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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:47 am 
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A review of a recent performance.

I think the orchestra is a bit amplified - you can hear sound coming through the speakers on either side of the change. But beyond that, I'd be stumped - it's not easy because you've got to amplify the whole orhchestra equally so the variations between the sections is properly hear (i.e. trumpets might be soft, but the violins loud). However, you would think there's got to be some bright sound engineer out there who could find a creative solution for that problem.

As to PR - that's probably not the worst thing. From what I understand, Quinn is quite well liked by the dancers and musicians, and so not being totally PR-ideal is probably not a huge issue. Music directors don't tend to be in the forefront of a company most of the time and there's NOTHING WRONG with being nerdy. Sorry, but as a woman in a 'non-traditional] field, I hate it when nerdy is equated with being 'bad'. It's not. And I wouldn't expect a ballet music director to be perfect for PR - her job is to make sure the orchestra is good in performance and with the dancers. Anything beyond that is a bonus.

Kate


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:42 pm 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Passion Spent
Christopher Wheeldon plummets into Beethoven's tumult
by DEBORAH JOWITT for the Village Voice

However, being left with the ravishing duet for Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto in mind wasn't all that troublesome. With Wheeldon's ecstatically received new Klavier, I hunger for more in a different way. Now resident choreographer at NYCB, Wheeldon sets his ballet to the adagio third movement of Beethoven's "Hammer-klavier" Sonata for Piano, opus 106, and I wish that he, like Twyla Tharp before him, had tackled the whole sonata.

published: January 31, 2006
more...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:55 am 
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Robert Gottlieb reviews Christopher Wheeldon's "Klavier" as well as assorted Winter Season performances of Balanchine repertoire in the New York Observer:

NY Observer


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:10 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Apollinaire Scherr reviews "Divertimento No. 15" in Newsday:

Newsday


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 7:03 pm 
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A very descriptive review of "Klavier" by Lori Ortiz in Gay City News:

Klavier Review


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:46 pm 
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Location: Canada
NY Times review on last Saturday's matinee performance. It's wonderful to see Tyler Angle getting so many opportunties (this was actually his NYST debut as Romeo, for he performed the role in Saratoga last summer), but it seems that his older brother Jared has been missing from the casting since being promoted to principal. I do hope that the elder Angle is not again bedeviled with injury.

Quote:
Works in a Program Ideal for Making Girls Love Dance

By GIA KOURLAS
Published: February 7, 2006

On Saturday afternoon, New York City Ballet went into family-dance overdrive, with a program intended to sweep little girls right out of their Mary Janes (or in a dozen years, to the box office). After Jerome Robbins's "Mother Goose" — a strange ballet almost too subtle for child consumption — came George Balanchine's "Duo Concertant," Sean Lavery's "Romeo and Juliet" and Christopher Wheeldon's "American in Paris." It all seemed a bit desperate.


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 Post subject: Sofiane Sylve
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:02 pm 
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
I just thought anyone who hasn't seen this, SHOULD. Go the the address below and click the video button beneath the headshot.

http://www.het-nationale-ballet.nl/index.php?&cast_id=718


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 7:07 am 
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Location: Canada
An article on "Union Jack" in the NY Times:

Quote:
When Balanchine Sent in the Clans

By TOBI TOBIAS

In a New York City Ballet studio, backed by a tape of implacable drumbeats, a lesson begins, emphasizing driving feet, lashing kicks set against a twisting torso and sudden, ominous halts, all executed with ferocious force at a relentless pace.

"The movement takes more than just physical energy," Karin von Aroldingen, a ballet mistress with the company, explains. "You have to give it will power — and spirit."

The lesson is how to be the chief of a vehement 10-woman marching clan, a role that Ms. von Aroldingen created in 1976 for George Balanchine's "Union Jack."


For more, clik here

An interesting look at "Union Jack", though I think the history is a bit blurred. There is no doubt that Balanchine's experiences at the Edinburgh Festival heavily influenced the first part of Union Jack. Anyone who has seen the Edinburgh (Military) Tattoo could not help but to notice the similarities.

To clarify, each 'clan' (there is no such thing as an all male or all female clan - a biological impossibility - clans are linked by a common family name) has a distinct tartan or tartans. Some clans have just a single tartan, others have a number of tartans - plain, dress, hunting etc. The names of the groups in 'Union Jack' reflect the tartan worn by the dancers and thus the name of the clan represented.

At the real Edinburgh Tattoo, the tartans are most notable in the massed drums and pipes (usually 100+ of each) where most of the pipers & drummers from each army/navy/marine/airforce regiment wear the regimental tartan and regalia. Some regiments, often foreign, do not wear kilts, but the majority do and it's a pretty spectacular sight to watch from one's window each night (though by the third week it gets a bit wearying).

Kate


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 Post subject: Bicentennial controversy, etc.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:17 am 
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
As I recall the Union Jack premier, the costumes for the men in the first ("military tatoo") part of the ballet were created by a military taylor in Toronto and are, in fact, accurate replicas of the dress uniforms worn by the regiments identified in the program. The women's costumes are free variations on actual regimental themes, and the "RCAF" costumes (originally intended for Farrell) were created for the ballet.

For what it's worth, the performance on February 10th was exemplary. The kindest and most concise comment I can offer is that it almost made me forget the original cast.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:32 am 
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Except that military groups are not identified by clan name - names come from location, history etc. For instance, these were the groups that took part last year:

1st Battalion Scots Guards
1st Battalion Irish Guards
1st Battalion The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment)
1st Battalion The Royal Highland Fusiliers
(Princess Margaret's Own Glasgow
and Ayrshire Regiment)
1st Battalion The King's Own Scottish Borderers
1st Battalion The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)
1st Battalion The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons)
1st Battalion the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
(Princess Louise's)
1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles
Scotland's Universities Officer's Training Corps
The Rats of Tobruk
City of Wellington
South African Irish Regiment

Though generally speaking, yes, the costumes are quite similar to some of the uniforms.

Kate


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 Post subject: A palpable hit!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:56 am 
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
Peter Martins has finally realized that his role as impressario involves not creating dances that send people home discussing metaphysics -- or simply falling asleep until the ushers rouse them -- but giving audiences a thrill. "Friandises," which he debuted last Friday, is a high-energy firecracker of a ballet that gave a dozen very young, very talented dancers a splendid chance to show their stuff.

The score was co- commissioned from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Christopher Rouse with The Julliard School, which split the commission cost in honor if its centenary. (Adam Hoagland will create a completely different dance for Juliard Dance Theatre.) Rouse found his inspiration in medieval French dance forms, but he chose to take a direction a few thousand kilometers from "Agon."

In the NYCB version, a company fo 20 (half men, half women) displays impressive virtuosity in choregraphy that frequently contrasts very fast movement with a frozen silhouette -- arabesque en efface for instance -- to stunning dramatic effect. The lighting is dim and the costomes are grey, with key highlights in hot colors.

All the dancers performed the technically amazing feats demanded by the work with impressive aplomb. The featured couple, Danel Ulbrecht and Tiler Peck, showed that a triple pirouette could be a mind-boggling trip.

All in all, a welcome curtain number for many future NYCB performances.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:03 am 
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And 'Friandises' is reviewed in the NY Times:

Quote:
Fast and Neat, and Full of Promising Young Dancers

By JENNIFER DUNNING
Published: February 13, 2006

"Friandises," after the French word for delicacy or morsel, seems a misnomer for Peter Martins's latest ballet and its commissioned score by Christopher Rouse, which received their premieres from the New York City Ballet on Friday night at the New York State Theater. The music, conducted by Andrea Quinn, is big and orchestral, with lots of shimmering strings, gleaming brass and thudding kettle drums. The choreography often sends its 20 dancers across the stage so fast and so forcefully that the general effect is of a blur of fluid but carefully defined movements, rather like Gjon Mili's strobe photography of dance from the 1940's.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 2:29 am 
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The New York Times has an article on Christopher Wheeldon and his choreography:

Quote:
Scenes From the Future of Ballet

By JENNIFER DUNNING
Published: February 19, 2006

CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON was just a promising young choreographer and soloist with the New York City Ballet when the curtain rose on his "Scènes de Ballet" in May 1999. But with that work Mr. Wheeldon began his fast climb to international renown as the choreographer who might single-handedly save classical ballet at a time when vital distinctions between classicism and modern dance had become troublingly blurred. And in the act of reaffirming the values central to his work, Mr. Wheeldon may well, like George Balanchine, expand the boundaries of what is considered classical ballet.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:54 am 
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
I've been away for a while, so several remarks:

Amplification at the New York State Theater: The City Opera does much more than "hang microphones over the stage." It has installed, at considerable expense, a system devised by a Dutch company that uses scores of microphones, deployed in different patterns for each production, scores of speakers, large and small, and a highly sophisticated computer program that adjusts the balance "on the fly" to compensate for blank spots, avoid echoes, and allow singers to deliver parts of their arias upstage. I'm not sure how it works with the orchestra -- there are no visible microphones or wiring in the pit -- but I doubt that it would be of much use to Cityt Ballet. And given the bad water between the companies -- the Opera has made no secret of its desire to leave the theatre and dump millions in extra costs on the Ballet -- I don't see much co-operation in the near future. The City Ballet does, however, use use amplification for music that requires a solo to sing above the tutti -- Stravinsky Violin Cncerto for example -- but it's more obvious and more useful than Dave Leterman.

PR and the Music Director Like ksneads, I agree that fund-raising is not the primary job of the Music Director. But in a world of very tight money, each part of an organization must participate.

And to other posters, many thanks for your dedication, even if the links you list have expired.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:16 am 
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The New York Times on weekend performances:

Quote:
With a Casting Change, a Duet Acquires a New Sensuousness

By JOHN ROCKWELL
Published: February 20, 2006

There was much to admire in Saturday's two rich New York City Ballet programs, but the most admirable and the most newsworthy element was the return to the repertory of Christopher Wheeldon's "After the Rain," recast.

"After the Rain" may count as Mr. Wheeldon's masterpiece, at least so far. First seen 13 months ago, it was capped then by the final duet of Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto. Their partnering, with his earthlike solidity and her airy pink ethereality, was so magical that it made the opening sextet look a little pale. What would happen to it now that Mr. Soto has retired?


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It's sad to note that the article mentions that Jared Angle is out with a back injury. Angle has struggled with injuries in recent years, but in the last year or so he'd finally seemed to have beaten them and gotten his long deserved promotion to principal. I do hope he recovers quickly and completely!

Kate


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