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ABT at the Met 2011 - Sleeping Beauty


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#16 vipa

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 03:33 PM

As far as I know, Osipova is currently in London rehearsing Romeo & Juliet with Vasilyev there. But many people bought their tickets specifically to see her and therefore will be terribly disappointed. It's surely even more upsetting for those who have purchased tickets to Cojocaru/Kobborg Friday performance, too.


It seems like ABT did the best they could minus bringing in another Aurora or couple from the outside. I think a lot of ticket holders for Osipova would have been even more upset if they got an "in house" Aurora. This somewhat ties into the discussion about ABT and the state of male dancing - promoting from within vs getting stars.

#17 Drew

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 04:17 PM

Once I heard Halberg was injured I was worried Osipova might pull out. I know others, including Semionova just recently, have gone on at the last minute with new partners, but this is not a role Osipova has danced much--only once to my knowledge and that time with Halberg--and, as already noted, she is preparing her debut in Ashton's Romeo and Juliet for next week in London. I don't blame her, though I could very much wish she had felt able to decide otherwise. (And her schedule often does seem decidedly ultra packed.)

I do think Cojocaru is a good choice as replacement--one of the best Aurora's in the world I should think and a dancer of comparable or indeed greater fame--though many of us with tickets for both performances might not necessarily have chosen to see her twice in the role in one week (at least not given the ticket prices--and, for some of us, hotel room prices).

#18 nanushka

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 05:10 PM

I have a very odd story to report from tonight's performance. After a very solid Rose Adagio by Veronika, a man walked briskly down the left orchestra aisle carrying a bouquet of red roses and shouting "brava!" He was stopped about ten feet from the orchestra pit by an usher, but he clearly wanted to throw the flowers onto the stage. The man became very upset and threw the flowers at the usher's feet. The man then stalked back up the aisle, muttering angrily to audience members around him. The usher picked up the bouquet and followed him out. It was crazy!

More to come on the performance later...

#19 christine174

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:11 PM

Many of us wanted to see Osipova and instead wound up with two tickets to see Cojocaru and Kobborg. It would be a huge plus for ABT customer relations if they would allow those of us with tickets for both performances to return one for credit to City Center or Nutcracker. Wishful thinking, I know, but what a huge gesture of goodwill towards loyal customers... and giving ABT a reputation as a company that cares about its loyal fans, unlike another nearby company, which will remain nameless.

#20 Classic_Ballet

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:12 PM

I have a very odd story to report from tonight's performance. After a very solid Rose Adagio by Veronika, a man walked briskly down the left orchestra aisle carrying a bouquet of red roses and shouting "brava!" He was stopped about ten feet from the orchestra pit by an usher, but he clearly wanted to throw the flowers onto the stage. The man became very upset and threw the flowers at the usher's feet. The man then stalked back up the aisle, muttering angrily to audience members around him. The usher picked up the bouquet and followed him out. It was crazy!

More to come on the performance later...


yes, it was crazy, apparently he started to cry half way through her variation, the emotion started to build up as Part went through the second round of promenades, and it ended just the wait you described

#21 christine174

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:57 PM

I'm glad the guy Nanushka describes (I was way upstairs) enjoyed the performance. I found it be be pretty lackluster. The season is limping to a close. If I were in charge, I would give Marcelo Gomes a huge huge bonus and a round-trip ticket to Hawaii for everything he has done this season.

#22 rg

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 08:19 PM

i assumed the flower presenter was perhaps Russian, i believe that tossing bouquets mid-performance isn't all that unusual in Russia, in which case the dancer can carry away the tribute when exiting from a bow.
i don't think the individual thought he was doing anything eccentric and was likely taken aback when the usher husseled him away from the stage and back toward his seat.

#23 carbro

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 09:17 PM

I wish to ask which of the ballerinas you would recommend me seeing in Sleeping Beauty? I'm contemplating between Alina Cojocaru and Gillian Murphy, I have seen neither of them live yet.
Thank You!

Both ballerinas have solid, dependable techniques. Murphy is a more overtly athletic dancer. Last year, the word that came to my mind to describe Cojocaru's Aurora was "thrilling," not a word often applied to that role. So my recommendation would be for Cojocaru. I'm confident that others will chime in with their preference.

Welcome to BalletTalk, MPH! And whichever you choose, I hope you enjoy it!

#24 Ilya

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 03:50 AM

Once I heard Halberg was injured I was worried Osipova might pull out. I know others, including Semionova just recently, have gone on at the last minute with new partners, but this is not a role Osipova has danced much--only once to my knowledge and that time with Halberg--and, as already noted, she is preparing her debut in Ashton's Romeo and Juliet for next week in London. I don't blame her, though I could very much wish she had felt able to decide otherwise. (And her schedule often does seem decidedly ultra packed.)


Pulling out because one's partner is injured six days before the performance seems unprofessional to me. It would seem that six days is ample time to rehearse with a new partner. Also, partner injuries happen all the time, and such eventualities need to be part of the planning. Pulling out because one's guesting schedule is ultra packed, is decidedly unprofessional. If you cannot handle the schedule, don't commit to being on two sides of the Atlantic at the same time.

Perhaps in the future ABT should publish other commitments of their guest stars. At least that way we the ticket buyers will be better informed about the odds we are facing.

#25 Drew

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 05:24 AM


Once I heard Halberg was injured I was worried Osipova might pull out. I know others, including Semionova just recently, have gone on at the last minute with new partners, but this is not a role Osipova has danced much--only once to my knowledge and that time with Halberg--and, as already noted, she is preparing her debut in Ashton's Romeo and Juliet for next week in London. I don't blame her, though I could very much wish she had felt able to decide otherwise. (And her schedule often does seem decidedly ultra packed.)


Pulling out because one's partner is injured six days before the performance seems unprofessional to me. It would seem that six days is ample time to rehearse with a new partner. Also, partner injuries happen all the time, and such eventualities need to be part of the planning. Pulling out because one's guesting schedule is ultra packed, is decidedly unprofessional. If you cannot handle the schedule, don't commit to being on two sides of the Atlantic at the same time.

Perhaps in the future ABT should publish other commitments of their guest stars. At least that way we the ticket buyers will be better informed about the odds we are facing.



I'm guessing she did not have the 6 days time to rehearse with a new partner because of the packed schedule (that is, she was also preparing the R&J), but it's just speculation on my part of course. And one wishes things had been planned differently for sure.

#26 ksk04

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:51 AM

Not to start a trend but Osipova (and Vasiliev) did this a few months ago as well with the Tour de Force gala...she's clearly being overbooked by whomever is setting up these contracts for her. Also, Aurora is a new role to her (in that she danced it one time before), I would have hoped even with her packed schedule she was planning a little more than a few hours of brush up rehearsal with Hallberg. A day or two should be more than enough time to get acclimated to a new partner in the ballet world--Look at Semionova and Gomes with Swan Lake.


I am surprised Cojocaru has been so reliable, if you take a look at her schedule on her website it's absolutely insane how much flying around she is doing.

#27 Michael

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 08:06 AM

Osipova also pulled out of the Sunday matinee of the Bolshoi's Corsaire in DC two springs ago, citing "exhaustion" after she'd danced Medora the night before (and missed an entrance during the Jardin Animee during that performance too, if I recall correctly - I mean completely missed, corps dancing around, no principle dancer for twenty to thirty seconds of what was supposed to be a major variation, everyone wondering what was going on (it was the spring before this one, a couple of nights after her Sylphide at ABT)).

With Cojacaru stepping in, few viewers will complain, we've actually stepped up for this particular role. Beauty is not Osipova's ideal range at this point. All the same this isn't presumably the kind of thing that endears one to company directors.

#28 mer01

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 09:14 AM

Not to start a trend but Osipova (and Vasiliev) did this a few months ago as well with the Tour de Force gala...she's clearly being overbooked by whomever is setting up these contracts for her. Also, Aurora is a new role to her (in that she danced it one time before), I would have hoped even with her packed schedule she was planning a little more than a few hours of brush up rehearsal with Hallberg. A day or two should be more than enough time to get acclimated to a new partner in the ballet world--Look at Semionova and Gomes with Swan Lake.


Seminova and Gomes danced together several times including full length ballet such as Sylvia before Swan Lake. I think that's why Gomes stepped into Seminova Swan Lake when Hallberg was injured. It seems to me Osipova does not have reliable partner who can pull the SB performance off with one or two days rehaersal period at ABT except Hallberg this time. Since guesting ABT, Osipova danced with Hallberg, Cornejo, Carreno and Simkin. Hallberg and Cornejo injured, Carreno retired, Simkin does not have SB prince in his repotoire. I agree Osipova is overbooked, but I don't think that's the sole reason of the cancellation.

#29 aurora

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 09:46 AM

Osipova also pulled out of the Sunday matinee of the Bolshoi's Corsaire in DC two springs ago, citing "exhaustion" after she'd danced Medora the night before (and missed an entrance during the Jardin Animee during that performance too, if I recall correctly - I mean completely missed, corps dancing around, no principle dancer for twenty to thirty seconds of what was supposed to be a major variation, everyone wondering what was going on (it was the spring before this one, a couple of nights after her Sylphide at ABT)).

With Cojacaru stepping in, few viewers will complain, we've actually stepped up for this particular role. Beauty is not Osipova's ideal range at this point. All the same this isn't presumably the kind of thing that endears one to company directors.


I remember it differently, that she actually had a high fever and was told she couldn't dance but at this point, it's been several years, maybe I am misremembering...

I don't think it's the same thing in any case.

#30 Batsuchan

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 02:33 PM

It’s unfortunate that Osipova’s performance was canceled, but it actually worked out well for me. I really wanted to see Cojocaru/Kobborg but can’t make Friday night’s performance, so now I get to see them tonight! :clapping:

It seems like things like this happen all the time with the guest artists—people grumbled about Bolle’s cancellations due to an injury last year—so I’m not that surprised, though I certainly understand others' disappointment.

And I agree with mer01 (congrats on your first post!)—the situation is not quite the same as with Semionova/Gomes, since they have danced together and well, Gomes is Gomes!

**

I attended last night’s performance with Part/Gomes/Abrera and thought it was fine. I have to admit that I have avoided seeing Part in the past because her occasional technique bobbles make me nervous, but several posters raved about Part/Gomes performance last year, so I decided to check it out. Tonight, however, Part seemed completely “on” and even seemed comfortable in the infamous Rose Adagio balance section. She may not look at all like a 16-year old girl, but she uses her body beautifully and her lines are lovely. She has a powerful grand jete, and I was especially impressed by the ones where she did a little flourish with her front leg (like a little kick before extending it out).

I was sitting in the orchestra on the left side, and it was so strange/hilarious to see that man come down the aisle with the usher chasing after him after that scene!

Gomes was his usual fabulous self, but there’s really not much for him to do as Prince Desire.

I love Stella, so it was a pleasure to see her as the Lilac Fairy.

But it was perhaps more of a pleasant surprise to see my new corps favorite Renata Pavam as one of the fairies (the one in blue—I forgot the name). Her variation was simply lovely. She also had an un-credited appearance as one of Aurora’s friends (doing double duty!). The other fairies were Hee Seo (in green, subbing for Maria Ricetto), Isabella Boylston (orange), Misty Copeland (red), and Yuriko Kajiya (yellow). Unfortunately, Kajiya’s variation (or the way she performed it), made me think of those science experiments where they feed bees caffeine and watch them go spastic. Is it supposed to look like that?

In the final act, Daniil Simkin’s Bluebird was a standout. He landed his first set of jumps with very deep, juicy plies. Later, his sequence of brise vole (the side to side jumps with beats of the legs) was remarkable. Unfortunately, at the end, he flubbed the lift where Sarah is supposed to end up lying on his shoulder on her stomach (I think), and instead ended up carrying her offstage with his arms. Yep, methinks he still needs to work on that partnering.

I have seen the Act III pas de deux a number of times, not only in ABT’s production, but also in galas with dancers from other companies, and I always feel like it looks a little uncomfortable. Last night’s partnering was great, and the fish dives were fantastic (though even Gomes couldn’t keep Part’s supported pirouettes completely centered). But I still find the choreography baffling. When Aurora is in passé-releve supported by the Prince, why does she keep flopping over to the side like that? I don’t get it. And what exactly is she supposed to be doing in her variation? Needless to say, this is not my favorite pas de deux.

The same can be said for the ballet as a whole, though I suspect only part of my dislike comes from ABT’s production in itself. True, during Act I, I suddenly felt like I was in the middle of a “Skittles: taste the rainbow” commercial, but I’m not sure a more sober, less-candy-colored version would be more enjoyable for me. But once again, I am completely clueless about other versions of the ballet, so perhaps the more seasoned veterans can tell me about some of the superior productions they’ve seen. :sweatingbullets:

I suspect, though, that the problem for me with this ballet is the story. “Sleeping Beauty” is not a drama, nor an over-the-top comedy like “Don Quixote” or “The Bright Stream.” It’s a fairy-tale like “Cinderella,” but there is no real conflict (it takes all of what, two seconds for the Prince to eliminate Carabosse?), no reversal of fortune for the characters (elevation of Cinderella from rags to riches; punishment for her stepsisters/mother), and no real chance for the Prince and Aurora to fall in love on stage. The music is undeniably lovely (except when played badly as it was occasionally last night), there may be some nice dancing, and it might be enjoyable to see your favorites or star ballerinas in it, but I suspect that it will never be a favorite ballet of mine.


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