Ilya

Don Quixote -- Spring 2013 MET Season

106 posts in this topic

Thank you for this. It was great to see Osipova's long balance that people were talking about. I saw Osipova and Vasiliev Tuesday and seeing Saturday's Grand Pas de Deux, etc. to compare to last night's performance is just wonderful.

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I saw Veronika Part's debut as Kitri in this afternoon's Don Q, and I thought she was absolutely wonderful, with her luxurious line, gorgeous legs and feet in high extensions, 180-degree grand jetes, and a long line of double pique turns. It was reassuring to see this eloquent dancer, who is a master in adagio, execute the bravura choreography--not to win applause, but in service to the ballet--a performance well worth waiting for! She put her heart and soul into every movement, a truly committed artist.

As for her Basilio, James Whiteside, although he can execute 6 turns in pirouettes and smack double cabrioles in the air, and although everyone else on this board seemed to like him in other ballets, I was troubled that he didn't seem to know that it's his responsibility to keep his partner on her leg in supported pirouettes. Surely he could have spun her around many more times if he'd paid attention to that. From Row A Orchestra it looked as if she managed the turns in spite of him. Moreover, in my view, he doesn't have the carriage of a finely trained dancer. His upper body was very stiff, his shoulders often raised, and his head didn't do much more than sit upon his neck. He seemed to be playing to the crowd, lacking the etiquette of presenting his ballerina, interested only in his own performance and the impression it would make on the audience.

Veronika deserves better.

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I saw Gillian Murphy and Denis Matvienko (replacing Hallberg, from the initial cast list last fall) in Don Q Wednesdsay night. Both were spectacular. I'm a big fan of Gillian and he was a wonderful surprise. I don't know if they have danced together before or very often (does anyone know?), but it seemed a very comfortable partnership. He was attentive and gracious to her throughout.She is secure in all her technique, and threw in a few extras - e.g., in the fouettes in Act III, she brought out a fan and would hold it overhead and flutter it down to her waist while turning! I haven't seen that one before.

But the real hit - and welcome surprise - was Matvienko. He seemed to be having great fun all night. His characterization of Basilio was impish and detailed and brought back a hint of Baryshnikov's boyish charm in the DVD. He interacted convincingly with everyone on stage. And what a wonderful technique! He threw in his share of tricks in his variations, but he also had a beautiful line and refined presence that had been totally absent with Vasiliev. If this was an "audition," please bring him back! The audience loved him for all the right reasons and he was beaming.

Stella Abrera did double-duty as Mercedes and Queen of the Dryads and was also the best so far this week. She knocked off the Italian fouettes without problem.

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Thank you California. I was just about to post and ask if anyone had seen the Murply/Matvienko Don Q. I saw them last year in La Bayadere. He was wonderful and she of course was as fantastic as always. I did find, however, that they lacked chemistry. That performance on May 26, 2012 could have been their first time to dance together. I'm not sure what else they have performed together. I would definitely definitely see him dance again. He's listed as a guest artist and I'm pretty sure he and his wife are principals with the Maryinsky. If ayone knows about this for sure, please post. As I mentioned earlier in the week I saw Stella dance Mercedes/Queen of the Dryads in 2011 and she was as wonderful as she sounds to have been last night. I will never ever understand why she is not a principal at ABT.

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As I mentioned earlier in the week I saw Stella dance Mercedes/Queen of the Dryads in 2011 and she was as wonderful as she sounds to have been last night. I will never ever understand why she is not a principal at ABT.

You are so right about Stella, Colleen. It seems that many on this board feel the same way. How can we convince the board at ABT? Or the Artistic Director?

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I agree w. California's praise of Matvienko and Murphy. It was an excellent performance. I hope they continue to invite Matvienko back in the future. Stella had no difficulty with her Dryad role, and she was a sexy Mercedes. Radetsky did a wonderful job as Espada.

Gillian did her trademark triple fouettes with changes in arm positions in the wedding scene. Matvienko is an exquisite jumper and spinner. His characterization was full of small, wonderful details, and his interaction with all the rest of the cast on stage was marvelous. He's a keeper, if we can have him.

I thought Gemma Bond was miscast as Amour.

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I agree w. California's praise of Matvienko and Murphy. It was an excellent performance. I hope they continue to invite Matvienko back in the future. Stella had no difficulty with her Dryad role, and she was a sexy Mercedes. Radetsky did a wonderful job as Espada.

Gillian did her trademark triple fouettes with changes in arm positions in the wedding scene. Matvienko is an exquisite jumper and spinner. His characterization was full of small, wonderful details, and his interaction with all the rest of the cast on stage was marvelous. He's a keeper, if we can have him.

I thought Gemma Bond was miscast as Amour.

I agree about Gemma. She's usually quite good in these roles, so maybe it was just an off night for her. She's been getting a lot lately. My all time favorite in this role is Renata Pavam. Not seen much lately. I think she's had an injury. But she danced last night as one of the wedding guests and looked her usual sparkling self. Yeah, Renata! I also very much liked Gillian and MAtvienko. A nice pairing and he's a wonderful presence. More, please. And Stella and Sasha were in peak form....both individually and as a team.

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. . . when ABT presents Giselle next spring.

Off-topic for this thread...but where are you finding these hints of programming for spring 2014? Manon seems a safe guess, as they are doing it in Japan in February (as posted by the Japanese theater).

If Giselle, I wonder if they'll let Gillian do it, after her success in New Zealand in their new production (and as it appears they are not bringing it to the US next year).

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. . . when ABT presents Giselle next spring.

Off-topic for this thread...but where are you finding these hints of programming for spring 2014? Manon seems a safe guess, as they are doing it in Japan in February (as posted by the Japanese theater).

If Giselle, I wonder if they'll let Gillian do it, after her success in New Zealand in their new production (and as it appears they are not bringing it to the US next year).

Has anyone seen Julie perform "Manon"? I really can't imagine her in the rag doll scene at the end. She is scheduled to perform it in Japan.

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. . . when ABT presents Giselle next spring.

Off-topic for this thread...but where are you finding these hints of programming for spring 2014? Manon seems a safe guess, as they are doing it in Japan in February (as posted by the Japanese theater).

If Giselle, I wonder if they'll let Gillian do it, after her success in New Zealand in their new production (and as it appears they are not bringing it to the US next year).

It's just a guess, because for many years they've been presenting Giselle every other year. Isn't it an audience favorite? I've just been taking it for granted.

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Has anyone seen Julie perform "Manon"? I really can't imagine her in the rag doll scene at the end. She is scheduled to perform it in Japan.

Yes I have, it was 2007 and she danced with Jose Manuel Carreno. She was fine but thought not the best role for her.

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I know Jayne already asked this question, but did anyone see Paloma Herrera's Kitri at the May 25th matinee. I had a subscription ticket for that performance but switched to the evening Don Q. I always thought that Kitri was Herrera's best role, but I haven't seen her dance it since 2004. I haven't seen her dance at all for at least three years. I've heard and read that her technique has really declined.

I saw this performance, but have been reluctant to post my thoughts here because this was my first time seeing Don Quixote, and my first time seeing ABT. However, I am happy to share my thoughts, for whatever they are worth!

We really, really enjoyed the performance. While I am by no means a ballet expert, I have a daughter who dances seriously, and I have seen many ballets here in Philadelphia, and I can pick out obvious issues. There were no glaring issues with any of the principals - in addition to Paloma Herrera & Cory Stearns as Kitri/Basilio, Stella Abrera danced Mercedes/Queen of the Dryads and did an excellent job, I thought Sascha Radetsky did a great job as Espada, and Nicole Graniero was a truly charming Amour.

Paloma Herrera & Cory Stearns were solid and impressive. Again, I don't have anything to compare it to, but we were not disappointed. Based on the comments I have read about other performances, I think that they may have been missing the "fire" and intensity that other performers have, but if this is Herrera in decline, she must have been truly amazing a few years ago! Her turns and leaps were solid and sure, and she seemed to be having a really great time. There were a few minor bobbles with the partnering (there was a fish dive that while not a disaster, seemed a bit off-kilter), but on the whole their chemistry was good, and they seemed very comfortable with each other. No fireworks, but solid, excellent and engaging performances from both of them.

The Flower Girls (Devon Teuscher and Melanie Hamrick) were the only major disappointment. There was nothing technically wrong with their performance, but it was boring!

This was our first time seeing ABT, and what impressed me most overall was the depth of talent in the company (particularly with the men, which is a bit lacking at PA Ballet), and the excellent acting. Theatrically it was terrific - they really know how to put on a great show, which I appreciate! I also really enjoyed Don Quixote as a ballet, but I am a big fan of comic ballets! One of my favorites is La Fille Mal Gardee, which I saw a few years ago here in Philadelphia, and would love to see again.

I came up from Philadelphia to see this with my 15-year old daughter and her friend, who both study ballet at the (newly re-established) School of PA Ballet. They had a wonderful time, although I think that the stop at the Yumiko store before the ballet was almost as exciting to them as the show! My daughter and I will be back in June to see the Semionova/Hallberg Swan Lake, and I can't wait!

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I saw Julie Kent perform "Manon" with Jose Manuel Carreno. I think it was 2007 at the Met. I'll have to check about the year. She was wonderful throughout the entire ballet. I had seen Xiomara Reyes and Angel Corella dance it the year before. Corella was very good, but Reyes was so miscast. She was good in Act III, but not the other acts. I really did not buy her as a seductress at all, Kent I did;. I wish I had seen Alessandra Ferri in the role but I never got the chance.

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Thank you ddsbiggestfan for the review of Herrera and Stearns Don Quixote. The two times I saw Paloma do the part - once in 2004 and once in the late 90s she was a real spitfire. Her jumps were great, she did a lot of very secure double fouettes and her balances were rock steady and went on for a long time (not as long as Osipova, but quite long). I've never seen her dance with Stearns so I can't say, but her Basilio in 2004 was Julio Bocca and in the late 90s performance it was Angel Corella. Both Bocca and Corella were very good partners for Paloma. She had wonderful chemistry with both of them.

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I saw Gemma Bond dance Amour in 2011. I thought she was miscast then. I just checked to see what exactly I said about her performance as Amour then and it was her dancing "lacks lightness and buoyancy." Every dancer in the dream sequence needs to have great ballon or the whole scene falls flat (sorry for the bad pun at the end).

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I went last night too and was highly impressed with Matvienko, shocked actually.

Gillian was amazing but that was not surprise to me. Even more stunning was the chemistry between them, i dont think I have seen Gillian dancing as happy and which such great joy as last night. Matvienko is the real deal, gorgeous lines, incredible technique, great partner, and he is an actor, he was hilariously funny, fun fun, all joy from beginning to end, and totally, fully dedicated to make his ballerina shine.......he involved the entire company, way more than Stearns, the whole night was full of details between these two.

Gillian technique is the amazing usual, last year I think she had a break through season with what it was to me her best SL here, and then Macaulay surprisingly praising her as the best juliet of the season (DV, Osipova and Cojocaru, those are big big words).....She has developed and her Kitri was probable the most complete and musical of the three I saw.

Her Act II variation provided he unique penches, with forehead almost touching the knee with an almost 180 extension, boy that is control, the only one who can take this step that far. Fouetes were done first fanning herself, fan up and down, then a couple of triples with hands on her waist, maybe a quadruple, and ended up at high speed singles, with plenty of energy, closing with a perfect double pirouette. She also held a very long balance in the pdd, which was danced gorgeously by both of them, with great carisma added to it.

Bravisimo for both, perfect blend of bravura and style, cant wait for their SL, now i want to watch these two in everything lol, i think they are dancing pretty much everything together, no wonder...

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The posts about Stella Abrera have been moved to a new topic in the Dancers forum:

Stella Abrera

Feel free to continue the discussion there.

We appreciate the reviews of "Don Quixote," and hope you'll continue to discuss performances in this thread.

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I'll bring it back. I agree with angelica - Wednesday's matinee was a Don Q that was fun but still classically beautiful. Part made up for a lack of trick fouettes with big jumps, high kicks and held balances. I thought her acting was wonderful. This role was the first time I've seen her do something with such great hijinks (I didn't see her in Bright Stream but now I want to!). Towards the end of the first act I think her legs started to get a bit heavy. She had more running around than she does in her usual roles. But Part was just exquisite in the vision scene. Her solo built perfectly to the climax of the music. The opening had deliberate placing of the steps in order to see the classical purity of each one. Then her hops on point were wonderfully delicate. There's something thrilling about seeing a tall woman with long feet execute those steps. Then she raised the dynamics again for very large full sissones before finishing with the fastest set of pique turns I've seen from her. I thought Whiteside was a perfectly pleasant Basilio. His acting was fine. From the Balcony I didn't see partnering mistakes. In fact, I liked him as a partner for Part better than Stearns. . On other aspects, the corps seemed very young and tired. Kristie Boone was fine but small scale as Mercedes/Queen of the Dryads. I enjoyed Jared Matthews as Espada. He had a way with his cape.

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I enjoyed Jared Matthews as Espada. He had a way with his cape.

Absolutely, Dale, Jared was wonderful flipping that cape! The cape makes the role. I remember a ballet some years ago in which Jared flashed a whip onstage, maybe even jumping over and under it, and am wondering whether I'm misremembering. Does anyone else remember that? Here I go again, getting off topic. But I promise, this is the only post I'll make about this. Back to Don Q!

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I went last night too and was highly impressed with Matvienko, shocked actually.

Gillian was amazing but that was not surprise to me. Even more stunning was the chemistry between them, i dont think I have seen Gillian dancing as happy and which such great joy as last night. Matvienko is the real deal, gorgeous lines, incredible technique, great partner, and he is an actor, he was hilariously funny, fun fun, all joy from beginning to end, and totally, fully dedicated to make his ballerina shine.......he involved the entire company, way more than Stearns, the whole night was full of details between these two.

Thank you for such warm review! And I have to tell you that Denis was dancing with Gillian last Spring La Bayadere at ABT and once the short piece from Le Corsair in one Gala. So, these two people really had just dance a couple of times :-)

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your welcome, its great to share the experience of the season with so many ballet lovers, i love this site !!

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Did anyone see Simkin/Boylston's Don Q? If so, please post. I saw him dance Basilio in 2011 and thought he was very good. Yuriko Kajiya was Kitri. She was actually prettu gpod, but she's much better in lyrical/romantic roles. I'd love to know how Boylston did as Kitri.

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You guys have obviously not been to enough NYCB performances where incredible performances get no curtain call. Or, they do but the house is mostly empty. This happened during a Sleeping Beauty with Tiler Peck where she took a curtain call to a mostly empty house. I was horrified. No flowers, no applause, after an absolutely stunning Aurora.

I know it's a wishful thinking but wouldn't it be terrific if Tiler Peck would do a Gelsey Kirkland-like change of company.

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I went last evening (Boylston/Simkin) and was pleasantly surprised and impressed. It was Isabella's Met debut (but even if it wasn't), and she did Ana amazing job. She kept a smile on her face the entire time and looked strong and confident. I felt as though the role suited her very well. She looked very comfortable with the choreography, and I have a feeling that she has been coached and training for this for a very long time. In other ballets, sometimes her port de bras can be a bit distracting, but I was not bothered by them in this ballet (think like Paloma Herrera).

I really enjoyed Simkin in this role; I think it suits his personality and dancing style. His tricks were aptly displayed last night and everything was done cleanly- he ended every turn on releve!

You could tell that they enjoyed dancing together, but Daniil really needs to work on supporting her turns. He butchered almost all of them. The best supported turns were when he barely touched her, otherwise it looked like he was putting her off balance and then churning butter (did someone else use that analogy for Part/Whiteside)? Daniil and Isabella did a nice job with the one handed lifts.

The supporting cast was very mismatched. Whiteside and Seo were Espada and Mercedes. I hope they are never paired together again. Granted, I had seen Radetsky/Abrera in these roles the night before, but they just completely lacked chemistry. I did not appreciate Whiteside's interpretation at all. He made the role more comedic and garish than Radetsky. I also didn't find his quality of movement to be as fine as Radetsky. I feel bad for Sascha because he's obviously more capable than James, but it looks like any potential opportunity will go to James instead of him. Seo doesn't have the seductress quality needed for Mercedes, so she was just serviceable in that role. However, I was very pleased by her Queen of the Dryads, especially after reading all the bad reviews here. In the dream scene, she looked lovely and mastered every single technical aspect, even the Italian fouttees. Her developes to the side were the most beautiful and sustained that I have seen in a while. It was very impressive.

Special shout outs need to be made to Nicole Grenario, Arron Scott, and Julio Bragado Young. Nicole danced Amour and was absolutely perfect. She had the quickness, lightness and a nymph-like quality that Gemma Bond lacked the night before. Her little pas de courous were so perky that she really looked adorable on stage and they were audible coos from the audience. Arron Scott as the head gypsy was a joy to watch. He's big in his movements, but as precise as a pinpoint. Julio's Gamanche was spot-on. People here were raving on Craig's Gamanche (which I really enjoyed), but Julio made some comedic choices that were absolutely hilarious.

Simone Messmer and Sarah Lane were Kitri's friends. Another mismatch, in my opionion; their sizes are quite different and so are their styles. The Copeland/Kajiya pairing from the night before was a much better match. The role is not very exciting, and their solos seem a bit superfluous stuck in the middle of Kitri's and Basillo's pas de deux.

Back to Isabella and Simkin- they were a great pair and they looked very happy and gracious after the performance was over. The audience was more full than I expected- maybe 80% in the orchestra (can anyone confirm). Curtain calls were nice and they were many cheers for Simkin, Boylston, Whiteside, and Seo.

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I saw Acts II and III of the Don Q with Boylston & Simkin. (I just had to see Glass Pieces first at NYCB - one of my favorites.) I agree with most of the praise of Boylston. I was pleasantly surprised at the way she holds balances longer than usual at the end of so many steps. Very nice touch. Simkin seemed more under control (less "flailing") than I've seen him in the past and he does have some very impressive tricks. His characterization was fine, although not as detailed as Matvienko's (but then, nobody else's was either). I thought his partnering had improved - he at least seemed to be trying to present and support her more than in the past.

Special praise for Nicole Grenario as Amour. She was very light, impish, with great split jumps that really took off and then ended with cute flourishes. It reminded me a little of Cheryl Yeager in that role in the late 70s.

Seo did pull off the Italian fouettes, although she seemed shaky. I hate to sound like I'm piling on, but throughout Act II her pointe shoes seemed to be making a lot of extra noise, like they were strengthened with concrete. It wasn't just the acoustics- I didn't hear that with anybody else in that Act. Perhaps she decided that super-strong shoes were the secret!

I'm not the greatest judge of these things, but the Met seemed to be a good 80% full and NYCB maybe 60-70%.

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