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yes, me too!

Such a joy to see something beautifully filmed (though not so keen on the overuse of the overhead shots), with lovely lighting that allows us to see the dancing in HD clarity, rather than peering through the gloom and lighting 'effects' in so many of today's contemporary pieces. Hoorah for Balanchine! Tiler Peck was sensational - so good in fact, I'm going to watch it again right now!

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, zxDaveM said:

yes, me too!

Such a joy to see something beautifully filmed (though not so keen on the overuse of the overhead shots), with lovely lighting that allows us to see the dancing in HD clarity, rather than peering through the gloom and lighting 'effects' in so many of today's contemporary pieces. Hoorah for Balanchine! Tiler Peck was sensational - so good in fact, I'm going to watch it again right now!

 

Just to say that this was I'm fairly sure not filmed for public consumption (which in a way makes it even more special).  State Theatre (now the Koch Theatre) has a built in media suite.  The audience would have had no idea this was being filmed.  (Certainly no views would have been obstructed by cameras.) These films are purely archival and used by dancers when preparing for roles which often happens very quickly.  Certainly it's necessary in a company like NYCB where they may be doing, say, in excess of 40 different ballets a season with multiple casts.  Many of these films used to end up (because they are constantly being renewed) in the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection in the Lincoln Center Library.  That is less the case now I think - and when they are you now (as opposed to previously) need special permission for access (understandably).  

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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well, if they are 'just' achive films they do make a good job of them if they are of this quality, as they sure beat the ones they do over here (which tend to have the dancers over-exposed). Makes sense re the overheads, for spacing clarification.

I dare say I'll be watching it again before it expires on Friday 🙂

 

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That was wonderful! Just what we need in tough times. I didn’t even mind the overhead shots. I know what I’ll be doing at 8:00pm EST every Friday and Tuesday for the next few weeks.

Edited by Jeannette
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How wonderful to see up-to-date clear footage of the current NYCB dancers, who appear so seldom in London.  I am so used to struggling with grainy historical footage to see the NYCB repertoire and so much of it is never seen on the internet.  It is a very long time since I saw Allegro Brillante (with Vyvyan Lorrayne, Barry McGrath and the Royal Ballet Touring Company).  I watched it straight through twice - exhilarating.  I am going to enjoy the whole NYCB season.

 

I once saw Robbins' Goldberg Variations in New York and I would love to see it again.

 

Bruce - indeed a 72 hour smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm not the world's greatest Balanchine fan, but this is absolutely brilliant! The dancing is about as perfect as possible, have watched it three times already.

Edited by ninamargaret
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Just watched Rotunda, and what a real treat it was! I hadn't seen any of Justin Peck's work before and after seeing this would like to see more. I loved the way the dancers were continually regrouping, rather like a kaleidoscope, and then reforming for a pas de deux,trois, or whatever. What a super company they are! You Tube also had a short piece about Justin Peck which was interesting.

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After you watch Rotunda a couple of more times, you’ll notice that the first and last movements - ensemble numbers - “mirror” each other...same moves and clusters, yet in different directions. It’s as if the lone man who opens and ends the ballet (Gonzalo Garcia) had been imagining the movement in the mirror.

 

It was interesting to finally see, in this film, Adrian Danchig-Waring (in burgundy) dance the first pdd with Miriam Miller. I attended later performances in which Andrew Scordato took over that pdd with Ms Miller - both in powder blue/grayish dancewear, thus matching each other better, an even more exquisite pair IMO. No disrespect to Danchig-Waring, who was injured soon after the filmed performance. At my ‘live’ performances, a young corps member, LaJeromeny Brown, took over Danchig-Waring’s ensemble moves, in the burgundy costume. Brown is a gorgeous dancer!

 

By the way, this is the ballet that was to have been performed by NYCB dancers at Sadlers Wells in March, at the Nico Muhly program but was canceled.

Edited by Jeannette
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, ninamargaret said:

Just watched Rotunda, and what a real treat it was! I hadn't seen any of Justin Peck's work before.

 

That's a real shame ninamargaret.  While I enjoyed this I don't feel it is particularly top drawer Peck - and there is so much now to choose from.  This is, of course, his first ballet back after having done the choreography for Spielburg's take on West Side Story which I'm sure we're all looking forward to.  I saw Peck's Rodeo four times in February - a work that brings his love for football into a balletic idiom so brilliantly - and would have happily seen it four more right then and there.  Also Belles-Lettres - such a special work.  I also adore Year of the Rabbit, Everywhere we Go - (which had the audiences in Paris on their feet any number of times), the jubilant Paz De La Jolla - celebrating his West Coast upbringing and the source for the documentary film Ballet 422; Murder Ballades - which the LA Dance Project DID do at the Wells; the 'Robbins-esque' In Creases, the very buoyant Heatscape done for MCB, In The Countenance of Kings - such a hit for SFB, the fabulous sneaker ballet, The Times are Racing and last year's fantastic Bright with its wonderfully vivid punchline.  Oh, and his phenomenal choreography for Broadway's Carousel - so deserving of that Tony.  That's not the half of it, of course.  So, SO much to choose from.  Those are only the ones I've been lucky enough to see ... There's a complete roster otherwise now of course - and so many to commissioned scores and his works are in the rep of companies around the world.  I too cannot wait to see more.  I love how his work always - like Shakespeare, Ashton, Balanchine and Robbins - celebrates community.  A great gift - and one so very necessary just now. 

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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Not a shame at all! If you tell me that this isn't top drawer just think what else lies in store for me. Only problem is I'm unlikely to get the chance to see all the other things you mention. And I appreciated Jeannette's comments. Probably one of the few good things to come out of the horror we are living through is the opportunity we have been given to see different companies  - pretty awful to think that its taken a pandemic to make this happen!

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Rotunda must be one of the first Peck ballets at NYCB where Taylor Stanley (who has been for Peck something akin to what Edward Watson is to McGregor) was not in the original cast.  Stanley did have a lot on in the season though.  Great as usual to see Peck give chances to new dancers much as Robbins so often did.  Furlan is a REAL gift.  

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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1 hour ago, Bruce Wall said:

Rotunda must be one of the first Peck ballets at NYCB where Taylor Stanley (who has been for Peck something akin to what Edward Watson is to McGregor) was not in the original cast.  Stanley did have a lot on in the season though.  Great as usual to see Peck give chances to new dancers much as Robbins so often did.  Furlan is a REAL gift.  

 

 

Agree with most of your Peck Picks, Bruce! The lyrical, melancholic Belles-Lettres is perhaps my fave. Did you ever see Peck himself - recently retired from dancing - as the main man in Rodeo, dancing the pdd with Sara Mearns? Wonderful!

 

Taylor Stanley is especially great in the Sufian Stevens/Peck  ballets but, alas, starred in what was perhaps (to me) the biggest Peck dud: The Most Incredible Thing. “Incredible”? Ugh.

Edited by Jeannette
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9 hours ago, Jeannette said:

 

Agree with most of your Peck Picks, Bruce! The lyrical, melancholic Belles-Lettres is perhaps my fave. Did you ever see Peck himself - recently retired from dancing - as the main man in Rodeo, dancing the pdd with Sara Mearns? Wonderful!

 

Taylor Stanley is especially great in the Sufian Stevens/Peck  ballets but, alas, starred in what was perhaps (to me) the biggest Peck dud: The Most Incredible Thing. “Incredible”? Ugh.

 

(1) Sadly, no.  I first saw Ramasar (the originator) with T. Peck and then - in the majority - Peter Walker with Mearns.  Saw the latter in a rehearsal on the day of his premiere.  Sara Mearns - if looks were to tell - was not best pleased.  By the evening performance she was all smiles at his fine debut.  What a few hours will do.  

 

(2)  Didn't see 'Incredible Thing' - but had been forewarned by friends who felt much as you did.  

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10 hours ago, toursenlair said:

 

I believe the cure for this is... see more Balanchine!

Think I am a lost cause! I've seen around 18 of his ballets and while I enjoy them they do not, with the exception of Apollo, go to the top of my list. But I keep trying!

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5 hours ago, ninamargaret said:

Think I am a lost cause! I've seen around 18 of his ballets and while I enjoy them they do not, with the exception of Apollo, go to the top of my list. But I keep trying!

another 60 or so to go in the active repertoire ;-)

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Fascinating at last to see the "home team" dancing Apollo instead of the European companies we get to see over this side of the Atlantic - what a difference!  Rather more off-kilter, less "polite" (reverential?) - and what a debut from Taylor Stanley: "thrillingly authoritative" indeed.  I shall certainly be returning to this one.

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Watched Apollo.

 

While I admire these four dancers individually...

 

Love this ballet...

 

Am so very grateful to NYCB for its generosity in making it available...

 

This has to be the oddest Apollo I’ve seen in recent recollection! Such an un-aristocratic take. Terpsichore-Tiler Peck a likeable “Girl Next Door” who is about as far removed from my memories of the elegant, tall and aloof Suzanne Farrell. Taylor Stanley about as far from Peter Martins...and what we’re those floppy arm moves at the end of his solo?

 

So much of this ballet’s movement has changed not just since Balanchine’s lifetime but even since a decade ago. Oh my goodness.

 

What a shame that we couldn’t see a taller and more “noble in bearing” cast. Sigh...Yet, I am grateful that this ballet was presented. On to the next one.

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So, you mean this is not the way NYCB normally dance it?  (I've no point of comparison)  I wonder who coached it?

 

I remember Peter Martins - probably the last time NYCB were performing in the UK in "living memory" - saying something to the London Ballet Circle which implied that Balanchine would have appreciated dancers bringing their individuality to the choreography, but of course it was a long time ago and I can't remember his exact words.  Surely Apollo hasn't always been danced by aristocratic dancers?

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I found myself feeling proud for Taylor Stanley in what I think was his debut.  Somehow I revelled in the determined arc of this youth's ascent.  I could feel its grope, paw and fumble rather more than simply idolise and extol it.  It reminded me much more in that respect of Jacques d'Amboise (the first in this role I ever saw - and how lucky I was) and Robbie Fairchild certainly than, say, Peter Martins who was entirely omnipotent from the get-go - and always rightly lauded for it.   Stanley brought the same characterful soul to this role he brings to all his many etchings in the Peck canon and oh, so vividly in Robbins' Opus 19/The Dreamer.  (Funny, just typing '19' now makes me shudder!)    

 

(Again, these archival films were never meant for public release.  For one thing no producer would let the sound recording pass even minimum muster in terms of a commercial approach.  This fact - as I've said before - somehow makes these recordings all the more special - as if we are peeking through a keyhole.  I am grateful and feel privileged.)  

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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I'm intrigued. I haven't seen this for many years - probably only a couple of times since the Royal Ballet danced it in the days of Dowell/McLeary. what happened to the birth of Apollo? Was this in earlier versions only? 

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5 hours ago, alison said:

So, you mean this is not the way NYCB normally dance it?  (I've no point of comparison)  I wonder who coached it?

 

I remember Peter Martins - probably the last time NYCB were performing in the UK in "living memory" - saying something to the London Ballet Circle which implied that Balanchine would have appreciated dancers bringing their individuality to the choreography, but of course it was a long time ago and I can't remember his exact words.  Surely Apollo hasn't always been danced by aristocratic dancers?

 

There is no wrong or right take, just personal preferences. Farrell/Martins were the first I saw live, so they’re my benchmark...elegant and godlike. But cute-and-perky can also be a legit take. Among current or recent NYCB ballerinas I prefer  Kowroski or Whelan in the role of T...and, a bit further back, Hubbe as A. (I dream about Reichlen as T but she’s only danced Poly.)  But that’s because the images of Farrell/Martins will forever be emblazoned in my mind. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.

 

Btw, I also have an issue with muses  who constantly smile, as we used to see with Mariinsky ballerinas. Remember Assylmuratova’s or Part’s muses in Mariinsky or ABT Apollos? I remember that being a hot topic of discussion back in the day.

Edited by Jeannette
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Ninamargaret, NYCB dance the "topped and tailed" version - both the birth prologue and the ascent to Olympus are cut.  I miss both.  But you've reminded me that I was going to wonder out loud (if you see what I mean) whether not having the prologue makes a difference to the interpretation, and whether dancers feel they need to be more wobbly, for want of a better word, if the audience hasn't seen Apollo going from birth to ... wherever he is when NYCB's version starts.

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10 minutes ago, alison said:

Ninamargaret, NYCB dance the "topped and tailed" version - both the birth prologue and the ascent to Olympus are cut.  I miss both.  But you've reminded me that I was going to wonder out loud (if you see what I mean) whether not having the prologue makes a difference to the interpretation, and whether dancers feel they need to be more wobbly, for want of a better word, if the audience hasn't seen Apollo going from birth to ... wherever he is when NYCB's version starts.

yes, I felt that it started in the middle and didn't finish! I also loved The original John Craxton  designs but that's another matter, and I'm happy with the 'no designs' version. But I wonder if Balanchine authorised the ommission ? 

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I loathe the truncated version, but it WAS all Balanchine’s doing, when he revived the ballet for Baryshnikov.

As for interpretations and style, for many years Jacques d’Amboise and Eddie Villella were the house’s most frequent Apollo’s, and they brought a rawness to the role missing in Martins’ ready-made Greek godliness.

Edited by now voyager
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I missed the opening and closing scenes very much too, but great to see NYCB dance Apollo, liked the side shots which showed the people watching from the wings! 

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