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Comparison of casts in Bright Stream


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#1 VirginiaB

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 02:28 PM

I was able to hear Ratmansky's description of ABT's new ballet, then I saw the rehearsal on Friday and saw both casts in the ballet. The ballet is perfect for ABT since it gives opportunities to so many of the younger dancers because there are many solo roles. I especially appreciated Maria Riccetto whose spirited acting and dancing were very exciting. Craig Salstein also displayed his strong acting skills and his talent for comedy as well as his balletic technique. David Hallberg and Daniil Simkin had completely different interpretations of the 'ballerina' role. Because of his size, David emphasized the humorous aspect of the role. Daniil was also very funny, but copied and mocked the romantic style with great accuracy. The role of the ballerina role (Gillian Murphy/Isabella Boyleston) was danced with great flair by both of them, but I thought that Isabella's performance was especially exciting.
Her technique and energy level made her performance thrilling. The role of the husband was danced and acted marvelously by both Cornejo and Gomes. The role allowed both of them to display tenderness, humor, romance and very exciting dance technique. I strongly recommend that this ballet should be seen with several casts. Repeated viewing is needed to appreciate what Ratmansky has given to us. The entire company showed enormous energy. I also suggest seeing the ballet from an upper level because of the interesting patterns for the corps dancers. When I attended the rehearsal, I sat in the orchestra and didn't realize how much of the choreography could not be appreciated from that perspective.

#2 kfw

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:38 PM

Thanks, VirginiaB. Alastair Macaulay saw both casts as well:

It’s good to see it once; it’s better — and funnier — to see it twice. I did so and marveled at the in-depth success of Ballet Theater’s double casting. In Zina’s opening solo, Xiomara Reyes has finer musical timing, but Paloma Herrera has more expressive footwork.

Ms. Herrera and Gillian Murphy, as the Ballerina, bring stellar distinction to the episode where they, masked, bewilder Zina’s husband, Pyotr (which is which?), yet Ms. Reyes and the highly engaging Isabella Boylston look sufficiently alike to make the identity confusion more convincing. As the male dancer, the illustrious David Hallberg is quite something on point (those feet!), while Daniil Simkin is better in executing double pirouettes (on point, yes) to both right and left. Herman Cornejo is more instantly heart-catching as Pyotr, though Marcelo Gomes’s interpretation is more pointfully accentuated and roguishly detailed. Susan Jones is more effectively amusing and absurd as the highly buxom, aging Dacha Dweller, but Martine van Hamel — who wins her own laughs — makes the role more rounded, with a dash of pathos.

And so on. At 30 different places I could tell you why either cast was better, but what matters immediately is to say how fine both casts are and how lucidly “The Bright Stream” entertains.



#3 bart

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:48 PM

Thanks, Virginia, for your post. Bright Stream is a work I'd love to see. I especially love Macaulay's phrase: "how lucidly [this ballet] entertains."

I appreciate the following comment:

I strongly recommend that this ballet should be seen with several casts. Repeated viewing is needed to appreciate what Ratmansky has given to us. The entire company showed enormous energy. I also suggest seeing the ballet from an upper level because of the interesting patterns for the corps dancers. When I attended the rehearsal, I sat in the orchestra and didn't realize how much of the choreography could not be appreciated from that perspective.

As one who likes to see multiple performances of a single work, I always try to shift my seats from performance to performance, for just the reason you mention.

I know that a number of BalletAlertniks were in Washington for this. It would be great to hear from all of you.


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