who can do it all.
Maiden flight – this weekend in Minneapolis.
The Aussies are going to love, love, love our Yuriko Kajiya as Aurora in tomorrow's matinee performance of Sleeping Beauty with The Australian Ballet in Sydney. Such a complete, completely glorious, and gloriously honest artist... Click on Nicola Curry's I-gram link to read about her long history with Yuriko that now spans three continents.
Here's a clip of a recent stage rehearsal. Video by Nicola.
Meanwhile back at the dude ranch, it appears that ABT is going to completely ignore Jerome Robbins during his official Centennial Celebration that is being held worldwide. What, they didn't make enough money off of Fancy Free -- that is, when they had a complete cast who could dance it? It might have been interesting to see the 1946 Facsimile that Robbins, Nora Kaye and John Kriza premiered on Broadway to music by Leonard Bernstein. Or perhaps the (1947) Summer Day PdD that he created and danced with Annabelle Lyon could have made a one-time appearance. Really, ABT doesn't have any reason to join in the worldwide Robbins Centennial Celebration, really? Not one kind word? Not one single moment of special recognition?
PERFORMANCES (other than NYCB)
The Concert, Dances at a Gathering: 17 September 2017
MIAMI CITY BALLET
Circus Polka, The Cage, In the Night, Other Dances, West Side Story Suite: 12 January 2018
Dances at a Gathering: 13 January 2018
NEW YORK THEATRE BALLET
Rondo, Septet, Concertino: 16 March 2018
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET
The Cage, Fancy Free, Opus 19, Other Dances: 20 March 2018
Fancy Free, In the Night, West Side Story Suite: 3 May 2018
Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, 11 - 17 June 2018
LES ÉTÉS DE LA DANSE
Tribute to Jerome Robbins featuring companies from around the globe (TBA): 25 June 2018
Fancy Free, Glass Pieces, Interplay: 6 Sept 2018
DUTCH NATIONAL BALLET
Dances at a Gathering: 11 Sept 2018
PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET
Afternoon of a Faun, The Concert, In the Night, Other Dances: 21 Sept 2018
Dances at a Gathering, Interplay, West Side Story Suite: 28 Sept 2018
PARIS OPERA BALLET
Afternoon of a Faun, Fancy Free, Glass Pieces: 28 Sept 2018
BAM / FISHMAN SPACE
Watermill: cast TBA: October 2018
The Concert, Glass Pieces, In the Night: 7 March 2019
Here's some good news:
Pennsylvania Ballet has a brand new New York Friends of Pennsylvania Ballet patron category that is going to let New Yorkers know early about casting so that we can make travel plans more easily and save money by buying early on Amtrak. New York Friends will have the opportunity to purchase early for Angel Corella's February 9th Art of Coaching event in Manhattan. That will surely be packed. Nobody wants to miss a chance to feel that Angel energy even if he is coaching instead of dancing.
Pennsylvania Ballet just appointed Shelly Power as its new Executive Director. Previously the Academy Director for Houston Ballet and most recently the Artistic Director and CEO of Prix de Lausanne, she will start with PA Ballet in December.
Now this is somekinda Grigorovich Lift! Holy Moly. Fearless Stella. And that Hammoudi can hit a moving target pretty well.
It's not too early to be planning our local Nutcracker tour this year. One we're not going to miss is Veronika Part as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Port Washington on Long Island at the Fadeyev Ballet Nutcracker on December 22nd & 23rd. (Tickets here.) Yaroslav Fadeyev and Veronika first crossed paths as students at the Vaganova Academy and subsequently at the Mariinsky Theatre. He is passing on the tradition to students at his academy in Greenvale.
Haglund has never seen a Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema screening so packed as it was Sunday afternoon for Le Corsaire. Every seat was taken and people were standing along the sides and a few were sitting on the aisle steps to watch it. Quite possibly there were more people at this movie than were at ABT’s Sunday afternoon performance at the Koch Theater. What?! You mean people would rather watch a ballet movie than sit through ABT’s Her Notes and Thirteen Diversions? Say it isn’t so! The movie was fabulous. Most of the choreography was familiar to us but the Bolshoi dancers pushed the pedal to the metal unlike what we generally see here in Le Corsaire.
Then Sunday night we all trucked up the street to the Ailey Citigroup Theater for the Hearts of Houston Benefit. Beautiful Yuriko Kajiya with Connor Walsh from Houston Ballet and the Cuban Council on Circular Abracadabra from Pennsylvania Ballet (Mayara Pineiro and Arian Molina Soca) were the highlights of a terrific evening; Daniel Ulbricht, too, whose series of brisé volé at sonic speed were quite unbelievable. All of the performers generously volunteered their artistry as did the choreographers who permitted their dances to be performed. The premiere of the Second Movement from Ben Stevenson’s Martinù Pieces, a brand new ballet that he was choreographing when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, revealed quite a storm of emotional outpouring from the Texas Ballet Theater dancers, Carolyn Judson and Alexander Kotelenets. The entire ballet will have its world premiere in March in Fort Worth.
It was either very nice or very stickin’-it-to-you (or both) of HB’s board chair to acknowledge to the audience that she understood how much New Yorkers missed Yuriko and Jared but that they were very much appreciated and loved in Houston. Sitting in a center row was ABT’s unappreciative and entrenched monarch who was moronically oblivious to the icy stares he got from ABT’s estranged patrons in attendance. And so it goes…
Next up, Marcelo Gomes and Sara Mearns Friday night in The Red Shoes at City Center. Wear red, people. Then the Gisellemobile will be on the road overnight to Chicago.
Aussies are in for a treat when Yuriko Kajiya arrives to dance The Sleeping Beauty with The Australian Ballet in a couple of weeks. Treasure the moment. She's the real deal -- Old World soul and grace, New World technique. We're not sure of her exact dates because the Aussie Ballet website doesn't seem to have casting posted although it is pushing the ABT Fakerina's dates prominently. What a shame, not to mention a sellout of standards. To our Aussie friends downunder, call Australian Ballet to get Yuriko's Sleeping Beauty dates without delay. We promise that you will end up trying to take her home with you at the end of the performance.
Quick reminder about the Hearts for Houston Benefit Sunday night. We're very excited about this effort, particularly the Madame Butterfly PdD created for Yuriko and Connor Walsh by Stanton Welch and the new ballet by Ben Stevenson.
Speaking of Madame Butterfly, Haglund caught the first Preview performance of M.Butterfly at the Cort Theatre a few weeks ago. The new choreography by Ma Cong of Tulsa Ballet is probably the most interesting aspect of this revival of David Henry Hwang's hit from 1988 which now seems so dated. Clive Owen gives a slickly detailed portrayal of Rene Gallimard; Jin Ha's performance as Song Liling depends too much on unfortunate and obvious stereotyping. M.Butterfly was groundbreaking back in the '80s but may not have sufficient universal truths in it to be compelling theater today. But thank goodness it's not another Disney affair.
Just a reminder about the upcoming benefit that Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews are producing at the Ailey Citigroup Theater on Sunday 10/22 to benefit the United Way of Greater Houston who will use the funds raised for recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey.
We are noting again that there will be a world premiere by Ben Stevenson O.B.E., the long time director of Houston Ballet, discoverer of Li Cunxin in Beijing, and currently the director of Texas Ballet Theater in Fort Worth. Mr. Stevenson and the legendary Freddie Franklin together co-directed the Washington Ballet in the '70s where Mr. Stevenson choreographed his beautiful production of Cinderella, recently re-staged on the Pennsylvania Ballet. He has been awarded three gold medals in choreography at the Varna International Ballet Competitions.
It is a huge honor that Mr. Stevenson is making a special piece for this benefit, and it will be our only chance to see it.
Haglund received some clarification and details from Jared regarding the upcoming benefit that he and Yuriko will be producing at the Ailey Citigroup Theater on October 22nd.
First, sob sob-some-more, there will be no Giselle PdD. J&Y wanted to bring something new and fresh to New York; so, we'll be treated to Yuriko and Connor Walsh in a PdD from Stanton Welch's new Madame Butterfly and Jared and Sara Webb will dance the Act I PdD from Stanton Welch's La Bayadere. Also, Yuriko will dance the Prayer variation from Frederick Franklin's Coppelia. That little solo by itself should have people whipping out their wallets from Boston to Washington DC to get here to see this performance. But it will be a wonderful treat to see the new Welch pieces as well. Also, two dancers from PA Ballet will perform the Don Q PdD. We should have more information later on what the other performers will dance.
The NYPhil musicians won't be performing; however, they have donated to the silent auction for the event.
We noted from the press release that Neiman Marcus is one of the supporters for this special benefit performance. As most local-yokels know, we're getting a swanky new Neiman Marcus store in the Hudson Yards development in a year or so. Supporting the ballet and other arts is one of the best possible ways for any retail company to endear itself to Manhattanites.
There are only about 250 seats in the theater; so, don't delay purchasing your tickets.
The Pennsylvania Ballet dancers bringing their Don Q PdD to this benefit performance are none other than Arian Molina Soca and Mayara Pineiro. Cuba will be in the house, people. Make that, da Cuban Don Q. They don't come any bigger or more authentic. No fakerina here. Haglund saw this first hand last year:
By the way, Haglund is more than a little excited about riding the rail down to Philly tomorrow for the brand spanking new Sleeping Beauty starring Sterling Baca and Oksana Maslova.
"The dancers, the stage hands and the New York Philharmonic musicians are donating their participation." This from an article in the online journal Paper City about the special performance being produced by Jared Matthews and Yuriko Kajiya at the Ailey Citigroup Theater on Sunday October 22nd to benefit United Way of Greater Houston's Relief Fund. Somebody pinch us -- NY Phil musicians will accompany the dancers? Just thinking about what those fine artists might do with the music for the Giselle PdD gives us the tickling shivers -- although no one has yet confirmed in words that it will be danced.
Among the 20 dancers performing will be Connor Walsh, Sara Webb, and Daniil Simkin. And a world premiere by Ben Stevenson O.B.E. to boot!
Come on, people, let's go let's go let's go.
Also on that same Sunday, at 12:55pm, Bolshoi in Cinema will livestream (on a delayed basis) Le Corsaire (Ratmansky production). We are a little confused about the casting. The Bolshoi website shows Ekaterina Krysanova as Medora on that date with Daria Khokhlova and Igor Tvsirko as Gulnare and Conrade. However, the Pathe Live/Bolshoi Twitter feed announced on September 22nd that Olga Smirnova would debut with Igor on October 22nd. The last time we saw Olga on the big screen a few months ago in Etudes, she really surprised us with her new strength and lovely calm. So, maybe she can pull off Medora, too.
It seems that the performance will be shown in most of the theaters that usually transmit Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema. But check your local listings to make sure.
Just for one night. Sunday, October 22nd at the Ailey Citigroup Theater on West 55th Street & 9th Avenue.
Jared Matthews and Yuriko Kajiya are producers of this benefit performance for the victims of Hurricane Harvey in connection with Hearts For Houston. All funds raised will be donated to United Way of Greater Houston's Relief Fund to help with long-term recovery efforts.
Performers include artists from Houston Ballet, Alvin Ailey, ABT, NYCB, Texas Ballet Theater, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Washington Ballet. The promo picture features Jared and Yuriko in Giselle which suggests to Haglund that we might see such a PdD! It would be cruel of them to tease us.
There will be a world premiere by Ben Stevenson O.B.E.
General admission tickets are $150 and will be totally worth it. For more information, see Hearts for Houston and also the Brown Paper Tickets site. This will sell out quickly. Don't delay purchasing!