public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:31 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 67 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 10:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
I'm sure there are others out there, but the NY Times is the only one I regularly access from abroad.

Thanks for such a detailed review - it's nice to see a thorough, thoughtful and balanced discussion of the positives and negatives, rather than the 'pre-ordained' complete dismissals of R&J because it was a 'Martins ballet'.

I will will comment more later, but would point out that it's pretty unusual for dancers to be applauded when they take the stage at NYCB. Balanchine discouraged applause during his ballets, and though it's become more common, it's not the 'done thing' at NYCB. So silence greeting a dancer(s) doesn't necessarily mean much. Apart from galas and retirement performances the only dancer I can remember who got 'entrance' applause regularly was/is Damian Woetzel, and that jibes with his rather 'showboaty' style.

Again, I do wonder why Martins went with Kirkeby, knowing how poorly their last collaboration at NYCB went down with the NYC crowds & critics. Kirkeby's work is, I think, a very Danish taste and his style works better in large backdrops rather than in 'color coded' costumes. He's much respected in Denmark, and I quite like some his paintings and would hope that this doesn't put Americans off his work, which outside the theatre is fascinating and well worth seeing.

As to Friar Laurance... it's been cast with all three Danish male dancers in the company. Clearly that's not unintentional.

Having read some of the comments, I wonder if Martins' perspective on the role was influenced both by the character of Frau Ambrosio in 'Napoli' and the Fr. Laurance in John Neumeier's version of 'Romeo and Juliet', which is the current production at the Royal Danish Ballet. Neumeier's Friar, at least as he has been recently cast, is much younger and more benign. He's been dance-acted by dancers/character dancers from as young as 21-22, to early/mid 40s and beyond. My interpretation was that he was a younger monk, willing to be party to Romeo and Juliet's plans, perhaps because he was still a bit wistful about the life gave up to be a monk/priest, perhaps thinking back to memories before he was a monk.

This interpretation worked beautifully - to my eyes - at RDB, in part I think because of the tradition of mime there, but also because with dancers from 16 to 70, choreographers generally are deliberate in casting decisions with regards to age - they don't have to pick a 23 year old to play a grandfather, for instance, so if they do, it's intentional.

At NYCB, I assume Martins had to go with younger dancers in key roles because there were no alternatives. My suspicion is that he chose Danish dancers for the Friar because he knew they'd all come from a similar background in terms of mime tradition and training - all three would have probably danced in Napoli as children, Hubbe and la Cour in both ballets as company members. Whether it works, I don't know, but I suspect that it might not because the role isn't as well thought out or integrated into the production. A character without dance needs to have an inner story to guide the mime, otherwise he/she has nothing to say in the mime.

Kate


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 2:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12407
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
balletomaniac, thank you for the detailed and interesting review!


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 8:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 341
Location: New Jersey
Kate -- I agree with you that it's unusual for NYCB audiences to applaud dancers when they first appear on stage. But it's "less" unusual with a full length. I recall audience applause upon lead entrances many times for Coppelia (how many years has it been since they've done that???), and occasionally for Titania and Oberon in Midsummer Night's Dream. What prompted my comment about the lack of acknowledgement for the R&J leads was the applause given moments later to Jock and Darci when they first appeared on stage.

And it's funny you should mention the Neumeier version. I saw it years ago -- ok, decades ago -- when the RDB performed it at the Met in NY, and as I was watching Martins's version, I kept thinking that there seemed to be a kinship of sorts between his version and my vague recollection of Neumeier's. But my memory of Neumeier's version is so lacking in specificity (except for Ann Marie Dybdal's Juliet), that I didn't trust myself to assert any connection between the two. Thanks for the insight.

But I disagree that Martins had no alternative but to cast young dancers in the key roles. There are many more experienced principles and soloists, and even corps members, who could have danced these roles successfully. But an apprentice and a newly appointed member of the corps as Juliet?? That seems to me to be both a conscious decision and a statement.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 2:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
Sorry - I was referring to young dancers in character roles like the Nurse, Friar Laurance etc. Without a stock of character dancers, NYCB can't often use older dancers in older character roles.

BIG news from Macaulay's latest review: promotions! He mentioned a few, with reference to others and since the news hasn't appeared elsewhere, I can only report what he's mentioned and then will fill in the blanks when the official release comes out:

to soloist: Seth Orza, Robert Fairchild
to principal: Sterling Hyltin

(The implication from the article was that there were at least more promotions to principal... I do hope that Tyler Angle has been promoted to because he certainly deserves the promotion ).


the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/08/arts/ ... 8rome.html


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 8:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 341
Location: New Jersey
Just read the above review (I still haven't read Macauley's initial review). Nice to know that we saw the same performances! I'm flattered that he decided to copy so many of my observations. :) [Actually, for this amateur, it's nice to have confirmed that maybe I have a rough idea of what I'm writing about.]
I haven't seen Sterling Hyltin's Juliet yet (I expect to), but otherwise the promotions appear well-deserved. But I'm surprised that Ms. Pereira hasn't as yet been officially welcomed into the ranks of the company dancers. She deserved a contract on the spot.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 8:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
Since NYCB has yet to issue a press release (I'm a bit surprised they allowed the NY Times to make such comments without having a press release ready to issue on the website/ to the press the very next morning) it could be that Pereira also will get a corps contract.

Generally, however the company does not issue releases on corps contracts - you just have to keep an eye on the Playbill and on the website. This is probably because they are dealing with not-yet-really-professional dancers, with those under 18 probably needing a parental co-signature on any binding contract, and it can a very touchy who does and doesn't get a contract. For those keeping track, I believe that once an apprentice dances in a set number of different ballets they must be given a corps contract. I think it's somewhere in the range of 7 to 9 - if you go to the AGMA website you can read the complete NYCB contract.

Also, except when they exceed the ballet number limit, apprentices tend to join the company at pretty set points - usually at the start or end of a season (Dec, Feb, April/May), which probably has to do with the company keeping a stable number of dancers - current dancers generally have to give the company notice of departure a set time before the end of the season, so my guess is that would be a big factor in dictating when apprentices are or are not given contracts. Plus there is probably some consideration as to the rep for the coming seasons and the company's requirements. For instance, I think NYCB will delay starting apprentice contracts until the fall when they do not need additional dancers for the Saratoga Season repertory. This way the dancers can partake of other summer programs and dance experiences rather than sit around doing nothing in Saratoga.

Kate


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 8:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 341
Location: New Jersey
Thanks for the info. Does the contract address whether apprentices get extra credit toward their quota by dancing the lead in a full-length ballet? [No, I'm not being serious. I'd be surprised if that's happened before.]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 2:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
Apprentices get paid at the lowest corps weekly rate pro-rated for the number of hours of rehearsals and performances they participate in, plus compensation for hours in costume fittings etc. So, if they are doing a big role, presumably they are rehearsing and performing more, so they make more money.

To be fair, corps members don't get paid extra for extra roles - base weekly salary depends on number of years in the corps, and then there's overtime which probably depends more on number of roles and the particular ballets. Soloist and Principal contracts have a minimum weekly rate, but beyond that I believe each (soloist/principal) contract is negotiated depending on roles and time away (like getting more time away during the Nutcracker etc.).

Interestingly, I received Pointe Magazine's online update today and there is a brief paragraph stating that between publication and premiere, that Callie Bachman (who was on the cover of the latest issue) was hurt and so was replaced by Sterling Hyltin. Sounds like they are trying to cover themselves...

Still no official word from NYCB on the promotions. I think this a major glitch by the press office - they should not have let the NY Times print notice of promotions if they were not going to make the announcement that day.

Kate


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 2:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
The other promotions:

To soloist: Sean Suozzi and Craig Hall (plus Orza and Fairchild)
To principal: Andrew Veyette, Daniel Ulbricht, Jonathan Stafford (in addition to Hyltin)


Though Suozzi, Hall and Orza are well ready for promotion, it seems inexplicable that Tyler Angle, who has probably danced more in the rep in his few years in the company than most of the senior male corps, should be passed over for a worthy, but very young, Robert Fairchild.

I am certainly not surprised that several men were promoted to principal because the company is losing at least two long time male principals in the coming year - Hübbe after next winter, Woetzel after next spring and Albert Evans, Philip Neal, Tom Gold and Nilas Martins are in the twilight of their careers.

Personally, I would have thought that Ask laCour was closer to principal material, but don't disagree with any of the promotions. That said, several years ago I would never have predicted that the first Stafford to principal would be Jonathan.

Congratulations to all!
Kate


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 4:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
From the NYCB Website:

New York City Ballet Announces Eight Promotions

Sterling Hyltin, Jonathan Stafford, Daniel Ulbricht, and Andrew Veyette Promoted to Principal Dancer

Robert Fairchild, Craig Hall, Seth Orza, and Sean Suozzi Promoted to Soloist

New York City Ballet has announced eight promotions, effective immediately. Sterling Hyltin, Jonathan Stafford, Daniel Ulbricht, and Andrew Veyette have all been promoted to the rank of principal dancer, and Robert Fairchild, Craig Hall, Seth Orza, and Sean Suozzi have all been promoted to soloist.

Peter Martins, NYCB’s Ballet Master in Chief, announced these promotions during the Company’s two-week presentation of Romeo + Juliet, the highlight of the 2007 spring season. All eight dancers are performing featured roles in Romeo + Juliet, which runs through Sunday, May 13.

New Principal Dancers
Sterling Hyltin was born in Amarillo, Texas. She began her dance training at the age of six at the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet, and she entered the School of American Ballet in the fall of 2000. In June 2003, Ms. Hyltin joined New York City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet, and she was promoted to soloist in March 2006. Ms. Hyltin originated the role of Juliet in Peter Martins’ Romeo + Juliet. She has danced featured roles in George Balanchine’s Ballo della Regina, Divertimento No. 15, George Balanchine’s The NutcrackerTM (Sugarplum Fairy, Dewdrop, Marzipan, and Dolls), Harlequinade (Lead Alouette), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Butterfly and Hermia), Stars and Stripes,Symphony in C (Third Movement), Symphony in Three Movements, Tarantella, Vienna Waltzes, and Western Symphony (Adagio); Jerome Robbins’ 2 & 3 Part Inventions and Fanfare (Flutes); and Mr. Martins’ Jeu de Cartes, Morgen,The Sleeping Beauty (Princess Aurora, Princess Florine, Eloquence, and White Cat), Songs of the Auvergne, and Swan Lake (Pas de Trois). She originated a featured role in Mr. Martins The Red Violin. Ms. Hyltin was NYCB’s Janice Levin Dancer Honoree for 2005-2006.

Jonathan Stafford was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and began his dance training at the age of eight with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Mr. Stafford entered the School of American Ballet in the fall of 1997. He joined New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet in February 1999 and was promoted to soloist in March 2006. Mr. Stafford originated the role of Paris in Peter Martins’ Romeo + Juliet. He has danced featured roles in George Balanchine’s Firebird, The Four Temperaments, Divertimento No. 15, George Balanchine’s The NutcrackerTM (Cavalier, Hot Chocolate, Dr. Stahlbaum, and Mother Ginger), Emeralds from Jewels, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lysander), Orpheus, Symphony In C (First Movement), and Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2; Jerome Robbins’ 2 & 3 Part Inventions, Fancy Free, Fanfare (Double Bass), and Interplay; Mr. Martins’ Octet,The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Désiré and Gold), Songs of the Auvergne, and Swan Lake (Pas de Quatre and Spanish); and Christopher Wheeldon’s Klavier and Polyphonia. Mr. Stafford’s sister, Abi Stafford, is a soloist with NYCB.

Daniel Ulbricht was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, and began his dance training at the age of 11 at the Judith Lee Johnson Studio of Dance. He also studied at Les Jeunes Danseurs and attended the Chautauqua Summer Dance Program, training with Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride. In 1999, Mr. Ulbricht entered the School of American Ballet; while still a student, he performed with New York City Ballet as a Jester in Peter Martins’ The Sleeping Beauty. He joined NYCB’s corps de ballet in November 2001 and was promoted to soloist in January 2005. Mr. Ulbricht originated the role of Mercutio in Mr. Martins’ Romeo + Juliet, and he has also danced featured roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), Mozartiana (Gigue), George Balanchine’s The NutcrackerTM (Soldier, Chinese Tea, and Candy Cane), Stars and Stripes, Tarantella, and Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3; Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, Fanfare (Tuba), The Four Seasons (Fall), and Interplay; Mr. Martins’ Eight More, Fearful Symmetries, Harmonielehre, The Sleeping Beauty (Bluebird), and Swan Lake (Jester); and Richard Tanner’s Soirée (Quadriglia). Mr. Ulbricht originated featured roles in Mr. Martins’ Friandises, Christopher Wheeldon’s Shambards, and Robert La Fosse’s Land of Nod. Mr. Ulbricht was the Janice Levin Dancer Honoree for 2003-2004.

Denver-born Andrew Veyette began his dance training at the age of nine in California, studying at Dance Arts in Visalia and Westside Ballet in Santa Monica. Mr. Veyette entered the School of American Ballet in the fall of 1998 under a Janet Levin Scholarship. In spring 2000, he joined New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet, and he was promoted to soloist in March 2006. Mr. Veyette danced the role of Mercutio in Peter Martins’ Romeo + Juliet. He has danced featured roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (third movement), Divertimento No. 15, Donizetti Variations, The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine’s The NutcrackerTM (Cavalier and Hot Chocolate), Harlequinade (Harlequin), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon and Lysander), Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Stars and Stripes, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, and Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2; Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, Fanfare (Clarinets), Interplay, and N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz; Mr. Martins’ Jeu de Cartes, The Sleeping Beauty (Bluebird and Asia), Swan Lake (Benno and Spanish), and Zakouski; Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia; and Eliot Feld’s Backchat. Mr. Veyette originated featured roles in Mr. Martins’ The Red Violin, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s Two Birds with the Wings of One, and Richard Tanner’s Soirée. Mr. Veyette was a recipient of the Mae L. Wien Award in 2000.

New Soloists
Robert Fairchild was born in Salt Lake City and began dance training at the age of 10 at the Ballet West Conservatory. He entered the School of American Ballet in the fall of 2003, and in June 2005, he became an apprentice with NYCB; while still an apprentice, he performed a featured role in the NYCB premiere of Eliot Feld’s Intermezzo No. 1. In June 2006, he joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet. Mr. Fairchild originated the role of Romeo in Peter Martins’ Romeo + Juliet, and he has also danced featured roles in George Balanchine’s The NutcrackerTM (Mother Ginger) and Peter Martins’ The Sleeping Beauty (Puss in Boots and Wolf). Mr. Fairchild was the 2005 recipient of the Mae L. Wien Award. His sister, Megan Fairchild, is a principal dancer with New York City Ballet.

Craig Hall was born in Maywood, Illinois, and began his dance training at the age of four at Stairway of the Stars. He also studied at the Chicago Academy of the Arts and the Ruth Page Dance Foundation before entering the School of American Ballet in the fall of 1997. While a student at SAB, he originated a featured role in Christopher Wheeldon’s Scènes de Ballet, which premiered during New York City Ballet’s 1999 spring season. In February 2000, Mr. Hall joined NYCB’s corps de ballet. Mr. Hall performed the role of Tybalt in Peter Martins’ Romeo + Juliet. He has danced featured roles in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine’s The NutcrackerTM (Chinese Tea and Candy Cane), and La Sonnambula; Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun, The Cage, and Fanfare (Bassoons); Mr. Martins’ Reliquary, The Sleeping Beauty (Jesters and Africa), and Swan Lake (Spanish); Mr. Wheeldon’s After the Rain; and Angelin Preljocaj’s La Stravaganza. Mr. Hall originated featured roles in Mr. Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, Jorma Elo’s Slice to Sharp, and Robert La Fosse’s Land of Nod, and in the NYCB premieres of Eliot Feld’s Backchat and Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz. Mr. Hall has won several awards, including a scholarship from the National Foundation for the Advancement in Arts, the Nureyev scholarship, and the Mae L. Wien Award.

Seth Orza was born in San Francisco. In 1994, he began studying at the Summer Program of the School of American Ballet as a scholarship student, and he entered SAB as a full time student in the fall of 1997. He joined New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet in June 2000. Mr. Orza danced the role of Romeo in Peter Martins’ Romeo + Juliet. He has also danced featured roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Coppélia (“War & Discord”), The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine’s The NutcrackerTM (Cavalier, Hot Chocolate, Mouse King, Dr. Stahlbaum), Emeralds from Jewels, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bottom and Lysander), Slaughter onTenth Avenue, Symphony in C (Third Movement), and Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2; Jerome Robbins’ 2 & 3 Part Inventions, Fancy Free, Fanfare (Clarinets), In Memory of…, Interplay, and Piano Pieces; Mr. Martins’ Reliquary, The Sleeping Beauty (Gold, Puss in Boots, and America), Songs of the Auvergne, and Swan Lake (Benno); Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance), Evenfall, and Polyphonia; David Allan’s Reunions; and Angelin Preljocaj’s La Stravaganza. He originated featured roles in Albert Evans’ Haiku, Susan Stroman’s Double Feature (Edward Meekin), and Richard Tanner’s Soirée, and the NYCB premiere of Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz.

Sean Suozzi was born in Glen Cove, New York, and began his dance training at the age of seven with Joyce DiLauro. He trained for four years at the Nutmeg Ballet in Torrington, Connecticut, and entered the School of American Ballet in 1997, then joined New York City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in February 2000. Mr. Suozzi performed the role of Romeo in Peter Martins’ Romeo + Juliet. He has danced featured roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine’s The NutcrackerTM (Chinese Tea, Candy Cane, and Soldier), Emeralds from Jewels, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), Prodigal Son, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Symphony in C (Fourth Movement), and Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2; Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare (Percussion), The Four Seasons (Winter), and Interplay; and Mr. Martins’ The Sleeping Beauty (Puss in Boots) and Swan Lake (Benno and Spanish) Mr. Suozzi originated a featured role in Mr. Martins’ The Red Violin. In March of 2004, Mr. Suozzi performed with Peter Boal & Company at the Joyce Theater, dancing in the world premieres of John Alleyne’s 2nd Prologue and Marco Goecke’s Mopey.

New York City Ballet’s 2007 spring season runs through Sunday, June 24. All performances are at the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, on Columbus Ave. at 63rd St. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 212-870-5570 or visit www.nycballet.com.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 5:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
From the NYCB contract:

ENGAGEMENT OF APPRENTICE DANCERS
AGMA agrees that the EMPLOYER may engage no more than ten Apprentice Dancers to
appear in its Company under the following terms and conditions:
(a) Apprentices may perform for the EMPLOYER for a period not to exceed one year.
(b) The Apprentices may appear in not more than eight ballets during the winter season, not
more than eight ballets during the spring season, and not more than eight ballets during the combined
time of Saratoga and any domestic and international touring during the apprentice year. However,
participation by Apprentices in special single events such as gala, memorial performances or single
performances for the Guild luncheon or the education department shall not count towards their maximums.
(c) During performance weeks Apprentices will receive rehearsal compensation for all
rehearsal hours as provided in Paragraph 13. of this BASIC AGREEMENT. During rehearsal weeks,
Apprentices will receive the A1 Rate for each rehearsal hour.
(d) The EMPLOYER agrees that the appearance of the Apprentice will not reduce the normal
strength of the Corps de Ballet. The EMPLOYER further agrees that members of the regular Corps de
Ballet will be available as stand-bys to cover the duties performed by Apprentices.
(e) During performance weeks, Apprentices will receive a pro rata of Level A Corps Dancer's
weekly salary per performance for each of the first four performances in a week. If an Apprentice is
engaged for five or more performances a week, the full Level A Corps Dancer’s weekly salary shall be
paid for that week in lieu of any per performance compensation described in this subparagraph (e). Outside
the City of Origination, the Apprentice will be paid the Level A Corps Dancer’s weekly salary.
(f) Apprentices will be restricted to the age group sixteen (16) through twenty-two (22) years
of age. In the case where the EMPLOYER seeks to secure the employment of a dancer younger than 16
years of age, a letter of commitment may be offered and signed by the dancer to be engaged as an apprentice
dancer upon reaching sixteen years of age.
(g) AGMA reserves the right to prohibit the use of Apprentices at any time that it has at its sole
discretion considered that there have been abuses of this provision.
(h) In the event of any lengthy or long term injury or illness that prohibits an Apprentice from
dancing, the EMPLOYER will meet with the Dancers’ Committee to discuss remedies which may include
extending the length of the apprenticeship for as long as the apprentice is unable to dance.
(i) Apprentices will be notified in a timely fashion when they are expected by the
EMPLOYER to be engaged and/or to perform outside of the City of Origination. Said notification will be
given no later than thirty calendar days prior to the first day of any tour. It is intended and understood
that Apprentices who are engaged and/or perform on tour, that they will remain for the length of the tour.
(j) Apprentices will meet with members of the EMPLOYER’s artistic management staff at the
end of each season in order to receive an evaluation.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 2:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
A fascinating and well written piece by Alistair Macaulay about a more controversial moment in 'Romeo and Juliet':

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/12/arts/ ... 2viol.html


Macaulay continues to be a fabulous breath of fresh air, and it makes you wonder why we had to suffer through so many years of John Rockwell's uninspiring and bland commentaries.

Kate


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 2:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
Alistair Macaulay writes eloquently about a quartet of ballets that NYCB is currently performing. I most like his words on Wheeldon's "Carousel (A Dance)":

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/17/arts/ ... 7nycb.html


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 8:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 341
Location: New Jersey
Sorry this is so late -- it's been a tiring week, and I've just now been able to get to it.


New York City Ballet
Romeo & Juliet
May 11, 2007
Lincoln Center; New York State Theater


If I’ve seen Stirling Hyltin dance before, I don’t recall. Having finally caught up with the first cast of Peter Martins’s new “Romeo + Juliet,” and having finally watched Ms. Hyltin dance, I’m sure I couldn’t’ have seen her dance before. I would have remembered.

Ms. Hyltin is every inch the ballerina. In stage appearance, she belongs in that class of dancers who move with the delicacy and steely strength of thoroughbreds, with complete facility of execution and command of what they’re doing. And as would be expected from the only pre-existing experienced soloist (and newly minted principal) cast in the role, her Juliet – particularly in the balcony and bedroom scenes -- was simply beautiful to watch.

But, even though she was a more accomplished dancer than the other Juliets I saw, why was I ultimately less moved by her Juliet?

Possibly, I think, because she is every inch the ballerina. She didn’t have to think about what the steps were supposed to be – she just melted into them. Which was wonderful to watch. But where the others seemed to be Juliets as much by nature as by direction, I saw Ms. Hyltin work at it. Most of it was ‘right’. But to me, some of what appeared to be spontaneity in the other performances was missing here. I can’t fault her for appearing artificial in her initial scene – all the Juliets did, and it is a problem with the scene, not them. But I frequently saw the acting where I shouldn’t have. For example, I could see her ‘acting’ ecstasy, particularly when she opened her mouth a little too wide to show it. I could see her deliberately planning the ‘should I stand on the right or left of Romeo’ (one of many perfect little ‘throwaway’ moments from Martins) during the marriage scene, as opposed to the other Juliets really looking flustered and not knowing where to stand. And I could see her “telegraph” the ‘light bulb going off in her head’ moment (when she decides to seek help from Friar Laurence) before she did the mime of it that Martins inserts: [In the MacMillan version, this would have been perfect; but in the Martins version, where the mime replaces the 'light bulb going off', it's superfluous.]

Ultimately, of course, learning how to do the acting right is essential since it's probably inevitable that any natural spontaneity will probably beome less natural over time. And ‘learning’ the acting, particularly in a company whose history didn’t encourage acting per so, is exactly where Ms. Hyltin should be -- particularly since she is already so accomplished at making the choreography appear second-nature to her.

But these observations are minor and nit-picky. Hers was a lovely performance well-deserving of the ovation she and her Romeo received from the full house.

Ms. Hyltin’s Romeo, Robert Fairchild (newly promoted to soloist), was as enjoyable to watch dance as she was. But more than that, he was on her emotional level. His was a more ‘mature’ Romeo (and by that I do not mean an ‘older’ one). And although I am not comfortable with Martins’s characterization of Romeo as dreamer/poet, Fairchild seemed to cast this characterization aside (or made me less conscious of it) more successfully than the other Romeos.

The evening did have one disappointment, however. I’ve seen Joaquin De Luz dance with both ABT and NYCB, and he is without question an accomplished and admirable dancer. But he was not Tybalt. While Martins, interestingly, makes Tybalt less of a villain than in other productions, the character still requires some venom, some nastiness. De Luz showed none of it. Sure, he did a good fight scene with Mercutio, but that was athleticism, not anger. There was no fire in the performance – Tybalt was just a reasonably decent guy, maybe a little high strung, who was very good at swordsmanship, and who had a little temper. It didn’t work.


What did work, again, was Daniel Ulbricht’s Mercutio. Like Martins’s overall conception of streamlined, non-stop action, Ulbricht’s dancing was streamlined, non-stop action. He brought the house down.

But it is Jock Soto’s characterization of Lord Capulet (or, his performance of Martins’s characterization of Lord Capulet) that continues to show a new side to this story. Of course, this isn’t Capulet’s story, and his role isn’t as significant as that of Romeo and Juliet. But it is breathtaking in its simple perfection.

In reviewing previous performances of this production, I noted that Soto’s Capulet showed an awareness of his loss of control. When Juliet disobeys him, he slaps her, and immediately reacts in horror to what he did. It wasn’t an exercise of power or domination – Soto’s characterization recognized it for what it was – a loss of control. And you could see him thinking that life as he knew it may be coming to an end. Shortly thereafter, when Juliet appears to accept his wishes, he reacts not as a Prince who had vanquished a reluctant subject, but almost in surprise and relief that perhaps he still had it in him to dominate by force of his will. And then, first when Juliet dies, and then when he enters the tomb and sees Juliet and Romeo’s suicides, his recognition that he really has, after all, lost control, and lost it forever, is almost as moving as seeing Romeo and Juliet die.


Last edited by balletomaniac on Sun May 20, 2007 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 10:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
Unless there was a very late substitution, Hyltin's Romeo was new soloist Robbie Fairchild. Jonathan Stafford has been dancing Paris with this cast.

Kate


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 67 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group