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Blackcurrant

2019-2020 season announced

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I just read the announcement of the new season. What do you make of it? The February mixed program drew my eye, as did the surprise of a new Swan Lake, and the change in schedule to three Fall season shows, Nutcracker, two Winter shows, and one Summer.

Edited by Blackcurrant

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At first glance, the new season looks ok.  We'll see what they do to ticket prices.  

I would like to see the Pite piece - I saw last week that her company is in Banff preparing a new work, assume this is the one?

Not sure how I feel about the Swan Lake.

I like the idea of three fall shows, however I admit to not being a Binet fan so we'll see how that goes.

 

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Honestly, I feel that it’s a better season than I expected, given the last couple…I’m very interested in the new Pite, Etudes/Piano Concerto/Petite Mort, and Marguerite and Armand. I could do without yet another round of Chroma and Romeo and Juliet, personally. I’d love to see Balanchine’s Chaconne, but not not in that program. Giselle I could take or leave at this point. I’m glad that Nutcracker is the one and only “kid and family” show. :)

My feelings about the questionable nepotism situation and the Binet work are well documented in other threads, and unfortunately, this announcement further leaves a bad taste. I don’t like the past work, I have zero interest in seeing more, and I wish we could see other talented young choreographers instead of a continual force-fed diet of bland Binet. In my opinion, this season comes off as overly contrived to “sell” us on more of the same, i.e.,

1. Pairing another Binet piece with Balanchine (a known draw)

2. A “new” Swan Lake (another pretty safe bet/known draw). I have so many (rhetorical) questions and so many reservations. Is it “new” or is it a revival/reboot of the Bruhn choreography? Unclear. It’s allegedly a big deal that Kain is “directing” it; but what does that *mean* in terns of what hands-on role(s) she will have in this creation (other than as the artistic director, obviously)? Is she co-creating/staging/choreographing/managing the day-to-day creative process in the studio (has she created/staged/choreographed before)? Is she simply commissioning it? Christopher Stowell is also listed as a co-creator…as a stager, a choreographer, a dramaturg? Unclear. How much is “new”? How much is Bruhn’s work? So whose work IS this going to be in the end? Who will get the credit if it’s a success? Who will get the blame if it isn’t?

Further rhetorically, I keep wondering…If the hometown hero is such a major leaguer, why does he have to be propped up with all-stars and handlers? Why so much effort to lob slow underhand pitches when it’s his turn at the plate?

Edited by kylara7
Clarity of opinion

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Yes, it's nice that this is more of a season for grown-ups!

The Erik Bruhn Swan Lake was the first one I'd seen live -- I think with Greta Hodgkinson back in about 1995 -- and the lakeside scene was wrenching to me in a way that the Kudelka version never was. So my first thoughts of comparison were to the Kudelka version, which I'd first seen National Ballet School students performing bits of.  What stood out about that version the waltz among the men in the first act (great, until it devolves into the gratuitious and awful rape scene), the four princesses (often impressive and bringing a little welcome humour to the story), the gloriously over-the-top wings on Rothbart, and what felt like his incessant meddling in what should've been some of the best scenes. While I will miss some of that, I had been missing the Bruhn version more and hope that Kain will bring to it, as she did to the staging of Sleeping Beauty, a passionate sense for its legacy. (I think I had been at one of the working rehearsals where she was directing.)

But hearing that Binet is going to be doing some of the choreography makes my heart sink. His modern works show such a lack of any dramatic propulsion, they just go on and on. I am curious about who the funding sponsors for this ballet will be. (And, I wonder what Kimberley Glasco makes of the demise of the Kudelka Swan Lake.)

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I'm glad for the change with Swan Lake if it's returning more to what we saw with Bruhn (I saw it as a child but I still remember it) I really hope that the fresh perspective means that the rape scene is changed - I can do without it, and with my kid sister taking ballet now as well, I want to be able to take her to see the show knowing that she can handle mature content but doesn't need to see gratuitous violence. I trust who Ms. Kain will bring on board to help with the process, and there's a lot of great talent to call upon to remake the work. I'm wondering if this also means a further fracturing of the relationship between the company and Kudelka (or at least one or two individuals within the company) 

With Binet, unfortunately the nepotism and 'friends only' club continues. The new choreographic associate Alysa Pires is also a good friend of Binet, and some of her choreography has been questionable when it comes to violence. I saw her piece Exterminating Angel and more than a few of us wondered how a woman could stage a piece which depicted scenes of blatant violence towards women. Also, she doesn't have a ballet background first and foremost, so I wonder why she's being given so many opportunities to work in ballet when there are far more qualified individuals who could be doing so with our national company. 

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