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Nutcracker week 1 casting is up


Dale

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I've seen a surprising amount of partnering mishaps in the Nutcracker pdd so it is more important for the Cavalier to be a good partner rather than a really showy dancer. For instance in the pique turn to arabesque penchee sequence if the Cavalier isn't RIGHT there to catch the SPF when she dives into that penchee the whole thing looks very mechanical and labored.

In fact here's a cool article about all the frantic debuts at the end of the Nutcracker run. Peter Martins says there are 13 hazard spots that even an untrained spectator can catch:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/24/arts/dance/the-nutcracker-gives-young-dancers-a-spotlight-role.html?ref=dance

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Yes, Canbelto, that is definitely one of the "hazard spots." And I remember with great pleasure and awe that when Patricia McBride did that very sequence you mention she did it with the speed of summer lightening so you never saw the mechanics. A Magical Sugar Plum indeed.

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I've been staying close to home this Nutcracker season, watching PAB and Central PA Youth's Balanchine Nutcrackers instead of trekking into NYC, but I have tickets for NYCB next Saturday.

Erica Pereira and Ana Sophia Scheller are cast as SPF and Dewdrop. I haven't had much of chance to see either of these two, so I'm kind of excited. Plus, Georgina Pazcoguin is doing coffee and she is my favorite. I only wish I got to see her Dewdrop!

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Kaysta, I can report that Georgina Pazcoguin's Dewdrop was terrific this afternoon. She was technically secure and had lots of flair. Also, the debuts of Claire Kretzschmar and Silas Farley in the Sugar Plum variation went very well indeed. Silas was a very good partner and did his own variations with confidence and style. You would never have guessed that this was Claire's debut as Sugar Plum; she was both radiant and gracious. Bravo to all.

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Thanks for the reports on the new casts and please keep them coming! Did anyone see Megan LeCrone's debut as Sugarplum? What about Emilie Gerrity and Peter Walker, or Sara Adams and Joseph Gordon? Not surprised to hear Kretzschmar did an assured Sugarplum. She has more experience at this point than some of the other new Sugarplums, such as Unity Phelan. Maybe it would have been better to choose one or two new Sugarplums rather than five, and give those, as well as relatively new ones such as Gerrity and Adams, a few more shows. Anyway, thanks for the reports.

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Kaysta, I can report that Georgina Pazcoguin's Dewdrop was terrific this afternoon. She was technically secure and had lots of flair. Also, the debuts of Claire Kretzschmar and Silas Farley in the Sugar Plum variation went very well indeed. Silas was a very good partner and did his own variations with confidence and style. You would never have guessed that this was Claire's debut as Sugar Plum; she was both radiant and gracious. Bravo to all.

Glad to hear of some good debuts! I should have gotten tickets for this cast!

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Yes, Canbelto, that is definitely one of the "hazard spots." And I remember with great pleasure and awe that when Patricia McBride did that very sequence you mention she did it with the speed of summer lightening so you never saw the mechanics. A Magical Sugar Plum indeed.

Well actually I found an old video with Diana Adams and Magallanes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnPPQEuM-mA

The choreography has changed slightly but if I'm going to GUESS PM's 13 hazard points I'd say:

1. At 0:30 the supported pirouette in developpe a la seconde. I did see a ballerina fall off pointe at that moment, it requires a lot of strength.

2. The tricky arm changes at 0:58

3. The pique turn into penchee lunge sequence at 1:17. Adams handles it okay, although she doesn't lunge as quickly as some SPF's would do today and she makes a weird bobble at 1:26 in the second of those pique turns.

4. The pirouettes at 1:50. They have to be done with no preparation, with the last one at 2:03 being rather tricky (and probably the fifth hazard point).

5. The aforementioned pirouette at 2:03.

6 & 7. The two shoulder jumps at 2:35. If done perfectly we shouldn't see the Cavalier pushing the SPF onto the shoulder at all -- it should just look like she jumped right into a sit position on his shoulders. Also he has to turn her to the audience at that moment.

8. That floating lift at 3:27. If done well the SPF should look like she's riding the wave of the music upwards. Adams' timing is a bit off -- she comes down when the music is still going up.

9. The backwards lunge that follows that lift at 3:30.

10. (Not choreographed in this video). At 3:58 nowadays the SPF is put into that little pulley and slides forward in arabesque.

11. The tricky hand changing positions in 4:19 while doing a promenade.

12. The sustained balance that has to be held at 4:35 (Adams doesn't hold the balance for that long.)

13. The fishdive at 4:47.

That was fun! Anyone else want to make guesses as to the 13 dangerous moments PM is talking about?

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Well actually I found an old video with Diana Adams and Magallanes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnPPQEuM-mA

The choreography has changed slightly but if I'm going to GUESS PM's 13 hazard points I'd say:

1. At 0:30 the supported pirouette in developpe a la seconde. I did see a ballerina fall off pointe at that moment, it requires a lot of strength.

2. The tricky arm changes at 0:58

3. The pique turn into penchee lunge sequence at 1:17. Adams handles it okay, although she doesn't lunge as quickly as some SPF's would do today and she makes a weird bobble at 1:26 in the second of those pique turns.

4. The pirouettes at 1:50. They have to be done with no preparation, with the last one at 2:03 being rather tricky (and probably the fifth hazard point).

5. The aforementioned pirouette at 2:03.

6 & 7. The two shoulder jumps at 2:35. If done perfectly we shouldn't see the Cavalier pushing the SPF onto the shoulder at all -- it should just look like she jumped right into a sit position on his shoulders. Also he has to turn her to the audience at that moment.

8. That floating lift at 3:27. If done well the SPF should look like she's riding the wave of the music upwards. Adams' timing is a bit off -- she comes down when the music is still going up.

9. The backwards lunge that follows that lift at 3:30.

10. (Not choreographed in this video). At 3:58 nowadays the SPF is put into that little pulley and slides forward in arabesque.

11. The tricky hand changing positions in 4:19 while doing a promenade.

12. The sustained balance that has to be held at 4:35 (Adams doesn't hold the balance for that long.)

13. The fishdive at 4:47.

That was fun! Anyone else want to make guesses as to the 13 dangerous moments PM is talking about?

It was fun to read and watch, too! Thanks!

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Well actually I found an old video with Diana Adams and Magallanes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnPPQEuM-mA

The choreography has changed slightly but if I'm going to GUESS PM's 13 hazard points I'd say:

1. At 0:30 the supported pirouette in developpe a la seconde. I did see a ballerina fall off pointe at that moment, it requires a lot of strength.

2. The tricky arm changes at 0:58

3. The pique turn into penchee lunge sequence at 1:17. Adams handles it okay, although she doesn't lunge as quickly as some SPF's would do today and she makes a weird bobble at 1:26 in the second of those pique turns.

4. The pirouettes at 1:50. They have to be done with no preparation, with the last one at 2:03 being rather tricky (and probably the fifth hazard point).

5. The aforementioned pirouette at 2:03.

6 & 7. The two shoulder jumps at 2:35. If done perfectly we shouldn't see the Cavalier pushing the SPF onto the shoulder at all -- it should just look like she jumped right into a sit position on his shoulders. Also he has to turn her to the audience at that moment.

8. That floating lift at 3:27. If done well the SPF should look like she's riding the wave of the music upwards. Adams' timing is a bit off -- she comes down when the music is still going up.

9. The backwards lunge that follows that lift at 3:30.

10. (Not choreographed in this video). At 3:58 nowadays the SPF is put into that little pulley and slides forward in arabesque.

11. The tricky hand changing positions in 4:19 while doing a promenade.

12. The sustained balance that has to be held at 4:35 (Adams doesn't hold the balance for that long.)

13. The fishdive at 4:47.

That was fun! Anyone else want to make guesses as to the 13 dangerous moments PM is talking about?

One

Well actually I found an old video with Diana Adams and Magallanes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnPPQEuM-mA

The choreography has changed slightly but if I'm going to GUESS PM's 13 hazard points I'd say:

1. At 0:30 the supported pirouette in developpe a la seconde. I did see a ballerina fall off pointe at that moment, it requires a lot of strength.

2. The tricky arm changes at 0:58

3. The pique turn into penchee lunge sequence at 1:17. Adams handles it okay, although she doesn't lunge as quickly as some SPF's would do today and she makes a weird bobble at 1:26 in the second of those pique turns.

4. The pirouettes at 1:50. They have to be done with no preparation, with the last one at 2:03 being rather tricky (and probably the fifth hazard point).

5. The aforementioned pirouette at 2:03.

6 & 7. The two shoulder jumps at 2:35. If done perfectly we shouldn't see the Cavalier pushing the SPF onto the shoulder at all -- it should just look like she jumped right into a sit position on his shoulders. Also he has to turn her to the audience at that moment.

8. That floating lift at 3:27. If done well the SPF should look like she's riding the wave of the music upwards. Adams' timing is a bit off -- she comes down when the music is still going up.

9. The backwards lunge that follows that lift at 3:30.

10. (Not choreographed in this video). At 3:58 nowadays the SPF is put into that little pulley and slides forward in arabesque.

11. The tricky hand changing positions in 4:19 while doing a promenade.

12. The sustained balance that has to be held at 4:35 (Adams doesn't hold the balance for that long.)

13. The fishdive at 4:47.

That was fun! Anyone else want to make guesses as to the 13 dangerous moments PM is talking about?

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Well actually I found an old video with Diana Adams and Magallanes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnPPQEuM-mA

The choreography has changed slightly but if I'm going to GUESS PM's 13 hazard points I'd say:

1. At 0:30 the supported pirouette in developpe a la seconde. I did see a ballerina fall off pointe at that moment, it requires a lot of strength.

2. The tricky arm changes at 0:58

3. The pique turn into penchee lunge sequence at 1:17. Adams handles it okay, although she doesn't lunge as quickly as some SPF's would do today and she makes a weird bobble at 1:26 in the second of those pique turns.

4. The pirouettes at 1:50. They have to be done with no preparation, with the last one at 2:03 being rather tricky (and probably the fifth hazard point).

5. The aforementioned pirouette at 2:03.

6 & 7. The two shoulder jumps at 2:35. If done perfectly we shouldn't see the Cavalier pushing the SPF onto the shoulder at all -- it should just look like she jumped right into a sit position on his shoulders. Also he has to turn her to the audience at that moment.

8. That floating lift at 3:27. If done well the SPF should look like she's riding the wave of the music upwards. Adams' timing is a bit off -- she comes down when the music is still going up.

9. The backwards lunge that follows that lift at 3:30.

10. (Not choreographed in this video). At 3:58 nowadays the SPF is put into that little pulley and slides forward in arabesque.

11. The tricky hand changing positions in 4:19 while doing a promenade.

12. The sustained balance that has to be held at 4:35 (Adams doesn't hold the balance for that long.)

13. The fishdive at 4:47.

That was fun! Anyone else want to make guesses as to the 13 dangerous moments PM is talking about?

If you want to consider the entire time the SPF and the Cavalier are onstage (after both of their solos) the SPF does a series of very quick chainees turns towards stage right and has to land in the arms of her Cavaler with her hands over her head in a kind of fifth position. The first time I saw Tiler/Gonzalo perform that this season they screwed it up. She landed face down because he didn't catch her quickly enough. But he adjusted to correct position almost immediately.
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Thank you so much, Canbelto, for unearthing that video. To my eyes, Diana Adams -- probably dancing on a concrete floor -- does do that pique turn into a lunge much more quickly than any of today's Sugar Plums. And I do remember that McBride, Verdy and Farrell also did that turn quickly. I guess I just like dancing where you don't see the mechanics -- just the magic.

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Kaysta, I can report that Georgina Pazcoguin's Dewdrop was terrific this afternoon. She was technically secure and had lots of flair. Also, the debuts of Claire Kretzschmar and Silas Farley in the Sugar Plum variation went very well indeed. Silas was a very good partner and did his own variations with confidence and style. You would never have guessed that this was Claire's debut as Sugar Plum; she was both radiant and gracious. Bravo to all.

Georgina seems to be thriving right now. She is also performing a gig with American Dance Machine at the Joyce Theater (running through Jan 3). The NY Times (Macauley) review made particular mention of her excellent performance at the Joyce. I'm sure the review is posted in the Links section.

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I had a business trip to NYC earlier this month, and managed to sneak out for same "Nutcracker" performance as the one cubianmiamiboy attended (Mearns/T. Angle/Peck). I had never seen any of the trio dance live, so it was a real treat.

Angle was an exceedingly gallant cavalier, setting Sara Mearns down from lifts more gently than I've ever seen from a cavalier before. However, at the same time, there were a few partnering glitches between Mearns and Angle, noticeable enough that my brother (a non-balletomane) commented on it. To my eyes, Mearns looked slightly cautious. (This was not long after the incident where her shoe came apart while dancing Dewdrop.)

Tiler Peck was an extraordinary Dewdrop. As I mentioned, I've never seen her dance live before and her combination of speed, control and musicality was truly eye-popping.

In case you were wondering, my brother who gallantly accompanied me did assure me he enjoyed "The Nutcracker." He LOVED Sara Mearns, and exclaimed "She a bada**!" While he's probably not turning into a ballet regular anytime soon, he said it's something he's like to attend a couple times a year, and explore some non-Nutcracker ballets. :yahoo:

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I went last night, and was able to see Peck as Sugarplum and King as Dewdrop.

Tiler Peck is truly divine. She made everything look so easy, and she was so light in her dancing it truly felt like she was floating. The lifts with Garcia were incredible too and done very sharply; you could tell she has full trust in him. Garcia was very gentle with her and would bring her down from lifts very delicately. I am so thankful to have seen Tiler dance. She seemed so happy to be out there and that she was just basking into it all. She truly is gifted and was made to be a ballerina.

King was a wonderful Dewdrop as well, although I found her a bit hesitant in places and some pirouettes.

I found the children quite awesome as well. I didn't get to see Avery Linn that everyone raves about around here, but I found the group from last night quite great and they really knew how to play their part. The kiddo who played Fritz was brilliant.

I had a wonderful time, and the decors were absolutely breathtaking. I wish I could time travel and watch Peck dance again for hours on end.

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I went last night, and was able to see Peck as Sugarplum and King as Dewdrop.

Tiler Peck is truly divine. She made everything look so easy, and she was so light in her dancing it truly felt like she was floating. The lifts with Garcia were incredible too and done very sharply; you could tell she has full trust in him. Garcia was very gentle with her and would bring her down from lifts very delicately. I am so thankful to have seen Tiler dance. She seemed so happy to be out there and that she was just basking into it all. She truly is gifted and was made to be a ballerina..

I,too, attended that performance. In fact, I've seen every one of Tiler's four Sugarplums this year because I love her so much. She is technically very assured, extremely musical and as the Sugarplum Fairy, has the exact kind of charm and graciousness the part demands. In the opening with the little angels, she seems to just skim the floor and does all the renversées that some other ballerinas can't manage. I also love that when she does the fishdive, she turns her head up towards her partner (of all the Sugarplums I saw, she was the only one who did this -a move I believe Suzanne Farrell started, sometimes called the "ginch") I thought Tiler did well with Garcia (who does his own virtuosic ménage, not just the standard grand jetes). However, I thought she did the best with Tyler Angle. She was really able to luxuriate in those moments when he holds her in a backbend or in the last sequence, perform her chaineés very fast because she knows he will catch her in the right position.

In contrast, I also saw Hyltin/Vyette, Krohn/Ramasar and Lovette/Huxley. Of these others Lauren Lovette was definitely the weakest. She is not nearly as technically proficient as any of the other women and seemed to lack confidence. In her opening with the angels, her pirouettes started going off badly and at one point she nearly fell. Her chaineé turns at the conclusion, were fairly slow, as if she had no confidence that Anthony would catch her properly. And when, at the end, Drosselmeier's nephew kisses her hand, instead of elongating her arm and hand, Lauren dropped her wrist, which made the gesture look like one is kissing the queen. Huxley did well, the best he could with her, but I do hope they find someone else for him as a regular partner. Rebecca Krohn and Amar Ramasar were a bit bland (not much projection) but Rebecca used her long limbs to really stretch out positions very elegantly. She also used her head a lot, tilting it backward or to the side, which made her dancing look very lyrical. With Sterling Hyltin and Andrew Vyette, I really liked him but not so much her. He is an excellent partner and of every Cavalier I saw, he was the only one not too tired to get his working leg at 90 degrees for the a la second turns. Sterling is excellent technically. However, she was,IMO, really lacking when it came to projecting charm and graciousness. That graciouness should be established in the entrance she makes with the little angels and during her 4 minute solo. Her failure to smile or make eye contact with any of the children plus her not seeming very relaxed when she dances (which I realize is no mean feat) is what, for me, was the problem. Even in the PDD with Vyette she seemed pretty tense and barely smiled, though it came off without a hitch.

On Sunday, I will see the final Nutcracker, with Mearns as Sugarplum and Tyler Angle as Cavaliier. The real reason I'm going, though, is to see Tiler as Dewdrop and Ulbricht in Hoops. I'm also very interested to see Phelan and Dieck in Hot Chocolate since I missed their debuts as Sugarplum and Cavalier. I also hope to see little Avery Linn who I have yet to see this season. And then (finally) onto the winter season.

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I saw the opening night Nutcracker back in November, and Lovette did Marzipan. She came off pointe in what is really a soloist role. I chalked it up to nerves at her first post surgery show. Based on Zobeide's observations, it appears she still has not regained her form post-surgery.

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If you want to consider the entire time the SPF and the Cavalier are onstage (after both of their solos) the SPF does a series of very quick chainees turns towards stage right and has to land in the arms of her Cavaler with her hands over her head in a kind of fifth position. The first time I saw Tiler/Gonzalo perform that this season they screwed it up. She landed face down because he didn't catch her quickly enough. But he adjusted to correct position almost immediately.

Well actually I found an old video with Diana Adams and Magallanes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnPPQEuM-mA

The choreography has changed slightly but if I'm going to GUESS PM's 13 hazard points I'd say:

1. At 0:30 the supported pirouette in developpe a la seconde. I did see a ballerina fall off pointe at that moment, it requires a lot of strength.

2. The tricky arm changes at 0:58

3. The pique turn into penchee lunge sequence at 1:17. Adams handles it okay, although she doesn't lunge as quickly as some SPF's would do today and she makes a weird bobble at 1:26 in the second of those pique turns.

4. The pirouettes at 1:50. They have to be done with no preparation, with the last one at 2:03 being rather tricky (and probably the fifth hazard point).

5. The aforementioned pirouette at 2:03.

6 & 7. The two shoulder jumps at 2:35. If done perfectly we shouldn't see the Cavalier pushing the SPF onto the shoulder at all -- it should just look like she jumped right into a sit position on his shoulders. Also he has to turn her to the audience at that moment.

8. That floating lift at 3:27. If done well the SPF should look like she's riding the wave of the music upwards. Adams' timing is a bit off -- she comes down when the music is still going up.

9. The backwards lunge that follows that lift at 3:30.

10. (Not choreographed in this video). At 3:58 nowadays the SPF is put into that little pulley and slides forward in arabesque.

11. The tricky hand changing positions in 4:19 while doing a promenade.

12. The sustained balance that has to be held at 4:35 (Adams doesn't hold the balance for that long.)

13. The fishdive at 4:47.

That was fun! Anyone else want to make guesses as to the 13 dangerous moments PM is talking about?

I wish Balanchine would had left the whole pas as it is right there, with both variations in between adagio and coda. Usually-(at least here in Miami)- by the time Sugarplum is already into her variation, the screaming parents are still cheering their little angels, so the variation looses its momentum. Also, by having kept the whole thing, there would had been an extra opportunity to show the bailarin, who really has a couple of moments on stage to shine during the coda-(the sequence of pirouettes a la seconde and the sequence of jete menages). I really can't understand why he decided to shorten up one of the very few grand moments of this ballet.

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Excited for my first trip this winter into see NYCB's Nutcracker tomorrow.

I'm debating whether to make the trek in on Sunday night (5:30 cast) as well, because I'd really like to see Mearns and Peck but I dread making the trip into the city two days in a row. Decisions, decisions.

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Kaysta I'd recommend making the return trip. I saw two casts of Nutcracker this year (Hyltin/Veyette/Peck and Isaacs/Stanley/Hod) and it really is eye-opening to see the same steps performed by two very different sets of dancers. Mearns/Angle/Peck is a combo I've seen before and it's probably one of the best combos you could get. Tiler Peck's Dewdrop is really already a modern classic. Hell, I'd go for a return trip had I not completely blown out by December budget and then some on a new Macbook Pro, gifts, bills, and that marathon where I saw five Nuts in one week. :icon8:

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Back from an awesome day at NYCB. Not sure if anyone else was there and wants to chime in, but I greatly enjoyed both Pereira and Scheller.

I know Erica Pereira has her detractors on this board (and because of that, I was a bit nervous to see her, thinking I'd be disappointed) but I was impressed with her. I thought she was a wonderful Sugar Plum Fairy. I saw three different SPFs at Pennsylvania Ballet this winter, and I thought Pereira was the best of those I've seen.. I also enjoyed her more than Sterling Hyltin, who I saw last year. I was looking out for the 13 tricky PDD moments listed earlier in this thread, and the only place I thought I saw a little bobble was in the pique turns into penchee lunge, but otherwise (to my untrained eye), I thought she nailed it! And she danced with confidence, (didn't appear nervous at all). She held some beautifully long balances in the pas as well. I was very impressed. I'm glad I didn't try to switch my tickets.

Antonio Carmena was just ok to me. I thought he did pretty well in most of the partnering during the pas. His turns a la seconde were a wee bit slow and they traveled quite a bit during the coda.

Georgina was exquisite as usual in coffee. And Unity Phelan and Cameron Dieck really stood out in hot chocolate (I would have liked to have seen them as SPF/Cavalier).

Last but not least, the young prince and Marie were both outstanding (Philip Henry Duclos, Emerson Tate Alexander). What fantastic acting skills from the two of them. And I couldnt' help but notice the really nice feet on the young prince when he was walking. He looks like a future NYCB dancer!

Still have not decided if I'm heading back into the city tomorrow . Guess I'll see how I feel when I wake up.

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