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PNB's Rep 2 Program

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I really liked all four for different reasons.  First, Waterbaby Bagatelles is my co-favorite Tharp ballet -- the other is Afternoon Ball -- so any chance to see any of it is a privilege and joy.  In his interview with Tharp, Peter Boal gave a brief description of how they put it together: the three women were filmed separately, and the editors did a great job of putting the footage together, and Kiyon Ross was in their pod, and they were filmed reacting to him, not the gaggle of men who followed each other in short, brilliant solos.  My only complaint is that there wasn't enough of it.  I would have loved to see Macy and Wald do the wonderful pas de deux that Carla Korbes used to dance.

I've liked a lot of Susan Marshall's work, having seen her company here -- they played On the Boards in its old venue -- and in NYC, but the highlight was being able to watch all three versions, with Leah Terada and Miles Pertl in the "mainstage" version, and then in the extras, Jim Kent/Peter Boal and Sarah Pasch/Ezra Thomson.  I try to see all casts of almost everything, if I can arrange it, and this is the closest I'm going to get to my "normal" this season.

I think Ghost Variations was the most conventional work, but it's also one I'd love to see in the theater.  It's got a wonderful role for Leta Biasucci, and I thought the final pas de deux, for Elle Macy and Dylan Wald was stellar, as were Christina Siemen's renditions of the music.  

I loved the way Penny Saunders used the theater and it's one of the few times I've seen overhead shots be so effective (and not dizzy-making).  Elizabeth Murphy was mesmerizing in her solo and as the center in the trio, which, for me, were the highlights of the movement parts of the piece.  I thought the experience an excellent hybrid of film and dance.  I'm a subscriber to the Mark Morris Dance Group's digital offerings, and the other night, Mark Morris was discussing how much of the digital would persist when we could be back in the theater.  One of the things Morris said was that if there was film and dance on stage, he would watch the film, not the dancers.  In Wonderland, there was no separate film to distract -- it was all of one piece -- and if there was editing to make it look like everyone was dancing together, there was nothing distractingly improbable -- no gravity-defying or out-of-body digressions, for example -- about what we were seeing.  Sure, it wouldn't be staged that way for many practical reasons, but instead of being aware of this in the moment, I was filled with delight.

Edited to add:  I loved all of the music and the dresses for Ghost Variations.

In the interview between Boal and Twyla Tharp, Tharp said that she is creating work for the American Masters program that will she said should air in March or April.  She apologized for being a living Master, since the others weren't creating.  She's doing one long work for four dancers in four time zones:  Maria Khoreva from the Mariinsky Ballet, whom she said was filming during dinner time, Benjamin Buza from the Royal Danish Ballet, Herman Cornejo in NYC, and Charlie Hodges on the West Coast.  


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I liked the program better on my second viewing. Definitely had a better appreciation of the different camera angles in Wonderland and how the theater was used. Anyone else super impressed with Kyle Davis's solo in Waterbaby Bagatelles? 😀 I found Arms complex and was glad that they included recordings of Peter Boal with Jim Kent and Ezra Thomson with Sarah Pasch. Separately, did anyone watch This Space Intentionally Left Blank by Amanda Morgan? I am wondering how long it took to put the whole work together.

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Following up on The Travelling Ballerina’s review, those of us who are longtime subscribers/followers are familiar with Peter Boal’s programming and this November Rep tends to be the most contemporary.  I will say that I was in the mood for something a bit brighter, it would have been better for me if the two Eva Stone excerpts in Rep 1 were included in Rep 2.

Wonderland was really interesting.  I really enjoyed seeing the theater, I miss it so much.  I had trouble getting into the piece though, since I found the introductory music challenging.

In Waterbaby Bagatelles, yes Kyle Davis’ and Jerome Tisserand’s dancing really stood out to me.  Steven Loch was fun too, not as technical, but showed his great range comparing to the last time we saw him as Prince Siegfried.

Like Helene, I too loved all of the music and the individual dresses for Ghost Variations.  The way they would shadow the featured dancer then flip to shadow and “invisible” dancer(s) was so clever.  All the dancing was wonderful.  Two solos stood out to me: Kyle Davis’ and Angelica Generosa’s.  Angelica’s was quite brief, Kyle’s was a formal solo.  I thought they were interesting because they showed the dancers in a less classical/technical genre, and something a bit darker and more contemporary.  With Kyle’s longer hair now, he almost seemed like a completely different artist.  Great to see both stretching their wings!

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