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On 2/22/2020 at 3:48 PM, 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.
 

Sounds like a night from hell. I've been there, so many times. One time during a Don Q performance abroad, these three siblings kept fighting over who got to use the iPad next. The only time they paid attention to what was going on onstage was when Amour made her entrance. She was wearing a light blue dress and had a bleached blonde, but not totally white, wig. The girl in the group yelled "mom is that Elsa?" The parents never even made a single attempt to shush them. None.

Note about the Elsa comment: We were very close to the stage and I noticed that one of the little cupids on stage started giggling after the girl yelled that. It would have been cute except she got distracted and missed part of the choreo. Little cupid then looked mortified. Poor thing.

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1 hour ago, abatt said:

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.

Good points, I’m trying to remember if I’ve seen Lovette in a high-turning role before and I don’t think I have. Personally, I would have given the debut to Phelan or Gerrity, but I suppose Lovette as a principal was next in line? 

I will say though when I first started coming to NYCB I was shocked that Lovette was a principal at all - she just seemed so insubstantial and flat. She’s really improved as a dancer since, so I do maintain hope that she could still make a decent Odile some day.

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3 hours ago, nanushka said:

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

Definitely. Say what you want, but an Odile escaping/avoiding her 32 fouettes will be remembered for such.

On the other side, an Aurora shaking like an earthquake and unable to keep those balances sharply during her Rose Adagio will also be very noticeable.

Edited by cubanmiamiboy

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On ‎2‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 3:21 PM, bellawood said:

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.

 

 

 

I was at this matinee too.  Tiler was amazing as Black Swan, and, yes, even in White Swan, Tiler loosened up a lot since I last saw her in Allegro Brilliante to allow her neck's
and back's flexibility.  Heard that she was less fearful and comfortable at Saturday's matinee than in her first performance of this season's SL. Tiler's musicality is
unquestionably exceptional, though I missed the extreme lines I hoped for from a White Swan.  Otherwise, I loved her.

Joe Gordon was the beyond what I had sort of expected.   Joe was everything I would have wanted to see in this SL's Prince role:  Lines(!), elegance, soulful, dramatic without losing
the aloof, confused nature of the Prince character, beautiful, strong technique, a fine partner.  I was very impressed!  Needless to say, I am a strong member of the rah-rah
club!  Bravo!
 

Edited by sz
punctuation change and added another adjective re Gordon!

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15 hours ago, abatt said:

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.

I saw Lauren dance Aurora last winter (I think it was winter 2019 but correct me if it was the year before) and she is really lovely in the role as it suits her stage presence -- but the variations are a stretch. She was OK during the rose adagio promenades -- a little quick to hang on -- but later had several problems with her technique, particularly in turns (as noted by abatt).

Interestingly it seems she was coached by Maria Kowroski for O/O. In early January I was at a lecture about Swan Lake where Maria spoke -- she indicated that she had offered to coach as she was one of the O/O's in the original run (with Igor Zelensky I think) but that her offer hadn't been taken up. Obviously there was a change of heart about that, for whatever reason. 

How was Harrison Ball? 

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On a short professional trip to the east coast, I squeezed in one performance of the NYCB Swan Lake, which I have managed to avoid since seeing it on TV decades ago. I don't think I'll bother again. I saw Fairchild-Garcia Thursday, 2/20. I have liked her in recent years in other roles, but I kept thinking: this looks like a Balanchine dancer trying on some strange new clothes. Nothing connected for me. 

I wasn't prepared for just how hideous the costumes were. Danish modern? Jackson Pollock fabric in the ballroom? And that strange ending with a beam of light killing off Rothbart? I did like the effect of Odette being swallowed up by the flock of swans. 

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https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/25/arts/dance/city-ballet-swan-lake.html

NY Times review of the various SL casts.  I do wish NYCB would preserve Mearns' SL on film.  It is exquisite.  I thought her performance with Cote rivaled the best performances I have seen over the years, such as the old days of Nina Ananiashvilli at ABT.  Additionally, I thought she had more of a deep connection to Cote than with any of her prior NYCB partners (i.e., the Angle brothers).

Edited by abatt

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A quick note on last night's performance. Jovani Furlan is an invaluable addition to the company. He tore into the Paul Taylor solo in Episodes with unbelievable ferocity and unself-consciousness. Of the three performances/three casts of Swan Lake that I saw, the highlight was his journey around the stage with the crossbow, with a stretched-out line that epitomized search and yearning. More of this beautiful dancer, please!!

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