Archive for July, 2008

NYCB Season

July 28, 2008

It’s hard to believe that the NYCB season at SPAC has already ended. It went so fast! I did manage to catch two different afternoon rehersals and also saw two performances. The dancing was superb. Too bad the audience was so small, but what do you  expect with the economy? Lots of people missed out on some excellent dancing.

In addition to watching the NYCB, I also got to take dance classes with four different company members – Philip Neal, Jon Stafford, Jenifer Ringer, and Andrew Cordato. You’d think that these talented dancers would lack patience with the group of students, but that was not the case. Each one was very patient and more than willing to share a story about the company and its performance. I’m sorry to see all of them go….

New York City Ballet Rehearsal at SPAC

July 12, 2008

Watching the New York City Ballet rehearse is such a treat — even when some of the dancers just mark the steps. I can’t blame them, since it was very hot and humid on Wednesday. They danced for several hours and also had to perform that evening.

I got to see them work on four pieces that I have never seen before: Four Bagatelles (by Jerome Robbins), La Sonnambula (by Balanchine), Grazioso (by Peter Martins), and River of Light (by Peter Martins).  I always enjoy Jerome Robbins’ pieces, but my favorite piece of the afternoon was Grazioso. It’s a new work by Martins and has three male dancers and one female dancer. It showed off the men, yet they also supported the female ballerina. I don’t know if I’ll get to see it performed this year, but will mark it down for the future.

You Think Walking is Easy?

July 8, 2008

Yesterday I took a class with Philip Neal, Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet. He taught sections from I’m Old Fashioned and also from Serenade. One of the things we worked on was walking ballet style. Who would think it would be so difficulet to look regal, graceful, and interesting as you walk across stage? The professional dancers make it look so easy, but all the students in the class soon found out that it takes a lot of practise and focus. Key tips were the angle of the body to the audience and also making sure to look at the audience whenever possible. I;m looking forward to watching the NYC Ballet dancers walk across stage during their performances at Saratoga Performing Arts Center.