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abatt

2018 Spring Season

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, vipa said:

Lydia Wellington has been outstanding for quite some time. I certainly am rooting for her (so is my husband).

 

My recollection is that Martins gave Wellington a  lead role in Concerto Barroco a long time ago, not long after she joined the corps. I don't recall anything about the performance, but after that she was never again given a lead role.  Martins was someone who enjoyed throwing young people into lead roles to see if they sink or swim.  I guess he concluded that she sank. She has been in the corps for quite some time.  In fact, if Martins were still around, I would wonder how many more years her contract would have been renewed.

Edited by abatt

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3 hours ago, abatt said:

My recollection is that Martins gave Wellington a  lead role in Concerto Barroco a long time ago, not long after she joined the corps. I don't recall anything about the performance, but after that she was never again given a lead role.  Martins was someone who enjoyed throwing young people into lead roles to see if they sink or swim.  I guess he concluded that she sank. She has been in the corps for quite some time.  In fact, if Martins were still around, I would wonder how many more years her contract would have been renewed.

Interesting abatt. I didn't realize Wellington had been given that role. Her performance could certainly have had an impact on her casting after that. I wonder about Claire Von Enck's fate. She did Tarantella shortly after joining the co. but doesn't seem to have been given much since.

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Hmm.  I remember that she danced a lead in Concerto Barocco in the SAB Workshop (and I think also as part of the Proteges program at the Kennedy Center) but didn't know she did it once she joined the company.  It isn't listed in her repertoire.  In any case, I see she is cast as "Prayer" in  Coppelia, and I wish her well!

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Didn’t Claire Von Enck dance Pierette in Harlequinade, very early in her career?

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My limited experience with Broadway suggests that musical theatre has its own special beauty. However, it is different from that of ballet! Broadway-themed ballets, therefore, are less appealing, and programs focusing on such works—any pragmatic reasons behind them notwithstanding—problematic. The second week of NYCB's Spring Season is not comparable to the first. With such talented performers the "Tribute to Robbins" program (I did not attend "All Robbins No. 1: Bernstein Collaborations”) nevertheless could not be devoid of any delights.

Principal among them being that it begun with The Four Seasons, a traditional ballet with a colorful splendor which makes its 37-minute duration—depicting a year, partly through shades of white, green, yellow and red—seem brief. (How fascinating that music from Verdi's operas was culled for this work!) Central roles for three women are among the highlights in Robbins' choreography. To what extent Lauren Lovette, Emilie Gerrity and Unity Phelan will be able to match in their roles the excellence of the ballerinas in the first two casts of The Four Seasons is the main point of interest in this coming weekend's NYCB performances.

Best seen from the rings in order to appreciate the patterns created as the stage is flooded by little girls (ballet students) separated into three distinct age groups, Circus Polka—the first work comprising the middle portion of the program—is about five minutes long.

To be sure, Bach is a titan of classical music; Robbins, a great choreographer; Joaquin De Luz, an outstanding dancer. And yet, A Suite of Dances—which followed next—made me pine for some more ... Dances of Isadora! There are, indeed, solos of exceptional beauty and power for men in ballet; however, their span is understandably limited. A 14-minute solo dance act (for a man, especially) is a challenging proposition.

The youthful effervescence of the six dancers—my gaze was mostly engrossed by Phelan—lifted the performances of Easy, an innocuous, jazzy new Justin Peck work.

After the second intermission came Something to Dance About, with its own sort of splendor. Even though it would, of course, be preferable to view the shows the excerpts were extracted from, watching how impressively the (numerous) NYCB dancers as a group performed this material was an enriching, eye-filling experience. Among the soloists, Indiana Woodward in particular stood out in her segments. Ultimately, however, what makes Something to Dance About eminently rewatchable are the phenomenal contributions of Sara Mearns and Tiler Peck. (All the adroit, rapid costume changes in this work, one must add, are noteworthy.)

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Didn’t Claire Von Enck dance Pierette in Harlequinade, very early in her career?

Yes. I believe it was during the most recent run of Harlequinade.

Edited by Olga
Clarity

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Posted (edited)

No individual whose views about the importance and value of The Goldberg Variations are unclear should be hired as the next artistic director of the company. It would be an unpardonable crime against art and culture for this masterwork to ever disappear from NYCB's repertoire.

All the uncertainty about the direction of the company aside, this past week has provided further proof—by way of her marvelous performances in Something to Dance About and Les Noces—that Indiana Woodward being cast as Swanilda is just a matter of time.

Edited by Royal Blue

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6 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

The casting for the first four Coppelias is now up:

https://www.nycballet.com/NYCB/media/NYCBMediaLibrary/PDFs/Press/Casting/NYCB_Casting_May-22-27-2018_lobby.pdf

Hyltin/Veyette alternating with Peck/De Luz.

I'm looking forward to seeing Hyltin but just hope that Veyette doesn't deliver one of his tired-looking, phoned-in performances. 

I would never accuse Veyette (or any other dancer) of phoning in a performance. Veyette seems to be a very hard worker. He turned in some of the best Theme and Variations  shows I've ever seen, including his guest appearance with ABT. He's carried a lot of the "white tights" work load at NYCB, along with DeLuz, for years. That said, the last time I saw him was in Divert 15 and I felt horrible for him. He had no line, his shoulders were up, and everything seemed a huge effort. I think he is coming to the end of his career, and it's not a good looking end! Maybe I'm wrong and he'll have a resurgence. However, I would never accuse him of doing less than his best at any point.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, vipa said:

I would never accuse Veyette (or any other dancer) of phoning in a performance. Veyette seems to be a very hard worker. He turned in some of the best Theme and Variations  shows I've ever seen, including his guest appearance with ABT. He's carried a lot of the "white tights" work load at NYCB, along with DeLuz, for years. That said, the last time I saw him was in Divert 15 and I felt horrible for him. He had no line, his shoulders were up, and everything seemed a huge effort. I think he is coming to the end of his career, and it's not a good looking end! Maybe I'm wrong and he'll have a resurgence. However, I would never accuse him of doing less than his best at any point.

In his prime, he danced brilliantly, yes. But in recent years I agree, there have been some quite underwhelming performances. Whether he was dancing his best possible at the time or phoning it in, I personally couldn't say.

Edited by nanushka

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, vipa said:

I would never accuse Veyette (or any other dancer) of phoning in a performance. Veyette seems to be a very hard worker. He turned in some of the best Theme and Variations  shows I've ever seen, including his guest appearance with ABT. He's carried a lot of the "white tights" work load at NYCB, along with DeLuz, for years. That said, the last time I saw him was in Divert 15 and I felt horrible for him. He had no line, his shoulders were up, and everything seemed a huge effort. I think he is coming to the end of his career, and it's not a good looking end! Maybe I'm wrong and he'll have a resurgence. However, I would never accuse him of doing less than his best at any point.

You’re right — effortful would have been a more apt description.

His dancing has had a lumpy and unfocused quality in the last two to three years that has brought to mind a phoned-in performance. He has sometimes looked like he is marking, so I’m not sure what to make of that.

I get it that he was once a white-tights, bravura dancer, but management seems in denial that he’s not that dancer anymore. They keep casting him in all his same roles, despite the fact that they are, at this point, very unflattering to him. 

So often, if you want to see one of NYCB’s leading, shorter female dancers, you get stuck seeing Veyette muscle his way through a role.

He’s 36, and as canbelto has pointed out, that major injury he experienced seems to have aged him a few more years. 

I understand that a dancer’s past accomplishments count for a lot, and I admire the respect with which NYCB treats its more senior dancers. But Veyette isn’t doing his roles justice — not by a long shot — and it’s unfair to audiences and fellow dancers for him to continue to be cast in roles he simply cannot execute.

Edited by fondoffouettes

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4 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

He’s 36...

Oh wow. I'm surprised. I would have put him as older, given what I've seen the past few years. (I never saw him live in his prime, have only seen him on video from then.)

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Well he is dancing less. As I said I was there that horrible night he walked offstage with an injury and when he came back a few months later he was a different dancer. 

With that being said Frantz is not a huge dancing role. It's all about Swanilda. And he remains a good partner. So I'm not concerned.

I also like that NYCB has respect for its senior principals, soloists and corps members and I don't think Veyette is anywhere near the most egregious case of a dancer being given roles while past his or her prime.

Anyone remember the days of Yvonne Borree?

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Just now, canbelto said:

With that being said Frantz is not a huge dancing role. It's all about Swanilda. And he remains a good partner. So I'm not concerned.

That's good to hear. I've never seen the Balanchine Coppélia, only seen video clips. I'm seeing Sterling and him as well.

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Just now, nanushka said:

That's good to hear. I've never seen the Balanchine Coppélia, only seen video clips. I'm seeing Sterling and him as well.

The Balanchine Coppelia is very orthodox. There's not much that would distinguish it as "Balanchine's" Coppelia. He intended for it to be a loving recreation of the ballet he and Danilova danced together in Russia and that's what it is. 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, canbelto said:

The Balanchine Coppelia is very orthodox. There's not much that would distinguish it as "Balanchine's" Coppelia. He intended for it to be a loving recreation of the ballet he and Danilova danced together in Russia and that's what it is. 

Yes, that was my understanding as well. (Though I do seem to recall reading that Acts I-II are even more orthodox than Act III.) I guess I should have clarified that I've only seen the more traditional Coppélia twice — unless you include the one time I saw it with Cleveland Ballet (now no longer in existence) at age approx. 11. So I didn't have a terribly good conception of Franz's part in any of its specific forms.

Edited by nanushka

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2 hours ago, canbelto said:

The Balanchine Coppelia is very orthodox. There's not much that would distinguish it as "Balanchine's" Coppelia. He intended for it to be a loving recreation of the ballet he and Danilova danced together in Russia and that's what it is. 

The first two acts are based on what he and Danilova remembered and could reconstruct, aside for the variation for Franz, created for Helgi Tomasson.  The choreography in Act III is original and includes three beautiful solos for women and the amusing War and Discord.

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10 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

I get it that he was once a white-tights, bravura dancer, but management seems in denial that he’s not that dancer anymore. 

I don’t think the are in denial, I think they are seriously short of bravura men. This is why Catazaro is being pushed beyond his natural limits. The male pipeline is looking sparse right now. 

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The dancers with seriously bravura potential are being developed but as of this date probably don't have the maturity to handle all the bravura roles. For instance Harrison Coll and Roman Mejia have potential to become bravura dancers and they are being developed the right way -- given soloist roles and more and more prominence on the roster.

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Harrison Ball is another soloist with enormous potential.  However, he seems to be injured  frequently.

About H. Coll,  if there is any single person in the company who most deserves to get out of the corps immediately, it's Coll.

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Totally agree about Harrison Coll, and also the frequently-injured Harrison Ball. 

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1 hour ago, abatt said:

About H. Coll,  if there is any single person in the company who most deserves to get out of the corps immediately, it's Coll.

I agree and hope Coll is promoted ASAP.  No matter what he's dancing, I can't keep my eyes off him.  Also, loved his Romeo!

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This is a late report from the show last Friday, May 4. It was the Robbins-Bernstein program - Fancy Free, Dybbuk, and West Side Story Suite. I had a guest in town who wanted to see NYCB; otherwise I probably would have skipped this program, or at least chosen a performance with the all-new cast of Fancy Free (Coll, Mejia, Villarini-Velez, along with the long-missing Alexa Maxwell). 

I found Fancy Free moderately entertaining; especially glad to see Joseph Gordon. In this role and others this spring, he seems to be gaining in confidence and authority. He was also charmingly rakish and boyish in this role. I look forward to seeing more of him. I found Dybbuk to be dreary and way overlong. Tiler Peck and Joaquin de Luz brought a real sense of intelligence and authority to their roles, but that's the most that I can say for this piece. Would not see again. West Side Story Suite is seeming outdated, or maybe I've just seen it too many times. I enjoyed Georgina Pazcoguin and can't help but wonder why she doesn't dance more often. I was curious about the singing. Can anyone inform as to whether there are particular roles that are always done by the dancers, always done by guest singers, or does it depend on whether the dancer can sing?

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On May 11, 2018 at 12:02 PM, NinaFan said:

I agree and hope Coll is promoted ASAP.  No matter what he's dancing, I can't keep my eyes off him.  Also, loved his Romeo!

I thought he was terrific in Agon a few weeks ago and he carries himself like a seasoned soloist. I imagine he'd be a perfect Romeo. 

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Posted (edited)

Last night’s double bill of Goldberg Variations and Les Noces was a once-in-a-lifetime event that left most everyone in the venue in awe. A double tour de force. At the end of the evening I thought: “How privileged I am to be here, witnessing something so extraordinary and meaningful, so magnificently performed...that is not beholden to pop culture and would never ever be marketed in cinemas.” Best of all, I was surrounded by audience members that cheered and understood what they were watching. What a night at NYCB: a program of substance and intelligence! Hands down the grandest of the four Robbins programs seen on my most recent trips to the Big Apple. (Dybbuk was also wonderful but it was sandwiched between two Broadwayish works, both weakly performed, with the exception of Pazcoguin in WSSS.)

I’ll leave it up to others to point out details. I’m just offering a big “Wow!” to hopefully begin a conversation about the fantastic Goldberg/Noces double bill.

Edited by CharlieH
clarity

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