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About fondoffouettes

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid balletgoer
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  1. Hopefully reviews will help ABT fill seats because sales look pretty dismal at the moment. Each performance has somewhere between 600 to 1,400 unsold seats, and the balcony has only been opened for the Sunday matinee. This isn't super surprising for a work doesn't really have name recognition, but it must still be distressing for the company. Perhaps families that had just bought Nutcracker tickets three months ago simply weren't willing to shell out money on another ballet so soon. Or maybe the subject matter of Whipped Cream seemed too similar to The Nutcracker. I'm guessing ABT was hoping to convert those Nutcracker attendees into ticket-buyers for Whipped Cream, but perhaps the market in Southern California can't support so many family-friendly productions from ABT within the span of a few months. I'm still very much looking forward to seeing this work at the Met. I just hope for the sake of the company it isn't another Golden Cockrel that leaves the Met half-empty.
  2. I hope I'm not completely misremembering, but I could have sworn that Abrera was listed in the second slot for the May 22 opening night of Whipped Cream, as well as perhaps performances in the second run of the ballet. It's now listed as TBA. Does anyone recall?
  3. For anyone who still hasn't gotten quite enough of these torch lifts, I came across some really lovely ones in this clip of Ashton's Voices of Spring. There are two -- one right at the beginning of the ballet and another immediately at the end. They are the dead lift version, but they look very buoyant. It of course helps that Eagling is already behind Park when they to do the lift, unlike in the Ratmansky Nutcracker.
  4. This is very instructive! In The Pharaoh's Daughter, the fact that the man already happens to be behind the woman before the lift makes it seem more natural, more integrated into the choreography that comes before it. In Ratmansky's Nutcracker, the adult Clara's running approach only really makes sense when she goes for the leap. Otherwise, she runs toward the man, slows down, pauses, turns around, and then the lift happens. All momentum is killed in what should be a climactic moment. This convinces me that Ratmansky should modify the choreography leading up to lift when the couple opts for the deadlift version. However, Ratmanksy doesn't seem to be big on revising after a premiere (call me out of I'm overlooking something!). The only change I could detect over the years is that the Rat King, when he enters, no longer walks directly on the backs of the other mice, who are bowing down to him. Now he's held higher above them and doesn't come into physical contact with them. I feel like several of the Act-II divertissements could use some improvement, but I realize, at the same time, that time and resources may not allow it. And the company/Ratmansky may be perfectly happy with them.
  5. I went back and found what I had written in 2013. My memory played tricks on me. It was a lift in the Act I pdd that was aborted, not the torch lift. As far as I can remember, the torch lift just looked super shaky and he didn't get her completely above his head and properly into position. This is what I had written at the time: "During the first pas de deux, one of the big lifts was aborted before Lane got off the ground. Lane and Gorak then had to waltz around the stage for a while to kill time. In the second pas de deux, the lifts looked very uncomfortable, especially the one in which Lane is supported on one leg above her partner's head. Gorak managed to get Lane partway above his shoulders, but she teetered so much that he had to wrap his arms around her entire leg to keep her from falling."
  6. This was posted in last year's Nutcracker thread, I recall: Stella leaps into her partner's arms and then they sort of pop her up into position. It's more akin to the Bolshoi versions that have been posted here. It seems to me that each couple must have decided in rehearsals whether to do the running leap or the deadlift approach. The deadlift can't just be a spur-of-the-moment substitution, I don't think. I also don't think the deadlift version has to look terrible. The Baca/Copeland one does look terribly clunky, but I didn't seem to mind it the several times I saw Part and Gomes do it. I'm guessing Hallberg and Murphy probably did it as a deadlift too? I'm curious to know whether the lifts that have completely failed to launch, so to speak, were the running leap versions or the deadlift versions. I've only seen one go really wrong (a Lane/Gorak one a few years ago), but I can't recall if it was because they attempted the leap or not. I wish I had been attuned to the nuances of the lift when ABT was back at BAM, but the pas always made me so nervous that I couldn't really focus on details like that.
  7. Luckily it seems as if Mearns is already on the mend. Her most recent Instagram post indicates that she's going ahead with her Nutcracker performances with Eastern Connecticut Ballet today and tomorrow.
  8. I'm considering making the trip from NYC to D.C. for Teuscher's debut (and possibly Part, though Whiteside is dissuading me) and have never seen anything at the Kennedy Center. Does anyone have recommendations for seating? The prices are much more reasonable than the Met season, so I was thinking of going with a seat in the first row, which is Row G (I'm guessing rows A-F are taken up by the orchestra?). At the Met, the first row provides a really good view, as long as you aren't behind the conductor, the only problem being that you sometimes can't see the dancers' complete feet. Is this the same case at the Kennedy Center's Opera House? Or does the first row present any other issues? Also, does anyone know if the Kennedy Center allows patrons to throw flowers onstage? (I've gotten in the habit of doing this occasionally at the Met in recent seasons, as it's a lovely tradition I don't want to see die out!). I've heard that Koch Theater doesn't allow it.
  9. Looks like Seo is going on tonight, according to her Instagram.
  10. Holy cow! I somehow missed that there was an early, short run of Whipped Cream in addition to the later, longer run. That's putting a lot of faith in a title that's unknown to most people, even dance fans.
  11. And as her Siegfied while we're at it??? Odd that Stearns and Whiteside haven't been assigned any Swan Lakes, though. I know they've been critiqued for their inadequate dramatic abilities as Siegfried, but still surprising. The Russian dancer (I forget his name) who was brought in to dance with Part in La Bayadere was also a VERY secure partner.
  12. I wish they'd perform the Waltz of the Snowflakes instead. For me, that's the real takeaway masterpiece from the Ratmansky Nutcracker, and I miss seeing it every year. I understand, of course, why it wouldn't make sense for a mixed program, though. It looks like they've really put the brakes on Hammoudi and Gorak, unless they get cast in some TBA slots. I'm particularly sad about the latter. I guess Cirio has taken up the roles that might have gone to Gorak. It will be interesting to see if there will still be the "Copeland effect" on ticket sales now that she's been cast in so many performances. It's hard to think of a dancer at ABT more ill-suited for Giselle.
  13. Some reactions from this evening's performance. Very much enjoyed the Ratmansky, though I feel like I need to see it again to truly take in all the details. The nearly all-male cast was stellar. Standouts for me were Hoven, Royal and Simkin (doing his virtuosic Simkin thing). The low point of the ballet for me was the pas de deux between Gomes and Teuscher. The choreography for that section was just a bit dull and generic, though Gomes and Teuscher made the most of it. The Ashton was the masterpiece of the evening, and no surprise there. Royal and Shevchenko were stellar as the central couple. Royal was dancing like a principal. Such presence, and the partnering was spot-on, and Shevchenko was gorgeous as well. I wish their pas de deux could have been a bit more airy and effortless, but everything else was spot-on. The weak link in the cast for me, surprisingly, was Trenary. There was nothing wrong with her dancing, per se, but she just didn't seem to be inhabiting the same world as the other dancers. Her arm and leg positions were all slightly off compared to the rest of the cast. The Millepied. A second-rate choreographer managed to fill an hour of music with pleasant, repetitive, somewhat atmospheric dancing. This was a real disappointment for me. I lost count of how many pas de deux Gomes and Boylston danced. Maybe 5 or 6? They all looked so similar and had no striking, memorable images, so it's hard to say. Lots of swoony schlock. It was clear to me that this is a choreographer with a limited vocabulary and very little sense of how to construct a narrative. The costumes and scenery. Oy! Translucent colored shapes moved around above the dancers and really didn't add much at all. The men were all in PJs -- white ones for the good folks, black ones for the villains. All in all, this piece lacked drama and choreographic inventiveness. The finale was just kind of embarrassing in how it tried to sell itself through bright costumes and the entire cast executing uninspired steps in unison. It was kind of depressing to listen to such an incredible score accompanied by such pedestrian choreography. I can't imagine ABT bringing this piece back anytime soon.
  14. I'm surprised she's not saying farewell in one of her most celebrated roles -- Juliet, Manon or Giselle. I assumed she'd want to go out with a ballet that allows for a Gomes/Vishneva love fest. I don't think I can bear to sit through Onegin again, even for Vishneva's farewell... Also, what's the difference between one-off guest appearances and her current performance schedule?
  15. It's Isabella Boylston. She's been the only principal cast in this role, I believe.