Per the Wall Street Journal, Lincoln Center will run a livestream all-day event on its Facebook page and its constituents' FB pages next Friday, October 7th. The broadcast called From Sunup to Curtain Down will include:
A day in the life of NYCB Principal Megan Fairchild
A visit to SAB
A behind the scenes look at Lincoln Center Theater's production of Falsettos
A visit with actors and directors involved with the New York Film Festival
A pre-performance meeting with Lang Lang who will be banging out Beethoven's PC No. 4 with the NYPhil that night.
Surely if it's going to run all day, there will be a lot more than this. But why can't we find the info on Lincoln Center's FB page or website? Maybe it will show up today.
Don't forget the 20-hour livestream of World Ballet Day Day that begins on Tuesday, October 4th. It actually begins late on Monday, October 3th for those of us in the U.S. The Australian Ballet opens the celebration which progresses through Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, and concludes with the San Francisco Ballet.
Details and times are on the World Ballet Day Live website from which you can also watch the livestream. It will broadcast on FB as well.
The regional guest companies invited to participate by the Big Five are Hong Kong Ballet, Queensland Ballet, West Australian Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Northern Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and Nederlands Dans Theater.
Don't forget. Here's the link: WORLD BALLET DAY LIVE
What a tremendous opportunity and honor for Sarah who will dance in Helgi Tomasson's charming Nutcracker production on December 22nd at 2PM and on December 23rd at 7PM with the San Francisco Ballet. She will dance the Grand Pas de Deux with Principal Dancer Vitor Luiz.
Haglund loves the Tomasson version of the Nutcracker that he has seen a number of times on PBS. It is set during the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair and features designs based on the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition that celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal.
Here is beautiful Sarah dancing with Angel Corella in Swan Lake several years ago:
Let’s start with a few final Nutcrackers.
Haglund caught yesterday’s NYCB matinee which was the second performance for a crew of newbies. Emilie Gerrity as Sugarplum, Taylor Stanley as Her Cavalier, and Ashley Hod as Dewdrop were proof of the remarkable depth of talent in this company and the variety of stage personalities.
Emilie displayed a beautiful, creamy texture in her dancing. Her movement was unhurried but always on the music and glistened with energy. She was immediately likeable without being pushy, as they say in sales. We knew that Taylor Stanley was going to out-cavalier nearly everyone. So handsome with princely authority and graciousness, he showed great confidence in Emilie while always being spot-on with his hands when she needed him. He acquitted his variation well, but could have used a brisker tempo for the turns in a la seconde. Ashley Hod was gorgeous as Dewdrop. Her limbs are extraordinarily long – really, really long – and she seemed to have them well under control. When those legs extended in a saute de chat, they were quite the beautiful sight. None of the difficult tricks were a problem for her, and she tossed them off with a warm, genuine smile.
Unity Phelan and Silas Farley poured spiced brandy into their Hot Chocolate. Alexa Maxwell could have used some in her Coffee although she managed the choreography very well. Claire Von Enck as the main Marzipan Shepherdess got the steps, but didn’t present with the polish and authority that Alina Dronova and Erica Pereira did earlier in the season. One of the highlights of the afternoon was Harrison Coll’s Candy Cane. Haglund is loving this dancer more and more. He seems ready to explode with energy every time he is on stage and has an engaging stage personality. Not everyone who debuted in this role this year cleared the hoop, but Coll made it look easy.
Haglund also caught the second performance of Lauren King and Jared Angle. Teresa Reichlin substituted for Tiler Peck as Dewdrop. Lauren showed great progress in this role, and seemed to relish the freedom that came with having such a fine partner. She held the stage and the attention of the audience magnificently. Her technique was secure, and she danced with more spaciousness than in the past. Jared was quite wonderful as a partner, but oy, those turns in (far from) a la second with a flexed foot were horrendous. As the saying goes, "You grew that leg; now lift it.” It’s really time for Jared to walk away from this particular role.
Erica Pereira and Anthony Huxley shone brilliantly as Sugarplum and Cavalier earlier in the season. Triumphant might be a more appropriate description. First, the pairing of the two dancers was exquisite, if not perfect. She made him all the more handsome; he made her all the more elegant and grownup. Erica built the energy and excitement into her role gradually so that when she hit and held her glorious arabesque balance following the tough promenade in the PdD, the audience went bonkers and roared as the two dancers finished off with a magnificent fishdive that was a bold exclamation point to their very significant artistic statement. Both dazzled in their solos, but together they were magnificent. Haglund hopes to see this pairing a lot more in 2015.
So, 2014 is behind us, and we’re as thankful for that as not.
The highs included:
Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews in Giselle with Houston Ballet, and Yuriko’s moving Prayer variation in one of her final appearances in Coppelia with ABT.
Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild in Who Cares.
Our Trumpeter Swan, Veronika Part, as Odette/Odile.
Denis Rodkin as Spartacus.
Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle in the rebirth of Chaconne.
Stella Abrera’s triumphant and exquisitely danced performances with Alex Hammoudi in Ratmansky’s Nutcracker.
Rebecca Krohn, Amar Ramasar, and Abi Stafford in Balanchine’s Nutcracker.
Anthony Huxley in everything he danced.
Most interesting nights at the theater included:
Alexei Ratmansky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for NYCB.
Edward Watson at the Joyce Theater in The Metamorphosis.
Angelin Preljocaj’s Spectral Evidence at NYCB.
The year’s cinema highlights included:
The Bolshoi’s presentations of Ratmansky’s Lost Illusions, Pierre Lacotte’s phenomenal Marco Spada, and their incredible, unmatched Nutcracker by Grigorovich with Denis Rodkin and Anna Nikulina.
The Royal Ballet’s presentation of Sleeping Beauty with Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae.
Thankful to the internet for:
World Ballet Day in London, Sydney, Moscow, Toronto, and San Francisco.
Veronika Part and Jared Matthews in Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas at the Mariinsky Festival.
A glimpse of Veronika’s Giselle at the Mariinsky Theatre.
A glimpse of Stella Abrera’s Giselle at Ballet Philippines.
The clearest example of best and worst:
Best: all casts of Duo Concertant at NYCB
Worst: all casts of Duo Concertant at ABT
Greatest sadness in ballet in 2014:
Losing Ivan Nagy.
The senseless departures of Yuriko Kajiya, Jared Matthews, Sascha Radetsky, Eric Tamm, and Luis Ribagorda from ABT that followed on the heels of the senseless departures of Roddy Doble, Simone Messmer, Joseph Phillips, and Irina Dvorovenko.
The long injury lay-offs of Ana Sophia Scheller, David Hallberg, and especially Jennie Somogyi.
ABT's continued over-reliance on inferior guest dancers and the marginalization of Sarah Lane and Stella Abrera, who McKenzie undoubtedly hopes he can finally get rid of this year.
Without a doubt, the worst of the worst in 2014 was the relentless propaganda from Misty Copeland with her false claims of victimization from racism, false claims of accomplishments, and substitution of media saturation for the hard work required to build a career honestly. Her twisting of Kevin McKenzie’s testicles to get principal castings that she neither deserved nor could perform better than her more deserving colleagues drove away support from all of ABT – now a disgusting cesspool of corrupt influence and declining artistic standards.
World Ballet Day coming at you in a few hours
Beginning tonight at 7PM Pacific Daylight Time U.S. (10PM Eastern Daylight Time U.S.), the San Francisco Ballet will begin broadcasting the whole 20 hour shebang on its YouTube channel. What a terrific thing to do for all of us, and we thank San Francisco Ballet very much.
Why not stop by to watch San Francisco Ballet's livestream and afterward send them $5 or $10 with your thanks on their special Kickstarter page. Even if everyone who watches the livestream only sends $1, it will amount to a tidy sum. (Just ask Hillary or POTUS.) Drop a buck or few in the basket.
Here's the schedule:
The Australian Ballet Tue, Sep 30, 7pm (PDT),10pm (EDT)
The Bolshoi Ballet Tue Sep 30, 11pm (PDT), Wed 2am (EDT)
The Royal Ballet Wed Oct 1, 3am (PDT), 6am (EDT)
The National Ballet of Canada Wed Oct 1, 7am (PDT),10am (EDT)
San Francisco Ballet Wed Oct 1, 11am (PDT), 1pm (EDT
Oh my goodness. Oh oh oh. If you did not catch Sterling Hyltin in last night’s Rubies at New York City Ballet, you missed another one of NYCB’s raise-the-bar performances. Holy mosquito legs, Batman. Few things blow across the stage lighter and faster than Sterling Hyltin. And just when you thought the evening had hit its peak, out came Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle to deliver their most lustrous and luminous Diamonds ever. What a grand night at the ballet it was.
Unfortunately, that seems to have been Maria’s and Tyler’s last Diamonds of the season, but you can catch Sterling in Rubies on Sunday, February 2nd.
Punxsutawney Phil had better get an early start on his day, because February 2nd is going to be busy. If he knows what’s good for him, Phil will predict a quick end to this crappy winter. He could end up as somebody’s stew if he makes the wrong call.
After Phil’s announcement, everyone has to run off to find a morning cinema presentation of the Bolshoi’s Lost Illusions. Phil will have to drive an hour to Altoona to see it, but at least he’ll have the opportunity. As of today, Emerging Pictures/Ballet in Cinema hasn’t let the ever-faithful Manhattan market know where the cinema presentation will be shown now that the Big Cinemas Theater on E. 59th Street has closed, as exclusively reported by Haglund on Friday. Why the blackout in NYC? Come on, folks, pull it together. 23rd St, BAM, 42nd St, 34th St. Make. It. Happen.
After Lost Illusions, we all have to hot-foot-it over to NYCB to catch Sterling Hyltin in Rubies at 3pm. By the way, it seems that only 4th ring is being sold at the moment.
Then there is Super Bowl pre-game. Then it’s a race back up to Lincoln Center to catch Gillian Murphy and the Royal New Zealand Ballet in its new movie, Giselle, at 8pm and finally a race back home to catch the end of the Super Bowl.
Haglund is taking Monday off which, by the way, is currently expected to include rain mixed with snow.
Speaking of RNZB, which visits L.A., Santa Barbara, Minneapolis, and New York over the next few weeks, there is a little flutter in the media over the fact that Ethan Stiefel has yet to ink a new contract as Artistic Director. His current contract ends this fall.
There aren't many retired dancers who can jingle all the options that he has in his pocket. He could step in as AD for either of New York's two major ballet companies or do the same in an European company or anywhere else. He's got the Flesh and Bone consultant/choreographer gig (with Radetsky starring) which is simply going to re-ignite all that Center Stage euphoria that has not been extinguished even after 14 years. (Reminisce with the cast list here.)
NZ writer Tom Cardy spoke with Stiefel about his future plans:
Stiefel's three-year contract ends in September this year. It poses the question, will he want to continue in the role?
Stiefel is diplomatic in his answer. He says that decision partly rests on the RNZB board and whether they would want him to continue. But he also still has to make the decision himself, and at this stage – just days before he flies back home – he is still in discussions with the board. "First of all, if the board wasn't satisfied with my work I wouldn't have a say in it. That takes care of it. But we are conducting mutual discussions and so on. There's a lot to wrap one's head around, also personally with my family and friends and so on being two days [by air] away.
"But you know, I'm just making the most out of the moment and the rest will be what will be."
Those board members and major donors who profess to care about ABT should not waste time with delays in signing him up and putting an end to our misery with Kevin McKenzie's Grigorovich-management of ABT. How close right now is the company to financial catastrophe from this regime's mismanagement? We don't know, because ABT's current tax reporting Form 990 hasn't been made public and is many months past due. They're making a habit of past due filings - why? - because it delays making the ever-dismal picture public. Haglund will have a nice comparison of the financial performance of ABT, NYCB and SFB for everyone as soon as the IRS can wrangle the filing out of America's national ballet company and make it public.
Speaking of McKenzie's wasted homegrown talent, last week in San Francisco Ballet's Gala, Simone Messmer performed The Man I Love from Balanchine's Who Cares? The San Francisco Chronicle pronounced her as one of two major additions to the roster "that hinted at marvelous evenings to come" - the other addition being Mathilde Froustey. From the SF Chronicle:
Earlier, Simone Messmer, formerly of American Ballet Theatre, joined with suave Rubén Martin Cintas for "The Man I Love," from Balanchine's "Who Cares?" This was a classy, even patrician coupling with Messmer exhibiting a long line and fluid extremities (both Froustey and Messmer will dance in "Giselle" Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening).
Yes, indeed, Simone has three performances of Myrtha coming up. She seems to be so much more appreciated at the much bigger, more financially stable San Francisco Ballet than she was at ABT.
. . . not enough horsepower pulling the old carriage to get there.
To be perfectly frank and utterly truthful – yes, rare as that is – whenever Haglund comes face-to-face with a brand new ballet these days, he expects something on the order of Moose Murders* but with the added torment that ballet artistic directors never know when to cut their losses. They just keep bringing back their Moose Murders throughout the season as scheduled, no matter how awful. If anyone needs specific examples, just moo this way.
So it was with the lowest of expectations that Haglund schlepped up to Lincoln Center to see San Francisco Ballet’s presentation of Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella. On Wednesday night, Haglund left after the first act because he disliked the saccharine little-girlness of Maria Kochetkova’s Cinderella. But Thursday night was a different story.
Before getting down to the nitty-gritty, Haglund wants to say that he is glad that Christopher Wheeldon continues to make story ballets. We have good reason to expect that in the coming decades, if he continues in earnest, Wheeldon will create full-length works of lasting value that will touch people’s hearts. His one-act story ballets, even the bad ones, have always contained inventive and interesting elements that were pleasing even when the whole effort wasn't fulfilling.
Back to Cinderella, Wheeldon’s second full-length story ballet –
Happy to report that it’s not Moose Murders, not anywhere close. The production values, which are becoming more and more elaborate with each Wheeldon ballet, are extraordinary in their invention and beauty. A Basil Twist-designed huge leafy tree billows in the breeze and suddenly morphs into Cinderella’s carriage with horses that carry her off to the ball. Cinematic scrims and backdrops. Floating chairs. Sumptuous costumes. Imaginative puppetry. Lots of money spent to good effect.
Wheeldon’s creation of a prologue that addresses the death of Cinderella’s mother is the most original and effective choreographic element of the whole production. Two minutes into the ballet, Haglund’s eyes were misty. Cinderella’s mother coughed blood into her handkerchief, and then both the mother and the father made an effort to hide it from their young daughter remarkably played by SFB School student, Isabella Castillo. When the mother died, she was lifted to heaven by the fates (Gaetano Amico, Daniel Deivison, Anthony Spaulding, Shane Wuerthner) following one final hover over her husband and daughter during which she rounded her arms in a first position halo. Bravo, Wheeldon.
In Act I, the transition from Castillo’s child Cinderella to SFB principal Sarah Van Patten’s Cinderella occurred with a smooth passing of a bouquet of flowers as the character approached her mother’s gravesite. There she danced happily to the heavens before addressing the cold, hard reality of the tombstone. Then we saw Cinderella, not as a child, but as a young girl on the verge of womanhood – a time when she most missed and needed her mother’s guidance and love. Van Patten’s sense of loss and need were palpable whereas the evening before Kochetkova was unable to shake her one-note little girlness.
Throughout the evening Van Patten was a luminous and lyrical Cinderella who found the love of her dreams through the music even when the choreography was not there to help her. The easy sweep of her classically shaped limbs were in stark contrast to the muscly punchiness of the previous evening’s Cinderella. Her modesty and purity shown through each phrase that she danced.
Prokofiev’s big waltzes in his Cinderella score are beloved by dancers and audiences for the unbridled passion of the grand crescendos. But if Prokofiev’s emotions in his music spanned a range from 1 to 10, Wheeldon’s choreography with its own narrow emotive range of 4 to 6, or at best 3 to 7, never came close to meeting the depths and peaks of this great and glorious music.
Tiit Helimets, in his debut as the prince, was a gallant partner. His solos weren’t as polished as they could have been and at times he seemed to be holding back his energy. Hansuke Yamamoto’s virtuosity as the prince’s friend was impressive.
Besides the choreography's unresponsiveness to the iconic music, the other major weakness of the production was the portrayal of the step-sisters as neither mean-spirited nor ugly nor crass nor inflicting misery upon Cinderella. Rather, they were like pretty pretend-mean girls - harmless and only slightly annoying. Because the step-sisters were given large chunks of choreography designed to show that the women portraying them were fine dancers as opposed to showing their characters, their presence became increasingly irksome as the night went on. The step-sisters were a major miscalculation by Wheeldon.
The corps de ballet's sections in the ballroom scene were inventive and eye-pleasing. The corps's choreography seemed to come close to the peaks of the music with lots of lifts and swirling movements.
The flat and uneventful final scene of the ballet ended with Cinderella and her prince simply standing downstage in an embrace. It all might have worked better with input from a theater director. Big ballets should end with significance. It doesn't matter if the music is solemn or quiet – look what MacMillan did with the last few dying woodwind notes of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. Hopefully, it will soon be standard operating procedure for choreographers with big plans for story ballets to consult with theater directors for help in bringing their ideas to the stage.
By the end of the evening, Haglund concluded that Wheeldon had not captured either the passion or the comedy of the fairytale. Like most artists who work within a classical art form, he is probably painfully aware of all the shortcomings of his Cinderella. Unsatisfactory passages probably keep him awake at night like a troublesome line of iambic pentameter keeps the poet from his sleep. Let’s hope, anyway.
The H.H. Pump Bump Award, with sweeping graceful lines by Borgezie, is bestowed upon Sarah Van Patten. What a delight it has been for New York dance audiences to discover this artist.
When a ballet performance leaves you walking out of the theater feeling more happy, energized, and appreciative of life than when you walked in, you know that it's been money well spent. But after Sunday's matinee at Lincoln Center when all of those feelings came together, Haglund didn't walk out of the theater immediately. No, he skipped over to the box office window to buy yet another ticket to San Francisco Ballet next week so that he could experience the wondrous beauty of Sarah Van Patten's dancing.
Yesterday in Edwaard Liang's Symphonic Dances with the marvelous and handsome Anthony Spaulding as her partner, Van Patten captivated with her cool but intense passion and musical phrasing that sent the fervent undercurrent of Rachmaninov's notes surging through the viewer's own nervous system. She must have been a devastating Tatiana in Cranko's Onegin with those soulful eyes that flash from hurt to hard to hungry.
Liang's ballet proved even more likeable on second viewing. His choreography is so responsive to the soul of the music whereas Ratmansky's From Foreign Lands was responsive to the notes. If Liang were to revise and invigorate the final few minutes when everyone is on stage, he would have an enduring work that many other major ballet companies in the world would beg to include in their repertoires.
From Foreign Lands got a big boost from Mathilde Froustey and Frances Chung in the Spanish section with their MSP10. That's megawatt stage presence to the tenth power for those who are paging through the Vaganova manual. Their effortless jumping and impressive unison drove the momentum of the afternoon's performance of this ballet.
Serge Lifar's Suite en Blanc was the highlight of all the performances that Haglund has seen so far. The Paris Opera Ballet was miraculous in this ballet on their last trip to New York, and San Francisco Ballet's effort was just as enjoyable. Mathilde Froustey, on a one-year leave from POB to dance as a principal at SFB, was all French perfection and glamour in the pas de trois with Davit Karapetyan and Vitor Luiz.
Simone Messmer's debut in the pas de cinq was impressive, and her explosive manège of coupe jetes during the fête foraine was worth the price of the ticket. Throughout her time on stage, she left a very strong impression that someone much like Cynthia Gregory had returned to San Francisco Ballet.
Taras Domitro grabbed the audience's attention with his spectacular mazurka. He's small but looks much larger in his solo dancing than when partnering a ballerina.
Yuan Yuan Tan and Tiit Helimets were to die for in the pas de deux. Their grace and elegance left Haglund almost breathless. The strong, tall, and very blond Helimets made each ballerina who he danced with last week look like a revelation. His upcoming Thursday debut as the Prince to Sarah Van Patten's Cinderella will probably make Haglund love the ballet no matter what Christopher Wheeldon does to it.
Suite en Blanc is simply a beautiful, beautiful work of pristine classicism that is a refreshing antidote to the hyper-stepped gymnography of today's choreographers. Bravo to San Francisco Ballet for acquiring it and presenting it with such respect.
The H.H. Pump Bump Award, a Borgezie Platinum Cleopatra Stiletto First Position trophy (£70,000 per pair) is bestowed upon the cast of Suite en Blanc.
America's oldest ballet company has some pretty springy legs.
San Francisco Ballet's first two performances of its two-week visit to Lincoln Center included seven works never before seen in New York. That's not to say they were all good, but there were enough good ones to hope that San Francisco Ballet will make L.C. a regular residency – fall, late summer, it wouldn't matter.
The company reintroduced itself on Wednesday evening with a ballet by Helgi Tomasson called Trio – which had four movements – perhaps so-named because it was the trio of dancers in the 2nd Movement, Sarah Van Patten, Tiit Helimets, and Anthony Spaulding, who best inhabited the gorgeous melodies of the violin, viola, and cello in the romantic interlude section of Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence. Van Patten's expressive eyes and dramatic lines told quite a story as she was tugged emotionally and physically between Helimets and Spaulding. The piece as a whole was pleasantly musical and even more pleasantly unfussy in its patterns. The women's long flowing dresses by Mark Zappone contributed much romance to the ballet.
Christopher Wheeldon's Ghost included ideas that we've seen elsewhere in his work and had a patchwork quality to it as opposed to a seamless quality. But his choreography certainly set well on Sofiane Sylve and Yuan Yuan Tan. Ms. Tan, in her PdD with Damian Smith, created exquisite curving shapes with her upper torso and arms. It was nice to see James Sofranko in the cast. Haglund remembers when Sofranko was a student at Juilliard and danced frequently with a frizzy-haired young girl named Annie. That was quite a Juilliard class.
The final dance on the opening night bill was Wayne McGregor's Borderlands. Whenever Haglund sees anything by Wayne McGregor, he's reminded that there is something worse than Jorma Elo. Highly skilled classical ballet dancers snapping their joints and rolling their torsos in McGregor's tourettes-ography gets old almost before it gets started. If the modern dance audience likes it - fine; but don't try to legitimize this stuff by exploiting ballet dancers and their audience. As the dancers snapped their joints, glowered at the audience, and walked casually from position to position in their very revealing tight little dance briefs, Haglund's mind began to wander. He remembered that it's almost time to get the new kitten neutered; five months is the recommended cut-off age.
Thursday evening's performance included Alexei Ratmansky's From Foreign Lands. Beautiful, if hyper-detailed, it sticks fairly closely to the classical and employs traditional national themes of Russian, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish, and Hungarian. The highlight of the piece, and maybe the highlight of the first two nights, was Sofiane Sylve in the German section with Luke Ingham, Luke Willis, and Shane Wuerthner. Always a gorgeous dancer while at NYCB, Sylve looks even better after five years in San Francisco. Her confidence, statuesque beauty, and unforced, bold technique are much missed in these here parts.
Beaux by Mark Morris set to a concerto by Bohuslav Martinu seemed to come with instructions for the cast of nine male dancers to mark their movements like pedestrians instead of dancing them. The MM aficionados in their MM t-shirts loved it. The costumes by Isaac Mizrahi were unitards with a camouflage design in non-camouflage colors of pink, yellow, orange, and brown. One of the main motifs of the piece had two dancers lifting another dancer horizontally with arms outstretched like wings and carrying him around the stage "flying." Okay.
The final two pieces on Thursday's program were unexpected delights. Yuri Possokhov's Classical Symphony and Edwaard Liang's Symphonic Dances proved that in ballet it's more important to get the choice of music right than it is to get the choice of steps right. Both choreographers chose fantastic music that the audience members could instantly organically relate to and feel within their nervous systems. Possokhov chose Prokofiev's Symphony No. 1 in D major ("Classical") and devised a lot of creative classical patterns but couldn't resist throwing in a hip-hop roll or two for Maria Kochetkova's benefit. While her featured solos and PdDs on both nights were impressive for their punch & role, spin & glower, and cutesy, there was little in her dancing that was classically pretty. That probably didn't matter to Kevin McKenzie who was positioned in the front row of the first ring on Thursday night. When Kochetkova shared the stage with the dramatic and stately Sofiane Sylve and the elegant and lyrical Yuan Yuan Tan in Laing's ballet, she all but disappeared. It was hard to take your eyes off Sylve who was stunning even in the smallest moves, and Tan whose grace flowed like a cool rippling brook. While the last several minutes of Liang's ballet lost focus, what led up to the end included inventive group formations, an achingly beautiful PdD for Tan and Luke Ingham, and Sylve smoldering in a PdD with Tiit Helimets.
The H.H. Pump Bump Award, a black crepe and gold leather strapped stiletto from Christian Louboutin, is bestowed upon Sofiane Sylve for remarkable performances in Ratmansky's From Foreign Lands and Liang's Symphonic Dances.
Fall For Dance opens at NY City Center on Wednesday. There is much to look forward to during the ten day festival which this year marks its tenth anniversary.
On September 30th and October 1st, ABT will present The Moor's Pavane as its contribution to the festival. However, McKenzie has gone out and hired a guest artist to dance the title role.
As announced by the Limon Dance Company on September 11th via its Twitter and FB pages, the title role will be danced by Francisco Ruvalcaba, a long time and highly respected member of the company. He is well known as a mighty interpreter of the roles that Limon made for himself. We're going to be treated to a very Limon-authentic and riveting performance of the Moor, that's for sure.
But that's not the point. The point is that ABT's knee-jerk reaction and solution to every little problem that comes its way is hire a guest artist. Hire somebody else to do their work for them. Craig Salstein, Alexei Agoudine, Arron Scott, and especially Sean Stewart, would all make sensational Moors if Gomes, Zhurbin, and Hammoudi were not available. Maybe we should consider ourselves lucky that ABT didn't pull the whole dance and substitute a horsey ballerina doing fouettes.
The San Francisco Ballet opens at Lincoln Center on Wednesday, October 16 with works by Tomasson, Wheeldon, and McGregor. On that same evening, a live performance of the Royal Ballet's brand new Don Quixote by Carlos Acosta will be live-streamed (on a delayed basis) to theaters all over the world, including the U.S. In NYC, it will be presented at Union Square, Empire 25 and Kips Bay. You can also catch it in White Plains, Flushing, Farmingdale, and many other places. Acosta and Marianela Nunez will dance the leading roles. More info and tickets available at Fathom Events and here is the Royal Ballet's promo video.
Heard much about the Fort Wayne Ballet lately? Well, they just received a $1 Million dollar gift to their endowment from a local foundation in Indiana.
According to the website: two principal dancers, two apprentices, two trainees, and a major academy and conservatory to supplement the company's performances throughout the year, and now $1 Million.
Directed by Karen Gibbons-Brown, the 57-year-old Fort Wayne Ballet opened its fall season last night and has a busy year ahead including Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, family-oriented productions of Rodeo and The Little Mermaid and much more.