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ABT 2013 Sleeping Beauty at the Met


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#16 Jayne

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 12:18 PM

based on the interviews given by Simone Messmer, among others, it seems that ABT doesn't give adequate rehearsal times for anyone - even the guests get just 1 week to learn the ABT version of the ballets.   It seems that Hee Seo had too many debuts within an 8 week performance period.  If she was at another company, her coach would have said "you're not ready" and given the extra performance to Sarah Lane.  There would be no shame in it, and Hee Seo could have debuted it at a later date, or as a guest with another company.  What a shame, though that Stella Abrera did not get an opportunity, as she had plenty of experience at RNZB. 



#17 angelica

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 03:00 PM

Both Sarah Lane and Stella Abrera were sensational in today's matinee. To be more precise, Sarah was sensational and Stella was beyond exquisite. Sarah is small, but she danced large, covering vast amounts of space with every jump, carving gorgeous curvilinear lines with her upper body, and stepping into arabesque after arabesque with complete confidence. She did beautiful renverses, and didn't miss a single triple pirouette. Doesn't Paris Opera Ballet announce promotions after a performance? Based on Sarah's performance today, she deserves to be promoted to Principal and to be given leading roles at ABT that she has danced elsewhere, including Swan Lake and GiselleSleeping Beauty doesn't require a huge amount of drama, but her sudden response to the pricking by the spindle was completely realistic.

 

Stella Abrera is so perfect as the Lilac Fairy that it's almost become a liability for her--why give someone else that role when she dances it so well? Yes, definitely, she should be dancing Aurora instead of certain other ballerinas who shall remain nameless here. Her technique, her radiance, her mime, are all pitch perfect. She, too, deserves Principal status.

 

I thought Daniil Simkin did a good job, executing his solos with clarity and a beautiful classical line, without the self-promoting gestures that he used to make to the audience. I don't know if it's just me, and this is the first time I've seen this ballet close up (Row B Orchestra), but it seemed to me that Sarah took a little longer than the ideal in getting that bottom leg into passe in the fish dive balances, so that her leg going up was the last thing you saw, instead of creating the illusion that it all happened at once. I don't know if that was a partnering issue or a Sarah issue. A minor detail in my book.

 

Today's matinee would have made Petipa proud.



#18 ord7916

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 03:44 PM

Just back from today's matinee and I can report that Sarah Lane was superb.  With her entrance, she brought instant excitement to what had been, up to then, an ok production.  I have only seen a few ballets and had never before heard of the Rose Adaigo, but that was most exciting ballet scene I've seen.  She really blew me away. 

 

I hadn't realized how little time Prince Desire is actually on stage.  Daniil Simkin, once he got the chance to show what he could do, was great in the grand pas de deux.  So were Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews in the Bluebird pas de deux. 

 

Everything else in between, I would describe as decent.  The music sounded great.  The audience, perhaps because it was a matinee, was not the best behaved - lots of talking, crackling wrappers and eight people in the center of my row who had to get out before the curtain call.

 

Though I realize I may be the only one, I kind of liked the scenery, particularly the Act III palace scene.  I suppose it is a bit Disney-like but also reminded me of the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg.  Perhaps that was the intention.

 

My favorite for this season is still Don Quixote with Reyes and Cornejo.   



#19 nanushka

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 03:44 PM

...it seemed to me that Sarah took a little longer than the ideal in getting that bottom leg into passe in the fish dive balances, so that her leg going up was the last thing you saw, instead of creating the illusion that it all happened at once. I don't know if that was a partnering issue or a Sarah issue. A minor detail in my book.

 

It's interesting -- that's exactly what Hee Seo did last night.



#20 Balanchinomane

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 03:56 PM

Yes, 3 cheers for the Home Team. A near perfect performance. Lane's Aurora was radiantly

happy - her face serene and confident. She hit all the balances in the Rose A, arms in upper 

fifth and a final arabesque flourish. A slight teeter on the last prince's promenade but the crowd

was already clapping and yelling so it may have thrown them off. Her adagio passages were

stunning. I think conductor Barker was following her lead - she may be tiny but her dancing

is expansive and luxurious - using all the music with her arms, back, head. Gorgeous.

Abrera is marvelous as Lilac - but she looks great in everything. Kajiya was our Florine and

was all smiles and perfect technique. Seeing her paired with Matthews as Bluebird reminds me

to add their Giselle to my wish list, hopefully next year.

Simkin was all Petipa Prince. Beautiful form, large jumps and soft landings. Loved the mime with

Lilac in the vision scene. Actually saw him falling in love with Aurora. 

And of course, Gorak who played the herald, Catalabutte's sidekick. Even standing on the sidelines

wearing a silly wig, he was all turned out and looked like a prince himself.

It was a wonderful day. I hope LaKarsavina was there!



#21 vipa

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 05:03 PM

 

...it seemed to me that Sarah took a little longer than the ideal in getting that bottom leg into passe in the fish dive balances, so that her leg going up was the last thing you saw, instead of creating the illusion that it all happened at once. I don't know if that was a partnering issue or a Sarah issue. A minor detail in my book.

 

It's interesting -- that's exactly what Hee Seo did last night.

 

My guess is that each woman was waiting to feel secure before lifting her leg.  I'm not totally surprised because it is a partnering move that takes rehearsal time, which at ABT by all accounts is short.  I was so sorry that I couldn't go to the Lane performance, so I really appreciate the reviews.  I saw the SB she did 5 years ago and loved it.  What a crazy company to make a dancer wait 5 years to do a role that she was good in the first time around.    



#22 macnellie

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 05:40 PM

This afternoon was one of the most magical i've experienced in a long long time. Sara Lane was beautiful and so compelling that i became transported into her world. I remember gasping in fear when she prickrd her fiinger! I thought Danil was wonderful too. An ardent and passionate prince.
And...i had heard so many awful things about the set and costumes that i was expecting "awful." It reminded me of childrens book illustrations of the 50's. And being a child then, i loved them this afternoon!

#23 vipa

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 06:51 PM

Unfortunately, I think it's more than 'Aurora' for Hee Seo....I saw her debut in Giselle, and also followed up with her performance on the following year and found it lacking....a case of too much, too soon. I would love to be in McKenzie's head when he is making these decisions........

 

I was at Seo's SL.  I felt so negative, I didn't want to comment.   IMO it could only be called terrific if you very selectively chose moments.  Certainly not a performance by a principal dancer in a world class company.

 

Hee Seo has many wonderful attributes, and can do many roles but I believe that she was promoted (somewhat but not totally - she had proven herself in some roles) on body type.  It is look that the AD favors.  Now that she has been promoted she is being expected to carry a full range of roles for which she isn't suited.  I fault the AD. 



#24 California

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 03:47 AM

Curtain calls Wednesday, 7/3 matinee, thanks to LaKarsavina (Lane/Simkin/Abrera):

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Tx4wN989jAI

 

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=svLxcCVInHM



#25 California

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 03:53 AM

Curtain calls Wednesday, 7/3 evening, thanks to LaKarsavina (Kochetkova/Cornejo/Kajiya):

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=2Mh5o5fRioM

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=dW5XkzoSsZM

 

(Nothing posted for the 7/2 Hee Seo debut.)



#26 abatt

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:52 AM

Let me add my voice to the chorus of praise for Sarah Lane.  She was gorgeous. I'm so happy for her.  Simkin was  especially wonderful in his solos.  There were some partnering issues,but no disasters.  Stella was luminous.  McKenzie should be hanging his head in shame for failing to recognzie the talents of Lane and Abrera.

 

I saw Kochetkov/Cornejo in the evenng.   Her Rose Adagio was competent and professional, but not breathtaking on any level.  I thought she did better in the later acts. However, if her presence gave our wonderful Herman a chance to perform Desire, I guess I cannot object too much.  Herman was extraordinary. Kajiya is miscast as Lilac (much too short).

 

I also saw Monday night's performance.   Aurora is one of Paloma's best roles.  She was lovely, and Marcelo was magnificent (of course).



#27 California

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 07:09 AM

I've really enjoyed reading these reports about SB -- thanks, everybody -- keep 'em coming!

 

I'm curious if the houses look full. (Of course, the Wednesday night crowd was expecting Cojocaru...)



#28 aurora

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 07:29 AM


I saw Kochetkov/Cornejo in the evenng.   Her Rose Adagio was competent and professional, but not breathtaking on any level.  I thought she did better in the later acts. However, if her presence gave our wonderful Herman a chance to perform Desire, I guess I cannot object too much.  Herman was extraordinary. Kajiya is miscast as Lilac (much too short).

 

 

 

I agree that the rose adagio was not the highlight. She didn't so much have difficulty with the balances as not attempt them (she looked secure enough so it seemed a choice, but a disappointing one as far as I was concerned).

Not only did she grow through the acts, but my admiration for her grew. She is a rather quiet dancer, and of course very petite, but she really had drawn me in by the end.

 

She and Cornejo make a beautiful pair. Well matched in height and with very complementary lines. He had no difficulties with the partnering.

 

I have to say that in contrast to abatt I thought Kajiya was wonderful. She did not look short (especially not with these principals!).

She was gracious, serene, warm and her technique was secure. I found her a much more convincing orchestrator of action than i've ever found Abrerra, but I have not seen her in the role this year.



#29 onxmyxtoes

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 08:29 AM

Quite notes from last night (Cornejo/Kochetkova)

 

I was disappointed by Kochetkova, which was probably exacerbated because I bought the ticket for Cojocaru.  I agree with others that her performance grew after the Rose Adagio.  The Rose Adagio was a huge let down for me - she did not even try to hold any balance, instead she timidly lifted her hand between each suitor and immediately put her hand down.  And no final balance either.  Sigh...The rest of the birthday part act was fine, but it didn't look like she had developed any character at all.  I felt like she was just doing the movements without any meaning.  

 

Cornejo was his normal brilliant self.  I always wish Prince Desire had more dancing.  We really only get a glimpse!  I definitely want to see more of him, and hopefully he gets better partners (I've avoided his performances in the past because of his partners)

 

Kajiya I thought was miscast.  To me, she lacks the authoritative and fluidity that Liliac Fairy needs.  When she extends her arm, I feel like the movement just stops there- that there is no illusion that line extends beyond her limbs.  I miss the days when Maria Ricetto and Michelle Wiles did the role, although Stella Abrerra does it quite wonderfully (I haven't seen Part or Seo).

 

As for Vasiliev as Bluebird, I can not say anything positive except that it looks like he was trying.  I really felt like I was watching a regional pre-pro ballet company when he was doing his variations.  His lack of turn out and feet pointing were so obvious during his diagonals.  Isabella Boylston looked lovely and very happy on stage.  I think she's had a good season.



#30 onxmyxtoes

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 08:37 AM

Forgot to mention that there was an insert announcing Leann Underwood would be replaced by Gemma Bond as one of the fairies (I believe Chastity).




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