Dale

Ethan Stiefel to withdraw from ABT Met season 2011 performances

28 posts in this topic

From the company:

ETHAN STIEFEL TO WITHDRAW FROM PERFORMANCES WITH

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

Ethan Stiefel will withdraw from performances with American Ballet Theatre this Spring, having focused on duties associated with his final year as Dean of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Stiefel, a Principal Dancer with ABT since 1997, was scheduled for six performances during the Company’s 2011 season at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Speaking of his decision, Stiefel said, “Leading the UNCSA School of Dance through a critical period of transition has required the type of energy and attention that has kept me from properly focusing and physically preparing for my upcoming performances. I am truly disappointed not to be performing with my colleagues at ABT and for the New York audiences.”

Stiefel has also withdrawn from scheduled performances during American Ballet Theatre’s tour to Japan in July.

For more information on American Ballet Theatre, please visit www.abt.org

Share this post


Link to post

Steifel's exit leaves lots of openings on the schedule. I guess we'll be seeing a lot more of Cory. :wallbash:

Share this post


Link to post

Steifel's exit leaves lots of openings on the schedule. I guess we'll be seeing a lot more of Cory. :wallbash:

mmmm

Share this post


Link to post

Drats---I was so looking forward to his 'Franz' in Coppelia---the perfect heir to Frederic Franklin in the role.

Share this post


Link to post

Am I the only one who thinks this is a little ridiculous? He didn't see this coming at all? What happens when he starts up with his commitments in New Zealand? I have liked Stiefel quite a bit but between this and his recurring knee issues, it would seem enough is enough. Give up the principal spot for one of the boys chomping at the bit for a chance, rather than making everyone repeatedly scramble at the last minute for casting subs.

Share this post


Link to post

Drat. I'm in ATM's boat ... except I talked 3 guests into coming as well. I hope Steifel's replacement makes much of the opportunity.... and I see from the notice that it will be Simkin.

Has he danced with Osipova much yet?

Share this post


Link to post

Steifel's exit leaves lots of openings on the schedule. I guess we'll be seeing a lot more of Cory. :wallbash:

The casting changes have been posted on the ABT website:

May 21 - Don Quixote: Cory Stearns (with Gillian Murphy)

May 28 - Giselle: David Hallberg (with Alina Cojocaru)

June 11 and 20 - Coppelia: Daniil Simkin (with Natalia Osipova)

June 29 - Swan Lake: Marcelo Gomes (with Paloma Herrera)

July 9 - The Sleeping Beauty: Marcelo Gomes (with Gillian Murphy)

ETA: After posting the above message, I saw that abatt had posted these changes yesterday on another thread in the ABT folder.

Share this post


Link to post

I am totally in ksk04's corner on this. Can't you plan ahead, see this coming. Seems like either poor communication and coordination, or an artist just blowing off a constituency that has supported him for so many, many years. As the old saying says - "Don't let the door hit you in ass on your way out, Ethan!" Very ungracious exit from ABT.

Share this post


Link to post

How can I blame him given the number of times I've overestimated what I can do or made a commitment when it seemed like a good/feasible idea at the time?

Share this post


Link to post

How can I blame him given the number of times I've overestimated what I can do or made a commitment when it seemed like a good/feasible idea at the time?

It's called being a professional. It's not like these responsibilities just cropped up on him. It seems like an early exit to New Zealand and his heart and soul is not livmg up to his professional commitments at ABT. I emphasize the word "professional." he'll, Roberto Bolle comes back to do Giselle and Lady of the Camellias. Bravo to Roberto for keeping his ties active.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm a professional, too, and I've made mistakes by overestimating. I'm disappointed that he overestimated. Sadly, a number of these decisions have to be made far enough in advance that when the type of opportunity a dancer needs to transition to the next phase of his or her career, there isn't a lot of wiggle room.

The link I see between North Carolina and New Zealand is that he had to tie everything up, and ABT got caught in the middle.

Share this post


Link to post

ABT seems to put up with a lot of absences by Stiefel related to his other job, but at the same time Angel Corella has been frozen out of ABT because of his other responsibilities with his own company. The audience goes nuts when Corella performs, and he puts butts in seats at the MET. He is only scheduled for one performance. I don't understand the logic here. I have to agree with the post above that notes that management would not do anything to piss off Ethan because the company needs Gillian. I also think that Stiefel's best years, in terms of the quality of his dancing, were actually at NYCB, not at ABT. I didn't plan any of my ABT performances around Stiefel, so I don't have a strong feeling either way about his cancellation, other than that it is inconsiderate. In fact, I'm looking forward to seeing Gomes as Herrera's partner in SL and SB. The biggest disappointment is that Cory is now doing the Don Q with Murphy. I can't even imagine him in that role. He is more the princely type, and certainly not a bravura technician, in my opinion. Let's just hope neither Hallberg nor Gomes get injured.

Changing topics slightly, I think its callous for ABT to schedule Stella as Myrta in the performance where Hee Seo will be dancing Giselle w. Hallberg. Of course, Stella was scheduled to do Giselle for 2 years with Hallberg, but it never happened due to Stella's injuries. From all appearances, Hee Seo seems to be prone to injuries herself. Why not give Stella the chance she has earned and let her do Giselle? If not, why rub her nose in it by casting her as Myrta in the Hee Seo Giselle?

Share this post


Link to post

ABT seems to put up with a lot of absences by Stiefel related to his other job, but at the same time Angel Corella has been frozen out of ABT because of his other responsibilities with his own company. The audience goes nuts when Corella performs, and he puts butts in seats at the MET. He is only scheduled for one performance. I don't understand the logic here. I have to agree with the post above that notes that management would not do anything to piss off Ethan because the company needs Gillian. I also think that Stiefel's best years, in terms of the quality of his dancing, were actually at NYCB, not at ABT. I didn't plan any of my ABT performances around Stiefel, so I don't have a strong feeling either way about his cancellation, other than that it is inconsiderate. In fact, I'm looking forward to seeing Gomes as Herrera's partner in SL and SB. The biggest disappointment is that Cory is now doing the Don Q with Murphy. I can't even imagine him in that role. He is more the princely type, and certainly not a bravura technician, in my opinion. Let's just hope neither Hallberg nor Gomes get injured.

Changing topics slightly, I think its callous for ABT to schedule Stella as Myrta in the performance where Hee Seo will be dancing Giselle w. Hallberg. Of course, Stella was scheduled to do Giselle for 2 years with Hallberg, but it never happened due to Stella's injuries. From all appearances, Hee Seo seems to be prone to injuries herself. Why not give Stella the chance she has earned and let her do Giselle? If not, why rub her nose in it by casting her as Myrta in the Hee Seo Giselle?

I do hope that Hee Seo will be well enough to dance in early June. This" Giselle with David H. slot" seemed unlucky for debutants.Sarah should be ready ,just in case.

Share this post


Link to post
Bravo to Roberto for keeping his ties active.

Wasn't it Bolle who backed out of ABT performances last year "due to injury" only to dance a few days later in Europe?

Share this post


Link to post

Yes,indeed Amy - I had the same recollection about Bolle's early departure last year. I'm sorry to say it left me with a bad impression of him and wondering about his commitment to ABT. After all Gomes and Hallberg can't be expected to cover all of these kinds of absences without risking injury to themselves.

Share this post


Link to post

Yes,indeed Amy - I had the same recollection about Bolle's early departure last year. I'm sorry to say it left me with a bad impression of him and wondering about his commitment to ABT. After all Gomes and Hallberg can't be expected to cover all of these kinds of absences without risking injury to themselves.

Yes, I think this is the part that bugs me. Gomes and Hallberg end up doing the heavy lifting in these situations because it's hard to replace someone with the "starpower" of Stiefel with say...Hammoudi or Radetsky or any other number of the guys who should be getting chances at stuff like this with the exit of many of ABT's men (especially when Stiefel was due to partner some of the flashy guests this season--I doubt Cojocaru is popping over to partner a corps dancer in his debut). Gomes and Hallberg are the safe choices...they are tall, popular, excellent, dance the whole rep and partner a number of the women well, but it puts an unfair burden on them when these hasty, weird exits occur.

What abatt noted about Corella seems absolutely true in this case, unfortunately. (Also the part about poor Stella, it's just cruel)

Share this post


Link to post

Stiefel gave a month's notice for the first performance, now cast with Stearns, and Hallberg gets one extra performance, while Gomes gets two. I don't know if Hallberg and/or Gomes are in the New Wheeldon or New Ratmansky; currently Hallberg is listed for opening night, the extra Don Q on 21 May, and then again for 28 May "Giselle". Gomes has two "Cinderella"s the week before his substitute "Swan Lake" on 29 June and the Saturday matinee following, and he has a second "Sleeping Beauty" four days after what was scheduled as his last performance, i.e., two performances in the last two weeks of the season instead of one.

Stiefel was already on the "if" list, with the aforementioned Careno (retiring), Corella, and Beloserkovsky dancing infrequently, if not at all. The lack of depth of principal men at ABT was hardly an unknown unknown. Given how quickly ABT responded, either they knew Stiefel would not perform before the announcement and were ready, or they had a plan B, given how dodgy his knee has been and how little time he's given the company.

Share this post


Link to post
ABT seems to put up with a lot of absences by Stiefel related to his other job, but at the same time Angel Corella has been frozen out of ABT because of his other responsibilities with his own company.
Oh? ABT has "frozen out" Corella? That seems highly presumptive. Maybe one performance was all that he, Corella, could fit in.
Changing topics slightly, I think its callous for ABT to schedule Stella as Myrta in the performance where Hee Seo will be dancing Giselle w. Hallberg. Of course, Stella was scheduled to do Giselle for 2 years with Hallberg, but it never happened due to Stella's injuries. From all appearances, Hee Seo seems to be prone to injuries herself. Why not give Stella the chance she has earned and let her do Giselle? If not, why rub her nose in it by casting her as Myrta in the Hee Seo Giselle?
I'm not sure the Powers were "rubbing her nose in it" which implies that they were intentionally out to hurt her, but I do agree that casting her as Myrtha to a new Giselle who "jumped the line" was very insensitive.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not being presumptive. My conclusion is based on Corella's previous interviews in the press, particularly last year when his company came for a visit to City Center. Corella has stated that Kevin McKenzie does not have room for him on the schedule. Corella attributed this last season to the fact that Corella Ballet was performing in New York, and McKenzie may have felt that the audience would be maxed-out on seeing Corella. If we are to believe Corella, he has been eager to perform more at ABT, but McKenzie has not been willing to give him more performances. Granted, we have never heard from McKenzie on this issue.

Share this post


Link to post
I'm not being presumptive. My conclusion is based on Corella's previous interviews in the press, particularly last year when his company came for a visit to City Center. Corella has stated that Kevin McKenzie does not have room for him on the schedule. ...
Thank you for clarifying, abatt. I missed those interviews. :dunno:

Share this post


Link to post
I'm not being presumptive. My conclusion is based on Corella's previous interviews in the press, particularly last year when his company came for a visit to City Center. Corella has stated that Kevin McKenzie does not have room for him on the schedule. ...
Thank you for clarifying, abatt. I missed those interviews. :dunno:

abatt is correct. I read those interviews, I still have them, and can supply the publication and dates if necessary. I am not sure if the same situation applies now. Last year, there was space in the summer schedule of CBCL to accomodate any planned ABT performances, but this year, the schedule is tighter. Case in point: ABT opening night gala occurs between two scheduled CBCL tour dates in New Orleans and Seattle.

Share this post


Link to post

I think I might have (?) posted the key excerpts from those interviews on this board somewhere, but I unfortunately don't have the time to search to verify that. abatt is right in my book, too.

Share this post


Link to post

In regards to Corella, he was definitely "frozen out" of the schedule last year. My understanding is that in the 2009 MET season, Corella was overcommitted (I remember reading about him flying to NY for an ABT performance only to hop on a plane to perform with his company the next night). Then in the 2010 MET season, he tried to cut down his commitments with his company so he could be in NYC for ABT, but McKenzie did not put him in the schedule. As for this season, Corella's company has been doing a lot of big tours and performances to up their presence (they are currently in WA state). I suspect that Corella may have put his company first his year as tour planning is done at least a year in advance, and he's made himself available for the MET season the best he could (at least Corella Ballet was in NYC in the fall). That being said, I hope that starting next season, ABT and Corella work out a better balance especially since as many others have mentioned, he's needed in the rotation.

Back to Stiefel, I definitely think that ABT is maintaining a relationship with him b/c of Gillian. That being said, I can't think of a dancer who's been flakier, for various reasons for difference commitments, in the past 5 years than Stiefel (injuries I can understand, although Ethan seems to be much more prone to them than others - perhaps due to how little time he has to actually spend dancing/rehearsing). His new relationship with New Zealand certainly complicates things as Gillian is slated to be a guest artist quite a bit, AND it seems like Ethan has managed to throw a wrench into the picture too...I know we shouldn't be focusing on dancers' personal lives on this board, but seeing as they sometimes affect their professional live...he did (finally) propose to Gillian on Monday night at the Gala (link here)...which means that it appears as though Gillian and Ethan will really have to treated as "one unit" now. I'm intrigued to see how long Ethan commits to New Zealand and what Gillian chooses to do. Losing either principal on a more permanent basis will be detrimental for ABT, especially Gillian, and I'd hate to see it come to that.

Share this post


Link to post

I know we shouldn't be focusing on dancers' personal lives on this board, but seeing as they sometimes affect their professional live...he did (finally) propose to Gillian on Monday night at the Gala (link here)...which means that it appears as though Gillian and Ethan will really have to treated as "one unit" now.

Having read that juicy tidbit myself the other day, I wondered if it meant that Gillian will now be going to New Zealand with Stiefel or whether they will be living far apart for awhile. Of course, an engagement isn't a marriage, but it does make one think about the future of both dancers and where that will be. Now, even more than before, they will probably want to be together most of the time. (sorry for the speculation)

Share this post


Link to post

I know we shouldn't be focusing on dancers' personal lives on this board, but seeing as they sometimes affect their professional live...he did (finally) propose to Gillian on Monday night at the Gala (link here)...which means that it appears as though Gillian and Ethan will really have to treated as "one unit" now.

Maybe... the article doesn't say that she accepted, only that she "got flustered when her boyfriend proposed to her seconds after she danced to Tchaikovsky."

Share this post


Link to post