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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:37 pm 
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From Rockwell's January 9 review linked above:
Quote:
(For the record, Mr. Martins has said he doesn't care if Odile does 32 fouettés, or any fouettés; Ms. Whelan stopped about 10 short of 32.)

I take issue with Martins’ blase dismissal of the importance of those 32 fouettes. I’ve never seen any choreography that better satisfies the music or brings to a climax our conflict of simultaneously admiring and despising Odile. It’s her sheer arrogance and willingness to make a spectacle of herself that seduces Siegfried. Twenty fouettes do not make a spectacle. Thirty-two with a slam bang finish makes us love Odile’s nastiness, and temporarily justifies our cheering her for dragging Siegfried away from the hopelessly whimpering Odette. (Please tell me if I’ve gone off the deep end here.)

There are some wonderful contemporary Odiles, but I’ve never seen anything that rivals Cynthia Gregory’s 32 fouettes capped off with a finish where she threw her head back with the most evil laughter.

I think the sequence is important, and that every Odile owes it to the audience to fulfill the moment -- at least until some choreographer comes up with a better idea, which Martins hasn’t. And I doubt that his indifference to his dancers’ success on technical matters is particularly inspiring to them.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:15 pm 
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NYCB SEMINAR: FEBRUARY 6, 2006
The Universal World of Dance featuring Sofiane Sylve, Ask la Cour and Joaquin de Luz will be the subject of New York City Ballet’s next seminar. The moderator will by Joan Quatrano. The vast majority of NYCB dancers come to the Company through the School of American Ballet, yet, dancers born and trained abroad have also found their way to NYCB. Some of NYCB’s most distinguished artists have come from Denmark, England, France, Germany, Russia, Spain and other countries. The February 6 seminar will focus on the lives and careers of three of these dancers who have traveled far to find their artistic home at New York City Ballet. We hope you will join us on Monday, February 6 from 6:00-7:30pm at the New York State Theater as we learn more about these celebrated artists. General Admission is $5.00. The event is free to Guild, Circle of Friends, Family Circle, Society in C, New Combinations Fund Members and Corporate and Foundation Donors.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:17 pm 
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JANUARY 17-22, 2006

TUESDAY EVENING, JANUARY 17 AT 7:30PM [Karoui+]
Swan Lake:
Odette/Odile: MEARNS
Pr. Siegfried: MARTINS
Von Rotbart: EVANS
Queen: ABERGEL
Jester: LAURENT
Benno: CARMENA
Pas de Trois: HYLTIN, A. STAFFORD
Pas de Quatre: FAIRCHILD, SCHELLER, PECK, DE LUZ
Hungarian: RUTHERFORD, LIANG
Russian: BAR, FOWLER
Spanish: KROHN, SETH, ARTHURS, RAMASAR
Neapolitan: DRONOVA, SEVERINI
Princesses: GOLBIN, MULLER, LeCRONE, BARAK, BESKOW, RICARD
Vision: HANSON

WEDNESDAY EVENING, JANUARY 18 AT 7:30PM [Karoui+]
Swan Lake:
Odette/Odile: SYLVE
Pr. Siegfried: ASKEGARD
Von Rotbart: SETH
Queen: HANSON
Jester: GOLD
Benno: SUOZZI
Pas de Trois: DRONOVA, RIGGINS
Pas de Quatre: RINGER, A. STAFFORD, HYLTIN, J. STAFFORD
Hungarian: LOWERY, FOWLER
Russian: BARAK*, HANNA
Spanish: GOLBIN, HALL, ABERGEL, T. ANGLE
Neapolitan: EDGE, HENDRICKSON
Princesses: KEENAN, KROHN, LARACEY, SLOAN, BESKOW, ARTHURS
Vision: RIGGINS

THURSDAY EVENING, JANUARY 19 AT 8:00PM
Ballo della Regina: BOUDER, MILLEPIED, KENNAN*, EDGE, SCHELLER, RIGGINS
Intermission
Morgen: KISTLER, HYLTIN*, RINGER, MARCOVICI*, MARTINS, ASKEGARD*
Intermission
N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz: PAZCOGUIN, VEYETTE, RUTHERFORD, HALL

FRIDAY EVENING, JANUARY 20 AT 8:00PM
Allegro Brillante: WEESE, NEAL [McDill]
Intermission
Liturgy: WHELAN, EVANS [Nikkanen]
Pause
Monumentum pro Gesualdo: KISTLER, ASKEGARD
Pause
Movements for Piano and Orchestra: KISTLER, ASKEGARD
Intermission
Fearful Symmetries: SYLVE, MARCOVICI, SOMOGYI, HANNA, FAIRCHILD, DE LUZ, HENDRICKSON, LAURENT, PEIFFER

SATURDAY MATINEE, JANUARY 21 AT 2:00PM
Ballo della Regina: BOUDER, MILLEPIED, KENNAN, EDGE, SCHELLER, RIGGINS
Intermission
N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz: PAZCOGUIN, VEYETTE, RUTHERFORD, HALL
Intermission
Fearful Symmetries: SYLVE, MARCOVICI, SOMOGYI, HANNA, FAIRCHILD, DE LUZ, HENDRICKSON, LAURENT, PEIFFER

SATURDAY EVENING, JANUARY 21 AT 8:00PM
Concerto Barocco: WHELAN, RUTHERFORD, EVANS [Delmoni, Nikkanen]
Intermission
Romeo and Juliet: BORREE, MARCOVICI
Pause
Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux: WEESE, WOETZEL
Intermission
Symphony in C:
1st Mov.: RINGER, MARTINS
2nd Mov.: SYLVE, HANNA*
3rd Mov.: BOUDER, DE LUZ
4th Mov.: A. STAFFORD, FOWLER

SUNDAY MATINEE, JANUARY 22 AT 3:00PM
Ballo della Regina: FAIRCHILD*, DE LUZ, KENNAN, EDGE, SCHELLER, RIGGINS
Intermission
Morgen: KISTLER, HYLTIN, RINGER, MARCOVICI, MARTINS, ASKEGARD
Intermission
N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz: PAZCOGUIN, VEYETTE, RUTHERFORD, HALL


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:39 am 
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Quote:
A Variety of Debuts Provide a Welcome Lakeside Breeze

By GIA KOURLAS
Published: January 10, 2006

Peter Martins's austere "Swan Lake," short on romance, could be termed a tale of modern love: boy meets girl, boy cheats on girl, girl leaves, the end. On Saturday afternoon at the New York State Theater, however, the New York City Ballet's pairing of Jenifer Ringer and Sébastien Marcovici, making their debuts as Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried, smoothed away some of the production's hard edges. While Mr. Marcovici doesn't possess the bravura skill of past Siegfrieds, he imparted a sweetly youthful sense of mystification and performed the steps efficiently enough. But Ms. Ringer, a lush beauty without a brittle bone in her body, unveiled an Odette of quiet poignancy and an Odile full of caprice.


Click here for more.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:57 am 
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Quote:
Ongoing
New York City Ballet

by DEBORAH JOWITT for the Village Voice

Promising debuts cropped up amid a slew of substitutions, plus performers new to me in key roles. In the glorious second movement of Barocco, Albert Evans was a model of power and elegance as he guided not just Yvonne Borree but the eight nymphs who create the ballet's Bachian mazes.

published: January 10, 2006
more...


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 4:33 am 
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Corps member Kristin Sloan has posted some really neat backstage shots of 'Swan Lake' performances on her blog:

http://www.thewinger.com


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:47 am 
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Here's an article from the Music section of today's NYT about the new composer-in-residence Bright Sheng. It indicates that he began as a ballet classroom accompanist during Mao's Cultural Revolution, studied at the Shanghai Conservatory, moved to NYC in 1982 where he studied with Leonard Bernstein, met Jerome Robbins and encountered NYCB. His first composition danced by NYCB will be a Jean-Pierre Bonnefous piece during this year's Diamond Festival.

'Think of Stravinsky,' Says City Ballet's New Composer
Roslyn Sulcas
January 14, 2006
Quote:
The New York City Ballet announced last week that Mr. Sheng, who has won an international reputation for his skillful mix of traditional Chinese music with Western idioms, had just become the company's first composer in residence.
MORE


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 4:50 am 
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A very interesting article in the NY Times about Perry Silver, the NYCB production stage manager:

Quote:
Making the Swans Run on Time

By GIA KOURLAS
Published: January 15, 2006

Peter Martins may be the balletmaster in chief of New York City Ballet but he would be lost without Perry Silvey, the company's production stage manager. "He is everything," Mr. Martins said. "In so many areas, Perry really is the boss. I never make programming decisions without checking with him. He is my first consideration, not because I love him the most, but because the buck stops with him."

Mr. Martins laughed and added, "But I do think he is probably the most loved person around here."


Click here for more.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:20 am 
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It woud have been nice if the NY Times, of all papers, could have allotted more than one article for the four major debuts (3 Odile/Odette, 1 Siegfried) and all the other debuts, but I guess that's the limit of dance journalism these days...

Quote:
For Odette and Odile, Workouts by the Young and the New

By JENNIFER DUNNING
Published: January 16, 2006

Sofiane Sylve won the spinning fouetté turn contest, with Ashley Bouder and Sara Mearns a close second and third, in three weekend performances of "Swan Lake" by the New York City Ballet at the New York State Theater. But the big news was Ms. Mearns, a tall, leggy and inexperienced corps dancer who turns 20 tomorrow. Like Ms. Sylve and Ms. Bouder, she was dancing the roles of Odette and Odile for the first time in the production, staged by the company's director, Peter Martins, and she was impressive.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:56 pm 
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I know that the NYT's coverage of the debuts isn't what you might have liked - especially when you would rather have actually been at the theater for all those performances. However, I think the coverage of the performances and the incidental subjects, e.g. articles on the composer in residence and the stage manager, has been generous in quantity and content. And I've even heard a hint of sympathy in Rockwell's writing about how we in New York pick on Peter Martins so much. Usually the NYT will get to the opening night of a Swan Lake or Giselle or whatever and wrap up the last few after the run closes. It annoys me, too, since favorite soloists often get new opportunities during mid-week evenings and matinees.

Jennifer Dunning's comment regarding how NYCB used to be a leg company, but now the arms prevail just floored me. Don't believe it. Most of dancers, with the glorious exceptions of Somogyi, Sylve, and occasionally Ringer, don't differentiate between a line and a line segment when it comes to port de bras and wouldn't know a first position of the arms if it lassoed them. My initial thought when reading her comments was that she needs a pair of those super-duper Michael Goldbarth binoculars. I wonder how much he charges.

I also still wonder why but half of the NYCB Odiles these past two weeks have been able to knock out 32 fouettes.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:58 am 
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I still think the quality of dance coverage - NYTimes and elsewhere - is not what is used to be. And that a dancer making a major debut such as Odette-Odile deserves more than a sentence. Fluff pieces on the stage manager etc. and John Rockwell's pieces, which I find overly simplistic and bland, don't make up for it. If even the NY Times can't find enough column space for good solid reviews, we're doomed.

As to fouettes - I don't think Martins makes them a priority, and that's his choice. And not everyone's a turner - or at least can take turns from the rehearsal studio to the performance stage - I've seen less than 32 fouettes at ABT and PA Ballet as well. I suspect that Mearns purposely did just 16 and the menage, rather than risk flailing around the stage in her debut. That was probably a wise choice for a very young dancer making a huge debut, and I find that kind of 'honesty' refreshing. To me, it's much better that a dancer know his or her limitations, and know when it's right to push those boundaries.


As to arms vs. legs - I would direct that issue towards the teaching, coaching and rehearsal schedule, not at the dancers. The most elegant, well-trained dancer can become a mess when tired and/or lacking in artistic direction - arms can be amazingly heavy when one is tired. And one tends to focus on what is being corrected or focused on - if the director's focusing on speed and footwork and placement, the dancers will likely focus on that and give less though to arms. Not that it's a good thing, but we're all human.


Cheers
Kate


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:57 pm 
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In her Dancer on Dancer column, Pauline Golbin interviews Christopher Wheeldon about his upcoming ballet 'Klavier':

http://www.nycballet.com/about/dod6.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:26 am 
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Quote:
In the Complex World of Ballet, It's Youth That Soars

By JOHN ROCKWELL
Published: January 18, 2006

Ballet is a young person's game. If you reach 40 and are still dancing principal roles, you're considered some kind of quirk of nature - or resented by younger dancers for blocking their potential career paths.


Click here for more.

I would suggest that Mr. Rockwell's comment about Nutcracker casting is a bit misleading. There almost always debuts in major roles during the Nutcracker, whether or not there are injuries/illnesses. With 40 - 46 performances and dancers off guesting, many casts are needed. This year, though there were three debuts of corps members as the Cavalier, every male principal, except Benjamin Millepied who was off choreographing his Casse-Noisette in Geneva, danced the role.

Also, Ansanelli left NYCB on good terms and by her choice. So, she could easily (and could still) have had a long career at NYCB,

Kate


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:01 pm 
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The NY Times Magazine has an extensive feature on Wendy Whelan:

Quote:
In the Balance

By CHIP BROWN
Published: January 22, 2006

Effortlessly, as if the virtuoso motions of the soul were as easy as ducking into Duane Reade for bottled water, Wendy Whelan departed the barre of Studio 3 on pointe, drawn by the adagio of Bizet's Symphony in C. Eyeing the lines she made in the mirror, the dancer many consider the finest ballerina in America bounded through a series of flowing lifts with her partner, Philip Neal. She swept her legs apart like clock hands at 20 to 4, her lead foot arcing luxuriantly behind the pulse of the music. Returned to the vinyl floor, her toe shoes sounded like raindrops on a skylight.


For more click here


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:19 pm 
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The NYT profile is a tremendous tribute to Whelan. Having recently seen her in "Liturgy", I must say that there is an added element to her performance these days that perhaps is a new thoughtfulness or serenity.

Also must mention that the new NYCB Spring Season brochure is just super. The accent is on innovation with a full spread devoted to the choreographers for the Diamond Project. How great it is to see a real-time photo of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, whose ballet to a Bright Sheng composition, premieres on Thursday, May 25th. The brochure indicates that Bonnefoux returns to NYCB for the first time since 1988. This reaching out by Peter Martins to former colleagues is a very good sign. Let's hope this reaching extends still further.


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