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New York City Ballet 2021 Season


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20 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

I'm at a loss to understand why he hadn't danced the part a lot sooner.

It was LaFreniere's debut—Danchig-Waring has danced the male lead in Chaconne a number of times. I've seen him with both Mearns and Reichlen, and he was indeed excellent. You can see a few clips of him and Reichlen in one of NYCB's "Anatomy of a Dance" videos here: https://vimeo.com/250349793.

I'm seeing LaFreniere and Danching-Waring in Chaconne tonight, and I'm looking forward it—I'm delighted that LaFreniere is back from a far-too-long absence and taking on a major role.

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13 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

It was LaFreniere's debut—Danchig-Waring has danced the male lead in Chaconne a number of times.

Ah, the cast sheet must have been wrong then, as they both had stars for "first time in role."

Edited by nanushka
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55 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Ah, the cast sheet must have been wrong then, as they both had stars for "first time in role."

That's not the first time that's happened! I've seen a couple of "debuts" that weren't and spent more than a few minutes trying to sort out whether or not my recollection of having seen that very dancer in that very role before was a false memory. 😬

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I thought Isabella LaFreniere was beautiful - confident, glamorous, dancing huge, everything we've been waiting to see from this beautiful dancer for years. She has to be happy with that debut. I was so in love with her, and with Chaconne in general, that I just got off the phone with the box office for a ticket to tonight! (Chaconne only; skipping the rest of the program.) There was a disappointing lack of rapport between her and Danchig-Waring, though. I thought he looked more dour than usual, and there wasn't much eye contact between them, despite her megawatt smile that warmed the hearts of the entire theatre. 

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Beautiful program and performances this afternoon. Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia were breathtaking in Other Dances. I always feel incredibly lucky to get to see her dance live, but this performance was extra special. They have a wonderful chemistry and really brought out the playfulness in the choreography. In the final lift before the curtain goes down, it looked like her dress got caught over his face and she flicked it away as if it were part of the choreography (or at least I think it wasn't part of the choreography?). Mejia is such a star already -- I wonder if they'll give him a Swan Lake opposite Peck this winter. He's definitely ready. He's also really grown into his looks and looks much more adult than before the pandemic. 

La Valse is truly a bizarre ballet but I love it. The narrative reminds me of Aurora's birthday party in Sleeping Beauty, with the mysterious guest putting the lead ballerina in a trance after giving her gifts. It's a great role for Hyltin. I felt fortunate to be able to see King in her unofficial "farewell" show. 

I was never a huge After the Rain fan but Phelan changed my mind about it. I agree with previous commenters that's it's a ballet that really requires long legs. 

Speaking of which, I can't wait to see Phelan in Agon when they eventually cast her (hopefully in the spring). Today's show was overall great but I'm generally lukewarm on Reichlen. Even though she has height and long legs, her extensions often lack impact in my opinion. I'm sad I missed Kowroski in the role this season. LeCrone was good but there was at least one moment when she looked like she was struggling to stay balanced and in control. 

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In a lecture dem at the Center for Ballet Arts, Heather Watts described Agon ppd, in part, as "a high wire act" meaning there are a lot of moments that can easily go awry. The same can be said of the pas de trois with the second woman and two men. The woman balances on pointe and the men turn, or change places, or go to the knee. They can easily knock her off.

I"m glad Lauren King got a nice solo bow. I would have loved to see her, but I think I've seen La Valse twice this season already, and I don't just love the ballet itself.

Brava Lauren King! You'll be missed.

 

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Isabella LaFreniere demonstrated she has everything needed to take on the grand ballerina roles: strong technique, confidence, glamour. She dances with authority, with a grand sweep, has a megawatt smile that radiates throughout the theatre, and an expansive presence that touches your heart. I always knew she was good, but not THAT good. Highly impressed - in love with her, in fact!

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18 hours ago, JuliaJ said:

Mejia is such a star already -- I wonder if they'll give him a Swan Lake opposite Peck this winter. He's definitely ready.

She danced SL with Joe Gordon last time and I don’t see why they would break that up. Also, maybe he’s a little short? T&V absolutely, though.

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On 10/15/2021 at 7:37 PM, On Pointe said:

Even nicer are the comments,  from the stage crew member and the public.

I agree. Comments are closed but I am writing a card to her. Bless her, such a class act and absolutely stunning dancer. 

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I posted this on the Maria Retires thread but posting here, too, as I think your reviews will be posted here.

Dear BAers who will have attended Maria’s final performance today, please, please post lots of details, photos/videos of her bows, the ballets performed and any other delightful information you may wish to share. I had to turn in my ticket yesterday because I have come down with a cold (I’ll get a covid test,too, to rule it out). I’m deeply disappointed, heartbroken, really. Please enjoy and let those of us who cannot attend enjoy vicariously through your reporting. 💞🩰💖Thank you so kindly! 

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I couldn't identify everyone  of the alumni that came out.  The list included Jock Soto, Damien Woetzel, Charles Askegard, Justin Peck, Edward LIaang, Robbie Fairchild, and I believe Jason Fowler.  What a glorious ballerina.  Maria will be missed.

 

Forgot to add Chris Wheeldon and Stella Abrera.

Edited by abatt
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I went to Maria's farewell this afternoon. The audience was quite full and if you look on Instagram, many notable former NYCB dancers were planning to attend. Jock Soto, Damian Woetzel, and Robert Fairchild all greeted Maria onstage. Kay Mazzo, Zachary Catazaro, and Savannah Lowery and probably many more were in the audience. 

The dancing was stellar. Just stellar!! Chaconne looked lovely. Russell Janzen and Maria aced the pas de deux. They have a great connection and it was her one Balanchine-pointe shoe ballet of the evening.

Opus 19 with Sterling Hyltin and Gonzalo Garcia looked beautiful, but has never been one of my favorite ballets. I confess, I dozed a bit.

The excerpt from Wheeldon's Danses a Grande Vitesse was spectacular. The corps de ballet began and then Maria entered aloft, in a lift with Tyler Angle carrying her overhead, arms and legs in a narrow X. The duet was well chosen and had some of the  most dynamic dancing of the evening. The audience clapped and showed their appreciation nearly every time she appeared onstage.

People have written previously about Amaria. I'll say that it improved a bit on second viewing. It seemed to have a bit more substance. There are some recurring gestures that are developed. They dance together, she has a solo, Amar has a solo, they dance together again. In the bows you could see that she was moved, and perhaps struck by the realization that their professional partnership was over.

Slaughter was a lot of fun. The audience roared in the coda when she starts high kicking and throwing her hair around. During the bows I think Abi Stafford came out first. Then Unity, Tiler, the rest of the principal women, the principal men, the former principals (Jock Soto wore a suit and... words fail me... a ...ceremonial... bow and train, perhaps. Amazing looking. He was festively dressed for the occasion), Jonathan Stafford and Wendy Whelan (who hugged Abi Stafford) the repertory directors, Stella Abrera, another woman I think was from ABT, ending with Maria's young son and her husband, Martin Harvey. The final curtain call went on for some time. The audience was buzzing with love and appreciation for her long career and many accomplishments. I was thrilled to be there.

I think the first dancer to come out with flowers is Abi Stafford, followed by @unityphelan, @tilerpeck, @mfairchild17, @tessreichlen, @shyltin in costume, @saramearns, anthony huxley, jared angle, @andiev1, @dpulbricht , @josephgordon_nycballet_  @adrianclay, @rustlegj and many more. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CVJhY7Eg5a4/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

Edited by BalanchineFan
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11 hours ago, canbelto said:

Curtain call for Maria:

 

Thank you so much for posting this! 

Also, I saw Merrill Ashley a few weeks ago at In Balanchine's Classroom and that was not her onstage when you asked. I don't know who that woman was, but it was definitely not Merrill Ashley. She is not that gray and her body is a different shape.

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15 hours ago, KarenAG said:

Dear BAers who will have attended Maria’s final performance today, please, please post lots of details, photos/videos of her bows, the ballets performed and any other delightful information you may wish to share. I had to turn in my ticket yesterday because I have come down with a cold (I’ll get a covid test,too, to rule it out). I’m deeply disappointed, heartbroken, really. Please enjoy and let those of us who cannot attend enjoy vicariously through your reporting. 💞🩰💖Thank you so kindly! 

KarenAG, just wanted to say I'm so sorry this happened to you! I know I would be heartbroken too. I'm planning to get the COVID booster, but just in case I have an untoward reaction, I deliberately did NOT get it last week because I didn't want to be sick for the Kowroski retirement! It was a special afternoon as befits a great ballerina. I hope you are enjoying the reports and video. I will try to post a few more words later today. 

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55 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

Thank you so much for posting this! 

Also, I saw Merrill Ashley a few weeks ago at In Balanchine's Classroom and that was not her onstage when you asked. I don't know who that woman was, but it was definitely not Merrill Ashley. She is not that gray and her body is a different shape.

The lady in question was former principal Jenifer Ringer! 

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