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I'm saying a quick "hi" from Saratoga before my day gets totally insane. We're SO excited here! This is my favorite day of the entire year--better than my birthday. It doesn't matter what the program is--the opening night of NYCB at SPAC is the reason to endure 7 months of upstate NY winter.

And mentioning birthdays-- a happy belated one to you, (John) Philip.



LOL...thanks for the birthday greeting! Looking forward to your reports. Keep an eye out for Lydia!


Hello! I am a lurker on your site...and live in Saratoga Springs...my 3 favorite weeks of the year start today! I am so excited..and will be taking as much time off as my boss will allow. The local media here has been giving great attention to the company...I hope this translates into increased attendance! Take care!


Next year a bunch of "Oberon Grovers"
(bad grammar!) should rent a house and go up there for a week. I bet we'd have a blast, plus we'd get to see a lot of our favorite company. And it's cheaper than going to Paris (which I'm also doing with my husband as part of our 20th anniversary celebration). Of course I timed it to go when the NYCB will be there.
A little crazy, I know!


Glasspieces, please leave comments here about the performances you attend!

Deborah, you probably don't know this about me but I hate to travel! I am a true Cancerian homebody. It's very rare for me to venture any further than the US Open in Flushing.


Deborah, I've been trying to get Philip to come to Saratoga for years! Maybe you will have better luck..

If a sighting of Philip's beloved Janie Taylor doesn't do the trick, what will? I can't remember the last time we saw Janie on the SPAC stage, and it was 14 minutes of delight last evening. Welcome back-- don't stay away so long!

Where did I read that Janie is becoming the Allegra Kent of this generation--elusive, ethereal, making an occasional appearance and then slipping away.

The earlier Janie was not my favorite--too wild, reckless rather than risk-taking...but I relished seeing this side of her in Faun. Does she do the Sleepwalker? I'd like to see it! And Craig Hall... how this wonderful dancer has progressed.

I need to mention outstanding ensemble (dancers and orchestra) work, spot-on turns from Daniel Ulbricht, a meltingly lovely pas by Tiler Peck and Robbie Fairchild and an impressive piano solo by Elaine Chelton in Interplay, which all combined to give a GREAT performance of a good, but not great ballet.

The opening and closing pieces, crowd pleasers both, did not disappoint. Glass Pieces looks as fresh and urgent as it did in the 80s, and the smashing finale of Old Fashioned always brings cheers.

It was an extremely appreciative crowd last night and the rains held off for the all-Robbins. These aren't my favorite Robbins works, but it hardly matters. Opening night of NYCB at SPAC is electric and a cause to celebrate, whatever the program. I am looking forward to tonight's all Balanchine though.


I swear -- (as Midsummer Magic can attest to) - Saratoga is a short (less than 3.5 hour) car ride from NYC. We could sing camp songs! But seriously, I totally understand. I have a couple of friends who are the same way.


Thanks to Deborah and Glasspieces for sending the links to the local press reviews.

Rhona, this season I saw Allegra Kent in the audience at NYCB at several of the performances I attended.


Off topic but NYCB finally has Sara Mearn's promotion to Principal on its website: http://tinyurl.com/6lgwz5


Janie is such a special dancer. She has such a mysterious and alluring quality about her. You can't take your eyes off of her because the way she moves is just so interesting.

Dick B

Hi, I am a Lurker too. I was happey to learn about Sara Mearns being promoted to Principal Dancer, but wonder whi Tess Reichlen has not been yet. Any thoughts


I feel certain that Reichlen will soon be a Principal. NYCB need to cultivate some very tall young men to partner her.


I am certain Tess will be promoted too. Just give it a year or so.


It's great that the local Saratoga press is covering NYCB. That said, it would be nice if they could spell our dancer's names correctly (how hard is that?). I've corrected
printed misspellings twice already (and to their credit, the editors made he changes on their website). I just sent in the third
correction (the spelling of our Wendy's last name). Please know that I tend to be the typo queen myself. However for work (PR/Media/Publicity) I use a copyeditor. Even small newspapers (like The Saratogian) do have more than one copyeditor (I asked). As for the reviews themselves, Wendy Liberatore of the Daily Gazette has done a very fine job (I hope they let her write more pieces!) on covering our company. I'll be there next weekend. Can't wait!


I was astounded that Rogoff misspelled Wendy's last name throughout the entire review. I mean, they do give reviewers in Saratoga a copy of the program, don't they?


Wish I could be there with you all. Happy to vicariously experience NYCB/Saratoga via "The Grove".


Sara P. attended the Saturday matinee and sent me an e-mail which has allowed me to edit and post as a comment here:

"I think the orchestra may have been pushing the tempos...the dancers looked rushed (even my favorite Wendy!)...she didn't look
like she could fully finish her movements...and it carried through Mozartiana and parts of Symphony in C...

I went to the pre-performance talks they have and it was Mindy Aloff speaking...and we got to talk about Mozartiana...
I had asked her about something that I had read...which was that the prayer section Balanchine did as a sort of reconciliation for Suzanne Farrell (the ballerina
starts and ends in the same position after asking for forgiveness...a
sort of "ok...now we can move on" between them)...she thought that
could be true...but interpreted that the children were the children
he could never give her...that's another level I never thought about!

Wendy was fabulous is Mozartiana...as always! I still like her in the Balanchine Stravinsky (spelling) pieces the best. The prayer section teared me up today...so beautiful! I think my previous
discussion got me a bit emotional...but the rest of the ballet I found to be very playful...I love Wendy and Philip Neal...they have
such chemistry and playfulness on the stage and it really is enjoyable to watch. I found the ballet to be not as dark
as I recalled it to be as a child...Daniel Ulbricht was very much the "playboy" in his solo and with the corp ladies...and the
Wendy/Philip pas was very "sweet"...I don't recall Mozartiana being ever called "sweet"...was I missing something? Also there was a member of the corp...Saskia Beskow (I think from looking at the
headshots)....I could not take my eyes off of her (except to see Wendy of course!)....she was truly a standout! I will efinitely be watching for her...such presence.

And for the record....I am jumping on the Daniel Ulbricht bandwagon...I tried to resist....but his Prodigal Son was simply
breathtaking (even with the cheers of the teenage girls everytime he set foot on stage!) I had read his acting was often too much and forced...in the beginning of the piece I found that...but after he
is beaten and stripped of his belongings...I felt such a truth about
the movements and the pain and regret his character was going through. Teresa Reichlen played the siren....I think again I need to see more performances of this piece to compare...she was very
sexual...and physically towered over Daniel at times as part of the
choreography....maybe I need to see a more "mature" dancer in this role to truly be able to weigh this particular performance? The drinking companions did shine too! Some comedic relief?

In Symphony in C ...second movement still remains my
favorite choreography from Balanchine...Mindy noted in the pre-performance talk that this piece was performed on the day he
died...by Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins...and that after it the audience was silent...no applause...It took a whole new meaning today for me. I also have to say I love Sterling Hytlin...what a
firecracker! You NYCers have it so great to be able to see these artists so often! It was my first time seeing her dance...although
I have read about her. I don't know why she reminds me of Wendy...strange? I also was able to see the newly promoted Sara
Mearns (in the Second Movement) and am so impressed by her technical
mastery...I would have liked to see a more artistic side to her in
the future...but wow!"

Sara claims to have never put her thoughts about dance into written form before but I think this is a really interesting first effort...thanks, Sara!


Sara -- great post! And you are right -- we NYC folks are very lucky to see our company all the time. I was at that Sym. in C performance (I was young at the time but had been going to NYCB for years).
It was the perfect way to honor Mr. B.


SPAC Lovers:

Phillip: Take Amtrak or hook up as we did with the NYCB Guild bus trip which was magnificent. They treated us Guild members as if we were patrons.
Diane, Faith, Christine, Dana and Emily were our guides and companions, and we loved them all.

Oh the glory of seeing our beloved dancers at Spac beginning at 8:00 in light, and then going to darkness as we watched "La Somnabula" with Jeni back from her January 15 birth of Grace.

PHILLIP, you should've seen Janie in Faun. You know I too am happily in love with her.THAT hair.

On Saturday night Peter greeted evry one of the 73 on our trip at cocktail time with Deborah Koolish.

Phillip, I was born in Bayside, and I love Flushing, but Saratoga beckons; you can get a full American breakfast at Compton's for less than $5.00.

This was our first trip to NYCB at SPAC and to Saratoga, and we're going in 2009 for sure.

My wife felt dizzy and lightheaded (we arose at 5:30 a.m. to catch or train and subway to our 10:30 departure from the State Theatre .)beginning at about 6:00 p.m. Friday, but she still loved all the dinners and dancing; she is off to the doctor tomorrow, and she is thinking inner ear infection.

Even with sickness and sleeplessness, we have to rate the trip a great one.

Pat and Jim

And we made five friends we'll see again in NYC


Actually, I have been to Saratoga once - years ago for a performance of FLEDERMAUS with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. How many years? Well, Ormandy conducted and Roberta Peters sang Adele and Kitty Carlisle was Orlofsky and (eat your heart out, Mr. Devlin) Hilde Gueden was Rosalinda.

I guess you would have to be a full-blooded Cancerian to understand why I don't like to travel. It really has nothing to do with the money, time and effort involved. Sometimes I think it would be lovely to BE at Bayreuth or Monte Carlo or Wimbledon but I certainly have no interest in GETTING to any of those places.

It's like last summer when I finally went back to Jacob's Pillow: it's a wonderful (and MEANINGFUL) place and it was great to be there...but I couldn't wait to get home. Wei feels exactly the same.

So we content ourselves with the 5 months that NYCB is here at Lincoln Center and enjoy hearing about them from people who are ready, willing and able to go to SPAC, London, Copenhagen or Paris.

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