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Shall we select our “top five” ballet streams of the past five+ months? With last night’s closing program from Vail, an intense dance-stream season is winding down.

 

I made my selections based only on “brand new” content that had never before been streamed or cinemacast before the COVID situation. In other words, either new works or, if already seen, danced by a company not before seen in a certain ballet.

 

 First, my top-15 (or so) shortlist, by city/company...all very generous with streaming:

 

Buenos Aires, Teatro Colon Ballet: Coppelia in the beloved version danced by ABT for decades...yet never before filmed (that I know)

 

Copenhagen, RDB: Jewels, especially gorgeous in Emeralds (Susanne Grinder!)

 

London, ROH: The Cellist + honorable mention “Blessed Spirits” with Vadim M!

 

London, ENB: Nora by Stina Quagebeur

 

New York, NYCB: Donizetti Variations (Concerto DSCH close behind)

 

New York, Dance Th of Harlem: Balamouk By Lopez Ochoa

 

New York, Ballet Hispanico: El Viaje by Liang

 

Perm Ballet, Russia: Fadetta, full 3-act rarity by Boyarchikov-after-Lavrovsky

 

Philadelphia, Penn. Ballet: Trigger Touch Fade  by Elo

 

San Francisco Ballet: Anima Animus by Dawson

 

Stuttgart Ballet: Initials R.B.M.E. by Cranko (with Haydee/Jurgen Rose   Sleeping Beauty a close 2nd)

 

Seattle, Pacific NW Ballet: their historic Giselle, even if not an optimal filming

 

Vail Festival Digital Edition in general...Balanchine’s rare Elegie  especially welcomed

 

My Top 5 winners are....

 

1. INITIALS R.B.M.E.!!!!!!! Stuttgart

2. Donizetti Variations, NYCB

3. Fadetta, Perm

4. Balamouk, DTHarlem

5. Trigger Touch Fade, Pennsylv.

 

Bonus-

Best miniature: Vadim Muntagirov In Dance of the Blessed Spirits

 

What a crazy, fabulous ride we’ve had through these streams...yet tempered with the knowledge of the sad reason behind it all. Still, imagine how long it would’ve taken us (and at what cost) to travel the globe to see all of these amazing ballets.

 

Edited by Jeannette
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Thanks, Alison. Miami and Arizona Ballets also presented significant digital seasons...such as Peck’s Heatscape and Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances from Miami...or several Balanchines and Ib Andersen’s “desert ballets” from Arizona (but filmed with one far-view camera, alas). We saw many, many ballets from the comfort of our living rooms during the past five months.

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So which digitally-presented ballets were your favourites?

 

My list didn’t include ballets that had been presented prior to COVID (streams, cinemas, TV, DVDs and such)...such as most or all of the Mariinsky and Bolshoi offerings...and most of the full-length Danish, Parisian or Viennese offerings (and older Royal Ballet works reprised for free). Maybe you loved those, if they were your first viewings of these performances?

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Oh what an interesting thread - come on folks let us know.

 

Here are mine:

 

1.  Stuttgart Ballet - Mayerling - loved everything about it!

 

2.  Stuttgart Ballet - Initials RBME

 

3.  Pennsylvania Ballet - Trigger Touch Fade (but hard to decide as I enjoyed everything I watched by them).

 

4.  Northern Ballet - Dracula ... well it is Northern Ballet!!

 

5.  Ballet Hispanico - Waiting for Pepe (I'm a huge admirer of Carlos Pons Guerra's work)

 

6.  Dance Theatre of Harlem - Balamouk

 

7.  Royal Ballet - The Cellist

 

8.  Dutch National Ballet - Don Quixote

 

9.  Northern Ballet - 50th Anniversary Gala snippets of Carmen and Madame Butterfly

 

10.  Northern Ballet - For an Instant

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My favourites are :-

 

1. Merry Widow with Nunez. Teatro Colon.

2. Manon with Muntagirov. Japanese Ballet and of course his RB Dance of the Blessed Spirits.

3. La Sylphide. ENB.

4. RBME .Stuttgart Ballet

5. Rosalinde. Estonia Ballet

6. San Francisco Ballet gala.

7. Pennefather Films. The Sun is God. (I don't know if this is a lockdown film but I saw it in lockdown and thought it terrific.)

8. Ballo Della Regina. Royal Danish Ballet.

9. La Bayadere with Osipova/Lantratov. Perm Ballet.

10. Scotch Symphony. American Ballet School.

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There has been so, so much to enjoy from so, so many sources for which one is keenly appreciative.

 

If I had to take JUST ONE from this period it would be the NYCB out-take, Paw de Deux.  It was filled with very special guest artists (guest artists being something that NYCB do very rarely) and was I thought inspired in terms of its imagination.  The fact that it made me smile during these challenging times was a considerable boon.  NYCB has come through in a manner I would not have previously deigned to hope they might.  I very much look forward to the Autumn Digital Season which I assume will stretch into the the now cancelled Nutcracker segment as well.  Also I have to say that the leadership's repeated conviction on developing diversity - seeded by the already commenced work at SAB - especially in light of the BLM campaign - has been refreshing and well warranted. 

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I’m sad that I really didn’t take full advantage of what was on offer, partly because my concentration has been really poor during this strange time. Having said that, I really enjoyed some of the BRB At Home content, particularly Celine Gittens dancing The Swan, the gorgeous Alone Together, and the pas de deux from Concerto danced by Jenna Roberts and Tyrone Singleton. All of these were a joy to watch whilst poignantly reminding me of what is being missed. A huge thank you to all concerned. I also adored La Fille Mal Gardee from the RB, pure delight, an absolute tonic. I didn’t get round to booking for Sleeping Beauty this season, as I was prioritising other ballets, so it was a real treat to be able to watch - every time I see SB, I’m surprised that I had forgotten how much I like it, if that makes sense - especially the last act. I’m someone who really enjoys lots of divertissements, so it’s perfect. Lastly, I saw some snippets of the NB gala, and particularly the pdd from Madame Butterfly- lovely Momoko Hirata and Cesar Morales. These were my highlights.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Bruce Wall said:

There has been so, so much to enjoy from so, so many sources for which one is keenly appreciative.

 

If I had to take JUST ONE from this period it would be the NYCB out-take, Paw de Deux.  It was filled with very special guest artists (guest artists being something that NYCB do very rarely) and was I thought inspired in terms of its imagination.  The fact that it made me smile during these challenging times was a considerable boon. 

Just watched Paw de Deux, Thanks Bruce.  While a cat might not feel so cooperative in dancing with a human pretending to be a cat, a self-respecting cat would undoubtedly accept being Apollo, who is, after all, a god. 😺

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2 hours ago, MargaretN7 said:

Just watched Paw de Deux, Thanks Bruce.  While a cat might not feel so cooperative in dancing with a human pretending to be a cat, a self-respecting cat would undoubtedly accept being Apollo, who is, after all, a god. 😺

 

I thought that very cool cat simply superb.  What a performer ... and musical too!!  

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So many good things.

 

The two companies which stood out for me were Stuttgart and San Francisco. Both incredibly strong and disciplined and musical. Loved everything they offered.

 

 

Favourites as follows ... All first viewings except for SYLVIA

 

Stuttgart  MAYERLING and CONCERTO FOR FLUTE AND HARP

San Francisco BALLET GALA

Miami City Ballet SYMPHONIC DANCES Ratmansky

NYCB DONIZETTI VARIATIONS and CONCERTO DSCH Ratmansky

Royal Ballet THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

Vienna State Opera Ballet SYLVIA Manuel Legris

Paris Opera Ballet PLAY Alexander Eckmann

Perm Opera Ballet CINDERELLA Alexey Miroshnichenko

Mariinsky THE LITTLE HUMPBACKED HORSE Ratmansky

Bolshoi A HERO OF OUR TIME Yuri Possokhov

La Scala LE CORSAIRE Holmes

Royal Danish Ballet JACOBS PILLOW PROGRAMME and BALLO DELLA REGINA

 

 

 

 

Edited by stucha
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I wasn't able to watch frequently enough to create my 'top ten' but I am incredibly grateful to all the companies for their output since March and I have derived huge pleasure from being able to 'get to know' companies and dancers from all over the world.

I hope that the new ways of reaching audiences will be sustained (in a mix with live performances) because it really does seem as if new audiences for ballet have been reached online.

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Stand outs for me have been 

*NYCB Donizetti Variations

*NYCB Allegro Brillante

*Dutch National Ballet Mata Hari (also best for it's beautiful filmography)

*Perm Ballet La Bayadere with Osipiva/Alexandrova Lantratov 

*ENB La Sylphide

So many others as well it's hard to pick and choose but I have also enjoyed various snippets from The Trocks and numerous versions of Don Quixote! 

 

Edited by Don Q Fan
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