Posted in actors, ballet, balletic, circus, circus. vaudeville, dancers life, Lincoln Center


My intro to the NYCB Working Rehearsal included a docent telling us that one of the things she enjoyed about watching the dancers rehearse was that they reveal their personalities in the banter on the stage. In thinking about this, I realized that what I like to see on stage is a persona, not a personality.

Duffy Square, NYC. Photo © Tamara Beck

In this case, I witnessed, among other things, Robert Fairchild‘s easy charm (and of course those matinée idol looks I have often mentioned before) which has landed him on Broadway in the past. (And also in Paris and London where An American In Paris had its try-outs, as it were, pre-Palace Theatre in New York.) Fairchild is funny and always
very polite, which belies his perfectionism. He is completely professional and engaged in his dancing. His patter with Sterling Hyltin while waiting for the violinist, Arturo Delmoni was an agreeable look at his more private side, but what I expect to see in his penultimate performance as a Principal Dancer for NYCB at the Saturday matinée tomorrow is his absorption into the role in Duo Concertante. In other words, I will be mesmerized by the persona he projects, not the witty personality he clearly possesses. (Note, he reprises this role at the Sunday matinée.)


Not so hasty. We’re still here.

Marlise and JuliaT26H_008
Photo © Tamara Beck

Rumors that the Big Apple Circus had folded its tent for good appear to have been premature.

It may be that the demise of the multi-tent Barnum + Bailey makes this a winning holiday destination, and the only circus in town.

The Big Apple’s one ring approach was always a more kid-friendly way to present the events on this kind of stage anyway. Who can keep up with all the action in three rings?

On Thursday, The Big Apple was setting up for a late October opening at L.C. Its wagon were in the familiar place by Damrosch Park.

Note to the  storekeeper

Frank Dicksee [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The poster in the window says “Love Always Wins” and the posterboard is covered in post-its meant to prove this point.

The question I want to pose is have you considered how dire the ending is for Romeo and for Juliet, for instance? They are not the only star-crossed lovers in history– or in theater, but they set the tone for all those who have been failed by your all-encompassing motto.

“Love Sometimes Wins” might be a more apt if less emphatic statement.  Given the realities in many romances, the equivocal is a better way of expressing the hope that love carries and sometimes delivers.

Chick flicks

While on the subject of romance, I want to submit my favorite type of commentary– the list. In this case, it is a list of films in which women are powerful and empowered. Some of them are romantic in the traditional sense. Some take a right or left turn around the central proposition. Other lists I have shared include those in which ballets are interconnected, and have been meant as a year-end salute.

Here’s today’s list:

A League Of Their Own, sports and girls! 
Thelma and Louise
, girls in cars
Bull Durham, a girl–well, a woman and some ball players
Moonstruck, a love affair with two brothers and a woman, a full moon, etc etc etc
Alice, a woman on the edge of dementia
Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, a woman finds herself


Posted in circus, circus. vaudeville

Polishing the “…Apple”

On February 12th, Big Apple Circus returns to Bridgewater, New Jersey for the company’s 38th season with the New Jersey Premiere of The GrandTour! Tickets start at $25, running through March 13, 2016 under the Big Top at TD Bank Ballpark. For tickets or to get more information, visit

See our other mentions and critiques of the Big Apple Circus at:



We are eagerly anticipating our trip to the circus, which brings us to this riff on its history.

(Big Apple Circus, a one-ring spectacle, returns to Lincoln Center with a premiere set in the 1920s, from October 21st to January 10th.For the October 28th and 29th at 11am, there are specially adapted performances for those with vision or hearing impairments to enjoy The Grand Tour at Lincoln Center: Big Apple Circus presents Circus of the Senses: On November 17th at 11am, Big Apple Circus invites families with members who are in the autism spectrum to a special performance. )

Circuses have a long and storied history. B.C. Romans put on shows in the round, hence the name,  to distract the populus from the corruption around them.

Laughter, shock and awe are the best medicine. The circus is a spectacle, a spectacular sporting event that brings together acrobats, jugglers, and equestrians…

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Posted in circus. vaudeville, clowning around, hula hoops, juggling

Takin’ a big bite

New York City got its own little BIG TOP,  when its circus performer founders decided to teach the skills they had honed over the years. From school to single-tent, in the European style, Big Apple Circus has set up its tent at Lincoln Center each holiday season since 1977.

Dominguez's take flight
Dominguez’s take flight

Your kids won’t care about any of that. They’ll be awed by the action in front of them. They’ll giggle as Skip (Brent McBeth) gets Mr. Joel (Joel Jeske, who wrote The Grand Tour and also creates and directs clown material for the troupe) soaked  and admire the Energy Trio acrobats as they stand on their hands.

2_BG21379You too will marvel at the talent on display in the new Big Apple Circus: The Grand Tour. Going in, a patron worried at missing the trapeze act, and then watched slack-jawed as Jayson and Eric Dominguez worked the Wheel of Wonder. Audible gasps were heard all around as the two men balanced and jumped on high, in two moving rings.

BREAKING NEWS: Jim Gaffigan is Guest Ringmaster on November 21st. In fact, look for a rotating cast of Guest R.M.s in the tour, and special events like the circus adapted for family members with autism program on November 17th.


Chiara Anastisini works the hula hoop like no one else
Chiara Anastisini works the hula hoop like no one else

Jenny Vidbel and Emily McGuire work a dog act (and the ponies, too) with an impressive bunch of canines. Alexander Koblikov, as a slightly askew sailor, juggles as many as 9 balls into his hat and behind his back. The Ringmaster (John Kennedy Kane) orchestrates The Grand Tour in a booming voice.

1._GU25447Much of what is on display could be billed as a vaudeville show. The Big Apple Circus Band, led by Red Slowik, is energetic and tuneful.

Sergey Akimov
Sergey Akimov

Enjoy this home-grown holiday tradition, running through January 10th at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park.

To learn more about the Big Apple Circus, or to get tickets, please see

Also see our other postings about the Big Apple Circus season here, and also here. There is also post at our site.1 BAC092315MS_ show_046 2 BAC092315MS_ show_061 3 BAC092315MS_ show_059 4 BAC092315MS_ show_052