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November 11, 2022


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As much as I like Glass's music (he's almost alone in the pantheon of modern composers as he respects traditional harmonic structure), his music is clearly better heard as accompaniment to film, dance, opera, etc. Although the orchestra performed admirably, focusing on nothing but that score was like listening to a drawn-out lecture on chord progression. The music goes nowhere. Maybe someone with better academic understanding can explain the differences among the movements. I could also have done without the applause after each segment. And it also interferes with the dramatic effect of Green Table - it's not necessary until the end. There's too much applause these days every time the music or dancing stops.

Agree about the applause.

Agree about the applause; also all the whoo-hoo yelling like it was a YAGP event. Thought Arden Court looked a bit ragged at the start. Don’t agree about Death; thought he had a wonderful quiet moment with one of his victims, but overall found him too restrained. I wanted the implacable, forceful relentlessness of Christian Holder and didn’t see anything close to that (from the back of the Second Ring). I think the piece will improve as it settles in on the company. Everyone I talked to sitting near me was there for The Green Table; it was definitely what lured people out to the performance. By the way, that scream when the pistols went off was from the row in front of me. A group of dance students (teenage I’m guessing, but possibly early 20s) was there on a chaperoned outing. None of the students was familiar with the pieces and the pistols really caught one girl off guard.

Both Christian Holder and Max Zomosa had the benefit of working with Kurt Jooss. While I immensely enjoyed subsequent performances by Phillip Jerry, David Hallberg, Isaac Stappas, and Roman Zhurbin, I saw clearly that they were not in Holder's league. Still, their performances were startling. Shawn Lesniak held his own, I thought, and delivered an even better performance on Saturday night. Did you notice how the noise from slapping the boot to the Marley had trouble making it out into the house of Balanchine?

Nearly every aspect of Saturday night's performance was improved. In all my years of seeing this piece, last night was the first time that I caught the major differences between the Diplomats at the beginning and at the final scene where they did the same choreography. At the opening, they slapped their hands on the table and together with enormous audible force whereas in the final tableau, they made no noise whatsoever because all their "discussion" was perfunctory and lacked sincerity.

John Harnage as the sleazy Profiteer was brilliant. He ran away with the performance as far as I'm concerned.


You are the best dance resource in NYC; I’ve learned so much from you since I started following you. Keep on educating us.

The only other Death I can remember seeing was Zhurbin. He made me see the choreography in a way Holder never did, so kudos for that; I liked Zhurbin’s performance quite a bit.

On Thursday night I did notice the difference in the Diplomats’ slaps but I didn’t realize why the difference. I think you are spot on in your reasoning.

Hallberg was captivating as Death.

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