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NYCB 2003 Winter Season

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The 2003 Winter season brochure is out (Maria Kowroski in her "Them Twos" costume posing langourously on top of a building in mid-town Manhattan on the front, company members, including Aesha Ash, Nikolaj Hubbe, one of the Fromans, Faye Arthurs, Aaron Severini and a sultry Sophie Flack in the costumes for Monumentum Pro Gesualdo etc...on the back).

The big revival is Ballade by Balanchine. I don't think this has been seen since just after the Balanchine Celebration in the early 90s. It was supposed to come back around five or six years ago but it never got put on due to injuries. Pavane returns as well (I hope not for a Kyra Nichols retirement).

Piano Pieces (Tschiakovsky) by Jerome Robbins is back too. I haven't seen this since Margaret Tracy was a soloist :)

And from my lips to "God's" ears. I wrote that I wouldn't mind seeing Martins' Eight Easy Pieces and Eight More again and now they are back. PM's Sinfonia too.

Thankfully most all of the Diamond Project revivals have been tucked away. The new works from the last season on the upcoming schedule are Haiku, The Infernal Machine, Bach Concerto V, Morphoses, and Vespro. And only one new ballet (the choreographer is not yet announced).

The Balanchine ballets for the season are Agon, Ballade, Chaconne, Concerto Barocco, Coppelia, Kammermusic No. 2, Mozartiana, Nutcracker, Pavane, Raymonda Variations, Davidsbundlertanze, Serenade, Slaugter on Tenth Avenue, Square DAnce, Steadfast Tin Solldier, Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements, Tarantella, Le Tombeau De Couperin, Valse-Fantaisie, Variations Pour Une Porte Et Un Soupir, Vienna Waltzes, Western Symphony, and Who Cares? Monumentum is shown in a picture, but not listed and is not on the schedule.

Robbins -- Antique Epigraphs, Fancy Free, I'm Old Fashioned, In G Major, In the Night, Interplay, Opus 19, Piano Pieces.

Martins -- Bach Concerto V, Burleske, Eight Easy Pieces, Eight More, Hallelujah Junction, Infernal Machine, Jeu De cartes, Reliquary, Symphonic Dances.

Others -- Chiaroscuro, Haiku, Mercurial Manoeuvers, Morphoses, Souree, Sonatas and Interludes, and Vespro.

I think, on the whole, it looks like a good mix. I wonder if the addition of some of the Stravinsky ballets and the scheduling of Relquary is due to some Stravinsky anniversary (there's a real good book out now about the Stravinsky-Balanchine collaboration, which is the subject of Relquary as well). And, the sched is low on Tchiakovsky "gut-crunchers" for which the company is lacking the lead (goddess-type) ballerina right now, if Weese is still out, and high on works to showcase the crop of outstanding corp ladies such without putting them in major roles.

In addition, there are six all-Balanchine nights.

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The casting for Coppelia should be interesting or something -- with Margaret Tracey gone and "Please not Yvonne Borree as Swanhilda" (I couldn't stand the clenched muscles in this one, it would be a recipe for disaster), who can they cast as Swanhilda? It's definitely a demi role or a role that tends in that direction and requires something dramatique. Alexandra Ansanelli, perhaps, a bit by default?

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As with Dale, a piece I had recently been saying they should do has reappeared... Piano Pieces. It hasn't been done, I believe since the Robbins Festival.

Counting ballets, it looks like there's slightly more Martins than Robbins!

And, as far as next season's roster goes...

It looks the the female apprentices from this year got their contracts (Bergstrom, Fairchild, Fadeley, Knapp, and LeCrone, Lowery-- not sure if the latter had already been on the roster). And, Jessy Hendrickson and Chrissy Schultz have left (this in addition to Meunier, Ritter, and K. Tracey). That's what I have noticed so far.


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Originally posted by Calliope

Isn't City Ballet doing participating in the Rodgers tributes?

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue is on the schedule. And one of the nights it's scheduled is the New Combinations Evening-- which also features Serenade and the premiere of the new ballet...


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Martins has gone from ten male soloists to four in less than a year. The only ones left are Gold, Houston, Angle and Higgins, the latter two just returning from major injuries. And if Angle returns to his pre-injury quality, he deserves a promotion too. Hofmans is a big loss-he never seemed to have gotten a niche in the rep, so I'm not overly surprised that he's departed. While there's talent in the corps, there was only one male apprentice last year, so Martins has got to import talent or push this year's apprentices through quickly.

I'm not shocked about the corps ladies, but am very surprised about Stuart Capps. He just debuted as Bottom and also had another major role in the ballet. Speaking of Bottom-with Ritter and Capps now gone, it leaves Houston and Fayette to carry on the role.

Oh, from what I've read the new ballet must be the new one to be choreographed by Susan Stroman (which could also be a Rodgers ballet). I don't know about a Stravinsky Festival, but hasn't there been discussion of a Robbins Festival.

The ballet mix is nice...can't wait to see Coppelia, but did want to see Dances at a Gathering again. Guess you can't have everything. Sigh..

I'll have to grab a copy of the brochure when I'm in town on Thursday.


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There were no brochures at the NYS Theater today, but mine arrived in the mail today. Melissa Walter is also not on the roster. I did the math, and based upon the roster in the brochure, the company is six dancers smaller-one less corps dancer and 6 fewer soloists.


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The company is not only smaller overall but less costly to operate. You save money when you replace corps members such as Stein, Walter, Hendrickson, Schulz, etc., who have been there for years, with eighteen-year-olds fresh off their apprenticeships. But you sacrifice age, experience, leadership, artistry, cohesion, institutional memory. One thing that was nice about seeing the Kirov Corps recently was that we were seeing grownups. Ideally, if the quality of the corps were your only criterion, you would make transition in the corps much more gradual.

My guess (obviously) is that money plays a large role in this.

Ticket sales were down last year on visual evidence. And the City and State subsidies can't be expected to continue at the same level in the near future. There are big budget shortfalls for all public entities right now.

The irony is that NYCB still finds it easy to raise large sums of money for special projects that have Vanity appeal such as the Diamond Project or the Choreographic Institute. While money for normal operating expenses, and maintaining the normal repertory grows tight. So it can end up like a tree with lots of heavy branches up top but less and less foundation underneath.

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Originally posted by Estelle

But I haven't managed to find a "normal" schedule (by week, not by subscription  series) on their website yet.

That schedule format usually is not posted until near the time single tickets go on sale. Though, I have found often (haven't checked this time) that if you check under group sales, there will be a week by week schedule up much earlier.


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My understanding is that Stuart will be taking some time off, and then he would like to do some Broadway work. This info comes from a friend of mine who spent some time with him recently in Saratoga. As far as I know, he and Maria Kowroski are still a couple and he is happy about his decision.

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