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Carmina Burana/Theme&Variations

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I received an email from the WB about a 15 percent discount on tickets for the Friday evening, Saturday matinee, and Sunday evening performances. The passcode is "POEM". I haven't purchased my ticket(s) yet, so I don't know if it really works. The email mentions phone and in-person purchases but doesn't mention online purchases.

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Does anyone have casting information for Fri through Sunday?

For T&M:

Friday: Maki Onuki and Corey Landolt

Sat. Mat.: Nicole Graniero and Jonathan Jordan

Sat. Eve.: Kateryna Derechyna and Brooklyn Mack

Sun. Mat: Maki Onuki and Corey Landolt

Sun. Eve.: Nicole Graniero and Jonathan Jordan

For CB:

Friday and both matinees: Sona Kharatian and Brooklyn Mack

Sat and Sun evening: Esmiani Jani or Stephanie Sorota and Jonathan Jordan

The pairings for T&M are interesting, with one person that you'd expect and one that you wouldn't expect.

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After Hamlet, I had trouble getting into Carmina Burana. Maybe it was because I sat in the balcony. Or maybe because I had been totally blown away by the Bavarian Radio Symphony's performance of Mahler's 5th the night before. Unlike the Colorado Ballet's version, which I saw a long, long time ago, the WB's version consisted of a series of dances with no storyline or true central characters. The costumes varied so widely that it kind of lost a sense of unity. The chorus (a rare WB performance with live music) struggled, or maybe it was because they were so spread out on the wings and rear of the stage that the different distances made it sound like they weren't together. I'll probably see it again, and I often like programs better the second time.

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Thanks for posting the casting, I could not get a hold of it on The Washington Ballet's website, nor at Kennedy Center's. I decided to see Maki Onuki dance Theme and Variations on Friday evening--and I was NOT disappointed! I always love watching her confident, technical, brilliantly sharp dancing and thought she was definitely the one to tackle Theme and Variations. Having seen both ABT (Michele Wiles, about five years ago) dance it not very well, and Ashley Bouder dance it amazingly it at KC two (or so?) years ago, I am pretty picky about who I want to see try their hand at the ridiculously hard choreography. I was SO pleasantly surprised! Not only did Onuki nail it (I suspected she could), but the corps did really well! It was a great show and had me thinking I'd like to go again during the weekend...until Carmina Burana started.

Not my cup of tea, I'll say that up front. I saw just the symphony/choir performance of it last year at the Concert Hall, and it was astounding, blow-you-away forceful! Really brilliant! Unfortunately, I'll have to agree with YouOverThere's comments on the music sounding kind of anemic, as if the singers might have been struggling to project. The effect of having them stand onstage was pretty moving, though. I couldn't get over how much I disliked the black garbage-bag pants costumes that the men and women wore in the first part of the ballet. For me, simpler costuming is ALWAYS better, no matter what! The costumes were, for the most part, extremely distracting for me for the entire show. I did enjoy the nude costumes that simply let the dancers be seen for themselves.

I thought Brooklyn Mack was very forceful and brilliant during his solos (the audience loved him too!), but don't have a great concept of who else was dancing that evening. I found the playbill casting list be fairly confusing, but I recognized Venus Villa and really enjoyed her sharp technique, lovely lines, and quick movement. Maki Onuki (I think? According to the casting, it was Tamako Miyazaki, but I'm not familiar with her at all. It *looked* like Onuki) really tore it up for her quick solo, Ego Sum Abbas (again, I guess this is the right piece--the dancer was in a ridiculous costume with a brown wig, kind of looked late 1700s era?). Incredible dancing though!!

I enjoyed a lot of the dancing in Carmina Burana, and even most of the choreography, but the music and costumes distracted me so much that I couldn't really enjoy it. The audience was very into it, eager to clap, and managed to stay for a few extra bows, which was refreshing (how many times have I seen incredible dancing at KC, only to have the audience not even seem to notice?!?), and that made it a good night.

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I agree with Belka that the ridiculous costumes were a distraction. Perhaps I would have enjoyed Carmina Burana with better costuming.

I ended up seeing this program 3 times (so I saw all 3 T&M pairs). I came to have some appreciation for Carmina Burana - the choreography was more sophisticated - and difficult - as I perceived it to be the first time. But it just didn't move me. The lack of anything more than a vague, implied story was a problem. It just came across to me as a series of individual, short dances rather than as a unified work. That, coupled with the bad costumes and problems with the chorus (especially noticeable from the balcony), left me wanting a little more. Even the very soft and romantic sequences towards the end didn't generate any emotion (and I kept thinking that I should be feeling something). But this opinion seemed to be held by pretty much no one else in the audience.

Venus Villa continues to impress. I enjoy Gian Carlo Perez' dancing as well, apparently more than the WB management does.

I noticed that Sarah Kaufmann had a glowing review of CB in the Washington Post, after panning Hamlet. I feel another rant about critics coming on...

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