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Don Quixote -- Spring 2013 MET Season


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#91 Classic_Ballet

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 09:18 AM

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...

#92 Helene

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:07 PM

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.

#93 Dale

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:30 PM

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. [I find that Part overacts when she dances with Stearns, as if to make up for some lack of connection or heat from him. Not to pile on Stearns - he dances better with other partners as well]. 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.

#94 angelica

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:10 PM

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!

#95 Alena

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:13 PM

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 :-)

#96 Classic_Ballet

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:47 PM

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

#97 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 03:15 AM

[size=4][font=times new roman, times, serif]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.[/font][/size]

#98 bingham

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 03:54 AM

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.

#99 onxmyxtoes

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 05:52 AM

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.


[size=4][font=arial]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.[/font][/size]


[size=4][font=arial]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.[/font][/size]



#100 California

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 07:14 AM

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%.

#101 abatt

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 07:24 AM

I
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!


Maybe Hee should try out a pair of Alina Cojocaru's super-duper extra special pointe shoes. Off topic, but how was Wendy in Glass. I have not seen her perform at all this season.

#102 rg

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 07:41 AM

Whelan, ably supported by Danchig-Waring, looked her confident self last night in "Facades" - the final carry/lift exit was especially impressive for the serenity and clarity of her pose and for calm strength of her partner's assistance.

#103 Rose1186

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:01 AM

I agree with onxmyxtoes' review of last night's performance except that, from my seat, I didn't feel the connection between Isabella and Daniil. Every time they needed to show affection to each other, it felt more like friends or siblings than a romantic couple... perhaps I was just too far away. Also - I agree that Hee Seo looked beautiful in the Dream scene (I think the loudness is related to the landing from the glissades in this variation more than her particular shoes because I've noticed it before with other dancers) - but it definitely seemed that after the mishaps with the Italian fouettes over the weekend, the orchestra really picked up the pace at that section for both Misty and Hee.

#104 Marga

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 02:52 PM

From my (very close) seat there was LOTS of connection between Isabella and Daniil. They were perfection in everything. I thought the supported turns were solid. Maybe I was sitting TOO close? ;) Butchered them, onmyxtoes? I just didn't see that at all!

Nicole Graneiro - as wonderful as mentioned above. She was the perfect amour/Cupid, just perfect. She even did the quick glance-thing that some dancers omit as a front attitude is held (two times).

James Whiteside was terrific as Espada and he's the best cape-handler I've ever seen. He brought enough of the grit of the sport into his role and infused his technique with it. It was an eye-opening combination of artistic mettle.

Bragado-Young can do no wrong, I've decided. After seeing him in several character roles and demi-character roles over the years, there's no better than he. Saw his Sancho Panza Tuesday night - same kudos as for his Gamanche last night.

In Tuesdays "Vasipova" performance, right from the starting scene, behind the scrim with Don Q, Julio showed us what he can do with a miming opportunity. The Don hands him his rod and Julio, as Sancho Panza, makes us feel the weight of it as he struggles to put it down, much like a weightlifter lowers his barbells. Handing it back to Don Quixote as they prepare to continue their journey, Don Q takes the rod as if it was as light as bamboo.

Arron Scott as lead gypsy: powerful and technically brilliant! What a joy!

I loved the special nuances and gestures Isabella and Daniil developed that were particular to them. As he lay 'dead' one of the bits he added I'd never seen anyone do: in addition to the quick buss on the lips, he stretched his arms up and fondled her breasts from his prone position! So cute!

Of course, let it be known, I'm in Isabella's corner from the get-go, but even if I weren't, I'd deem this a fantastic performance on her part. Great U.S. debut! I wish I could've also seen Isabella perform it with Whiteside as they did in Barcelona.

#105 nysusan

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 06:27 AM

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.

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.


After reading today's interview with Misty her problems with the Italian Fouettes on her first performance back after such a serious injury are completely understandable. I had no idea that the injury was so severe, or that she's only at 80% (her words):

http://www.nypost.co...CG8CmRl0toSGN/0


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