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Winter 2019


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14 hours ago, canbelto said:

I was very disappointed with Sara Mearns' Mozartiana tonight. I thought her footwork look labored and this most daring of dancers seemed like she was holding back. I'm willing to chalk it up to a bad night since I;ve seen her dance this much better. I really enjoyed Harrison Ball in the Gigue. Russell Janzen did look awkward in the theme and variations solos. 

How did Reichlen fair in her second outing of Piano Concerto No. 2 last night? Any more oomph to her dancing?

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7 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

How did Reichlen fair in her second outing of Piano Concerto No. 2 last night? Any more oomph to her dancing?

She was better than Saturday night but seemed to tire towards the end. But the corps was very sloppy last night. Arms and legs in totally different positions. I was frankly shocked at how sloppy they looked.

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1 hour ago, canbelto said:

She was better than Saturday night but seemed to tire towards the end. But the corps was very sloppy last night. Arms and legs in totally different positions. I was frankly shocked at how sloppy they looked.

I can't speak to whether Reichlen was better than she was on Saturday, but she certainly didn't dance the role with the kind of take-no-prisoners attack, authority, and musicality that I've come to expect from her in this ballet (Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2). I actually thought she looked a bit better by the third movement simply because she appeared more relaxed and happy than she had in the first movement — she finished the ballet smiling what appeared to be a real smile, not a stage smile. 

And yes, the corps was a mess, although they did seem fully charged. 

Re the costumes: I know Marc Happel built them around the beautiful blue brocade he fell in love with, and in general there's nothing wrong with following one's passion wherever it may lead one, but I do think the lead ballerina at least deserved her own color, even if it meant that she didn't get to wear that particular brocade. That said, the new costumes are an improvement, especially for the corps women. I like the dusty blue, but agree that the hue of the cyclorama now needs to be adjusted to accommodate it.

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2 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

How did Reichlen fair in her second outing of Piano Concerto No. 2 last night? Any more oomph to her dancing?

She looked a lot better last night than she did on Saturday. More secure and in control overall, although there was still a problem with the fouettes. 

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16 hours ago, canbelto said:

I was very disappointed with Sara Mearns' Mozartiana tonight. I thought her footwork look labored and this most daring of dancers seemed like she was holding back. I'm willing to chalk it up to a bad night since I;ve seen her dance this much better. I really enjoyed Harrison Ball in the Gigue. Russell Janzen did look awkward in the theme and variations solos. 

Janzen is a vast improvement over Finlay, who absolutely butchered the role when I saw him dance it last year, so I enjoyed watching him tackle it even if he hasn't quite nailed the whole thing yet. Although Mearns looked better last night than she did last year (partnered by Finlay), I still don't think the ballet flatters her.  I know Mozartiana is a plum role that's generally given to the company's senior ballerinas, but it just doesn't suit Mearns' particular gifts. She! Tends! To! Put! An! Exclamation! Point! after every one of the ballerina's telling little throwaway gestures and it just ruins the effect. Mearns shines in a role like Walpurgisnacht, where being bigger than life is the whole point.

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19 hours ago, Susu_nyc said:

Tuesday 1/29 performance:  Corps member, Mira Nadon, replaced Isabella LaFreniere tonight in the Mozartiana corps.  She was the standout of the four women.  Beautiful carriage and length.  I hope to see more of her.   

I've been admiring Mira Nadon too! So glad I'm not the only one. She has an elegance to her dancing (and also her dramatic pale skin/dark hair combination) that makes her stick out to me. I was very happy when she was taken into the corps; I hope to see more featured roles for her!

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Without dancers there would be no ballet! At its best, however, ballet has never been about just the dancers. Choreography and music (and how felicitously they complement each other) are paramount! There are all sorts of reasons why an individual may not enjoy a performance of Serenade, including those not having anything to do with what is occurring on the stage. This ballet, nonetheless, remains a wondrous achievement whose provenance as a work created for the students of the School of American Ballet boggles the mind. Although dancers have their unique strengths and characteristics, and are of course not interchangeable, its capacity to enthrall when performed by different casts provides the ultimate validation of a great ballet. Considering its origin, this is especially true of Serenade. As someone thrilled to the core by two performances with Sara Mearns as the Waltz Girl and Tiler Peck as the Russian Girl during the first week of the season, I found last night's rendition of the ballet with Lauren Lovette, Ashley Bouder and Emilie Gerrity as the Dark Angel also deeply powerful and moving. In fact, Serenade is always a tough act to follow on a program, and has proven so compelling—after its absence—on this run that I had difficulty fully appreciating the other two items of the evening (even the grand Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2). There were a few issues with the corps as well as the soloists at each performance, but they did not substantively detract from the overarching power and beauty of this sublime work.

 

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1 hour ago, fondoffouettes said:

It appears Huxley went on for Janzen this evening.

Yes, indeed. After last night's performance, I was thrilled when I heard Huxley would be dancing. He and Mearns did great together, and now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I've seen them dance this together before. My old programs are a total jumble (I hope to get them organized one day; if anyone has a good system, I'd love to hear it), so I can't check this out. Does anyone else recall? Anyway, they had a good rapport and both did extremely well. I get the feeling Huxley likes dancing this; he knows he's good at it. He makes it look totally effortless and barely looks winded after those killer variations. I liked Mearns better tonight than last night; less sloppy. 

Re the Sleeping Beauty casting, I was hoping to see Lauren King as Aurora... but I guess if she's debuting Lilac Fairy, that's not happening. 

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9 hours ago, cobweb said:

He and Mearns did great together, and now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I've seen them dance this together before.

Sara's IG stories definitely make it sound like they've never danced this before — and even, perhaps, that she's never danced with him before in anything. It sounds like Janzen had to pull out last minute and Huxley stepped in so that Sara wouldn't have to be replaced as well.

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I will always remember this show...wear [sic] I got to dance with THE @anthonyhuxley

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Ive always been a huge fan of Anthony , in awe of his talent. I am so grateful to Anthony for taking on the challenge so I didn't have to cancel. Wishing such a speedy recovery to my partner @rustlegj.

 

Edited by nanushka
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Thanks, nanushka. I guess my mind is playing tricks on me. In any case, while there aren't many ballets where this pairing would work, I was very glad to see this performance. 

As another note on the past two night's performance's, Emilie Gerrity's turning "Dark Angel arabesque" was truly stunning. 

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17 hours ago, canbelto said:

Wow Huxley and Mearns ... can't really picture that pairing.

The partnering was surprisingly well done, but of course Mozartiana isn't particularly heavy on partnering. And I was so glad to see Huxley dance that part! Really the cleanest technique and execution. 

The last Tchaikovsky program last night was probably one of the flattest evenings I've witnessed at NYCB. Everything was done with competency but no spark, aura, fragrance. Orchestra sounded tired throughout. Much of Serenade looked like a student work; The male solo role in Mozartiana felt so sleeply (and with that awful period costume), Sara Mearns was all steps and no interior depth, and the use of children just puzzling. Piano Concerto, with the reliably reticent and cold Reichlen felt like it dragged on forever. Three men were the stars Huxley--never a foot wrong plus the partnering, Sanz--noble and elegant line adding much needed poetry to Serenade, TAngle--although he's losing hair and can look out of shape sometimes, his beats were clear and jumps had ample elevation last night, with his usual reliable, self-effacing partnering. 

First time seeing this "new" Serenade costumes. They look like they have two stripes of yellow stain in the front. New costumes for Piano Concertno No.2 don't work. They look muted and dusty as if they've been used for ten years. Awful, shallow art installation in the hall---silly messages and the white surface already showing tracks of people's winter boots. 

 

 

Edited by bcash
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Needless to say, human life is predicated on the impossibility of knowing what is on “the other side”: there is no boundary more challenging than that which separates the living from the dead. Surely it is natural to grieve deeply at the loss of a dear person, under any circumstances. Accordingly, the subject matter of the myth of Orpheus is incontrovertibly heart-wrenching and difficult. One has to admire Balanchine (and Stravinsky through his music) for attempting to represent the famous story in a ballet. Of particular interest is how the choreographer depicted the theme of blindness, especially in the pas de deux downstage in front of the gigantic wavering curtain. However, the overall result—at times verging on the ludicrous—is not as powerful or moving as one would expect given the somber subject. That the company does not present Orpheus often is, therefore, unsurprising. Since it necessarily remains a fascinating work it should, nevertheless, occasionally return to the repertory. Headed by vivid debuts from Gonzalo Garcia in the title role, Sterling Hyltin as the beloved Eurydice, and Peter Walker as the Dark Angel the performance by the first cast this season was fulfilling.

Presently, I find the formal beauty of Apollo overpowering, so—barring any glaring miscasting among the four roles—it is inconceivable for me not to savor a presentation of the ballet. In his significant debut Taylor Stanley was captivating, and his trio of Muses—Tiler Peck, Brittany Pollack and Indiana Woodward—absolutely fabulous. Obviously, it was gratifying to witness Pollack’s debut as Polyhymnia. Observing Unity Phelan in Agon—which was well-performed later in the evening—made me impatient for the day she is also cast in Apollo.

Catching the second casts of Apollo and Orpheus tomorrow afternoon, unfortunately, appears unlikely.

 

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2 hours ago, Leah said:

 

Unfortunately Naomi Corti had a bad fall in the beginning, and it seemed to rattle her. She is obviously a beautiful and talented dancer, though, and I look forward to seeing more of her in the future. She looked shocked at the large amount of applause she got.

 

She is only an apprentice, so she was probably nervous.  This was her first featured role, I believe.  (I'm not even sure I've seen her in any roles in the corps.) The casting sheet indicates that Sterling Hyltin was originally scheduled to do the role, but Hyltin was moved into the second cast  next week. 

Very thrilled that Woodward and Huxley will debut together in Sleeping Beauty.

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2 hours ago, canbelto said:

My thoughts on the new combinations program, including Justin Peck's Principia and Kyle Abraham's The Runaway:

https://humbledandoverwhelmed.blogspot.com/2019/02/nycb-winter-diaries-justin-pecks.html

I've said this before, but I wish NYCB didn't make us choose between all Balanchine and newer works. I've seen some of Peck, like some but not others, and would like to see more Forsythe but a program of all new works doesn't appeal to me. I've done that in the past and ended up not remembering which piece was which. Does NYCB really see an audience divide between old and new? 

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On 2/1/2019 at 2:09 PM, yukionna4869 said:

Based on their Instagram stories, it looks like Woodward and Huxley might be debuting as Aurora and Desire. 

... if one only knew which dates! If anyone sees anything official, please post!

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