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canbelto

Winter 2018

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To my surprise, Duo was my favorite performance of the night as well. (I might add that I was sitting behind Jacques D'Amboise, who seemed to echo the same sentiment!) Agon appeared technically correct to my untrained eyes, but it didn't wow me like it has in past performances. My first viewing of Symphony in Three was thrilling--especially the corps work; Sterling Hyltin's treatment of the ballet came off as very learned and meticulous.

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Megan seems to suggest the dedication to Sean Lavery may have been a particular influence on today’s performance. One definitely had the sense of witnessing something special.

 

Edited by nanushka

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She must be standing on something in this picture. When she is standing on the stage next to Janzen, the top of her head is at his shoulder. 

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2 minutes ago, cobweb said:

She must be standing on something in this picture. When she is standing on the stage next to Janzen, the top of her head is at his shoulder. 

Yes definitely, I thought the same.

The height difference, which can in many cases look awkward, made the piece even more impactful. Especially when he holds her up with his straightened arms.

Edited by nanushka

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I hope Harrison Coll gets promoted to soloist soon. He certainly deserves it.

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2 hours ago, nanushka said:

Yes definitely, I thought the same.

The height difference, which can in many cases look awkward, made the piece even more impactful. Especially when he holds her up with his straightened arms.

I was thinking she might be on pointe in the picture, and Russell isn’t standing up completely straight. 

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13 hours ago, cobweb said:

And with Unity Phelan out today (replaced by Lauren King), I was able to focus some attention on Ashley Hod (that was impossible last night when Phelan was on the stage). She has beautiful limbs and her dancing looked great, but to me she's lacking in something extra.

As for the unflattering leotard on Savannah Lowery... to me almost all the leos in Symphony in 3 are unflattering. The white leos are sexy, but they make some of the girls look flabby... which they are not. And maybe it's something about the lighting that's extra harsh? 

I’ve also had my eyes on Ashley Hod this season and agree with you. She’s a beautiful dancer who seems to have great potential. This may have been reported elsewhere, but she was selected by NYCB to receive a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award: http://supportportal.lincolncenter.org/events/2018-lincoln-center-awards-for-emerging-artists

Oh, and I don’t envy anyone who has to put on one of those leotards (though I do like them). They seem to have a strange butt-flattening effect, too. Before Symphony in Three Movements began, the women behind me were saying they were hoping for tutus in the next piece. Um, sorry. But they gasped in awe when the curtain rose on that diagonal of women. It was yet another experience that reaffirmed my belief (not a unique one) that Balanchine is a master of spectacle, even in his pared-down black-and-white ballets.

Edited by fondoffouettes

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I'm in a bit of Balanchine withdrawal! 

Mulling over the season, my mind keeps coming back to the charming, bright Emma Von Enck. I'd like to see her in some featured roles. I also wish they did a better job of getting pictures up on the website for new corps members, and maybe for apprentices too. I like to get to know the new ones, but it can be hard to figure out who they are unless I remember them from the SAB workshop (Mira Nadon) or there's something that makes them especially easy to recognize (like the very tall Christina Clark or the dark-skinned India Bradley). 

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12 hours ago, canbelto said:

I hope Harrison Coll gets promoted to soloist soon. He certainly deserves it.

He looked fantastic in Agon.

What do you make of the career trajectory of Troy Schumacher? I've seen very little of him, but he was so impressive in Symphony in Three Movements. If I recall correctly, people also said he was fantastic as Gold in Sleeping Beauty. His bio says it took 12 years for him to go from corps to soloist. Could principal ever be in the cards for him? 

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There is nobody in charge to give Coll a promotion. Everyone is in limbo regarding promotions. 

I think a lot of the people who have been stuck in the corps or at the soloist level for a long period of time may have hope that they might finally get a promotion under a new leader.  However, I think it is just as likely that a number of the long term corps members and long term soloists might get pink slips come February 2019, when the company must determine whose contracts will be renewed.  New leadership can be a double edged sword, bringing good fortune to some and job loss to others.  We've seen this scenario play out before under Corella in PA and under Lopez in Miami.  I suspect the same thing will happen at NYCB too.

Edited by abatt

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I think Corella is different from Lopez. Corella slashed and burned his way through both the company and the repertory and brought in his own people and his own taste in ballets.

Lourdes Lopez's approach in Miami has been more measured. She didn't decide to completely reinvent the wheel. Some long-term soloists and principals retired and/or were let go but she didn't completely remake the company.

As for Troy Schumacher he;s looking good but he's in sort of an odd spot because right now the company has a plethora of short virtuosos:

- Joaquin de Luz is retiring in the fall but while he's still here he's still performing well.

- Daniel Ulbricht is amazing in his limited repertoire

- Anthony Huxley is also an awesome short virtuoso

- Harrison Ball is injured right now but he's also the same type

In the corps, Roman Mejia is already getting a bunch of roles. So Schumacher might have to "wait his turn" for a couple more years. 

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3 hours ago, canbelto said:

I think Corella is different from Lopez. Corella slashed and burned his way through both the company and the repertory and brought in his own people and his own taste in ballets.

Lourdes Lopez's approach in Miami has been more measured. She didn't decide to completely reinvent the wheel. Some long-term soloists and principals retired and/or were let go but she didn't completely remake the company.

As for Troy Schumacher he;s looking good but he's in sort of an odd spot because right now the company has a plethora of short virtuosos:

- Joaquin de Luz is retiring in the fall but while he's still here he's still performing well.

- Daniel Ulbricht is amazing in his limited repertoire

- Anthony Huxley is also an awesome short virtuoso

- Harrison Ball is injured right now but he's also the same type

In the corps, Roman Mejia is already getting a bunch of roles. So Schumacher might have to "wait his turn" for a couple more years. 

I found that Huxley lacked stage presence on Saturday night. Schumacher on the other hand has great presence. I would hope both he and Ashley Laracey (what a cute couple btw) get promoted soon. 

For the rest, I agree with most everyone- Duo Concertant was an unexpected favorite! The leotards in Symphony in 3 need to go but Lowery’s dancing was also particularly sluggish, particularly when she shared the stage with Sterling Hyltin. 

Until the Spring!

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30 minutes ago, lacdescygnes said:

I found that Huxley lacked stage presence on Saturday night. Schumacher on the other hand has great presence. I would hope both he and Ashley Laracey (what a cute couple btw) get promoted soon. 

I enjoy Huxley’s dancing very much, but I’ve never seen him have strong chemistry with his partners (I haven’t seen him with Lovette). I find him particularly compelling in solo male roles (Melancholic, Agon Pd3). 

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41 minutes ago, lacdescygnes said:

For the rest, I agree with most everyone- Duo Concertant was an unexpected favorite! The leotards in Symphony in 3 need to go but Lowery’s dancing was also particularly sluggish, particularly when she shared the stage with Sterling Hyltin. 

 

Agree about Lowery.  I guess this is indelicate, but she did not look fit this season.

Edited by abatt

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2 hours ago, yukionna4869 said:

I enjoy Huxley’s dancing very much, but I’ve never seen him have strong chemistry with his partners (I haven’t seen him with Lovette). I find him particularly compelling in solo male roles (Melancholic, Agon Pd3). 

Usually dancers who fit that description are the short dynamos who do the pyrotechnic solos, especially in classical rep where Princes Must Be Tall, and there's a place for them.   In Balanchine, you have contrariness:  the tall woman with the short/shorter man and the McBride/Villella rep, where chemistry is critical in "Rubies," "Harlequinade," and "Tarantella," for example, and where it can work, like Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux.  But there are still the loners, like the roles you mentioned, as well as Phlegmatic, and it's interesting that Balanchine created them when he didn't have as many men in the company, but where they had less pristine technique (aside from the occasional dancer like Eglevsky) but more dramatic abilities.

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3 hours ago, abatt said:

Agree about Lowery.  I guess this is indelicate, but she did not look fit this season.

So interesting. I saw Lowery in Agon on (I think) Feb. 28 and to me she looked secure, with confident balances etc. I saw her in the same role later in the season and she seemed a different dancer. I wonder if something happened. On the other hand, Maria K looked just OK the first time, and later on was on fire.

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5 hours ago, abatt said:

Agree about Lowery.  I guess this is indelicate, but she did not look fit this season.

I saw the all Balanchine on Saturday night March 3.  I had never seen Baiser and I really enjoyed it despite the opinion of some that it's not out of Balanchine's top drawer.  I had hoped to see Fairchild and De Luz, but Peck and Huxley were excellent. I'd watch Peck in anything. I had never seen Huxley in anything really and thought his dancing was very clean and unmannered, although have to agree with lacdescygnes who said he lacked stage presence.  

Lacdescygnes said:  

For the rest, I agree with most everyone- Duo Concertant was an unexpected favorite! The leotards in Symphony in 3 need to go but Lowery’s dancing was also particularly sluggish, particularly when she shared the stage with Sterling Hyltin. 

Until the Spring!

I've seen Duo three times in the last couple of years, and the last time with Hyltin and Fairchild was fantastic.  It was intriguing to see Megan Fairchild and Janzen. He is another dancer I haven't seen much of. I think Fairchild's dancing has much more depth and expression than it had in the past and I enjoyed Duo completely. I was disappointed not to see my favorite dancer Kowroski in Agon, however Reichlen is another huge favorite and she was great!  Symphony in 3 was another I'd never seen in the theatre. Wow.  The opening stage picture was dazzling  even if  nobody likes  the white leotards.  I agree that Lowery didn't look fit and I have never loved her dancing.  The all Balanchine program was so wonderful, while the Friday program of 21st century works was only 50% wonderful.  Millepied's and Blanc's pieces were almost putting me to sleep.  i do want to see Decalogue again, and really enjoyed Namouna despite some of the silly aspects.

Until the spring!

I wanted to add that Hyltin was terrific in Symphony in 3, and I liked very much Ashly Isaacs.  Also I had low expectations for Chase Finlay in Agon yet I thought he did very well.  

Edited by Marta
Forgot to mention ...

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5 hours ago, abatt said:

Agree about Lowery.  I guess this is indelicate, but she did not look fit this season.

It's fair to say. She's looked out of shape for the past two or three seasons, and her dancing seems to have suffered. 

I never saw her when she looked like the dancer in the photos below. I hardly recognize her as the same dancer in the last picture, to be honest.

This may sound harsh, but she's one of those dancers that I think should be worried when contract renewal time comes up under the new AD. She must have been favored by Martins, as she continued to be cast frequently even as her physique and dancing went downhill. Or maybe she'll ride out another 4 or 5 years as a soloist before retiring...

Screen-Shot-2014-11-13-at-11.19.04-AM.pn

Screen-Shot-2014-11-13-at-11.22.16-AM.pn

image.jpg

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Wow, great pictures. Lowery must be the heaviest girl in the company, by some margin. She is tall and she often has a few extra pounds, but I think the main thing is that she is very, very big-boned. Even when she’s so skinny you can see her rib cage, she is big. It took me awhile to warm up to her but I like her sunniness and attack and have often seen her perform very well. Still, I have to say she does not look like these photos, especially the one from Rubies. Is she still doing Dewdrop?

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32 minutes ago, cobweb said:

It took me awhile to warm up to her but I like her sunniness and attack and have often seen her perform very well. 

 

It's interesting because what I've read about her online seems to indicate she's been valued for her attack and boldness, but what I've experienced is a dancer just trying to get through the steps. And in a ballet like Piano Concerto No. 2, she's lacked requisite refinement and delicacy.

I love big, tall majestic dancers but Lowery just seems...clunky.

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She's also in the video of Symphony in 3 that's on YT, dancing the same role as this past weekend, and she looks like a completely different dancer (in a good way) there as well. It's from 2008, I believe.

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The company forums are for your reviews: outside, professional reviews should be posted in the Writings on Ballet forum if there are discussion points raised.

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14 hours ago, cobweb said:

Wow, great pictures. Lowery must be the heaviest girl in the company, by some margin. She is tall and she often has a few extra pounds, but I think the main thing is that she is very, very big-boned. Even when she’s so skinny you can see her rib cage, she is big. It took me awhile to warm up to her but I like her sunniness and attack and have often seen her perform very well. Still, I have to say she does not look like these photos, especially the one from Rubies. Is she still doing Dewdrop?

While I don't like Lowery in the leotard ballets (too exposed for her physique) I do enjoy her powerful dancing when she is wearing a longer skirt as pictured above.

I don't mean to encourage extreme thin-ness among the dancers but I have noticed that a few corps dancers (notably Meaghan Dutton-O'Hara and Rachel Hutsell) are looking quite out of shape to a point where it is distracting. Maybe the interim management is trying to promote healthier bodies and that's great, but maybe some cross training would help.

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43 minutes ago, jessa_sissonne said:

While I don't like Lowery in the leotard ballets (too exposed for her physique) I do enjoy her powerful dancing when she is wearing a longer skirt as pictured above.

I don't mean to encourage extreme thin-ness among the dancers but I have noticed that a few corps dancers (notably Meaghan Dutton-O'Hara and Rachel Hutsell) are looking quite out of shape to a point where it is distracting. Maybe the interim management is trying to promote healthier bodies and that's great, but maybe some cross training would help.

I wasn't going to say it first, but I agree with you completely about Dutton O'Hara.  As for Hutshell, I'm not sure it's a fitness issue or a weight issue.  I just think her build is short and wide.  She does not have the physique one would normally find in a top level ballet company like NYCB. 

Edited by abatt

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1 hour ago, abatt said:

I wasn't going to say it first, but I agree with you completely about Dutton O'Hara.  As for Hutshell, I'm not sure it's a fitness issue or a weight issue.  I just think her build is short and wide.  She does not have the physique one would normally find in a top level ballet company like NYCB. 

I have noticed Rachel Hutsell in the past and always admired her great jumping skills, but she was definitely thinner. Perhaps she's just developing more muscles, I hope that's the case.

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