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

Fall Season


Recommended Posts

Thanks to all for the information on operas with black American characters.  Time will tell if they become part of the operatic canon,  but at the present time,  none are as beloved or performed as much as Porgy and Bess.

3 hours ago, FPF said:

There was a new one, Tazewell Thompson's Blue, this past summer at Glimmerglass. 

I was really intrigued by this as I performed in a workshop under Tazewell's direction.  I had no idea he composed as well and maybe he does,  but the opera Blue was written by the prolific Jeannine  Tesori and staged by him.  (I also had no idea that he had such a tragic,  challenging early life.  He never gave any hint if it.  As Socrates said,  "Be kind,  for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.")

Link to post

I think there have been more casting shifts (I'm not sure; correct me if I'm wrong): 

https://www.nycballet.com/NYCB/media/NYCBMediaLibrary/PDFs/Press/Casting/NYCB-Casting_October-8-13-2019_lobby-20191010_2.pdf

Bouder is dancing in place of Mearns tonight in Piano Concerto No. 2, with Janzen. Pereira is back on for Russian Girl in the Saturday matinee (hadn't Bouder previously been listed as replacing her?). And Joseph Gordon says he may be thrown into Piano Concerto Saturday night. (I'm surprised he says so; whether it's a formal policy or not, dancers at NYCB and ABT never seem to announce that they may be subbing for someone until it's a done deal.)

Edited by fondoffouettes
Link to post
2 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Pereira is back on for Russian Girl in the Saturday matinee (hadn't Bouder previously been listed as replacing her?).

Yeah, it started as Pereira, but then it was definitely Bouder for awhile.

Link to post
4 hours ago, FPF said:

There was a new one, Tazewell Thompson's Blue, this past summer at Glimmerglass. 

Also new this summer were Fire Shut Up in My Bones, based on Charles Blow's memoir (at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis), and The Central Park Five (at Long Beach Opera).

The Met is planning to stage Fire Shut Up in My Bones in a future season, which is big news: 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/arts/music/metropolitan-opera-black-composers-terence-blanchard.html

Edited by fondoffouettes
Link to post
12 minutes ago, canbelto said:

depends on whether you set ballo in sweden or boston :)

You're right. I just associated the name of Ulrica with American version of Ballo. Probably because in Sweden the character is called Madame Arvidson, but I think her first name is still Ulrica.

I have never read the libretto of the Sweden version. Does it say "sangue de' negri"?

Link to post
2 hours ago, On Pointe said:

Thanks to all for the information on operas with black American characters.  Time will tell if they become part of the operatic canon,  but at the present time,  none are as beloved or performed as much as Porgy and Bess.

I was really intrigued by this as I performed in a workshop under Tazewell's direction.  I had no idea he composed as well and maybe he does,  but the opera Blue was written by the prolific Jeannine  Tesori and staged by him.  (I also had no idea that he had such a tragic,  challenging early life.  He never gave any hint if it.  As Socrates said,  "Be kind,  for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.")

You're right, it was Tesori's music--Thompson did the libretto. I think he was doing most of the publicity so that's the name that stuck in my mind.

Link to post
19 minutes ago, eduardo said:

You're right. I just associated the name of Ulrica with American version of Ballo. Probably because in Sweden the character is called Madame Arvidson, but I think her first name is still Ulrica.

I have never read the libretto of the Sweden version. Does it say "sangue de' negri"?

It's kind of a hot button issue right now - black Americans do not identify with black people from other countries.  So a black character in an opera set abroad doesn't "ping" with us.

Speaking of Jeannine Tesori ,  one could consider her Caroline or Change an opera more than a musical.  But with a book by Tony Kushner,  based on his childhood with a black housekeeper in New Orleans,  it's  another example of white artists commenting on black culture.  I want to love it but I don't.  The black women in it are depressed and depressing and don't seem "authentic" to me at all.  It's being revived on Broadway this spring with black British leads from an acclaimed overseas production,  adding yet another layer of alienation.

Link to post
On 10/9/2019 at 9:25 AM, Helene said:

Dancers with jobs who look like their kids.

That includes dancers chosen by the choreographer, like with Merrill Ashley in the Verdy role in Emeralds.

Thank you, Helene, for the clarification.

As for Merrill Ashley, she writes in her memoir about her challenges with Emeralds. Did you ever see her dance it?

Kathleen, thank you for posting the Bugaku excerpts! For those who suggest omiting the costumes, I remember a lot of ritual connected to the costumes. The principals enter decked out in several layers (including a tutu for her) and the attendants help them disrobe. It adds to the formality and "nakedness" of the occasion.

I can see why NYCB doesn't mount it today, and I also agree, there's lots of Balanchine rep to keep audiences busy, but I JUST LOVE WATCHING HIS WORK! Yes, the cultural appropriation is problematic, but as an essay on pas de deux, male/female relations, or the plasticity of the body, I find it captivating. I'm not making an argument for including it in the rep. Maybe I'm trying to talk myself into getting on the subway and watching film of different casts at the NYPL for the Performing Arts. 

Even with Porgy and Bess, sometimes I think, "let's all agree it's racist and then enjoy the music." It's not an instruction manual for how to live. But I'm Black and I feel I've earned the right to say that. I wouldn't want to force racist art on anyone who was offended by it, and probably ... we can't all agree, anyway.

And sometimes I *do* identify with Black people from other countries, particularly in stage characters.

Edited by BalanchineFan
Link to post
21 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

Even with Porgy and Bess, sometimes I think, "let's all agree it's racist and then enjoy the music." It's not an instruction manual for how to live. But I'm Black and I feel I've earned the right to say that. I wouldn't want to force racist art on anyone who was offended by it, and probably ... we can't all agree, anyway.

And sometimes I *do* identify with Black people from other countries, particularly in stage characters.

I'm not offended by Porgy and Bess,   and I especially enjoy it when my friends are singing the lead roles.  But portraying stereotypes can be wearing.  I was generalizing when I said that black Americans don't identify with black people from other countries.  Of course we do,  on an individual basis.  But like Chinese,  Korean and Japanese dancers,  we're not interchangeable just because the majority thinks we look alike.

Link to post
On 10/8/2019 at 10:56 PM, Helene said:

This is not at all surprising.  Based on decades of reading dancer narratives, there seem to be four ways that dancers get training, from early training before they even qualify for  elite training:

1. At least one of their parents is a dance teacher, often in their own studio, and the dancers grow up in the studio.  If they take to it, they get at least their early dance education there.

2. Their parents write checks.  It can be from disposable income, or the parents can be taking out second and third mortgages and/or doing second or third jobs or maxxing out their credit cards to write those checks.  They may be supporting two households so that their children can have elite training.

3.  They and/or their parents barter: clean the studio, like one PNB soloist did, as the family, raised by a single mom, was living at the poverty level; make costumes; do maintenance,; re-finish the floors; serve as the receptionist; help teach younger children, or if they are skaters, not dancers, ride the zamboni.

4. They find a sponsor or teacher who sees something in them and is willing to subsidize them.   One found Copeland, but what is unusual about her story is that she learned to dance at one of the comparatively few recreational ballet programs.  Many kids have the option to join the recreational swim team or play on a Little League team, or play intramural basketball, or join the school band or chorus or, depending on age, the math or chess team or high school football or volleyball team, public activities where talent and persistence can be spotted or even scouted.  Almost all kids who learn ballet at recreational levels do so at a school, where there is tuition.

There are some parents who will do whatever it takes to help their kid fulfill his or her dream; for many that's a huge sacrifice.  There are others who assess things differently, and come to a different conclusion when decisions are based on taste and aesthetics, and those decisions are staring them in the face every time they look at a company roster on the internet.

This is a very complete analysis and I agree.  I want to share a post I saw about the student I mentioned earlier, as a quick follow up.  But first I want to share I caught NYCB last night.  To start, the crowd was insane for Serenade.  The crowd energy was so electric you could feel it as the curtain rose.  There were guest clapping before a single dancer had moved an arm with the ethereal light.  Serenade is always a justly favorite and it was a treat to be surrounded by so many enthusiastic admirers.  Last night might have been one of the best corps performances I have witnessed - so together, great timing.  What magic!  Summerspace was iconic, not my favorite.  But I was glad to see it.  Quick notes on Ballet Imperial - Bouder's shoes squeaked the entire time which was a distraction to her beauty.  Most of the corps was a disaster - so disappointed - specifically Mira Nadon and India Bradley, neither could stay on a line, use the arms effectively or keep up with timing.  It is a ballet that shows those that can and those that cannot keep up with the attack needed for Balanchine.  Maybe it was a bad night but I was very disappointed some of the corps.  But on a very positive note - Lauren King stole the show once again.  She is the embodiment of a Balanchine ballerina.  She is effortless, energetic, musical and performance quality exudes joy.  And the two corps members that caught my eye were Ashley Hod and Laine Habony - same reasons .... attack, speed, musicality all with a smile exuding confidence and joy - both in Serenade and Ballet Imperial.

So back to the dancer that prompted your great breakout.  It's my opinion that Laine Habony along with several other dancers hit a bad-timing with NYCB - which has to be a disappointment for a dancer that had so many opportunities available, chose NYCB, on-stage every day and is also an embodiment of a Balanchine ballerina (and the sacrifice made by her family to support that).  Sara Adams, Jaqueline Bologna, Laine Habony, Ashley Hod, Preston Chamblee, Ghalab Kayali ..... this generation that was slowly being cast up when Martins was going out.  I hope that NYCB does not pass over this group of talent and it is my concern they will.  Yes, some of the dancers have been injured on/off but not enough to leave them out.  It is also my opinion that the years with the interim team the casting was 'friends casting friends' and unless you were on that friend list, you were out.  Not that we dont love Indiana Woodward!  Or Unity Phelan.

So back to last night (and all season really) - as the season closes I am once again confirmed that NYCB is amazing!  I also hope they will get out of this box of casting the same people over and over and over.  And they will look back to some of the dancers that have been workhorses and cultivate them to the next level.  

B2GI1G.png

 

Link to post
52 minutes ago, DaniGirl said:

[...] So back to the dancer that prompted your great breakout.  It's my opinion that Laine Habony along with several other dancers hit a bad-timing with NYCB - which has to be a disappointment for a dancer that had so many opportunities available, chose NYCB, on-stage every day and is also an embodiment of a Balanchine ballerina (and the sacrifice made by her family to support that).  Sara Adams, Jaqueline Bologna, Laine Habony, Ashley Hod, Preston Chamblee, Ghalab Kayali ..... this generation that was slowly being cast up when Martins was going out.  I hope that NYCB does not pass over this group of talent and it is my concern they will.  Yes, some of the dancers have been injured on/off but not enough to leave them out.  [...]

So back to last night (and all season really) - as the season closes I am once again confirmed that NYCB is amazing!  I also hope they will get out of this box of casting the same people over and over and over.  And they will look back to some of the dancers that have been workhorses and cultivate them to the next level.  

I certainly understand the impulse to root for a favorite dancer. I know it well. However, I'm not sure what qualifies as being "passed over."  Sara Adams has a role in Summerspace. Preston Chamblee recently made his debut as one of two principal men in Serenade and danced a leading role in Not Our Fate all last season -twice with his picture in the NY TimesNYCB is a company full of talent and full of more opportunities than most large companies. Take a look at the ABT forums on this site. Posters are all complaining that PRINCIPALS only get one or two NY performances of favorite roles, or don't get roles AT ALL. Principals!

I have a ticket for NYCB this weekend and expect to see 5 or 6 principal ballerinas and as many principal men, in addition to the up and comers in supporting (and sometimes leading) roles. Tell your favs "take heart, keep working, your time will come!" These days dancers can also make their own opportunities, be it at Vail, or with a smaller group; Ashley Bouder, Daniel Ulbricht, Tiler Peck, Silas Farley and many others have created small outside performing groups. And by small I mean smaller than NYCB. I wish there was more information about how dancers can challenge themselves to further their dancing careers. 

Link to post
2 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

I certainly understand the impulse to root for a favorite dancer. I know it well. However, I'm not sure what qualifies as being "passed over."  Sara Adams has a role in Summerspace. Preston Chamblee recently made his debut as one of two principal men in Serenade and danced a leading role in Not Our Fate all last season -twice with his picture in the NY TimesNYCB is a company full of talent and full of more opportunities than most large companies. Take a look at the ABT forums on this site. Posters are all complaining that PRINCIPALS only get one or two NY performances of favorite roles, or don't get roles AT ALL. Principals!

I have a ticket for NYCB this weekend and expect to see 5 or 6 principal ballerinas and as many principal men, in addition to the up and comers in supporting (and sometimes leading) roles. Tell your favs "take heart, keep working, your time will come!" These days dancers can also make their own opportunities, be it at Vail, or with a smaller group; Ashley Bouder, Daniel Ulbricht, Tiler Peck, Silas Farley and many others have created small outside performing groups. And by small I mean smaller than NYCB. I wish there was more information about how dancers can challenge themselves to further their dancing careers. 

Also will add that the amount of upward mobility is greater than it was in the Balanchine years, when certain roles "belonged" to certain dancers and nothing short of injury or leaving the company would make the dancer lose the part. So if Jewels was programmed, you pretty much knew it was always going to be Suzanne as Diamonds, Patty in Rubies, and Violette in Emeralds. If Prodigal Son was programmed, you knew it would be Eddie Villela. And so on. In fact when Suzanne came back to the company one of the first things she was told was that she would have to share her roles, and she accepted it. When she was first in the company, if she was ever indisposed the ballet was simply changed. Mr. B did not want to see an understudy in 'her' role.

Link to post
2 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

I certainly understand the impulse to root for a favorite dancer. I know it well. However, I'm not sure what qualifies as being "passed over."  Sara Adams has a role in Summerspace. Preston Chamblee recently made his debut as one of two principal men in Serenade and danced a leading role in Not Our Fate all last season -twice with his picture in the NY TimesNYCB is a company full of talent and full of more opportunities than most large companies. Take a look at the ABT forums on this site. Posters are all complaining that PRINCIPALS only get one or two NY performances of favorite roles, or don't get roles AT ALL. Principals!

I have a ticket for NYCB this weekend and expect to see 5 or 6 principal ballerinas and as many principal men, in addition to the up and comers in supporting (and sometimes leading) roles. Tell your favs "take heart, keep working, your time will come!" These days dancers can also make their own opportunities, be it at Vail, or with a smaller group; Ashley Bouder, Daniel Ulbricht, Tiler Peck, Silas Farley and many others have created small outside performing groups. And by small I mean smaller than NYCB. I wish there was more information about how dancers can challenge themselves to further their dancing careers. 

I almost replied they are all favorite .... and in a way, they are!  But yes, there are some I believe to be extra special.  

Both Adams and Habony were also in Not our Fate, both in the Times, Habony has an Anatomy of Dance video and several other publications such as Teen Vogue.... they all seem very plugged in during and out if season.  And I guess my post came across wrong.

And I’ll keep rooting for my favs too!  And that’s a bunch!

 

 

Link to post

I'm happy that Susan Walters got featured, with Lauren King, in this new video from NYCB (below). I particularly love her last comment:

Quote

During that very difficult solo that Lauren is doing, I can think about her up on stage with all of her bravery, and that helps me be brave at the same time.

I thought Walters sounded quite good Tuesday night in Dances at a Gathering. Looks like she's not playing the Tchaikovsky this season, though.

I'm sorry to be missing King tomorrow in the role, but curious to see MacKinnon's debut — and excited to see Mearns in it again.

 

Link to post
3 hours ago, Leah said:

 Two apprentices, Uma Deming and Lauren Collett, were just promoted. Last year apprentices were included in the whole promotion press release at the end of the fall season.

Congratulations to them!  Can we expect to hear more company promotions announced this weekend?  Fingers crossed!

Link to post
1 hour ago, Jacqueline said:

Congratulations to them!  Can we expect to hear more company promotions announced this weekend?  Fingers crossed!

Hopefully! If not then there would be none in 2019. Just hoping that the apprentice announcement doesn’t constitute all promotions for the season.

Link to post
6 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

Any possibility he just means the last DAAG of the season? Or maybe they all know it won't be performed next year (2020/21) and he expects to be gone after that.

Many dancers posted tributes to Garcia on their instagrams, so I think he's retiring soon. FWIW he was excellent last night.

Link to post
10 minutes ago, Leah said:

Many dancers posted tributes to Garcia on their instagrams, so I think he's retiring soon. FWIW he was excellent last night.

Yes, I just saw tributes to Garcia on IG from Sara Mearns and from Indiana Woodward, two of his DAAG castmates. He was beautiful last weekend when I saw it, too. That will be a loss. I miss Gonzalo Garcia already.

In other news, I saw Robbie Fairchild perform at Fall for Dance. Another beautiful Brown Boy from DAAG past. He looks fabulous.

Link to post

I was hoping to get to another performance of the Serenade-Summerspace-Ballet Imperial program, but it's not going to happen. I would love to hear reports on Olivia MacKinnon's debut in the soloist role of Ballet Imperial. 

Link to post

I thought Olivia MacKinnon was good in Piano Concerto #2.  She was very expansive and technically solid. If I hadn't known I'm not sure I would have guessed that it was a debut.

A lot of dancers show their nerves in their face. O. MacKinnon is among them, but that should iron itself out. PC2 is fiendishly difficult. Even Sara Mearns seemed a bit subdued until she got to the last movement.

I saw Lauren King perform the role last week and she was like a ray of sunshine. There's really no shortage of talent.

Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...