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Swan Lake 02/20


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Agree with a lot of what Leah said. Lovette has the makings of a great Odette, with her softness and depth. She has really grown as an artist over the years. She ran into trouble with the fouettes as noted by Leah. Ball looked princely indeed, but I too found his acting unconvincing. I'd say these looked like two promising debuts. 

Spartak Hoxha looked great as Benno, as he did when I saw him as the Jester on Tuesday night. Sebastian Villarini-Velez, on the other hand, switching with Hoxha from Benno (which he did Tuesday) to the Jester, looked a little out of his depth, technique-wise. Kristin Segin was sparkling in the pas de trois, and Sara Adams was lovely as well. 

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 I would rate Lovette's performance tonight as a Gentleman's C.  She does have a beautiful line as Odette, but her arms and hands were very sloppy.  I kept seeing the claw like fingers that I usually see from Boylston across the plaza.  I didn't see any acting from her.  She had this stern concentrating expression on her face most of the time, like she was trying to remember the steps during the lakeside scene. Her dancing in the ballroom act was not ready for prime time, or for the stage of the Koch. It wasn't nerves.  I just don't believe she has the technique to be cast in this role.  IN her first solo section of the ballroom scene, most of her spins were out of control and done poorly.  In the section with the fouettes, she was traveling  a great deal.  She did 18 fouettes, the last two of which she came off pointe.  Then she tried to fill up the rest of the music with some spins around the stage (like Misty does) but she didn't even do enough of those to fill out the rest of the music.   

 

Ball did fine, although he could certainly use some polish. 

 

Edited by abatt
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At the matinee intermission. Tiler is wonderful. There is (no surprise) a new vulnerability to her dancing that has made Odette wonderful to watch, and she seems to be allowing herself more mobility in the back and neck. Her arabesques are lower than before (they were never that high anyway). The speed and precision are as strong as before.

I know I am a little rah-rah when it comes to Joe Gordon but boy are we lucky to get to watch him. He dances with such ease and he (seems to be) an excellent partner — former dancers, correct me if I’m wrong! His first act solo was beautiful.

Aaron Sanz was back as Benno and I forgot what a lovely line he has. I saw Sebastian Villarini-Velez in the dress rehearsal on Feb 14 in this role and I will say that V-V is more of an acrobat. Maybe it’s due to his height but Sanz can be an uncertain turner (and dancing in direct comparison with Daniel Ulbricht is unfair!) There’s a tall blond apprentice man who caught my eye, too. 

I won’t bother to complain about the costumes, etc. except to say that I wish the blue of Sigfried’s costume wasn’t so close to the color of the backdrop. 

I am not going to count fouettes (sorry cubanmiamiboy) because it makes me tense! I am just going to assume she will do whatever she does and it will be incredibly enjoyable no matter what.

Audience notes: some lady next to me was checking her phone during the cygnets. Another gentleman was either looking for his keys or sorting change during the PDD. And right now, under the fat ladies, I am sitting next to a 9 month old baby. I’m guessing she won’t care about the number of fouettes, either!

 

 

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1 hour ago, Leah said:

The little boy was transfixed by the ballet and didn’t want to talk except throughout the ballet the dad kept trying to engage him in conversation. [...]
 

I've sat near children who can't keep quiet or still, but I have also had this happen before -- and it makes me crazy. Once was rather notably the first time I had the opportunity to see what was then still the Kirov. And it was the company's first tour in the States in over a decade. The performance was Swan Lake at Wolf Trap and a young girl sitting in front of me was with two much older women. I'm terrible at assessing children's ages, but I'd guess the girl was anywhere from 9 to 13.  And completely quiet and engaged. But the two older women with her were constantly turning to talk to her and comment and make sure she was following the story etc. etc. At intermission I finally said something (as nicely as I could), but they resumed during the ballroom scene at which point the girl (who may just have been embarrassed) asked them to be quiet.  And then they were.

Edited by Drew
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2 hours ago, Leah said:

Oh god. I sat near the most awful family last night who talked and loudly munched on snacks the entire time. Then therewas another family who had young kids in front us. The little boy was transfixed by the ballet and didn’t want to talk except throughout the ballet the dad kept trying to engage him in conversation. The little girl, meanwhile, kept yelling and talking throughout the whole thing and her mother just ignored her. Someone finally shushed the little girl, as she was yelling during the black swan pas de deux, and one of the eaters I was sitting next to loudly came to the defense of the brat and tried to get into a fight with the audience member. 

And then there were multiple people who came and went as they pleased throughout the dancing. Naturally, the usher in my section happily seated latecomers and engaged them in conversation. During the dancing.
 

I'm so sorry.  I have young children.  I would be mortified if my kids were acting up and would leave immediately if they were causing a distraction.

The worst thing I've done at the Koch is accidentally dropped an empty bottle of soda from the top row and it very loudly toppled down while the person sitting next to be started giggling.  It was during a very quiet moment of the ballet and I was so embarrassed.

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There's no performance that I don't have to shush, give evil eye or both to someone. The most common offense is those damned candy wrappers, and the excruciating amount of time people seem to have to keep twisting them, folding them and doing the inexplicable after the candy is already in the mouth. 

UNWRAP YOUR CANDY AND PLACE IT IN A CLOTH PIECE BEFORE GETTING INTO THE HALL FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!!

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3 hours ago, bellawood said:

And right now, under the fat ladies, I am sitting next to a 9 month old baby. I’m guessing she won’t care about the number of fouettes, either!

 

 

Who, if I may ask, are "the fat ladies?"  They sound like characters from a movie...😁

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I thought Tiler looked great, but also it was clear she’s dancing injured. I hadn’t noticed it as much when I saw her in other post-injury performances, but the caution and limitations were evident. Still she brings her speed, precision, and musicality. 
 

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20 hours ago, bellawood said:

And right now, under the fat ladies, I am sitting next to a 9 month old baby. I’m guessing she won’t care about the number of fouettes, either!

Friday night, up in the 4th ring, I thought I spotted a woman who appeared to be nursing a baby. It was at a distance and I assumed my eyes must be deceiving me. Then, during the performance, I heard the unmistakable sound of a baby wailing as the mother (thankfully) hurried down the stairs and out the exit. 

Back to yesterday's matinee. It was good to see Aaron Sanz back after what seems like a very long injury. He looked good, but maybe lacking in stamina and his technique isn't where it needs to be. 

Is there any official word on the long, long absence of Harrison Coll? I don't think he's danced, except for Herr Drosselmaier, since being promoted to soloist. 

if anyone attends today's matinee, reports please on Lovette and Ball's second performance. 

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17 hours ago, nubka said:

Who, if I may ask, are "the fat ladies?"  They sound like characters from a movie...😁

They are marble recreations of smaller figures by the early 20th century Polish-American sculptor Elie Nadelman.

This is their backstory:

The gigantic Elie Nadelman sculptures, Circus Women and Two Nudes, that dominate the Promenade were carved in Italy from a virgin vein of Carrara marble. They recreate smaller, 4-foot versions made of plaster and paper that were made by Nadelman decades before. The name of the actual Italian sculptor is lost to history. Overhearing construction workmen remarking on the naked "goils," Kirstein arranged to have the immense artworks brought into the Theater just before the fourth and final wall was closed up and before the Lincoln Center leadership could order their removal, which, in fact they did; but the statues could no longer be removed. They were here to stay.

I happen to love them—especially "Circus Women" on the west end of the Promenade—but I gather they're not to everyone's taste. Meeting by the "East Fat Ladies" or the "West Fat Ladies" has been a thing ever since I can remember.

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1 hour ago, cobweb said:

 

Is there any official word on the long, long absence of Harrison Coll? I don't think he's danced, except for Herr Drosselmaier, since being promoted to soloist. 

 

From what it seems on Instagram, he was cast in Spielberg’s west side story as a Jet.  So probably has taken a leave of absence for filming.  

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1 hour ago, Leah said:

But filming has been wrapped for a while, and Brittany Pollack was also cast and she's dancing this season. Coll's continued absence is concerning.

I believe I saw on Indiana Woodward's instagram that he is injured

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1 hour ago, cassieallison said:

I believe I saw on Indiana Woodward's instagram that he is injured

Harrison Coll was at the recent SAB lecture series they do for adults (It was a session about Justin Peck, who was discussing his process) and he said he was injured on the last day of WSS filming but was on the mend. 

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1 minute ago, bellawood said:

Harrison Coll was at the recent SAB lecture series they do for adults (It was a session about Justin Peck, who was discussing his process) and he said he was injured on the last day of WSS filming but was on the mend. 

Thank you so much for the update on Coll.  I've been missing him, and hoping that he's okay.

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11 hours ago, sonatina1234 said:

Any review on Megan’s performance last night?

I saw Fairchild and Garcia on Thursday night and I was reluctant to come here with my impressions, as I am a fan and not a ballet professional, but here goes:

I saw no chemistry between the leads until the last 10-15 minutes of the performance.  Fairchild was on robotic autopilot through the White Act; not once did I see a swan from her, never mind a swan queen.  The Black Act was a slight improvement and then in the final lakeside scene all of a sudden the principals came to life.  If only they had been like that for the whole performance.  In 45 years of ballet-going in NYC this was the most boring, tedious Swan Lake I've ever seen.  Harsh, I know, but that's honestly what I felt.  Technique-wise I felt they were fine, but there was no there there as the saying goes.  I am not a fan of impeccable technique if that is all there is; I want the technique to support the drama and bring the drama to life.

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21 minutes ago, Needlepoints said:

I saw Fairchild and Garcia on Thursday night and I was reluctant to come here with my impressions, as I am a fan and not a ballet professional, but here goes:

I saw no chemistry between the leads until the last 10-15 minutes of the performance.  Fairchild was on robotic autopilot through the White Act; not once did I see a swan from her, never mind a swan queen.  The Black Act was a slight improvement and then in the final lakeside scene all of a sudden the principals came to life.  If only they had been like that for the whole performance.  In 45 years of ballet-going in NYC this was the most boring, tedious Swan Lake I've ever seen.  Harsh, I know, but that's honestly what I felt.  Technique-wise I felt they were fine, but there was no there there as the saying goes.  I am not a fan of impeccable technique if that is all there is; I want the technique to support the drama and bring the drama to life.

I felt exactly the same when I saw them last night.  They connected at the very end.  The audience's reaction mirrored my own in that the applause was not as enthusiastic as other performances.   I saw ABT Swan Lake last season and Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake two weeks ago at City Center and I was more emotionally connected to both of those.  Bourne's Swan Lake received long stand ovations and there was a person behind me who sobbed during the end.  The difference in emotional connectivity is stark.  NYCB choreo is my least favorite.  I do enjoy the Jester choreography, in isolation to the story, but the Jester added nothing to the story itself.  One expects the Jester to be the foil or the conscience to the King/Queen but I don't see a connection here.  

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Very unfortunate reports about Fairchild and Garcia, especially as they have often had great chemistry, like in Rubies. Did you see the matinee with Lovette and Ball today, abatt? I take it there was no improvement. 

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I did not see the Lovette Ball matinee. 

Just wanted to add that Fairchild is more than competent in executing the choreography.  Although I find her upper body too stiff, she has strong enough technique to justify casting her in the role. 

From what I saw of Lovette's performance on Friday, she does not appear to have the technique required for the role. 

 

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1 hour ago, Leah said:

I agree that Lovette’s dancing was pretty bad in the ballroom scene, but she appeared to be literally shaking at several points so I really think (hope) it was just nerves. I haven’t seen her Aurora but I heard some good reports of that, and that’s got to be the most technically demanding role there is. I do want to hear reports of her show today, hopefully she improved.

Her Aurora was quite good. Based on her IG posts I get a sense she is very emotionally invested in the current role so it may well have been nerves in large part.

ETA: Odile needs a better turner than Aurora though, no? That may also be part of the difference.

Edited by nanushka
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I think Odile was always going to be a big stretch for Lovette.  She is not a company member who is regularly given killer technical roles.  Those roles go to Bouder, Fairchild and Peck. Under Martins, the very difficult roles also used to go to Indiana Woodward.  I think Lovette is more of a lyrical dancer, but that's not enough for this role.  Aurora was a difficult role, but it does not require a great turner. Lovette just seemed unprepared and under-rehearsed.  This does not speak well for the preparation provided by our current management team.

Edited by abatt
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