Leigh Witchel

Ansanelli to retire from dancing.

38 posts in this topic

It was announced today by Monica Mason at a press conference that Alexandra Ansanelli would retire from the Royal Ballet, and from dancing, in June.

She will perform throughout the season and at the Kennedy Center as previously announced.

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That's shocking and very unfortunate. I believe she is relatively young, although I don't know her age. I also know that she has suffered some serious injuries over the years. She has accomplished so much. I'm sure she had to work very hard to become a principal at the Royal after leaving City Ballet. I always enjoyed her performances at City Ballet.

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Her June 24th performance as Natasha in A Month in the Country, at the Kennedy Center, will now be extra-special. This will probably be her last performance in ballet, anywhere. There should be "busloads" of admirers and friends from NYC and beyond. It will not be an ordinary, run-of-the-mill curtain call!

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Sorry to hear this. I wish her well, and as the title of one of my favorite novels had it, "A Long and Happy Life."

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The Royal Ballet has further tours to Barcelona and Cuba. Is she not going on them per Mason?

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I feel like someone's punched me in the stomach. It's probably too much to hope that after a year or so away from dancing, she'll change her mind and find a hospitable performing situation.

The news of her growth since joining RB have been so heartening. I'm sorry I never got to see her after she left NYCB. She has rare intelligence and imagination.

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We're waiting for either a press release or reports from the press conference.

Right now, all I can find are the press releases about next season's ballet and opera, and Domingo singing Simon Boccanegra.

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Right now, all I can find are the press releases about next season's ballet and opera, and Domingo singing Simon Boccanegra.

I know this may be off topic, but Domingo will also be singing Simon Boccanegra for the first time at the Met next season. We got a little preview of him in this role at a big gala a few weeks ago, where he sang an aria from that opera. He was wonderful. Can't wait to see him in the full opera next year.

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I'm going to take my prerogative as Editorial Advisor here. Alexandra and I are friends and we discussed this prior to the announcement. The decision was not due to working conditions at the Royal Ballet or to physical injury. It was her decision solely.

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That's shocking and very unfortunate. I believe she is relatively young, although I don't know her age.

Her biography on the ROH web site says that she was born in 1980, so she's only 28 or 29. What a young age for retirement ! I regret never having had any opportunity to see her :-(

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It's probably too much to hope that after a year or so away from dancing, she'll change her mind and find a hospitable performing situation.

You never know. :) Barbara Bears returned to Houston Ballet after "retiring." Perhaps the management at Royal Ballet could be so kind as to make some sort of "if you ever decide to dance again, you still have a place here with us" arrangement.

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It's probably too much to hope that after a year or so away from dancing, she'll change her mind and find a hospitable performing situation.

You never know. :) Barbara Bears returned to Houston Ballet after "retiring." Perhaps the management at Royal Ballet could be so kind as to make some sort of "if you ever decide to dance again, you still have a place here with us" arrangement.

I'm old enough to remember Cynthia Gregory's retirement and come back. Cynthia had just had it with being a dancer for a lot of reasons. After a time away she came back and was great.

I'd be sorry to not see Ansanelli dance again. Interesting to note she started late and ended early!!

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This makes me very, very sad. Seeing her with NYCB I found her to be a really remarkable dancer and was delighted to read about her rise to principal at the Royal Ballet. I actually saw her twice with the Royal -- as the first of the gift bearing fairies in the prologue to Sleeping Beauty and as a lovely though not yet fully realized Lilac Fairy in the same production. In the first fairy solo I found her simply gorgeous--almost hauntingly so. I wish her the very best.

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I'm sure she has her reasons - but this is very sad news. I found her to be a wonderful dancer with NYCB - one of my favorites. I only saw her in her first season with the RB, when she was still adjusting to their style. It was great to hear of the progress she made there and it makes me very sad to think that I'll never see her dance again. She's still so young, hopefully at some point she will change her mind...

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It was announced today by Monica Mason at a press conference that Alexandra Ansanelli would retire from the Royal Ballet, and from dancing, in June.

She will perform throughout the season and at the Kennedy Center as previously announced.

When Miss Ansanelli left NYCB this is what she said in an interview with Gia Kourlas. see http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/30/arts/dan...0ansa.html?_r=1

Like many I am rather shocked at this sudden news, as Miss Ansanelli has worked very hard to become a fully fledged Principal dancer with the Royal Ballet where she had gained a number of successes since she joined the company in January 2006 as First soloist. Her roles have include Terpsichore in Apollo, Tchaikovsky pas de deux, 2nd aria couple in Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Coppelia, Sugar Plum Fairy, Gamzatti, Red Queen in Checkmate, Afternoon of a Faun, Aurora, Lilac Fairy as well as other roles.

Senior London critic John Percival in The Stage wrote, “His Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux introduces a new star, Alexandra Ansanelli, transferring from NYCB to the Royal. Her swift, light exactness and convincing musicianship in this voluptuously virtuosic duet promise a fine future....."

Roslyn Sulcas (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/17/arts/dan...sulc.html?_r=1)

who made the trip to London to see Ansanelli make her debut as Aurora

Noted, “The famously tart British critics agreed. “When I saw that Alexandra Ansanelli was down to dance Aurora at Covent Garden, I wondered if she’d be up to it,” Luke Jennings wrote in a review in The Observer. “If there are doubters, she wins us over.” The venerable Clement Crisp, who remembers Fonteyn in the role, was even more effusive. “She brought a radiant assurance to the role,” he wrote in The Financial Times.”

Ahead, Miss Ansanelli has performances of “Ondine” to look forward to and will end her career with the Royal in London in a series of performances in Jewels.

Miss Ansanelli has had success with two of the world's major ballet companies a dream few dancers can realise. I wish good fortune in what ever path Miss Ansanelli decides to take.

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I had the good fortune to attend a performance of NYCB's Nutcracker in 1996 or 1997 (not sure...) with Alexandra Ansanelli as Dewdrop. She lit up the stage - so completely alive and captivating. I didn't know much about ballet then, but as just an ordinary audience member, she left me with an indelible impression of joyful artistry and delight. I wonder if any of her perfomances are available on dvds/videotape? thanks and best wishes to Alexandra!

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Although I've only seen her on the Bringing Back Balanchine DVD, I was particularly impressed by her mature response to the Serenade incident. She seems like an uncommonly intelligent and thoughtful young woman. My best wishes to her.

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I'm pretty sure tha tAlexandra played one of the child Ponchinelles (I'm sure I botched that spelling) in the NYCB version of Nutcracker (yes, the one with MacCauley Kulkin).

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Although I've only seen her on the Bringing Back Balanchine DVD, I was particularly impressed by her mature response to the Serenade incident. She seems like an uncommonly intelligent and thoughtful young woman.

There's a related comment in the Sulcas article linked by leonid. Antoinette Sibley (who coached Ansanellli's Aurora) is quoted as saying::

We also discussed interpretation; she likes to talk about things and examine them, and I think it shows onstage.”

I really admire thoughtful dancers. Of course, they need more than just analysis. Jonathan Cope refers to "than Ansanelli fire" in the same article:

She has such a natural theatricality; she really lives the performance. Of course, she is also just a little mad, which every great performer has to be.

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I'm pretty sure tha tAlexandra played one of the child Ponchinelles (I'm sure I botched that spelling) in the NYCB version of Nutcracker (yes, the one with MacCauley Kulkin).

According to the credits Alexandra danced a Candy Cane.

I enjoyed reading about her rise at the Royal Ballet and wish her the best.

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All of this reminds me of Maria Almeida, ca 1989/90, another lovely RB principal who similarly decided to give-it-all-up while in her 20s.

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Before she goes, Ansanelli creates a new role in Alastair Marriott's ballet Sensorium, which has its premiere on Monday. (Music by Debussy, not much else known about it yet.)

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There is an article in today's NY Times regarding Ansanelli's retirement. She says she is leaving ballet because it no longer completes her as a person. She is quoted as saying that she was crying every day, which led her to realize that she had to make a change. It sounds like this has been a very difficult decision for her.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/06/arts/dan...6ansa.html?_r=2

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Whatever way she choose, may she find the peace. She is a lovely dancer and seems to be a very special person.

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