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Thread: Attending ballet performances

  1. #106
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    NYCB starts again this week with "Jewels." I haven't seen it in a few years, so I'm going on Saturday afternoon.

    I've always thought the third part, "Diamonds," was a bit of a letdown, but in part that may be because I've only seen it at night, and I can get a bit tired. I've promised myself this time it will be the focus of my intention.

    Music is by Faure, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky.

    BTW - a while back someone on this forum was asking about different national ballet styles. Each of the three parts of "Jewels" references the style of a different country: French, American and Russian.
    Wouldn't you know it - "Diamonds" was the high point this afternoon, a feeling I shared with the rest of the audience who gave it a standing ovation. I've seen Maria Kowroski dance dozens of times, but not like this. Her pas de deux with Tyler Angle (to the third movement of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 3) was breathtaking.
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Sep-21-2019 at 22:47.

  2. #107
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    My second NYCB subscription performance tomorrow afternoon. The highlight is "Dancers at a Gathering," probably Jerome Robbins' greatest ballet set to about 20 pieces by Chopin (Mazurkas, Waltzes, Etudes etc.). I've seen it twice and have been bowled over each time.

  3. #108
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    I'd love to attend more but here in Toronto it's a small fortune per ticket - much more expensive than the opera or the symphony. I browsed around online out of curiosity and found that tickets to each renowned classical ballet company in Europe except the Bolshoi were cheaper on average than the National Ballet of Canada (using Swan Lake as an example). It's a shame really.

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  5. #109
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    And the NYCB winter season is underway.

    I'll be seeing an all Stravinsky/Balanchine matinee on Sunday. I've seen most of the works before, but I can't recall seeing "Danses Concertantes." Certainly not in the past decade. And the "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" is a masterpiece.

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  7. #110
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    And the NYCB winter season is underway.

    I'll be seeing an all Stravinsky/Balanchine matinee on Sunday. I've seen most of the works before, but I can't recall seeing "Danses Concertantes." Certainly not in the past decade. And the "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" is a masterpiece.
    I definitely had not seen Danses Concertantes before. It's a light piece played directly to the audience. I think I even saw some faux-Fosse moves. Fun, not a masterpiece.

    I was disappointed in Monumentum pro Gesualdo -specifically the corps work was sloppy. To my my mind, other companies have more precise corps, but the brilliance of NYCB's individual corps members usually makes up for it. Not in this case. Movements for Piano and Orchestra was fine as was the Violin Concerto. Interestingly, none of the female principals performed. I don't recall another instance of that.

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  9. #111
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Going again tomorrow (unless my cold gets worse).

    Seeing the new Ratmansky to music (actually mostly women speaking) by Peter Ablinger.

    Also Christopher Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia," to Ligeti's piano music, as well as works by Robbins and Peck.

  10. #112
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    I went despite my cold (and loaded up with hand sanitizer).

    "Polyphonia" was great. It's only the second time I've seen it, and I believe the first was prior to my ever seeing "Dances at a Gatherering." I'm not sure that describing it as the anti-Gathering is appropriate, but it used a similar technique - brief works with different pairings (in in several cases more that two dancers). But the dance was to Ligeti and not Chopin, so it called for a completely different language - and got it. By the way, a lot of the pieces were very early Ligeti and tonal.

    The Peck was forgettable (and I have thus forgotten it). The Robbins (to Prokofiev's first violin concerto) was not bad, but didn't really stand out in any way. It was created for Baryshnikov, so maybe it just needs him.

    The Ratmansky, "Voices" was interesting. The dance (mostly solos by women) is set to a work by Ablinger for piano accompanying the recorded spoken voices of various women. I think there were two I'd heard of, and the only one I remember right now is Nina Simone. On first viewing (and with my cold medication wearing me down, as this was last on the program), I found the voices distracting and had trouble focusing sometimes on the dance. Pretty silly as most of the voices were speaking foreign languages, which I couldn't follow in any event. Looking forward to seeing it again - perhaps first on the program.

    And finally, anyone who claims that ballet does not evolve needs to check out "Polyphonia" and "Voices."

  11. #113
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    This weekend it is "Swan Lake" featuring my favorite Teresa Reichlen, my favorite dancer in the NYCB. Alas, this was a last minute purchase, not part of my subscription, and I am sitting in the nosebleed section (4th balcony).

  12. #114
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    This weekend it is "Swan Lake" featuring my favorite Teresa Reichlen, my favorite dancer in the NYCB. Alas, this was a last minute purchase, not part of my subscription, and I am sitting in the nosebleed section (4th balcony).
    Highs and lows:

    Tallest high - my seat - I was halfway up in the fourth ring.

    Low - from that angle I could see the pattern of the corps quite clearly. And although the NYCB corps is remarkable in many ways, precision dancing in unison is a weak spot. The swans in the Mariinsky production are simply better in that respect.

    Low - the production - I've seen five productions (including on video); this was the least appealing. Hated the sets; costumes for the interior scenes were garish (although several worked).

    High - Teresa Reichlen - that's why I went, and she was terrific.

    On other topics - two articles in the NY Times caught my eye:

    One on Tiler Peck's (ongoing) recovery from a serious neck injury. She will dance Odette/Odile later this week.

    The other on a (non-NYCB) dance performance last week that I missed: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's choreography set to the six Bach Cello Suites performed live by Jean-Guihen Queyras.

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