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ABT 2013 Sleeping Beauty at the Met


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#31 ABT Fan

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 09:19 AM

Thank you all for these SB reviews. Wish I could have attended one myself (Lane's). It's disgraceful that a number of their female soloists are dancing better than one of their principals! I feel so bad for Abrera and Lane who can consistently dance rings around "someone" yet they're still soloists. So nice to hear about their wonderful performances! Not surprising but great to read about, yet a tad bittersweet.

#32 atm711

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 09:33 AM

I am adding my kudos to both Sarah Lane and Daniil Simkin for their beautiful SB...she reminded me so much of Cojocaru...and he of the young Baryshnikov.

 

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.....



#33 California

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 10:15 AM

 

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 saw her as one of the goats in Sylvia last week and was struck at the similarities with the cat in SB -- especially the pawing hands.



#34 bingham

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 10:34 AM

 

 

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 saw her as one of the goats in Sylvia last week and was struck at the similarities with the cat in SB -- especially the pawing hands.

 

But ,at least, there was more dancing in Sylvia...



#35 Drew

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 10:52 AM

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...

 

Many Russians dance the rose adagio this way (including major dancers in my memory)...



#36 puppytreats

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 11:10 AM

" 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.  "

 

Whom does she look like?



#37 ABT Fan

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 12:46 PM

" 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.  "
 
Whom does she look like?


I think Seo is quite similar to Kent in body type and especially technique/lyricalness. Looks to me as if she's being groomed to replace Kent when Kent retires.

#38 cobweb

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 12:48 PM

from atm711: "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."

 

I had the same thought when I saw Stella Abrera as one of Sylvia's attendants last week. It's just sad to see a dancer of Abrera's talent and seniority, in a role that could go to promising corps members. It's not good for her, and it's not good for the younger ones to have her taking that spot. Same thing with Misty Copeland. And I think it's not good for the audience, either. People who attend ballet regularly get invested in seeing favorite dancers rise through the ranks. There's a real pleasure in seeing someone you first noticed as one of a line of swans, get new roles roles and get promoted. But when I see dancers like Eric Tamm and Joseph Phillips languishing in the corps year after year, it gets demoralizing. As an audience member, I puzzle about what is going on. I can see why Simone Messmer and Maria Riccetto decided to go elsewhere. I find myself fervently hoping that current corps standouts, Joseph Gorak and Skylar Brandt, don't succumb to whatever is causing such stagnation. 

 

As for Hee Seo, I did not see her SB (or Swan Lake for that matter), but the reports are not good. I don't understand what happened to her. When I first noticed her in the corps, there were a couple of years in which I eagerly looked forward to her performances, where she seemed dazzling in every respect, obviously headed for promotion. Now so many poor reviews. What happened?



#39 cobweb

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 01:07 PM

I was there last night for Cornejo and Kochetkova. Herman Cornejo -- wow. So beautiful and intense -- I can't even try to describe it, but if I can help it I'll never miss one of his performances again! I didn't find Maria Kochetkova very interesting. She didn't have any glow, she doesn't have Cornejo's charisma. He seemed to be looking at her very intently, trying to connect with her, but she stayed cool. I wish they had given this performance to Sarah Lane. 

Leann Underwood was replaced by Gemma Bond as one of the fairies, but I thought I spotted her amongst the corps in the vision scene. 

As for Vasiliev, I admire the energy and passion with which he throws himself into his roles. As Orion in Sylvia, and again as Bluebird, he seems to completely efface himself in the service of the role. So much so that I'm a little taken aback... but I love the energy he brings to the stage.

Yuriko Kajiya is not my idea of the Lilac Fairy. Too thin and not authoritative. Give me Abrera or Part!



#40 mimsyb

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 01:32 PM

It's just a thought, but the continuance of doing the full length "war horses" year in and year out at the Met means that there are just so many roles available for the corps dancers.  And the soloists have to get stage time too.  So what to do?  I appreciate that these ballets fill seats and they offer opportunities for the principles.  But this is why we get Misty doing what is essentially a corps role (White Cat), and Sara getting an Aurora once in a blue moon.  And Messmer is leaving.   But when the Ratmansky Trilogy was presented, the entire company got a chance to dance...really dance!  And there were two full companies for these ballets.  AND a corps dancer got to fill in for a Principle (Shevchenko for Murphy). This was also the case for "Drink" and "Symphony in C".  Lots of dancing.  Lots of opportunities for everyone.  City Ballet has done this for years.  Three ballets on a bill and everyone dances.  It must be difficult for corps dancers at ABT to continue to do these ensemble endeavors and for soloist dancers to never move up because no one leaves and ABT continues to hire from the outside.  To see the poor excuse for dancing that was Vasiliev's Blue Bird was a travesty.  And there in the corps in those ridiculous costumes was Gorak, Phillips, Scott, Ribagorda, etc. etc. doing pretty much nothing.   I don't have an answer.  (well, I do, but no one wants to hear it!)

#41 canbelto

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 01:52 PM

It's also the ABT's version of Sleeping Beauty that leaves watered-down opportunities for the up-and-coming corps members or demi-soloists. SB is traditionally considered an excellent opportunity to show the top-down strength of a company, but with the current staging it's become just another showcase vehicle for the Star Ballerina and the Star Dancer. The fairy variations in the prologue and the divertissements in Aurora's wedding are either cut or presented in such a disjointed way that it's hard for anybody to shine, and that's a shame. 



#42 California

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 01:54 PM

I agree with mimsyb that all those full-length ballets at the Met contribute to the casting problems. And to fill such a big theater, those full-length warhorses seem to be a necessity with today's audiences. The two-week fall season, with nothing but mixed bills across the plaza in a smaller house, should help provide more opportunities for soloists and corps members. It will be a test case, as it were, to see if they can sell well. Let's hope they do.

 

Did someone mention that the ABT contract with the Met only runs through 2015? Perhaps that will be the opportunity to move to the you-know-who Theatre for a summer season once NYCB closes -- most of June, all of July. That's not ideal either, but it might be more realistic financially, especially if fund-raising woes continue. I suppose a March-April season would be a possibility, but not great either.



#43 angelica

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 02:18 PM

If ABT's Artistic Director would (1) stop hiring dancers from other companies, and (2) provide adequate coaching for ABT's own dancers, there would be many more opportunities for advancement from within, even with the old warhorses. A longer fall season, with more rep, is also on my wish list.

 

I would love to see ABT perform in a house that was more user-friendly for ballet. As I said before in a thread about where to sit at the Met, my personal opinion is that every seat at the Met is a compromise. I know there are some who love center grand tier but that's too far away for me. I end up sitting in the orchestra, as close to the stage as possible, but even then there are random problems, such as the very tall man who sat in front of me a week or so ago, blocking a third of the stage for my $100+ ticket.



#44 vipa

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 03:27 PM

I think Seo is quite similar to Kent in body type and especially technique/lyricalness. Looks to me as if she's being groomed to replace Kent when Kent retires.

That's a good point ABT Fan.  That might be the case, although I believe that Kent was more technically proficient that Hee Seo is.  I also see a similarity between Seo and Alessandra Ferri.  Similar bodies - Ferri was a great dramatic ballerina/actress who was limited in the roles she danced.  KM seems to want Seo to dance everything.
 
Many people made great points about the limitations presenting "war horse" full length ballets, in terms of casting.

#45 ABT Fan

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 03:52 PM

I agree Kent was more technically proficient than Seo is. Kent danced everything and to me it looks like KM wants Seo to do the same. That's an interesting comparison - Seo and Ferri. And an excellent point: Ferri was extraordinary in certain ballets and she stuck to them instead of doing those that wouldn't show off her best assets.

Someone else lamented how/why Seo had gone from a promising corps dancer to a struggling principal. I think it's due to being promoted too soon, too many roles and premieres this season, heavy expectations, and not enough coaching.


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