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2012 City Center Season

165 posts in this topic

no firm word on Cornejo's injury but he was replaced tonight Oct. 20 at ABT's 8 pm perf. in IN THE UPPER ROOM (by Salstein) as noted by an announcement that said due to injury Cornejo would be replaced, etc. etc.

so any thoughts of his 'disappearance's being due to something like a momentary spasm or such seem to be unlikely.

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Cornejo was seen leaving the theater in crutches.

Wonderful matinee today, shame about the injury.

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Having seen both casts of Symphony No. 9, I preferred Part over Semionova. Part's performance was tinged with tragedy and high drama. She captured the darker aspects of the music perfectly.

Gomes was electrifying as Othello. He has a way of conveying primal emotions to an audience that few people at ABT have. The problem for me was that Julie Kent was much too mature to pull of the innocent blushing bride that is Desdemona. When Gomes and Kent were dancing together in this, it seemed more like Hamlet and Mama Gertrude than Othello and Desdemona.

So who is going to replace Herman in Barcelona Don Q on opening night? Poor Herman. I hope this is a short term injury.

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I was also at Thursday night’s performance and for the most part really loved it.

I hadn’t seen Leaves are Fading in many years, yet remember the central ppd virtually step by step. I had seen Amanda McKerrow perform it years ago (she and her husband, John Gardner, staged this) and she will probably be the standard to which I hold this. I thought Hee Seo and Roberto Bolle made a really nice pair and had some lovely moments, but I thought they were missing the yearning and subtlety that this ppd requires (especially Seo). It’s not about high extensions and big lifts, in my opinion. Once thing I loved about McKerrow’s performance, was how she and her partner were almost behind the music, as if reluctantly moving forward in order to savor every moment with their partner. That was missing with Seo/Bolle. And, I agree with DeCoster that Seo’s pointe work can be “clod-hoppy”. There were a few moments when her feet almost seemed to get stuck together on the floor after coming out of a turn or a big movement, as if on the verge of tripping over one of her feet. It’s a visually small error, but something only unseasoned dancers usually do. I’ve seen her do this in the past when she was still a soloist and in the corps, but she’s a principal now and should be more secure in her footwork. Other than that, she was quite lovely and her very long legs and arms made wonderful lines.

In the rest of Leaves, Sarah Lane and Daniil Simkin were wonderful together; they have really nice chemistry and their partnership is really moving along. Simkin’s partnering is getting better, but he still struggles with over-the-head-lifts; he thrusts his partner over his head with a tremendous amount of effort. Nevertheless, I’d love to see him and Lane do the central pdd in Leaves, after his lifting gets better. I think they’d be gorgeous. Lane has one of the most open faces I’ve ever seen on the stage; just lovely. Stella Abrera and Lane had a few nice moments together. Roman Zhurbin also stood out for me.

The world premiere of Symphony #9 was quite exciting, but I think it’s one of those pieces where you need more than one viewing to absorb it all, as there’s a LOT going on.

I didn’t like how it began – it seemed to start in “mid-sentence”, as if the preceding movement was left out. This will eventually be part of Alexei Ratmansky’s evening-length piece at the Met next spring, so maybe once it’s all put together it won’t look that way. In any case, the pace is mostly frenetic, with lots of dancers moving every which way. It was hard to watch any one dancer for long because they’d go offstage so quickly! Ratmansky’s patterns and use of the “corps” was wonderfully different and inventive. I liked how he’d have the male or female corps form different lines either on the side or back of the stage while Polina Semionova and Marcelo Gomes were dancing. This was my first time seeing Semionova dance – she’s so pretty and has gorgeous lines and technique. Her part w/ Gomes is heavy on partnering, so I look forward to seeing her dance some solos in the future. This is a great part for Gomes – he gets to show off his awesome partnering skills, and has some solo moments that display his technique and charisma. I also agree that Cornejo stole the show, and he had a lot of competition between Gomes, Craig Salstein and Simone Messmer. No doubt Ratmansky choreographed this to show off their best skills: Cornejo’s athleticism, coloring and nuance; Salstein’s tongue-and-cheek personality; Messmer’s quick footwork and sultry looks.

I was most looking forward to seeing Rodeo, which closed the program. I hadn’t seen this one in years either and had forgotten about the square dance section, which was charming. Who knew dancers could talk! :) This piece shows off Salstein the best – his huge personality, expressive eyes, and quick-wittedness are perfect for The Champion Roper. He and Marian Butler, as The Cowgirl, have terrific chemistry – they look like they’d be really good friends offstage – and had such a naturalness to their characters. Butler made me laugh and was heartbreaking when we see she realizes the Head Wrangler, Roman Zhurbin, will never love her. Zhurbin is such a great actor, and was the perfect combination of macho yet chivalrous suitor.

A wonderful evening but was surprised Rodeo didn’t get a bigger response from the audience during the bows. I’m saddened to hear that Cornejo injured himself yesterday. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery!

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Having seen both casts of Symphony No. 9, I preferred Part over Semionova. Part's performance was tinged with tragedy and high drama. She captured the darker aspects of the music perfectly.

Gomes was electrifying as Othello. He has a way of conveying primal emotions to an audience that few people at ABT have. The problem for me was that Julie Kent was much too mature to pull of the innocent blushing bride that is Desdemona. When Gomes and Kent were dancing together in this, it seemed more like Hamlet and Mama Gertrude than Othello and Desdemona.

So who is going to replace Herman in Barcelona Don Q on opening night? Poor Herman. I hope this is a short term injury.

I thought both casts were excellent but would give a slight edge to Part also. Cornejo was brilliant. I'd imagine that Jared Matthews must have been waiting in the wings in case Cornejo couldn't continue. I don't know how he could have gotten onstage that quickly if he weren't already in costume.

Perhaps it was due to my distance from the stage but Kent did not seem too old to be playing Desdemona to me. Abatt's comment made me think of Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie, who, while listing the roles she'd portray brilliantly, includes Juliet, saying "And if the house were big enough, I still could play her yet."

I loved Rodeo. I liked both programs on Saturday, the matinee and evening performances. I enjoyed the visual effect of the smoke in In the Upper Room but would think it would be annoying/difficult to dance in stage smoke although the dancers seem to have no problem doing so.

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the haze in UPPER ROOM is steam, not smoke.

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The music is more dangerous to one's health than steam, haze, or smoke. It gave me such a headache.

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Alastair Macaulay's review in the NYT. Do regular observers of the company agree?

When you connect these changes of cast to those that Mr. Ratmansky has employed for his other works, you see how invaluable he is as a company artist. Although he began work with Ballet Theater only in 2009, he’s given big breaks to a very wide number of artists at all levels of this troupe. There are now many Ballet Theater dancers — Mr. Cornejo, Mr. Gomes, Ms. Messmer, Ms. Part are only the most obvious — whose artistry you don’t fully comprehend until you have seen them in their Ratmansky roles.

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I think that the person who has gotten the biggest break is Misty Copeland in his Firebird. I didn't see her performance in that role, but I think a lot of people took notice of how well she performed. (I didn't see Misty in the fall season. Is she still injured?) I also think Paloma's artistry was highlighted especially well in Bright Stream. She has not always lived up to expectations in the more traditional classical rep, but she seemed to be energized and engaged in Bright Stream. Personally, I think most people understand the artistry of Gomes and Cornejo irrespective of their Ratmansky roles. There will always be a divided opinion about Part, as noted in a previous thread on this board.

Let us also not forget that Ratmansky was instrumental in the early careers of Osipova and Vasiliev at the Bolshoi. I also think that part of the allure of ABT for Osipova and Vasiliev is to be able to continue working with Ratmansky.

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Department of Slips and Falls: Add Craig in Rodeo on Thursday night. He also lost his orange bandanna, which had to be kicked offstage by two other dancers. I'm dismayed to read of the others that occurred on Friday and Saturday (I did not attend these performances, alas), especially Cornejo's . Recall that he was out of commission all last summer with an injury. So who is to blame for preparing a slippery stage floor at City Center?

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Department of Slips and Falls: Add Craig in Rodeo on Thursday night. He also lost his orange bandanna, which had to be kicked offstage by two other dancers. I'm dismayed to read of the others that occurred on Friday and Saturday (I did not attend these performances, alas), especially Cornejo's . Recall that he was out of commission all last summer with an injury. So who is to blame for preparing a slippery stage floor at City Center?

Well Cornejo had no visible slip nor fall. We have no idea what happened so perhaps we should not (yet) assign blame for his injury at least to a slippery floor.

For what it is worth, the only issues I saw in 2 performances were a few minor partnering flubs, which did not seem slippery floor related.

Also what summer are you thinking of? Cornejo certainly danced last summer.

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Just to add my two cents' worth....I thought that Cory Stearns, who to my mind is George Clooney-gorgeous and has a beautiful ballet line, but who has disappointed me up to now in the acting department, was magnificent in The Moor's Pavane on Saturday night. Macaulay noted in today's New York Times that Cory seems to be animated in roles with "a streak of malice," which may well be the case, although up close he looks like your very sweet boy-next-door. In Moor, however, his body was infinitely expressive, and I had to force myself to take my eyes off him to watch the others. In a word, I found him riveting. Now, if he could bring that expressive intensity to his more princely roles, he will have almost no peer in the princely department and I won't have to choose between seeing David with a lesser ballerina or Veronika with a bland partner. Veronika already dances with unequaled eloquence; what she needs is a partnership made in heaven.

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Aurora: 2011. That was last summer. If I meant 2012 I would have written "this past summer."

Angelica: I'm no great admirer of Cory but I agree with you about him in Pavane. The only other time I felt he wasn't a cipher onstage was in Shadowplay, as the bare-chested god, or shaman, or whatever the character represents, which required him to look forbidding and sinister.

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I'm pretty sure I've seen Cory as sinister Purple Rothbart, but was not impressed.

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Aurora: 2011. That was last summer. If I meant 2012 I would have written "this past summer."

Thank you for teaching me the proper uses of these terms. I could have easily called the summer season 2012 either last summer or "this past summer" as either would have seemed equally appropriate to me. Now I know better.

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I saw the Saturday night program which sadly was the only program I saw. dry.png

Saturday evening October 20:

Symphony #9 (Alexei Ratmansky):

I think this is the best work that Ratmansky has done so far at ABT and I can't wait to see what he does with the other two pieces and how it all shapes up as a whole. The cast was Roberto Bolle and Veronika Part as the main, serious couple with Sascha Radetsky and a gorgeous Stella Abrera as the other, lighthearted couple with Jared Matthews as the lone jumping male dancer. Like Balanchine, Ratmansky has used different groups of dancers to embody certain emotions or themes in the music. We see the more joyous assertive Radetsky/Abrera couple leading the corps in various formations. The serious couple, Bolle and Part look on in wonderment at their self-confidence and exuberance. They tentatively take the stage and dance a searching, meditative pas de deux. The groups alternate with the Part and Bolle couple seeming to gain a sense of their own place in this group. It seems to end in mid-sentence but on a positive note - again one has to see where this fits in the larger, full-evening work. I don't know if this is the first, second or third piece in the work. It feels like either a beginning or middle section. Many people who had seen both casts preferred Part to Semionova though Tobi Tobias felt that Part was soap opera emoting and over the top. I loved Part's warmth and felt that she gave an emotional center to the piece. BTW: about injuries and slippery falls - one of the corps girls (Isabella Loyola? hard to tell they all had identical hairstyles and dresses) slipped and fell badly but recovered after a few moments. So maybe there is a problem with the floor there.

The Moor's Pavane (José Limon):

I saw this piece done by the New York Theatre Ballet last year at Florence Gould Hall on a small stage with pre-recorded music. It was very interesting to see it done in a larger theater with live music (and a dream cast). The choreography uses real Renaissance dances and groupings to tell the story in a primal, stripped down fashion. It is quite effective even in a large space. Marcelo Gomes I knew had the emotional range for the Othello role since he has already done the part superbly in Lar Lubovitch's version (I saw him with Alessandra Ferri's lovely Desdemona in her last season at ABT). Julie Kent looked lovely and her elegant lyricism is perfect for the role - I was high up in the balcony and she didn't look too mature to me. There is no pointe work here and she probably is overqualified technically for the piece - interpretively I found her ideal. Veronika Part returned as the Friend's Wife (the Emilia figure) looking voluptuous and decadent in a scarlet gown. The role of Emilia is more complicit in this version than she is in the play seeming to be a rather amoral but not malicious voluptuary. Part made it clear when the story turned to murder and betrayal that she felt used and wronged by the turn of events. Cory Stearns did some of the best acting I have seen from him. I think that he needs careful coaching and the stager from the Limon Foundation, Clay Taliaferro did a wonderful job with him. He was wonderfully subtle and insinuating.

In the Upper Room (Twyla Tharp): Cornejo was injured so Craig Salstein stepped in for him and a joyous Eric Tamm replaced Salstein in his track. Luciana Paris replaced Kristi Boone as one of the "Stomping Girls in Sneakers". This piece is a real audience pleaser. Sascha Radetsky once told me when I spoke to him on the street that he loves this ballet and he gave a wonderful performance (by the way his tattoos were covered by a concealer makeup though other dancers were proudly displaying theirs). Simone Messmer was a revelation as the other "Stomping Girl in Sneakers" - she didn't look like a classical ballerina at all - compare this with her magnificently danced Gamzatti this past summer! Like any front-rank ABT ballerina she covers a wide gamut of styles. I endorse the description of her as having a "Kurt Weill" quality. Isabella Boylston danced the main "Ballerina girl in red pointe shoes and leg warmers" role that Paloma Herrera (not dancing this engagement) has done so well with in the past. Boylston really seemed in her element as a modern ballerina and owned the stage. Salstein had a few bad moments partnering Messmer in some tricky lifts and catches but I suspect that is was unfamiliarity as they probably hadn't rehearsed it together. Otherwise Craig was great as was Arron Scott and all the men. The piece does drag a bit in the middle but is a great "Big Finish" for a mixed bill. The audience was shouting and stomping at the end.

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Aurora, didn't mean to be snotty. I'm a book editor, so this is just how I think.

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If it's fall, I never know what people mean by "last summer," and I usually wuss out and say "summer X" or avoid it altogether, but this clarifies usage.

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If it's fall, I never know what people mean by "last summer," and I usually wuss out and say "summer X" or avoid it altogether, but this clarifies usage.

Actually it doesn't. I was being sarcastic in my previous post. I don't think specifying the year is wussing out, it is being clear, which is a good thing.

As it isn't a single word "last summer" is hard to look it up, but for example allwords.com (which I would hardly call definitive) states:

  1. In the summer before the current or upcoming one.

Which would therefore be 2012.

I think the phrase is intrinsically unclear and could reasonably be taken either way. I just resented the implication my lack of comprehension as to what year was meant was due to some deficiency on my part, when in fact the phrase is unclear.

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Can't we let go of this, Ms. PhD in the Humanities? I THOUGHT I was apologizing. Helene, if this exchange strikes you as uncivil, accept my apology too, and please feel free to delete any or all of it.

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Can't we let go of this, Ms. PhD in the Humanities? I THOUGHT I was apologizing. Helene, if this exchange strikes you as uncivil, accept my apology too, and please feel free to delete any or all of it.

Shoot! I think the whole thing should be deleted. I was just trying to say, as Helene was saying she now understood a grammatical point, based on our quibble, that it wasn't so cut and dry.

But i got caught up in proving the point. I wasn't trying to extend the argument. Trees...forest....bah

I am sorry about the stupid Phd comment too (You may have noticed, *I* deleted that one)

shake2.gif ??

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The lack of the presumption that people post with good will is one of the main reasons we have a policy against discussing the discussion.

Back to ABT, please.

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It seems to end in mid-sentence but on a positive note - again one has to see where this fits in the larger, full-evening work. I don't know if this is the first, second or third piece in the work. It feels like either a beginning or middle section.

Back to ABT.

Based on what I saw in Symphony #9, I'd have to imagine that the likely order of the Shostakovich cycle will be chronological: Symphony #1, Symphony #9, & the Op. 110a (a.k.a. String Quartet No. 8). Initially, I thought that the Op. 110a would make a good middle ("adagio" in a very loose sense) movement. But in Symphony #9, Ratmansky appears to be gesturing toward a kind of submerged political/historical narrative (as Marina Harss discusses in her blog post here) that's reflective of Shostakovich's own public/private discourse.

Like the score itself, Ratmansky's choreography appears to deconstruct the experience of war, contrasting the public euphoria and hollow triumph of "victory" with private tragedy and unspoken pain. To me, we saw this in microcosm in the 4th movement, with the expansive movements (for the Gomes character) set to the brass unison, which are contrasted with the involuted, intimate, almost furtive duet (for the Gomes-Seminonova pairing) set to the haunting, lonely bassoon solo.

Concluding with the cycle with the brooding intensity and bleak tragedy of the Op. 110a seems to offer Ratmansky an epic personal/historical sweep that would be devastating. "Seeing the music" is such a cliche, but I'll never be able to listen to the Ninth Symphony again without recalling, in my mind's eye, some of the more striking passages in the ballet. And if Ratmansky is intent upon continuing to mine Shostakovich's own tortured personal history, set against a broader, if coded, historical narrative, as reflected in the music, well, I simply can't wait for the rest of the trilogy.

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I would love to see somebody (perhaps for a Master's thesis?) compare Stravinsky's Symphony in 3 Movements and Shostakovich's Symphony #9 and, in turn, how Balanchine and Ratmansky choreographed them so we could "see the music." Both pieces of music were written right after the end of WWII, although in dramatically different circumstances, of course.

http://balanchine.com/symphony-in-three-movements/

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