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Winter 2018

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I haven't seen this R+J in years and never will again. Twice was enough. I'll be curious to hear how it sells.

On another note, whatever Peter Martins did or didn't do, he was a man of considerable experience and knowledge.  I do feel for Hyltin and other dancers who miss his guidance. I hope the AD search is going well! 

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Based on recent changes at other companies, these changes seem to go slow unless the prior AD pulls rights.  

If you are the new AD, what would you program?  Both mixed rep and story works?  Commissions?  

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Lots of Balanchine and Robbins and bringing back as many originals to coach as possible.  Plus the newer works with legs.  That's what I'd start with.

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3 hours ago, nanushka said:

That is interesting. Though it doesn't sound like any "big uproar" caused its removal. The article mentions some audience gasps and "the condemnation of some critics," and it's been revived since then, presumably with the slap. (Again, I haven't seen it.) It sounds more like it was removed as a precautionary measure, to avoid any potential controversy in the wake of recent events. 

I saw it only on TV but I was revolted by the slap.  What does that add?  Zilch. I never want to see the ballet again. Martins' solution to the slap being described as "amazing" by Tracey is really laying it on thick.

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6 minutes ago, Marta said:

I saw it only on TV but I was revolted by the slap.  What does that add?  Zilch. I never want to see the ballet again. Martins' solution to the slap being described as "amazing" by Tracey is really laying it on thick.

In the Royal Ballet DVD of the performance by Nureyev and Fonteyn, the slap is included. I haven't actually checked DVDs of other productions, but I wouldn't be surprised if older productions also included it. Corporal punishment of children was routine until recent years.

https://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Juliet-Nureyev-Fonteyn-Ballet/dp/B00003M5GE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518486443&sr=8-1&keywords=romeo+and+juliet+ballet+dvd

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I don't think the slap is gratuitous.  It demonstrates that the  society inhabited by these characters solves its disputes through violence, whether it's feuding clans or a feud between a father and his daughter.  

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22 hours ago, abatt said:

Yeah, right. How interesting that my (our) three choices for potentially-salvageable Repertory works are the three cited by Stafford:

Barber Violin

Fearful Symmetries

Hallelujah Junction

Out of 75-plus rep works (all of Peter Martins’ oeuvre beside restagings of 19th-C classics), these three ballets are cited. Slim pickings, in other words. “That’s all, folks!” said Bugs Bunny.

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I do recall the slap being controversial at the time of R&J’s premiere (as in a whole NYT article was devoted to it) -- and I think it was for extra-choreographic reasons.  One, it was being done by Jock Soto (in front of Darci Kistler, playing Juliet's mom) , who was generally perceived as a really nice guy and so it was terribly out of character [frankly I thought this argument was little silly, he was perfectly capable of being a convincing menacing presence as a dancer] and 2. it did hark back to the Martins-Kistler abuse allegations, she was standing right there as it happened, and Soto was a friend of both (and IIRC lived with martins and watts when the they were together).  So, it was just too much internally even if it worked in the ballet.  I'm not sure it did work but I’m also pretty sure I was incapable of evaluating it for itself, given the baggage.  And I agree that Tracey is over the top here. 

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3 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Yeah, right. How interesting that my (our) three choices for potentially-salvageable Repertory works are the three cited by Stafford:

Barber Violin

Fearful Symmetries

Hallelujah Junction

Out of 75-plus rep works (all of Peter Martins’ oeuvre beside restagings of 19th-C classics), these three ballets are cited. Slim pickings, in other words. “That’s all, folks!” said Bugs Bunny.

I like Ash, though I think it's a dancer killer.

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Re Martins ballets:

I like ballroom dancing, so I always enjoyed Thou Swell.

I also think Zakouski is pretty good, provided that it is well cast.

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2 hours ago, abatt said:

Good article. Nicely hits various facets of the issue in a short space.

Edited by nanushka

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Last evening I attended opening night of Romeo and Juliet. Since I am not as well versed as many of you on the technicalities of ballet, my review will be strictly my impressions and appreciation. For me, the performance had its ups and downs. The audience, including me, was most energized and excited by two  elements: (1) the strong performances, swordplay, energy, and command of the stage by Joaquin de Luz as Tybalt and Daniel Ulbricht as Mercutio. Wow! Both command the stage and Ulbricht had the time of his life with all his jumps and spins. In the sword fights they fed off each other. It was sizzling! (2) a small troop of little boys from the SAB school, one of whom could not have been more than 5 or 6, who took center stage and whirled and jumped with bravado. They got what seemed to be the biggest applause and calls of Bravo of the evening.

Now, what of the leads? I had seen Sterling Hyltin in the role in 2012, with Robert Fairchild as her Romeo. That performance was electric, moving, tragic, the connection between them palpable.  Last night IMO Sterling did capture the essence of a young conflicted girl. Her dancing was, as always, effervescent, light, fluid, musical, but the choreography had her doing a lot of running back and forth on the stage, which made her seem to me more like the mad scene in Giselle. But the key to the ballet, at least as I read Shakespeare, is the tragic love story. It takes two for a love story and I, at least, did not feel the magic, chemistry, despair, and tragic loss of this pair. Harrison Coll seems very young and unseasoned. Although he has a lovely line and beautifully proportioned body for ballet, and he executed the steps competently, to me he lacks dramatic presence. He can't yet hold the stage on his own. Compare to De Luz, who in his bright yellow costume and surrounded by a stageful of other dancers, commands your eye even standing still as you view his evil glance and clanking swords. Coll seemed always to be racing around like a dervish(maybe that was intended). But I wanted to be more moved by the balcony scene and I wasn't. The pas de deux where he turns her first with one hand and then the other was okay, but the feeling between them was lacking. I almost felt that Hyltin was trying to inject on her own the connection that didn't develop between them.

A shoutout to Maria Kowroski, who portrayed Juliet's mother with dignity and compassion without hardly dancing a step. Poor use of Ask la Cour as Juliet's father and Russell Jansen as Paris, who had little expression and not much to do. 

Finally I think the pacing could have been better. Love scenes and tragedy scenes deserve extra time for the audience to absorb and feel them. Maybe the orchestra was too fast paced--I don't know. The fast pace worked well for the sword fight scenes, where the performance came to life. Anyway, this was the only performance of the company I can see this winter season, so am grateful I was there, sitting right up front in row D center aisle seat where I could easily view all their expressions. I look forward to your comments on this performance and the performances of the other leads.

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45 minutes ago, CTballetfan said:

Last evening I attended opening night of Romeo and Juliet. Since I am not as well versed as many of you on the technicalities of ballet, my review will be strictly my impressions and appreciation.

Despite your caveat, CTballetfan, you've written a remarkably vivid report of your impressions. Not having seen this ballet myself, I nonetheless found this really valuable to read. So thanks!

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2 hours ago, nanushka said:

Despite your caveat, CTballetfan, you've written a remarkably vivid report of your impressions. Not having seen this ballet myself, I nonetheless found this really valuable to read. So thanks!

Agreed!

"a small troop of little boys from the SAB school, one of whom could not have been more than 5 or 6, who took center stage and whirled and jumped with bravado. They got what seemed to be the biggest applause and calls of Bravo of the evening. "  Kids always are a big hit in these works -- Balanchine knew that and included them as often as he could.  Pacific Northwest Ballet just finished a run of their Swan Lake, where Kent Stowell made a couple of very charming opportunities for young dancers and yes, they get big applause.

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2 hours ago, sandik said:

 

  Kids always are a big hit in these works -- Balanchine knew that and included them as often as he could.  Pacific Northwest Ballet just finished a run of their Swan Lake, where Kent Stowell made a couple of very charming opportunities for young dancers and yes, they get big applause.

Kid performers also have lots of parents, grandparents and siblings who will buy tickets to see their loved one on stage. So casting kids is also a good sales tool.

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Saw R & J last night with Zachary Catazaro and Tiler Peck.  They were superb.  Their acting was thoughtful and expressive.  He is dancing with great clarity and intensity and did the absolute most that can be done with the role given the limited choreography.  She, of course, floats on the music and was a wonderful Juliet. 

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No matter who is chosen as NYCB's new artistic director, the company stands at a crossroads. Ironically, the season opened with two works from opposite ends of Balanchine's career: Apollo (1928) and Mozartiana (1981). Although it is considered his last major masterpiece and is sublime, my sense is that the appeal of Mozartiana is partly connected to its valedictory nature. By contrast, the timeless quality prevalent in Apollo makes the fact that it was choreographed by a 24-year-old man both astonishing and irrelevant: it remains as fresh and original as the day it was created. After numerous viewings my sensitivity to and awareness of the beauty of this ballet and Stravinsky’s music have never been greater! 

Naturally, I enjoyed immensely watching both casts perform the ballet. Although Adrian Danchig-Waring’s interpretation of Apollo appears more carefully thought out, Chase Finlay looks fantastic in the part also and—complemented by the winsome Sterling Hyltin, Ashley Bouder and Lauren Lovette as his muses—made a solid impression in Balanchine's early masterpiece. 

Last Saturday another engagement resulted in my buying a ticket for NYCB at the last moment ... to see only the second cast of Apollo again! An exquisite performance of the ballet was my reward. As the three muses, not only are Tiler Peck, Ashly Isaacs and Indiana Woodward notable for their superb dancing, but they have a similar, attractive physique which makes watching them in the glorious ensembles of the piece extraordinarily pleasing. (Incidentally, Isaacs nailed that evening the exacting turns in Polyhymnia's variation!) Furthermore, Tiler Peck is such a distinguished ballerina that, notwithstanding her relative lack of height, casting her as Terpsichore—the goddess of dance—is eminently sensible. 

In either its first or last version, Apollo mesmerizes!

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Ahhh!  I love reading reviews that finally end in embracing dancing above physicality!  Thank you for your honest review RoyalBlue!  All too often dancers are hired and assessed for their physical looks and not their superb dancing ability, athleticism, and musicality = their art,  

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I attended last nights Romeo and Juliet. Erica Pereira and Peter Walker did not disappoint. Watching these 2 love struck kids i found myself feeling their joy and pain. Their dancing was absolutely perfect. When Peter would lift Erica it was as if she was floating in the air. When he would place her down the transition was as smooth as silk. The balcony scene was charming. It did appear that Peter had a problem removing his cape he actually yanked it off. The sword fights were intense and Troy Schumachers dancing was some of his best i have seen in quite a while. The entire core was great.  Ending scene had me chocking up, you could really feel the torture and pain of both these young lovers felt. Loved Erica and Peter as a pair i would love to see them again in something else sometime in the near future.

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Update:  Ticket has been sold.  Thank you.

I've had to cancel my trip tomorrow so I'm selling a single ticket for Sunday night's Romeo + Juliet performance at 7:00.  Face value is $33.50 and I'm asking $25.  Please see the details in the Heads up!  Tickets and Ticket Offers section above.  

 
Edited by audreydoll
Ticket has been sold

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On 2/12/2018 at 1:28 PM, fondoffouettes said:

I never thought they'd dump the Martins full-lengths immediately -- like the article says, they are money-makers -- but frankly, City Ballet's interim directors aren't really in a position of authority to predict which of his works will remain in the repertoire long-term, unless one or more of them expects to remain in power permanently. A new AD could easily sweep aside all or most of Martins' plotless works, even if they are already programmed for next season. 

I would expect  that, as discussed in this thread, some of his ballets will be keepers and others, probably most, will be dropped, as happens regularly when the house choreographer is also the AD and that person leaves.  I doubt any new AD would abruptly "sweep aside" Martins' works from the repertory.

Martins didn't invent the trend toward programming evening-length ballets to fill seats and I expect that to continue under any new AD.

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12 minutes ago, dirac said:

Martins didn't invent the trend toward programming evening-length ballets to fill seats and I expect that to continue under any new AD.

1

Yes, but hopefully the new AD will have the sense to replace Martins' awful full-lengths with more palatable versions.

Let's face it -- if all of Martins' works were effaced from NYCB's repertoire, almost no one would miss them. 

 

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