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Sylvia: Spring Met season 2013

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Wow wow WOW!! Semionova and Bolle should dance EVERYTHING together!!! Talk abut two PERFECT ballet physiques!! And the mythological setting seemed totally appropriate--clearly we were in the land of gods and goddesses with these two leads!! :)

I saw "Sylvia" last night with Murphy and Gomes, and while I thought they danced very admirably (and partnered very well), I wasn't sure I would be able to sit through two more performances of the ballet. The plot is pitiful, and the score is not too my liking (it does nothing for me, as opposed to the "Swan Lake" score), and though the costumes are beautiful and the set is impressive, I found the whole thing quite boring.

But what a difference a day makes! I thought that Semionova and Bolle were absolutely wonderful!

My friend (who admittedly only has seen a handful of performances) called it the best ballet she's seen so far.

I really enjoyed Semionova as Sylvia. In the initial scene, I thought that perhaps she lacked a little bit of the imperious Amazonian spirit that Murphy had, but oh! the beauty of her long limbs in those many grand jetes and the gorgeous curve of her arabesque! Her absolute (and seemingly effortless) command of her technique were on full display tonight. But more than that, she seemed more emotionally engaged than perhaps I've seen her all season.

And I think that had to do a lot with Bolle! (It must be easy to pretend to be in love with him!!) For once, Semionova didn't have to worry about straining her partner and could really dance full-out. I thought she looked more free and happy than I've ever seen her--she was positively glowing.

Previously, I thought that Hallberg was a good match for her since they're both so tall, slim and long-limbed, but I was wrong! Bolle is tall and gorgeous, and I thought they looked absolutely fabulous together!! I really hope to see her dance with him more--I bet I would really love her in "Romeo & Juliet," for example, if she could dance with Bolle!

I thought Bolle danced wonderfully tonight (though there is not much dancing for Aminta). I also feel that the character sits a little bit more naturally on him than on Gomes. I feel like Gomes wishes there was more of a character arc for Aminta, but he's pretty one-dimensional, whereas I feel like Bolle can more easily adopt the attitude of "I'm gorgeous, and I love you, and that's all that really matters."

I liked Cory Stearns as Orion last night, and Jared Matthews was quite good too. When I initially saw the casting, I wondered how Matthews would handle partnering Semionova, but he didn't seem to have any difficulty lifting her at all. (Though I do feel that this is a reflection of Semionova's rock-solid technique--she looked like she could basically partner herself and needed very little help.)

And as always, it was a pleasure to see Joseph Gorak (who danced as one of the goats alongside Sarah Lane). He definitely needs to be promoted ASAP!

Can't wait to see this cast again on Friday. Bravo!!

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the score is not too my liking (it does nothing for me, as opposed to the "Swan Lake" score)

That's too bad. I find the score to be quite charming -- if not in comparison to Tchaikovsky, then at least in comparison to the other typical ballet alternatives (Minkus oom-pah-pahs, etc).

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casting update for today, June 26 from ABT:
<<

There has been a cast change for the matinee of Sylvia today, Wednesday, June 26. Cory Stearns is injured and Marcelo Gomes will replace him in the role of Aminta.

>>

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the score is not too my liking (it does nothing for me, as opposed to the "Swan Lake" score)

That's too bad. I find the score to be quite charming -- if not in comparison to Tchaikovsky, then at least in comparison to the other typical ballet alternatives (Minkus oom-pah-pahs, etc).

I also love Sylvia's score, maybe one of the best scores for ballet!

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casting update for today, June 26 from ABT:

<<

There has been a cast change for the matinee of Sylvia today, Wednesday, June 26. Cory Stearns is injured and Marcelo Gomes will replace him in the role of Aminta.

>>

Veronika and Marcelo....Together again.yahoo.giftoot.gif

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casting update for today, June 26 from ABT:

<<

There has been a cast change for the matinee of Sylvia today, Wednesday, June 26. Cory Stearns is injured and Marcelo Gomes will replace him in the role of Aminta.

>>

Once again, Gomes to the rescue. What would ABT do without him?

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Oh, no! Cory injured? Does anyone know how seriously? He has had such a great season so far, I hate to see him sidelined.

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Reyes replacing Osipova for Sat evening, per the ABT calendar on the website.

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Terrific performance this afternoon. There was no program insert for Gomes, just an

announcement. Must have really been last minute - hope Stearns will be OK.

Veronika Part was gorgeous. Authoritative, commanding, and yet very feminine. This

is a great female role. Her pizzicato solo in the 3rd act was worth the price of a ticket.

Beautiful footwork and musicality to die for. Just as strong as Murphy on Monday.

Part was presented with 2 bouquets and she tried to give one to Gomes - he declined

with an "aw shucks, it was nothing" gesture and graciously accepted a single rose.

What a guy! And looks great in a tunic.

Looking forward to Cornejo and Reyes tomorrow night. I bet Reyes will be fabulous as well.

We are very lucky with our ladies this season. I hope this Ballet stays in the rep for a long time.

It is a treasure.

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the score is not too my liking (it does nothing for me, as opposed to the "Swan Lake" score)

That's too bad. I find the score to be quite charming -- if not in comparison to Tchaikovsky, then at least in comparison to the other typical ballet alternatives (Minkus oom-pah-pahs, etc).

I also love Sylvia's score, maybe one of the best scores for ballet!

I feel like I should like the score of "Sylvia" more because it is clearly superior to the Minkus stuff, and Tchaikovsky was full of praise for it, but alas, my tastes are strange! ;) I overwhelmingly prefer dark and dramatic music, so while others don't like the "Cinderella" score and hated the funereal theme of "Lady of the Camellias" (the Largo from Chopin's Piano Sonata #3), I think, "more more more please!!"

But I more I see the ballet, the more I am finding some enjoyable parts of it.

As for Stearns being injured--I have to say that the lifts in this ballet seem extremely taxing for the man. Although Gomes had no problems partnering Murphy, it did not look as completely effortless as usual--he seemed to be really concentrating when carrying her across the stage over his head (when she's leaning back and resting one leg on his shoulder). I wonder if that contributed to Stearns' injury...

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As for Stearns being injured--I have to say that the lifts in this ballet seem extremely taxing for the man. Although Gomes had no problems partnering Murphy, it did not look as completely effortless as useful--he seemed to be really concentrating when carrying her across the stage over his head (when she's leaning back and resting one leg on his shoulder). I wonder if that contributed to Stearns' injury...

At the Friends open rehearsal Monday afternoon, I noticed a pair getting ready for that lift in the wings. (I couldn't see if this was Semionova or Herrera or Part, so I'm not judging any of them.) A second man was standing in front of them, facing both, lifting her up onto his shoulder. The pair then makes their entrance. It looks very daring when they enter during performance and I'm guessing they all need that extra boast off-stage to get into position.

Another lift that looks unbelievably difficult comes when the pair is in the center of the stage, he gets her around the back of his neck and she somehow ends up head down in front of him. Yikes! It looked difficult in performance and in rehearsal.

It wouldn't be at all surprising if somebody got injured during one of those.

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Terrific performance this afternoon. There was no program insert for Gomes, just an

announcement. Must have really been last minute - hope Stearns will be OK.

Veronika Part was gorgeous. Authoritative, commanding, and yet very feminine. This

is a great female role. Her pizzicato solo in the 3rd act was worth the price of a ticket.

Beautiful footwork and musicality to die for. Just as strong as Murphy on Monday.

Part was presented with 2 bouquets and she tried to give one to Gomes - he declined

with an "aw shucks, it was nothing" gesture and graciously accepted a single rose.

What a guy! And looks great in a tunic.

Looking forward to Cornejo and Reyes tomorrow night. I bet Reyes will be fabulous as well.

We are very lucky with our ladies this season. I hope this Ballet stays in the rep for a long time.

It is a treasure.

I want to second all of this!

It really was an excellent role debut.

I love Part and think that persona-wise it is a great role for her, but wasn't sure about all the intricate footwork and hops.

Well as Balanchinomane noted, this was not a problem. I saw one bobble in the partnering, but her performance was clean and strong throughout.

I was very impressed at the partnering. Yes Gomes is amazing as a partner but given the lack of rehearsal time, their ability to work together in what is a very challenging pdd was really astonishing.

The gesture of offering Gomes the bouquet was really charming!!

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I also attended the Wednesday matinee of Sylvia and thought Part was just perfect. I totally agree with the posters who have already said what a great peformance it was. And what a wonderful ballet. I wish we didn't have to wait for 4 or 5 years to see it again. I hope that's not the case this time. As already mentioned, Gomes was his usual superb self. This was the third time I have see James Whiteside (as Orion) and the most impressed I've been with him. Everyone in the cast was fantastic - from the goats to the peasants to all the mythical creatures. And the score! My god it's beyond gorgeous! And the ABT orchestra played it very well. I have to say the orchestra has been consistently excellent during ABT's Spring/Summer season at the Met.

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How was Jared M's Sylvia debut last night? Anyone saw it ?

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I saw "Sylvia" on Monday, Tuesday night and the Wednesday matinee. Here are some comparisons:

Sylvia: Gillian Murphy danced superbly and I loved her mime. She actually tried to build an emotional arc to the character and she was charming. Gillian and Marcelo had wonderful chemistry onstage and she looked genuinely enamored of him in the final act. Polina Semionova has a flawless effortless technique and great personal beauty. Gillian has a more athleticism in her dancing (fine for a warlike Amazon) and sort of snaps into her positions and steps. Her dancing has physical force. Polina was totally smooth and even - it all looked effortless and sort of the same. Her dancing lacked dynamic levels for me even if her body is stunning and the steps are all nailed without difficulty. It didn't mean enough. Semionova's acting was lovely and she is a beautiful woman with a sinuous body - her odalisque-type harem dance in Act II with Orion was the best of all. Part's regal beauty and great stature made a perfect vision as Sylvia. Her Act I was excellent throughout though there were places where I felt the last-minute change of partner and the lack of rehearsal and experience showed. She seemed a little unsure of how to place herself on the Amazons' bows in the Act I entrance pas. Also Veronika still has bad trouble with unsupported pirouettes - supported ones as well - she has a tendency to spin off-center, tipping off the vertical and nearly falling out. I have seen her struggle with these in the Shades scene in "Bayadere" and also in a recent rehearsal of "Corsaire" she had problems with a combination in the Act II pas de trois based on unsupported spins. Here the trouble came in the Act III pas de deux where Sylvia has to do an unsupported pirouette and Aminta rushes in and catches her - she nearly collapsed on the first one and Marcelo jumped in early to steady her. She did better on the second one but it was a fraught moment. Otherwise, Part's phrasing, broad jumps (I think as impressive as Osipova's) and musicality were gorgeous. A very fine debut that will improve if and when she gets a chance to repeat and refine it.

Aminta: Gomes bring a lot of passion, impulsivity and more dramatic variety to the role. He dances it wonderfully. Bolle has the carriage and nobility and plays a simpler, more passive, romantic character. He is more classical and stylized in his execution of the choreography - Gomes hurls himself into the steps whereas Bolle is more a classical statue striking gorgeous poses. Glad I don't have to choose between the two.

Orion: All three danced really well. Corey Stearns had the blandest characterization but may have danced it the best with stunning split jumps. Jared Matthews was working the old-school Bolshoi Vakhtang Chabukiani/Gedeminas Taranda popping-eyes, manically grinning savage ballet wild man routine. He was a lot of fun. Very over the top in just the right way. Whiteside had a very good balance of strong dance technique, imposing physique and stage presence.

Eros: Both Simkin and Salstein were fine. Simkin more easily morphed into a god-like divinity and his dancing was very aerial in Act III. Salstein relished the humor of the old-man magician impersonation. He also danced strongly in Act III with fine scissoring jumps.

Shout out to Joseph Gorak and Sarah Lane as the Goats in Act III - what dancing and stunning style! They got cheers. Arron Scott and Gemma Bond were also fine on Wednesday afternoon. Leann Underwood was lovely in the mostly mime role of Diana on Tuesday. Stella Abrera was a vision of loveliness as Ceres on Tuesday. I liked Roddy Doble's concerned Greek shepherd who finds the fallen Aminta on Tuesday night.

BTW: in the past the coaching of the corps has been poor in this ballet. Usually the dance of Fauns and Nymphs in the first scene was a shambles. I only found out what Ashton intended when I watched the video from the Royal Ballet with Bussell and Bolle. It looked much better this time around and many soloists like Isabella Boylston and Misty Copeland were filling out the corps as Sylvia's attendants in Act III.

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I saw "Sylvia" on Monday, Tuesday night and the Wednesday matinee. Here are some comparisons:

[re Part]Her Act I was excellent throughout though there were places where I felt the last-minute change of partner and the lack of rehearsal and experience showed. She seemed a little unsure of how to place herself on the Amazons' bows in the Act I entrance pas. Also Veronika still has bad trouble with unsupported pirouettes - supported ones as well - she has a tendency to spin off-center, tipping off the vertical and nearly falling out. I have seen her struggle with these in the Shades scene in "Bayadere" and also in a recent rehearsal of "Corsaire" she had problems with a combination in the Act II pas de trois based on unsupported spins. Here the trouble came in the Act III pas de deux where Sylvia has to do an unsupported pirouette and Aminta rushes in and catches her - she nearly collapsed on the first one and Marcelo jumped in early to steady her. She did better on the second one but it was a fraught moment.

I didn't think she was insecure about how to place herself on the Amazon's bow as much as her hand got stuck in one of them (you could see the strings).

I've actually felt that her pirouettes have been much more secure of late. She may have had an issue in the Corsaire rehearsal (I didn't see it), but she certainly did not in the performance.

I did notice the Act III issue you commented on, but that is a quite difficult series, involving the partner coming in, and I'm guessing this was indeed a place where their lack of rehearsal time together really was an issue. Given the difficulty of the partnering for Act III, I was amazed that there were no other miscues.

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I've seen all of the Sylvia performances this week except the Wed matinee. Last night I thought Vasiliev hit a home run as Orion. His jumps and spins were unbelievably high and difficult- far exceeding the technical level of anyone else who did the role this week at ABT. Vasiliev nearly touched the back of his head with his foot in one of the leaps. Amazing. In addition, he fully inhabited the character he was portraying. He was creepy and frightening in his facial expressions. I thought it was a triumph. (He would also be perfect as the evil character in Raymonda, if ABT ever decides to revive it.)

Herman Cornejo was the most brilliant of the Amintas this week in terms of his solo work. He was simply breathtaking and perfect in every jump, leap and spin. His partnering was generally fine, but there were errors. One lift in the pdd near the end of the ballet looked very awkward. He also arrived a second too late to grab Xiomara's hand when she came out of a spin, resulting in her comimg off pointe briefly when she shoud have been on pointe.

Of all the Syvia's I saw, Murphy was the best. I enjoyed her bold attack and athleticism, which perfectly suit the role and the choreography. Semionova was gorgeous too, but more demure somehow. Semionova was my favorite ballerina in the seduction of Orion scene. Herrera seemed underpowered for the entire evening. Reyes did well, especially considering that she was thrown into this at the last minute. However, I don't think Syliva is the best fit for her.

Special mention for the gorgeous dancing of Simkin as Eros.

The performances this week have been sparsely attended, except for last night. I think many people bought tickets to see Osipova and were disappointed by her absence.

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I thought Matthews (Aminta) had a very elegant and pure line and partnered well. However, his jumps and spins are not as explosive as either Gomes or the gravity-defying Cornejo.

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I've seen all of the Sylvia performances this week except the Wed matinee. Last night I thought Vasiliev hit a home run as Orion. His jumps and spins were unbelievably high and difficult- far exceeding the technical level of anyone else who did the role this week at ABT. Vasiliev nearly touched the back of his head with his foot in one of the leaps. Amazing. In addition, he fully inhabited the character he was portraying. He was creepy and frightening in his facial expressions. I thought it was a triumph. (He would also be perfect as the evil character in Raymonda, if ABT ever decides to revive it.)

Herman Cornejo was the most brilliant of the Amintas this week in terms of his solo work. He was simply breathtaking and perfect in every jump, leap and spin. His partnering was generally fine, but there were errors. One lift in the pdd near the end of the ballet looked very awkward. He also arrived a second too late to grab Xiomara's hand when she came out of a spin, resulting in her comimg off pointe briefly when she shoud have been on pointe.

Of all the Syvia's I saw, Murphy was the best. I enjoyed her bold attack and athleticism, which perfectly suit the role and the choreography. Semionova was gorgeous too, but more demure somehow. Semionova was my favorite ballerina in the seduction of Orion scene. Herrera seemed underpowered for the entire evening. Reyes did well, especially considering that she was thrown into this at the last minute. However, I don't think Syliva is the best fit for her.

Special mention for the gorgeous dancing of Simkin as Eros.

The performances this week have been sparsely attended, except for last night. I think many people bought tickets to see Osipova and were disappointed by her absence.

I didn't enjoy Vasiliev as much as you did, Abatt. He seems to hurl himself in the air as if he's throwing a football. And his landings are hard and noisy. There's no attempt to point his feet. I see very little real technique here, but lots of gymnastics. I just can't say that his jumping skills are all that attractive. Messy. I guess of all the roles he's done so far this Season though, this one is the least offensive. His "Chew the curtain" style works somewhat for the role. At the least, the costume for Orion hides his tree trunk thighs and legs. I thought Xiomara did quite well, considering she learned the role so quickly. She gets all the quick footwork of the part, and she and Herman are excellent together. And HIS jumping was sublime! Strong, focused, high. He seems suspended when he jumps, creating fascinating pictures in the air. And there's such joy in his dancing.

I was there on Opening and the audience seemed quite full. As it was last night. Can't speak for the other performances.

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Since Orion is supposed to be a powerful and coarse bad guy, I thought Vasiiev's approach worked well for this role. In fact, I much preferred it to the more classical approaches to Orion that were delivered by Stearns and Matthews. When Orion is done in a "balletic" style, it wipes out the contrast between the choreography for Aminta and Orion. And the costume did disguise Vasiliev's thick thighs.

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I attended both performances of Semionova/Bolle. Fisrt, let me say that I found Sylvia to be on the the most beautiful productions that abt currently has in its repertoire. I absolutely love the choreography from beginning to end, and the score is magical, I could listen to it over and over, and over again. Everything in this ballet is so classy, beautiful, tasteful and enjoyable, its really a masterpiece, I just wish and I hope that we dont have to wait that many years to see it again pls !!...good thing is that at least in the two performances that I attended the orchestra section was almost full so hoping we can see this one again soon.

Sylvia is the perfect vehicle for the majestic and gorgeous look of both Semionona and Bolle. I found her absolutely exquisite, especially in Acts II and III. I thought she danced better (if at all possible) on Friday, more in command, and the chemistry with Bolle was really terrific. The first of the fishing dives in act III was so spectacular that it brought a huge ohhhhh from the audience when she threw herself into Bolle's arms. Everything in Act III was a luxurious display of pure, clean classicism and musicality. It was a jaw dropping, incredibly elegant performance. The audience loved her. This is the time i have enjoyed Bolle the most, by far. His partnering skills were stunning, he handled Semionova as if she were as light as a feather, all the liftings were perfect and beautiful executed, very natural and fluid.

My only minor criticism to Semionova is regarding Act I, in which I noticed both times that she looked a little overwhelmed with the speed of the music and steps, everything went well but it just didnt look natural, especially the jumps. On friday she was behind the music a couple of times and had to rushed a bit. Besides this, it was really a magnificent performance, a real luxury to see this two beyond-beautiful dancers together, more of this partnership for next year please !!!

Macaulay just wrote a review on all the Sylvias of the week, and for the first time, he has praised Part, who made her debut in the role on Wed matinee. He wrote a complete paragraph full of beautiful adjectives about her performance, wow ! Veronika should be so proud, and I was so happy to read it. This seems like a really break through season for her, full of confidence, debuting in challenging roles with great success, and delivering riveting performances (her SL was to me her best since she is in NY). She has finally blossomed into the world-class dancer that she is !! Brava !!.....It also looks like Semionova is going to have a hard time with him, since all he has done since she came is dismiss her performances, he acknowledges her beauty but clearly he doesnt connect with her dancing

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I also very much liked Vasiliev's Orion. And found Cornejo's dancing in Act 3 to be thrillingly beautiful. Effortless, soaring jumps with real ballon-that magical pause in the air one reads about more than one sees. In another discussion this season someone expressed reservations about his line. Though he is not tall, his proportions, his classical purity, and his elegance all create, to my eyes, a wonderful line. And everything was effortless. The variation effectively lifted the entire performance to another level. And the audience responded accordingly.

Reyes is a trooper. A last minute debut in an extraordinarily challenging "star" role. Add to that a distraught child (or children) who let loose at the beginning of her variation in Act 3. I quite liked her in the scene in Orion's cave. But I agree with Abatt that this is not really her role and, I find, that like Sleeping Beauty, which is clearly in Ashton's mind, the ballet does not come near its full glory without a glorious ballerina at it's center.

The company did mostly dance well and at the other performances I saw Semionova was very fine especially in Act 2 and Murphy simply fabulous. Would like to write more about them and other featured soloists, but am at hotel on a borrowed IPad so ...

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I also very much liked Vasiliev's Orion. And found Cornejo's dancing in Act 3 to be thrillingly beautiful. Effortless, soaring jumps with real ballon-that magical pause in the air one reads about more than one sees. In another discussion this season someone expressed reservations about his line. Though he is not tall, his proportions, his classical purity, and his elegance all create, to my eyes, a wonderful line. And everything was effortless. The variation effectively lifted the entire performance to another level. And the audience responded accordingly.

Reyes is a trooper. A last minute debut in an extraordinarily challenging "star" role. Add to that a distraught child (or children) who let loose at the beginning of her variation in Act 3. I quite liked her in the scene in Orion's cave. But I agree with Abatt that this is not really her role and, I find, that like Sleeping Beauty, which is clearly in Ashton's mind, the ballet does not come near its full glory without a glorious ballerina at it's center.

The company did mostly dance well and at the other performances I saw Semionova was very fine especially in Act 2 and Murphy simply fabulous. Would like to write more about them and other featured soloists, but am at hotel on a borrowed IPad so ...

ITA with Drew's review of last Thursday's Sylvia.I thought Xiomara and Herman's did especially well considering the short rehearsal period they had. Does ABT have an an understudy for the major roles in their full lenght ballets? If not, they should have a soloist or corps member ready to take over in case of injuries. When POB announces the cast of their full lenghts, they also list the understudy or replacement.

Sylvia is such a beautiful production that i hope ABT would do it more often. Everybody danced very well in the 2nd act with special mention of Craig and Misty(as goats),Stella A, Simone M and G, Davis (as Terpsichore and Apollo). A Scott was in his usual spectacular self as a slave in the cave scene. With Ashton's Cinderella coming next season, Sylvia will probably be send back to England. I hope she comes back soon.bow.GIFclapping.gif

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And found Cornejo's dancing in Act 3 to be thrillingly beautiful. Effortless, soaring jumps with real ballon-that magical pause in the air one reads about more than one sees.

Reyes is a trooper. A last minute debut in an extraordinarily challenging "star" role. Add to that a distraught child (or children) who let loose at the beginning of her variation in Act 3. I quite liked her in the scene in Orion's cave. But I agree with Abatt that this is not really her role and, I find, that like Sleeping Beauty, which is clearly in Ashton's mind, the ballet does not come near its full glory without a glorious ballerina at it's center.

I could not agree more. I saw the Thursday evening performance. Cornejo somehow seems to jump higher while already airborne in mid-jump. His Act 3 solo was especially amazing. Unfortunately for me (although I doubt it was audible on stage), some bozo decided to sing along with the music to Xiomara Reyes' variation (the pizzicato variation). While I applaud that audience member's ability to sing the variation, it was totally inappropriate and extremely annoying.

I would love to see what Reyes does with the role in the future.

On a side note, I never noticed the tattoo that Cornejo has on his inside forearm just above the wrist. Once I noticed it, I found it distracting.

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