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Helene

New York City Ballet Fall Season

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9 hours ago, Jayne said:

I'm not a NYer so I can only suggest from afar that if NYCB is short on appropriate male partners for roles he already knows.....he could save the day.  

I saw Craig Hall dance After the Rain ppd several times. He danced it with Wendy Whelan at her farewell performance and they added it to the program on HIS final performance in NYC. He was beautiful in it, seamless, soulful. I think Maria dances it with Ask Lacour, and they are well matched physically. Tiler dances it, and I can’t think of who she’s partnered with. It’s certainly not Ask due to the height discrepancy. I may have seen her dance it wih Craig as well. I’m not sure any man would want to step out of retirement and onto the stage with their shirt off, but Craig Hall would be worth seeing again. 

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13 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

I’m of the opposite opinion. I wish they’d let a few more women do 2nd movement Bizet. All the women who dance it have been doing it for quite some time (Kowroski, Mearns, Reichlen). They’re each good in their different ways but it would be so exciting to see someone new take a crack at it. 

I remember Sterling dancing it. Justin Peck partnered her IIRC. She was good, but not earth shattering. They usually cast the taller women. Is that why you say she was miscast?

I would like to see LaFreniere take on the 2nd movement Bizet. I’m eagerly anticipating her performance as the tall girl in Rubies. 

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13 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

I’m of the opposite opinion. I wish they’d let a few more women do 2nd movement Bizet. All the women who dance it have been doing it for quite some time (Kowroski, Mearns, Reichlen). They’re each good in their different ways but it would be so exciting to see someone new take a crack at it. 

I remember Sterling dancing it. Justin Peck partnered her IIRC. She was good, but not earth shattering. They usually cast the taller women. Is that why you say she was miscast?

I am a huge Hyltin fangirl* and would have crawled over broken glass to see her in the Bizet 2nd Movement had I been in town. But I can understand why the role might not have been right for her: although she counts versatility, charm, stage smarts, musicality, and a strong technique among her many gifts, she's not quite a ballerina in the grand manner in the way that Kowroski, Mearns, and Reichlen are.

I too would like to see LaFreniere in the role when she's ready, but also Emilie Gerrity, who has been very impressive in some of Mearns' roles (Sanguinic and Namouna), and Ashley Laracey, who isn't quite in the grand ballerina mold either, but who could be very special in the role nonetheless. She was just a dream in Divertimento No. 15.

ETA: * Given a choice between Hyltin and Peck in Sleeping Beauty,Coppelia, or the Midsummer Night's Dream Divertissement, I will choose Hyltin every time. 

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell

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1 minute ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I too would like to see LaFreniere in the role when she's ready, but also Emilie Gerrity, who has been very impressive in some of Mearns' roles (Sanguinic and Namouna), and Ashley Laracey, who isn't quite in the grand ballerina mold, but who could be very special in the role nonetheless. She was just a dream in Divertimento No. 15.

Totally agree. I would love to see Laracey, Gerrity, and/or LaFreniere in Symphony in C, second movement. Also I could see all three getting a shot at "Diamonds." And I'd add Unity Phelan as well, for both roles. 

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1 minute ago, cobweb said:

Totally agree. I would love to see Laracey, Gerrity, and/or LaFreniere in Symphony in C, second movement. Also I could see all three getting a shot at "Diamonds." And I'd add Unity Phelan as well, for both roles. 

I like Phelan a lot, but at the moment I don't think she has the kind of distinct and wholly individual style that the really big roles require. I think she just needs a little time and space to develop one — outside of the bright glare of  Diamonds, for instance. 

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5 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I like Phelan a lot, but at the moment I don't think she has the kind of distinct and wholly individual style that the really big roles require. I think she just needs a little time and space to develop one — outside of the bright glare of  Diamonds, for instance. 

Yes, agreed. I'd say the same for LaFreniere - she could use a little more nuance outside of that megawatt smile. Hopefully both will get there. Gerrity shows some very promising development recently. This will surprise no one who knows how much I love Ashley Laracey, but of this group she is IMHO most ready for these roles, poetic, individualistic, and luminous. 

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3 minutes ago, cobweb said:

Yes, agreed. I'd say the same for LaFreniere - she could use a little more nuance outside of that megawatt smile. Hopefully both will get there. Gerrity shows some very promising development recently. This will surprise no one who knows how much I love Ashley Laracey, but of this group she is IMHO most ready for these roles, poetic, individualistic, and luminous. 

Yup, yup, and yup.

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33 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I too would like to see LaFreniere in the role when she's ready, but also Emilie Gerrity, who has been very impressive in some of Mearns' roles (Sanguinic and Namouna), and Ashley Laracey, who isn't quite in the grand ballerina mold either, but who could be very special in the role nonetheless. She was just a dream in Divertimento No. 15.

I’ll add my vote to Gerrity as well. I thought she was fabulous as Sanguinic in 4Ts. 

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I agree with Kathleen O’Connell’s footnote on Tiler Peck and Sterling Hyltin. Although one should never have to choose between two of the world’s greatest ballerinas, my personal preference is Sterling, and I consider myself so lucky every time she is listed as dancing in a performance for which I have tickets. She has an ethereal quality, yet spontaneity, which transform her into every role she plays. In many ways she reminds me of the great Allegra Kent. I am sorry she just retired the role of Juliet, I loved her in that.  But I love her in anything she does. I love Tiler too—no one can touch her in so many roles—she’s just a different ballerina. Lucky to have both of them, and Ashley Bouder, Sara Mearns, Teresa Reichlen, Megan Fairchild (come back in the spring please!) —all different, each in her own way, and all superb!

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2 minutes ago, CTballetfan said:

Although one should never have to choose between two of the world’s greatest ballerinas, my personal preference is Sterling ... I love Tiler too—no one can touch her in so many roles—she’s just a different ballerina. Lucky to have both of them, and Ashley Bouder, Sara Mearns, Teresa Reichlen, Megan Fairchild (come back in the spring please!) —all different, each in her own way, and all superb!

This is why there isn't as much money in my bank account as there should be. Sometimes you just have to choose them all. 😉

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18 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

I’m of the opposite opinion. I wish they’d let a few more women do 2nd movement Bizet. All the women who dance it have been doing it for quite some time (Kowroski, Mearns, Reichlen). They’re each good in their different ways but it would be so exciting to see someone new take a crack at it. 

I remember Sterling dancing it. Justin Peck partnered her IIRC. She was good, but not earth shattering. They usually cast the taller women. Is that why you say she was miscast?

 

4 hours ago, cobweb said:

Totally agree. I would love to see Laracey, Gerrity, and/or LaFreniere in Symphony in C, second movement. Also I could see all three getting a shot at "Diamonds." And I'd add Unity Phelan as well, for both roles. 

Hyltin's height  wasn't a major problem for me. Even though she is short she is very long-limbed and when I saw that she was cast I thought that might serve her well. I think that in general taller dancers look better in this but she looked ok. It was more her temperament that was the problem. 

Symphony in C's second movements is one of those magical Balanchine Goddess roles. I remember Whelan in an interview (paraphrasing) saying that when she danced it she felt as if she was talking to God. Others have brought great mystery, or spirituality or transcendence to it. Hyltin was just pretty, she didn't really project any inner life and for me that is a killer in this role. I have enjoyed her very much in other roles, but not this one.

I think LaFreniere, Gerrity, Phelan and Laracey are all promising candidates for this, but I don't think any of them are ready for it with the exception of Laracey, and I don't think they'll cast her in it. She doesn't seen to be a favorite. 

 

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1 hour ago, nysusan said:

 



Symphony in C's second movements is one of those magical Balanchine Goddess roles. I remember Whelan in an interview (paraphrasing) saying that when she danced it she felt as if she was talking to God. Others have brought great mystery, or spirituality or transcendence to it. Hyltin was just pretty, she didn't really project any inner life and for me that is a killer in this role. 

 

 

IMO the greatest ever Bizet second movement was Allegra Kent who was quite short. But speaking of "inner life" - GADZOOKS!

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“Inner life” - my most favorite ballerina attribute. I have not been viewing the NY ballet scene for nearly as long as many of you. In that mystical category, Veronika Part, Kowroski, and Laracey come top of mind. As we all wait for performances to begin, who else in recent years populates this category?

Also I echo CTballetfan’s call to Megan Fairchild: come back soon!!

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46 minutes ago, zerbinetta said:

IMO the greatest ever Bizet second movement was Allegra Kent who was quite short. But speaking of "inner life" - GADZOOKS!

I was thinking of Allegra Kent when I read your post. Yes a short dancer can excel in the role if she has that mystic/inner life plus the right proportions plus the ability to be inside the music. Being tall and leggy doesn't make the role what it should be. I wish Hyltin was being given a chance to grow in it. After seeing her Swan Lake I think she could get there

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, yukionna4869 said:

I’ll add my vote to Gerrity as well. I thought she was fabulous as Sanguinic in 4Ts. 

I saw Gerrity’s debut as Sanguinic in 4T’s. She was great. I liked her better than Mearns in that ballet. 

I’m a total fangirl for Unity Phelan. I’d crawl over broken glass (love that phrase!) to see her do 2nd movement Bizet or Diamonds. I feel certain they will come at some point. I’ve seen her dance Agon ppd in a lec dem with Heather Watts lecturing. Unity dances it with Calvin Royale, like they did at Vail. They are well matched. There’s a short clip on her IG, if you haven’t seen it. 

I love Sterling best in Symphony in 3 Movts. There’s something both matter of fact and incredibly detailed about her in that ballet. She lives inside the music and just plays around calmly hitting all the right notes. 

Still, I could watch the Bizet every night. Put a new woman in there and keep it coming. I always feel so happy after that ballet. 

John Clifford has posted a video on YouTube of the Bizet with Allegra dancing the 2 nd Movt, beautifully partnered by Conrad Ludlow. That’s one thing I like about Clifford - he posts great Balanchine videos. 

 

Edited by BalanchineFan
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34 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

Still, I could watch the Bizet every night. Put a new woman in there and keep it coming. I always feel so happy after that ballet.

I totally agree -- it's one of my handful of "do-over" ballets, ones I want to start over as soon as they are finished.

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17 minutes ago, Helene said:

I totally agree -- it's one of my handful of "do-over" ballets, ones I want to start over as soon as they are finished.

One thing about it is that there is so much to see. The feast is almost overwhelming

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37 minutes ago, vipa said:

One thing about it is that there is so much to see. The feast is almost overwhelming

As someone on this board said long ago: Symphony in C is bread and  water for ballet lovers. And if there's anybody who has not yet discovered Nancy Goldner's brilliant essay, I would highly recommend that, too, in More Balanchine Variations (pp. 14-23), including her analysis of that amazing tendu sequence for the corps in the last movement.

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I would love to see Hyltin dance the 2nd Movement. Tiler Peck, through various comments she's made, seems also eager for the opportunity to explore roles like this.

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13 hours ago, California said:

As someone on this board said long ago: Symphony in C is bread and  water for ballet lovers. And if there's anybody who has not yet discovered Nancy Goldner's brilliant essay, I would highly recommend that, too, in More Balanchine Variations (pp. 14-23), including her analysis of that amazing tendu sequence for the corps in the last movement.

I will look for the Nancy Goldner! Thank you for recommending it. I see that she has two books analyzing Balanchine ballets; Balanchine Variations, and More Balanchine Variations. I can't believe I don't have them already.

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Don't think Tiler could do the second movement. She's talked about an early back injury limiting her flexibility. If you notice she rarely does full arabesque penchees, and she certainly can't do the head-to-knee curl in Symph in C second movement. 

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2 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

I will look for the Nancy Goldner! Thank you for recommending it. I see that she has two books analyzing Balanchine ballets; Balanchine Variations, and More Balanchine Variations. I can't believe I don't have them already.

I enthusiastically add my recommendation for both volumes. They’re virtually a bible for Balanchine devotees and I refer to them constantly. 

Nancy gave a pretalk at SPAC a few years ago. I asked her if there would be a third. “Even More Balanchine Variations”. I’m thinking not. 😪

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30 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

If this video is any evidence, Allegra Kent didn't.

 

Suzanne was the first one to do the head to knee curl. She describes how it came about, in her book. Everyone who came after her has done it.

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