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Helene

Spring 2019

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I just counted and so far Mejia has been cast for 5 debuts in the spring season alone. 6 if you include Puck which hasn’t been announced but I think is just a given at this point. I also hope that Miriam Miller gets promoted too, she may have been the only thing that made the Tanowitz bearable for me. And of course Woodward and Ball to principal as well.

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I went to today's (5/12) matinee.

Pereira and Ball looked nice in Valse Fantaisie. It's not Balanchine's most inspired, in my opinion, but even his middle-of-the-road stuff is just lovely. The four corps members looked great, as did Pereira and Ball. I did find him a little "lurch-y" at times.

I preferred Ulbricht's A Suite of Dances today to de Luz's at his retirement. Ulbricht was casual, playful, and introspective -- it was very soothing to see. (Special shout-out to the latecomers behind me who were SQUEAKING their boots and RUSTLING their plastic bags and LOUDLY WHISPERING for what felt like an entire section of the ballet.)

The Tanowitz was so terrible. I just couldn't stand it. Next time if it's programmed, I intend to skip it and do a crossword in the lobby or something. It was cruel and unusual punishment that the curtain came down partially before the ballet was ending. I was so sick of the dreadful choreography I almost burst into applause for the curtain (until I realized the ballet was continuing). At least the dancers looked good. 😐

I agree that Bright was pleasant but too short -- I wanted more, especially after the Tanowitz. Sara Adams and Emilie Gerrity looked lovely, as did Sara Mearns. :wub:

On 5/10/2019 at 12:00 PM, cobweb said:

I see Unity Phelan is debuting in the first movement of Western Symphony tomorrow. I'd love to hear reports from anyone who sees it.

I thought Phelan was a little low-impact, but Taylor Stanley really shone. Pollack and J. Angle underwhelmed in the second movement, but Mearns and Mejia were on FIRE in the third. I was grinning from ear to ear the moment the two of them started dancing. I want to see so much more of him! It was my first time seeing Western Symphony in person and I'm still basking in its playful, fun, energetic afterglow.

Edited by mille-feuille

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17 hours ago, Leah said:

I just counted and so far Mejia has been cast for 5 debuts in the spring season alone. 6 if you include Puck which hasn’t been announced but I think is just a given at this point

Puck seems an obvious fit for Mejia, but what about Oberon? Isn't he often cast short as well?

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Gen Horiuchi danced Oberon, and he gave his final NYCB performance in the role.  (Adam Luders, in the Divertissement pas de deux, also retired the same night.)

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1 hour ago, cobweb said:

Puck seems an obvious fit for Mejia, but what about Oberon? Isn't he often cast short as well?

Mejia looks quite young, I could see him doing it later in his career but I don’t think he looks right for it at this point. But if he does get Oberon I’ll buy a ticket. 

Also productions I’ve seen from other companies have had tall Oberons- Roberto Bolle, Hugo Marchand, etc. Is NYCB stricter about a short man doing the role?

Edited by Leah

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Some quick takes on NYCB's 5/12/19 Matinee:

Program and Cast

Valse Fantaisie (Balanchine) - Pereira, Ball
A Suite of Dances (Robbins) - Ulbricht
Bartók Ballet (Tanowitz) - Hutsell, Kitka, Miller, Nadon, Smith, Villwock, Woodward, Alberda, Applebaum, Fahoury, Henson
Bright (Peck) Adams, Gerrity, Mearns, Bolden, Janzen, Scordato
Western Symphony (Balanchine) - Phelan, Stanley, Pollack, Angle, Mearns, Mejia

1. My companion, who is professionally connect to the dance world but who was an NYCB first-timer, observed that the afternoon felt akin to attending a Fall For Dance performance, and I don't think she meant it as a compliment. Frankly, I found it hard to disagree.

2. I found a lot to like in Bartók Ballet and look forward to seeing it again. I know and love the Bartók string quartets, so I didn't find the music to be a barrier to enjoyment: it's not pretty, but I think it is very beautiful. I also know and love Tanowitz' choreography: some of the things I like best in her work turned up in Bartók Ballet. I might not have enjoyed the ballet as much as I did if I had to simultaneously wrap my head around both Tanowitz' and Bartók's pointed departures from, for lack of a better term, "common practice," but I walked into the theater knowing what to expect, and that might have made all the difference. (I listened to String Quartet No. 5 just before I left for the theater, and was interested to see how Tanowitz would deal with certain aspects of the score, e.g., its folk rhythms, the sound effects, the way it ramps up tension and barely releases it, etc etc etc.) I liked seeing how the dancers dug into everything Tanowitz gave them to do. Gretchen Smith, who has worked with Tanowitz before, and Devin Alberda looked absolutely terrific; Bartók Ballet is very much an ensemble work, but Smith and Alberda seemed to be in the point of focus a bit more often than their colleagues. But really, everyone shone.

3. It took me longer to type in the cast of Bright than it did for them to dance it. It was harmless, I guess, and lord knows Gerrity, Adams, and Scordato could use more time in the spotlight than they're getting, but I wish they had gotten more than this trifle.

4. I have no love for Western Symphony's Schlock and AweIt did not help that half the cast just bored me out of my skull. 

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29 minutes ago, Leah said:

Also productions I’ve seen from other companies have had tall Oberons- Roberto Bolle, Hugo Marchand, etc. Is NYCB stricter about a short man doing the role?

Not particularly. I've seen Ib Anderson, Peter Boal, Benjamin Millepied, and Adrew Veyette dance Oberon. Although Boal and Millepied weren't tall dancers per se, they also weren't short powerhouses like, say, Horiuchi.

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6 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

2. I found a lot to like in Bartók Ballet and look forward to seeing it again. I know and love the Bartók string quartets, so I didn't find the music to be a barrier to enjoyment: it's not pretty, but I think it is very beautiful. I also know and love Tanowitz' choreography: some of the things I like best in her work turned up in Bartók Ballet. I might not have enjoyed the ballet as much as I did if I had to simultaneously wrap my head around both Tanowitz' and Bartók's pointed departures from, for lack of a better term, "common practice," but I walked into the theater knowing what to expect, and that might have made all the difference. (I listened to String Quartet No. 5 just before I left for the theater, and was interested to see how Tanowitz would deal with certain aspects of the score, e.g., its folk rhythms, the sound effects, the way it ramps up tension and barely releases it, etc etc etc.) I liked seeing how the dancers dug into everything Tanowitz gave them to do. Gretchen Smith, who has worked with Tanowitz before, and Devin Alberda looked absolutely terrific; Bartók Ballet is very much an ensemble work, but Smith and Alberda seemed to be in the point of focus a bit more often than their colleagues. But really, everyone shone.

I've been intrigued by your reviews in general and also what you have said about Tanowitz.  I didn't see Bartok, but wish I had.  I liked and admired very much her Goldberg Variations and hope to see more of her work.  You seem to be one of the few on this forum who found aspects to appreciate.

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17 hours ago, Marta said:

I've been intrigued by your reviews in general and also what you have said about Tanowitz.  I didn't see Bartok, but wish I had.  I liked and admired very much her Goldberg Variations and hope to see more of her work.  You seem to be one of the few on this forum who found aspects to appreciate.

 

23 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Some quick takes on NYCB's 5/12/19 Matinee:

Program and Cast

Valse Fantaisie (Balanchine) - Pereira, Ball
A Suite of Dances (Robbins) - Ulbricht
Bartók Ballet (Tanowitz) - Hutsell, Kitka, Miller, Nadon, Smith, Villwock, Woodward, Alberda, Applebaum, Fahoury, Henson
Bright (Peck) Adams, Gerrity, Mearns, Bolden, Janzen, Scordato
Western Symphony (Balanchine) - Phelan, Stanley, Pollack, Angle, Mearns, Mejia

1. My companion, who is professionally connect to the dance world but who was an NYCB first-timer, observed that the afternoon felt akin to attending a Fall For Dance performance, and I don't think she meant it as a compliment. Frankly, I found it hard to disagree.

2. I found a lot to like in Bartók Ballet and look forward to seeing it again. I know and love the Bartók string quartets, so I didn't find the music to be a barrier to enjoyment: it's not pretty, but I think it is very beautiful. I also know and love Tanowitz' choreography: some of the things I like best in her work turned up in Bartók Ballet. I might not have enjoyed the ballet as much as I did if I had to simultaneously wrap my head around both Tanowitz' and Bartók's pointed departures from, for lack of a better term, "common practice," but I walked into the theater knowing what to expect, and that might have made all the difference. (I listened to String Quartet No. 5 just before I left for the theater, and was interested to see how Tanowitz would deal with certain aspects of the score, e.g., its folk rhythms, the sound effects, the way it ramps up tension and barely releases it, etc etc etc.) I liked seeing how the dancers dug into everything Tanowitz gave them to do. Gretchen Smith, who has worked with Tanowitz before, and Devin Alberda looked absolutely terrific; Bartók Ballet is very much an ensemble work, but Smith and Alberda seemed to be in the point of focus a bit more often than their colleagues. But really, everyone shone.

3. It took me longer to type in the cast of Bright than it did for them to dance it. It was harmless, I guess, and lord knows Gerrity, Adams, and Scordato could use more time in the spotlight than they're getting, but I wish they had gotten more than this trifle.

4. I have no love for Western Symphony's Schlock and AweIt did not help that half the cast just bored me out of my skull. 

I didn't feel this when I first saw Bartok Ballet, but after reading these comments, and those of Alistair MacCauley about his repeated viewings I feel like I would be interested to see the Tanowitz again. Sometimes a first viewing is needed just to get over the shock of what you're seeing.  (Not that the piece is shocking in and of itself, it's just a very particular vein of choreography. The approach is a shock.)

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12 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

I didn't feel this when I first saw Bartok Ballet, but after reading these comments, and those of Alistair MacCauley about his repeated viewings I feel like I would be interested to see the Tanowitz again. Sometimes a first viewing is needed just to get over the shock of what you're seeing.  (Not that the piece is shocking in and of itself, it's just a very particular vein of choreography. The approach is a shock.)

I really do think that someone who's unfamiliar with Tanowitz' choreography might have trouble finding a way into Bartók Ballet on a first viewing (or even repeated viewings). It can seem like she's allergic to the kind of gracefully curved line that's a hallmark of ballet vocabulary, or the resolution of a phrase into a position of balanced repose.  The Bartók score itself is an added complication. I love it, but it is definitely tense and dense — there are parts where I can feel my muscles tightening up just listening. 

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Here a link to some footage from Bartók Ballet that NYCB posted to its Facebook page. There are parts of the ballet (and, ahem, the score) that aren't this frenetic, but the clip is a decent sample of what the work looked like on stage. 

Not everyone is going to like this work, and that's OK. 

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Forgive me for intruding ... but I wondered if someone could help me.  I'm coming to NYC in February 2020 and wanted to spend the evenings at NYCB (of course)!!!  Can someone tell me when single tickets for the NYCB's Winter 2020 season go on sale.  I would like to get in on the ground floor so to speak 😉 I would be most grateful if someone could let me know.  Much, much thanks.  

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4 minutes ago, meunier fan said:

Can someone tell me when single tickets for the NYCB's Winter 2020 season go on sale.

August, usually. Probably the second or third Sunday, I think? The three main seasons of 2019-20 (fall, winter, spring — but not Nutcracker) will go on sale at once for single tickets.

Edited by nanushka

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I currently have a ticket to see Kowroski and Ulbricht as Titania and Oberon. I had been hoping for Mearns and Huxley. What's everyone's opinions on what cast to see? Is Reichlen a good Titania? I don't particularly want to see Garcia do Oberon.

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I have tickets for May 30 and 31, and strangely it's the same cast (except for the divertissement) both nights. So I get to see Huxley and Mejia two nights in a row. No complaints there! Ever since I saw Huxley do Oberon a few years ago, I've been eager to see it again. (IIRC, he did it one year, but was injured the following year, and then last year they didn't do it.) I'm bummed I'll have to miss Gordon's debut as Oberon, but I have tickets for the SAB workshop that afternoon. If anyone has a workshop ticket for the evening and wants to swap for the afternoon, let me know...

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And Ramasar will dance the Divertissement with Hyltin on May 29 and June 1.

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7 hours ago, meunier fan said:

Forgive me for intruding ... but I wondered if someone could help me.  I'm coming to NYC in February 2020 and wanted to spend the evenings at NYCB (of course)!!!  Can someone tell me when single tickets for the NYCB's Winter 2020 season go on sale.  I would like to get in on the ground floor so to speak 😉 I would be most grateful if someone could let me know.  Much, much thanks.  

Single tkts for most regular programming  go on sale Aug 4 at noon. Nutcracker and a few other tickets go on sale later.

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If you’re planning to spend multiple nights at the ballet, you can get a make your own subscription now I think. I think the minimum amount is 3 performances?

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17 hours ago, Leah said:

I currently have a ticket to see Kowroski and Ulbricht as Titania and Oberon. I had been hoping for Mearns and Huxley. What's everyone's opinions on what cast to see? Is Reichlen a good Titania? I don't particularly want to see Garcia do Oberon.

I've seen Reichlen's Titania several times and I think she's quite good in the role; she's especially lovely in the scenes with her retinue. But honestly, I've started choosing my Midsummer Night's Dream performances based on who's cast in the Divertissement. NYCB seems to have no trouble coming up with a reliably decent Titania, but doesn't always nail the casting for the Divertissement. Out of Bouder, Fairchild, Hyltin, and Lovette, I'd choose Hyltin. 

Also, I'd avoid Pereira's Hermia if I could. She is so much smaller than the rest of the cast that she looks like a child dancing among grownups, which I find really problematic in the Lovers' secenes. It goes without saying that Laracey is a lovely Hermia, and I'd be very interested in seeing what Gerrity does with the role.

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20 hours ago, Leah said:

If you’re planning to spend multiple nights at the ballet, you can get a make your own subscription now I think. I think the minimum amount is 3 performances?

meunier fan, I just got an email from NYCB with a code (RSU20) saying for a limited time, the minimum for a subscriber package is two performances (through June 28). If I am understanding it correctly, this sounds like you could buy two tickets, and still have the benefits of subscription. 

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Reichlen is probably my favorite Titania. I find her very elegant in the role. For a spunkier alternative I like Mearns. For the divertissement Tiler Peck is injured but Hyltin is lovely.

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