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Leah

Digital Spring Season

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Rotunda is the first full piece of Peck's work I've ever seen.  Until now, I've only seen clips of his choreography on promotional material, etc.  Very interesting/validating to see my own opinions mirrored here: chiefly the unflattering costume choices (particularly the leotard they put on Sara Mearns -- something was really "off" about the cut of it under the arms that was very unflattering), and the hectic pace of the piece.  The best way I can describe my experience watching this ballet is that I felt the way I feel during a large/loud party or social gathering.  As an extreme introvert, I am very quickly overwhelmed by noise and activity, sometimes to the point of experiencing physical discomfort.  Unfortunately, not long into Rotunda, I found myself experiencing the "fight or flight" reaction I get when there's just too much happening around me.  However, I stuck it out, as I desperately wanted to enjoy it.  And there were certainly some incredibly lovely moments.  But taken together, it was just too... noisy for me.

However, an interesting thing happened the minute the piece ended and they called blackout: I burst into tears.  It wasn't so much about the piece itself (though it's normal for beautiful art of all types to cause me tears).  It was more that I was hit with the reality of all we're currently missing.  A moment of grief for humanity, I guess.

I am beyond grateful that NYCB is sharing these pieces with us.  I hope they will get some lovely donations in return.

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It’s a shame that Rotunda will be many people’s first introduction to Peck. He’s capable of much better. I’m hoping for a a stream of maybe Rodeo or Belles-Lettres, but given that they’ve announced that they’re going to be showing Abraham, Tanowitz, Bigonzetti, Reisen, and Ratmansky later on it’s probably the case that this was Peck’s only slot.

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24 minutes ago, Leah said:

It’s a shame that Rotunda will be many people’s first introduction to Peck. He’s capable of much better. I’m hoping for a a stream of maybe Rodeo or Belles-Lettres, but given that they’ve announced that they’re going to be showing Abraham, Tanowitz, Bigonzetti, Reisen, and Ratmansky later on it’s probably the case that this was Peck’s only slot.

I'm hoping that SFB streams Rodeo or In the Countenance of Kings for one of their #FlashbackFriday broadcasts.

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Just watched this. Definitely second-rate Peck for all of the reasons mentioned above. Not only is it a poor introduction to Peck for many people; it's also a poor introduction to the brilliant Sara Mearns. I hope they show something that better showcases her talents (and that looks better on her body). I get why they wanted to show this one... it just premiered a couple of months ago and the company has barely gotten to perform it. But hello! Rodeo! Pulcinella! Year of the Rabbit and Everywhere We Go! Those ballets are so much more fun to watch. 

It didn't help that they preceded this screening with an A+ performance of the A+ ballet Allegro Brillante. Oh well. I am still so thankful they're offering these videos right now. But I'm also thankful that I didn't go out of my way to see Rotunda live. Looking forward to Apollo and Ballo della Regina next week.

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I can't wait to see Megan Fairchild in Ballo and Wendy Whelan in a signature role.

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... and I can’t wait to see HUX!!

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I guess I'm so happy to be seeing the company this way, that I'm just not in the most critical frame of mind. I didn't think Rotunda was a masterpiece, and I agree it's frenetic in spots, but as an example of Peck's talent--found it deeply enjoyable. And I thought the dancing was fabulous--especially Mearns. (Ironically, when I finally saw Year of the Rabbit live, the "moment" had passed for me--I wasn't crazy about it and, in particular, for whatever reason, did not respond to the music. Muhly's score for Rotunda may at times seem to channel other NYCB scores, but I couldn't help liking it better as support for ballet. Of course I'm willing to give Year of the Rabbit and its score another try if I ever get the chance--but I'm plenty glad I got to see Rotunda if only virtually.)

The Allegro Brillante was, as everyone has said, wonderful. And Peck on video fully lived up to my memory of her wonderful performance in the ballet a few seasons back. (I don't know whether it was actually THIS performance, but I suppose it may have been.)

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Posted (edited)

I just watched it and really enjoyed it. It looked as though it had been choreographed to read well in its video form. It filled the stage nicely with lots of nice things everywhere, and having the dancers in different colors really helped you see details of the choreography, as well as helped you follow particular dancers. There were all sorts of wonderful moments like the men lifting the men at around the 9 minute mark which makes a kind of furrow into the background and at another place where the men and women do a soft curtsy to each other. And so nice seeing Gonzalo Garcia, who danced here at San Francisco Ballet for several seasons, in such a lovely solo and moving solo. I liked that there's no false drama, things happen and then other things happen after that. Didn't find it too fast somehow. Felt like a complete world.

My only complaint is that the dark horizon line that the backdrop makes with the floor was a little distracting during Sara Mearns' solo.

All in all seemed just the right tone. 

Edited by Quiggin

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3 hours ago, Drew said:

I guess I'm so happy to be seeing the company this way, that I'm just not in the most critical frame of mind. I didn't think Rotunda was a masterpiece, and I agree it's frenetic in spots, but as an example of Peck's talent--found it deeply enjoyable.

This! I've never seen any of Peck's choreography live, and am unlikely to in the near future. Same goes for most of the other rep in this digital season.

That said, the dark backdrop (on my computer screen, it looked murky brown) was depressing and the costumes were really terrible and unflattering. I was surprised that Daniel Ulbricht had so little to do. 

Looking forward to Apollo. I saw it once almost 10 years ago with an incredible Maria Kowroski as Terpsichore on a tiny stage which was too small for her never-ending limbs (can't remember who danced Apollo...)

 

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I  was entranced by his early works for NYCB (Everywhere we Go and Rodeo) and I made a point to see his new work for San Francisco a couple of years ago (Countenance of Kings). He moves large groups around in astonishing, fresh, and exciting ways. (I've never been very impressed with his choreography for solos and pas de deux). I've been disappointed by more recent pieces I've seen, including this video broadcast. It strikes me that he's suffering from a problem not uncommon with younger choreographers, viz., he's made his mark with distinctive choreography but now wants to show he has a broader range and it's falling flat.  But even Balanchine has his share of  clunkers, so this shouldn't be fatal. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, JuliaJ said:

Just watched this. Definitely second-rate Peck for all of the reasons mentioned above. Not only is it a poor introduction to Peck for many people; it's also a poor introduction to the brilliant Sara Mearns. I hope they show something that better showcases her talents (and that looks better on her body). I get why they wanted to show this one... it just premiered a couple of months ago and the company has barely gotten to perform it. But hello! Rodeo! Pulcinella! Year of the Rabbit and Everywhere We Go! Those ballets are so much more fun to watch. 

It didn't help that they preceded this screening with an A+ performance of the A+ ballet Allegro Brillante. Oh well. I am still so thankful they're offering these videos right now. But I'm also thankful that I didn't go out of my way to see Rotunda live. Looking forward to Apollo and Ballo della Regina next week.

I haven't seen all of Peck's work, but I remember being enchanted by Year of the Rabbit when MCB performed it. Rodeo is the other one I've seen and enjoyed very much. I too hope they show these two eventually. 

I'm also crossing my fingers for a showing of Christopher Wheeldon’s This Bitter Earth. The little preview they showed with Mearns and Danchig-Waring at the beginning of April moved me to tears. And Max Richter's score just... transcends everything for me. I understand it's "only" a short pas de deux, but I'd love to see the full piece.

Edited by sohalia

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Various issues here and there does not a bad ballet make. I just find Rotunda to be an unremarkable Peck work with few surprises. (Aside from the women's tights costume - Surprise! Not stage worthy.)
As many others have said, Peck's real gift is his ability to organize, energize and move groups of dancers. I tend to find his PDD's and TDD's "nice" but they don't stick in my mind. Rotunda makes little effort to dramatize any of the movements, they just occur. A good choreographer, which Peck certainly is, responds appropriately to the music, and Rotunda's choreography is not inappropriate for this music. So I think part of the problem is that the score is itself fairly unremarkable, and doesn't give the mind and emotions enough to really develop a fascinating piece.

These days I'm so inundated with contemporary and classical ballet works (that I can watch multiple times) that I can't help but be influenced by what I've recently seen that was worthwhile. I've just watched Trey McIntyre's Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem for the 2nd time, and one of the things that really stands out in his choreography is the intimacy (and not with the usual PDD moments) and his humanism. But also lots of humorous moments that are not obvious "jokes", I just feel myself smiling over little things here and there. Again, the choreography is appropriate for the music chosen. But for me, Rotunda doesn't operate on that same level, and I'm unclear what it is communicating to me about ideas/people/art and so isn't likely to leave me with anything lasting besides, "Justin Peck is good choreographing for the group". Which I already knew.

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I think the strongest Peck works are: Rodeo, Times Are Racing, Belles Lettres, and In Creases. I;m meh about the other stuff.

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1 hour ago, canbelto said:

I think the strongest Peck works are: Rodeo, Times Are Racing, Belles Lettres, and In Creases. I;m meh about the other stuff.

Those are all good, I would add Year of the Rabbit and Everywhere We Go to the list as well.

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Posted (edited)

Next week has Rubies and Concerto DSCH. 

https://www.nycballet.com/NYCB/media/NYCBMediaLibrary/PDFs/Press/NYCB-Digital-Season_May-4-10-2020.pdf

Tuesday, May 5: NYCB Performance
Rubies
Music by Igor Stravinsky Choreography by George Balanchine
PRINCIPAL CASTING: Megan Fairchild, Gonzalo Garcia, *Mira Nadon (*first time in role)
with the NYCB Orchestra,
Conductor: Andrew Litton, NYCB Music Director Solo Piano: Stephen Gosling
Filmed on September 19, 2019, David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center


Friday, May 8: NYCB Performance
Concerto DSCH
Music by Dmitri Shostakovich Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky
PRINCIPAL CASTING: Sara Mearns, Tyler Angle, Ashley Bouder, Gonzalo Garcia, Joaquin De Luz
With the NYCB Orchestra
Conductor: Andrews Sill, NYCB Associate Music Director Solo Piano: Susan Walters
Filmed on October 5, 2018, David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
Introduction by Alexei Ratmansky, choreographer

This is my favorite of Ratmansky’s ballets that I’ve seen, from any company. I was worried they would choose Voices instead. I missed Nadon in Rubies last fall, so I’m glad to finally see this (although Kikta was amazing).

Edited by Leah

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1 hour ago, Leah said:

Such great choices! I was hoping for Pictures at an Exhibition, but DSCH will do just fine.  They are really winning over supporters with this generosity. I have to think it will help their fund-raising (as will PNB's generosity in showing their Giselle!)

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Good offerings! I missed Mira Nadon's Tall Girl too in the fall so I'm looking forward to seeing that.

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Oops. I guess somebody posted already. Here's the whole thing:

NEW YORK CITY BALLET DIGITAL SPRING SEASON | APRIL 20 - MAY 29, 2020

nycballet.com/digitalspring WEEK 3: Monday, May 4 – Sunday, May 10

Monday, May 4:
City Ballet The Podcast

“Hear the Dance” episode on George Balanchine’s Rubies, featuring former NYCB Principal Dancer Patricia McBride, hosted by NYCB Dancer Silas Farley

(available at podcast.nycballet.com, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Luminary, the iHeartRadio app, and other podcast platforms)

Ballet Essentials – Union Jack

45-minute interactive movement workshop suitable for people of all ages and level of training consisting of a ballet warm-up and a movement combination inspired by George Balanchine’s Union Jack, taught by NYCB Soloist Brittany Pollack

(register at balletessentials.nycballet.com; workshop at 6pm EDT)

Tuesday, May 5: NYCB Performance

Rubies

Music by Igor Stravinsky Choreography by George Balanchine

PRINCIPAL CASTING: Megan Fairchild, Gonzalo Garcia, *Mira Nadon (*first time in role)

with the NYCB Orchestra,
Conductor: Andrew Litton, NYCB Music Director Solo Piano: Stephen Gosling

Filmed on September 19, 2019, David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center

Introduction by Andrew Litton, NYCB Music Director

(available at nycballet.com, facebook.com/nycballet, and youtube.com/nycballet from Tuesday, May 5 at 8pm until Friday, May 8, at 8pm EDT)

Wednesday, May 6: Wednesday with Wendy
Live ballet-inspired movement class suitable for people of all ages and levels of training, taught by

NYCB Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan

(available on Instagram Live at 5pm EDT and IGTV at instagram.com/nycballet)

Thursday, May 7: Ballet Essentials – Glass Pieces

45-minute interactive movement workshop suitable for young adults and adults consisting of a ballet warm-up and a movement combination inspired by Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces, taught by NYCB Principal Dancer Russell Janzen

(register at balletessentials.nycballet.com; workshop at 6pm EDT)

Friday, May 8: NYCB Performance

Concerto DSCH

Music by Dmitri Shostakovich Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky

PRINCIPAL CASTING: Sara Mearns, Tyler Angle, Ashley Bouder, Gonzalo Garcia, Joaquin De Luz

With the NYCB Orchestra
Conductor: Andrews Sill, NYCB Associate Music Director Solo Piano: Susan Walters

Filmed on October 5, 2018, David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center

Introduction by Alexei Ratmansky, choreographer

(available at nycballet.com, facebook.com/nycballet, and youtube.com/nycballet from Friday, May 8 at 8pm until Monday, May 11 at 8pm EDT)

Saturday, May 9: Ballet Breaks – The Four Seasons

20-minute interactive movement workshop for children ages 3-8, consisting of a warm-up and choreography inspired by George Balanchine’s The Four Seasons, taught by NYCB Dancer Ralph Ippolito

(register at nycballet.com/balletbreaks; workshop at 11am EDT)

Sunday, May 10: Ballet Breaks – The Four Seasons

20-minute interactive movement workshop for children ages 3-8, consisting of a warm-up and choreography inspired by George Balanchine’s The Four Seasons, taught by NYCB Dancer Ralph Ippolito

(register at nycballet.com/balletbreaks; workshop at 11am EDT)

Programming subject to change (04/27/20)

 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/26/2020 at 5:51 AM, sohalia said:

 

I'm also crossing my fingers for a showing of Christopher Wheeldon’s This Bitter Earth. The little preview they showed with Mearns and Danchig-Waring at the beginning of April moved me to tears. And Max Richter's score just... transcends everything for me. I understand it's "only" a short pas de deux, but I'd love to see the full piece.

 While you're waiting could I suggest this. Have I ever posted it before ?  😊

Wendy Whelan  “This Bitter Earth” 1:50  --  “After the Rain” 14:10 

Her class is on Wednesday. I'll try not to miss it this time. (available on Instagram Live at 5pm EDT and IGTV at instagram.com/nycballet)

https://www.instagram.com/nycballet/channel/?hl=en

 

 

Et Voila !  Look what just appeared !

Edited by Buddy

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Posted (edited)

Trying to watch Apollo now. That man breathing heavily into the mic (assuming the conductor?) is unbearable. 

I saw the performance after this. I remember being surprised at how masculine and athletic Stanley’s Apollo was—he’s usually a very soft, almost effeminate dancer, and I had been looking forward to seeing how that would translate in Apollo. Seeing it again, I like him a lot more, he seems a lot more dynamic. He’s also outshining all three of the muses, even Peck.

Edited by Leah

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Apollo is not my favorite ballet,  but I thought that Taylor Stanley was superb.

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Was this Taylor Stanley's NYC debut? I enjoyed seeing all the dancers in the wings (5:04) watching his performance.

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2 minutes ago, susanger said:

Was this Taylor Stanley's NYC debut? I enjoyed seeing all the dancers in the wings (5:04) watching his performance.

I believe it was his debut debut. I don’t think he performed it elsewhere beforehand, unless someone knows otherwise.

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Apollo tonight was one of the worst recorded performances I have ever seen.  Robbed of intimacy.  Camera work very static.  The orchestra was too closely miked and sounded like it was dubbed from another recording.  I'm sorry to disagree with Leah but IMO the shots  into the wings took the viewer completely out of the performance. 

I am only talking here about the recording.  I thought the dancers were just fine.  Taylor Stanley coming closer to my idea of Apollo i.e., less premier danseur (like Peter Martins) and a little more like a youth finding his way.

I love NYCB and want very much for the world to see the company at its best.  This was not it.

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