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volcanohunter

2016-17 season

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I'm heartbroken for Elena Lobsanova. I was really looking forward to her being the swan queen, and to me it makes no sense that two soloists would take over the spot instead of her when she is not obviously injured. She must be heartbroken herself.

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I feel for her as well.  Wonder if her casting was tied to Maddox's?  Can't remember now.  Certainly I do wonder sometimes if Hannah F. would be doing all the roles she's doing if her parents were not ballet master/mistress.  She is a talented dancer, yes.  Can't help but wonder.

 

Honestly starting to regret that I've renewed my subscription.  I cannot understand all the excitement over Binet - TWO of his works in the gala?

 

Yesterday I saw Streetcar.  Holy catfish batman, that was a lot of trauma and violence for an afternoon.

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2 hours ago, mom2 said:

Honestly starting to regret that I've renewed my subscription.  I cannot understand all the excitement over Binet - TWO of his works in the gala?

 

Honestly, I would be more disappointed about seeing two Côté pieces during the season. Dark Angels, I'm sorry to say, isn't any good, but at least it's only 30 minutes long. If the Norman McLaren piece is also a clunker, that's a whole evening wasted.

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I am also definitely over Binet. Surely there must be fresh new talent that could be showcased instead of allowing 2 spots for a stunningly mediocre choreographer. But I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that his father is chairman of the board. *Sips tea and minds own business*

Edited by Canadian

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sonatina1234 we were also very disappointed not to see Lobsonava on SL. She gave one of the most memorable and moving Giselle performances I have ever seen. I guess it just follows along with the bizarre direction and taste this company seems to have taken as talked about earlier.

 

mom2 we didn't get subscriptions and were actually told by others many haven't either because most are in general consensus that the programming is just too poor. For so much money it just isn't high quality enough. As to your reference of Binet I think the oddest part of the whole thing is that there really isn't much "excitement" about Binet. At least in the circles we have spoken to most seem just as confused as us on here by the relentless pushing of him by the company. It's just too much now I agree with the multiple pieces on one program. There is almost a desperation to it. As if they NEED us to like it and if they push it hard enough into our faces we will. We won't. We don't. I'm still standing by as discussed earlier that there is probably much more to this situation then we know. Because the work just isn't good. I don't believe he danced here? There has to be something fuelling his constant attention from this company and it isn't talent. If it were people would be marvelling at the quality of his work and they aren't- its clear he can't hold a candle to the kind of work being made today by other choreographers like Peck, Pite, Ratmansky, etc so I think time will tell and ultimately reveal what's really going on here.

 

As for Fischer I also am a bit curious as to how fast they seem on pushing her up there. But as we spoke about the casting here has been off for awhile and makes little sense anymore. I'd imagine she simply shares the same surname as the artistic staff. There is no way it would be allowed if that allegation were true. 

 

volcanohunter that's interesting about Dark Angels. A friend saw it in the capital and really enjoyed it. 

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36 minutes ago, Canadian said:

I am also definitely over Binet. Surely there must be fresh new talent that could be showcased instead of allowing 2 spots for a stunningly mediocre choreographer. But I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that this father is chairman of the board. *Sips tea and minds own business*

 

No way. That cannot be accurate. That would literally be a direct conflict. :o

Edited by JumpFrog
Spacing

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18 minutes ago, JumpFrog said:

volcanohunter that's interesting about Dark Angels. A friend saw it in the capital and really enjoyed it. 

 

I sat through it twice, and unfortunately it's completely derivative. It also suffered in comparison with the other pieces on the program by Jean Grand-Maître (which was okay) and Emily Molnar (which was terrific). It certainly received the most tepid response from the audience. Côté did have a starry cast of ballerinas--Yu, Hodgkinson, Lobsanova, Lunkina, Rodriguez--but they couldn't save it. However, for some members of the audience, their presence may be justification enough to see it.

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Was anyone else at the Gala this year? Nuages was INCREDIBLY beautiful. Hodgkinson/Gomes are magnificent. Why why why Is this work not performed more? The other standout was Ebe/Lobsanova in Coppelia. Charming and lyrical with such class. 

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We were also there Canadian! Only for the performance part though. Could not agree more. Marcelo was worth the price alone. I have not really had the chance to see Hodgkinson much but she was like water. So soft and with beautiful lines and presence. What a great piece. Lobsonava/Ebe were so elegant also and I'm pretty sure that Dronina and Frola created fireworks in Corsaire. So thrilling! Cant say much for the rest of it.

It seems no one seems to have seen Streetcar Named Desire here. Was there last week. Very intense. I am not sure if it is in a good way or not but it is certainly memorable i guess.

The size of the stage impressed me. There was something about how they extended it so far out that was unlike anything I have seen before. It felt exciting and expansive. The violence was hard to watch. It was the kind of piece that actually feels **really** long. I probably wouldn't watch it again but Sonia Rodriguez who i saw and loved in Onegin last year was really something. What an actress! And what a hard role to play.

Can't wait to see Swan Lake next week. Heard so much about the production so we are seeing each cast lucky us ;)))) Happy Friday all

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I did see Streetcar, I believe a brief comment above.  Still taken aback by the violence, and wondering why anyone would want to choreograph that?

 

My seat is near the front (Row F), so the enlarged stage not overly appreciated by those around me, especially those in front of me.  A number of people moved.  I feel that the NBOC should have forewarned patrons of this.

 

I did think it was well danced and acted, but like you not sure I would want to see it again.

 

Am also going to Swan Lake next week.  It is not my favourite version but oh well.

 

It's around this time of year when KK announces promotions, etc.  Anyone heard anything yet?

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6 hours ago, mom2 said:

I did see Streetcar, I believe a brief comment above.  Still taken aback by the violence, and wondering why anyone would want to choreograph that?

 

 

Is this the Ochoa choreography (originally for Scotland), or a new version?

 

I'm interested in your comment about violence (and others above) -- between the online discussion about Ratmanksy's new Odessa, and other works earlier in the season, it seems to me that we're embarking on another round of analysis -- works that were acceptable in the past are coming into question today.  Can you tell me what it was about this production that you're responding to?

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This is John Neumeier's version from 1983, originally choreographed for the Stuttgart Ballet as a vehicle for Marcia Haydée and set to music by Prokofiev and Schnittke.

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7 hours ago, mom2 said:

It's around this time of year when KK announces promotions, etc.  Anyone heard anything yet?

I haven't heard anything yet but if what was said earlier in the thread about Fischer is in fact true then she will presumably get a promotion. It would seem to be in line with this company's ethos as discussed above. Especially now that she's been cast in SL I figure they must lining their ducks in a row for a reason.

28 minutes ago, sandik said:

 

Is this the Ochoa choreography (originally for Scotland), or a new version?

 

I'm interested in your comment about violence (and others above) -- between the online discussion about Ratmanksy's new Odessa, and other works earlier in the season, it seems to me that we're embarking on another round of analysis -- works that were acceptable in the past are coming into question today.  Can you tell me what it was about this production that you're responding to?

I find Neumier to be a tough one to appreciate generally as at least the work I've seen has just been so long and pretentious feeling so I probably am biased but there was some really graphic scenes of sexual assault that were difficult to watch. That was at least what I found pretty tough and not altogether warranted as a whole.

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16 minutes ago, JumpFrog said:

I haven't heard anything yet but if what was said earlier in the thread about Fischer is in fact true then she will presumably get a promotion. It would seem to be in line with this company's ethos as discussed above. Especially now that she's been cast in SL I figure they must lining their ducks in a row for a reason.

I find Neumier to be a tough one to appreciate generally as at least the work I've seen has just been so long and pretentious feeling so I probably am biased but there was some really graphic scenes of sexual assault that were difficult to watch. That was at least what I found pretty tough and not altogether warranted as a whole.

 

And I'm just not familiar enough with his repertory to have a comprehensive opinion.  Thanks for the precis here -- I've been thinking a lot lately about the changing mores/morals in our culture and how they are (and are not) represented in dance.  More grist for the mill.

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The National Ballet of Canada first performed Neumeier in the early 1970s when it acquired his Don Juan. (During that period he was more closely associated with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, which performed his non-Christmas, ballet-history-geek Nutcracker for many years.) Nearly 20 years passed before the National Ballet performed his Now and Then. In recent years there has been an uptick with The Seagull, Nijinsky and now A Streetcar Named Desire. Neumeier has a vast catalog of evening-length narrative ballets, which conventional wisdom tells us are easier to sell to audiences than mixed bills of plotless, one-act ballets. 

 

It's been my observation that it's vastly preferable to see his ballets performed by the Hamburg Ballet, whose dancers perform Neumeier as though their lives depended on it, or by the Stuttgart Ballet or Royal Danish Ballet, which are almost as deeply steeped in his work. When danced by other companies, the works can come across as emotionally flat. Given that Neumeier studied English literature and drama at university, it's not surprising that he often draws on literary sources, especially Shakespeare. The visual aspect of his works is often very striking. Some of his works could use pruning, but given that Streetcar clocks in at two hours including an intermission, that's not really a glaring fault in this instance. It does perhaps break with conventional practice in that the second act is longer than the first.

Edited by volcanohunter

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Deleted. (Sorry...somehow posted on the wrong thread.)

Edited by Drew

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Re Streetcar - I don't know that I would call the performance emotionally flat in any way - it was just disturbingly graphic - even more so really when you consider that it's not a new ballet.  I appreciate that Neumeier wanted to get people thinking, and I understand that art shouldn't always be "easy" or "pretty" - however this went, in my view, well beyond thought-provoking.

 

 

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Williams' plays deal with sordid subject matter, and sex often plays a particularly important role. I don't like his plays, but they are incredibly potent, and each time I am forced to acknowledge his greatness as a playwright. In the play Stanley's rape of Blanche is hinted at, albeit strongly. Ballet is a different medium, and in many ways pas de deux choreography lends itself easily to depictions of sexual violence. There are plenty of examples in the works of Kenneth MacMillan. No doubt audience attitudes in 1947 New York and 1983 Stuttgart would have been different, too, and I'm sure that Neumeier's intent was not to sensationalize the violence, but rather he was determined not to euphemize it. What Stanley does to Blanche is horrendous, and it leads to her very real mental breakdown. I am a little surprised that National Ballet of Canada audiences would be shocked. I mean, the company's production Swan Lake includes a scene of gang rape and a mass of misogynistic imagery, and the company doesn't even tell people to keep the kids away, as it did in this case.

 

My comment about emotional flatness was intended more generally. For example, I saw Guillaume Côté and Heather Ogden perform as guest artists with the Hamburg Ballet in Nijinsky before the ballet premiered in Toronto, and they were very, very pale in comparison with their Hamburg alternates, Alexandre Riabko and Hélène Bouchet. In fairness, those were among their first performances of the ballet, and in any case Côté was never likely to be able to match the performance of Riabko, who is a) a very great dancer and b) had been performing the ballet for more than a decade by that point. I've asked people in a position to compare whether Côté's performance had improved with time, and they said that it had. However, I still haven't been to see the National Ballet production because I have a nagging feeling that it just wouldn't measure up to what the Hamburg Ballet does with the piece. In another case when I saw the Hamburg Ballet perform The Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler, I found myself weeping uncontrollably by the end. This genuinely surprised me, so I took another look at the POB film of the ballet which I'd seen previously, and this emotional layer was absent. It simply wasn't there. The pristine beauty of the POB's corps and soloists was no match for the burning commitment and emotional wallop the Hamburg Ballet was able to deliver.

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The hearsay nature of this began to frustrate me so I did a little research.

It does appear to be true I am afraid.
On 6/14/2017 at 4:57 AM, mom2 said:

 

Same for the Robert Binet situation as well. 

On 6/5/2017 at 10:59 AM, Canadian said:

I am also definitely over Binet. Surely there must be fresh new talent that could be showcased instead of allowing 2 spots for a stunningly mediocre choreographer. But I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that his father is chairman of the board. *Sips tea and minds own business*

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/life/fashion-and-beauty/fashion/party-photos-of-the-week-the-national-ballets-diamond-gala/article4364956/?ref=https://www.theglobeandmail.com&service=mobile

See picture five. 

 

How is this being considered okay? Has this happened here before? The whole thing just asks so many questions. I'm a bit flabbergasted to be honest.

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Surely it's not unusual for children to follow into their parents' line of work. There are plenty of second- and third-generation dancers out there. I understand the point mom2 is making. It might really be easier on Hannah Fischer to work elsewhere. But is anyone seriously suggesting that she is completely lacking in talent or ability?

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I am not intending to suggest that Ms. Fischer is not talented.  Indeed she is.  It would still be my opinion that personal and professional growth might be facilitated for a young woman if she is not working under and with her parents on a regular basis.  I would have this opinion regardless of field of work.

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7 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

But is anyone seriously suggesting that she is completely lacking in talent or ability?

I think it's pretty evident that nobody suggested that. 

BUT - I don't think it would be possible to deny that working/getting hired somewhere (anywhere!) where your parents feature prominently is somewhat ethically ambiguous. Just on the face of it, it raises questions about the character of the parents and about the talent of the offspring.

 

I think Hannah is a talented dancer who would do well anywhere. Just interesting that she chose NBoC.

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On 6/5/2017 at 4:37 AM, mom2 said:

Honestly starting to regret that I've renewed my subscription.  I cannot understand all the excitement over Binet - TWO of his works in the gala?

 

 

I guess that  is easily explained by this:

 

 

7 minutes ago, Olga said:

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/woodbridge-selects-long-time-executive-david-binet-as-president/article5817126/?ref=https://www.theglobeandmail.com&service=mobile

 

Profile of David Binet, Chairman of National Ballet of Canada and father of young Robert Binet. He manages $20 billion for Canada's wealthiest family. 

 

 

Which is pretty disgraceful to be honest. What a serious affront to both G. Cote, and the rest of the talented dancers in NBoC. 

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