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I attended last night’s New Combinations program.

In terms of the actual ballets I enjoyed Herman Schmerman the best. It’s odd in that it’s effectively two ballets, with the first five dancers actually taking bows before the second half- the pas de deux- begins. I thought Unity Phelan and Harrison Ball particularly stood out. 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.

Principia is a perfectly nice and bland ballet. The costumes are almost identical, with gray leotards and unitards with tights pulled up over them (the female leads had gray waistbands while the rest of the women had pink ones). I enjoyed the group choreography but it really seemed perfunctory and very standard for Peck. Mira Nadon and Miriam Miller, two of the demi soloists, stood out for me.

I saw The Runaway last fall and it’s improved on me since then, though it’s not my cup of tea. Taylor Stanley really shines in it and it’s a great vehicle for him. The audience was less raucous in their response this time around, which helped me at least in being able to take in the nuances of the choreography.

Edited by Leah

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1 hour ago, yukionna4869 said:

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

https://imgur.com/gallery/8EDp56h

Sounds good to me. I hope we'll get some reports

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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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I don’t think I’ve noticed her before either. She was certainly very nervous, though she seemed to calm down as the performance went on. I can’t imagine the amount of pressure. She’s certainly one to watch- very elegant, with beautiful lines.

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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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Well FWIW the house was very well sold today, with the audience reaching into the far reaches of the fourth ring. And the all-Balanchine programs have been well-sold. So they might figure why switch up a good thing?

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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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11 hours ago, vipa said:

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? 

I think it's been proven that mixed repertory programs with tags or names sell better. It gives people something to identify with. It's why most companies have adopted block programming. Even before block programming, the NYCB had All-Balanchine, or All-Balanchine/Stravinsky, or Balanchine Black-and-White programs. Do you miss repertory programs vipa? You'd find ballets presented with different other ballets on each program. Many thought it was stimulating, and often showed ballets to better advantage. But it didn't sell as well as block programs, and it's gone. 

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In the spring there are several mixed programs:

Slaughter on Tenth Ave/Barber Violin Concerto/Diamonds

Valse Fantasie/Suite of Dances/New Peck/New Portner/Western Symphony

Judah/DAAG/Stars and Stripes

Principia/Symphony in Three Movements/The Times Are Racing

Stars and Stripes/Slaughter on 10th Ave/Tarantella/Times Are Racing

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Thank you canbelto. I hadn't seen that and I think it's a very positive thing.

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17 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 never been able to pinpoint specifically what it is I find unsatisfying about much of Peck's work, but your review described it so succinctly and clearly—thank you!

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I have a $35 orchestra seat for this Wednesday, February 6.  I cannot go.  Does anyone want to buy this ticket from me?  $39 with facility fee.

In Vento, After the Rain pas, Variations pour une porte et un soupir, Duo concertant, The times are racing

 

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Has anyone seen video footage of Porte et un Soupir? I'm so intrigued from what I've read about it, but I have no idea what it looks like. 

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54 minutes ago, DC Export said:

Has anyone seen video footage of Porte et un Soupir? I'm so intrigued from what I've read about it, but I have no idea what it looks like. 

I saw this ballet a few years ago with Kowroski and Ulbricht.  It was spectacular!  They were perfect in this work, as they are in most ballets.  It was on a program with newer and very new ballets, but it was the most radical and most creative work in the whole performance.  It is quite static spatially and some think it's related to Agon or The Cage.  I don't see that, other than the movements are very angular  Really you can't take your eyes off it for a second.  Go see it! 

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Kind of a weird non-sequitur but I was wondering if perhaps Robbie Fairchild could come back and bolster the principal male ranks at NYCB?  Or is it a no-go because of his break up with Tiler Peck?

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5 minutes ago, nanran3 said:

Kind of a weird non-sequitur but I was wondering if perhaps Robbie Fairchild could come back and bolster the principal male ranks at NYCB?  Or is it a no-go because of his break up with Tiler Peck?

For the moment no. He's in London filming CATS. 

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Do the principal male ranks at NYCB need bolstering? I'm not reading many complaints.

 

As to Porte et Soupir, she's the door, he's the sigh and it's nothing like Agon or The Cage. It's not like anything else. Go see it, you won't be sorry DC Export.

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10 hours ago, Rock said:

As to Porte et Soupir, she's the door, he's the sigh and it's nothing like Agon or The Cage. It's not like anything else. Go see it, you won't be sorry DC Export.

I second Rock! And I highly recommend seeing Porte et Soupir while Kowroski is still dancing it. She is droll without being jokey, which is absolutely what this ballet requires. I've seen it danced by other ballerinas, and Kowroski is the only one, IMO, that made the ballet more than the sum of its decor and its rather literal response to the music. 

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Unfortunately I'm down in DC and this piece is unlikely to show up at the Kennedy Center. Would love if someone has a video link!

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Joe Gordon was replaced in Interplay by Peter Walker tonight. Hope he is not injured ahead of his big debut in Sleeping Beauty.

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Both Gordon and Janzen (is he still out? Has he danced since being replaced in Mozartiana?) are still on the cast lists.

I was shocked at how bad Ask La Cour was in In the Night tonight. His extensions were minimal, barely half the height of Sara Mearns’. It honestly looked like he was marking the steps. He looked totally bored throughout. I get that there’s a dearth of tall male principals at the moment but it was ridiculous, especially when comparing him to Jared Angle, who though out of shape was taking the ballet seriously and making a sincere effort.

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NYCB has not updated the casting page, but if you click on tonight's performance you can see that  Janzen is replaced tonight in In Vento.  Peter Walker will be dancing in place of Janzen. 

Edited by abatt

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