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Nutcracker week 1 casting is up


Dale

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How terrific to see Lauren Lovette back on the schedule. Now here's hoping for Chase Finlay to return as well.

I've no idea about Allen Peiffer. I assumed it was a typo, but indeed, he's no longer listed on the roster.

I'll be at the 5pm performance on December 6. If any ballet-alerters are interested in meeting up at intermission, PM me.

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Casting now up for week 3. Fear not, Ashley Bouder fans: She is doing a Sugarplum as late as December 12!

I am very excited to have tickets to the Dec 12 matinee, with Ashly Isaacs finally making her Sugarplum debut (scheduled for last December but delayed presumably because of injury) and Ashley Hod as Dewdrop. Plus a few other debuts in smaller roles.

The performance of Dec 13 evening is very tempting as well, with Tiler Peck, Tyler Angle, and Ashly Isaacs as Dewdrop.

The news on Chase Finlay doesn't look good, though. Like Zachary Catazaro, so far he's only doing Dr. Stahlbaum.

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Well I went to last night's performance and Mr. B's chestnut is in good hands. Sterling Hyltin and Andrew Veyette were a beautiful couple as the SPF and Cavalier. Hyltin's jumps have a lightness and ease that is delightful and I love her soft, wafting arms. Veyette was an excellent partner for her -- in the final promenade he steadied her until she was ready and then she held a long, applause-inducing balance. Tiler Peck was OUTSTANDING as Dewdrop -- everything just seemed effortless. Anthony Huxley also really fine as the Candy Cane. Snowflakes, flowers, SAB children all great. There were notably more minority children in the performance than seasons past -- Avery Lin as Marie, for example.

I'm putting myself through five Nutcrackers this week. Mr. B's Nutcracker, something called Buttcracker, Nutcracker Rouge, Gelsey Kirkland's Nut (I think), and rounding off the week with Hard Nut. Yay!

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Week 5 casting is up. What an exciting lineup of debuts! New Sugarplums: Megan LeCrone, Unity Phelan, Indiana Woodward, Clare Kretzschmar, and Ashley Hod. New Cavaliers: Joseph Gordon, Peter Walker, Cameron Dieck, and Silas Farley. And new Dewdrop: Georgina Pazcoguin! About time for Georgina! Also glad to see Abi Stafford back in the lineup. If I were in town (and were rich), I would try to see all of Week 5's performances!

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Oh I am so excited for Silas and Unity. I discovered them through the AOL series "city.ballet" and really loved their style of dancing and personalities, so I'm glad to see they are getting bigger roles. I wish I could attend those performances.

I will be going on the 29th evening, I cannot wait to see the casting for that day!

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Ashly did a beautiful job in her debut. She has the huge stage presence and the technical capability in abandon. The series of pique turns was blazingly fast. She has room to grow in the role, though. For one thing, she missed the marley -- or whatever is the sliding piece for the traveling arabesque. I saw it traveling along, but she did not. She went down and up on pointe again, apparently trying to hit the right spot, but no go. Whatever. She comes across like such a pro that things like that don't throw her off. My bigger issue with her -- and it's funny to call this an issue because it's actually something I love about her -- is her boundless energy and sense of joy. It doesn't always lend itself to majesty and grandeur, as in the Sugarplum Fairy. She always looks one second away from breaking out into that huge beaming smile. I hope she can find a way to keep the energy and joy but somehow translate them into something more serene and grand (when called for, of course -- the infectious joy is, well, a joy in many roles).

F. Henry Berlin was a wonderful Nutcracker, with a noble bearing and commitment to the steps and in his mime sequence.

I've heard much about Avery Lin as Marie, but somehow in several performances last year and this, I've missed her. If there is any official word on casting of the children, I'd appreciate a link!

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There are important casting changes for this week. On December 17 Lowery is replacing Isaacs as Dewdrop. On December 19 at 2 PM Isaacs replaces Lowery as Dewdrop. Hope nobody got burned by the casting change.

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I went to last night's performance-(yes, I'm in the city for a few days...wanted to catch the City Ballet's Nut and perhaps "An American in Paris"). Mearns was Sugarplum and Peck danced Dewdrop. Miss Peck was wonderful. She really nailed all the technical tricks, and something I noticed..she seems to like to luxuriate in her balances, but in a way that the subsequent steps don't suffer. They are there, perhaps in a tiny faster approach so they are always on spot-(unlike other ballerinas, like Viengsay Valdes, who ends up suppressing whole segments). I really liked her dancing, at least in this role. Very energetic and fast...just as I love my ballerinas. The Sugarplum adagio later on with Mearns and Tyler Angle didn't look to me as polished, I particularly didn't "get" Angle. He lacked elevation in his sequence of jete menages.

By the way...what's up with the "transformation scene"..? During the traveling bed segment, MCB usually has a flowing backdrop that covers the scenery changes, which dramatically opens up with the big accord to reveal the snowy forest. Last night all the changes happened in full view...the Christmas three being pulled up and the side props of the forest lowered down. It really diminished the transformation effect.

I will try to catch another performance, so let's see.

Cheers and Happy Holidays everyone!! :flowers::flowers::flowers:

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I saw Ashly Isaacs' SPF this afternoon. I'd say it was a work in progress. She certainly does some things very well (her menage of pique turns was the fastest I've ever seen) but the timing in her grand pas de deux had some awkward timing. For instance that pique turn into arabesque penchee series was too carefully prepared to make an impact. Also, at this point she's very athletic, cheerful, happy, but doesn't really have the mystery for the role. She took an odd tumble in some supported pirouettes. It's as if she tripped over her feet and Taylor Stanley saved her from a fall.

I thought a stronger performance was Ashley Hod as Dewdrop. For such a tall leggy girl she acquitted herself well with all the allegro choreography and she's a stunner.

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I was happy to see yesterday's matinee performance with Avery Lin as Marie. She is delightful, with a beautiful face and a distinctive, captivating stage presence. I have seen all three casts of children and thought all three Nutcracker princes were wonderful -- noble and committed. I agree with canbelto about Ashly Isaacs, who I normally absolutely love. She and Taylor Stanley struggled at a couple of spots in the partnering. For whatever reason I love the Soldier variation. Spartak Hoxha was terrific. Aaron Sanz was Dr. Stahlbaum. I have noticed him a number of times and am impressed with the sense of importance and pride that he brings to even the smallest roles. Too bad he's not getting a shot at Cavalier. Maybe next year. Finally, I wonder if they have to reconsider the coaching for Candy Cane. Of the three performances I saw this year, only Daniel Ulbricht was able to get through without tripping over the hoop at some point.

I am, sadly, leaving for the holidays and unable to see the exciting debut casts coming up. I gather that not all my fellow ballet-alerters are as into Nutcracker as I am, but I implore anyone who attends to report on these casts. I am especially interested in Claire Kretzschmar's SPF. She seems to be having a breakout year, after dazzling with her debut in Episodes.

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I went to last night's performance-(yes, I'm in the city for a few days...wanted to catch the City Ballet's Nut and perhaps "An American in Paris"). Mearns was Sugarplum and Peck danced Dewdrop. Miss Peck was wonderful. She really nailed all the technical tricks, and something I noticed..she seems to like to luxuriate in her balances, but in a way that the subsequent steps don't suffer. They are there, perhaps in a tiny faster approach so they are always on spot-(unlike other ballerinas, like Viengsay Valdes, who ends up suppressing whole segments). I really liked her dancing, at least in this role. Very energetic and fast...just as I love my ballerinas. The Sugarplum adagio later on with Mearns and Tyler Angle didn't look to me as polished, I particularly didn't "get" Angle. He lacked elevation in his sequence of jete menages.

I will try to catch another performance, so let's see.

Cheers and Happy Holidays everyone!! :flowers::flowers::flowers:

I have to agree with cubanmiami boy that Tiler Peck is a wonder. I've seen all of her Sugarplums this season (all of which were with Gonzalo Garcia, except for one with Tyler Angle) and I will see one more on Decrmber 29. I love her musicality, which you discussed - she is one of 2 ballerinas (the other being Ashley Bouder) who can slow down and, as you say, luxuriate in a particular movement and then catch up and it looks wonderful.

As for Tyler Angle, his days of being a great solo dancer are, IMO, over. But I believe he is the best partner in the company. When he and Tiler danced the Sugarplum/Cavalier PDD, he did the 2 shoulder sits, no problem. He lifted her high over his head twice. And unlike with Garcia, Tiler really threw herself at him with abandon. Also, Tyler really threw her up high in the air before catching her in the fish dive. Yes, their arms were not always at the same height and yes, both his cabrioles and his manège of jetes lack height. But I believe Tiler was much more relaxed with Tyler than with Garcia and really enjoyed dancing with him. In the performances you saw, Sara Mearns was Sugarplum and she freely admits that because she is a somewhat larger ballerina, she is more difficult to partner. As a result, the only men that usually partner her are Tyler Angle or his brother Jared. Both are no longer great technicians but are fantastic partners.

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I went to today's matinee performance (12/26). The most outstanding, brilliant performance was that of Harrison Coll in "Candy Canes," aka "Hoops." He was elegant, athletic, and full of bright male energy with gorgeous lines. He replaced Devin Alberda who was originally cast. Unity Phelan made her debut as Sugar Plum. Her long, beautiful legs worked so well in the adagio. Everything went fine enough. No tumbles. No misses. She is very pretty and has some lovely mannerisms. Overall, I wished she had done a few gigs of this role first....perhaps she has....before debuting at NYCB. She was quite nervous throughout which took away from the mystery and drama of the adagio. Her solo was good, but tense. I was sitting very close to the stage.... maybe her nerves didn't show further back. It's asking a lot of a first debut, but I expected something more regal, more glamorous from Unity. Perhaps with time....

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