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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:12 am 
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Location: Maryland USA
'Kings of Dance' Make Their Way to N.Y.
By CLAUDIA LA ROCCO
The Associated Press
Friday, February 24, 2006; 5:28 PM

Quote:
NEW YORK -- Four of ballet's brightest male stars treated a packed City Center audience to gender-bending, erotically violent choreography in "Kings of the Dance." But before you get the wrong idea, know that this was spectacle with an eye toward art.

Angel Corella and Ethan Stiefel of American Ballet Theatre, Johan Kobborg of the Royal Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet's Nikolay Tsiskaridze performed new choreography from the likes of Christopher Wheeldon. If New York City Ballet's resident choreographer is involved, it's got to have artistic integrity, right?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/24/AR2006022401554.html


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:03 am 
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Location: Maryland USA
New York City Ballet
Mixed Bill at the Kennedy Center

Thursday, March 2nd 2006
by Carol Herron

The evening opened with George Balanchine's "Ballo della Regina", a pretty piece to music by Verdi. Megan Fairchild danced with energy and spirit, looking like she enjoyed herself. Her partner, Benjamin Millepied, was less effective in his spirit. Not exactly dull, but not nearly brilliant either. The corps looked poorly rehearsed, out of line frequently and out of sync occasionally.

The reason I attended this particular performance was to see the new Christopher Wheeldon piece "Klavier" set to music by Beethoven, 'Adagio Sostenuto' from Hammerklavier Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 106. Although other reviewers have questioned the use of this adagio as being too fragmentary, I thought it worked well standing alone. It set the tone of smoldering romantic passions.

The choreography, as usual for Wheeldon, was fluid and lyrical, but overall I was not enthralled. An interesting piece, but it did not live up to the drama and passion of the music. Miranda Weese danced beautifully, with competent partnering by Albert Evans. However, Wendy Whelan did not look nearly as good, perhaps she is slightly injured? Her legs and arms were not held as high, nor as long as the dance required. There are some 'sliding' steps especially when both pairs were dancing together that produced interest, and I liked the way the choreography at times was synchronized and other times in sequence. I also like Wheeldon's asymmetrical but balanced patterns. Overall, nice but a bit disappointing, I was expecting much more.

The final dance on the evening's program was Balanchine's "Union Jack" a fun piece but ruined in places by some extremely poor work by the corps. In Celtic dancing one of the features is the very still shoulders and arms while the legs work rapidly. At one point the female corps reminded me of Matthew Bourne's cygnets, arms flapping erratically.

Damian Woetzel was the standout, his dancing, especially in the Royal Navy section, was wonderfully light, clean and joyful. The corps, both men and women, danced better in the Navy section.

Nilas Martin and Jenifer Ringer were fun as the Pearly King and Queen.

The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra was conducted by David Briskin.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 5:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Canada
Thanks for the review!

I wonder if the NYCB dancers are just simply tired. Scheduling a week at the Kennedy Center after the spring season is not ideal timing since the company's coming off four months of dancing (1 rehearsal & 3 performance). The dancers and the Kennedy Center audience might well be better served by a tour at a time of year when the company has had more rest time!

The 'celtic' dancing in "Union Jack" is probably based on Highland Dancing, which does involve some use of the arms/hands - it's not quite so strict as Irish Dancing. But I suspect the unruly arms were tired arms - not an excuse, but I certainly sympathize.

As to 'Klavier', again Whelan may be feeling the effects of 3+ months of dancing and no longer being a 'youngster'. It's hard to believe she's in her late thirties now! The role was created on her by Wheeldon, and given their frequent dancer-choreographer partnership, one would think they'd both know eachother's limits and expectations dancing and choreography wise. Perhaps the shorter holds were intentional?

Glad to hear Woetzel is still dancing up a storm. He's been both dancing and working on his Master's in Public Policy at Harvard - talk about a busy life!

Kate


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:40 pm 
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Location: Maryland USA
A Spirited '76 Salute to Old Blighty
New York City Ballet Energetically Unfurls Balanchine's 'Union Jack'


By Sarah Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 4, 2006; Page C01

Quote:
George Balanchine's "Union Jack" has elements of football halftime shows, the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and Popeye the Sailor.

It is as lock-step precise as a military drill, and the wit is no less sharp. This great big ballet, with its cast of 72 New York City Ballet dancers, steamrolled across the Kennedy Center Opera House stage Thursday night for the first time in a quarter-century, and once it was over one could still feel the ground shaking. Or maybe that was just weakness in the knees. A large part of the genius of this ballet is you don't just watch it, you feel as if you are in step with it.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/03/AR2006030302111.html


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:53 am 
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Location: Canada
News from the end of the Kennedy Center performances:

Two apprentices now have corps contracts: Jenelle Manzi and Gretchen Smith.

Kate


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:07 am 
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Nine promotions to soloist:

Ellen Bar, Antonio Carmena, Sterling Hyltin, Amar Ramasar, Andrew Veyette, Rebecca Krohn, Jason Fowler, Sara Mearns and Jonthan Stafford. Congratulations to all.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:21 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
I must have seen the penultimate -- but definitely not the ultimate -- performance in NYCB's winter season in the evening of Feb 25.

Christopher Wheeldon's "Scenes de Ballet" on the SAB students looked fine on the students -- I remember being hugely impressed by it in an SAB showcase -- but I'm not sure it belongs on a Saturday night program for NYCB. Execpt for the adorable and amazingly talented kids, I'm not sure there's anything else I'd like to say about it in that context.

The typically fun-to-watch "Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet" by Mr B was unfortunately also somewhat disappointing to watch that evening. The performance was mixed at best. It's hard to blame senior principal dancers for taking on the opening movement or the corps members who stepped in to lead the last movement, probably due to injuries etc. However, Teresa Reichlin in the first movement, Jennifer Ringer in the second movement, and Yvonne Borree and Nikolaj Hubbe in the third movement were their impressive selves.

The two works that were the most fun to watch that night were the edgy "Sonatas and Interludes" by Richard Tanner with Jennie Somogyi and Sebastian Marcovici in seductively tight white leotards and the more neoclassical "Tschaikovsky Pas De Deux" by Balanchine featuring Miranda Weese and a sassy Damain Woetzel.


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