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Francia Russell staged Apollo at the Kirov/Maryinsky in 1998. I very much doubt she would have coached the muses to smile. I think she'd die if she knew that had been pinned on her.

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2 hours ago, doug said:

Francia Russell staged Apollo at the Kirov/Maryinsky in 1998. I very much doubt she would have coached the muses to smile. I think she'd die if she knew that had been pinned on her.

When I saw the smiley muses cast on video (the same cast appearing in New York), I was...well...I was not smiling back.

Some very talented dancers surely, but I'm not surprised by your post.

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Last evening’s performance by NYCB of Symphony in C was not flawless; however, the company still made this great work appear—from my vantage point in the center of the balcony—vibrant and glorious.

A lovely yet subdued performance by Viktoria Tereshkina in Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux accompanied a thrilling one by Kimin Kim. The clarity, precision and beauty of movement by Kim impressed, and indicated an abiding commitment to excellence.

Superbly matched by contrast, Anna Rose O'Sullivan and Marcelino Sambé offered the audience a rendition of Tarantella which filled the theater with life and joy.

Just over half an hour long, Serenade is one of the most beautiful and moving of all ballets—whether abstract or narrative. Although Miami City Ballet's performance was not without flaws either, I would unhesitatingly grab any opportunity to watch Serenade with this company and same cast again.

 

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I thought it was a very pleasant evening overalll, with enthusiastic and appreciative audience.  It was my first time seeing Miami City Ballet dance Serenade; my live experiences of this ballet are limited to NYCB and SFB. As much as I enjoyed Janet Delgado, she alone couldn’t create that magic I always feel when watching it. I guess one needs to seat further away to fully experience the beauty of Serenade. The fifth raw in the orchestra was just way too close.

I wanted so much to enjoy Tchaikovsky Pas but I couldn’t. Throughout the entire piece I felt I was watching a preview of Le Corsaire which I very much look forward to next April in DC.

Marcelino Sambe in Tarantella rivaled Kimin Kim’s buyonacy. Did anyone else find any semblance between Marcelino and Edward Villella in energy and gusto?

Symphony in C had a few minor mishaps but it was such a powerful demonstration of how Balanchine’s choreography needs to be danced. 

ETA:  My comments  were about the opening night performance on October 31.

Edited by Dreamer

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Curious about the mishaps mentioned of NYCB in symphony in c. Can anyone elaborate? I have tickets for tomorrow night and Saturday matinee. 

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I'll have much more to write later but Sara Mearns had a bit of a stumble at the beginning of the adagio. She recovered quickly and did that famous developpe balance to penchee sequence just fine, but you could tell she was rather tense and her hands were shaking. 

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I thought Sara’s stumble was quite bad—it made me worried that she might have been in pain for the remainder of the performance. Or maybe it was something else but she did look strained.

There were also some space issues throughout Symphony in C as the City Center stage is too small for such high density, big movements ballet. 

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For me, the highlight of the festival so far is San Francisco Ballet's rendition of Divertimento No. 15.  It was just wonderful dancing of a gorgeous ballet given the deluxe treatment.   

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Yes, bobbi.

The performance last night of Divertimento No. 15 by San Francisco Ballet at City Center was sensational and profoundly life-enhancing. A great way certainly for Ana Sophia Scheller to return to the city, it featured spectacular accomplishments by at least three of her new colleagues—Dores André, Sasha De Sola and Frances Chung. De Sola's own stumble as the ballet was nearing its conclusion only made her and the company more endearing to me!

Edited by Royal Blue

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23 hours ago, doug said:

Francia Russell staged Apollo at the Kirov/Maryinsky in 1998. I very much doubt she would have coached the muses to smile. I think she'd die if she knew that had been pinned on her.

I was wondering about that. It struck me as the one poor performance of the night. Twenty years is a generation of dancers. Doesn't the Balanchine Trust send somebody to freshen his ballets up, or is that only if a company requests it?

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36 minutes ago, Anthony_NYC said:

I was wondering about that. It struck me as the one poor performance of the night. Twenty years is a generation of dancers. Doesn't the Balanchine Trust send somebody to freshen his ballets up, or is that only if a company requests it?

I thought the Calliope and Polyhymnia were weak, with a bit sloppy technique and very awkward facial expressions, but Khoreva was stunning. For me, she lived up to the hype, and I can't believe she's at most 20 years old.

I'll submit a lengthy review of the Wednesday and Thursday performances tomorrow.

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According to Jared angle’s public Instagram page, he tripped Sara (and apologized).  But there was definitely less trust after that mishap - she did look a little tense after, understandably.  It’s another sign of city ballet’s dearth of men that they felt they didn’t have one good enough for the first movement and stuck tyler angle in it, when he normally would be doing the second movement.  Jared doesn’t normally do that role.   And maybe the company was still tired from Shanghai.  Applebaum almost fell over after a double tour to the knee. I didn’t think city ballet danced at the same level as MCB the first night, or the other companies for that matter.  And Kimin Kim is just otherworldly and superhuman. 

Loved Khoreva last night. She was stunning. She looks like a cross between a young Suzanne Farrell and vishneva.  The pdd was gorgeous. Only thing lacking was the jazzy hip thrusts in her solo after.  Not really a Russian thing I guess. But overall I loved seeing the Russian girls- their beautiful line and extensions, and feet, were a real treat and not something that’s so common in the us companies.  Only maria k at city ballet is comparable.  And she did a great Barocco!  She and Janzen made a wonderful pair. 

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8 hours ago, Royal Blue said:

Yes, bobbi.

The performance last night of Divertimento No. 15 by San Francisco Ballet at City Center was sensational and profoundly life-enhancing. A great way certainly for Ana Sophia Scheller to return to the city, it featured spectacular accomplishments by at least three of her new colleagues—Dores André, Sasha De Sola and Frances Chung. De Sola's own stumble as the ballet was nearing its conclusion only made her and the company more endearing to me!

An Instagram post probably relating to the "stumbles":

doresandre
"SEE THE MUSIC, HEAR THE DANCE"- George Balanchine ...
"TRY NOT FALLING"- Dores André.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpqEj_5HtZk/

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5 hours ago, balanchinette said:

It’s another sign of city ballet’s dearth of men that they felt they didn’t have one good enough for the first movement and stuck tyler angle in it, when he normally would be doing the second movement.  Jared doesn’t normally do that role.  

Joseph Gordon has danced the first movement of Symphony in C and Russell Janzen has danced the second, so there were some attractive options on the roster. The company certainly had enough time since the departure of Catazaro, Finlay, and Ramasar to get a cast rehearsed and ready to go. Frankly, Gordon and Janzen would have been preferable first and second movement alternatives to Catazaro, Finlay, and Ramasar in any event.

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I wasn't there, but I gather these were a stumble or two and little more.  I can not only take some of this in stride, it points up a conundrum about dance I too actually enjoy:  We know the people up there on stage are made of the same kind of bone and muscle as we are, sitting out in the dark, watching, but they don't move like anyone else on this planet.  Maybe they came from another planet, not like space invaders come to destroy our cities; they came to show us something that makes us happy.  

As for Mr. B., he was said to take some satisfaction - and give one of his famous sniffs of approval - in a dancer who fell as she exited the stage into the wings next to him, having given her all, and turning her exit into something resembling a baseball player running on a baseline sliding into home plate, rather than holding back and making her whole sequence more pretty.  (Don't some of the old videos - I was looking at the Jewels excerpts from Dance in America last night - have more of a go-for-broke quality then we see today?)

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Thanks to everyone for these reports. Falls, slips, mistakes, come with the territory (and not always for the "good" reason Jack Reed mentions above that a dancer is not holding back and, indeed, is pushing herself past the limit) though it's always a shame when it happens on a high profile evening and especially if it affects the rest of a performance and most especially if it involves an injury.

Overall, though, these sound like very enjoyable and valuable performances.

Edited by Drew

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Very disappointing evening tonight.

Scotch Symphony - a ballet I never need to see again. No masterpiece. Why on earth did San Fran bring this ballet when there are so many greats to choose from? The Scottish accents became tiresome quickly. I don't understand what the story was. Who was the girl in pink and why did the corps men keep protecting her? Froustey was too girlish for my taste (perhaps she's suppose to be) and I found her hand mannerisms distracting. One corps woman took a nasty fall but recovered well. The ballet did answer one important question for me. Scottish men really *do* wear something under their kilts. 😉

Tschai pas - now perhaps this isn't fair, but Tereshkina and Kim got nothin' on Peck and De Luz. There was no charm, playfulness, musicality or daring. Or great chemistry. Tereshkina did a study in delicacy. She held a balance (show boating really) in a strange place, while bringing her leg down from a develope. She fell out of her fouettes at the beginning and the rest of them were strained and off. Kim's jumps were breathtaking of course, but he was devoid of personality. The fish dives were safe and unexciting, rather by the numbers.

Midsummer Night's pas - one of the most beautiful pas that exists to me. Park and Marchand did well and had some lovely moments, but Merrill Ashley remains the gold standard that no one has ever come close to that I've seen. 

Four Temperaments - Joffrey doesn't have the style (and in many cases the talent) to pull this off. There was no punch. Most of the dancers looked really uncomfortable. The forward-moving grand battements lacked attack and purpose. During Melancholic, I kept picturing Anthony Huxley. 

Not helpful throughout the evening were the folks I was surrounded by - using their phones and taking pictures, constant talking, loud gum chewing, and a few people coming or going during the performance. Just not a good night.

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I didn't think tonight was so bad... I really enjoyed Scotch Symphony and thought SF Ballet's dancing was overall the best of the evening, despite the fall. This piece was the only one on the program that didn't make me think about how much NYCB does it better.

Kimin Kim is a superhuman and his jumps in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux had the whole audience gasping. Tereshkina was NOT right for that part though. Maybe she was having a bad night but her style is nothing like the musicality and crispness that Tiler Peck and Ashley Bouder bring to the role... so what if they don't kick as high. And there's something odd and unpretty about Tereshkina's arm movements.

Four Temperaments is one of my favorite ballets and I think Joffrey did an admirable job, if not a great one. I wasn't really going into this one with high hopes to be honest. How can you top or even compare to NYCB in this? I liked the guy in Melancholic but, again, the lack of energy of the woman dancing Sanguinic made me really miss NYCB dancers. 

Overall it was nice to see all of these companies all in one program, and at a much closer distance than at Lincoln Center. 

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2 hours ago, canbelto said:

I attended the first three performances. Here's what I thought. I disagree by the way about Scotch Symphony. I thought it was wonderfully charming and can't fathom why this is considered "minor Balanchine":

https://humbledandoverwhelmed.blogspot.com/2018/11/international-festival-of-balanchine.html

Sometimes I find my own mood going into the night very much affects how I see and hear the performance.  Also where I am sitting.  But that Sanguinic review, goodness!  A smiling Sanguinic???   The best version I saw was Ariana Lallone,  no smile during those performances!  Here is a short clip of her describing the role from 8 years ago:

 

 

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Interested to learn that Anna Rose appeared in Tarantella with Sambe in what must have been her role debut  and also in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux which I think must have been a joint debut and that in both cases they were well received. But if the RB's dancers no longer perform Balanchine as they once did with a heavy foreign accent  that is in large part the result of no longer having such a pronounced house performance style. The more idiomatic Balanchine is perhaps at the cost of a less sure grasp of Ashton's stylistic obsessions and quirks. I had thought that perhaps the Mariinsky's dancers might have had the sense to conform more to the requirements of the choreography when appearing in New York . Did they really cut bits of the choreography in Tchai  as reported ?

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2 hours ago, Ashton Fan said:

I had thought that perhaps the Mariinsky's dancers might have had the sense to conform more to the requirements of the choreography when appearing in New York . Did they really cut bits of the choreography in Tchai  as reported ?

I can't speak to the choreography itself, but Tereshinka lacked the wit, charm, and lightness the role requires. Her variations did not sparkle, and her movements felt exaggerated but lacking musicality at the same time. For example, in her second variation, she focused on her pliés down in fourth, and seemed to stay there for a while, rather than on the beat to perk up to attitude or passé.

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She certainly cut the pas de chat in her solo, just before the fouettes--or at least just barely indicated it.

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They also didn't really do the fishdives. It was more like Kim picked up Tereshkina and dipped her forward to suggest a fish dive.

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So far I have seen 2 out of the 3 shows I have tickets for....on paper this sounded like a great idea (various companies paying homage to Balanchine), but so far in reality a bit disappointing. So far I feel the best Balanchine style (not counting NYCB) was exhibited by Miami City Ballet (despite a mistake by one of the women). 

I think it is important that other companies do Balanchine and I do think his choreography shines through even with different company styles, but it does sometimes look “off”.....my biggest disappointment has been the Paris Opera Ballet dancers in Midsummer PDD....

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