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Winter 2018

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I think it's more the way she dances. It's somewhat floppy with no articulation of the shape of movement. For instance when she arabesques her leg shoots up quickly but she rarely holds or stretches that pose so as a result her dancing lacks amplitude. It's not a matter of being short -- NYCB right now actually skews shorter in terms of the female dancers. If you were to measure her actual height I don't think she's that much shorter than say Ashley Bouder. 

To see what I'm talking about watch Ashley Bouder (a dancer who does NOT have long legs or arms) at 6:18. The way she brings her leg down gives an articulation and amplitude to the step.

 

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Amplitude -- great description! Nanuska, that's a really interesting observation about the shape of her shoulders. Conversely, I've thought Mearns always looks like a queen on her stage in part because of her shoulders.

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20 hours ago, yukionna4869 said:

That was a rough 4Ts. I hope Olivia isn’t injured because of the fall. 

Boisson was in Year of the Rabbit this afternoon and looked fine. 

Further notes form this afternoon's program --

The first two works were recent premieres, Troy Schumacher’s The Wind Still Brings with music by William Walton and Gianna Reisen's Composer’s Holiday to music by Lukas Foss. They’re an interesting pairing, because depending on which aspects of them you emphasize, they are very similar or very different.  Similarities: largely ensemble pieces; the overall feel of both is a group of young friends having fun together; lighthearted and hopeful in feel; some very playful elements in the choreography. Differences: the Reisen piece is much more classical and Balanchinean  choreography, with some direct relationship in parts to Duo Concertante and other Balanchine works; the costumes are neutral, mostly black and white and the women wear tutus; the partnering is all male/female.  Schumacher’s piece is gender-neutral in costuming (including dresses, skirts, jumpsuits, etc.) and steps, and the choreography is much less classical. It’s also, to me, more about community and your obligations to others.  I liked both of them (2d viewing for each).  The nature of the choreography doesn't really call for singling out specific dancers but in the Schumacher, Daniel Applebaum made his usual excellent impression, and in the Reisen Emma Van Enck was a charming and determined ballerina. 

Spectral Evidence (Prelocaj/Cage):  this is the 2d time I have seen this ballet and I liked it less. I think the first time it benefited from my extremely low expectations because I found La Stravaganza almost physically painful to sit through. No pointe shoes.  No blame to the cast, led by Ramasar and T. Peck and including Fairchild, leCrone, Isaacs, Finlay, Suozzi, and Stanley who all gave strong performances.  It’s just that the choreography, to my mind, stops making sense about half way through the piece (or maybe it just turns into something I don't like).  It’s about the Salem Witch trials so you have four men in identical black suits with clerical collars, and four women in bloody nightgowns.  .  It’s very different from most of the NYCB repertory in being much more expressionist and, to me, European.  The men are tortured by their guilty visions, who start out being visions who are a little angry and darn well going to make the most of the time they have left to them. Then after a top notch pas de deux for Ramasar and Peck, it unravels.  Ramasar has a (fantastically well performed) long solo that feels more comedic than anything else and disconnected from the rest of the work and then the women suddenly catch on fire and then emerge from their graves to mope.  I don’t envision a third viewing for me. 

Year of the Rabbit (Peck/Stevens): it was so interesting to me to see this again after a lot of intervening Peck works.  I still like it but it’s less interesting than it used to be.  Indiana Woodward and Taylor Stanley did a lovely job with the Year of Our Lord pas de deux but I don’t think anyone's going to make me forget Janie Taylor in that role. the ballet has some of the Peck trademarks - great movement of groups, dancers lying down on the stage, playfulness, some sections have too many ideas crammed in,  some street dance elements - but unlike his later works the partnering is all male/female couples and fairly traditional, and some section seem a little bare of ideas.  Ashley Bouder was of course a firecracker.  Remainder of the cast (Angle, Huxley, and Reichlen) were also good. 

 

Overall impressions: the company looked fantastic.  Confident, sharp, happy.  With the exception[EJ1]  of the Prelocaj, for me, this was a hopeful program. I liked what I saw, I wanted to see more from everybody involved, the overall spirit was one of a community pulling together.  Just what I needed, personally, these days. 

 

I also loved the art installation. The piece in Playbill about it seemed to say there was supposed to be more of it outside the theater but I couldn't find anything. 


 

 

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3 minutes ago, E Johnson said:

Boisson was in Year of the Rabbit this afternoon and looked fine. 

That's great! I was really hoping she was just thrown off mentally by the fall and that the toppling supported arabesque was merely an effect of that. When she came up from the fall, there was no look of pain on her face, that I could see — more a look of consternation.

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1 hour ago, nanushka said:

That's great! I was really hoping she was just thrown off mentally by the fall and that the toppling supported arabesque was merely an effect of that. When she came up from the fall, there was no look of pain on her face, that I could see — more a look of consternation.

It was that wobbly supported arabesque that got me worried that she was soldiering through with an injury for the rest of the Choleric/finale section.  Glad to hear she’s alright. 

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2 hours ago, E Johnson said:

 

I also loved the art installation. The piece in Playbill about it seemed to say there was supposed to be more of it outside the theater but I couldn't find anything. 

 


 

 

ON the first day of the winter season, there were definitely balloons out on the balcony.  However, they were gone by the next day.  There must be some kind of added potential liability or code violation relating to putting the balloons on the balcony.

 

 

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In Saturday evening's Chaconne, can anyone identify the ravishingly beautiful tall blonde who was center and bourred forward at the very beginning ?

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Balm for the soul indeed. I've seen three programs this winter season. Apollo. Mozartiana. Divert. Chaconne. None of which are coming to Saratoga. In these turbulent times we need beauty, solace, soothing. 

We do however get three perfs of the Martins Romeo and Juliet. Out of six total shows for us "regular folks".  The gala, which has the only Robbins in the week, and at that the only Robbins works are Four Seasons and Other Dances , is double pricing, no discounts or season passes accepted.  

Edited by rkoretzky

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and they wonder why they aren't selling tickets?

ONE week, and they throw R & J at us.  So stupid.  Especially given the Martins debacle, why not program Coppelia, or some such?

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Juliet, I agree completely about R & J.  However, Coppelia is coming up in the spring season. I look forward to that!

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Marta, Juliet and I are talking about SPAC, the summer home of NYCB since 1966. From four weeks, to three, to two and now to one week. 7 performances. 

Three are Romeo + Juliet, including both matinees. 

Coppelia had its premiere (Mr. B's version of course) at SPAC in 1974, so naturally we feel a bond. 

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Oh wow I had no idea it was down to just one week there! That's terrible, how long has that been the case? I've never made it to a performance up there, and now it sounds even less likely.

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16 minutes ago, rkoretzky said:

Marta, Juliet and I are talking about SPAC, the summer home of NYCB since 1966. From four weeks, to three, to two and now to one week. 7 performances. 

Three are Romeo + Juliet, including both matinees. 

Coppelia had its premiere (Mr. B's version of course) at SPAC in 1974, so naturally we feel a bond. 

Oh, I stand corrected!  I was just looking at the spring schedule and I do now remember the mention of SPAC.  Clearly I was reading inattentively. That is definitely a stinker schedule with 3 performances of R & J out of 7.

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35 minutes ago, Marta said:

Oh, I stand corrected!  I was just looking at the spring schedule and I do now remember the mention of SPAC.  Clearly I was reading inattentively. That is definitely a stinker schedule with 3 performances of R & J out of 7.

More of a stinker than you know. We get one wonderful  Balanchine program. 4Ts, Square Dance and Bizet on two consecutive nights, Tuesday and Wednesday. That is IT. By Thursday we're done with Balanchine. We have the three Romeos and one night of new ballets. 

Our Saturday night gala features Robbins, sort of. It's the only Robbins we get in this extraordinary year. We have Four Seasons and Other Dances. We also have the new Peck and Carlyle tributes. That's it, done, game over. 

Nothing of the Bernstein/Robbins collaboration. The Philadelphia Orchestra is doing West Side Story later in the season. None of the  Robbins ballets that look perfect on our outdoor stage and that haven't been here for years, but are in spring season: G Major, Interplay, DAAG, In the Night, Opus 19. Not even Circus Polka to bring in local ballet kids, who bring in scads of paying family members. I don't  care much for Circus, but I was looking forward to seeing JR spelled out on the stage. 

None of the beautiful Balanchine masterpieces that I've seen in the last week, works that feed and soothe our souls in these trying and troubled times. No Apollo,  Mozartiana, Chaconne, Divert. 

We "need" a story ballet. Midsummer opened SPAC in 1966, Coppelia premiered here in 1974, WSS honors Jerry and Lenny in such a perfect way. Any would be so appropriate now.

But we have Romeo, three times, at this time and under this cloud. 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Juliet said:

and they wonder why they aren't selling tickets?

ONE week, and they throw R & J at us.  So stupid.  Especially given the Martins debacle, why not program Coppelia, or some such?

This may be the last chance for anyone to see Martins’ R+J before it goes into mothballs. I doubt that Martins’ body of work will be programmed regularly in the future, as is Balanchine’s and Robbins. I watched The Red Violin this past weekend thinking that this may never see the light of day again. Fearful Symmetries, Hallelujah Junction and Barber Violin Concerto may be the only three repertory works by Martins worth salvaging. I also like his Sleeping Beauty and The Magic Flute, among his works in the Petipa mode.

Edited by CharlieH

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My impression is that once a work has been rehearsed and presented, it stays in the rep for a period of time. Generally, a rep work is performed 12 times over the course of nearly consecutive season. So for Red Violin, I think they did it 4 times in the fall 2017, plus 4 times in the winter.  I expect to see it pop up for 4 performances sometime during the 18-19 season.

Although an awful production, any full length sells lots of tickets.  I'm not so sure they would ditch R&J.

I'm hoping that the relentless flood of  new works  will be reduced somewhat going forward.  People come out to see new Wheeldon, new Ratmansky and new Peck.  I was there on the night of the Walker premiere.  There were substantial numbers  of empty seats that night.  People are not buying tickets to see new Schumacher, new Walker, new [fill in the name]-.

 

 

Edited by abatt

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I think Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty are safe, but R+J might be vulnerable to the chopping block.

There are a few Martins works that have appeared in other companies' programs. I remember seeing either PNB or SFB do a Martins work that was a series of pas de deux to a wide range of music.

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If they redid the costumes for the Martins  Swan Lake it would be a lot more bearable, IMO. 

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11 minutes ago, Helene said:

There are a few Martins works that have appeared in other companies' programs. I remember seeing either PNB or SFB do a Martins work that was a series of pas de deux to a wide range of music.

Helene, didn't PNB do Martins' "Fearful Symmetries" back in 2003? It's not listed with the rep on their website right now, but I seem to remember it being performed years ago.

From what I've seen, Martins' R & J is not a particularly special interpretation of the tale, but I am excited to be seeing City Ballet for the very first time next week when it's performed! My eagerness to visit NYC and watch the company eclipses the apathetic feelings I have about the choreography and production. 

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Just now, pirouetta27 said:

Helene, didn't PNB do Martins' "Fearful Symmetries" back in 2003? It's not listed with the rep on their website right now, but I seem to remember it being performed years ago.

They did, and so did Pennsylvania Ballet.  I think there were other companies who've performed it as well.  But it's hard to keep track, because Ashley Page and Liam Scarlett also choreographed works to the same piece and used the same title for their ballets.  According to Wikipedia, in 1995, the Royal Ballet won two Oliviers for Page's work:  Best New Production and Outstanding Achievement in Dance for Peter Mumford's lighting.

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1 hour ago, E Johnson said:

If they redid the costumes for the Martins  Swan Lake it would be a lot more bearable, IMO. 

The Costumes and the set in Act 1 need a redesign. It looked like they were celebrating Siegfried’s birthday in hell. 

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19 hours ago, Juliet said:

and they wonder why they aren't selling tickets?

ONE week, and they throw R & J at us.  So stupid.  Especially given the Martins debacle, why not program Coppelia, or some such?

In part because these decisions are made very far in advance, likely before any of the proverbial shit hit the fan.

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3 hours ago, abatt said:

My impression is that once a work has been rehearsed and presented, it stays in the rep for a period of time. Generally, a rep work is performed 12 times over the course of nearly consecutive season. So for Red Violin, I think they did it 4 times in the fall 2017, plus 4 times in the winter.  I expect to see it pop up for 4 performances sometime during the 18-19 season.

Although an awful production, any full length sells lots of tickets.  I'm not so sure they would ditch R&J.

I'm hoping that the relentless flood of  new works  will be reduced somewhat going forward.  People come out to see new Wheeldon, new Ratmansky and new Peck.  I was there on the night of the Walker premiere.  There were substantial numbers  of empty seats that night.  People are not buying tickets to see new Schumacher, new Walker, new [fill in the name]-.

 

 

Abatt, I agree with this general formula but...with such a rich bounty a great ballets in the NYCB Rep, I can’t help but think that the great majority of Martins’ works will no longer adhere to that formula. Martins left (resigned) just as the current season was about to begin. Too late to re-program. I suspect that we’ll see the impact of Martins’ departure beginning in fall 2018...even if initial programming has occurred, the new leaders have time to make changes before the 2018/19 rep is made public.

R+J is so hideous that, if I were a betting guy, I’d wager that it  never returns. Swan Lake - yes. Beauty - absolutely.

Fearful, Hallelujah and Barber Violin seem to be his better works. Magic Flute is so atypical of Martins, I often wonder if Balanchine helped out? I’ve seen about 30 or so Martins ballets since the mid-80s and didn’t care much for the majority.

Helene, the series-of-pdds ballet that you mention might be Them Twos.

Edited by CharlieH

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