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Sylvia: Spring Met season 2013

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The TDF site has $31 tickets for both performances of Sylvia on Wednesday, June 26. I don't know if that means cheap tickets are also for sale at the Atrium, but it might be worth checking.

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Romeo and Juliet has been 50% off at TKTS Wednesday, Thursday, and tonight.

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Which is the best cast for Sylvia? I've never seen it and also don't know Ashton that well, though I liked his R&J and Month in the Country.

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I think the ballerina has to be the deciding factor in this ballet. Murphy is fabulous as Sylvia and if you are seeing the ballet for the first time, I strongly recommend you see her.

Basically if ABT holds to its standard in this ballet --which they have danced with great beauty and joy in the past--you can't really go too wrong. I myself am coming to NY especially to see some of the debuts by various Russian-trained ballerinas. I'm looking forward to it, but debuts--especially of non-Ashton dancers dancing Ashton--are decidedly unpredictable.

I haven't seen the Ashton R&J, but much more than A Month in the Country, Sylvia is very explicitly playing with and against the traditions of nineteenth-century full-length ballets--infusing them with Ashton's lyrical, witty, pastoral qualities.

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the following has been sent out by ABT's press office:

<<Natalia Osipova is injured and will not be dancing on Thursday. She will be replaced by Xiomara Reyes. Herman Cornejo and Ivan Vasiliev are still scheduled to perform.>>

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the following has been sent out by ABT's press office:

<<Natalia Osipova is injured and will not be dancing on Thursday. She will be replaced by Xiomara Reyes. Herman Cornejo and Ivan Vasiliev are still scheduled to perform.>>

Oh nooooo! I am so sorry to hear that Natalia is injured. Do you know what is going on with her Saturday night Sylvia? ABT's performance calendar has replaced her with Reyes on Thursday, but as of now, they still Osipova dancing on Saturday night. Thank you!

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word at the theater tonight merely said that Osipova has not now cancelled Sat. eve.

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At the Friends dress rehearsal Monday afternoon, we got a printed program that said Osipova, Cornejo, Vasiliev, and Salstein would be rehearsing Act III. Instead, we saw Reyes and Cornejo in practice clothes in the far back corner running through a PdD, with plenty of other dancers out front doing various practice elements. Reyes also practiced some solos in practice clothes to the orchestra accompaniment. There were so many dancers on stage at that point, I couldn't tell if Vasiliev was there or not. Part, Semionova, Herrera were all there in costume at least for one of the acts.

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I think the ballerina has to be the deciding factor in this ballet. Murphy is fabulous as Sylvia and if you are seeing the ballet for the first time, I strongly recommend you see her.

I agree. I saw Murphy and Gomes Monday night. Both are great, individually and as partners, in this ballet. They repeat at the Saturday matinee, which I would recommend if you can only see one.

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Murphy was fantastic last night. This is one of her best roles.

Regarding Reyes, has she ever performed Sylvia, or will Thursday be her debut?

On a separate note, Boylston was replaced last night in a minor role (Persephone). Now Boylston is someone who I would be interested in seeing as Sylvia, but I guess that won't happen this season.

Herman has had a run of bad luck in the partner department. First Cojocaru cancels out, requiring ABT to go and hire a ballerina short enough to take over Cojocaru's roles. Now Osipova has cancelled, requring Reyes to step into a role she was never scheduled to dance. These problems highlight the difficulties presented by using a short male principal. One of the other ballerinas scheduled to do the role cannot just step in and add a performance to her schedule, because they are all too tall for Herman. I like Herman very much, and I'm glad he has so many opportunities with ABT. However, the casting issues are apparent.

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Murphy was fantastic last night. This is one of her best roles.

Regarding Reyes, has she ever performed Sylvia, or will Thursday be her debut?

On a separate note, Boylston was replaced last night in a minor role (Persephone). Now Boylston is someone who I would be interested in seeing as Sylvia, but I guess that won't happen this season.

Herman has had a run of bad luck in the partner department. First Cojocaru cancels out, requiring ABT to go and hire a ballerina short enough to take over Cojocaru's roles. Now Osipova has cancelled, requring Reyes to step into a role she was never scheduled to dance. These problems highlight the difficulties presented by using a short male principal. One of the other ballerinas scheduled to do the role cannot just step in and add a performance to her schedule, because they are all too tall for Herman. I like Herman very much, and I'm glad he has so many opportunities with ABT. However, the casting issues are apparent.

This will be Xiomara's debut in this role.

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Some of the problems with casting when it comes to Herman Cornejo could be solved if shorter soloists like Sarah Lane were prepared to dance the respective role as well. Or not limit the role to taller ballerinas, add more variety to the cast.

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Whenever you are a very tall female dancer or short male dancer, I think you are going to run into these casting change problems. A few years ago there weren't enough tall male dancers to go around, and Gomes had to dance like crazy when Bolle or another tall male dancer would pull out. ABT has clearly worked to bolster their roster of tall male dancers:

Tall female principals requiring tall partners: Part, Semionova

Tall male principals who almost always partner tall dancers: Bolle, Stearns

Tall male principals who often partner both tall and mid-height dancers: Gomes, Hallberg

Tall male soloists who often dance principal roles: Hammoudi, Whiteside

If you look at the mid-height and short dancers, I think what is interesting is that there are quite a few short or mid-height female dancers (Kent, Seo, Vishneva, Osipova) who are often paired with tall dancers like Gomes or Hallberg. Perhaps in the past they would have been paired with dancers like Corella or Carreno, but the company doesn't currently have those sort of versatile, mid-height male principals at the moment. I know Corella was on the short side, but he was versatile in that he could dance with Herrera and Murphy. Jared Matthews comes to mind as someone who might fill this sort of role, if he were given more partnering opportunities.

Mid-height female principals who often prefer tall partners: Kent, Seo, Vishneva

Mid-height female principals who require someone at least as tall as Corella, but ideally someone a bit taller: Murphy, Herrera

Mid-height male principal dancers: ??

Short male prinicipal dancers who require very short female dancers: Cornejo, Simkin, Vasiliev

Very short female principal dancers: Reyes, Osipova

Very short female soloists: Lane, Boylston

It's too bad there isn't more flexibility in terms of who Cornejo and Simkin can partner, but this may be helped by the additional principal roles which will hopefully be offered to Lane and Boylston.

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Some of the problems with casting when it comes to Herman Cornejo could be solved if shorter soloists like Sarah Lane were prepared to dance the respective role as well.

I couldn't agree more. Lane has danced w/ Cornejo before so she could have filled in. Also, Boylston is the right size, and like abatt, I agree that it would be great to see her in this role. But, if she was replaced in a minor role last night, she might be injured so that of course would take her out of contention.

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Is Paloma too tall for Herman?

I would say she is.

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It's too bad there isn't more flexibility in terms of who Cornejo and Simkin can partner, but this may be helped by the additional principal roles which will hopefully be offered to Lane and Boylston.

And what about Stella Abrera? Where does she fall height-wise? Ought she not also be promoted to principal status?

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Paloma is very tall for Herman.

I wouldnt call osipova "very short" at all. She is taller than Reyes, I dont think Herman can handle Osipova in Don Q or Corsaire, for example.

I wouldn't call Whiteside tall either, he is more mid-heigh like Angel, but he seems to be a very good partner, it looks like he can easily handle Murphy, Herrera and prob Kent too, although at this point Kent only dances with either Bolle or Gomes.

Part and Semionova are the ones in a different league, they can only dance with Gomes/Bolle/Stearns. After seeing Semionova/Hallberg like three times, I really wish they stop this partnership, they are both gorgeous but she is way too much of a woman for him. He can partner Zhakarova, but Semionova (and Part too) are not the super skinny type of SZ.

The problem is a little aggravated because Gomes and Bolle are claimed by the Vishneva and Kent all the time, so there is less chance for the other two ballerinas to dance with them (luckily for Part, neither of them is dancing SB, so she finally got Gomes !!!)

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Paloma is very tall for Herman.

I wouldnt call osipova "very short" at all. She is taller than Reyes, I dont think Herman can handle Osipova in Don Q or Corsaire, for example.

I wouldn't call Whiteside tall either, he is more mid-heigh like Angel, but he seems to be a very good partner, it looks like he can easily handle Murphy, Herrera and prob Kent too, although at this point Kent only dances with either Bolle or Gomes.

Part and Semionova are the ones in a different league, they can only dance with Gomes/Bolle/Stearns. After seeing Semionova/Hallberg like three times, I really wish they stop this partnership, they are both gorgeous but she is way too much of a woman for him. He can partner Zhakarova, but Semionova (and Part too) are not the super skinny type of SZ.

The problem is a little aggravated because Gomes and Bolle are claimed by the Vishneva and Kent all the time, so there is less chance for the other two ballerinas to dance with them (luckily for Part, neither of them is dancing SB, so she finally got Gomes !!!)

I generally agree with your assessment (especially the last bit), but would disagree on Whiteside's height. He isn't very tall (like Bolle) but he is considerably taller than Corella and partnered Part quite well in Don Q (I know it was reported there were awkwardnesses, but I didn't see them, I thought he partnered her very well).

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actually you are right :)

i didn't see them (Sadly) but it looks like he partnered her well.

I just saw him in the theater next to me last week, and he seemed right the same height than Angel, but I may be wrong. (He just seems shorter than Gomes, Bolle and Stearns). I am not a big fan of him, but I was very impressed with the level of attention he paid to Murphy in their SL.

Some dancers can really excel at that, Angel was one of them, he even partnered Tereshkina in SL, and she is really tall.

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Herman danced "La Sylphide" with Osipova and they looked fine together. But a lot of Bournonville is the ballerina and premier danseur dancing side by side - not as many lifts or promenades. I think Paloma fits the category of mid-height ballerinas who often prefer tall partners with Murphy, Vishneva and Kent. Herrera in her early ABT career was partnered with Angel Corella but eventually she was more often paired with Carreno, Gomes or Stiefel. Stiefel and Carreno were mid-height and Corella a little below that. I felt that Murphy looked too mature and womanly and slightly too tall when dancing with Corella. Corella and Cojocaru were perfect together but only danced Giselle together at ABT. Corella never consistently found the perfect partner at ABT - unlike Bocca/Ferri, Vishneva/Malakhov or Vishneva/Gomes, Ballerina-Fill-In-the-Blank/Gomes.

Now with Malakhov, Stiefel, Corella and Carreno retired, ABT lacks a mid-height or a little taller male principal. They have got very tall men like Gomes, Hallberg, Bolle, Stearns and Hammoudi. And then the short guys like Simkin, Cornejo, Vasiliev, Salstein, etc. Denis Matvienko is a little above middle height and partners well with Murphy.

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Cornejo is an exceptional talent, one of the finest male dancers in the world today (if not by common consensus then at least close to it): I believe it would have been a huge mistake not to promote him to principal and work with his distinctive qualities, including his height. In that context, I have been a little puzzled why Lane has not been given more opportunities, but in any case Reyes and more recently Cojocaru and Osipova have been plausible partners for him in various roles. (I saw him with Osipova in Firebird when she replaced Copeland.)

My one NY ballet trip this spring is to see Sylvia--I love Ashton--and I was especially excited to see the Osipova-Cornejo cast. Thought this could be a fabulous role for Osipva and am very, very disappointed that it looks as if she may not dance it at all. (I have tickets for Thursday and Saturday, but gather Saturday is doubtful.) But I also have been very much looking forward to seeing Cornejo and am grateful Reyes is willing to make her debut in the role, a major one, under these circumstances. It must be disconcerting to do so with only last minute preparation. I would be really crushed to miss Osipova AND Cornejo.

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It's too bad there isn't more flexibility in terms of who Cornejo and Simkin can partner, but this may be helped by the additional principal roles which will hopefully be offered to Lane and Boylston.

And what about Stella Abrera? Where does she fall height-wise? Ought she not also be promoted to principal status?

Her willowy physique makes her seem tall, but I think she may actually be more along the lines of Murphy or Herrera or perhaps slightly taller (not sure).When they pair her with Radetsky she always seems a tad too tall for him. Abrera was one of the dancers I was immediately drawn to when I first began attending ABT performances and the quality of her dancing has been outstanding--consistently musical, lyrical, and simply a pleasure to watch. Unfortunately I feel as if they are no longer testing her out for principal roles, as they had several years ago when she was assigned Cinderella and a couple Giselles (though the latter never took place due to injuries).

I've always been curious to see how she would fare in a full-length classical ballet or as MacMillan's Juliet or Manon. Unfortunately her New York-based fans have never had the opportunity to experience this, though I'm always thrilled to see her as the Lilac Fairy, Mercedes, or Myrtha.

In looking at the bios of ABT principals, it's interesting that virtually all of them were promoted from soloist to principal within a span of two to four years. Veronika Part had to wait seven years to be promoted from soloist to principal, which seemed like a very long time. Abrera became a soloist in 2001, so I'm not optimistic that she will get her shot, but you never know. Saveliev occasionally danced principal roles in his decade-long career as soloist with ABT, so perhaps Abrera could be afforded the same opportunities, even if she doesn't get a promotion?

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It's too bad there isn't more flexibility in terms of who Cornejo and Simkin can partner, but this may be helped by the additional principal roles which will hopefully be offered to Lane and Boylston.

And what about Stella Abrera? Where does she fall height-wise? Ought she not also be promoted to principal status?

Her willowy physique makes her seem tall, but I think she may actually be more along the lines of Murphy or Herrera or perhaps slightly taller (not sure).When they pair her with Radetsky she always seems a tad too tall for him. Abrera was one of the dancers I was immediately drawn to when I first began attending ABT performances and the quality of her dancing has been outstanding--consistently musical, lyrical, and simply a pleasure to watch. Unfortunately I feel as if they are no longer testing her out for principal roles, as they had several years ago when she was assigned Cinderella and a couple Giselles (though the latter never took place due to injuries).

I've always been curious to see how she would fair in a full-length classical ballet or as MacMillan's Juliet or Manon. Unfortunately her New York-based fans have never had the opportunity to experience this, though I'm always thrilled to see her as the Lilac Fairy, Mercedes, or Myrtha.

In looking at the bios of ABT principals, it's interesting that virtually all of them were promoted from soloist to principal within a span of two to four years. Veronika Part had to wait seven years to be promoted from soloist to principal, which seemed like a very long time. Abrera became a soloist in 2001, so I'm not optimistic that she will get her shot, but you never know. Savaliev occasionally danced principal roles in his decade-long career as soloist with ABT, so perhaps Abrera could be afforded the same opportunities, even if she doesn't get a promotion?

I agree with you completely about Stella Abrera. I remember those cancelled Giselles and how bad I felt for her. It seems that she has fully recovered from her injuries, as evidenced by her having danced 10 Auroras in 30 days with the Royal Ballet of New Zealand last fall. It seems heartless on the part of ABT to deprive her of the opportunity to dance leading roles and to deny her promotion when she always performs so exquisitely. I would so much like to know the reason why this isn't happening. I'm guessing that ABT will perform Giselle again in its 2014 New York season. Wouldn't it be wonderful to see Stella dance the title role--she has so many fans in New York, who would come out in droves.

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Very short female soloists: Lane, Boylston

It's too bad there isn't more flexibility in terms of who Cornejo and Simkin can partner, but this may be helped by the additional principal roles which will hopefully be offered to Lane and Boylston.

While Sarah Lane is 5'2", Isabella Boylston is 5'5" - not "very short" at all!

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