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June 21, 2018


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Hi Haglund,

Could you make any guesses regarding casting? Especially ABT? I’ll go regardless of who’s dancing but am curious.


I have no guesses about casting. However, given that the Balanchine Celebration at City Center comes on the heels of ABT's season at the Koch, we can surmise that Symphonie Concertante will be part of ABT's fall season. And since they are presenting In the Upper Room in Minneapolis, we can surmise that we'll see a return of that piece.

ABT's original cast for Symphonie Concertante included Cynthia Gregory and Martine Van Hamel. The company hasn't danced it in more than a decade. (It may be too hard for the company to sell Mozart on its stage.) I believe that the last time it was performed, the principals were Julie Kent & Paloma with the other cast being Stella and Gillian. Hopefully, the last pair will reprise their roles. I could also see Teuscher and Shevchenko paired. If there is a god, please not Boylston. If McKenzie wanted to do some positive, uplifting casting, he could consider a third cast of Courtney Lavine, Patrick Frenette (both out of SAB) and Kaho Ogawa. It would be so nice to see this piece again with Balanchine's musical accents, but, you know...

I have mixed feelings. Although I LOVE all of these ballets, when I've seen the RB, Mariinsky, or POB perform Balanchine on YT often they are slow and look sort of mannered/ prissy. They care too much about being pretty.

Not to mention I think there might be cheating on the choreography... For example, I'm a stickler about the hops backward in arabesque in Tschai Pas -- most non-NYCB ballerinas I've seen on YT do just a few hops then saute and run to the corner, instead of doing the hops ALL the way to the corner as NYCB ballerinas do. But hey... at least ABT isn't doing it. I had the misfortune of seeing Boylston in Tschai Pas last year and it was an abomination. And this is coming from someone who is ambivalent/ trying to be open-minded about her.

But on the other hand, how often do you get to see all of these companies in one night!? Also, 4T's is my favorite ballet in the whole world and NYCB isn't performing it for the next few seasons...

Of course I'll go, but I had to air my thoughts to the balletomane blogosphere. ;)


NYCB performed 4Ts during the 2017-2018 season. The company doesn't do it every year or any ballet every year (excl Nutcracker), but I haven't seen any indication that it will be absent past the 2018-2019 season. It's just not part of next year.

Too much to choose from ... but can the Joffrey handle The Four Temperaments?

I am sorry Pennsylvania Ballet is not included. They are big on Balanchine!

AMJ - I am with you. Non-NYCB dancers always scrimp on the hops backwards in that variation. And I am always rolling my eyes at how slow the tempo is.

I purchased a ticket as a NY City Center member on Monday but balked at purchasing for every performance as I originally intended due to the prices. $275 for a central orchestra seat. $150 for the sides. Same prices for the Grand Tier including the far side seats which are so partial view that they should be deemed partial-partial view. You can sit in the back of the mezzanine for $50 or up in the balcony front for $75.

I guess ballet at City Center is only for the elite rich.

Yikes, Haglund, those are some eyeball-wateringly expensive festival tickets. It seems to be par for the course for these big multi company extravaganzas, like last year's Lincoln Center presents Jewels 50th anniversary.

Well, yes, but this City Center series of performances doesn't compare favorably to the Jewels Festival last year in content or size -- and yet, it's more expensive and the venue is less accommodating. The POB and RB are going to do various PdD. The Mariinsky will do a PdD and Apollo. That doesn't qualify as POB, RB, and Mariinsky actually posting full company visits to New York. I imagine that the Joffrey's 4Ts will be pretty good -- especially if Rory Hohenstein, Fabrice Calmels, Christine Rocas, and Victoria Jaiani are featured.

The ticket prices are absolutely insane. Do they think the people who truly care to see this are rich? And this is the last theatre in NY that starts at 8PM. It's a terrible venue and they just keep inflating the prices. Can't miss all of these amazing pieces but very mad indeed

True, Irina. I had planned to see every performance based on the assumption that the ticket prices would be reasonable. Instead, I bought one ticket to one performance, and I believe that will be the extent of my support.

Not only are the prices outrageous, but you have to deal with City Center's especially obnoxious blacking out of seats in order to mislead people about ticket demand and force people to buy more expensive seats.

When organizations intentionally mislead people in order to get them to buy tickets -- whether it concerns ticket demand or casting -- people should be outraged and react by spending less and less money.


Thanks so much for posting this. I just read on Xander Parish's instagram in a convo instigated by Alastair Macaulay(!) Pretentious much? (I would've done so privately,instead of publicly embarrassing the lad, who was most gracious; but that is another story). Anyway, Xander said that he will be dancing the role of Apollo. Quite a likeable chap, he is.


I am hoping that the dancers will be getting some NYCB coaching, while here, so that they can get the style down better. It is as AMJ said. Although, I will cut the three 18-yr-old ballerinas just out of Vaganova a hefty amount of slack. This was their company debut yesterday with Xander. They each have enormous potential, but, they need NYCB coaching to do Balanchine, IMO. And oh, I can say this here. I love Maria Khoreva, but pleeeease somebody tell her to stop mugging to the audience! Thank you. I feel much better getting that out.


Just got a ticket for the Thurs night show and am very excited about it!

Thanks for the links, Laurel.

Xander is being more gracious than Macaulay deserves. Once again, Macaulay is jumping to conclusions about the final sunburst pose. It has always had a variety of legitimate interpretations during Balanchine's lifetime and after.

Most of the time these days, Apollo's left hand is flexed. If the right hand is extended instead of clutching the ballerina's right arm to his chest, then the right hand is flexed, too. However, in these photos, you can see the variety of the final pose: https://attheballet.com/2011/03/17/apollo/#jp-carousel-108 and https://i.pinimg.com/originals/19/34/cf/1934cf23c4d671b9d421d90b0657ec49.jpg . On page 26 of Peter Martins' Far From Denmark, there is a 1967 picture of the final pose in which his left arm is bent at 120 degrees and the palm is facing front. It almost looks like a salute to the sun. (Recall that Martins' uncle was the first Apollo at the RDB.) Obviously, the final pose evolved over Balanchine's time. That flexed hand shows up time and time again in the ballet and it makes perfect sense for it to be in the final pose.

Really, the NYT arse critic should stop trying to be a ballet master, especially when there are still many people around who danced the role as it was defined by Balanchine at some moment in time. Adrian Danchig-Waring's Apollo came from Jacques d'Amboise. Here's the final pose: https://static01.nyt.com/images/2015/05/02/arts/02NYCB/02NYCB-jumbo.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp This was in the NYT, but since Macaulay didn't write the review, he probably didn't bother to look at it.

I might add that it's quite possible that the picture that offends Macaulay so much wasn't snapped on the last note of music. So, what looks to Macaulay like the final moment in the ballet perhaps wasn't.

The three muse debuts were pretty impressive. I guess Khoreva's addressing the audience didn't bother me that much. I wasn't too convinced by Xander's Apollo. It looked very careful and Royal Ballet-ish.

That's very interesting Haglund. Thanks for the links! There's another short video of the ending and they did the old version the final pose not at the end.


So, no, it wasn't the final moment and yes, NYT arse critic is a befitting title for Mr. M.

I agree that Xander has some work to do on the role. I'm looking forward to seeing him in the fall to see how that's transpired!

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