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2003 Spring Season

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I know we are still early in the Winter Season, but since it regularly has been topping about at about 30 degrees around here, I can't think of a better time to think about the 2003 Spring Season.

There doesn't appear to be much change in the reperatory from the winter season to that of the spring.

Full length: Coppelia, Midsummer Night's Dream and the return of Martins' Swan Lake (my spy from Wednesday night was correct!).

Balanchine: No revivals (they'll probably wait until the Balanchine anniversary season of 2004 to bring back very old ballets, if at all). The revival from this season, Ballade, is back, as is Donizetti Variations, Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, and Walpurgisnacht Ballet.

If the rumors are correct, I'm sure we'll be seeing Sylvie in the Tschiakovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 and Brahms-Schoenberg Quartest (Rondo).

Also, Symphony in Three Movements, Chaconne, Agon, Le Tombeau de Couperin, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Vienna Waltzes

Robert Schumann's "Davidsbündlertänze", Western Symphony, Concerto Barocco, Who Cares?, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Valse-Fantaisie, Square Dance and Tarantella.

Robbins: West Side Story Suite is back, as is Ives, Songs, the Cage, and Glass Pieces.

Also, Piano Pieces, Interplay, In G Major, In The Night.

Martins: In addition to Swan Lake, there is

a new ballet called, "Guide to Strange Places" (I believe the music is Adams again), Sinfonia, Symphonic Dances, Hallelujah Junction, Reliquary, and Thou Swell.

There is a new Wheeldon ballet, Carnival of the Animals, and (back by popular demand) Carousel (A Dance). Plus, Morphoses.

And others - Vespro, Circle of Fifths and Sonatas and Interludes.

The full listing is not up yet, only subscriptions (with new strange names such as Ballet Master's Choice):


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Thanks, Dale, that was very welcome. I only wish I could post the Saratoga schedule now too. Apropos that strangely-named series, an apostrophe makes all the difference. I thought Ballet Masters Choice would include "the best" of Balanchine, Robbins, and Martins. Turns out it's Ballet Master's Choice -- the choices of the Ballet Master in Chief himself. And as if to confirm what his detractors have been saying, it includes just one Balanchine ballet and no Robbins. :confused:

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Well, the Ballet Masters Choice won't be MY choice, that is for certain. PM must just love Vespro I guess. As much as others have posted praising some aspects of it, I just will not see it again.

We were warned about the ballets that are "resting" after this season, but I still find it shocking to see an entire season without Serenade, Bizet, or Mozartiana. And when oh when will we get Apollo again? Reading the review of MCB makes me wish I had been able to get to Florida for that performance. I'll be posting more about that in the MCB thread.

Oh and FF: we in Saratoga are waiting with baited breath for that announcement too. All I can tell you is that we are getting all three story ballets: Midsummer, Coppelia and Swan Lake. So how much more time will there be for repertory?

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When I saw the title Ballet Master's Choice, I thought that it might contain an interesting grouping of ballets we might not usually see together, but when I looked at it, I wasn't that interested.

I don't mind seeing certain ballets rested if there is not an appropriate dancer available. Since Zelensky and Stiefel left, I felt there haven't been too many ideal Apollos at the company. Well, they have too really fine ones in Boal (some say PB is one of the top practitioners ever of the role) and Hubbe. The problem is terpsichore. Those Apollos require smaller partners. When they last did the ballet, Margaret Tracy and Borree were cast. For me, Tracy was not ideal for the part, but when I'm in a generous mood I'd say she wasn't that bad and did nicely. I just don't think Terpsichore is the right part for Borree. It is for Kowroski, but without a tall Apollo, she won't be cast. Philip Neal was cast as Apollo by Suzanne Farrell a few years ago and I thought it was a breakthrough performance for him. But he's never done it with NYCB.

Same thing with the Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet. After Meunier wasn't cast in the Rondo, I didn't really think Whelan and Kowroski were ideal. If Sylvie stays on for the next season, I think she could be.

Same with the lack of Tchiakovsky "gut-crunchers." My feeling was that the company didn't know if Weese would be truely back in good health, so rather than use a dancer not right for the part, they didn't schedule those ballets for the Winter season. Now, Weese looks to be on the right track and they also have a true danseur noble in the company in Tewsley, the Piano Concerto is on the spring list.

One worry I had when I looked at the ballets was that Pavane, brought back this season for Nichols is not back. I think she has been really smart in the ballets she choses to do now and looking at the spring schedule there's not much for her (Serenade is also being rested). Well, maybe there is enough with In G Major, Vienna Waltzes, Davidsbundlertanz, Midsummer and Walpurgisnacht and a few other such as Concero Barocco and Chaconne.

The two little Stravinsky ballets by Martins are off the schedule. I guess the young up-and-comers will get there chances in Swan Lake and Coppelia.

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Has Robert Tewsley done Apollo? And would he be right for it? I only saw him in Nutcracker, not much of a part and I wasn't overwhelmed with enthusiasm, but is he a possibility? Of course imo Peter Boal is the consummate Apollo.

For Terpsichore, as a short dancer, what about Jennie Somogyi? I think so! Yvonne Borree-- I think not! I would love to see Carla Korbes grow into that role.

As for Brahms-Schoenberg, will Sofiane Sylve be in NY for spring season? My understanding is that she will only be here for 5 weeks.

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Re. Zelensky: I think he was just in New York for the two performances in Western Symphony. During the spring season he's probably be busy at the White Nights Fest. or other guest gigs.

Somogyi was very good as Polyhymnia. And Korbes evidently came to the notice of SAB when Boal guested in Brazil to do Apollo and a very young Korbes was his Terpsichore. I'd like to see her do it.

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I remember being quite impressed with how good Neal was in Apollo, with Farrell's group.

Let's not forget that Nilas Martins also dances Apollo (someone had to say it!). I rather suspect we'll see a Martins Apollo before we see a Tewsley one. Tewsley would certainly make a very pretty Apollo, but given that he danced his Western Symphony solo as if he were doing Bluebird (and a very pretty one at that!), I have some doubt in my mind about his interpretive abilities.

Am I crazy, or would Janie Taylor make a formidable Terpsichore? Yes, she's a wild thing, but her burning intensity could make her quite the embodiment of a mythological archetype.

I am going to sound even crazier, but I think Sebastien Marcovici would be an interesting Apollo. He's matured a lot lately, and he's surprised me more than a few times.

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No Sleeping Beauty? :confused: They haven't done it since 2000. And it's Martins's best work for the company.

I hope that Somogyi will get to do Ballet Imperial (I just can't get my tongue — or keyboard — around the music title Balanchine gave it).

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Dale mentioned earlier, and I agree, that the company has two strong Apollos in Boal and Hubbe. Yet Hubbe is underused, at best, by Peter Martins, and if Apollo were to be revived I wonder if he would even be cast.

Most of the time I must follow the company from afar and therefore am not as familiar with many of the newer dancers... maybe I am missing someone. But other than Hubbe and Boal it appears that there are few (if any) who could handle a role like Apollo and do it justice. I fault Martins, to a large extent, because it is the duty of the artistic director to cultivate and nurture talent. Particularly among the ranks of men, I don't think he has either cultivated or nurtured talent in a way that would value artistry as equally important as technique and ensure the survival of ballets like Apollo.

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