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2012 City Center Season

165 posts in this topic

I know that the Lar Lubovitch version is completely different from the Limon version, but I would have expected to see Abrera as Emilia and Radetsky as Iago. I believe those are roles that they had in the Lubovitch version, and I thought Radetsky, in particular, was well cast as the villain.

I'm also happy to see that Lane got Stars & Stripes. I hope she does a great job with it. I assumed that they would have given it to Kajiya.

I also hope that ABT gets M Ashley to coach her.

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Great to see Stearns cast as Iago (I assume). That's against type, in my opinion; nice challenge.

Wonderful about Lane getting Stars/Stripes.

Strange to see so many of the principals missing from the CC season (which was already announced), but at the same time I love getting to see the soloists and some corps members in more prominent roles.

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So the Ratmansky reunites Bolle/Part--great. Nice to see Marian Butler managed to keep her role in Rodeo

I thought Marian Butler had left ABT or even retired??

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I know that the Lar Lubovitch version is completely different from the Limon version, but I would have expected to see Abrera as Emilia and Radetsky as Iago. I believe those are roles that they had in the Lubovitch version, and I thought Radetsky, in particular, was well cast as the villain.

I'm also happy to see that Lane got Stars & Stripes. I hope she does a great job with it. I assumed that they would have given it to Kajiya.

It could be that Lane is the only one with the right proportions for that part in the pas where he has to step back as he promenades her in arabesque. If I remember correctly he steps away while holding her arm and there has to be room for her leg to pass. Am I remembering this right? Does anyone know what I mean?!?

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I know that the Lar Lubovitch version is completely different from the Limon version, but I would have expected to see Abrera as Emilia and Radetsky as Iago. I believe those are roles that they had in the Lubovitch version, and I thought Radetsky, in particular, was well cast as the villain.

Perhaps this is another instance of the handwriting being on the wall for the two of them.

I love getting to see the soloists and some corps members in more prominent roles.

Agreed although it does contribute to that odd sensation of ABT being two companies inhabiting one body.

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Gala news:

RODEO 70TH ANNIVERSARY to Highlight

American Ballet Theatre’s

Opening Night Gala at New York City Center

Tuesday, October 16 at 6:30 P.M.

Saks Fifth Avenue is Gala Sponsor

Frederic Franklin to Serve as Honorary Artistic Chair

American Ballet Theatre’s Opening Night Gala at New York City Center on Tuesday, October 16 will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo with a special tribute to the ballet’s premiere. First performed by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo on October 16, 1942 at the Metropolitan Opera House, de Mille’s groundbreaking Western ballet features a unique combination of ballet and Broadway-style dancing set to Aaron Copland’s famous score. ABT’s Opening Night Gala will also include performances of Mark Morris’s Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, a pas de deux from James Kudelka’s Cruel World, and the Company premiere of the pas de deux from George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes.

A Gala Dinner at New York’s Pierre Hotel will immediately follow the performance, with special guest Harley Viera-Newton serving as DJ for the evening. Mildred C. Brinn will be honored with the 2012 Melville Straus Leadership Achievement Award, in recognition of her exemplary leadership and outstanding commitment to the arts.

Frederic Franklin, a member of Rodeo’s original cast, will serve as Honorary Artistic Chair of the evening. Gala co-chairs include Linda Allard, Victoria Phillips Geduld and Nancy McCormick. Gala junior chairs are Sarah Arison and Daniel Cappello.

For benefit tickets only, please call American Ballet Theatre’s Special Events office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3311. Performance-only tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s Opening Night at New York City Center are priced from $20 and are available

on-line at www.abt.org or by calling CityTix at 212-581-1212. New York City Center is located on West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in New York City.

Saks Fifth Avenue is the sponsor of the Opening Night Gala at New York City Center. MasterCard is the Official Card of American Ballet Theatre. American Airlines is ABT’s Official Airline. Northern Trust is the Leading Corporate Sponsor of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. Costumes for Rodeo are generously sponsored through the Ellen Everett Kimiatek Costume Preservation Trust.

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I just got home from today's matinee at Bard. What a perfect performance! 'In The Upper Room' never fails to send you out of the theater with your heart exploding with joy and your feet way above the ground. Standouts this afternoon were Joey Gorak, Luciana Paris, and also in places, Katie Williams, but absolutely above all, Daniil Simkin. His heads-above-the-others technique and artistry had me watching only him whenever he was dancing, blond hair flying, body aloft, sudden twisting, pronounced sharp movements, glorious pirouettes.

The others in this cast are Kelly Potter, Cory Stearns, James Whiteside, Roddy Doble, Nicola Curry, Gemma Bond, Eric Tamm, Renata Pavam, and Sarah Lane. Whiteside, Stearns, and Doble danced together in parts 1, 3, 5, 7, their female partners/counterparts being Luciana, Kelley Potter, and Nicola Curry. James Whiteside did a great job alongside the veteran ABT males.

First on the program was 'The Leaves Are Fading' with Marcelo Gomes and Julie Kent as the lead couple. Second leads were Isabella Boylston and Gray Davis. Gomes/Kent is the partnership from heaven for this ballet. Mature, superlative dancing and easy artistry were the hallmarks of their performance. Kent, a positive wisp of a creature made for ballet, shone in the role, moving with seemingly no effort and with such a natural flow it was as if she were breathing out her dance.

Paler than everyone else in the company, she reminded of of Suzanne Farrell, who was many shades whiter still, as if porcelain is the designated non-color of the ballerina assoluta. (I honestly thought, back in the 1960's, that Farrell must powder her skin before each performance, she was just SO white!)

Marcelo is always a complete joy to watch no matter what he's dancing, that for me to be able to concentrate on him and Julie alone

(since they were the only dancers onstage for a long time) was a sheer pleasure. I could really get into the mood of their pas de deux and marvel at the amazing beauty of it. Julie Kent is still extraordinary and deserves every accolade bestowed on her. The difference between her and everyone else in the company who danced tonight is a vast chasm which only years of perfecting one's artistry and technique can any other dancer even hope to begin to fill.

Isabella Boylston was flawless in her pas de deux with Gray Davis and, as always, I relished her every movement. She delights us so consistently. I so wish I could see her Kitri in Barcelona! Gray Davis is a new partner for me to see her with, and I'm sorry I can't really report on his performance since whenever Isabella's on stage, my eyes don't leave her even for a second.

The entire cast for 'The Leaves Are Fading' this matinee: Leanne Underwood as The Woman, Isabella Boylston, Brittany DeGrofft, Kelley Boyd, Karen Uphoff, Kristi Boone, Adrienne Schulte, Luciana Paris, Yuriko Kajiya, Gray Davis, Daniel Mantei, Arron Scott, Julio Bragado-Young, Patrick Ogle, Julie Kent and Marcelo Gomes.

'The Moor's Pavane' was danced by what might be termed Cast B: Roman Zhurbin as the Moor, Thomas Forster as "His Friend", Simone Messmer as "His Friend's Wife", and Xiomara Reyes as "The Moor's Wife". I can visualize the same cast performing The Garden of Villandry, the similarity of intentional movement being the basis for my thoughts (and also, having seen Reyes in both). Zhurbin is a very good character dancer/actor and he plied his trade confidently in this Limon piece. Forster also did a good job, as did Messmer and Reyes. The star of the piece, of course, is the hanky...er.. handkerchief. The hidden star is the Limon technique, so comfortable for ballet dancers and beautiful for us to see, even if we don't realize what makes us like it so much - the fall and the rise, the push and the pull, the tension and the release.

I'd have given anything to have seen tonight's performance with Marcelo as Othello, Julie as Desdemona, Cory as Iago, and Veronika as Emilia. I'm sure it had quite a different flavour! The matinee performance was wonderful, but I suspect the evening's was more remarkable.

I'd also have loved to have seen Polina Semionova in Leaves this evening (and I told her so backstage - what a lovely vision she is!). She didn't dance at all this afternoon. Same with Stella Abrera, who had only Leaves are Fading for the Bard weekend, and who is on the list for the evening's performance (which ended two hours ago). Same with Roberto Bolle! Oh, I missed so much, but I saw so much, too!

The evening cast list for 'In The Upper Room': Kristi Boone, Simone Messmer, Sascha Radetsky, Jared Matthews, Patrick Ogle, Devon Teuscher, Luciana Voltolini, Skylar Brandt, Craig Salstein, Nicole Graneiro, Arron Scott, Isabella Bolyston, and Herman Cornejo.

The evening cast list for 'The Leaves are Fading': Karen Uphoff, Stella Abrera, Sarah Smith, Gemma Bond, Nicola Curry, Polina Semionova, Nicole Graniero, Zhong-Jing Fang, Sarah Lane, Roman Zhurbin, Gray Davis, Daniil Simkin, Alexei Agoudine, Alexandre Hammoudi, Hee Seo and Roberto Bolle.

I suspect the above casts repeat twice each over the 4 performances at Bard (tomorrow's matinee is the 4th). I wonder if they will be the same for the City Center half week. As you can see, many company members aren't on the lists at all.

My husband and I had an awesome time at the ballet. He was particularly in admiration of Luciana Paris in the Tharp. He was also particularly excited by the Tharp, as was the audience who gave it a standing ovation with lots of whoops and hollers. Even though I believe Upper Room always gets a standing O, there is plenty of good reason for it. Any ballet that makes you feel THAT good, that makes you want to burst out of your skin with happiness, that does indeed lift you up higher and higher with Bolero-like buildup, deserves to have the whole audience on its feet to laud it. I ALWAYS want to see it again!

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I was blown away by In The Upper Room. It was exciting to watch until the finale that makes you get up and applaud the dancers.They really deserved the SO that was given to them.

The LAF is always lovely to watch.Julie and Marcelo,as always, were very moving but the 2nd PDD was also beautifully done by Isabella and Gray Davis, I don't know if it's a debut but they were just lovely together. The Arron- Yuriko PDD was also lovely.

The Fisher Center of. PA in Bard College campus is a beautiful Frank Gehry-designed theatre. It is a beautiful sight in itself.

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There was no mention of Herman Cornejo. Was he cast at all at the Bard engagment?

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@abatt:

The evening cast list for 'In The Upper Room': Kristi Boone, Simone Messmer, Sascha Radetsky, Jared Matthews, Patrick Ogle, Devon Teuscher, Luciana Voltolini, Skylar Brandt, Craig Salstein, Nicole Graneiro, Arron Scott, Isabella Bolyston, and Herman Cornejo.

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Thanks for confirming who the Desdemona and Emilia roles are in The Moor's Pavane, Marga (as well as for the rest of the report!)

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@abatt:

The evening cast list for 'In The Upper Room': Kristi Boone, Simone Messmer, Sascha Radetsky, Jared Matthews, Patrick Ogle, Devon Teuscher, Luciana Voltolini, Skylar Brandt, Craig Salstein, Nicole Graneiro, Arron Scott, Isabella Bolyston, and Herman Cornejo.

I really wish ABT would put this information on their website instead of saying "Company"

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You're welcome, abatt and ksk04!

vipa, I agree with you. It's frustrating not to know.

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Mr. puppytreats highly approved of Gemma Bond, in "Leaves", of course. And Hee Seo.

He was surprised by the range of bodies sizes displayed, as well.

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Very enjoyable opening last evening. I can't say I was enthusiastic about the Mark Morris piece (I don't, for the most part, admire his work), but the whimsy did engage after the first few pieces, and Cornejo was a standout. My first look at Whiteside was very positive: tall, good line--probably why Kevin engaged him as he looks toward grooming him into a principal to succeed his recent retirees. Both PdDs were lovely--but can we please see ALL of Cruel World again sometime soon, and not just this haunting PdD with Marcelo and Julie?. Sarah Lane's series of Aurora-like balances in Stars & Stripes were occasionally a trifle wobbly in the arms but I think this might have been her insecurity over Simkin's partnering (though he wowed the audience in his variations). For the person here who once posted that Sascha is going nowhere at ABT (with which I more or less agreed), I must say he scored big in Rodeo, and his tap solo deflected some attention away from Xiomara (who was charming). It's a perfect role for him. The historical film interlude on Rodeo was very good, but a little too much of Kevin talking and not enough footage of (and no commentary from) the ABT dancers rehearsing the piece, which I would have appreciated. Onward to tonight (Upper Room!).

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I went Wednesday night. To me the highlight was The Moor's Pavane. What an amazing piece - the distillation of Otello. Every gesture and movement filled with nuance and meaning. Your eye is directed so well through-out the piece. Nothing extraneous but everything that is needed. Marcelo Gomez was the virile Moor. Julie Kent, bring purity and beauty to her role his wife. Cory Stearn the Moor's devious friend and Veronika Part the friend's wife. Here a piece I'd see again today if I could. I know the woman next to me didn't share my enthusiasm - 10 minutes into the piece she decided it was time to check her email. I had to ask her to put her phone away.

I loved Simone Messmer in In The Upper Room. She has the Twyla style energy for the piece in spades. For me this piece loses momentum at some point about 3/4 of the way through. It seems to plateau for a time before coming to a conclusion. I enjoy it, but am not eager to see it again.

Drink to Me Only - I wonder if someone else who was there could help me out. I am not very familiar with the ABT dancers (I go to NYCB a lot more). Who was the first man who did the step with the triple pirouette, extend - open side. Also who were the other two men who joined him. I was really trying to identify people.

Love to hear from anyone who was there.

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Joseph Gorak did that incredible turn/extension! He is amazing. I was so floored by that, but I think the other two were Thomas Forster and Joseph Phillips.

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Joseph Gorak did that incredible turn/extension! He is amazing. I was so floored by that, but I think the other two were Thomas Forster and Joseph Phillips.

Thanks so much for the info. It was an amazing moment.

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  • Yes, it was Gorak. Good dancer, but you should have seen Cornejo do that on Tuesday night. He spoils you for anyone else.

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Last night was a really enjoyable performance for me. It's rare that I enjoy all three pieces in a mixed bill to this degree.

The Leaves are Fading is just such a beautiful, understated piece of choreography. I've seen it a few times in recent years, and I find some new aspects to appreciate each time. As far as dancing goes, Sarah Lane and Daniil were stand-outs for me. They seemed to relate really well, and they matched each others beautiful shoulder and head movements. Perhaps Lane's gorgeous fluidity, mature abandon, and controlled port de bras that reveal the stiltedness and hesitancy that sometimes afflicts Hee Seo. (Perhaps her segments have more difficult choreography. I'm not sure.) Also, (nitpicky here) I find Hee Seo's pointe-work to be a bit clod-hoppy. Perhaps her shoes need to be hard because her feet are so flexible, but she doesn't seem to roll through her foot easily like the other ABT women, and she makes quite a lot of noise. Still, Hee Seo and Roberto Bolle did make a ridiculously beautiful pair, and her lines in arabesque and a la seconde are wonderful to behold. This choreography really suited Bolle; I've never enjoyed him more onstage. (Would love to see Bolle and Kent together in Leaves.) Seo has also become more of an actress and excelled in the flirtatious moments. Some of the group parts were a little rough. Perhaps the dancers were so excited for the Ratmansky premiere, they lacked focus at moments. Daniil had a rough partnering moment with a taller dancer (Kristi Boone?) which was a bit humorous actually. Tudor created some challenges for a group of such divergent sizes, as they are required to switch partners quite a bit.

Symphony # 9. Wow. I lack the full vocabulary to describe what I saw last night, but if you enjoy Shostakovich and ballet, I can't imagine not being taken with what Ratmansky has done here. He seems to depict in dance many of the themes present in the music: humor, pathos, collectivism, and alienation. He chose a small corps of women, which allows Polina Seminova to stand out amongst them. She had some nervous balances in the beginning, but her and Marcelo were a sexy, exuberant pair, awesomely athletic and big in all their movements. Despite the top billing of Gomes and Seminova, Herman Cornejo stole the show with his virtuoso dancing. He also got the biggest crowd reaction. As I've come to enjoy with Ratmansky there is a lot of traditional ballet vocabulary performed in interesting ways. Herman is such a master of the petit allegro, and Ratmansky gives him lots to play with here. Simone Messmer and Craig Salstein had the other leading roles, and they just blew my mind. Messmer seems so perfect for this. I loved how she wore her short hair; she has what I would describe as a Kurt Weil quality to her, if that makes and sense. She tore into the choreography, as did Salstein. Messmer has quickly become one of my favorite dancers in the company, and this piece was a great vehicle for others. She is a compelling actress with really solid, gorgeous technique. Wowie zowie. How I wish I could see this again to describe it better! That's how much this piece pleased me. As for weirdness, there was some percussive slamming of the floor, but mostly it was beautiful 21st century ballet to Shostakovich Symphony #9. I was not crazy about the costumes, and I think they'll look dated in time (as the Leaves are Fading costumes do). But who cares; it was marvelous. I can't wait for the Spring, and I'm so happy this is happening in New York City and I get to live through it.

Rodeo was a lot of fun as expected. I just love the music, and I was feeling so happy after Symphony #9 and my glass of wine at intermission (where I spotted the beyond lovely Sara Mearns), feeling relaxed and ready to entertained. Craig Salstein hammed it up to no end. This was really a bid evening for him. The whole ensemble dance with great gusto and effort, and to me the orchestra sounded swell. I had spotted Isabella Boylston (she hopped out of her seat to applaud Symphony #9) earlier in the night, and I wonder if she will be performing the Cowgirl. I think she'd be wonderful, as would Osipova.. Marian Butler is a supreme actress but lacks the ups. Eric Tamm really caught my attention as well.

In summation: What a great night at City Center. Sat in the front row of the upper mezz and had a great view. The music sounded fabulous! I can't wait for the Spring Shostakovitch evening. Sarah Lane and Simone Messmer are principal material.

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Just came back from the Fri. Eve.

Golden Idol you were right. Drink To Me Only - Joseph Gorak was really good but Herman Cornejo was great. His quality of movement, musicality, the way he gets into shapes quickly enough for the shape to really register with your eye without looking rushed, not to mention the jumps and turns - just great. I really like this ballet I find it refreshing and witty and very human. Tonight Simone Messmer was outstanding for her ease and clarity of movement. Boylston was also a better fit in the ballet that Kajiya, who I saw the other night. Boylston had more strength and energy. I don't love her in everything but she had me smiling in this one.

Leaves Are Fading ppd. Reyes/Sterns - It's a beautiful and interesting piece. Her upper body and arms so fluid and lovely.

Stars & Stripes ppd - Poor Sarah Lane was just used as Simkin fodder for this one. She did fine, but this piece isn't really suited to her. Simkin barely managed the partnering with Lane. It would have been impossible for him to partner anyone even slightly taller. He did lots of tricks, which were exciting and the audience love it. A lot of his stuff was indeed fun, but to me he still looks like a kid doing tricks. I remember Damien Woetzel in this - to me he brought the right degree of well everything to it. I wish Simkin had worked a little more on his partnering even if it meant fewer tricks.

Symphony 9 - Really enjoyed it. Love the way he moves groups around. I have to see it again to take it all in. It is really densely packed. Maybe too much material for one short ballet or maybe I just need to see it again. Abrera - great - talk about someone who should be a principal.

DeCoster - thank you for your review. I enjoyed reading it.

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I attended a few performances this week, and I'm going back for tonight's performance. I very much enjoyed the new Ratmansky ballet and look forward to seeing it again. This one is a hit. The choregraphy for the corps is especially inventive. Gomes and Semionova were excellent together. Salstein was thrilling. Cornejo was incredible, but something must have happened to him mid-ballet, because Jared Matthews suddenly appeared to perform the remainder of Herman's part. Herman did not come out for a bow either. Hope he is okay. I will see the second cast tonight.

I always have enjoyed leaves,. and Kent and Gomes were absolutely lovely. Her fluidity and lyricism make this an very fine vehicle for her.

Drink to Me will never be a favorite of mine, but Herman and Isabella were thrilling. Boylston is well on her way to a very bright future at ABT. I didn't think Gorak and Kajiya (second cast) were anywhere near the level of the first cast.

I have to agree that S&S is just not a great fit for Sarah Lane.

I had not seen Moor's Pavane is at least 15 years. Simone Messmer was deliciously evil.

I enjoy seeing Rodeo about once every decade, so I've now had my fill. Reyes was adorable.

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at the matinee today, Sat. Oct. 20, Cornejo got replaced last minute in the final moments of SYMPHONY #9 - by Matthews, who took a bow w/ the rest of the cast, with Cornejo nowhere to be seen.

this indicated that in his penultimate exit Cornejo must have become indisposed - a colleague at the intermission said some mishap occurred off stage - or perhaps the awareness of an injury did.

in any case, something happened to him to prevent him from finishing the ballet and from taking a bow.

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At the matinee today, Sat. Oct. 20, Cornejo got replaced last minute in the final moments of SYMPHONY #9 - by Matthews, who took a bow w/ the rest of the cast, with Cornejo nowhere to be seen.

this indicated that in his penultimate exit Cornejo must have become indisposed - a colleague at the intermission said some mishap occurred off stage - or perhaps the awareness of an injury did.

in any case, something happened to him to prevent him from finishing the ballet and from taking a bow.

I was also at this matinee and noticed the substitution. I wondered several times this week if there were problems with narrow wings and a slippery stage. I was sitting to the far right down in front this afternoon and could see a bit into the wings. At one exit for Gomes lifting Semionova in the Ratmansky, I thought I saw somebody else's hand in front of a metal structure to keep her head from hitting it. For a Bolles-Seo exit at about the same place during Leaves Thursday night, he seemed to slip twice. A corps member slipped and fell last night during the Ratmansky and I noticed a couple more slips in other ballets.

In any event, Cornejo was so fabulous in the Ratmansky premiere, it ws sad that he couldn't return for bows Saturday. I hope it's nothing serious.

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