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Johan Kobborg to perform with ABT at Met season 2011Giselle, May 28; (Added) Sleeping Beauty, July 8


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#1 Dale

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 08:08 AM

Kobborg replaces an injured Maxim Beloserkovsky:

JOHAN KOBBORG TO PERFORM WITH AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
IN GISELLE, SATURDAY MATINEE, MAY 28, 2011 AT
METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE


Johan Kobborg, a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet in London, will make his first appearance with American Ballet Theatre as a guest artist at the matinee on Saturday, May 28 in Giselle. It was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. Kobborg will dance the role of Albrecht in Giselle replacing Maxim Beloserkovsky who is injured.
Kobborg was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and trained at the Funen Ballet Academy before joining the Royal Danish Ballet School in 1988 at the age of 16. He joined the Royal Danish Ballet in 1989 and was promoted to soloist in 1991 and to principal in 1994. With the Royal Danish Ballet, he has danced leading roles in the classical and romantic repertory including Albrecht in Giselle, Franz in Coppélia, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, the Prince in The Nutcracker, Basilio in Don Quixote, Romeo in Sir Frederick Ashton’s and John Neumeier’s Romeo and Juliet, James in August Bournonville’s La Sylphide, and Gennaro in Napoli.

In 1993, Kobborg won the gold medal at the Erik Bruhn Competition in Canada and the Grand Prix at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, U.S.A. in 1994. In 1996, he was nominated for the Benois de la Danse prize for his role as James in La Sylphide.

Kobborg joined the Royal Ballet as a principal dancer in 1999. His repertoire with the Royal Ballet includes leading roles in Ashton’s Symphonic Variations, Les Rendezvous, Scènes de ballet and Ondine, George Balanchine’s Duo Concertant, Antony Tudor’s The Leaves Are Fading, Jerome Robbins’ The Concert and William Forsythe’s In the middle, somewhat elevated. He has also danced the Prince in Cinderella, Franz in Ninette de Valois’ Coppélia, Albrecht in Peter Wright’s production of Giselle, Basilio in Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote, the title role in John Cranko’s Onegin, Solor in Natalia Makarova’s production of La Bayadère, Prince Desiré in The Sleeping Beauty and Prince Siegfried in Anthony Dowell’s production of Swan Lake. Kobborg’s roles in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s ballets include the title role in Romeo and Juliet, Crown Prince Rudolf in Mayerling, the Solo Boy in Danses Concertantes and Des Grieux in Manon. In addition, he has performed Prince Florimund in the Monica Mason and Christopher Newton production of The Sleeping Beauty and the Rake in de Valois’ The Rake’s Progress.

#2 FauxPas

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 08:28 AM

Interesting that they are breaking up the ballet couples - Johan will dance with Irina Dvorovenko, not Cojocaru who will dance with Hallberg in the evening. Osipova will dance "Coppelia" with Daniil Simkin and Ivan Vasiliev will partner Xiomara Reyes the night before.

#3 ksk04

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:33 AM

This is just ridiculous-- no offense to Kobborg, who I happen to love.

#4 spinning2night

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:48 AM

Interesting that they are breaking up the ballet couples - Johan will dance with Irina Dvorovenko, not Cojocaru who will dance with Hallberg in the evening. Osipova will dance "Coppelia" with Daniil Simkin and Ivan Vasiliev will partner Xiomara Reyes the night before.


With all the unexpected injuries, i think ABT is trying to make sure that they keep as many of the announced castings the same even if it means splitting up the ballet couples.
I personally think that the current casting for Giselle makes sense as Dvorovenko/Hallberg doesn't seem to make sense/work for me

Bur seriously, we're in week 2 of the Met season and the castings are falling apart right and left...

#5 mussel

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 12:00 PM

This is just ridiculous-- no offense to Kobborg, who I happen to love.


Ridiculous as in ABT's inability or unwillingness to find an in-house replacement?

I don't know why ABT can't find an in-house sub, I know Hallberg and Gomes have their plates full, but there are still plenty of other male principals/soloists can fill in. I don't think Kobborg's box office draw is a consideration as the 5/28 matinee is almost sold-out. Another missed opportunity to promote its own in-house talents.

There are signs that ABT's top male ranks are running thin but I marvel ABT's clout to draw stars, especially in such short notice.

#6 ksk04

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 12:09 PM


This is just ridiculous-- no offense to Kobborg, who I happen to love.


Ridiculous as in ABT's unable or unwilling to find an in-house replacement?

I don't know why ABT can't find an in-house sub, I know Hallberg and Gomes have their plates full, but there are still plenty of other male principals can fill in. I don't think Kobborg's box office draw is a consideration as the 5/28 matinee is almost sold-out.

There are signs that ABT's top male ranks are running thin but I marvel ABT's clout to draw stars, especially in such short notice.


Yes, the unwillingness. There are plenty of male soloists who could fill in too...Sascha Radetsky performed Albrecht with the DNB when he was a principal, and I'm sure there are others who know the role already (it's not like Albrecht is some obscure part), aside from the male principals. IMO, Kobborg and Dvorovenko don't even make sense as a pairing when you look at their dancing styles/acting styles.

I wouldn't marvel so much at their clout...both Kobborg and Vasiliev were probably already in town or planning to be in town see Cojocaru and Osipova.

I understand using guest artists to liven the season and to showcase some talent usually not seen in New York, but when the season becomes entirely about the guest artists, there is a problem.

#7 Classic_Ballet

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 12:50 PM

Kobborg was here, I saw him on Monday after Cojocaru's Don Q.

I know this topic is pretty polemic, but in my opinion, as an audience member, I really thank very, very much ABT management for giving me the chance to enjoy all these stars in the season. Its truly a very unique opportunity for a ballet fan.

Last week I saw 5 Don Q's in a raw. Why ? Because I couldn’t resist to see Sarabia, gorgeous A. Cojocaru and Semionova, and from our own dancers, I never miss Gillian in this role (btw she was as usual a technical marvel) and I wanted to see Simkim debut. If ABT have had any of their current female dancers doing Don Q instead of Alina and Semionova, I don’t think I would have seen 5 Don Qs, since none of those dancers is exciting enough as for making me going to see so many Don Q's in a raw. I know it may sound cruel, but its the reality, and many of the people who I know go to see ABT often, feel exactly the same way.

This applies also to the coming week, with Vishneva, Cojocaru and Kent doing in Giselle. Its such a unique opportunity, that I feel very lucky to live in a town with a company that brings the best to its audience.

Its true that Kobborg case may be different. However, ABT artistic team may think that the in-house male who could replace Maxim are not ready to do so in such a short notice, because they may want to maintain certain standards (and I know some people here may disagree, and I may disagree as well, actually, especially if you compare Maxim with some highly talented guys on ABT current roster).
I have seen quite a few ABT dancers who looked promising and then later, when opportunities came through, they didnt rise to the occasions.
I, for example, don’t see Radetsky partnering Irina in Giselle, especially with the difficulty of the partnering in Act II. Its just an opinion.

#8 spinning2night

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 12:57 PM



This is just ridiculous-- no offense to Kobborg, who I happen to love.


Ridiculous as in ABT's unable or unwilling to find an in-house replacement?

I don't know why ABT can't find an in-house sub, I know Hallberg and Gomes have their plates full, but there are still plenty of other male principals can fill in. I don't think Kobborg's box office draw is a consideration as the 5/28 matinee is almost sold-out.

There are signs that ABT's top male ranks are running thin but I marvel ABT's clout to draw stars, especially in such short notice.


Yes, the unwillingness. There are plenty of male soloists who could fill in too...Sascha Radetsky performed Albrecht with the DNB when he was a principal, and I'm sure there are others who know the role already (it's not like Albrecht is some obscure part), aside from the male principals. IMO, Kobborg and Dvorovenko don't even make sense as a pairing when you look at their dancing styles/acting styles.

I wouldn't marvel so much at their clout...both Kobborg and Vasiliev were probably already in town or planning to be in town see Cojocaru and Osipova.

I understand using guest artists to liven the season and to showcase some talent usually not seen in New York, but when the season becomes entirely about the guest artists, there is a problem.


Radetsky did indeed dance Albrecht with DNB, and from the clips I've seen, he was GREAT. However, Sascha's injured right now too (he was pulled from all his week one performances and he only did Troika this week...) so he wasn't really an option. Although, I'd like to believe that had Radetsky NOT been injured, he would have gotten the chance to perform in Saturday's matinee.
I really hope that this Met season serves as a wake up call for ABT. It's time to get a move on impending promotions. ABT has done a pretty good job of developing female corps dancers and soloists for promotions down the road...not so much for the men. When was the last time ABT had a non-principal male debut in a full-length during the Met season, aside from Cory Stearns since he leap-frogged everyone out of nowhere? (and Simkin doesn't really count b/c we all knew that when he was added to the roster, he'd one day be principal...and it sounds like he's really stepped up this season and improved his partnering) I'd like to believe that in the next two years or so we will see S Abrera, S Lane, S Radetsky, D Simkin get promoted. These dancers aren't getting any younger and the longer ABT waits the longer the development period will be if the miss out on some of these opportunities.

#9 mussel

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 12:57 PM

Yes, the unwillingness. There are plenty of male soloists who could fill in too...Sascha Radetsky performed Albrecht with the DNB when he was a principal, and I'm sure there are others who know the role already (it's not like Albrecht is some obscure part), aside from the male principals. IMO, Kobborg and Dvorovenko don't even make sense as a pairing when you look at their dancing styles/acting styles.

I wouldn't marvel so much at their clout...both Kobborg and Vasiliev were probably already in town or planning to be in town see Cojocaru and Osipova.

I understand using guest artists to liven the season and to showcase some talent usually not seen in New York, but when the season becomes entirely about the guest artists, there is a problem.


I can't agree more with you. If ABT lobbied the Congress to pass a bill to declare itself as America's national ballet company, there should be a decorum to limit the number of imports. There are rules in many sport governing bodies on how and when foreign players can play in local or national teams. ABT can't have it both ways.

#10 ksk04

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 01:31 PM

Radetsky did indeed dance Albrecht with DNB, and from the clips I've seen, he was GREAT. However, Sascha's injured right now too (he was pulled from all his week one performances and he only did Troika this week...) so he wasn't really an option. Although, I'd like to believe that had Radetsky NOT been injured, he would have gotten the chance to perform in Saturday's matinee.


I had assumed he was okay since he performed in Troika, but doing Troika is shades away from a full length ballet if there are still some lingering issues.

I don't have anything against guest artists used appropriately and judiciously...I am a huge fan of the Vishneva/Gomes partnership and I thought it was wonderful to invite Sarabia to do DQ, especially since Carreno is retiring and it felt like a continuation of ABT's Cuban roots (also I wish someone would hire Sarabia full-time). But the fact remains that the company is losing a lot of talent (Carreno, Corella's odd situation) and the talent they do have is aging (Maxim, Kent) plus you have the potential impending issues with Murphy and Stiefel and the NZ Ballet. There will be no ABT if they do not curate several new in-house male and female principals. They can clearly fit in debuts and the promotion of individuals when they want to(see the rapid accession of Stearns)--I just personally feel they are missing a lot of opportunities (since there seems to be more injuries than not!) this year to push people forward. What happens if another principal goes down? How many more people can they fly in? It's just not a good situation, and I can't imagine how it works out financially--guest artists don't necessarily come cheap.

#11 miliosr

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 02:06 PM

Talk about a morale killer if you're in the corps or soloist ranks at ABT. If I saw management bring in Sarabia, Vasiliev and Kobborg in succession, I would really have to wonder what my hopes for advancement would be.

#12 spinning2night

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 03:31 PM



Radetsky did indeed dance Albrecht with DNB, and from the clips I've seen, he was GREAT. However, Sascha's injured right now too (he was pulled from all his week one performances and he only did Troika this week...) so he wasn't really an option. Although, I'd like to believe that had Radetsky NOT been injured, he would have gotten the chance to perform in Saturday's matinee.


I had assumed he was okay since he performed in Troika, but doing Troika is shades away from a full length ballet if there are still some lingering issues.

I don't have anything against guest artists used appropriately and judiciously...I am a huge fan of the Vishneva/Gomes partnership and I thought it was wonderful to invite Sarabia to do DQ, especially since Carreno is retiring and it felt like a continuation of ABT's Cuban roots (also I wish someone would hire Sarabia full-time). But the fact remains that the company is losing a lot of talent (Carreno, Corella's odd situation) and the talent they do have is aging (Maxim, Kent) plus you have the potential impending issues with Murphy and Stiefel and the NZ Ballet. There will be no ABT if they do not curate several new in-house male and female principals. They can clearly fit in debuts and the promotion of individuals when they want to(see the rapid accession of Stearns)--I just personally feel they are missing a lot of opportunities (since there seems to be more injuries than not!) this year to push people forward. What happens if another principal goes down? How many more people can they fly in? It's just not a good situation, and I can't imagine how it works out financially--guest artists don't necessarily come cheap.


Re: Radetsky - If I'm not mistaken, he did not dance in the Wheeldon as planned this week, which has actual partnering work. That leads me to believe that while he can dance and perform without lingering issues and causing more harm he's not ready to be back full for for a true classical pas de deux.

I always assumed that ABT had a long term plan in the works as to how to fill the one or two open principal spots every couple of years, perhaps not necessarily which dancers would get those opportunities, but at least that every year a few opportunities/internal substitues would be prepped.
That being said, with the unpredictability of the human body as well as dancers as individuals, I don't think there was an true way ABT could have prepared for what's going on right now. The core of the male principals, prior to the promotions of Gomes and Hallberg, at ABT for years (Ethan, Jose, Max, Angel) are of the "same generation," which means essentially they all peaked at about the same time and sustained that level for a long time, but no one would have been able to predict when that "era" would end or how would it end. Would these dancers move on gradually, one by one, decrease their repertoire bit by bit, or would it all happen at once? Clearly, ABT was anticipating these men to move on one at a time, beginning with Jose, but considering how this season as started it looks as though ABT should have followed the adage "hope for the best, but prepare for the worst."
They are doing a good job filling the holes for the time being, but it's becoming increasingly evident by the fact that all of the substitues are NOT internal that ABT isn't ready to tackle "the worst." It's actually kind of scary that ABT only has 3 male principals - Gomes, Hallberg, Stearns - this season who will do the whole Met season (barring any other injuries). The issue ABT faces I think is that the male principals are grouped "generationally." whereas the women are more spread out and have far more varying experiences and repertoires which creates balance. That being said, I hope that ABT recognizes the female talent they do currently have on their solorist and corps rosters and uses that to their advantage. Also because of this "generational" issue, ABT roster for the men seemed to be (and was) locked for years, which must have been frustrating for men in the lower ranks as they knew they would have to wait for quite a while before getting a shot at a promotion. This definitely makes the retention of talented younger male dancers difficult, and I'm sure they all had to deal with the pressure of being held to a certain standard of excellence in order to move up when ABT's male principals were considered "the best." ABT is lucky they were able to keep and promote Gomes and Hallberg at the times that they did because I can't imagine ABT today without them. I've lost track/didn't keep up with the roster enough over the past decade to figure out how many dancers who have left ABT are now higher ranked dancers in other companies.
Also, I hate to say it, but a small part of me thinks that the majority of the current male soloists have kind of plateaued in their careers and are "satisfied" being ABT soloist, which means that I think most eventual principal promotions will come from the corps, like Stearns but hopefully not at the speed his promotion happened though. As I've mentioned previously, Simkin is the only true exception to this idea. Radetsky, I'm on the fence about as I feel like his 2 year stint with DNB re-motivated him and also indicates that he does want more out of his career, and I hope he gets that shot with ABT.

----
on a slight off topic note, Danny Tidwell is now with Norwegian National Ballet. Glad to see that he's back in ballet, but slightly frustrating in light of what's going on right now...had he stayed at ABT instead of leaving back in 2003...one can only wonder

#13 abatt

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 04:35 PM

FYI, Radetsky danced in the new Millipied last night, but he was replaced by Jared Matthews in the new Wheeldon work.

#14 FauxPas

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 12:32 PM

As for male soloists who got frustrated and left ABT: Besides Danny Tidwell (who I still miss) there was:

1) Carlos Molina who joined Boston Ballet with his talented wife Erica Cornejo (also missed)

2) Parrish Maynard who joined San Francisco Ballet

3) Charles Askegard who joined NYCB

4) Joaquin de Luz who joined NYCB (there were personal issues there stemming from his split from then-wife Carmen Corella)

5) The sad tale of balletomane favorite Giuseppe Picone. Picone was very handsome but had a big mouth. I remember reading an article where he said things like "Last year, just when I was going to get to get promoted, the worst happened. I had an injury, and missed my promotion to a principal." (that promotion may have been news to the ABT administration) and "I like to think that Maxim [Belotserkovsky] and I, who are both tall dancers, will replace Kevin. ". He was dropped from the roster right after this - whispers of ego and temperment following him.

http://www.criticald...cone001005.html

I don't know what happened to corps boy Ricardo Torres (I didn't care much for him) who looked like he was being given a shot at solo parts. He disappeared fast and no longer dances I think. I have seen pictures of him on Facebook where he looks very pumped up like a bodybuilder - not a ballet dancer physique.

Some like Jesus Pastor (who was only good in modern choreography) didn't turn out the way ABT wanted and weren't reengaged.

Any others?

ABT has a pretty full roster of soloists. Sadly Carlos Lopez seems not to be dancing this season - has anyone seen him in anything? Joseph Philips, Mikhail Ilyin and Sean Stewart are underutilized. All three could have done "Coppelia". Roddy Doble is more than a big lug who can do lifting and look threatening - I have seen him dance Solor's solo from "Bayadere" well though the stage was too small for him. Alexandre Hammoudi is being given major opportunities this season. Neither Blaine Hoven nor Jared Matthews have quite developed excitingly though Hoven looks better this season - Matthews has a tendency to be bland.

I think ABT would like to retire Max Beloserkovsky since they are pulling him from his old roles and not giving him new ones. He gets a minimal number of performances. But then there is Irina Dvorovenko in the equation. She is still a useful ballerina who covers a lot of repertory. If he goes then she might go with him.

Several things would help. Work out matters with Angel Corella so that he is present for most of the MET season and for some of the tours. Perhaps retire one or two soloists (and principals) who really can't hack it anymore and hire Rolando Sarabia as a soloist. I think with the medical staff, chiropractors, masseurs, coaches and teachers on staff at ABT and regular supervised work, Sarabita might regain some of his old technical command. He is available and fully ready to step in and fill a space for a five years or so.

As for internal promotions - Hammoudi, Philips for sure.

#15 miliosr

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 02:58 PM

I don't know what happened to corps boy Ricardo Torres (I didn't care much for him) who looked like he was being given a shot at solo parts. He disappeared fast and no longer dances I think. I have seen pictures of him on Facebook where he looks very pumped up like a bodybuilder - not a ballet dancer physique.

I saw him in a magazine advertisement.

Some like Jesus Pastor (who was only good in modern choreography) didn't turn out the way ABT wanted and weren't reengaged.

Any others?

Eric Underwood to the Royal Ballet in 2006 -- now a soloist
Bo Busby to Boston Ballet in 2006 -- corps
Alejandro Piris-Nino to Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago -- no longer on their roster

Retaining Underwood and/or Piris-Nino wouldn't have helped ABT in the long run. Underwood is a proto-Ed Watson who specializes in modern pieces at the Royal, and Piris-Nino went off to dance in an explicitly modern company.

Alexandre Hammoudi is being given major opportunities this season. Neither Blaine Hoven nor Jared Matthews have quite developed excitingly though Hoven looks better this season - Matthews has a tendency to be bland.

As for internal promotions - Hammoudi, Philips for sure.

Hammoudi, for sure, is on the fast track to soloist. I thought Hoven was as well but his rise appears to have stalled. Matthews appears to have plateaued since he became a soloist.

Would like to see McKenzie utilize G. Davis, Delong and Forster more.


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