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March 02, 2018


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That's the funniest meteorological-ballet image I've seen. And so true.

Also, it looks like Hallberg is injured again. :(

Haglund, the joy and love for the dancing of this review has made my day. The high from a magnificent night of dancing at the highest levels of artistry is one of the things that makes life worth the living for. I now live thousands of miles away and wanted to say thanks for your writing that makes me see the program in my mind's eye. (Also, if anyone has seen a clip of Tiler's dancing in Symphony in 3M online anywhere, please share. Please.)


42 seconds of Tiler's & Taylor's Symphony in Three Movements:

1 min+ of Erica Pereira's debut in Le Baiser:
https://www.facebook.com/nycballet/videos/10160320382155529/ which was heavenly!

Many clips of other performances on NYCB's FB page.

What a treat, Haglund, to see Erica Pereira dancing again in this clip from Le Baiser! Thank you for posting it. I hadn't realized this past week was her debut--she dances with such ease and looks so happy in the role. There was a comment on the Facebook site about Tiler Peck not originating her arm movements from her back, and perhaps that's the thing I feel lacking in her performances. Erica certainly initiated her arm and upper body movement from her back, which gave her performances such fluidity and gorgeous epaulement.

ITA, Angelica. I really hope that Erica keeps up her momentum from this season. She is a lovely, lovely dancer.

Lovely performance from Pereira. But I see she doesn't even attempt the tricky pirouette with heel all the way down at the end of her variation. As choreographed by Mr. B, this is set up by a fleeting, analogously "flat-footed" turn--supported, in this preliminary go--at the end of the pas de deux. Fairchild nailed both of these moments, Peck (clearly not at ease with this idiosyncratic move) executed it in her variation only halfway, heel partly lowered, with a result that registered only as slightly awkward. So I'm wondering: were De Luz and Fairchild the only couple who received coaching from Patty McBride? She always executed this move, clearly and with emphasis. I'm wondering if her coaching is what made the difference here in Fairchild's performance. (I can't remember whether or not she nailed this step in earlier seasons.) For me, this step is an important detail: not only because of its inherent, oddball interest, but because of its metonymic valence in the context of the original scenario. It signals, playfully, how this bride is in some sense "earthbound," married to basic human pleasures, while the poet/artist, although he longs for this kind of life, will be denied it by the Fairy (by Destiny) so that he can pursue his artistic calling. The separation that this necessitates is the cause of the distilled tragedy of Balanchine's final addition to the choreography, the present ending of the ballet.

John Goodman -- thank you for that information regarding that pirouette. I saw Peck in Baiser yesterday (it was my first time seeing the piece). With the way Peck executed the pirouette, I wasn't sure whether it was choreographed that way or if she was simply coming off pointe too early. It didn't really have much impact; it seemed more like she was covering up a mistake. I'd be curious to see the step as it was originally choreographed. And yes, I believe McBride also coached Peck and Huxley (there is a pic on Peck's Instagram of the three of them embracing).

Hi John & FoF.

Thanks for your comments. I'm scratching my head trying to figure out the point that you both described so clearly. Would it be possible for one of you to steer me to the step that you're referring to in this video?

Are you referring to the double step-over pirouette that was done on demi-pointe and ended in attitude croise devant in plie at around 2.28 of the video?

It's the pirouette that occurs around 1:10 in the Pereira video posted up-thread. But I am NOT at all an expert when it comes to this ballet (I had never even seen it on video before seeing it live yesterday afternoon). When I saw it yesterday, Peck seemed to finish the turn somewhat flat-footed, and I couldn't tell if it was a (well-saved) flub or part of the choreography. So, I'm very curious to hear more from John and would love to see any footage of McBride or someone else doing the turn. (Again, I was taking in this ballet with new eyes, so while I'm pretty sure this is the turn where Peck did a somewhat flat-footed thing, I'm not 100% sure.)

Certainly, Haglund. Admittedly, the "anticipation" I described comes to look like something I imagined in the light of this film, where Patty throws it away to such an extent that it doesn't really happen. But Fairchild made it register that way.
"anticipation": fall from pointe at about 2:29
'full-on version": 8:59
Even the latter moment is given little emphasis here, but I distinctly remember Patty giving it more emphasis in performance in the 1970s. Certainly Fairchild did in this last run, with beautiful results. It must be technically tricky to perform. It brings to mind the similarly tricky, and more brutally exposed, turns at the ends of key phrases in the ballerina's opening cadenza of Concerto no. 2, first movement. Of course, Patty was a great exponent of that role.
What a pleasure to view this video after the recent performances. I was reminded, more than ever, of the brilliance with which Balanchine, in the male variation, conveys the poet's struggle between up and down, between the demanding callings of the muse to upward aspiration and the pleasures of everyday existence. It encapsulates the thematic core of the original scenario--and arguably, of the score. The underlying idea is an essentially Romantic one, but the choreography conveys it fully within the classical ethos and vocabulary. The reputation of this variation is fully deserved. One of Mr. B's greatest, I think.

Also: I think the moments I am focusing on register more strongly from a point of view above orchestra level. So it follows: from above the level here adopted by the camera.

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