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  1. I almost forgot. I was thrilled to see Tiffany Hedman lead the Fourth Song. She was part of Boston Ballet for a number of years. She and Aitor Arrieta made a very nice pair.
  2. Was thrilled to be in London on business. Knowing ahead of time, I was able to get a ticket to last evening's performance. Having never seen either of these ballets and very little MacMillan for that matter, I was extremely excited. For me, The Judas Tree was shocking and uncomfortable. The dancing was excellent. I have seen Ms. Cuthbertson at our Vail Festival in the US, and I was happy to see her in such a role. Still, it was difficult to watch. Reece Clark was a standout to me - just beautiful on stage. Song of the Earth was a ballet I believe I could watch over and over again. I have read everyone's mixed comments on this ballet, and I am surprised that more people don't absolutely love this piece. The whole company was amazing. Erina, Isaac and Jeffrey were perfectly matched. In reference to comments about Cirio's size, I felt differently. I don't believe the Messenger has to be ominous. Death can come in many ways. In the program, it states, "As someone who had lived through World War II and whose father had been haunted by his experiences in World War I, MacMillan was all too aware of the way that the shadow of death stalked the pleasure of daily life. Yet he doesn't imagine the messenger as a sinister figure, he is just part of things." If you look at the picture below, Watson is smaller in size than Hristov.
  3. La Sylphide plus ... ?

    I have been watching the clips from Song of the Earth at English National's facebook page. I have never had the privilege of seeing Song, so I would love to watch it along with La Sylphide. Here in the US, I have seen La Sylphide paired with Serenade which makes for a beautiful evening. ABT has paired it with Paul Taylor's Airs. This year, Boston Ballet is pairing Sylphide with Bournonville Divertissements - Jockey Dance, the pas from Flower Festival, and the Pas de Six and Tarantella from Napoli. I am not sure if that is what NYCB did recently?
  4. "American Ballet Companies generally do not offer full-time contracts to their dancers. Many of them pay their dancers only for the time when they are actively performing. There are apocryphal stories of dancers working in restaurants during the season breaks. On the other hand, dancers in the USA are generally paid better than their UK counterparts, when they are performing." You are speaking of smaller, regional companies. While it is true that American companies do not pay their dancers full-time, those in larger, union companies (NYCB, ABT, San Fran, Boston, PNB, Houston, Miami) spend their lay-offs either teaching or dancing in other capacities. Additionally, in larger, union companies, the dancers are often times provided supplemental income or unemployment pay. I realize that the guest policy at ENB has been troublesome, not unlike what ABT has faced. Until just the past two years, ABT had a guest dancer policy that was, in my opinion, cumbersome. It took away from opportunities for company dancers to gain opportunities to dance roles and prepare for promotion. Now, it appears as though the company is looking within. This will take time to rebuild. Hopefully, this is the case for ENB, too. With the hiring of Aaron Robison and Joseph Caley (a dancer I have followed since his days at Royal Ballet School), things are looking up. Additionally, it appears that Tamara is working on promotions from within: Cesar Corrales has been promoted to Principal Alison McWhinney and Fernando Bufalá are promoted to First Soloist. Katja Khaniukova, Aitor Arrieta, and Ken Saruhashi are promoted to Soloist. Tiffany Hedman, Rina Kanehara and Guilherme Menezes are promoted to Junior Soloist. Precious Adams, Isabelle Brouwers, Jung ah Choi, and Francesca Velicu are promoted to First Artist. Emily Suzuki is promoted to 4th year Artist of the Company. I am not here to argue with anyone. And I realize comparison to the U.S. is useless, however, even in the U.S., ballet companies are changing and evolving. Just because things have always been done a certain way, it does not mean they must continue that way. P.S. "I have read the comments above from our correspondents in Boston Massachusetts," Not from Boston - just love the company and its rep.
  5. New to ballet co forum. Heard about this thread. I don't presume to know what everyone here knows. However, I am an avid ballet fan in the U.S., mostly Boston Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, but I attend performances of a few other companies now and then. I remember when Mikko Nissinen took over Boston Ballet, and there were numerous firings, departures, hirings for a number of years. The company is still known for dancers coming and going, but with a number of people who have remained and are able to carry out Nissinen's vision. I think it takes awhile for a new AD to see exactly what they want from the company, and to acquire the dancers necessary to carry out that vision. From an outsider's perspective, it strikes me as odd that so many of the dancers are going to just one company. That would indicate someone working behind the scenes to undermine Tamara, in my opinion. That type of oddity - seven or more dancers leaving one company to go to another would be frowned upon here in the US. I think there would be a discussion between AD's, for sure. Additionally, as we know, there is much that plays into these decisions. Why did Aaron Robison leave his principal position at SF Ballet (a company with amazing rep and a position considered the pinnacle of success here in the US)? Why would Madison Keesler leave a ranked position at ENB to go to the corps of SF Ballet? My guess on both (and I know Madison personally) would be - they both missed home. Does that mean there was not some dissatisfaction? Probably not. But, as we well know, dancers are never really satisfied. It is part of their lot in life as artists. People can speculate all they want, but the dust must settle, and hopefully the outcome will be a positive one.