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ABT 2013 Swan Lake at the Met


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#46 ABT Fan

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 02:13 PM

Did anyone go to the matinee today?  I'm very eager to hear how Hee Seo's debut went.  Am seeing Boylston/Simkin tonight.  Very excited.



#47 angelica

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 02:56 PM

I, too, would love to hear about Hee Seo's debut. I saw her in the dress rehearsal, and although she missed a couple of technical points (she didn't do the battus before the single, double, and triple turns in the PdD; and she didn't do the tiny ronds de jambes en l'air before the developpes a la second in her solo), my overall impression was that she danced exquisitely, rapturously, like liquid silver. I hope her debut was a success.



#48 angelica

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 03:41 PM

Referring back to Batsuchan's comparison of the Semionova/Hallbert Swan Lake with that of Part/Stearns, I totally agree that although the Semionova/Hallberg performance was technically correct in every way (well, almost every way), the Part/Stearns performance was far more moving. I wondered whether Hallberg was losing steam towards the end of the Black Swan PdD when he landed his double tours en l'air in nothing resembling any position. And he did that twice. Because I'd never seen Hallberg be so sloppy technically, I watched specifically for that in Stearns's performance, thinking that perhaps by that time in the ballet nobody can do anything technically anymore. But, as Batsuchan noted, Stearns landed both turns in beautiful deep demi plies in fifth position.

 

I'm beginning to really love Stearns, now that his acting is ratcheted up. His renverses were especially gorgeous, as he extended his torso backwards just a bit extra, to the limit, at the end (I don't really know how to describe this movement but it was beautiful). I'm thinking that he may be one of the purest dancers I've ever seen, never showing off, but always reaching for the best he can deliver.



#49 mimsyb

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 04:55 PM

I, too, would love to hear about Hee Seo's debut. I saw her in the dress rehearsal, and although she missed a couple of technical points (she didn't do the battus before the single, double, and triple turns in the PdD; and she didn't do the tiny ronds de jambes en l'air before the developpes a la second in her solo), my overall impression was that she danced exquisitely, rapturously, like liquid silver. I hope her debut was a success.

IMO Stunning!  This performance will only get better and better, but what an incredible debut!  No flashy piroettes, but her balances were wonderful. Her acting and interpretations of both roles was very convincing and her technique was quite secure.  A very solid showing.  And how lucky to have Gomes as her first Prince!!  Their dancing together was pure rapture!  After his triumph as Purple Rothbart on Monday, he is the single most versatile and technically secure dancer in the company.  A treasure!  So glad I saw this most wonderful debut.



#50 mimsyb

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 04:57 PM

 

 
Ivan Vasiliev was purple Rothbart.  Oy.  This was a very poor casting decision.  I can imagine it looked great on paper (and I was actually excited to see him), but it just does not work.  Rothbart needs to be commanding and controlling and truly overwhelmingly sexually magnetic.  I hate to say it, but it's really hard to pull that off when you're the shortest man in the room.  Though I know it's (probably) not true, at times it looked like Veronika had a good 6 inches on him.  She was his equal, not his subordinate; he was her younger brother, not her father.  Not helping the matter was the fact that they kept the costume's thigh-high boots, which unfortunately accentuated Vasiliev's short, stocky legs.  (The shoulder pads also looked terrible on such a short, dense figure.)  And it wasn't just appearance--his dancing was not up to the part.  His leaps, as usual, were high and clean, but he did not come close to covering the entire stage in the manner of (to name the very best) Marcelo Gomes in this role.  His balance on one leg was very short, and there was an unusual (for him) amount of effort apparent in his manipulations of the princesses' bodies.  I know it was his debut in the role, but I really don't think this is fixable; he should not be assigned it again.  I just found him completely unconvincing, and it really broke the whole performance for me.




Unfortunately, everything you said was true---I was appalled. I would take it a step further and question what he has to offer as a member of the Company.

 

A girlfriend who jumps.



#51 ord7916

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:54 PM

Interesting to read that everyone had a much better impression of Stearns than I did.  I really didn't get any kind of feeling from him.  Perhaps it's from sitting too high up.   But the orchestra did so wonderful from up there.  



#52 Mazurka

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 06:07 PM

I was sorry that there was not more chemistry between Gomez and Hee Seo.

After seeing him dance with Vishneva, Seo seems a little cool.



#53 ABT Fan

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 06:51 PM

Just a quick note to say I was quite impressed with Simkin/Boylston tonight. Simkin just keeps improving. Yes they both made mistakes but given their youth and realitive inexperience carrying a ballet, I can easily overlook those. Some truly wonderful moments from them. So much potential! And very lovely performances from soloist roles: Gorak, Messmer, Lane.... Will post more tomorrow.

#54 Buddy

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:48 PM

Isabella Boylston

 

Totally Committed, Totally Successful, Totally Lovely 

 

and

 

Totally Precious !



#55 Natalia

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:18 AM

Did anyone go to the matinee today?  I'm very eager to hear how Hee Seo's debut went.  Am seeing Boylston/Simkin tonight.  Very excited.

Back to DC from my day-trip to NY for this. In a word: GORGEOUS! Exquisitely lyrical...and no embarrassments technically! smile.png Yes, her 31 fouettes as Odile traveled halfway to the wings, in a south-westerly direction...but she DID THEM and they looked pretty. (No club-footed whipping legs.) Her Odile solo was spectacular, including the double-pirouettes into single-pir-a-la-2nde...smooth as buttah. Balances to-die-for! The Odette solo had a couple of hiccups while executing the pirouettes within the diagonal of piques, but she 'covered' them well. Much more importantly was Hee Seo 'total execution' of the dual role, totally into the pathos of the Swan Queen's sad situation...and so in love with her Siegfried.  Hee Seo's physique is perfection for this role; truly, the loveliest natural willowy beauty to essay the role since Sylvie Guillem. (Sorry, I don't care for the non-feminine 'Body by Gold's Gym' mighty-mite Odettes hoisted upon us of late, even if they do all 'the tricks.')

 

Gomes - what else can be said about his Siegfried? Fantastic...especially his high-arched jump off the rock. Palpable chemistry with his Odette! Radetsky as Purple Rothbart held his own, while not quite  in the league of Marcelo the Magnificent. The A1 Pas de Trois (Teauscher-Shevchenko-Hoven) was charming, if underwhelming (low jumps, etc.). Mikhail Ilyn and Arron Scott nailed Neapolitan.

 

Surprised to read that, among all of this year's graduates of the JKO Academy, only Carolyn Lippert has made the ABT roster (as the lone apprentice)! I had been expecting Hurlin and Marshall, too. Maybe other apprentices will be added to the roster as the Met season progresses?



#56 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:36 AM

I will post more probably tomorrow, but I'm happy to say that I, like several other posters, was very impressed by Hee Seo's debut as Odette/Odile.  Her only problem I could see was that she traveled a lot during the fouettes in the black swan pas de deux.  But that was minor.  Hee Seo was truly wonderful in both her dancing and acting.  And how lucky she was to have Gomes as her partner.  As always he gave a magnificent performance.  I'm sorry that Hammoudi is injured, but I am very glad that I was able to see Gomes and Hee Seo in Swan Lake.  They really have wonderful chemistry.  And during the bows Gomes was like a proud papa.  It was very sweet to see.



#57 Buddy

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 05:39 AM

 

Did anyone go to the matinee today?  I'm very eager to hear how Hee Seo's debut went.  Am seeing Boylston/Simkin tonight.  Very excited.

Back to DC from my day-trip to NY for this. In a word: GORGEOUS! Exquisitely lyrical...and no embarrassments technically! smile.png

 

 

 

 

Natalia, I'm so glad that you liked her as much as you did. I'm seeing five performances, of which I've been totally captivated so far. I would love to have seen Hee Seo, but five seemed to be just right to keep it all from becoming a job rather than 'a magic carpet ride.' I'll greatly look forward to seeing her another time. 


#58 nanushka

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 05:42 AM

A few quick notes on last night's (June 19) Simkin/Boylston Swan Lake:

 

•  This performance confirmed for me that Jared Matthews, like Cory Stearns (though perhaps not to such a great extent) has improved.  His purple Rothbart was much more engaging and alive than in the past.  He nearly botched the long balance, but otherwise it seemed technically solid.

 

•  Misty Copeland needs to tone down the perkiness.  During the 1st movement of the pas de trios she finished every supported pirouette by whipping her head up into a simpering smile.  So unattractive.  She pulled similar expressions during her (3rd) variation as well, nearly ruining for me what was otherwise an excellent pas de trois.  Simone Messmer and Joseph Gorak were superb.

 

•  Last night's little swans were perhaps the best I've ever seen at ABT: Skylar Brandt, Luciana Paris, Sarah Lane, Yuriko Kajiya.  I'm sure I've seen all of them do the piece before, but last night they were just completely on and together.  There was one 4-bar stretch of music where the ABT dancers always fall behind the beat, and these four did as well.  But otherwise, it was truly excellent.

 

•  An unfortunate Neapolitan dance by Grant DeLong and Blaine Hoven -- and especially by the former, who could just not keep up and nearly toppled over at the end.  Two years ago or so it looked to me like Blaine Hoven might be on his way up, but he seems to have gotten stalled, and this season is really straining his britches.  Still, he was by far the better of the two.

 

•  Daniil Simkin's back is so gorgeously flexible.  In many of his poses during Act I solos he seemed to prefigure those famous poses of Odette, in arabesque with arms and head back.  It was a really nice effect, signaling something kindred in their natures.

 

•  All of Simkin's solo work was superb.  It was touching seeing what appeared to be a mere boy, on the brink of manhood, pushed into matrimony by his mother (who actually looked like a mother, played by Nancy Raffa), and going off into the woods and encountering something far beyond his ken or control.

 

•  I'd never really realized before how very small Isabella Boylston is.  Her tutu seemed very large on her small body.  I did miss seeing a Swan Queen who stands out from the flock -- as when Veronika Part comes out in front of them and protects them from the encroaching hunter.

 

•  Boylston's Act II was excellent.  She does not yet fully embody the role, but there was a lot of gorgeous dancing there.

 

•  Her Act III needs a lot of refining.  Again, many fine elements, and some truly stunning technical details (very fast supported pirouettes -- though in one she toppled nearly 30 degrees off the vertical), but at times she seemed to be whipping her arms and legs around to convey passion and force.  She has all the elements, she just needs to shape them into a coherent performance.  I look forward to watching this happen in the years to come.

 

•  Simkin's partnering seems to have improved.  The above-mentioned supported pirouette was the only really obvious flub.  But as someone mentioned in a review of their Swan Lake last year, Boylston is so strong as a dancer she probably doesn't need much partnering.  All the lifts were solid and most were impressive -- only the ones in Act IV when he runs down the line with her in arabesque and a bent lower leg (I lack the technical vocabulary to name it) looked like a strain.



#59 aurora

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 05:58 AM

A few quick notes on last nights Simkin/Boylston Swan Lake:

 

•  This performance confirmed for me that Jared Matthews, like Cory Stearns (though perhaps not to such a great extent) has improved.  His purple Rothbart was much more engaging and alive than in the past.  He nearly botched the long balance, but otherwise it seemed technically solid.

 

I'm glad to hear it, I sadly won't be seeing his purple Rothbart.

He was supposed to dance Benno in the Part/Stearns performance, but was out (those dreaded cast change slips!).

I'm very happy to know that he isn't injured. He has been having such a nice season and he has a debut to look forward to.



#60 fondoffouettes

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:36 AM

All the discussions about Gomes so perfectly inhabiting the role of purple Rothbart made me wonder who created the role back when the McKenzie Swan Lake premiered in 2000. The program notes only mention who danced Odette/Odile and Siegfried, and Gomes's bio on the ABT website does not list Rothbart among the roles he has created. I only began attending ABT's Met seasons in 2004, so I wonder if any ballet talkers recall who created the role and/or who the main Rothbarts were in the early 2000s? 

 

I unfortunately only caught the tail end of Malakhov's career with ABT, but I imagine his temperament would have been perfectly suited to Rothbart, even if his physique is not as big and imposing as Gomes's. 




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