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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:42 pm 
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Posts: 1863
Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
I cannot disagree with the below! Taking photos of dancers at the bar...instead of the barre makes for much more interesting images! :lol:

Quote:
I liked the idea of having them at the bar...


As for Côté, we`ll just have to wait and see what happens. I was always under the impression a dancer’s career was longer in Europe? I’m sure he will dance until he’s 40-Same for Ogden. We should give Nehemiah Kish a call and ask him how he is doing? If I was a ballet dancer, I would catch the 1st flight to Europe. The National only presents half a dozen ballets a year for the subscription season along with their Nutcracker and perhaps a trip out West, that is about it.

Canada is hockey mad, not ballet mad-Just my 2 cents. Plus, there is so much more history and things to see and experience in Europe. What do you have here? For most Canadians their idea of culture is a parking lot and a shopping mall! If Rob Ford was major of Vienna, he would pave Prater Park into a parking lot, the Danube would be used to dump toxic waste, and Mozart would be replaced by Don Cherry! Just wait until the HST kicks in for subscription ballet prices next year. Sure the European economy is on a Maples Leafs losing streak-At least there every town has a bakery and in some cities, there is a bakery on every corner.

Quote:
"The streets of Vienna are paved with culture,the streets of other cities with asphalt."
Karl Kraus (1874-1936) :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:48 pm 
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Posts: 290
Location: Ontario, Canada
Attended today's matinee. Some good points which I will note, but I am pretty dang close to giving up those season's tickets if I see Mr. Maddox cast in a similar lead role again. NOT a good fit at all. Come on, KK - you have plenty of young men who could do a wonderful job as the prince. He is not one of them. What about: James Leja (wonderful as one of the dressmakers/dates for the ball? Noah Long? Ryan Booth? Robert Stephen? Patrick Lavoie? Brett VanSickle?

Aargh.

Today we also saw many new faces - I am guessing most if not all of the apprentices, and perhaps some from the school. What gives? Where are the rest of the full company dancers?

The stepsisters were the highlight for me - they were wonderful.

The prince's 4 officers were also suberb. I would watch putting one of the short men in front of a very tall one - makes for some near-misses with those long legs.

Generally I love watching Nan Yu, but the pairing with Maddox just did not work for me. At all.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:03 pm 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the feedback Mom2. It appears Mrs. K decided to give her regulars the Sunday matinée off and you suffered watching backups that were not quite ready for primetime! Welcome to the reality of every Toronto Maple Leaf fan...except with the Leafs, they’re losing with their regulars! My best advice is to check casting and pull a switcheroo! Warning: For those who purchased a subscription package early to avoid the HST, it will be tacked on when you switch dates.

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:59 am 
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Posts: 290
Location: Ontario, Canada
Well, I've had Sunday matinee tickets for quite a number of years, and in the last few we definitely haven't seen first cast. So that part doesn't surprise me (though perhaps there should be a rotation?). I did see what appeared to be a lack of rehearsal time generally - which was surprising as this typically isn't an issue with NBOC. That said, no amount of rehearsal time is going to make Mr. Maddox a prince in a lead role. Sorry, just not in the cards. A leading man should command the stage from the moment he appears - we saw this with Harrington and Persson; we have it now with Cote and Antoniejivic; we WOULD HAVE HAD IT with Jason Reilly. Not Maddox. He looks more like he took a wrong door coming out of the subway and found himself on stage. What on earth was KK thinking?

I like going to Sunday matinee because it's a good day for me to go, and I love the seat I have. Best seat in my opinion. However, HST or no I will change my ticket (if not demand a refund) next time this fellow is cast in a leading role in a full-length ballet.

Will take my donor dollars elsewhere this year.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:24 am 
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Posts: 99
Location: Toronto
I haven't seen Maddox in a featured role yet (or if I did, I didn't realize it). mom2, do you think the issue is that he's been given lead roles too soon in his career, or do you just not like him as a dancer, period? Is it his technique, or just him? His looks, his carriage, etc.?

He is certainly rising through the ranks extraordinarily quickly. Perhaps it's too much too soon? While Patrick Lavoie didn't blow me away as the Prince, he definitely fit the role to a T and had lovely chemistry with Heather's Cinderella. It was a very capable performance and I'd like to see him in more lead roles. He has stage presence in spades. Perhaps Maddox just isn't there yet?

Interesting that the Sunday mats tend to have a less experienced cast overall. Doesn't quite seem fair to subscribers.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:43 am 
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Thought it might be a good time for me to chime in and say my two cents worth. :D Mom2 if you are unhappy with a certain cast why don't you just change your ticket when you see the cast list go up? It's a much better solution in my opinion than dropping your support for the ballet all together. I've had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Maddox perform and I have to say that he has always stood out to me for "good reasons". Somehow my eye is always drawn to him because I think he is one of the few that does have a strong stage presence. First of all, he is tall enough to partner Nan Yu and he has a strong technique, he is young and I'm sure still finding his way. Just a few things to think about.... As i heard in the ballet talks, James Kudelka was back for their rehearsal process, maybe it was his casting.... It is a well known fact that Reid Anderson casts the Cranko ballet's himself. He obviously saw something special in Maddox to cast him at such a young age. Those are my two cents.... to each their own.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 290
Location: Ontario, Canada
hello all.

A few responses to other posters. To sailingship, I did not change my ticket as I really wasn't prepared for what I saw. I did see Maddox in something last year (can't remember what), but it wasn't a story ballet - it wasn't Onegin. At that time I thought he wasn't bad - there were some good qualities to what I saw, and I recall even discussing this with one of my ballet-going friends. I would not say that, in the instance of Cinderella, that it is an issue that more maturity in dancing or in life would be overly helpful. There are many other young men at NBOC who in my view are much more capable to take on a princely role. However, this is as you note just my opinion. In the end, it is KKs opinion that matters. In the case of Onegin it was also Reid Anderson's - I will be scratching my head about that decision for a very long time I fear. I am not sure I agree about the strong technique - but then I am not a dancer. I think there are some things that he does well, this is true. He is a fairly reliable partner for a woman, which is (as the mom of a female dancer) always a good thing. Turns are consistently good from what I have seen. Not consistently a "presence" on stage, and other men in the company have much better line. Again, in my opinion.

So, if I were the AD I would not have given Maddox the lead in Cinderella. I cannot imagine him in Onegin - that requires substantially more acting, and I saw little to no evidence of this in Cinderella. I am on the third row, so generally I do see things that others in the audience may not. I guess sailingship you and I just see things differently when it comes to this particular dancer. Hopefully we can agree that there were many nice things about the production - there were certainly lots of young viewers present yesterday - always a good thing in my books.

Keira99 - I don't know that I can say whether he's been promoted too quickly; what I can say is that my opinion would be that NBOC has a number of other men equally capable. We did see some of these dancers in other roles yesterday.

I will now check the casting for the mixed program and make decisions accordingly. Unfortunately I REALLY LIKE MY SEAT - was a subscriber for many years to get said seat - so I don't relish the times I have to change and take whatever is available.

Oh yeah - I could not subscribe next season, but buy tickets based on casting. Hmm. I still wouldn't get my seat though. (I know it sounds silly, but it's a great and unique seat)


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:46 pm 
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Posts: 1863
Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
I’m going to guess Mom2 has seat J8. No heads to worry about and front row but not front row right at the stage.

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:30 pm 
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Location: Canada
My experience, both in North America and Europe is that younger or newer dancers are frequently cast in matinees. Certainly at ABT & NYCB, you were much more likely to see less experienced dancers in matinee performances, and the same in Europe. I think that evening performances, particular Th-F-Sa are prime time in the dance world, and thus cast accordingly. Thus, if I wanted to see top casts, I wouldn't pick a matinee subscription. But it sounds like that's not always been the case at NBoC.

I think it's worth remembering that Maddox danced with Houston Ballet for 4 years before joining NBoC, so he's not new to the stage. Being promoted to second soloist at 23- 24 after a good five years of experience is hardly rushed. There are men who are principal dancers at a younger age, and solo skills/major stage presence don't always make the male dancer. In some ballets, notably Balanchine's ballets - you don't want a big flashy male dancer, rather someone who is a solid partner and can show off his ballerina without stealing the scene. I have no problem with a good partner being promoted, even if he's not a flashy solo dancer. There are far more flashy solo dancers out there than good, attentive, supportive partners.

As to Onegin, I am pretty sure casting is up to Reid Anderson since I think he alone controls to the rights to the ballet (Jane Bourne does most of the staging though). Interestingly enough, the NBoC casting was quite different than at RDB, where Lensky tends to be given to male corps dancers at the brink of promotion (early 20s) and Onegin to senior male principals (mid-late 30s). So I think casting has a lot to do with the available dancers, and pairing up sets of Lensky/Olga and Onegin/Tatiana who are compatible.

Casting in general is a tricky task, especially when you start talking about 3 or 4 casts for multiple ballets and the inevitable injuries and illness. Never mind rehearsing the next ballets, creating 4-6 sets of compatible leads and giving young dancers a chance. You also have to cast younger dancers at some point - some dancers need to dance a few roles in order to figure things out and establish their stage presence. Maddox may not have all the pieces figure out yet, but if they wait to cast him until he's more complete, not only may be older dancers who can give advice be gone, but they may not have an experienced partner to help him out in the beginning. Pairing a younger male dancer with an older female dance is quite common (we used to refer to Julie Kent as being Angel Corella's training wheels). Alban Lendorf (NBoC fans may remember him from the last Bruhn Prize), has at 21, already danced the leads in Napoli and Swan Lake this year, and it would appear he's been given opening night as the Prince in Wheeldon's brand new "Sleeping Beauty". In all cases, he's been partnered with a much older ballerina.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:42 pm 
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Hi everyone,

I've been reading for quite a while but have never posted before, but I had to write to chime in with mom2. I don't get what the fuss is about Maddox. He did stand out from the male corps for me last year, but he doesn't stand out for me from the other male soloists.

I didn't see him in Cinderella, but I did see him in Onegin last year and found him to be a non-entity. I actually saw Onegin twice, first with Maddox and second with Jelinek, and the difference between their performances was so substantial that it was like the plot actually changed. Maybe it's age/maturity, but I also agree with mom2 that some of the other men are more princely. (See, for example, Brett Van Sickle's Lensky. Though he's not especially young at this point...)

Of the young up-and-coming men, my favourite is Noah Long. Solid technique, great partner and excellent actor. A couple years ago, I was sold on him in The Seagull and thought (and was surprised) that he out-performed Heather Ogden in Carmen. I liked West Side Story last year better than the first go-round and credit that improvement largely to Long.

I'm skipping Cinderella this time but am really looking forward to the mixed program. I hope it lives up to my expectations.


Last edited by BDW on Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:22 pm 
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Location: Canada
Welcome BDW!

I very much agree about Noah Long - he's very much one to watch and he did steal the scene from Ogden in Carmen. I remember writing something to the effect that the role in Carmen was what made the boy into a man, and I think it will stand as a defining role in his career. Kudos to the stager who picked him out for that role!

It also surprised me to see Maddox on the cast list for Onegin, particularly since he was only scheduled for one performance. Onegin is a literal backbreaker of a role, and it's not something that can be properly developed in some dress rehearsals and one actual performance. It's also a role than takes a lot of dramatic presence mixed with emotional maturity. In this case, I suspect they needed a tall dancer for the purposes of proper partner, and Maddox is certainly a competent partner. He may just need more time to develop as a dancer.

I think he partnered Ogden in the Four Temperaments. My memory is that the partnering was competent, but showed the little kinks and nervousness of someone who doesn't yet have a ton of experience in the ballet or with the partner. You could see the difference between them and the more experienced couples in the ballet.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:45 am
Posts: 99
Location: Toronto
Quote:
I think it's worth remembering that Maddox danced with Houston Ballet for 4 years before joining NBoC, so he's not new to the stage. Being promoted to second soloist at 23- 24 after a good five years of experience is hardly rushed.


Thanks for the info, as I had no idea of Maddox's background. I really wish the programs included more complete bios of the dancers, a la theatre playbills.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:31 am 
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1863
Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
Wow, things are really heating up in the NBoC topic!

Check out this interesting article about Greta Hodgkinson celebrating her 20th anniversary with the National. Where did the time go?

Quote:
She has lived up to that billing and much more. Since joining the National Ballet as second soloist straight out of the National Ballet School, Hodgkinson set about becoming one of the stars of the company. And she didn’t stop there, expanding her artistic horizons by travelling the world as a guest artist working with some of the greats of the modern era, including choreographers William Forsyth and Jiri Kylian and dancers such as the great Roberto Bolle.

Who is, Hodgkinson assures me,“huge.”


Here is an article about the music for the upcoming ballet Chroma, in the mixed program.

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 145
Location: Oshawa, ON Canada
Michael Goldbarth wrote:
I’m going to guess Mom2 has seat J8. No heads to worry about and front row but not front row right at the stage.


Any seat "8" or "36" on the other side is terrific.....straight view down to the stage. No sitting on cushions when I have one of those seats!

Re Maddox....liked his first outing as Onegin, but then I always like to see how a dancer reacts to being thrust front stage in a big role for the first time. Do they quiver or deliver? Does anyone remember the 19 yr. old Cote's debut in Swan Lake with Sonia Rodriguez - what an amazing opportunity for a young dancer still in the corps.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Fall 2010
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:21 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
In the Toronto Star, Nick Patch discusses the music fr Wayne McGregor's "Chroma," part of NBoC's mixed bill that opens on November 24.

The Star


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