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Willie

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  1. My experience with Kravis Center in West Palm Beach is that many, if not most, of the patrons are elderly. After all, West Palm Beach, as well as other Florida locations, have several retirement communities. I simply assumed that the elderly leave for an early dinner or go home to rest. Often times, I, too, criticize those who leave a performance early. But, in my mind, Kravis Center is an exception. Live and let live in West Palm Beach.
  2. My favorite place to sit is in the Stalls, Row 13, seats 12, 13 or 14, 15. That's at the intersection of two aisles. Lots of leg and elbow room.
  3. I saw Anastasia and Denis Matvienko in Swan Lake at Mariinsky Theatre a few years ago. As you can imagine, their dance chemistry was amazing! At times I felt as though I was intruding on an intimate moment. I would like to see them again. Denis Matvienko is a great Solor in La Bayadère. I'll watch "Big Red" in any ballet.
  4. I trust they followed proper moving walkway etiquette: arabesques on the right, Plisetskaya head-kicks on the left.
  5. Sleeping Beauty at Teatro Costanzi in Rome. Swan Lake at the Opera House in Zurich (and après ballet at Sternen Grill for a bratwurst with bürli and a beer). Svetlana Zacharova in Giselle at Teatro di Verdura in Palermo.
  6. My experience at the world premier of Vasily Medvedev’s Cleopatra at Macedonian Opera and Ballet in Skopje was a mixed bag of disappointment, relief, fleeting joy, and an unexpected end to the evening. I traveled from Chicago to Skopje to see Cleopatra on 19 November, the first performance after the world premier on 17 November. When I attempted to collect my ticket at the box office, I was informed that the 17 November world premier was re-scheduled to 19 November (due to technical reasons), that the 19 November world premier was for diplomats, dignitaries and specially invited guests only, and that all tickets for 19 November were rescheduled for a performance on 25 November. Apparently, the decision to reschedule all of the performances was made a week prior, but no notice was provided to ticket holders. Disappointment was setting in. I explained to the manager that I traveled to Macedonia just to see Cleopatra. He told me to wait. Although others were in the same situation, only about 10 waited. As you can imagine, the not-so-specially invited guests grumbled amongst ourselves as we waited.... After waiting until all of the “diplomats, dignitaries and specially invited guests” were seated, the manager passed out the tickets of those who did not show. Relief. Vasily Medvedev’s Cleopatra was made especially for Aleksandra Mijalkova who played the lead role. She was lovely to watch. Her pas de deuxs with Vasil Chichiashvili (Caesar) in Act I and with Boban Kovachevski (Marco Antonio) in Act II were especially beautiful. However, these lovely fleeting moments were lost in the ballet’s excessive theatrics and distracting music. The ballet Cleopatra reminded me, in a certain way, of Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella, which, in my view, is more theatrics than dancing. The music was a mix of a live orchestra and recorded music, all of which was amplified (and distorted) through speakers. I don’t know who was responsible, but my guess it was Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel who set the volume on eleven. After the ballet, the diplomats, dignitaries and specially invited guests were treated to an after-party at the theatre where there was live music, food and drinks. The not-so-specially invited guests found each other at the after-party and, while we indulged in our surroundings, we had a few laughs about the whole experience.
  7. The Swan Lake performance on Sun 09.04.2017 at 14:00 is nearly sold out. Is there some sort of special event on 9 April? Guest dancers? I'm tempted to purchase one of the remaining cheap seats and a plane ticket to find out.
  8. POLINA SEMIONOVA TO WITHDRAW FROM PERFORMANCES WITH ABT AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE Does anyone know the nature of the "medical leave"? I was planning to see Polina on 14 May in Sylvia.
  9. In 2012, I was fortunate to see Anastasia and Denis Matvienko in Swan Lake at the Mariinsky Theatre. They were absolutely beautiful together. The love Odette and Siegfried showed for each other on stage was, quite obviously, an extension of real life. I want to go back....
  10. I, too, am 6' 3". I prefer leg room, elbow room, and no one in front of me to block my view. Plus, I don't want to feel obligated to slouch, slump or hunch because Janet is sitting behind me. To accommodate all of my needy needs, I prefer to purchase an entire box, if available. By the way, I purchased box 59 to see Companhia Nacional de Bailado perform Sleeping Beauty in Lisbon on 12 December, and my usual travel companion cannot go with me. If you are in Lisbon and would like to see Sleeping Beauty, let me know. I think I have some room for you.
  11. Yes, I saw La Sylphide in June 2014. At that time the facade of the opera house was covered, presumably for maintenance work. I would like to go back to see it in all its glory.
  12. Me too! I found my way to Vienna this past February to see Swan Lake. I also took the tour of the Vienna State Opera, which was very nice. It is a beautiful theater. There are so many ballets, opera houses, cities and countries to visit. So far I've seen a ballet in 18 European countries. Yes, ballet is a perfect catalyst for travel.
  13. This is my modus operandi. I am a novice ballet enthusiast. I go (travel) and gamble (on whether I will like the performance) and learn about ballet (e.g., technique, who are the étoiles, etc.) and decide what kind of ballets I like (e.g. classical, contemporary, etc.). A couple recommended destinations, relatively close to Milwaukee, for performances that tend to be on the “stunning” end of the spectrum. Toronto and the National Ballet of Canada. Excellent dancers / performances and they offer pre-performance “ballet talks” which are very educational and entertaining. New York and American Ballet Theatre. ABT’s principal dancers are some of the best in the world. You are virtually guaranteed a “stunning” performance. By the way, Michael Pink’s Swan Lake, for me, is on the “stunning” end of the spectrum.
  14. This makes me very happy. Polina and Friedemann are dancing on 12 April at 19:30. By chance, I will be in Zurich on 12 April and, some time ago, I purchased a ticket to the 14:00 matinee. I can't miss Polina and Friedemann, so I bought another ticket to the evening performance. Two Giselle's in one day.
  15. I saw Maia Makhateli in Cinderella in Amsterdam two years ago. I fell in love with her dancing. So much so, I bought her pointe shoes (to support DNB).
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