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Michele Wiles


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#61 sz

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 06:21 PM

1. Does anyone agree with any of my opinions? Yes
Have you seen what I've seen? Yes, too often
2. Has she gotten better since then? Not really.... but then I think she is miscast for almost everything at ABT.
She'd be a wonderful ballerina in Stars and Stripes, Who Cares?, Rubies 2nd lead girl, Western Symphony.....
Balanchine's more American-ish ballets... and those are just off the top of my head. Oh, even the Siren in Prodigal, I hope Michelle will get cast for that this Spring at ABT.

Michelle is very strong, technically, but not a beautiful, classical ballerina type. I think she is needed at ABT because they must have those reliable, strong types, who can get through extremely demanding ballets, like Sylvia.... Gillian is better at it... but she's also tough for me to watch... Every company needs their strong, most reliable dancers, same way that The Mariinsky needs a Gonchar.

3. Does anyone think that perhaps the bureaucracy at ABT has failed her? No, I think the ballets ABT gives her have failed Michelle, as well as lack of coaching.
5. Am I being too harsh? NO
7. Should I bother seeing her again? I think she's dancing "Sylvia" with Roberto Bolle this summer. While I'd love to see him, I'm not sure I want to take the chance at her disappointing me again.

Michelle's going to give you a strong, technical, performance.... Gillian is better.... again SO strong..... but I have yet to see an ABT lead female give Sylvia an outstanding performance, all around. Then again, the choreography for the lead female is unnecessarily difficult... As a former dancer, I clench my teeth watching so much of this ballet. It's only the gorgeous music that saves the day (perf) for me.

#62 jllaney

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:42 AM

I just received the ABT spring Met season Brochure in the mail and on the cover is a very striking image of Michele Wiles in a not so classical ballet pose. Her fists are clenched and her head is thrown back with hair flying and she is blurred in between frames of the camera. Definitely my favorite image in the brochure as she seems so very passionate and openly defiant.
I've only seen her dance once as the Lilac fairy and I thought she was very technically assured and convincing in terms of dramatic characterization. I liked her and would like to see her more.

#63 abatt

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:57 AM

The reviews of M. Wiles in Swan Lake in London this week echo a lot of what is being said on this board- she is technically accomplished but dramatically unimpressive. A friend of mine refers to the Wiles/Hallberg partnership as Ken and Barbie - the two perfect looking, tall, fair skin blondes.

#64 vipa

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 06:14 PM

She'd be a wonderful ballerina in Stars and Stripes, Who Cares?, Rubies 2nd lead girl, Western Symphony.....
Balanchine's more American-ish ballets... and those are just off the top of my head. Oh, even the Siren in Prodigal, I hope Michelle will get cast for that this Spring at ABT.


I don't really see Michele as a Balanchine dancer. I believe that the Balanchine ballets you named require personality, individuality and a very musical attack. These are the qualities that Wiles most lacks. She is a very accomplished dancer who I can't name a perfect role for. Maybe she will be the all purpose principal who no one adores but few people avoid.

#65 carbro

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 06:38 PM

When Michele was a corps dancer and soloist, her musicality and personality were the outstanding qualities that made me pay attention to her. She has them. Of course, I may be misreading her, but it seems to me that the major, Classical ballerina roles intimidate her. She's become so careful and afraid of living up to the legends that she sometimes sacrifices herself to correctness.

#66 nijinsky1979

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:13 PM

I've only seen her dance once as the Lilac fairy and I thought she was very technically assured and convincing in terms of dramatic characterization. I liked her and would like to see her more.


It's good to hear you enjoyed her performance in such a role as the Lilac Fairy. So important to look regal and powerful ... yet benevolent and serene. I'm glad to hear you think she pulled it off.

#67 nijinsky1979

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:14 PM

1. Does anyone agree with any of my opinions? Yes
Have you seen what I've seen? Yes, too often
2. Has she gotten better since then? Not really.... but then I think she is miscast for almost everything at ABT.
She'd be a wonderful ballerina in Stars and Stripes, Who Cares?, Rubies 2nd lead girl, Western Symphony.....
Balanchine's more American-ish ballets... and those are just off the top of my head. Oh, even the Siren in Prodigal, I hope Michelle will get cast for that this Spring at ABT.

Michelle is very strong, technically, but not a beautiful, classical ballerina type. I think she is needed at ABT because they must have those reliable, strong types, who can get through extremely demanding ballets, like Sylvia.... Gillian is better at it... but she's also tough for me to watch... Every company needs their strong, most reliable dancers, same way that The Mariinsky needs a Gonchar.

3. Does anyone think that perhaps the bureaucracy at ABT has failed her? No, I think the ballets ABT gives her
have failed Michelle, as well as lack of coaching.
5. Am I being too harsh? NO
7. Should I bother seeing her again? I think she's dancing "Sylvia" with Roberto Bolle this summer. While I'd love to see him, I'm not sure I want to take the chance at her disappointing me again.

Michelle's going to give you a strong, technical, performance.... Gillian is better.... again SO strong..... but I have yet to see an ABT lead female give Sylvia an outstanding performance, all around. Then again, the choreography for the lead female of Sylvia is unnecessarily difficult... As a former dancer, I clench my teeth watching so much of this ballet. It's only the gorgeous music that saves the day (perf) for me.


Thank you for your reply, sz.

#68 sz

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 06:23 AM

>I don't really see Michele as a Balanchine dancer. I believe that the Balanchine ballets you named
>require personality, individuality and a very musical attack. These are the qualities that Wiles most lacks.
>She is a very accomplished dancer who I can't name a perfect role for. Maybe she will be the all purpose
>principal who no one adores but few people avoid.

I don't think she's a Balanchine ballerina either... But I'd like to see her take on more of those types of roles, the more American, no dramatic acting required, "just dance" parts. She's not polished enough to be a fine, Classical ballerina, either in technique or acting abilities.

I recall seeing Michelle as one of the muses in Apollo awhile ago and she surprised me with her ease in "just dancing" her role while the other more Classical ballerinas looked uncomfortable. Michelle's Ballo was also the best of ABT's last City Center perfs of them. Michelle was quite good actually, not great, but improved from her first debut of Ballo.

What I'm saying is that I wish Michelle would take on more Balanchine training...by dancing his ballets and getting some of his training second-hand from those at NYCB who coach Mr. B's ballets. They would polish her where she needs most to be polished. I don't see much evidence of ABT coaching Michelle, ie, improving her performances from one to the next.

#69 miliosr

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 03:11 PM

One aspect of the Ballet Review interview w/ Wiles which hasn't been mentioned is the brief discussion of ABT's policy of performing works by American modern dance choreographers (and her subtle criticism of it.)

The interviewer asks Wiles if she would like to perform in works by Martha Graham, Mark Morris and Paul Taylor. She responds that she had performed in Graham's Diversion of Angels but that, "[I]t takes time to get into the technique and figure out what Graham is all about. What I got was a dusted-over version and it was very rushed. I'm sure it's great, but I was just throwing it out there. It wasn't really what it was supposed to be."

This is exactly why Graham, during her lifetime, refused to allow other companies to perform her works!

#70 kfw

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 04:56 PM

It's ironic that Wiles has been faulted on this thread and in the London reviews for lack of dance personality because in the Ballet Review interview she speaks of critics finally noticing for her "presence." At various points during the interview she says that

I think I have bided my time and learned as much as I could about technique. It's time to do something else . . . I'm more in tune with my feelings and it is my feelings that are out there now . . . [dancing is] about what's going on in your heart [and dancing gives her] a feeling of love.

Reading all this, you just want to root for her. She's still young. :)

#71 maestro

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 11:08 AM

I saw her dance odette/odille. I think shes the kind of dancer more young people are, and will be fans of in the future. Just my opinion. . . & I'll allways be a fan!


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