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New York City Ballet 2021 Season


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8 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

Possibly something went awry, either in the performance or in the filming, and different finale was more presentable.

Yes, that was my thought as well. Was curious if anyone had been present and recalled, if it was an issue with the performance — or if any other explanation had been given elsewhere.

Edited by nanushka
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9 hours ago, nanushka said:

I’m a bit surprised they wouldn’t film even an entire movement. Have many of the earlier streamed-during-quarantine performances been compiled for the same reason? I don’t recall that.

I believe that last week's showing of Prodigal Son also used footage from two performances.

Edited by RUKen
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Just finished watching the T+V stream. I enjoyed it, but I think my viewing of the older version, with Kistler and faster tempos, left me a little disappointed with this evening's performance tempo. The finale wasn't the same exciting, rolling, build-up at a slower tempo. Nevertheless, both Peck and Veyette seemed great, technique-wise. 

(Long-time lurker, first-time poster.)

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55 minutes ago, canbelto said:

This T&V was just what I needed tonight!

Same here! Tiler's wrists are a little more flamboyant, shall we say, than I like, but great otherwise.

And SFB's digital program #3 just opened with Ratmansky's Symphony #9. Great night at the ballet!

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For me, the digital season's Theme and Variations really hit the spot...Bravo to everybody. I will allow I thought the performance [stitched together as it may have been] gave the impression of picking up steam as it went along, but it feels entirely appropriate for the energy and  emotion to build to a climax here.  My internalized recording of T&V is still probably the live Kirkland/Baryshnikov broadcast, but this--with its crisp HD-quality images--was a joy to see.

I also very much enjoyed Russell Janzen's introduction--but when he admitted that when doing his at-home ballet class/practice listening to Tchaikovsky's music he found himself tearing up as the Polonaise began even though, as he said 'that's not usually an emotional moment,' I mentally began shouting at the television 'of course it's an emotional moment! At any halfway decent performance of Theme and Variations, I always tear up--or, at least, shiver with excitement--when the Polonaise begins!"
 

Edited by Drew
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My, that was lovely. Makes me eager to be back in the theatre. I wasn't sure if Russell Janzen was serious when he described the start of the polonaise as "not an emotional moment," since he choked up and his own emotions betrayed him. Like Drew, I feel the same!

I am partial to the video with Darci Kistler and Igor Zelensky. Zelensky's line is to die for, I find everything he does beautiful. Also the music in that version is different from tonight - it's more forgiving, quiets down at time, which I find eases the mind. Also the violin playing is so beautiful in that version. I'm not a musician, not sure I'm describing the difference very well. I didn't catch the coaching session earlier in the week, did anyone see it? (I'll go back and watch it over the weekend.)

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On 3/1/2021 at 6:05 PM, nanushka said:

I’m a bit surprised they wouldn’t film even an entire movement. Have many of the earlier streamed-during-quarantine performances been compiled for the same reason? I don’t recall that.

I'm not sure why there would be incomplete archival recordings at NYCB - doesn't make much sense.

On 3/1/2021 at 7:02 PM, volcanohunter said:

Possibly something went awry, either in the performance or in the filming, and different finale was more presentable.

That's the most common reason for this type of editing - a too obvious flaw in the performance (that may have otherwise been great). A missed lift or a dancer slipping on the stage during the finale could be reason enough to substitute another night's film of the same cast (if the company has the luxury of multiple archived films of the same program). But as you note, there could also have been a technical glitch and some of the footage was lost or damaged.

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Question: I sometimes hear the remark that Balanchine made a few modifications in T&V when he staged it for NYCB, from the original ABT version. Can anyone identify those changes?

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1 hour ago, California said:

Question: I sometimes hear the remark that Balanchine made a few modifications in T&V when he staged it for NYCB, from the original ABT version. Can anyone identify those changes?

He added gargouillades for the female soloist, and he also reworked the ballet to be the final movement of the complete Tchaikovsky Suite #3. 

Here's the ABT version:

 

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Seeing T&V made me even more eager to be able to get back to the theater. Peck's musicality is amazing. There were moments that lifted me up and made me gasp with delight! Veyette's partnering is also a joy. He gives the ballerina such freedom with just a small touch, or the use of one hand. The look is so elegant. I also enjoyed that, in the double tours/pirouette solo, Veyette could alternate single & double pirouettes, and then held a count at the top of a turn, so he could land the final tours on the last count of the music. Many men use a hand flourish to end the phrase. DeLuz could also do the single/double pirouettes. Before that I remember seeing Peter Martins do it back in the day. Martins was great in this ballet.

I may be in the minority, but I never loved the Kirkland/Baryshnikov video. She seemed a bit joyless. As much as I loved Baryshnikov's dancing in general, to me he seemed boxed in, even stiff doing this choreography.  

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6 hours ago, vipa said:

I may be in the minority, but I never loved the Kirkland/Baryshnikov video. She seemed a bit joyless.

Not joyful, no. But to me her performance has always seemed rather regal. And perhaps because I came to know the piece by watching that recording many times, before I ever saw it onstage, that interpretation has always seemed quite valid and appropriate (though not necessary) for the role.

Edited by nanushka
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On 3/4/2021 at 11:59 PM, cobweb said:

My, that was lovely. Makes me eager to be back in the theatre. I wasn't sure if Russell Janzen was serious when he described the start of the polonaise as "not an emotional moment," since he choked up and his own emotions betrayed him. Like Drew, I feel the same!

I am partial to the video with Darci Kistler and Igor Zelensky. Zelensky's line is to die for, I find everything he does beautiful. Also the music in that version is different from tonight - it's more forgiving, quiets down at time, which I find eases the mind. Also the violin playing is so beautiful in that version. I'm not a musician, not sure I'm describing the difference very well. I didn't catch the coaching session earlier in the week, did anyone see it? (I'll go back and watch it over the weekend.)

I loved the coaching session. Don't miss it, if you have any interest.

Joseph Gordon works on the male solo variations with Kathleen Tracey and his jumps and comportment are just to die for! I've always thought he lands his jumps like butter, and that is very much in evidence here. It ends with footage of Andy Veyette doing the same variation, totally in top form. It's the same general format as the previous rehearsal footage, a younger dancer who has only performed the role once or twice (Gordon), a seasoned dancer with years of experience in the role (Veyette, who says he's been dancing it so long he doesn't remember his debut!), Kathleen Tracey as repertory director and Russell Janzen interviewing and hosting.

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15 hours ago, nanushka said:

Not joyful, no. But to me her performance has always seemed rather regal. And perhaps because I came to know the piece by watching that recording many times, before I ever saw it onstage, that interpretation has always seemed quite valid and appropriate (though not necessary) for the role.

I read somewhere that Kirkland and Baryshnnikov had a major argument the day of the live broadcast. Not sure if that impacted their performance style. Personally, I love that performance. It was the first time I'd seen the ballet. The speed is electrifying.

I'm interested to look for the Kistler recording again. I think I may have already seen it online. Tiler seems so incredibly joyful in this performance. I don't remember that from previous performances, most other ballerinas go for a more detached, regal, formal interpretation, but Vive la Différence! I haven't seen T&V performed live very much because NYCB always programs it as Tschaikovsky Suite #3 and I so dislike the earlier movements, but this broadcast shows what I've been missing, and it's A LOT.

Edited by BalanchineFan
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45 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

I read somewhere that Kirkland and Baryshnnikov had a major argument the day of the live broadcast. Not sure if that impacted their performance style. Personally, I love that performance. It was the first time I'd seen the ballet. The speed is electrifying.

If you have Gelsey's book, Dancing on My Grave, see pp. 196-7. This was their last performance together. They had all sorts of quarrels during rehearsal and at one point Baryshnikov said he would refuse to dance with her that night and had to be talked into it. But there was also tension with Bujones, who had lifted some of Baryshnikov's turns from T&V to show him up. 

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2 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

I'm interested to look for the Kistler recording again. I think I may have already seen it online.

The 1993 recording of Kistler and Zelensky you're likely thinking of isn't of the whole ballet, alas—just the pas de deux and the finale. It was part of the Balanchine Celebration broadcast. 

 

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John Clifford has very negative things to say about the streamed T&V. I don't agree with him. SInce it's public-facing I'll quote it:

Quote

 

I'm taking a chance posting this after that excellent performance of THEME AND VARIATIONS tonight by NYCB because I could be misunderstood...but there's a reason. Musical tempi was of the utmost importance to Balanchine. Even if the dancers were not comfortable and could barely keep up, he wanted the excitement of that challenge. These dancers of the Hungarian National Ballet, led by

(the company's senior ballerina) and Gergely LeBlanc (their youngest male principal and 6’ 2”) did not have much (if any) experience dancing Balanchine's choreography, but I think they do a very respectable job dancing at the tempi Balanchine wanted. Actually Aliya had a severely bruised rib so I didn't insist Gergely throw her in that circle, and at the end they needed to move back because of the front curtain issues. What Mr. B actually wanted was for the ballerina to only do a quick double supported pirouette and be up on his shoulder; finished with her port de bras on the first chord of those last chords. We couldn't do this in Budapest because of the front curtain. The remaining chords were for the curtain to close or come done. Very much like what he wanted years later in SYMPHONY IN 3 MOVEMENTS, where everyone should freeze on the first downbeat of those last crashing chords in Stravinsky's music (now the men keep moving which ruins the whole point). I staged this THEME for Budapest 4 years ago and pushed them to do this at the tempo Balanchine wanted. Tonight I found the Polonaise in the NYCB performance a tad slow. It looked as if the dancers wanted to go faster. Also there's a certain overdone lyricism that's crept into all the NYCB dancers' port de bras. In Balanchine's day of course Suzanne Farrell would do this, but she was the exception and not the rule. That's what he liked about her, but for everyone else he wanted a very clear (not brittle) and concise port de bras. No "blurring" of the arms or feet. I think some other ballerinas copied her, and now this is the norm. Pity. A dancer friend of mine calls this new style, the "ooey gooey" type of dancing that people now think is "Balanchine." Also I staged this with the musicality in the Pas Balanchine wanted. Of course he let the various ballerinas have a bit of freedom to "interpret," but...some things still need to be connected to the music. I also went back to the original dancers, Alonso and Youskevitch's silent videos to check some partnering details. I think we ALL can still learn from the original dancers who inspired Balanchine.

 

 

Edited by canbelto
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On 3/5/2021 at 9:20 AM, California said:

Question: I sometimes hear the remark that Balanchine made a few modifications in T&V when he staged it for NYCB, from the original ABT version. Can anyone identify those changes?

To me, the changes are most notable in portions of the corps work during the finale, such as the way that the corps girls fan-out, when falling into their partners' arms. I've also noticed that, after the pdd, just before the finale's trumpets, the main girl falls into her partners arms at a different angle & more dramatically. Certain details are more dramatic at ABT, perhaps reflecting the flair of the originals stars, Alonso and Youskevich. I also agree with John Clifford about the differing tempi at NYCB.

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I sadly missed Prodigal Son, and I made it a priority to take time to watch T&V. I've reached the conclusion that Tiler Peck can never retire. Her musicality, her speed, yet her ability to make it seem like she's taking her time... She's truly one of the best.

I appreciated the close-up shots during the partnering of the PDD. I was fascinated to watch how sometimes Peck literally just hangs on to Veyette by one finger. That was lovely. I miss live performances.

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10 minutes ago, sohalia said:

I sadly missed Prodigal Son, and I made it a priority to take time to watch T&V. I've reached the conclusion that Tiler Peck can never retire. Her musicality, her speed, yet her ability to make it seem like she's taking her time... She's truly one of the best.

I appreciated the close-up shots during the partnering of the PDD. I was fascinated to watch how sometimes Peck literally just hangs on to Veyette by one finger. That was lovely. I miss live performances.

Tiler IS truly one of the best!

I watched Jonathan Stafford teach a partnering class at SAB on a donor day and he was emphasizing all the support that could be given, in different ways, with just a finger, or two fingers on the woman's wrist, or even by the flat of the hand. He taught a combination that had all sorts of different kinds of uses of the hand and fingers for support. It was so enlightening.

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On 3/6/2021 at 10:33 AM, California said:

If you have Gelsey's book, Dancing on My Grave, see pp. 196-7. This was their last performance together. They had all sorts of quarrels during rehearsal and at one point Baryshnikov said he would refuse to dance with her that night and had to be talked into it. But there was also tension with Bujones, who had lifted some of Baryshnikov's turns from T&V to show him up. 

That's it! Thank you!! Kirkland and Baryshnikov did seem a bit .. detached. Spectacular dancing, though.

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41 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

That's it! Thank you!! Kirkland and Baryshnikov did seem a bit .. detached. Spectacular dancing, though.

I just watched it again. I always assumed that, as it was known at that point that he was leaving for NYCB, that he was trying extra-hard to avoid excessive emoting, something Balanchine was known to discourage. They're both such professionals, they kept up the appearance of dignity and graciousness throughout.

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The interview this week, on Stravinsky Violin Concerto, will be with Sara Mearns, Claire Kretchmar and Rebecca Krohn. I checked on the women's roles and this is the first time this season that the repertory director is someone who performed the role we're seeing coached. Rebecca Krohn danced Stravinsky Violin Concerto at her farewell performance.

Edited by BalanchineFan
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