Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Spring 2019


Recommended Posts

Just saw today’s matinee.  Mearns in Slaughter is a hoot.  Legs, legs, legs.  I don’t care for Barber at all.  I think the partnering for the women is just gross.  

Diamonds made me gasp in delight multiple times.  The corps was beautifully synchronous without being wooden.  Much less icy than the Bolshoi corps at City Center, but much more put together than NYCB was at that foray.  Maria and Tyler were a miracle in the second movement.  Expert coaching?  Pure artistry and command.  They were less impressive in the allegros, but still strong.  The Demi-soloists also looked great, with Alberda again leading the way.  The audience was enraptured.

Edited by KikiRVA
Link to post

Exhilarating performance at today’s matinee. In Slaughter, Sara Mearns was her go-for-broke self, hair flying. Peter Walker has lots of personality but his technique needs refining. I kept wishing Robbie Fairchild we’re back in the role. 

I enjoyed conductor AndrewLitton’s See the Music exploring Barber’s Violin Concerto with the brilliant solo violin of Kurt Nikkanan. I didn’t think I would like this ballet but I did, especially Taylor Stanley, who commanded the stage, inhabiting the role with sinuous intensity.

Diamonds was scintillating, especially the brilliant Maria Kowroski. I didn’t notice any difference in her performance of this role since being coached by Suzanne Farrell, but others more attuned to the piece may. There did seem a great energy and joy to all the dancers’ performances in this piece. I especially applaud the quartet of Laine Habony, Olivia MacKinnon, Mary Elizabeth Sell, and Lydia Wellington, who all sparkled. Tyler Angle as always is a great partner for Maria but he seems less energized than others, and he lands his jumps heavily (I was in Orch row G). 

Where else can you experience such a great day in the theater? As always, NYCB thrills me.

Link to post
1 hour ago, ivanov said:

I loved today's performance of Diamonds!  I hope Suzanne Farrell is invited back to coach many more ballets.

I was there too, and keep trying to stop myself from overly attributing the Diamond's performance to Suzanne. Ultimately I couldn't help myself. The pas was something special. You felt a risk taking/vulnerability on Kowroski's part that isn't usually there. There was also a palpable awareness, nothing was on automatic, everything seemed in the moment. Tiler Angle is always an awesome partner and did well with his solo parts. He is not a virtuoso dancer, and made some wise choices.

The rest of the program was very enjoyable. Somehow, after seeing Slaughter over and over, I still get a kick out it. Mearns was great and danced with abandon. Peter Walker, who I haven't liked in some other things, was great fun as the hooker.

A piece I've seen over and over but have grown tired of, is Barber's Violin Concerto. However, it was fun seeing Emma Von Enck in a lead role (the "modern" dancer). She was great, and had a straightforward, direct attack. Ashley Bouder mugs and smiles through the role (if memory serves) which lends a different tone. I don't know which is the choreographer's intent, but Von Enck carried it off well.

It was my great pleasure to see Cobweb at the ballet and exchange notes! 

Link to post

Can I get back for a moment to the discussion of future directions for the NYCB..

I mentioned Wendy Whelan’s ‘Lyrical’ legacy, where, for me, she was perhaps at her finest and most beautiful. This was when she was working with  Christopher Wheeldon. Here, once again, are two of those performances to be seen at 1:50 and 14:10.

 

I think that there’s definitely a place for this sort of gentle beauty at NYCB. At the Mariinsky Festival this year there was a current of lyricism that ran through much of the ‘modern’ performances, especially during the Young Choreographer’s evening. It was also very ballet oriented. I would really enjoy seeing this happen more throughout the ‘modern’ world of dance.

Added: It's sort of interesting to note that in the world of 'modern' rock music, some of the most high energy perfomers' ballads were their biggest hits.

 

htt

Edited by Buddy
"Added" added
Link to post

I agree with everyone about the Kowroski-Angle "Diamonds" yesterday. They have a rich and mature artistry. I found the communication between them, the eye contact, the glances and gazes, to be especially touching. Reminds me of that moment at the end of the second movement of Symphony in C, when she falls back into his arms and gazes up at him with trust and surrender -- to him, to her fate. 

I wasn't expecting the unfortunate "See the Music" lecture before Barber Violin Concerto, and this messed up my timing. The website said the program should be over by 5:15, but that must not have accounted for "See the Music." I could see the program was running long and since I was supposed to be on the Upper East Side by 5:30, before "Diamonds" I found a seat on the aisle and figured I'd bolt out just before the polonaise. But I was so caught up that I couldn't bear to leave. The beaming young faces of the corps dancers, and the procession now led by Spartak Hoxha (since Aaron Sanz was promoted), were irresistible. 

I agree with vipa about Emma von Enck's debut in Barber Violin Concerto. I thought she showed great presence and maturity. 

And what's not to love about Sara Mearns in Slaughter on 10th Ave. Totally delicious. I was wondering who else they might have lined up to do this role, and I could see Emilie Gerrity doing it. 

Edited by cobweb
Link to post

If anyone catches the Wednesday night Scotch-Valse-Sonatine-Violin Concerto, please let me know what they thought of Macgill in her 'Scotch Symphony' debut! I think she's got something special, but she hasn't really done many leads or soloist parts this season, from what I can tell. I think she was out for injury. 

Love Emma von Enck & Olivia MacKinnon also. 

Link to post

I also wanted to comment on Valse Fantaisie, which I saw on Saturday afternoon with Erica Pereira and Daniel Ulbricht. I know some here have found Pereira much improved lately, and I was looking forward to seeing her. While she did have some moments of real radiance, for the most part I found her timid and indecisive, with an insubstantial, lightweight presence. IMHO, she still has a long ways to go.

Link to post
On 5/5/2019 at 2:07 PM, BalanchineFan said:

I've seen Oltremare a few times now. It was the piece that convinced me I am against sleeves in ballet. Women dancers should not wear sleeves if at all possible. These sleeves hide their lines, hide their bodies. I find the costumes so unflattering that it's difficult to see the ballet. (Drab colors are bad enough, though utterly in keeping with the subject of the ballet.) I know it's petty of me, but Maria K and Tiler Peck in buttons and ruffles up to their necks, sleeves down to their wrist bones... it's a waste.

I hear you, although I feel differently. To be sure, the stage during ballet performances is not the right place to hide the human body: tutus and leotards are by far my preferred costumes for female dancers. Nonetheless, my experience of watching NYCB has taught me the necessity and logic of balancing these with a variety of other costumes. (Those for The Exchange, for instance, added to that work's interest.) Obviously, no person is going to like every article of clothing they see, and certain costumes may not flatter individual performers. Still, Oltremare is a single dance work about a specific subject. At times, due to their bouncing dresses/skirts as they danced, one could even see the antiquated undergarments from that time period the women were wearing. There was hardly any harm in that! On the contrary, it added to the work's quaintness, and made one marvel at the extraordinary transformation society has undergone since then.

What appeared like a strange wardrobe malfunction with Maria Kowroski’s costume in Diamonds did not tarnish the superb performance of Balanchine's glorious ballet Friday evening. Sunday afternoon's rendition was magnificent! For me, far from being a waste the performances this season of Oltremare with Kowroski and Tyler Angle provided a stimulating visual, moral and intellectual counterpoint to those of Diamonds.  

 

Link to post
32 minutes ago, Royal Blue said:

 

What appeared like a strange wardrobe malfunction with Maria Kowroski’s costume in Diamonds did not tarnish the superb performance of Balanchine's glorious ballet Friday evening. Sunday afternoon's rendition was magnificent! For me, far from being a waste the performances this season of Oltremare with Kowroski and Tyler Angle provided a stimulating visual, moral and intellectual counterpoint to those of Diamonds.  

 

I was there, but I didn't notice a wardrobe malfunction in Maria's costume in Diamonds.  What was the malfunction

Link to post

I thought Mearns and Janzen were pretty incredible in "Diamonds." If I hadn't just seen Kowroski and Tyler Angle on Sunday, I might think Mearns and Janzen were perfect. But I greatly prefer Kowroski's depth and artistry, and Angle's softness and nobility, and the rich communication between them. By comparison, Mearns and Janzen were more athletic and static, without as much of what I can only call poetry. On the other hand, when it comes to Slaughter on 10th Avenue, I prefer Mearns over Kowroski. Sara's comic, coy, flirty, teasing shimmy is just irresistible. I'm sorry I missed her in "I Married an Angel" at City Center. I wonder if she could have an acting career when she's finished dancing.

Link to post

Week 5 casting is up.  Gordon is debuting in the lead of T&V.  That should be terrific.  Also, Laracey is debuting the lead in Scotch (hooray) with Veyette (ugh).

NYC debuts of Laracey and Kretchmar in Stravinsky Violin Concerto too!

Re the Diamonds performances, I think the two different lead couples were vastly different, but both very satisfying.   Mearns has flexibility in her back and speed for the solos, whereas I felt like Maria was struggling to get through the steps of  her solo sections.   There was a higher level of meaning and depth in the pas between Maria and Tyler.  Their maturity and long performance history together pays dividends in the pas.

 

Edited by abatt
Link to post

The New Yorker’s Culture Desk blog has a lovely piece on Robbins’ A Suite of Dances and Gonzalo Garcia’s rehearsal process: 

“When danced well, “Suite” never loses that improvisatory feel; like many of Robbins’s dances, it lies on a knife’s edge between naturalness and an uncomfortable ersatz quality. Its success depends on the dancer’s ability to be in the moment, to find that perfect synthesis of self-knowledge and unself-consciousness. When it happens, the audience feels that it is seeing who that dancer really is, watching him think and react in real time rather than execute well-rehearsed choreography. That’s the trick.”

I’m intrigued. Can any BAers report on Garcia’s performance?

Link to post

My favorite feature of male dancing was on display at NYCB last night:  light landings.  Anthony Huxley (along with Sterling Hyltin) was his usual elegant classical self in Scotch Symphony.  It was a debut for Harrison Ball (along with Indiana Woodward) in Valse-Fantaisie.  After one misstep, they both turned in a lovely performance.  The highlight of the evening for me, however, was the eye-opening and stunning performance of Taylor Stanley (along with a glamorous Megan Fairchild) in Sonatine.  Taylor Stanley never disappoints but the choreography fit him like a glove and he was mesmerizing.   And I don't think it was just my take on the performance as you could hear a pin drop while he was dancing and there was a thunderclap of applause when the curtain came down.  I thoroughly enjoyed Aaron Sanz (another debut) in the Stravinsky Violin Concerto.  I would like to have seen more intensity from Joseph Gordon here.  

Link to post
1 hour ago, bobbi said:

My favorite feature of male dancing was on display at NYCB last night:  light landings.  Anthony Huxley (along with Sterling Hyltin) was his usual elegant classical self in Scotch Symphony.  It was a debut for Harrison Ball (along with Indiana Woodward) in Valse-Fantaisie.  After one misstep, they both turned in a lovely performance.  The highlight of the evening for me, however, was the eye-opening and stunning performance of Taylor Stanley (along with a glamorous Megan Fairchild) in Sonatine.  Taylor Stanley never disappoints but the choreography fit him like a glove and he was mesmerizing.   And I don't think it was just my take on the performance as you could hear a pin drop while he was dancing and there was a thunderclap of applause when the curtain came down.  I thoroughly enjoyed Aaron Sanz (another debut) in the Stravinsky Violin Concerto.  I would like to have seen more intensity from Joseph Gordon here.  

Although I didn’t see last night’s performance, this is exactly how I felt about Taylor Stanley’s performance Sunday in Barber Violin Concerto. Mesmerizing is the right word. He commands the stage because he transforms himself into pure dance and you can’t take your eyes off him. I’m glad Megan Fairchild is back and projects glamour. I can’t wait to see her dance. Thanks for your report, Bobbi.

Link to post
21 hours ago, abatt said:

Re the Diamonds performances, I think the two different lead couples were vastly different, but both very satisfying.   Mearns has flexibility in her back and speed for the solos, whereas I felt like Maria was struggling to get through the steps of  her solo sections.   There was a higher level of meaning and depth in the pas between Maria and Tyler.  Their maturity and long performance history together pays dividends in the pas.

Agreed completely.

Link to post

I also completely agree with Bobbi and must add kudos for the leading ladies. Sterling Hyltin was light as air and delectable as the lead in Scotch Symphony, reminding me of her stellar Sylph in Martins' La Sylphide. Hyltin and Huxley make a great partnership. Megan Fairchild brought out her inner Violette - that je ne sais quoi - in Sonatine. I'm still in awe of the rapid-fire brilliance of the entire six-member cast of Valse Fantasie; what an aerobic workout is that ballet! Lastly, I could only grin from ear to ear when Sara Mearns and her "four guys" trotted onto the stage at the beginning of Stravinsky Violin Concerto - the finest tribute to Karin Von Aroldingen imaginable. Lauren Lovette, in the Kay Mazzo role, was also quite impressive. NYCB is truly on a high these days, after the recent tough times.

 

Editing to add: Yes, there also were a couple of stumbles among the Scotch corps ladies in the 3rd movement but the much-talked-about India Bradley was impeccable and in-time. Let the record show! :)

Edited by Roberta
Link to post

Anthony Huxley and Sterling Hyltin in scotch were absolutely breathtaking. Sterling has such an ethereal, special quality to her dancing... one of my favorite ballerinas and this role was perfect for her. Anthony never fails to impress with his outstanding technical skill. I also thought Christina Clark was a nice standout in the corps. As much as I usually adore Indiana Woodward, I found her performance in Valse to be a bit sloppy, and I am not referring to the slip with Ball. While her performance quality was electric as usual, I found myself wishing that she would find more moments of calm and softness and work on her arabesque line. Ball was fabulous, but looked a bit tense in the face in my opinion... I would love to see him smile onstage! Stanley's movement quality is one of the best of the male principals, along with Ramasar. There is something special there that just cannot be taught. I thought that Sanz and Mearns were great in Stravinksy and it was nice to see him rising up to the level of such a high caliber principal such as Mearns. Overall, a wonderful night of dancing!

Link to post

I agree that Huxley/Hyltin were perfection in Scotch—Sterling is so wonderful in that sort of role, and I think her partnership with Huxley is my current favorite. Mira Nadon was lovely in the corps—I'd really hoped to see her reprise her workshop role and was waiting for Week 5 casting in case of a debut, but Ashley Laracey will be debuting that and Stravinsky instead that week. Mary Thomas MacKinnon looked lovely, and Alston MacGill, whom I haven't seen in many featured roles, was bright, charismatic, and brought a huge jump that matched the two featured men. There was another slip in Scotch last night from the corps, but I'm not sure who it was from. 

I found Valse lovely, and thought Indiana Woodward balanced the strength required for the role stamina-wise with some lovely delicate port de bras—I thought Harrison Ball was good, but he didn't seem to connect with Woodward in the way that she seemed open to. It was a little more "inward" of a performance where a little more connection felt welcome. 

Taylor Stanley is pure magic, and I enjoyed Megan Fairchild much more in last night's performance than I did in T&V last week. She posted on her Instagram about dedicating the performance to Andrei Kramarevsky, former SAB faculty member and company class teacher who passed away in his sleep on Tuesday night, and their performance did feel imbued with something special. 

I hadn't seen Stravinsky Violin Concerto since the performance in which Adrian DW was injured, and it was a pleasure to see it back in full force. In the opening, I thought I'd be frustrated by Lauren Lovette's smiley-ness, but she did a really lovely and lyrical job with the role, and she and Joseph Gordon make a lovely pair. I enjoyed Sara's performance in the group sections, but find I miss watching Maria Kowroski in the pas, and though Sanz seems like he has really been stepping up, I wanted to see another cast or old videos to see if some of his epaulment and carriage of his hands/fingers were intentional. His performance, with regard to those details, felt very stylized in a way that I hadn't noticed when watching others in the part. A lot of standouts from the corps groups in Stravinsky last night, too—Laine Habony, Emily Kitka, Miriam Miller, and Meaghan Dutton-O'Hara all caught my eye. 

Link to post
42 minutes ago, gallerina said:

...and though Sanz seems like he has really been stepping up, I wanted to see another cast or old videos to see if some of his epaulment and carriage of his hands/fingers were intentional. His performance, with regard to those details, felt very stylized in a way that I hadn't noticed when watching others in the part.

One of the first things I remember ever noticing about Aaron Sanz was his gorgeous use of hands (I don't even know what it was in — just a corps part in one of the Balanchine-Tchaikovsky pieces, I think), but I can imagine how at some times, in some roles, that might be too much.

Edited by nanushka
Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...