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October 06, 2020


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I enjoyed all of this program but was particularly bowled over by Maria Kowroski in Movements. What a thrill to have this memento of her stunning career!

As the saying goes, “When it rains, it pours.” Lots of Red Angels on the digital screen this week, as tomorrow Pacific NW Ballet kicks off its (for a fee) digital season with a mixed bill that includes this ballet...and BalletMet of Ohio also presented Red Angels a couple of months ago.

A real jolt of energy to see the last movement of Glass Pieces...and it wasn’t that long that we enjoyed the full ballet at Pennsylvania Ballet’s own digital season. (Does anyone know if PAB will be offering a digital season for 2020/2021, for a fee? I’m surprised that so few US ballet troupes are offering for-fee digital seasons...just PacificNW, Sarasota, a couple of others. I mean - films of REAL BALLETS ON A STAGE. Not amateur efforts In backyards or basements.)

I enjoyed last night's offering, too, although I didn't think the editing was as good as last week. The Chiaroscuro in particular kept focusing too closely on Andrew Veyette (who was marvelous) while cutting out what Lauren King, Ashley Laracey, and Brittany Pollack were offering around the perimeter. I thought Brittany really took over the stage with her performance. Both she and Lauren are so frequently cast in sunny, smiley roles that it is good to remind viewers that they have powerfully dramatic potential as well.

Movements was fantastic. I remember that the whole first week of that season was simply incredible -- all Balanchine B&W.

I didn't care for Kammermusik. Both Sara Mearns and Theresa Reichlen are way past their high ponytail days -- if they ever had them. Trying to appear and act cute is not a good look on either of them. The whole thing looked very effortful.

Red Angels just tries too hard to be derivative. The dancers exploded in it, though, and it was certainly nice to see Jared Angel dancing at such a high level along side the brilliant Jennie Somogyi.

Don't know what PA Ballet is planning. I suspect that they, like the rest of us, are just trying to play it all by ear.

"I didn't care for Kammermusik. Both Sara Mearns and Theresa Reichlen are way past their high ponytail days -- if they ever had them."

Good thing I wasn't drinking coffee when I read that...

I'm trying to imagine Makarova wearing a high ponytail, and it ain't working. This is a fun parlor game for Covid times. Which of the past greats would have worked with a high ponytail, and which would not?

CORRECTION: PNB’s initial 20/21 season stream (including Red Angels) begins next week, on Oct 15...not Oct 8. Sorry, my bad! I’m just so excited that a company in the US is up & running, with dancers rehearsing in “pods.” We need to get some pods up and running on the east coast!

Diana, Margot Fonteyn was no spring chicken when she created Ashton’s Ondine, looking lovely in her high ponytail.

Some dancers can pull it off; others look ridiculous.

Suzanne Farrell could pull off a high ponytail!

I thought Movements was fantastic too. I like all the B&W ballets. I'm not crazy about Kammermusik but it's not connected to dancers being past the high ponytails. It's interesting as choreo, just not a favorite. I can't quite see Makarova wearing the high ponytail either -- but I wouldn't bet on it! Red Angels was saved by the brilliant dancing especially of Kowroski and the breat Somogyi. I did not like Chiaroscuro at all. The dancers were terrific but the music and the "drama" left me cold.

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