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Faye Arthurs' Writing

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I enjoyed reading this—thank you @canbelto for posting.  It certainly confirms my interest in seeing Voices too. But I don’t think I agree with Arthurs’ opening claim (which the article returns to at the end) that, until now, Ratmansky’s  work has been “essentially” divided into two kinds, either “emotionally resonant peasant inflected abstraction” or “grand-scale reconstruction”? There is a lot of Ratmansky I have not seen, but from what I have seen live, I can think of a number of major works that don’t fall into those categories as I understand them....Cinderella? Anna Karenina? Shostakovich Trilogy? Whipped Cream? Namouna? to say nothing of his “peasant-inflected” narrative works.  The word “essentially” allows for exceptions, but these ate more than exceptions.

Perhaps Arthurs thinks of most of the ballets I names  (Namouna, Whipped Cream, Cinderella etc,) as grand scale historical reconstructions, but that would be far too loose a definition to be meaningful. And there is no sense in which Namouna, for example (or Bright Stream for that matter) coukd be considered a “historical” reconstruction.   (And if his Cinderella is, then so is Ashton’s and a few dozen others.) From video I have seen, I would add Psyche to the list.

Voices does sound like a musical departure for him, which Arthurs also  writes about. And Ratmansky has frequently turned to reviving neglected, lost ballet scores as well as putting his own stamp on others. Which, I guess, may be what Arthurs was trying to get at with the word “reconstruction.” Once past her opening....I read the rest of the review with great interest....

(I have seen Ratmansky repeat certain steps, partnering moves, and images across ballets in ways I very occasionally wonder about — that is, I have thought he could afford not to recycle that particular movement. I think genre-wise he has shown some variety....)


Edited by Drew
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I've really enjoyed the writing/reviews of Faye Arthurs that have appeared in the Fjord Review. Arthurs is a former NYCB dancer, trained at the School of American Ballet.

Odette vs Odile x 3
The great “Swan Lake” showdown

"...Yes, ballet is that cruel: to be overly endowed in one area often upsets the balance in another. But this is nitpicking; she was gorgeous in choreography that hewed fairly closely to Petipa’s. The swan corps steps were less faithful, probably to accommodate such a gigantic flock. They were an impressive sight.

Many in the audience seemed to agree, and they unfortunately felt the need to personally document it. People on all sides of me were filming most of the swan sections, or taking pics and uploading them onto Instagram in real time. Everyone also seemed to have a bag of chips. It was wild, and also hard to focus on the dancers, who were working so hard. At intermission the ushers made rounds admonishing the crowd, and an announcement before the show restarted informed people that food and photography were not allowed in the theater."

'...Much as I tried to block it out, I couldn’t help but notice that the woman to my left was editing pictures of her dog in between snapping blurry pics of the stage. And the tween boy to my right watched a movie on his phone throughout the show, using subtitles…for “discretion?”'



Balanchinean Revivalism, Amen!
Balanchine B-sides and Jerome Robbins rep at New York City Ballet

'...Or I’m just way off in my “Square Dance” comparison, for “Haieff” was certainly its own animal—most notably in its focus on an odd kind of pointework that ballet dancers call “ginched.” Ginching occurs when a woman is on pointe but her knees are bent, making it so that she has pull her arch back and knuckle over on her box to stay on balance. The thirty-two hops on pointe in “Raymonda Variations” are the most obvious example of ginching. “Haieff” was full of it. Balanchine seemed to be working out every possible permutation of the foot in this position—something he normally only sprinkled around his dishes.'



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She is indeed a very engaging writer.  I'm very excited about Fjord -- they've got some wonderful people writing about stuff I otherwise wouldn't get to see, which is a treat for me!

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