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Jeannette

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  1. I watched this program at my local cinema and totally agree with you about Flight Pattern. Dreadful, dreary, dark. What a waste of a classically trained corps! We saw one nice volley of jumps from Marcellino Sambe near the very end but, other than that, hardly any dancing. A bunch of synchronized slow undulations with some miming from a distraught mother. Yawn...It makes Jane Eyre seem like Sleeping Beauty. Osipova as Medusa? Ok, it’s not Kitri but it brings out her acting skills. At least I didn’t yawn, as I would a bit later with Flight Pattern. At least we got drama, costumes, sets. Wheeldon’s Golden Hour began the evening on a high. What brilliant ballet - true ballet movement! - to gorgeous music. Loved all of the soloists, particularly the ethereal Sarah Lamb, gorgeous in her golden dress, partnered by the strong Alexander Campbell in...uh...his golden diaper. Honestly, the original costumes for the San Francisco premiere of this ballet were so perfect - south-Asian tinged unitards in shades of blues, greens and tans - that I don’t understand the reason for the changes.
  2. @Jan McNulty it’s not a national thing. We Americans love our Ashton, who blended steps and stories so beautifully...very British! MacMillan is another British pillar of ABT. We also love narrative ballets, in general. I reread my Bronte before traveling to NY with an open mind, so looking forward to this. I feel that the main problem with Jane Eyre is the limited vocabulary of ballet steps.
  3. Well, there’s one principal I have in mind...but that’s another story. Best to keep my mouth shut and move on. Back to watching D-Day commemorations on the telly....
  4. Sorry to be Debbie Downer but I thought that Jane Eyre was horrible as a “ballet.” Fine pantomime. Whiteside is a very effective mime artist as Rochester. He’s also a strong lifter of the tall but dull Devon Teuscher (Jane). I felt bad for other ABT principals and soloists whose talents were wasted in small acting roles, such as Stella Abrera as Blanche. The sets were plain and the tunes felt like “music by the yard.” Well, I gave Marston a try. p.s. I was thinking that, beside providing the understandable support for female choreographers, the acquisition of Jane Eyre fits the bill in providing a starring opportunity for principal(s) who may not have the technique to properly perform the Balanchines, Ratmanskys or Petipas.
  5. Not sure if it’s been performed since 2000, when this DVD was filmed, starring Benjamin & Acosta: https://www.amazon.com/Coppelia-Leanne-Benjamin/dp/B00005S6KR
  6. p.s. My vote is for WISE VIRGINS. I remember seeing another photo of Fonteyn dancing a solo from this ballet, in this exact costume, at the 1970 gala tribute to Sir Fred at the ROH. That memory of Fonteyn in that white gown is what led me this morning to go through my books. I knew that I had seen that dress before!
  7. Two possibilities to identify the character with the white billowy dress with bulbous sleeves: photo 1- 1940 THE WISE VIRGINS by Ashton, to Bach arr. by Walton (Fonteyn & Somes) photo 2- 1943 THE QUEST by Ashton, to Walton score (Fonteyn & Edwards) I’ll try to upload photos in next two posts.
  8. I attended Tuesday night’s opening. While I generally enjoyed the presentation - but preferring ABT’s more faithful version and the Bolshoi’s Tsarist-Era splendor - I was underwhelmed and taken aback by the hyperflexed & brittle (ribs protruding) Maria Khoreva, who stopped just short of landing in the orchestra pit during her 29 or 30 single fouettes...lending new meaning to the designation “The Traveling Ballerina”! Think of a Somova, only more petite. Thank goodness for the mature classical style of Gulnare, Nadezhda Batoeva....overcoming weak partnering by her Lankedem in the Pas d’Esclave (off-kilter partnered pirouettes, one coming to a dead stop). It was left up to Kimin Kim (Ali) to present the fireworks, with Timur Askerov (Conrad) delivering the charisma. The three Odalisques - all from the Vaganova class of 2018 - at least were a bit more tempered than Khoreva in their style, with Maria Bulanova absolutely smashing as the multi-turning 3rd Odalisque. The corps was fine, if not as lazer sharp as I recall in past viewings, starting in 1987. In sum, while it’s always a pleasure to see this company, I’m not quite drinking the Khoreva Kool-Aid. At least not yet.
  9. Happily, it looks like there may be more trips to Sarasota in my future. The 2019-2020 season has been announced, with more Ashton rarities in the rep, including Dante Sonata and R&J: https://www.sarasotaballet.org/events/2019-2020-season
  10. Thanks for all of the reports! Marston appears to be the “full-length, audience-pleasing choreographer” of the moment. I look forward to seeing my first full-length Marston ballet at ABT...soon!
  11. Thanks for the fascinating clip of 1987. Funny thing...I don’t recall having seen the very last sequence (ending in hug) at the Sarasota performances. I *do* recall the sequence of lift-throws in which the woman turns in the air. Gomes, throwing Hulland, was far more impressive. Of course, that was actual performance. Maybe Schaufuss was stronger in actual performance.
  12. The problem was not dancing talents or acting ability. Hard to state without being unkind. The story demands that the Fonteyn character possess certain classic features. Not that Makarova wasn’t beautiful in her own unique way.
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