Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Marcelo, Marcelo, Marcelo!

So much has already been written about Friday night’s performance of American Ballet Theatre’s Giselle that I hesitate to add my small voice to the cheers, but I was so moved by the experience I can’t help but proceed anyway.

So, let me start at the beginning. Before Friday night, I had seen Diana Vishneva only a few times before in my many years of ABT - in ballets such as Sylvia (with Ethan Stiefel), in On The Dnieper (with Jose Manuel Carreno), and several times last season in Thais (with Jared Matthews). This season, I’m seeing her twice - in Giselle and Lady of the Camellias - and honestly I had bought both tickets to see Gomes. I had heard, though, that Vishneva is fantastic in both. As for her Giselle, the hype did not let me down.

And, if Marcelo Gomes wasn’t already my favorite dancer, he surely would be after this performance. His acting, technique and performance soared beyond my own expectations.... I came away saying “I knew he was great, but I had no idea he could do THAT!”
Act I

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions, Two Missed Opportunities and One Deep Bench

Well, I have mixed thoughts about last night’s mixed bill at American Ballet Theatre.  On one hand, there were a lot of things wrong with the program: uninspiring and even mundane choreography (ahem, Mr. Millepied?), a costume choice that may have been trying too hard (again, Mr. Millepied?), unfortunate miscasting or unnecessary use of two or three principal dancers......but really not much of what was wrong with the performance can be attributed to the dancers.  Not really.  On the other hand, there was Wheeldon’s “Thirteen Diversions,” which was well danced, lit, costumed and choreographed.  And, there were a few very strong performances by members of the corps de ballet and soloists in Ratmansky’s Dumbarton that, if you were really seeing, reminded me what I love about ABT, and gave me back more than a glimmer of hope for the company’s future. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It’s Fleet Week in NYC...but no ‘Fancy Free’

So to begin, it’s Fleet Week in New York City again....and I got this quick shot as the parade of ships was coming down the Hudson River (with an air escort).  A heartfelt thank you to the men and women of the US Navy and all of the other members of our armed forces serving and retired.

In less important news, tonight will be my second, of at least nine, trips to see American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House this season.   Reservedly looking forward to tonight’s mixed bill repertory program, which includes Shadowplay, and new pieces by Millepied, Ratmansky and Wheeldon.  Based on last night’s twitter activity, no one seemed to enjoy the first three but the Wheeldon won over some hearts.   Unlike last year’s repertory which included the always pleasing “On the Town”-esque “Fancy Free”, I’m told that tonight’s rep is almost entirely abstract and without story.  Sounds like more of a NYCB program....but I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised.  What I am really looking forward to is seeing some more of the glorious members of ABT’s corps de ballet and soloists in featured roles.  With all the guest principals descending on NY this season, in part due to unfortunate injury to Herman Cornejo and Ethan Stiefel’s withdrawal from the season, I really hope tonight’s program lets some of the younger dancers shine.  Fingers crossed that next season we will see more than one matinee with real leading roles danced by Stella Abrera, Jared Matthews and Yuriko Kajiya and maybe even some principal performances by Isabella Boylston, Simone Messmer and Sarah Lane.   

Stay tuned on my thoughts of tonight’s performance!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to begin....

People keep telling me I should start a blog (or do standup comedy, yikes!)...about ballet, books, theater, movies, tv, food...whatever.  I’m not really sure if it’s because they’re tired of listening to my thoughts or because they enjoy them....but watch this space, because my opinions on my excursions will be coming soon.