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June 23, 2011

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So happy to hear that - a number of people who went to the Murphy/Hallberg tuesday night show absolutely HATED Kudelka's production and even left before the end. I'd always liked it (though I've only seen Stella and Julie as Cinderella). Also thrilled to hear about Sascha - he's another dancer I suspected is too often cast as villains and given the space to be princely would rise to the occasion.

Looking forward to seeing what Marcelo does with the role - it's a little bit bland as princes go so I think he will be just the man to make it meaningful!

I think whether you like it depends on the degree to which other productions of Cinderella have informed your expectations, how close you sit in the theater, and how well the corps is prepared. I like the Ashton production, too. I also like Leslie Ann Warren and Stuart Damon in the R&H musical version.

Thank you, thank you, Haglund! I have been on pins and needles waiting for your posting ever since seeing the dress rehearsal on Tuesday. I LOVED the production--the word I kept using was "inventive," and I also loved the fact that there was so much classical dancing in what I had expected to be a slapstick comedy. I loved Stella (I always do), Sascha, Xiomara, Julie, and Marcelo. The corps was very ragged, it's true, but I was amazed at how much dancing was given to the secondary and corps dancers. When I read the review in the You-Know-Where, I was taken aback and really questioned my judgment. But now, reading your words, I know the ballet and the performances were as I saw them. Ah--nothing like validation! I will be there on Friday night, too, and will look forward to that fourth cast. Alas, I missed M. Cote, but I will keep my antennae out for him now. And missing Prokofiev's gorgeous R&J music this season, it was a pleasure to hear the Cinderella score. Oh--and yes, you're absolutely right, it helps the experience enormously to sit close enough to read the pantomime and the facial expressions.

I also meant to note that the Prokofiev solos and demi-solos didn't always rise from the pit with the force needed. At times, the music sounded a little uninspired.

Hi Haglund! I knew before I saw the dress rehearsal that the critics would savage "Cinderella," but that you and I would see eye-to-eye. I loved this production when I first saw it in 2007; in fact, this was the ballet that transformed me from a casual fan into a budding balletomane. ;)

I'm glad to hear Stella and Guillaume put on a great show! Stella looked lovely as usual in the rehearsal, and what little I saw of Guillaume made me very much regret that I would miss their performance. (Handsome dancer and handsome lines, indeed!)

I'm also glad to hear you enjoyed Reyes and Radetsky. I always enjoy watching Reyes, and you only had to take one look at Sascha's impressively toned arms to know that those big lifts wouldn't be a problem. :)

I saw the Murphy/Hallberg performance on Tuesday night, and I thought it was lovely. Gillian looked like she stepped right out of an old movie in the ball scene, and Hallberg has always been a natural-born prince. The corps also looked more polished than in the rehearsal.

I hope you and your guests enjoy tomorrow night's performance, Haglund! I'll be there on Saturday night with friends, and I suspect they'll have a grand time.

Hi Batsuchan! It's a shame that the NYT doesn't treat its culture criticism with the same care as its news writing. When one of its critics (who actually had some dance training) writes positively about a production and the same production gets trashed by a subsequent critic and his underlings who have no practical training, you'd think that the culture editor would look more closely at the content with an eye toward verifying it. And when it happens as frequently as it does, you'd think the culture editor would question the reliability of the critics' work. If the dance criticism is so uninformed, filled with agenda, and frequently unprofessional, can't one presume that all of the other culture writing in the paper is too?

I'm afraid the same malaise is often true regarding the music criticism in the Times.

IMHO, one aspect of a ballet critic's job is to build an audience for ballet, educating the public in what to look for, how to look at ballet, what is good about each production and each dancer. Yes, there can be negatives, but when everything the critic says is negative, that belies the legitimacy of the review. Ballet is a beautiful art, which should not be relegated to a rarefied audience. But I imagine that the layperson reading the current reviews would think along the lines of "Well, I'm certainly not going to spend my money for that!" Very sad for those of us who adore ballet and who would like to spread the word.

The NYT dance writers seem to have that toxic blend of not possessing enough knowledge to do the job correctly coupled with a psychopathic need to wield power and influence - kind of like a band of Donald Trumps.

It's troubling to hear from Koji that the music criticism suffers as well.

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