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#1 cabrales

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 11:10 AM

After lunch at Cafe Boulud and before dinner at Danube, I took in a matinee at the New York State Theater yesterday. We are nearing the end of programs constituting "The Centennial Celebration -- Balanchine's Vision". Ballet is an area I'd like to learn much more about, although I cannot allocate much time to it.

The program yesterday consisted of the following:

-- Circus Polka (Choreography Jerome Robbins; Music Igor Stravinsky): A ring master (yes, connotes handling of animals, and has a whip-like item) and probably three or four dozen very young ballerinas perform this. The program notes that this piece was originally choreographed by Balanchine for circus elephants, based on a comission from Ringling Brothers. <_< I did not like this piece, especially given my perception of the imbalance of power (based on age, role as teacher, having the whip, etc.) relative to the students.

-- Romeo and Juliet (Choreography Sean Lavery, Music Sergei Prokofiev; Dancers Yvonne Borree and Nikolaj Hubbe): The balcony scene. I found the scene (not the performances) too sentimentality-ridden. I've never liked Romeo and Juliet, relative to other Shakespearen works such as Othello and Macbeth. <_<

-- Valse-Fantaisie (Choreography George Balanchine; Music Mikhail Glinka; Dancers Megan Fairchild, Joaquin De Luz): Passable.

-- Opus 19/The Dreamer (Choreography Jerome Robbins; Music Sergi Prokofiev; Dancers Wendy Whelan, Peter Boal): I liked this piece very much. In a mixed program of the nature of this one, I generally don't find pieces that I like as much. The piece is set to Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major :P Materials available from the NYC ballet describe this as: "Prokofiev's first violin concerto was written in 1917.... It has been described as 'classical in its form, romantic in its passion, and 20th century in its harmonies.'" :lol:

Peter Boal, who is the male principal at the NYC whom I have most enjoyed watching thus far (I'm not sure I've seen all the principals perform -- probably not), was excellent.

The backdrop was an expanse of purplish blue hues, with connotations of darkness. All of the dancers other than Boal wore versions of this purplish/blue color. Boal were an all-white costume.

The music was modern to me, as were certain aspects of the choreography. Very good. :lol: If I see this piece become available for viewing agian, I would try to attend.

-- I left before Cortege Hongrois.

#2 Liza

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 06:35 PM

I recommend Joan Acocella's article in the July 5th New Yorker for informative background.
“And another thing. You don't have to "move on" either. Not until you're ready. People say, Oh, you should be grateful. They say, Oh, it's time for you to move on. I'm like, What are you, a cop with a nightstick? I'll move on when I'm done playing the blues on my harmonica, thank you very much.

Really, people will tell you all kinds of garbage. Don't believe it.

You don't have to move on until you're ready.”

#3 cabrales

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 07:15 PM

What's the gist of the article, may I ask?

#4 Liza

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 08:09 PM

What most fans of the NYCB sadly agree upon: that Peter Martins' tenure has eroded the Balanchine legacy, so that what one sees now is neither what Balanchine choreographed nor danced in his spirit.
“And another thing. You don't have to "move on" either. Not until you're ready. People say, Oh, you should be grateful. They say, Oh, it's time for you to move on. I'm like, What are you, a cop with a nightstick? I'll move on when I'm done playing the blues on my harmonica, thank you very much.

Really, people will tell you all kinds of garbage. Don't believe it.

You don't have to move on until you're ready.”

#5 cabrales

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 12:44 AM

Well, I'd agree with that assessment for the program I watched, although I do have a bias against "mixed programs" in ballet and I haven't seen that much of the NYC Ballet during the Ballachine celebration this season.

That being said, the opportunity to watch Opus 19/The Dreamer was well worth sitting through the works that preceded it. ;)

#6 cabrales

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 12:58 AM

The NYC Ballet opens tonight for the Winter Repertory. :D

January 22 is the world premiere night for a new Wheeldon ballet :D And the program that evening also features a new Peter Martins ballet, Octet, based on music by F Mendelssohn. Of course I have tix and will report if I attend.

The February 11 program is also not bad:

Apollo
Chichester Psalms
Eros Piano
Shambards

#7 Sneakeater

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 04:54 AM

Really great news.
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#8 Sneakeater

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 04:55 AM

Ten years after Cabrales's and the famous Liza's posts, I'd say the City Ballet is BACK.
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#9 taion

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 04:13 AM

I'm unschooled and ignorant.

But to me, the Music Director's Choice program at the City Ballet was an entire level above anything I'd seen at the City Ballet previously.

I mean, I didn't really pay attention that much while watching the Nutcracker – and frankly I have no idea why I even went to go see the Nutcracker, but I feel like everything really "clicked" tonight in a way that it hadn't previously.
I didn't tip at Per Se either.

#10 taion

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 04:43 AM

I might just be unhealthily fond of showtunes-y music, though.
I didn't tip at Per Se either.

#11 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 04:50 AM

City Ballet is such a jewel in the crown of NYC performing arts right now.  I think it's such a sin not to try it.


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#12 taion

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 05:18 AM

I somehow managed to miss their entire fall season out of sheer laziness.
I didn't tip at Per Se either.

#13 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 05:42 AM

What pieces were on your program?


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#14 taion

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 02:17 PM

It was the music director's choice, and apparently the new music director really likes show-tunes-y music.

They started with the orchestra just playing the overture from Candide (I didn't realize the orchestra pit was a huge elevator – that's so cool.) The actual ballet pieces were the Barber Violin Concerto (Peter Martins, Samuel Barber), Fancy Free (Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein), and Who Cares? (George Balanchine, George Gershwin).

 

I'm thinking it's a bit hard to compare, since with the exception of the Barber piece, it was largely popular music, but it just seemed to me that the dancers just performed better all around than they had previously. I saw a few City Ballet pieces during the last spring season, and a few Ballet Theater pieces, and it seemed like the dancing at the Ballet Theater was just slightly better in a sense I can't precisely describe.

 

I still don't think I've seen anything at the City Ballet that I like as much as Ratmansky's ballet of Shostakovich's Piano Concerto #1 at the Ballet Theater, but this was my favorite program that I've caught at the City Ballet ever.

 

Gotta go back.


I didn't tip at Per Se either.

#15 Rail Paul

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 02:59 PM

I read an interesting piece last week about the growing divide between the range of artists / composers and the institutions which present their work. The premise is the institutions are becoming sclerotic, while the artists have become energised.

In this telling, the institutions have become cautious while the artists have become unfettered. The situations at the Met, Carnegie Hall, etc could be cited.
Dreams come in all sizes, shapes, and colors.