abatt

Swan Lake- Spring 2011

122 posts in this topic

"You'd think they could find a violinist in NYC." [Could someone please explain to this computer dummy how you get the boxes around the text you want to refer to?]

How do they assemble the ABT orchestra? Is it a pickup orchestra or do they hire the same people every year? Does the orchestra tour with the company? I don't think it does, but I don't know for sure. And, IMHO, the audition for the first violinist should be the Swan Lake PdD.

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I wonder if Hallberg's shoulder problems have to do with him having really flexible shoulders? Perhaps it might have to do with him having a flexible back as well, as neither physical attribute comes to his aid when it comes to lifts. He is not someone like Gomes who is so physically strong and seems to have every part of his upper body stabilized and secure during a difficult overhead lift. IIRC, in the SL with Part during those turning overhead lifts in Act II, he barely lifted her the first time and didn't get her up at all during the second lift. I wonder how much this problem can improve, but I would certainly be surprised if Part and Hallberg were paired up in a major ballet again.

I wouldn't be surprised if Hallberg's overall flexibility is the main issue he has to deal with for lifts. Without having to go into the anatomy and kinesthetic aspects of what he would have to deal with when securing an overhead lift, I can essentially say that it's a physical problem that in all honesty does not have a solution. (It's kind of what Ferri discussed previously about her ankles, she has to work twice as hard as most ballerinas to maintain a balance b/c she has to fight what her body wants to do naturally in order to maintain a strong position) Hallberg probably works within the realm of his limits, and should, at this point in his career, know what he needs to do in order to execute a lift properly (i.e. where he should support the ballerina - to maintain a balance point, how extended his arms should be - to prevent dislocation, etc.) However, as we all know, nothing in dance is 100% guaranteed during a performance, and one little thing that is not exact could end disastrously, which means that for Hallberg a lift takes significantly more effort mentally and physically even when you take away the physical/upper body strength factor.

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"You'd think they could find a violinist in NYC." [Could someone please explain to this computer dummy how you get the boxes around the text you want to refer to?]

How do they assemble the ABT orchestra? Is it a pickup orchestra or do they hire the same people every year? Does the orchestra tour with the company? I don't think it does, but I don't know for sure. And, IMHO, the audition for the first violinist should be the Swan Lake PdD.

To quote someone, just hit the reply button. Their post will appear between the quote tags. You can edit it to include only the relevant part of the post to which you are responding.

I'm assuming the soloist is the concertmaster and had a strict audition process.

I've often wondered but have never dug out my programs to check whether there's any overlap between the MET Opera orchestra and ABT.

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From reading some of these posts, one might think that partnering is a one-way street. The woman shows up, dances and the man partners her. But she can help or hinder her partner in many ways--the way she arches her back or how she pushes off from the floor, for example. It is a partnership after all, and whether evident or not, the woman might be contributing to the partnering problems.

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To quote someone, just hit the reply button. Their post will appear between the quote tags. You can edit it to include only the relevant part of the post to which you are responding. You mean like this? (We'll see if it works when I post it)

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"You'd think they could find a violinist in NYC." [Could someone please explain to this computer dummy how you get the boxes around the text you want to refer to?]

How do they assemble the ABT orchestra? Is it a pickup orchestra or do they hire the same people every year? Does the orchestra tour with the company? I don't think it does, but I don't know for sure. And, IMHO, the audition for the first violinist should be the Swan Lake PdD.

To quote someone, just hit the reply button. Their post will appear between the quote tags. You can edit it to include only the relevant part of the post to which you are responding.

I'm assuming the soloist is the concertmaster and had a strict audition process.

I've often wondered but have never dug out my programs to check whether there's any overlap between the MET Opera orchestra and ABT.

Thanks! That did seem to work.

We know someone who has been a member of the MET Opera orchestra for over 50 years, and no, they don't overlap with ABT--unless on an individual basis.

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A. Macaulay just wrote a review on this year's Swan lakes.

www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/arts/dance/swan-lake-one-classic-ballet-many-interpretations.html?ref=dance

He didnt like Semionova's performance (was he at the same theater ? )

He talks nicely, for once, about Part and mentioned Wiles (including that SL was her farewell performance with ABT)

Her favorite of the week was Gilliam, and he talks about the stunning triple-pirouettes that she threw in Act II, mentioned before in this board.

I used to disagree with him 150%, lately I had started to enjoy his reviews more and more.....and here we go again to bad old times.....

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A. Macaulay just wrote a review on this year's Swan lakes.

www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/arts/dance/swan-lake-one-classic-ballet-many-interpretations.html?ref=dance

He didnt like Semionova's performance (was he at the same theater ? )

He talks nicely, for once, about Part and mentioned Wiles (including that SL was her farewell performance with ABT)

Her favorite of the week was Gilliam, and he talks about the stunning triple-pirouettes that she threw in Act II, mentioned before in this board.

I used to disagree with him 150%, lately I had started to enjoy his reviews more and more.....and here we go again to bad old times.....

Yeah, I love how he always complains that ABT audiences are suckers for athletic feats, going ga-ga over fouettes, etc. -- but this once when it serves his "argument" he decides to interpret those gasps as "not because of its virtuosity but because of its unexpected rightness." Give me a break.

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He didnt like Semionova's performance (was he at the same theater ? )

He talks nicely, for once, about Part and mentioned Wiles (including that SL was her farewell performance with ABT)

Her favorite of the week was Gilliam, and he talks about the stunning triple-pirouettes that she threw in Act II, mentioned before in this board.

I used to disagree with him 150%, lately I had started to enjoy his reviews more and more.....and here we go again to bad old times.....

He was so dismissive of Semionova's performance. I too was amazed that he finally had something posiitve to say about Part.

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... 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.

"Tchaikovskys transcendent score is well performed, except for the violin solo during the Act II pas de deux. I dont think Ive ever heard a professional musician perform so badly."

I'm sorry to say it was even worse on Friday night.

I am glad i was not the only one upset about the violinist (I went on Saturday night) - horrible violin.

And different to most on the board, Semenova did not move me. Everything about her was great (her hight, lines, moves, partnering), but i kept on remembering Tereshkina, Kondaurova, Lopatkina... anyway, they are coming soon (not with Swan lake though).

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And different to most on the board, Semenova did not move me. Everything about her was great (her hight, lines, moves, partnering), but i kept on remembering Tereshkina, Kondaurova, Lopatkina... anyway, they are coming soon (not with Swan lake though).

Semionova did not move me either. I still prefer Part. I jumped for joy to see Macauley's praise of Part. On the other hand, what he gives with the right hand he takes away with the left. "Monotony," indeed. I could watch her forever.

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I did not see PS at ABT, but have seen her on DVD, in performance and rehearsal. She strikes me as cold in rehearsal and imperious in performance, but I don't know if she is just shy. I did not find her performance on tape (albeit, each performance is different) to be superior to others.

Critics of "Swan Lake" always praise "boneless" swan arms. I have seen multiple ballerinas try to demonstrate swan arms, but often they look like cats licking their paws and washing their faces. When I look at birds and their majestic wingspans, I do not think of them as "boneless." I have seen so many other animals more aptly portrayed in dance.

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Puppytreats, I have never seen a real swan and I don't think Swan Lake has anything to do with portraying a real bird. All I know is, at the end of Act II, when Odette is being pulled away from Siegfried and turned back into a swan and I see the rippling swan arms, I am very moved. If it's done right, it's just so gorgeous. I have seen American dancers who were wonderful Swan Queens, chief among them Cynthia Gregory and Gillian Murphy. But it's those dancers trained in Russia (or the old Soviet Union anyway) who have the best swan arms - like Nina A., Diana Vishneva, Veronika Part and Polina Semionova.

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Nina A. had the most exquisite swan arms I have ever seen. Her exit at the end of Act II of the ABT version was always a thrill.

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[/quote]To quote someone, just hit the reply button.  Their post will appear between the quote tags.  You can edit it to include only the relevant part of the post to which you are responding.[/quote] You mean like this? (We'll see if it works when I post it)

Your opening tag had a "/" in front of it. That's why it didn't work. You can see what your post will look like by using the "Preview Post" button below the post window.

For example, when I previewed my message, it warned me that my post had an unequal number of open and close quote tags because you began your message with a close quote tag. I was able to remedy this and quote your message by notating your message as a code snippet.

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A. Macaulay just wrote a review on this year's Swan lakes.

www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/arts/dance/swan-lake-one-classic-ballet-many-interpretations.html?ref=dance

He didnt like Semionova's performance (was he at the same theater ? )

He talks nicely, for once, about Part and mentioned Wiles (including that SL was her farewell performance with ABT)

Her favorite of the week was Gilliam, and he talks about the stunning triple-pirouettes that she threw in Act II, mentioned before in this board.

I used to disagree with him 150%, lately I had started to enjoy his reviews more and more.....and here we go again to bad old times.....

Yeah, I love how he always complains that ABT audiences are suckers for athletic feats, going ga-ga over fouettes, etc. -- but this once when it serves his "argument" he decides to interpret those gasps as "not because of its virtuosity but because of its unexpected rightness." Give me a break.

:clapping: I couldn't agree with you more.

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Puppytreats, I have never seen a real swan and I don't think Swan Lake has anything to do with portraying a real bird. All I know is, at the end of Act II, when Odette is being pulled away from Siegfried and turned back into a swan and I see the rippling swan arms, I am very moved. If it's done right, it's just so gorgeous. I have seen American dancers who were wonderful Swan Queens, chief among them Cynthia Gregory and Gillian Murphy. But it's those dancers trained in Russia (or the old Soviet Union anyway) who have the best swan arms - like Nina A., Diana Vishneva, Veronika Part and Polina Semionova.

I guess it's a matter of taste. For me I preferred Cynthia Gregory swan arms above all others. I liked Nina A very much, but in general am not a fan of the Russian trained swans!

Anyway an American (well Canadian) dancer who was a fine swan queen at ABT was Martine Van Hamel. She is rarely mentioned these days.

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martine was my favorite--i thought she was the most moving of them all

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And Marcelo’s acting was top-notch, as always. Thanks to his performance, it was the first time all week that I felt like the Queen Mother and Wolfgang were actually meaningful presences in his life. He gave the Queen Mother a look of such adoration when presented with the crossbow, and when he turned to Wolfgang for advice later in the scene, it felt like they were having a conversation.

Then, in the beginning of Act II, he made me see Siegfried catch sight of Odette. This moment was lost on me with the other Siegfrieds, but Marcelo pointed out something in the sky, went around the stage following its path, and saw it land somewhere beyond the wings. Excitedly, he reached for his crossbow and prepared to shoot, but then he realized, “What’s this?! Something’s not right!” and ran off the stage. “AHA, so THIS is what this scene is supposed to be about!” I thought.

...

And then, at the end of Act III/beginning of Act IV, Marcelo’s Siegfried was simply wild. After discovering his mistake, he pounded on the doors with such force I thought they might actually fall down, and when he came on the stage at the beginning of Act IV, he collapsed from the weight of his grief.

On another dancer, or in a different performance, these actions may have seemed way too over-the-top, but with Marcelo, it looked just right, because you could just see how inspired he was by Semionova. I have always thought Marcelo to be unrivaled as a partner and an actor, but up to now, I had never considered him to be one of those show-stopping virtuosos the way, say, Simkin or Carreno (with his pirouettes) or Corella can be. But his variations in Act III blew me away! Semionova held her ridiculously long arabesque balance in the black swan pas de deux, and Marcelo answered with some extra-long balances of his own.

And my goodness! I was not expecting to see Carreno-style multi-revolution pirouettes with the leg fully extended! To me, it felt like Gomes was so amped up by the performance that he was really going for it, taking risks, almost making it up as he went along. It was like his performance as Albrecht earlier in the season when he was so impassioned that he threw back his head after he landed his moves. Simply mesmerizing! Bravo!

Phew, can’t believe the season is almost over!

I agree that Marcelo is a great dancer, but FYI much of what you describe above is part of the McKenzie SL choreography already, NOT an inspired-by-the-moment invention of Marcelo Gomes. Watch the PBS video and you'll see the same motions in Act II when Siegfried first spots the swans arriving etc., grabs his crossbow, 'sees' something wonderous/odd and precipitously leaves only to return to discover Odette. Ditto, the Act III BS variation with turns a la second (ie.with the leg extended) and then pounding the door after Green Monster Rothbart appears in a puff of smoke and slams them shut. The collapse to the floor in Act IV (though in the video its in response to the storm and corps swans leaping past in close proximity)is also seen in the video so I assume part of the original KM choreography.

But as you say, Marcelo Gomes has marvelous balance, and NO ONE at ABT does a sissone like he does. He is a great dancer (technically and artistically), a sensitive actor, and strong partner. And I am very glad he is at ABT and that you got to experience his many performances there.

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I agree that Marcelo is a great dancer, but FYI much of what you describe above is part of the McKenzie SL choreography already, NOT an inspired-by-the-moment invention of Marcelo Gomes. Watch the PBS video and you'll see the same motions in Act II when Siegfried first spots the swans arriving etc., grabs his crossbow, 'sees' something wonderous/odd and precipitously leaves only to return to discover Odette. Ditto, the Act III BS variation with turns a la second (ie.with the leg extended) and then pounding the door after Green Monster Rothbart appears in a puff of smoke and slams them shut. The collapse to the floor in Act IV (though in the video its in response to the storm and corps swans leaping past in close proximity)is also seen in the video so I assume part of the original KM choreography.

But as you say, Marcelo Gomes has marvelous balance, and NO ONE at ABT does a sissone like he does. He is a great dancer (technically and artistically), a sensitive actor, and strong partner. And I am very glad he is at ABT and that you got to experience his many performances there.

I too am glad that he is at ABT and that I get to see him often!

I have no doubt you are right about the choreography--but some people, like Marcelo, seem to make it more meaningful and memorable for me. I have no doubt that David and Jose did the same choreography in the beginning of Act II, but they simply struck me as movements, whereas Marcelo made it make sense, for me at least.

I often have the same reaction listening to different musicians' versions of the same violin concerto, for example. The notes are all the same, but when some people play it, I'm like, "Ah! I've never noticed that passage before!"

Thank goodness for Marcelo! :D

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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!!

I finally got around to watching this and I now feel like I need to take shower. So evil.

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