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2015 Fall Season- Swan Lake


abatt

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Robbie Fairchild was Hyltin's partner, and Tyler Angle was Reichlin's partner, if memory serves. It appears that Jared Angle (who was Mearns' partner in SL for many seasons) is either injured or has retired the role. As a result, Tyler A. is now Mearns' partner.

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Saw NYCB's version of Swan Lake last night. I've seen mostly ABT with an occasional NYCB performance sprinkled in, so I'm not very well versed with how NYCB handles the full lengths. I was shocked at how fast they dance! The tempo was so much quicker than what I've seen from ABT, Marinsky and the Royal. I enjoyed the performance overall (although the act 2 divertissements seemed a bit long--but loved the pas de quatre!). Sara Mearns was fantastic, especially in the last act. She had a little flub with her fouettes, but her characterization of both Odette and Odile were fantastic. I've not seen much of him, so I was shocked at how technically awesome Daniel Ulbright was as the jester. I liked Martins version, although I'm used to seeing the swamp monster Rothbart, so the halloween pumpkin orange and black Rotbart was a bit strange. The NYCB corps dancers are always so in-sync, they are just lovely to watch.

Best part of the night came after the performance. I used my mastercard to purchase the SL tickets and they took 20 random patrons who bought their tickets with mastercard backstage after the show for a tour and we got to meet some dancers (Cameron Dieck and Unity Phelan, who were both super nice). That is an awesome way for NYCB to connect with their fans, and it was very much appreciated (so thanks NYCB, dancers and MasterCard for the surprise!)

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Mixed feelings about last night. Much wonderful dancing… the production, not so much. I especially dislike the Jester. I don’t get the point of this showy jokester. This is nothing against Daniel Ulbricht, who was spectacular, but the very showiness of it distracts from from the beautiful music, from the storyline, from the other dancers, and the audience erupts into (deserved) applause for stunts that have nothing to do with the music or story. Annoying. The pas de quatre. Why is it there? Is there some historical aspect to this? It seems to drop in and drop out with no relevance to the story… however, I enjoy it, and it was beautifully performed. Good to see Megan Fairchild back! Fairchild, Tiler Peck, and Ana Sophia Scheller were exhilaratingly in sync when they spun down to the front of the stage. And Joaquin de Luz is keeping up his standards like he has some magical anti-aging potion. I was impressed with how top-notch, committed dancers can elevate the folk dances. Peter Walker and (especially) Aaron Sanz were sharp and exciting in the Spanish dance. Georgina Pazcoguin – why don’t they do more with this fabulous dancer? -was terrific in Hungarian. Finally Amar Ramasar in the Russian dance, wearing the most ridiculous outfit ever – a purple satin cheerleader skirt, open vest, and lavender beanie – looks noble, grand, and absolutely outstanding. Wish I could see him do Siegfried! He would look good with Sterling Hyltin.

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Faye Arthurs has a new post up on her always informative "Thoughts from the Paint" blog. This one features a Q&A with Teresa Reichlen about dancing Odette / Odile in NYCB's Swan Lake.

A sample:

Q: [Arthurs] How many pairs of pointe shoes will you go through per show?

A: [Reichlen] I wear 2 pairs. You only have one opportunity in our version to change shoes since there is only 1 intermission and less than a 5 minute break between acts III and IV when you also have to change your costume and headpiece.

Q: [Arthurs] What is the most challenging part of the ballet for you?

A: [Reichlen] Surprisingly I find the long break during intermission and the beginning of Act III before the Black Swan pas de deux to be the hardest part of the show. The break is about an hour long and my body starts to cramp up and get stiff in that amount of time. It’s a challenge to stay warm and loose without expending any extra energy because you still have half of the ballet ahead of you.

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Best part of the night came after the performance. I used my mastercard to purchase the SL tickets and they took 20 random patrons who bought their tickets with mastercard backstage after the show for a tour and we got to meet some dancers (Cameron Dieck and Unity Phelan, who were both super nice). That is an awesome way for NYCB to connect with their fans, and it was very much appreciated (so thanks NYCB, dancers and MasterCard for the surprise!)

So glad that you got to be one of the "random patrons"

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I saw Ms Mearns and Mr Angle on Tuesday. The dancing was well worth travelling for. I put some thoughts here:https://theoperatunist.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/swan-lake-new-york-city-ballet-mearns-angle-september-22-2015/(I am not a ballet expert.)

I agree with posters above about some of the production and like Alastair Macaulay in NYTimes, I'm not a fan of the costumes. I was impressed just how slick the NYCB approach was.

Appropos of nothing: I waited 1 hr at stage door to try and say thank you to SMearns, but gave up in the end. A guy told me she was having a small party. Despite waiting for that time (with a mother and daughter who had flown in from Dallas especially)I did not mind that I did not get to meet her: I have the lovely memory of the moments she gave us.

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So glad that you got to be one of the "random patrons"

It was definitely a very cool experience to see the stage from the other side. For some strange reason, I never realized the backdrops weren't wood or plastic, that they were so flimsy/pliable and cloth-like. I guess that was kind of dumb of me, as they raise the scenery up like a screen, but for some reason my brain was stuck on the wood backdrops we used during my high school drama days.

For the tour, they said there was supposed to be a group of twenty, but only ten people showed up. Crazy folks turning down a chance to see the backstage area, haha!

Looks like SL is pretty sold out the rest of the run. I would have liked to seen Bouder perform.

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I saw Ms Mearns and Mr Angle on Tuesday. The dancing was well worth travelling for. I put some thoughts here:https://theoperatunist.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/swan-lake-new-york-city-ballet-mearns-angle-september-22-2015/(I am not a ballet expert.)

I agree with posters above about some of the production and like Alastair Macaulay in NYTimes, I'm not a fan of the costumes. I was impressed just how slick the NYCB approach was.

Appropos of nothing: I waited 1 hr at stage door to try and say thank you to SMearns, but gave up in the end. A guy told me she was having a small party. Despite waiting for that time (with a mother and daughter who had flown in from Dallas especially)I did not mind that I did not get to meet her: I have the lovely memory of the moments she gave us.

I really enjoyed your review! You sound very well-versed if not "expert" :)

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I saw Sterling Hyltin & Veyette last night. Hyltin is a principal dancer who flies under the radar (so to speak), but I've come to like her a lot over the past couple of seasons. I thought her white swan quite wonderful. She brought a fragility and unmannered simplicity to the role that really touched me. Very musical, her arms, torso and eyes showd her fear, uncertainty and finally love for Siegfried. She has a slight frame, so the moment she stepped out to protect the swans struck me as an act of valor in a way that I'd never felt before. In the fourth act her struggle to fight the pull of the spell and stay with Siegfried was poetry.

Black Swan was a bit underpowered in her solos. She went at the fouettes with a determination and speed that telegraphed (to me anyway) that she doesn't like to do them but wanted to get through and finish with a double. Not fun to watch but she mostly got through. I did like her characterization and the pas de deux. Again, it was unmannered but truly seductive and evil. I wish I could think of a better word than unmannered, but I can't at the moment.

Veyette looked great. He sure has the knack of finishing his turns up. He is a great, great partner. I would never have guessed he was a last minute replacement.

I enjoyed Spartak Hoxha as the Jester, even though I'm not crazy about the role. Solid technique and nice stage manner. I hope to see him in more things. Ashley Isaacs was a total joy in her Pad de Quatre variation. She sailed through the technical mine field as if she was having the time of her life. I always find Ulbricht a pleasure, not only for his awesome technique but for his stage presence - warm, likable and very human. Georgina P and Adrian D-W were stunning in Russian.

The orchestra sounded great and the company looked great.

One more thing about partnering. I admire the men in this company so much for their partnering abilities and I don't think it's mentioned much. I've seen all 4 Ciy Ballet Swan Queens over the past couple of years and know that none of them would have the freedom to be as expressive as they are without a great partner. Bravo men!!

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I thought Hyltin's SL was a work in progress. First, I didn't like her arms and hands. There was a lot of frantic arm flapping in her Odette, but her arm movements were rarely fluid. The way she positions her hands, with her fingers splayed and her pinky finger held high above her other fingers, was an ugly distraction. She did have a beautifully stretched leg line, and she did some lovely deep backbends. While there was an honesty in her portrayal in her Odette, I thought her Odile was cliché to the utmost. She did well with the technical demands, but once the fouettes were over, she seemed to run out of steam. That final section of her dancing in the ballroom act was sloppy, with clipped phrasing as she struggled to keep up with the music. Veyette was a good partner and also did some wonderful solo work. I'm perfectly willing to cut him some slack given his unfair workload for the week. Kudos to A. Isaacs and Danny Ulbricht, who did a marvelous job in the pas de quatre.

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