pbl

ABT 2013 Sleeping Beauty at the Met

125 posts in this topic

I don't think it's unconscionable to expect a principal dancer to debut in SB and SL during the same season. After all, Hee Seo does not perform lead roles in a number of the ballets that ABT presented this season, such as DonQ , Sylvia and Corsaire. She already knew her roles in Eugene Onegin and R&J from prior seasons, so it does not seem like an unduly excessive burden. The NY Post review of her SB was much kinder to her SB debut than a lot of the comments I've read here.

Share this post


Link to post

I agree about ABT's rep. Part of the reason I love ABT is because we (the audience) are able to watch multiple versions of the classics ("workhorses") each year. I like that ABT's rep is different than NYCB's. If they were to adopt the more variety program for their long Met season, why bother having 2 separate companies?

Hee Seo's body does not seem to me to look like Ferri's or Kent's. Kent is very slight, willowy, and very thin. Ferri is also extremely thin and slight, but with a curvier line. Seo is broader, and more solid in physical appearance. If you are talking about dance style, that may be a different thing.

I would not prefer to give up a meaningful work of art (e.g., "workhorses") so more people get a chance to dance (e.g., like "across the plaza".) I don't think the emotional impact is the same.

One more note about Kochetkova - I guess part of the reason I was dissatisfied by her performance is that I expected so much more from a "guest artist." If McKenzie is going to spend extra money on a guest from another company, I want the guest to be exceptionally dazzling. I didn't think Kochetkova delivered performances (I saw both of hers this season) that exceeded what some of ABT's soloists (i.e. Sarah Lane, Stella Abrera, or Simone Messmer) could have done if given the chance.

I have a feeeling that you represent the core audience of ABT pretty well. I'm glad that there IS an American company that is able to devote time and energies to the classic, traditional story ballets. Keeping tradition and history alive is a necessary part of this artform: someone's got to do it. And it's good to know that ABT is out there; I just happen to really enjoy mix-bill programs and seeing latest developments in the art as well. And as I mentioned before, I don't think the ABT model makes for a good learning and 'nurturing' environment for the general company - dancers trying to work their way up through the ranks seem to find it a more unforgiving and tempermental environment than they would see at a regional company. So there are pluses and minuses with this company model, for sure.

"If McKenzie is going to spend extra money on a guest from another company, I want the guest to be exceptionally dazzling. I didn't think Kochetkova delivered performances (I saw both of hers this season) that exceeded what some of ABT's soloists (i.e. Sarah Lane, Stella Abrera, or Simone Messmer) could have done if given the chance."

A valid criticism given ABT's approach - you should be able to 'expect' 1st-rate performances from the principlas (though things do go wrong). I'm sorry that Kochetkova didn't deliver for you in this environment. It's going to be REALLY interesting to see just how well Messmer matches Kochetkova on Masha's home turf. I think Messmer will be a good fit at SFB, but you never know what will happen with personal chemistries. And then there's the city life - How will Messmer take to SF in general?

Share this post


Link to post

I would not prefer to give up a meaningful work of art (e.g., "workhorses") so more people get a chance to dance (e.g., like "across the plaza".) I don't think the emotional impact is the same.

Amen to that! I would be so sad if ABT stopped doing the Petipa /Ivanov cannon during their summer seasons. I feel privileged to live in a city where we have both ABT & NYCB, it would be absolutely unthinkable to envision New York without a company that presents the great classics each and every year - and I don't mean NYCB's Balanchineized/Martinized versions. London has the RB, Paris has the POB, Moscow the Bolshoi and St. Petersburg the divine Mariinsky. Could I wish that ABT did better versions of the classics? Absolutely, but even McKenzie's Disneyfied stagings are better than nothing at all.

Its bad enough that we sometimes have to go a couple of years without Giselle and Bayadere, I wish ABT would do them and Swan Lake each year and then alternate Beauty and Raymonda (please please please Raymonda!!!!) along with the Ashton, McMillan and other full lengths. The 2 rep programs they've been doing at the Met the last few years rounds it out nicely, but the Met isn't the place for a rep heavy season. Story ballets are the heart & soul of ABT - its the "T" part and that's what their audience wants. I guess its lucky for me that the taste of the 3,000 or so people who flock to the Met for 6 weeks every summer coincide with mine. I know that if ABT decided to give us only 2 or 3 full lengths each season I'd drop my subscriptions in a NY minute.

Meanwhile, I've been to 3 Sleeping Beauties so far. Hererra and Gomes were wonderful, he is just great in everything he does and this is my favorite role for her when it comes to the classics. Her technique is strong, her legs are beautiful, her balances were great and she was a lovely, demure, charming princess.

Lane & Simkin really wowed me, especially Lane. Like everyone else who posted about her performance I was totally captivated. Its kind of amazing to me how she has grown in the role after performing it once 5 years ago with no coaching in the intervening years. This time she really had it all. Beautiful, crystalline technique, lovely, long, secure balances and that je ne sais quoi that separates a ballerina from just another talented dancer. Her dancing had breath and beauty, her phrasing and musicality could rival Cojocaru's and her acting was pitch perfect. My only quibble was with the fish dives - they seemed pretty conservative, but who could blame her?

Watching Kochetkova and Cornejo was a very frustrating experience. Yes, he is an amazing dancer but Desire is such a small role, this is really Aurora's ballet and I found Kochetkova to be no more than adequate. Her technique was strong, she made no mistakes but she did nothing really right, either. Honestly, if she has so little experience dancing the classics why bring her here in the first place? The answer is clear - because they needed a partner for Cornejo and truth be told, even Lane & Reyes are a bit tall for him. She is not the answer, her Swan Lake was not great but at least she caught the basic essence of Odette/Odile. In Sleeping Beauty she really showed no feel for Petipa, the style or the musicality. And since she never danced with the Russian companies why should she do the Russian style Rose Adagio balances? The Royal & ENB both bring the arms en couronne in the 2nd set of balances, and aren't those the companies she danced with before SFB? Certainly, anyone who saw Hererra & Lane hold beautiful, confident, radiant balances while interacting charmingly with the suitors had to be disappointed in her performance. And it wasn't just the Rose Adagio, she really didn't bring much nuance to her acting or dancing in the whole first act. There was no "perfume". She was better in the next 2 acts but still nothing to write home about.

My Lilac Fairies were Part, Abrera and Kajiya. Part & Abrera were great, Part was was magical & majestic, you just knew that she had everything under control. Abrera was beautiful with gorgeous line and lovely technique. Both radiated grace and authority. Kajiya's dancing was fine but simply did not command the stage. She is really a light, romantic type of dancer with a tendency towards small scale movement. Not a good choice for Lilac. I wish they had given Hee Seo more Lilac performances, I think it would be a great role for her and I'm sorry I won't be able to see her only performance tonight.

ABT's dancers perform the fairy variations very well and its such a relief to see their versions after having seen NYCB's earlier this year. Especially the "Valor" variation (also known as the finger variation). With NYCB I could swear I was watching the Anger Fairy. Here both Misty Copeland and Devon Teuscher gave us all the strength and determination inherent in the steps without stabbing their fingers like daggers. Sincerity and Charity are my two favorites and they were both beautifully done. Katherine Williams & Melanie Hamrick did Sincerity and Gemma Bond did all 3 performance of Charity that I saw (she subbed for Leann Underwood in one). Kristi Boone and Yuriko Kajiya did Ferver and Luciana Paris and Christine Shevchenko did Joy.

Despite the many flaws of ABT's production there is much to love in the performances - so many wonderful roles for so many talented dancers.

Share this post


Link to post

My question is - Will KM do anything with Sarah Lane? I wasn't able to see her performance this year. The one I saw 5 years ago was flawed but way beyond good, and certainly worth nurturing. Given her age (late 20's) and length of time with the company it's now or never.

Share this post


Link to post

Its bad enough that we sometimes have to go a couple of years without Giselle and Bayadere,

Ha...just a couple of years...? Oh wow, you lucky NY'rs...

I saw the performance with Herrera and Gomes replacing Stearns. I brought along my friend, who was exposed to his very first SB live. I LOVED Paloma in the role. I actually saw her Aurora some years ago when ABT brought this production to Miami, and I must say I liked her way more now than back then. Her Rose Adagio was magnificent. No bubbling balances, but instead very centered, strong and just wonderful. She placed her hands up there en couronne, and didn't seem to be in a rush to hold the suitor's hand right away, just as many ballerinas do. I'm probably one of the few that believes that a ballerina ought to be in control of the signature technical challenges of a given ballet, and otherwise she should not be performing it.. Aurora is a demanding role. The ballerina dances a lot, and Herrera really conquered the hard technical passages. I didn't think I was going to like her that much.

Gomes was just as wonderful. He partnered Herrera to perfection, and he's just a pleasure to watch. Handsome, elegant, with such noble carriage and so engaged in the whole atmosphere of the story. He and Herrera looked very believable together-(something that doesn't happen all the time).

Part was very beautiful as Lilac-(I had seen her in the role also years ago, and I remembered her more insecure...but not this time). I particularly enjoyed the Vision Scene, with its message of untangible love conquering.

Misty Copeland danced Violante. There's a physical detail in Copeland that bothers me-(I've seen her a couple of times onstage). She has hyper curved lower legs, and I noticed that the effect during chainee turns is weird. Because her legs don't create a straight line, when together they separate from the knees down, and then the chainee turns loose very much its magic, which is largely based in placing both feet as close as possible while executing the steps. In general she danced fine, but I don't think she is Principal material.

Was it me or this I noticed Vasiliev somehow heavy during his Bluebird solos and coda...? I keep saying I think he's gaining some weight. I also didn't find him particularly engaging this time. His Orion was better.

I don't have too much complains about scenery and costumes. One thing I would had liked is that they had not erased that much the characters divertissements. At least they could had leave the cats.

I must say this will stay as one of my all time favorite SB.

Share this post


Link to post
At least they could had leave the cats.

There is no pussycat pdd in ABT's Beauty???????

Share this post


Link to post

I swear I saw the Puss N Boots pas in their SB years ago. Very short dance but cute. Did they take it out??

Share this post


Link to post

My question is - Will KM do anything with Sarah Lane? I wasn't able to see her performance this year. The one I saw 5 years ago was flawed but way beyond good, and certainly worth nurturing. Given her age (late 20's) and length of time with the company it's now or never.

I think many of us are wondering this same thing. I've seen Lane dance regularly over the years and she never disappoints me. Always secure, gorgeous technique, continues to grow, never any big problems. I hope she isn't left to wallow as a soloist forever. She'd also make a very lovely Juliet.

Share this post


Link to post

I found this on a Russian forum. Ivan Vasiliev and Isabella Boylston's Blue Bird PDD:

Awful.

Thank you Plisskin for posting this. Boylston looks fabulous! Vasiliev? Bent knees, feet not pointed, legs turned in. I don't understand. So what if he can jump as high as a skyscraper and turn like a tasmanian devil. He looks awful doing it. I would love to be a fly on the wall during his rehearsals. I wonder if KM and the rehearsal directors correct him for these persistent and unprofessional mistakes?

Share this post


Link to post

Hey everyone-

I will be at tonight's SB with my five year-old daughter and my mom . . . would be interesting to meet someone from this group offline at intermission. Having only got into this over the past two years, I really enjoy meeting people who are more familiar with the technical points and who are fluent in discussing the artistry. And just talking about performances is fun.

Message me if you'd like to meet. Paris.

Share this post


Link to post

I found this on a Russian forum. Ivan Vasiliev and Isabella Boylston's Blue Bird PDD:

Awful.

Thank you Plisskin for posting this. Boylston looks fabulous! Vasiliev? Bent knees, feet not pointed, legs turned in. I don't understand. So what if he can jump as high as a skyscraper and turn like a tasmanian devil. He looks awful doing it. I would love to be a fly on the wall during his rehearsals. I wonder if KM and the rehearsal directors correct him for these persistent and unprofessional mistakes?

Ratmansky, when he was director at the Bolshoi, plucked Vasiliev and Osipova out of some crowd (was it a school or a regional company?) and hired them at the Bolshoi. I wonder if/how he gives corrections when he choreographs, as he used both of them in the Trilogy. And I wonder if he pushed Vasiliev along as a way to get Osipova into the Bolshoi. I haven't noticed anything along these lines in his interviews to date.

Share this post


Link to post

For the life of me I cannot understand why a dancer of Misty Copeland's prominence is cast in this production as a Cat (and one who does not dance, at that!!)---surely it would have been a prize spot for a corps dancer.......there she sat, all during Act 3----just watching...I wonder what was going on in her head.....

I assumed this was Puss 'n Boots. Are there other cats in this production?

Share this post


Link to post

I found this on a Russian forum. Ivan Vasiliev and Isabella Boylston's Blue Bird PDD:

Awful.

Thank you Plisskin for posting this. Boylston looks fabulous! Vasiliev? Bent knees, feet not pointed, legs turned in. I don't understand. So what if he can jump as high as a skyscraper and turn like a tasmanian devil. He looks awful doing it. I would love to be a fly on the wall during his rehearsals. I wonder if KM and the rehearsal directors correct him for these persistent and unprofessional mistakes?

Ratmansky, when he was director at the Bolshoi, plucked Vasiliev and Osipova out of some crowd (was it a school or a regional company?) and hired them at the Bolshoi. I wonder if/how he gives corrections when he choreographs, as he used both of them in the Trilogy. And I wonder if he pushed Vasiliev along as a way to get Osipova into the Bolshoi. I haven't noticed anything along these lines in his interviews to date.

N Osipova was a Bolshoi Academy graduate and was in the Corps de ballet when Ivan was hired as soloist ( from the Belarus national Ballet) He was a winner at the Moscow IBC before he joined the company.

Share this post


Link to post

I swear I saw the Puss N Boots pas in their SB years ago. Very short dance but cute. Did they take it out??

The cats get a bit of dancing as they enter the stage, as do Cinderella and her prince and Little Red Riding Hood an the wolf. Oddly enough I had the same feeling that in previous years the cats have danced more in the ABT production. Does anyone recall? Perhaps it's just wishful thinking on my part. Also, I thought a decision was made in previous years to bring back the king and queen for the wedding act, but this didn't happen at Tuesday's performance (or perhaps they were planted so far to stage right that I couldn't see them).

There's a physical detail in Copeland that bothers me-(I've seen her a couple of times onstage). She has hyper curved lower legs, and I noticed that the effect during chainee turns is weird. Because her legs don't create a straight line, when together they separate from the knees down, and then the chainee turns loose very much its magic, which is largely based in placing both feet as close as possible while executing the steps. In general she danced fine, but I don't think she is Principal material.

This is something I have noticed, as well, and it can be distracting in certain passages, like the chainee turns you mention. Her legs have the odd and (to my eyes) unattractive effect of looking like they bow out beneath the knee, which obviously isn't the physical reality for a dancer. This can be seen very clearly in the wallpaper images of her twitter feed (https://twitter.com/mistyonpointe). Unfortunately, I feel as if it is a physical quirk that becomes most jarring in classical tutu roles, though when Copeland dances as brilliantly as she did as Florine earlier this week, it's easy to forget about any less than "ideal" aspects of her line.

Share this post


Link to post

I swear I saw the Puss N Boots pas in their SB years ago. Very short dance but cute. Did they take it out??

The cats get a bit of dancing as they enter the stage, as do Cinderella and her prince and Little Red Riding Hood an the wolf. Oddly enough I had the same feeling that in previous years the cats have danced more in the ABT production. Does anyone recall? Perhaps it's just wishful thinking on my part. Also, I thought a decision was made in previous years to bring back the king and queen for the wedding act, but this didn't happen at Tuesday's performance (or perhaps they were planted so far to stage right that I couldn't see them).

The cats (and other characters) did not dance in the earlier performances. You were probably thinking of the previous SB by Macmillan. The king and queen were present last Tuesday.

There's a physical detail in Copeland that bothers me-(I've seen her a couple of times onstage). She has hyper curved lower legs, and I noticed that the effect during chainee turns is weird. Because her legs don't create a straight line, when together they separate from the knees down, and then the chainee turns loose very much its magic, which is largely based in placing both feet as close as possible while executing the steps. In general she danced fine, but I don't think she is Principal material.

This is something I have noticed, as well, and it can be distracting in certain passages, like the chainee turns you mention. Her legs have the odd and (to my eyes) unattractive effect of looking like they bow out beneath the knee, which obviously isn't the physical reality for a dancer. This can be seen very clearly in the wallpaper images of her twitter feed (https://twitter.com/mistyonpointe). Unfortunately, I feel as if it is a physical quirk that becomes most jarring in classical tutu roles, though when Copeland dances as brilliantly as she did as Florine earlier this week, it's easy to forget about any less than "ideal" aspects of her line.

Share this post


Link to post

My question is - Will KM do anything with Sarah Lane? I wasn't able to see her performance this year. The one I saw 5 years ago was flawed but way beyond good, and certainly worth nurturing. Given her age (late 20's) and length of time with the company it's now or never.

I think many of us are wondering this same thing. I've seen Lane dance regularly over the years and she never disappoints me. Always secure, gorgeous technique, continues to grow, never any big problems. I hope she isn't left to wallow as a soloist forever. She'd also make a very lovely Juliet.

I agree that she'd make a lovely Juliet, and I know from her Huffington Post interview she learned the role, but hasn't performed it. I understand that her SB was quite something this year. 5 years ago when I saw it, it was very good over all - with an outstanding Rose Adagio (which is something for a first timer). Given the lack of opportunities offered to her by KM, with a sinking heart I don't see being promoted in her future. I hope I'm wrong.

Share this post


Link to post

If in order to get her you need also to hire him, that's a poor administrative decision on everyone's part. If those are her conditions, I say tell her "no". He is so far inferior in technique and style to so many others at ABT, and yet he is getting not one, but multiple performances of many roles that should be going to others. I think it can be said that the Emperor truly is without clothes at this point. He is taking up space on the roster and it's so sad to see. Given her numerous recent cancellations and the fact she will be with the Royal more now, I have to ask is she even worth it? ABT has many qualified and exciting dancers. Let us see them!!

Share this post


Link to post

I thought Murphy & Whiteside performed beautifully last night. Murphy was not as secure in the Birthday scene as in prior outings. She did fine, but no daredevil balances in the Rose Adagio. She sparkled throughout the rest of the performance, though. Whiteside had strong technique and very good partnering skills. His acting is weak, but I can accept that. Given the number of lead roles he has taken on this season (SB on about a week's notice, after Corey was injured), I would have to say that McKenzie hit a home run in hiring this guy. If all goes well the next few months, I expect that he will be the next male principal at ABT. Hee Seo was lovely as Lilac, although a bit more happiness in her facial expression would have been appreciated.

Lane was a lovely Florine. Gorak replaced Simkin as Bluebird. It looked like he and Lane had little or no rehearsal time together. It was some of the worst partnering I've seen at ABT.

Boylston was the cat, and she wore a glum expression throughout. The bubble over her head would read: "I should be dancing Aurora or at least Florine. What the #$%! am I doing being cast as the Cat?

SB sells. The Big House has been packed all week.

Share this post


Link to post

If in order to get her you need also to hire him, that's a poor administrative decision on everyone's part. If those are her conditions, I say tell her "no". He is so far inferior in technique and style to so many others at ABT, and yet he is getting not one, but multiple performances of many roles that should be going to others. I think it can be said that the Emperor truly is without clothes at this point. He is taking up space on the roster and it's so sad to see. Given her numerous recent cancellations and the fact she will be with the Royal more now, I have to ask is she even worth it? ABT has many qualified and exciting dancers. Let us see them!!

Like the numerous (more than Osipova) recent cancellations of ABT home-team dancers Cory Stearns, Hallburg or hammoudi?

It is disappointing when someone is injured but there is no reason to criticize a dancer for it. I really doubt that she learned this new role only in order to blow it off.

Also it is clearly not true that to get her you need to take him. This is evidenced by the fact that she has been hired at the Royal and he has not.

Share this post


Link to post

abatt would you please mention the Fairies from last night? I live so far away from NYC. Would have been there if I could have but that thing called work kept me from being there. Any review of the fairies will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

As for Miss Boylston and a glum face, odd. She is generally very kind and happy to be dancing. Maybe something was wrong. I hope not, but maybe.

Share this post


Link to post

I found this on a Russian forum. Ivan Vasiliev and Isabella Boylston's Blue Bird PDD:

Awful.

Thank you Plisskin for posting this. Boylston looks fabulous! Vasiliev? Bent knees, feet not pointed, legs turned in. I don't understand. So what if he can jump as high as a skyscraper and turn like a tasmanian devil. He looks awful doing it. I would love to be a fly on the wall during his rehearsals. I wonder if KM and the rehearsal directors correct him for these persistent and unprofessional mistakes?

Ratmansky, when he was director at the Bolshoi, plucked Vasiliev and Osipova out of some crowd (was it a school or a regional company?) and hired them at the Bolshoi. I wonder if/how he gives corrections when he choreographs, as he used both of them in the Trilogy. And I wonder if he pushed Vasiliev along as a way to get Osipova into the Bolshoi. I haven't noticed anything along these lines in his interviews to date.

I believe you are mistaken. Osipova came into the company from the Bolshoi school.

Sorry for saying something already made clear by someone else earlier in the thread!

Edited by aurora

Share this post


Link to post

Osipova is from the Bolshoi school, if mem. serves.

Vasiliev is from Belarus or another former Soviet Republic, again, if mem. serves.

Share this post


Link to post

It's in their ABT bios:

Osipova

In 2004, Moscow-born Natalia Osipova, completed her training at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography, where she studied with Director Marina Leonova, and joined the Bolshoi Ballet. Her coach at the theatre is Marina Kondratieva.

Vasiliev

Ivan Vasiliev was born in Vladivostok, Russia and studied at the Dnepropetrovsk Ballet School in Ukraine and later at the Belorussian State Choreographic College in Minsk, graduating in 2006. Vasiliev danced Basilio in Don Quixote and Ali in Le Corsaire with the Belorus National Ballet while still a student at the College. In 2006 he was invited to join the Bolshoi Ballet as a Soloist, making his debut with the company, at age 17, as Basilio in Don Quixote. He was promoted to the rank of Principal dancer in May 2010. He is coached by the former Bolshoi star Yuri Vladimirov.

Vasiliev joined the Bolshoi two years after Osipova was taken into the company directly from the school.

Vasiliev was on the Bolshoi's 2006 London tour, and he got a lot of advanced publicity, including on television. He was a draw in his own right.

Share this post


Link to post