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Nutcracker 2019


Leah

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43 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Are Nutcracker ticket sales very casting-dependent?

I believe there is impact.  Obviously with the new Marie this year, NYCB will see a sales jump, especially for her shows.  I believe its why they added the Children's Casting to the website for the first time.  I also believe New Yorkers are very loyal to the arts and there are many ballet lovers - dancers like Mearns, Bouder, Peck ... they all draw a following.  I would not say casting is a deal-breaker.  But it's definitely an incentive for some ticket buyers :) That's why NYCB posts casting in advance - lassoing in the fans who know who is who.  Martins was, if nothing else, very business savvy.

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I honestly can't understand the casting of Megan LeCrone as SPF. This has been since Peter was AD. For whatever reason she was a Martins favorite and is a Stafford/Whelan favorite. I do not get it.

Edited by canbelto
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14 minutes ago, JanLevNYC said:

I believe there is impact.  Obviously with the new Marie this year, NYCB will see a sales jump, especially for her shows.  I believe its why they added the Children's Casting to the website for the first time.  I also believe New Yorkers are very loyal to the arts and there are many ballet lovers - dancers like Mearns, Bouder, Peck ... they all draw a following.  I would not say casting is a deal-breaker.  But it's definitely an incentive for some ticket buyers :) That's why NYCB posts casting in advance - lassoing in the fans who know who is who.  Martins was, if nothing else, very business savvy.

Makes sense. Thanks for the details; I skip Nutcracker, so I'm not generally aware of how nearly sold out the run gets.

2 hours ago, JanLevNYC said:

I am sad to say I think NYCB is following suit in 'what sells' - showy.  Poor Mr. B would not be happy.  

Out of curiosity, did Balanchine tend to give a lot of new casting opportunities for Nutcracker, rather than sticking with the most common leads?

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23 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Out of curiosity, did Balanchine tend to give a lot of new casting opportunities for Nutcracker, rather than sticking with the most common leads?

According to my friend who has been at NYCB forever -- no, generally not. Unless someone caught his eye. See Gelsey Kirkland who was dancing Dewdrop when she was a teen. But first cast was usually a veteran couple. He did allow all his principals to guest a lot during Nutcracker season so there were opportunities. 

But back then NYCB was in some ways more rigid. Certain dancers "owned" roles. For instance if Jewels was cast Suzanne was Diamonds, Patty was Rubies, Violette was Emeralds.

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3 hours ago, canbelto said:

I honestly can't understand the casting of Megan LeCrone as SPF. This has been since Peter was AD. For whatever reason she was a Martins favorite and is a Stafford/Whelan favorite. I do not get it.

I agree.  She has a hard time completing a turn by the end of a variation.  Like she runs out of gas or gives up.  Martin’s liked the opposite of the “Balanchine body”, as well - which is LeCrone.

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3 hours ago, canbelto said:

According to my friend who has been at NYCB forever -- no, generally not. Unless someone caught his eye. See Gelsey Kirkland who was dancing Dewdrop when she was a teen. But first cast was usually a veteran couple. He did allow all his principals to guest a lot during Nutcracker season so there were opportunities. 

But back then NYCB was in some ways more rigid. Certain dancers "owned" roles. For instance if Jewels was cast Suzanne was Diamonds, Patty was Rubies, Violette was Emeralds.

Correct.  It was Martin’s that was pushed dancers forward fast, promoting in just a few years like a marketing push. Balanchine had a few too but dancers owned roles.

Most companies - it takes years to get a lead.  City ballet has a different rep and needs the dancers to fill in at times.  But I disagree with skipping over the mid-level corps de ballet and taking a 2-year corps dancer and giving them soloist/principal roles.  I fear Stafford is going to drive Nadon like that and she is definitely not ready.  I don’t see the technique - she has potential but they ALL do.  And I think those mid-level corps deserve the opportunity to be coached to fulfill their potential.  They certainly paid their due by waiting while the principal owned the role.

Edited by JanLevNYC
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14 hours ago, canbelto said:

I honestly can't understand the casting of Megan LeCrone as SPF. This has been since Peter was AD. For whatever reason she was a Martins favorite and is a Stafford/Whelan favorite. I do not get it.

I saw her as Dewdrop last year and her dour facial expression took all the joy out of the Waltz. I know there's little she can do about her facial features, but I think over-smiling would do wonders for her.

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2 minutes ago, Fleurfairy said:

I saw her as Dewdrop last year and her dour facial expression took all the joy out of the Waltz. I know there's little she can do about her facial features, but I think over-smiling would do wonders for her.

The thing is, she's inconsistent. In some performances her expression is fine, in others it's really a problem, I think. So that suggests to me that there is an opportunity there for better control. A professional stage performer should be more on top of that; it would take training and practice. I know in some ways it's more cosmetic than integral, but it does have an impact (as does every visual element) on a performance. 

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Just got back from this year’s Nutcracker.

Korowski was really great, very secure and serene. The terrible slide that gives many ballerinas issues was done without a hitch. Someone here had asked about her in this role, and I too was a little apprehensive as she had posted on Instagram that she had retired multiple roles in the fall season. But I was pleased to see she had no problems. She continually amazes me with her level of technique at her relatively advanced age, and I’m very much hoping to see her in Stravinsky Violin next month, she just astounded me last year in that.

To me the standout of the night was Kikta as Coffee- easily the best version I’ve seen of that part. Why on earth hasn’t she been promoted??

Mimi Staker was lovely as Marzipan. Laine Habony replaced Phelan in Spanish- she was fine but I can’t get past her smile, which just looks like a sneer. I know that’s petty, but there it is.

Lastly Gerrity danced well as Dewdrop, but tonight it seemed every time she turned her smile vanished and her expression became tight and strained. I’ve never noticed her do something like that, she’s usually a very confident, consistent performer.

Overall a good performance, already looking forward to next year. :)

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I’m glad Maria had a good night. The slide has given many ballerinas problems but in my experience the most dangerous move of the pas is the pique turn into arabesque pirouette into penchee lunge, I’ve seen some of the greatest technicians struggle with that move. 

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7 minutes ago, Balletwannabe said:

Bravo to Unity Phelan filling in for Sara Mearns at Eastern Connecticut Ballet's Nutcracker; dancing Snow Queen and Mearn's scheduled Sugar Plum in one show! Does anyone know the nature of Sara Mearn's injury?

She said on Instagram that she has a cyst in her tendon.

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17 hours ago, Leah said:

Laine Habony replaced Phelan in Spanish- she was fine but I can’t get past her smile, which just looks like a sneer. I know that’s petty, but there it is.

 

Oh, that's not petty, but definitely unusual for Laine Habony - I just saw her last Sunday as Demi Flowers and she was glorious - her face was incredibly happy and her smile was beautiful!  Same with every show I've seen her in - Wrens, Everywhere We Go, etc.  Maybe she was being Spanish!  Laine is one of my favorites to watch for great face!  She looked pretty happy doing SFP with Steven Loch on Instagram recently!

pnP3QPobp

Edited by DaniGirl
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Huh, I've noticed this every time she performs - the smile in the photo above doesn't even look like the same dancer. I think that she probably just has an unfortunately upturned mouth or maybe it's a tic, nothing intentional. She is clearly a very capable dancer too, this is just something that irks me.

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Saw today’s matinee (12/14).

I was disappointed when I learned we’d see Erica peirara as sugarplum and sadly she met my expectations. Poor port de bras and she lacked that regal-yet-warm tone I think good sugarplums have. I enjoyed Sebastian as her cavalier, though! Very strong turns in his solos and a great manege. Olivia MacKinnon was a competent Dewdrop but she didn’t quite have that sparkle. 

Highlights for me were Tanner Quirk, an incredibly elegant and courtly prince with a crystal-clear mime (I think this is probably his last year, I’ll miss him), Rachel Hutsall as the lead in hot chocolate (gorgeous, fluid back and great speed), Cainan Weber as the lead candy cane, and Alston macgill as marzipan (great hops on pointe), and Charlotte Nebres, who has a lot of stage presence as Marie and is just about the cutest kid you could imagine. 

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2 hours ago, Leah said:

Huh, I've noticed this every time she performs - the smile in the photo above doesn't even look like the same dancer. I think that she probably just has an unfortunately upturned mouth or maybe it's a tic, nothing intentional. She is clearly a very capable dancer too, this is just something that irks me.

omg i feel like a jerk to drive this but I can find so many photos that represent her happy face!  Maybe we are not at the same shows!  But i do get to the ballet 10+ times a season!  She is gorgeous - face and body.  I hope you get a better chance to see her in the future.  She is literally gorgeous to watch.pmG8CXSYp

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26 minutes ago, DaniGirl said:

omg i feel like a jerk to drive this but I can find so many photos that represent her happy face!  Maybe we are not at the same shows!  But i do get to the ballet 10+ times a season!  She is gorgeous - face and body.  I hope you get a better chance to see her in the future.  She is literally gorgeous to watch.pmG8CXSYp

I think her face is beautiful to look it.  She is wasted in the corps.  She should be doing many featured roles.  And it's a shame.  Maybe she was frustrated last night.  Regardless, I think she is model-quality beautiful.

I just saw ABT in California today and it was a great show - my family loved it - I wish it had been NYCB but we will take ABT in Cali!  Wishing everyone a happy Nutcracker season.

J

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27 minutes ago, sohalia said:

Any reports on the Furlan/Hod performance?

I also would love to hear reports on Hod and Furlan. I was closely watching the available tickets, as it was very close to a sellout and I was hoping that standing room would open. (more affordable) But, about an hour beforehand they take the seating chart offline and say you should call the box office, so I gave it up. But I'd love to hear a report. 

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19 hours ago, cobweb said:

I also would love to hear reports on Hod and Furlan. I was closely watching the available tickets, as it was very close to a sellout and I was hoping that standing room would open. (more affordable) But, about an hour beforehand they take the seating chart offline and say you should call the box office, so I gave it up. But I'd love to hear a report. 

I caught the matinee - I thought they were lovely - Hod has been working hard to come back and should be applauded.  It was a great show - all the dancers seemed to be full of happy-energy at the end of a long week.  

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On 12/14/2019 at 5:37 PM, DaniGirl said:

omg i feel like a jerk to drive this but I can find so many photos that represent her happy face!  Maybe we are not at the same shows!  But i do get to the ballet 10+ times a season!  She is gorgeous - face and body.  I hope you get a better chance to see her in the future.  She is literally gorgeous to watch.

Photos of Laine Habony doing demi flowers on IG, she is giving great face.  And that is a hard role.

 

pmG8CXSYp

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