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Saratoga 2019


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4 hours ago, cobweb said:

Casting is up for the SPAC engagement. Nothing new in the way of debuts, except for Veyette as Dr. Coppelius. Also no sign of Tiler Peck. But, I am happy to see Adrian Danchig-Waring will be back to dancing Apollo. 

Do you think his Apollo is worth attending the gala for? I'll probably see Principia  on the Wed. night performance and have little interest in seeing This Bitter Earth again.

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13 hours ago, FPF said:

Do you think his Apollo is worth attending the gala for?

Whether it’s worth it depends on the ticket price and how that fits into your ballet budget, but I can say that Danchig-Waring is a very compelling performer and an excellent Apollo. He was out with a significant injury since he last danced it (in NY at least) but he looked back in great form during the spring season. Please report back if you go!

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On 7/2/2019 at 3:10 PM, cobweb said:

Casting is up for the SPAC engagement. Nothing new in the way of debuts, except for Veyette as Dr. Coppelius. Also no sign of Tiler Peck. But, I am happy to see Adrian Danchig-Waring will be back to dancing Apollo. 

VERY disappointed to see that Maria is not dancing Mozartiana. I’ve been out of the loop a bit - I hope she’s not injured? I’m seeing both of those performances and one Coppelia, July 20 mat. Perhaps I should just stay there on Thursday after the matinee and see the first cast of Coppelia with Megan Fairchild. 

And is something going on with Tiler Peck? 

 

On 7/3/2019 at 6:06 PM, FPF said:

You can use promo code JULY4 to get 25% off NYCB opening night (7/16) tickets at SPAC. Promo code expires 11:59 pm July 7th.

Thank you, FPF, I received that offer, too, but alas, I had already purchased my tickets. 

Edited by KarenAG
Spelling and clarity
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SPAC has started to release this year's promotional videos counting down to the NYCB season on its youtube channel. The first two are choreographed by Emily Kikta and Lauren Lovette. Here they are:

 

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Last night was a very hot and sticky one at the ballet, so kudos to the dancers for doing a great job in the oppressive weather. 

There were some improvements to the facility over the summer--most notably, newer, crisper screens for the lawn viewers (although I don't know how the performance projections were because I sat inside) and new railings on the ramps leading into the amphitheater. 

The performance began with some trite remarks by SPAC Director Liz Sobel, who I saw leave via the parking lot as the first chords of Serenade we're playing. This is the second year in a row I've seen her do that--clearly she is not a dance enthusiast. Although there were cast changes, as mentioned by cobweb, there were no announcements.

The opener was Serenade. Although this is a favorite ballet and I enjoyed it, I don't think it was a particularly great performance. Leads were Megan Le Crone, Lauren Lovette, Erica Pereira, Ask La Cour, and Preston Chamblee.Preston Chamblee seemed to get Megan Le Crone's skirt tangled up when supporting her as Dark Angel. I was very confused during the performance trying to figure out who/where Lauren Lovette was or if she'd also been substituted, but I think she's dyed her hair blond.  For me, Erica Pereira was the standout--she's always had technique, but she has been developing more of a stage presence in the past few years, and I really enjoyed her performance here. Also, this was, I think, my first time seeing the refurbished costumes with the yellow panels--not a great look.

Next up was Mozartiana with Sara Mearns, Tyler Angle, and Daniel Ulbricht. Tyler's performance here reminded me of his great work in Bournonville Variations a few summers ago--he still can do the fast, precise footwork in addition to being a skilled partner. I don't think this is an ideal role for Sara, but she did a fine job. Daniel was excellent in the Gigue.

Last was Tschaikovsky Piano Concert No. 2. I've seen this many times before and I can't say whether it was the best performance, but it was definitely my all-time favorite.  This was also my first time seeing the new costumes and I thought they were lovely. From my seat in the balcony, the bodices didn't look overly heavy and the men's dark blue tights didn't get lost in the background, and there wasn't too much sparkle. My thoughts were that perhaps the lighting has been improved to better show them off. Or perhaps one's position in the audience affects the contrast--from above, the legs appear more again the rear of the stage floor than against the blue backdrop. As far as the performance, Teresa Reichlen was absolutely wonderful--the music seemed at times to be emanating from her feet. Just gorgeous! Russell Janzen was her partner. Lauren King was joyous and vivacious in the second female principal role. 

All in all, an enjoyable night at the ballet.  I don't think I've ever been as uncomfortable in the heat and humidity before there. Thankfully, the dancers handled it well.

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Thanks for the report FPF! The heat sounds like a real problem, and it's only going to get worse this week, especially on Saturday. Probably that's not good for ticket sales, or for the dancers. I wonder if someone subbed for Lovette. She's in the "Creek" video (which you posted up-thread), and her hair isn't blonde, and presumably that was very recent. I'm glad to hear Pereira amped up her stage presence, and not surprised to hear about the wonderful Reichlen and radiant Lauren King. If you attend more performances, please report back. 

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FPF - Thank you so much for sharing your review with us!   I've only been to SPAC once, and it wasn't nearly as hot as you're experiencing right now.  I don't know how the dancers manage to hold it together in this heat, but it sounds like there were still some outstanding performances.  Thanks again!

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On 7/7/2019 at 9:33 AM, canbelto said:

Maria got injured at the end of spring season. Tiler Peck was out all of spring season with an injury.

For what it's worth, Maria is still listed for the Ballet Festival at the Joyce next month.    Fingers crossed that both dancers will be back dancing soon.

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I was pretty wiped out from the heat and late night on Tuesday, so I decided to skip Wednesday night and do a ballet double-header yesterday.  The matinee was the same Balanchine Tschaikovsky program as on Tuesday night and with the same cast. The weather was thankfully quite a bit cooler and there was a bit of a breeze, so it was much more pleasant. I sat downstairs this time thanks to a very nice woman who gave me her extra ticket.  This peformance looked to have sold very well, and this time, they did announce the cast substation before the start of the program. I thought Serenade was better this time--I enjoyed all three women (Le Crone, Pereira, Lovette) and Chamblee was much smoother. And I can confirm that Lauren Lovette was the blonde--it looks like the roots are still dark, but when she pulls it down, it looks very blond. I found the theme and variations in Mozartiana a bit of slog, although I couldn't say what was different in between the performances--sometimes I think that the matinee is better because you can see more, but I think the darker theater does help you to focus. Lydia Wellington was looking very good in the Menuet quartet. Finally, Teresa Reichlen gets my vote again as MVP--this performance of Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 was just as good as the Tuesday night performance and received a huge and loud ovation from the crowd.. Russell Janzen and Lauren King were also excellent, once again. I also particularly noticed Alec Knight as one of the demis. 

I came back last night for the first of the three Copppelias. Swanilda was Megan Fairchild, Fritz was Anthony Huxley, and Dr. Coppelius was Andrew Veyette. I've seen this a number of times over the past 30 years, and last night's performance definitely ranks as one of the best I've seen. Megan and Anthony were absolutely on fire, particularly in the wedding pas de deux.  Veyette was an unusually spry Coppelius. Baily Jones substituted for Sarah Villwock in the Waltz of the Golden Hours--she was great and the kids were both professional and adorable. Lauren King was wonderful as Dawn--she is so sunny and glowing. Emily Gerrity did very well in Prayer. Although she was otherwise very good, Sara Adams had a very visibly fumbled step in Spinner. I may be in the minority here, but I love Discord and War and Unity Phelan and Spartak Hoxha were wonderful.  I've said it before, but the wedding pas de deux was just brilliantly danced. On the whole, a great night at the ballet. This performance also seemed to have sold well and the audience was extremely appreciative.

I'm probably skipping tonight, although I'm kind of tempted to see Huxley and Fairchild again. I'd also really like to see the Bouder/ Gordon cast , but the heat/humidity tomorrow is supposed to be brutal. Ditto for the gala. 

 

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Thank you, FPF, for your wonderful reports from Saratoga. Oh I would have dearly loved to see Megan Fairchild and Anthony Huxley in Coppelia. I did not see Megan in the ballets I attended during spring season and hope I will see her in the fall. She has taken her talent and technical virtuosity and since her Broadway stint has blossomed into a charismatic, dramatic, dynamic dancer whom few can match. I have a feeling I’m going to be buying tickets to extra performances beyond my series subscription.

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3 hours ago, CTballetfan said:

Thank you, FPF, for your wonderful reports from Saratoga. Oh I would have dearly loved to see Megan Fairchild and Anthony Huxley in Coppelia. I did not see Megan in the ballets I attended during spring season and hope I will see her in the fall. She has taken her talent and technical virtuosity and since her Broadway stint has blossomed into a charismatic, dramatic, dynamic dancer whom few can match. I have a feeling I’m going to be buying tickets to extra performances beyond my series subscription.

Thank you CTballetfan--I don't have real-life ballet friends, so it's really a pleasure to have this forum to discuss what we all see.  

I totally agree with your assessment of Megan--she has really developed star quality. A few years ago, Huxley really wowed me on an opening night Square Dance with Ashley Bouder and he's been a favorite of mine since then.  I'm really happy to that he's not getting only the short guy/jumping bean roles.

Also, I forgot to mention Kennard Henson in my earlier post--he had some amazing split jumps as the acrobat automaton in Act 2 last night---he really wowed the audience--I don't think I've seen that role make that much of an impression before.

And I hadn't realized it, but last night was Andrew Veyette's debut as Dr. Coppelius.

On 7/17/2019 at 12:49 PM, Emma said:

 It's disheartening to hear about SPAC ED's remarks and conduct.

Just wanted to clarify that she didn't say anything negative about the ballet, it's just obvious that she really doesn't have anything to say. Her speech was something about how (innovation? renaissance? excitement?--I can't remember) was throughout the area, from Caffe Lena to Skidmore to Yaddo to...

  1. to here at SPAC. And to the New York City Ballet. Which has new leadership in Jon Stafford and Wendy Whelan. The end. 

The previous AD, who I was not a huge fan of, would have probably had Jon and Wendy come out and make some brief remarks, and would have said something about NYCB and the current season and how wonderful the evening's program was going to be.  

Also, since I didn't post them earlier, here are the last of the promo videos:

I can't believe that we are down this year to only 6 performances.

Edited by FPF
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2 hours ago, FPF said:

Tomorrow afternoon's Coppelia has been cancelled. This is the first time I can recall NYCB being cancelled at SPAC due to weather. 

https://spac.org/event/new-york-city-ballet-8/

https://www.news10.com/news/nyc-ballets-saturday-matinee-performance-cancelled-due-to-hot-weather/

My husband and I are saying the same thing. This has never happened before. We are very sad and we were attending, but it’s better to be safe. 

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