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SWAN LAKE

62 posts in this topic

You're welcome. :wink:

I think Part/Hallberg might have collaborated in short pieces like Apollo and, not really dancing together, in On The Dnieper, but I haven't seen them in a full length ballet before :lol:

Edit:

By the way, doesn't the fact that both Irina and Max B were swapped out (even though tonight would have been their second Swan Lake as a pair this year) suggest that the swap is not necessarily due to an injury. Even though Irina and Max B frequently dance together, wouldn't an injury to one typically just involve that person being substituted for, instead of both being substituted for?

If the swap is not due to injury (a big if), did somebody (Part or otherwise) complain to McK about the possibility that Stearns did not adequately partner Part?

Wouldn't it be unusual for the replacement pair chosen to have never danced the relevant full length ballet together before, as is the case, to my knowledge, for Part/Hallerg?

In 2007 (or was it 2008?) I saw Alessandra Ferri replace an injured Xiomara Reyes in a "Manon" matinee performance. In that instance, only the injured dancer was replaced. Neither Ferri nor her partner in that matinee had ever performed the full-length (or probably even the pdd) together before. I will never forget that performance. And according to other BT posts after it, neither will many others. Two days later, however, when the same original cast was scheduled for "Manon", even though Xiomara was still the only one injured, both principals were replaced --and this time Ferri (who substituted for XR again) danced with her usual partner of that season. I was told this was the standard procedure at ABT-- to replace both partners, not only the "injured" principal if only one partner cannot dance. (I never forgot that performance either, but for an entirely different reason than previously; something I made sure ABT knew.)

Of course I was also at that "Swan Lake" last year, where Irina D. danced Odette, and Julie Kent (who was originally scheduled) only danced Odile. That was very strange, (It reminded me of my very early dancing days, when doing SL always meant a search for who could do the 32, and a resultant change of cast midway in every performance, until we finally had someone who could do it all.) Poor Siegfried.

Thanks for all the posts for SB, SL, and other season performances. Very limited finances this year curtailed a lot of my ballet viewings, so very grateful for all comments, viewpoints, opinions.

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I attended the July 26th matinee of Swan Lake, which no one has posted about, so here goes. As Odette/Odile Gillian Murphy is perfect. Her Swan Queen’s liquid bourres and arm movements are rich with deep emotion. Her beautifully flexible upper body shows clearly the despair she feels after Siegfried has betrayed her at the ball. Murphy’s Odile glitters like the most glorious diamond. Her hard edges are occasionally softened so that Siegfried will believe she is the “real” Odette. During the coda of the black swan pas de deux, sparks flew as Murphy whipped off very fast fouettes, throwing in a few quadruples along with the single turns.

At this point in his career, Jose Manuel Carreno is not the dancer he once was, but his Siegfried is a very ardent and attentive partner. During the white swan pas de deux, Carreno is a young man desperately in love with Odette. At the ball, he is so seduced by Odile that desire just pours out of him. During the too brief final act, his despair is heartfelt. The chemistry between Murphy and Carreno smolders with a fiery passion. This is a Swan Queen and her Prince who belong together forever.

Other dancers stand out as well. The Act I pas de trois is performed with enthusiastic vivacity by Sarah Lane, Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews. Lane dances with such delight and artlessness that it makes me smile to see her. Kajiya has light, lovely leaps and wonderful use of her hands. Matthews is an excellent partner, with good elevation and nice turns.

The female corps in the white acts (Act II and the sadly truncated Act IV) dance in magnificent sync with the music and each other. As the two big swans, Simone Messmer and Nicola Curry’s lyrical phrasing is exquisite.

Sascha Radetsky as the handsome von Rothbart is very disappointing. I usually enjoy Radetsky’s dancing, but during von Rothbart’s solo in Act III, his landings are unusually sloppy. Radetsky’s overall performance lacks sharpness and precision.

Hopefully ABT will go back to performing David Blair’s staging of Swan Lake, which they danced before 2000. Swan Lake is a beautifully powerful ballet, and it deserves the best production possible.

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During the coda of the black swan pas de deux, sparks flew as Murphy whipped off very fast fouettes, throwing in a few quadruples along with the single turns.

Hi Colleen. I was at the matinee too. I'm sorry I missed you. I wanted to add that Gillian embellished her quad turns by using varying arm positions. Sometimes her arms were encircled over her head, but then should would switch it up with undulating swan arms during the turns. Hers was the best, from a technique standpoint, of all of the Black Swans this year at ABT in my opinion.

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Any reports on M Wiles-C Stearns Friday night SL?

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Any reports on M Wiles-C Stearns Friday night SL?

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I was there. With respect to partnering issues, Stearns was better on Friday with Wilesthan on Monday with Part. His lifts were higher and more secure than on Monday. However, he still has a bad habit of being rough in putting down his ballerina after a difficult lift, as though he is putting down a couch. I thought his acting was better on Monday, because Veronika is so intense that she inspires her partner to similarly burn with greater intensity. Wiles is very strong technically, and she performed all of the steps well. Notably, she has added the rubber arm trick to her arsenal. That's the move that Nina used to do, where her arms undulate as though they are boneless in the exit of Act II, where her back is facing the audience. However, the poetry and pathos in the performances of Vishneva, Kent and Part were absent in Wiles' interpretation, in my opinion. Wiles should pay more attention to using her upper body in an expressive manner. Also, she frequently doesn't fully finish a movement with her arms, thereby diminishing the overall impact of the movement. Wiles was very strong technically, performing many double fouettes in the Black act. Cory was about the same in the Black act as on Monday in his technical abilities. Saviliev was replaced by Radetsky as Purple Rothbart on Friday. The prologue looked particularly silly, since Wiles is so much taller on pointe than Radetsky. Since all of us folks who post on this board see so much ballet, it was interesting to hear the perspective of my friend, who goes to one ballet approx. every two years. She loved it and was very impressed with the entire cast, except for Purple Rothbart. She didn't think he had the charisma or ability to play someone who was the center of attraction. She also thought the the Green Monster Rothbart was silly. I agree!

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Here is my take on the SL(s) that I attended

Kent/Gomes

Julie was a beautiful Odette. This is a role in which she has always been amazing, and I was very happy to see that

she can still perform it so well. In general, technically, she was much more accomplished than I expected.

The Chemistry with Marcelo was really good. She has lost back-flexibility, but still she has wonderful extensions and

stunning port-de-bras.

Her Odile was pretty good as well, although I have always seen her too pretty and sweet for the role.

Odile variation was strongly executed, no fireworks, but precise and overall very well danced.

The fouettes in the coda were weak, but nothing different to what I was expecting (she is never been the ultimate technician, on the

contrary, much more of a "white-tutu ballerina") and the final act was very passionated and lovely.

To me she was the 2nd best Odette (after luxurious Part).

Marcelo was literally AMAZING !

No words to describe his emotions, and technique.

Incredible control on those turns, so clean ! Bravo.

Wiles/Stearns

Once again, mixed feelings with Michele.

On one hand, she has def the potential to make a very complete and astonishing Odette/Odile combo, but she lacked focus and quality, as happened before,

in her port-de-bras and upper body movement. She certainly delivered some very beautiful moments as Odette, but at the same time, you have to painfully

see how quickly she goes from beauty in her movements to total stiffness, and unattended and awafully looking poses.

You can see the enormous potential, but at this point I am starting to wonder if she will ever take her dancing to the next level

He Odile was def my favorite of all (even better than Gillian, I dare to say).

The technique was literally, jaw-dropping. She is so strong !

In Odile variation, first, she threw quadruple pirouettes in attitude, followed by a triple, I think.

More impressive is the fact that she finished them so clean and perfectly centered.

Later, she went for DOUBLE-PIROUETTES a la seconde ! (twice)

This is a marvel, and is rarely seen, especially when is done with such security and presicion.

I admire her strength and the fact that she has no fear at all. I saw her falling badly 2-3 years ago, when doing this, so

it was a delight to see her going for it again without any hesitation.

The control and speed of the series of pique-chaines were like, OMG, and again what impressed me the most is the fact that every single time when she turns,

the center is just perfect. Her fouettes are not as crazy and risky as Gillian's, but she did throw a couple of quadruples, together with few doubles.

I liked more the musicality of them and the fact that she finished so strong and fresh, like she could easily go for another round !

Throughout the 3rd Act the balances were absolutely astonishing, as if she were hammered to the floor, she caught all of them, whenever she had a chance, and this time,

for my delight, with pretty high arabesques.

All this combined with a pretty good impersonation of the character. Brava !

Stearns was a good partner, very refined, beautiful lines...so a lot of potential here too.

Still, obviously, needs to do some work on partnering (although he is already a great partner) and especially on his technique, which needs more improvements.

Overall a good performance, but as a whole, the least exciting of all 4 that I saw.

Murphy/Carreno

It was awasome to see Gillian, once again, adding more and new details to her Odette.

No question she has soften her back amazingly (how great of an imporvement on a young dancer, speaks a lot of how hard she works)

Much improved port-de-bras and above all, the level of expressiveness, much better as well.

This, of course, made a remarkable adagio, beautiful !

I couldnt stop thinking how unfair was to record her at such a young age in a role like this !

Odette variation was also incredible (she threw two cuadruples pirouettes (in the diagonal)).....Brava.

other notes:

- Great chemistry with Carreno (they have been dancing together SL for quite some time now)

- Passionated end of ActII, transformation into a Swan (only Part surpassed her here) and nicely executed port-de-bras for the finale.

Her Odile, well, as always, amazing. Clean, pure technique. Crazy fouettes, i still cant believe that she manages

to show us her port-de-bras while doing multiple turns ! How much control and coordination you need for that !!!! Unbeleivable.

The rest of her variation, perfect as well.

She has also much better extensions now ! and she did caught a few real good balances as well.

Four act: very passionated, beautifully acted and she is probably the best at throwing herself into the lake (no fear at all here)

Carreno has aged, we all know that, but the clean and stylish dancing is still there, its such a pleasure to watch such a “noble danseur”. He is also an amazing partner, which makes his ballerina very secure and he really knows how to get the best of her.

Overall, third best Odette (very high quality) and a very satisfying, complete and balanced performance.

Part/Hallberg

Veronika surpassed herself on Sat night.

I have no words to describe the luxurious expansion of her movements, the majestic beauty of her lines, and the perfection in every single movement of that gorgeous body.

In a role like this, she epitomizes the purity and classicism of a ballerina, that arabesque is truly to die for.......a performance that brings u on stage, make you suffer with her, it will def stay with me forever. Veronika's port-de-bras is one of the most beautifully and carefully executed that I have ever seen.......the way she uses her wrist and especially her fingers. More than that, the way she moves her two gorgeous wings WITH the music is totally astonishing.

The Adagio was so beautiful that i just didnt want them to finish it ever.

The finale was heartbreaking, she kissed David (for real), he hold onto her as much as he could, very emotional...the faces were to be recorded...... then, she transformed herself into a swan, back again, and flew away of the stage.

I could go on an on here...........what a ballerina, and what a beauty, she is as special as I have rarely seen a dancer.

Its just a wonder. After more than 15 years of SL, and after seeing her quite a few times here at abt, I cant beleive that she made me feel such an emotion with this second act.

Her Odile was better than on opening night. The variation was very well danced, great balances ! and she toned down a little the evil-smile and projection.

Singles and musical fouettes in the coda, more importantly, on the spot ! which is something that I appreciate quite a lot.

Act IV was once again, to remember, both very much engaged in the performance, the last good bye was to make you cry !

David was great. Some problems in the partnering, likely due to the lack of rehearsals, especially in Act II.

Some of the lifting were removed (she is also probably too tall for him), for example, the one at the end of Act II. She went on a penche and David kneeled

on the floor instead, it did look pretty anyways. He did an awasome job with the liftings on Act IV, wich are very hard and complicated, Bravisimo !

His variation was clean, awasome, and as usual, those jetes are like OMG, with such a soft landing !

I felt that as long as the performance progressed, the chemistry went on and on....

I saw them dancing together back in 2007, i think. Def this performance was much better (and that one was already great)

Overall, by far, my favorite and most complete performance of all.

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I'm sooooo glad to hear that others were as enraptured as I by Veronika Part's performance in Saturday night's SL! I learned of the cast change only at the last minute and feared that I wouldn't be able to get a ticket. Thankfully, I did, in center orchestra, and I was in awe of her performance. After Nina, I thought I would never again fall in love with a ballerina, but I did fall in love with Part that night. Stunning. I've been going to the ballet since 1950 and I sat there mesmerized. The nuances, the intensity, the eloquence! Images of that performance will be forever engraved in my brain. And of course David Hallberg is the ultimate prince. I felt he had a bit of a struggle in some of the lifts, but all he has to do is stand there to capture your attention. Gorgeous. And when he jumps, he floats. angelica

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It's very, very unusual for the NY Times to give the lead review to the second night performance. Perhaps they felt that in fairness to Cory Stearns, who was thrown in at the last minute in a New York debut in a major role, they would refrain from reviewing the opening night. Under the circumstances, this seems reasonable, ...
Given Macaulay's unfriendliness to Part, I'm just as happy. And I agree, that we don't know how much rehearsal time (other than not enough) the leads shared. I was pleased to see that Part was able to keep her composure throughout the ballet, despite some obvious problems with the partnering. The detail that bothered me most was that Stearns, placing Part down after the diagonal of overhead lifts in Act II, did not seem to know how far she was from the floor, giving her heavier landings than should have been. I expect this will be fixed if/when this pair does future SLs. If either of them suffered from nerves on that night, I didn't pick up on it.

Watching this troubling staging, I was struck by a plot point that hadn't occurred to me before. In Act 3, we have the princess "audition," where the four young ladies compete to secure the future for themselves, their dynasties and their kingdoms, and every single one of them proves that she has a roving eye. It was explained to me (thank you, Susan!) that it was because I'd failed to read the program notes: Rothbart has cast a spell over them that they are powerless to resist. I guess that I noticed this glitch for the first time because in the past, Rothbarts such as Gomes and Hallberg had cast their evil spell over me, too! Unfortunately, the "sexy" Rothbart in this performance, Gennadi Saveliev, lacked the power to suspend my disbelief. He exuded neither charm nor menace, at least not as much as the role requires.

After Craig Salstein's and Joseph Phillips' Neapolitan dance, I turned to my companion and said, "They couldn't have given Craig a Bluebird?" It was astonishing how classical he looked in comparison to his partner.

I agree with nysusan and the others who felt that this was a pretty good but not great Swan Lake.

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Watching this troubling staging, I was struck by a plot point that hadn't occurred to me before. In Act 3, we have the princess "audition," where the four young ladies compete to secure the future for themselves, their dynasties and their kingdoms, and every single one of them proves that she has a roving eye. It was explained to me (thank you, Susan!) that it was because I'd failed to read the program notes: Rothbart has cast a spell over them that they are powerless to resist. I guess that I noticed this glitch for the first time because in the past, Rothbarts such as Gomes and Hallberg had cast their evil spell over me, too! Unfortunately, the "sexy" Rothbart in this performance, Gennadi Saveliev, lacked the power to suspend my disbelief. He exuded neither charm nor menace, at least not as much as the role requires.

But the princesses don't acquire "a roving eye" until after Seigfried has danced with them and rejected all of them. Who wouldn't look elsewhere? And when Rothbart comes onto the scene and Seigfried runs out after Odile, the princesses probably figure he's the only guy left. Let's dance!

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Pointe magazine has a page on Veronika Part's Dance Bag (the title of the article misspells her name as Veronica). There is a snippet re: Part having been injured last year that I was not previously aware of:

"Part suffered a labral tear -- an injury to the cartilage surrounding a ball-and-socket joint -- in her hip last year and chose not to have surgery. So now, on show days, she goes through a special two-hour workout in order to prepare her body to dance."

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