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NYCB 2015 Fall Season Rep Programs

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Thank you Jennie Somogyi. I have only been attending NYCB since 2011 so I missed a lot of her career, but whenever I saw her I was impressed.

Thanks for posting this. I was rather surprised not to see a thread for this. I couldn't go but the event meant something to me personally so I was hoping to see it celebrated on here.

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Yesterday I saw both the matinee and evening (same casts for both) performances of the Balanchine black and white leotard ballets: Concerto Barocco, Monumentum pro Gesualdo, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Episodes and the 4Ts. I have to say these were all impeccably performed! I think they were danced as well or better than in Balanchine's day. Because I sat in 2 different seats, (first row of First Ring afternoon, row F orchestra evening) they looked slightly different. In the afternoon, the program had seemed like a little too much of the same thing; in the evening, all the differences in the ballets became much more apparent.

I have seen Sara Mearns and Tess Reichlen do the leads in Barocco several times and previously thought they were not well matched. Not so yesterday. I thought Tess' long limbed grandeur worked well with Sara's somewhat more compact frame. And Russell Janzen was terrific: musical and very strong, lifting Tess way overhead so many times.

Ask (who has never been a favorite of mine) and Rebecca Krohn gave life and dimension to Monumentum and Movements. I prefer Monumentum because of the music and the aspects of court dancing. I think Movements is a little less accessible. The Stravinsky score is very atonal and, along with the flexed feet and turned in positions, it is, even today, very modern looking.

As for Episodes, although I liked the Ricerta with Adrian DW and Sara the best (because of the use of a big corps and the music). I'm reserving my comments to the first movement, Opus 21 with Megan LeCtone and Andrew Scordato. I've seen Megan a lot; her spiky angularity suits the ballet. But Andrew was a revelation! Still in the corps, I've gotten used to seeing him in small roles. To see him front and center was a rare treat. Highly musical, a great partner, beautiful line and gorgeous, gorgeous feet. I really hope this is the beginning of more featured roles for him.

Finally, 4Ts, I thought Anthony Huxley was a marvel in Melancholic. Those deep backbends, the sense of quiet. As for Ana Sophie and Tyler Angle in Sanguinic, they were a marvel! I had just watched Merrill Ashley and Daniel Duell do this variation the previous night and to my amazement, Ana Sophia and Tyler were better. The technique, the musicality, everything. Now I love Amar and thought he did a great job in Phlegmatic, but he is just not Adam Ludders. He is just not quite quirky enough, a bit too all American. Still, he got the most applause; people loved him. And Ashley Bouder in Choleric. I've seen her many times here and despite being pregnant, she danced in her usual stellar way. In fact, it's hard for me to picture anyone else in this role. When I go next Sunday, it will probably be a shock to see Megan LeCrone.

BTW, coming after 2 nights of all new ballets, the difference between new ballet choreography and Balanchine (at least his leotard ballets) was stark. All this new choreography is fast, fast, fast and very athletic. There is much less sense of how to use the corps and what shapes look like from elevation. While some things have been gained (energy, excitement), a lot has been lost, particularly, how to pattern the corps into interesting shapes. I certainly think ballet is very much alive, but new ballet choreography bears little resemblance to the choreography of even 25 years ago (we probably have William Forsythe to thank for that). But whatever type of choreography it is, if it's well danced it's a pleasure!

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wonderful afternoon sunday!

again, came away amazed at what a wonderful choreographer Balanchine is! To experience this for the first time EVERY time I see his ballets --- what a gift.

Edited to add: I misread Macnellie--though I bet Sunday afternoon was wonderful! However, I quoted Macnellie originally because these words express exactly my reaction to Saturday afternoon. In fact, Saturday had to serve as my 'farewell' to Jenny Somogyi who danced beautifully in Episodes at that performance.

I loved the way the Saturday ('Balanchine Black and White') program musically and, in a sense, 'thematically' had a distinct continuity not just in certain patterns and approaches to movement but in the way Balanchine's clean, modernist breakdown/reinvention of classical ballet (whose sources are early modern/baroque) take up a whole series of pre- or early-modern musical and other motifs (Medieval humors, Renaissance music/dance, Baroque music (in Episodes as well as Concerto Barocco).

For me, it was like finding myself at the absolute center of what classical ballet is and yet simultaneously at the most extreme point of where it can go.

(As for the dancing--altogether, it was worthy of the ballets. I don't think I can give the company higher praise than that.)

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i am focusing on a study of Liebeslieder Walzer in preparation for the four performances in January. Can anyone please clarify for me how this season's casting (Somogyi/Tyler Angle, Hyltin/Jared Angle, Mearns/la cour, Laracey/Justin Peck) corresponds to the original cast? Kathleen had some suggestions but wasn't completely sure. Thanks to all for your ballet knowledge.

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I saw the performances on Sat evening and Sunday afternoon. A pleasure to see these masterpieces danced so brilliantly. Special mention to Huxley for his debut performances in 4T's. He is quickly proving himself to be one of NYCB's most exciting and wonderful dancers. I can't wait to see him debut in more new roles. His debut in Melanchonic was superb, and I'm guessing he will get even better with more performances. The excellent performances in Concerto B. were also a pleasure. I hope they promote Janzen to his deserved principal spot soon.

On Sunday, Tiler Peck was even more brilliant than she was earlier in the week in T&V. Also, everyone was firing on all cylinders in Liebeslieder. Most improved over last week was Sterling Hyltin, who has gained authority in her role. Somogyi was wonderful and received a heartfelt sendoff from the cheering audience and her fellow dancers.

After the novelty acts that were on display in the new works earlier this week , these All Balanchine performances were a reminder that a genius like Balanchine only comes along rarely. You don't need gimmicky designer costumes or faux dramatic storylines with blindfolds and soccer balls to make great ballet. All you need is great choreography.

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i am focusing on a study of Liebeslieder Walzer in preparation for the four performances in January. Can anyone please clarify for me how this season's casting (Somogyi/Tyler Angle, Hyltin/Jared Angle, Mearns/la cour, Laracey/Justin Peck) corresponds to the original cast? Kathleen had some suggestions but wasn't completely sure. Thanks to all for your ballet knowledge.

Cobweb -- Here's how the casting sorted out in the program I saw on Tuesday, October 6:

Sterling Hyltin & Jared Angle = Melissa Hayden & Jonathan Watts

Ashley Laracey & Justin Peck = Jillana & Conrad Ludlow

Sara Mearns & Ask la Cour = Diana Adams & Bill Carter

Jennie Somogyi & Tyler Angle = Violette Verdy & Nicholas Magallenes

Here's how the casting sorted out in the Spring 2012 season, when there were many role debuts. It wouldn't surprise me to see some of these dancers reprise their roles in Winter 2016 -- and someone will have to replace the now-retired Somogyi.

Sterling Hyltin & Robert Fairchild = Melissa Hayden & Jonathan Watts

Megan Fairchild & Chase Finlay = Jillana & Conrad Ludlow

Maria Kowroski & Jonathan Stafford = Diana Adams & Bill Carter

Tiler Peck & Justin Peck = Violette Verdy & Nicholas Magallenes

I think I've gotten the roles sorted out, but if anyone has them mapped out differently, let us know!

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I just saw this Saturday's matinee of Harlequinade and N. Y. Export: Opus Jazz.

Ashley Bouder wrote on Instagram that Colombine might be her last role before her maternity leave, and she danced like it. Act II had the magic it can have be when a ballerina has the timing and line that can instantly summon quietness onstage. (The Alouette sequences--flying from Harlequin, calming for Colombine--actually made sense without notes.) Bouder’s port de bras in adage has become one of my favorite things on the NYCB stage: I'm going to miss her a lot this upcoming year.

Andrew Veyette looked really engaged as Harlequin throughout (and one of his first-act variations sparkled), but he's still settling into the acting and partnering.

On the corps side, the Patrouillle segment was as funny as it ought to be. The Scaramouches were a luxury cast of taller senior corps artists: I love the detail Gwyneth Muller brings to things like this. (And speaking of Scaramouches, I want to know who the tallest, black-haired mini-Scaramouche girl was in Act II: one to watch.)

NYEOP is a gift to the company's stage animals--every single one of the men looked fabulous tonight--but Georgina Pazcoguin still owns this piece. (Both of these pieces made me miss seeing Lydia Wellington…I hope she’s back for Winter 2016.)

A very well-spent afternoon. :)

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I was actually disappointed with Bouder and Veyette in Harlequinade. I thought both were a bit low-energy compared to their usual standard. Understandable for Bouder but I noticed that partnering with her and Veyette was a bit awkward throughout. I thought Huxley and von Enck stole the show, and Miriam Miller sure looks gorgeous.

NY Export: Opus Jazz was nice, even if one of the girls took a tumble in that backwards somersault sequence.

More thoughts on the fall season here:


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