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Spring 2019


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15 minutes ago, vagansmom said:

I would love to see the Hyltin Titania. 

She doesn’t seem to be doing it, only the divertissement.

ETA: realized maybe you meant -a- Hyltin Titania.

Edited by nanushka
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4 hours ago, vagansmom said:

I would love to see the Hyltin Titania. 

Hyltin is kind of short for Titania. The casting has traditionally been Tatania (a fairy) being tall and Oberon (an elf) being on the shorter side. NYCB has stuck to that idea. Personally I think they should. IMO that's part of the Balanchine conception. The opening scene is built upon that dynamic. Puck is now cast short, but the original Puck was Arthur Mitchel who wasn't short, so that's changed. 

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Was Melissa Hayden tall?  I know Balanchine wanted Diana Adams for Titania originally, but Hayden did the premiere.

Peter Boal said that during a visit to Seattle before he took over as AD, he went to a rehearsal where Carrie Imler was dancing Titania.  He said he thought she was a Hernia, not Titania, because she wasn't tall enough. (Until she started to move and ate up space.). He's said that he was used to NYCB casting tall.  (Imler is a medium and also danced Tall Girl in Rubies and Hippolyta.)

 

 

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Judging from this picture:

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT34FEywRIp6kOk0CEINUa

She's about the same height as Gillian Murphy, who is medium height but taller than Sterling Hyltin who is definitely on the short side for ballerinas. (Hyltin said in a podcast that she's 5'4".)

Edited by canbelto
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2 hours ago, canbelto said:

Maria Kowroski was replaced by Sara Mearns in the Brahms Schoenberg tonight. Hope shes ok.

I do too, but I'm SO glad I got to see Mearns in this tonight. She and Tyler Angle totally lit up the stage and so much energy, charisma, and personality. (I'm not sure how Kowroski would have done with the lightning-fast choreography?) I thought this was the best part of the show, with Brahms-Schoenberg being the more enjoyable piece on the program overall  -- Emily Kikta really shined in the first movement, and Anthony Huxley had the same clean technique and expansive jumps as always in the third. (Pereira, on the other hand, seemed to struggle in this part, especially in the adagio sections -- and I normally like her dancing.)

Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 had some high moments.... la Cour surprised me with a stronger-than-usual performance in the first movement with Mearns (in the recent past I've found him distractingly bad). Laracey and Pazcoguin both looked beautiful in the second and thirds, respectively. I think Pazcoguin screwed up some leaps but it didn't even matter. 

Unfortunately there were some issues scattered throughout the program. First of all, Jared Angle is at this point embarrassingly out of shape. By normal-person standards he looks fine, but onstage next to other dancers he looks legitimately fat now. The silky pink shirt in Tschaikovsky sure doesn't help. When I saw him on the casting sheet I assumed these roles (two of them in one night!) might be partnering-only, but no. He had to grand jeté, and it was uncomfortable to watch. I don't understand why he's still cast at this point. Clearly other men can do the hard partnering in this program, as both roles have different casts for other performances.

Theme and Variations was a little sloppy. Fairchild's solos were strong but the partnering with Garcia was lackluster. Garcia's double tours were better than I thought they would be, but he lacked sharpness and charisma. The corps was often out of sync... Megan LeCrone evidently stepped in for one of the demi-soloists (I'm guessing last minute) and was dancing a count ahead of everyone else at times. 

It was still a good night at the ballet, but I really wanted a more jaw-dropping finale than what Theme's cast delivered (at least we got it with Brahms). 

Edited by JuliaJ
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I was so impressed with Mearns in both ballets tonight. Laracey was particularly good as well. I’m glad Brahms is being programmed next season, I really like it. I get the impression that it isn’t programmed often. I agree about Angle. 

I hope Kowroski is okay. She’s really been fantastic in the last few things I’ve seen her in.

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8 hours ago, vipa said:

The casting has traditionally been Tatania (a fairy) being tall and Oberon (an elf) being on the shorter side. NYCB has stuck to that idea. Personally I think they should. IMO that's part of the Balanchine conception.

An elf? I've generally seen Oberon referred to as king of the fairies, in both Shakespeare criticism and many other sources. (Obviously Wikipedia is not a definitive source; I offer that just as an easy link to additional sources.) Is there some source that suggests Balanchine conceived of him as an elf, not a fairy?

ETA: Are fairies larger than elves? That of course is a whole separate question — and not one I have the expertise to weigh in on!  :)

Edited by nanushka
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Mearns was indeed electrifying in both of her roles last night.  She was blazing in the finale of Brahms.  High jumps, very deep backbends and a complete sense of abandonment.  It was thrilling.  Also,. the first section of the Tsch. Suite 3, which is so romantic, was a sublime match of an artist to the material.  The heightened romance of this section and her passionate execution of the choreography were perfection.    

Garcia's performance in the T&V finale was less sloppy than last week.  I agree that Megan LeCrone was rarely in sync with the other demi soloists, and it was distracting.  Also, there were coordination issues in the corps as well.

Despite some flaws, this was a fantastic program.  I hope Maria K. is okay.

Added:  I thought Bouder was miscast in the Brahms first movement. 

 

Edited by abatt
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Mearns has been looking incredible in general this season, extremely fit, strong, and blazing in everything. Sometimes I wonder if she's going beyond the bounds of ballet, but it's so thrilling to watch that I don't care. She and Tyler Angle tore up the stage in Brahms Schoenberg Quartet, and then she went all out again in Tschai Suite. 

I've only seen BSQ a few times before. I thought Emily Kikta looked fantastic as the soloist in the first section, dancing extremely large and with great flexibility. I have to admit, probably due to having a cold, I dozed off for the middle two sections. The blaze of Mearns and Angle woke me up for the final movement. 

Looking at the program, I see LeCrone must have replaced Gretchen Smith in T&V. Hope Smith is okay. She's made a terrific comeback this season after a long injury. Ashley Laracey was compelling and otherworldly in the Waltz. Jared Angle may no longer be a great solo dancer, but I still totally enjoy watching him, I find him very poetic in his movement and as a partner just a real joy to watch.

I liked Garcia and Fairchild in T&V. Great to see Fairchild in such great shape after her maternity leave, and her developing artistic maturity. Garcia is not a bravura dancer, but I thought he did very well and a very attentive partner. I saw Joaquin de Luz in the audience. I wonder what he thought!

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They were squeaking last night, and at one point she visibly grimaced. My ex-dancer friend thinks it’s a problem with the shoe’s manufacturing rather than anything Bouder would be doing herself, so it seems like she’s having to finish off a bad batch?

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18 minutes ago, mille-feuille said:

For those who've seen Bouder dance recently, have her shoes been less squeaky?

I sat in orchestra G for a Scotch Symphony shortly after it was reported by several people here in that same ballet and heard only one tiny squeak that whole performance, so it seems to be inconsistent.

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Her shoes were squeaky last night but I also thought she was miscast in Brahms-Schoenberg in an otherwise excellent cast. Agree that Mearns was on fire but I also loved Emily Kikta, Sterling Hyltin, Anthony Huxley and Erica Pereira.

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Thank you for the reports Leah, nanushka, and canbelto! Here's hoping they don't squeak too much -- or if they do, that my companions don't notice. I'm so excited for these ballets after reading the reports here, and it'll be interesting to see how Ramasar dances/ how I react to him. Before his dismissal and rehiring, I loved him in the fourth movement of Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet.

Edited by mille-feuille
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Since Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet is basically new to me, I am familiarizing myself with its choreography. Why Sterling Hyltin would be dancing to the score's "Intermezzo" as opposed to its "Andante con moto" was puzzling. Watching her skillfully execute the role’s captivating steps during the second segment—after two more commanding turns, one might add, as the female lead in the sharply contrasting Symphony in Three Movements—cleared up the confusion.

Whenever a corps member gives as bright and lovely a performance in a supplemental role as Emily Kikta assuredly did in the first section of the Quartet, it is only proper and just to acknowledge it as several posters above did.

For me to notice everything that is going on with the corps at any given NYCB performance is impossible, and I certainly cannot vouch for the contribution of every single one of its members at all times. However, without in the least denying any issues, their work in general was essential in making last evening delightful. It could not be otherwise, since both ballets of the program heavily depended on it. (In "Tema con variazioni" Lydia Wellington as one of the demi-soloists was resplendent!)

 

7 hours ago, abatt said:

Mearns was indeed electrifying in both of her roles last night.  She was blazing in the finale of Brahms.  High jumps, very deep backbends and a complete sense of abandonment.  It was thrilling.  Also,. the first section of the Tsch. Suite 3, which is so romantic, was a sublime match of an artist to the material.  The heightened romance of this section and her passionate execution of the choreography were perfection.    

 

 

 

6 hours ago, cobweb said:

Mearns has been looking incredible in general this season, extremely fit, strong, and blazing in everything.

 

 

 

How incredibly demanding the choreography for the ballerina in the concluding segment of the Quartet appears to be! For Sara Mearns to "blaze" through it in such an extraordinary fashion and follow it after a short intermission with a stupendous performance in the wondrous, aesthetically dissimilar "Élégie" of Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 attests to not only her remarkable ability, range and stamina, but her ardent commitment and passion for the art form.

And to have this followed with as poetic, breathtakingly beautiful and stirring a performance as Ashley Laracey's in the equally marvelous "Valse mélancolique"!  An evening at the ballet need not be flawless if it touches the soul as much.

 

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What brand do NYCB women use?  In at least two public-facing events, someone from PNB has said that there was an 18-month backlog at Freed and that some shoemakers had retired.

 

Edited to add:  The original dancers in Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet were Patricia McBride (with Conrad Ludlow) in the Intermezzo and Allegra Kent (with Edward Villella) in the Andante.  I haven't seen a lot of the Company in the last decade, but I did see Hyltin dance one of the finest Hermia solos I'd ever seen, and Patricia McBride was the original for that.  

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All the NYCB dancers use Freeds. I think the principal women have more say in exactly how they want their shoe to be designed. Bouder's shoes IMO have always been a little louder than other shoes. It may just be her personal preference to have a harder block which will make more noise.

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8 minutes ago, Leah said:

Victor Rosario has joined the corps. I don’t think I’ve noticed him so far, to my knowledge he only became an apprentice in January.

He was in the SAB workshops last year. Davide Riccardo has also joined according to NYCB's roster.

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1 hour ago, canbelto said:

All the NYCB dancers use Freeds. I think the principal women have more say in exactly how they want their shoe to be designed. Bouder's shoes IMO have always been a little louder than other shoes. It may just be her personal preference to have a harder block which will make more noise.

Bouder wears Bloch, unless she has now switched over to Freeds.

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I've always hated it that dancers are supposed to wear one brand only simply when their company has some sort of deal with a brand, in this case Freeds. My daughter could never wear Freeds successfully. She tried and tried, but no Freeds, even the specially made ones she experimented with off and on for years, could accommodate her feet - exceedingly slender, extremely high arches, but with unusual toe lengths. Luckily, her company paid for her shoes even though they weren't standard. I wonder if the NYCB dancers who wear other makers have to pay some amount of money toward them since they're not Freeds. 

Bouder has such strong feet; it may be that her Blochs will last better through her performances than Freeds. 

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16 minutes ago, vagansmom said:

I've always hated it that dancers are supposed to wear one brand only simply when their company has some sort of deal with a brand, in this case Freeds. My daughter could never wear Freeds successfully. She tried and tried, but no Freeds, even the specially made ones she experimented with off and on for years, could accommodate her feet - exceedingly slender, extremely high arches, but with unusual toe lengths. Luckily, her company paid for her shoes even though they weren't standard. I wonder if the NYCB dancers who wear other makers have to pay some amount of money toward them since they're not Freeds. 

Bouder has such strong feet; it may be that her Blochs will last better through her performances than Freeds. 

I think Bouder has enough endorsements that she can probably afford Bloch shoes or Bloch is happy to have her as a spokesperson. I do wonder if some NYCB would do better were they given more choice of shoes. For instance I often wonder if Maria Kowroski would have done better with Gaynor Mindens. She's said many times that the extreme length and arch of her feet have given her chronic foot and ankle injuries throughout her career.

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