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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring Season 2003
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 8:02 pm 
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To ballet fans in New York City, the yearly re-emergence of Balanchine’s classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the NY State Theatre is a sign that the New York City Ballet spring season is coming to a close. In the last week of the 2003 Spring Season, sparkling performances by two casts, with debuts abounding, brought the season to a poignant and delightful end.

On Thursday, Benjamin Millepied was a youthfully regal and spectacular Oberon. Balanchine’s first act solo for Oberon is not only technically challenging, but requires extreme precision in the bravura choreography. The dancer must execute a slew of quick beats, jumps and leaps while carefully threading his way through the legions of young bugs, danced with charming enthusiasm by young dancers from the School of American Ballet. Millepied's performance was doubly breathtaking, as not only was his dancing superb, but he also seemed to tread the line between bugs and stage very finely. The stage did not seem large enough to contain his sweeping grand jetes, one sequence finished with a stunning switch split, and his beats were high and precise. If Millepied has a weakness, it is in his tendency to underplay the role, omitting or shortening some meaningful mime touches. He could learn a lot from the performances of Peter Boal, who danced the role on Friday night. Though his dancing no longer has quite the speed it once had, Boal combined beautifully clean technique with a fully fleshed out, poignant characterization of Oberon. Boal knew exactly how to engage the audience and his fellow dancers, delighting with his facial expressions and interaction with Puck. His solo was excellent, his soaring leaps and elegant line on display as always.

Though she invested great detail in the characterization of Titania on both evenings, Maria Kowroski had some difficulties on the technical side Thursday night. Kowroski appeared to slip during the approach for the grand leap into Charles Askegard's arms, but both dancers reacted quickly, Askegard catching Kowroski at waist level and setting her down into a beautiful arabesque. After this miscue, Kowroski seemed bit off in the rest of her solo, her balances not held as long as usual and the her flow not as as stunning as normal. The lift was flawless on Friday night, and with Kowroski impressive in all her dancing.

A number of dancers made promising debuts on Thursday night, led by Daniel Ulbricht as a hyperkinetic Puck. With his short, but solid stature, Ulbricht was well-suited to the role, an enthusiastic powerhouse of a magical imp. As chaos ensued, Ulbricht’s face radiated mischievous delight. A superbly talented young dancer, he can be too forceful and enthusiastic in his characterizations. With experience, he should settle down into the role and make some of the humor a bit more subtle. Albert Evan’s Puck on Friday night had just the right combination of impish energy and perfectly balanced acting, neither to subtle nor in your face. Evans also ad-libbed nicely when an unknown glitch prevented him from “flying” in the final scene.

Another notable debut came from Seth Orza as the man turned donkey, Bottom. Endearing in both his human and animal forms, Orza handled the tricky pas deux with Titania with aplomb. Ask LaCour was a towering new Thesius, a perfect height mismatch for the powerful Aesha Ash. Henry Seth was a noble Thesius the following night, partnering Jennie Somogyi, who liberally infused her fouettes with stunningly solid triples. Debuting as Demetrius and Lysander, Jason Fowler and Stephen Hanna were both excellent partners and good actors. Megan Fairchild in another debut, gave the butterfly new charm! In the final debut of the night, Robert Tewsley partnered Jenifer Ringer in the Divertissement pas de deux. Elegant and supple his brief solos, Tewsley’s outward calm was belied by his overly cautious manner. During the otherwise notable pas de deux, he held Ringer so close that her foot collided with his legs three times. More experience will undoubtedly make both dancers more comfortable with the partnership and choreography.

The roles of Helena and Hermia were in good hands with both casts: Dena Abergel and Jennifer Tinsley, and Alexandra Ansanelli and Rachel Rutherford. Ansanelli’s solo was particularly poignant, Helena’s desperation and broken heart beautifully illustrated in her powerful and dramatic dancing. Jared Angle, returning after a long injury layoff, and Sebastian Marcovici were Ansanelli and Rutherford’s capable lovers on Friday.

The corps finished the year on a high note, showing good form and technique on both nights. Titania’s retinue and the divertissement dancers all danced with energy and appropriate emotion. The performances by the women were made even more lovely by Karinska’s gorgeous costumes, especially the dresses and tutus for Titania’s retinue-each costume totally unique, but perfectly harmonious together. Many thanks to all the dancers for a wonderful end to a wonderful season!

Mendelssohn’s joyous music was conducted by Richard Moredock on Thursday and Andrea Quinn on Friday. The ingenious and effective scenery, which decorated the whole stage, including the ceiling, came from David Hays, with lighting by Mark Stanley.


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring Season 2003
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 11:01 pm 
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Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
N.Y. Ballet Season Ends With Two Classics Back
From 620 KTAR


Odette and Siegfried. Titania and Oberon. New York's spring ballet season ended over the weekend with two popular classics about the joys and inconstancies of love, be it of the human, ornithological or otherworldly variety.

At one end of Lincoln Center was American Ballet Theatre's "Swan Lake," that warhorse of a ballet that continues to draw fans of all ages _ from grandparents to little girls in taffeta dresses _ with its story of a princess doomed to live as a swan and the prince who has one chance to save her.

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<small>[ 01 July 2003, 01:02 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring Season 2003
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 7:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Deborah Jowitt writes about Christopher Wheeldon in the Village Voice:

Quote:
Christopher Wheeldon is a phenomenon in a world parched for classically oriented ballet choreographers. <a href=http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0326/jowitt.php target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring Season 2003
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:55 am 
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Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
Love, in the Abstract

ANNA KISSELGOFF
NY Times

George Balanchine first read Shakespeare in Russian. Perhaps that is why his ballet "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for the New York City Ballet has less of an English literary tone than a musical sensibility derived from its Mendelssohn score. Yet Balanchine's knowledge of Shakespeare's play was deep. <a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/02/arts/dance/02BALL.html target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring Season 2003
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:37 pm 
Robert Gottlieb discusses about the current NYCB ballerinas in this week's review in the NY Observer.

http://www.observer.com/pages/dance.asp


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring Season 2003
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 11:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A brief paragraph about NYCB at the end of this article

West Side Story
By Laura Shapiro for NY Metro

The dances from West Side Story, which Robbins arranged into a suite for the New York City Ballet, made a welcome return toward the end of the City Ballet season.

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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring Season 2003
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2003 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
N.Y. Ballet Season Ends With Two Classics

JOCELYN NOVECK
Associated Press

NEW YORK - Odette and Siegfried. Titania and Oberon. New York's spring ballet season ended over the weekend with two popular classics about the joys and inconstancies of love, be it of the human, ornithological or otherworldly variety. <a href=http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030701/ap_on_en_ot/dance_ballet_4 target=_blank>more on Yahoo</a>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring Season 2003
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2003 7:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
THE HUMAN TOUCH

JOAN ACOCELLA
New Yorker

Seasons from American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet.

...

As A.B.T. gets more innocent, for better and for worse, New York City Ballet gets more sophisticated, for worse. <a href=http://www.newyorker.com/critics/dancing/?030630crda_dancing target=_blank>more</a>


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