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Ivy Lin

Performances in the U.S.A.

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You are pointing to known limitations of his choreography. Before Alastair Macaulay proclaimed Ratmansky to be a sort of new genius, a more sober view of his talents was prevalent, summed up, for example, by Lewis Segal in his 2013 review of the ABT triple bill that included Ratmansky's Chamber Symphony and Balanchine's Apollo and Symphony in C.

 

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/12/entertainment/la-et-cm-american-ballet-theater-ratmansky-balanchine-20130712

 

I saw Chamber Symphony several times, for me it was symptomatic that the choreographer did not employ the original Shostakovich's score but the emasculated orchestration of Barshai, that lacked the poignant, crystalline focus of the original. When I inquired about the reason for not resorting to the original score that was obviously far superior, the answer I heard was that it would overpower the choreography. Ratmansky's predilection for Desyatnikov's music, which I find unpalatable, may be due to it being similarly fragmented, contorted yet unimaginative, unable to produce a coherent, sustained melodic development.

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Perhaps of interest to people curious about "performances in the U.S.A.:" A livestream of a June 11th performance by the Pacific Northwest Ballet will be available for viewing online for a few more weeks. As many here probably know, it's a very highly regarded company.

 

The company live-streamed their final performance of the season -- a mix of excerpts and full ballets -- which paid tribute to two long-time principals who are now retiring: Carrie Imler and Batkhurel Bold.  The evening also included a video looking back at their careers.

 

According to what the company posted at the end of the performance, the live-stream will be be available to be watched through July 11th. It may sound like a specialty event likeliest to appeal to long-time fans of the company, but I had never seen the company before and I found it an enjoyable (and moving) evening with some wonderful dancing by the whole company.

 

The program featured choreography by a number of choreographers including Balanchine, Wheeldon, Millepied, and Kent Stowell. (The latter co-directed the company with Francia Russell for many years).  You can find the performance on the Pacific Northwest Ballet Facebook page. I think this link will take you directly to it--it is a bit slow to load though:

 

 

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I only saw Carrie Imler on the occasion when she appeared in London with her company at Sadlers Wells.  Terrific dancer, I rarely find myself that impressed on just a couple of viewings.  I wish that wonderful lady all the best for her retirement.

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I compared the POB I saw these past two days with the POB I saw in 2011 and also in the 2005 video of Jewels and their company style has really deteriorated. It seems like there are no dancers like Aurelie Dupont and Clairemarie Osta anymore. You know, dancers who had that stately French style but also the delicacy and personality to really dance the classics. In 2011 I fondly remember watching Dupont and Osta back to back in Giselle. Ah, great memories ...

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I don’t believe that I’ve ever read two more enthusiastic reviews.

 

Alena Kovaleva — Diamonds

 

“Yet everything in this performance paled in comparison to the ravishing splendor of 18-year-old Alena Kovaleva in the lead role.

 

“The audience had never heard of her, but from her first moment, there was a collective holding of breath, and at the end, a wild, heartfelt ovation; really, a burst of love.”

 

Robert Gotlieb

http://observer.com/2017/07/jewels-lincoln-center-review/

 

 

“Alena Kovaleva, a member of the Bolshoi Ballet’s corps who joined the company directly after graduating from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in 2016 (last year!), assayed the lead ballerina role in Diamonds at the Lincoln Center Festival’s five-performance Jewels celebration yesterday afternoon, and delivered one of the finest portrayals I’ve seen. Ever.” 

 

Jerry Hochman

http://criticaldance.org/lincoln-center-festival-jewels-gems/

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The Vail Dance Festival has just put a video on its Facebook page showing snippets from two multinational programmes over the weekend, including a tantalising short clip of Francesca Hayward and Marcelino Sambe in Rhapsody - also Marcelo Gomes, Misty Copeland, Tiler Peck, Lauren Lovett, Devon Teuscher etc etc - some line-up!

 

 

Edited by Jane S
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They've now added another video, of the 2nd International Evening, featuring many of the same dancers in different works - Hayward and Sambe this time in the Romeo and Juliet balcony pd2 .

 

(and Lauren Lovette whose name I misspelt last time)

 

 

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Macmillan's Mayerling has had its first performance by an American company--the Houston Ballet. I'm posting about it here mostly because the premier has taken place under rather poignant and unusual circumstances as one might expect given the devastation visited on the city by Hurricane Harvey a very few weeks ago.  The company normally appears in the Wortham Center which was badly damaged by the storm, and will be closed for a while. But they found an alternative venue that seems to have been workable. They still had to cancel a number of planned performances, but the premier took place with the Mayor of the City in attendance and I think there will be three more performances. (I'm not a local, so I don't know if the Mayor usually attends Houston Ballet premiers or not.) Anyway, here is a review/report on the performance. Presumably a lot of goodwill is involved in reviewing the home-town company under these circumstances, but it sounds like a fine performance:

 

http://houston.culturemap.com/news/arts/09-23-17-houston-ballets-mayerling-surges-above-the-storm/#slide=0

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That review plus 2 others are now in today's Links.  Molly Glentzer's includes a 7-minute video chat with Houston's AD Stanton Welch.

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Great insight as always, Ivy Lin!

Duo Concertant is one of my favourite ballets too - you lucky thing to have been there for Robbie Fairchild's last NYCB performance. Thanks for sharing!

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Thanks for that very interesting post, Ivy.  Please keep them coming.

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Hi, thankfully there are now more videos of American ballet companies.

I think SFB has a Cinderella, Nutcracker, Othello and Little Mermaid out.

NYCB has a Nutcracker from 2011 and a great all-Balanchine program of Walpurgisnacht/La Valse/Sonatine/Symphony in C. 

They've also released a host of vintage Balanchine programs on the vai label here:

http://www.vaimusic.com/category/Balanchine.html

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It’s a very interesting read thanks for posting the link & I hope you don’t stop permanently ! 

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Ivy Lin please don't give up blogging.  I've really enjoyed reading your posts and it has been really good to read your thoughts from across the Pond.

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