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2012 City Center SeasonOctober 16-20, 2012


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#106 Dale

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:43 PM

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.

#107 Marga

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:42 PM

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!

#108 bingham

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 09:34 AM

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.

#109 abatt

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:46 PM

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

#110 Marga

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:49 PM

[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4]@abatt:[/size][/font]
[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4]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.[/size][/font]

#111 abatt

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:59 PM

Thanks, Marga.

#112 ksk04

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 04:49 PM

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!)

#113 vipa

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 05:47 PM

[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4]@abatt:[/size][/font]
[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4]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.[/size][/font]


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

#114 Marga

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 06:33 AM

You're welcome, abatt and ksk04!
vipa, I agree with you. It's frustrating not to know.

#115 puppytreats

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:05 AM

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.

#116 Golden Idol

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:47 AM

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!).

#117 vipa

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:03 PM

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.

#118 mimsyb

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:56 PM

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.

#119 vipa

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:43 AM

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.

#120 Golden Idol

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 11:23 AM

  • 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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