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New York City Ballet Fall Season

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51 minutes ago, nanushka said:

The first and third week casting sheets seem to have been missing from the website all day — or, at least, the links on the "Casting" page haven't been working for me. (Week two has been there.) I get a page that says, "Sorry, the page you requested cannot be found."

This morning, both the 1st and 3rd weeks of casting were down. Now the 3rd week has been updated and posted, but the 1st is still down.

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That’s what I’m thinking as well. I hope it’s true, but I don’t know why they would bump off Reichlen in Diamonds. She’s listed in the corps of Bizet tonight, but not sure if she’s actually performing. 

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I’ll add more later, but Tschai pas with Peck and De Luz brought the house down tonight! I finally got to see them both in this piece and it was worth the entire ticket. They both make everything look so easy and their joy is perfectly matched. What technique, what musicality, what charisma! 

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What a terrific night at the ballet, and a company brimming over with talent. Tiler Peck and Joaquin de Luz brought the house down with Tchaikovsky pas de deux, with the raucous audience demanding multiple front-of-curtain bows (Mr. cobweb, swept away with excitement, swore it was 11 curtain calls, but more realistically, I counted five). For me the highlight was Symphony in C. Last time I saw Joseph Gordon, in Dances at a Gathering in the spring, he looked wonderful, but I still had the sense he was young and was solidifying his partnering skills. So I was thrilled to see him tonight, full of confidence and grandeur, partnering with calmness and pride, dancing on a large scale, and taking ownership of the stage. Wow. I can't wait to see more, including tomorrow with Mearns in "Diamonds." Then there was Sebastian Villarini-Velez in the third movement, who really outdid himself. I don't know how I totally failed to notice him in the corps for years, until his breakout performance as "Melancholic" in the spring, but really, he has the technique and he has the stage presence. I look forward to much more of him, and what a shame for both him and Gordon if they are not doing promotions in the foreseeable future. They are ready. Troy Schumacher also looked very bright and sharp in the fourth movement. Only sour note for me was Erica Pereira in the fourth movement, she makes no impression at all and I don't understand the opportunities she's getting. I look forward to seeing this same program and casting again tomorrow. Maybe I can shift my attention from an inspection of Joseph Gordon and focus on Aaron Sanz, soloist in the first movement, who also looked very sharp. 

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Just back from the matinee of Jewels. A beautiful performance of “Emeralds.” I love the world it creates, but it doesn’t leave me in an applauding mood, maybe because of the feel of being spellbound or in another world, quiet and somber. Also it’s fairly long without a lot of variety. However, I do love it. 

As for “Rubies,” I liked Sterling Hyltin way more than Ashley Bouder earlier this week. Bouder always looks to me like she’s trying to show or prove something to the audience — as if she can’t trust her talent to speak for itself. Hyltin relates to the audience in a much more natural way. Her partner was Andrew Veyette. His technique is diminished from past years, noticeable in stiffness and heavy landings. But he is still a great partner and he knows how to command the stage like a principal. As for Claire Kretzschmar, I was sitting further away than the other night so I didn’t get as much of the cheerleaderey vibe, and once I get past her lack of tallness, maybe I can warm up to her version of this role. 

“Diamonds.” Mearns was mesmerizing, powerful, individualistic. Commands the choreography, but seems spontaneous and improvisatory as well. (Mr Cobweb says she comes across as more adult than anyone else in the company.) Joseph Gordon looked great in his solos. The partnering was not as assured as he was last night in Symphony in C, he is no Tyler Angle yet. But something about him just makes me love him. I missed Wednesday night, and I’m sorry there’s not another performance with this cast!

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I was also at the Saturday, matinee and just want to add a few thoughts to Cobweb's.

In Diamonds Gordon was the revelation for me in the way he held the stage and presented himself. Wonderful - a bright future awaits him. He seems just barely tall enough to partner Mearns. They look about the same height standing flat. There were gorgeous moments in the pas, it wasn't flawless but there were no awful moments, and he maintained his bearing, demeanor and connection to Mearns though-out. Solos on both sides were terrific. As an aside - Suzanne Farrell is never spoken of as a virtuoso technician, but when I see the solos choreographed on her I am reminded of how amazing she was. I'm old enough to have seen her, and on her, technique looked like she was just dancing - making it up as she went along!

I so agree with Cobweb about Hyltin. She sparkles, has wit, sails through the technique but it all looks so natural. Veyette, thankfully, looked a lot better than when I saw him last spring. I enjoyed his performance, but I'm sure he's nearing the end of his career. Claire Kretzschmar's (tall girl) performance is a work in progress. Didn't quite fill the stage (it didn't have to do with height), didn't quite finish her double pirouettes or have a strong enough attach on some of her movements. At the same time she had moments when she really covered space and her penche arabesque exit was well done. I hope she continues to be cast in this so she can make it her own. I believe that can be done, even though she isn't quite as tall as most tall girls!!

Unity Phelan was the unexpected delight for me in Emeralds. Her solo was lush and musical. I've liked her for a while now, but I'm starting to see a principal dancer in there. Tiler Peck was luminous in the Verdy role. 

I want to add one thing about Sean Suozzi (trio in Emeralds) and some of the other men at NYCB. It is my favorite company, hands down, but there is what I consider a weakness in some of the men. There is a lack of groundness/weight/connection to the floor, when they start and end turns and jumps, particularly double tours. The result is that a fast double pirouette looks like 2 spins, instead of 2 fast turns (but a third would be possible if there was time). For me it comes off as  - by the skin of the teeth - dancing. This isn't true of Veyette, DeLuz, Ulbrict, the Angle brothers, Gordon but there are a whole lot of guys it is true of. I know I'm not being very articulate, but my husband and I have been trying to put this into words, so I thought I'd throw it out there.

Last thought upon seeing NYCB do Jewels - the company is a treasure. May it live forever.

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I attended the All Balanchine show tonight... what a fabulous program!

Highs: 

  • The corps in Concerto Barocco, not to mention Reichlen / Stafford / Janzen in the lead roles
  • Harrison Ball's debut in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux -- such clean technique and high jumps! I hope to see him promoted to principal soon... no, he isn't tall but he's very "princely" in white tights and could help fill the current void
  • The whole cast of Symphony in C, but especially Joseph Gordon, Tiler Peck, Indiana Woodward, and Sebastian VV. 
  • Very enthusiastic crowd tonight -- you could really feel the love and support for this company despite the recent drama. 

Lows:

  • Ask La Cour. How is he even on the stage at all, let alone as a principal? His upper body totally lacks grace and fluidity; his arms seem to awkwardly flop around and overall he looks like he's just marking the choreography instead of actually dancing. He started out rough but looked totally exhausted by the end. I love Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and Mearns/Hyltin/Stanley are all first-rate company members, but La Cour was really distracting. The male corps dancers were all fantastic and any one of them could have done the lead role better. 
  • I hate to say it but Maria Kowroski showed her age tonight... her adagio in Symphony in C had some issues; in the developpé à la seconde balance she almost fell over before Tyler Angle caught her. She's still a beautiful dancer but her performance looked more effortful than it probably should have.

 

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11 hours ago, JuliaJ said:

I attended the All Balanchine show tonight... what a fabulous program!

1

I agree with many of JuliaJ's impressions. I'd never seen Reichlein in Concerto Barocco and it's an ideal vehicle for her. Her calm, remote quality really suits itself to this ballet. And Janzen was a great partner, and suitably tall for Reichlen. I enjoyed Stafford here much more than in Emeralds. I wish her dancing had been a bit more incisive, especially in the first movement, and it's clear she's having some issues with flexibility, but I still enjoyed her in the role.

Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux was the shot of a adrenaline it should be. I actually thought Ball looked somewhat tense from the beginning, which isn't surprising given his long absence from the stage, but he was technically very strong. Bouder was very exciting, and her fish dives were everything you'd hope for -- she truly launches herself into them. Her variation was impeccable. I know she has been criticized for her facial expressions, but she seems to have toned them down. 

I agree about the high points of Symphony in C. Sebastian V-V was astounding. Woodward radiates star quality, but her elevation was a bit disappointing in comparison to her partner. It's a shame about the developpé balance, because otherwise Kowroski's performance was beautiful and stronger than her 2017 outing in the role. You could tell things were amiss when, as she did the developpé, the arm held by Angle began to shake quite a bit. When Angle let go of her arm, she began to tilt backward, almost exactly like the dicey moment when Reichlen tips backward in the recent Paris video of the ballet. Then there was a moment of adjustment when she looked like she might lose her balance, before going into the penchée, but she remarkably regained her composure and didn't fall off pointe. She was great for the rest of the ballet, and had no issues whatsoever with the turns in the fourth movement, which had apparently been an issue in her 2017 performances. Tiler Peck was her fantastic, musical self in the first movement, and it was a joy to see Joseph Gordon bounding through the role with ease.

On 9/21/2018 at 11:59 PM, cobweb said:

Maybe I can shift my attention from an inspection of Joseph Gordon and focus on Aaron Sanz, soloist in the first movement, who also looked very sharp. 

 

Yes, he looked terrific. I'm glad to see him dancing so well after having to pull out of several high-profile assignments last season. 

I loved Mearns and Hyltin in Stravinsky Violin Concerto. I really didn't mind La Cour in this piece or earlier this week in Emeralds, since the roles are very much partnering-heavy, and he seems to be a fine partner. Random question: is it standard for the first PDD ballerina to wear her hair in a French twist, whereas everyone else onstage, including the second PDD ballerina, has their hair in buns? This is nitpicking, but I think a sleeker, less poofy French twist would have been more appropriate for this ballet, if that's the traditional way the first PDD ballerina does her hair. But her fearless, exciting dancing is what I'll remember. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

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I was also there last night, the third performance in 24 hours. I'm just in love with Joseph Gordon. Most striking is the grand, confident, self-possessed way he is carrying himself. Harrison Ball, who I was very happy to see after his long absence, has something of the same bearing (although he is a little more cool and remote). For all those talented corps men, and I have been heartened to see several over the past week, who might aspire to bigger roles and promotion, they would do well to cultivate that grand, confident bearing. Talent and technique are essential, of course, but that grand bearing goes a long way toward making you look like an inevitable principal. 

Kowroski was in trouble, but she and Tyler saved the day. I wasn't necessarily going to go to the final performance of this program, but I really want to see Sara Mearns in this role, so maybe... 

As for the corps of Concerto Barocco, I'm trying to remember if I've seen Miriam Miller in the corps here, or is she new to this piece? She stood out, and not in a good way. Noticeably taller than the others, and she at times seemed to be having trouble managing her very long limbs and keeping up the the timing of the other women. 

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Speaking of Reichlen I really really miss her as Tall Girl in Rubies. She was sensational every time she did it. I doubt I'll ever see a Tall Girl as amazing as her. 

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53 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Speaking of Reichlen I really really miss her as Tall Girl in Rubies. She was sensational every time she did it. I doubt I'll ever see a Tall Girl as amazing as her. 

I wish they would have put her in since 2 of the 3 tall girls this run had to pull out

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3 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux was the shot of a adrenaline it should be. I actually thought Ball looked somewhat tense from the beginning, which isn't surprising given his long absence from the stage, but he was technically very strong. Bouder was very exciting, and her fish dives were everything you'd hope for -- she truly launches herself into them.

Well ... if I had to catch anyone in fish dives — much less Ashley Bouder at full velocity — I'd look a bit tense too. 😉

I'm glad Ball did well. He's a terrific Puck — not just technically, but in terms of the persona he creates (less cutesy and more faerie) — and is excellent in the Emeralds pas de trois too. I'd like to see him break out into other kinds of roles.

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4 hours ago, cobweb said:

As for the corps of Concerto Barocco, I'm trying to remember if I've seen Miriam Miller in the corps here, or is she new to this piece? She stood out, and not in a good way. Noticeably taller than the others, and she at times seemed to be having trouble managing her very long limbs and keeping up the the timing of the other women. 

She was not cast in it last spring.

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I haven't seen Harrison Coll cast in anything this season.  Has anyone seen him dance?

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4 hours ago, cobweb said:

As for the corps of Concerto Barocco, I'm trying to remember if I've seen Miriam Miller in the corps here, or is she new to this piece? She stood out, and not in a good way. Noticeably taller than the others, and she at times seemed to be having trouble managing her very long limbs and keeping up the the timing of the other women. 

She replaced Ashley Hod, who appears to still be out after her injury in Mozartiana last season.  Agree that she was not the best choice- too tall, and I was also distracted by her dark tan.  Among the tall corps girls, I really like Christina Clark- nice to see her getting more roles.

Too bad about Maria- she had no trouble with the developpe balance on Friday. 

Also wanted to add that Taylor Stanley was fantastic in Stravinsky violin concerto on Friday.  He dances with such grace and amplitude.  I hope they cast him in Agon.  

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3 hours ago, canbelto said:

Speaking of Reichlen I really really miss her as Tall Girl in Rubies. She was sensational every time she did it. I doubt I'll ever see a Tall Girl as amazing as her. 

I second that!

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I'll just add that Reichlen and Janzen in Diamonds were so heart-meltingly beautiful I don't think I breathed once during their pas de deux. 

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I saw the Friday (9/21) All-Balanchine performance and Saturday (9/22) matinee Jewels.

Friday (9/21) All-Balanchine:

Reichlen was gorgeous in Concerto Barocco. I just love her -- so on top of the music, she's almost dancing a hair's breadth ahead of it, illuminating it. Stafford was very competent, but I find her too cutesy and her dancing rather clipped, lacking amplitude. The corps looked a bit ragged at times, but overall the ballet was lovely and, delightfully, not too long. 😉

Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux with Tiler Peck and Joaquin de Luz... what more is there to say that you all don't already know? The audience, myself included of course, ate it up. Peck sparkled, radiated joy. de Luz was his charming, mischievous self. His jumps looked more labored than even as recent as last season, but the charm is still there in spades. They got a standing ovation for this, and five curtain calls. It was a lovely moment.

I was disappointed by Stravinsky Violin Concerto. When I last saw this (too many years ago), Ramasar was dancing it and he along with Hyltin and whoever else was dancing really made the coda a strong statement of happiness and playful energy. With the information standing as we know it now, I could not watch Ramasar again and feel good about it, no matter the quality of his dancing. Although Hyltin, Mearns, and Stanley were excellent Friday night, somehow this ballet still felt half-baked. I'm seeing it again Wednesday 9/26 -- I hope I will enjoy it more then.

Symphony in C had many highs but a few disappointing lows. The highs: Ashley Bouder, Joseph Gordon, Indiana Woodward, Sebastian V-V, Troy Schumacher. I too thought that Woodward's jumps were low compared to Sebastian V-V's, but whose wouldn't be? She, however, has lovely head, arm, and shoulder movements that he currently lacks. If you watch that Instagram video of the two of them posted by the Times and included in this thread, she has a lovely variation in speed and texture and reminds me of the weaving of a basket. Joseph Gordon's jumps and turns were less impressive than some of the corps men who did them in unison with him, but I can't get enough of his seriousness and regal bearing. I'm watching him eagerly!

I found Maria Kowroski disappointing. To me, she is heart-stopping when doing things that do not require too much strength, but she makes me very nervous when strength is required and in turns. Her entrance had me spellbound, but the famous developpe a la seconde was VERY shaky and that + Tyler Angle sprinting behind her to catch her other hand completely took me out of the moment. (I wish that more dancers, if they're feeling shaky, would do what Kent and Ludlow do in the German recording -- it looks so dignified and serene.) During the coda, Maria almost lost it in a fouette and I had to force myself to watch Bouder instead. (To be fair, during a later fouette in the coda, I saw from the corner of my eye that hers was the most beautifully held of the four main women.)

Will post my impressions of Saturday's Jewels later.

Edited by mille-feuille

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Saturday (9/22) matinee Jewels:

Emeralds, while having the most understated choreography of the three, to my ears has the most beautiful music. Tiler Peck was buoyant and pristine, but perhaps too down-to-earth to fully entrance me. Unity Phelan, on the other hand, reminded me of a mermaid queen. She and Adrian Danchig-Waring (what a welcome sight he is!) floated through their pas de deux and solos. Days later, visions of her dancing the Sicilienne solo are still echoing in my mind.

I loved Sterling Hyltin in Rubies and found Andrew Veyette less leaden than I had expected from reports. Sterling was like a lightning bolt -- seemingly no transitions between crystal-clear positions, jumps, and turns. Bam, bam, bam -- there she was! What a joy she is. I completely agree with whoever characterized Kretzschmar as a cheerleader. She was way too smiley and did not radiate command. I sorely missed Tess Reichlen's subtle menace as the Tall Girl.

Mearns and Gordon were sublime in Diamonds. Although I see Odette influences in Mearns' Diamond, there is a larger-than-life seriousness and profoundness to her interpretation. Where Odette is vulnerable, Mearns' Diamond is not. You get the sense that she is powerful but choosing not to display it, so as not to terrify us: she is an angel in the old style, a heavenly warrior who has to tell us "Be not afraid" when she first appears before us.

And despite all the recent turmoil, this performance still made me think: "Thank heaven for New York City Ballet."

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On 9/20/2018 at 4:40 PM, Balletwannabe said:

I could be wrong.  I thought he said it in a dance video I was watching.. can't recall which one.

I wonder why they don't list apprentices on the "dancers" NYCB webpage?

On the SAB website it says apprentice contracts can only last one year, due to AGMA's constraints.

On 9/20/2018 at 4:38 PM, vipa said:

I think it's 1 year, but of course I could be wrong. I've never heard of anyone doing more than that. I know that AGMA frowns on long apprenticeships, because it would be considered taking advantage of cheap labor.

https://www.sab.org/winterterm/career_planning/nycb_apprentice_program.php

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4 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

On the SAB website it says apprentice contracts can only last one year, due to AGMA's constraints.

https://www.sab.org/winterterm/career_planning/nycb_apprentice_program.php

Perhaps it has changed. I recall Unity Phelan saying that apprentices now have contracts (of what kind I don't know), and Clara Ruf-Maldonado dancing as an apprentice for a second year (but perhaps she was injured for part of the first year?).

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