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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:34 pm 
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Reviews of Peter Martins' "Romeo + Juliet" from Alastair Macaulay in the New York Times:

NY Times

Joel Lobenthal in the New York Sun:

NY Sun


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:47 am 
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It's official - Damian Woetzel is retiring. I will definitely be trying to attend this performance if I'm on the right side of the Atlantic:

Quote:
Ballet Star to Retire

By DANIEL J. WAKIN
Published: January 8, 2008
NY Times

Damian Woetzel, a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet, said Monday he would retire at season’s end, making official what he had predicted a year ago. Mr. Woetzel’s final performance will be on June 18 after 23 years with the company.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:23 am 
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I hope he does not stop dancing completely. He still dances so well


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:12 pm 
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Greetings JeffSH!

I suspect Woetzel will do the occasional guest spot somewhere, but he'll be 41 by the time he retires. So probably doesn't want to keep pushing his body...and I'm happy he's retiring while he is still dancing well. A number of NYCB dancers have continued too long and it's shame when final memories are tarnished by failing technique. Though Woetzel has been fortunate to have very, very few injuries in his career.

Anyone want to chip in with favourite Woetzel memories...I'll start (and confess that back in the early 90s it was his looks, not his dancing that first attracted me.):

* Favourite roles: Fancy Free (rhumba sailor), West Side Story (Riff), Stars & Stripes, Four Seasons (fall) and Prodigal Son

* Ballet I most want to see again with Woetzel: "Dances at a Gathering"

* Best full length: Coppelia (Fritz)

* Best premiere: Carousel (this was with Ansanelli, and they were/are both so fearless and their technique so effortless that you couldn't help but hold your breath during the pas de deux)

* Best return to the stage: Donizetti Variations (If I remember correctly this was his first time dancing after some time out with an infected appendix)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:50 am 
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Location: Shanghai
thanks Kate
I just think he is still very good
My contributions:
I like him in Rubies, those fast turns are amazing
for a fun part, you can not love him for his cheeky smile, the way he walks, and of cause those jumps/turns in Stars and Stripes


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:10 pm 
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Jennifer Dunning reviews the "Four by Four" program -- Balanchine's "Ballo della Regina," Christopher Wheeldon's "Liturgy," Peter Martins' "Les Gentilhommes," and Jerome Robbins' "Fancy Free" -- from Thursday, January 10, 2008, in the New York Times:

NY Times

Joel Lobenthal reviews the same performance in the New York Sun:

NY Sun

Clive Barnes in the New York Post:

NY Post


Last edited by Francis Timlin on Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:15 am 
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Major debuts:

** Daniel Ulbricht in 'The Prodigal Son' - this is the first new 'prodigal' in a very, very long time. To be honest, this is a surprise choice... it's not really a 'short' role and I think matching Ulbricht with Reichlin could risk looking very silly because of the height difference and thus drain the VERY important pathos from the ballet.

* Amar Ramasar and Adam Hendrickson in 'Fancy Free'. I saw Ramasar do a bit of this ballet during one of the donor lunches many years ago so's he been rehearsing this for awhile.

* New Bigonzetti ballet


New York City Ballet Principal Casting January 22 - 27, 2008
Tue. Eve. , Jan. 22, 2008 at 7:30 pm [Sill+]

Ballo della Regina: M. Fairchild, Garcia, Laracey, *King,
*Dronova, *Arthurs
pause
Liturgy:Whelan, Evans Delmoni
intermission
Les Gentilhommes:Suozzi, R. Fairchild, T. Angle, Ulbricht,
Hendrickson, Carmena, Ramasar,
Danchig-Waring, Peiffer
intermission
Fancy Free: T. Angle, *Hendrickson, *Ramasar,
Rutherford, Pazcoguin, Shepherd, Prottas


Wed. Eve., Jan. 23 at 7:30 pm [Karoui]
An American In Paris:*Peck, Woetzel, Mearns
pause
Valse Triste:Kistler, *J. Angle
intermission
*Oltremare
(New Bigonzetti) :
*Kowroski, *T. Angle
intermission
Russian Seasons: Krohn, Whelan, *Rutherford, Evans Nikkanen


Thur. Eve., Jan. 24 at 8 pm [Sill+]
Le Tombeau de Couperin: NYCB Ensemble
pause
Tarantella:Bouder, Garcia Moverman
intermission
Bugaku: Kowroski, Evans
intermission
La Sonnambula: Kistler, Hübbe, Mearns, Ramasar,
King, Zungre, Laurent, Schumacher,
Drovona, *Prottas, Ulbricht


Fri. Eve., Jan. 25 at 8 pm [Karoui]

An American In Paris:Peck, Woetzel, Mearns
pause
Valse Triste: Kistler, J. Angle
intermission
Oltremare (New Bigonzetti) :Kowroski, T. Angle
intermission
Russian Seasons:Krohn, Whelan, Rutherford, Evans Nikkanen


Sat. Mat., Jan. 26 at 2 pm [Sill+]
Ballo della Regina:M. Fairchild, Garcia, Laracey, King,
Dronova, Arthurs
pause
Liturgy:Whelan, Evans Delmoni
intermission
Les Gentilhommes:Suozzi, R. Fairchild, T. Angle,
Ulbricht, Hendrickson, Carmena,
Ramasar, Danchig-Waring, Peiffer
intermission
Fancy Free: T. Angle, Hendrickson, Ramasar,
Rutherford, Pazcoguin, Shepherd, Prottas


Sat. Eve., Jan. 26 at 8 pm [Karoui]

The Goldberg Variations:
1st Section: *A. Stafford, Hanna, Veyette,
M. Fairchild, *T Angle, Hendrickson
2nd Section: *Rutherford, *J. Angle, Kowroski,
Neal, *Whelan, *Millepied Grant
Theme: *Gilliland, Fowler
intermission
Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux:*Bouder, *Garcia
pause
Western Symphony:
1st Movement (Allegro): *A. Stafford, Martins
2nd Movement (Adagio): Hyltin, Evans
3rd Movement (Rondo): Reichlen, Woetzel

Sun. Mat., Jan. 27 at 3 pm [Karoui]
Square Dance:A. Stafford, Veyette
intermission
Prodigal Son:*Ulbricht, *Reichlen, J. Stafford,
Golbin, Abergel, Carmena, Hendrickson

intermission
The Four Seasons:

Janus: Fowler
Winter: J. Peck, *Hyltin, Suozzi, *Tworzyanski
Spring: Gilliland, Mearns, J. Angle
Summer: Shepherd, *Krohn, *Ramasar
Fall: Seth, Bouder, Millepied, Carmena


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:20 pm 
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The 'try outs for Woetzel's roles' theme continues...

Ben Millepied now is debuting in "The Blue Necklace". Interesting, though I'd really like to see him in "Prodigal Son". For many years, he's been cited as the heir to Woetzel's roles, especially since both were Robbins' proteges (I often think of Millepied as one of Robbins' last proteges since Robbins cast him whilst still a SAB student in 2+3 part inventions.).

Like Woetzel, Millepied is a technician (though his amplitude has suffered over the last few years due to a long term foot injury), but reasonably tall, unlike Ulbricht, de Luz and Garcia, who are limited in terms of partnering and rep because of height. But Millepied is not a youngster - I think he's probably 30 now. I think there are dancers who might fill his rep eventually, but the sad thing is that there are no longer any young dancers who worked with Robbins. (Robbins died about 10 year ago, so only those who are in their late 20s or early 30s at least would have been old enough to work with him). I hope the spring season tribute to Robbins will give dancers like Woetzel and Millepied (and Tom Gold probably) the chance to teach the 'youngsters' what they have learned so that Robbins rep doesn't start to lose it's special spark.

I adore Ulbricht, but I guess I think he's a bit young for the role of the prodigal (it's a role that probably benefits from the dancer having some life experience) and also a bit robust. The prodigal needs to look worn out and gaunt on his return - Woetzel and Boal both were slender and could pull it off well, but Ulbricht is very muscular.

Anyway:

New York City Ballet Principal Casting January 29 - February 3, 2008
Tue. Eve. , Jan. 29, 2008 at 7:30 pm [Karoui]

Square Dance:
intermission
Prodigal Son:

intermission
The Four Seasons:
Borree, Hübbe

Ulbricht, Reichlen, J. Stafford,
Golbin, Abergel, Carmena, Hendrickson

Janus: Fowler
Winter: J. Peck, Hyltin, Suozzi, Tworzyanski
Spring: Gilliland, Mearns, J. Angle
Summer: Shepherd, Krohn, Ramasar
Fall: Seth, Bouder, Millepied, Carmena
Wed. Eve., Jan. 30 at 7:30 pm [Karoui]
An American In Paris:
pause
Valse Triste:
intermission
Oltremare
(New Bigonzetti) :
intermission
Russian Seasons: *Morgan, *Veyette, Mearns

Kistler, J. Angle

Kowroski, T. Angle


Krohn, Whelan, Rutherford, Evans Nikkanen
Thur. Eve., Jan. 31 at 8 pm [Karoui]
Double Feature
"The Blue Necklace"
Dorothy Brooks: Kowroski Billy Randolph: Woetzel
Mrs. Griffith: *Lowery Mr. Griffith: Fowler
Mable: Bouder Florence: M. Fairchild

"Makin' Whoopee!"
Anne Windsor: *Peck Jimmie Shannon: Gold
Joe Doherty: *Ramasar Edward Meekin: *R. Fairchild
Garrison: Higgins
Fri. Eve., Feb. 1 at 8 pm [Karoui]

Double Feature

"The Blue Necklace"
Dorothy Brooks: Kowroski Billy Randolph: Woetzel
Mrs. Griffith: Lowery Mr. Griffith: Fowler
Mable: Bouder Florence: M. Fairchild

"Makin' Whoopee"
Anne Windsor: Peck Jimmie Shannon: Gold
Joe Doherty: Ramasar Edward Meekin: R. Fairchild
Garrison: Higgins

Sat. Mat., Feb. 2 at 2 pm [Otranto+]
Double Feature
"The Blue Necklace"
Dorothy Brooks: Kowroski Billy Randolph: *Millepied
Mrs. Griffith: Lowery Mr. Griffith: Froman
Mable: *Hyltin Florence: M. Fairchild

"Makin' Whoopee!"
Anne Windsor: Peck Jimmie Shannon: Gold
Joe Doherty: Ramasar Edward Meekin: R. Fairchild
Garrison: Higgins

Sat. Eve., Feb. 2 at 8 pm [Karoui]

Double Feature

"The Blue Necklace"
Dorothy Brooks: Kowroski Billy Randolph: Woetzel
Mrs. Griffith: Lowery Mr. Griffith: Fowler
Mable: Bouder Florence: M. Fairchild

"Makin' Whoopee!"
Anne Windsor: Peck Jimmie Shannon: Gold
Joe Doherty: Ramasar Edward Meekin: R. Fairchild
Garrison: Higgins

Sun. Mat., Feb. 3 at 3 pm [Otranto+]
Double Feature
"The Blue Necklace"
Dorothy Brooks: Kowroski Billy Randolph: Millepied
Mrs. Griffith: Lowery Mr. Griffith: Froman
Mable: Hyltin Florence: M. Fairchild


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:09 pm 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
San Francisco has a new ballerina treat to feast eyes upon: Sofiane Sylve! I guess that blows the below theory out of the water:

Quote:
No news on why, but she'd been dancing with both the Het National Ballet and the NYCB, and it's possible that the trans-Atlantic lifestyle was becoming increasingly untenable. The rising cost of airfares may have made the air-commuting less cost-effective and there may also have been increasing hassles in going back & forth through US immigrations.

Kate Snedeker


I wonder why NYCB and Double S parted company?

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The world revolves around the beauty of the ballerina.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:24 am 
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The Company has started a video section of the website with a selection of preview videos and videos of presentation.

http://www.nycballet.com/company/viewing.html

To be honest, while it's great that the company is expanding to video, I don't think the little preview videos of the various programs are a huge leap forward. The vast majority of the videos are 'talking heads' and still images. If I was new to ballet, I'd want to see the dancing. The 3 - 5 minute ads that the RDB does tend to mostly a straight video clip of the ballet(s) and give the viewer a much better idea of the program to be shown.

Also - rather inexcusable it seems - since the company's head of new media is a Mac user, the video clips of the Centennial Seminars don't seem to work on a Mac. You keep getting told to download a PlugIn even if you already have it and the clips just don't work at all on Safari. I don't know whether the clips were downloaded with error so they don't work for anyone or what the deal is....

Kate


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:54 pm 
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Alastair Macaulay reviews the Thursday, January 17, 2008 performance of the "Balanchine's World" program: "Le Tombeau de Couperin," "Tarantella," "Bugaku" and "La Sonnambula" in the New York Times:

NY Times


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:13 pm 
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I have had the great pleasure of seeing Nikolaj Hübbe rehearse and perform the role of the poet. His performance was one of the experiences that is impossible to express in words. He dances from his whole body, and has the most expressive, flexible torso.

His NYCB finale is next month, but his final performance as a dancer will be in April with the RDB. He'll dance his signature role, that of James in his own production of 'La Sylphide', and I hope to be able to get over to Copenhagen to witness this special moment.

Kate


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:04 pm 
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Robert Gottlieb discusses "Jewels," (and makes comparisons to the recent Royal Ballet production), the "Four by Four" program, and "The Four Seasons" in the New York Observer:

NY Observer


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:58 pm 
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I have to stay I'm flabbergasted at Gottleib's dismissal of Woetzel in the "Prodigal Son". Every other critic I've ever read has given Woetzel high compliments in this role - quoting Macaulay's recent review (linked above somewhere):

Quote:
" Yet in decades to come Ms. Bouder’s performances will remain etched in memory. At present this can be said of too few City Ballet dancers, but Damian Woetzel is another. The foremost event Friday night was his account of the Prodigal Son, an object lesson in the interpretative qualities lacking in most of “The Four Seasons.” The role seems to get under and even into Mr. Woetzel’s very skin.

When Kenneth Clark, in his book “The Nude,” defines nudity as an ideal and unashamed condition, his words remind me of the quality that ballet dancers customarily have onstage, whether fully or minimally dressed. As the Prodigal is stripped and robbed, however, Mr. Woetzel moves into the condition that Mr. Clark distinguishes as nakedness. Shame and degradation suffuse him, and his former vitality turns into vulnerability. It was announced recently that he will retire this spring, and “The Prodigal Son” is just one of many ballets where he will be sorely missed."


I have to wonder whether Gottleib's opinion of Woetzel in this role is shaped by something other than dance abilities...politics...

Or perhaps a pre-conceived idea of how the prodigal should look. Woetzel certainly isn't a short, solid powerhouse like Villela or Baryshnikov, but (probably more so than them), he captures the utter degradation of the prodigal in the end - he looks so gaunt it's almost scary. (The last two Prodigals - Boal and Woetzel - have been taller and slender, but the next Prodigal, Daniel Ulbricht, is very much of the Misha/Villela bodytype, so it will be interesting to see what Gottlieb makes of him)

Sometimes it can be very hard to accept a dancer in a role once you've seen what you consider to be THE performance or if you think a role should be done by a dancer with a certain look. I love Balanchine's 'Tarantella', but I just don't get quite the same joy out of it at NYCB now after having seen the Royal Danish Ballet in Napoli as well having the great fortune and privilige to see Thomas Lund & Gudrun Bojeson rehearse 'Tarantella'. While the current NYCB casts do a great job, to me - as compared to the RDB dancers - they don't seem to have any authenticity or a real understanding of the steps. They just blast through it. Which - for Tarantella is just fine. But now I always think back to that rehearsal room - and seeing the power and elegance and Bournonville skills of Lund and Bojeson up close.

Kate


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:55 pm 
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The program and casting for Nikolaj Hübbe's last performance have been announced. David Prottas and Kathryn Morgan will be doing the Flower Festival from Genzano pas de deux (coached by Hübbe). I'm curious as to the casting - I wonder if either or both did one of the summer exchanges to the RDB and/or whether Hübbe had worked with them on a Bournonville piece for a SAB workshop.

Also, a 'double' Zakouski (unless it's a typo)...kind of a handover from one generation to the next...

And the finale, as American as you can get. A farewell to the US (for now...).

Apollo: Hübbe, Whelan, Bouder, Rutherford
intermission
Flower Festival Pas de Deux: *Morgan, *Prottas
pause:
Zakouski:
Borree, *M. Fairchild, Hübbe, *Veyette
intermission:
"Cool" from West Side Story Suite: Hübbe
pause
Western Symphony:
1st Movement (Allegro): A. Stafford, Martins
2nd Movement (Adagio): Hyltin, Evans
3rd Movement (Rondo): Kowroski, Hübbe


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