Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

ABT Fall Season Mixed Rep PerformancesNovember 1-10


  • Please log in to reply
73 replies to this topic

#61 puppytreats

puppytreats

    Gold Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 751 posts

Posted 10 November 2013 - 09:17 AM

 

I know Jared has a lot of enthusiastic fans who always praise him, and he is praiseworthy, but he often gets solo spinning parts, which are central to his section of the dance, and I think he is not the best spinner.  The Spring brochure shows him as "Puck", and I can't imagine him in that role. (Besides, I really want to see Herman in that role).

 

I agree  with comments regarding how good Gabe Stone Shayer, Jose Sebastian, and Tom Forster were in "Clear."   I was surprised by Forster, since I really did not think he had any presence in the rehearsal for "Sylphides".  

I think that it's a bit harsh to make firm or hard judgements on a dancers performance which are based soley on the rehearsal. Rehearsals are for the benefit of the dancers not the audience.

 

What you say is correct.  However, I didn't make a firm or hard judgment; I merely reported my observations and thoughts.  I also commented because I thought the nature of the choreography might contribute to the issue.



#62 puppytreats

puppytreats

    Gold Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 751 posts

Posted 10 November 2013 - 09:18 AM

 



#63 Drew

Drew

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,290 posts

Posted 10 November 2013 - 07:56 PM

Managed to get up for four performances--very glad I did, overall very substantive programs, very well danced. I don't have a lot to add to what has been said above, but will say I find The Tempest lingers in the mind. It's not unproblematic, but I think it has real theatrical poetry.  All of the principals in the roles created on them were very fine, and I appreciated Gomez' ability to communicate real anger.  As wonderful as Simkin is, beginning with the narrowly arced grand jetes of his opening with their little pause at the very height of the arc, I felt special appreciation for Cornejo who, in the ballet's final scene, brings a kind of emotional power, that the ballet did not entirely prepare one for. Otherwise I shared some of the frustration expressed by others above that one would cast Cornejo as Caliban and not give Caliban a fuller, richer role. The Tempest was my first real look at Joseph Gorak and I agree with others that he looks wonderful--not just beautifully classical but genuinely graceful. Lane, too, at her best.

 

Other works I saw while in NY: I thought Clear was dreadful and not particularly well or excitingly danced--certainly not well enough to make it into any kind of guilty pleasure--with one exception, Thomas Forster. I would be very interested in seeing more of him. I saw Theme and Variations with Semionova and Stearns. She had moments of radiance, but both Stearns and she looked very much as if they were thinking their way through the ballet. I always enjoy the way the ABT ensemble performs in this ballet and this evening was no exception. However, I enjoyed both Semionova and Stearns very much in other works I saw over the weekend. She, in Bach Partita--in fact, I think that was my favorite Semionova performance ever: she seemed free, playful, sensuous, responsive or just alive on stage in a way I hadn't experienced before. Stearns impressed me very much (and kind of unexpectedly) in A Month in the Country. Here, too, I felt as if I was seeing him come alive as a dancer in a way I hadn't really before.  Both casts of the Ashton had some flaws and some wonderful qualities (Kent/Cote/Bond & Reyes/Stearns/Lane) but I thought that in both performances the ballet came through as beautiful and moving and really in all of its extraordinary musicality, characterizations, dramatic clarity and nuances, as well as the richness of the pas de deux. I will mention too Simkin's Kolya--which I don't think could possibly be bettered. I saw Wayne Sleep who originated the role and unless my memory betrays me I don't think he was better. Gemma Bond was very well received as Vera and I think deservedly. Cote seemed to me a very fine actor. I do think ABT's Ashton here and in the Dream sometimes gets too broad and both Barbee and Zhurbin as Natalya's husband never rose above stock types--which I think Alexander Grant did. Reyes and Stearns didn't quite fill out the imagery of their major pas de deux, indeed neither Reyes nor Kent hit all the choreographic notes one might--but they gave effective, affecting performances. When ABT can stage this kind of repertory with consistency across different casts (even if this or that can be criticized)--well, in my eyes, that confirms the company's importance.

 

Other works I saw? Loved Bach Partita which I had never seen--am astonished that ABT has not tried to revive this before; Murphy was especially fabulous along with Semionova. Murphy is dancing with an extraordinary simplicity and easy command -- even the most difficult of choreography. I especially admire the freedom of her upper body. Enjoyed Gong as an intriguing novelty and wouldn't mind seeing it again. Here too Murphy's silken ease and quiet intelligence was a highlight. (She was replacing Teuscher.) In these works, I got my first look at Whiteside. In this 20th-century repertory I thought he did well.

 

I tend to admire Moor's Pavane more than I like it, and am quite sure I would enjoy it more with Limon/modern dancers, but I did appreciate watching Part put rather her stamp on the role of the Friend's wife. I saw the Ratmansky Shostakovich Piano Concerto no. 1 three times and it very much held up as a work at once festive and melancholy, ironic and touching.  I'm not sure I didn't like the "second" cast (Shevchenko, Reyes w. Tamm and Simkin) better than the Murphy/Brand/Royal/Shayer cast. At least Saturday afternoon's performance had a rather fabulous energy about it. Though I should say I was also sitting considerably closer for that performance. 

 

Finally, another word for Simkin at all the performances I saw: the creation of Ariel in The Tempest showed him not just as the airy elfin show-off of a dancer, but as able to become a strange, otherworldly being; his Kolya I have already remarked--he seemed remarkably inside the world of the ballet and its music; in the Vasiliev-originated role in the Ratmansky he was likewise excellent. As one might expect his dancing was first-rate, but he also seemed again inside the music/tone of the ballet. nothing show-offy (a common criticism) in his manner. Rather he belonged to the equivocal community that Ratmansky creates even as his dancing was actually quite spectacular.  His dancing was a highlight of my visit, along with Stearns unexpected -- to me -- speed and grace as Beliaev, his energy, intensity even in all the role's different moods.

 

But the real highlight to me was, despite Clear, a chance to see ABT in multiple and varied repertory programs of genuinely high quality -- masterpieces alongside somewhat lesser-known neo-classic experiments alongside new work -- and whatever my criticisms of this or that performance, consistently well danced, and even very well danced. Also, love that they are dancing at the State Theater.



#64 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,330 posts

Posted 10 November 2013 - 08:38 PM

Thank you so much, Drew:  it's always great to read what people who do NYC ballet visits think of companies and see with fresh eyes.



#65 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,757 posts

Posted 11 November 2013 - 06:25 AM

I went to the Sat matinee and the Sunday matinee.  Part's performance in Sylphides was one for the ages.  Absolutely gorgeous.  This was an excellent two weeks of rep. 



#66 angelica

angelica

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 488 posts

Posted 11 November 2013 - 08:59 AM

I went to the Sunday matinee and also found Part's performance in Sylphides exquisite. The surprise for me was the ease with which Semionova and Stearns seemed to dance together, as if they were truly in tune with each other and enjoyed dancing together. They could make a nice partnership in the future, perhaps bringing out the best in each other and rising to the high expectations we have of both of them. Stearns has the most perfectly proportioned body for classical ballet, as well as a gorgeous line and a handsome face. I'm sorry I missed him in Month in the Country, given Drew's comments above. 



#67 aurora

aurora

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 677 posts

Posted 11 November 2013 - 09:12 AM

I went to the Sunday matinee and also found Part's performance in Sylphides exquisite. The surprise for me was the ease with which Semionova and Stearns seemed to dance together, as if they were truly in tune with each other and enjoyed dancing together. They could make a nice partnership in the future, perhaps bringing out the best in each other and rising to the high expectations we have of both of them. Stearns has the most perfectly proportioned body for classical ballet, as well as a gorgeous line and a handsome face. I'm sorry I missed him in Month in the Country, given Drew's comments above. 

 

He did seem to enjoy dancing with semionova and did quite well with her. I thought she was lovely. I assumed he, however was just happy not to be doing his solo, given the complete hash he made of it. It was perhaps the worst thing I've ever seen an ABT performer do, on any level.



#68 angelica

angelica

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 488 posts

Posted 11 November 2013 - 09:17 AM

 

I went to the Sunday matinee and also found Part's performance in Sylphides exquisite. The surprise for me was the ease with which Semionova and Stearns seemed to dance together, as if they were truly in tune with each other and enjoyed dancing together. They could make a nice partnership in the future, perhaps bringing out the best in each other and rising to the high expectations we have of both of them. Stearns has the most perfectly proportioned body for classical ballet, as well as a gorgeous line and a handsome face. I'm sorry I missed him in Month in the Country, given Drew's comments above. 

 

He did seem to enjoy dancing with semionova and did quite well with her. I thought she was lovely. I assumed he, however was just happy not to be doing his solo, given the complete hash he made of it. It was perhaps the worst thing I've ever seen an ABT performer do, on any level.

 

 

Oh, my, I picked up the stumble in the beginning, but then I thought he recovered in both his dancing and his composure. I wish we had instant replay because I'm not sure what you found so awful.



#69 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,757 posts

Posted 11 November 2013 - 10:25 AM

Aurora may be referring to that really awful landing Cory had in Sylphides, where he spent an inordinate amount of time trying to adjust the position of his foot to avoid falling over. 



#70 angelica

angelica

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 488 posts

Posted 11 November 2013 - 10:33 AM

Aurora may be referring to that really awful landing Cory had in Sylphides, where he spent an inordinate amount of time trying to adjust the position of his foot to avoid falling over. 

 

Thank you, abatt, but does that landing make the entire variation "complete hash"? My ballet teacher says that things go wrong all the time in ballet, and that dancers have to learn to "save" those moments. If we excoriate dancers for every fall, misstep, or poor landing, then we're in danger of creating an atmosphere of unforgiving criticism. Of course we want perfection, but perfection in ballet is elusive. I think we would do better to "savor" the good moments.



#71 aurora

aurora

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 677 posts

Posted 11 November 2013 - 10:51 AM

 

Aurora may be referring to that really awful landing Cory had in Sylphides, where he spent an inordinate amount of time trying to adjust the position of his foot to avoid falling over. 

 

Thank you, abatt, but does that landing make the entire variation "complete hash"? My ballet teacher says that things go wrong all the time in ballet, and that dancers have to learn to "save" those moments. If we excoriate dancers for every fall, misstep, or poor landing, then we're in danger of creating an atmosphere of unforgiving criticism. Of course we want perfection, but perfection in ballet is elusive. I think we would do better to "savor" the good moments.

 

 

That was the main disaster of that variation. But that is a very "simple" (not to be confused with easy) variation meant to illustrate poetry. I saw little elegance or poetry in it. Rather, desperate clutching and grasping to not fall over, combined with mediocre lines and no musicality or poetry.

 

On the other hand I thought he was excellent in the moor's pavane on saturday.



#72 Roberto Dini

Roberto Dini

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 130 posts

Posted 11 November 2013 - 03:33 PM

Sat., Nov. 2 evening:

 

I saw Gomes/Simkin in the Tempest.  While I enjoyed everyone's dancing, especially Lane and Gorak, The Tempest just seemed a sort of mess.  I did not think that the score cried out to be choreographed.  

 

Semionova was disappointing in Theme and Variations.  She is beautiful, but her dancing lacks spark.  The whole performance lacked clarity and did not seem crisp enough.  Overall, I enjoyed Clear more than the Tempest and T&V.

 

Sunday matinee, November 10: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

 

The Good: A Month in the Country

 

The Bad: Seminova in Sylphides

 

The Ugly: Ormsby Wilkins' conducting of Les Sylphides

 

I love Les Sylphides.  I liked Britten's arrangement of the Chopin, but found Wilkins' conducting to metronomic.  There was little rubato, and little motion within each phrase.  It was all so painfully even that it almost didn't sound like Chopin.  I don't expect an orchestra to have the flexibility of a pianist, but there are recordings that demonstrate that beautiful performances by an orchestra are possible.  That said, the orchestra played well, intonation and tone-wise.  I just didn't like the conducting.

 

The core danced nicely in Les Sylphides, but I was disappointed in the principals with the exception of Veronika Part. who filled every phrase to the utmost.  Her dancing was beautiful.  Seminova gave an uninspired performance once again.  Her dancing lacked impetus.  She often danced behind the beat, and she seemed to perform the repeated relevés in her solo whenever she felt like it, not when the music required.  They were nicely done, but so unmusical.  She is obviously a gifted dancer, but because of her lack of musicality and spark, she does not strike me as a great dancer.  

 

Interestingly, the moment Julie Kent began to dance in A Month in the Country, she displayed the spark and impetus that Seminova lacked.  I thought that this was some of the best dancing I've seen from Kent in a while.  A Month in the Country was definitely the highlight of the afternoon.  Bond, Coté and Simkin were all wonderful, and Simkin was truly believable as a boy.  Musically, I enjoyed A Month in the Country, which is also set to Chopin, more than Les Sylphides.  I attribute my enjoyment to the playing of the piano soloist, Emily Wong.  Her role was so great that Wilkins had no choice but to follow her lead.

 

I enjoyed Herrera and  Whiteside in Theme and Varations much more than Seminova and Stearns.  Their dancing was stronger and clearer.



#73 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,757 posts

Posted 12 November 2013 - 06:12 AM

This ABT Fall season and the one last year at City Center have been superior to the seasons that they previously presented.  They are no longer wasting money and time on garbage new commissions that will end up in the trash bin as soon as the curtain comes down (Citizen comes readily to mind, although there have been many other commissioned duds over the years that will never, thankfully, see the light of day again).  Tempest is a substantive work that while not perfect, is not an insult to the intelligence of the audience.  Remember one  City Center season when ABT took the cheapo route and only presented works that didn't require an orchestra!  This season was loaded with masterworks, and even the mediocre works (Clear) were not disasters.  



#74 ABT Fan

ABT Fan

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 309 posts

Posted 12 November 2013 - 10:47 AM

This ABT Fall season and the one last year at City Center have been superior to the seasons that they previously presented.  They are no longer wasting money and time on garbage new commissions that will end up in the trash bin as soon as the curtain comes down (Citizen comes readily to mind, although there have been many other commissioned duds over the years that will never, thankfully, see the light of day again).  Tempest is a substantive work that while not perfect, is not an insult to the intelligence of the audience.  Remember one  City Center season when ABT took the cheapo route and only presented works that didn't require an orchestra!  This season was loaded with masterworks, and even the mediocre works (Clear) were not disasters.  

 

I agree abatt that their fall season this year was outstanding (even though I did not like Tempest).  I wish I had seen Part in Sylphides since everyone has raved about her performance (even Macauley).  I think most everyone danced superbly in the 2 shows I saw.  I believe many of us have discussed this before, but it would suit the dancers well (and many in the audience) if ABT did more rep during the Met season.  It's hard to grow if you spend most of your 8 weeks waving a flower back-and-forth (so to speak).  I actually loved Citizen from a few fall seasons back; guess I'm in the minority.  Would be great if they could also extend their fall season, but that might conflict with Nutcracker rehearsals.  




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):