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Swan Lake, February 2-3 and 8-11

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15 hours ago, Jayne said:

Thrilled to see Sarah Ricard Orza get an O/O.  And her partner is corps dancer Dylan Wald.  Clearly he climbing the role ladder!  

I’ve thought for a while that Ricard Orza would be a splendid Odette.  Her Odile is the wild card.  

There was a little discussion at the coaching session about "natural" casting (that someone was more naturally an Odette or an Odile).  I agree that I can see SRO more clearly as Odette, but thinking about some of her performances in Take 5 and West Side Story, I think she's got the snap to do Odile. 

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Saw the Friday night  cast of Rausch / Tisserand and the Saturday night cast of Pantastico / Orza.  I liked them both for different reasons.  

Rausch is a Balanchine-thin fragile swan-queen.  You sympathize with her plight, and admire her tensile strength as an an exotic, heartless, aviary Odile.  Jerome Tisserand is simply PNB’s best prince for beautiful form and acting.  Everything was superbly performed, easy, and secure.  

Pantastico is a Romantic 1950’s womanly queen-swan, who makes us fall in love with her nocturnal humanity, and bewitches us with her more sensual, humanized, two-faced Odile.  Her 4th act goodbye was very different, more human gestures of emotional farewell.  Seth Orza lifted her without problems, but he looks like a man on his 31st birthday, not his 21st.  Which is fine, Prince Harry will tie the knot at 33 in May.  

I just wish Doug Fullington would not list the prince’s birth milestone year in the program.  Makes the suspension of disbelief easier to leave it vague “The Queen insists the time has come to marry a princess”.  Back to the dance - I only wish Seth could avoid grimacing during his 3rd act leaps, he looked pained (maybe he was) but this is supposed to be a joyous moment, and I expect principals in story ballets to act!  

Fouettes went fine for both who used the same format: triple turn + 30 fouettes + double turn, ending on the beat.  At least that is what I think I saw.  I have no instant replay to verify.  The crowd went wild both nights.  

I have to work tomorrow (boo!) so I will follow up later with small role reviews.


I hope someone reviews the Superbowl vocal performances (and if Left Shark returns).  

Edited by Jayne
Edit: for fat thumb typos
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Jayne, we overlapped in the theater!  I wound up at three this weekend (goal is to see all casts).  I'll have more specifics to talk about after I process the whole thing and write something, but just wanted to pipe up and say how much fun it is to dive into something like this.

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While I understand the reasons, I'm sorry we lost the Sendak/Stowell Nutcracker.  And I've always loved The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.  The big obstacle for me with "Carmina Burana" is the score:  I simply don't like it.

There was a lot in the Stowell Nutcracker party scene that was similar to Balanchine's, so it's arguable the structure there was following a master blueprint, but you can see Stowell's story-telling mastery* in Acts I and III in Swan Lake in the ways he uses the Jester and Wolfgang in the big corps dances to create a community, the interactions between Siegfried and the Friends and the Princesses, and the depiction of the social structures, including the canny use of children.  There is also a lot of great material in the Act III Spanish Dance from Flamenco and Spanish classical dance that always makes me smile.

*There's also plenty in his Nutcracker, particularly the intermittent threads of the Princess Pirlipat trio throughout, but it's less straightforward as narrative.

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30 minutes ago, Helene said:

I've been feeling ancient:  I remember way back when, when the young Lesley Rausch's beautiful, open shoulders and port de bras made her a standout Act III Princess.   And now she's in her third run as Odette/Odile!

I'm in the same boat!

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I saw all 3 performances of the 1st weekend.  I loved them all for different reasons.

For me Neolani Pantasico hit the ball the furthest. She had a superb balance of precision, emotion, acting, stage presence, power, and musicality.  I was greatly disappointed that Elle Macy had to be pulled from the weekend (no, I don't know what happened)....she excites me like no other lately! I particularly enjoyed the 3 Wolfgangs: Moore was the dynamic pro that sets the standard (as he so often does), Davis was so elegant while extended, and Thompson (subbing for Moore) was so creative and character laden. Ezra has impressed me from when I first saw him in a PD class several years ago, and has continued to do so all along the way. Lately his dancing has become so refined....and that man is always aware of his character's motivations!  I agree with Helene: Stowell is wonderful at telling story and creating community among dancers. IMO, it is this side of Stowell that makes Wolfgang work so well in this production.  I don't usually see the depth in his choreography that I often see in others, but I always see his humanity. 

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11 hours ago, SandyMcKean said:

 IMO, it is this side of Stowell that makes Wolfgang work so well in this production.  I don't usually see the depth in his choreography that I often see in others, but I always see his humanity. 

If you see this, you see the important thing.

And I agree with you about Thomson's appearances last weekend -- he was everywhere, and did some wonderful stuff.  I was tickled, on Saturday night, to see him as Wolfgang having a stage conversation with the young man wearing the green overcoat that is Thomson's other role in the first act -- an example of talking to yourself?

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