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3 minutes ago, rkoretzky said:

So this is interesting. I finally had a few minutes to call city center when our schedules lined up. They don’t open the offices  until 10am.

I left a VM for the Vice President of marketing and certainly hope she’ll return my call. However the person I talked with (didn’t get her name) told me she’s worked there for eight years and the box office closes every August. (This is July 29-September 4, but I guess close enough). 

I’ve been buying tickets at CC for decades and have never heard about or experienced this. Anyone? 

Its true, I always go to the box office to buy tickets and they do close for vacation every year in August. They re-open about a week before fall for dance tickets go on sale.

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And as an example of an excellent policy that rewards frequent ticket purchasers:

I’m an original member of NYCB Fourth Ring Society, now know as Society NYCB. This goes back decades. My tickets can be purchased by phone or at the box office, with no service fees ever. There is a $3 facility fee for every ticket purchased, box office, online, phone. In my memory that’s relatively new, maybe 5 years?, but I just add it to the price if the ticket and it’s fair, across the board. 

I pay $25 annually to keep my my membership. It started at $20 all those years ago. I consider it a supplemental donation to NYCB and pay it gladly. It’s like season tickets at Yankee Stadium or my very inexpensive glimmerglass subscription. I won’t give it up. 

Ticket prices have risen a lot over the years. $12,$15,$17, $23, $28, $31. Maybe an increase this season, I still think it’s a marvelous deal.

Quite a few years ago, the PTB tried to eliminate our society. What a hue and cry! Our dear Carley Broder, R.I.P., published a letter in the New York Times!  It was restored, but only to current members. 

It us capacity controlled. I had a problem once, trying to see a Mearns Swan Lake. And you sit where they put you. No other down side. 

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10 minutes ago, nysusan said:

Its true, I always go to the box office to buy tickets and they do close for vacation every year in August. They re-open about a week before fall for dance tickets go on sale.

Wish I had known this and I would have asked my daughter to get to BO sooner. 

Notice on the website maybe? Prominently? I was checking often. 

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I would like to be corrected if I am wrong, but I do not recall the box office of any other major dance venue in NYC (Koch, BAM, Joyce) closing like this. 

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On 8/1/2018 at 4:34 PM, nanushka said:

I have to say I completely agree with his criticisms of Xander’s hand placement (is he stopping traffic? wholly lacking in poetry) and the muse’s hand on her knee. It sounds like he and Xander have a relationship and that the latter is genuinely grateful (not just being polite and brushing him off).

As often before, though, I’m struck by how AM views his role as a critic to be one of a directly intervening advice-giver to dancers — not at all the only (or predominating?) way of viewing the enterprise.

I mean, I would probably have commented on that hand too. It's just so jarring.  I initially thought it was a random, casual rehearsal moment caught on camera but then the way Parish posted it and the way he responded to Macaulay made it seem like he really didn't notice the "problem"?  The whole thing is a little confusing. 

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On 8/3/2018 at 9:05 PM, Quiggin said:

Well put, Drew. It's an absolute conflict of interest. I thought of Clement Greenberg, the Nation art critic, who got in trouble for changing the colors on David Smith's sculptures – and other interventions. 

Also I'm of the opinion that Apollo is simply about the steps and 1920's acrobatics, not about the sets of myths that has encrusted the ballet over the years. "Twelve gods, eternity, transcendence" is for a Sunday school lesson, not for a witty ballet.

That's a very interesting take. I'm tempted to view it that way. But it's also been said that Balanchine would tell stories and give specific suggestions for what to think when rehearsing Apollo, unlike most other ballets of his. 

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13 hours ago, bcash said:

... But it's also been said that Balanchine would tell stories and give specific suggestions for what to think when rehearsing Apollo, unlike most other ballets of his. 

Lew Christensen, who was the Apollo of the late thirties, also says you dance Apollo without emotion, just going here and there, one step and the other... And didn't Balanchine use stories when he needed them to make a point in rehearsal (and discard them as easily) rather than for the ballet to illustrate a literary or mythological narrative as Macaulay seems to want? 

Anyway for me the ending of Apollo is like the extended ending of Emeralds – a real mystery as where the players are going or what's going to happen to them. And so very moving because it is such a mystery. 

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On 8/8/2018 at 11:25 AM, bcash said:

That's a very interesting take. I'm tempted to view it that way. But it's also been said that Balanchine would tell stories and give specific suggestions for what to think when rehearsing Apollo, unlike most other ballets of his. 

True. For example, Edward Villella wrote that Balanchine told him Apollo was a rascal. Villella doubted, probably rightly, that Balanchine told Peter Martins that. Different dancers, different approaches to the role.

Quiggin wrote:

Quote

Anyway for me the ending of Apollo is like the extended ending of Emeralds – a real mystery as where the players are going or what's going to happen to them. And so very moving because it is such a mystery. 

I guess I never thought of it as a mystery - I always figured they were ascending to Olympus (?)  I do agree that it's very moving - because they're leaving us to the earth and our messy mortality.

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I would think that Xander is a good choice because of his cultural familiarity. He also looks like a young Apollo. With time he can make it even better.

Yekaterina Kondaurova is always my choice for anything outside familiar Mariinsky waters. She would probably be the best in interpreting Terpsichore. Yet for the high point duet (in my opinion), because of its beautiful loveliness, there are many who could give it a shot. Kristina Shapran was cast for one night at the Mariinsky and she could be a very good choice. Maria Horeva, who just graduated from the Vaganova, did the second night. Part of this can be seen on video. Of the three young graduates who performed that night, I’m becoming more fond of what she did. She had a lovely, delightful and creative sense of dance in her solo. The duet isn’t on the internet, but I’d love to see it. She may have a ways to go in grasping the character, but I somehow think that she would have brought a smile to George Balanchine’s face. She does to mine.

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I mentioned that I thought that Maria Horeva (Mariinsky site spelling) did a very fine job with her Terpsichore solo, but perhaps will understand the character better in time. I still feel that this is true, but I’m not sure that understanding the character better would actually improve the performance. She’s chosen a delightfully playful approach, her own, and I think that it works just fine. I have no idea if she’ll appear in New York, but I sort of wish that she would.

Added: In her duet, which someone at Ballet Alert! sent me, thanks again so much, I feel that she’s very charming and her dance is absolutely fine and lovely. Also she has a  more developed facial approach, which I think is very impressive.

Edited by Buddy
"Added" added

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Buddy, the playful (“facial”) approach is typical Mariinsky Apollo muses and, to me, is dead wrong compared to Farrell and other NYCB greats who don’t show teeth or flirt with the audience. It’s what many in this forum complained about in Assylmuratova’s Terpsichore, for example, who actually smiled at the audience in spots - not just to Apollo. Same problem with Veronica Part, even when she had moved to ABT. Of course each audience member interprets a performance through his own prism. The flirty approach seems jarring to those used to more poker-faced muses, like Farrell. Remember, the muses are teaching cerebral lessons to the young Apollo.

If one prefers flirty, chacun a son gout!

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2 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Buddy, the playful (“facial”) approach is typical Mariinsky Apollo muses and, to me, is dead wrong compared to Farrell and other NYCB greats who don’t show teeth or flirt with the audience. It’s what many in this forum complained about in Assylmuratova’s Terpsichore, for example, who actually smiled at the audience in spots - not just to Apollo. Same problem with Veronica Part, even when she had moved to ABT. Of course each audience member interprets a performance through his own prism. The flirty approach seems jarring to those used to more poker-faced muses, like Farrell. Remember, the muses are teaching cerebral lessons to the young Apollo.

If one prefers flirty, chacun a son gout!

Thanks, Charlie. This is all news to me. I’m glad to know that it’s not my fantasy perception. Do you have any idea who introduced this interpretation?

But yes, with her anyway, for me, it works just fine.

I think that it might be less noticeable in her duet than in her solo. And at the last few moments of the duet, and earlier, she has a facial expression that suggests almost sublime reverie. These moments, for me, are almost magical, and show a prowess of expression, that I find quite remarkable for someone so young.

Edited by Buddy
slight rewording

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Buddy, this began with whoever coached the first Apollo at the Mariinsky in the mid-1990s. Asylmuratova and her fellow muses. Forgetting the stager...Francia Russell perhaps? But the dancers and their own coaches often override the Balanchine Trust stagers.

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On 8/9/2018 at 4:40 AM, Quiggin said:

And didn't Balanchine use stories when he needed them to make a point in rehearsal (and discard them as easily) rather than for the ballet to illustrate a literary or mythological narrative as Macaulay seems to want? 

In most of his works, yes, though a handful do have more traditional narratives — e.g. Prodigal Son and La SonnambulaApollo strikes me as falling somewhere in between.

On 8/10/2018 at 12:32 PM, dirac said:

I guess I never thought of it as a mystery - I always figured they were ascending to Olympus (?)  I do agree that it's very moving - because they're leaving us to the earth and our messy mortality.

At least to the extent that Balanchine is responsible for the content of the book published in his and Francis Mason's name (and indeed the book is written from GB's first-person perspective throughout), this is affirmed in Balanchine's Complete Stories of the Great Ballets (pp. 25-26):

Quote

From on high, Zeus calls his son Apollo home with mighty crescendos of sound. ... Now Apollo takes [the Muses'] hands and draws them like a chariot across the stage. He takes them to the foot of the high rock, then walks forward and begins to climb to the summit, pointing the way to Olympus. The Muses follow.

 

Edited by nanushka

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