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  1. Agree with Nanushka and fondoffouettes 1000% on POB Emeralds. Will update more later. Fairchild was better today but Reichlen slightly diminished from Thursday. De Luz fantastic as usual.
  2. Reichlen says she is usually jealous when watching other dancers in Rubies, so perhaps that was her reaction: I look forward to seeing the alternate POB cast (especially Gilbert) tonight as well as NYCB Diamonds tomorrow. At least Bolshoi Rubies will have two different dancers in the leads on Sunday: Vyacheslav Lopatin in the Villella role and Olga Marchenkova as the Tall Girl. The grass isn't always greener with a different cast, but Marchenkova did stand out to me as one of the demis in Diamonds. Krysanova I can at least picture, but Ovcharenko is so wrong for Rubies. He is a beautiful dancer who doesn't seem to project much of anything: an issue not isolated to his miscasting in Rubies. I wish all three companies got a chance to perform each gem throughout the Festival. It's a shame especially that Emeralds only has one company performing, and I would be interested in seeing POB Diamonds. Of course logistically it would be much more complicated, but the contrasts would be fascinating across multiple shows. Also can't speak enough about the genius of Balanchine. No one work of "Jewels" is my favorite, but the evening becomes something greater than the sum of its parts.
  3. Does anyone remember who replaced Alena Kovaleva last night in Diamonds? They announced it at the top of show but there was no slip of the program (same with Marc Moreau replacing Francois Alu in Emeralds). I assume they are resting her for her NY debut as the principal ballerina on Saturday matinee. The quartet of women in Diamonds (especially Ana Turazashvili) were impeccable, as were the corps, except I wanted more sweep in the waltz. I could hear Balanchine telling the ballerinas to bend more. However, the corps and demi men were comparatively disappointing. The demi men in the sequence of tour jetes had little elevation, and the finale with the synchronous pirouettes went haywire, though that is hardly ever well done. I'm glad everyone cleared up the lack of staccato changes in the arabesque during the Emeralds "walking" pas de deux. I thought I had dosed off and missed it.
  4. Moreau actually replaced Alu in yesterday evening's performance. Is Revillion doing pas de trois second cast?
  5. Paris Opera's Emeralds was more satisfying than Royal's in the cinemacast or NYCB when I saw them three years ago, where Ashley Bouder almost turned the ballet into Swan Lake. I do disagree with Balanchinette on Pujol. While, yes, she was a bit mannered for my taste, she had luscious port de bras--her hands particularly gorgeous--and she and Ganio were wonderfully responsive to one another. She integrated her upper body into the iconic hand movements of the Violette solo to an extent that I had not seen before, and overall I found her performance more rich and detailed here than in the DVD version. Ould-Braham was in stark contrast to Pujol, very stately and reserved. The solo which can sometimes go on for ages was masterfully controlled in her hands, with Braham almost letting the music push her. She had a slight problem during the running bourrees toward the end but otherwise gorgeous. Ganio is the epitome of a cavalier with fantastic presence and line; my only quibble is that he should've traveled the diagonal lifts more. Pas de trois was fine, not sensational. Marc Moreau replaced Francois Alu and was a bit underwhelming though certainly far from the worst I have seen. The diagonal of jumps was played at such a brisk tempo that he struggled to keep up, finishing the double tour with his weight back. Of the pas de trois, I appreciated Sae Eun Park most for her serene presence, though Hannah O'Neill was lovely. Rubies was the same cast I saw of NYCB in 2014. I have seen Reichlen's stage devouring Tall Girl about five times and I am constantly reminded that she has no equal in the role. Especially after watching Melissa Hamilton in the ROH cinemacast who danced like a corps girl that just happened to be center stage, Reichlen's dancing actually overshadows the principal couple whenever she is onstage. This is perhaps a rare cast where the Tall Girl is far more interesting and memorable than the principal ballerina, but with Reichlen's presence (and legs!) it would be almost impossible for anyone to match her. It's not that Fairchild's Rubies is substandard, but I did see a stronger effort from her in 2014 and overall she is not that interesting a dancer. Very competent and musical, but not unique. Joaquin De Luz at 41(!) is still pretty hard to beat in the Villella role. His Rubies is decidedly unballetic with audible stomping, turned in plie, a sort of Devil-may-care attitude, but in doing so brings out the very intention of the work with the technical chomps to match. Those traveling jumps going from stage left the right practically accelerated into a tornado. One of the corps girls slipped and nearly fell with both hands on the ground during the two lines of diagonals when Tall Girl is with the men. Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky were front row center shouting and waving during the curtain calls when Fairchild and De Luz came out. Diamonds: Olga was majestic and I think it will take a second time of seeing her (I go again Saturday) to fully comprehend and articulate her presence. For 10 minutes during the pas de deux I could have sworn I was not in the Koch, but rather the Palace of the Czars, feasting in the decadence of The Ballerina. It should be said that she was not perfect: she got very luxuriant in the bourrees at the end, so the pirouette ended late and Semyon had to scramble to kiss her hand in time. Her solo in the scherzo was majestic, but she suffered a hiccup in the first of the supported pirouettes at the very end of the finale. She does struggle to maintain her turnout in particular during developpe a la seconde. But such quibbles were inconsequential in what was a masterful performance. She began as a ballerina of Imperial Russia before slowly melting into a woman who was both vulnerable and regal. She perfectly modulated the transition between her mysterious, cool aura in the pas de deux and the growing, triumphant jubilation she achieved by the finale, creating an arc even within a plotless ballet. Make no mistake that this was not Diamonds, but rather a Russian Diamonds, where Smirnova transported you through every step. Semyon Chudin was very fine technically and should be commended for performing so well after a recent injury. As always, he has wonderful elevation and extension in the manege as well as a squeaky clean set of a la seconde turns pulling for a quadruple. I sensed he was a touch cautious in the solos and will gain more confidence on Saturday. He partnered Olga well, but more importantly the two created a relationship onstage that was more complex than just Danseur escorting Ballerina. The Russian Soul from both was certainly evident. Dancers from all three gems (including the corps) came out for bows after Diamonds. This was followed by the three directors--Dupont, Martins, and Vaziev--coming out for a bow and turning to applaud the dancers. Kevin McKenzie, Skylar Brandt, Paul Boos, Katrina Killian, Vanessa Zahorian, Davit Karapetyan, along with Irina and Max were among numerous luminaries in attendance for what was a sold out house. Certainly this was one of the most satisfying performances I've seen in some time, and I look forward to seeing casts of all three gems in the upcoming shows (I attend Saturday where NYCB Rubies/Bolshoi Diamonds will repeat, and Sunday matinee where this cast of Paris Opera repeats).
  6. Thank you for linking to Yoko's fouettes. I had not previously been familiar with her, but her turns are fantastic. I love how she emphasizes the a la seconde while on pointe.
  7. We both saw the same performance: Saturday, August 10th (evening). She does the exact sequence you mention in the 2010 clip with Dmitri Gudanov, but my (perhaps faulty) memory recalls her doing at least the first set in three counts, thereby starting the next sequence early. Either way, they were certainly some of the fastest fouettes I've ever seen, if not the most aesthetically pleasing. Kristina Kretova in the matinee alternated singles and doubles, all very well done with minimal traveling.
  8. Tell that to Kevin O'Hare. Ironic that Neary has had to cast "medium" height girls in her part ever since Yanowsky retired the role.
  9. So basically around the same time, as Beauty was a month later.
  10. There's talk in this thread about Part's injuries. I don't see many performances of ABT per year, but it seems at least in the MET seasons she has normally fulfilled her assigned performances. I do recall a Kennedy Center run of Sleeping Beauty in January 2016 which she withdrew from, but can anyone give more insight here? Regardless, there was clearly a bigger reason than chronic injuries as to why she was let go. Especially as said injuries did not appear to diminish her technique, or cause her to withdraw from a substantial (or even sizable) number of performances in recent years.
  11. Her Diamonds in January 2008 was one of the greatest I've ever seen. At that point her classical technique was still extremely strong.
  12. This. Sarah is not a Gamzatti at all.
  13. Sara Michelle Murawski, a principal at PA Ballet, was told she would not be renewed before she went onstage for Arabian in Nutcracker. She had a good six months left to dance for the company.
  14. I also recall Maria Riccetto, during a seminar at the 2010 ABT summer intensive, saying that she had been told the day before the company was notified that she had been promoted to soloist. Kevin McKenzie told her she shouldn't miss class because he would announce her promotion after. So, I guess it's a case-by-case basis. Abrera clearly had not been told when she was made principal given her emotional reaction.