It’s already the second day of 2008 (Happy New Year everyone!) and I’m just now getting my best of last year up; sorry so late! I was tagged by Jen & Jolene, so I’ll formulate my “best of” as a response to their survey:
1) Best Performance of the Year: I had many favorites, but I guess overall I’ll have to say Alessandra Ferri’s farewell performance with ABT in Romeo & Juliet at the Met. She was my favorite ballerina for many years and I’m still missing her. Plus, I was introduced to La Scala’s Roberto Bolle, who guest performed 😀
2) Best Male Performer of the Year: Definitely Clifton Brown of Alvin Ailey!
3) Best Female Performer of the Year: I thought a lot about this, and I know I’m mixing dance genres, but I’m going to say Yulia Zagoruychenko. She had a damn good year. She, with Max Kozhevnikov, made the Latin finals at Blackpool this year, being the only US couple to do so, then, later in the year, went on to displace the several-year-long U.S. National champs to win that title. At the end of the year, she survived a partner change and went on to win her first competition with him, Riccardo Cocchi. She is adored by many both nationally and internationally and she is very deserving of her hard-won success. Go Yulia and Riccardo!
4) Best New Discovery of the Year: This is too hard because there were so many dancers and choreographers whom I was introduced to this year who aren’t necessarily new to the scene, but just to me! List includes: choreographers Camille A. Brown, Luca Veggetti, Luciana Achugar, Kyle Abraham, and Robert Battle; composer Nico Muhly; dancers Kirven Boyd, Antonio Douthit and Yannick LeBrun (all of Alvin Ailey — the last I forgot to mention in my last post on AA; fortunately Susan reminded me in her comment!), and Roberto Bolle (who was new to me this year); Brazilian troupe Mimulus; Nora Chipaumire of Urban Bush Women (pictured above this number) at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival itself (it’s been around for aeons, but I had my first experience there this year). That’s all I can think of for now, but I’m sure I’ll think of bizillions of people I forgot later…
5) Best Regional / Local Performance of the Year: I think this is more of a theater question since there’s usually a big distinction between regional theater and a Broadway show, or a company who tours, but, since physically it was “local,” I’ll say NYCB’s spring season opening night. It was just too much fun watching all those celebrities walk down that red carpet and overhearing goofy crowd comments, and then writing about it all (although my mother was aghast at me for my using the word “whores” in my blog title!)
6) Best Performance in a Non-Traditional Venue: This is a toss-up between the wonderful “Accounting For Customs” performed on the steps of the US Customs House, and the super fun and impossible-to-tear-yourself-away-from Lincoln Center ‘drive-in,’ David Michalek’s “Slow Dancing” films.
7) Favorite Televised Theater Event: I didn’t really have a favorite in this category (since the only thing I saw fitting it was Mark Morris’s “Mozart Dances” on PBS which I didn’t care for), so I’ll just state my favorite dance TV show, which was SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. Duh.
8) Biggest Dance Obsession: Alvin Ailey, Alvin Ailey, Alvin Ailey. Again, if you’ve read my blog over the past several weeks, Duh 😀
9) Most Likely To Be The Next Big Thing: Eee. Hard! So hard to predict. But I’m going to name a few: ABT’s Blaine Hoven and Vitali Krauchenka,
Kirven Boyd and Antonio Douthit at Alvin Ailey,
Craig Hall at NYCB,
choreographer Camille A. Brown…
Again, I’m sure I’m leaving people out…
10) Most Anticipated Performance Of 2008: Eee, another tough one. There are so many things I’m looking forward to this year. I guess the biggest is going to be Blackpool. Since the current decade-long Latin champs retired last year, there will be a new Latin winner, which is really exciting to me since it’s my favorite event there. I’m hoping for Slavik Kryklyvyy and Elena Khvorova,
I’m also looking forward to Twyla Tharp’s new ballet that ABT will premiere in the Spring at the Met,
And I’m looking forward to Nikolaj Hubbe’s farewell performance with NYCB (he is returning to Denmark). Not that I’m looking forward to bidding him farewell, but to the show NYCB will put on in his honor.
Okay my brain is tired now. If anyone else wants to add their “best ofs” in a comment here or on their own blog, please do so!