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‘Isadora’  with Osipova, Aug. 10-12, 2018

Mikhailovsky “Don Quixote,” Nov. 9-11, 2018, Ivan Vasiliev will dance 3 of them

ABT "Nutcracker" Dec. 14-23, 2018

ABT “Harlequinade,” Jan. 17-20, 2019

Eifman “Pygmalion,” May 24-26, 2019

https://www.ocregister.com/2018/04/07/segerstrom-center-to-open-2018-19-international-dance-series-with-world-premiere/

Edited by mussel
Edited to add ABT Nut.

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Thanks mussel. As usual, no emailed word to their loyal customers yet!

It also says ABT's Nutcracker from December 14-23. Disappointing there's such a short run for Harlequinade. Thought they could have used Nutcracker momentum there for something.

No comment on the Osipova Isadora or the return of Eifman. Oh dear.

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The Varnava "Isadora" for Osipova actually lightly intrigues me, but I think I will end up reading about it rather than seeing it since I doubt a trip to California is in the cards...I infer this will be done with a pick up company of some kind?

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I don’t think Isadoda will be set on a full ballet company, just a few dancers at most. In one of her interviews, Osipova mentioned Shklyarov as a potential partner.

 

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45 minutes ago, Dreamer said:

I don’t think Isadoda will be set on a full ballet company, just a few dancers at most. In one of her interviews, Osipova mentioned Shklyarov as a potential partner.

 

Shklyarov would make this all the more tempting to me, but I think my spring-summer ballet budget is already blown. Hmmm....

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Segerstrom is offering a "Choreograph" Your Own series this year (I think for the first time in recent memory). You can pick 3 shows and make a series--beneficial if you're trying to skip anything.

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1 hour ago, ksk04 said:

Segerstrom is offering a "Choreograph" Your Own series this year (I think for the first time in recent memory). You can pick 3 shows and make a series--beneficial if you're trying to skip anything.

Interesting -- some of us were just discussing these kinds of options in email.  When I first started working in dance in the early 1980s, it was all about the subscription, but it's shifted now.  Fewer people seem to want to be bound up by that kind of long-range schedule, and more people seem to want to buy multiple tickets for one event and nothing for something else.  A cafeteria-style system is one way for people to make some kind of commitment to the presenter (and for the presenter to get the cash up-front) without the sturm und drang.

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1 minute ago, sandik said:

Interesting -- some of us were just discussing these kinds of options in email.  When I first started working in dance in the early 1980s, it was all about the subscription, but it's shifted now.  Fewer people seem to want to be bound up by that kind of long-range schedule, and more people seem to want to buy multiple tickets for one event and nothing for something else.  A cafeteria-style system is one way for people to make some kind of commitment to the presenter (and for the presenter to get the cash up-front) without the sturm und drang.

I agree. In this instance, however, you can only select one performance per event as I found out today (and confirmed with a SCFTA rep on the phone). Once tickets come you can purchase more single tickets (like the regular subscription). I found this disappointing as I would have booked instantly several performances for each of the classical runs from ABT/Mik. You'd think, as you say, that they'd want as much of my money as they could get right now. Maybe in the future...

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It's taken some presenters a long time to understand that we're turning away from the traditional subscription model.  (I remember one year that subscriptions were down at Pacific Northwest Ballet, but single tickets had gone way up -- we were all gobsmacked)  And I can only imagine the new software someone has to have developed in order to make something like this possible without the box office staff going absolutely bonkers.  But I do think this is the direction we're heading.

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I just received a mailer today from SCFTA, and they've added a Mark Morris Dance Group production of Pepperland, June 14-15, 2019.

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10 minutes ago, pherank said:

I just received a mailer today from SCFTA, and they've added a Mark Morris Dance Group production of Pepperland, June 14-15, 2019.

I saw Pepperland in Toronto a couple of months ago and was VERY underwhelmed by it.

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14 minutes ago, kbarber said:

I saw Pepperland in Toronto a couple of months ago and was VERY underwhelmed by it.

Long ago,SF Ballet under Michael Smuin performed his To the Beatles ballet and it was quite underwhelming for me. I don't think the music is a good fit for ballet (true of most Pop music). I'm not convinced anyone has come up with a truly clever way of integrating Pop with ballet (that is recognizably ballet).

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6 hours ago, kbarber said:

I saw Pepperland in Toronto a couple of months ago and was VERY underwhelmed by it.

They danced it here in Seattle a couple months ago -- I liked it very much, although I had to adjust to the orchestrated variations on the score.  So many of us (of a certain age!) spent hours and hours listening to that recording, it's odd to hear it through someone else's ears.

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On 4/9/2018 at 4:26 PM, sandik said:

Interesting -- some of us were just discussing these kinds of options in email.  When I first started working in dance in the early 1980s, it was all about the subscription, but it's shifted now.  Fewer people seem to want to be bound up by that kind of long-range schedule, and more people seem to want to buy multiple tickets for one event and nothing for something else.  A cafeteria-style system is one way for people to make some kind of commitment to the presenter (and for the presenter to get the cash up-front) without the sturm und drang.

I've only been attending Ballet since the mid 90's, but individual dancers, instead of companys, have always been my focus. Since no one posts casting until a few weeks before performance (at best), the subscription model always seemed silly to me. This is what frustrates me about LA Ballet. All due respect to BB, but buying a ticket to a show feels like rolling the dice at Caesars Palace to see if you get Petra Conti or Bianca Bulle (LA Ballet NEVER posts casting.) So few people buy subscriptions that getting a decent, last-minute, Prime Orchestra seat isn't very difficult. Of course, this may not be the case in other, more ballet-centric cities.

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I'm putting my impressions on Isadora here, I guess. Basically as expected based on the promos, past experiences with Ardani productions, and the last Osipova solo vehicle. I feel like I cannot give an unbiased judging to choreography whose main vocabulary is squatting, flex feet, jutting legs, and turned in legs as a stand in for emotional expression. There were really absurd parts to the narrative (the giving birth in car scene comes to mind) and the character of Isadora never feels like a person who is making any of her own decisions; in the ballet she is directed from one scene to another, sort of haplessly, by (I think) a Terpsichore figure. Having it danced to the score of Cinderella was extra disappointing as I can see better choreography in my head throughout the whole evening. I am not an expert on Duncan's dancing but I have read a bit about her, seen "the clip" of her on Youtube, and also Ashton's 5 Brahms Waltzes and I didn't see anything of the lightness and freedom I associate with Duncan in this piece (which are also qualities of Osipova, no?). Even when she jumps there is some nonsense flexed foot which takes away any of the lightness. The whole evening seemed to make Osipova as ugly and ungainly as possible. Lots of strained emoting.

There's a fairly large supporting cast for something like this and lots of costume changes. I'm glad Veronika Part can cash this paycheck but that is about as much as I can offer on her. She is there as a satire of a ballerina and given terribly clunky, unballetic (imo) choreography and a gaudy costume. I enjoyed fleeting moments of her port de bras, but overall lackluster. 

As usual, it seemed like people loved it. Standing O, etc. I hope someone else can share their opinion!

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I think you said it quite well, ksko4.  I have one Russian dancer friend, Vaganova-trained, who thought that the narrative most definitely needed to lose Lenin in the second act, and she was not at all enthusiastic about the choreography.  During the second act, I was asking myself why I subscribed this season to the dance series. The dancers were well-trained, well-rehearsed, and involved in what they were doing.  The female dancers moved better than Osipova, who thrashed about with precision. Part was not well-served in her role as the Ballerina. The spirit of Isadora Duncan was not in evidence.  

Great music, though!  (Prokofiev's wonderful score for Cinderella, played live!) 

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48 minutes ago, Josette said:

I think you said it quite well, ksko4.  I have one Russian dancer friend, Vaganova-trained, who thought that the narrative most definitely needed to lose Lenin in the second act, and she was not at all enthusiastic about the choreography.  During the second act, I was asking myself why I subscribed this season to the dance series. The dancers were well-trained, well-rehearsed, and involved in what they were doing.  The female dancers moved better than Osipova, who thrashed about with precision. Part was not well-served in her role as the Ballerina. The spirit of Isadora Duncan was not in evidence.  

Great music, though!  (Prokofiev's wonderful score for Cinderella, played live!) 

Just think of it as an orchestral performance of Prokofiev - with "visuals".  ;)

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I attended two performances—the opening night and Saturday evening.  The second viewing was more enjoyable because I was over my initial shock and able to find some positive moments in the overall underwhelming piece. I always avoided Ardani’s productions but this time I gave in to my curiosity of seeing one the most celebrated and highly praised Russian choreographer. Overrated, to keep it succinct. Varnava’s choreographic vocabulary is extremely limited and highly repetitive.  It was so boring that my only consolation was that at least I was treated to sounds of the always impeccable Mikhailovsky Orchestra conducted by Pavel Sorokin. The only time this ballet became engaging and interesting was the section that told the story of the relationship between Isadora and her Russian husband, the poet Sergei Yesenin danced by hyperkinetic Vladimir Dorokhin.  Why did Varnava feel necessary to include Lenin in the libretto? What was the meaning of Lenin as a dragonfly? Or was he a fairy? Too much symbolism that would be more appropriate in a play about Soviet history but not in a ballet. 

I did not feel that the opening night performance was well received by the audience. People did get up but there was no roaring appause or extended cheering. There was more enthusiasm after the Saturday’s performance though. Both night the house was undersold with lots of empty seats. 

Edited by Dreamer

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This will explain the Lenin appearance.

"Many of the people in Isadora’s life, both famous and obscure, will be represented too, Danilian said. “You will meet her family – her father, mother, sister, brother, and her child, which she lost. She even encounters Lenin as an angel.” An angel? “Yes, because for her he was an angel. He created a country where everyone was equal, at least ideally.” "

"As a committed leftist and an atheist, Duncan fit in well in the Soviet Union."

https://www.presstelegram.com/2018/08/02/russian-ballet-star-brings-dance-pioneer-isadora-duncan-to-life-in-world-premiere/

An interesting footnote. When I was in Moscow for the first and only time a few years ago I walked by Lenin's tomb. There was a time when visiting this was like going to Mecca. The lines to get in were huge. When I saw it, there was no one there. It was well maintained but I think that it was closed. How times change.

Edited by Buddy
last paragraph added

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Another possible interesting footnote. In memory of the passing away of Henry Segerstrom in 2015 Sergei Danilian was commissioned to produce and direct “Dreamers” which was performed at the Young Choreographers evening at the 2017 Mariinsky Festival. This was a rather upbeat work which Sergei Danilian explained was to commemorate all the cultural good that Henry Segerstrom had done and to focus on the joy in his life. I liked it very much.

Vladmlir Varnava choreographed one of the segments, “Within.” It featured Yekaterina Kondaurova and I rather liked it. Folks who saw Isadora might be interested in comparing the two.

The entire work can seen starting at 1:28:50. Vladmlir Varnava’s “Within” starts at 1:36:30.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXILEnsBSrY

(posted by the Mariinsky)

 

 

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Josette, I thought the same thing and my mind started wandering to what other horrors the season subscription holds. I do agree it was nice to hear the Prokofiev score instead of something atrocious; I just kept replaying moments from Ashton's Cinderella in my head.

 

Some of the interview from the Press Telegram article makes no sense. For example, " Varnava emphasized that his examination of Duncan, set to the score of Sergei Prokofiev’s “Cinderella,” isn’t strictly autobiographical. He’s more interested in her art and legacy. 'There is so much to explore besides the details of her life, which I think are sometimes paid too much attention. I’m more interested in what she achieved as an artist.'"  

I saw literally nothing of what Duncan achieved "as an artist" in this production. All it seemed to do was explore, poorly, details of her life? Whatever...

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3 hours ago, Buddy said:

Another possible interesting footnote. In memory of the passing away of Henry Segerstrom in 2015 Sergei Danilian was commissioned to produce and direct “Dreamers” which was performed at the Young Choreographers evening at the 2017 Mariinsky Festival. This was a rather upbeat work which Sergei Danilian explained was to commemorate all the cultural good that Henry Segerstrom had done and to focus on the joy in his life. I liked it very much.

Vladmlir Varnava choreographed one of the segments, “Within.” It featured Yekaterina Kondaurova and I rather liked it. Folks who saw Isadora might be interested in comparing the two.

The entire work can seen starting at 1:28:50. Vladmlir Varnava’s “Within” starts at 1:36:30.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXILEnsBSrY

 

Big Red emerging from a bathtub - is that a play on Botticelli's Birth of Venus?  😉

I don't get the sense that the choreography was made to fit Ms. K's best attributes/abilities. It doesn't feel like a true collaboration between choreographer and dancer (even if it was). And that is a criticism I hear of the Isadora piece as well.

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53 minutes ago, pherank said:

Big Red emerging from a bathtub - is that a play on Botticelli's Birth of Venus?  😉

I don't get the sense that the choreography was made to fit Ms. K's best attributes/abilities. It doesn't feel like a true collaboration between choreographer and dancer (even if it was). And that is a criticism I hear of the Isadora piece as well.

Hi Pherank,

I really have no idea. Could well be Venus or a womb, etc. Looks like a life cycle, maybe, referring to  Henry Segerstrom. 

I always have the feeling that if the Mariinsky wants something done out of the ordinary they just give it to Yekaterina Kondaurova, no collaboration required. In my opinion she can make anything work, especially outside the Mariinsky norm.

I guess my post was meant to highlight the two different theatrical approaches and views about life that revolved around Sergei Danilian, Henry Segerstrom (his life and in this instance his theater) and Vladimir Varnava. "Dreamers" being the much more uplifting and perhaps successful.

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4 hours ago, Buddy said:

 

I always have the feeling that if the Mariinsky wants something done out of the ordinary they just give it to Yekaterina Kondaurova, no collaboration required. In my opinion she can make anything work, especially outside the Mariinsky norm.

I agree that Kondaurova has become Mariinsky's "contemporary specialist". She's was never intimidated by this type of choreography, as many of her cohorts were (she should be a shoo-in for teaching contemporary dance at the Vaganova Academy). But obviously, things are changing - the Russian dancers are becoming more used to seeing and dancing this type of piece. It makes all the difference to have local choreographers work in a 'contemporary' manner. The dancers need to spend a portion of their year - every year - learning contemporary choreography from the source in order to accustom the mind and body to the new approach to dance/art.

In the past, it was always a one-off: bring in a répétiteur to set, say, Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated on the Russian company. But this just bewildered the dancers, and they were mostly not believable or effective in the works.

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Just when we thought that we had seen it all with Ardani-style Ballerina Vanity Projects like Isadora, here comes Vishneva’s latest:

https://wwd.com/eye/people/diana-vishneva-ballet-dancer-1202762649/

Sleeping Beauty Dreams promises to bring out Aurora’s edgier side...what she dreamt during those 100 years! At $160 - $200+ bucks a pop in some venues, Vishneva better put on her pointe shoes, but I somehow doubt it.

Edited by CharlieH

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