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Found 10 results

  1. Greetings! Long time lurker who has finally decided to contribute due to the fact have recently moved to Stuttgart and so finally have a chance to see ballet on a fairly regular basis. Last weekend I went to the “Shades of White” programme at Stuttgart ballet and thought some of you might be interested in my (completely novice) view of it. The programme consisted of Concert for Flute and Harp, choreographed my Cranko, music by Mozart The Kingdom of the Shades from La Bayadere (Markova version) Symphony in C (of course by Balanchine) I thought it was an interesting concept for a triple bill, in that all of the pieces are linked by a similar aesthetic. Unfortunately for me, this idea was not completely successful (more on that later). I had two ballet newbies with me and I felt quite stressed because I thought their opinion of ballet would largely be formed based on this. The first piece was the Cranko piece, which is a plotless neoclassical piece. It was the one I knew the least about, and in fact I don’t know if any other ballet company performs it. It quite unconventional, in that it has two principal ballerinas and a male corp of 10(ish) dancers, with two male principal parts embedded within it who occasionally emerge for variations and pas de deux. The choreography was very musical with interesting partnering and very nice moments. Something that really struck me was how much fun everyone on stage seemed to be having. I thought that it must be so nice for some of the male corp dancers to get some limelight and to push themselves technically. I was kind of surprised that it is not more well known, since it was really lovely in many ways. Overall though I felt that it didn’t quite add up to more than the sum of it’s parts. Possibly part of this was the music. Although there is nothing wrong with Mozart, I wasn’t sure how suited this piece was to ballet. The orchestra for it was small and it lacked drama. It was a good job this came first because, although it was very nice, it was followed by two pieces which are (arguably) masterpieces . Apparently La Bayadere has been missing from Stuttgart ballet’s repertoire and this run is a company premiere, not that you would have known that from the performance I saw. The shades passed the wobble test with flying colors during their entrance and the overall effect was nothing short of sublime. It’s something that I think I could see countless times and never fail to be deeply moved by. The three shade variations went well and Solor was suitably dashing, but the real star (along with the corp) was Nikiya, danced by the amazing Hyo-jung Kang. Not that I really know a lot about these things, but I thought she was very sharp technically while at the same time being wonderfully soulful and expressive. She is someone who I would book again specifically to see. This was both mine and my friends’ favourite piece of the evening and both of them said they would come again to see the full version (mission accomplished!). Lastly Symphony in C, and here we come to the drawback if this programme. This is ballet that I have watched extracts of on youtube and wanted to live for a long time, but the time it came around I was suffering slightly from what I have dubbed “white tutu fatigue”. I felt that the Cranko piece at the start owed, at least superficially, a lot to Balanchine and although I think Symphony is a wonderful ballet I couldn’t experience it with as much freshness as I would have wanted. Still, the finale was very impressive. Dancer-wise, the male lead in the first movement, David Moore, really stood out to me (in a good way). I was one of those dancers who somehow seems to draw my eye simply by standing still and doing nothing. Interesting. he trained at the Royal Ballet School, but wasn’t taken into the company. Appologies in advance for any spelling mistakes or typos. Is anyone else on here a regular Stuttgart ballet-goer?
  2. A writer for The Traveling Ballerina was in Fort Lauderdale last weekend, so decided to see MCB's A Midsummer Night's Dream; she also reviewed the performance. Personally, I absolutely adore the original Balanchine version so probably would have a difficult time accepting this one.
  3. I had the fortune of being in New York to see two of NYCB's programs and I wrote reviews on both of them - Jewels and All Balanchine. I would love to hear your opinions, especially about Symphony in C because it's a ballet that I wanted to like but just didn't. Do I give it another chance?
  4. New York City Center, as part of its 75th anniversary, has announced a series of events throughout the coming year. I noticed from October 31 until November 4 a series of performances dedicated to Balanchine - the City Center Years (City Ballet were resident at City Center for 15 or 16 years before moving to State and Balanchine created many works for the company on that stage). There are several participating companies listed including the Royal Ballet (others include, as well as NYCB, Paris, Joffrey, Miami and the Mariinsky). As the Royal are due to be performing Mayerling and Bayadere at the opera house that week, I assume that the Royal's participation must be limited to a couple of dancers sent over to perform, say, a pas de deux. Does anyone with a greater knowledge of the company know what the intentions are? It's only five days of performances, but it looks potentially very interesting.
  5. So I have been invited to dance a solo at my schools presentation evening, and wanted to do the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux girl variation which I learned at Easter school (I have no Balanchine training, but I do love it!) the only problem is, the only music I can find to download is either extremely fast (47 seconds) or painfully slow (59 seconds). Which would be better? Also, is it a good idea to perform en Pointe? The only thing I would have to adapt if en Pointe would be the 'lame ducks' (posé turns en dehors)... I'm not confident with them being doubles if en Pointe. It is in the school main hall, which isn't sprung but neither is it particularly slippy. (It is also not very big... Might have to turn the turns into a manège!) Please help! ?
  6. Paris Opera Ballet and The Bolshoi are to collaborate with New York City Ballet in 5 performances next summer, 20-23 July 2017, to celebrate 50 years of Balanchine's trilogy Jewels. POB will dance Emeralds, NYCB Rubies and the Bolshoi Diamonds. Later in the run NYCB and the Bolshoi will swap. Each company will use it's own costumes, so Lacroix for POB, Karinska for NYCB and Zaitseva for The Bolshoi. Should be a fantastic treat to see this!! http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/arts/dance/celebrating-balanchines-jewels-with-an-international-flair.html?smid=tw-nytimesarts&smtyp=cur
  7. The Balanchine Foundation has established its own YouTube channel. The contents look very interesting. Lots of interviews but also coaching sessions. When you see the short section of Violet Verdy coaching a section of a pas de deux from Emeralds you may get an idea of what has been missing in some of the performances that we have seen at Covent Garden. All in all it looks fascinating.
  8. While watching "The Four Temperaments" last night, it struck me once again just how few of Balanchine's works have made it to DVD. Sure, a few of his full-length works are available - Midsummer Night's Dream, Nutcracker and Diamonds spring to mind - but as regards his shorter works, it's very few. The main output is those TV recordings from, I think, the 1970s (or possibly 80s?), but there's no Serenade, no Apollo that I'm aware of ... It surely can't be down to lack of demand. Is the Balanchine Trust resistant to producing DVDs, perhaps, or NYCB?
  9. Just time before I go out to set up a new thread for the run of Jewels starting this evening. Please post your thoughts here.
  10. Picking up on Alastair Macaulay's comments about the Royal Ballet's recent performances of Apollo the other day, in which he states that "Like every Royal Ballet “Apollo” I’ve seen since 1976, it’s musically slow and dynamically sluggish." and calls the performance a "reverential ritual" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/arts/dance/wheeldon-ratmansky-and-balanchine-at-the-royal-ballet.html?_r=1&), I was wondering how other companies dance it, particularly, of course, NYCB? Is anyone able to compare? Unfortunately, I don't think there's a DVD of the ballet available.
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