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Le Corsaire - Spring 2012


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#16 California

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:39 AM


I couldn't help but wonder if Cornejo's exceptional performance earlier on was spurred on by Vasiliev's bravura; if he felt inspired by the competition we all benefited!


Herman has been extraordinary since Day 1. He is great, great, great, and needs no one else to inspire his stellar performances.

I realize that lots of people are very critical of Vasiliev for his extreme technique, or what some would call "tricks." While I did not see him this season, I've seen him in performance with the Bolshoi in Don Quixote, as well as lots of video and YouTube. He's very young (23?). I hope that by working in the presence of so many great male dancers (Cornejo, Hallberg, Gomes at the top of my list) that he will learn something about refinement, line, style, etc.

Many dancers have spoken about the influence of co-dancers in their companies. (I'm thinking of both Cynthia Gregory and Gelsey Kirkland, who talked about how much they learned by working in the same company with Makarova.) So, I'm hoping for the best with Vasiliev; the raw talent and drive are there. He just needs work on the overall package. Stearns, on the other hand, is such a continuing disappointment; I don't know what it will take to bring him up to the top level in performance.

#17 griffie

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 09:12 AM


I couldn't help but wonder if Cornejo's exceptional performance earlier on was spurred on by Vasiliev's bravura; if he felt inspired by the competition we all benefited!


Herman has been extraordinary since Day 1. He is great, great, great, and needs no one else to inspire his stellar performances.


Angelica, I completely agree with you that Cornejo needs no one to inspire his performances, I didn't mean it that way. But having seen him so many times over the years I have seen performances of his that were finer than others, and yesterday he was on fire. I was only imagining that even the best of the best can find that working alongside another extraordinary talent can be stimulating. I don't know that to be the case - but regardless, the presence of two such performances in one show was a treasure.

I myself feel that Marcelo and Herman ought to be huge international superstars. I find them superior to every big name danseur brought in to headline. I have to remind myself that it's their dedication to their art and willingness to stay the grinding course year after year with the same company that's part of why they appeal so much; to me their personalities come across on stage as much as their technique, and I adore them. I hope that they are in as many recordings as possible because their legacies will have them appreciated for all they deserve.

#18 angelica

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 09:35 AM



I couldn't help but wonder if Cornejo's exceptional performance earlier on was spurred on by Vasiliev's bravura; if he felt inspired by the competition we all benefited!


Herman has been extraordinary since Day 1. He is great, great, great, and needs no one else to inspire his stellar performances.


Angelica, I completely agree with you that Cornejo needs no one to inspire his performances, I didn't mean it that way. But having seen him so many times over the years I have seen performances of his that were finer than others, and yesterday he was on fire. I was only imagining that even the best of the best can find that working alongside another extraordinary talent can be stimulating. I don't know that to be the case - but regardless, the presence of two such performances in one show was a treasure.


Griffie, You may well be right here, as I haven't seen Herman in many performances because I tend to avoid Xiomara, whom I know many people adore. Whenever I've seen Herman, I've been in awe of him. It all seems to come so naturally. It's not only in bravura steps. There's a YouTube video of him partnering someone in the white swan PdD (I'm not sure whether I got the link on this list), which shows him to be a brilliant partner--soulful, strong, gentle, deeply expressive--and he doesn't do a single turn or jump, and retains the classical line throughout. Also, I seem to be in the minority on this list in not finding Vasiliev inspiring. My eye is trained to seek out the classical line, which is one of the reasons I love watching Hallberg.
It strikes me that every principal dancer has qualities that we love, and perhaps, in some cases, others we may not. For example, I adore Veronika Part, but my heart is in my throat whenever she has to confront multiple turns. For me this lends her a vulnerability and freshness and gives each of her performances a spontaneity--of course, IMHO she has the most beautiful classical line of any female ballerina dancing in the US today.

#19 Golden Idol

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:50 AM

Griffie wrote: I hope that they are in as many recordings as possible because their legacies will have them appreciated for all they deserve.

You mention what is to me a very sore point. WHAT recordings? Dance in America is no more, and ABT hasn't done a telecast in years. At least Cornejo did Puck for a telecast of The Dream years ago with Steifel, but apart from the ballroom von Rothbart, Marcelo is very poorly documented on video. Here's a wish list--and I invite others on this site to do their own. Since the live '80s telecast of La Bayadere, during which Makarova was injured and replaced halfway through, has never been released commercially, it's high time for another; Marcelo, Veronika, and Gillian, please. Or Marcelo and Diana in Onegin. Or Marcelo and Cojocaru in Sleeping Beauty (well, Cojocaru and anybody, frankly). But you know what we will probably get, eventually? A holiday telecast of Ratmansky's Nutcracker, after the cost of the new production has been sufficently amortized and it is thought that a video won't keep people from buying tickets to it. Mind you, I'm not against such a telecast, but there are other ballets and performances I'd rather see professionally captured on video. Is ABT now such a hard sell to Public Broadcasting?

#20 Classic_Ballet

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:05 AM

Veronika had an incredible debut as Medora. Not even in my sweetest dreams I ever thought that she would dance it the way she did. It was incredibly refreshing to see her, finally, taking on a new role, and even better, doing it with such joy, security and success.

When she came out in Act I, her movie star looks made me gasp, no wonder the pasha passed out after she was unveiled, who wdnt !!! she is gotten really skinny, which has only accentuated even more her stunning lines and beauty.

Her first series of jetes were impressive and from there on, everything went flawless, the fouettes in ActII were done at great speed, like never before, with multiples doubles (never saw her do that either) and more importantly was the way she finished them, clean, perfect, freshhh, as if she were ready for another round. The complete Act II pdd was really wonderful; she used her gorgeous lines to bring the much needed grandeur to this part. Italian fouettes in Act III were gorgeous, pretty much on the spot.

I agreed with the fact tha Vasiliev handled her as only I have seen Marcelo do, and the moment commented by fondoffouettes was really something, he afforded the luxury of going almost in arabesque, in demi-point, after having walked around with her up high there, it was really priceless, and beautiful too.

Cornejo was his usual wonder, he is always a pleasure for my eyes, and Cory was way better and confortable than in Sigfried last week, his technique, acting and partnering, I found everything way improved. I loved both of them in the bedroom pdd, and considereing Veronika’s height I think he partnered her really well. They are both very beautiful dancers and looked gorgeous on stage.

My take on Vasiliev is somehow in the middle, I have to say that in the opening night gala, I really found his dancing highly grotesque and vulgar, with all due respect for him and the divergent opinions, so I actuallly decided not to go to see him in La Bayadere. This is a matter of personal taste, of course. On the other hand, there is no question that his pyrotechnics are absolutely sensational, he seems to devour the stage with impetuous force, flies, spin, you named, like very few can do, he is pretty spectacular and also has this macho bravura that captivates somehow…..but it is also true that he completely lacks the lines, the elegance, the manners, to a point that is also surprising, considering the stage of his career (he is young but he has danced quite a lot already, and some very basic things at this point should have been more than covered), so I am skeptical about the fact that he can be taught those things, he could prob improve, and I really hope so, but some things you cant teach.

The weird thing is that besides all this, I kind of liked his pairing with veronika, who is prob totally the opposite, sounds a little crazy, but I actually wonder how this very two different dancers wd look in something like swan lake (with a more refined version of him, of course), for example, the contrast may bring a lot of fire to the performance, who knows….

[size=4][font=Arial]I just want to add, that based on her success yesterday, one can only hope to see her taking on more new roles in the years to come, Kitri next year for example, and so much more, I am very happy that she was given this chance, and even more so on how well she rose to the occasion[/font][/size]

#21 abatt

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:23 AM

[size=4][size=5][size=4]Although this was Veronika's ABT debut as Medora, she did the role when she was a soloist at the Kirov. She has had to wait all these years to get the role at ABT. Apparently, Kent has vacated the role due to its vast technical demands, so ABT needed a new Medora. I'm glad Part finally got the role, which she deserves. [/size][/size][/size]

[size=4][size=5][size=4]Xiomara has also moved up from Gulnare to Medora this season. Simkin got his debut as Ali because Angel retired.[/size][/size][/size]

[size=4][size=5][size=4]I suppose this is an example of how dancers in the company, including principal dancers, are shut out of new roles until someone more senior steps aside.[/size][/size][/size]

#22 Classic_Ballet

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:26 AM

Xiomara danced medora last time they did, I saw her on a Friday night I remember, she was really wonderful, fastest pique chaines i have ever seen. She also danced it when they did it in London (after a few years dancing Gulnare, even being a principal)

Not sure if Kent danced it 2 years ago, probably, Michele had it too, so her spot was prob the vacant. Still Gilliam is doing two, would have been fun to see Semionova (prob next year) or Boylston too

Osipova is dancing it with abt tonight for the first time, I'll be there Posted Image

#23 puppytreats

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:36 AM

Griffie wrote: I hope that they are in as many recordings as possible because their legacies will have them appreciated for all they deserve.

You mention what is to me a very sore point. WHAT recordings? Dance in America is no more, and ABT hasn't done a telecast in years. At least Cornejo did Puck for a telecast of The Dream years ago with Steifel, but apart from the ballroom von Rothbart, Marcelo is very poorly documented on video. Here's a wish list--and I invite others on this site to do their own. Since the live '80s telecast of La Bayadere, during which Makarova was injured and replaced halfway through, has never been released commercially, it's high time for another; Marcelo, Veronika, and Gillian, please. Or Marcelo and Diana in Onegin. Or Marcelo and Cojocaru in Sleeping Beauty (well, Cojocaru and anybody, frankly). But you know what we will probably get, eventually? A holiday telecast of Ratmansky's Nutcracker, after the cost of the new production has been sufficently amortized and it is thought that a video won't keep people from buying tickets to it. Mind you, I'm not against such a telecast, but there are other ballets and performances I'd rather see professionally captured on video. Is ABT now such a hard sell to Public Broadcasting?


I saw Herman in video in the NYPL and he was eye-catching.

#24 abatt

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:38 AM

I had forgotten that Wiles did Medora. Since I generally avoided her performances, I don't have much recollection of what she performed.

#25 California

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:52 AM

Griffie wrote: I hope that they are in as many recordings as possible because their legacies will have them appreciated for all they deserve.

You mention what is to me a very sore point. WHAT recordings? Dance in America is no more, and ABT hasn't done a telecast in years. At least Cornejo did Puck for a telecast of The Dream years ago with Steifel, but apart from the ballroom von Rothbart, Marcelo is very poorly documented on video. Here's a wish list--and I invite others on this site to do their own. Since the live '80s telecast of La Bayadere, during which Makarova was injured and replaced halfway through, has never been released commercially, it's high time for another; Marcelo, Veronika, and Gillian, please. Or Marcelo and Diana in Onegin. Or Marcelo and Cojocaru in Sleeping Beauty (well, Cojocaru and anybody, frankly). But you know what we will probably get, eventually? A holiday telecast of Ratmansky's Nutcracker, after the cost of the new production has been sufficently amortized and it is thought that a video won't keep people from buying tickets to it. Mind you, I'm not against such a telecast, but there are other ballets and performances I'd rather see professionally captured on video. Is ABT now such a hard sell to Public Broadcasting?

Cojocaru is in a Sleeping Beauty DVD with Royal. You can also see her in their Giselle and an older Nutcracker. The European companies seem to do so much better than the Americans in releasing high-quality DVD from recent years -- La Scala, POB, Royal, Bolshoi, etc. It's truly frustrating that we have so little from the American companies and dancers. I don't know if NEA still has their project of "preserving America's heritage," in which they filmed all sorts of performances, going back decades, for archival purposes. But having looked at many at NYPL, they're very poor quality, certainly not suitable for broadcast or DVD (or download) sale, and apparently not prepared for release in terms of the many licenses required.

With some serious searching on YouTube you can find clips of people like Gomes performing with foreign companies, but they appear to be bootlegged by audience members or brief, poor-quality clips. Very unfortunate.

#26 Golden Idol

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 12:05 PM

Well, California, that's my point entirely. Although I certainly love trolling around YouTube to see what's been posted, be they clips from HDs or telecasts by European companies, or surreptitious bits caught shakily on cell phones from the audience, we should be seeing--occasionally, at the very least--telecasts of ABT performances on American public television. I'm not eager to knock City Ballet, which had a Nutcracker telecast last year and a telecast of their (well danced, but very ugly production of) R&J the year before, but why is ABT left out in the cold?

#27 mimsyb

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 12:49 PM

Perhaps Mr. Koch with all his $$$$$$$$ could be persuaded to plunk down a nice sum that could preserve on film all the incredible dancers we have at ABT! Public money doesn't seem to be out there.

#28 nanushka

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 02:01 PM

[size=4][size=5][size=4]I suppose this is an example of how dancers in the company, including principal dancers, are shut out of new roles until someone more senior steps aside.[/size][/size][/size]


...and so long as they aren't snatched up by guest artists.

#29 nanushka

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 02:20 PM

Veronika had an incredible debut as Medora. Not even in my sweetest dreams I ever thought that she would dance it the way she did. It was incredibly refreshing to see her, finally, taking on a new role, and even better, doing it with such joy, security and success.


And what a pleasure getting to see Veronika really shine in a comedic role!

#30 abatt

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:48 PM

My hands still hurt from clapping so hard during tonight's performance. Spectacular. Vasilev was even more electrifying than on Wed. Osipova was perfection - a pure delight in every way. Every spin was phenomenal. Every jump was sky high. Tonight was the best I've ever seen Yuriko dance (as Gulnare). Jared was very good, although he doesn't have the phenomenal technique of some of the other men who performed the role earlier this week. Kobborg was an excellent partner, but his solos were underpowered. The house looked very well sold.


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