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Drew

Next season announced (Atlanta)

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Big plans for next season at Atlanta Ballet--including the long announced Possokhov Nutcracker, expanding the number of dancers in the company, adding a fall program to the calendar, and new productions (that is, in addition to the Nutcracker) that include La Sylphide, and premiers by Ricardo Amarante, Yuri Yanowsky, and Liam Scarlett.  (Also a return of Gemma Bond's Denouement and a new-to-Atlanta work that PNB goers on this site probably know, Kyon Gaines' Sum Stravinsky.)

https://www.myajc.com/entertainment/arts--theater/atlanta-ballet-unveils-plans-expand/1NhY8XtbKYjf52pXI2QPeL/

I am excited about some of the programming though I have mixed feelings about a few things and am disappointed that we don't have any Balanchine to anchor some of these programs or even Ratmansky (as opposed, say, to Eckman and Kylian).  But this year's Don Quixote has won a lot of trust from me that the company is headed in a good direction.  I'm also pleased that there are big donors out there making an expansion of the company in terms of personnel and performances possible...so if they are reading this, thank you.

(For pie-in-the-sky future planning: some sort of Shuttle that goes to and from a few central locations in the Atlanta area to the Cobb Energy Center would be welcome. Mr. Drew and I have given up on going to Atlanta Ballet performances at night because of the challenges of highway driving at night with middle-aged eyes. I myself actually couldn't drive there at any time of day. New performances planned in Sandy Springs won't solve this problem either. I realize this kind of shuttle idea is unrealistic. At least at the present time.)

(Edited well after the fact when I realized I probably had a factual error about the provenance of their Sylphide production.)

Edited by Drew

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4 hours ago, balletgirl22sk said:

Moved to Atlanta a few months ago and will be going to Black Swan this Sat. night. Never have seen the company, so anxious to go.

Welcome to Atlanta. The company is in a bit of a transition right now, but I think good things are happening if you care about ballet. How Act III Swan Lake on its own will work is, however, a bit of a question mark to me. That is, I'm sure the pas de deux will be enjoyable if it's well-danced or even just decently danced--but all the character dances? That doesn't tend to be where American dancers shine. I also think that this is going to be performed to recorded music which can be a bit of a damper. Fortunately, the Craig Davidson premier on the same program is set to chamber music--I assume precisely so that they could afford live music. And the dancers are bound to be well showcased in a work that was set on them. (For some of their programs the company does have a live orchestra--last month's Don Quixote did.)

The scheduled Saturday-night Siegfried, Nicholas Gaifullin, is new to the company and I thought he was a terrific Basilio in Don Quixote last month. (I write as a fan not a professional.) At one point in the performance Gaifullin and his partner got their costumes snagged, and gamely tried to dance through it; it quickly become clear that the un-snagging required a few seconds of direct attention, so they did sort of slow down or semi-pause to sort it out...and it then seemed very much to me as if, in the turns he did immediately following the un-snagging, Gailfullin put an extra bit of "pop" as if to announce to the audience that nothing was going to take this performance off track. I liked his Basilio already, but at that moment I began rooting for his career in a big way. That said, Siegfried seems to me to make more rigorous demands on a young dancer than Basilio, and one will have to await the performance...Since I will be seeing a different cast, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on what you see.

P.S. I see you are (or were) from Sarasota--as I understand Gaifullin's parents danced there for a number of years.

Edited by Drew

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5 hours ago, Drew said:

I am excited about some of the programming though I have mixed feelings about a few things and am disappointed that we don't have any Balanchine to anchor some of these programs or even Ratmansky (as opposed, say, to Eckman and Kylian).  But this year's Don Quixote has won a lot of trust from me that the company is headed in a good direction.  I'm also pleased that there are big donors out there making an expansion of the company in terms of personnel and performances possible...so if they are reading this, thank you.

Some Balanchine or Ratmansky always helps.  ;)
I wonder if Nedvigin thinks that Balanchine is too obvious a choice? And in the beginning at least, he must have a huge wish list of choreographers and ballets he'd like to take on. How to seem new, different, and in-tune with the classics all at the same time? I'm sure he needs to feel the company dancers are actually ready for the ballets that they are taking on. It's hard to say what they are capable of as a company yet, but it should be a fun season all the same. Nedvigin should try to license Ratmansky's Odessa and Peck's Rodeo - that would be something of a coup for a regional company.

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Gaines' work is certainly neo-classical, so that might help with the anchoring you were hoping for. 

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Went to Black Swan Sat. night. Odile, Jessica Assef, was technically good but lacked character. Pretty much no acting so I wasn't too thrilled. Her Siegfried was Nikolas Gaifullin who I thought was very good- young and great technique. Did not like the Neopolitan Dance. When I was at Pa Ballet years ago, they did Neopolitan on pointe and it was hard and fun. My roommate performed that role and said it was difficult. I didn't like it being the first dance out of order.

Remembrance I enjoyed mostly. Nice to have live music but don't think the music was great for the choreography. The dancers looked good and I liked the changing lighting. This was the first time I was in this theater and sight lines were good. I was near the back in the mezzanine. Looking forward to more Atl Ballet performances.

 

 

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5 hours ago, balletgirl22sk said:

Went to Black Swan Sat. night. Odile, Jessica Assef, was technically good but lacked character. Pretty much no acting so I wasn't too thrilled. Her Siegfried was Nikolas Gaifullin who I thought was very good- young and great technique. Did not like the Neopolitan Dance. When I was at Pa Ballet years ago, they did Neopolitan on pointe and it was hard and fun. My roommate performed that role and said it was difficult. I didn't like it being the first dance out of order.

Remembrance I enjoyed mostly. Nice to have live music but don't think the music was great for the choreography. The dancers looked good and I liked the changing lighting. This was the first time I was in this theater and sight lines were good. I was near the back in the mezzanine. Looking forward to more Atl Ballet performances.

 

 

I went in the afternoon and wrote about it on another thread (for "Black Swan"). I wrote there that I thought perhaps Nedvigin put the Neapolitan dance at the outset to break up the string of character dances--since this way it's danced before the classical dancing of the princesses and only then comes the line-up of the other character dances. Glad you liked Gailfullin. He and Assef were in the Spanish dance at the matinee, and even in the Spanish dance I thought he was a bit of a stand out.

I also have had good luck with the sight lines at the Cobb Energy Center. I like it as a venue very much--with the caveat that I'm not at all crazy about the location. Sight-lines at the much more magical and romantic Fox Theater are, by comparison, often terrible. (But if you are new to Atlanta you should definitely try to see something at the Fox Theater if only just to see the theater. It is genuinely special.)

Edited by Drew

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If it matters, here is a review of opening night (I think), and it basically echos what has been said here on the forum:

http://www.danceinforma.com/2018/03/18/atlanta-ballets-black-swan-shows-a-company-on-the-cusp-of-a-new-generation/

I was just looking at the dancer page on the Atlanta Ballet website, and, wow! the dancers are coming from many different countries. That's one SFB tradition that Nedvigin is carrying forward.

 

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2 hours ago, pherank said:

If it matters, here is a review of opening night (I think), and it basically echos what has been said here on the forum:

http://www.danceinforma.com/2018/03/18/atlanta-ballets-black-swan-shows-a-company-on-the-cusp-of-a-new-generation/

I was just looking at the dancer page on the Atlanta Ballet website, and, wow! the dancers are coming from many different countries. That's one SFB tradition that Nedvigin is carrying forward.

 

Thanks for posting--I had been looking for professional reviews.

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On Facebook and Twitter company recently announced that Robert Barnett is staging Tchaikovsky pas de deux for its Return to Fall program -- this was not originally announced as part of the program and I still can't find it on their website.  Very pleased though. I don't expect Atlanta Ballet will ever look like New York City Ballet, but am very much in favor of the company remaining in touch with this part of its history! 

 

Edited by Drew

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1 hour ago, Drew said:

On Facebook and Twitter company recently announced that Robert Barnett is staging Tchaikovsky pas de deux for its Return to Fall program -- this was not originally announced as part of the program and I still can't find it on their website.  Very pleased though. I don't expect Atlanta Ballet will ever look like New York City Ballet, but am very much in favor of the company remaining in touch with this part of its history! 

 

Yeah, they really should update the AB website to make it clear about the performance dates.  😉
I know Nedvigin has performed in Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux at SFB. Perhaps that's one of his favorites of the Mr. B. short works (and it doesn't require lots of dancers to perform).

Edited by pherank

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