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New York City Ballet 2021 Season


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On the question of ID for under 12 year olds, I asked that very question of a security guard (as I will be taking family, including an 11-year-old, to the Nutcracker).  He said that an accompanying parent is all that is needed. 

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3 minutes ago, Susu_nyc said:

Time for a promotion.

It certainly seems like Unity is up next, however painful that might be for other deserving hopefuls, like Woodward and Gerrity. 

I thought Serenade looked better last night than opening night, crisper and more energetic.

There seems to be a new standard, or lack of standard, regarding the men's hair length. I saw a lot of floppy hair, particularly on Daniel Applebaum and one of the new-ish corps guys who has curly blond hair (can anyone identify him for me?), although there are others too. Anthony Huxley has a more full head of hair than he used to, but it is within more reasonable limits, and besides he has truly beautiful hair. 

After two performances this week, Davide Riccardo stands out as someone I'd like to see more of (he debuted in the first movement of Glass Pieces). I remember him from the SAB Workshop a few years ago. He has a strong presence and seems to have a ton of potential.

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48 minutes ago, cobweb said:

There seems to be a new standard, or lack of standard, regarding the men's hair length. I saw a lot of floppy hair, particularly on Daniel Applebaum and one of the new-ish corps guys who has curly blond hair (can anyone identify him for me?), although there are others too. Anthony Huxley has a more full head of hair than he used to, but it is within more reasonable limits, and besides he has truly beautiful hair. 

The sooner the company ditches those shellacked pompadours as the default danseur do, the better. Beards would be fine too.

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2 hours ago, cobweb said:

It certainly seems like Unity is up next, however painful that might be for other deserving hopefuls, like Woodward and Gerrity. 

I thought Serenade looked better last night than opening night, crisper and more energetic.

Once Kowroski, A. Stafford and Lovette retire, NYCB will have only six women principals. I think there is room for a lot of promotions to principal, and there are plenty of deserving women, in my opinion. Phelan, Woodward both get my vote, with Gerrity an added possiblilty. They are cast more as principals now anyway. It would also be great to see some new women tackling the Tschaikovsky gut crunchers (does anyone remember who coined that term?): T&V, PC2, Allegro Brillante.

Also, If Mearns is now first cast for 2nd movt of the Bizet, who else has done it: Reichlen, Hyltin... anyone else? They could get some of the younger women going on that. I remember Tiler Peck saying that she started the Bizet in the corps, then danced the lead in the 4th Movt, then the lead in the 1st. Couldn't Lauren King learn 1st movt? Or Indiana Woodward in the 1st? I see Unity Phelan as more of a 2nd Movt type. I hear she danced After the Rain and Agon (ppd only?) in Vail.

3 hours ago, bobbi said:

On the question of ID for under 12 year olds, I asked that very question of a security guard (as I will be taking family, including an 11-year-old, to the Nutcracker).  He said that an accompanying parent is all that is needed. 

I read that under 12s are only admitted to Nutcracker, and only with proof of a negative Covid test. Under 12s are not permitted to the repertory performances.

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57 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

Once Kowroski, A. Stafford and Lovette retire, NYCB will have only six women principals. I think there is room for a lot of promotions to principal,

In addition, Bouder and M. Fairchild must be heading towards the end of their careers. There is definitely plenty of room for promotion.

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1 hour ago, BalanchineFan said:

Also, If Mearns is now first cast for 2nd movt of the Bizet, who else has done it: Reichlen, Hyltin... anyone else? They could get some of the younger women going on that. I remember Tiler Peck saying that she started the Bizet in the corps, then danced the lead in the 4th Movt, then the lead in the 1st. Couldn't Lauren King learn 1st movt? Or Indiana Woodward in the 1st? I see Unity Phelan as more of a 2nd Movt type. I hear she danced After the Rain and Agon (ppd only?) in Vail.

These are great suggestions for Symphony in C. I would love to see King or Woodward in the first movement. Woodward would also be a good choice for the Tchaikovsky gut-crunchers. I can also see Unity Phelan in the 2nd movement, along with of course Ashley Laracey. AFAIK the only ones who have done 2nd movement on the current roster are Mearns, Kowroski, Reichlen, and Hyltin.

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3 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

The sooner the company ditches those shellacked pompadours as the default danseur do, the better. Beards would be fine too.

Okay, but given that the women wear standardized hairstyles depending on leotard, tutu or tiara, you can kind of see how a default hairstyle developed for the men as well. And if the women are gelled and sprayed into total sleekness because strays and bangs would be distracting, it's not surprising  that the men should also be sprayed into some degree of hair immobility. And this is more of a rhetorical question, but if the men were to start wearing facial hair, would unibrows become acceptable for the women? (And would NYT reviewers pass over the issue in silence?)

I guess I bristle at the idea of men being afforded greater flexibility in these matters while the uniformity of the women's appearance goes unquestioned.

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15 minutes ago, cobweb said:

These are great suggestions for Symphony in C. I would love to see King or Woodward in the first movement. Woodward would also be a good choice for the Tchaikovsky gut-crunchers. I can also see Unity Phelan in the 2nd movement, along with of course Ashley Laracey. AFAIK the only ones who have done 2nd movement on the current roster are Mearns, Kowroski, Reichlen, and Hyltin.

On a Conversations on Dance podcast from the beginning of the pandemic, I remember Michael Breeden saying that Mira Nadon was being taught 2nd movement. I would also guess that Miriam Miller is a natural choice to be in the 2nd movement pipeline. 

 

27 minutes ago, cobweb said:

In addition, Bouder and M. Fairchild must be heading towards the end of their careers. There is definitely plenty of room for promotion.

I think both these dancers are going to go for several more years. I think Bouder, in particular, has said that she wants to dance into her 40s. I will say she looked rushed in Serenade on Tuesday though the jumps were there. I think Indiana will take over more and more of this rep, though. 

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18 minutes ago, bellawood said:

On a Conversations on Dance podcast from the beginning of the pandemic, I remember Michael Breeden saying that Mira Nadon was being taught 2nd movement. I would also guess that Miriam Miller is a natural choice to be in the 2nd movement pipeline.

Yes to Miriam Miller. Mira Nadon strikes me as not formed enough yet (granted last time I saw her in any featured role was 1.5y ago).

 

21 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

Okay, but given that the women wear standardized hairstyles depending on leotard, tutu or tiara, you can kind of see how a default hairstyle developed for the men as well. And if the women are gelled and sprayed into total sleekness because strays and bangs would be distracting, it's not surprising  that the men should also be sprayed into some degree of hair immobility. And this is more of a rhetorical question, but if the men were to start wearing facial hair, would unibrows become acceptable for the women? (And would NYT reviewers pass over the issue in silence?)

 

No to beards, just no. And down with the unibrows too!

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Diamonds gets 6 shows this winter. Mearns and Reichlen will presumably get two performances each, which leaves room for at least one debut. I predict Phelan or maybe even Miller since she danced the pas de deux at Saratoga. Male casting could potentially be exciting too. (I don't think a bald head will suit that ballet, sorry...)

Edited by JuliaJ
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I used to read Sara Mearns' instagram.   She once mentioned that Ratmansky approached her after a performance and commented on her hair.  There were some hairs out of place or frizzy - something like that.   I think intense scrutiny of women should also apply to the men.  There is a double standard here. 

As an audience member, I found Tyler Angle's baldness very distracting.  In the past when Ethan Steifel dyed his hair super blond at ABT many years ago it was also distracting.

Once you start allowing people to be themselves on stage with beards, mustaches, mohawks, visible tattoos  or whatever, these personal choices start distracting from  the performance.

Edited by abatt
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Jeez, a guy doesn't have a full head of hair so we can't accept his dancing in a non-narrative neo-classical tutu ballet?

The dance world has (mostly) gotten used to other ways, equally irrelevant to actual dancing, in which dancers were previously thought to "not look the part" (e.g. skin tone). Maybe over time we'll all get a little more used to this too and find the lack of a full head of hair to be less distracting?

I certainly found Angle's former fake hair to be pretty distracting too.

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There have been dancers who alternate between bald and wigged depending on the ballet. For example, at the Royal Danish Ballet Jonathan Chmelensky goes bald in contemporary ballets, but wears a wig in narrative and tutu ballets, such as the company's stream of Ballo della Regina during the lockdown. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet had a soloist named Alexander Gamayunov who was bald in Forsythe, but wore a wig in The Nutcracker. In both cases the wig was a version of the standard danseur coiffure. (It has to be said that Gamayunov pulled off the bad-ass bald look as well as anyone.) In recent years the Bolshoi's Vyacheslav Lopatin has been wearing a toupee in roles that require him to appear very young, such as Romeo or Lensky. Since Ratmansky was mentioned earlier, Lopatin wore one in Lost Illusions years before he began to wear it in anything else.

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1 hour ago, abatt said:

I used to read Sara Mearns' instagram.   She once mentioned that Ratmansky approached her after a performance and commented on her hair.  There were some hairs out of place or frizzy - something like that.   I think intense scrutiny of women should also apply to the men.  There is a double standard here. 

As an audience member, I found Tyler Angle's baldness very distracting.  In the past when Ethan Steifel dyed his hair super blond at ABT many years ago it was also distracting.

Once you start allowing people to be themselves on stage with beards, mustaches, mohawks, visible tattoos  or whatever, these personal choices start distracting from  the performance.

Although there may be roles in which baldness is a male dancer not have this effect, I had the same opinion when I saw Tyler in the White Swan and Diamonds excerpts at SPAC this past summer. I also never noticed his toupee in previous years.

And I agree with you about the the double standard. Female dancers have to appearas though they have long hair in most ballets --if they have shorter hair, they have to wear hairpieces to look like they have long hair. 

 

1 hour ago, JuliaJ said:

I'm sure Angle didn't exactly choose to be bald, but at a certain point, if you don't look the part, maybe that part should go to somebody else (at least in tutu-type ballets). 

I know that he's considered a great partner, but I'd have to agree.

 

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Someone asked about the tall blond with long hair -- that's Samuel Melnikov, I think. Just got back from tonight's performance. Serenade was more assured tonight -- certainly Ashley Bouder was much more "on" than on Tuesday. Glass Pieces -- Unity Phelan is making her bid for principal here. She was terrific. Who knows what goes on behind the scenes but my god, they have to promote some people! She, Indiana Woodward and Harrison Ball should be promoted this fall -- but who knows? Oh, and Jovani Furlan, whom I love. I mean, is Jared Angle ever going to dance again? 

Tyler Angle is clearly a legendary partner (just listen when Tiler Peck talks about him) but he fell out of his turns during the 4th movement on Tuesday. I have no opinion on the baldness except to say it makes him look shorter (and he's not short). 

And a costume question -- am I crazy or did the Glass Pieces costumes at one point have sweatband accessories? They haven't been around in years but I have a stubborn memory of Jane Fonda-themed headbands. 

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11 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

I guess I bristle at the idea of men being afforded greater flexibility in these matters while the uniformity of the women's appearance goes unquestioned.

I for one would have no objection to the women having greater flexibility in matters of appearance. If the photos are any evidence, Diana Adams and Maria Tallchief wore their hair in considerably softer styles than NYCB's norm today and somehow still contrived to look like ballerinas. There are a couple of Martha Swope photos of Adams and Arthur Mitchell in Agon in which she's got soft little curls framing her forehead and it looks lovely. I see no reason why today's dancers couldn't enjoy the same flexibility.

ETA: I just took a quick stroll through some 1970's era photos of Ib Anderson, Bart Cook, Adams Luders, and Peter Martins and I'm pleased to report that their hair was long, free flowing, and most definitely not shellacked into immovable pompadours. 

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell
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2 hours ago, bellawood said:

And a costume question -- am I crazy or did the Glass Pieces costumes at one point have sweatband accessories? They haven't been around in years but I have a stubborn memory of Jane Fonda-themed headbands. 

Oh they most certainly did! They weren't sweatbands exactly but they did suggest the aerobics studio—much as those shiny shiny unitards do.

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Thoughts on last night's performance:

Serenade -- stunning. Hyltin and Danchig-Waring were standouts. Same with Megan LeCrone -- this is definitely her best role. The female corps is in excellent form. 

Pulcinella -- not my favorite but what a treat to see Sara Mearns, Tiler Peck, and Anthony Huxley all on stage at the same time.  

Glass Pieces -- Unity Phelan, wow. No words. Ashley Hod and her very long legs in the first movement really stood out as well. 3rd movement mens corps could have been cleaner, sharper, and more energetic. A lot of these men (boys!) were very young corps members who missed over a year of performing experience, so I'll cut them some slack. But not the best showcase of NYCB male dancing. 

Management needs to say something about the hair. Why are they letting this slide? Sam Melnikov's bob was particularly awful and so was the overgrown hair on another young man (I think Victor Abreu?) Call me old fashioned but I expect certain grooming and aesthetic standards onstage at the ballet!

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On a Conversations on Dance podcast from the beginning of the pandemic, I remember Michael Breeden saying that Mira Nadon was being taught 2nd movement. I would also guess that Miriam Miller is a natural choice to be in the 2nd movement pipeline.

Yes to Miriam Miller. Mira Nadon strikes me as not formed enough yet (granted last time I saw her in any featured role was 1.5y ago).

>>>>>

I'm glad these women are starting to work on these roles. Unity has been dancing Agon ppd for years at Vail and if a dancer has the time (and access to a good coach),  that's an excellent way to work on these iconic roles. Mira Nadon and Miriam Miller might work on Bizet, movement 2 for years before they get cast in it in NYCB. Also, you never know who might suddenly get injured during a long season. I'd hate to see a rising ballerina thrown into an iconic role like Agon, or 2nd Movt Bizet with just an hour of preparation.

Wasn't Isabelle Lafreniere also rehearsing Diamonds a few years ago, as per her Instagram? Back when Zach Catazaro was her partner?

Ashley Laracey had a very nice debut in Concerto Barocco a few years ago (with Silas Farley, who danced beautifully, though there's an enormous height differential).

Edited by BalanchineFan
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13 hours ago, canbelto said:

What I noticed about Angle was not his baldness but how tepid his dancing has become. He was never the strongest virtuoso but now it's as if he simply partners and marks the actual dancing.

Yes, I noticed that too.  Maybe he needs some time to get back in the groove after the pandemic. 

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