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Leah

Winter 2020

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FPF said:

Am I remembering this incorrectly--I thought there was a passageway underneath the theater that you could use to get to the subway without really going outside? Or is there a faster route?

Yes, there is an underground passageway that goes to the subway.  I think it's closer to the MET, but in any case someone can direct you.  That would speed it up a bit for you.

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28 minutes ago, Marta said:

FPF said:

Am I remembering this incorrectly--I thought there was a passageway underneath the theater that you could use to get to the subway without really going outside? Or is there a faster route?

Yes, there is an underground passageway that goes to the subway.  I think it's closer to the MET, but in any case someone can direct you.  That would speed it up a bit for you.

When you leave the theater, turn right towards Broadway and there's an archway which leads to a down escalator. Take the escalator and turn left at the bottom, walk the length of the Porte cochere and down the ramp to the 1 train. Upper level is downtown. 

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On 1/15/2020 at 4:05 PM, griffie said:

I'm mourning the lack of casting this spring season for one of my favorite principal dancers over at ABT and the only thing I can rationalize is there there must be behind-the-scenes issues that I am not privy to. The dancer's performances are wonderful in both technique and artistry, and yet... 😞

 

Many, many of us are with you on this one, griffie. 

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In a desperate attempt to sell tickets to La Traviata, the Met Opera is trying to leverage the fame of Sara Mearns.  Use the Code MEARNS20 to get a 20 percent discount to Traviata for performances through March 13.  Must purchase by Feb. 7.  Offer applies only to certain sections of the house.

Fair Warning:  This is a ten minute role as part of an ensemble of dancers, and it is not a ballet role.  She gets tossed around between various men, and she does some high kicks.  That's about it

 

 

 

Edited by abatt

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11 hours ago, Marta said:

FPF said:

Am I remembering this incorrectly--I thought there was a passageway underneath the theater that you could use to get to the subway without really going outside? Or is there a faster route?

Yes, there is an underground passageway that goes to the subway.  I think it's closer to the MET, but in any case someone can direct you.  That would speed it up a bit for you.

 

39 minutes ago, abatt said:

In a desperate attempt to sell tickets to La Traviata, the Met Opera is trying to leverage the fame of Sara Mearns.  Use the Code MEARNS20 to get a 20 percent discount to Traviata for performances through March 13.  Must purchase by Feb. 7.  Offer applies only to certain sections of the house.

Fair Warning:  This is a ten minute role as part of an ensemble of dancers, and it is not a ballet role.  She gets tossed around between various men, and she does some high kicks.  That's about it

 

 

 

Thanks to both of you. I was less concerned about maybe needing to leave early after seeing on the cast list yesterday that the new Ratmansky is no longer at the end of the program and I've seen Opus 19/the Dreamer, which is now last, several times before. I've really liked everything Ratmansky has choreographed for NYCB (Russian Seasons, Concerto DSCH, Namouna, Odessa). But then I saw/heard the video here: https://www.nycballet.com/Ballets/V/Voices-New-Ratmansky.aspx 

 

 

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Thoughts on last night's performance.  We started with a brief speech from Lovette and Veyette in honor of Balanchine's birthday.  It was mercifully short.  The days of Vodka toasts on Mr. B's birthday at NYCB are over.

This was my first time seeing Tiler Peck back on stage since injury forced her to miss the spring and fall 2019 seasons. She and Tyler performed in Allegro Brilliante. Her  Footwork and spins remain stellar.  However, I thought the stiffness in her back was obvious.   Having seen Tiler dance this role many times over the years, last night's performance was comparatively careful.

Megan  Fairchild was exquisite in La Source.  What crystalline, clean footwork.  It was a joyous performance. I also loved Emma Von Enck in the soloist role.  She dances with lightness and abandon.  Garcia was a good partner, but he no longer is the virtuoso dancer he once was.

Bouder was thrilling in Firebird.  Great speed and elevation in her jumps, and lovely in the adagio moments.  Other than dropping the magic feather when Bouder handed it to him, Veyette did well in  his new role.  He is clearly leaving behind the roles that require great athletic ability, and transitioning into other types of roles. 

Added:  Tyler Angle remains a great partner, but he needs to leave this allegro role behind.  He no longer has the technique for this role.

 

Edited by abatt

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On 1/15/2020 at 4:05 PM, griffie said:

 I'm mourning the lack of casting this spring season for one of my favorite principal dancers over at ABT and the only thing I can rationalize is there there must be behind-the-scenes issues that I am not privy to. The dancer's performances are wonderful in both technique and artistry, and yet... 😞

 

Not to get into a whole other discussion, but is this unnamed dancer Lane? If so, I too am in deep mouning and honestly finding it very hard to summon usual excitement for the 2020 met season. 

2 hours ago, Fleurfairy said:

Many, many of us are with you on this one, griffie. 

Lane? If so, I am with you! 

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Yes, I was referring to Sarah Lane; an example of where whatever is keeping the dancer from being cast more just can't be from performance quality - which in Lane's case has been extraordinary, and building year on year. I am aware that ADs will have dancers whom they favor for reasons than other than what we viewers see onstage, and disfavor for other reasons. That can be frustrating because I only have one concern. I really don't care what these dancers are like personally (short of truly unethical behavior) - if they bring the magic across the footlights, I will put my money down for a ticket. (I will see many of you at Lane's lone Giselle, the Lane/Simkin/Hurlin matinee, can't wait!)

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22 hours ago, cobweb said:

And for two years now they have overlooked the single most promising member of the corps - Roman Mejia. He is, IMHO, the most obvious future principal, and is already doing principal roles. All making me wonder if the idea behind the award has changed. 

NYCB leadership seems to have slowed down in fast-tracking younger talent in recent years. It's always been my impression that they want to prevent moving someone up too quickly both for both personal reasons as well as from a company investment perspective.

Several senior company members have spoken in interviews on the difficulties adjusting to being promoted to principal quickly. Megan Fairchild has said that she hadn't developed confidence in herself as a dancer, understood the culture of the company, or gained the skills to navigate the pressure that goes along with being the "star" of the company. (And how to respond to competition with other more-established company members.) Others have mirrored similar concerns. There is also that factor from the company side of being wary of investing too heavily in a promising talent which could fizzle out unexpectedly. Chase Findley would be a good example... (his obvious personal issues aside) we had many a discussion about his degrading physical stamina and lack-of personality in his performances for years before his firing. If you're going to invest in a dancer, you better have some good assurances that they'll continue to improve, not decline prematurely.

It's a short career, but I don't see it as a bad thing for these folks to have to make a sustained effort to earn those coveted principal spots. Even if they have the talent to dance the roles today.

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That’s a valid point, but there’s the issue that dancers like Indiana Woodward are dancing principal workloads without the pay and recognition that should come with it. 

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I think the new management is a little too generous in allowing some principals to continue despite their evident decline and physical limitations due to age and injury.  Apart from decline, there is the issue of having too many side projects.  Abi Stafford is going to law school.  Good for her, but why is she still on  the company roster.  For that matter, why is Justin Peck still listed as a soloist.  He is busy doing all kinds of other jobs, and has not danced  in a long time. 

Edited by abatt

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Peck’s been off the roster since the fall. Stafford certainly does not dance much, and not since the fall season.

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21 minutes ago, DC Export said:

NYCB leadership seems to have slowed down in fast-tracking younger talent in recent years. It's always been my impression that they want to prevent moving someone up too quickly both for both personal reasons as well as from a company investment perspective.

Several senior company members have spoken in interviews on the difficulties adjusting to being promoted to principal quickly. Megan Fairchild has said that she hadn't developed confidence in herself as a dancer, understood the culture of the company, or gained the skills to navigate the pressure that goes along with being the "star" of the company. (And how to respond to competition with other more-established company members.) Others have mirrored similar concerns. There is also that factor from the company side of being wary of investing too heavily in a promising talent which could fizzle out unexpectedly. Chase Findley would be a good example... (his obvious personal issues aside) we had many a discussion about his degrading physical stamina and lack-of personality in his performances for years before his firing. If you're going to invest in a dancer, you better have some good assurances that they'll continue to improve, not decline prematurely.

It's a short career, but I don't see it as a bad thing for these folks to have to make a sustained effort to earn those coveted principal spots. Even if they have the talent to dance the roles today.

I agree with this -- in yesterday's article about Joe Gordon it said he's the youngest principal at 27.

There's been a lot of discussion of people being "held back" but I think we will see some movement coming up, maybe not in spring 2020 but fall 2020 or spring 2021. Look at the male principals:  Ask LaCour is retiring in October; Gonzalo is 40 and has retired Dances at a Gathering, according to his instagram and others; Amar is on Broadway, perhaps never to return; Andy Veyette is not in the prime of his career; Jared Angle is not cast right now -- no Nuts, nothing in the first three weeks. That leaves Russell, Taylor, Tyler, Adrian, Anthony, Joe Gordon and Danny Ulbricht. The rep is a lot of work for those dancers to carry. 

As for the women, I've been sensing that Maria is coming towards the end of her career--at the end of the year she had an instagram story in which she listed all the roles she's retired, which included Symphony in C Second Movement. Abi Stafford is on leave, according to a comment she made on another blog. That leaves, what, 6 principal women, all 30 or older? 

 

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34 minutes ago, DC Export said:

NYCB leadership seems to have slowed down in fast-tracking younger talent in recent years.

Slowed to a snail's pace for dancers like Kikta and LaFreniere (and others), but still rocketing ahead for Nadon. I very much admire her dancing and I hope it's not too fast.

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7 minutes ago, mille-feuille said:

Slowed to a snail's pace for dancers like Kikta and LaFreniere (and others), but still rocketing ahead for Nadon. I very much admire her dancing and I hope it's not too fast.

Nadon has unique and beautiful qualities, but I fear it's too fast for her. When I saw her do the Tall Girl in Rubies, I felt she is lacking in control of her limbs, and short in command and authority as well. Mejia, on the other hand, appears ready to handle the increased demands, dancing and otherwise, of being a soloist. I'm just judging from what I see on the stage, of course, but he seems utterly poised and comfortable with himself. 

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8 hours ago, abatt said:

Thoughts on last night's performance.  We started with a brief speech from Lovette and Veyette in honor of Balanchine's birthday.  It was mercifully short.  The days of Vodka toasts on Mr. B's birthday at NYCB are over.

I’m glad to hear it was mercifully short, but opening two performances in a row with speeches rather than dance is not a good trend. Please - let’s stamp this out now!

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47 minutes ago, cobweb said:

I’m glad to hear it was mercifully short, but opening two performances in a row with speeches rather than dance is not a good trend. Please - let’s stamp this out now!

I mean...it’s Balanchine’s birthday! I can’t begrudge the man a speech before a performance by his own company.

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4 minutes ago, nanushka said:

I mean...it’s Balanchine’s birthday! I can’t begrudge the man a speech before a performance by his own company.

If Balanchine himself shows up to give a speech or share a few memories, I promise you won't hear a peep of complaint (or any peep at all, really) from me. Otherwise, how about celebrating his birthday by handing out shots of vodka at intermission?

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I'm with cobweb - offer a shot.

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I  attended last night, and guess there was no vodka sponsor, alas!  (I do remember being there for the 100th and having Peter M. lead everyone in the taking of shots! I liked Lauren and Andy's (alumnus of my daughters' ballet school in LA under Yvonne Mounsey and I still remember when he would pretty much look at this feet while he danced, OR crack up with his two dancing brothers) brief remarks. I pretty much agreed with the NY Times review.  The evening belonged to Megan Fairchild in "La Source."  She was thoroughly enchanting in the vein of Violette Verdy.  Gonzalo Garcia was serviceable as her partner and I think he was giving it everything he had, but I would loved to have seen the debut of Joseph Gordon with his incredible ballon instead.  (This was my one night here from Texas so I will take what I can get) I thought Tiler P. was lovely and expansive in "Allegro" and also want to single out Lauren King as "corps" for this ballet which must be devilishly hard.  This was my first "Firebird" ever and I loved the spectacle of it all, and enjoyed Emilie Gerrity as the princess bride.  Other than that, for me, it passed by in a flash and I felt it was over before it began.

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11 hours ago, Lena C. said:

Not to get into a whole other discussion, but is this unnamed dancer Lane? If so, I too am in deep mouning and honestly finding it very hard to summon usual excitement for the 2020 met season. 

Lane? If so, I am with you! 

Agree wholeheartedly.  I thought you must be referring to Lane, and so was Griffie in a later post.  The AD apparently doesn't like her dancing, or her, and gives her as few ballets as possible.  He did the same with the great Veronika Part.  Other less stellar dancers get 2 Giselles or 2 SLs, Lane gets one or none.  The Lane-Simkin Giselle a couple of years ago was fantastically good.  The Lane-Cornejo Sleeping Beauty last year was phenomenal.  The AD doesn't care.

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I was there on Tuesday night and was mostly underwhelmed. I would want to see Danses Concertantes a few more times, with some different casting, to really decide what I think of it, but on first view I found it overly cute. It was great to see Harrison Ball back onstage, but the partnering was awkward and Pereira was, to use a phrase from up-thread, competent but bland. Stravinsky Violin Concerto was good enough, and what a masterpiece it is, but it lacked sharpness and didn't crackle with tension like it should. The highlight was Monumentum/Movements for Piano and Orchestra, with Teresa Reichlen looking incredibly fine. 

On to Saturday night. The video up-thread of the Allegro Brillante rehearsal makes me so eager to see Anthony Huxley I can hardly bear it! And I look forward to seeing La Source, new to me, I'm only sorry that I'm not getting the cast with Emma von Enck, after hearing reports of her performance a few nights ago. Maybe I can squeeze in another show to see her. 

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I was at last night's show. I thought Movements for Piano and Orchestra with Reichlen/La Cour, and Stravinsky Violin Concerto with Lovette/Gordon/Stanley/Kretzchmar, were mesmerizing. Two examples of Balanchine modernism at its finest; both of these pieces on their own were worth the ticket. The Stravinsky Violin Concerto cast was stellar, and I thought Kretzchmar did very well considering she has such big shoes to fill in the role often danced by Korowski and Mearns. I actually prefer Lovette's sharper and more punctuated interpretation of the short-ballerina role to Hyltin's. In recent NYT pieces she and Gordon have talked about their great rapport, and it really shows. They were on fire. 

I found Monumentum Pro Gesualdo to be pleasant but forgettable, although Reichlen looked gorgeous. Danses Concertantes is definitely lesser Balanchine. It's a great showcase for corps dancers (Mira Nadon, Alston MacGill, and Jonathan Fahoury stood out the most to me), and I guess Ball and Pereira did what they could with it, but it's not a great piece. 

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I also attended the Thursday night Stravinsky & Balanchine program.  "Danses Concertantes" is indeed a minor curiosity in the Balanchine oeuvre.  The slightness of the ballet combined with the grandeur of the slightly kitsch Eugene Berman sets and costumes are a mismatch.  As for Pereira, I agree with the comments above - she dances small, she projects small, she is very sweet but low impact.  It was very evident when the various color coordinated soloists made their initial entrance before the front drop that when Erica came on, we saw a corps ballerina not a prima ballerina.  A flagship soloist but not principal material - and management is giving her shot after shot.  Pereira is not a kid any more despite looking like one - she has had over a decade and many opportunities to "pop" on that stage.  She doesn't pop and she never will.  Give those roles to Indiana Woodward, Mr. Stafford.  Harrison Ball was a fine (and handsome) partner.  The other problem is that the principal pas de deux is less interesting than the other trios for the demi-soloists.  The trio in red were really fascinating,  There are no solos that make an impression - I don't think the prima ballerina has one?

In "Monumentum/Movements for Piano and Orchestra", Teresa Reichlen looked sleek, in shape, in control like a prima ballerina.  I read here that Suzanne Farrell coached this and it showed in Tess' subtle detail and musical phrasing in her execution of the choreography.  Also, Ask La Cour was incredibly focused, sharp and precise as her partner - it is not a showy part but a crucial one and he was incredibly present and musical.  I am starting to get Ask these days just as he is about to retire.  I love his work as "Phlegmatic" in "The Four Temperaments" and he is a delightful Dr. Stahlbaum in the Nut (luckily preserved on video).  

I was not as crazy about Lauren Lovette in "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" - I felt she also danced small without attack.  Her limbs seemed small and didn't fill out the music.  Claire Kretzchmar had the attack and a good deal of the style and is promising - she needs to gain authority.  The men, Taylor Stanley and Joseph Gordon were terrific as usual.  I think this one might need some extra coaching.

Edited by FauxPas
clarity, typos

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