abatt

Swan Lake- Spring 2011

122 posts in this topic

That is disappointing news about Wiles but, truth be told, not unexpected. I had enjoyed her Chicago Swan Lake in April of 2010 and had hoped she had made an expressive breakthrough at last. But then came many negative reports on this board, and this season she barely appeared at all. So, maybe it's time for her to find creative renewal elsewhere or just to do something different altogether that will make her happy.

Good luck Michele!

That leaves a total of ten reliable principals: 4 men and 6 women.

ABT needs to shore up its male principal ranks right quick. You cannot ask Gomes, Hallberg and Stearns to carry the entire workload on their backs, which they have done this season.

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I've only seen ABT and NYCB's versions of "Swan Lake," so I'm totally clueless about other stagings of Act IV. :sweatingbullets: (Other than the Soviet version with the happy ending, which I suspect I wouldn't like.) Perhaps this is a topic for a separate thread, but could someone please tell me about the more satisfying versions that they've seen?

Actually, though I prefer a tragic ending the Mariiinsky's happy ending doesn't bother me much. It literally comes in the last 60 seconds or so (during the apotheosis) and everything leading up to it is so overwhelmingly emotional that it kind of comes as a relief. It can also put an interesting spin on Siegfried's character because it provides an arc for growth, other than just "gee, I'm sorry, I made a stupid mistake".

I even prefer Martin's last act/scene over at NYCB - because it is very dramatic & tragic.

My favorite ending is from ABT's old Blair staging - their first staging of SL and IMO, their best! BTW, it's 18 1/2 minutes long. In the old days Swan Lake was a real 4 act ballet with 3 intermissions. Thanks to MarloManners66 for putting the whole thing on youtube - in 16 segments:

act 4 part 1

act 4 part 2

Also - I agree with ABATT about the Part/Stearns performance last night. Part is always lovely, but sometimes she is sublime. Last night she was just lovely. I wish they would pair her with Gomes or Bolle for Swan Lake. There was really no chemistry between her and Stearns and I don't think that will ever change.

I'm a big Hammoudi fan, so I was disappointed to see him encountering difficulties as the purple pimp Von Rothbart. Was this a debut? I believe it is only the 2nd leading role he's been given. He has a lot of work to do. Jared Matthews was very impressive as Benno. On to Semionova/Gomes tonight!

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IMHO, Part was more than lovely last night; I would go so far as to say she was sublime. However, if anything was missing, it was a sublime performance on the part of the first violinist, especially in the PdD of Act II and again in Act IV. I don't know how our Odette managed to keep her concentration and not to wince with every note that was off-pitch. The role is so dependent on the music, especially in the PdD, and in that regard Part was poorly served.

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I saw the Part-Stearns performance on Friday evening. Stearns is improving every season. However, he still has quite a bit of work to do. He started out strong in Act I. I thought he did a fine job in his solo late in Act I. Yes, he could improve his line somewhat, but overall his Act I was strong. His partnering of Veronika is not as strong as it should be. When he was supporting her in her spins, she was frequently tilted. That's a partnering issue that needs to improvement and correction. Part gave a good performance, but not a great performance. I think this may have been due, in part, to the lack of chemistry between Part and Stearns. It also may be due to the problem that she does not have complete confidence in Stearns as a partner. I used to love the way Part used her "Russian Back" so expressively. However, Part's Russian Back was not in evidence much last night, in my opinion. I was happy that she did her fouettes in Act III cleanly and without incident. These used to give her trouble, but she seems to have conquered those demons. My facorite Part SL was several years ago with Roberto Bolle. It seems like we will not be seeing that partnership again.

Hammoudi has some problems in his debut as Purple Rothbart. He wasn't menacing. He just looked like a guy who was trying to get through a new role. He botched an overhead lift of Fang. He held her awkwardly in front of him to try and cover the mistake as best he could. In the section where he is supposed to hold an arabesque on demi point, he could barely sustain the position for more than a few seconds before he lowered his leg. To his credit, he executed the rest of the choreography well.

Jared Mathews did very well as Benno.

Debuts are almost always a problem. One must consider nervousness and, probably, lack of enough preparation and rehearsals. The debutants in Russian companies are always prepared by their ballet masters and coaches way ahead of the initial performances . Hammoudi will do well with more coaching(from the Marcelo,if possible ) and performances.

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Sad news: David Hallberg just tweeted that he sprained his ankle last night, and won't be performing with Semionova tomorrow night. I'm crushed! I wonder who will replace him.

Full tweet (@DavidHallberg): "Sprained ankle from Von Rothbart in Carreno's farewell performance. Siegfried Sat. night canceled with Semionova. Bummed and in a boot."

Obviously, best wishes to him for a speedy recovery.

Hallberg tweeted a picture of the boot he is in. It goes from his foot to his knee. Looks like a serious sprain. I doubt he can recover in one week, for Sleeping Beauty. Very disappointed, I have tickets for Swan Lake with Semionova and Sleeping Beauty with Osipova. But Hallberg's recovery is priority.

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IMHO, Part was more than lovely last night; I would go so far as to say she was sublime. However, if anything was missing, it was a sublime performance on the part of the first violinist, especially in the PdD of Act II and again in Act IV. I don't know how our Odette managed to keep her concentration and not to wince with every note that was off-pitch. The role is so dependent on the music, especially in the PdD, and in that regard Part was poorly served.

The violin solo playing has been distressing. I wonder why?

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Sad news: David Hallberg just tweeted that he sprained his ankle last night, and won't be performing with Semionova tomorrow night. I'm crushed! I wonder who will replace him.

Full tweet (@DavidHallberg): "Sprained ankle from Von Rothbart in Carreno's farewell performance. Siegfried Sat. night canceled with Semionova. Bummed and in a boot."

Obviously, best wishes to him for a speedy recovery.

Hallberg tweeted a picture of the boot he is in. It goes from his foot to his knee. Looks like a serious sprain. I doubt he can recover in one week, for Sleeping Beauty. Very disappointed, I have tickets for Swan Lake with Semionova and Sleeping Beauty with Osipova. But Hallberg's recovery is priority.

I've seen the picture, and it looks to me like a standard boot used to isolate the ankle. I don't know whether one can judge the severity of the injury from the size of the boot.

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I saw the Part-Stearns performance last night as well. I agree with abatt on many points. Stearns has room for improvement in his technique, line and partnering skills. Still what sticks out in my mind is that when he supported Part in her pirouettes she was off center and slow in turning. I think pairing up these 2 dancers was a poor decision. Part especially didn't look at ease with Stearns so no chemistry developed.

I went into this performance with high hopes about Part's Odette-Odile thinking her naturally majestic stage presence would make her a no-brainer in the ballet. But I was sorely let down. She started off beautifully with her first entrance jump onstage in Act II. But the Russian Back abatt referred to was nowhere to be seen. I expected supple arms but Part hardly tried to appear swan-like. Her upper body was stiff and not nearly as expressive as it should have been. In Act II her approach to Odette was as a severe, grave creature resigned to her fate. Siegfried's presence didn't comfort or give her any sense of hope in his vow of love. There was little sense of Odette's vulnerability and pathos so it was hard to sympathize with Part's interpretation.

Things didn't improve in Act III. Part looked gorgeous in her black tutu but, again, Part seemed miscast as Odile. She smiled and looked beautiful, but one didn't feel her embodying the role as Odette's alter ego, as a symbol of evil, treachery and sexual power. I hate to say it but Part is miscast in SL. :crying:

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"My facorite Part SL was several years ago with Roberto Bolle. It seems like we will not be seeing that partnership again. "

???

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I hate to say it but Part is miscast in SL. :crying:

Having seen Part and Bolle dance Swan Lake, I would hardly call her miscast. She danced a stellar performance of Swan Lake that night. I believe she will again. Before that performance, I didn't understand the adulation that people had given her; however, her dancing that evening made me see what everyone was talking about. It was a revelation compared to her early Sleeping Beauty performances. Regardless of how she performed with Stearns, I don't think she is miscast in Swan Lake.

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I went last night and I have a completely different opinion to some people here.

Part performance was by far, in my opinion, the best of all week (I saw Irina, Gillian and Kent/Murphy on Thursday).

Her Odette is astonishing beautiful, musical, absolutely exquisite, with an unparalleled port-de-bras which also always respond to the music with perplexing perfection (no disorderly/unmusical swan-arms movement ever).

Having seen most of her performances on SL here, I agree that maybe last's year was better (2nd one) (it was a sublime night, which I will always remember), however, last night was still an over the top performance.

Part is considered by critics in Europe (London and Russians) and for many people in the ballet world as one of the best Odette of her generation, of course, that doesnt mean that everyone has to like her, but from there to saying that she is a miscast on SL goes a long way.

Her Act II variation last night was sublime. She produced some remarkable moments, and even though her partnership with Stearns still needs improvements, it was definitely better than last's year (she danced SL twice last year, one with Cory and one with David). I was actually very impressed with Cory's improvement, especially on the artistry side.

True that he is still a work in progress, but I do see a big potential and more importantly, improvement in almost all departments. I think that with the right coaching and experience he can become in a really good/accomplished dancer/partner.

As a matter of fact, Bolle changed many of the liftings when he danced with Part, as David did as well. Cory did every single lifting and they looked real good. On the other hand, supported pirouetted did not look easy and there were some weird moments in the adagio mainly because I think he didnt positioned Veronika well.

Veronika danced secure in Act III, without any fireworks, but with power and beautiful (single fouettes, which ended right on with the music with a well executed double pirouette).

Unf in the worst Act IV in the world (I do agree strongly with Alasteir Mc., I always wonder how could someone create something so distasteful and anticlimactic with such a magnificent music) there was not much that Part could do, although she did put a lot of emotion and the last good bye (before the awful Von Robart lifting and the running uphill to commit suicide) was very touching.

I was also very disappointed with Hammoudi performance. I had some hopes for him to make it all the way to the top, since his stage presence is superb. However, I dont know now after what I saw in Camelias and last night.Beside the partnering problem with poor Seo, his dancing was small, inconsistent, technically/artistically not accomplished. Hopefully it was all nerves and these problems will go away with experience, but I am worried, since carrying over the load of a full length ballet is something that not everyone can do.

As for the other 2 performances. I loved Kent's Act II very much, besides her diminished technique, her passion and musicality was so big that I just loved her to death. Beautiful !

Gillian was amazing as usual on Act III, but I think her previous injury may still have had a little impact on her since the swarm-arm fouettes were gone in both performances and she looked a little slow/uncontrolled (as for my standards with her jaw-dropping technique, of course) both nights. Her Odette was lovely, she is not the ultimate lyrical dancer but you can tell she has improved hugely her artistry....still I do agree with previous posts who mentioned that she was unmusical on Act II, especially in the adagio and part of the variation. On the spectacular side, her diagonal (at the end of Odette variation) was incredible, she threw triple or quadruple perfectly centered pirouettes, slowing them down with the music progressively, while moving her arms, which caused a tremendously beautiful visual effect, Brava !

As for Irina, again, more of the same. She has everything a ballerina needs to shine to the very top. Beauty, sky-high extensions, good technique, wonderful lines....everything..you named, however...., whenever I see her just getting the job done, as someone said before (so right !), its just terrible, its actually painful...those doll-like poses, in her perfectly measured, calculated performances, with no risk, nothing, left me ice cold and with a pretty bad feeling.

Its incredible how a dancer like, for example, Reyes who is naturally not nearly gifted as Irina, always give 110% on stage, and that makes me feel, as an audience, very satisfied, despite shortcomings from lines, etc.....I have seen Irina pull out some amazing shows, but at this point I am kind of tired of so many disappointments....

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The "New York Times" review of Jose's finale stated: "David Hallberg as the sorcerer von Rothbart. (Isaac Stappas played his nonhuman alter ego)." Since I have not seen this version, please explain this statement. The version I have seen also does not include Rothbart seducing anyone. Please describe this. Thank you.

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The "New York Times" review of Jose's finale stated: "David Hallberg as the sorcerer von Rothbart. (Isaac Stappas played his nonhuman alter ego)." Since I have not seen this version, please explain this statement. The version I have seen also does not include Rothbart seducing anyone. Please describe this. Thank you.

You can see the Purple Pimp in action for yourself!!

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I just got back from the evening SL show with Semionova and Gomes and just wanted to say that the two of them (Semionova especially) were glorious and were one of the best Swan Lake partnerships that I have ever seen. I will post a more detailed review later.

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I just got back from the evening SL show with Semionova and Gomes and just wanted to say that the two of them (Semionova especially) were glorious and were one of the best Swan Lake partnerships that I have ever seen. I will post a more detailed review later.

Mammmmma miaaa! Sweet Mary, Mother of God! What a performance!!!

I completely concur - Semionova was one of the best O/O I have ever seen and definitely the best in all my years of ABT-watching. Nobody even comes close, nobody - and I've seen most of them in the last - oh, way too many years.

Her partnership with Gomes was also superb - as good as he usually is, Semionova lifted him to an even higher level with her.

Overall, I think tonight was the first time I actually liked - really liked - this ridiculous production with its ridiculously circumcised final act.

Words fail me.

Just unforgettable :clapping:

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so happy to hear that tonight's SL lived up/ perhaps exceeded expectations even with the casting change! I definitely can't wait to hear more.

Also, if anyone has anything to offer on Carreno's "true" last performance with the company, would love to hear :)

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Semionova and Marcelo brought ballet to a completely different level tonight.

This performance will stay in my mind as one of the most complete, balanced, emotional and technically accomplished performances

of all times. Def the best Swan Lake I have seen in many, many years.

The house went crazy, literally.

Marcelo's technique was as I never saw him before, he is always been magnificent, tonight was even more.

She just took everyone on a ride, the corps, everyone looked very different, the whole company

This ballerina is a true star.

Sublime beauty and musicality mixed with stunning technique and artistry.

Cant get better than this !

I saw Kevin m. and R. Moore, and I hope the members of the board were there too, they have to bring her here.

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I will echo all the praise for the AMAZING performance with Semionova/Gomes tonight! As fantastic as Semionova was, Gomes was unbelievable! He lifted the performance into the stratosphere! And Polina clearly knew it--at the end, when she received her bouquets, she gave them both to Marcelo!! So touching!!

I will expand on this more later, but I agree with Classic_Ballet, make Semionova a PERMANENT guest artist PLEASE!!!

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I hardly agree that Part is miscast---I have seen all of her NY SL's and eagerly look forward each year to her one performance. I fail to see why a Swan Queen of her stature has to have a novice Prince. During the Act 2 adagio Stearns had to scurry twice to catch up with her---he looked like he was in a daze....I would like to believe that he was so transfixed by her beauty that he could not move :helpsmilie:

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I'm as blown away as all the other posters about the Polina/Marcelo performance last night. By far the best Swan Lake I've ever seen! She is sublime and he was having the time of his life, dancing to his utmost level and acting up a storm. As was said, the entire company was energized and gave it their all. Kevin MUST bring her back next year - and give David the chance he missed in SL this time around. I can't wait to see her again. Other notes: Sascha has improved his performance as VonRothbart from last year, I thought. Seemed more commanding of the stage (even tho he flubbed the final pirouettes a little). And in my book Roman Z can do no wrong. How he delivered a riveting performance in the swamp monster costume is beyond me, but he did! Bravo, Bravo, Bravo to all the performers last night, you made this audience member very happy! I have a couple of Sleeping Beauties ahead of me but I really feel like last night capped the season for me.

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There is only one word why ABT should continue to invite guest stars..............POLINA!!! i hope permanently.

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I hardly agree that Part is miscast---I have seen all of her NY SL's and eagerly look forward each year to her one performance.

And I hope to see her reprise the role in D.C. I've seen her dance it twice there, including the week ABT filmed the ballet with Murphy. Would that they'd filmed Part's performance with Gomes instead.

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