ABT's Male Principal ProblemPoll
Posted 13 July 2012 - 10:19 AM
Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:58 PM
Posted 14 July 2012 - 07:33 AM
First half discusses the women; second half discusses the men. (Gottlieb will make Stearns detractors happy, Simkin boosters unhappy, and Gorak boosters happy.)
Lots to chew on in this overview!
Posted 14 July 2012 - 08:48 AM
Posted 14 July 2012 - 11:45 AM
That was the one aspect of the article I disagreed with; For me, also, the general slamming of NYCB at end of article seemed a little unfair if he was not going to back it up with some actual analysis as he had just given of ABT. Of course Gottlieb has more personal history with NYCB and, one suspects, greater emotional and intellectual investment in its traditions which may make him harsher or at any rate more inclined to find things "dispiriting" -- his word -- when he sees problems (which they do have). I suppose it's also possible that if he really found their season dispiriting he thought he was being less harsh by not detailing his objections.
For the rest, although I have not seen the range of performances he discusses (and that others on this board have seen) I found everything else he said completely persuasive based on what I HAVE seen. Completely agree with him about Semionova--so far at least. She's impeccable, but....--and right now, for me, it's a substantial "but." And though I did not see Boylston's Swan Lake I did see her Firebird and agree with his account of her as a thoughtful artist with real ballerina potential. Actually pretty much agree with him about every dancer he mentioned.
To get to men and topic of this thread:
Even Gottlieb's asides re ABT rang true to me as in his praise for Zhurbin's Kastchei -- which I did see and found better even than Hallberg's: more powerful melodrama villain, less glam rock wannabe. (Uh...that last comparison is me not Gottlieb, but he did make a point of praising Zhurbin's performance in Hallberg's "role" as he put it).
Re the men, too: I decidedly share the reservations about Stearns whom I found not only bland as Albrecht, if not bad at all and even much improved (this was in Chicago), but also bland as Katschei, which is a neat trick given Ratmansky's crazed vision.
And, despite having shown, for a nano-second, a genuinely Dowell-esque arabesque in The Dream, Stearn's Oberon completely missed the point of the key moment in the final pas de deux when Oberon lifts one arm over his head while supporting Titania w. another arm as she turns, as it were, under her own arabesque beneath him. At this moment, Oberon raises one arm then casts it down on her waist in a gesture of mastery (loving mastery if you prefer). Gomez did this with real command and Hallberg, though more gentle, still looked out at the audience as he lifted his arm--clearly asserting himself before placing the arm on her waist. Stearns could not even look up as he raised his arm but had to keep his eyes on the arm supporting the ballerina and just lifted his other arm up weightlessly en couronne then let it down as if he had no notion of what the gesture might mean or that it might mean anything. (None of the three men could really "master" Ashton's choreography for the irreplaceable Anthony Dowell, but in different ways Gomez and Hallberg gave excellent performances; the latter was especially otherworldly).
Edited later to add: I can't yet get behind the idea of Simkin as a leading male dancer in the 'canonical' repertory. Extraordinarily talented, yes; wonderful to watch in the right role, yes--but until and unless he can find a way to look like an adult on stage (even a short adult) he can't convincingly inhabit classic 'leading man' roles. I know people on this board were convinced by his Siegfried which I missed...but I remain dubious.
Would be happy to be proved wrong about both Stearns and Simkin of course.
Anyway, thanks for drawing attention to this essay...
Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:22 AM
On the soloist level: Gennadi Saveliev is leaving which leaves us with:
Alexandre Hammoudi: Just promoted. Needs a lot of coaching. The charisma is there but not the technique. Not the greatest actor too though he looks great onstage.
Jared Matthews: Did a lot of fine work this season - particularly as Lensky in the "A-list" opening night cast of "Onegin" Losing the blandness and dancing better than ever. Go Jared!
Sascha Radetsky: Going nowhere at ABT - should possibly consider leaving ABT with his wife and seeing if San Francisco Ballet will take them.
Craig Salstein: I love him but not principal material Superb comedian and very versatile stylistically. His Mercutio showed what a fantastic dancer he is.
Daniil Simkin: I did not see the Siegfried with Boylston but read the reviews. Seems that he still feels and looks very young onstage. A boy wonder, not a danseur noble. Can do anything with his legs he wants to but is not yet a complete artist. Still he has done well in enough roles (Prodigal Son, Puck in "The Dream", Franz in "Coppelia") that he is worth continuing to develop. He will be promoted and soon.
Lots of potential soloists still in the corps: Mikhail Ilyin, Joseph Gorak (breakthrough season for him), Joseph Phillips, Arron Scott, Thomas Forster and Eric Tamm (he hasn't done much this season). I would like to see more of Roman Zhurbin, Roddy Doble and Vitali Krauchenka in real dancing solo roles rather than mime heavies. They could take over some of Gennadi's old assignments. I also would like to see more of Luis Ribagorda (I liked his Neapolitan dance in "Swan Lake" Act III.)"
I agree with much of the above.
Cory is developing, but is not nearly strong enough in technique or partnering to be considered a "war horse" principal.
I think Gennadi's departure will really be felt. He was terrific in character parts that also required a good amount of solid dancing. He wasn't always exciting (but sometimes really was) but he was extremely reliable and solid.
Sadly, I agree that Sascha/Stella have been going nowhere and perhaps it's time they move on before they get too old. Though the obvious difficulty in getting principal jobs together at the same company is perhaps why they've stayed at ABT so long. I can't help but wonder if Sascha's going to Dutch Nat'l Ballet as a principal was his last ditch effort to be taken seriously by ABT and get promoted. I love them both and will never understand why Stella wasn't promoted years ago.
Daniil, is a boy wonder but he should not be promoted any time soon. His partnering skills are scary and he needs to start performing with more maturity (and less mugging).
Gorak and Tamm should be promoted to Soloist level. I thought seasons ago that Hoven was also Soloist material, but I'm afraid his chance has been lost, as too much time has gone by.
Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:49 AM
Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:40 PM
Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:03 AM
Beloserkovsky is a principal in name only. Cornejo is difficult to cast because of his height and is oft-injured. Hallberg is in Russia for part of the year and, like Cornejo, is laboring more and more with injuries. (Overwork?) Simkin has numerous deficiencies which limit his casting. Vasiliev is yet another short principal.
Bolle is assuming more responsibility in the company (i.e. performing in the Fall). Gomes and Stearns remain constants in the repertory. Vasiliev, like Bolle, appears to be taking on more responsibility.
Bolle, Gomes and Stearns will continue to be the workhorses. Whiteside and, perhaps, Hammoudi will have to pick up a lot of the slack and function as de facto principals. Kevin McKenzie should still pursue prying Muntagirov from Tamara Rojo's grasp.
Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:29 AM
Please not! ENB needs him a lot more than ABT does.
Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:41 AM
I agree with miliosr's prognosis.
I think this leaves the company in a very precarious position - heaven forbid Gomes becomes injured and is out for any length of time, who can step in? He has been carrying the load of male principal parts for some time, year-round. He is the best partner they have and in my opinion, the most versatile.
I really hope that the 2013 season is the last for Beloserkovsky. Sorry if that is harsh, but his salary would be better spent on someone who actually dances.
On a side note, I hope ABT nutures the younger guys who show a lot of potential right now. As this thread shows, the company needs to do a much better job of nuturing and developing talent and not letting dancers (male and female) stall in the corps or as soloists. Eric Tamm is opening Nutcracker (and performed the lead last year too) and has really shown that he is soloist material. Joseph Gorak also has the talent. I hope they don't languor in the corp.
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