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Winter 2019


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57 minutes ago, nanran3 said:

I just read the article.  It is a little disturbing to think that Taylor Stanley might eventually leave the company to seek artistic fulfillment elsewhere.  Frankly when they lost Ramasar, Stanley was my only consolation among the principal men.  Not happy with the Angle brothers... 

I love, LOVE, Taylor Stanley's dancing. Glad they're giving him new opportunities. He seems like he ruminates on lots of things. He could be talking more about taking outside artistic projects than leaving NYCB. Most of the dancers seem to have something else going on (even historically), whether it's school, modeling, guest gigs, or working with other choreographers. There's a long Nutcracker season where NYCB sells out regardless of casting. Principals often take side gigs. I'd really miss Taylor Stanley if he left.

And I still wish Amar could come back.

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I no longer have a subscription to the NYT. Could anyone summarize generally the gist of the interview and the comment that hints Stanley could potentially leave?

I find Taylor Stanley absolutely incredible... and I miss Amar a lot too. 

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I guess I'm in the minority in that I don't find Stanley incredible. I like him in some things but find him a bit light weight in others. The NYCB is still adjusting to the loss of Ramasar and Catazaro, as well the retirement of DeLuz and the technical decline (in solo, white tights works) of the Angles and Veyette. There is also the injury of Adrian D-W. It's a strange time for the male ranks in NYCB. 

As far as leaving for fulfillment, maybe Stanley will. Some dancers look at the rep of Balanchine, Robbins and new works that NYCB offers and want to eat all of it up. Others find more fulfillment in a constant diet of new works. That's the way it goes. Dancer's leave companies. I loved Ana Sofia Scheller, but San Francisco Ballet seems a better match for her.

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6 minutes ago, vipa said:

I guess I'm in the minority in that I don't find Stanley incredible. I like him in some things but find him a bit light weight in others. The NYCB is still adjusting to the loss of Ramasar and Catazaro, as well the retirement of DeLuz and the technical decline (in solo, white tights works) of the Angles and Veyette. There is also the injury of Adrian D-W. It's a strange time for the male ranks in NYCB. 

As far as leaving for fulfillment, maybe Stanley will. Some dancers look at the rep of Balanchine, Robbins and new works that NYCB offers and want to eat all of it up. Others find more fulfillment in a constant diet of new works. That's the way it goes. Dancer's leave companies. I loved Ana Sofia Scheller, but San Francisco Ballet seems a better match for her.

I think Taylor Stanley is a fine dancer. I  have to say I haven't found him incredible, although I'm very happy to be seeing him in Apollo instead of Garcia.  Garcia has never moved me in any role.  Agree that the decline of the Angles and Veyette is quite glaring.  While I liked Catazaro, I was underwhelmed by his Apollo last year.  I think Joseph Gordon is terrific!

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For me what's coming is very exciting: Gordon, Ball, Coll, Chamblee, Sanz, Mejia - lots of very unusual men and quite different from each other. Who am I forgetting? Seems to be a lot of them. 

I will admit it's upsetting that Danchig-Waring isn't doing Apollo.

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Agreed that in the male soloist ranks there are definite potential stars, as well as Mejia in the corps.  Let's see what happens.  Also agree that while Segin is an appealing and perhaps dependable corps member, not sure why she would get an award particularly.  I had thought she would probably stay in the corps for her career but who knows?

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A couple of years back, i found Segin just terrific in Martins’ Hallelujah Junction, and always imagined I would read/hear more about her in other featured roles. Anyway, I’m delighted to read about her receiving recognition. Congratulations to her! 

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16 hours ago, DC Export said:

 

I found the end-note a little troubling. City Ballet in jeopardy of losing a major talent because of the lack of clarity on the artistic vision? Could be author commentary.... but what if it isn't?

I definitely found that worrying too, although I think the reasoning Taylor gave for his consideration of leaving didn't point to lack of clarity in the artistic direction as the main element. It sounds to me his internal probing has more to do with ballet itself. It would be a major loss  (graver than the loss of Finlay of late, Catazaro, on par with Ramasar) if he leaves. He's certainly the most well-rounded and articulate dancer among the male principals of now.

 

 

Edited by bcash
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11 hours ago, Rock said:

For me what's coming is very exciting: Gordon, Ball, Coll, Chamblee, Sanz, Mejia - lots of very unusual men and quite different from each other. Who am I forgetting? Seems to be a lot of them. 

I will admit it's upsetting that Danchig-Waring isn't doing Apollo.

Sebastian Villarini-Velez and a new corps member Davide Ricardo. 

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I found it interesting that Craig Hall, who danced the role of Apollo only once, is coaching Stanley.  How much detailed knowledge could Hall possibly have regarding the role if he only performed it once?  Why didn't they call in someone with vast knowledge of the role to do the coaching?

Edited by abatt
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Just now, abatt said:

I found it interesting that Craig Hall, who danced the role of Apollo only once, is coaching Stanley.  How much detailed knowledge could Hall possibly have regarding the role if he only performed it once?  Why didn't they call in someone with vast knowledge of the role to do the coaching?

I'm a little worried about that too, because I remember Craig Hall coached/talked about a Balanchine role (maybe Apollo) at one of those rehearsal/demonstration events last year, and a long-time City Ballet goers who attended later said to me, referring to Hall: "He had no idea what he was talking about." 

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Hmm, that bodice for the lead ballerina (not the one on the left in the post above but the one Bouder had on her IG) looks rather heavy and ornate for the skirt it's attached to — especially in the video story itself, where you can see Tess moving. I'm also not crazy about the male dancer's vest; looks like senior prom.

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It seems like we're discussing the whole season now, not just opening night, so I'm reviving this thread. Re abatt's question on the other thread - it's great to see Isabella LaFreniere and Emily Kikta back in action, and I'm pretty sure I saw Alston Macgill in the background in Orpheus on opening night. 

The Serenade, Mozartiana, and Tschai Piano Concerto No. 2 (why can't we go with the shorter, more felicitous "Ballet Imperial"?) program is a crowd pleaser. I plan to be at probably every performance of this program, mainly because I don't want to miss any opportunity to see the last listed, which I have seen far less than the others. I thought all received lovely performances last night.

It felt like it's been ages since I've seen Serenade; that's probably not true, but it's just so beautiful I felt a rush of joy. Only issue I saw was that Aaron Sanz (I think a debut, subbing for the debut of Preston Chamblee) needs to develop more confidence being center stage. Up there all alone, partnering three grand ballerinas and a slew of other women flying through, he didn't convey serenity and command. Hard to believe, but it made me miss Ask LaCour, at least I have confidence in him to get through complex partnering. Sanz has the talent, IMHO, and the magnetism, but needs more confidence when he's out there all alone.  

Mozartiana was particularly beautiful, especially the commanding presence and clear phrasing of Maria Kowroski. I found it extremely moving. I also liked Daniel Ulbricht way more than I usually do, and I've seen him in this role a lot. He's always amazing technically, but this time he seemed more flexible, more human, more interesting and nuanced than usual. I am eager to see him again later in the week. I also can't wait to see Huxley in this role. 

Finally, Ballet Imperial. I'm much less familiar with this piece, but I absolutely loved it, and it puts me in the mind of other pieces I've seen only too rarely, such as Ballo della Regina and Divertimento No. 15. When are they coming back?? Joseph Gordon looked great, appealing, elegant, crisp yet oh so airy. The partnering was unfortunately awkward at times, but he keeps on going with an air of command and serenity, and honestly, something intangible about him just makes me love him. 

I have tonight off, then on to a marathon of performances. Can't wait!

Edited by cobweb
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4 minutes ago, cobweb said:

It seems like we're discussing the whole season now, not just opening night, so I'm reviving this thread. Re abatt's question on the other thread - it's great to see Isabella LaFreniere and Emily Kikta back in action, and I'm pretty sure I saw Alston Macgill in the background in Orpheus on opening night. 

The Serenade, Mozartiana, and Tschai Piano Concerto No. 2 (why can't we go with the shorter, more felicitous "Ballet Imperial"?) program is a crowd pleaser. I plan to be at probably every performance of this program, mainly because I don't want to miss any opportunity to see the last listed, which I have seen far less than the others. I thought all received lovely performances last night.

It felt like it's been ages since I've seen Serenade; that's probably not true, but it's just so beautiful I felt a rush of joy. Only issue I saw was that Aaron Sanz (I think a debut, subbing for the debut of Preston Chamblee) needs to develop more confidence being center stage. Up there all alone, partnering three grand ballerinas and a slew of other women flying through, he didn't convey serenity and command. Hard to believe, but it made me miss Ask LaCour, at least I have confidence in him to get through complex partnering. Sanz has the talent, IMHO, and the magnetism, but needs more confidence when he's out there all alone.  

Mozartiana was particularly beautiful, especially the commanding presence and clear phrasing of Maria Kowroski. I found it extremely moving. I also liked Daniel Ulbricht way more than I usually do, and I've seen him in this role a lot. He's always amazing technically, but this time he seemed more flexible, more human, more interesting and nuanced than usual. I am eager to see him again later in the week. I also can't wait to see Huxley in this role. 

Finally, Ballet Imperial. I'm much less familiar with this piece, but I absolutely loved it, and it puts me in the mind of other pieces I've seen only too rarely, such as Ballo della Regina and Divertimento No. 15. When are they coming back?? Joseph Gordon looked great, appealing, elegant, crisp yet oh so airy. The partnering was unfortunately awkward at times, but he keeps on going with an air of command and serenity, and honestly, something intangible about him just makes me love him. 

I have tonight off, then on to a marathon of performances. Can't wait!

I absolutely loved "Ballet Imperial" too!  I had never seen it and was captivated.  And Serenade, for me, often moves into the realm of the mystical.  

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Forgot to add that it was a "See the Music" night. Usually I hate these. But, I have to say that Andrew Litton was a very entertaining speaker. I'd still rather take those 10 minutes and be able to get home earlier on a weeknight, but Litton, with his casual, heartfelt love for the music was very funny.

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I was there last night and agree with the comments from Cobweb and Nanushka.  I was kind of dreading the "See The Music" too but found it delightful and loved seeing the orchestra and Susan Walter highlighted.  Serenade was a joy.  Mozartiana even more so and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Tyler Angle as a partner.  I thought he looked foar more comfortable and commanding in the role than Chase Finlay whom I saw last February.  Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto Number 2 swept me away. I just love Joseph Gordon. I find that he carries himself with such nobility and elan, and the future looks bright for him. 

As for the new Tchaikovsky costumes, from my seat in row N of the orchestra, the bodices did not appear too heavy for the skirts as they might have close up, per some earlier comments. Overall, I thought they "read" very well color-wise, the vest design of the men's costumes notwithstanding.  The women's dresses -- especially the principals' -- were super-sparkly -- not enough to outsparkle Ashley Bouder, of course,  but at moments I found the bling almost blinding.  This coming from a person who loves sparkle in every form!

Edited by Jacqueline
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I saw the Matinee this today (Sat.). Serenade was first on the program. I've been watching this ballet for many, many years and still it casts its spell. Nice cast. Bouder's Russian Girl, get's better all the time. A softer side has flourished, along with her speed. Lauren Lovette, was radiant and beautiful, but I wish she'd find a way to eliminate some technical weaknesses I see in her every time she performs. (My husband disagrees and says her beauty and radiance over ride all that). She was partnered by Ask LaCour and lifts floated. Emily Gerrity was lovely and secure, her lines exceptionally beautiful. I see principal in her future.

Mozartiana was next. Troy Schumacher's Gigue could have had more sharpness and wit, but it was enjoyable. I loved Hyltin and Huxley. I saw her a few years ago and wasn't impressed. This time she made it her own with a sweet yet witty style, and nuanced musicality. Huxley was super impressive in every way - turns, jumps. clarity and speed, musically floating jumps and finishing multiple turn. 

Tch Piano Concertn 2 - Interesting cast. I didn't know what to expect from Megan LeCrone in the soloist role. I liked her very much. She looked strong, confident and happy, and offered a nice stage presence. I've liked her in leotard ballets so this was nice to see. I also liked Tyler Angle. HIs partner is always fabulous. His jumps were high and strong. Good double cabrioles and overall a very fine performance. Teresa Reichlen in the lead had her moments but overall didn't do it for me. I'm not her biggest fan and find her presentation somewhat bland (except in tall girl Rubies). This choreography clearly challenged her. She met some challenges well, but at other times she was barely getting through the steps. 

I did notice Kristen Segin as outstanding in her demi soloist role along with Sarah Villwock.

There were performance highs and lows, more highs than lows. The company on the whole looks great and seeing these ballets reminded me that beauty, spirituality and order is possible in the world. A nice reminder.

 

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I am halfway through my marathon of all six performances of the Serenade-Mozartiana-Ballet Imperial program. It's starting to feel like a heavy dose of florid beauty, like constant desserts, unrelieved by the astringency of a leotard ballet (to mix a few metaphors). Still, I soldier on. 

I agree with vipa about much of this afternoon's performance (and sorry I missed you, vipa! let's connect and meet up again.) The beauty and magic of Serenade hold up over many, many viewings. I loved the two performances I saw with Mearns, Peck, and LeCrone.  With the blazing Mearns and the softness, ease, and musicality of Peck in mind, I had to really focus on what was in front of me this afternoon. I found Lovette beautiful and distinctive in the role, and can picture her interpretation growing even deeper. Emilie Gerrity looked great, especially that supported, turning arabesque, which breathed beautifully and hit a stunning shape. I agree with vipa - I see principal in Gerrity's future. As for the men, it seems Preston Chamblee is out, missing his debut as the second man. Aaron Sanz has done all of these, and over three performances has looked more at ease. I don't understand why they moved Ask LaCour over to the man that dances with the Waltz Girl, but whatever. I get the complaints about Jared Angle, but he did a great job with Sara Mearns earlier in the week, really giving her a solid base from which to blaze (to mix a few more metaphors).

Mozartiana. I saw Hyltin and Huxley do this before, a few years ago, but while Huxley dazzled, Hyltin made practically no impression. I really enjoyed her this afternoon, finding her sweet but knowing, and musical. She has a quieter talent than many of the principal women, but this is a role that suits her. Huxley, needless to say, was in his element, and I could get overwrought in my praise and appreciation for him. One thing I hadn't noticed before is the beautiful sculptural form of his wrists, hands, and fingers. He carries a powerful authority down to the fingertip.

Ballet Imperial (I prefer this to the clunky alternative). I agree, Reichlen had a rocky afternoon. Tyler Angle has been looking pretty good, IMHO (I know not everyone agrees). This is a fairly new piece to me - in the third movement, when the man comes running in with the woman on his shoulder, twice, does he always carry her with only one arm? I don't recall Joseph Gordon doing this with Bouder, but maybe it's where I was sitting. Tyler came running out with Tess on his shoulder, and one of his arms grandly out to the side. Showoff! (I loved it.) I had my doubts, let's say serious doubts, about Megan LeCrone in this role, but she has been looking pretty fabulous this season, and while her face could show a brighter smile and openness, I enjoyed her a lot. Finally, a small detail, in that section in the third movement where the corps men are kind of tossing the ladies into the air, Emily Kikta, launched by Silas Farley, looked like she was going to sail off into the sky. 

I look forward to reports on Gonzalo Garcia's Apollo. I would definitely not have thought of him for this role, but when the casting came out, I could suddenly see it. Also please, reports on Miller and Janzen in Agon. 

And my marathon continues tomorrow afternoon...

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I attended today's matinee and the highlight for me was Mozartiana. I didn't much care for Hyltin's Preghiera --  it lacked the expansive, spiritual, otherworldly quality you might hope for -- but I also think this section could benefit from being played a hair more slowly by the orchestra. (I know NYCB is all about speed, but I think the ballerina could use a little more room to luxuriate in some of the steps and poses.) Hyltin, and especially Huxley (wow!), were excellent in the Theme and Variations. With Finlay's unfocused performance still fresh in my mind, Huxley's incisive, lightning-quick dancing was all the more impressive. Hyltin danced very, very well, though I'd like to see her play more with her phrasing and the way she accents some of the steps. It felt a little by-the-book at times. Schumacher captured the jaunty spirit of his role, though I thought his dancing looked a bit small-scale at times. My eyes were glued to Kikta during the entire Minuet; perhaps someday she'll make a great lead in Mozartiana. Something odd happened in the orchestra during the Minuet, by the way; the orchestra cut out right before a repeat they were supposed to play. The women kept dancing, and then the orchestra came back in; not sure what happened.

Lovette made a strong debut as the Waltz Girl, despite one pirouette that really got away from her. Hopefully her characterization will become more fully fleshed-out with more performances. I've seen Hyltin and Mearns be transcendent in the role, and Lovette still has a ways to go. The first male principal is a good role for Ask la Cour at this stage of his career; his partnering looked solid, and in the limited amount of solo dancing he looked just fine. (Also, he looks trim and fit in that rather unforgiving costume; it was probably smart to avoid casting an Angle brother in the role.) Sanz did very well in the second male role, though you could perhaps see the concentration on his face as he dealt with some of the partnering. Gerrity wasn't a particularly memorable Dark Angel, though she acquitted herself well. The way she covered Sanz's eyes looked odd, as if she were gripping his face; maybe she's too short to do it any other way. Bouder was my favorite part of the performance; it's a great role for her, and her dancing looked so big and free. No mugging whatsoever, not that you'd expect it in this role. The yellow-beige tulle panels in the front of the refurbished costumes were so distracting! They didn't even seem like they were having the intended effect of making the dancers' legs more visible through the skirts.

Piano Concerto No. 2  is one of my all-time favorite ballets, so I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually felt bored at times watching today's performance. I'm not sure it's a great role for Reichlen. Yes, she certainly looks very regal and glamorous, but I was missing a bit of energy, dramatic presence, or something from her. Perhaps she has to work so hard to get those long, beautiful limbs to cooperate with the choreography, that it doesn't give her much room to focus on being interesting from a musical standpoint. Yes, she danced well, but it felt a bit bloodless to me. I've been among those who've been critical of the Angle brothers (Jared more than Tyler), but Tyler Angle's dancing was excellent throughout. LeCrone was solid as the second ballerina.

The new costumes are a mixed bag. I love the overall color palette -- dusky blues and metallics -- but I do think the two lead ballerinas' bodices are overly encrusted. They look like armor, which was only further reinforced by their rectangular shape. I'm also puzzled by the decision to put the two demi-soloist women in heavily encrusted bodices, as well. This was distracting in the second movement, when they link arms (along with the other eight women) with the principal man. I wish the men's costumes could have been designed in a way that would work with white tights. Between the dark brocade vests and navy blue tights, the corps men really faded into the background (also blue). And I can only imagine how hard it would have been to see their legs from, say, the fourth ring. This was especially disappointing in the finale, when, usually, it's overwhelming and exciting to see all those legs working in unison, but really only the women popped. I do think the corps women's costumes were just about perfect; not overly ornate. But overall, I don't think all the costumes worked together harmoniously, and it all just felt a bit dark and heavy. I wasn't crazy about the previous costumes, but I feel like the new ones really diminish the poetry of this piece. I hope NYCB considers some alterations now that they see how the costumes read onstage, and how they don't really work together as a whole.

Edited by fondoffouettes
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9 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

The yellow-beige tulle panels in the front of the refurbished costumes were so distracting! They didn't even seem like they were having the intended effect of making the dancers' legs more visible through the skirts.

Thank you for pointing this out. I didn't realize they were new; I've been scratching my head over how I failed to notice this aspect of the costume for years. I think it looks odd too, and glad to know I'm not blind! 

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