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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:35 pm 
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Ballet and Modern Dance Hurtle Toward Each Other, Again
by ROSLYN SULCAS for the New York Times

" 'In the Upper Room' is probably the hardest ballet I have ever done," said Keith Roberts, a former American Ballet Theater principal and now one of the leads in Ms. Tharp's Broadway show, "Movin' Out," who has taught the work to the company. "You are jumping, running, turning, partnering, with incredible complexity, at very high speed. It's like running a marathon."

published: October 25, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:52 am 
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The Green Table/Dark Elegies, New York
by HILARY OSTLERE for the Financial Times

David Hallberg, a classicist whose purity of line suits him ideally to such works as Les Sylphides, dominates the ballet [The Green Table] with all the force, brutality and doom-laden strutting the role demands. The sharply angular movement and blank-faced stalking of his prey is offset by the humanity of the other characters, ...

published: October 28, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 11:04 am 
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Of Sylphs and Princess Ballerinas
To some, a ballet evening without tutus is like a martini without gin
by DEBORAH JOWITT for the Village Voice

The second night of the ABT season, Paloma Herrera chose a different solo from the one Irina Dvorovenko performed at the gala the night before with the elegant Maxim Beloserkovsky, and the duet was the better for it. Herrera gives the steps of the serenely poised, delicately vixenish solo both amplitude and a Spanishy edge, and she and her partner — Jose Manuel Carreño of the amazingly smooth, steady turns — strike sparks that ignite the audience.

published: October 26, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 11:44 am 
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Past Perfect Treasures
ABT polishes a heritage; the dancers make it shine
by DEBORAH JOWITT for the Village Voice

I'd rather watch the luscious Part fall graciously backward into the arms of pairs of attentive men, or savor a very nice solo for Murphy. Quanz occasionally fumbles. Once the men stalk in, look at Part, and leave. À la Balanchine, one woman and then another run under the bridge formed by Murphy and Beloserkovsky's clasped hands, but the image never gets developed. Murphy races through a pathway of women to reach Stiefel; you expect that when she gets there, they'll do something more charged than echoing the women's little waltz-in-place balancés.

published: October 26, 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:40 pm 
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NINA ANANIASHVILI T0 TAKE MATERNITY LEAVE

Principal Dancer Nina Ananiashvili will take maternity leave from American Ballet Theatre for the 2005-2006 season. Ananiashvili and her husband expect their first child in February 2006.

Dates for Ananiashvili’s return to American Ballet Theatre have not yet been determined.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:46 am 
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I think my new fav at ABT is Stella Abrera. She was by far the most consistent interpreter of Twyla Tharp's modern choreography in "In The Upper Room," shaking head, limbs and what not to the commissioned Philip Glass score from start to finish, in spite of obvious exhaustion. Most of the other dancers seemed to have quit halfway through. Yet, Abrera also excelled in "Les Sylphides," her interpretation much more satisfying Sunday afternoon compared to Irina Dvorovenko's almost-flirtacious performance on Friday night.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 8:25 pm 
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Agreed.

Highlights of last weekend’s performances were Dark Elegies with two different casts that included Julie Kent, Kristi Boone, Carlos Lopez , and Jesus Pastor; The Green Table with Isaac Stappas as Death; In the Upper Room with Ethan Stiefel, Stella Abrera, Erica Cornejo, Paloma Herrera, Maria Riccetto and Laura Hidalgo; Les Sylphides with David Hallberg, Abrera, Erica Cornjo, and Zhong-Jing Fang. But unquestionably, the highlight of the season was the breakout performance of Hallberg and Abrera in Robbins’ Afternoon of the Faun. Blurring the line of fantasy and reality, their performances were among the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Was she real or imagined? Maybe she was real and he was imagined. Both artists powerfully held the audience during moments of stillness when they were on the verge of making some emotional connection before one backed away or was seduced by his or her own image in the mirror. Jeez-Louise, it was good.

On the loveliest of Sunday afternoons, we saw Dark Elegies and The Green Table which reminded us just how far our civilization has come since the 1930’s. We clapped without smiling in appreciation of remarkable performances. We left the theater with the somber satisfaction of having looked in the mirror, clearly admitting to our hideous past and present, and not wanting to contemplate the future.

Last, but not least, what a treat it was getting together with so many of the local, and not so local, CriticalDance folks.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:33 pm 
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Poohtunia wrote:
Last, but not least, what a treat it was getting together with so many of the local, and not so local, CriticalDance folks.


Ditto. In fact, that might have been the most fun bit!

"Dark Elegies" has to be my favorite of the works on display last week, with its understated poignancy. Julie Kent, gaunt and taciturn, has found her place in this work of Tudor's that touches upon the death of children.

And, yes, I now remember I have seen "Green Table" before. :) At the end of the performance Sunday, an audience member quipped that someone should send GW Bush a video of this ballet about war...


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:40 am 
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Quote:
In the Heights
Two ballets, composed almost 50 years apart, speak in different voices on profound matters
by DEBORAH JOWITT for the Village Voice

"You'd think that a word processor would be ideal for writing about Twyla Tharp's amazing new dance, In the Upper Room. It has the speed, the flow. Blocks can be moved about, strings repeated, letters inserted into words, words replaced by other words. But it can't layer, or change the scale of its activity or cut loose in space. Worst of all, it has no muscle, no weight: it can't shear from a soft suspension into a tumble; it can't crack the whip one minute and toss the whip away the next."

published: October 31, 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 5:58 am 
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Rush, Thunder and Experimentation (and a Dash to the Finish for Audiences, Too)
by JENNIFER DUNNING for the New York Times

Both music and dance become monotonous, but it is intentional monotony made bearable by the intricate patterns and groupings Ms. Tharp plots through the ballet. The dancers and the audience are breathing hard, eyes straight ahead, and the finish line gets closer

published: October 28, 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 6:14 am 
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Honoring a Father, and an Antiwar Sentiment, in Dance
by ERIKA KINETZ for the New York Times

But Kevin McKenzie, the artistic director of Ballet Theater, said his decision to add the piece to the company's repertory now had less to do with politics than with logistics. "Probably the most obvious is the least of the reasons," he said. "It's a war statement, and we're at war. That's something that certainly did play into it."

published: October 28, 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:48 am 
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I caught the matinee and evening performances at City Center Saturday. Among the standouts was Isaac Stappas, who at the matinee was featured in Dark Elegies and In the Upper Room, and then was Death in the evening’s The Green Table. He was phenomenal and seemingly tireless in everything he danced. The dancers have truly taken ownership of the Jooss choreography. Everyone’s dancing and characterization went just a bit farther than on previous readings-especially the diplomats. The idiocy of the diplomats came through loud and clear last evening. Julio Bragado-Young oozed sleeze as the profiteer.

The afternoon’s Apollo was Carreno whereas the evening’s was Berloserkovsky. Very different. Carreno built a character with his huge, but absolutely controlled movement. Berloserkovsky attacked the choreography with more abandon. Berloserkovsky is very lean these days, and we saw a disturbing amount of his ribs. With Carreno, we saw someone who looked like a god.

Attention Balletomaniac: Renata Pavam was back on stage and featured as one of Apollo’s handmaidens.

Neither of the evening’s PdD was stellar (we expect stellar at every performance). Corella and Reyes danced Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. Reyes caught the curtain with her foot on an exit and fell down. The audience rallied for her, but the spill definitely rattled the rest of the performance. The other PdD was Paquita with Dvorovenko and Carreno. The version was completely different from the Herrera/Carreno version - which is loaded with glamour and elegance. Dvorovenko was too Kitri-ish, I thought. It seems like that persona has shown up a lot this fall in her work.

The highlight of the day was the afternoon performance of In the Upper Room. The dancers managed to stir the audience into a state of near hysteria, and at the end the audience members leaped to their feet, arms raised, screaming. Stiefel seemed to be the impetus for the energy. Everyone else fed off of his. He kept increasing his level and carrying everyone with him. There were so many great moments in this performance - such as the small Herman Cornejo and the huge David Hallberg racing downstage on the diagonal furiously doing their Tharp stuff in absolute unison. Whoda thunk Hallberg could compact his energy and move that fast? Boy was that a sight! Everyone was dancing so full out - like a bunch of crazy people. What a rush! If they take this piece with this cast on the road with them to Washington DC in February, I’m taking the train down to see it.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:10 pm 
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I saw the final perforance of the season yesterday afternoon. Will try to write a review, but don't kow when I'll be able to. But it was one of the best programs I've seen. A better "Kaleidoscope" -- as much as I like Sarah Lane, Gillian Murphy was smoother, and the rapport with Steifel was immeasurably better than Lane and Cornejo. Duh. And Julie Kent toned down Vernoica Part's vamping, and the piece worked together much better. And Maria Ricchetto (I don't have my program with me, and probably spelled that wrong) was phenomenal in "Faun". She should let her hair down - literally and figuratively - more often. What an incredible line. Belosserkovsky was excellent too. And Corsaire with Paloma and Carreno was, well, super. An understatement. But "In the Upper Room" was incredible. I think I lost five pounds watching it. I've never read a review of it, but it ranks to me as one of the most original and boundary breaking pieces I've seen. The choreography enhanced the music which enhanced the choreography, and it all seemed like they were in heaven's anteroom, emerging into and out of the clouds. Acrobats of the Gods a la Tharp. If any other critic has made similar comments, let me know - I'd be interested in reading it. What a phenomenal piece. And what phenomenal dancing.
Can they get it into the spring season somehwere. Please, Kevin.

Incidentally, I've heard that the Royal is coming to NYC this summer. This may be old news to some, but I didn't know. So I'm hoping that Alina makes the trip. Something else to look forward to.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:32 pm 
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Balletomaniac, I was at the Sunday performance as well. Sitting in the far right section of the Grand Tier, one can sometimes see interesting bits in the wings. During Carreno’s performances, I’ve seen one of his daughters sitting on the floor right off stage. She looks all of 5 years old. Sunday, she was sitting in her place right at the edge of the line she was not supposed to cross. When Dad came out to perform his Le Corsaire variation, she watched intently, chin resting in her hands and elbows on her knees. But then when Paloma came out, she lit up and started clapping and smiling. During the calls in front of the curtain, you could see her racing around her Dad as he prepared to come out to take a bow. How very funny. What great memories that little girl is building.

My thoughts on Kaleidoscope have not changed. When one has dancers of this quality, one can throw just about any quality of choreography at them, and they will make a performance out of it. My only new impression was that Quanz was making an audition piece in an effort to attract a NYCB commission. Ugh!

In the Upper Room was again great with standouts being Radetsky and Kristi Boone. As in preceding performances, they all danced like a bunch of crazy people. Crazy people, I tell you.

What a great, great season. My spring brochure came today with Herrera and Gomes on the front in a beautiful Swan Lake pose. Bocca and Ferri inside in Manon, and Vishneva and Saveliev the center spread in Swan Lake. I cannot wait!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:10 am 
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A Kindly Death, a Joyous Muse, a Buoyant Poet-Cavalier
by JENNIFER DUNNING for the New York Times

Cast changes call forth not only images of the new but also memories of the old.

published: November 1, 2005
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