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Spring 2019


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I think Indiana Woodward and Harrison Ball are the most likely to be promoted to principal. This spring they are dancing a principal workload.

Week 1 Woodward danced 4/7 performances. Ball danced 3/7 performances but danced twice in two performances in two different ballets.

Week 2 Woodward 3/7 performances but participated in a world premiere. Ball danced once.

Week 3 Woodward danced 6/7 performances! Ball danced 4/7 performances but also doubled up dancing once both Judah and in Stars and Stripes. 

Week 4 Woodward danced 4/7 performances but doubled up three times (!!!). Ball danced 3/7 performances but doubled up as well dancing in both Judah and DAAG.

Week 5 Woodward will dance 4/7 performances. Ball will dance 4/7 performances.

Both have been giving Principal roles like Apricot Girl in DAAG (Woodward), and El Capitan in Stars and Stripes (Ball).

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On 5/23/2019 at 12:50 AM, Leah said:

I actually really enjoyed how expressive Lovette was tonight, I have noticed that she can be a little too contained which causes her not to project. I thought she was wonderful. Surprisingly the weak link for me was Indiana Woodward, who seemed very stiff and unnatural compared to the other dancers that were dancing with freer abandon. She also had a scary mishap with Roman Mejia during the Giggle Dance; when he lifted her onto his shoulders she appeared to put to much of her weight onto his neck, and almost tumbled forward. To be fair, as she was a last minute substitution I suspect a lack of rehearsal time with him as her partner was the cause. Mejia in any case was wonderful, as were the rest of the men. I want to highlight Aaron Sanz, who was particularly elegant. I also quite enjoyed Megan Fairchild as the green girl. She’s really been fantastic since coming back from maternity leave.

Stars and Stripes was fine, I think a campy ballet like that suffers when following a piece like DAAG. I agree that Veyette danced very well, I was actually surprised at how well his jumps went. Megan LeCrone, on the other hand, dancing in the second section, seemed dour and apathetic. I don’t think she’s well suited to this kind of ballet.

I'm glad you enjoyed Lovette. She really is a lovely dancer. I sat in the third row. I'm not usually that close.

As for LeCrone, I want to stamp my feet like Michael Cera in Juno and say "she's not dour, her chin is just made that way." (I'm trying to be funny. I hope no one takes it as an insult. I love her angularity.)

Anyway, I also love Jared Angle's dancing.  Even ballet dancers don't have to be stick thin, where's the fun in that? He's a beautiful artist.

As for promotions: I think Roman Mejia is definitely worthy of being promoted. I think Indiana Woodward should be (I thought she and Mejia were spectacular together, mishaps and all!), but I don't want them (or anyone) to be disappointed if they're not promoted. The point is for them to dance well, stay healthy, and grow as artists, and for us to enjoy it. There can be downsides to early promotions and even if a dancer's performances are brilliant, maybe they don't have the maturity to take on more responsiblity, or a change in work schedule. Maybe they need to settle in, or grow up, or...  learn to cook for themselves! A lot of different things go into having a long and successful career onstage and that is what I want most for all the dancers. 

I've been going to college commencement ceremonies for some cherished young people in my life, and I just wish all young people the best!

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2 hours ago, bellawood said:

Also, Mira Nadon—so beautiful and interesting as a dancer. Of the young tall women, I find her more compelling than Miriam Miller. 

Totally agree! Miller is beautiful but she is often bland and lacking in a dynamic presence. Nadon by contrast has an aura of mystery and a weightiness to her presence. 

Edited by cobweb
to elaborate a bit
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12 hours ago, sz said:

I was there too. 

Joseph Gordon handled the very difficult T&V beautifully.  IMO, it’s not really the best role for him.  Gordon shines far more in big movement ballets showing off his gorgeous lines, expansive elegance and technique.  The double tour, pirouette, repeat and repeat part of the men’s solo looks far better on men like DeLuz or Huxley – both very compact and move tightly. 

Gordon is definitely my MVP of the season!  I too can't wait to see his and Huxley’s Oberons next week. 

They both are excelling in the most difficult male roles in the rep at NYCB right now.  I think soon, and excellently, T&V would be a great fit for Roman Mejia
though I will still prefer Gordon’s handsome, princely style.

Interesting to mention T&V, contrasting a more compact style with a handsome princely style. Peter Martins isn't mentioned much as a dancer, but his T&V was an amazing combination of both. He was a tall elegant dancer who did T&V to perfection including the double tour pirouette section (doing double pirouettes as Veyette ad DeLuz sometimes did). I have noticed that some dancers walk around for the start of that music and start the sequence later. That always bothers me!

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7 minutes ago, vipa said:

I have noticed that some dancers walk around for the start of that music and start the sequence later. That always bothers me!

Completely agree, and taking the repeat in the music is a must!

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After seeing how great Harrison Ball looks this season, so sharp, musical, and beautiful, I would like to see him in T&V. Not sure his partnering is there yet though. 

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Ashley Laracey was  gorgeous tonight in Scotch.  The fluidity of her upper body was remarkable.  She brought out small details I had not noticed before in the way she used her hands and arms.  Of the three ladies who performed Scotch this season, she was my favorite.  Why is she so underutilized? 

Edited by abatt
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6 hours ago, bellawood said:

I’ve lurked on this board for a long time, but the Ashley Bouder squeak-gate discussion made me register! It’s been driving me crazy since September. For the record, she did not have squeaky shoes Thursday in the first movement of Brahms Schoenberg with Russell—and it was also a much more successful performance than the one last Wednesday. Russell in particular looked more relaxed— his shoulders can get very high. 

[....]

Welcome Bellawood--I hope you will continue posting. (Unfortunately I won't be making it to NY this year but I read reports on NYCB avidly.)

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On 5/24/2019 at 6:29 AM, Kathleen O'Connell said:

the production design does nothing to link T&V conceptually with what has come before. 

I was wondering about this. What IS the link between the first three movements and the last? Am I missing something? I sometimes wonder what Tchaikovsky, and Balanchine, were thinking. Another thought - maybe if the first three movements were more visually distinctive they would hold more interest. As it is, what with the hair and flowy gauze, and the scrim hanging over all, they blend together. 

12 hours ago, abatt said:

Ashley Laracey was  gorgeous tonight in Scotch.  The fluidity of her upper body was remarkable.  She brought out small details I had not noticed before in the way she used her hands and arms.  Of the three ladies who performed Scotch this season, she was my favorite.  Why is she so underutilized? 

Thank you for the report abatt! Glad to hear she was a success. How was Rachel Hutsell?

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Balanchine wanted to choreograph the entire suite. The new production of T&V was a showcase for Gelsey Kirkland. Balanchine was in somewhat of a creative rut at that time after the departure of Farrell and I think the three suite movements before T&V might be some of the most unimpressive choreography he ever did.

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1 hour ago, cobweb said:

I was wondering about this. What IS the link between the first three movements and the last? Am I missing something? I sometimes wonder what Tchaikovsky, and Balanchine, were thinking. Another thought - maybe if the first three movements were more visually distinctive they would hold more interest. As it is, what with the hair and flowy gauze, and the scrim hanging over all, they blend together. 

As a musical composition, Suite No. 3 is pretty cohesive. The fact the the fourth movement is longer than the other three combined, coupled with its being in theme-and-variations form, may make it feel out of character with what came before.  Note, however, that Suite No. 4—the music Balanchine used for "Mozartiana"—also closes with a big theme-and-variations movement that's longer than the others combined. If we didn't know that all of the movements were based on themes from a grab-bag of Mozart compositions, we might wonder what the heck the Pregheira and the Gigue had to do with that long theme-and-variations movement. (Balanchine rearranged the order of the movements, by the way. Tchaikovsky opens with the Gigue, not the Pregheira.)

I think you're on to something with your observation that the scrim, the loose hair, and all that floaty chiffon (or whatever it is) doesn't actually unify the first three movements so much as make them  seem like a bland much-of-a-muchness.

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6 hours ago, cobweb said:

Thank you for the report abatt! Glad to hear she was a success. How was Rachel Hutsell?

I thought Rachel Hutsell did very well in the kilt variation. Laracey looked a bit tense at the beginning, but really got into the ballet and by the end was so gorgeous and poetic. Veyette looked tired and his jumps leaden. I almost dread seeing him as the Hoofer in Slaughter tomorrow...

Overall, last night was a lovely night at the ballet! I wish they did Scotch Symphony more often - it's a fun piece, and I really enjoyed it last night.

On the other hand, although I enjoyed Bouder and Janzen in it last night, I wish NYCB would give Duo Concertant a bit of a rest. I don't live in NYC so attend only a limited number of performances each year, but I think I've seen it 4 times recently!

I loved Sonatine, which I had not seen before. Megan Fairchild really looks radiant post-leave, and Taylor Stanley has such a wonderful fluidity of movement, it was a really beautiful piece. But it seemed an odd programming choice to have it just after Duo Concertant, another piece for 2 dancers in blue costumes with the piano on stage...

Finally, Stravinsky Violin Concerto was fantastic - speaking of potential promotions earlier in this thread, Aaron Sanz has really blossomed this season. I think he still needs another year as a soloist, but he is one to watch, for sure. I simply cannot get enough of Joseph Gordon - and Lauren Lovette was a great partner for him. Sara Mearns seemed to be having a lot of fun on stage, which isn't always the case, and really brought some contagious energy to the piece.

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22 hours ago, bellawood said:

I’ve lurked on this board for a long time, but the Ashley Bouder squeak-gate discussion made me register! It’s been driving me crazy since September. For the record, she did not have squeaky shoes Thursday in the first movement of Brahms Schoenberg with Russell—and it was also a much more successful performance than the one last Wednesday. Russell in particular looked more relaxed— his shoulders can get very high. 

I am also a founding member of the Joe Gordon fan club—he was really wonderful last night. There are many wonderful dancers in this company but he is really something special—so elegant, such lovely port de bras and épaulement, such a sensitive partner—plus he has the goods for the variations. He’s truly musical which puts him in an elevated category I think. 

Cobweb’s discussion of promotions made me notice that all women except for Lauren Lovette were promoted before 2010, so it’s time. I think the only one who will be promoted to principal will be Indiana Woodward. For the men, I Harrison Ball is the dark horse. He’s quite striking but his partnering is hesitant. I agree that Mejía might be promoted.

Lastly, a few words in defense of Jared Angle—I can't be the only one who is reminded of late-career Jock Soto. Those terrible satin shirts in suite #3 even made Taylor Stanley, a man who must have 2% body fat, look puffy—and frankly, the fact that they look like they are wearing Dockers makes it even worse! I find him to be a dedicated and thoughtful partner and I forgive the grand jetés.

Also, Mira Nadon—so beautiful and interesting as a dancer. Of the young tall women, I find her more compelling than Miriam Miller. 

Welcome, Bellawood! No squeaky shoes on Bouder last night either, and I was sitting very close to the stage (and noisy pointe shoes drive me nuts!)

Agree with you on Jared Angle - there are some roles he should retire (anything shirtless...) but he remains a great partner and expressive dancer.

Agree also on Miriam Miller, who has had technical issues more than once when I've seen her dance. I hope she gets a chance to strengthen her core and work on technique before tackling more soloist/principal roles

Edited by lacdescygnes
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I didn't hear any squeaky shoes on Bouder at today's matinee either; then again Stars and Stripes has loud music. She was really phenomenal -- I can't imagine how anybody could do this part better. Precise, accented steps and phrasing, and ultra-fast turns. This has to be one of her finest roles. Ball was excellent as well and smiled more than he usually does. Overall there was a lot of brilliant, high-energy dancing today -- Hoxha as the male soloist in Stars and Stripes, wow! Such clean, "fluttering" footwork and technique. Ulbright and Pereira blew everyone away in Tarantella. 

Veyette and Reichlen subbed for Angle and Kowroski in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue today. Even though Veyette is past his prime, his Hoofer was solid --  the role requires strong acting skills, and he was funny and charming. Reichlen was good as Striptease Girl but a little flat. For someone with such long legs, her extensions lacked the wow factor of Kowroski's and Mearns'. 

I enjoyed The Times are Racing but the central pas de deux (with Stanley and Applebaum) just didn't have the steaminess and intensity of Tiler Peck and Ramasar when I first saw this last year. 

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1 hour ago, lacdescygnes said:

Agree also on Miriam Miller, who has had technical issues more than once when I've seen her dance. I hope she gets a chance to strengthen her core and work on technique before tackling more soloist/principal roles

I like Teresa Reichlen, but she has never struck me as an outgoing performer. She's cool, contained and not terribly flamboyant. The Striptease Girl isn't an obvious fit for her. Does she dance it often?

Bouder seems like a perfect fit for Liberty Bell. I wish I'd seen it.

I saw Miriam Miller dance Agon at the end of the 2018 spring season and while, in some ways, she brought to mind a baby swan freshly hatched from its shell, she was solid the entire ballet and held that penché arabesque en pointe (when the man falls to his back) so long it impressed the entire audience. She has nerves of steel and a go-for-it approach that bodes well.

Seems to me I've seen Mira Nadon in something. Which ballets are people liking Mira Nadon in?

JuliaJ: I enjoyed The Times are Racing but the central pas de deux (with Stanley and Applebaum) just didn't have the steaminess and intensity of Tiler Peck and Ramasar when I first saw this last year. 

Having seen them in TTAR, multiple times, T. Peck/A.Ramasar would be tough to beat.

 
Edited by BalanchineFan
to add a question
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7 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

I like Teresa Reichlen, but she has never struck me as an outgoing performer. She's cool, contained and not terribly flamboyant. The Striptease Girl isn't an obvious fit for her. Does she dance it often?

Bouder seems like a perfect fit for Liberty Bell. I wish I'd seen it.

I saw Miriam Miller dance Agon at the end of the 2018 spring season and while, in some ways, she brought to mind a baby swan freshly hatched from its shell, she was solid the entire ballet and held that penché arabesque en pointe (when the man falls to his back) so long it impressed the entire audience. She has nerves of steel and a go-for-it approach that bodes well.

I've seen her dance Striptease Girl before -- it's not a role she does very often but she does do it. Come to think of it I think the last time she danced Striptease Girl Maria Kowroski was either injured or on maternity leave.

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23 hours ago, vipa said:

Interesting to mention T&V, contrasting a more compact style with a handsome princely style. Peter Martins isn't mentioned much as a dancer, but his T&V was an amazing combination of both. He was a tall elegant dancer who did T&V to perfection including the double tour pirouette section (doing double pirouettes as Veyette ad DeLuz sometimes did). I have noticed that some dancers walk around for the start of that music and start the sequence later. That always bothers me!

Martins was a magnificent dancer, wonderful in a wide variety of roles including, much to my surprise, the Rhumba Boy in On the Town. Very amusing.

Nicolaj Hubbe was also wonderful in T&V, after a disastrous first performance. As was Ib Andersen.

Great Danish training?

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6 minutes ago, zerbinetta said:

Martins was a magnificent dancer, wonderful in a wide variety of roles including, much to my surprise, the Rhumba Boy in On the Town. Very amusing.

Nicolaj Hubbe was also wonderful in T&V, after a disastrous first performance. As was Ib Andersen.

Great Danish training?

Martins was truly one of the greatest of his generation, but you don't hear about that much. Unfortunately I never saw Hubbe in T&V. Ib Anderson was wonderful.

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9 minutes ago, vipa said:

Martins was truly one of the greatest of his generation, but you don't hear about that much. Unfortunately I never saw Hubbe in T&V. Ib Anderson was wonderful.

Princes all.

Peter was also a great James, which he did at the Met when the Danes guested. Also a dazzling Albrecht in a Giselle he did in Toronto with Makarova. Amazing entrechats. This was during Erik Bruhn's tenure at National Ballet of Canada.

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2 hours ago, canbelto said:

Today is Ashly Isaacs' farewell to the company. 

I'm so sorry to see her go! I still remember her absolutely thrilling fouettés when she danced Hyppolita a few seasons back. They were so on the music and done so securely and fearlessly it looked like magic. 

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3 hours ago, canbelto said:

Today is Ashly Isaacs' farewell to the company. She posted this on Instagram:

 

What a poignant note; you really never know what struggles a dancer may be dealing with. 

This may have already been posted elsewhere, but it looks like she just graduated summa cum laude from Fordham and is off to pursue an MFA in animation at CalArts.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashly-isaacs-35699389

 

 

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