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Helene

New York City Ballet Fall Season

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1 minute ago, vipa said:

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.

That's right. As I remember it, Farrell said that Balanchine asked if she could touch her head to her knee. So maybe he thought of it first with her, or he'd been looking for it all along.

Kistler once said that at first she fell over trying to do it and was told not to bother, but she persisted until she could.

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4 minutes ago, vipa said:

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.

... or has attempted to do it. Not always successfully. 

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9 minutes ago, vipa said:

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.

Actually not. Sofiane Sylve refused to do it. She apparently found it vulgar. And she certainly could have done it. She was quite wonderful in the role.

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6 minutes ago, zerbinetta said:

Actually not. Sofiane Sylve refused to do it. She apparently found it vulgar. And she certainly could have done it. She was quite wonderful in the role.

Interesting, I didn't know that. I loved Sylve in NYCB, I guess I didn't see her in that role. Personally I never found it vulgar, just a way of finishing out the music. 

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19 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

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

 

Nor does she do the balance with the developpe a la seconde, which I admit, I find a little disappointing. I've never seen a ballerina opt out of that. Does anyone know if historically, ballerinas (and their partners) have sometimes eschewed the balance? He also holds onto her during the change of position that occurs around 1:17, which hasn't been the case in any NYCB performances I've seen. (I find Kent absolutely stunning in this, btw. The falls into his arms are the best I've ever seen.)

For me, the pressing of the nose to the shin is not important at all. Kowroski, when she last danced it, probably got about as close as Kent in the video above. Kowroski has always struck me as a very flexible dancer, with absolutely gorgeous arabesques. So, maybe for her, it was just an artistic choice; or it's something that has become more difficult to do as she's gotten older.

 

Edited by fondoffouettes

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11 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

Nor does she do the balance with the developpe a la seconde, which I admit, I find a little disappointing. I've never seen a ballerina opt out of that. Does anyone know if historically, ballerinas (and their partners) have sometimes eschewed the balance? He also holds onto her during the change of position that occurs around 1:17, which hasn't been the case in any NYCB performances I've seen. (I find Kent absolutely stunning in this, btw. The falls into his arms are the best I've ever seen.)

For me, the pressing of the nose to the shin is not important at all. Kowroski, when she last danced it, probably got about as close as Kent in the video above. Kowroski has always struck me as a very flexible dancer, with absolutely gorgeous arabesques. So, maybe for her, it was just an artistic choice; or it's something that has become more difficult to do as she's gotten older.

 

The story I heard about the balance (perhaps it was from John Clifford, perhaps it’s in Kent’s book, I can’t quite remember where) is that she was having trouble balancing that day and they reshot that part of the ppd without the corps. Conrad Ludlow was able to cover the balance, which I think he does beautifully (both of them dance beautifully, really). I know it’s  Clifford who says that Allegra originally wasn’t supposed to do the filming (she’d had three kids by then) and stepped in for Gelsey last minute. 

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My favorite Symphony in C second movement dancer Tess Reichlen definitely does it (at 2:03 in the video):

 

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I predict that the Vaganova/Bolshoi primas Zakharova, Smirnova, and Stepanova will have no problem with these moves when they dance Symphony in C next summer.  That strong and flexible Vaganova back!  

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Recent developments have unleashed a cacophony of sound emanating from all sorts of people, among others those who belittle the arts, those who are unappreciative of the art form of ballet, those who dislike Balanchine's choreography, and those who feel NYCB lost its way under Martins' stewardship. It is fortunate and apt that the season begins with the magnificent Jewels and a few other masterpieces, and that the orchestra will soon start playing the restorative music of Fauré, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Bizet and Bach. All those on stage and in the audience who understand or sense the importance of art in our society will rise above this unsettling time for NYCB.

 

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Well said, Royal Blue.  Tomorrow night is my Jewels and I'm so looking forward to it.

 

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That "cacophony of sound" includes people upon whose future NYCB depends, ie, ticket goers, subscribers, and donors, all of whom have other options, and all of whom are entitled to their own values hierarchies.

One person's "rising above" is another person's "sweeping it under the rug."  It is possible to go to a performance and appreciate all it is worth and simultaneously be cognizant that there are great troubles in the NYCB organization. It's not a comfortable place for humans to be, but it's our choice.

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Hoxha is replacing Huxley in both performances of Emeralds this week, per the revised casting sheet on the NYCB website.

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4 hours ago, Royal Blue said:

Recent developments have unleashed a cacophony of sound emanating from all sorts of people, among others those who belittle the arts, those who are unappreciative of the art form of ballet, those who dislike Balanchine's choreography, and those who feel NYCB lost its way under Martins' stewardship. It is fortunate and apt that the season begins with the magnificent Jewels and a few other masterpieces, and that the orchestra will soon start playing the restorative music of Fauré, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Bizet and Bach. All those on stage and in the audience who understand or sense the importance of art in our society will rise above this unsettling time for NYCB.

 

I for one am planning to.

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4 hours ago, Royal Blue said:

It is fortunate and apt that the season begins with the magnificent Jewels and a few other masterpieces, and that the orchestra will soon start playing the restorative music of Fauré, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Bizet and Bach. All those on stage and in the audience who understand or sense the importance of art in our society will rise above this unsettling time for NYCB.

Thank you, Royal Blue. My unsettled mind is in dire need of solace, which I have counted on Balanchine and NYCB to provide. I look forward to tonight. 

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5 hours ago, Helene said:

That "cacophony of sound" includes people upon whose future NYCB depends, ie, ticket goers, subscribers, and donors, all of whom have other options, and all of whom are entitled to their own values hierarchies.

 

No doubt!

 

5 hours ago, Helene said:

One person's "rising above" is another person's "sweeping it under the rug."

 

That may be so; however, nothing in any of my posts—including those relating to Prodigal Son in the original “2017 Winter Season” thread that was lost—suggests that I am the type of individual who favors sweeping anything under the rug.

 

5 hours ago, Helene said:

It is possible to go to a performance and appreciate all it is worth and simultaneously be cognizant that there are great troubles in the NYCB organization.

 

That is what I suggested in my post, although I am not privy to any information beyond what I observe on the stage. I am as appalled by the most disturbing allegations in the complaint that was filed as any reasonable person would be.

 

5 hours ago, Helene said:

 

It's not a comfortable place for humans to be, but it's our choice.

 

Our choice and—as you rightly point out—our hierarchy of values.

Edited by Royal Blue

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Has anyone heard reports of what the music will be for each piece for next week's gala? I've heard conflicting reports on the Neenan and Reisen ballets and am having trouble compiling my playlists of Spotify.

 

(FYI if anyone wants to follow along: I keep playlists for most of the ballets that have been seen in NYCB rep (and, generally in the Balanchine cannon) to familiarize myself with the music. Here is the link: https://open.spotify.com/user/mayrea?si=FVETa4cBTtibjf0RXn4RVQ)

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Nice applause (of support, seemingly) when the announcer said “welcome to NYCB” before the start of Emeralds this evening. Laracey was lovely and perfectly evoked quiet reverie. Stafford was fine but a bit underwhelming. The rapture she attempted to depict seemed like it was just a varnish over her less than exciting dancing. She seemed to have some issues with bourees and a couple arabesques, particularly the penche one that all the women do together. Jared Angle was a fine partner but I think any sensible AD would have pulled him from the role; it doesn’t put him in a good light. His short solo filled with jumps and turns was leaden and he looked bulky and slow. Woodward — wow — i would happily see her as either of the leading ladies, though I think she might be better suited to the Verdy role — such dynamism and spritely energy in her dancing.

Rubies was fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed Bouder so much in this, and she really varied her facial expressions — it wasn’t all showboaty ta-da looks on her face. Maybe it was the coaching they received; she and De Luz were truly superb, dancing as if they were on the edge of a volcano. Kikta makes a good tall girl; she doesn’t approach Reichlen at her very best, but she certainly has much of what it takes for the role. The corps was particularly great. It felt like the risky work it should be. Kudos to Villella and McBride for bringing out the best in these dancers.

Edited by fondoffouettes
Typos

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1 hour ago, fondoffouettes said:

Nice applause (of support, seemingly) when the announcer said “welcome to NYCB” before the start of Emeralds this evening. Laracey was lovely and perfectly evoked quiet reverie. Stafford was fine but a bit underwhelming. The rapture she attempted to depict seemed like it was just a varnish over her less than exciting dancing. She seemed to have some issues with bourees and a couple arabesques, particularly the penche one that all the women do together. Jared Angle was a fine partner but I think any sensible AD would have pulled him from the role; it doesn’t put him in a good light. His short solo filled with jumps and turns was leaden and he looked bulky and slow. Woodward — wow — i would happily see her as either of the leading ladies, though I think she might be better suited to the Verdy role — such dynamism and spritely energy in her dancing.

Rubies was fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed Bouder so much in this, and she really varied her facial expressions — it wasn’t all showboaty ta-da looks on her face. Maybe it was the coaching they received; she and De Luz were truly superb, dancing as if they were on the edge of a volcano. Kikta makes a good tall girl; she doesn’t approach Reichlen at her very best, but she certainly has much of what it takes for the role. The corps was particularly great. It felt like the risky work it should be. Kudos to Villella and McBride for bringing out the best in these dancers.

Thank you for this review. I can't get there until Sat. Mat. and will be seeing the other cast. (I'll go sooner if I can). I hope and pray that this wonderful company, doing this amazing work, will rise above the issues surrounding in performance.

How was Diamonds?

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54 minutes ago, vipa said:

Thank you for this review. I can't get there until Sat. Mat. and will be seeing the other cast. (I'll go sooner if I can). I hope and pray that this wonderful company, doing this amazing work, will rise above the issues surrounding in performance.

How was Diamonds?

Diamonds was overall very good. I wish the corps had been more in sync in the first movement and a couple other places. Kowroski was stunning in the pas de deux — those expressive arms, those exquisite arabesques, those legs — and Angle’s partnering was impeccable. I’ve mostly seen Mearns in this role, just by chance, and I appreciated a less dramatic, yet still soulful, take on the pas de deux. Kowroski was fine in the next two movements, but she lacked the speed and attack I’ve admired in Mearns here. However, there were no issues that I saw with regard to her turns, which I know others have said have been problematic in the past couple season. Angle isn’t really exciting in the bravura passages but he acquitted himself adequately. The finale was as exciting and moving as always.

Rubies is my least favorite iog the triptych, but I found it to be the most compelling performance of the evening, with the Diamonds PDD being the other main highlight.

Edited by fondoffouettes

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I found much relief and solace in this performance, not that it was the greatest performance of Jewels that I ever saw, but I needed the dose of beauty, of Balanchine, and spirited individual performances. I was also heartened by the raucous support of the audience, as fondoffouettes said, with a burst of applause when that annoying taped announcement drones “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to New York City Ballet...” and the rest of it was drowned out by applause. I’ve also never seen Emeralds get such hearty applause, usually it’s way more tepid. It encourages me to think the support is there and the company will make it through. Performance highlights include Ashley Laracey and Indiana Woodward in Emeralds, and in Rubies Emily Kikta (fantastic, I thought) and the incredible Joaquin de Luz, who had the audience laughing as he casually flew along, outclassing the guys less than half his age. Kowroski was majestic, but definitely slowing down, looking tired and sloppy toward the end. Performance lowlight: Jared Angle. I have loved him in many many performances, but I have no hesitation in saying he was awful. Weight gain, absolutely no elevation, and very sluggish. Also while Spartak Hoxha did a fine job in Emeralds, boy did I miss the pristine Anthony Huxley. Finally, Aaron Sanz caught my eye as one of the soloists in Diamonds, with some beautiful grand jetes and some stunning arabesques during the final promenade when the corps all enter. 

Thanks all. I needed that. 

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24 minutes ago, cobweb said:

Performance lowlight: Jared Angle. I have loved him in many many performances, but I have no hesitation in saying he was awful. Weight gain, absolutely no elevation, and very sluggish. 

I really like Angle, too, and these qualities have been creeping into his dancing in recent years. However, it really crossed a line tonight, and for his own sake, I think he should have been pulled if that’s how he looked in rehearsals. Not to mention that it did a real disservice to the choreography.

I’ve often thought that he just doesn’t have ideal line from the waist down — thick, kind of bulky legs — but not that he necessarily has a weight issue. But tonight he did appear as if he has put on some weight.

It’s sad, but it may be time for him to hang up the white tight roles.

I agree about Sanz. He really stood out and looked fantastic in the finale.

I didn’t even sit that close, but I’ve never noticed how much color variation there is in the corps girls’ costumes, presumably because they’ve been built and refurbished in different eras. They range from white, to ivory to an unpleasant yellow. A couple even had odd peachy tones. I’m sure they cost a fortune to make, but it lent a ragged air to the group to have the costumes all so differently colored.  The variations aren’t intentional, I’m assuming?

What color ARE the costumes supposed to be? An ivory bodice with a lighter tutu, like the principal?

Edited by fondoffouettes

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6 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

I didn’t even sit that close, but I’ve never noticed how much color variation there is in the corps girls’ costumes, presumably because they’ve been built and refurbished in different eras. They range from white, to ivory to an unpleasant yellow. A couple even had odd peachy tones. I’m sure they cost a fortune to make, but it lent a ragged air to the group to have the costumes all so differently colored.  The variations aren’t intentional, I’m assuming?

I noticed this as well! You didn’t specify, so to be clear this is Diamonds. And if we’re going to get really nit picky, Lydia Wellington appeared very sunburned. 

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