Here is the NYCB Rubies corps de ballet rehearsing today outside next to the theater. Everything was going splendidly until all of a sudden one ballerina went a little crazy and "pinked out" in a coloratura solo. It must be the pressure of the job.
Performance photos are prohibited at NYCB, but we couldn’t resist snapping a pic of the Rubies Corps de Ballet warming up next to the theater prior to last night’s performance of Jewels. Look at these beauties.
This young Corps de Azaleattes has been permanently planted with room to grow and mature. All of Damrosch Park is looking its best in years. The patio needs plantings, e.g., some glorious red Mister Lincoln hybrid tea roses which can grow very tall in tree-form would be appreciated. Or how about a little delegation of Peace roses? (Not complaining; just trying to help out here.)
Last night’s performance of Balanchine’s Jewels was a gem of the finest water. Exquisite. In many ways, exemplary. Tiler Peck & Amar Ramasar and Rebecca Krohn & Ask la Cour danced Emeralds as though it was their own most beloved ballet. Their musicality seemed effortless and natural. The goal of the evening seemed not so much to be cleverly interesting but to be truthful to the spirit and beauty of the music and choreography.
The trio of Erica Pereira, Antonio Carmena and Brittany Pollack danced with refinement and elegance. And oh, the Corps de Ballet was resplendent in its symmetry.
Megan Fairchild and Gonzalo Garcia offered the exact playful interpretation that we love to see in Rubies. Great chemistry and as we have noted before, Gonzalo seems to have his best performances opposite Megan. Savannah Lowery substituted for Teresa Reichlen in the tall girl role and spiked it with a little rum. Our only complaint is when she jammed her weight into her knees while springing to second position in her variation. It always hurts to watch her do that.
The Corps de Ballet in Diamonds was the highlight of the evening. The lovely long arms of Lara Tong, Claire Kretzschmar, Megan Johnson, Emilie Gerrity, Emily Kikta and many others engaged in respectful, tidy port de bras was simply stunning. The gentlemen were all the most perfect and handsome cavaliers. Sara Mearns and Tyler Angle led with stylish splendor. Tyler had another particularly awesome technical evening. Some of Sara’s musical choices were questionable; we don’t see Diamonds as a work that benefits from abrupt phrasing. Other than that, we appreciated the rich quality of her movement and the brilliance in the final section.
The HH Pump Bump First Position trophy is awarded to the Diamonds Corps de Ballet for its unflawed clarity and brightness.
It may be too early to cheer, but it looks like Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center is finally being returned to The People.
Haglund observed a big load-in of trees and shrubs this week. The best news of all – the AZALEAS are back – not as many as before but certainly enough to get us started on a beautiful spring. The ones spotted are the Hino-Crimson variety that bloom in April and May and have a reputation for being real show-offs. The variety also attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Right now, they are still forming buds, but here is what they should look like in a few weeks:
Hopefully, these will be permanent plantings that will be allowed to mature to their full artistic beauty and grow to their full size of 4 feet tall by 5 feet wide. We need to get rid of these so-called "Guest Plants" which are stuck pot & all into the ground temporarily and then later removed for some commercial event. Guest Plants are no way to build a beautiful garden, if you get our drift.
New York City Ballet will help launch this new series with a nationwide cinema encore presentation of The Nutcracker which was originally broadcast in 2011 on PBS. Cinema tickets officially go on sale tomorrow nationwide on the Fathom Events website for screenings on Saturday, Dec. 5th at 12:55 pm and again on Thursday, Dec. 10th at 7pm. Go to the above link, observe the lovely Rebecca Krohn leaning in attitude under the bright spotlight, click on More Info and follow the link to Theater Locations throughout the U.S.
We don't recall that Rebecca was actually in this performance, but we do remember Ashley Bouder, Tiler Peck, Megan Fairchild, Joaquin De Luz and Daniel Ulbricht – totally worth a trip to the cinema if you're not able to get to Manhattan to see them perform live during The Nutcracker season.
We've got to thank Fathom Events for their continued support of presentations of ballet in their cinemas. We sure have seen some fabulous events in the past couple of years.
Meanwhile, we await word on who the other three dance company participants will be in this series.
Scratch that last sentence.
Thanks to CMM and Kristen for digging out the info from the Fathom site. Here are the dates and companies that will comprise the Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance Inaugural Season:
9/24 – San Francisco Ballet: Romeo & Juliet 10/22 – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Chroma, Grace, Takademe, Revelations 11/12 – Ballet Hispanico: CARMEN.maquia and Club Havana 12/5 and 12/10 – New York City Ballet: George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™
Now here's a book that Haglund couldn't pre-order fast enough on Amazon after reading this morning's NYT review of it in the Music section. Reynold Levy, who left his job in 2014 as President of Lincoln Center after a dozen years has written a tell-all book. Look out.
"They Told Me Not to Take That Job: Tumult, Betrayal, Heroics, and the Transformation of Lincoln Center"comes out on May 12th. Amazon claims that it can deliver on that date. If that happens, Haglund won't be picking up the office phone for a day or so – unless something earth-shattering happens, which is always a possibility, but he'll probably let the cats handle it.
Mr. Levy has a few things to say about a lot of people. He takes aim at Boards of Directors of New York City Opera and New York Philharmonic, and probably Boards in general judging from a brief and to-the-clear-point article he penned for Crain's last February. "In search of accountability: Non-profits gone astray" is worth a read.
So far, Haglund's favorite quip from Mr. Levy is about a bungling Board chairman: "He failed to lead, and he failed to leave." That's going to be on a lot of people's lips around town.
But according to the NYT article, Levy has some respect for New York City Ballet's fiscal managers. That's good.
ABT's Works & Process Gig at the Gugg is this Sunday and Monday.
Three different presentations: Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening, and Monday evening. Here's a glimpse of some of the casting that came through in an email a few days ago:
Part 1: 1940–1965 Sun, Apr 19, 3 pm EDT Panelists: Kevin McKenzie, Alex Ewing, Lupe Serrano Principals and Soloists: Gillian Murphy, Xiomara Reyes, Joseph Gorak, Roman Zhurbin Part 2: 1965–1990 Sun, Apr 19, 7:30 pm EDT Panelists: Robert La Fosse, Ric Burns, Eleanor D’Antuano, Martine van Hamel Principals and Soloists: James Whiteside, Stella Abrera Part 3: 1990–2015 Mon, Apr 20, 7:30 pm EDT Panelists: David Hallberg, Julie Kent, Kevin McKenzie, Ethan Steifel Principals and Soloists: Marcelo Gomes, Julie Kent, Hee Seo, Cory Stearns
Watch it on line from the comfort of your couch via these links:
We probably don't need to remind folks that the Gugg's livestreams have a certain reputation for not always being absolutely perfectly A-1 spiffy when it comes time to deliver. So, we recommend patience and a good supply of wine unless 3pm on Sunday is too early to drink. If they encounter problems, hopefully they will communicate via their Twitter feed like they did in the past.
Note that Robert LaFosse is on the panel Sunday evening. That sounds like it could be a lively and interesting discussion.
Thanks much to Carol for forwarding several links to us including one of Paris Opera Ballet's transmission of Balanchine's Le Palais de Cristal, the forerunner of Symphony in C, with gorgeous new costumes (rubies red, emeralds green, sapphire navy, and creamy) by Christian Lacroix. Millepied's Daphne et Chloe is on the bill, too. The transmission will be available for viewing until December 5th at FranceTV CultureBox:
Graham Spicer's Gramilano is a good, credible blog source for information about what is going on in European ballet circles. Haglund doesn't visit as often as he should but he's glad that Carol thought to send us the link to Graham's post about Angel Corella calling it quits in Spain and moving on. It would be great if he would move into 890 Broadway but only if the current AD moved out.
And just as Haglund was ready to hit the publish button, this startling announcement came through the wire. Veronika Part will dance the title role of Giselle opposite Vitali Krauchenka this weekend in Ballet L'Etoile's production in Columbia, Maryland which is just outside of Baltimore. The staging is by Svetlana Kravtsova and Vadim Pijicov. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity; so, if you can get there, go!
Would it be possible for you to publish a calendar with the dates on which Damrosch Park will be the groomed public space that it was intended to be? Those dates have become less frequent and are now few and far between as the public space – and the public access street and sidewalk by it – are highjacked for one commercial event after another.
Permanently gone are the magnificent lush beds of red azaleas that created the signature picturesque artscape during the spring and summer months. They’ve been replaced with more concrete and portable plants that don’t see enough days of sun to survive.
It would be nice to know the dates on which people might be able to relax and enjoy Damrosch Park, especially during the spring and summer, not to mention walk on the sidewalk around it or use the street during the other seasons without stepping in elephant dung or tripping on all those water bottles left over from the models' meal of the day. If you don’t anticipate enough dates for which to make a special calendar, maybe you could list two or three of them on your website. And bring back the azalea beds, please.
Update Special ticket package offers go on sale to Friends of Lincoln Center on January 15. Special offers go on sale to the general public on January 21. Single ticket sales begin in late March.
Lincoln Center Festival announced today that the Bolshoi Ballet and Opera will perform July 12th-27th.
The Opera will perform a concert version of The Tsar's Bride at Avery Fisher Hall on July 12th and 13th.
The Ballet will perform at the Koch Theater rather than at the Met Opera House on these dates:
July 15th-20th Swan Lake (seven performances) July 22nd-23rd Don Quixote (three performances) July 25th-27th Spartacus (three performances)
The LCF press release says that Svetlana Zakharova, David Hallberg, Ekaterina Shipulina, Vladislav Lantratov, Olga Smirnova, Ekaterina Krysanova, Mikhail Lobukhin, Ruslan Skvortsov, and Maria Alexandrova will perform during the engagement.
Buy tickets to all three ballets and save 15%. Buy tickets to all three ballets and The Tsar's Bride and save 20%. Use code BBPACK. Offer good until March 15. (We're sure LCF and the Koch will get the ticket purchase web page up and running soon ;-)