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23 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Bouder was out of tonight's Serenade kn a last minute switch out with Pereira.

That fits with the other switches next week. I’m guessing Pereira ended up rehearsing with that cast.

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24 minutes ago, cobweb said:

Mearns, Janzen, and King were all magnificent in tonight’s Ballet Imperial. A grand and memorable performance of a truly beautiful piece. 

I’m not sure it’s among Balanchine’s greatest works, but it’s long been one of my very favorites. I’m excited to be seeing Mearns and Janzen now that the casting has switched.

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Mearns was the definition of imperial in tonight's Piano Concerto No. 2 -- when Russell Janzen led her around and everyone curtsied to her it was 100% real. Worlds better than Ashley was last fall. The corps was more together, too, which was great. Lauren King is terrific in it as well -- all around, a magnificent performance. Sara Mearns was sent home to rest yesterday (per her instagram stories) so I was afraid she was going to be replaced when they were announcing replacements -- I was relieved. That could explain the casting changes, though -- remember she did all those Diamonds she wasn't scheduled to do.

Serenade is always lovely and I've always enjoyed Erica Pereira's Russian Girl so I was glad to see that tonight. Summerspace intrigued me, and for moments, really captured me -- and then would push me away. I wish I were seeing it again. 

i attended last night, too. Valse Fantaisie featured Indiana Woodward and Roman Mejia. I saw Indiana dance this with Harrison Ball last year, and I preferred that pairing. Roman has the goods, he just needs to develop a little subtlety (something often found in 19 year old boys, I know). Maybe it's a port de bras issue. I really liked Kammermusik No. 2 this time around. I think it's a compelling ballet for Teresa Reichlen. 

Union Jack -- my favorite part was seeing Russell Janzen marching around behind Ash LaCour in the corps! I guess someone couldn't go on last minute. 

In terms of promotions -- I think the closest is Indiana. She seems to have the command and I wish they would cast her in some of Ashley Bouder's rep instead of treating her like she's Tiler Peck's understudy. I know there's overlap in rep there. Unity Phelan is very lovely but at times I think overwhelmed when things get speedy. I've seen her fall a lot so I just might be getting nervous watching her. Last spring she fell three times during her debut in Suite #3 and then last night in Union Jack. I'm not sure she's ready. I don't think Harrison is going to be promoted yet. I think Emily Kikta deserves to be promoted to soloist, and I would guess Roman Mejia too, even though he is very young. 

One last thing -- as I was sitting in my cab going up Amsterdam Avenue last night, I looked out my window at a stoplight and who should be looking back at me but the costermonger's donkey! He was in his trailer heading home to greener pastures, I guess. 

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35 minutes ago, bellawood said:

 

One last thing -- as I was sitting in my cab going up Amsterdam Avenue last night, I looked out my window at a stoplight and who should be looking back at me but the costermonger's donkey! He was in his trailer heading home to greener pastures, I guess. 

I thought that the original donkey retired (and then died) a few years ago and was replaced by a pony. 

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1 minute ago, FPF said:

I thought that the original donkey retired (and then died) a few years ago and was replaced by a pony

In recent years I think they were using a pony, but this time it was definitely a donkey. 

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I was surprised how much I enjoyed Pereira’s Russian Girl tonight, although I’m still disappointed not to have seen Bouder do it. 

I’m not sure how I feel about Summerspace. The dancers looked great, especially Danchig-Waring and Gerrity. I think for me the problem was the score, I’ve always detested Morton Feldman and this piece of music was just too sparse. They might as well have had no music at all. I agree that it probably warrants another viewing.

TPC2 was just fantastic. I’ve decided that I really like the costumes, except for the mens’ vests, which make them look like bellboys. Also agree that Mearns is much more suited to the role than Bouder; she just exudes grandeur. King was a delight and Janzen is probably the MVP of the male principals at the moment. 

One small, very petty thing- Alec Knight’s hair. He styles it into a giant bouffant that makes him look ridiculous and more importantly stand out noticeably from the rest of the male corps. Shame because he’s a lovely dancer.

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Alastair Macaulay had some harsh words on Knight’s pompadour in his Instagram post tonight. From the photos I’ve seen, I agree. Unfortunate. Perhaps he’ll learn from experience that this isn’t the way to stand out. 

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11 minutes ago, Peg said:

Alastair Macaulay had some harsh words on Knight’s pompadour in his Instagram post tonight. From the photos I’ve seen, I agree. Unfortunate. Perhaps he’ll learn from experience that this isn’t the way to stand out. 

Thanks Peg, just read his post. Glad that it's not just me! 

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I remember reading, not too long ago, on Instagram I believe (a post by a dancer — I'm being very vague, I know, but I can't recall whose) that word among NYCB men was that, in order to get noticed and promoted, one had to have striking hair. Perhaps this was something Martins really liked (since he himself had it as a dancer); perhaps it was just an assumption about what he liked. In any case, I've often felt that many NYCB men have hairstyles that are too sculpted, styled, etc. I'd like to see more of the male dancers have a more "natural" look. This very likely may just be personal preference on my part. But I feel like there's a definite NYCB male hair "look" — and that Alec Knight has basically taken that and (through color and height) dialed it up to 11.

I often think Joe Gordon might look nice with shorter hair. His isn't overly sculpted or styled like some, though.

On the topic of hair, I would also be interested to see how Tyler Angle would look onstage if he didn't supplement his balding/thinning hair with such an obviously artificial (is it spray-on?) supplement. I get the impulse, but haven't we perhaps reached a point when we can accept a male dancer with a more natural look? I think it'd be worth at least giving it a shot and seeing how it plays.

As for the Ballet Imperial costumes: I'll need to take another look next week, but my initial impression when they debuted was that the women's were totally off balance: light fluid skirts below valkyrie-weight bejeweled breastplates. The tops would have looked better with tutus, I think — and I'd love to see the piece in those again. And yeah, the men's vests looked silly.

Edited by nanushka
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46 minutes ago, nanushka said:

As for the Ballet Imperial costumes: I'll need to take another look next week, but my initial impression when they debuted was that the women's were totally off balance: light fluid skirts below valkyrie-weight bejeweled breastplates. The tops would have looked better with tutus, I think — and I'd love to see the piece in those again. And yeah, the men's vests looked silly.

Yeah the new costumes don’t work for me. It’s a beautiful color palette, but the wrong color palette for this ballet and almost nothing to distinguish the principals from the corps. 

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10 hours ago, Leah said:

Alec Knight’s hair

 

1 hour ago, nanushka said:

I often think Joe Gordon might look nice with shorter hair.

I also noticed Knight's hair. Not only was it puffed up, there seemed to be a two-toned dye job, platinum blond on top and darker on the bottom. He is a showboat, which makes him compelling to watch, but sometimes it goes overboard to the point of detracting  from his dynamic dancing. And I have often wished Joseph Gordon would get a haircut, his hair flops around a lot. 

I was intrigued by Summerspace, which is entirely new to me. I can't exactly say I like it, and the music was difficult to appreciate. Still, I loved the Rauschenberg backdrop and unitards, and overall I would like to see this again.  I had the feeling that it represents a coherent, thought-out concept, making me admire it more than I did, say, the new Lovette and Liang pieces from last week, which didn't seem as intelligent. 

On the topic of promotions, I agree that Phelan may not be ready. She would benefit from more time to grow into her talents, although doubtless she is on her way to the top. I would like to see Gerrity and Woodward promoted to principal. And Kikta and Mejia to soloist. Any official word on what is up with Harrison Coll? He has been out, I think a year now. 

Btw, did anyone see the Symphony in C the other night with Sterling Hyltin and Amar Ramasar in the second movement? I was wondering if Hyltin had added any depth or mystery to her interpretation from last time she did it. 

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I saw Summerspace at the Joyce in April when Ballet West did it. There's also an excellent video of the Lyon Ballet company doing it. It's one of Merce's most accessible works. I personally love the costumes, decor and music. 

I also thought Sara Mearns was magnificent in PC #2 last night.

Edited by canbelto
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1 hour ago, BLalo said:

Yeah the new costumes don’t work for me. It’s a beautiful color palette, but the wrong color palette for this ballet and almost nothing to distinguish the principals from the corps. 

Right, and the costumes just don't pop enough against the blue cyclorama; this is especially problematic with the men's dark blue tights. 

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1 hour ago, cobweb said:

 

I also noticed Knight's hair. Not only was it puffed up, there seemed to be a two-toned dye job, platinum blond on top and darker on the bottom. He is a showboat, which makes him compelling to watch, but sometimes it goes overboard to the point of detracting  from his dynamic dancing. And I have often wished Joseph Gordon would get a haircut, his hair flops around a lot. 

I was intrigued by Summerspace, which is entirely new to me. I can't exactly say I like it, and the music was difficult to appreciate. Still, I loved the Rauschenberg backdrop and unitards, and overall I would like to see this again.  I had the feeling that it represents a coherent, thought-out concept, making me admire it more than I did, say, the new Lovette and Liang pieces from last week, which didn't seem as intelligent. 

On the topic of promotions, I agree that Phelan may not be ready. She would benefit from more time to grow into her talents, although doubtless she is on her way to the top. I would like to see Gerrity and Woodward promoted to principal. And Kikta and Mejia to soloist. Any official word on what is up with Harrison Coll? He has been out, I think a year now. 

Btw, did anyone see the Symphony in C the other night with Sterling Hyltin and Amar Ramasar in the second movement? I was wondering if Hyltin had added any depth or mystery to her interpretation from last time she did it. 

Harrison Coll has been filming West Side Story which just wrapped. 

Joe Gordon's hair reminds me of Damian Woetzel's so I don’t mind it — but industrial strength hairspray wouldn’t be a bad idea. It was really all over the place during Raymonda!

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10 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Here is an instagram post by Adrian Danchig-Waring which sheds some light on the hair craze at NYCBallet: "Big hair gets you roles."

Yes, that's the post I was thinking of. Thanks. I thought it might have been Adrian, but when I scrolled back through I couldn't find it. I guess it's no surprise that Joe doesn't get a haircut. Still, Peter Martins is gone now, so maybe the NYCB guys will feel they can go their own ways. I don't think big hair is necessary for a dancer to seem larger than life onstage.

Edited by nanushka
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4 hours ago, nanushka said:

but haven't we perhaps reached a point when we can accept a male dancer with a more natural look? I think it'd be worth at least giving it a shot and seeing how it plays.

Sadly, no.  In modern and contemporary dance companies, at least in the last decade, and in contemporary productions of opera, for villains, baldness (or shaved head) is acceptable.  But in ballet and for romantic leads in opera, shallowness rules.  

But I guess everyone owes it to their children to have those photos around, to counter all of the kid photos parents use to embarrass those children.

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24 minutes ago, Helene said:

Sadly, no.  In modern and contemporary dance companies, at least in the last decade, and in contemporary productions of opera, for villains, baldness (or shaved head) is acceptable.  But in ballet and for romantic leads in opera, shallowness rules.  

But I guess everyone owes it to their children to have those photos around, to counter all of the kid photos parents use to embarrass those children.

Also depends on the modern dance company. Paul Taylor dancers (especially the male ones) tended to look like underwear models.

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22 hours ago, canbelto said:

I think Woodward and Phelan will be promoted along with Harrison Ball. And Roman Mejia to soloist.

Woodward is ready to be a principal dancer. I would like to see Roman Mejia, Emily Kikta, and Alston Macgill get soloist promotions.

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4 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

Right, and the costumes just don't pop enough against the blue cyclorama; this is especially problematic with the men's dark blue tights. 

Very true. I think these designs show us why every other ballet costume has lighter tights than the top. 

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22 hours ago, cobweb said:

Mearns, Janzen, and King were all magnificent in tonight’s Ballet Imperial. A grand and memorable performance of a truly beautiful piece. 

Lauren King has always been a delight to watch!  It was a great performance.  

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9 hours ago, bellawood said:

Harrison Coll has been filming West Side Story which just wrapped. 

Joe Gordon's hair reminds me of Damian Woetzel's so I don’t mind it — but industrial strength hairspray wouldn’t be a bad idea. It was really all over the place during Raymonda!

I wanted to also add that Joe Gordon's hair most definitely reminds me of a young Damien Woetzel !!!

 

9 hours ago, bellawood said:

Harrison Coll has been filming West Side Story which just wrapped. 

Joe Gordon's hair reminds me of Damian Woetzel's so I don’t mind it — but industrial strength hairspray wouldn’t be a bad idea. It was really all over the place during Raymonda!

 

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22 hours ago, nanushka said:

That fits with the other switches next week. I’m guessing Pereira ended up rehearsing with that cast.

I have tickets for next Saturday's performance of Serenade with the other cast.  I missed Gerrity performing last go around so I am very excited to see her in the second cast.  There were only 4 shows and two casts this season, so only two casts.  I do believe Gerrity will bring so much more than LeCrone can deliver.  I spent more than 10 years as a dance sponsor in the Chautauqua Institute (summers) and Serenade was staged by Patti McBride.  I was privileged to see Isabella LeFrienerre perform the Waltz Girl and Laine Habony perform the Russian Girl - and they were incredible performances for such young woman (15 years old).  I hope those two are understudying those roles at NYCB and we will see them both get the opportunity one day.  It seemed Martins had both of those dancers on that trajectory before the fall out and believe they were both being groomed for great things from a young start.

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I attended the 10/01 performance. I hadn't seen NYCB in NYC for eleven years, so it was a special evening for me. Happily, it didn't disappoint. Not even my youngest daughter falling asleep halfway through Union Jack and lying on my arm for half an hour could dim my joy at the all-Balanchine program, especially since each work was better than the previous one.

Valse-Fantasie was ok as an opening work. The dancers were great and if I hadn't read that it was Roman Mejia's debut, I would never have known that. He looked as secure as if he had danced it a dozen times already.

I loved Kammermusik No. 2 much more. The  inventiveness of the male corps (although why do they get a front-curtain bow when the demis in Valse-Fantasie do not??), the mirror-yet-not-mirror images of the soloists. This is the modernist ballet I've been craving for a long time. I loved the severity of Abi Stafford. Reichlen was almost too leggy and graceful for the part (I know, just shoot me...).

And Union Jack (at least, the first two parts) was divine. I am one of those that find the first part very profound. The Busby Berkeley-esque soldiers dancing on into infinity can be interpreted in more than one way, and each member of the audience can consider what it means to be a patriot and to serve one's country. My only complaint is that the headgear made it very hard to identify dancers.

The Costermonger part was lovely - I'd never seen Lauren Lovette before and both she and Daniel Ulbricht are fantastic actors.  It was funny and moving, just like the best comedies. Interesting that the 'theatrical' section is danced on a bare stage and the other sections have proper backdrops.

I didn't get the last part. Most of it was too Gene Kelly and On The Town, and not Royal Navy enough.

And finally - the first thing my middle daughter said during intermission, after the first two ballets, was "why are all the dancers white?" After 3 days of running around Manhattan, and seeing people of every possible skin colour, the lack of diversity was striking. Union Jack was more balanced but right now the make-up of this company does not reflect the city it represents so well.

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