Ilya

Don Quixote -- Spring 2013 MET Season

106 posts in this topic

I'm curious---did Cornejo dance Friday night May 24, or is he still injured?

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How was it? Would anybody care to report?

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Yes, it was a lovely performance. Hammoudi and Seo were Espada and Mercedes,

Sarah Lane was Amour. All were outstanding. Cornejo and Reyes are consistently

clean and precise and they looked radiantly happy. The Orchestra and rings were full -

I couldn't see if upstairs was full. They had a nice long curtain call with confetti

cannons. It was memorable.

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Osipova and Vasiliev were breathtaking in Don Q. She is light as a feather, making her jumps very high and buoyant. The crowd went wild when she did her super speedy spins. Like Osipova, Vasiliev is able to get amazing height in his jumps. Vasiliev did his cork screw spins and other jumps and spins which I have never seen before and could not even describe. His athleticism is amazing. In the past, sometimes his landings from these complex jumps were spotty. Last night, though, they were all perfectly landed. The opera house was mobbed. I think it was a sell out. An incredible night of dancing from those two. Thank you to ABT for finally giving New Yorkers the opportunity of seeing these two together in Don Q.

Misty Copeland was Queen of the Dryads. She had difficulty with the Italian fouettes. She starting weaving uncontrollably around the stage and the last fouette was a complete miss. Yuriko was a delight as Amour. Messmer was very good as Mercedes. Hammoudi did a fine job as Espada, but I didn't think he fully captured the choreography. His back was too erect. Part of the Toreador's choreography requires him to arch his back.

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Sounds fabulous. Between what I saw of Seo (and reports from still another performance) and what you say about Copeland, maybe the company needs to hire an Italian fouette coach . . .

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Forgot to add that Osipova held an unsupported balance in the wedding scene for an extraordinary length of time.

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Sounds fabulous. Between what I saw of Seo (and reports from still another performance) and what you say about Copeland, maybe the company needs to hire an Italian fouette coach . . .

What they really need to do is promote Stella Abrera to principal status. Also give her Queen of the Dryads. I saw her doing them in a company class and she nailed them all.

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Sounds fabulous. Between what I saw of Seo (and reports from still another performance) and what you say about Copeland, maybe the company needs to hire an Italian fouette coach . . .

What they really need to do is promote Stella Abrera to principal status. Also give her Queen of the Dryads. I saw her doing them in a company class and she nailed them all.

I second that motion!

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Stella Abrera certainly should be promoted to principal, and her Italian fouettes are gorgeous but that's not the point.

Its very scary to think that 2 of ABT's Dryad current queens can't do them (I didn't see Seo so I'm taking Drew's word on her performance).

I was soooo disappointed in Misty Copeland's performance. I've been rooting for her for a long time and it she really blew it last night in a very visible, high profile performance. She started out lovely with beautiful classical arms and upper body but those fouettes did her in. She was really swinging her leg way too forcefully and then fell out of the last one.

Aside from that it was a great performance, O&V were in fine form, astounding the audience all night long.

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Stella Abrera certainly should be promoted to principal, and her Italian fouettes are gorgeous but that's not the point.

Its very scary to think that 2 of ABT's Dryad current queens can't do them (I didn't see Seo so I'm taking Drew's word on her performance).

I was soooo disappointed in Misty Copeland's performance. I've been rooting for her for a long time and it she really blew it last night in a very visible, high profile performance. She started out lovely with beautiful classical arms and upper body but those fouettes did her in. She was really swinging her leg way too forcefully and then fell out of the last one.

Aside from that it was a great performance, O&V were in fine form, astounding the audience all night long.

Just a quick note to say I saw Seo's Italian fouettes in a performance of Gamzatti in Bayadere last season (she ended with her back to the audience)--there was also a twitter report of her problems with them when she performed Queen of the Dryads on tour in Spain. Both of these performances were last season and this season she may be better. Not trying to be particularly harsh about her--I gather from reports she has given lovely performances in a number of roles--but the Italian fouettes should be a highlight and were kind of embarassing. I agree that ABT should have dancers in roles like Gamzatti/Queen of the Dryads who don't have those kinds of difficulties. That is, I think ABT should be and, in fact, could be--even sometimes IS--a standard setting company.

And may I add how much I wish I could have seen Osipova and Vasiliev!

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I was at the Saturday Osipova-Vasiliev performance and was absolutely blown away. But I am a newcomer to appreciating ballet, and am eager to hear thoughts from others more steeped in the art who were there. Osipova has that firecracker stage presence, they had an obvious joy in being on the stage, and being there together. I noticed when she made the diagonal in front of the bullfighters the tempo was much quicker than other stagings I've seen and she just smoked it. When she was doing the fouettes in the third act it seemed as though she was doing double turns. More than anything, I noticed how she seems to have, all in one, lightness, crispness, alacrity. He seemed much stronger than the prior performance of his that I'd seen, and was adding a little something to most of his leaps and turns. I loved Isabella Boylston too, BTW. But anyway, these are my highly appreciative rantings, I'm eager to hear from others . . .

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Sounds fabulous. Between what I saw of Seo (and reports from still another performance) and what you say about Copeland, maybe the company needs to hire an Italian fouette coach . . .

What they really need to do is promote Stella Abrera to principal status. Also give her Queen of the Dryads. I saw her doing them in a company class and she nailed them all.

Stella Abrera danced Queen of the Dryads in the Saturday 5/25 matinee I attended, and looked amazing! This was my first time seeing Don Quixote, so I have nothing to compare it to (and I'm no expert), but I could see no flaws in her performance.

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Sounds fabulous. Between what I saw of Seo (and reports from still another performance) and what you say about Copeland, maybe the company needs to hire an Italian fouette coach . . .

What they really need to do is promote Stella Abrera to principal status. Also give her Queen of the Dryads. I saw her doing them in a company class and she nailed them all.

Stella Abrera danced Queen of the Dryads in the Saturday 5/25 matinee I attended, and looked amazing! This was my first time seeing Don Quixote, so I have nothing to compare it to (and I'm no expert), but I could see no flaws in her performance.

I'm sooo glad to hear that. Right now she is one of the very best dancers in the company, with an unaffected classical purity, a totally reliable technique, and a riveting stage presence. She is a terrific actress as well. All of which is to say, at the risk of repeating myself, that she deserves principal status and an opportunity to dance the roles she was meant to dance. I'm hoping for a Giselle in 2014. She's a terrific Myrtha, but she deserves to dance the title role.

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Maybe we should give Misty some benefit of the doubt, because it was her first show after a long period of injury. However, it is disappointing that ABT is casting Dryad Queen with dancers who apparently are incapable of executing the choreography properly. I doubt that it's a failure of coaching.

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I also attended the Saturday evening performance. I agree with everything that has already been said. I will post my thoughts soon. I totally agree about Stella Abrera. I saw her dance the Queen of the Dryads in 2011 and she was perfection. I would love to see her made a principal dancer at ABT. I just hope it's not too late.

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I just read the New York Times review on Osipova and Vasiliev's Don Q. I agree with much of what Macauley said (which is rare for me), especially with regard to their technical abilities. I would like to respond to his negative points, however. Macauley says something about Osipova and Vailiev lacking refinement. We're talking about Don Q here, not Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty or Giselle. I was seated next to a girl in her teens or early 20s when I saw ABT's Onegin. She was extremely knowledgeable about ballet (which was great to see from the z generation or whatever they are called). She referred to ballets like Don Q or Le Corsaire as "popcorn" ballets, which I think it an absolutely perfect term for them. Also, Macauley said that Osipova did not connect with anyone in the cast besides Vasiliev. Again, I disagree. She connected with everyone that I could see - her father, Gamache, Espada and his toreadors. And she was just lovely with Roman Zhurbin's Quixote. (What a superb actor he is!) At the end of the ballet, when she kisses him on the cheek and sends him out in search of his Dulcinea, it was very moving. One last point (for now). I am very glad I was not sitting near Macauley. Those two ladies (and unfortunately I think we've all sat behind them or people just like them) sounded very rude.

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I just read the New York Times review on Osipova and Vasiliev's Don Q. I agree with much of what Macauley said (which is rare for me), especially with regard to their technical abilities. I would like to respond to his negative points, however. Macauley says something about Osipova and Vailiev lacking refinement. We're talking about Don Q here, not Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty or Giselle. I was seated next to a girl in her teens or early 20s when I saw ABT's Onegin. She was extremely knowledgeable about ballet (which was great to see from the z generation or whatever they are called). She referred to ballets like Don Q or Le Corsaire as "popcorn" ballets, which I think it an absolutely perfect term for them. Also, Macauley said that Osipova did not connect with anyone in the cast besides Vasiliev. Again, I disagree. She connected with everyone that I could see - her father, Gamache, Espada and his toreadors. And she was just lovely with Roman Zhurbin's Quixote. (What a superb actor he is!) At the end of the ballet, when she kisses him on the cheek and sends him out in search of his Dulcinea, it was very moving. One last point (for now). I am very glad I was not sitting near Macauley. Those two ladies (and unfortunately I think we've all sat behind them or people just like them) sounded very rude.

To digress ever so slightly. Rudeness (it seems to me) has become the norm, not the exception at some performances. All that whooping and hollering, giggling and snorting has become something to be expected these days when certain stars step onto the stage. And while I can agree to a point that "Don Q" is a"popcorn ballet", it is still part of the traditional canon of classical roles and needs to be addressed as such. Sometimes too much salt on popcorn can make it unappetizing and coating it in caramel brings to mind the circus. Cue the whooping and hollering!

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I thought Osipova related to others on stage just fine. In Don Q, I'm not looking for depth of interpretation. I'm looking for bravura technical achievement, which Osiliev delivered in abundance. The worst thing is to sit at a Don Q where your lead couple is competent and refined but limited in technical ability.

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I saw Cornejo and Reyes on Friday and it was excellent. Reyes was terrific throughout. Cornejo was great as well, but not quite as dramatic as I'd hoped in the grand pas de deux, compared to what I've seen, albeit on youtube, from Angel Corella and Ivan Vasiliev. But the two of them are great together. Hee Seo was good, as was Alexandre Hammoudi, though I see what others have said about him not being as refined as the others.

The audience around me was on its very best behavior, which was a welcome contrast from the opening night gala when i-phone flashlights kept lighting up the whole place and two ladies kept arguing over who got to use the binoculars.

One thing that struck me was how much down time there is. Act I is 40 minutes, then a 20 minute + intermission, 30 minutes for Act II, another 20 minute intermission and Act III could not have been more than 25 minutes, plus 10 minutes of curtain calls with confetti. Admittedly, this was my first full length ballet. Is this typical?

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I totally agree with you mimsyb. When I used the turn "popcorn ballet" I was referring to fact that they are light comedies, where all out bravura dancing is really needed. It is unfortunate how rude too many audience members are. It's one thing to clap and even say bravo or bravi or whatever but limit the "hooping and hollering", I have always felt that the ballet audience should wait until the music has stopped and the performer is taking his/her bow to clap. Please don't clap and yell in the middle of the solo or pas de deux. I find it very distracting. I think the audiences at NYCB are better at this. They're very appreciative, but they wait for the right time to clap and they don't "hoop and holler". I wish someone would give much of the ABT audiences a lesson in ballet etiquette (not like that will ever happen).

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One more point I meant to make about the ABT audience. At the end of A Month in the Country the audience reaction was very subdued. And there was no in front of the curtain bows. How about those who saw the other performances of A Month in the Country. (I went on Wednesday afternoon) Was it the same. I found that quite upsetting. I love pyrotechics in ballet but it has to fit the ballet, the moment, etc, etc. At least the audience at Onegin was quite appreciaitive. (I attended the May 18th matinee performance. ) That's one good thing anyway.

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One more point I meant to make about the ABT audience. At the end of A Month in the Country the audience reaction was very subdued. And there was no in front of the curtain bows. How about those who saw the other performances of A Month in the Country. (I went on Wednesday afternoon) Was it the same. I found that quite upsetting. I love pyrotechics in ballet but it has to fit the ballet, the moment, etc, etc. At least the audience at Onegin was quite appreciaitive. (I attended the May 18th matinee performance. ) That's one good thing anyway.

It could be that "Month in the Country" is more of an "ensemble " work, even though it does have leads, etc. Hard to know. Sometimes (although I would doubt that this is the case with Ashton) a choreographer designs the bow and decides who/where/how a dancer bows. What about Tudor? (it seems so long since we've seen Tudor at ABT). I believe there are no front of curtain bows in say, "Pillar of Fire". And clearly works such as Tharp's "Upper Room" don't get front of curtain bows, even when Cornejo or Gillian are dancing. It could simply be the "mood" of a piece.

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I wonder why nobody from the Times was sent to review the opening night DonQ.

Also, I don't think withholding sustained applause is a sign of bad manners. It's a sign that the audience was not captivated by what they just saw. The applause when each cast member came out was respectful for Month. The fact that they didn't keep on clapping to call the leads out for a curtain call meant that the perceived the ballet with lukewarm enthusiasm. Nothing wrong with that.

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