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now voyager

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  1. Thanks, Naomi. I wish I could have stayed to see the gala! I saw Novikova's full Swan Lake in Turin in December and thought it was exquisite.
  2. With a roster including 7 of the dancers I cheerfully cross an ocean to see, as well as a number of others I like very much, crossing a continent as well seemed worth doing, especially as I remembered enjoying the last WBF. Perhaps it was the result of being 3 years older now and even more brutal heat and humidity than usual for August in Tokyo, but both Program A & B had some real longeurs for me. I've seen so many gala performances in my ballet-going life that I guess I don't derive much pleasure from a less-than-great performance of great, or at least good, choreography. WBF for me had too much choreography not to my taste (even when performed by dancers I adore), excerpts from ballets that for me do not work well as excerpts and less-than-stellar performances of the usual things one sees at a gala. There were of course several other pieces I did enjoy, but my absolute highlights from Program A were Alexandrova & Lantratov in Pharaoh's Daughter (how I wish they'd had a performance of the full ballet in Moscow last month!), Gilbert and Ganio in Manon bedroom pas, Sarafanov in Tarantella and Heymann in DonQ, and from Program B, Novikova in Sleeping Beauty grand pas, Sarah Lamb in Apollo (though I don't even like to see it truncated, let alone excerpted), Badenes and Camargo in Taming of the Shrew, and Alexandrova & Lantratov in the Margot pas from Nureyev. Just shows how tastes can differ.
  3. I felt the same way for decades. Seeing many performances with lots of other casts over the years at the RB, at ABT and at a couple of other American companies, I saw other Pucks I loved and a few Oberons I liked very much, but no Titania ever came close to Sibley, especially in that final pas de deux, until I saw Hayward.
  4. I found the Acosta production disappointing and, yes, rather dull. Certainly, there are better productions out there and companies (think Bolshoi) better suited to it. Yes, it’s a silly story (as are those of many ballets), but with the right performers, it can be thrilling. I saw my first Don Q 52 years ago, with Maya Plisetskaya, and I’d sacrifice a limb if I could somehow magically see it live again. Or, in more recent times, the first Osipova/Vasiliev DonQ on a Washington Bolshoi tour not all that many years ago.
  5. I agree generally. It's a wonderful ballet, and it should be seen, and seen often. Having said that, it's with very mixed feelings that I watch it nowadays (well, roughly "nowadays," having last seen it about 3 years ago)---appreciation for its choreography and often for the current performers, but most of all for the opportunity just to be able to watch it again, on the one hand, but on the other hand, sadness beyond mere nostalgia for not ever being able to see its original cast one more time. Stuttgart toured very frequently to New York in the 1970's (RBME came on at least 3 tours), and, for so many New York balletomanes of that time, they just embedded themselves in our hearts; for us, it became not just a ballet about the love between friends, but also the love we had for these particular friends and for the very special company that was Stuttgart Ballet.
  6. I suspect (and very much hope!) that she will also dance in New York at the City Center Balanchine celebration this fall (at the same time as the RB's Bayadere run): she's done Tarantella (beautifully), and I'd love to see her in Tchai pas.
  7. Having attended the wonderful 1979 Festival and part of the 2005 one (I was unable to go in 1992), I would have happily gone to this year's, but when I saw the programming, I scaled back my plans. (I believe Hubbe said he wanted to show that the Danes dance more than just Bournonville, but surely anyone who glanced at their schedule would know that, as nowadays it seems that they scarcely dance ANY Bournonville.) I planned to go for the two Bournonville nights, but as it turned out, 1 June was the only time I could see Marianela and Vadim in Lake, and as I'm not overly fond of the current production of Napoli, anyway, it was an easy choice for me, and so I saw only the "Bournonvilleana" program on the second night (as well as one of the films, "Bournonville Today," shown that afternoon). The evening featured large chunks of La Sylphide and lots of excerpts (some of them VERY excerpted, like the boys' solos from the William Tell and Flower Festival pas de deux) from other ballets of Bournonville, and closed with the pas de six, tarantella and finale of the current production of Napoli. I enjoyed much of the dancing, and the third act of Napoli always makes me smile, but the first two parts felt TOO condensed and extracted to me--a bit like drinking Bournonville through a straw where a lot of the good stuff is left in the glass. No ballet company should become a museum, but I'm deeply troubled by a company's disregard of its unique and valuable heritage--whether it's ABT's current blindness for its Tudor/DeMille background or the RDB's apparent consignment of much of Bournonville to the dustbin (with the rest of it apparently deracinated in order to conform to Hubbe's views on religion or "deforestrated" in the interests of modernity), which they won't even dust off every 13 years, it would seem. Instead, we get too many pallid versions of ballets that are danced (in some cases, more strongly) by many other companies in more vibrant versions.
  8. now voyager

    Performances in the U.S.A.

    The footage in the trailer all seems to be from the performances last summer at the LA Music Center that Tiler Peck "curated" and in which she appeared. Both Reece Clarke and Lauren Cuthbertson also performed in those programs.
  9. At this time of year, Western Europe is only 1 hour behind St Petersburg time, and the UK only 2 hours. As I write this, it’s about 6:30 pm in London, 8:30 pm in St Petersburg. (Russia does not participate in daylight savings time.)
  10. The concierge at my hotel just off the Strand has responded to my panicked email, and assured me that there will be "numerous monitored crossing points" for pedestrians, so walking should be possible. While I note that the race's website warns slow runners that after 12:30 they may have to take to the sidewalk, I suspect that the Strand will continue to be closed to vehicular traffic.
  11. now voyager

    Natalia Osipova -- her own projects

    Unfortunately, his works are not performed very frequently in the US, either!
  12. now voyager

    Royal Ballet 2018/19 Season

    Clearly the APPROPRIATE time to honor her would be the season in which her centenary falls, i.e. the 2018/19 season.
  13. now voyager

    Nureyev remembered

    My first time was at the old Met in NYC during the 1965 tour: the Bayadere Shades scene. My friend and I were so overwhelmed by the magic that was Rudi and Margot that a few days later we queued for hours to get standing room for their sold-out Romeo & Juliet. Almost 53 years later, images from that performance linger. Over the ensuing years, I saw many, many times, with the RB, on those marathon tours with other companies (like the Canadians and the Australians), when he seemed to dance almost every performance, and his Friends programs. Even as the technique and line deteriorated, that unforgettable presence and sheer passion for dance remained.
  14. If I'd known Caroline Carvallo was coming out of retirement I'd probably have gone after all!
  15. Before the premiere of the RDB production, they streamed an Introduction to it, which included some showing and discussion of the designs. IIRC, they said that Deborah MacMillan had decided to allow the redesign of Manon so that companies that could not afford the expensive Georgiadis designs would nevertheless be able to mount the ballet. I so loathed what I saw of the RDB designs that I skipped my planned trip to Copenhagen to see it there. There are a number of companies besides the RB that use the Georgiadis designs. I suspect that it would not be impossible to rent from one of them.