.

I actually liked the all Tschaikovsky program. When I was there the place was packed so I think it sold well. Someone in subscriptions told me it sold like hot cakes on the "choose your own performances" type series.

Firebird & Sonnambula don't attract me, but I can see taking a children to that program. Both narratives are easy to follow and, I believe, interesting if you haven't seen them before. Donizetti is pure fun. I think they are trying programming to attract different audiences. Some things work, some don't. I, for example, wouldn't go to a program of all new works, but perhaps there are those that will.

An important point in all of this is that the company has tremendous depth right now and looks great, and the orchestra sounds wonderful.

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The all-one-composer programs go way back, don't they? They go at least as far back as the Stravinsky Festival in 1972, followed by the Ravel Festival in 1975 and the Tchaikovsky Festival in 1981. I remember seeing at least one all-Tchaikovsky program in the 1993 Balanchine Celebration, and several all-Stravinsky evenings in 1999 and 2012. Have they ever disappeared for long at NYCB?

Generally speaking, I'd prefer more than one composer and evening.On the other hand, the ballets on these bills are always top-drawer.

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Performance delayed by fire alarm and started half an hour late. Still, a lovely Serenade with a very nice début by Savannah Lowery. She looks almost like a different dancer this season, with a much softer port de bras. A pleasure to watch.

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I thought Daniel and Ashley were terrific were terrific in Suite #3. Too bad they didn't their second curtain because Peter probably wanted everyone out of there as soon as possible (what a horrid opening speech: you will get to see the whole program even though that means paying everyone overtime)

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My favorite part of the evening was Mearns' debut in Mozartiana. I thought she was great in the role. Her footwork was so clean and pure, it made me see steps I never noticed before. Also, in the prayer section the way she arched her back was thrilling.

I think Savanah is just too big to play the Russian girl. She is not fleet footed enough. I also felt sorry for Ask LaCour, who had to balance her on his back during that tricky portion of the choreography. Hyltin's debut was pretty good as waltz girl, but it seemed overwrought at times. If Mearns is the picture of dignity in the role, Hyltin seems to be going for the opposite effect.

I was swept away by Russell Janzen's debut in the first movement of Tchai Suite 3. It was thrillingly romantic. Laracey looked terrific in the second movement with Stanley.

A great evening except for the late start due to the fire alarm. Happily, nobody was injured. Martins and a production manager came out before the show, and Martins made a point of making sure we all knew what a great guy he is for paying the unions for overtime that would ensue from the late start time instead of cutting back the program. They could have easily dumped Tchai pdd or only shown the Theme & Variations section of the ballet instead of the entire Tchai Suite no 3. As welll all know, programs are subject to change.

PS- Why haven't they given Danny Ulbricht a shot at Tchai pdd? He's been a principal for several years, but he rarely gets new roles in Balanchine or Robbins ballets.

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As usual I agree with abatt. Mozart is so difficult to perform (as us pianists know); you have to make it sound (or look) easy, with grace, preferably with perfection. Sara captured that. I would like to see four of the most mature ballerinas (perhaps Whelan, Mearns, Reichlen, Korowski) as the four women doing the Menuet.

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