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Airs/La Sylphide - Spring 09 Season


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#106 Amy Reusch

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 07:52 AM

Unless a person who was a principal elsewhere has a better chance at faster ascension to ABT solosit and then ABT principal, it wouldn't very generally seem like a good trade-off for "big fish-little pond to little fish-big pond" because of the limitations that age can impose on a person. If a person has to make his or her way through the ABT ranks like normal, by the time he or she has made principal a second time (if ever), a number of years will have been utilized.


Yes, when it happens, I always wonder what has been said to entice the move... not to mention that it must be hard to get back into the corps mindset... It would make more sense to move to a different company of the same level, wouldn't it? Perhaps ballet is such a small world that it is difficult to move to another company? Perhaps it is easier to go to another country?

#107 Helene

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 07:58 AM

It's not unusual for dancers to take a one-rank step down to join a bigger or more well-paying or more prestigious company, or one whose rep expands their opportunities or is better suited to them. For example, Alexandra Ansanelli joined Royal Ballet as a soloist after having been made principal at NYCB early in her career.

I don't know what their prior rank was when joining PNB, but many of the top dancers who came from other companies in the last decade of the Russell/Stowell years to join PNB started as soloists, and were promoted to principal within a year or two: Louise Nadeau, Jeffrey Stanton, Kaori Nakamura, Olivier Wevers, Paul Gibson, and I believe Christopher Maraval. Batkhurel Bold started in the PNB corps, and Lisa Apple may have as well.

Since Peter Boal has been AD, he hired Carla Korbes, who was made NYCB soloist just before she came to PNB, as a soloist and Seth Orza to corps. Both were promoted quickly to the next rank.

#108 Ambonnay

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 10:30 AM

The problem with talented dancers like Mikhail Ilyin and Joseph Philips who were dancing soloist with Miami City Ballet and joined ABT as corps is that there are still a lot of soloists ahead of them.


I can see taking a step down to join a larger company, but, in Ilyin's case, he was principal at one point at Miami City Ballet and he took the step down from principal to corps. And he wasn't moving from a teeny teeny company to the ABT. :devil:

http://www.abt.org/d...p?Dancer_ID=215

"Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Mikhail Ilyin graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in 1998. In 1999, he joined the Boston Ballet for two years, then Miami City Ballet where he became in principal in 2003..... He has been an Artist-in-Residence with Ballet Mississippi since 2005."

Now, that being said, based on his performances in "Airs", I didn't perceive that Ilyin deserved elevation from the ABT corps (although it is difficult to make an evaluation based on observing him in only one piece).

On ABT having had little room at the top on the male side, I can see that. Particularly given how prolific Gomes and Hallberg have been in learning new works, and how they seem to be able to take on any type of danseur role (given that they are relatively tall, have powerful jumps and techniques, and yet can also participate in more reflective roles). Both Gomes and Hallberg seem to be able to take on a lot of new roles each ABT season. When you consider how recently Hallberg has been principal, it seems, at least to me, impressive that he has been able to become (1) one of the main partners for Gillian Murphy, herself a very prolific ballerina, particularly in recent periods as Ethan S has become more beset with injury, (2) retained being the preferred partner of Michelle Wiles, (3) done meaningful work with P Herrera (even though he is not necessarily her single preferred partner), (4) begun to partner Hee Seo (query whether that is more than a temporary thing) at times and (5) partnered various other people on occasion, including some soloists.

#109 Helene

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 12:06 PM

Dancers can have many reasons for moving, including personal ones, with families and partners in another city, having dreams/ambitions to be in one company vs. another, living in another environment -- a lot of people from all walks of life have wanted to live in NYC -- and the regional companies, however strong, aren't rolling in money. When I moved to Seattle, there was a Seattle Times weekend magazine article on "What People Make", and I was :devil: to see how little a principal at PNB made at that time, even taking into consideration lower cost of living and no state income tax. From what I had seen published of NYCB corps salaries at that time, I believe NYCB corps members made more than PNB principals. Of course the money was for far more performances -- a PNB season just about fit into one of NYCB's seasons, with "Nutcrackers" being about even. ABT has a lot more performances than Miami City Ballet, even with its three venues, which translates into salary and opportunity, even within a larger company.

#110 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 02:36 PM

I attended the June 20th matinee of “Airs” and “La Sylphide”. “Airs” was enjoyable and well-danced by all, but I’m not a big fan of modern dance.

La Syphide, however, is another story. I found myself as lost in the mists of Scotland as James himself. Hee Seo’s Sylphide is beyond a revelation. It’s hard to believe she’s a member of the corps. (If my opinion, and the opinion of many women attending the ballet Saturday afternoon is listened to, she won’t be in the corps for much longer.) Hee Seo’s sylph is sweet and loving, mischevious in a child-like way. She is a creature who seems to live in the air. Her every movement reminded me of the romantic lithographs I’ve seen of Marie Taglioni and Lucille Grahn in early 19th century productions of La Sylphide.

ABT’s La Sylphide is a Bournonville ballet, and the male danseur is challenged as much, if not more than the ballerina. I’ve been watching the Royal Danish Ballet’s production of La Sylphide with Nikolaj Hubbe and Lis Jepperson to prepare myself for ABT’s La Sylphide. To me, David Hallberg’s James is even better than Hubbe’s. Hallberg’s ballon is both light and explosive. His leg beats are quick and crisp. His entrechats sixs, leaps where the dancer’s legs constantly cross in the air, are thrilling. Hallberg’s acting is also first-rate. He is the perfect dreamer chasing after his ideal love, and in the process losing both that love and his life.

Daniil Simkin, as Gurn, doesn’t get to dance much. What dancing he does do is unbelievably exciting. Simkin has tremendous elevation, and his jumps are also clean and precise. I’m especially impressed by Simkin’s acting. He inhabits the role of Gurn utterly. His mime is very clear, and he is funny without overdoing it.

Gemma Bond is lovely as Effie, James’ fiancée, and Maria Bystrova is very realistic as Anna, James’ mother. The one disappointment is Victor Barbee’s two-dimensional portrayl of Madge, the witch/fortune-teller. Barbee’s Madge seems like a caricature, rather than a realistic characterization. At times Barbee finds the humor in Madge, but that humor is rather coarse.

#111 Helene

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 09:03 PM

To me, David Hallberg’s James is even better than Hubbe’s. Hallberg’s ballon is both light and explosive. His leg beats are quick and crisp. His entrechats sixs, leaps where the dancer’s legs constantly cross in the air, are thrilling. Hallberg’s acting is also first-rate. He is the perfect dreamer chasing after his ideal love, and in the process losing both that love and his life.

As much as I love Hubbe's production of "La Sylphide", I didn't like his James very much (and may, no will never forgive him for taking the performance from Thomas Lund, who danced that night in "Etudes").

I thought Hallberg's James, even in this production, was better than Hubbe's, too.

#112 Ambonnay

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 04:31 AM

Hee Seo’s Sylphide is beyond a revelation. It’s hard to believe she’s a member of the corps. (If my opinion, and the opinion of many women attending the ballet Saturday afternoon is listened to, she won’t be in the corps for much longer.)


I agree Hee Seo will clearly be promoted to soloist soon. I wonder if that happens only once a year, as occurred recently with Cory Stearns, in which case Seo will have to wait almost another year?

When you get your own La Sylphide with Hallberg, one evening performance of Romeo & Juliet, and then one more performance of the same in LA, and these are not substitutions but intended for you and these are also not your first performances as Juliet after having been a non-apprentice member of the corps for only three years, you are about to be elevated. :)

http://www.abt.org/d...p?Dancer_ID=155

#113 Roberto Dini

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 09:18 PM

Was anyone else sorely disappointed by tonight's performance? (Nina/Hallberg). I thought Airs was especially awful tonight.

I skipped Airs on Tues. I really enjoyed Hallberg's performance. However, Nina was disappointing. She seemed to be lacking in energy, and was very earthbound. I enjoyed her acting, and she played the death scene to the hilt. However,her diminished technique resulted, for me, in an unsatisfying performance overall.

I thought there was much to enjoy about Nina's performance. I was not disappointed in the least and did not find her performance earthbound or lacking in energy.

Of course, it's difficult to compete against one's former self, but practically every performer must deal the consequences of aging, and aging beats the alternative. :bow:

Nina is still a wonderful dancer and has much to offer. I will be sad to see her go.

#114 abatt

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 05:56 AM

[I thought there was much to enjoy about Nina's performance. I was not disappointed in the least and did not find her performance earthbound or lacking in energy.

Of course, it's difficult to compete against one's former self, but practically every performer must deal the consequences of aging, and aging beats the alternative. :wink:

Nina is still a wonderful dancer and has much to offer. I will be sad to see her go.



I agree that Nina is a wonderful artist. I thought her Giselles were magnificent. For me, her Sylphide was not as successful. I will miss her artistry when she leaves.

#115 Ambonnay

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 10:45 AM

The October/November 2010 edition of Pointe magazine contains an interview with Cornejo. An excerpt follows:

"Q: You made your debt as Siegfried in Swan Lake with the Corella Ballet in February. What was that like?
A: Dancing the classical roles is my dream. Since the creation of Corella Ballet, I've been able to dance two ballets I haven't yet performed with ABT, La Bayadere and Swan Lake.

Q: How was partnering Natalia Osipova in ABT's La Sylphide last year?
A: Incredible. She's amazing, and her jump was unbelievable. I was saying to myself, 'Oh my God, what do I do now?'...

Q: Has your height affected your career?
A: It's always been on the table. Argentine dancers, and Latin American dancers in general, are on the small side. I think what matters are proportions. It's been hard sometimes to change the way of thinking of company directors or coaches. Despite the fact that I'm small, my movements can be big, slow. That's why I think La Bayadere is one of my favorite ballets -- because the movement is adagio. People always see me as a fast mover, and I enjoy it, but I feel much bigger than that."


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