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abatt

2018 Spring Season

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19 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Per Alastair Macaulay's instagram, Patricia McBride is coming back to coach Coppelia. What a wonderful development.

That is wonderful. Suzanne?

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I know Peter Martins did a lot of good for NYCB (or at least prevented a lot of potential bad), but the fact that he seems to have prioritized his ego over the optimal maintenance of Balanchine tradition is, in my mind, possibly unforgivable.

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2 hours ago, canbelto said:

Per Alastair Macaulay's instagram, Patricia McBride is coming back to coach Coppelia. What a wonderful development.

Who all on the roster now (besides Megan F) has danced Swanilda? Any guesses as to who might be added? Eager to see the casting on that.

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Thank you so much, CTballetfan!  I live in Texas and don't get to see NYCB very often, so I appreciate your report and those of others as well.  I am determined to get there in fall to see "Jewels" in the afternoon and at night, "Barocco," "Tchai Pas" and "Symphony in C" (plus Stravinsky).  That seems like an epic day at NYCB and a good use of my travel $!

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Tiler Peck and Sterling Hyltin both dance it. Guesses for debuts: Lovette, Pereira, and Woodward (the other resident NYCB small girls). But the very petite von Enck sisters might get a chance too.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, nanushka said:

Who all on the roster now (besides Megan F) has danced Swanilda? Any guesses as to who might be added? Eager to see the casting on that.

Indiana Woodward seems to be scooping up lots of roles, so I'm anticipating that she will be selected for Swanilda.   

Edited by abatt

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10 minutes ago, abatt said:

Indiana Woodward seems to be scooping up lots of roles, so I'm anticipating that she will be selected for Swanilda.   

I agree that Woodward is a good bet. Pereira would be a surprise. She seems to have stalled out. I haven't seen much of Lovette, Is she injured? Re the Van Ench sisters, I haven't seen much of Claire recently. She joined with a splash, did Tarantella early on, but hasn't been cast a lot since. Correct me if I'm wrong about that.

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7 hours ago, vipa said:

I haven't seen much of Lovette, Is she injured?

Lovette danced Calliope on Sunday, quite well.

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3 hours ago, nanushka said:

Lovette danced Calliope on Sunday, quite well.

Thanks Nanushka. I have been wondering about Lovette. I m missing something she hasn't been cast much.  I'm glad to hear she's dancing.

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Does anyone know what is meant by “See the Music” when listed on a program? One of my upcoming performances (May 11) now lists “See the Music” among the works to be performed but only on that evening. 

I’m also curious about Justin Peck’s new ballet...still no title? Still no clue as to the Bernstein music being used? Are Peck’s ballets usually shrouded in this much mystery up to the last minute? 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

Does anyone know what is meant by “See the Music” when listed on a program? One of my upcoming performances (May 11) now lists “See the Music” among the works to be performed but only on that evening. 

There will be a brief lecture before one of the pieces. Once this past winter they did this before an Agon; the orchestra rose up and the conductor and another person spoke about the music for about 10-15 minutes, with interspersed excerpts.

(They said about 4 times, "Don't worry, we'll get to the dancing soon." If they know that's what everyone's really waiting for, I don't know why they even bother. In my opinion, these lectures should be given optionally, during intermission or before the performance, only for those who are truly interested.)

Edited by nanushka

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See the Music is a lecture and demonstration given by the orchestra.  It

2 minutes ago, nanushka said:

 

(They said about 4 times, "Don't worry, we'll get to the dancing soon." If they know that's what everyone's really waiting for, I don't know why they even bother. In my opinion, these lectures should be given optionally, during intermission or before the performance, only for those who are truly interested.)

Completely agree.

I noticed that for next season, they have already identified which performances are going to be "See the Music" dates, so that those who prefer  not have their evening lengthened by 15 minutes for these lectures can simply avoid purchasing tickets on the See the Music dates.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, nanushka said:

There will be a brief lecture before one of the pieces. Once this past winter they did this before an Agon; the orchestra rose up and the conductor and another person spoke about the music for about 10-15 minutes, with interspersed excerpts.

(They said about 4 times, "Don't worry, we'll get to the dancing soon." If they know that's what everyone's really waiting for, I don't know why they even bother. In my opinion, these lectures should be given optionally, during intermission or before the performance, only for those who are truly interested.)

Thanks for explaining, Nanushka, but...sorry, this sounds like a ridiculous imposition on an audience that pays to see dance. 

Thanks too, abatt...read your answer later. This wasn’t part of the program when I bought my ticket to an already-full show. So I just won the booby prize?

Edited by CharlieH

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2 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

Thanks for explaining, Nanushka, but...sorry, this sounds like a ridiculous imposition on an audience that pays to see dance. 

I was hoping it might be a Peter Martins initiative that would be quietly dispensed with now that he's gone, but as abatt notes they're still on the calendar for next year at least. I was mildly annoyed to see that one of my planned dates (for a program I can't see another time) is marked. The one I saw wasn't terrible and wasn't long — but yes, I would prefer to avoid them in the future.

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1 minute ago, nanushka said:

I was hoping it might be a Peter Martins initiative that would be quietly dispensed with now that he's gone, but as abatt notes they're still on the calendar for next year at least. I was mildly annoyed to see that one of my planned dates (for a program I can't see another time) is marked. The one I saw wasn't terrible and wasn't long — but yes, I would prefer to avoid them in the future.

It’s probably some Board member’s “great idea” for building audiences! If anything, it will encourage people to avoid shows with See the Music. Just like the fashion-themed galas.

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I don't object to the See the Music lectures on principle. They are educational.  I just think they should be held during intermission, rather than add to the length of the show.  For people who have long commutes (me!) or have to pay for baby sitters, the addition of  10 or 15 minutes is an unwelcome imposition.

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The members of the orchestra may receive a little performance bonus (extra pay) from this? If it happens before the show (as with the docent lectures) or during intermission, it may have to be voluntary? Union rules.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

The members of the orchestra may receive a little performance bonus (extra pay) from this? If it happens before the show (as with the docent lectures) or during intermission, it may have to be voluntary? Union rules.

Maybe those of us who prefer to get straight to the dancing and get out 15 minutes earlier could just take up a collection?

One thing I really disliked about the Agon one: it ruined some of the lovely surprises of the music, which emerge organically as the piece is performed in full. (I knew the music already, but it really has a diminished effect when you've just heard some of the highlights 10 minutes earlier. I'd rather be hearing them fresh in full performance — as Stravinsky and Balanchine intended the piece to unfold.)

Edited by nanushka

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I agree with the general sentiment expressed already.  I've been at several shows with "see the music" and  I start wishing it would end as soon as it begins.  Let me enjoy the dancing and get home 15 minutes sooner. Are there certain programs that the administration feels are too short, so they add this on? As others have said suggested, it would be better as an intermission option.

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Just now, vipa said:

Are there certain programs that the administration feels are too short, so they add this on?

That doesn't seem to be it, since not all performances of the same program have the "See the Music" feature added on.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, vipa said:

As others have said suggested, it would be better as an intermission option.

But union rules mandate intermissions, during which the orchestra must take a break (no playing).

I’m all for educational opportunities, abatt...just not in the midst of a performance. I’m also a bit troubled by NYCB dictating educational time...as if nobody in the audience knows about the music. Just imagine how insulting something like this - snuck in as NYCB is doing - would be in European capitals...certainly in Hungary, France and Russia, where I have lived for long stretches of time. (Not being snobbish; it’s just a fact.)

It reminds me of the Leonard Bernstein tv shows for kids in the ‘60s, marketed to kids even if adults could also watch & learn, if they wished. 

Edited by CharlieH

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Posted (edited)

If my local symphony is representative, American Symphony orchestras do now at times include educational materials in their performance. Sometimes the conductor speaks--Donald Runnicles (who conducts in Berlin much of the year) does so when he guests conducts at the Atlanta Symphony and it's always fantastic. Even when Runnicles covers territory that I personally am familiar with I always enjoy hearing him. At Atlanta Symphony, there are also often video features that seem mostly, though not exclusively, to be paired with new scores/premiers. Atlanta Ballet almost always has little video features before a new work too. Those that I have seen at both the symphony and ballet have all been short, but I infer the intent is to make things more accessible and the assumption seems to be, too, that many people are not taking the time to read program notes. (Or for that matter not taking time to check out the videos on youtube where the company posts them a week and more before the performance dates.)

I can easily believe European audiences have different expectations and New York, too, has its own local "culture" and expectations. Presumably New York City Ballet knows part of its audience is well educated about the music and dancing--but worries about the portion that isn't. Especially if that portion is likelier to be the younger/newer part of the audience. I personally didn't dislike the one "See the Music" NYCB feature I heard--but I did think it should have been shorter.  I wonder if the company has not done some research on audience responses to "See the Music"--seems as if they would have done...?? Obviously turning newcomers off can't be the goal!

 

Edited by Drew

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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/02/arts/dance/jerome-robbins-in-124-costumes-and-30-minutes.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

Article about all the costumes for the new ballet Something to Dance About. Given all the money they have invested in these costumes, it seems that this ballet will be coming back over numerous seasons.

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Another vote here for doing away with "See the music" or moving it to intermission. I tend not to notice it's a "See the Music" night when I buy tickets, and as soon as that orchestra pit starts to rise, my heart goes in the opposite direction - it sinks. All I'm thinking is come on, let's get on with the show so I can get home - I have to get up for work in the morning! 

And back to Swanilda, I would love to see Emma von Enck getting a chance. Claire's star seems to have faded a little. She didn't do so well with Tarantella, IIRC, and I haven't seen her featured much since then. Another petite possibility would be Alston Macgill, but I don't think I've seen her in ages - she must have a long-term injury. 

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I am told the "See the Music" presentations are very popular with a large number of the audiences. They're certainly informative and well done. But I'm in nanushka's camp when it comes to their ultimate effect which removes the mystery and magic of the performance itself. When you've had the music deconstructed and broken down for you, explaining what's coming and what you're going to see, it takes away from your own experience. These are live performances, so they're different every time, and what they're capable of is diminished by having them broken down and explained. The possibility of being swept away is lessened. It's like when the dancers come out and talk. You see them dance and they're sort of extraordinary creatures - then they talk and they might be charming but something is taken away. And that's the element of magic, of mystery, of being able to do things to us we don't even have words to describe. To me "See the Music" takes away from the experience informative 'tho it may be.  

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