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ABT Mixed Bill & Bayadere @ KennCen, DCJan-Feb 2012


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#16 cinnamonswirl

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 08:51 PM

Just back from the Part/Gomes/Abrera Bayadere.

Part and Gomes were fantastic -- I always think they make a great pair, and that soft, gentle quality Part has really works as Nikiya. I was a bit worried how she'd do in the White Act, since her technique can be inconsistent, but it was all very smooth. Gomes was a top form, as per usual. He really is a terrific partner.

I was disappointed with Abrera. Very dry and brittle. Gamzatti can be an ice queen, but she still needs to sparkle (cf Platel or Alexandrova). Abrera didn't sparkle at all, and her face had one expression through the entire evening. I guess the difference is that Platel and Alexandrova (and Part too) have an innate nobility, where as Abrera was acting it.

Sarah Lane was a standout in the first Shade variation.

I thought the corps looked pretty good in the Shades scenes in terms of synchronization. A bit more wobbly in the arabesques that I was expecting, but the patterns looked pretty sharp.

#17 kfw

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:49 PM

Your impressions match mine, cinnamonswirl. Boylston brought more personality to Gamzatti in the afternoon rehearsal, and it was a pleasant surprise to see Messmer rehearsing the role as well. As for Part and Gomes, they have never disappointed me. Simkin was sharp as the Bronze Idol.

#18 lmspear

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 02:45 AM

There was a program insert listing Craig Salstein as the Bronze Idol.

#19 aurora

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 03:18 AM

There was a program insert listing Craig Salstein as the Bronze Idol.


Bad news that Simkin is out (injured?) but I'm so glad Salstein is still getting this role. He was (surprisingly?) good in it during the last run I saw in NY, maybe 2 years ago? I feel like he is often underutilized except in humorous parts.

#20 cinnamonswirl

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:52 PM

Back from the Herrera/Stearns/Messmer Bayadere.

Overall it was a good performance. It was beautiful to watch, but for me it didn't have the same emotional impact as Part/Gomes last night. Herrera seems better suited to Gamzatti to me, and her Nikiya was never quite enough -- not desperate enough in the confrontation with Gamzatti, not tragic enough in the solo before she dies, not quite ethereal enough in the Shades. And not helping matters, Stearns always screams all-American to me, in his looks and the physicality of his dancing. (Can someone please design a turban for him to wear during the Shades scene? With that curly hair he looks like a GQ or Ralph Lauren model who wandered out of an Indian-inspired photo shoot by accident.)

On the other hand, Messmer is much closer to my idea of Gamzatti. Elegant, imperial and very glamorous. (Perhaps Abrera needs to try Messmer's trick of wearing tons of glitter on her false eyelashes!) And commanding - that moment at the end of the second act when Gamzatti walks (or stalks, in this case) towards Solor and he steps backwards, backing away from her ... wow. It was also nice to see someone do really clean fouettés, opening devant each time, then whipping to à la seconde before going to retiré.

Joseph Phillips replaced Salstein as the Golden Idol (Salstein replaced Arron Scott as the Head Fakir) and was very impressive. Devon Teuscher gave a very elegant 2nd Shade variation.

#21 bingham

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:00 PM

Cinnamonswirl, Can you please list the 3 shades in the performances that you have seen? thanks.

#22 cinnamonswirl

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:47 AM

The order of the Shades in the program is not the actual order of their variations. (Well, they are listed in the order the variations are usually danced, with the developpe variation last, but not in the order ABT is dancing them, with the developpé variation second.)

Thursday: Sarah Lane, Yuriko Kajiya, Maria Riccetto
Friday: Christine Shevchenko, Misty Copeland, Devon Teuscher

Looking forward in the program, the Thursday cast is also scheduled for the weekend matinées, and for Saturday evening: Shevchenko, Copeland, Leann Underwood.

#23 theo

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 05:51 PM

Quick thoughts about today's matinee (Sat) with Seo, Muntagirov and Boylston. It was an enjoyable performance. The audience truly appreciaed Montagirov, and I was among them. He’s a guest artist, and you could kind of tell that he hasn’t quite mixed in yet; but he had a lovely charm about him, and you just couldn’t help but love him. I thought he looked a bit like Stiefel from a distance. I hope he dances more with this company. I think he and ABT are a good fit.

The ladies were also lovely. I think Hee is a lovely Nikia in the making. I enjoyed her performance, but I feel like there's more in her. It seems like she could almost be on the verge of letting go, but hasn’t quite yet. She got better and better as the performance progressed.

I think Isabella is a great Gamzatti. She was a bit unsteady in the first act, and eventually fell and appeared to be visibly injured. I was sitting in the 4th row a bit to the left and could clearly see her limping as soon as she got up from her fall, and as she continued off stage. It was hard to watch. I thought.....”Oh... they will have to replace her”. But no, she came back like a trouper and did very well for the rest of the performance, in my opinion. It was almost as if the fall was her signal to relax and let loose. The audience seemed to appreciate her "Moxie" in taking a fall, and coming back without once losing the regal "Gamzatti" persona. Brava!

I was with my husband today. He’s been pretty good about accompanying me in the past few years. When Isabella fell and the first act came to a close, I don’t think he knew what to make of it all. I whispered in his ear, “the best is yet to come”. I’ll tell you what, when the curtain rose and the shade came out, he was memorized. I thought the corpse did an admirable job, and so did he!

Let us not forget the lovely, lovely soloists. Today, for me, Sarah Lane stood out among them all.

I’m interested to hear what other people thought.

#24 theo

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 06:09 PM

Didn't want to forget: Roddy Doble was a fun High Brahmin. He was replacing Roman Zhurbin. The audience appreciated him, as did I.

The real reason I had to add to my previous post though, was because I could not let it alone without mentioning Aaron Scott as the Bronze Idol. "Silk Explosion" is what comes to mind. He was explosive, yet smooth as silk; graceful, strong and....oh so shiny!

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#25 theo

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 06:13 PM

Quick thoughts about today's matinee (Sat) with Seo, Muntagirov and Boylston. It was an enjoyable performance. The audience truly appreciaed Montagirov, and I was among them. He’s a guest artist, and you could kind of tell that he hasn’t quite mixed in yet; but he had a lovely charm about him, and you just couldn’t help but love him. I thought he looked a bit like Stiefel from a distance. I hope he dances more with this company. I think he and ABT are a good fit.

The ladies were also lovely. I think Hee is a lovely Nikia in the making. I enjoyed her performance, but I feel like there's more in her. It seems like she could almost be on the verge of letting go, but hasn’t quite yet. She got better and better as the performance progressed.

I think Isabella is a great Gamzatti. She was a bit unsteady in the first act, and eventually fell and appeared to be visibly injured. I was sitting in the 4th row a bit to the left and could clearly see her limping as soon as she got up from her fall, and as she continued off stage. It was hard to watch. I thought.....”Oh... they will have to replace her”. But no, she came back like a trouper and did very well for the rest of the performance, in my opinion. It was almost as if the fall was her signal to relax and let loose. The audience seemed to appreciate her "Moxie" in taking a fall, and coming back without once losing the regal "Gamzatti" persona. Brava!

I was with my husband today. He’s been pretty good about accompanying me in the past few years. When Isabella fell and the first act came to a close, I don’t think he knew what to make of it all. I whispered in his ear, “the best is yet to come”. I’ll tell you what, when the curtain rose and the shade came out, he was memorized. I thought the corpse did an admirable job, and so did he!

Let us not forget the lovely, lovely soloists. Today, for me, Sarah Lane stood out among them all.

I’m interested to hear what other people thought.


Of course I meant "corps" not 'corpse" Bedtime for Bonzo.

#26 cantdance

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 05:23 PM

I was a super for Bayadere this week and had a great time wandering backstage where they would let me. We rehearsed with Victor Barbee on Sunday and on Monday with the props. The first time with the dancers Gomes, Part, and Abrera at 11am Thursday and then again with Seo, Muntagirov, and Boylston. This was my first time as a super, some of the temple priest had done it before with ABT in 2006 and some of the tiger men were teenagers from local ballet schools. It was fun seeing how the magic is done. You can feel Marcelo's power as he dances by you that close. The corps dancers were always nice and the lead ballerinas were beautiful on stage.
I also was able to sneak a peek at the company classes before the performances. Some taught by Susan Jaffe and the others by Craig Salstein, both give corrections to the dancers, but Craig would stop them if they didn't do it as he wanted musically or a certain emphasis. This has been a great dance week.

#27 Barbara

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:06 AM

Lucky you, cantdance! I've always wondered what it would feel like on stage to see the performance from that perspective; while staying in character, of course. I fear my mouth would be agape in awe.

#28 Natalia

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 06:44 AM

THANKS so much for the wonderful reports. Serious illness has me bedridden (boo-hoo...) but I received a wonderful report from friends who attended the Saturday matinee. (These are neighbors who I've 'recruited' to ballet...so novices.) My pals are totally in agreement with what Theo has written...except that they mixed up the names of the two leading ladies and told me that "the girl in the red dress fell down", which led me to think that it was Nikiya-Hee Seo, as Nikiya usually wears a red sari-like outfit during the dance with the basket. Whoever fell - more power to her for getting up. Brava! OK, now back to bed...


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