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Which Swan Lake?


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16 replies to this topic

#1 ord7916

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 07:46 AM

So this is only my second post on here.

I've become obsessed with Swan Lake and want to see it at ABT in June. I'm not familiar with most of the principals aside from Gillian Murphy and Angel Corella, who is not there anymore.

The one with the best seats available is Part and Stearns. Would you recommend that one?

there is also Boylston and Simkin, Murphy and Whiteside or Cocojaru and Cornejo (who I'd love to see but that date might not work.)

Any recommendations?

And is it every worthwhile getting orchestra seats (row F) or is that too close?

#2 Helene

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 07:54 AM

I would see Veronika Part in anything, and her Odette is exquisite. I haven't seen Boylston yet, because I live on the West coast, but I've heard and read wonderful things about her, and I love to have seen a performance at the beginning of a major career to which to compare to later performances. Cojocaru is one of the greatest ballerinas dancing today. I've never "gotten" Murphy, but I'm in the minority, and she's been a major dancer and draw at ABT.

I don't think you can go wrong with any of these choices.

#3 atm711

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 10:03 AM

Go with Part......Ever since her first Swan in 2005 with ABT I have seen her every year---although there was one year when she did not perform it.....She is the best of the bunch.......

#4 angelica

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 10:29 AM

Definitely Part. Odette/Odile is her signature role. Row F Orchestra is fine if you're fairly tall. If not, you'll have many heads in front of you. The raking of the seats begins around Row G.
Seating preferences are very individual. If it were me, I would take Orchestra L17 or Side Parterre Box 10 seat 3 if you don't mind seeing from the side as long as you're close enough to the stage--for me those are the best of what's available on my computer right now. Sometimes two days or one day before the performance ABT releases seats from their "hold," which they are holding back for press, donors, special guests. Sometimes you can get center Grand Tier that way. But you're taking a big chance doing that.

#5 volcanohunter

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:11 AM

I'll be a bit of a dissenter on Part. What I found extremely disconcerting about her Odette the first time I saw it is that unlike the vast majority of ballerinas, who phrase the adagio to the violin melody, she phrases it to the harp accompaniment. I still think it's wrongheaded.

#6 angelica

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:54 AM

Another possibility is that you buy the Part/Stearns ticket and two days before the 17th start checking availability for the Semionova/Hallberg opening. If ABT releases seats for that one at the last minute, you'll see what are likely to be the two best Swan Lakes of the season (IMHO).

#7 angelica

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:57 AM

I'll be a bit of a dissenter on Part. What I found extremely disconcerting about her Odette the first time I saw it is that unlike the vast majority of ballerinas, who phrase the adagio to the violin melody, she phrases it to the harp accompaniment. I still think it's wrongheaded.

That's interesting. I remember one performance a couple of years ago when the first violinist was so atrocious that it would have been impossible to dance to the violin melody. Last year I believe it was someone else playing the violin and s/he was better. But I never thought about it that way and I'm going to watch for it this year.

#8 volcanohunter

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:08 PM

You watch. She’ll dance it the conventional way this year, and my experiences will turn out to be outliers.

#9 carbro

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:43 PM

I second pretty much all of Helene's recommendations with the caveat that Boylston is still a relatively junior soloist -- clearly on the way up, mind you -- and more than a more seasoned dancer, her Odette/Odile is probably still a work very much in progress. The flip side of this is that this may give you the opportunity to watch the development of a young dancer.

I worship Alina Cojocaru. As someone who habitually has bought standing room tickets (available on day of performance only), I "treated" myself to five tickets for seats in advance, making Cojocaru's dates the top priorities.

As for location, my preference is to be above the stage, so I can have a view of everyone and everything. When you're in the orchestra, you see the dancers who are in the front row. I know a lot of people like to see facial expressions. My take is, a dancer spends 10 years working to make her/his body an expressive instrument. If I need the exact qualities of the smile or the glance, the body is not doing its job.

Let us know what you decide and how you like the performance.

#10 ord7916

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 05:05 PM

Thanks for the replies. I did opt for Part.

Regarding the suggestion to buy it and then see if something else becomes available at the last minute - Is that possible? It says everywhere that tickets cannot be refunded or exchanged, although Broadway theaters also say that and they do let refund or exchange.

#11 angelica

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:06 PM

You watch. She’ll dance it the conventional way this year, and my experiences will turn out to be outliers.


Maybe because of the execrable violinist. I remember thinking--this is New York City, they can't get a decent violinist?

#12 mussel

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:10 PM

Thanks for the replies. I did opt for Part.

Regarding the suggestion to buy it and then see if something else becomes available at the last minute - Is that possible? It says everywhere that tickets cannot be refunded or exchanged, although Broadway theaters also say that and they do let refund or exchange.


As a subscriber I have no problems exchanging my tickets, my friends told me they didn't have any problems exchanging their ABT single tickets either. Besides house seats hold for press, donors & VIPs as mentioned by Angelica, the Met also starts releasing wheelchair seats a day or two before the performance, each wheelchair seat occupies 4 regular seats and they are always aisle seats. The Met may still holds a few wheelchair seats until the day of performance and releases them a few hours before the performance. I think ADA dictates when wheelchair seats can be released.

#13 angelica

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:14 PM

Thanks for the replies. I did opt for Part.

Regarding the suggestion to buy it and then see if something else becomes available at the last minute - Is that possible? It says everywhere that tickets cannot be refunded or exchanged, although Broadway theaters also say that and they do let refund or exchange.


Good choice! Sorry for the confusion. What I meant was that you keep the Part ticket, do not try to exchange it (you can't and you wouldn't want to), and attend that performance. In addition, if last-minute tickets to Semionova/Hallberg become available, you go to their performance also. Two Swan Lakes are better than one, especially if you're obsessed. And you will have seen the two best casts (IMO).

#14 ord7916

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:42 PM

Thanks again. The idea of seeing it twice would be nice, but pricey. And considering I've yet to see a full length ballet, I'm not sure I'd notice much difference between different dancers.

However, I did also buy tickets for the opening night of Don Quixote with Herman Cornejo and Xiomara Reyes. That night is their 10th anniversary at ABT so should be nice.

Not sure why I'm suddenly spending all this money for ballet tickets, but we shall see...

#15 carbro

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 07:31 PM

Not sure why I'm suddenly spending all this money for ballet tickets, but we shall see...

I'm going on 40 years of spending my money on ballet tickets, and I often ask myself the same question. Posted Image And then buy some more. :)


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