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ABT Season Wrapup


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#16 sidwich

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 01:18 PM

How would you compare the this season to the last MET Season? Were you more or less pleased? How do the MET seasons compare to the City Center seasons for you?

I though the programming was very conservative, and heavy toward full-length story ballets. Really could have done without all those performances of "Swan Lake" and R&J. I only got to one performance at City Center fall, but I think that as a whole, I enjoyed it than almost anything on the schedule this spring.

What ballet looked in the best shape to you?

I thought they pretty much all had strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps Don Q...

What ballet looked in the weakest shape?

Ugh. The "modern" pieces this spring were awful. "Hereafter" and "Artemis" in a dead heat. I probably would have walked out of "Artemis" but was looking forward to the Leaves pdd and "The Dream."

Your favorite dancer of the season (subcategories - your favorite "old reliable" and your favorite newcomer)

Not favorite (I enjoyed many of the dancers), but I especially enjoyed Joaquin de Luz's exuberance this spring.

Who was the most improved dancer?

David Hallberg. I was really impressed with his growth.

Who was the season's MVP? (The dancer they just couldn't have done without)

Herman Cornejo and Michele Wiles. They both seemed to pop up everywhere, and they were champs.

Who did you miss the most?

Well, I'm *going* to miss Julio Bocca with Alessandra Ferri in R&J. The last performance was very emotional and special.

#17 Dansuer85

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Posted 21 July 2003 - 05:16 PM

Sadly,all I was able to see was Swan Lake,but that was also my first live performance of ABT. I saw Julie Kent and thought she was utterly breath taking I do agree that are technique was slightly off,but as a fellow poster said you just can't take your eyes off her. She is one of the most gorgeous dancers out there today!

Really wish I would be able to see more of ABT,but seeing as I don't live in NYC,but dancing for them would be nice too.... :wink:

#18 Helene

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 10:52 AM

I loved Meunier at NYCB, and I was hoping, hoping that she'd join PNB, especially now that Lisa Apple has retired. (Or San Francisco Ballet, a mere plane ride away.) PNB and SFB have great Balanchine repertoire. But alas, she's taking the same route that Franceschi did -- being in the corps to be in a specific company, instead of dancing principal roles in another one.

Helene

#19 Dale

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 11:34 AM

Helene, I understand your disappointment, but I don't think it's fair to suggest that Meunier's motive is purely to be with ABT at any cost. From what she said in a Time Out NY article, ABT was eager to have her and appreciated her gifts. The same with Part - she was invited by phone by McKenzie to move from Russia to NY.

I'm hoping the City Center season will be a greater reflection of how the company feels about both dancers and they will get more of a chance in staring roles. Both were cast often in last year's CC season, although injuries interfered with those plans.

My guess is that the Met season is very dependent on casting to sell tickets, principal dancers are used as a draw. Although many of us want to see wonderful artists on stage without regard to their rank in the company, there are many that feel cheated if they don't get the "star" dancers. There was a recent review from England of ABT's Don Q. and, although the reviewer saw many of the company's best dancers, he was disappointed that there were only 2 principal dancers on view that night.

And as Robert Gottlieb wrote in his recent review of ABT in the New York Observer, there aren't a lot of female soloist roles in Swan Lake (in ABT's production, especially), La Fille, and Romeo and Juliet and those ballets made up the largest part of the rep. this season. The mixed bills also were a light on secondary parts - The Dream has demi-soloist roles in the humans, but not the sort of roles for Meunier, Clear has nothing for women (including the only female part), and the Met fans want stars in the pas de deux. The soloists did get chances in La Bayadere, Don Q and the Tudor and Meunier participated in those ballets.

Another guess would be to agree with Alexandra...some companies like to put their inprint on a dancer who comes from another company. There might be politics involved...an AD might have a situation on hand if a new dancer is brought in at soloist level and jumps over company stalwarts to get the top parts. They might understand if an international star enters the company to do principal parts, but, although Meunier and Part rightly have large followings, neither fits that catagory. I'm hoping by October both will have earned their dues and get principal parts at City Center.



#20 Helene

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 06:46 PM

Dale,

I would think that Meunier, having started her career across the plaza, would have been aware of the politics at ABT, as well as the things you note: the paucity of soloist roles in bread-and-butter ballets and the pressure to cast Stars, especially in the "major" Met season. I can only hope that this year has been an anomoly and that she will be cast regularly in the coming year.

PNB has taken a very different approach: At least in the past decade,the Company has hired a number of soloists from other companies who have been given plum roles and promoted to principal within a year or two. This is true of Nadeau, Nakamura, Wevers, Gibson, and Maraval. Stanton was hired into the corps, and rose to principal within two years. That's an encouraging pattern for a dancer who joins the company.

Helene

#21 Dale

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 09:35 PM

Helene, although Meunier is from California, she and her family moved across the country when she joined SAB. It could be, for personal reasons, she didn't want to move out of the NY.

#22 Helene

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Posted 26 July 2003 - 10:22 AM

Dale,

Please tell me then what is "unfair" about my anology. If Meunier chose to stay in New York for personal reasons, then she chose to live with the casting consequences of her decision. I didn't imply that her motivation was the same as Francheschi's -- I don't know either woman -- just the result, which, hopefully in Meunier's case, is a temporary aberration.

Helene

#23 Alexandra

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Posted 26 July 2003 - 01:05 PM

Helene, I'm sure Dale didn't mean anything accusatory by saying that she "didn't think it fair to say" -- just another way of saying she disagreed. We're all speculating on someone's motivation for joining or leaving a company -- we won't be able to solve it here :D Both Meuneier and Part have a lot of fans, at least on this board, and I'm sure there are many people who are hoping to see them dance more frequently.

#24 Dale

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Posted 26 July 2003 - 05:36 PM

No offense intended. I used "it's not fair to say" to say that we don't know what her motives are and to state something unequivically that a dancer does this or that for this or that reason is impossible to do. So, when you said "she's taking the same route that Franceschi did -- being in the corps to be in a specific company, instead of dancing principal roles in another one" I wanted a nice way of saying that we are not in the position to know exactly what her motives are.

But I think we are in agreement that we'd like to see her dance more. I hope she does so at City Center :D

#25 Alexandra

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 07:39 AM

We've had several new people register in the past week whose profiles indicate that they're New York-based dancegoers, so I'm bumping this up -- Welcome! This would be a great place to start posting -- what did you see this season? What did you like? Or not :D ?


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