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Fall Season


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Had such a wonderful evening last night! I love going opening nights as I feel the audience is always so engaged.

For Emeralds, agree that Unity stole the show.  She was just gorgeous and delicate. Stafford was meh as discussed and I feel Unity easily outshined her.  Amar was good but not great I felt.

For Rubies - LOVED Emily Kikta!! It was so dramatic every time she was on stage and I loved every second of it.  She’s perfectly cast and owns that role fully.  Hyltin I thought was wonderful and I enjoyed seeing her dance compared to Bouder who I saw last year.  In regards to Veyette - he was good. However, I did prefer Joaquin De Luz last year who had a wonderful charm on the stage that Veyette does not have.  De Luz of course is retired but I always enjoyed his dancing compared to some of the other men.

For Diamonds - highlight of the whole night for me.  Maria Kowroski danced with an abandon that I have never seen from her which I thought lent itself to more drama and passion.  And totally agree that Tyler Angle was superb - was definitely the finest man on the stage last night.  

 

 

 

 

 

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My first post here.  I'm pretty much in agreement with everyone thus far.  Ms Phelan stole Emeralds.  Ms Kikta made off with Rubies.  Kowroski and Angle shined brightest in Diamonds.  The engaged eye contacts between them during the PDD was noticeable from the second ring (although I did have good binoculars).  The Corps danced wonderfully and I must confessed to wishing that "if only ABT Corp could achieve the same level of synchronicity".  

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52 minutes ago, Novice123 said:

My first post here.  I'm pretty much in agreement with everyone thus far.  Ms Phelan stole Emeralds.  Ms Kikta made off with Rubies.  Kowroski and Angle shined brightest in Diamonds.  The engaged eye contacts between them during the PDD was noticeable from the second ring (although I did have good binoculars).  The Corps danced wonderfully and I must confessed to wishing that "if only ABT Corp could achieve the same level of synchronicity".  

Welcome to BalletAlert -- it's great to read your impression of the NYCB corps in Jewels! (Waaaay back, when I was able to see the company regularly, one didn't necessarily look to NYCB for super synchronicity.)

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1 hour ago, Drew said:

Welcome to BalletAlert -- it's great to read your impression of the NYCB corps in Jewels! (Waaaay back, when I was able to see the company regularly, one didn't necessarily look to NYCB for super synchronicity.)

Thank you.  I've been lurking for the past season and started attending last Fall.  I'm definitely a novice hence I don't know if synchronicity is the correct term to describe the difference between the Corps

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16 minutes ago, Novice123 said:

Thank you.  I've been lurking for the past season and started attending last Fall.  I'm definitely a novice hence I don't know if synchronicity is the correct term to describe the difference between the Corps

Sounds like the right word to me -- :)

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I think Drew was trying to say that there were times when the corps at NYCB was messy and rarely in synch for long.  (I certainly remember those days.)  There can be something exciting and energetic about that, but sometimes messy is just messy. (Given the number and complexity of the ballets the corps, especially the female corps has to learn/refresh and practice in any given season, that is understandable.  And there were early years when they were doubling up on corps roles in big ballets like Symphony in C.)

It's nice to hear that this has changed, because together doesn't mean that the dancing can't be energized.

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On 9/18/2019 at 1:18 AM, CTballetfan said:

My thoughts on tonight’s performance of Jewels:

Emeralds was the weak link, primarily because Abi Stafford did not bring the role to life. Except for fluttery arms, the rest of her performance did not come to life. She was stiff, lacked fluidity, had limited extension, and generally seemed to me to be doing a class exercise. On the other hand, Unity Phelan had it all: lyricism, musicality, beautiful movement, extension, and a certain ethereal quality. I loved her dancing. Ramasar and La Cour were competent. 

For me the highlight of the evening was Sterling Hyltin in Rubies. The quintessential ballerina, from her interpretation of the role to her musicality, playfulness, quick and perfect movements—I was in awe, as I usually am when I see her dance. She ate up the stage and thrilled the audience. Andrew  Veyette worked hard at his role but he was not in Hyltin’s league. I thoroughly enjoyed Kikta as the tall girl, a wonderful dancer who dances “big” and can command the stage. She was a lovely counterpoint to Hyltin.

I saw Kowroski and Tyler Angle in Diamonds last year and their pdd was just as good this year, with Angle acquitting himself better tonight. More energy, higher jumps, and more commitment to his solos. Just as last year, however, Kowroski’s energy flagged a bit in the finale, but still a fine performance. 

The corps in all three movements gave fine performances with flair and energy. A pleasure to watch them.

What will linger with me is Rubies, one of the great NYCB ballets, for its music, movement, modern choreography, and verve—and Sterling Hyltin, no better interpreter of the role. Seeing her in this was worth all the trouble and expense I had to go through to be there.

Sterling is literally amazing in every way.  She always steals the show! 

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On 9/14/2019 at 9:22 AM, Brook703 said:

The DGV rehearsal is still on NYCB’s Facebook page. I enjoy the inside look at the rehearsal process. They are such hardworking artists!

And the Wednesday show was outstanding.   It was exciting to see the debut of Jovani Furlan (former principal with Miami City Ballet).  Gretchen Smith had a last minute injury and Laine Habony had to step in for her as well.  It was a great cast, big music, big movement.

On 9/12/2019 at 9:27 PM, JanLevNYC said:

I am very excited about the addition of Jovani - I saw him perform at the Nantucket Dance festival a few years back and he was lovely.  I hope NYCB finds more tall men to fill the roster soon, as well.  

His debut was Wednesday and it was fantastic.  Looking forward to seeing him again and again!

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On 9/12/2019 at 6:50 AM, tutu said:

Surprised and a bit disappointed that Stanley’s not yet cast in Opus 19/The Dreamer (especially since he was recently featured in a promo video for the ballet). Maybe later in the season?

Taylor Stanley is performing Opus 19/The Dreamer on Oct 2nd and 6th.

On 9/18/2019 at 12:28 PM, nysusan said:

 

 
I absolutely LOVED Hyltin In Rubies last night and I love her in many roles. But not Symphony in C. She hasn't been cast in the 2nd movement since she made her debut in it back in 2016. I was hoping that meant that management realized that she was totally miscast in it.
 
I remember at the time that although she, of course, has no problem executing the steps she didn't convey the mystery, or spirituality or transcendence that the best interpreters bring to the role. Hyltin was just pretty, she didn't really project any inner life and for me that is a killer in this role. 
 
I have tickets for her performance so I can only hope Whelan is spending lots of time coaching her in this.
 
Another 3rd week casting disappointment - it looks like Bouder is cast in Wrens. I saw her last time she did this and here is another example of a great dancer cast in a role she is totally unsuited for. She has none of the glamour or sly humor the role calls for.  I think she'd be fierce in MacDonald of Sleat, but not Wrens. I also second cobweb's vote for Georgina Pazcoguin in MoS. 

It's very possible Bouder requested to do Wrens - she seems to be exploring herself more and more, different roles, etc.  That would be my guess.

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8 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

Harrison Ball will be out for the fall season due to injury caused by a bicycling accident:

Wow, how totally awful!! He was looking GREAT during the spring season (and that is a beautiful photo he posted). I can't wait to see him back. 

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3 hours ago, DaniGirl said:

And the Wednesday show was outstanding.   It was exciting to see the debut of Jovani Furlan (former principal with Miami City Ballet).  Gretchen Smith had a last minute injury and Laine Habony had to step in for her as well.  It was a great cast, big music, big movement.

His debut was Wednesday and it was fantastic.  Looking forward to seeing him again and again!

who was the corps girl who wiped out so dramatically?

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Was still thinking about the opening night of jewels and thought I’d go on you tube to watch some performances.  I found this live recording of Pat Neary rehearsing Rubies and Diamonds with the Royal Opera Ballet from 2017.  I found it so interesting and thought I’d share here.  FWIW, I find Steven McCrae to be so talented and think even in this short rehearsal was more compelling than Veyette.

 

 

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Mira Nadon's Rubies debut was a smashing success. She is not the tallest tall girl, her 6 o'clock penchee doesn't really hit 6 o'clock, and her plie in 2nd isn't the juiciest around, but all of those elements were still good enough. So while there is room for improvement, everything else about her tall girl was great. Her musicality and phrasing, the way she articulated those angular body positions and the way she wielded those legs as weapons, mon Dieu!
 
As for the rest - Bouder/Stanley were a HUGE improvement over Stafford/Ramasar in Emeralds and while LeCrone is not a great fit for the walking ballerina she wasn't bad. So all in all I liked last night's Emeralds much better than opening night.
 
Mearns & Janzen were beautiful in Diamonds, though I thought I saw a couple of very uncharacteristic small stumbles from her in the coda. Nothing major and Janzen gave her all the support she needed to prevent any mishaps. Still, even while watching them I couldn't get the memory of the Kowroski/Angle opening night performance out of my mind, I longed for their elegance and slow unspooling of the pdd
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OOH, fun! I thought Emily Kikta was starting to make the role her own, but she's not alone. NYCB has plenty of tall, leggy wonderful dancers for Rubies.

Thanks for posting nysusan!!

I think this is a different excerpt of Nadon at the beginning of Rubies, off of NYCB's Twitter account

https://twitter.com/nycballet/status/1175122454349586432?s=20

Edited by BalanchineFan
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I was at Jewels last night (Friday), and I think it was, collectively, one of the finest performances of it I have seen. Emeralds is a quiet beauty. Bouder/Stanley danced the first principal couple, and Taylor Stanley was excellent. He has such a sensitive way of moving that amplified the atmosphere of the ballet. Having never seen Ashley in this role, I didn't know what to expect. Apart from the unfortunate return of the squeaky shoes (really, someone who dances, tell me what's going on there), she was quite lovely and restrained. I was missing Tiler Peck but not as much as I thought I would! I thought Megan LeCrone acquitted herself admirably but wish she would make the clock motion in the walking pas more pronounced. 

Rubies was, in a word, boffo. It was goosebump-level thrilling from start to finish. Mira Nadon looked great. Though, as we know, new to the role and only a year into company life, she dances with presence and personality. Your eyes don't leave her. Fairchild/Garcia were, frankly, amazing. I know there was a lot of new coaching behind the scenes and man has it paid off. She has so much command now -- I can hardly believe this is the same perfect-but-vanilla dancer I used to watch half a decade ago. He's in great form and was having an absolute blast. The whole cast brought the house down.

I (no surprise) had high expectations for Sara Mearns in Diamonds. She was stunning. I saw her dance this previously a year ago, partnered by Joe Gordon in his debut (I, unfortunately, missed the post-Farrell coaching performances in the spring). In my view, she let herself move more slowly then she used to in the PPD -- her positions unfurled and presented themselves. She is obviously very comfortable with Russell Janzen, who looked appropriately noble and handsome in this. I thought he had some shaky outings last year and felt he was in better form last night. His variations were very secure. 

All in all, one of the best ways to spend 2.5 hours on the planet. Seeing Raymonda, etc. on Sunday so will report in then. 

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Last night's Diamonds pas de deux (and scherzo) was moving and exhilarating. As it began I found myself dissatisfied, wishing I could see Kowroski and Angle again, but Sara Mearns with her extraordinary power and a technique that seems stronger than ever, demolished memories of Tuesday night's performance. In a way she is so forceful it's shocking, except it draws you in so grippingly. I say she demolished memories of Tuesday night, but only temporarily. Kowroski and Angle were far better in their communication, the eye contact really adds something great. Right now we have two great interpreters of this role, and we're so lucky. 

In Emeralds, Bouder and Stanley were a great improvement on Stafford and Ramasar, but after seeing Unity Phelan in the "walking" role, Megan LeCrone just didn't measure up. Her arms are nowhere near as flud and expressive as Phelan's, and Phelan's facial expressions have more depth. In the pas de trois, I loved Roman Mejia. He just lights up the stage, confident, authoritative, seeming so lively and responsive. I can't wait to see him (one day soon, I hope!) take on the male role in Rubies. 

In Rubies, I thought Mira Nadon made a good start but has a lot of work to do, in this role and in general. She seemed tentative and uncertain, not bold and definite enough. She doesn't yet seem completely in control of her limbs. Megan Fairchild looked sensational, with authority and control down to the fingertips. Nadon needs to grow in that kind of command. Also the big second position plie was half-baked. She has many great qualities and I look forward to seeing her continue to grow. But right now for the Tall Girl, it's Kikta Kikta Kikta. 

I love Jewels. It shows Balanchine's incredible range and also his humanity. He presents three completely different worldviews, and makes the case for each of them as the right way to live. Tremendous sympathy for three totally different worlds. 

  

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Thanks to all of you who weighed in on the Jewels performances that followed the one I saw on Tuesday evening. I wish I could have seen them all, especially Megan Fairchild in Rubies and Sara Mearns in Diamonds. But I did see Sterling Hyltin in Rubies—no words can describe how fantastic she is in this role—and Maria and Tyler in Diamonds. Looking forward to hearing your reviews of the other programs this fall. 

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Saw Jewels this afternoon. Phelan was absolutely gorgeous in Emeralds -- lush, lyrical, musical -- there was an otherworldly quality to her dancing. Hyltin was, in my opinion, absolute perfection in Rubies. Her dancing transcended ballet technique and was just pure movement to music. A joy to witness. Kikta was powerful and strong as the Rubies tall girl. She dances so big and expands through space. Loved seeing her take command of that role with such confidence. And finally Kowroski and Angle -- what a pair! The communication between them and the vulnerability they showed, especially Kowroski, was so, so moving.  I've seen several other companies dance Jewels, and it's always beautiful, but no one does it quite like NYCB. 

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Beautiful Jewels tonight. Emeralds had some wobbles -- partnering as well as solo dancing -- but was strong overall. I found Gerrity (female soloist) more musical and compelling than King, who danced the lead, especially her pas de deux with Scordato. Gerrity seemed to have more moments of otherworldly "depth" than King. Applebaum looked great (long, elegant lines), as did Hoxha, despite a sloppy pirouette finish at the end of his solo. McKinnon and Hutsell were high-energy and in sync. 

Kikta and Hyltin were absolutely brilliant in Rubies, as everyone has described of their past performances this week. Veyette isn't the most elegant dancer at this point in his career but he danced with verve and had strong chemistry with Hyltin. He looked like he was having fun, and he made Hyltin look totally at ease in the complex partnering. Kikta has such clean technique (perfect pirouettes) and truly dominated the stage every time she was on it. I've always appreciated Hyltin's dancing but she's never WOWed me to the extent she did last night. Every movement she made looked inevitably paired to the music, especially her sharp turns. 

What to say of Diamonds? Mearns and Janzen were mesmerizing and flawless to my eyes. A perfect showcase for Mearns' big, brilliant dancing and stellar technique, and another reminder of why she's one of my favorite dancers. When he bent down to kiss her hand at the end of the pas de deux you could have cried. 

Edited by JuliaJ
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