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New York City Ballet Fall Season

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I did not go. However, from reading Alastair Macaulay's instagram, it's clear that Russell Janzen replaced Adrian DW in the new Neenan work last night.

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2: The dancers of New York City Ballet are generally seen together as an assembled company only in costume during or after dancing in ballets. This evening, the company’s fall fashion gala, was importantly different. It began with the company as seen here in this photograph by Erin Baiano, assembled in mufti onstage. The image itself was important. Some were in gala haute couture, others (usually those preparing to appear onstage later in the evening) in casual attire; but here they were as an ensemble, standing while Teresa Reichlen (front row, center, full-length black and white dress) read a speech that was just what both dancers and audience needed: “Good evening. “We the dancers of New York City Ballet want to take a moment to thank all of you for being here tonight at one of the most important evenings of our year. “As dancers, we decided early in our lives to dedicate ourselves to this beautiful art form, many leaving family and friends as teenagers. Our teachers at the School of American Ballet led us through Balanchine’s teachings, and instilled in us a strong work ethic and a pursuit of excellence. Our teachers taught us to be proud and not settle for less than perfection. “With the world changing – and our beloved institution in the spotlight – we continue to hold ourselves to the high moral standards that were instilled in us when we decided to become professional dancers. “We strongly believe that a culture of equal respect for all can exist in our industry. We hold one another to the highest standards and push one another while still showing compassion and support. “We will not put art before common decency or allow talent to sway our moral compass. NYCB dancers are standard bearers on the stage and we strive to carry that quality, purity and passion in all aspects of our lives. “We want to be role models and create an inspiring environment in which future generations of girls and boys will have access to both the joys and responsibilities that we have as dancers of NYCB. “Each of us standing here tonight is inspired by the values essential to our artform: dignity, integrity, and honor.” MORE
 
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  • alastair.macaulay2: The dancers of New York City Ballet are generally seen together as an assembled company only in costume during or after dancing in ballets. This evening, the company’s fall fashion gala, was importantly different. It began with the company as seen here in this photograph by Erin Baiano, assembled in mufti onstage. The image itself was important. Some were in gala haute couture, others (usually those preparing to appear onstage later in the evening) in casual attire; but here they were as an ensemble, standing while Teresa Reichlen (front row, center, full-length black and white dress) read a speech that was just what both dancers and audience needed:
    “Good evening. “We the dancers of New York City Ballet want to take a moment to thank all of you for being here tonight at one of the most important evenings of our year. “As dancers, we decided early in our lives to dedicate ourselves to this beautiful art form, many leaving family and friends as teenagers. Our teachers at the School of American Ballet led us through Balanchine’s teachings, and instilled in us a strong work ethic and a pursuit of excellence. Our teachers taught us to be proud and not settle for less than perfection. “With the world changing – and our beloved institution in the spotlight – we continue to hold ourselves to the high moral standards that were instilled in us when we decided to become professional dancers. “We strongly believe that a culture of equal respect for all can exist in our industry. We hold one another to the highest standards and push one another while still showing compassion and support. “We will not put art before common decency or allow talent to sway our moral compass. NYCB dancers are standard bearers on the stage and we strive to carry that quality, purity and passion in all aspects of our lives.
    “We want to be role models and create an inspiring environment in which future generations of girls and boys will have access to both the joys and responsibilities that we have as dancers of NYCB. “Each of us standing here tonight is inspired by the values essential to our artform: dignity, integrity, and honor.”
    MORE
  • alastair.macaulay<continued> “And all of us in this magnificent theater share a love for dance, whether it is the physical act of performing, the nightly pleasure of watching, or both. “We, the dancers of NYCB, want to take this moment to thank you for appreciating and supporting this Company. And thank you especially for your continued support at this time. “We are proud of the work we do, and we are grateful for the opportunity – and the honor – to bring beauty into the lives of our audiences.”
    Reichlen spoke the speech; the words were penned by her and co-principal, Adrian Danchig-Waring. The words should become part of the history of City Ballet, which has been plunged into crisis by the Alexandra Waterbury lawsuit but which has been responding to reports of low life offstage by dancing high offstage.

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Just a quick note about Adrian - he attended the Gala last night, and he looked great in his tuxedo, matching black walking boot, and contrasting silver crutches.  We spoke to him briefly (right after he talked with Wendy Whelan, who also looked great), and he seemed in good spirits (considering his injury).

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Interesting that Wendy stayed away from City Ballet for a period of time because she said she could not watch others doing her old roles.  (That was either in an article or in her film Restless Creature.) Recently, there have been many sightings of her at NYCB shows. I saw her at the opening night of Jewels last week.  And based on the post above she attended last night's gala.  Hmmm.

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I was lucky enough to be there last night for the Fall Gala.  The dancers assembled on stage made a very strong impression at the opening, and the support and warmth from the audience after Reichlen had finished reading were palpable. It was heartening to learn from Macaulay’s post today that Reichlen and Danchig-Waring wrote the statement.

The works were wildly different and it was a lot to take in after one viewing, but I liked all three, the ones by Neenan and Abraham in particular, and together they showed the strength and virtuosity of the Company. For me that was thrilling. 

Neenan’s THE EXCHANGE was a great vehicle for Kowroski, Tiler Peck, Gordon and Huxley in particular. Of course it was sad not to have Adrian on stage but Jantzen partnered Kowroski beautifully. The long red skirt with slits to the waist showed off her legs beautifully.  I really liked those costumes (although not so much the S&M-seeming strips of what loooked like black leather on Sean Suozzi and a few more of the men—twowildly different styles of dress for this one), and the Dvorak was gorgeous.

Reisen’s JUDAH showed the dynamism of Lovette, Woodward and LeCrone, and Harrison Ball was terrific—so good to see him after a long absence. It was different and good to see Preston Chamblee partnering Lauren Lovette.  Music was by John Adams, much of it more dissonant than his other music that’s been set to dance, again played beautifully by a string quartet.  

The audience went wild for Kyle Abraham’s THE RUNAWAY. It opened with a long and riveting solo by an incredible Taylor Stanley. Wow!!  I think he’s terrific but have never seen this kind of virtuosity from him. The audience exploded in applause when his solo ended. Music then changed from Nico Muhly (live piano and violin) to recorded Kanye West, Jay-Z, and James Blake—not what we’re used to hearing at NYCB.  The women’s costumes were wild, with feathers/tall collars almost completing covering their faces. I honestly only knew when Sara Mearns was dancing by process of elimination. Abraham’s choreography for Georgina Pazcoguin was perfect for her jazzy dramatic flair. Ashley Bouder was dynamic, in alarger role than Mearns’s.  Roman Mejia was fantastic!  We need to be seeing more of him this season.  

I really must see these again to say anything more specific. It will be good to hear from the professional critics. But it was a great night for the dancers, and for those of us who love them.

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I was there for the matinee today, where it was my pleasure to meet Cobweb. A few impressions - Allegro Brillante with Sara Mearns & Tyler Angle. I thought the company looked great and I seem to love this ballet more every time I see it. Angle looked strong  in solos & men's sections and proved himself, once again, to be a fabulous partner. Mearns had a problem going into some turns which he fixed with no todo, and they continued on track. She danced musically and big. Mearns is always riveting.

Easy - My first viewing. My husband renamed it, Inter-Export-Story. Yes, a lot of Robbins references. Indiana Woodward was a charming and energetic highlight . I wouldn't seek this ballet out, but I wouldn't avoid it either.

Carousel - Tiler Peck & Tyler Angel (replacing Adrian D-W), For me this grows a bit stale with repeated viewings. And I have always disliked the part when they bring in the carousel poles. The rest of the ballet is a total abstraction, and I find that element annoying (I guess I'm a grump)

La Sylphide - Sterling Hyltin was charming, light, playful. She doesn't have the biggest jump but uses it musically. De Luz was quite fine in his characterization and dancing. Ulbricht as Gurn, didn't have quite the jump and sharpness that I've come to expect from him. Still a fine performance, and he always has an totally likable stage presence. He has been a long time favorite of mine. He doesn't dance in many ballets, and I think that he has been underutilized through-out his career. Lauren King was Effie, and I loved her. She was radiant, and connected with everyone around her, especially De Luz. She actually made that role come to life for me. Marika Anderson was a gleefully evil Madge.

I think my favorite Sylph will continue to be Debra Austin! 

 

 

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I've been thoroughly enjoying all the reviews.  I'm late with my impressions of the only two performances I was able to see in the first week of the season:  Jewels on Thursday night, and the all Balanchine on Friday.  I was excited to see Kowroski in Diamonds and thought she was magnificent.  Her dancing transported me into another realm and, as someone has said here, seemed to give form to an "inner life" quality. I loved Bouder and de Luz in Rubies!  Both were great and fulfilled all expectations.  Kretzschmar as the Tall Girl didn't seem any taller than the other women and although she danced well enough,  I really wanted to see Reichlen-- always. Emeralds was a disappointment. Both Stafford  and Angle looked stiff and danced out. Angle particularly had a portly look not helped by the unflattering costume.  He should retire this role. The all Balanchine program was wonderful.  Reichlen in Barocco was fantastic and Stafford seemed like a different dancer than in Emeralds.  I didn't think the two women looked that terrific together.  Peck and de Luz were thrilling in Tschai PdD. All the superlatives have been said; I loved it and I was absolutely thrilled to see de Luz twice.  Stravinsky Violin: I liked Hyltin very much in this and thought  all the dancers were good except la Cour who at times looked tired and effortful .  In the Bizet, Joseph Gordon was great! He really stood out with his clean technique and light jump.  I saw him in spring in Coppelia and he was excellent.  Kowroski and Angle were gorgeous in the adagio, even though I could barely take my eyes off Kowroski. Troy Schumacher stood out in the last movement and I've never noticed him before. Spartak Hoxha was impressive in 3 or 4 of the ballets I saw. He's been in the corps for a long time.  I'm looking forward to seeing more of Woodward, Janzen, Olivia Boisson and Miriam Miller.

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Flash footage of Taylor Stanley's solo from the Kyle Abraham ballet. 

 

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Just back after the all-day project of both matinee and evening performances. Allegro Brillante, Easy, Carousel, and La Sylphide.

First off, this is a long program. I’m not sure Carousel adds anything except for making the program too long (with an extra intermission and all). I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before, and as someone fresh off several performances of the Broadway show, which I found intense and moving, I found this ballet totally dull, a lifeless exercise. I missed the lush orchestrations and, especially, the singing of the Broadway show. I don’t need to see this one again.

I chose these two performances based on the casting of Allegro Brillante. Mearns and Tyler Angle at the matinee were riveting. In the evening was Tiler Peck and the (for me) must-see debut of young sensation Roman Mejia. Tiler was everything we have come to expect from her – astonishing. Mejia mostly looked terrific. He is short but he dances really big. Despite being distinctly shorter than the tall male corps contingent, not to mention much younger and far less experienced than those guys, he looked totally at his ease. Great form, great command of the stage. There were some noticeable partnering glitches, including one where I thought he was about to let Tiler drop to the floor. But, I got the feeling that while he’s still working out the timing and technique of partnering, he has no evident inhibitions or anxiety about partnering, the way so many young guys betray. I look forward to seeing more of him. I see that Pereira and Huxley are debuting this piece on Tuesday. I would love nothing more than to see Anthony Huxley, but I have low expectations for Pereira (if it were Indiana Woodward debuting, I would definitely be there), and I don’t really need to see this overall program again. But I look forward to any reports.

Finally, Easy. I'm on the same page as vipa and her husband. This was my first time seeing it. Inter-Export-Story is a perfect way of describing it. And I too would not seek this one out again, but I wouldn't  avoid it either. And, I'll add that I enjoyed meeting vipa and her husband.

As for La Sylphide, I’ll try to post more tomorrow.

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I saw last night's show too... the highlight for me was definitely Allegro Brillante, despite the obvious partnering issues mentioned above. The dancing for the rest of the evening was wonderful, but, yes, the program felt very long. I could have done without Easy (I actually enjoy Carousel, mostly because of the music and the interesting pas de deux). I had high hopes for La Sylphide but found it to be somewhat slow and lackluster overall... not because of Ashley Bouder, Anthony Huxley, or Harrison Ball's performances (they were great)... I'm not quite sure what it is that's missing about that piece, but I definitely wasn't feeling "moved" or hypnotized by the end. 

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16 hours ago, FPF said:

Flash footage of Taylor Stanley's solo from the Kyle Abraham ballet. 

 

The NYCB audience may find this excitingly different,  but this solo strikes me as generic black gay male choreography,  of a type that's been around for forty years.  While Taylor Stanley dances it very cleanly,  I've seen more dynamic performances of these phrases from Broadway and modern dancers.  I'm very happy to see a black choreographer get a commission from  NYCB,  but this work didn't impress me.  I guess you had to be there.

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5 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

The NYCB audience may find this excitingly different,  but this solo strikes me as generic black gay male choreography,  of a type that's been around for forty years.  While Taylor Stanley dances it very cleanly,  I've seen more dynamic performances of these phrases from Broadway and modern dancers.  I'm very happy to see a black choreographer get a commission from  NYCB,  but this work didn't impress me.  I guess you had to be there.

I didn't see it either--maybe you do have to be there, but from this video, it's not my cup of tea. But the reviews I've seen so far have mentioned this solo as particularly successful.

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A few thoughts about yesterday's performances of La Sylphide. At the matinee, I thought Sterling Hyltin was the most perfect sylph imaginable, lithe, quicksilver and otherworldly, teasing without being coy. In the evening, I didn't expect to like Ashley Bouder, but she toned down the grin considerably (to be fair, very considerably) and turned in some stunning dancing with a soft, lilting quality that I don't think I've ever seen from her. Both Joaquin de Luz and Anthony Huxley were engaging as the dreamy James, although I found de Luz warmer, and therefore, his ending felt more tragic. Huxley's crystalline dancing was beautiful. Both Lauren King at the matinee and Megan LeCrone in the evening, as Effie, proved to be absolutely wonderful, subtle actresses. Harrison Ball, as Gurn in the evening, also surprised me. He had none of the noble hauteur he does so well, and instead appeared as a warm, humble youth, in love, earnest, and even goofy. So great to see Ball back on the stage! Daniel Ulbricht, who doesn't dance nearly enough, also did a warm Gurn. 

I find some aspects of the production confusing. I don't know if it intends to be a comedy or a tragedy. James' end is poignant enough, although it's tempered by the relief (in me, at least) that Effie dodged a bullet and wound up with the right guy. There also seems to be a comic, mocking element, such as when Gurn is imitating the Sylphide, or Madge is pushing Gurn to propose to Effie. This is played for laughs, like it's not serious. 

Thanks to vipa for that footage of the lovely Debra Austin as the Sylphide. What a beautiful, ethereal, springy quality she has. 

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Actually, the disquieting issues NYCB—not to mention society at large—has been confronting during this past year should rather sensitize us to the beauty and power and value of the company's repertoire and performances. Notwithstanding any issues regarding casting choices or errors in execution that occurred during any particular performance, the six presentations of Jewels at the start of NYCB's fall season were inspiring and heartwarming.

It will be interesting to see Diamonds performed by itself in a repertory program later during the 2018-19 Season. With a charming, nostalgic first section, one of the great pas de deux in ballet and its spectacular celebratory conclusion Diamonds is on its own one of Balanchine's greatest works. However, in this run of Jewels, I particularly marveled at the prodigious scintillation of its third section, and the spellbinding fashion the steps combine with Tchaikovsky's glowing music. Four women from the corps—Laine Habony, Olivia MacKinnon, Mary Elizabeth Sell and Lydia Wellington—were delightful here; the solos by Joseph Gordon especially dazzled; the swiftness, flexibility, and stamina of Sara Mearns, as well as her exceptional musicality are ideal for the segment.

In Rubies, I immensely enjoyed the Patricia McBride role: Ashley Bouder, Sterling Hyltin and Lauren Lovette each danced it with admirable skill and radiated copious energy and joyfulness.

Of the three worlds conjured by Balanchine in Jewels, the most exquisitely beautiful is that in the verdant Emeralds. The Saturday matinee performance of it with the second cast, which included Tiler Peck and Unity Phelan, was sublime and seemed way too short. A magical musical touch characterizes the ending of Fauré’s moving “Epithalame”, the music which accompanies the pas de deux with the Violette Verdy role—a pas de deux whose quality and beauty formerly I seriously underestimated.

 

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Kyle Abraham has posted a lengthy (for Instagram) explanatory message about Runaway and Kanye. 

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On 9/30/2018 at 12:18 AM, cobweb said:

Just back after the all-day project of both matinee and evening performances. Allegro Brillante, Easy, Carousel, and La Sylphide.

First off, this is a long program. I’m not sure Carousel adds anything except for making the program too long (with an extra intermission and all).

On Sunday this program ran 3 hours because we had a mandatory See The Music lecture, which added about 15-20 minutes to the performance time.

Carousel is a 15 minute ballet, so why did we need a 20 minute intermission before and after it?  I suspect that when this was originally scheduled, the plan was to show Allegro, Easy and Carousel, have one 20 minute intermission, and then begin Sylphide.  Due to Adrian DW's injury, however, Tyler Angle had to perform the leads in both Allegro and Carousel, so they decided to add an intermission before Carousel for all performances of this program.  Under normal circumstances they would have had Catazaro doing Carousel. Since they now have a bare bones staff of male principals, they had to alter the timing of the program.

The dancing in all of the ballets was first rate, although Tyler Angle is, in my opinion, an odd choice for Billy.

 

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20 minutes ago, abatt said:

Carousel is a 15 minute ballet, so why did we need a 20 minute intermission before and after it?  I suspect that when this was originally scheduled, the plan was to show Allegro, Easy and Carousel, have one 20 minute intermission, and then begin Sylphide.  Due to Adrian DW's injury, however, Tyler Angle had to perform the leads in both Allegro and Carousel, so they decided to add an intermission before Carousel for all performances of this program.  Under normal circumstances they would have had Catazaro doing Carousel. Since they now have a bare bones staff of male principals, they had to alter the timing of the program.

That makes a lot of sense, abatt. Thanks for the explanation. If that was the case, however, then they definitely should have axed "See the Music." I agree about the noble Tyler Angle being an odd choice for the rough and rude Billy Bigelow. 

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With the male ranks thinning out, they're going to need to lean more heavily on the larger scope of the soloists and corps. I feel like we're seeing the same five men in every casting sheet and that is alarming, overwork= injury!  Hopefully Winter season yields more debuts.

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10 minutes ago, DC Export said:

With the male ranks thinning out, they're going to need to lean more heavily on the larger scope of the soloists and corps. I feel like we're seeing the same five men in every casting sheet and that is alarming, overwork= injury!  Hopefully Winter season yields more debuts.

Yes, this is completely true.  We keep seeing the same few principal men filling in everywhere. How long before one of them is injured from being overworked?

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1 hour ago, abatt said:

On Sunday this program ran 3 hours because we had a mandatory See The Music lecture, which added about 15-20 minutes to the performance time.

Carousel is a 15 minute ballet, so why did we need a 20 minute intermission before and after it?  I suspect that when this was originally scheduled, the plan was to show Allegro, Easy and Carousel, have one 20 minute intermission, and then begin Sylphide.  Due to Adrian DW's injury, however, Tyler Angle had to perform the leads in both Allegro and Carousel, so they decided to add an intermission before Carousel for all performances of this program.  Under normal circumstances they would have had Catazaro doing Carousel. Since they now have a bare bones staff of male principals, they had to alter the timing of the program.

The dancing in all of the ballets was first rate, although Tyler Angle is, in my opinion, an odd choice for Billy.

 

I was at the Sat. Matinee and the printed program with Adrian D-W still listed in  Carousel, listed the pause after Allegro Brilliante and intermissions before and after Carousel, so I believe that was the plan all along, not a change because of casting. Obviously an intermission is needed before La Sylphide because of the set. I don't know why an intermission before Carousel was necessary.

Personally, I dislike See The Music.

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6 hours ago, Royal Blue said:

 

It will be interesting to see Diamonds performed by itself in a repertory program later during the 2018-19 Season.

Huh? It's not being performed as a standalone during either the winter or spring seasons.

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7 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Huh? It's not being performed as a standalone during either the winter or spring seasons.

Yes it is. It's in the "Barber, Broadway and Balanchine" program. (It wasn't originally but has been listed for some time now and was previously discussed in the 2018-19 season thread.)

Edited by nanushka

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Oops my bad. Am I imagining things or was it originally supposed to be another ballet?

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