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canbelto

Winter 2018

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32 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

I can't imagine it ever not mattering in any production of R&J, no matter the choreographer. I guess the question might be whether this production impedes a sense of chemistry between the leads. Not sure that's the case; just throwing it out there as a question.

I don't love the MacMillan as a whole -- though I cherish the many incredible moments -- but it's a ballet I'll go to when I know the leads are strong dramatically and have good chemistry. 

Do you think this carries over to plotless ballets? I found it hard to articulate why I found her disappointing -- and not technically in any way -- in Apollo. There was just some sort of aura or mystique missing. I find her presence rather sunny and surface-level. And I'm saying this as someone who LOVES her and thinks she's an incredible artist. I'm eager to see her in just about anything. 

I have never loved the MacMillan R&J but would still see it with two terrific leads.  I haven't seen Tiler Peck in Martins' R&J, but I did see her in Apollo and was disappointed.  I love her dancing too but as you say, some elusive quality was missing.  I also prefer that  Terpsichore be danced by a taller woman; as someone here said, we like to see a more "goddess=like" dancer, e.g., Farrell, Kowroski, Reichlen.

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On 2/24/2018 at 12:19 PM, canbelto said:

This is a general rule about Tiler Peck: despite her amazing abilities as a dancer she's not a great actress and I've rarely seen her have chemistry with any of her partners. 

No doubt you may be right. Nevertheless, —a high school English teacher had me read in class on assignment a part from a scene in a famous American play. At around that period—for the first and only time—I cheated on a chemistry exam. Two embarrassing moments! Unfortunately, my grasp of neither acting nor chemistry has improved over the years. So, from my lowly station, the "Little Dancer" is a giant in both fields. I specifically referred to her "performing brilliance" because I thought she acted convincingly Thursday evening as well. Moreover, she is routinely marvelous in pas de deux, no matter who she is dancing with. Finally, she has mastered the capacity to create a perfect rapport—chemistry—with the audience. And I mean this in the purest, most innocent sense. Sara Mearns and Tiler Peck are two ballerinas who can easily make me almost forget that I am watching a performance at a theater. In other words, through their artistry in ballet they transform choreography—no matter how abstract—into something real

Although I would have no problem seeing her again in La Sonnambula, Ms. Peck looks too wholesome for that role. However, we will just have to disagree about her turns as the Pink Girl in Dances at a Gathering and Terpsichore ("delight in dancing") in Apollo. Of course, I understand that others prefer a taller woman for the latter part, and I respect, admire and love both Maria Kowroski and Teresa Reichlen. (Also, I imagine that Suzanne Farrell was a great ballerina.)

 

On 2/24/2018 at 1:43 PM, fondoffouettes said:

I guess the question might be whether this production impedes a sense of chemistry between the leads. Not sure that's the case; just throwing it out there as a question.

I don't love the MacMillan as a whole -- though I cherish the many incredible moments -- but it's a ballet I'll go to when I know the leads are strong dramatically and have good chemistry. 

In my opinion, it does—although that is not the only reason there may not be chemistry between the leads, nor does it categorically preclude it. A previous poster understandably ridiculed the sets and costumes. However, notwithstanding the fact that many ballet-goers may dislike MacMillan’s version, it is in every respect superior to Martins’ Romeo + Juliet

I am not really familiar with the current principal dancers at ABT. They should be better in the full-length, narrative ballets than their counterparts at NYCB, since ABT focuses in that genre. Sadly, I am not sure currently that is even the case.

 

 

Edited by Royal Blue

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Question: In the casting lists, are the three Symphony in 3 couples listed in the order in which they appear? (i.e. the middle couple does the PDD?) Thanks!

Edited by nanushka

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No - the first couple listed does the pdd (today, Tiler Peck and Taylor Stanley). 

What a relief to get back to Balanchine!

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3 minutes ago, cobweb said:

No - the first couple listed does the pdd (today, Tiler Peck and Taylor Stanley). 

What a relief to get back to Balanchine!

Thanks, and then the second listed couple comes on first for the Tomasson/Yourth parts?

Yes, I can't wait!

Edited by nanushka

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I'm not sure what the Tomasson/Yourth parts are, but the second couple listed (today, Pereira and Ulbricht) are the first to appear, with the all the big sideways leaps. 

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2 minutes ago, cobweb said:

I'm not sure what the Tomasson/Yourth parts are, but the second couple listed (today, Pereira and Ulbricht) are the first to appear, with the all the big sideways leaps. 

Yes, that’s it. Thanks so much!

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I know others were there this afternoon, but I'll go ahead and give my impressions. A great day at the ballet.

Divertimento for Le Baiser del la Fee is a fantastic piece. I hadn't seen it for years. The pas de deux is inventive, touching and musical. Joaquin De Luz is one of the best partners ever, not only in the technique of partnering but in the way he relates to and presents his partner (I was sitting in front of a woman who exclaimed - I want a man to look at me that way.) Megan Fairchild was delightfully musical and free. I really wish this ballet would stay in the rep more.

Agon - Good show with a musical glitch at the end. I think the conductor erred. The four men were perfectly in sinc until the last note, which I think came too quickly. I know that I am in the minority in finding Maria K lacking. She has tons of stage craft and tremendous extensions, and I enjoyed her pas de deux with Adrian D-W, BUT there is a certain caution there. For example, in the start of the pas, many dancers (most notably Wendy W.) make the opening movements so extreme and non-stop that the actual stop in which she wraps her leg around him is a shock. This didn't happen. There were other moments in which there was a fuzziness instead of etching. I liked Ashley Laracey in the Bransle Gay - I tend to be a fan in her go for broke dancing. Her balances were rock solid. King and Laracey are somewhat mismatched as a couple, but did well in Guilliard. Huxley is well suited to the role.

Duo Concertant - Sterling Hylin was heaven - I love her more every time I see her. She is natural, gracious, musically sensitive and pretty much sails through technical challenges. Russell Janzen did well but I didn't feel they were inhabiting the same world. Janzen did well with the speed and clarity required, but didn't exactly sail through. Peter Martins still sets the standard for this work if you've ever seen him or the video. It's interesting to me that this work is still cast for a smallish woman and a tallish man. It's a challenge for a tall man to move that fast.

Symphony in 3 - Great- I have been consistently critical of Erica Perreira, but she was terrific. Great style, technique and seemed happy dancing with Daniel Ulbricht. He is amazing. I love the etched clarity in which he introduces the theme in the last movement. No one else quite matches him. Loved the pas with T. Peck and Taylor Stanley. I always think of this pas as an alien being's mating ritual!! 

Great show - what a wonderful company. I've gone on longer than I intended.

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Saturday Evening February 25th.  Neverwhere, Mothership, The Decalogue, Namouna.  Martins and those responsible for programming must have thought that this program would be good for the $30 ticket night which attracts a full house and a younger demographic.  Well I think they made a huge mistake.  I half expected wild cheers and huge applause but all the works were greeted very, very tepidly.  It seems even the uninitiated know garbage when they see it.  I doubt that a single additional ticket will be sold as a consequence of viewing this program.

 The saving grace was the dancers.  From corps to principals they were wonderful.  Kudos to the interim team and the dancers for weathering a difficult time and looking better than ever.  Mothership at least provided roles for 8 dancers we don't often get to see solo.  Namouna is admired by many but for me it is too cute and waaay too long.  Although there are moments of very interesting and musical choreography there are bits like the smoking business where I just say to myself "OK.  I got that now let's get on with it."  Tyler Angle was a joy as the sailor and his solo early on was just great.

A twist on Vipa's words above - Lousy show - what a wonderful company.

 

 

 

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I agree with jerryb. It was a long and grueling show. When did they do away from the plastic looking costumes from Neverwhere? The dancing was a little sloppy and with the practice clothes I felt like I was watching a rehearsal. I'm failing to see the allure with Namouna. I was really excited by what I thought was the finale and then it dragged on for another 10 minutes. I was at the Sunday matinee.

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 They got rid of the plastic costumes in Neverwhere?  This was an essential component of the ballet. It was created as part  one of these Fashon Gala creations that Martins and SJP are so proud of.   In fact, that costume was displayed a few years ago at an  event in NYC with other ballet costumes.  I can't recall, maybe one of the fashion design schools like Parsons school of design?

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8 minutes ago, abatt said:

 They got rid of the plastic costumes in Neverwhere?  This was an essential component of the ballet. It was created as part  one of these Fashon Gala creations that Martins and SJP are so proud of.   In fact, that costume was displayed a few years ago at an  event in NYC with other ballet costumes.  I can't recall, maybe one of the fashion design schools like Parsons school of design?

It was at FIT, great exhibit on fashion and dance.  I guess this means I can't call it "the one with the boots" any more? 

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36 minutes ago, abatt said:

 They got rid of the plastic costumes in Neverwhere?  This was an essential component of the ballet. It was created as part  one of these Fashon Gala creations that Martins and SJP are so proud of.   In fact, that costume was displayed a few years ago at an  event in NYC with other ballet costumes.  I can't recall, maybe one of the fashion design schools like Parsons school of design?

Sigh, it appears so, and it really makes it a different ballet. I still like it well enough (it's the only Millepied ballet I've seen that I do genuinely enjoy from beginning to end) but those Iris Van Herpen costumes were its chief glory. Herpen's costumes gave Neverwhere a quirky, Forbidden Planet-ish kind of vibe. Since Millepied relies as much on moody stage pictures as steps, those costumes gave it a bit of an unexpected edge. Millepied's vocabulary of stage imagery is ... stylish but predictable (think trendy boutique hotel lobby) and the original costumes at least gave them a bit of frisson. Now Neverwhere is just another black practice clothes & dark lighting ballet, and we certainly don't lack for those. 

I assume the decision was made to ditch the costumes now that half of the original cast has moved on; perhaps it was impractical (or too expensive) to refit or rebuild them for a mostly new cast. 

I saw the Sunday 2/25 matinee performance, and thought the dancers (Sara Adams, Emilie Gerrity, Lauren Lovette, Russell Janzen, Joseph Gordon, and Preston Chamblee) acquitted themselves more than honorably. 

ETA: To get a sense of what Herpen's costumes were like and what their effect was, go to Neverwhere's page in the Repertory section of NYCB's website for some videos and a slideshow. The one featuring Mark Happel and the costume shop making Herpen's vision a reality is worth a look.

 

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell

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I was at the Friday friends rehearsal of Neverwhere and Decalogue.  Millepied was there giving notes.  I thought I heard him saying something along the lines of “great, just add the costumes, give it some sparkle and good to go.”  Maybe they are creating new costumes for the piece.  Recreating those costumes for new dancers and maintaining/storing them would be challenging and expensive. 

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On 2/24/2018 at 9:20 PM, vipa said:

It's interesting to me that this work [Duo Concertante] is still cast for a smallish woman and a tallish man. It's a challenge for a tall man to move that fast.

The photo in the program for Duo is Huxley and Bouder. So some smaller guys have had a chance to do the part. Has anyone here seen him do it? 

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Just now, yukionna4869 said:

The photo in the program for Duo is Huxley and Bouder. So some smaller guys have had a chance to do the part. Has anyone here seen him do it? 

Thanks for pointing that out. I've never seen him do it but would love to hear from someone who has. As far as I recall I've seen it with men who were on the taller side.

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1 minute ago, vipa said:

Thanks for pointing that out. I've never seen him do it but would love to hear from someone who has. As far as I recall I've seen it with men who were on the taller side.

That has been my experience with this ballet as well. I have only ever seen shorter girls that get cast in this ballet (Hilton, M Fairchild, Bouder). Suzanne Farrell danced the role, but she seems to be the exception. 

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51 minutes ago, vipa said:

Thanks for pointing that out. I've never seen him do it but would love to hear from someone who has. As far as I recall I've seen it with men who were on the taller side.

I saw Huxley do it with Lovette. He was alright although IMO this ballet is overdone -- of all the Duo couples I've seen only Sterling Hyltin and Robert Fairchild were able to get that combination of academic cleanness with romanticism. I think the Tall Guy/Short Girl combo comes from the fact that this ballet was originally set on Peter Martins (tall) and Kay Mazzo (short). 

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Not sure where to put this, but an Instagram post by Peter Boal, a Wikipedia bio (currently lacking citation), and public Facebook posts indicate that Sean Lavery may have passed away this week. Quite sad news for the company and all who knew him.

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17 minutes ago, pirouetta27 said:

Not sure where to put this, but an Instagram post by Peter Boal, a Wikipedia bio (currently lacking citation), and public Facebook posts indicate that Sean Lavery may have passed away this week. Quite sad news for the company and all who knew him.

Sean Lavery died a few days ago.  There's a separate topic here dedicated to his death. Very sad indeed and he was also quite young.

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14 hours ago, canbelto said:

He was alright although IMO this ballet is overdone -- of all the Duo couples I've seen only Sterling Hyltin and Robert Fairchild were able to get that combination of academic cleanness with romanticism. 

I’ve always thought the ballet seemed a bit too precious, until I saw Fairchild and Hyltin in it. That was the first time I’ve really enjoyed the ballet. 

I agree that they could dial down how often they program this ballet. I might be in the minority here, but I think it’s one of Balanchine’s weakest liotard ballets that’s still performed regularly. 

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35 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

I’ve always thought the ballet seemed a bit too precious, until I saw Fairchild and Hyltin in it. That was the first time I’ve really enjoyed the ballet. 

I agree that they could dial down how often they program this ballet. I might be in the minority here, but I think it’s one of Balanchine’s weakest liotard ballets that’s still performed regularly. 

I agree that the ballet is performed way too often.  Yes, it's cute, but it needs to have longer breaks between seasons.

I loved Fairchild and Hyltin as well.  It was not the first time I enjoyed the ballet, however it was probably my favorite partnership.  Watching Robbie for the last time at NYCB made it all the more special. 

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54 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

I agree that they could dial down how often they program this ballet.

For a short Balanchine work to fill out 1/3 of an otherwise too-short program, my preference would always be Tchaikovsky PDD. I could see that over and over.

Speaking of such works, how long has it been since the company last performed Valse Fantaisie? The repertory page for that work shows a fairly recent image, but I wasn't following the company closely enough until a few years ago to know when it was last done.

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2 hours ago, nanushka said:

For a short Balanchine work to fill out 1/3 of an otherwise too-short program, my preference would always be Tchaikovsky PDD. I could see that over and over.

Speaking of such works, how long has it been since the company last performed Valse Fantaisie? The repertory page for that work shows a fairly recent image, but I wasn't following the company closely enough until a few years ago to know when it was last done.

I could watch Tchaikovsky PDD over and over as well.  And Tarantella too!

That recent image of Veyette in Valse Fantaisie was probably from 2011.  Not sure if it has been done since then.

Edited by NinaFan

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50 minutes ago, NinaFan said:

I could watch Tchaikovsky PDD over and over as well.  And Tarantella too!

Agreed! I’d be happy with them doing Tchai Pas every year. Really, I’m eager to see all the Balanchine/Tchaikovsky ballets as often as possible. I consider them all masterpieces (at least the ones currently in the rep...not sure if there are more obscure Tchai/Balanchine ballets out there). They could use some men who are more up to the bravura challenges of some of the Tchaikovsky ballets, though, or maybe I've just seen the wrong dancers. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

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