Friday, June 21, 2019

ABT Says Farewell to Roberto Bolle

Bolle's curtain call, photo @Kent G. Becker

ABT's spring season is now officially into warhorse territory. Last week we had Le Corsaire, which I reviewed for bachtrack. (In a sign of the times Le Corsaire now comes with a disclaimer in the program.)  I was lucky enough to see Daniil Simkin's Ali before he got injured. Last night ABT said farewell to longtime danseur noble and uber-hunk Roberto Bolle. The ballet: Kenneth MacMillan's L'Histoire de Manon, which is actually the first ballet I ever saw Bolle dance (he was partnering Alessandra Ferri in her first "farewell").

Friday, June 7, 2019

To Kill a Mockingbird; ABT's Spring Season Chugs On

Father and daughter in To Kill a Mockingbird, photo @ Sara Krulwich
I'm always skeptical when one of my favorite novels gets adapted into a play. To me novels are internal and plays are external, and when novels are adapted into plays they lose their inner voice. And so it was when I heard that Aaron Sorkin was adapting Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird into a play. I loved the 1962 film adaptation, but that film had the close cooperation of Harper Lee. Harper Lee's estate actually sued Aaron Sorkin before a private settlement was reached, allegedly because Lee's estate felt that Sorkin had taken too many liberties with the novel. It was only the raves of friends and the week-after-week sell-out crowds that made me buy a ticket.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Spring Diaries: ABT's Seasons, SAB Workshop, NYCB's Midsummer

Ratmansky's The Seasons' final tableau, photo @ Rosalie O'Connor

ABT continued its Ratmansky Ballet Theater season with a triple bill: the pretty but somewhat bland Songs of Buklovina, the pseudo-dram-ballet On the Dnieper, and his new work The Seasons. I reviewed the program for bachtrack here. Everyone loved The Seasons -- I'm not there yet. To me it lacks the tight organization that is a hallmark of classical ballet. As I said on bachtrack:
The Seasons is overstuffed, uneven and way too busy. There are so many steps, but they rarely made me "see the music". It's also confusing; one had to keep glancing down at the program notes to keep track of who was supposed to be representing what. It was a frustrating ballet, with so many lovely moments that were less than the sum of its parts.

Balanchine's Nutcracker pops up ... everywhere

It's December 2020 and the world is going through a furious, deadly second wave of the covid pandemic. Most performances have been cance...