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Stella Abrera


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#46 ABT Fan

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:17 AM

Stella has always been one of my favorite dancers and she should have been promoted years ago. I will never understand that. I’ve never seen a less than wonderful performance from her and have been following her for years. Whether she’s dancing Myrta (possibly my favorite role of hers), Lilac Fairy, or in any one of Alexei’s ballets, her technique is rock solid and she infuses each role with a lovely luminosity. She’s never disappointed me. However, she is now about 35 actually, and I believe her time to be promoted has passed. ABT missed a great opportunity.

But, now I can understand why she wouldn’t be promoted given her age (if that is the reason). I doubt they would want to invest the additional coaching and resources (salary, etc.) to promote her when they’ll probably get only about another 5 years from her (no way to tell really, but at that age it’s undeniably limited). They’d rather put their resources towards developing a much younger dancer with principal potential (Seo, Boylston – though I agree that Seo was promoted too soon, despite how lovely she is; she needed more time to develop). And, I have to admit that that makes sense at this point. ABT also has a history of only promoting women to principal who dance all (or nearly all) of the leads in the 19th century classics or big full-length ballets. The only exception I can think of is Kathleen Moore. Stella has never carried one of these ballets, has she? Besides Cinderella? She’s always in the 2nd supporting role. I think she would have made a terrific Giselle, but I can’t see her as Odette/Odile, Kitri, Juliet, to name a few (not for lack of technique, but just not the right fit, and something in my opinion coaching wouldn’t change).

I agree that a “campaign” won’t have any positive affect – I doubt McKenzie will be influenced by that and granted he may have many other reasons that we don’t know about as to why Stella hasn’t been promoted.

But, until McKenzie sits me down and explains his reasoning to me (ha ha), I’ll always shake my head in disbelief. Stella is truly a beautiful and gifted dancer.

#47 volcanohunter

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 09:15 AM

Isabelle Ciaravola was made a POB étoile at age 37, even though the company was perfectly aware that she would hit mandatory retirement age five years later. If ABT were indeed investing resources in developing younger dancers, that would be one thing. But Irina Dvorovenko's recent interview suggests that it's not. Instead, she points out, ABT is hiring already developed leading dancers into whom other companies had invested time and resources.

#48 ABT Fan

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 09:39 AM

Isabelle Ciaravola was made a POB étoile at age 37, even though the company was perfectly aware that she would hit mandatory retirement age five years later. If ABT were indeed investing resources in developing younger dancers, that would be one thing. But Irina Dvorovenko's recent interview suggests that it's not. Instead, she points out, ABT is hiring already developed leading dancers into whom other companies had invested time and resources.


Most of the time ABT doesn't appear to be interested in promoting from within, as evidenced by their hiring outside guests artists and principals. But, they promoted Seo up from the corps (she started w/ the Studio Co.) and many people agree that they're grooming Boylston to be the next principal. Unfortunately, their preference for developing dancers seems not nearly as important as bringing in seasoned stars.

#49 volcanohunter

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 09:49 AM

Quite a few of ABT’s principals were developed at least partially from within, because despite their varied backgrounds they started their ABT careers in the corps de ballet: Herman Cornejo, the just-retired Irina Dvorovenko, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Gillian Murphy, Hee Seo and Cory Stearns. It’s not an alien concept for ABT. But all except Seo and Stearns are over 30, and apart from Hallberg the others have been principal dancers for at least ten years. So the mechanism for promotion has largely ground to a halt, and if the ranks of leading dancers are going to be replenished constantly by stars eager to spend springtime in New York, pretty much everybody else is stuck where they are. But it wasn't always that way.

#50 ABT Fan

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 11:47 AM

So the mechanism for promotion has largely ground to a halt, and if the ranks of leading dancers are going to be replenished constantly by stars eager to spend springtime in New York, pretty much everybody else is stuck where they are. But it wasn't always that way.


Exactly!

#51 pbl

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 10:05 AM

Can anyone point out any online videos of Stella Abrera dancing? I can only find very sketchy video or stills. Thanks.

#52 pbl

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 10:07 AM

p.s. it is possible to start an online petition using a tool such as this. If you get enough signatures I'm sure it will come to Kevin McKenzie's attention.

http://www.change.org/petition

#53 GeorgeB fan

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 01:54 PM

I love this remark from Gottlieb's review:

 

"As for the third ballerina, Stella Abrera, Tharp has provided her with a career-making role. She’s been on the second level of ABT casting for far too long; here, she’s dynamic, glamorous, expansive..."

 

So true...so true!!



#54 angelica

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 03:24 PM

I love this remark from Gottlieb's review:

 

"As for the third ballerina, Stella Abrera, Tharp has provided her with a career-making role. She’s been on the second level of ABT casting for far too long; here, she’s dynamic, glamorous, expansive..."

 

So true...so true!!

 

I have been advocating for Stella Abrera's promotion to principal for lo these many years. She has come back from a career-interrupting injury stronger than ever, and truly deserves to dance the leads in the great classical ballets. I hope someone at ABT is listening to the critics, because no one there is listening to me.



#55 angelica

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 11:43 AM

Is there anyone on this forum who had the good fortune to see Stella Abrera dance the title role in Giselle opposite James Whiteside with Ballet Philippines last night? If ABT doesn't give her this role in the next series of Giselle performances, then I will have to regret the rest of my life that I didn't move heaven and earth (which is what it would have taken me) to see her dance there.



#56 josevich

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 01:49 AM

I saw her dance Giselle last night with Whiteside as Albrecht. There was a storm and the roads were flooded the orchestra couldnt make it to the venue because many of them were stranded so they had to play a CD I guess. I wasnt sure I'd make it to the venue but I went anyway and I'm so glad I did! She was phenomenal! We import a lot of dancers from all over the world to dance lead roles and she is one of the best I've seen. Such beautiful hands and a beautiful face. Totally worth ruining my dress shoes for in wading through the flood. You can see photos of her on Ballet Philippines' facebook page.

#57 Helene

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 06:24 AM

Here are the Facebook posts with articles linked. In the first, scroll past the society photos to see ballet photos:

https://www.facebook...152748962792450

https://www.facebook...152748905017450

#58 angelica

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 06:38 AM

Thank you, josevich and Helene, for reporting on and linking to that performance!




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