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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 10:23 am 
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I noticed the sensuality as well, especially the opening scene, with Diana's women lounging by the river, and the woodland critters. But the bad choreography more than overcomes any pleasure I could get from that, and it didn't seem to be followed through with any kind of consistency --- it would get tossed in seemingly wily-nily. Same thing with Guennadi Nedviguine's dancing: it was, as usual, technically marvelous, but there was just nothing in the choreography. I thought the men in skirts were just period costumes, but I could be wrong.

In the last scene's flashback of Endymion and Diana, a father almost literally covered the eyes of his young daughter when the corps parted, and I could hear titters of nervous laughter around me. What that said to me is not that I was sitting in an audience of prudes, but that nothing in the ballet had really prepared us for it --- it was almost like a random thing tossed in at the last minute, and that was more evidence for me of this ballet's failing. I think the point of embarassing Diana was lost on the audience.

--Andre


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 10:39 am 
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Segal compares the 3 Sylvias we can see this week. He liked Morris's Sylvia, especially for many of the things that may be considered out of Morris's specialty: the mime, and the classical dancing.

Quote:
Three faces of Sylvia
Lewis Segal, LA Times

Well-heeled California balletomanes can look at ballet's eternal problem child in triplicate next week. American Ballet Theatre is dancing Ashton's version from Friday through next Sunday at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. San Francisco Ballet is presenting Morris' edition on Tuesday, Wednesday and next Sunday in that city's War Memorial Opera House, and TDK has recently issued a DVD featuring the Paris Opera Ballet in a 2005 performance of Neumeier's radical alternative.
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 12:44 pm 
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I forgot to mention that I was amused to read in the program notes that Elizabeth Miner had trouble with the bow, which she said she repeatedly dropped and/or broke during rehearsals. It is somehow comforting to know that even ballerinas can be a bit klutzy at times.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 2:23 pm 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Are you kidding? I once saw one trip on a shadow.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 7:41 pm 
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Quote:
I once saw one trip on a shadow.


Was the "shadow" in question by any chance the shadow of your smile, Jeff?


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 7:54 pm 
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Nope, and it wasn't my dog Shadow, either:
<center>
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com/shadow2.jpg
</center>

_________________
Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 7:04 am 
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Megan Low was adorable last night as Sylvia (her next to last performance before she heads to UC Berkely for a master's degree in education). The company was with her, and on, and enjoying themselves, and it was contagious. When I saw the production two years ago, I too felt let down by the choreography. But for some reason I found last night's performance very pleasurable.

I'm looking forward to seeing the Royal Ballet's revival of Ashton's Sylvia on Saturday and Sunday with ABT. We're fortunate to have two versions of Sylvia on the West Coast at the same time.


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 9:16 pm 
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Stuart Sweeney wrote:
Ashton's "Sylvia" struggles with the plot, on the same level of silliness as "Le Corsaire" and a myriad of characters and the corps in a host of guises, thus the ensemble work is less effective than "Le Corsaire".


Having just seen both Morris's and Ashton's Sylvias this past week, the Morris Sylvia comes off very badly, even compared to one of Ashton's not-so-fine moments. While the plot is silly --- both ballets are actually almost identical in plot --- Ashton keeps it moving with lots of interesting dances. I can't believe that using the same music, Ashton's Sylvia went by so quickly today, with only 1 intermission, while the Morris Sylvia with 2 intermissions painfully dragged on. Like Le Corsaire, it's possible to enjoy Ashton's work as a guilty pleasure, because of all the nice dancing moments in it, but there really isn't anything to see in the Morris piece, except maybe for the 3rd act pas. I cannot believe SFB is actually presenting Morris's Sylvia in New York City --- it seems almost like artistic suicide.

--Andre


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 10:14 pm 
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Those reviews should be interesting! Can't wait.


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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 12:47 am 
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Andre,

Thanks for your comments, which I always find valuable (though I don't agree that SFB is going to seriously damage its reputation by bringing Mark Morris's "Sylvia" to New York). I saw ABT's performance of Aston's "Sylvia" on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. I enjoyed Ashton's version greatly (partly for historic reasons) and I think that, as it becomes more widely performed, it could actually make Morris's "Sylvia" more relevant and interesting. Ashton knows how to create a coherent story line, and he gives us a constant stream of inventive and lovely dances that really capture the spirit of Delibes' music. And unlike Morris, this is a true ballerina ballet—every act is filled with marvelous solos and duets for Sylvia (I kept seeing Margot Fonteyn, Ashton's first Sylvia, in his dances for Sylvia). Paloma Herrera's Sylvia was a marvel Saturday night—what a warm, communicative, and experienced dancer she is. The audience went crazy for her (and for Angel Corella, her Aminta) and rightly so. Ashton's Sylvia (the lead) is not a role designed for a member of the corps; Morris's Sylvia can be, and that is part of its charm. Ironically, for all his desire to democratize ballet, the success of Morris's "Sylvia" actually depends on who is dancing Sylvia on a particular night. Ashton's version doesn't depend solely on the leads: the choreography actually carries the piece in a way Morris's doesn't. For example, the dancing on Sunday afternoon was not as strong as Saturday night's, but the piece itself was still lovely and effective: it worked as a ballet. We need Ashton's version of Delibes' 19th-century classic, and I hope it stays in the repertory of ABT and RB; without it, Mark Morris's version may seem to miss the point of the ballet (it's as if we had the "Hard Nut" but no "Nutcracker.") With Ashton's "Sylvia," it may be possible to appreciate the fresh and witty ways Morris wants to go beyond a 19th-century ballet to show how "love conquers all," the theme of both productions. We'll see.


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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 5:49 am 
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"Those reviews should be interesting! Can't wait."

Of course, a number of influential New York reviewers have already seen and reviewed SFB's performance of Morris's "Sylvia," including the "New Yorker's" Joan Acocella:

http://www.newyorker.com/critics/dancin ... da_dancing

By the way, did anyone see Megan Low's final (farewell) performance of Sylvia Sunday afternoon? I heard it was wonderful, with Mark Morris onstage at the end bowing to Megan and presenting her with a huge bouquet of flowers.


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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 6:59 am 
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Interesting, Joan Acocella was amazed at the amount of ballet that it contained. I was amazed at how much it didn't.


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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 1:34 pm 
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Let's hope all of this word of mouth about all productions of Sylvia sells tickets.

By the way the Paris Opera Ballet just released a DVD of their Neumeier production.


Last edited by Trixie G Street on Mon May 08, 2006 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 2:17 pm 
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David I am confused by your last comment? Does that mean that you are tired of my views or of the discussion in general?


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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 8:57 pm 
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Thanks for editing your post David, this brings the discussion forward instead of to a grinding halt.


Best
Lucy


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