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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:01 am 
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Two recent reviews.

Christopher Wheeldon's new ballet:

Quote:
Study in Human Relationships

By JOHN ROCKWELL
Published: January 26, 2006

Christopher Wheeldon's latest premiere for the New York City Ballet, "Klavier," was greeted with the usual friendly expectations on Tuesday night at the New York State Theater. Mr. Wheeldon makes different kinds of ballets, not all of them equally good. But they never fall below a certain level of sure craftsmanship, and they always evince an extraordinary feeling for the strengths of the dancers he chooses.


For more, click here


Other repertory:

Quote:
Fiendishly Difficult Beauty

By ROSLYN SULCAS
Published: January 24, 2006

"Ballo della Regina" is one of the most charming works that Balanchine made for the New York City Ballet: a joyous and extremely pretty vision of an underwater grotto, set to Verdi's infectiously cheerful ballet music for the opera "Don Carlos." But underpinning its froth and frolics is one of the most technically fiendish ballerina roles in the Balanchine canon, demanding a capacity for high speed, quickness of muscular reflex and clarity of articulation.


Click here for more.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:49 am 
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Castimg for Week 5

Highlights
* Tyler Angle's NY State Theatre debut as Romeo and debut in 'Fancy Free', along with Georgina Pazcoguin
* Stephanie Zungre's debut as Juliet
* Benjamin Millepied's debut in 'Donizetti Variations'
* Bouder, Veyette and Scheller in 'Divertmento No. 15'
* Jonathan Stafford in the 1st part of 'Symphony in C'
* 'Songs of the Auvergne' returns
* Ellen Bar in 'An American in Paris'
* Sebastien Marcovici in 'In the Night'
* Abi Stafford in 'Concerto Barocco'

JANUARY 31 - FEBRUARY 5, 2006

TUESDAY EVENING, JANUARY 31 AT 7:30PM
Donizetti Variations: WEESE, MILLEPIED*
Intermission
Mother Goose:
Intermission
Episodes:
Symphony: A. STAFFORD, LIANG
5 Pieces: REICHLEN, FOWLER
Concerto: WHELAN, EVANS
Bach: KISTLER, ASKEGARD

WEDNESDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 1 AT 7:30PM [Kaplow]
Divertmento No. 15: SCHELLER*, HYLTIN, RUTHERFORD, A. STAFFORD, BOUDER*, NEAL, FOWLER, VEYETTE*
Intermission
Duo Concertant: BORREE, MARTINS [Walters]
Pause
Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux: WEESE, MILLEPIED
Intermission
Symphony in C:
1st Mov.: SOMOGYI, J. STAFFORD*
2nd Mov.: WHELAN, ASKEGARD
3rd Mov.: FAIRCHILD, DE LUZ
4th Mov.: A. STAFFORD, FOWLER

THURSDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 2 AT 8:00PM [Quinn]
Concerto Barocco: WHELAN, A. STAFFORD*, EVANS [Delmoni, Nikkamen]
Intermission
Songs of the Auvergne: KISTLER*, NEAL*, FAIRCHILD*, SLOAN*, VEYETTE*, RUTHERFORD*, J. STAFFORD*
Intermission
Firebird: SYLVE, J. STAFFORD, RUTHERFORD, SETH

FRIDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 3 AT 8:00PM
Episodes:
Symphony: A. STAFFORD, LIANG
5 Pieces: REICHLEN, FOWLER
Concerto: WHELAN, EVANS
Bach: KISTLER, ASKEGARD
Intermission
In the Night: RUTHERFORD, NICHOLS, WHELAN, TBA, NEAL, MARCOVICI* [Grant]
Intermission
An American in Paris: RINGER, WOETZEL, BAR*

SATURDAY MATINEE, FEBRUARY 4 AT 2:00PM [Quinn]
Mother Goose:
Intermission
Duo Concertant: BORREE, MARTINS [Walters]
Pause
Romeo and Juliet: ZUNGRE*, T. ANGLE*
Intermission
An American in Paris: RINGER, WOETZEL, BAR

SATURDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 4 AT 8:00PM
Fancy Free: WOETZEL, DE LUZ, ORZA, EDGE, RINGER, KROHN, TBA
Intermission
Songs of the Auvergne: KISTLER, NEAL, FAIRCHILD, SLOAN, VEYETTE, RUTHERFORD, J. STAFFORD
Intermission
Firebird: SYLVE, J. STAFFORD, RUTHERFORD, SETH

SUNDAY MATINEE, FEBRUARY 5 AT 3:00PM
Divertimento No. 15: SCHELLER, HYLTIN, RUTHERFORD, A. STAFFORD, BOUDER, NEAL, FOWLER, VEYETTE
Intermission
Klavier: WHELAN, MARCOVICI, WEESE, EVANS, GOLBIN, BARAK, T. ANGLE, HALL, VEYETTE, SUOZZI [Grant]
Intermission
Fancy Free: MILLEPIED, ULBRICHT, T. ANGLE*, PAZCOGUIN*, RUTHERFORD, KROHN, TBA


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:35 am 
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ksneds wrote:
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 a Times reader of longstanding, I beg to differ with complaints about the extent of dance coverage in the paper. (Complaints about the style and tastes of individual critics are another matter.) The paper has three full-time dance critics, and I am impressed with the fact that the paper manages to print reviews of every major role debut at NYCB and ABT, in addition to reviews of every dance company appearing at major venues around town (the Joyce, BAM, City Center, Aaron Davis, BCBC, etc., etc.) As a quick glance through Time Out, New York magazine, or a local events website will show, there are literally hundreds of events every week competing for space in the paper's Arts section. It's a tribute to Rockwell's influence, as a longstanding presence, that all dance reviews still appear in the printed paper; a growing number of music reviews and even some "minor" theatre and art reviews have been exiled to "web only" status. Beware what you set your heart upon: if dance reviews become longer or more numerous, they, too, may no longer merit ink and paper!

I will add only a couple of footnotes to the fouettee issue. As a very minor donor to SAB, I am occasionally invited to observe a class. Several years ago, I sat in on one of Danilova's sessions with advanced intermediate girls. They were clearly aware of the rare advantage of learning from a legend (whom they addressed as "Madame") and paid close attention to her corrections and advice on style, delivered in a charming blend of English and French. She always ended her classes with fouettees, which she explained must be performed in multiples of 8. Recognizing that the girls might be tired, she let them choose 8, 16, 24, or 32. Wishing to neither wimp out nor collpase from exhaustion, this group chose 24, though one student said 16 was the choice after an especially demanding class. What all this means is that a generation of dancers got the idea they could choose the number of fouettees depending on their energy level at the time they were expected.

Dance legends have left a mixed heritage for Odile. Fonteyn (whom I saw only in her later years) was heartbreaking in the white pas de deux, but ragged in the black. She made 32 but traveled all over the stage in the process. Makarova made a different choice. She lingered in the wings as her music began, rushing in just in time to whip off 16 perfect turns before the climax, invariably greeted by loud cheering. The point, in short, is whether it's important to make the number or important to sweep the audience up in the drama. Tradition is important, as is pleasing the public, I remain agnositc on the "necessity" of 32 turns.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:32 am 
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Poohtunia wrote:
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..


I agree, it's a wonderful profile that captures Whelan as both a dancer and a person. Every time I've seen or read her comments in public exchanges, I've been impressed by her thoughtfulness and skill at expression. The anecdote I like most from the article is the fact that, of all the family members with prominent noses, only Wendy's younger sister chose to have a nose job. She is a homicide detective in Louisville, Kentucky.

Poohtunia wrote:
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.


For those unfamiliar with the Diamond Project, I should explain first that it's named for Irene Diamond, who created the endowment to fund it, not for a quality the works may or may not possess. From time to time, NYCB takes the cash and produces a bunch of new ballets from a range of choreographers. While only a few works enter the repertory, the project gives NYCB dancers the chance to work with a wide range of choreographers and learn a variety of styles. And since several works are created at the same time, younger members of the company are often given a chance to shine. And, of course, the public gets a rich flood of novelties.

In addition to the Bonnefoux piece, the 2006 Diamond Project will fund new ballets by the house choreographers (Martins and Wheeldon) and by "Nutcracker"/SAB alum Eliot Feld, whose "Unanswered Question" will be revived and whose "Intermezzo" -- a 1969 entry in the "piano ballet" sweepstakes -- will enter the NYCB repertory. Martins has also invited three young Europeans to make new works on the company: Italy's Mauro Bigonzetti, Finalnd's Jorma Elo, and the Bolshoi's Alexei Ratmansky. These works are often created on limited schedules and modest budgets, but the challenges only tend to unleash creative imaginations.

At this time, the company is accepting only subscrition orders; individual tickets for the spring season go on sale the third week in March.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 5:25 am 
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Quote:
Ballanchine Oddities of Webern Bits and Chagall Accompaniments

By JOHN ROCKWELL
Published: January 28, 2006

Aside from Jerome Robbins's "N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz," which has returned from last spring still full of spunk, emotion and choreographic ingenuity, the New York City Ballet's program Wednesday night at the New York State Theater consisted of two oddities in the Balanchine canon.

"Episodes" and "Firebird" are exceptional because in both Balanchine enlisted other choreographers. "Episodes" (1959) was originally a kind of parallel collaboration between Balanchine and Martha Graham: they divided up Webern's complete orchestral oeuvre, and each choreographed independently.


Click here for more.


One comment.... those are tights, not leggings. And I haven't seen too many t-shirts on the NYST stage....


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:49 am 
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"Martins has also invited three young Europeans to make new works on the company: Italy's Mauro Bigonzetti, Finalnd's Jorma Elo, and the Bolshoi's Alexei Ratmansky."

Thanks for that news Morris N. Interesting that there is an Estonian flavour to the selection:

- Bigonzetti reworked his innovative "Coppelia" for Estonian National Ballet (I think this is his second time in the Diamond project)
- Jorma Elo set his excellent "Red with me" on the company last year.
- OK, I'm struggling with Alexei Ratmansky, but like most better-off Muscovites I'm sure he has been to Tallinn.

Martins has selected some of the cream from European ballet talent and hats off to all those involved with the Diamond Project- it's a great concept.


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 Post subject: Friday Evening, January 27, 2006
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 12:03 pm 
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Highlights of Friday night’s performance were Miranda Weese in Divertimento No. 15, Ashley Bouder in Firebird, and Jennie Somogyi, Wendy Whelan, and Joaquin DeLuz in Symphony in C. And it was a night for great costumes.

Divertimento follows the stereotypical Balanchine formula with many of the yawn-inducing moments we see repeatedly in other work. However, the costumes are simply gorgeous - variations of yellow and white tutus. From my view from the 5th ring sides, looking nearly straight down at the tops of the tutus, they reminded me of that old fashioned hard candy that comes in the cylinder tins. Delicious. Most of the dancing was a bit frenetic, but that’s okay, because I’ve seen it look like Tourettes in recent years. However, Miranda Weese and Philip Neal were sensational. Weese is a champion at getting her feet and legs there at the beginning of the count, i.e. on the ‘o’ of the one or on the ‘e’ of the eight and then filling out the rest of the count with her head and arms. Her performance last night was full of nuance and perfume. She was so, so, lovely.

Speaking of champions, it might be time to put Ashley Bouder on a Wheaties box. Her Firebird is still evolving, and hopefully will differentiate a bit more from Odile, but she’s clearly got the idea and last night created a successful characterization using her explosive technique. What is so great about Bouder is that as you watch successive performances, you get the distinct impression that she has taken on the responsibility for her own artistic development, much like Somogyi. Dare I say a dancer who thinks about outcomes instead of inputs? Anyway, she was great. The production is not. But it works as “Chagall accompanied by music and dance” as the program notes say. The Chagall costumes and Robbins choreography for the section entitled Kastchei, the Wizard, and his Subjects were highly imaginative. The huge animal heads that the dancers wore created real magic and Robbins’ use of non-balletic steps to bring forth the story was brilliant.

My disappointment with this Firebird, as well as a couple of other Firebirds I’ve seen, is while the last part of the Stravinsky score is lush, passionate music, the dancers simply stand around and then move slowly toward some wedding procession. It is a criminal waste of glorious music.

Symphony in C closed out the evening and was the strongest part of the program. Jennie Somogyi led the first movement with cool elegance. She was unfortunately mismatched with Nilas Martins, who had difficulty keeping up with her. Wendy Whelan and Charles Askegard gave us a first rate adagio in the second movement. The execution of the final pose with Whelan slowly spiraling backwards around the kneeling Askegard was perfect. Joaquin DeLuz and Megan Fairchild led the third movement, and Abi Stafford and Jason Fowler, the fourth. DeLuz, still terribly underemployed, brings such electricity with him when he is on the stage. It’s not just the smile, the good looks, or the textbook technique. It’s his level of attention to what is going on around him, and the way he engages himself in the small movements, such as motioning with his hand while standing in a group of dancers on the side. I think I may be talking about that old fashioned concept of presence. Just a thought regarding his under utilization, maybe he should investigate the possibility of following Ansanelli to the Royal Ballet.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 12:34 pm 
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Greetings and many thanks for the detailed review!!

I would agree about Joaquin de Luz, to some extent.

When de Luz first joined NYCB, it worried me that he would struggle not with the speed of the dancing, but with the artistic nuances of the NYCB repertory. At ABT, most of his roles were more about jumping higher, spinning faster and smiling wider, and less about developing complete artistry.

It did take him awhile to settle in, but the move from ABT to NYCB seems to have been a wise choice all around. As to being underused - in the last couple of seasons, de Luz has debuted a whole host of ballets (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Coppelia, various things in Swan Lake, Ballo de la Regina, Fancy Free (?), Tarantella, Symphony in C, Nutcracker etc etc).

The big issue with de Luz though, is size. He can't be much more than 5 ft 5 in, and that really limits who he can dance with, and what roles are appropriate. There are only a very few ballerinas who are short enough, and if they are doing other ballets or injured, de Luz likely has fewer performance opportunities.

[As a note, casting is a really tricky issue. Principal contracts usually dictate which roles and how many performances the dancer will do, and principals can choose to do only so many performances per week. One also has to factor in rehearsal time - a dancer can only do as many roles as they and their partners can fit into a rehearsal schedule. A dancer may be perfectly suited to a role, but if they are out during the rehearsal period or the rehearsals conflict with other rehearsals, it won't happen. Plus there is the need to have duplicate casts in case of injury or illness. You don't want to completely fill up a dancer's schedule if they might be needed to fill in for someone else.]

In addition de Luz also overlaps, rep-wise with Benjamin Millepied, Daniel Ulbricht, Tom Gold and Antonio Carmena, which must present challenges when there can only be so many casts for each ballet.

Compared to the limited repertory that de Luz seemed to be trapped in over at ABT, I think he's had a huge number of opportunities at NYCB. I certainly can't see him getting any more work over at the Royal Ballet - if anything the Royal Ballet needs more tall men, especially with the retirement of Jonathan Cope.

Kate


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 6:48 pm 
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I hear what you’re saying.

While we mostly see DeLuz’s incredible smile, he has startled audiences with his ability to instantly convey tragedy - as we saw in his portrayal of Mercurio for several years. He knows how to make the most of a death scene that combines remorse and pain. I continue to wonder what we are missing by not having the opportunity to see him as Albrecht. This is not to say that I would ever in my wildest dreams or nightmares want to see a Martins-inspired NYCB Giselle. But one would think that, with all the tiny ballerina talent in the world these days, DeLuz might sense an opportunity. How about a major regional company inviting DeLuz and ABT’s Zhong -Jing Fang, who captured our attention this past year in Les Sylphides, to take a crack at the leads in Giselle? Maybe a less than major regional company, for instance, Stiefel’s Ballet Pacifica? I’d book a flight to see that. Anyway, my point remains that DeLuz has true and dramatic talent that is not being used and probably won’t be if he doesn’t take a bit of a risk and venture outside of his current company.


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 Post subject: What turns you on?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:23 pm 
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Poohtunia --

I love your passion and respect your tastes, but I would like to throw in a few words from people like me, who find Balanchine's "black-and-white" ballets his greatest achievements. To see rich musical textures tranformed into engaging kinetic patterns is, on its own terms, immensely satisfying, on both an emotional and an intellectual level.

I find "Divertimento #15" the furthest thing from yawn-inducing. It's an extraordinary collaboration of a great composer and a great choreographer. These associations do not always work out well -- think of the Bernstein/Robbins "Dybbuk." It's a brilliant physical realization of the Mozart score -- and, on purely practical grounds, a tool for refining and extending the skills of eight principal dancers.


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 Post subject: The latest from Wheeldon
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:28 pm 
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Last Tuesday, I caught the premier of Christopher Wheeldon’s latest ballet, “Klavier.” Wheeldon’s choreography is, in some ways, an unlikely addition to the NYCB repertory. The company’s seminal works are plotless essays in music and form, often danced in black leotards on a bare stage; “Klavier” was preceded by Balanchine’s coolly analytic “Monumentum/Movements.” Wheeldon’s work, on the other hand, always comes with carefully designed décor, costumes, and lighting, and with a strong emotional mood, if not an implicit narrative. At the same time, the choreographer’s intense musicality and gift for bringing out the best in dancers fit nicely with the company style.

“Klavier” is true to form. The music is the Adagio from Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata, which has inspired several other choreographers, Twyla Tharp and Hans van Manen among them. Wheeldon hears lamentation: the dancers throw their arms upward in supplication, or kneel and prostate themselves in grief. The lighting is dim, the women wear see-through black tulle overskirts over their dark costumes, a fallen crystal chandelier lies upstage. The choreography for two principal couples and six soloists (two women, four men) contrasts rapid movement with sudden poses. Miranda Weese and Albert Evans, the second couple, danced beautifully. Wendy Whelan and Sebastian Marcovici, the primary couple, were sensational in their pas de deux, full of passion and exquisite forms. The highest praise I can offer Whelan is that no one who read the very flattering profile in the Times last Sunday could possibly have been disappointed.

Wheeldon’s flair for the theatrical always brings an enthusiastic response from the audience, and his fecund imagination – he produces six or eight new works each year for a range of companies – delights artistic directors looking for novelties to add to their programs. I worry, though, that he will grow content with repeating facile formulas. So far, NYCB has kept each new piece in repertory for only a year or so, and there have been few revivals. There’s nothing wrong with creating amusing divertissements and well-crafted ballets that serve the company’s needs. But I’ve always hoped that a choreographer of Wheeldon’s talent would find the time and the means to create more ambitious work.


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 Post subject: What a difference a conductor makes!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:33 pm 
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More by accident than by design, I caught both Tuesday and Friday performances of “Symphony in C” last week with substantially the same cast (Somogyi/Martins, Sylve/Askegard, Fairchild/deLuz, Stafford/Fowler; on Friday, Wheelan danced the Adagio). The conductor Tuesday was Maurice Kaplow, longtime Music Director at Pennsylvania Ballet and a veteran dance conductor, thoroughly familiar with this piece. But he took it at a punishing tempo; the dancers had to rush to stay on the music. There were extenuating circumstances. Because of the Wheeldon premier, both intermissions were extended to allow donors and other VIP’s to booze it up at a special reception on the Promenade. Furthermore, since “Klavier” is set to solo piano music, the conductor and orchestra had spent more than an hour backstage, cooling their heels, playing cards, and doubtless growing impatient; their quitting time was at least 20 minutes later than expected. But the Bizet looked more ragged than regal as a result.

On Friday, the conductor was a candidate to replace the company’s Music Director, Andrea Quinn. (The company, critics, and the musicians are delighted with Quinn, but her husband and kids are unwilling to relocate from London.) Friday’s conductor with Clotilde Otranto, a diminutive Brazilian with a killer resumé. She’s been a principal dancer with the Sao Paolo ballet, won competitions as a pianist, picked up a law degree along the way, and earned advanced degrees in music from Michigan, Arizona State, and Yale. The current Music Director of Edward Villella’s Miami City Ballet, Otranto elicited lovely sounds from the orchestra and proved adept at balancing the demands of the composer with the needs of the dancers. Her tempi were swift, when appropriate, but she introduced discreet rubatos to help dancers deal with tricky passages. The Bizet was crisp, elegant, and thoroughly delightful. To be sure, there were other outside circumstances: Friday was the birthday of both W. A. Mozart and G. M. Balanchine. All the dancers on the program honored their legacy.

In any event, it’s heartening to know Otranto is a leading candidate to succeed Quinn.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:52 am 
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Greetings

A note on Quinn. I believe her family did come to the US - the youngest was born after she started at NYCB - but my understanding is that they want to return. Her husband is a medical doctor, and it's quite difficult for a British doctor to qualify to practice on the same level in the U.S. It may also be that she/he would like to educate their family in British schools. In anycase it's s shame, and I am interested to see where Quinn will end up back on this side of the Atlantic.

From the NY Times:

Quote:
An Elegant Homage to Mozart

By JENNIFER DUNNING
Published: January 30, 2006

Mozart was the man of the moment last week, so why shouldn't the New York City Ballet celebrate the 250th anniversary of that composer's birth, too? The company did that on Friday at the New York State Theater with a program of dances by George Balanchine, one of them set to Mozart. That ballet was the best of the few works that Balanchine choreographed to the master's music. The performance of the piece, the 1956 "Divertimento No. 15," had role debuts by Sterling Hyltin, Yvonne Borree and Jonathan Stafford.


Click here for more.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:30 pm 
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ksneads --

Thanks for the info on Quinn. I knew her husband was an MD who couldn't find "appropriate" work in New York. Since egos in the medical world make most dancers look positively bashful by comparison, I am, alas, not surprised.

I've heard other suspicions, though. When Quinn arrived, everyone noted the many parallels between her career and that of Robert Irving, her witty, gifted and much-beloved predecessor. But while her musical gifts were immediately evident, she proved inept at public relations. She appeared at a "seminar" for donors and put us all to sleep. Each question unleashed an extended foray into music theory and dance history, with special addenda from the NYCB archives. She seems to have established her authority in a traditional "man's world" by out-nerding her colleagues. On this side of the water, fund-rasing is very important. Irving could charm the birdies from the treetops -- and the wallets from the donors. Quinn, for all her strengths, lacked this particular gift.

She brought a welcome return to disciplined musical performance and an innovative approach to recognizing the musicians: enhanced lighting in the pit for curtain calls, and a rule preventing the players from fleeing before the applause died down -- when called onstage at the final curtain, her generous gesture to the orchestra revealed mostly empty chairs. These changes, I think, will stick, to the considerable benefit of the company. If all the candidates to succeed her are as good as Otranto, the company will be in good shape indeed.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:49 pm 
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Speaking of the orchestra, I wish someone would figure out a way to amplify the pit during ballet season. The orchestra often sounds so very thin.

It's common knowledge that the New York State Theater was built so as to muffle the sounds of the dancers' pointe shoes, which were, at the time, extremely heavy and noisy when compared to today's shoes. The unintended consequence was that the design also muffled the music.

The New York City Opera routinely amplifies its productions in that theater by hanging microphones over the stage. Of course, if NYCB did that, we would indeed be treated to the clip-clomps of the dancers. But there must be some way to amplify from the pit or directly above the pit.


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