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Ivy Lin

Performances in the U.S.A.

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28 minutes ago, Ivy Lin said:

David Hallberg and Natalia Osipova finished their Giselle performance here in the USA. Here's what I thought:

http://poisonivywalloftext.blogspot.com/2018/05/robbins-festival-ends-supergiselle-at.html

 

You write so well, Ivy Lin, and I hope that you won't stop doing so.

I understand what you mean about 'amateur' writing being a form of conceit but I am not convinced that many professional critics are particularly experienced in ballet terms, at least, not to begin with.  I shall never forget sitting in front of two women at the ROH and hearing the older one, whom I vaguely recognised, ask the younger one, "So how did you become a critic, then?" The reply was to the effect that she was really a trainee who had been sent along that night because noone else was available. She nevertheless continued to review ballet and dance for that newspaper for many years thenceforward - and she did so rather well!

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39 minutes ago, Ivy Lin said:

David Hallberg and Natalia Osipova finished their Giselle performance here in the USA. Here's what I thought:

http://poisonivywalloftext.blogspot.com/2018/05/robbins-festival-ends-supergiselle-at.html

Ivy Lin ... I Completely get where you are coming from… and very much admire your forthright courage In the follow-through . It speaks volumes. Would that many others had similar gumption!

 

All best wishes for your future choices and thanks for your present and past insights. They have been sincerely appreciated. 

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30 minutes ago, capybara said:

 

You write so well, Ivy Lin, and I hope that you won't stop doing so.

I understand what you mean about 'amateur' writing being a form of conceit but I am not convinced that many professional critics are particularly experienced in ballet terms, at least, not to begin with.  I shall never forget sitting in front of two women at the ROH and hearing the older one, whom I vaguely recognised, ask the younger one, "So how did you become a critic, then?" The reply was to the effect that she was really a trainee who had been sent along that night because noone else was available. She nevertheless continued to review ballet and dance for that newspaper for many years thenceforward - and she did so rather well!

 

I'd add that all the book-learning about ballet in the world doesn't guarantee a good eye, which, together with love of the art form and humility, is the essential basis of good criticism.

 

Certain well-known critics fail on one or more of these counts IMO.

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While I'm at it...Here is another review by New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay on David Hallberg and Natalia Osipova's performance of Giselle, as well as the rest of the run with Sarah Lane and Misty Copeland starring as Giselle. Very interesting and enlightening remarks! Beautiful pictures as well. 

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/20/arts/dance/giselle-natalia-osipova-american-ballet-theater.html

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I appreciate all the kind remarks but as I said, I'm no more qualified to talk about dance than a fruit fly is. It was this realization that made me think "Wow I should stop."

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I so agree with the other posters, Ivy Lin. It is a pleasure to read your blogs and I, for one, believe that the continuing success of classical ballet depends upon the reactions of the lay punter every bit as much as, if not more than, those of the seasoned critics and the technically astute. After all, it is they who make up the audiences. It is also illuminating to see at what points these views converge and diverge and, in the reviews shown on this post, interesting to see those of your reactions that are echoed by Alastair Macauley.

What, by the way, did you feel with regard to the much-vaunted chemistry between Osipova and Hallberg?

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14 hours ago, HappyTurk said:

https://balletomanehk.com/2018/05/20/giselle-natalia-david/

 

Here is another beautifully-written review of Hallberg and Osipova by a "regular ballet-goer." Interesting how I often prefer reading commentary from audience members more so than "real critics." The reviews even on this forum are so much more detailed and substantial. 

 

Very apposite final paragraph!  Thanks HT.

 

Please reconsider Ivy Lin.

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I agree with the above, Ivy Lin.  I much prefer reading the blogs of real ballet lovers instead of national critics who are paid to do so and who very rarely put any emotion or heart into their writings.  You do, and that after all is what ballet is all about (for me, anyway).  I totally understand that you have private reasons for needing a break, but I hope you recover quickly from whatever happened and that you are back blogging again soon.  You are one of our main lifelines to what is happening Stateside in the ballet world.

 

Thank you for all you have written so far, and I look forward to seeing more in the future....if you decide to.

 

Sending you very best wishes,

Sim

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7 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

Very apposite final paragraph!  Thanks HT.

 

Please reconsider Ivy Lin.

Interesting how this reviewer's perceptions differ so much from Ivy Lin's!  THAT is why I like reading people's blogs!!

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3 hours ago, Scheherezade said:

I so agree with the other posters, Ivy Lin. It is a pleasure to read your blogs and I, for one, believe that the continuing success of classical ballet depends upon the reactions of the lay punter every bit as much as, if not more than, those of the seasoned critics and the technically astute. After all, it is they who make up the audiences. It is also illuminating to see at what points these views converge and diverge and, in the reviews shown on this post, interesting to see those of your reactions that are echoed by Alastair Macauley.

What, by the way, did you feel with regard to the much-vaunted chemistry between Osipova and Hallberg?

 

They have good chemistry although I think the fact that they've danced so infrequently together for the past 5 years or so showed. There were a few moments where dancers who are more experienced partnering each other might not have had an awkward stop. I think a lot of the things we say are "chemistry" are really partnering. The way a hand is right there to hold the other partner, the way their bodies align, etc. give the illusion of two people dancing as one and thus "chemistry." I will be interested in seeing them in the future and how they develop from here. 

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10 minutes ago, Ivy Lin said:

 

They have good chemistry although I think the fact that they've danced so infrequently together for the past 5 years or so showed. There were a few moments where dancers who are more experienced partnering each other might not have had an awkward stop. I think a lot of the things we say are "chemistry" are really partnering. The way a hand is right there to hold the other partner, the way their bodies align, etc. give the illusion of two people dancing as one and thus "chemistry." I will be interested in seeing them in the future and how they develop from here. 

 

You see, that kind of insight is exactly why you are "qualified" to talk about dance, Ivy Lin!

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Well lucky New Yorkers I say- they got the Giselle that London didn't! I am sure that mr Hallberg did everything he could to recover for the performance, on their birthdays. 

 

Not sure I agree about stage chemistry being primarily about good partnering skills. Otherwise wouldn't there be more if it about?

 

The audience were so enthusiastic that they sang Happy Birthday to them. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well part of the reason I wanted to stop blogging was I teach and my kids found my blog. A few of them got very out of line and said things like "Why are you going to the ballet when you should be in a Chinese restaurant making pork fried rice?" 

So I found out that on blogspot you can change your blog name and URL. So that's what I did. New url:

http://humbledandoverwhelmed.blogspot.com

 

Not sure if I'll be blogging anytime soon (think I need a break) but at least I'm not dealing with these comments anymore.

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Ivy I hope you had a chat to your students about racism and gender stereotyping!   Don't let them get to you.  

I look forward to reading your blog again whenever you are ready.

Thanks for sharing your blog with this forum.  It is a great link to what is happening Stateside.  

Best wishes,

Sim

 

 

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Ivy, what a horrible, horrendous experience for you.  I do hope you will feel able to go back to blogging in the fullness of time.

 

It's been so enjoyable reading your thoughts on ballet performances in the USA.

 

Take care and very best wishes, Janet

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On ‎20‎/‎05‎/‎2018 at 17:43, capybara said:

 

You write so well, Ivy Lin, and I hope that you won't stop doing so.

I understand what you mean about 'amateur' writing being a form of conceit but I am not convinced that many professional critics are particularly experienced in ballet terms, at least, not to begin with.  I shall never forget sitting in front of two women at the ROH and hearing the older one, whom I vaguely recognised, ask the younger one, "So how did you become a critic, then?" The reply was to the effect that she was really a trainee who had been sent along that night because noone else was available. She nevertheless continued to review ballet and dance for that newspaper for many years thenceforward - and she did so rather well!

 

Yes; all being a 'professional' critic means is that you have managed to get someone to pay you for what you write. You then become subject to their constraints in terms of length, style, etc, so you can no longer write as freely. And you have to go to performances you may not otherwise choose to attend. 'Amateur' writers may be just as good as/knowledgeable as paid critics - they just don't get paid for it. And many critics clearly don't have huge depth of technical knowledge - like everyone else, they have mainly learned (we hope) by watching, reading and absorbing. The only thing that matters is the quality of the writing, not whether or not someone has been paid to write it.

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How wonderful that you are still writing, Ivy Lin.  I am so pleased that you have found the strength to follow your passion instead of conceding to ignorance and stupidity.  Please keep it up....you write so vividly and you are a very important link to what is going on across the pond.  Thank you.

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Posted (edited)

Ivy Lin I want to endorse what others have already said about your writing. Your account of this reconstruction has been far fuller and so much more informative than the one in the New York Times where Mr Seibert has limited space and chooses to  use an inordinate amount of it in telling his readers that Harlequinade is not a major work comparable to The Sleeping Beauty which is scarcely a revelation. He says very little about the performance except to say that Ratmansky has loosened up as far as period appropriate style is concerned (giving me the impression that legs had gone sky high) and makes it very clear that he does not think this was a worthwhile project. Your account of the choreography and the casts you saw and the transformative effect that Ratmansky's presence has had on ABT as a whole makes me regret that it is unlikely to be seen in Europe. It is interesting, but not really that surprising, to learn that  Balanchine reused considerable chunks of Petipa's choreography in his version of the ballet. Your account of David Hallberg's mournful Pierrot makes me wonder how much Fokine's ideas for Carnaval, in which Pierrot is given some prominence, owed to his familiarity with Petipa's own use of commedia del'arte characters in Harlequinade ?

 

 

Edited by FLOSS
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Thanks for the kind words. One thing: Edward Villella (the original Harlequin in the production) was sitting right in front of me yesterday so I asked him wheat he rehearsed and he said mime and characterization for the lead characters. Makes sense considering how I found out from Ratmansky version that Balanchine reused so much Petipa choreography.

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Just watched this trailer with the EVER GLORIOUS Tiler Peck - what a dazzling fighter she is ... BALLET NOW ... and noticed that Reece Clarke was involved (he pops up a couple of times in the trailer) so there is local interest.  Hope that some Art House has a UK showing of this film sometime:

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bruce Wall said:

Just watched this trailer with the EVER GLORIOUS Tiler Peck - what a dazzling fighter she is ... BALLET NOW ... and noticed that Reece Clarke was involved (he pops up a couple of times in the trailer) so there is local interest.  Hope that some Art House has a UK showing of this film sometime:

 

 

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.

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Just wanted to note that Justin Peck (much as Chris Wheeldon had done for An American in Paris) won the Choreography Tony Award last night for his work on the current Broadway production of Carousel.  (There are understandably a goodly number of ballet dancers in the cast - including the wonderful NYCB principal Amar Ramasar as Jigger).  The 'Patricia' he refers to in his acceptance speech is his girlfriend, Patricia Delgado, the Cuban American ballerina who was for many years with MCB.  

 

 

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