Showing posts from March, 2012

Paul Taylor, again

I made a return trip to see Paul Taylor Dance Company tonight. As usual, it was an oddly assorted triple bill that showed off the choreographer's incredible, if quirky range. Although I'm not nearly as familiar with Paul Taylor's output as I am with ballet, everyone can be a quick study with him. It doesn't take a dance expert to love the joy of Esplanade . The audience for these performances I've noticed is surprisingly diverse, a mix of young and old, male and female, very different from, say, Nutcracker performances. It's not good or bad, it's just different. The program started with Roses , which I saw last week. I don't have to be very familiar with this piece to know that tonight's performance was much stronger. The movements had much more snap and flow, especially the series of cartwheels that the couples do over each others' bodies. The couples were much more coordinated and the cartwheels seemed an expression of joy. At first, i

L'elisir d'amore -- again

I went back to catch a second performance of the Met's revival of L'elisir d'amore tonight, and found it even more wonderful than opening night. It's really a great revival and I recommend that people catch the remaining performances -- you won't be disappointed. Diana Damrau's was in much better shape than on opening night, where I found her voice surprisingly weak and thin. Tonight it was the familiar Damrau sound again -- bright, a bit brassy, but definitely a stellar, A-list lyric coloratura soprano. She also seemed to be more familiar with the production and cast, and added some funny acting bits that I don't remember on opening night. Juan Diego Florez gave the same lovely, charming performance he gave opening night. I didn't think Nemorino would be the right role for him -- at times, he can seem aloof and stiff onstage. But he was an absolute delight as Nemorino. He showed his unsophisticated nature by some delightfully bad dancing,

Paul Taylor Dance Company

The Paul Taylor Dance Company is back in town, but this time they're using the Koch Theater due to NYCB's off-season and the NYC Opera's eviction from the theater last year. Their triple bills are always surprising, delightful, thought-provoking, and most of all, a reminder that Paul Taylor is maybe the last choreographic genius who is still alive, running his own company, choosing his own dancers, and supervising his dances. He's a national treasure and when he comes out for his curtain calls at the end of performances there's always a bittersweet feeling that it might all come to an end. The triple bill this afternoon started with the stunningly beautiful Roses , set to Wagner's Siegfried's Idyll and Heinrich Baermann's Adagio for Clarinet and String . It starts off with four couples, the women dressed in black, the men in gray, as they move to the strains of Wagner's Siegfried's Idyll . At times Roses looks like something Balanchine co

Bolshoi's Corsaire, live in HD

Watching the Bolshoi's Le Corsaire is sort of being like treated to a four-hour extravaganza of the sweetest, thickest pastries. It's delicious and fun at first, but by the fourth hour, you feel sick. I've never been able to make sense of the plot of Le Corsaire , and I have seen this ballet a surprising amount of times both live and on video. Something about pirates and slave girls and a pasha and his harem. The score is stitched together from six composers, and various choreographers. The current Bolshoi production is one of those reconstructions where some attempt has been made to restore long-lost music, mime, and old-fashioned Petipa-era costumes. The ballet certainly has a plethora of opportunities for dancers at every level of the company, and it's a lot of fun, but as I said, this production drags on for way too long and my interest totally sagged by Act III. I saw this production live when the Bolshoi toured to Washington D.C. a few years ago, and had th

L'elisir d'amore

For last night's premiere of L'elisir d'amore, I wrote for parterre, and my full review can be found here. Needless to say I enjoyed the performance very much, and recommend it highly.

Latonia Moore

Yesterday a young soprano named Latonia Moore made her debut at the Met, subbing for Violetta Urmana in Aida . It was the broadcast performance, heard around the world. Normally I'd write a wall of text, but in this case, I'll just let the singing speak for itself. Hi world, meet Aida. Ritorna vinctor: O patria mia: