Natalia

Swan Lake, June 25-30, 2012

79 posts in this topic

Just curious if ABT has announced who will dance major roles beyond O/O and Siegfried, such as Von Rothbart and Pas de Trois? I seem to recall press releases on 'extended casting' in years past.

So far, we know that the O/Os and Siegfrieds will be:

Monday, June 25 - Part, Stearns

Tues, June 26 - Semionova, Hallberg

Wed, June 27 (mat) - Boylston, Simkin (role debuts for both!)

Wed, June 27 (eve) - Murphy, Gomes

Thurs, June 28 - Herrera, Corella

Fri, June 29 - Semionova, Hallberg

Sat, June 30 (mat) - Dvorovenko, Muntagirov

Sat, June 30 (eve) - Kent, Gomes

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Just curious if ABT has announced who will dance major roles beyond O/O and Siegfried, such as Von Rothbart and Pas de Trois?

See the topic 'Casting Updates Spring 2012 Met Season,' where a casting list including Rothbart is posted.

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Thanks, nanushka. We'll find out about the pas de trois, two big swans, princesses in A3, etc., soon enough. smile.png

I see that our two 'debutants' in the leads, Boylston and Simkin, are the 'Guest Tweeters' of the week, as per ABT website. Link to ABT Tweets:

https://twitter.com/#!/ABTBallet

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Wow...Kent for the final, Saturday night performance...? Is she still capable of doing Odile and in such relevant week day...? (just wondering...no sarcasm intended, I promise...)

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Wow...Kent for the final, Saturday night performance...? Is she still capable of doing Odile and in such relevant week day...? (just answering...no sarcasm intended, I promise...)

Actually, when I saw Kent dance SL last year, I thought her Odile was quite adequate and in my mind superior to her Odette, something I would never have expected in a million years. Certainy the technical fireworks in her Odile were lacking--she only made it to 26 fouettes--but she had a haughty characterization which I enjoyed. Mind you, that's the only time I've seen Kent dance Swan Lake.

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Just curious if ABT has announced who will dance major roles beyond O/O and Siegfried, such as Von Rothbart and Pas de Trois? I seem to recall press releases on 'extended casting' in years past.

Stella Abrera, Maria Riccetto and Sascha Radetsky are dancing the p.d.t. on Tues and Fri night, as per Maria's tweet:

https://twitter.com/...775211561918464

I was at the dress rehearsal today and Act I was danced by Boylston & Simkin--if the p.d.t. cast is the same (sometimes they mix casts for the rehearsals) it will be Christine Shevchenko, Joseph Gorak, and Devon Teuscher.

I bought a ticket for the Boylston/Simkin matinee, so I guess I will look for you there, Natalia?

As for Julie--I saw her Odette last year with Carreno, and I thought it was beautiful and touching (though perhaps a little rusty on the technique). In "The Bright Stream" I thought she had some of the nicest, easiest, prettiest single fouettes, but I don't expect her to be doing triples like Polina did in the rehearsal today! Kent's balances are still quite good, and I heard she pulled off an amazing one last Friday in "The Dream," so that could be a highlight in Act III as well!

I won't really comment on the rehearsal (I don't think that's fair), but I will say that jumping into the lake must be much harder and scarier (and potentially more painful) than it looks! It was pretty funny watching the dancers practice! smile.png

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Actually I think Julie's O/O hasnt changed much. I saw her maybe almost 10 years ago in Swan Lake and I didn't know much about dance then but I remember both her Odette and Odile being somewhat "low wattage" even then. She wasn't bad as Odile but she was low key. She stopped at around 26 fouettes then too. Later I saw Nina and was like "oh wow so this is what it's supposed to look like." Julie's a lovely lyrical dancer but she's never been "demented" or go for broke.

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Two words for tonight's "Swan Lake" performance. Renata Pavam! After not dancing the entire season, how wonderful to see her back. First as the Italian princess in the ballroom scene and then (uncredited in the program) as a swan in the final grouping. YEAH!

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Two words for tonight's "Swan Lake" performance. Renata Pavam! After not dancing the entire season, how wonderful to see her back. First as the Italian princess in the ballroom scene and then (uncredited in the program) as a swan in the final grouping. YEAH!

OOH, that is so exciting!! She's one of my favorites! Can't wait to see her onstage myself!

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......I was at the dress rehearsal today and Act I was danced by Boylston & Simkin--if the p.d.t. cast is the same (sometimes they mix casts for the rehearsals) it will be Christine Shevchenko, Joseph Gorak, and Devon Teuscher.

I bought a ticket for the Boylston/Simkin matinee, so I guess I will look for you there, Natalia?

.....

Thanks for the insights on possible Wednesday-matinee pas de trois casting, Batsuchan. Those happen to be 3 of my favorite up-and-comers, so I'm hoping that it is indeed them. Yes, I plan to be there tomorrow so may be looking for you. smile.png

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Whoever stagehand closed the curtain too early at the end of Act II should be fired. It's the moment when Veronika's Odette turned her back against the audience en pointe and flipped her "wings" to "fly" away into wing. It's one of the most pivotal moments of the ballet, Odile repeated the same move during Act III, it's that moment Siegfried being duped into believing that Odile was his true love. What we needed was just another 10 sec. I was robbed one of the most beautiful moments. BTW, Veronika deserved a better partner.

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Whoever stagehand closed the curtain too early at the end of Act II should be fired. It's the moment when Veronika's Odette turned her back against the audience en pointe and flipped her "wings" to "fly" away into wing. It's one of the most pivotal moments of the ballet, Odile repeated the same move during Act III, it's that moment Siegfried being duped into believing that Odile was his true love. What we needed was just another 10 sec. I was robbed one of the most beautiful moments. BTW, Veronika deserved a better partner.

While I agree on your point about Stearns, I actually think he partnered her well. I just don't think he has much emotional range or register. And his solos are...fine. Not bad. Not good though.

He was attentive and there were no bobbles or difficulties from where I sat (unlike some previous times Ive seen them together).

No time for a review now, but she was confident and beautiful. Beginning with an exquisite balance upon her entrance and going forward from there.

Everyone was in good form. The pas-de-trois was fantastic--best I've seen it in a long time. The cygnets were excellent.

And GOMES as Purple Rothbart. Really, nothing more needs to say about that. He owns that part and is the only man who can look sexy in that ridiculous costume.

Really a very good night.

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I thought Veronika was radiant last night, although it did not match her epic performance in 2009 w. Roberto Bolle. She certainly deserves a better partner than Stearns, but she is learning to make do with the cards she is dealt at ABT. Cory is improving a bit each year. However, I felt he was mostly blank last night. The pas de trois dancers were Lane, Kajiya and Simkin. They were wonderful. The two big swans were Abrera and Seo. Marcelo nearly stole the show as Purple Rothbart. He was magnetic and he generated such excitement from the audience. Sadly, I'm not looking forward to seeing any of the other Rothbarts this season.

It was very well sold, and I think every youngster in the tri state area must have been seated in the balcony/family circle. Disaster struck in the final moments of the ballet, when a youngster decided to scream at the top of his lungs during the most hushed moments of the final act, disturbing 3,800 people. I believe the screamer and his parents were escorted out, but the incident already ruined the magic. Oh well.

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I thought Veronika was radiant last night, although it did not match her epic performance in 2009 w. Roberto Bolle. She certainly deserves a better partner than Stearns, but she is learning to make do with the cards she is dealt at ABT. Cory is improving a bit each year. However, I felt he was mostly blank last night. The pas de trois dancers were Lane, Kajiya and Simkin. They were wonderful. The two big swans were Abrera and Seo. Marcelo nearly stole the show as Purple Rothbart. He was magnetic and he generated such excitement from the audience. Sadly, I'm not looking forward to seeing any of the other Rothbarts this season.

It was very well sold, and I think every youngster in the tri state area must have been seated in the balcony/family circle. Disaster struck in the final moments of the ballet, when a youngster decided to scream at the top of his lungs during the most hushed moments of the final act, disturbing 3,800 people. I believe the screamer and his parents were escorted out, but the incident already ruined the magic. Oh well.

Thanks! I didn't have my program and I knew I was going to mangle the spelling of Kajiya's name. She was astonishingly good and didn't deserve that from me :)

While I hate screaming children and it *was* disturbing, the fact that the screaming child started, as if on cue, with the appearance of swamp-thing Rothbart was actually rather hilarious. Someone did NOT LIKE the swamp creature!!

(It didn't ruin the magic for me, I found it pretty easy to get back into the last moments, fortunately!)

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I wasn't sure if the Swamp Thing was the cause of the outburst, SL should have a ratings system like the movies, like not appropriate for children under age--------.

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How cruel Marcelo was cast as the Purple Rothbart while Veronika was Odette...so close yet so far away! wallbash.gif She must do a lot of head scratching when casting gets posted as Bolle gets partnered up with Kent, Dvorovenko, and Herrera and Marcelo gets partnered with Diana (at least understandable as they at least have an established and magnetic partnership).

Glad to hear she is in top form regardless.

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Bolle has not done any SL's at ABT since the 2009 one with Part. I guess he is not interested in doing it, and he can pick and choose what he wants to do. Bolle is, in my opinion, the only partner at ABT who is age appropriate for Kent at this stage.

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I seem to have had a very different reaction to last night's Swan Lake. As a long time admirer of Veronika Part, I'd been awaiting last night's performance as the highlight of the season. But the moment Veronika jumped out on stage for the white act, I felt something was wrong. The fluidity of Bayadere and even Bright Stream seemed absent--to me she seemed more like a swan possessed (which, of course, she was), but possessed of something beyond sorrow and longing. I found her movements awkward, absent the eloquence for which she is so treasured and is unique to her dancing. In fact, she seemed almost manic--I was afraid she was going to have a seizure right then and there, as she mimed her story to Cory. Now, perhaps she had to try extra hard because of his blankness. "Don't you get it, dammit, Siegfried?" He's handsome, has a beautiful line, can lift, but he never fails to disappoint with his absence of fervor. I felt that Veronika's Odile was far better than her Odette. The only explanation I can come up with is that with all the foreign guest artists being praised for their over-the-top acting, perhaps she was coached to dance Odette this way, absent the lyricism and fluidity that was so present in Bayadere. And her mouth was open for all the drama in Act II--I wonder where she got that from....

The supporting cast couldn't have been better. The pas de trois in Act I was wonderful. So were the leading swans. But what happened to the waltz of the big swans in Act II? When did that get taken out? And I must say that I find the opening of the fourth act a travesty. Compare with the fourth act on the DVD of Ananiashvili dancing with the State Ballet of Perm. I suppose one could say this is a more contemporary SL, but I don't at all get those high-stepping swans and what all the running back and forth is supposed to suggest--perhaps they are distraught as to what will become of them? Can anyone explain this to me?

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Polina and David were absolutely gorgeous together tonight! They just look so perfect together--such lovely, long, uber-lean lines! Of course David's Siegfried wasn't impressed by all those other princesses--he needed someone as beautiful (and tall) as he!

Polina's technique is astounding--her absolute surety in her movements, no wobbles whatsoever, perfectly centered turns, triple fouettes, gorgeous extensions, they were all there! Perhaps Polina's greatest strength is her amazing and effortless balances--and she certainly milked every one she could (though sometimes this caused her to end up behind the phrase).

Her characterizations are equally unforced, totally natural, and yet quite effective--I feel like I can feel her emotion in her spine and back, and THAT is always something that I look for. She had lovely chemistry with David's Siegfried as Odette, and almost-simmering-over chemistry as Odette. In the second time that she raises her arm to halt Siegfried's approach, she held her palm out to him, and then seductively curled her fingers--what a tease! Even the way she pointed her leg out so that she could sit in the swan position seemed suggestive.

This was an excellent performance. Okay, perhaps the party scenes looked a bit messy, but the pas de trois was very nicely danced by Stella Abrera, Maria Riccetto, and Sascha Radetsky, and I thought the swans looked fantastic in Act II. Alex Hammoudi was a very striking and suave von Rothbart though probably not as technically spectacular as others.

My friends and I enjoyed this performance very much, but if I had to be 100% honest, Polina's performance last year with Marcelo was probably slightly more exciting for me. Not only was it Polina's debut in ABT's "Swan Lake," but David got injured so there was a last minute partner switch, and I was a little worried how it would turn out but confident that Marcelo would handle it, and then both of them totally exceeded my expectations!

I wish I could go to see Polina and David again on Friday, but I can't, so I will rely on your reports!

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I agree with Batsuchan - fantastic performance last night with Polina and David. The swan corps was wonderful, but the corps in Act I and Act III were not - many noticeable bobbles and dancers who were obviously not in synch with each other. I am a little pressed for time right now, but I will write more later.

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I thought Semionova's technique was excellent, but I was somehow not very moved by her Odette until the final act. She has the perfect body for this ballet - long limbs, a long neck. She is a beautiful and well proportioned dancer, and it is a pleasure to watch a dancer with so much technical security and skill. However, I wasn't feeling the tragedy of her story until the very end, when she seemed to take the acting up a notch or two. Hallberg was quite wonderful. Gorgeous line. Also, unlike Stearns, Hallberg knows how use his time on stage to convey bits of acting that tell us his conflicts. Semionova was totally "on" in the Black Swan section - triples, check. Tease- check. However, for a lot of the Black Swan act she had a plastered on smile that was the same plastered on smile I saw at Apollo. I have to agree w. Batsuchen that her performance of SL last year w. Gomes was more engaging than her performance w. Hallberg. Gomes is always so passionate that he elevates his partners to new heights - literally and figuratively. Is it any wonder that every lady in the company wants to be his partner?

Hamoudi started out well, but he really does not have the charisma for the role. Also, in the portion where he must balance on demi pointe he was shaky. I thought Stella looked a bit tired in the peasant pas de trois. She also came off pointe in Act I, but that may have been due to inept partnering by her husband.

The house was again packed. This ballet regularly sells out the house no matter who is performing. No wonder ABT keeps bringing it back every season.

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I felt so bad for Stella - she wouldn't have come off point if Sascha had arrived in time to assist her pirouettes. Before that happened I was finding myself quite impressed with his dancing (unlike in previous roles) but I think he was showing off his own turns and therefore took too long to get in place behind Stella. I hope he irons this out for Friday. I think of all the purple Rothbarts I've seen (of course not counting magificent Marcelo or Hallberg) Hammoudi has the most potential. He has the look definitely, but needs to work on the technique. I'll be interested to see how he develops.

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I felt so bad for Stella - she wouldn't have come off point if Sascha had arrived in time to assist her pirouettes. Before that happened I was finding myself quite impressed with his dancing (unlike in previous roles) but I think he was showing off his own turns and therefore took too long to get in place behind Stella. I hope he irons this out for Friday. I think of all the purple Rothbarts I've seen (of course not counting magificent Marcelo or Hallberg) Hammoudi has the most potential. He has the look definitely, but needs to work on the technique. I'll be interested to see how he develops.

This was exactly the case. I was watching Sascha very closely. He was very focused on his pirouette and landing, and it almost seemed like he got caught up in the moment and forgot that he needed to go support Stella in her pirouette. You could actually see him lose composure and just booked it to the front of the stage, not very gracefully. All in all, though, I think he was a fantastic Benno! I thought Maria was great and will be sad to see her go after this season. Hopefully she comes back!

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This was exactly the case. I was watching Sascha very closely. He was very focused on his pirouette and landing, and it almost seemed like he got caught up in the moment and forgot that he needed to go support Stella in her pirouette. You could actually see him lose composure and just booked it to the front of the stage, not very gracefully. All in all, though, I think he was a fantastic Benno! I thought Maria was great and will be sad to see her go after this season. Hopefully she comes back!

I noticed that little mishap too! Forgetting to partner your wife--that's a big OOPS!!

I also thought that Maria was fantastic and just looked so happy dancing. She better come back next season or else I will be totally crushed!

***

Well, I had quite an exciting afternoon! You could feel the anticipation in the theater for Isabella Boylston and Daniil Simkin’s debut performance, and they totally delivered!

This was not a perfect performance—and I do think both have areas where they can improve—but it was technically accomplished, even spectacular at times, smooth (no partnering mishaps), and in the end, perhaps even more moving than Polina and David last night!

David is a gorgeous, gorgeous dancer, and he has spectacular grand jetes, but he doesn’t crank out the big tricks like Daniil does. Sometimes Act I feels a little slow to me (are the swans here yet??), but every time Daniil had a chance to do a solo, it was like WOW! Those huge leaps, those turns like a top! Daniil is much more petite than David, but he also has very nice lines, thanks in part to his very flexible back, which gives him a lovely stretched arabesque. He used those slowly turning attitude arabesques to great effect in his "sad" solo--they seemed to perfectly express his desire for something more.

But outside of this solo, I wasn't quite sure what to make of Daniil's Siegfried in Act I. His expression almost seemed a little...smug? He did not strike me as particularly lonely/shy or bored of the court life, nor did he seem innately noble. I felt a little bit like I was seeing Coppelia’s Franz pretending to be a prince--but hopefully this will be something Daniil works through as he performs the role more.

Thankfully, Siegfried appeared to be in good company. Joseph Gorak was absolutely gorgeous as Benno (he is fast becoming one of my favorites), and he looked very well matched with Christine Shevchenko and Devon Teuscher in the p.d.t. Both of these girls are about the same height and build, and they made quite an attractive trio. The dancing was quite lovely too.

In Act II, Isabella Boylston really impressed me. She may not have Polina's long lines nor her mastery of the role yet, but she certainly has the technique and the beautiful feet! She had total command of the steps and some beautiful balances. She did a good job of telling Odette’s story, but I think she could develop more of Odette’s character—I didn’t really feel for her Odette like I sometimes do for others.

Nonetheless, she and Daniil delivered a beautiful White Swan pas de deux, though I admit that the chemistry was a bit lacking. Isabella’s backbends were very lovely, and I liked that Daniil let her start falling for a second before reaching to catch her. Indeed, Daniil handled the partnering just fine—even the overhead lifts—but I realize that he doesn’t have to do much: Isabella is so strong and well-balanced that she can basically partner herself! She didn’t need much help from him.

The swans looked lovely once again in Act II, and the cygnets were perfect. Oh, and I have to mention that the solo violinist has miraculously improved—or else they hired someone else for this week. I was totally preparing myself for some truly awful off-notes, but last night and today, the solos were almost pitch-perfect! THANK YOU!!

After Act II, I felt like the performance really took off. Isabella seemed more at home as the party girl Odile, and Daniil seemed to be genuinely bedazzled by her—and here I actually started to believe the chemistry. It seemed like they finally clicked, and when that happened, I felt like their dancing rose to another level in the Black Swan p.d.d. Daniil seemed invigorated by dancing with Odile and he really went for it in his variation—really spectacular jumps ended in a deep fifth position plie and those crazy like-a-top pirouettes. Isabella followed suit, speeding through her pique turns in the circle before coming back for a nice set of fouettes with several doubles thrown in. Daniil’s fouettes a la seconde were, of course, amazing, and by the end of the p.d.d. the crowd totally erupted. Bravo!

And then after those ecstatic highs of the p.d.d., the world came crashing down when Daniil’s Siegfried realized his mistake. He stumbled around, he fell to the floor--he looked totally, utterly devastated. No smug prince here anymore!

And this is what made Act IV unexpectedly moving—more so than last night, for me. Here Daniil’s boyish appearance actually heightened the tragedy—he looked so small, so vulnerable, and so devastated. And when Isabella’s Odette made it clear that there was no choice for her but death, he pleaded with her to stay with him, clinging to her with all his might. So when she dove off the cliff, he took off running after her and soared through the air as he jumped in after her. (People actually applauded when he jumped.)

And in the end, in the clouds, they just stood there holding each other as if to say, “We did it!”

Bravo!

**

I’m going back tomorrow for Angel’s farewell. That’s going to be an epic performance, I know!

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Thank you so much for your review. Seems like it was a lovely first. Hopefully more dreams to come...smile.png

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