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ABT Nutcracker highlights, December 4 6pm (tonight)


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This seems to have come together quickly as the announcement comes with the performance tonight:

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE TO PREMIERE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NUTCRACKER,
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4 AT 6 P.M.
ON YOUTUBE, IGTV, AND LG TIMES SQUARE BILLBOARD

ISABELLA BOYLSTON AND JAMES WHITESIDE TO PERFORM THE PAS DE DEUX AND VARIATIONS FOR CLARA AND THE PRINCE, CHOREOGRAPHED BY ALEXEI RATMANSKY

HOLIDAY 2020 FILMING OF THE NUTCRACKER SPONSORED BY LG SIGNATURE, THE GLOBAL ELECTRONICS PARTNER OF ABT

This holiday season, American Ballet Theatre will premiere a special presentation of The Nutcracker with a filmed performance of the Grand Pas de Deux for Clara and The Prince on Friday, December 4 at 6pm ET on American Ballet Theatre’s YouTube Channel, IGTV, and on the Segerstrom Center for the Arts website, Facebook, and Instagram. The Nutcracker will also premiere on the LG Times Square billboard in New York City.

These magical highlights of Alexei Ratmansky’s choreography for The Nutcracker, filmed in early November at New York City’s Highline Hotel, feature ABT Principal Dancers Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside  who have safely isolated and collaborated together during the pandemic  dancing the pas de deux to the iconic Tchaikovsky score. For the first time, Ratmansky's staging of the female variation will include the original 1892 choreography by Lev Ivanov from notations by Nicholas Sergeyev.

“While we are unable to come together to perform The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Center in Southern California as we do each year, we are delighted to carry on ballet’s beloved holiday tradition with this spectacular film,” said Kevin McKenzie, ABT Artistic Director. “Alexei’s brilliant choreography and ABT’s renowned dancers, combined with the latest digital technology, bring Clara and The Prince to life on screens large and small in a way they’ve never been seen before. I’m so proud to be able to share this holiday gift with our fans around the world.”

The Nutcracker pas de deux is one of the most beautiful and romantic pieces in classical ballet,” said Isabella Boylston. “I was so happy to have my performance captured on film by LG this holiday season, dancing with my best friend James Whiteside, and to be able to share the magic of The Nutcracker with households around the world.”

The Nutcracker was my very first taste of ballet,” said James Whiteside. “It’s often an introduction to the electric art of ballet for so many the world over. I’m thrilled to be able to immortalize Ratmansky’s singularly exquisite choreography with my best friend, Isabella Boylston, and grateful that LG has captured it so beautifully.”

Produced for ABT by Matador Content and filmed in 8K Ultra HD, this special presentation of The Nutcracker is sponsored by LG SIGNATURE OLED 8K. LG SIGNATURE is the Global Electronics Partner of American Ballet Theatre.

Following its premiere, The Nutcracker will be available for viewing on ABT’s website and distributed free of charge to ABT’s presenters in Abu Dhabi, Costa Mesa, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and other cities. Additionally, the film will be available to the following ABT partner organizations: Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Keen NYC, The Fresh Air Fund, Harlem School of the Arts, Lincoln Center’s Passport to the Arts, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital and all NYC Department of Education public school dance teachers.

For more information on American Ballet Theatre, please visit www.abt.org.

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Welcome news, indeed, but true to form, why hasn't ABT sent out a notice to all their current donors? Maybe that will arrive later today. How hard would that be? It looks like we'll get a few brief excerpts, but not the entire thing? Still, the last full paragraph almost sounds like there is a recording of the entire ballet. This is something I'd pay for!

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8 minutes ago, California said:

It looks like we'll get a few brief excerpts, but not the entire thing? Still, the last full paragraph almost sounds like there is a recording of the entire ballet. This is something I'd pay for!

It sounds like it will be the complete Grand PDD, and it says it was filmed in November by these two dancers, who have “safely isolated and collaborated” — so, not taken from a recording of the complete ballet. 

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6 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Uh I've been looking for this and it's not happening ...

10 minutes -- just the PdD. As noted in the news release, it includes Ivanov's original choreography for the female variation. Interesting.

Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwQu2iK_1y4

 

Edited by California
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I am reminded, again, of how welcome the complete Ratmansky Nutcracker would be -- definitely worth paying for. Notice that three major companies are selling digital access to the Balanchine Nutcracker (PNB, Pennsylvania, NYCB/Marquee, and the outdoor Miami version -  plus the NYCB version on Medici with Fairfield and DeLuz ). It must have seemed like a good idea pre-pandemic to offer local audiences this legendary version in their own theaters. Now that they're trying to sell it virtually, with so much competition, maybe not so much? 

I saw a weekend's worth of the Ratmansky at Segerstrom a few years ago and enjoyed it. Very different approach, challenging and interesting choreography, a worthwhile contrast to the Balanchine. Is somebody blocking the digital sale: Segerstrom? Ratmansky? Or maybe they're not happy with the recordings they have? Unfortunate, whatever the explanation. Still, we can dream.

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9 minutes ago, California said:

I am reminded, again, of how welcome the complete Ratmansky Nutcracker would be -- definitely worth paying for. Notice that three major companies are selling digital access to the Balanchine Nutcracker (PNB, Pennsylvania, NYCB/Marquee, and the outdoor Miami version -  plus the NYCB version on Medici with Fairfield and DeLuz ). It must have seemed like a good idea pre-pandemic to offer local audiences this legendary version in their own theaters. Now that they're trying to sell it virtually, with so much competition, maybe not so much? 

I saw a weekend's worth of the Ratmansky at Segerstrom a few years ago and enjoyed it. Very different approach, challenging and interesting choreography, a worthwhile contrast to the Balanchine. Is somebody blocking the digital sale: Segerstrom? Ratmansky? Or maybe they're not happy with the recordings they have? Unfortunate, whatever the explanation. Still, we can dream.

Ratmansky is very active about removing videos of his original choreography on YT but those are unauthorized filmings. I think ABT might not have the manpower to get a complete recording. Or maybe it's a strategy. I don't know. 

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11 hours ago, Dale said:

For the first time, Ratmansky's staging of the female variation will include the original 1892 choreography by Lev Ivanov from notations by Nicholas Sergeyev.

I found this statement a bit confusing.  Did Ratmansky do a version of Nutcracker with different choreography for the SPF?  It sort of reads as if he re-discovered the Ivanov choreography,  which is certainly well known.  With only tiny differences,  it's the same solo I learned decades ago,  which I have always preferred over any other,  including Balanchine's.  

I thought the pdd was beautifully danced.  Boylston and Whiteside tend to be over-exposed and not particularly protective of their "brand",  so it's nice to be reminded what excellent classical artists they are.

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15 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

I found this statement a bit confusing.  Did Ratmansky do a version of Nutcracker with different choreography for the SPF?  It sort of reads as if he re-discovered the Ivanov choreography,  which is certainly well known.  With only tiny differences,  it's the same solo I learned decades ago,  which I have always preferred over any other,  including Balanchine's.  

I thought the pdd was beautifully danced.  Boylston and Whiteside tend to be over-exposed and not particularly protective of their "brand",  so it's nice to be reminded what excellent classical artists they are.

Yes the version ABT dances has completely different choreography for the SPF/Clara, including a "peekaboo" moment from the curtain. 

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9 hours ago, On Pointe said:

I found this statement a bit confusing.  Did Ratmansky do a version of Nutcracker with different choreography for the SPF?  It sort of reads as if he re-discovered the Ivanov choreography,  which is certainly well known.  With only tiny differences,  it's the same solo I learned decades ago,  which I have always preferred over any other,  including Balanchine's. 

I don't think it's suggesting that he "rediscovered" the choreography but rather that he went back to the original notations, as he always does in his reconstructions (of which his Nutcracker was not one), which probably explains those "tiny differences." As @volcanohunter notes, what he found must have been pretty close to what's been passed down. But Ratmansky's broader project has for some time now been focused on the return to earliest notations.

Edited by nanushka
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Ugh! I would happily sit through five hours of ads if it meant the actual dancing wouldn't be interrupted with them. So irritating!

That said, I thought this was lovely! I'll never understand the spotting away from the audience in the adagio, but I'll take what I can get this year. 

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14 hours ago, canbelto said:

Yes the version ABT dances has completely different choreography for the SPF/Clara, including a "peekaboo" moment from the curtain. 

I've only seen this pas de deux in excerpt and on video but in those out-of-context settings the peekaboo moment never appealed to me. (Even if it fit with Ratmansky's conception it didn't seem  to me to fit with the music.)  Perhaps in context I would  feel differently--and I have a lot of interest in whatever Ratmansky decides to do--but I was quite happy to see the Ivanov choreography (as notated) and, like others who have posted, was struck by how closely it has been preserved in "traditional" productions.

 

Edited by Drew
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