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 Post subject: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:55 pm 
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Andrew Veyette and Megan Fairchild are engaged:

NY Post


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:47 am 
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New York City Ballet opens the Fall 2010 season on September 14 with a performance of Balanchine's "Serenade." In honor of the occasion Toni Bently writes extensively about "Serenade" in the Wall Street Journal. In a sidebar, Pia Catton gives an overview of other Fall season openings around the country.

Wall Street Journal


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:59 pm 
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Pia Catton previews the Fall 2010 season in the Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street Journal


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:36 pm 
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In the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Robert Johnson writes a feature on Principal Dancer Tyler Angle as he prepares for the opening of the Fall Season on Tuesday, September 14, 2010.

NJ Star-Ledger


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:16 pm 
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In the New York Times, Roslyn Sulcas provides a brief overview of the 2010 Fall Season.

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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:58 pm 
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New York City Ballet
David H. Koch Theater
Lincoln Center
New York, New York

September 14, 2010
Serenade, Grazioso, The Four Seasons


There has been a metamorphosis at New York City Ballet over the past few seasons.

After enduring years of sporadic criticism of the state of the company under Peter Martins’s leadership, including alleged rote regurgitation of Balanchine/Robbins standards and (with some exceptions) undistinguished new choreographic offerings, NYCB seems to have been re-created much the way Lincoln Center itself has been recently redesigned. No wholesale changes – just as Lincoln Center still looks like Lincoln Center, only a little different, NYCB still performs Balanchine and Robbins and the works of more contemporary choreographers, but there’s a difference. It’s a change in outlook, in spirit, and in accessibility. And whether the transformation was prompted by criticism, by the realization that other companies were dancing Balanchine as well or better than they were (e.g., Miami City Ballet), by clever marketing or by natural evolution, doesn’t really matter – it is as refreshing and intoxicating as the champagne to which NYCB treated its audience of $25 and $50 ticket-buyers on the opening night of its first ever (well, almost) autumn season in New York.

The company as a whole appears to be dancing better than it has in years. But I don’t believe that this is because the dancers are better then in prior seasons. The creations of NYCB’s legacy choreographers are not being treated as museum pieces to be preserved, but as vibrant and somewhat malleable works of art that can be seen in a new light when a ‘new’ dancer takes an established creation and makes it his or her own. And there is now a welcome renewed emphasis on the company’s dancers, and a recognition (evidenced by its marketing of the season through photographs of NYCB’s principal dancers as ‘real’ people rather than unapproachable gods and goddesses) that no matter how wonderful the choreography, it is the dancers that audiences come to see over and over and over again.

Last night’s first performance of the season had all the trappings of a gala, without the baggage. After a brief welcoming introduction, NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins introduced each of the company’s principal dancers (except for Benjamin Millepied, who was out of town) as they took positions in front of the house curtain. Those who were scheduled to perform were costumed to varying degrees, the others were in street clothes, and they all seemed like perfectly normal people who were a little self-conscious about parading rather than dancing in front of all these strangers. But that’s the point, or more accurately the anti-point, that’s being made. They are simply extraordinary ordinary people with whom one can identify or envy or idolize or love (a word Mr. Martins used as he introduced them), and the dancers and the audience are not strangers to each other, even if they’ve never actually met. We are family, not visiting nobility. Now go tell your friends.

And I don’t mean the above to be cynical. It’s true.

NYCB has been known as a company of choreographers (as opposed to, say, American Ballet Theatre, which is known as a company of dancers). This is not completely accurate (in either case). While there has always been an emphasis at NYCB on choreographic creativity (led by Balanchine and Robbins, it could hardly have been otherwise), there has always been at least an equal, and perhaps even greater, emphasis on the company’s dancers. And it has been this way with NYCB for at least as long as I’ve been attending NYCB performances. During this period, NYCB was not just the company of Balanchine and Robbins; it was the company of, among a host of others, Allegra Kent, Edward Villella, Suzanne Farrell, Jacques d’Amboise, Patricia McBride, Helgi Tomasson, Merrill Ashley, Jock Soto, Kyra Nichols, and Mr. Martins. They are muses to the choreographers, but their performances are memories to New York audiences who attend multiple performances of a particular piece not to just to see it repeated, but to see a particular dancer in a role (even where the ‘role’ has no name).

But even more than that, there is a vicarious relationship that can develop between an audience and dancers that is every bit as deep and as enduring as a ‘real’ relationship, and which marks the relationship between NYCB audiences and NYCB dancers as much it does with ABT dancers (or dancers with any other company). I had the privilege (and the good fortune) to be in the audience the night that Suzanne Farrell returned to NYCB from her Bejartian exile, and the welcome that greeted her, and the warmth of the seemingly endless curtain calls (as if the audience, individually and collectively, was afraid of losing her again), was not one that would be given someone who simply following a roadmap created by a choreographic genius.

So, while it may be a marketing ploy, NYCB’s renewed emphasis on its dancers and on nurturing the relationship between its dancers and its audience is a welcome tonic to attempts to treat dancers as mere cogs in a greater machine and audience members who develop a pseudo-relationship with them as deluded fools. And last night’s performance, a banquet of wonderful choreography matched with extraordinary dancing, was emblematic of the company’s relationship with its past and foundation for the future. Beginning with the stunning image of the corps in Balanchine’s “Serenade” as if they were saluting the new season, NYCB’s history, and the NYCB audience all at the same time; through its celebration of the virtuosity of NYCB’s dancers in Martins’s “Grazioso”; and concluding with Robbins’s frothy “The Four Seasons” (as if to recognize that NYCB now performs in all four seasons), the evening was as warm and fuzzy an NYCB evening of dance as I can remember.

That Balanchine’s neo-romantic Serenade is a seminal and signature work is a given. But more than that, it is the ballet equivalent of caviar as comfort food. Each time you see it, and each time you see it with a dancer who, for you, is new to the role, is a treat for the eyes and the mind and the heart. For this viewer it is everything to love about ballet in one package: It is at the same time plotless but rich with suggested meaning, undeniably innovative but timelessly classical, and complex and mysterious enough to be interesting and new every time it’s performed well – which it was last night.

With her lyrical strength, Sara Mearns dominated the piece whenever she appeared on stage, and Megan Fairchild was a bright and bubbly energizer ballerina. But in addition to a renewed appreciation of the corps (which impressed me as much as the corps does in “Giselle” or “Swan Lake”), it is the slight figure of Janie Taylor that will remain in my mind. A little too hyper at the beginning (a friend said that she looked like a deer caught in headlights), she settled down to give a performance with an edge of fragility and vulnerability and surprising depth. And the image of Ms. Taylor being carried off toward whatever-it-is-she’s being-carried-off-to at the end of the piece, looking like a resurrected spirit, was simply stunning.

Martins’s “Grazioso,” created in 2007 as a piece d’occasion for a 2007 gala performance in honor of NYCB co-founder Lincoln Kirstein, is exactly what it is intended to be – a showpiece for the four NYCB dancers who perform it, and a sampling of NYCB-style artistry. It is non-stop virtuosic indulgence, a pas de quattre on steroids, which might come off as choreographic gluttony were the dancers not good enough to do it justice. Last night, they were. Grazioso’s four dancers were Ashley Bouder, Gonzalo Garcia, Daniel Ulbricht, and Andrew Veyette. Each one was memorable on his or her own; together they displayed a cornucopia of talent that was so good it felt deliciously sinful to watch.

The celebratory evening concluded with “The Four Seasons,” Robbins’s giddy reinvention of a ballet divertissement that would typically have been inserted into 19th Century Parisian opera performances. Following the libretto conceived by Giuseppi Verdi (for his opera “I vespri siciliani”), and augmented by Santo Loquasto’s sets and costumes and lighting by Jennifer Tipton, “The Four Seasons” is every bit as good as its pedigree, and even more fun to watch.

Light as a charlotte russe and just as sweet, the piece is divided into four sections, each of which, not surprisingly, is a choreographed representation of each of the four seasons. Erica Pereira, Sean Suozzi and Christian Tworzyanski led Winter’s blast of chilly air warmed by Robbins’s humor, followed by Jenifer Ringer and Jared Angle heralding Spring, then by Rebecca Krohn and Amar Ramasar leading sultry summer, and concluding with Tiler Peck, Joaquin De Luz, and Antonio Carmena providing the blast of fresh air of “Fall.” All the leads danced commendably (which is not nearly as strong a word as should be used), but I feel compelled to single out Ms. Krohn, who has that rare quality of being able to melt ice just by stepping onto the stage, without seeming to have a clue that she’s doing it.

More champagne, please.


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:39 pm 
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Alastair Macaulay reviews the Tuesday, September 14 opening night perfrmance in the New York Times.

NY Times

Marina Harss in The Faster Times.

The Faster Times

Leigh Witchel in the New York Post.

NY Post


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:36 pm 
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In the New York Times, Daniel Wakin examines some new initiatives, such as preperformance talks by the dancers, designed to break down barriers between the audience and the performers.

NY Times

One letter to the editor of the NY Times on this story from a retired Metropolitan Opera Orchestra violinist.

Letter to the Editor


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:17 pm 
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Alastair Macaulay reviews the Wednesday, September 15 Balanchine program ("Monumentum pro Gesualdo," "Movements for Piano and Orchestra," "Danses Concertantes" and "Who Cares?") in the New York Times.

Macaulay review

Roslyn Sulcas reviews the Thursday, September 16 Robbins program ("Interplay," "Opus 19/The Dreamer" and "The Four Seasons") in the New York Times.

Sulcas review


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:26 pm 
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In The Faster Times, Marina Harss reviews the Friday, September 17, 2010 performance of Ratmansky's "Namouna" and the "See the Music" presentation that preceded the dance performance.

The Faster Times


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:47 am 
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Roslyn Sulcas reviews the Friday, September 17 performance of "Namouna" and "The Four Seasons" in the New York Times.

NY Times


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:40 pm 
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In the Faster Times, Marina Harss reviews the September 26, 2010 matinee of Benjamin Millepied's "Why am I Not Where You Are," Christopher Wheeldon's "Estancia" and Mauro Bigonzetti's "Luce Nascosta."

The Faster Times

Gia Kourlas reviews the same performance in the New York Times.

NY Times


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:35 pm 
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In the New York Times, Roslyn Sulcas reviews the Saturday, September 25, 2010 program of violin concertos: Samuel Barber/Peter Martins, Sergei Prokofiev/Jerome Robbins ("Op. 19/The Dreamer"), and Igor Stravinsky/George Balanchine.

NY Times


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:45 pm 
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In the Financial Times, Apollinaire Scherr reviews the Wednesday, September 15 performance of Balanchine's "Danses Concertantes" and "Who Cares?"

Financial Times


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Fall 2010 Season
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:25 pm 
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Great to hear that the season got off to such a good start for you, balletomaniac.

Whelan, Mearns, Bouder, Reichlen, Fairchild....music to my ears.

I did get to see several performances of "Serenade" by the Bolshoi in London this summer--different from NYCB, but still quite wonderful. I do envy your chances to see the NYCB and the ABT--especially your chances to see my in-resident (NYC) Goddess, Veronika Part, as often as possible. Enjoy !

A few musings about it all.

At this point in my ballet watching career (about six years-- but intensive) I sense several things.

In your comments about "Serenade" you wrote....

"For this viewer it is everything to love about ballet in one package: It is at the same time plotless but rich with suggested meaning, undeniably innovative but timelessly classical, and complex and mysterious enough to be interesting and new every time it’s performed well – which it was last night."

I watch a lot of videos as well as attend as many performances as possible, and the difference between the Mariinsky and Balanchine is always wonderful to experience. I watch the Balanchine works and am delighted by the virtuosity, expressiveness, variety, inventiveness and genius of the dancing. Then I watch the Mariinsky dancers and it's like listening to Mozart, so of the heavens and so beautifully, beautiful.

Balanchine seemed to understand the Mariinsky world perfectly (he grew up in it) and was able to navigate through it and around it in his brilliant creativeness. Whereas the Mariinsky dancers may perform within the box, Balanchine could see it from outside, maneuver it, comment on it and use it to create his own wonderful world. But, even if the Mariinsky dancers stay staunchly within the box--well how incredibly, beautifully they do it !

You also mentioned the Miami City Ballet. This is a company that I love because it's lovable. It's youthful, fresh, friendly, accessible, and family-like. In addition to all this the dancers are amazingly talented !

NYCB has the tradition, the maturity and the mastery of the art. I'm very glad to hear, balletomaniac, that you were also so impressed by this year's show of humanness. I've read interviews and these dancers certainly are human and lovable. I'm glad that it's so apparent this season.


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