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Corps de Ballet promotions


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#16 tutu

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 11:09 AM

For corps promotions, I'm on the Skylar Brandt-Joseph Gorak bandwagon. 

off%20topic.gif I love this video of a 14-year-old Skylar Brandt: 



#17 Helene

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 11:34 AM

Has there ever been a time in ABT's history when the company was so top heavy with foreign / visiting guest artists?  I know the legendary 1970's included Martine Van Hamel (Dutch-Canadian), Mikhail Baryshnakov (USSR), Natalia Makarova (USSR) and a few others.  But the company still had many Americans.  

In the early '70's, the two biggest draw couples in the classical sweepstakes at ABT were Carla Fracci/Erik Bruhn and Natalia Makarova/Ivan Nagy. 

 

ABT was dominated by foreign Principals in the '90's and '00's:

  • Bocca (1986-2006)
  • Carreno (1995-2011)
  • Corella (1996-2012)
  • Dvorovenko (1996-2013)
  • Ferri (1985-2007)
  • Graffin (1988-2005)
  • Malakhov (1995-2008)
  • Ananiashvili (1993-2009)

Wikipedia is not exhaustive -- they left out Nagy for Pete's sake -- but once the company went big in full-length classics, there have been many foreign-born stars at ABT, and few of them rose through the ranks.

 

From an article in the LA Times about Marianna Tcherkassky's impending retirement:

Early in her career, she danced more in part because the financially stronger company toured more, guaranteed its dancers 40 weeks of work a year (compared to 26 today) and had a more diverse repertory, rather than staging, as it does these days, lots of crowd-pleasing full-length works.

 

Tcherkassky looks back with special fondness to the years when Mikhail Baryshnikov dominated ABT, first as star dancer in the '70s, and after 1980 as artistic director. He provided "lots of opportunities for me," she said, including casting her as the original Clara in his "Nutcracker" and selecting her as his partner for her long-dreamed-of first "Giselle."

 

"The fact that he believed in me made me feel there wasn't anything I couldn't do," she said.

 

If Baryshnikov tended to promote in-house talent, other artistic directors have sought to boost sales by importing new faces.

 

 

According to McKenzie's ABT bio:

 

Kevin McKenzie was a leading dancer with both The Joffrey Ballet and the National Ballet of Washington before joining American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in March 1979. He was appointed a Principal Dancer the following December and danced with the company until 1991.

 

 

He did not work his way up the ranks at ABT as an American dancer.  From the wording, I can't tell if he was promoted to Principal Dancer in December 1979 (under Lucia Chase) or in December 1980, under Baryshnikov.



#18 abatt

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 11:38 AM

I would add to that list of foreigners Max Beletserkovsky and Paloma Herrera.



#19 abatt

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 11:42 AM

Also Vishneva.



#20 bingham

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 11:54 AM

Marcelo Gomes
Xiomara Reyes

#21 abatt

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 12:10 PM

The only American principals who are coming to mind during the time frame at issue are McKerrow, Jaffe, Steifel, Hallberg, Wiles, Roberts, Tuttle (briefly).  Any Americans I've forgotten?



#22 abatt

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 12:11 PM

Kent



#23 Drew

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 12:14 PM

The Tcherkassky interview mentions Baryshnikov and he did promote a lot of American dancers who rose through ranks--Jaffe, Yeager, and Mckerrow spring to mind--not all of them equally compelling. He also brought in French born Magali Messac as a principal. Johann Renvall (Sweden) and Danilo Radojevic (Australian) played a big role around that time as well. Renvall was an especially impressive talent.  (Baryshnikov also got rid of Godunov; Kirkland was a special case and doesn't exactly fit this discussion.)

 

To return to more recent times: I think American/non-American is a slightly different issue than rise-through-ranks or invited outsider--though I guess an overlapping one. Some of the non-Americans mentioned in posts above also rose through the ranks.  Even Herrera was only 17 or so when she joined the company and I thought she was in the corps, though very briefly. Others, though they did not rise through the ranks exactly, became real company "members" not guest artists. And even among guest artists there are shades of 'guestiness.'

 

I am an unabashed admirer of many of the great leading dancers Mckenzie imports: given the company's repertory (with which I DO take issue) I think ABT seasons would be artistically less interesting without them. That is, I don't think it's just a financial question. The issue seems to be how to integrate outside talent and guest artists into the life of the company and have a little less 'guestiness.' And how, at the same time, to develop and promote talent from within. 

 

As Abatt mentioned above there are also American (and non American) stars and principals that have developed from within the company in the last 20 years, and Mckenzie has some American dancers he is promoting now (Stearns, Boylston).  They may not be everyone's top choice--but that's a different debate. He has certainly pushed them forward.

 

(I actually think it might be great for ALL ABT "regulars" if the company could wink a little at fans getting some youtube video up online...though I assume the copyright/residuals problems are intractable.)



#24 vipa

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:03 PM

The only American principals who are coming to mind during the time frame at issue are McKerrow, Jaffe, Steifel, Hallberg, Wiles, Roberts, Tuttle (briefly).  Any Americans I've forgotten?

 

Was Cynthia Harvey at that time?



#25 mimsyb

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 07:58 PM

 

The only American principals who are coming to mind during the time frame at issue are McKerrow, Jaffe, Steifel, Hallberg, Wiles, Roberts, Tuttle (briefly).  Any Americans I've forgotten?

 

Was Cynthia Harvey at that time?

 

Cheryl Yeager



#26 California

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:18 PM

Was Cynthia Harvey at that time?

Here's a 1981 article about Harvey's rise in the company in the Baryshnikov era: http://www.people.co...0078370,00.html

She was Baryshnikov's partner in the 1983 Don Quixote, broadcast "Live from Lincoln Center" and still available on DVD.

#27 bad feet

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:07 AM

The only American principals who are coming to mind during the time frame at issue are McKerrow, Jaffe, Steifel, Hallberg, Wiles, Roberts, Tuttle (briefly).  Any Americans I've forgotten?

 

Cory Stearns



#28 Jayne

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 08:13 AM

This overlaps with my thoughts on Ms Lunkina and NBoC.  The common thread of dancer criticism of ABT is the lack of coaching.  The common thread of the guests, is that they arrive already beautifully coached.  

 

Dancing for ABT seems to be a feather in the cap for guests in their career resumes.  That said, they rarely ever want to tour with ABT - either abroad or in the US.  Even sunny Los Angeles is not a draw (god bless the dancers who do go, however!)

 

Wouldn' it be fantastic if ABT mandated guest exchanges for all visiting artists?  Imagine if, in return for Stephen McRae, James Whiteside was offered the opportunity of several months of coaching with RB in the Ashton style.  Or if Svetlana Lunkina could dance for ABT in return for sending Simone Messmer to the Bolshoi for additional 1 on 1 coaching? 



#29 bingham

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 08:43 AM

This overlaps with my thoughts on Ms Lunkina and NBoC.  The common thread of dancer criticism of ABT is the lack of coaching.  The common thread of the guests, is that they arrive already beautifully coached.  

 

Dancing for ABT seems to be a feather in the cap for guests in their career resumes.  That said, they rarely ever want to tour with ABT - either abroad or in the US.  Even sunny Los Angeles is not a draw (god bless the dancers who do go, however!)

 

Wouldn' it be fantastic if ABT mandated guest exchanges for all visiting artists?  Imagine if, in return for Stephen McRae, James Whiteside was offered the opportunity of several months of coaching with RB in the Ashton style.  Or if Svetlana Lunkina could dance for ABT in return for sending Simone Messmer to the Bolshoi for additional 1 on 1 coaching? 

 

    Cory Stearns is going to the RB in December( as exchange with S Mcrae) I hope he gets coaching( from Jonathan Cope or A Dowell) for his coming Manon debut.  Isabella B. is going to RDB ( in exchange with A Lendorf) in December too



#30 onxmyxtoes

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:24 AM

Back to corps promotions: I'm rooting for Joey Gorak and Arron Scott.  I think both of those dancers, with a little bit more coaching (hopefully the soloist title would give a little more attn!), would florish with a soloist-level work load! 




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