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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:58 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Two Companies Differ in Style but Not in Brio
by JOHN ROCKWELL for the New York Times

Even the major revivals, like last spring's "N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz," are by Robbins (in that case) or Balanchine. There's Christopher Wheeldon and, of course, Peter Martins, and a host of others dutifully promoted from within, but it's still a Balanchine-Robbins show.

Ballet Theater is bifurcated between full-length glamour and glitz in the spring at the Metropolitan Opera (the 2006 season has just been announced, and it's inevitably more of the same) and mixed-bill programs in the fall at the City Center.

published: November 2, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:12 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Modern Power of Simplicity in a Work of Mourning From the 30's
by JENNIFER DUNNING for the New York Times

They proved again, too, that somehow the hypertechnical dancers of our time - or at least the dancers at Ballet Theater - have understood the power of simplicity of this dance of mourning set to Mahler's "Kindertotenlieder."

published: November 3, 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:32 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Robert Gottlieb reviews the City Center season in the New York Observer:

NY Observer


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 Post subject: City Center Season
PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 1:19 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Brooklyn, NY
I saw three performances, all of them more than adequately described already by other members. A few additional observations from my personal view:

My major disappointment in the 10/23 Apollo was Julie Kent's Terpsichore. Here's one of the great ballerina roles, and, in the famous scene where she walks on to touch the god's finger -- an image borrowed from Michaelangelo, no less -- she clomped onstage like an overworked messenger pressing an elevator button. A muse cannot be not a surly teen-ager!

Les Sylphides is a precious bit of dance history caught in amber, elegantly danced by the entire company. It's a privilege to have it around to see first hand how dance has evolved.

Kaleidoscope shows the hazards of imitation. If you're going to make a pseudo-Balanchine ballet, you should recall his advice to the audience, "If you do not like the dancing, just close your eyes" -- i.e., the music must be as interesting as the dance. But Sant-Saens 5th Piano Concerto -- the score for Qunaz's work -- is a justly forgotten piece by a great composer. Boring music yields a boring ballet.

Rodeo has been a staple of the ABT repertory for more than 50 years, and the company deserves a gold star for its curatorial skills. It's especially gratifying -- in view of another company's strained relations with a former star -- that Christine Sarry, the archetypal Cowgirl for a generation of balletomanes, was invited back to coach the role. At the 11/4 performance, Reyes, hit the ball out of the park, but the whole ballet was marvelously danced.

A final gripe: why does ABT insist on milking applause from its audence? The curtain keeps rising and principals appear before the curtain again and again and again and again, even as audience members head for the door. Herrarra and Coreja brought down the house with the Corsaire PdD, which is to be expected. But why were they sent out for a 5th curtain call when the applause had died down and I, like may others, wanted to beat the line at the bar? Dancers deserve the applause, but it should not last longer than the work they performed!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:24 pm 
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Morris Neighbor wrote:
Quote:
A final gripe: why does ABT insist on milking applause from its audence? The curtain keeps rising and principals appear before the curtain again and again and again and again, even as audience members head for the door. Herrarra and Coreja brought down the house with the Corsaire PdD, which is to be expected. But why were they sent out for a 5th curtain call when the applause had died down and I, like may others, wanted to beat the line at the bar? Dancers deserve the applause, but it should not last longer than the work they performed!

I think the reason is two-fold: First, two PdDs do not really make a centerpiece for an evening, and I think they know that. (Remember when we used to get three PdD, which, indeed, could pass as a centerpiece?) So, they have to make it last as long as possible by sending the dancers out again and again for applause while you and I and a lot of others are trying to get to the bar. Second, after the first PdD there is a lot going on backstage to get ready for the second PdD - lighting adjustments, floor sweeping, musicians switching their music sheets. So, there is some excuse for the applause milking there, and, you have to admit, we should not really be trying to make it to the bar between PdDs! But I agree with you, it’s annoying. Remember when most ballet performances lasted until 11-ish? Now we’re lucky if it goes until 10:15 with two long intermissions. How much money does it save them to send the audience home on mixed rep nights feeling like they haven’t really gotten a full evening of dance for their money?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:26 pm 
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
Poohtania, your arguments are valid up to a point. The preceding PdD was "Afternoon of a Faun," so there was a set to be struck, among other tech issues. But three calls seemed to suffice for that part of the program. "Corsaire," performed on a bare stage but with flashier dancing, got twice as much applause time. Then there are the seemingly endless calls at the end of the evening at the Met. Even if the applause has almost died out, ABT keeps the house lights down and sends the dancers out again and again. They seem to consider extended calls part of the program; they even include a program creidt for donors of the flowers, traditionally paid out of the pockets of outside admirers, partners, or company directors.

Across the plaza, NYCB dancers are lucky to get two calls for a well-performed masterpiece. And Martins, for all his faults, does pick up the florist's bill himself. I'm just looking for a sense of proportion.


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