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New York City Ballet – Nutcracker 2002
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Author:  Malcolm Tay [ Mon Dec 02, 2002 3:22 am ]
Post subject:  New York City Ballet – Nutcracker 2002

Jennifer Dunning in The New York Times:

<B>A Holiday Classic's Ever Tender Coziness</B>
The New York City Ballet dived into its annual "Nutcracker" season on Friday night at the New York State Theater with a glittering, warmhearted performance of that holiday classic. It was not in general the most excitingly danced performance in memory. But in the end the true star of this "Nutcracker" is George Balanchine, its choreographer.
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Author:  Misa_danseuse [ Wed Dec 04, 2002 10:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New York City Ballet – Nutcracker 2002

With so many dance dynasties represented, there is an extra family feeling to the cozy Christmas party in the New York City Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker."
Article in the NY Times by Anna Kisselgoff: Click Here

Author:  Azlan [ Sat Dec 28, 2002 12:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New York City Ballet – Nutcracker 2002

Moved from another thread:

Member# 306

posted 24 December 2002 07:03 PM
Brief notes and observations from the 12/15 evening performance... I had a fourth ring seat, but forgot my binoculars, so these observations are truely from a distance!

Adam Hendrickson appears to be a wonderful Drosselmeier. I think it's unusual for a dancer so young (22 or 23??) and still in the corps to be cast in this role-and it must be an honor. Then again, he's also the only corps dancer in recent years to dance the role of Puck in Midsummer's Night Dream.
Hendrickson's on the short side, but his Drosselmeier stood out for his characterization. Hendrickson's mime has an honest sense and smooth flow. Kudos to him, and I hope this bodes well for his career.

Antonio Carmena was an excellent in Tea-his consecutive split jumps are unforced, high and easily up to 180 each time. I hope to see him get quality roles during the rest of the season.

As usual Dan Ulbricht literally flew-this time as the lead Candycane. Not only, however, do his jumps have great amplitude, but his dancing is so precise and crisp-no blurring the steps. Aside from the SugerPlum & her Cavalier, lead candycane must be the most varied cast of any role with a principal, Ben Millipied, three soloists, Jared Angle, Kip Houston and Tom Gold, and a handful of corps members, Dan Ulbricht, Adam Hendrickson and Sean Suozzi, performing the role.
As an aside, I often wonder why Millipied has not been cast as the Cavalier (not sure if he has danced the role in the past). Injury? Too short? Not an experienced enough partner?

Kudos also the dancers in Hot Chocolate-seven of the eight "corps" dancers were apprentices (it appears that the following are apprentices, based on the fact that they are dancing in the Nutcracker: Sterling Hyltin, Stephanie Zungre, Georgina Pazcoguin, Ashley Laracey, Jessica Flynn, Adrain Danchig-Waring, Allen Pfeiffer and Austin Laurent. Christian Tworzyanski is still an apprentice.

Maria Kowrowski and Philip Neal were excellent together in the grand pas de deux. Not a sign of hesitation in the leap to shoulder lifts, and nary a wobble in the "dragged" arabasque. However, as solid and supportive a partner as he is, Neal is not a natural turner. His turns a la seconde looked labored and the final turns in attitude ended off balance. It's probably in part due to his proportions-when you're well over 6ft, it;s got be hard to get that long leg up and stay balanced. But, it's the partnering that makes the pas de deux, and it was wonderful.

The kids, as usual, were wonderful and well rehearsed. Tyler Gurfein, as someone else desribed him, is reminiscent of young Peter Boal.
Flora Wildes (Marie) has excellent aim-she's the only Marie I've seen who's actually hit the Mouse King (right on his furry rear end) with her slipper.
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posted 28 December 2002 09:47 AM
Did anyone else catch the story about NYCB's Nutcracker on 20/20 last night? It mostly followed the audition process for the children; first the fall audition to get into SAB, and then the audition for Nut itself. There were some really charming interviews with three or four children, as well as some excellent footage.
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Author:  Azlan [ Sat Dec 28, 2002 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New York City Ballet – Nutcracker 2002

I missed it! Did you happen to tape it, Katydid? :)

BTW, this is the topic for the previous year's Nutcracker:

<a href=;f=20;t=000009 target=_blank>New York City Ballet -- Nutcracker 2001</a>

Author:  ksneds [ Sun Jan 05, 2003 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New York City Ballet – Nutcracker 2002

Jan. 3rd performance (Sofiane Sylve's debut)
It might have been 2003, but on January 3rd the Christmas spirit continued at the New York State Theatre with a performance of Balanchine's classic "The Nutcracker". This performance marked the New York City Ballet and American debut of ballerina Sofiane Sylve. Born in France, Sylve is from the Dutch National Ballet, and will be dancing with the New York City Ballet during the winter season.

In the first act of Balanchine's "Nutcracker", the well rehearsed children from the School of American Ballet are always the real stars. Shimon Ito was a poised Nutcracker Prince, and his younger brother Amon was delightfully impish Fritz. As Marie Meiying Thai was graceful and in the battle scene, a great aim with her slipper.
James Fayette's Drosselmeier had an air of mystery mixed with gentle playfulness. He was tender with the children, and not above joining in for a few steps with the dancing, but yet quite spooky atop the chiming grandfather clock.
Unfortunately, not all of Drosselmeier's toys were as magical as their creator. Alina Dronova & Sarah Ricard's Harlequin and Columbine were loosely danced, lacking the stiffness that transforms dancers into mechanical toys. In contrast, Daniel Ulbricht, with his usual power and crispness, brought the soldier doll to life. Even when he lost his balance while spinning down to the final kneeling pose and had to put a hand down, Ulbricht stayed in character. Instead of righting himself, he froze with hand on the ground, as if a toy soldier that has tipped over.

Though the battle scene was still delightful, the strain and tedium of doing more than forty performances of "The Nutcracker" was visible in the more earthbound performances of the older mice. These mice, though obviously enjoying the chaos of the fight, did not jump and leap as much as their counterparts two week ago.
This mental and physical weariness was also apparent in the lackluster Dance of the Snowflakes. Dancing on and in the "snow" is not an easy feat, especially forty performances into the season, but in this performance the snowflakes were rather scattered, frequently straying out of the neat lines. A lack of harmony and flow in the arm movements also detracted from the performance. However, the overall effect was still magical, it is hard to be too harsh at the end of the Nutcracker season.

The second act opened with the little angels, and Sofiane Sylve's first appearance on the New York State Theatre stage. Sylve is a dark haired, solidly built dancer of medium height (even on point, still much shorter than Charles Askegard), with exceptional power and turning ability. Though graceful in guiding the little angels across the stage, she appeared more focused more on her own dancing. She likely has not had much experience in dancing with children before, and probably did not have much to time to rehearse with the young dancers. In a charming moment, she appeared to surprise and delight Meiying Thai by greeting Marie in the Land of Sweets European style, with a kiss on each cheek.

Among the divertissements, Adam Hendrickson, filling in for Antonio Carmena in Tea, showed off his powerful jumps, but his splits lacked a full one hundred eighty degree extension. Replacing Jennifer Tinsley, Carrie Lee Riggins was delicately crisp as the lead Marzipan Shepherdess. Most notable though, was Jonathan Stafford's free spirited Mother Ginger. Stafford colored his performance with some unique and amusing details, including an amusingly shocked expression at his (her?) appearance in the mirror.

Alexandra Ansanelli replaced Miranda Weese as the the Dewdrop Fairy, and was magnificent in her speed and precision. As a Dewdrop should, Ansanelli sparkled. Sofiane Sylve and Charles Askegard brought the evening to a triumphant conclusion with a spectacular pas de deux. Though a slightly tentative in some of the tricky supported balances (and clearly not comfortable with the supported arabasque on the moving strip), Sylve was a powerful and polished Sugarplum Fairy. She held nothing back, blazing across the stage in her diagonal of pirouettes & pique turns and showing no hesitation in the jumps to Mr. Askegard's shoulder. With her quickness and precision, Sylve seems to be will suited to NYCB's repertoire and one looks forward to seeing her in the other ballets. Askegard was a solid and very attentive partner, and with his elegant line, wonderful to watch in the turns in second.

The evening ended with a resounding applause and a bouquet of flowers to mark Ms. Sylve's debut.

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