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Veronika Part: divided opinions?


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#16 Marga

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 05:24 PM

"A danseuse noble". Alexandra, that's perfect, that's what Part is!

Her body, which has provided much food for thought, is, in its natural standing state, a different kind of body than one would expect to see on a ballet dancer. She is S-shaped, from the side. Her shoulder carriage is bent forward while her upper back curves back to make the top of the "S", her hips completing the shape by tilting first forward, then slightly back at the top of her leg. I was a bit astonished at this when she walked to the barre for class. [She was guesting for Nutcracker (as Snow Queen and lead in Waltz of the Flowers) with the Canadian Ballet Theatre and took class with the advanced students (as did Svetlana Lunkina). We have big windows to watch from.]

I wondered how she would straighten that strange shape when she began to work out. The transformation was at the first plié, of course, and everything pulled up and out, as it should. She was bone thin, but her bones themselves are larger than Lunkina's bones, for example. That is why she gives a larger appearance on stage, I guess. Her waist is actually quite small, her hips narrow, but the shoulders seem to be what focus the observer.

Her height was somewhat of a detriment on the small stage we saw her on at Toronto's Wintergarden Theatre. It's more of a boutique theatre, certainly not intended for ballet, and Part covered its expanse in two grand jetés, ending right by the wing from which she left the stage. She needs to be seen on a large stage that she can really use to be appreciated. The audience only gave her polite applause, except for me!, and I was disappointed that she was not seen for the great artist she is. Lunkina, in the main role, brought down the house.

As to her physical stature next to that of Gillian Murphy, she is taller and bigger-boned. Her curvaceousness also gives her more dimension in comparison to Murphy, for example, who is more flat-shaped, back and front, as well as in her leg and foot. (I've seen her take class, too.) Part has curves happening up and down her body. Her arms and hands do wondrous things with their ability to form shapes, her legs are ideally curved and toned -- she has the much desired "ballet leg" -- her feet are sensually curvy. There's nothing linear about her!

I, too, wish ABT gave the audience more of her as she clearly has an unofficial claque -- rather, "fan club"-- and, it better be soon, given her advancing years. :P

#17 christine174

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 08:40 PM

I find Veronika Part a totally compelling and beautiful dancer. I'm glad this topic was started -- and it's funny, because I've sometimes considered posting something asking just that: can anyone put their finger on it and explain it, just what IS it about her that is so totally regal and beautiful? Someone said it was "intangible," and perhaps it is. I had mixed feelings about her when I first saw her perhaps two years ago, because I love technical razzle-dazzle, as in Gillian Murphy, and Part definitely cannot pull that off. I agree with the poster who said she seems weak in the ankles, and at times when she's turning, it's like those long legs just get away from her. She has definitely lost weight this season, however, and as someone said on the main ABT thread recently, she appears no taller or heavier than Michele Wiles. As I say, her technical shortcomings are evident, and yet, and yet... there is no ABT dancer I would rather see. I do wish very much she would get promoted and get plenty more opportunities to dance, and ABT, if you're out there reading this, I think you'll find she will sell tickets for you!

#18 Buddy

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 10:54 AM

Veronika Part will be performing Symphonie Concertante at tomorrow's Opening Night Gala (Oct.18, 6:30 PM) and also on Oct.21 (2 PM) and Oct.25 (7:30 PM).

She will be performing the Swan Lake Act. II pas de deux Oct. 28 (2 PM).

http://www.abt.org/p...ndar_index1.asp

Anyone who sees any of these, I would love to hear your impressions.

#19 SanderO

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 02:46 PM

I don't know if this was mentioned on the BT, but there was a long article in the New Yorker and much of it was about Veronika Part.

I sent an email to Ms Part about the article and she emailed back inviting me to her performance on Wednesday. That came as a surprise!

I'll be there, but I am not a dance critic. Are opening Galas different than a regular performance.. other than the program seems to be "mixed"?

#20 carbro

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 02:52 PM

Good for you, SanderO! How nice of Ms. Part!

ABT's whole fall season is mixed bills. Galas start earlier and have better dressed audience in the pricey seats.

Generally, the company makes an effort to allow each and all of its principals to appear on stage at some point in a gala.

#21 vipa

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 04:01 PM

I don't know if this was mentioned on the BT, but there was a long article in the New Yorker and much of it was about Veronika Part.

I sent an email to Ms Part about the article and she emailed back inviting me to her performance on Wednesday. That came as a surprise!

I'll be there, but I am not a dance critic. Are opening Galas different than a regular performance.. other than the program seems to be "mixed"?


What addition of New Yorker? I can't seem to find it.

Have a great time Wednesday. Report back!!

#22 Buddy

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 04:19 PM

What addition of New Yorker? I can't seem to find it.

Have a great time Wednesday. Report back!!



This is probably the one. Enjoy !

http://www.newyorker...a_talk_acocella

#23 SanderO

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 04:43 PM

The article was by Laura Jacobs called "Assoluta". You can find it on the Veronika Part web site:

http://www.officialveronikapart.com/

I thought it was in the New Yorker, I may be mistaken.

#24 Dale

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 04:46 PM

That article is from The New Criterion - about two years old.

#25 Buddy

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 04:49 PM

This is probably the one. Enjoy !

http://www.newyorker...a_talk_acocella


Just took a quick look. This seems to be about Maya Plisetskaya, with just one mention of Veronika Part.

Sorry.


[added by Buddy several minutes later. Okay, it's about Azari "Plisetsky" and I won't say another word until I finish reading it.]

[added hours later by Buddy. It's a very nice article anyway.]

#26 Helene

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 09:49 PM

There is a thread about the Plisetsky article here.

#27 SanderO

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 03:02 AM

I am not knowledgeable as a critic and have absolutely no formal training, but I do attend ballet and was at the ABT's Gala last evening.

My impression of Ms Part was that she was well matched with Ms Wiles in the Symphonie Concertante, but seemed a bit "heavy" and unsteady... as if she was working too hard to look soft. The Balanchine choreography was lovely... My impression was that it would really take a super ballerina to really shine in that piece.. and neither Wiles or Part pulled that off. It seemed well tuned and safe. Does this make sense? Having said that.. Part certainly seems destined to become a principal in the future. She needs to make dancing look easy (which it is not of course).

I was not impressed with Part's port de bras last evening... that would go to Julie Kent or Paloma Herrera, both who were outstanding in Melody and a Swan Lake Pas de Deux respectively. Herrera can dispense with the bones in her arms at will... perhaps her strong point? What a swan!

Ms Kent, in my opinion, shown last night as the shining star of the ABT's female roster.... her performance with Marcello Gomez was one I will never forget. The audience seemed to agree. Julie Kent is a gift from the gods of ballet.

Our seats were wonderful in the 3rd row Grand Tier. What a perch to view ballet. It was so intimate and superior to a similar seat at the Met. There were no sets the entire evening and only bare stage (which is smaller than at the Met). The staging, therefore was "sparse" and so the focus was on the dancing. The dancing was inspired...

The entire company performed the very athletic Upper Room by Twyla Thorp with music by Philip Glass. The corps was amazing.. every last one of them, but I felt the piece was a too long. The music seems to be a continuous crescendo that never comes!

Xiomara Reyes seems competent but not an elegant ballerina figure... She appears diminutive and her arms seem short.

The overall feeling was wonderful. The ABT is a terrific company, but this evening did not give the men much to work with except perhaps in Sinatra which Cornejo danced. He was great with Sarah Lane... but this piece was far afield of ballet... in my opinion.

Sorry for the awful review! We had a wonderful time...

#28 sz

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 08:20 AM

I was at last night's gala too. I'll add comments at the other thread...

Re Veronika Part.... Last night I thought she danced nicely in Symphonie Concertante but too tentatively.

Part is beautiful, tall, curvey, but not technically strong. In slow adagios her lines are huge and she is wonderfully emotional. She's also gorgeous in parts, such as Emeralds, wherein she captures perfectly the bedroom feel of the lush choreography. Her Emeralds performance while visiting here with the Kirov a few years ago was unforgettable.

Symphonie Concertante craves two female principals who are strong, clean, bright, elegantly lovely, skilled in allegro (jumps as well as turns). Neither Michelle Wiles or Veronika Part were well cast in this ballet.

#29 Helene

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 01:56 PM

Symphonie Concertante craves two female principals who are strong, clean, bright, elegantly lovely, skilled in allegro (jumps as well as turns). Neither Michelle Wiles or Veronika Part were well cast in this ballet.

Maria Tallchief, who was a star by the time the viola role was made on her, and who was paired with the young Tanaquil LeClerq in the violin role, said that Balanchine created this ballet to teach her how to dance. Critics like Croce noted that it was to teach everyone in the ballet.

Maybe it will have a similar, educational effect on Part and Wiles, after they've had a few attempts at it.

#30 SanderO

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 04:38 PM

I just received an email from Ms Part who said she sustained an injury in class this morning and would not be able to appear in the rest of the season. She did not elaborate and the email was apparently sent to all who had emailed her in the past... as it was addressedwith the salutation: "Friends".

Never a good thing when this happens. Hope she has a speedy recovery.


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