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NYCB Winter Season 24 – Musings …


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NYCB Winter Season 24 – Musings …

 

As NYCB will be at Sadler’s Wells in March with a contemporary programme (as suited to the venue and selected by its Director, Sir Alistair Spalding) I thought I would add a few impressionary droplets from the actual NYCB Winter Season given that I will see the majority of performances.

 

Droplet 1 – Opening Week

 

I’ll start this not on the State Theatre stage but in an SAB studio – given that while NYCB (as formally of that title) is in its 75th Anniversary Season, SAB (School of American Ballet) – which Balanchine insisted should be established first – is understandably in its 90th Anniversary one. 

Yesterday I had the great good fortune to attend an ‘Advanced Men’s Variation Class’.  This was overseen on a guest-teacher basis by the former ABT principal, Maxim Beloserkovsky who definitely put the 13 very talented SAB lads (they only ever look younger to me) through their defining places in his first SAB outing in this capacity.  The focus of the majority was on the male solo variation from the traditional Giselle Peasant PDD.  I was delighted with this having just seen seven ENB performances of that same in the preceding weeks. 

While this variation might well be familiar to students at the Royal or ENB schools as the work is a key part of their respective Company’s rep it was assuredly largely foreign to this collection.  Certainly they had never danced it before.  (If they had been asked to work on, say, the male variations from Balanchines’ Cortège Hongrois or Kammermusik No. 2 I’m certain it would have been an entirely different tale as these would be familiar to them as, say, those from Ashton’s Symphonic Variations would have been to the RBS lads of years ago.) 

 

These chaps literally learnt the variation – performing its three sections in groups of three – in fifteen minutes flat.  They then went on to repeatedly perform the whole in groups with ever increasing speed and precision and corrections by Beloserkovsky.  It was clear from comments he made that Beloserkovsky had expected them to take much longer than they did.  ‘You guys …. ‘ the ballet master mused.  He shared with them tips that he had learned off of Baryshnikov – who had in fact both promoted and led him for part of the time he was at ABT certainly.   You could see the lads were delighted with these.  He mentioned that he had made his debut in that soloist role on the occasion of Bujones’ very last performance of Albrecht in Giselle.  I’m certain then I will have seen it.  Bujones remains – to this very day – the greatest technical dancer it has ever been my privilege to witness.  (I realise he sadly danced very little in the UK but a few hereabouts I’m sure will have seen him.)  It struck me that it was on these very floors that Bujones himself would have strode and flown as a SAB student under the late, great Stanley Williams who – as Nureyev remarked – changed the face of male dancing forevermore.  These traditions are very much alive here and thriving under the current NYCB/SAB leadership. 

 

What separates the NYCB male dancers from so many others in companies around the world is their silent landings.  This is SO exciting especially when en masse.  Beloserkovsky complimented the lads on this.  He congratulated them for ‘pulling up from the back’ allowing the body full freedom to complete each movement.  ‘In ballet you shouldn’t hear the landings’ he said.  Certainly it is part of these lads’ unique heritage.  Balanchine did not like the noise of landings because it interrupted the music and – as is still the case at NYCB – the Music is ALL.  At NYCB the music ALWAYS COMES FIRST. 

I sometimes have to laugh as more often than not you will hear the audiencecome out onto the State Theater's glorious promenades talking about the music.  That is quite different situation in my experience from Covent Garden.  (If you haven’t been do yourself a favour and find a way to visit this building that in part Balanchine built as it is - at least in my estimation - truly magical; so regally grand in line and acoustic.)  EVERYTHING here is derived FROM the music.  THAT is what is being celebrated:  Certainly it is the apex of any curtain call – and that purposefully.

 

On the opening night of the Spring season – Tuesday of this week – but a few short days ago – this was made vividly clear in a ‘See The Music’ session before the performance of Robbins’ Four Seasons.  (I remember NYCB doing this same Robbins work at the Coliseum in 2008 to very thin audiences.  That was especially sad as it was one of only two times that London would see Damien Woetzel of whom Baryshnikov would say ‘he out-Baryshnikoved ME’.  The other was in the final electric movement of Western Symphony which, again unfortunately, played to a sadly diminished house during NYCB’s last London run.)    On this particular night in 2024 Manhattan prior to the commencement of that piece the orchestra under Brit Andrew Litton (who you will have seen conduct a few of the Royal’s Nutcrackers last year) became brightly lit and literally levitated up from the pit floor.  (This was a facility that Balanchine insisted upon in the construct of the theatre.)  This was so Litton could give a history of Tchaikovsky’s music and interweave extracts from that same into his commentary.  Then - as the brief overture to Robbins’ operatic extravaganza began - the orchestra was again lowered down again into the pit and the lights came up on stage. 

 

The extraordinary Emma Von Enck (who attended with her sister [also now in NYCB] the RBS before moving on to SAB) sizzled in the Winter segment solo section – oh, so very fiercely classical it is – and the lustrous Indiana Woodward delighted in the Spring segment within the refined hands of Anthony Huxley.  Still, it was the incandescent Tiler Peck in and well above the arms of her astounding partner – the ever-surprising Roman Meija - who simply astounded in the witty Fall sequence.  Mouths stood agape; awe once again – as ever it seems with the pair – had literally been struck. 

 

The next night – again in Robbins – Peck did more of the same – BUT IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MILEAU – given that it was the last movement of Robbins haunting 'In the Night'.  She added drama through the music where the night before – albeit beautifully danced – it just didn’t seem to exist.  This was – as a friend jokingly put it – ‘Manon in a movement’.  (By the bye, Peck has said she would like ‘to dance Manon’.  After this I’d certainly like to see it.  I can but believe it would be a different work – much as the Robbins here seemed to be.  I don’t think it/she would really fit into the Royal’s outfit – and besides they don’t need a guest artist – but perhaps Paris where Peck has guested before.)  Here Peck was partnered by the equally interpretatively eloquent Gilbert Bolden III.  (I’ve noticed since his promotion, Bolden has somehow ditched the ‘III' in most of his mentions.)  What a couple!  What a ballet!  Earlier Woodward and a scintillating Joe Gorden were choreographically the very eye of romantic love in the first movement. 

 

Last night Peck was again at the very heart of Justin Peck’s (no relation) ebullient ‘The Times are Racing’.  This is just one of Peck’s growing number of ‘sneaker’ ballets where you will see both men and women ‘en pointe’.  Talk about an audience leaving on air.  Both of these Pecks (Justin and Tiler) clearly know how to hit their respective balls out of the park.  Everyone left on a high.  Meija had been scheduled to dance opposite his partner (in the role she, of course, created opposite her then husband, Robbie Fairchild) but was out and so was here replaced by the translucent Taylor Stanley – yet another (Justin) Peck muse.  It was SO glorious to see the two them together – A REAL honour that happens all too rarely in my experience.

 

Speaking of Justin Peck the cast list is out for next week’s performance of Rotunda.  It is as follows -

ROTUNDA: Mearns, M. Miller, Bologna, Adams, Woodward, Phelan, Ulbricht, Abreu, Danchig-Waring, Villarini-Vélez,  Furlan, Bolden

 

It seems at this point there is just one cast.  (This may later change.)  Thus, I would assume it is these core dancers who will in fact come to London/Sadler’s Wells in March.  How wonderful to have so many of the originators.  I was at its opening – just before the pandemic so cruelly cut into the NYCB and world histories.  In it there is a wonderful solo for the incredible Sara Mearns – she was rehearsing it on the State Theater stage just yesterday - and a fine PDD for her and Bolden.  He now is certainly quite a different dancer from the one he was then.  His fire has been lit and I’m certain so shall ours.  Let’s just hope there might be an audience to greet it in London.  I can only assume in this instance that Spalding will have known best.  Sadly if he doesn’t I fear that may well put paid for the Company showing up on British shores for a substantial period.   Understandably, - should that prove to be the sad case again - there would be no reason for such.  The Brits will just have moved their interests on to different pastures.  Still, we’re counting on you, Mr. Spalding, for knowing your audience.  It’s your choice after all.  The responsibility - having been given, taken and sealed - is now in your hands.  

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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43 minutes ago, alison said:

Fear not, Bruce, sadler's Wells was selling well the last time I looked.


Definitely; I booked tickets yesterday because it was much more sold than last time I looked. 

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WHAT WAS I THINKING OF .... Doing too many things at one time most like - THE MUSIC FOR ROBBINS' FOUR SEASONS IS BY VERDI - WITH MUSIC EXTRACTED FROM THE BALLETS HE WROTE WHICH ARE USUALLY CUT FROM THEM NOW.   LARGELY THE MUSIC FOR THIS WORK IS DRAWN  FROM THE BALLET MUSIC FOR  Les vêpres siciliennes.  

 

Tonight was most agreeable.  Some highlights - 

 

  • Danny Ulbrecht was as ever zany and delightful in Robbins' Fancy Free.  The audience was delighted with the potency of his solo.  Really admired Jovani Furlan in this too tonight.  I remember watching him when he was first in rehearsal for this.  He has come such a way.   the level of his characterful detail was in and of itself instructive and appropriately entertaining.  
     
  • Olivia MacKinnon (her sister was the first female 'passer by' in Fancy Free tonight) and the lovely Australian dancer, Alec Knight were blissful in the first movement of In the Night.  They were youth personified.  What a truly radiant ballet this is and here made all the more so by the evocatively light touch on the piano keyboard by NYCB's Elaine Chelton.  It makes such a vast difference.  The playing of DAAG at Covent Garden often made me want to cry - for quite the wrong reasons - and I could just picture Robbins himself lighting up - as he often did - in frustrated anger.  Sara Mearns was intoxicating in the second movement brilliantly partnered tonight by Tyler Angle - get ready London for his now bald head.  Myself I felt it offered here a special mystique.  The audience purred over Unity Phelan and Andrew Veyette in the stunning third movement.  I did too but it was only slightly dimmed by the vastly vibrant memory of Tiler Peck and Gilbert Bolden but two nights previous.
     
  • Talking of Ms. Peck - or Queen Tiler as some have taken to calling her - she again shed glory throughout the Fall Movement in Robbins' Four Seasons tonight.  Those variation turns were like hurricanes and each belted with the radiance of her smiling glow.  Andy Veyette stepped in for a clearly injured Roman Meija and did a fine job.  How this guy - who has been with the Company longer than he would want anyone to count I'm sure - and has virtually NO plie left - manages to pull these performances out of the bag heaven ONLY knows.  I have a feeling this is home stretch for him - and he knows it - and he is simply going for broke when and as he can.  [He ended facing upstage after once sequence of thrilling turns tonight.  It had been SO fast it clearly came as a shock even to him.  He stretched his arms out to the backdrop in head bouncing recognition.  Part of the joy is that he doesn't care.  He knows he's done his very best - and even then there are few who could beat him - certainly at that velocity.) 

    Again Emma von Enck delighted in Winter; Indiana Woodward and Anthony Huxley were in total mastery in Spring - Indeed his variation tonight was TRULY STUNNING - the speed, the precision and all of those silent landings - as was the case with the magnificent quartet of lads - whose variation every bit matches - and then excels - that in Raymonda's third act.  The precision of their timings all set off from each other at certain points - and silence of their landings en masse was cheered to the rafters as it so rightfully deserved.  The summer section for me will even now ALWAYS have Helene Alexopulos stamped on it.  How could ANYONE who saw her in it forget her --- That said, Stephanie Saland did come VERY close.  Tonight's was a masterful display by Emlie Gerrity and the wittily wily (at least here) Adrian Danching-Waring.  Robbins was such a master.  You just never get tired of the thrilling classical detail of his works, the simplicity of means he employed to achieve the greatest possible theatrical effect in the most original manner and his over-abiding musicality which - as ever at NYCB - he helped to both sew and see rule.  As ever with this MASTER, a gift.  
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I'm now sad we're not getting Robbins' Four Seasons and Fancy Free in London! I don't like the [mostly unflattering] costume designs of Rotunda and it's very difficult to avoid them when trying to watch the dancers dancing. Still, NYCB is here less than once every 10 years.....have already bought our tickets. Worth going just for Duo Concertant. 

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25 minutes ago, Emeralds said:

I'm now sad we're not getting Robbins' Four Seasons and Fancy Free in London! I don't like the [mostly unflattering] costume designs of Rotunda and it's very difficult to avoid them when trying to watch the dancers dancing. Still, NYCB is here less than once every 10 years.....have already bought our tickets. Worth going just for Duo Concertant. 

 

I'd be much less concerned about the costumes for Rotunda than I would about those for Gustave and Love Letter.  Those two really do get in the way of the dance - at least in my opinion.  Those for Love Letter (on the shuffle) were done as part of a Fashion Gala and those results are very often most bizarre - with whichever noted designer wanting to impress their own industry more anyone else - or so it always seems to me.  I actually liked the ones done for Peck's Les Belles Lettres (all lace for this lovely ballet) but am told by dancers that the lace as applied to the fabric actually has no give whatsoever and it makes it very difficult to move in.  Go figure.  Who is serving who?  Still, this is what Sparling chose.  He will know best in terms of the Well's audience he has built I'm sure.  

 

The costumes that NYCB now use for In The Night are those refashioned by Dowell for the Royal Ballet.  I know I will have seen the originals by fashion illustrator Joe Eula but for the life of me I can't remember them.  That said I will have seen them a goodly number of times.  Speaking to someone in the Patron's Lounge I was told that they were actually very close to those Dowell himself refashioned.  

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Bruce Wall said:

 

I'd be much less concerned about the costumes for Rotunda than I would about those for Gustave and Love Letter.  Those two really do get in the way of the dance - at least in my opinion.  Those for Love Letter (on the shuffle) were done as part of a Fashion Gala and those results are very often most bizarre - with whichever noted designer wanting to impress their own industry more any anything else.  I actually like th it always seems.  I actually liked the ones done for Peck's Les Belles Lettres (all lace for this lovely ballet) but am told by dancers that the lace as applied to the fabric actually has no give whatsoever and it makes it very difficult to move in.  Go figure.  Who is serving who?  Still, this is what Sparling chose.  He will know best in terms of the Well's audience he has built I'm sure.  

Gustave as well, Bruce! You can see why I commented that I'm mostly just going for Duo Concertant. Actually, a lot of the Giles Deacon designs for Love Letter (on shuffle) are not bad. Maybe only 1 or 2 men's costumes I'm not as keen on but at least they're coherent. Justin Peck sometimes looks like he's pushed his dancers out on stage before they've finished in Costume and Makeup, or that he's pulled them out of a rehearsal studio to dance on stage because the entire cast of the next ballet were trapped in an elevator or for some reason couldn't get to the stage! Not keen on "sneaker ballets" either. I liked his Paz de la jolla and Year of the  Rabbit though. 

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46 minutes ago, Emeralds said:

Gustave as well, Bruce! You can see why I commented that I'm mostly just going for Duo Concertant. Actually, a lot of the Giles Deacon designs for Love Letter (on shuffle) are not bad. Maybe only 1 or 2 men's costumes I'm not as keen on but at least they're coherent. Justin Peck sometimes looks like he's pushed his dancers out on stage before they've finished in Costume and Makeup, or that he's pulled them out of a rehearsal studio to dance on stage because the entire cast of the next ballet were trapped in an elevator or for some reason couldn't get to the stage! Not keen on "sneaker ballets" either. I liked his Paz de la jolla and Year of the  Rabbit though. 

 

The thing with Peck is that there are SO many ballets now there is a wide variety of choice.  You can definitely see his stamp on it - i.e., read his voice - much like you can - it must be said - with McGregor - but they come from very different idioms.  Peck always celebrates community - but then that's 'very' Balanchine and the world he grew up in.  Certainly he knows how to BALLETICALLY move larger groups of people.  That's a defining skill in my book.  My favourite of his remains Rodeo - now the first movement of Copeland Episodes - which ironically is being given again starting with tomorrow's matinee with (and I fear this is a mistake) an interval added.  When the Copeland opened last season it went straight through at 84 minutes- but a lot of NYCB patrons complained.  I don't really see why it should be a problem as they sit that long for films (or maybe now they don't.  Maybe film-going itself too is a thing of the concerted past.)  That choice here is defined not by commercial return but to best sanction patrons.  That I know.  One good thing about NYCB is that the intervals are STRICTLY kept to 20 minutes.  Those bells will keep ringing and they have earned the respect of patrons.  There are some venues I'm sure we all know where things can be stretched in this regard to wearying proportions.  (There are, in fact, some venues when - on those occasions you can now actually hear the announcements - that when they announce, say, a 'five minute warning' many believe - through experience - it will be at least ten.)  These kind of behaviours sometimes take the edge off of theatrical offerings I find.  They themselves can become a slog.  I must confess I often find this with the MacMillan full-lengths.  I find the second (especially when extended) intervals often energy sapping.  

 

I liked the original costumes for Rodeo.  The lads all looked like they were in modified British football kit (and that ballet is mostly men - given that there is only one woman - and now in Peck's episodic celebration of all things Copeland, the second movement answers such with it being all women and only one man).  The original Rodeo togs suited that ballet brilliantly.  There are some changes to the work that I would like to see restored - like the sequences with the rope - but blessedly they are minor.  Now we see it in fluorescent colours which - when taken en masse - can be quite eye catching.  Certainly they make it much more difficult to sleep through - should you ever find yourself so inclined.  AND the music - THAT MUSIC - what a towering thrill it is.  

 

 

 

 

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The costumes for Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes are good - nicer than Rotunda. 84 minutes of dancing sounds like good value for money! (Maybe audience members in standing places might find it a physical challenge if they have nothing to lean on.) Would be interesting to see how it works with an added intermission.

 

Nowadays in London there seems to be a trend for lots of new productions to be staged without an interval for the entire show so 84 minutes is by no means very long when compared to a lot of plays, symphonies (Mahler's 3rd Symphony is a continuous 93 minutes at least), opera acts etc. 

 

Tiler Peck is, of course, already Queen Tiler as far as I'm concerned, for a good number of years, 😀 but especially after her tips and classes online during the pandemic that inspired and cheered up so many people around the world.  👸 

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Thanks, Emeralds.  

 

Sadly - unless it is Nutcracker and very few besides - perhaps Tiler's farewell - and let's pray that is very far in the future - you just can't get standing room at NYCB.  In decades gone by it was ALWAYS SOLD - REGARDLESS.  I would buy mine as soon as those precious casting sheets would go up in the vast marble canyon that is the State Theater main lobby.  How many performances did I see at $2.50 a throw? --  (and even then that was an increase on the $1 it was when I first went) --  A LOT I CAN TELL YOU.  Those days are now FOREVER gone.   I have been pleased that at least for the the last few performances the FOURTH RING WAS OPEN!  That's a change from seasons past - but you have to wait until the rest has suitably sold before they will do so.  In the old days it just didn't matter.  Very often the Fourth Ring was largely a sea of red I seem to recall .... Not down front mind.  Fourth Ring first row is a spectacular view.  I well remember some people - some famous ones in fact (I well remember Susan Sontag being one) - who would ONLY sit THERE - nowhere else.  Having sat there myself on occasion I can well understand why.

 

As it is now, I went to the Box Office the other day to exchange a subscription ticket for 10th February evening to matinee.  (I pay $40 for that seat because I have had an 'established' subscription.  The punter off the street going to the box office will play a hefty $73 for that same ticket.)  My subscription is on the Second Ring.  (The lad who stood at the back of the Fourth would have thought this an absolute impossibility - a world away!!)  Still I had to laugh.  The lady behind the screen said they really didn't have anything as 'it was selling well'.  She suggested that I come back next week 'when the THIRD RING MIGHT BE OPEN'!!!   

 

What a different world IT ALL IS.

 

 

 

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Watching the trailer, I can see what you mean Bruce,  about the costumes for 'Gustave'-!  as if purposefully designed to conceal the lines of legs and arms..( though how much that matters in this particular work I wonder. )

Anyway, ticket duly booked because it is always great to see NYCB and how often do we see any Balanchine in the UK. .nothing like often enough.

 

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Just a few notations about yesterday - 

 

  • Lots of replacements in the matinee (only one in the evening) last night.  I begin to wonder if I will ever see Aaron Sanz - such a fine lyrical dancer - again.  It's not that he isn't cast - he is - it's just that for the past couple of years he's barely EVER appeared.  I have to say I'm not even seeing him in the assigned roles during rehearsal.  Something's clearly amiss.  Hope he 's OK.  Hats off to Danny Ulbrecht and Andy Veyette - yet again.  What drugs are these guys on!  Neither is young any longer - Veyette has been with NYCB for 25 years - (there I've said it) - Danny for longer - going back to when Peter Martins threw him into his Sleeping Beauty production premiere when he was still an SAB student and that was decades ago at the tail end of the period I still lived in NYC.  They are marvels of their kind.  So pleased Danny will be coming to London it seems - and he's such a lovely person too for any who like to go stage doors - and I know there are a few hereabouts.  Danny was back in Fancy Free in the matinee - again filling in for Meija who I've got a feeling will be in tip top shape for the premiere of Tiler's new work next week.  Again Danny amazed.  The second cast is so characterful - and the bonhomme of the lads is here delivered with the kind of ease which makes it so inviting for the audience.  Such a far cry from MacMillian.  Harrison Coll was sweet when trying to be 'cool' in his sweep and Sebastian Villarini-Velez brought a heart to his sailor, one not only furious in his beat in that now famous modified rumba (oh, those memories of Bujones and Woetzel in that role) but one which clearly bled which was a neat (and not easy) trick.  Veyette did his mandated turn in Robbins In the Night - only to turn directly around (as did Danny) - to go straight into Four Seasons.  Danny as the puck interloper (the audience hollered their delight) and Andy opposite Queen Tiler (they clearly enjoy dancing together as they have often done).  She again reigned supreme in terms of the control of speed itself within the colourfully fragrant bounds of her magical musical realisation.  A word of praise too for Chun Wai Chan - what a stunning dancer he is - for stepping into the Spring segement for Jovani Furlan.  His solo - much as Anthony Huxley had blissfully demonstrated the other evening - was an evocation of rigorous Robbins fidelity.  
     
  • Speaking of that very fine artist Jovani Furlan - NYCB has just released a video of him narrating a video on the PDT from Rotunda which I think you might enjoy.  It will look good I'm sure on the Wells' stage.  it is of an appropriate scale.  They've also just released one of the introductory videos on the NYCB corps member Andres Zungia.  All these guys dance SO much.  Andres is Mexican.  I think you might enjoy this too.  I did.  
     
  • Last night saw the first outing for the second cast in Wheeldon's Polyphonia to the Ligeti piano pieces so vividly rendered by NYCB's Stephen Gosling and Alan Moverman.  What I love about Wheeldon is the fact that he fashions his choreography specifically tailored to the current focus of each Company's strengths.  Obviously he knows NYCB well having been a member longer there himself than anywhere else and he deploys an appropriately strict balletic focus here; one certainly very different from that he serves up in different locales.  I was particularly taken with Sara Adams (such a vibrant dancer) in the sixth segment (from The Wedding Dances) where she was vividly partnered by the always mesmeric Cameron Grant who some will remember from the recent Tiler Peck & Friends at the Wells. 

    The second piece was Martins' Barber Violin Concerto.  I sat there wishing that they could bring back the original cast as that made this work - not in my opinion a great piece of choreography - into 'an event' which gave it pulsating purpose.  THAT I fear it lacks at this particular point in time.  The originals were Merrill Ashley and Adam Luders (who was in the house last night with Amar Ramasar whose girlfriend - the always vivacious and wonderful Alexa Maxwell - was marking several debuts all strongly delivered) opposite the contemporary dance powerhouses Kate Johnson and David Parsons.  Each so vibrant; each seemingly thrilled to be matched in the face of a different idiom.  I also prominently remember the occasion when Parsons was out and Baryshnikov at the last minute stepped into the contemporary male role, having only recently left the balletic world.  Last night's dancers were all brilliant ones:  The ever-striking Sara Mearns, the youthful Australian Alec Knight (on the balletic side) and Gilbert Bolden and Emma Von Enck in the modern dance corner.  Manfully they etched their charges - Sara Means and Bolden hauntingly so in the second Movement - but this choreography will only ever stretch so far I fear - and that in spite of one of the mostly euphorically rich musical scores I know.  

    The programme closed again with Peck's The Times are Racing and the audience was again sent out of the theatre in a jubilant mood.  The precision that Harrison Coll and little K J Takashashi (who is only just out of being a teenager himself and was also involved in Tiler Peck & Friends in London) found in that duet originally fashioned by Peck for himself and Robbie Fairchild was here emblazoned with an electricity that sparked gasps from the audience.  How they can maintain that rigorous speed for that duration is anyone's guess; a true feat.  In the role originated (and recently danced just the other night) by Tiler Peck, a guest from Pacific Northwest Ballet - run, of course, by that past NYCB powerhouse, Peter Boal - Ashton Edwards made her NYCB debut.  She was simply SUPERB!  What a firecracker she is.  Her duets with the dynamic Taylor Stanley bought Black Lives Matter to more than vivid roost.  The audience rightfully acclaimed these preeminent efforts.  They are doing it again this afternoon.  I, for just one, simply can't wait.    

 

 

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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REALLY DON'T HAVE TIME - but just wanted to say that there was MUCH to enjoy and embrace in Tiler Peck's new ballet which premiered last night.  The Company have just put a very small segment - from but a transition passage - up on Facebook - Enjoy.

 

https://www.facebook.com/share/v/87hWMyw4f7uQTVR5/?mibextid=xfxF2i 

 

Wish they were bringing this to London instead of Rotunda (which was being shown on the same bill).  Don't really think that's being fair to Peck.  It's not his finest hour - although certainly there are definite community markers of his in it.  Such are much better handled in other pieces and heaven knows there is now a huge range to choose from.  Have to say I don't really think the music is exciting - at least on this hearing - but it is, of course, Sperling's choice.  I'm sure he will know best for his audience.  

 

Ratmansky's Odesa finished last night's programme - What a masterpiece it is.  So vibrant - The lighting too is just so spectacular - as well as the dancing - and the music.  Danny Ulbrecht should be given a medal (he's in the de Luz role - peek at a segment here) and Indiana Woodward with a transcendent Anthony Huxley ruled supreme.  HOW DIFFICULT WAS THAT!!!!  What stands out to me as being just so entirely refreshing is the overall respect the choreographer illustrates in the very fabric of his dance work itself to ALL women - even in the most challenging of dramatic circumstances.  It makes the outcomes of all these twists of fate - so stunningly etched - that much more potent in my book.  

 

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1 hour ago, Bruce Wall said:

just wanted to say that there was MUCH to enjoy and embrace in Tiler Peck's new ballet which premiered last night.  The Company have just put a very small segment - from but a transition passage - up on Facebook - Enjoy.

 

https://www.facebook.com/share/v/87hWMyw4f7uQTVR5/?mibextid=xfxF2i 

 

Wish they were bringing this to London instead of Rotunda (which was being shown on the same bill). 


I did enjoy the segment in the Facebook link, Bruce, and I too wish that NYCB were bringing this to London instead of Rotunda. 

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Just come in from seeing this programme again - The J. Peck - IN THIS INSTANCE - Rotunda - pales in comparison to the T. Peck Ballet (Concerto for Two Pianos) even NOW.  I could see so much more detail this time in Tiler's ballet seeing it for a second time - there is just so much happening in it - all so gloriously musical - and golly what music.  The Poulenc vividly delights and is so gloriously played by this stunning orchestra - but then they play a more diverse and larger rep than any other ballet company orchestra in the world - so it only figures that they should have such a rich command.  The dancers I think could somewhat relax more into it this evening as it wasn't the premiere.  They had that under their belt.  India Bradley and Emma von Enck - so, so special - were a delight and oh, so fast.  They seemed to outdo themselves.  The corps work as ever was superb and the silent landings from both the men and women really allowed for a full appreciate of the music at hand.  Of course, Mejia flew - when doesn't he - and always gives 150% to any assignment he is given.  He just SO ADORES DANCING - and that adoration is rightfully returned.  Chun Wei Chan is just one of the finest BALLET dancers today - think Erik Bruhn and you won't be far off of this lad's mark.  His partnering of the ravishing Ms. Nadon - (and then Mira steps into the room) - was simply out of this world - such as just don't very often see - at least I don't - and that with TRULY perfect placement. 

 

The reason why this won't be done at the Wells, Scheherezade, is because it is (a) simply TOO large, i.e., too large not just for the Wells but for London.  There is no stage in the city large enough to encompass the sweep of this piece.  If it was at the ROH Mejia would be half way across the stage in just his second entrance.  Indeed your comment made me remember that when the Royal Ballet as was used to visit NYC every - or every other year - at the Met they would put in a false proscenium to accommodate the British sight lines simply for this reason.  It was so fitting for the glories of the Ashton rep and those from the MacMillan that they brought.  The second reason (b) that such couldn't be done at the Wells is because the cost of the orchestra - apart from anything else - would be too great (as Spalding himself pointed out) and the pit would be too small to accommodate them at any rate.  Hopefully at some point they will take it to Paris or Vienna or Copenhagen or Munich or Hamburg and you will be able to appropriately catch it there if you can't find a way to see them in their STUNNING home (State) theatre.

 

Of course, the same would ALL be true for Ratmansky's Odesa.  (They changed the spelling of the title this year at Ratmansky's request from the previous Soviet spelling for clearly obvious reasons.)  WHAT A MASTERPIECE THIS IS OF PURE DANCE.  It is like a dramatic balletic tornado and the audience - so lovely to see so many young people in it - get entirely swept up into its heady glory.  You can literally feel the sweep.  How Danny Ulbrecht does what he does - even now - boggles the mind.  To my mind this is one of the great dramatic balletic performances.  So different from the past (MacMillian) or current (McGregor) mold people hereabouts are so rightfully proud of.  The same goes for the rest of the principals (five in number in this piece apart from the corps).  Sitting here I'm not certain this really would play in London as it is.  Certainly a certain Mr. Crisp wanted to put pay to Ratmansky in London much as he had concertedly done for others (van Manen and Neumeier among the many on his list).  He did his very best in Ratmansky's regard certainly.  Still, I LOVE this ballet.  As far as I'm concerned they could put it on an evening's loop and just let it keep playing.  There is so, SO much extraordinary BALLET in it; so, so very much thrilling theatre specifically depicted through the balletic idiom itself.  This is what makes NYCB stand apart in my book.  The audience tonight left the theatre with their spirits flying.  That is Ratmansky's gift - and expressly in these works he creates for NYCB - which - as I have said - I personally think are among his VERY best.  I so, SO look forward to the premiere of his next one for NYCB on 15th February.  

 

 

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I wish NYCB was bringing Tiler Peck’s Concerto for Two Pianos instead of Pam Tanowitz’s Gustave piece - seeing as we can’t see much dancing anyway with the dancers covered by what look like large bedsheets or parachutes. I thought SWT were obliged to have Rotunda because of the cancelled 2020 performance due to Covid? 

 

I’d be happy to pay extra in ticket prices for a full British orchestra to be hired (seeing as many dance companies  are trying to let go of their orchestras!) to play for them- the pit is big enough for BRB’s Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote-  for any front row ticket holders to be reseated in order to extend the orchestra pit space. We enjoyed Roman Mejia’s dancing at SWT last year and am pleased to report he didn’t fall off the stage or disappear into the wings- or onto Rosebery Avenue 😉- when he finished his jumps. 😁

 

Concerto for Two Pianos is stunning from the brief clip- her Thousandth Orange (which she brought here last March) and Intimate Pages for NB were excellent too. Musical, beautiful lines, and engaging- not a dull moment. If we can’t have Tiler’s ballet this time, I hope Alistair Spalding will invite her back to stage it or bring other pieces she has done/is about to do. Or a new commission! Yay!  

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27 minutes ago, Emeralds said:

I’d be happy to pay extra in ticket prices for a full British orchestra to be hired (seeing as many dance companies  are trying to let go of their orchestras!) to play for them- the pit is big enough for BRB’s Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote-  for any front row ticket holders to be reseated in order to extend the orchestra pit space. We enjoyed Roman Mejia’s dancing at SWT last year and am pleased to report he didn’t fall off the stage or disappear into the wings- or onto Rosebery Avenue 😉- when he finished his jumps. 😁

 

 

Just to note, @Emeralds that Tiler Peck & Friends (and consequently Thousandth Orange) was set for the stage at NYC's exquisite (and entirely remodeled) City Center.  The stage there is actually SMALLER than that at Sadler's Wells.  (Roman was obviously told to constrain his rapture!)  Ironically this is where many of Balanchine's masterpieces were first staged - but then - in the vast majority of instances - he ENLARGED THEM for the State Theatre stage when he finally was able to attain such in 1964.  Miami City - with a nod to Villella - has often staged the original City Center stagings.  I have often thought these too would work well for the ROH.  Sadly they don't seem keen on staging too much Balanchine - which in certain lights - given present priorities of the current fine Director - is entirely understandable.  

I don't think that Tiler would consider Concerto for Two Pianos for London without having to rework it - which I doubt she would do.  (What really would be the point?)  [There is still considerable disquiet here about the inappropriate staging of that one movement from J. Peck's monumental Everywhere We Go at the ROH by the Australian Ballet which apparently was itself unsanctioned for that platform.]  Tiler modeled her piece for Northern Ballet so exquisitely for the two designated venues.  I don't think (sadly) that you'll be seeing that at State Theater somehow.  (Roman would be brilliant in the leading role - given that it was originally set on him - and he, in fact, taught it to the lucky NB lads himself - with Tiler, of course, in the room.  Would have loved to have been a fly on those walls!  I saw it three times and increasingly loved it more and more.  I so look forward to the next time they perform it.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It may well be @alison - specifically it is Poulenc's concerto for two pianos in D Minor with three movements.  London deserves a production suited to its stages to that music - knowing that Tiler's would simply be too large to suit a London venue.  I too would like to see the Hampson - especially knowing it has been specifically framed for British artists.   I have admired much of his work.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, alison said:

Is that concerto the gorgeous one that Christopher Hampson choreographed for ENB as Double Concerto (and which I still wish they would bring back)?

@alison, I didn't manage to catch Hampson's ballet but Jann Parry's review of the performance in the Guardian 22 years ago confirms it is. For a more recent performance, the concerto in Tiler Peck's ballet is also the same one that Liam Scarlett used for the Royal Ballet's Asphodel Meadows. A magnificent concerto! 🎶 

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5 minutes ago, Emeralds said:

@alison, I didn't manage to catch Hampson's ballet but Jann Parry's review of the performance in the Guardian 22 years ago confirms it is. For a more recent performance, the concerto in Tiler Peck's ballet is also the same one that Liam Scarlett used for the Royal Ballet's Asphodel Meadows. A magnificent concerto! 🎶 

 

Oh, I SO loved Asphodel Meadows.  I really do think IMHO it was the BEST thing Scarlett did for the Royal --- Would that he might have been given leeway/encouragement to produce more such ... but the MacMillan specter seems to have come to call/roost ... or is that haunt.   Also loved his relatively early No Man's Land for ENB.  Scarlett did do a piece for NYCB - but it was turning towards his MacMillan darkness at that point and the musical connections so initially vivid were beginning to dull in tandem with the lighting.  It too had music by Poulenc - but this piece was all about death - Acheron.  I remember Anthony Huxley standing out in it - much as he did last night in Ratmansky's oh, so vivid and life enhancing Odesa.  Can't wait to see it again tomorrow afternoon.  

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A NYCB clip on Duo Concertant - which is coming to the Wells in March.  You'd be most lucky to have this cast.  Woodward certainly is a strong feature in Rotunda.  Not certain whether Huxley will come.  Jovani Furlan - who originated a role in Rotunda will I'm almost certain be present and does also dance Duo - although he has very recently (i.e., this week) been out for injury.  [That said he did do the rehearsals for Rotunda I saw.]  I feel certain, however, you will be graced by these excellent musicians.  

 

Correction - FURLAN WILL NOT BE COMING TO LONDON - HERE IS WHAT HE WROTE ON HIS IG RECENTLY - 

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/C2xigZ7AYOI/?hl=en

 

 

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NYCB - as part of its 75th Anniversary season - just released - but a half hour ago - a little tribute by way of the legendary Patricia McBride - 

 


How lucky I was to first see many of the ballets she originated while she was still dancing ... but then hers was an extraordinarily long career ..

 

In this little piece McBride says that Mr. B didn't mind 'as long as he knew you were doing your best'.  This brings me to Sara Mearns - a very mercurial creature - over this past weekend - and I write what I write as a fan, which sincerely I am.  When Sara is 'on' and 'doing her best' there surely can be no better in terms of personal stamp and historic largess in balletic terms.  Everything comes over as being original.  This weekend was not one of those occasions.  The Saturday matinee of Four Seasons - in which she again danced Spring was a case in point.  She just seemed completely out of sorts.  She looked fine - the make up was immaculate ... but she was otherwise leaden.  Purposely so it appeared.   it was if she had come on stage determined to walk (as opposed to dance) through it.  I felt SO sorry for the extraordinary Chun Wei Chan - what a magnificent dancer he is - as you could see from his own kindly concerted demeanour that he was approaching everything - and anything (to do with Sara) - with kid gloves.  His radiant solo was delivered with an oh, so electric sense of relief.  She improved it has to be said a smidge during yesterday's matinee in Rotunda in the central solo and PDD which had, after all, been created for her.  There she did at least attempt (at times) to respond to Gilbert Bolden - and certainly he seemed to stand alone in that luxury of regard.  I love the cock of his eyebrows and sideways glance of those Colgate commercial teeth - as if he were the love-child of Cary Grant and Tony Curtis.  Rotunda is a piece which needs crystalline focus if it is to hold together at the best of times.  With Furlan out it already harbours a slight limp.  There were flashes from Sara here but you still had to piece things together somewhat in and around her.  Bless the life force that is Indiana Woodward and the relaxed lengthy reach of Miriam Miller - whose mind reads ever so brightly at that esteemed height - and, above all, for the stunningly formidable artistry that is the ever brilliant Danny Ulbrecht - for holding this sometimes wayward structure together with the elan and muster it so, so very desperately needs.  The music to me I fear stills wades and waddles in the fiddly drip of its molten molasses.  I really do wonder why Spalding chose this particular piece of (J) Peck from his large NYCB canon for the Wells.  I would love to hear his answer.   I do sincerely hope it follows.  Sadly I suspect it won't.

 

Seeing Tiler's new work again was just life enhancing.  Mejia is an explosive life force unto himself.  He's an original cut in the Baryshnikov / Woetzel mold.  Think of the 17 year old Ivan Vasiliev at the Coliseum - but with increased speed, jump height and, above all, true balletic placement - which sadly the former never really possessed.  They share, however, that witty ever-ready twinkle in their eyes.  The audience is in his lap from the get go.  Still, there is just so much more here - This is a work filled with surprises .... I love the silhouetted entrance for each of the corps lads at one point - and how wonderful they are in this - each could easily step as principals into any other ballet based company on earth; and here each is given a fleeting solo fashioned by Tiler expressly for them.  Each dances theirs with ever-ready jubilant aplomb.  How I grow in ever richer admiration for the glory that is NYCB corps member Victor Abreu; his partnering throughout this and ALL is a masterclass in simply being a class-act personified.  The very breath of his arms is dance velvet.  Mira Nadon here IS Rita Hayworth with Chan being her able Astaire and the ever dazzling Emma von Enck an upbeat interloping Bette Davis - one whose slicing gams are every bit as ingeniously quick-witted as - on one vivid occasion - her taunting fingers snaps.  THE FACT THAT THIS BALLET DAZZLES EVERY BIT AS MUCH AS ITS DANCERS DO MINISTERS TO EACH AND EVERY SOUL IN THIS GLORIOUS BALLETIC HOUSE. 

 

One thing is certain:  When this next appears in the NYCB rep - which I assume will be next season - and I'll be there - it will be a closing ballet.  The audience is sent out of this rocked and rolling in their rapture.  I can't wait to see more glories from Tiler's vivid imagination.  I have a feeling she may become to NYCB what so devotedly McGregor has become for the Royal.  One can only hope that her canon here will be let grow - of course in a imaginative balletic idiom which is the NYCB (as opposed to the now Royal) way -  but in similar multitude.  Based on the works we have been privileged to see she deserves that privilege.  She deserves to grow for NYCB and dedicated genre design much as McGregor has grown what is now the Royal's unique house style.  Such are true gifts - in their respective manners of course and with their dedicated Companies so specifically suited to each mileu -  in and FOR our time.   What a rich dance world ours is, both balletically and from a more contemporary perspective.  Brava Dame Monica for so cleverly leading the way for the British alteration.  Bravi to Wendy and Jonathan for so determinedly maintaining the idom which Peter Martins promised Balanchine he would (and did) maintain.  Our world is so much richer for this keen diversity.  Everything is, we see, in its rightful place.   That is a benefit to us ALL.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Thought I would add some NYCB flash footage of Tiler and Roman in Robbins' Four Seasons, Winter - He, in the end, only did one performance - but happily now is back in Tiler's ballet and the divine Libeslieder Waltzer -  

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/C2f_sAiOokH/

 

Here you can see a clip of the equally divine Indiana Woodward - portraying a woman's fight for individual courage after having been physically abused by her partner's physical savagery in Ratmansky's 2017 Odessa.  So different from the manner of other choreographer's choices in such circumstances - but that's what makes Companies strong and our world rich.  At the end too you get to see the wonderful Victor Abreu in the front of NYCB's life enriching corps exercising that simply stunning port de bras - 

https://www.instagram.com/reels/C3DdGhJup8j/

 

Oh, and just to add - 

 

Between the afternoon NYCB rehearsal and the evening Balanchine performance (with a little interruption trying to cross the road while the world according to the NYCPD seemed intent on stopping for the President's motorcade - took a subway fare simply to bypass such) I attended the entirely free Works in Process programme in the Lincoln Center division of the NYPL.  This centered around a charming octogenarian, George Lee who - when Li - created the role of Tea in Balanchine's famed Nutcracker.  His very unabashed humbleness harnessed the capacity audience's delight and his steely entrechat six from the Bluebird PDD seen in a documentary segment from the legendary Jerome Robbins' Dance Collection located on the third floor of this very building would put some dancers even today to shame.  Now a blackjack specialist in Las Vegas - where he has been resident for the last 40 years - his dedication to the memory of his dancer mother brought the audience to their admiring feet.  

 

 

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I see NYCB have now added a tab with highlights from the fare that they will be taking to London.  It is clear that this is very much Spalding's choice - specifically chosen I'm assuming for the development of his Wells' audience as this programme as proscribed is not placed in any NYCB current rep.  It looks like Mearns, Fairchild and Huxley will be coming to London.  

 

https://www.instagram.com/stories/nycballet/3301275420426065852/?hl=en

 

It's funny but many of the die-hard NYCB fans are now sitting Peck's 'Rotunda' out.  I can see though how this might be much more in keeping with Spalding's view for London; that being an entirely different focus.  I now do think this is a work that could easily be dropped from NYCB's rep with no substantive loss - and there is after all so much major Peck already on their mandate.  Still, it's lovely to see the veteran Danny Ulbrecht (who in the past has often seemed to dance far too little) honoured here.  I assume Danny - definitely in the autumn of his LONG NYCB career - will be coming to London.  This piece I think would now be lost without him.  Still, how much better if they were to bring Ratmansky's Odesa to honour the same - but that requires a stage larger than currently available in London and Ratmansky hasn't always fared well in the British capital.  

 

Here is a small clip that Roman Mejia put up of himself and Unity Phelan in Balanchine's Liebeslieder Waltzer.  The Royal did this work once - much like Ballo - but have not repeated it since.  I used to so want them to do the Brahms again.  Indeed I asked Monica Mason twice about it and both times was met with a roll of her eyes.  At the time I found her response jarring.  Now I completely understand.  She was, of course, entirely right.  It was me who was wrong.  She could see into London's future at that juncture much better than I.  This is a delicate work which would be such a mismatch with the McGregor creative style such as Dame Monica so courageously helped instill and thereby brought such rich diversity to our world's dancescape.  Clearly she knew best.  Bless her.  

 

Still i do love Liebeslieder and travelled to Hamburg twice to simply get a fix of that and Balanchine's equally ravishing (although very different) Brahms Schoenberg Quartet.  The latter requires a stage much larger than the glorious intimacy that the Sadler's Wells or the Royal Opera House platforms afford.  In this NYCB round the standout for me - as previously noted - is Mira Nadon.  This girl is - as I marked in my Winter Season all-Balanchine programme rounds - the stuff that legends are made of.  It happens SO rarely.  It seems she just has to step onto a stage to make a role her own.  Even in Robbins' The Concert - (far from my favourite ballet now I fear - it can become so very dated unlike so much of that master's stunning output).  There Nadon is suddenly so unabashedly whimsical.  Such a delight - nay, a privilege to behold.  

 

Tiler Peck was absolute bliss in her debut in Ballo on Saturday afternoon opposite Joe Gordon - both glistening in their precision's focus.  At NYCB it comes in just under its stated 17 minutes.  (Again, I agree, this is now not really a work that is appropriate to London's 'Royal' style.  In a similar light you wouldn't want NYCB to do MacMillan or McGregor.  It would be entirely unfitting. I can't - indeed, wouldn't want to - imagine such.  Each in its own best place.)  As ever Peck toyed not only with the music but the air.  I had to laugh watching her prepare this in rehearsal.  She stopped the company/orchestra in the final - fouette - measures.  'Is it too fast?' Merrill Ashley called out.  'No,' Peck replied, somewhat shocked, 'I thought it was faster'.  She was asked if she wanted it changed.  'No, no,' she said with a laugh, 'I just need to get myself in the appropriate measure'.  Not only she but all of the stunning soloists were simply transcendent.  A special nod to M.T. Mackinnon - who now always seems to have my eye whenever she is featured.  It is so wonderful to see these young dancers grow within the ever expanding bounds of this unique Company's enormously firm balletic range.  Balanchine would have every reason to be proud.  

 

Talk about dancers coming to light, there have been two in the past days that simply dazzled.  On Friday night Ava Sautter was simply breathtaking in the late Albert Evans' blistering 'In the Landscape'.  With her arms seemingly almost as long as her gargantuan gams the girl simply dazzled.  The intensity of her balletic range was entirely electric.  This was power driven magnetism.  Another delightful shock came on Saturday afternoon with the performance of Peter Martins' Hallelujah Junction.  As is most often the case with Martins' works, this is overstuffed with steps - much as Nureyev was wont to do in his dance-making.  If three steps were needed they'd find a way to squeeze in ten.  Still, on Saturday NYCB corps member, David Gabriel, simply awed in his soloist role - now dancing affront of so many of his gifted NYCB peers; again in silent precision.  (How those 15 lads manage to do those soaring leaps in unison but still land silently together seems a Olympian feat to me.  You just don't see it en masse - or indeed often individually - elsewhere.)  Gabriel appeared to baffle Martins' mechanics by making it seem almost streamlined; nay, enriched with a stupefying speed and definitude.  His entrechats were as lightning flashes.  This boy - who first dazzled me with his small musical glass-cutting segments in Balanchine's Donizetti Variations - will be going places FAST.  That much is clear.  So you can get a sense of who these two dancers are I will attach this link talking about the 'newest NYCB dancers'.  All joined the corps in 2022.  The third noted there - Mckenzie Soares - is the lad I mentioned last year - the one who I spoke to when reading on that stoop outside of State Theater - just for reference.  

 

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From Bruce's post above:

 

Here is a small clip that Roman Mejia put up of himself and Unity Phelan in Balanchine's Liebeslieder Waltzer.  The Royal did this work once - much like Ballo - but have not repeated it since.  I used to so want them to do the Brahms again.  Indeed I asked Monica Mason twice about it and both times was met with a roll of her eyes.  At the time I found her response jarring.  Now I completely understand.  She was, of course, entirely right.  It was me who was wrong.  She could see into London's future at that juncture much better than I.  This is a delicate work which would be such a mismatch with the McGregor creative style such as Dame Monica so courageously helped instil and thereby brought such rich diversity to our world's dancescape.  Clearly she knew best.  Bless her.  

 

@Bruce Wall, I am not sure what you are saying here.  Do you mean that because the current crop of RB dancers can dance McGregor that they are no longer capable of dancing 'delicate' works?  That just because a work is a completely different style from McGregor that the RB should no longer dance it, or aren't capable of dancing it because they are so instilled with the McGregor style?  Or that McGregor is ALL they should be dancing now because Mason brought him to the fore and we have had him as Resident Choreographer at the RB for 19 years?  This would also imply that they can't dance any of the classics, either.  Or am I misunderstanding you?

 

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You are misunderstanding me, @Sim.  I meant it is just not appropriate to the house style and for that reason most unlikely that it will (understandably) be seen.  There are some Royal dancers that I would love to see in it like Naghdi and Bracewell.  That is just as it is.  

 

I fear I have too much misunderstanding here - and that is my lack I know.  I perhaps just have too much on my plate.  I will not post on NYCB here in future.  Thanks so for pointing this out, @Sim.  As ever you are quite right and I thank you.  Over and out.  Please lock or delete all of these notations.   I will be most grateful for that. 

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Hi Bruce.  We will not lock or delete anything.  Your reports are much appreciated, especially to those of us who cannot get to see NYCB.   However, I do disagree with you that McGregor is now the 'house style' of the Royal Ballet.  There are many dancers who could dance the Balanchine beautifully, especially the two you mention.  As a matter of fact, the RB should dance much more Balanchine than it does.  

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59 minutes ago, Sim said:

Hi Bruce.  We will not lock or delete anything.  Your reports are much appreciated, especially to those of us who cannot get to see NYCB.   However, I do disagree with you that McGregor is now the 'house style' of the Royal Ballet.  There are many dancers who could dance the Balanchine beautifully, especially the two you mention.  As a matter of fact, the RB should dance much more Balanchine than it does.  

 

I agree with all of that Sim. 

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9 minutes ago, Sim said:

However, I do disagree with you that McGregor is now the 'house style' of the Royal Ballet. 

Totally agree. (Admittedly I'd personally be horrified if he was.) Suspect many RB dancers would feel the same (/speculation).

I also think mega talents like Tiler Peck could do whatever they set their mind to. Obvious fits like Elite Syncopations or anything really.

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Please don't stop posting Bruce, I enjoy your posts a great deal.

 

Many of us are pretty fed up with not getting enough- er, ANY - Balanchine at RB.

The RB dancers are entirely capable of dancing it and many of us would give a lot to see Symphony in C one more time.

I don't think McGregor contorting is 'house style' exactly. May it never be.

 

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