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Excitement on TV!

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its so rare ballet, or dance of any kind gets good coverage on TV. Which is why I'm so excited about Sunday, January 24th. You see, at 8:30pm I'll be sitting down to watch the American Ballet Theatre in a gala they did in New York, for a whole hour and a half. This will be my first glimpse of this company other than in photos (oh, and the Nutcracker filmed in '77, hehe).

And after that I'll see one of Australia's leading companies, Bangarra Dance Theatre (an aboriginal based company) do a piece "Fish" which i absolutely adore.

*sigh* I'm sorry this is not very relevant or interesting for everyone else. I'm just happy ballet is getting a fair go!

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It is interesting to know when ballet is "getting a fair go," as you say -- that's one of the things Ballet Alert is about. So thanks for your post, Katharyn, and I hope you'll tell us about it, what you saw and what you think. Many people who read this board will have seen much of the ABT show. Do you know which gala, or more details about that program?


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I should think Katharyn is probably talking about the ABT special aired on public television a couple of months ago. (It is now on video also.) It has Susan Jaffe and Jose Manuel Carreno doing the Black Swan, Julie Kent and Robert Hill doing a pas de deux from Kudelka's Cruel World, Bocca and Ferri in MacMillan's Balcony Scene, and so forth. These are interspersed with mostly unenlightening interviews with the dancers. For the most part it's a very good show, although I could have done without the Nacho Duato and it would have been nice to see Herrera and Corella do something besides the Don Quixote pas de deux. Sorry for this long-winded response.

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Dirac, that sounds about right.

Well although your review isn't the most positive I've heard, the show seems to be a little bit of the 'fly on the wall' type of show, with interviews with the dancers (and enlightening or not, I love hearing dancers talk about dance! Thats why I was an avid watcher of "the house" -the program about the royal ballet and opera when it was on) along with what sounds like a variety of excerpts.

I'd also like to mention that the gala got a wonderful review in the TV Guide, saying that 'if ever a TV program had the power to convert those (heathens) indifferent to appreciation of ballet's wonders then this is the program to do it' he then goes onto to say 'none is more exquisite than the contemporary Remanso (By Nacho Duato)'

And I tihnk it will be interesting since I enjoyed Por Vos Muero. The verdict from our reviewer? "90 minutes of pearls"

- Katharyn

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Well Katharyn...

The 'Remanso' by Duato is a pearl !

Vladimir Malakhov, Keith Roberts and Parrish Maynard are really fabulous in it...It has a lot of Duato wonderful moves of course, but they really get to show off their pure technique also...

Watch for 'The Leaves are Fading' Pas de deux with Amanda MacKerrow and her husband John Gardner...one of Tudor's finest achievement...(only the second pas de deux is performed on the Gala!)

Kudelka's Pas de deux with Julie Kent and Robert Hill...a beauty ! I saw it from backstage live one day, when I was performing at a Gala...it is really moving !

Alessandra is great as Juliet...

Susan Jaffe and Jose Manuel Carreno are very well matched...

And if you like tricks then you're in for a treat with DonQ Pas de deux with Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella (but don't look for anything else than tricks !)...

And Makarova was very glamourus in the opening (Sleeping Beauty)...

Enjoy !!!


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Katharyn--you just might love this special--I did and only wish it had been twice as long. Even the opening montage, of people arriving at Lincoln Center and the buzz of excitement that always accompanies a big performance was well presented. Thanks for reminding me of this one--I will watch the tape again over the weekend (if I labeled it right and can find it!)

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OK.. here's the review.... And I have a feeling its going to be a long one, because Iw as very impressed

Is it a normal thing for ABT to match the girls with guys that are shorter than them on pointe? Coz it definately gives off such a different image: the girl is much more dominant. And, if it were me, I want a guy that was taller than me because it is less flattering for the ballerina. Susan Jaffe and Jose Carreno doing black swan. seeing it performed in front of a blue screen was a little disconcerting. It reminded me of a ballet competition! And to be honest this was the only segment that left me a little cold. I mean, I'm not doubting the skill of these dancers but theres something that I'm used to seeing with the Australian Ballet. To describe what I mean, there's this sort of tension I get watching (especially) Miranda Coney and David McAllistar that makes me want to be up there on stage with them. Its just so inspiring and mainly how I judge how much i enjoyed a performance. Anyway. I didn't get that feeling. Besides, Susans arms tended to be a touch messy and Jose.. well.. where was the real energy? The look on his face that this was what he wants to be doing? I think the lack of a backdrop and extras onstage disadvantaged them because there wasn't an atmosphere created for them...

Moving on! hehe.. Amanda MacKerrow and her husband John Gardner in the leaves are fading. there are just continuous moments that could be captured on film and look stunning. It was so pretty and fluid- and Amanda is so tiny John just makes her seem as though she weighs nothing! I enjoyed this. Even though it didn't seem to have any 'fireworks' (how could u with that music?!) once I really thought about it- I mean the lifts and everything must be so difficult yet made to look so easy.

Kudelka's Pas de deux with Julie Kent and Robert Hill, from "Cruel World" was a real 'pearl'. Just from watching this video I love Julie Kent. Oh she has such an elegant neck! The costumes were strange in this though- what was with that collar she had? Plus I also had a soft spot for Julie after I recognised her from "Dancers' a movie she was in with Baryshnikov... oh she looks so much more grown up now!

Romanso was such a gymnastic affair! Oh wow! To have flexibility like that! There were some interesting moments in this, but to be honest, I thought it was a bit too effeminate and its not the choreography (which was fantastic). Its just that flexibility is something that is mainly attributated to women so these 3 have them the range of a girl and movement more like a girl. thats not a bad thing at all! its just an observation.

Ferri and Bocca in Romeo and Juliet were lovely. I don't think Ferri knows how to make an ugly line! She also has a great range of facial expressions that are just so appropriate and she was matched so beautifully with Bocca. They were terrific and had more depth on stage than I'd seen previously in the program as well as a playfulness that, although it didn't convince me they were 14 came very close.

I thought Hererra and Corella were fun to watch. They were obviously having a good time, playing to the audience and it certainly seemed to pick up the mood of the whole night. Once again- a taller girl with a guy. I think in DonQ it detracted from the whole look, because Paloma has such long limbs and her arms often got cramped up because Angel simply wasn't tall enough! i think they both shone a lot more in their solos- Angel certainly was fantastic. He just seems to have prescence on stage that (i think) seems to lack a lot these days in male dancers (sorry- I just don't like the term ballerinos.. a personal thing..) and he's so flashy as well with that indearing little grin *s* And Paloma had that perfect body with those Feet and Legs and while a lot of dancers can't control long arms she did it perfectly.

The last on the program was Bruch Violin Concerto. To me this was the highlight of the show! Nobody can tell me that music isn't just spectacular!And yes, the corps was messy (were they under rehearsed for this?) but the sheer energy created on stage and some of the ideas in this... WOW! Particularly the 'pink' first couple. This ballet created that wonderful tension feeling- I was practising some of those steps in my living room afterwards!

whew! I know I have written a lot, but I'm not finished yet!

I couldn't help drawing comparisons between ABT and AB(australian ballet). So it was wonderful to learn that AB measured up to ABT! But they are hard to compare because ABt has such a different way of moving and places emphasis on different things...


[This message has been edited by Katharyn (edited 01-30-99).]

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Thankyou so much Alexandra! I was really worried that I'd made my last post too long. You compliment means a lot coming from someone with as much knowledge as you, as well as the creator of this wonderful site where there's someone to listen (or read) what I have to say (or write).

Thanks for your comments and thankyou for this site!


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