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Airs/La Sylphide - Spring 09 Season


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#31 sealings

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 05:57 AM

La Sylphide - Natalia Osipova
James - Herman Cornejo
Effie - Gemma Bond
Anna, James' mother - Maria Bystrova
Gurn - Daniil Simkin
Madge - Nancy Raffa



Herman was excellent in this role.

#32 abatt

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:01 AM

Airs was a total bore. I too am skipping it tonight. I have enjoyed it in the past with the Paul Taylor Dance Co., but it didn't look right yesterday. First of all, why would management choose a small ballet for 7 dancers for the gigantic Met stage? Also, the lighting was way too dark in certain sections. Finally,I think Paul Taylor dancers perform his works much better in terms of the style demanded. Osipova was wonderful. she was light as a feather as she sailed through the air. Her characterization was also beautifully done. I liked Herman, although I thought he struggled with keeping his upper body in the correct Bournonville form. Simkin nearly stole the show AGAIN. Raffa is the perfect Madge. Gemma Bond was delightful as the bride to be. Many Many empty seats.

#33 EAW

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:44 AM

Airs was a total bore. I too am skipping it tonight. I have enjoyed it in the past with the Paul Taylor Dance Co., but it didn't look right yesterday. First of all, why would management choose a small ballet for 7 dancers for the gigantic Met stage? Also, the lighting was way too dark in certain sections. Finally,I think Paul Taylor dancers perform his works much better in terms of the style demanded. Osipova was wonderful. she was light as a feather as she sailed through the air. Her characterization was also beautifully done. I liked Herman, although I thought he struggled with keeping his upper body in the correct Bournonville form. Simkin nearly stole the show AGAIN. Raffa is the perfect Madge. Gemma Bond was delightful as the bride to be. Many Many empty seats.


Don't agree about Airs - always a wonderful work, though not, it's true, meant for grand-opera-house dimensions. Is there anything more ravishing than the music Taylor chose for the final section (the "Good Dreams" sequence from Alcina), which he set with such beautiful, apt simplicity? Cornejo was an excellent and moving James (you're right about the occasional sense of strain, more in the attitude efface poses that punctuate his vibrant jumps and beats than in those airborne movements themselves). Osipova was wonderful in many ways - fantastically high, light jumps, touching and credible mime, a musical flow to everything she did - but I don't think this role suits her all that well. She's a vibrant, powerful dancer, careful and reined in here. Raffa was very good as Madge.

#34 chiapuris

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 08:03 AM

ABT 7:30 pm 15 June, 2009
Airs/La Sylphide

I'll start with a dissenting view. I liked the dancers in Taylor's Airs and my view is that they did very well with the choreography. I agree with an earlier poster that the Tipton lighting was rather dim. But since we had seats in the second row of the orchestra, we had no problems, even with facial expressions.

I singled out Arron Scott for his full projection, his facial connection with his partner, and his bright stage presence.

The entire cast was, in my view, splendid and glowed brightly as dancers on the stage of the Met.

If Airs seemed to some a sparse offering on the Met stage, La Sylphide's first act
seemed, to this viewer, crowded and somehow chaotic with Desmond Heeley's scenery and costumes and full cast on stage.
In short, I had trouble liking ABT's production of La Sylphide, especially the first act.

The cast principals were nevertheless excellent. Ms Osipova, with her air-borne gifts and the fullness of her characterization, was matched by the virtuosity of Mr. Cornejo's virile dancing.
My first view of Daniil Simkin as Gurn leads me to believe he will be a formidable major dancer in time. Just not yet.

Ms Raffa's Madge was outstanding as visual theatre and mimetic concision.

The second act with its verdant, post-card pretty setting is a better background for the romantic/Bournonville style that Ms. Osipova has, in this viewer's eye, mastered so artfully and so convincingly. Mr. Cornejo was simply spectacular in this act.

The corps of eighteen sylphs looked well rehearsed but lacked the final stamp of stylistic cohesion. I singled out Christine Shevchenko for her lovely stage presence.

Programmatically, it would have been better for La Sylphide to have preceded
the performances of Giselle.
La Sylphide's tale, of a young man's folly in chasing after an out-of-the-ordinary fancy of his is not the heart-warming story of love and redemption.

The audience responded warmly to Ms Osipova and Mr Cornejo at the curtain calls.

#35 davidsj

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 10:34 AM

I should have gone! But I'm already watching two La Sylphides this week, including Wednesday. The Met box office wasn't showing any good seats in prime orchestra however. Was it really that empty??

#36 FauxPas

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:25 AM

I was in a side box and I thought the house looked pretty well sold - the orchestra looked well filled even on the sides and the empties were pretty scattered. I didn't see whole rows empty anywhere except in the back of the Family Circle which never sells... I think Osipova is pulling in some bodies.

The dancers in "Airs" were Misty Copeland, Nicola Curry, Isaac Stappas, Blaine Hoven, Anne Milewski, Kristi Boone, Blaine Hoven and Arron Scott. I thought they were good. Kristi Boone was the statuesque calm goddess and Misty Copeland the little bacchante. Arron Scott had the jumpiest variation and stood out from the other men. Once again this modern piece was chosen by ABT because it is fairly balletic in its affect and steps, despite being done on flat feet. Another piece that would look better at City Center. (We all complain about the glut of full-lengths done for the Spring/Summer Met season but there are reasons other than box office). Though I like seeing corps kids get their day in the sun, not looking forward to multiple viewings.

Just a few stray notes: Osipova again showed that her great strength could be sublimated to serve the choreography. As others have noted, she has incredible ballon in jumps and leaps and really does look like she can fly. Her attacks are light and not muscular or athletic, so the Romantic line isn't broken. However, I am not sure that she is a complete Romantic stylist yet, the real softness of phrasing is an acquired patina right now not something emanating from within. She is young and already has learned so much, I give her time. Ananiashvili and Vishneva in "Giselle" were not the interpreters and stylists they are now when they did the role at Osipova's age of 23. And Osipova is already so impressive as an artist, the sky's the limit as far as I can see.

She was pretty well-matched with Herman - in flat feet she is his exact height, on pointe she is about three or four inches tall than he is. Since Bounonville has the Sylph and James dancing mostly side by side rather than have the man be the porteur in promenades and lifts, etc. the slight discrepancy wasn't noticeable.

Herman was stunning in his beats but I found he was having trouble balancing after doing cabrioles, etc. I think he is just a little off of form from his knee injury. His acting was quite a good balance of the dreamer and the impetuous young man. Does James die at the end or just faint? Madge seemed to be putting spells on him and messing with him in the last scene. Daniil Simkin again made a vivid impression as Gurn - he has the Suzanne Farrell trick of doing jumps and turns off-balance rather than straight up and down vertically and landing perfectly like a cat. Nancy Raffa replaced Victor Barbee as Madge and was quite vivid and specific in her mime.

The corps and orchestra made some flubs after an impressive showing last week in "Giselle". Interesting to see ballerinas of varying physical types take over the role throughout the week - I am seeing Ananiashvili tonight and Part on Saturday.

#37 rg

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:39 PM

fyi.
the following has come in an email from the ABT press offices:

On Friday, June 19, VERONIKA PART and CORY STEARNS replace Hee Seo and David Hallberg;

On Saturday matinee, June 20, HEE SEO* and DAVID HALLBERG replace Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo.

#38 Ilya

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:44 PM

Does anybody have any further info on Wed night? On ABT page, it's "Osipova and TBA," whereas on MET page, it's "Osipova and Cornejo."

#39 fondoffouettes

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:25 PM

Had Veronika originally been scheduled for an evening Sylphide at some point? Or was she always just scheduled to do the matinee? I am glad I will get a chance to see her!

fyi.
the following has come in an email from the ABT press offices:

On Friday, June 19, VERONIKA PART and CORY STEARNS replace Hee Seo and David Hallberg;

On Saturday matinee, June 20, HEE SEO* and DAVID HALLBERG replace Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo.



#40 aurora

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:29 PM

Had Veronika originally been scheduled for an evening Sylphide at some point? Or was she always just scheduled to do the matinee? I am glad I will get a chance to see her!

fyi.
the following has come in an email from the ABT press offices:

On Friday, June 19, VERONIKA PART and CORY STEARNS replace Hee Seo and David Hallberg;

On Saturday matinee, June 20, HEE SEO* and DAVID HALLBERG replace Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo.


She (Part) was doing saturday evening--hopefully she still is....

#41 Classic_Ballet

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:32 PM

now veronika is scheduled to do both evenings, friday and saturday.
cant wait to see her

osipova was wonderful last night, a playful sylphide flying all over the stage.
herman was great as well and I loved Simkin, very funny grunt !

#42 abatt

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:36 PM

I just looked at the ABT website. Cornejo is doing the Wed evening Sylphide w. Osipova.

#43 bingham

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:47 PM

fyi.
the following has come in an email from the ABT press offices:

On Friday, June 19, VERONIKA PART and CORY STEARNS replace Hee Seo and David Hallberg;

On Saturday matinee, June 20, HEE SEO* and DAVID HALLBERG replace Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo.


Although i'm disappointed of not seeing Hee Seo's debut on Friday night, the change in the schedule makes sense. David can't possibly dance 2 succesive nights of dancing James.

#44 Barbara

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 02:21 PM

Aaargh! I've been waiting since reading about Hallberg learning the role of James last year (to dance it in Japan I believe) and now Friday night I'll be seeing Cory Stearns. I'm aware of the cast change warning but this is really disappointing. Not living near the city trying for a quick exchange isn't possible. Nothing against Cory Stearns, he's lovely but....(heavy sigh)

#45 atm711

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 02:59 PM

David can't possibly dance 2 succesive nights of dancing James.



How come Cory Stearns will be dancing on 2 successive nights???--and V.Part, too---at this point I am starting to panic....what if?? could they possibly be replaced on Sat Eve......I have had my tickets for a long time to see this.


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