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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 echo Jeannette's aversion to the "Reader's Digest" approach, but I thought that this digital program was outstanding -- very slickly produced and edited. Sometimes I expected to hear announcer Martin Bookspan chime in during pauses. I really hope that NYCB revs up the digital programming to produce some live content. It would certainly be worth paying to see if it were produced with the same quality. Joaquin De Luz's penultimate performance of Tchaikovsky PdD should be shown at the beginning of every class for men. He never stopped practicing his pirouette/double tour combination during his whole career and never stopped striving for those 5th position landings. Such an inspiration... And so grateful to have this performance of Tiler Peck's preserved on superb video and grateful to see her move the high bar up several notches each time she takes the stage. I don't mean to de-emphasize any of the other performances, all of which were exceptional.
Thanks, Steph. I see that the La Scala orchestra is on the stage behind the dancers. It looks like several musicians are wearing masks and are seated on risers -- surely better than being cramped in the pit.
Thanks for the info, Jeannette. I'll be watching on my little laptop. Hopefully the resident companies of Lincoln Center will get their acts together. With today's technology, there is no reason not to have a huge and impressive digital season. There are some Broadway shows that could do the same. They have to do this. We may be at a point where some artists and theater workers will have to vote to re-think their union representation in order to get back to work, if in fact, the unions are making demands that seemingly exploit the current situation. ABT's tour seems in jeopardy. Other stages will open. Whether they are able to seize those opportunities is a big question. Right now, ABT doesn't seem to have anything other than a child's plan in the works. The Sandbox Season will include videos made by the dancers and new contemporary works made by contemporary choreographers who hold no interest whatsoever for the ballet audience.
Pat, the Royal Ballet is definitely not sitting on its hands. But larger groups could be bubbled. They just have to be trustworthy and responsible. Concerto Barocco requires 11 dancers, 2 violinists and a handful of other string players. This is completely doable as a digital performance if everyone associated with it agrees to quarantining. I'd pay to watch this night after night -- preferably with lots of different casts -- but I'd watch it. Apollo -- 4 dancers and 34 string musicians who could spread out quite comfortably in the pit. I'd pay to watch it every night -- preferably with lots of different casts. The musicians could even agree to an arrangement that they play off-site like musicians do in many Broadway productions and then pipe the music into the theater. What difference would that make since the whole performance including the music is going to be transmitted digitally anyway. In many cases, the musicians would not even have to be in the theater but could be spread out in different locations if necessary. Come on, NYCB -- think!! Duo Concertant -- 2 dancers, 2 musicians There are others. NYCB must not let this opportunity to build a digital revenue stream slip by.
ITA, Steph. NYCB has to view this situation as an opportunity to get its digital revenue streams flowing and to reach a more national and international audience. They simply cannot waste this time crying around and asking for handouts. Nor should they be trying to placate union nonsense. Dancers who don't want to get tested every week or possibly every day and comply with quarantine requirements or who think NYCB should provide them with Uber rides back & forth from Brooklyn should think about stepping away from NYCB for the year or even retiring. Quarantining a large group of dancers should not be difficult. What is NYCB using its SAB dorm for these days? Ensuring that they all behave responsibly might be another matter.
True, Solor. Now that I think about it -- the construction activity that I saw at LC was mostly around the Met and Geffen Hall. There were barriers in front of the Koch Theater but little else going on. NYCB, the Met, and NYPhil could use the Koch Theatre for a reduced schedule of digital performances while their venues are being repaired. The Met could certainly stage concert performances at the Koch. If the Met were to lend its digital and distribution expertise to NYCB, we could see some fairly incredible results. I hope they are all working together. Also, Carnegie Hall could certainly accommodate some digital performances. I remember seeing the Moiseyev manage the space brilliantly years ago. I would hope that NJPAC is technologically equipped to accommodate digital performances. How new are Tilles, Lehman, and others? My sense is that the largest obstacle may be the unions.
True, Nancy. To her credit, Shevchenko has not reposted it to her own I-gram account. ABT's I-gram account is run by corps dancer Connor Holloway who is another infantile Whiteside-wannabe. So now he's gotten himself some attention by behaving like a crass adolescent, and he's happy & satisfied. He's another ABT member who will never rise on the merits of his dancing; so it's likely we will see this throughout his sad little career at ABT. It's past time to DEFUND ABT. It's also past time to start contacting the dancers' "sponsors" when this kind of thing occurs. What would Holloway's "sponsors" (Susan and Steven Jacobson) say about their boy's choice of applied lyrics? Mr. Jacobson died last year; so, undoubtedly ABT is standing at Mrs. Jacobson's door with its hands out. She should really reconsider her support to ABT in a time when there are bigger, truer needs in the community.
Sad and true. Another tasteless cry for attention from ABT. They are at a point in failure where they have few options left other than to rely on crassness. The Instagram account claims that it is run by the dancers of ABT and that it represents their own opinions and not those of ABT. However, ABT adds the I-gram page at the bottom of its website pages just as though it were their own official page along with their FB & Twitter accounts. So, the argument fails. The Instagram page is functioning as an official ABT page and represents the company management's opinions. That said, ABT is hopelessly trying to prove that it is relevant and values social relevance over classical ballet. ABT has its own share of dancers with Peter Pan Syndrome who don't want to grow up. Right now they have a lot of time on their hands because they're not working, not looking for work, and are taking handouts from everywhere in order to preserve their privileged life styles. It's really way past time to DEFUND ABT.
Hopefully, they will get the good weather. They have rain dates planned out in the event they don't.
True. Damrosch Park would be perfect. Stage, space, good sight lines. It is also a space where attendance can be limited and supervised. They could even sell tickets online. I keep thinking that this is what was referenced in the recent Washington Post article that said, "At Lincoln Center, Timms said, plans are being worked out for a 400-seat socially distanced outdoor space for ballet and other arts." Maybe it will happen...
Thanks, Laura, for the update on video and TV presentations. In answer to your question about which fits the music best when it comes to MacMillan vs Cranko versions, I think we have to credit Cranko (1962) since MacMillan (1964/65) used so many of his ideas. Both are quite wonderful and we are so lucky to have performances by legends preserved. Susan F, nothing about ABT's miserable operation comes as a surprise any more.
Not that desperate -- I would opt for Kardashian re-runs or other such worthless noise long before. I'll admit to spending hours daily watching the Panda-cam in the last three weeks. Mei Xiang's clumsy rolling around reminds me of –– stopped myself, I just won't go there and start anybody's rage, especially my own.
Temporary antidote to turmoil: Panda-cam Brand new baby 3-1/2 weeks old.
I would kind of suspect so, Diana, but they will be handled with more grace than at ABT. Maybe we'll see one big collective farewell something-or-other. We already know that Maria's final performance was calendared for the end of May.
I actually want to move back to the topic of Sarah's departure. I hope she doesn't think that some company is going to ring her up and offer her a principal position. What company can afford that right now? Everyone is fighting for survival -- except for the company with a $220 million endowment -- and no one has the luxury of hiring extra dancers. If Sarah can persuade a company to give her consideration, it is likely that the artistic director will have already spoken to ABT (or to ABT dancers that he/she knows personally) to get their take on her dancing and ability to function with colleagues. If she takes the so-called "high road" and doesn't make her best case about why she's out of a job, it will be like making no defense at all. Let's hope she doesn't repeat Veronika's mistake by thinking that others' social media complaining is going to help her win her job back. She has to make the case herself for her value and for ABT's mistake or deceit or whatever it was that ended her employment.
Jean, to her credit, Skylar plants more videos of herself working her ass off in rehearsals than all the other ABT dancers combined. It doesn't appear to me that anyone is doing more to prepare for a high level principal career than Skylar. I expect greatness from her, and my hope is that it comes with a short wait. Further, I also have high hopes for Ahn whose spectacular technique coupled with highly-organized abandon was a thrill to watch in both Le Corsaire and as Albrecht in Giselle. I wish he could have the benefit of time with Bocca. Both Tom Forster and Aran Bell will deliver the goods with steady growth and will create their large blocks of fans who want to see every one of their performances, which will probably include most of us. But as others have suggested, the clowning and effort to portray ballet as just another form of sloppy, do whatever you want to do contemporary dance form by Boylston, Whiteside and others has turned ABT into Asses Ballet Theater.