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May 05, 2017

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It certainly was a disappointing evening. I told myself I would try to be more open-minded about the Here/Now festival, but I didn't think it would take this much effort. Also, isn't the gala supposed to be an event for donors? I'm curious what was going through Peter Martins' mind. "We need to impress these people. Let's open with Jeu de Cartes!" I liked Megan's tutu. That's my positive takeaway from that pile of nonsense. The different sections had nothing to do with each other and there was no point to any of the principal roles. It was as if Martins was trying to aggressively bore and confuse the audience.

It was the first time I saw After the Rain, and I liked it. For context, I attended the All Peck program the previous Sunday, and didn't enjoy myself at all. So following All Peck and the Martins ballet, this looked like a masterwork of choreography. I thought the music was pretty, and the choreography was good enough. Nowhere near Balanchine, but not offensively bad.

I thought Odessa started out promising, but then lost my interest towards the end. I agree that there's not really enough connective tissue between the different sections of this ballet, but I felt that my thoughts of this ballet might improve on a second viewing. I wouldn't mind seeing either of these pieces again, just not this program. Last season (2015-16), I remember they've done programs which had both Balanchine/Robbins ballets and a contemporary piece. I would consider seeing this and After the Rain if it were included in that kind of program. I don't want either of those as the main course.

But I was most disappointed with Tchaikovsky PdD. This was the only thing I truly had high expectations for. Tchakovsky PdD has become one of my absolute favorite ballets, and it wasn't done justice that night. Andrew Veyette looked like he was phoning it in. I'm usually not an astute enough observer for when a dancer is struggling with the steps and he looked like he was having a hard time getting all his tricks in. I was looking forward to Ashley Bouder do this role. When I saw Tiler dance this, I remember her being incredible precise and being absolutely on the music. Bouder seemed to be a little bit off, and sometimes seemingly on purpose? From my recollection, it seemed like she was doing the dance equivalent of back phrasing. Had this ballet gone a lot better, I would've enjoyed myself a lot more.

Also I think having so many different ballets in four weeks is taking its toll on the dancers. Anthony Huxley is out (I hope he'll be back for Midsummer). Zachary Catazaro is out this week, Cameron Dieck is out (from an injury during Symphony in C), Georgina Pazcoguin is out this week and last week. A few others have also been replaced in the casting.

Still laughing, Yukionna: " I'm curious what was going through Peter Martins' mind. "We need to impress these people. Let's open with Jeu de Cartes!" "

In recent seasons, Martins has put his strongest works on programs with the weakest of the new choreographers which has resulted in his work being more favorably viewed. Maybe this was an actual strategy to put his worst work on the gala program to make Ratmansky look even better. If he could also put a less than stellar performance of a Balanchine ballet on the program, it might result in the audience being disappointed in everything more than they could possibly be disappointed in the new Ratmansky ballet. "Sacrificial programing", we'll call it. I hate to think that Martins is messing with our minds, but one never knows .... 🦊

Still wondering where Ana Sophia is. Did she leave City Ballet? She's still on the roster. A cursory search of her Instagram photos doesn't seem to reveal any injuries. I wonder what's going on.

Don't know about Ana. She was out a long time. It may be that NYCB had to plan the season's casting assuming that she might not be ready to come back yet. I think she did do a Nutcracker, though. Hope to see her back on stage soon. Ditto for Adrian Danchig-Waring who has had a long recovery.

Anthony Huxley will unfortunately not be back for Midsummer. He is out for the season. Sara Mearns had a minor injury to her lower back and was pulled from the Saturday matinee of Odessa. However, she is expected back this week.

Hi, Lisa. So much injury bad news at NYCB these days. My sense is that there are many more of the company's dancers who are performing with injuries which may be why things haven't looked so good in cases. It also may be a sign that devoting dancers to contemporary, throw-oneself-around-recklessly-because-the-choreographer-demands-it type dances have consequences.

Sorry to hear that Anthony is out this season. He's one of my favorite dancers.

According to Justin Peck it's "17+ casualties and counting". Maybe Peter Martins will think twice before attempting this again.

... or at least think it through thoroughly once.

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