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

Swan Lake 02/20


Recommended Posts

I don't know how long before I re visit ABT's Swan Lake. The current array of female Principals don't attract me enough to jump on a plane as I have been doing for many years now.

But there's NYCB, a company I see here and there. Last time I traveled to see them was for their Coppelia, and was very pleased. So I have decided to try their SL, and see the great City ballerinas on it.  I have tickets for all performances from 02/14 to 02/20, including the weekend double take. I want to see my favorite NYCB ballerina, Ashley Bouder's Odile!♥️

What am I to expect, production wise....? 

 

Link to post
28 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

What am I to expect, production wise....? 

The biggest downside of this production for me is that the set and costumes are very ugly, garish even. It has an Act I jester unlike many American productions. You can expect the music to be played very fast throughout. I find there's much more emphasis on the dancing (fast) rather than drama or characterization. Martins adds his own take on the ending of the ballet, but otherwise the choreography is pretty traditional if I remember correctly. There's still quite a bit to enjoy in the ballet, if you can get over the scenery and costumes. 

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

The biggest downside of this production for me is that the set and costumes are very ugly, garish even. It has an Act I jester unlike many American productions. You can expect the music to be played very fast throughout. I find there's much more emphasis on the dancing (fast) rather than drama or characterization. Martins adds his own take on the ending of the ballet, but otherwise the choreography is pretty traditional if I remember correctly. There's still quite a bit to enjoy in the ballet, if you can get over the scenery and costumes. 

1 hour ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

I don't know how long before I re visit ABT's Swan Lake. The current array of female Principals don't attract me enough to jump on a plane as I have been doing for many years now.

But there's NYCB, a company I see here and there. Last time I traveled to see them was for their Coppelia, and was very pleased. So I have decided to try their SL, and see the great City ballerinas on it.  I have tickets for all performances from 02/14 to 02/20, including the weekend double take. I want to see my favorite NYCB ballerina, Ashley Bouder's Odile!♥️

What am I to expect, production wise....? 

 

I totally agree with this, especially with respect to the sets and many of the costumes, which are unbelievably hideous--the signature of Per Kirkbey, who designed both, is to have abstract drips on both. I saw it when it premiered in 1999 (I was at the performance that was broadcast on PBS with Damian Woetzel and Miranda Weese), and I've never been tempted to see it again, although I might see it at SPAC this summer. I know that some people like seeing different dancers in the role, but I'd just rather see the dancers in something else entirely, including the Balanchine Swan Lake. The swan costumes are not so bad, but the others are hideous--one of my friends likened the dancers to a bunch of M&Ms jumping around, particularly in what would be Acts 1 and 3 in a more traditional production. 

You can get a glimpse here, including of Ashley (also a favorite of mine), although I haven't seen her in this role:

14 minutes ago, Leah said:

The set and costumes look like they were made by PTA volunteers for a school play. I do like Martins’ choreography. One thing that really bugged me last time was the fact that the costumes for the Russian dance were Arabian, and had nothing to do with Russia even though it was still billed as the Russian dance.

The Russian costumes were supposed to be in homage to the orientalism of Bakst, who was Russian.

Also, I believe there's only one intermission--Acts 1 and 2 are together and then 3 and 4.

Link to post

I agree with everyone who said that the sets are terribly unattractive.  The color schemes for the costumes are awful - orange, cobalt blue and green.

 

Link to post

The production also flattens the class distinctions of Act I (no contrast between peasants and nobles) and has an ending in which Siegfried survives having to live with his experience....Martins has a jester, but I find it rather different from the Soviet ones--his jester is the only one to add a dimension of meaning to the ballet and not just jumps. He also never insisted his Odile's dance the fouettes--some did, some didn't--I would guess that's the same today.

I only find Kirkeby's designs hard to digest in Act I but it's an abstract design for the lake scenes and a very austere one in the ballroom scene. As I remember, too, some Balanchine choreography is kept in the lake scene--it's not "back to Ivanov."

Back when I saw the production (over several seasons, but all some years ago) the company un-apologetically danced like NYCB, not like an American company trying to recreate a nineteenth-century classic or, for that matter, trying to recreate the rarefied style of the greatest European ballet companies. I think Kirkeby's designs should be viewed in that spirit and, though things may have changed. I suspect that's what you should prepare yourself for in the dancing too.

Link to post

Considering that this Swan Lake featurette was shot some time ago,  I wonder if Sara Mearns and especially Ashley Bouder would be so comp!imentary to Peter Martins' production today?  I have never seen it,  but it looks pretty good in the video,  even though the costumes are problematic.  Years ago,  I was told that American costume designers consider green a bad luck color on stage.  Evidently Per Kirkeby doesn't share that superstition.

(I'm a fan of the brilliant young actress Florence Pugh,  who is so good in Greta Gerwig's Little Women.  To me,  Pugh and Sara Mearns look amazingly alike.  Maybe it's just me.)

 

 

 

Link to post

Agreeing with everyone here. I find this production to be grim and unattractive. I do like the swan’s tutus, and I love the dancing, but overall it’s a very dark and flat production. I have the same feelings about Martins’ Romeo and Juliet, Per Kirkeby having designed those sets and costumes, too. That said, I did find some good things to like about it, as I’m sure you will, too, especially O/O. I haven’t seen it in about five years and I will most likely take in two performances at SPAC this summer, especially if there are two casts, but it’s doubtful there will be two casts. 

Edited by KarenAG
Spelling
Link to post

Yes, the production is an eyesore: garish and airless all at once. Worse, Martins stripped out so much narrative apparatus, there's hardly a story there at all. 

I do like Kirkeby's lake scene backdrop: it's the only thing from this production I'd save, but I'd use it for a different ballet—perhaps one of the leotard ballets that never got anything more elaborate than the default blue cyclorama.

Link to post

Saw this version twice - first time many moons ago with I think Sterling Hyltin and then was lucky enough to be at Tiler Peck’s debut performance.  The dancing itself I have always found to be top notch, but the production itself is lacking.  The sets and costumes are bad (ESPECIALLY the costumes).  There is something about it that leaves me not as emotionally vested as other productions.  Can’t quite put my finger on why.  The ending is def unique in its own way - I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either.  
 

P.S.  Tiler was fabulous, of course. So many well deserved curtain calls! 

Link to post

I’ve never understood the hostility toward the sets and costumes. There are more than enough traditional Swan Lakes around the world with the Baroque or Medieval type sets. This is NYCB, not the Royal or the Bolshoi. The contemporary abstract art fits in my opinion.

Link to post
12 minutes ago, Fleurfairy said:

I’ve never understood the hostility toward the sets and costumes. There are more than enough traditional Swan Lakes around the world with the Baroque or Medieval type sets. This is NYCB, not the Royal or the Bolshoi. The contemporary abstract art fits in my opinion.

I actually like the abstract part of the production (i.e., the lakeside backdrops). And I like the swan costumes as well, except for the very traditional feather earmuffs. The rest of the production doesn't strike me as "contemporary" so much as garish and airless. 

Link to post

Well, I'm hostile towards the SL sets and costumes. I'm not sure I can explain it, except to say that the solid color costumes remind me of a football game; in R&J it's Team Capulet and Team Montague... watch the action before half time! The swan costumes, while better, are like a bedsheet pattern.  Alistair McCauley's review has a similar take, more kindly expressed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/15/arts/dance/peter-martinss-swan-lake-at-new-york-city-ballet-review.html?searchResultPosition=2

Mostly though, I hate Martins' choreography. If the choreography was more nuanced, or told the story with more depth and clarity I don't think the costumes would bother me as much. Sorry to be so negative. Many people like the production, it sells quite well, and the dancers themselves are fabulous.

On 1/28/2020 at 8:25 PM, Fleurfairy said:

I’ve never understood the hostility toward the sets and costumes. There are more than enough traditional Swan Lakes around the world with the Baroque or Medieval type sets. This is NYCB, not the Royal or the Bolshoi. The contemporary abstract art fits in my opinion.

I love 4T, Agon and other modern leotard ballets. I don't see why that enters into it. In fact, I'd be happy with SL done in black and white leotards...  but the Jester's orange bathing cap has got to go.

Edited by BalanchineFan
Link to post

Casting for the first week of New York City Ballet's Swan Lake is posted for all (major) roles in the area where you purchase tickets on their website.  The principal roles are also listed on the casting download.

I did not see any "Pas De Quatre" listing, only the "Pas De Trois" as well as many other lead roles.   I am thrilled to be attending on Friday, February 21st with my husband as part of our

20th anniversary outings.  Lauren Lovette and Harrison Ball will be the leads.  Someone tell me this will be wonderful with them!  I have seen all the other Principal ballerinas in two Balanchine

programs in fall of 2018 and love them all.  Oh!  We have the choice of seeing Megan Fairchild on Thursday, February 20th instead, but I chose to see the Friday evening with Lauren Lovette.  We are 4th row, almost center.

Edited by Mousie29
Link to post
9 minutes ago, Mousie29 said:

Casting for the first week of New York City Ballet's Swan Lake is posted for all (major) roles in the area where you purchase tickets on their website.  The principal roles are also listed on the casting download.

I did not see any "Pas De Quatre" listing, only the "Pas De Trois" as well as many other lead roles.   I am thrilled to be attending on Friday, February 21st with my husband as part of our

20th anniversary outings.  Lauren Lovette and Harrison Ball will be the leads.  Someone tell me this will be wonderful with them!  I have seen all the other Principal ballerinas in two Balanchine

programs in fall of 2018 and love them all.  Oh!  We have the choice of seeing Megan Fairchild on Thursday, February 20th instead, but I chose to see the Friday evening with Lauren Lovette.  We are 4th row, almost center.

Great choice.  I would love to see Lovette's interpretation.

Link to post
On 2/3/2020 at 11:18 PM, fondoffouettes said:

How do people feel about Bouder's O/O? I've never seen her in the role and due a ticket-ordering snafu, I have a ticket to see her rather than Reichlen, who I'd intended to see. 

I have seen her, but not terribly recently. I remember feeling as if she were miscast. White swan's vulnerability and delicacy are a stretch for her; she's a much more natural black swan. There's a lot of emoting with eyebrows, that sort of thing. But from her instagram she's working on some insane black swan tricks, AND her partner is Jovani Furlan who has been very impressive so far. I think this response answers your question not at all! 

Link to post
On 2/3/2020 at 11:18 PM, fondoffouettes said:

How do people feel about Bouder's O/O? I've never seen her in the role and due a ticket-ordering snafu, I have a ticket to see her rather than Reichlen, who I'd intended to see. 

Have you seen Reichlen in Swan Lake before? I think the O/O role gets in her head. She appeared very nervous as Odile when I saw her in (I think it was) 2018, and I spent the entirety of that part of the ballet tense and worried for her. If I had to choose Bouder or Reichlen for Swan Lake, I would choose Bouder. (And this is coming from someone who loves Reichlen and is lukewarm on Bouder generally.)

Link to post

For those members of this board who were fans of Athan Sporek in Nutcracker (as both Fritz and the prince) he will be performing the Jester Trio in SL on Feb 14,  15 (eve) 16 (mat) 18, 20 and 22 (Eve). :) 

I have had the great pleasure of working with him in other projects and his mom shared these dates on her public Facebook. 

Link to post
1 hour ago, ABT Fan said:

An article in the Times about Peck's injury and her return to Swan Lake:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/13/arts/dance/tiler-peck.html

Just read the piece - very insightful and she’s lucky to have a cheerleader like marika to guide her.  Also I think this is the first time she’s directly mentioned the divorce from Robbie Fairchild? I’m sure that was so stressful for her and many times emotional stress leads to physical stress.

Link to post
4 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

An article in the Times about Peck's injury and her return to Swan Lake:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/13/arts/dance/tiler-peck.html

Sooner or later, she is going to have to have surgery on her neck.  My husband woke up one morning with the same kind of searing pain.  The rest of the weekend, he didn't really remember what happened because all the ER doctors could do was to give him muscle relaxers/paid meds that didn't really help.  21 years later, he has just had his second surgery.  The first surgery was the same year that his disc blew.  It helped the pain for about 10 years, and then he had to start getting cortisone injections four times a year.  His left arm began to atrophy and his bicep an inch and a half circumference.  After both surgeries, he has not lost ANY mobility in his neck or shoulders.

My point to all of this, is that her neck is only going to continue to get worse with time.  It is not going to heal on it's own.  I would hate for her arms/shoulder to start to atrophy, and the pain become constant and unbearable.  Surgery can be a scary thing, but it's so less invasive than it use to be, and with faster healing times.  I hope she will change her mind and wish her all the best.  She is a wonderful dancer.

Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...