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MCB in Vancouver, February 19 to 21, 2015


pherank

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I've never bought tickets for Ballet BC at the door, and I don't know if they're using the Ticketmaster system at the box office and passing on Ticketmaster fees for in-person sales, but if you're planning to order tickets online, PNB was cross-promoting MCB's performances in their February High Pointes email newsletter, and there's a 20% off promo code that can only be used online at Ticketmaster.ca (not the US site): BBCTIX. You have to enter the code before you select tickets; the box should appear over the seat selection section, and it will confirm if the code is being applied or there is an error.

It took me a couple of tries to make the code take. The least expensive tickets (back three or four rows) are not discounted, and they're shown in pale blue. The discount doesn't include the $8.50/ticket fee and $4.00/order fee, but it's better than full price plus fees, and it can make a closer seat more affordable, especially for a pair of tickets.

Serenade, Symphony in Three Movements, Ballo. Serenade, Symphony in Three Movements, Ballo...

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The performances tonight were great!!!!!!! There was so much energy and life in the performances: what a pleasure to see and in a wide range of Balanchine without interruption flowers.gif. I'm sure Balanchine is able to rest peacefully for eternity, now that he's been properly classified by Ballet BC AD Emily Molnar as a contemporary ballet choreographer.

We were sitting in the front of the Balcony, and it was illuminating to see the patterns in all three ballets. The downside was not seeing faces, and I can only go by the program. Highlights for me were Jennifer Lauren as the last soloist in "Ballo" in a full-bodied and fully phrased performance of both parts of the solo, Patricia Delgado, who was a goddess in "Symphony in Three Movements," Delgado (Russian) and the Dark Angel, who I think from the program order and photos was Emily Bromberg, the demi-soloists in "Symphony in Three Movements," especially the men, who were individuals, yet made the unit organic, and the female corps in everything.

I know it was impossible for MCB to bring an orchestra, but this company deserves better than recorded music and the sound system at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

I can't wait for a repeat tomorrow. The only cast changes according to the program for tomorrow and both Saturday performances are Tricia Albertson and Kleber Rebello in "Ballo della Regina."

This would be well worth the trip for anyone who can possibly make it.

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The performances tonight were great!!!!!!! There was so much energy and life in the performances: what a pleasure to see and in a wide range of Balanchine without interruption flowers.gif.

Thanks for the update, Helene. Was it a fairly full house? And what was the general audience reaction to the various ballets?

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The top wasn't at all full, and it's impossible to see the other sections from where we were sitting. A bunch of people moved down. Ticket prices are similar to Royal Winnipeg Ballet's "Nutcracker," 20-28% higher than Ballet BC's, and while for me Balanchine is a bigger draw, like an oasis to a man dying of thirst, an all-Balanchine program is not "Nutcracker," which has a more diverse appeal and is a ritual.

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre has three tiers: the Orchestra has five sections, and the Mezzanine and Balcony have three, with a fourth and fifth sections spanning the sides of the Mezzanine and Balcony. Looking at the Ticketmaster seat map, for tonight and tomorrow night, the center sections of the Orchestra and Mezzanine and the cheap seats on the far side sections of the Orchestra have sold. Balcony seats in the center section in the first two rows of the price breaks and the last few (cheap seats) rows are pretty much sold out. The Centre Right and Left sides of the Orchestra are well-sold for tonight and about 50-50 for tomorrow. For tomorrow's matinee, the center Balcony section is sold except for the three back rows in front of the cheap ($40) seats. I don't know what their walk-up business is like.

I would say that it took a while for the audience to warm up to "Ballo," but after Nathalia Arja's first solo, it started to perk up. There was no spontaneous applause at the opening of "Symphony in Three Movements," but the audience gave it a great ovation, starting before the curtain was down on the final tableau, and there were plenty of shouts after "Serenade." Usually Pacific Northwest audiences are obedient: if the curtain goes down and the lights start to come up, no matter how big an ovation, that's the signal to stop, but there was enough applause to raise the curtain for more curtain calls after "Serenade."

Hopefully, everyone who saw it will tell their friends, and all of the those blue dots on the Ticket Monster map will go gray.

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There as a casting page I missed: for the matinee tomorrow, the Serenade cast in the program is Tricia Albertson, Reyneris Reyes, Ashkey Knox, Emily Bromberg, and Didier Bramaz. The latter two are listed in all casts as Dark Angel the last movement man.

Nathalia Arja replaced Tricia Albertson in "Ballo" tonight. I think they said her partner was Kleber Rebello, although last night it was Renato Penteado, at least in the program. His lush movement and extra second of hang time reminded me of Osiel Gounod, whom I saw on this very stage when National Ballet of Cuba came with Don Q.

Crowd was very enthusiastic for "Ballo." What a gem this is. I would love for PNB to do this.

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Stalker replaced Arja last night in "Symphony in Three Movements" but they didn't announce a double switch when she took over "Ballo" for Albertson. Arja's also listed for "Ballo" and STM for tomorrow's matinee and for STM tomorrow night. I won't be able to go tomorrow to see :(

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There was an announcement before STM, with Stalker replacing Arja in the first couple. If that was Kleber in "Balli," his movement quality in STM was very different. I think I was hearing things.

Remind me never to sit close when STM is on the bill. It us even more spectacular from up top.

During the pre-performance talks before Ratmansky's Don Q, Doug Fullington talked about how Gorsky was already making changes to it by the end of Petipa's life, and Petipa wasn't amused. One of the things that Gorsky didn't like was symmetry, but Doug said we can't just assume that the asymmetry in the Dream Act was Gorsky, not Petipa. Watching the symmetries morph into assymetries and back and forth again and again in STN made me wonder how much if Balanchine's beloved Petipa had changed by the time Balanchine learned it in the decades following Petipa's death, and how much the teachers in the school preserved the older Petipa in class vs. what he saw onstage.

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Major ovation for "Symphony in Three Movements", major ovation for "Serenade" and clapping at the opening. The Balcony seemed to get fuller after first intermission. 3/4 standing ovation in the Balcony, from which we can only see the first few rows of the Orchestra. Again curtain had to go up once for more curtain calls.

More highlights: Kronenberg as Waltz Girl in the last movement of "Serenade". Stalker in the first couple in "Symphony in Three Movements." The light-haired corps woman in the featured quartet in blue in "Ballo."

I've scanned the cast pages from the program. The announced substitutions are hand-written and are only for the Thursday and Friday performances. I'm still not sure if I got Arja's partner in "Ballo" right.

Thursday, February 19, 8pm:

post-3390-0-14401400-1424505513_thumb.jp

Friday, February 20, 8pm and Saturday, February 21, 8pm:

post-3390-0-07468300-1424505615_thumb.jp

Saturday, February 21, 2pm:

post-3390-0-40178200-1424505754_thumb.jp

(You need to log in to download.)

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Nathalia Arja replaced Tricia Albertson in "Ballo" tonight. I think they said her partner was Kleber Rebello, although last night it was Renato Penteado, at least in the program. His lush movement and extra second of hang time reminded me of Osiel Gounod, whom I saw on this very stage when National Ballet of Cuba came with Don Q.

My chicken scratch notes from the Thursday night show had Kleber Rebello as the principal male -- it was that pre-show Voice-of-God announcement.

Am behind on many things, so cannot sort through all my thoughts, but in general, it was a great performance of some very tricky stuff. More later...

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The announcement on Thursday was that Nicole Stalker replaced Nathalia Arja in "Symphony in Three Movements" (first couple) and would dance with Rebello (who was already cast with Arja).

On Friday, they announced the change to "Ballo" casting before "Ballo", and the change to STM before STM, and it was the same change as Thursday. What I'm confused about was that I thought the "Ballo" change announced Rebello, Alberston's partner, when he didn't dance or look like Rebello in STM. I think Penteado danced "Ballo" again, and I'm mis-remembering it.

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This is my first time seeing the company live -- I was very glad to have a chance at them close to home, since I don't think I'm getting to Florida any time soon!

There were some excellent performances here. Like Helene, I was too far away to get details for individuals, but they read clear and energetic to the balcony. Some lovely feet snapping off the floor in Ballo, and a strong attack (from the ensemble especially) in Symphony in Three Movements.

I always learn something new about the work when I re-see a Balanchine ballet -- the thing that really struck me this time around was how classicism really permeates all the work, even the more "difficult" ballets like Symphony in Three. The clarity of the musical structure in the choreography made it easy to hear the composition of the work, and the overall symmetry of the stage patterns (even when the movement itself might be unusual) gave us a place to come from as we see the work unfold.

The other thing that really tickled me this time around was the amount of self-reference that Balanchine used -- I saw bits and piece of Apollo, 4 T's, Agon, Rubies, Prodigal Son, Emeralds and Bugaku, and that's without really trying.

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It was a pleasure to see them, especially after reading so many reports here on BA. Since I live in a town with a company that is maneuvering to find a path that connects classical heritage with new developments, I'm always interested in seeing how another company is negotiating that process. Like many people here, I worry about which aspects of the art form might be seen as being left behind, but I'm also fascinated to see how different choices play out in different places.

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... If that was Kleber in "Ballo," his movement quality in STM was very different. ...

On the other side of the continent, I can't help with the identifications, and different people may mean different things when they use the same phrase, too, but these confusions about "who was that?" prompt me to reflect that intelligent dancing includes suiting the "movement quality" to the role, especially in as different ballets as these three are. Intelligent dancing is about showing us their dance, after all, not about showing us themselves. In conversation, some dancers greet with derisive laughter the idea of dancing everything - or even the same role - the same way all the time. So you may actually see the same dancer in different roles and not recognize them.

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I wouldn't have expected Kleber to dance "Ballo" the same way he danced STM, but dancers rarely show none of the qualities that make them distinguishable and unique, even when they don't appear as comfortable in a different style. It's been my experience that dancers I've seen over the long run often fall back to their comfort zone when they are uncomfortable in a new style.

I did, though, think if it was the same dancer both nights, his feet were tidier on Friday.

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