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Digital Spring Season


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Posted (edited)

It was an impressive performance from both Bouder and Veyette. The piece suits her particularly well, as the mannerisms that come across as too much in some other pieces really fit in here. He looked very good too. It's a fun piece, with lots of exciting moments. That said, there were a number of steps/combinations that were simplified from earlier NYCB videos I've seen on YouTube (admittedly I've never seen the piece live), and a number of moments that these dancers didn't make quite as much of.

If I hadn't seen those earlier performances, though, I suspect I would have nothing to complain about! Another great night (in) at City Ballet.

Edited by nanushka
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Great performance on everyone's part. I couldn't believe the tempo. I've actually done this ballet (many years ago). My jaw dropped when it began. I saw how fast tempo was taken, and was amazed how fluidly these corps dancers moved at that speed. IMO you're not going to see that  anywhere else. Bouder and Veyette were both amazing. There was a section in which he finished a turn stopping up and then had to generate fast turns from that stopped position - WOW - I couldn't believe he attempted that and succeeded. The way Bouder covered space - another WOW - I've never seen anyone travel doing jumps on pointe like that. Once in a lifetime performance as far as I'm concerned. I was swept away, and I can't nitpick this one at all - If I see another performance as great as that in my lifetime I'll count myself lucky!

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Really impressed by Bouder, Veyette and all the dancers in Donizetti. I’m not the biggest Bouder fan, but she nailed this one and it highlights her strengths - jump, speed, clean footwork. She was unstoppable. Veyette was in great shape too. He’s not a charmer or speed demon, but I always appreciate his effort onstage. Gerrity, Segin and Adams were excellent too. Looking forward to rewatching. Can’t help but smile and be wowed watching this one, which I what I needed today.  Thanks NYCB.

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For a little bit more nuanced information of steps when watching Donizetti, here's Violette Verdy and Damian Woetzel giving a short coaching to Tiler Peck, Joaquin de Luz and Daniel Ulbricht (7:58 - 29:46). (This City Center session they also coached Liebeslieder to Jennifer Ringer and Jared Angle, and Tschaikovsky Pdd to Peck/De Luz/Ulbruicht.)

 

 

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14 hours ago, pherank said:

On to Donizetti Variations!

Both Bouder and Veyette are sharp, clean and buoyant on this night. Bouder never appears to 'break a sweat', until perhaps the very end of the ballet.

Many of the steps used in DV may seem familiar to classical ballet audiences, so it's the slight variations and jokes thrown in that I look for:

  • At 14:48, Veyette twice moves in towards Bouder as if to grab her waist but instead quickly throws up his arms as a kind of exclamation and visual enhancement of her movement and form.
  • The faked "hurt foot" at 21:20 is very Balanchine, as well as the way he varies the partnering assignments, and leaves out one woman to behave as a soloist, and then merge back into the ensemble. Or the way Balanchine uses one man with four women plus two separate duos. Another nice surprise is the two partnered Corp dancers rotating beneath the arms of the other Corps members, leading to more complicated interlacing of the ensemble dancers, finally ending back where they started  [23:15].
  • Veyette appearing to run towards the back of the stage and then thinks better of it [25:14 and 25:22].
  • The missed kisses at 26:22 and 26:30.

Balanchine working with numbers (3's, 4's, 6's, 9's) is always fun for me. DV is lighthearted fun.

 

Thanks for these tips. I just watched it again to make a point of looking for these. I've always been super-impressed with Bouder's technique, but her smirk bothers me. It actually seems to work here with the light-hearted music and choreography.

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I don't think this is a unique opinion but - wow, Balanchine was a genius!! Amazing, incredible, inventive choreography!  100% classical and 100% contemporary. Miles ahead of anyone else we've seen on the Digital Season [but I missed the Ratmansky].

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Love, love, loved the stream. I only wish they'd decided to close out the season with Balanchine. I agree with others that this really plays to Bouder's strengths, and the mannerisms that might be distracting in other roles are perfectly at home here.

Are we seeing Veyette pre- or post-injury in this video? I'm referring to the major injury @canbelto has mentioned before. 

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I was fortunate enough to see this very performance of Donizetti Variations in the theater. Not to take anything away from Bouder and Veyette, but I remember being more impressed by the ensemble (Sara Adams, Alina Dronova, Emilie Gerrity, Megan Johnson, Claire Kretzschmar, Kristen Segin Devin Alberda, Daniel Applebaum, Troy Schumacher), and thinking that referring to them as "the corps" hardly did their dancing justice. For whatever reason, I found them to be the most memorable part of the evening. 

Alos, I'm glad the video gave me a chance to see Dronova and Johnson again: both have since left the company. 

 

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9 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Love, love, loved the stream. I only wish they'd decided to close out the season with Balanchine. I agree with others that this really plays to Bouder's strengths, and the mannerisms that might be distracting in other roles are perfectly at home here.

Are we seeing Veyette pre- or post-injury in this video? I'm referring to the major injury @canbelto has mentioned before. 

This is definitely pre-injury. I was at the second performance that season and that was the one where he was injured mid-performance and did not do the coda. A few days later he pulled out of Justin Peck's Rodeo and was out for a long time (and JMO) has not ever been the same since :( 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, canbelto said:

This is definitely pre-injury. I was at the second performance that season and that was the one where he was injured mid-performance and did not do the coda. A few days later he pulled out of Justin Peck's Rodeo and was out for a long time (and JMO) has not ever been the same since :( 

I'd forgotten the injury was in this very ballet. I've only really experienced Veyette post-injury so his level of dancing in this video is much more impressive than what I'm used to seeing (though I thought he looked good in the Allegro Brillante video).

Edited by fondoffouettes
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Posted (edited)

Just watched Donizetti Variations and wow, wow, wow! What an exhilarating ballet! Balanchine was such a genius. I have no words.

And Bouder! :jawdrop: She was on fire. And Veyette! So light and sharp, those turns! The ensemble was stunning as well, and I really appreciated the attention to detail and all the little Balanchine notes. The bit at 23:15 with the the two pairs rotating beneath the arms of the other Corps members was delightful, I could watch it endlessly. What a brilliant mind.

I loved this ballet. I had a smile on my face the entire time. See, this might not have been one I would have died to go see in the theater as it totally was not on my radar, but I am hopeful I'll get to see it live once in my life now!

Edited by sohalia
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Donizetti Variations was such a delight! Charming, upbeat, amazing feats. The leads were fantastic, yet the corps shone equally as bright. What a superb way to bookend the (Balanchine portion) spring digital season with Donizetti Variations and Allegro Brillante!😍

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On 5/27/2020 at 1:30 PM, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I was fortunate enough to see this very performance of Donizetti Variations in the theater. Not to take anything away from Bouder and Veyette, but I remember being more impressed by the ensemble (Sara Adams, Alina Dronova, Emilie Gerrity, Megan Johnson, Claire Kretzschmar, Kristen Segin Devin Alberda, Daniel Applebaum, Troy Schumacher), and thinking that referring to them as "the corps" hardly did their dancing justice. For whatever reason, I found them to be the most memorable part of the evening. 

Alos, I'm glad the video gave me a chance to see Dronova and Johnson again: both have since left the company. 

I agree about the ensemble, they are killing it in Donizetti. The tempo is so fast and everything they do is clear and full and beautifully phrased. They have a lot to do in Donizetti, too.

I watched the last digital offering last night. I'm not going to write about each excerpt, but I thought the section of Bartok Ballet was really well chosen. I saw the piece live, didn't like it, and I don't remember it moving through space as much as the excerpt they showed. I thought the excerpt came off well, and enjoyed the ballet more last night than in the theater. It could have been because I had lower expectations, or because I had a better idea of what to expect, but it's also because the directors chose such a good excerpt to share. What a difference editing makes!

So nice to see Robert Fairchild and Justin Peck dancing in The Times are Racing. And good to know that their unison was built on years and years of knowing each other and dancing together for fun even before they got into the company. I hope all the Peck doubters got a little taste of Peck's choreography at its best. I also enjoyed Easy more than when I saw it in the theater.  Peck was trying to fulfill a specific assignment and honor a particular vein of Jerome Robbins' choreograpy. It's not a major ballet, but it achieves the modest goals he set for himself. I respect that.

The other thing I want to write about is Taylor Stanley. Just wow! I am always amazed at his work, but nowhere more than in The Runaway. This is one of, I believe, five solos he has in the ballet. The mood is introspective. He articulates different joints and the movement quietly grows through his body and then unfolds into a perfect tendu croisé or we find ourselves marveling at the purity of his line in arabesque. He holds a developpé to the side for so long the audience starts to applaud but it’s not a circus trick, he’s searching. It's like he morphs into a fully formed classical artist in front of our eyes and brings his and the choreographers' wealth of culture and history with him. I'm so glad this was included in the Digital Season. When dancers say that they enjoy originating roles or want to be a muse, this must be the sort of experience they are looking for each time; a perfect alchemy of choreographer, dancer and creation. Stanley and Kyle Abraham seem to have had a meeting of the minds.  In Megan Fairchild's interview of Indiana Woodward they talk about dancing with Taylor Stanley, and with good reason. I think it's 30 or 45 minutes into the interview. Stanley is a beautiful dancer and a one of a kind artist. He doesn't remind me of anyone dancing past or present and seems to have created his own mold; a dancer for our time.

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I enjoyed most of these selections, and found they each left me interested to see the rest of the ballet... with one exception.  If that was a well-chosen excerpt of Bartok Ballet, I am terribly glad they didn't show the rest. 

I am so thankful NYCB did this.  What a gift.

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I found this offering pretty uneven. I had heard bad things about Bartok Ballet when it premiered and this definitely lived up to my expectation, I found myself grimacing while watching the screen. Oltremare was another no for me. I agree with above that Easy fulfilled the assignment for the Robbins celebration, it was fine and a nice showcase for Harrison Coll but I would not seek it out. Taylor Stanley just WOW. I've been hearing how stunning he was in The Runaway and somehow he exceeded expectations. I would love to see The Times are Racing in full, Robbie Fairchild was fantastic. Very sad the digital season is over

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Another duet from The Times Are Racing. I don't typically like the idea of comparing artists and artistry, every dancer brings their own unique and worthy gifts to each role. But I like the idea of seeing the different possibilities in a single ballet. So in that spirit...

I was inspired by Taylor Stanley and a fellow BA poster's suggestion of watching the various casts and genders in The Times Are Racing. Was it you, Kathleen?

 

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21 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:
Another duet from The Times Are Racing. I don't typically like the idea of comparing artists and artistry, every dancer brings their own unique and worthy gifts to each role. But I like the idea of seeing the different possibilities in a single ballet. So in that spirit...

I was inspired by Taylor Stanley and a fellow BA poster's suggestion of watching the various casts and genders in The Times Are Racing. Was it you, Kathleen?

Both very well danced duets. And I like Tiler's shorts.   ;)

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45 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

I was inspired by Taylor Stanley and a fellow BA poster's suggestion of watching the various casts and genders in The Times Are Racing. Was it you, Kathleen?

It was. Or at least I was one of the Alertniks making this suggestion. Honestly, I would plunk down more than a few dollars for a video with a complete set of alternate casts. 

So, I gather I am the only person who liked Bartók Ballet. And I mean the whole thing, not just the little excerpt the company deigned to show us. 

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Although the digital season is not officially over until the current program is taken out this Monday, however the season is unofficially extended with the Lincoln Center at Home streaming of Midsummer Night's Dream:

 

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2 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

It was. Or at least I was one of the Alertniks making this suggestion. Honestly, I would plunk down more than a few dollars for a video with a complete set of alternate casts. 

So, I gather I am the only person who liked Bartók Ballet. And I mean the whole thing, not just the little excerpt the company deigned to show us. 

No, you're not the only person who liked Bartok Ballet. I liked what I saw of  it, and also of Voices. I recall that when these ballets premiered there was widespread dislike of them  by both the balletomanes on this forum and critics.  Really these excerpts were the most interesting and stimulating on the whole program.  I  liked the Bigonzetti enough to want to see the whole ballet.  The rest of the program left me cold.  I disliked the whole format of so many short pieces and thought it was a flop.  Taylor Stanley was fantastic; from what I read I don't know if the rest of Abraham's work would  have appealed to me. 

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I really liked that Bartok Ballet except and would love to be able to see it live.

I have another "Who is?" question:  In the last piece, who was the woman wearing the dark jumper with the white blouse?  She started in the middle, looked a bit shorter than the women around her, and had dark hair.

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, Marta said:

No, you're not the only person who liked Bartok Ballet. I liked what I saw of  it, and also of Voices. I recall that when these ballets premiered there was widespread dislike of them  by both the balletomanes on this forum and critics.  Really these excerpts were the most interesting and stimulating on the whole program. [ ...[ I disliked the whole format of so many short pieces [....]Taylor Stanley was fantastic....

Sorry if the editing seems overmuch...but everything I have quoted I agree with exactly. I have not seen any of these ballets live except for Oltramare and Times are Racing. Woodward's solo made me eager to see the Bartok ballet--I felt one could really see the choreography working with ballet conventions and push-pulling them in new directions in a way that was smart and interesting to watch; the excerpt from Voices danced by Lovette likewise seemed intriguing to me. Although I disliked the short-excerpt format, I did enjoy the super high quality of the dancing across the boards. Stanley in particular, but also the dancing in the Peck pieces--outstanding. What a great company!

Edited by Drew
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