sandik

Dear Santa

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I think many of us have spent time casting ballets in our heads, either the ones we are currently watching, or other works we wish some company would perform. In the spirit of the season, I would like to start a "wish list" here -- what are the dances you wish your local company would add to their repertory and/or who would you like to see dance them? Let's not use this to disparage anything we've seen lately, but just indulge our programming and casting fantasies.

So, what do you really want to see?

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My perennial wish -- Kurt Jooss' The Green Table. Like many of the hybrid works that Peter Boal has been adding to the Pacific Northwest Ballet repertory, this was made for a group that was skilled in both ballet and modern dance techniques, and it was a very popular work in the Ballet Jooss rep. But I know it through the Joffrey's various productions -- they came through Seattle frequently in the 70s when I first started paying attention (nothing like playing your home town!) and it was often in their repertory.

Death is often the trickiest part to cast in this work, but right now PNB has a couple of dancers who would do an excellent job. Likewise the Partisan Woman can be a challenge with its grounded power, but I think we would have that covered as well.

Death: Bakthurel Bold or Karel Cruz I used to just have Bold on this list, but Cruz has become much more powerful in the last couple years. He's always had a nice flow to his work, but he's added a more impactful quality -- this role would be an excellent fit now.

Profiteer: Jonathan Porretta should move heaven and earth to do this part somewhere. The combination of quick and sharp actions with a kind of sinuous underpinning, and a deeply theatrical character seem made for him. Alongside Porretta, I'd like to see Andrew Bartee and Kiyon Gaines get a chance with this -- I think it would really strengthen the work that they seem to be doing.

Standard Bearer: I always thought that Jeff Stanton would do well here -- he had a very sincere quality as a performer that would underline the inspirational nature of this part. Now that he's retired I think Benjamin Griffiths needs to dance this. His direct quality would work well here. Coming from a different place, Seth Orza could also do an excellent job with this, but for him, it would play to his more athletic qualities -- he would make the struggle very clear.

Young Lovers: Ok, this is the officially sappy part of my cast list. Thinking about some of the couples in the company, I say let's go for the sweet thing and have them step in here. Emma Love Suddarth and Price Suddarth both have a grounded quality that would help them with this choreography, Seth and Sarah Orza would also look great here. (and she would be very affecting in the scene with Death) I'd worry a bit about Laura and Jerome Tisserand, only because the young woman needs to appear frail in her work with Death and with the Profiteer, but after seeing L Tisserand and Porretta in the Tharp earlier this season, I think she could make a convincing character. (the fact that this isn't on pointe helps a bit with that)

Old Woman: Either Carla Korbes or Kaori Nakamura could muster the sense of delicacy that this part needs. Looking further than that, Liora Neuville and Brittany Reid could extend their skills in this part.

Partisan Woman: Now that I've had my "Imler Should Dance Myrtha" wish fulfilled, it's time to move on to my "Imler Should Dance Partisan Woman" wish. I think Alastair Macaulay really hit it square on when he said that she dances with "vivifying force" and that quality is essential for this part -- the character must convince us that her cause is worth dying for. The tiny bit of choreography I learned several years ago just makes me more convinced that this would be an excellent role for her. Lately it's looked like Margaret Mullin is getting some of the same assignments that Imler has, and they do share a certain kind of assertiveness that would make Partisan Woman a great challenge for Mullin at this point in her development. Rachel Foster has proved that she's willing to jump head first into these kind of roles -- she's on my list here as well.

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The first are repeats of a post in the PNB thread.

I want to see Tudor. I want to see Tudor enough to be able to see the same dancers in the same roles five years from when they debut them and to see them move from one role to another.

In "Jardin aux lilas," three dancers to dance Caroline in some performances and An Episode from His Past in another, with Carrie Imler and Rachel Foster in the same performances in each role. I'd love to see Maria Chapman as Caroline and An Episode from His Past, Korbes as An Episode from His Past, and Leta Biasucci and Margaret Mullin as Carolines. I'd really like to see what Bold would do with The Man She Must Marry to Chapman's An Episode from His Past. I think Porretta might be the strongest dramatic dancer among the men. We see glimpses of that, but usually in either the solo pieces or when he's featured as the center, whether in happy roles like Jester or in darker roles like Tetley's "Rite." (It was a pleasure to watch his Jester in "Swan Lake" last Spring apart from the virtuoso dancing: on the sidelines, he was in every moment, trying to smooth things out for his Prince and get him to lower his pulse and focus.) I'd love to see Porretta as both The Man She Must Marry and Her Lover. Jerome Tisserand could do both, too.

The Imler/Foster/Chapman trio as Hagar in "Pillar of Fire," one of my favorite ballets of all time. Porretta and Seth Orza as the Man. Against type, James Moore as the Friend.

PNB used to do "Dark Elegies," and there are too many possibilities to list in the company now.

For reconstructions:

"La Bayadere", as Nikiya Nakamura, Nakamura, Nakamura. She was sublime in the excerpts Doug Fullington has presented in his lecture demos. Lucien Postlewaite would come back to partner her, and Biasucci would be the right height as her Gamzatti. Korbes would be a great Nikiya. Typecasting for Gamzatti would be Imler, Rausch, and Gilbreath. Rausch would be perfect for the Act III Nikiya. I'd love to see Dec in the contrast between the early acts and Act III Nikiya.

"Raymonda". Imler. She could do five-seven variations and the pas and the characterization and not break a sweat, and each would be specifically realized.

Although I really love parts of "Le Corsaire," I'd vote for "Jardin animee" in Doug Fullington's reconstruction/staging.

My ultimate fantasy casting is that Thomas Lund would un-retire to dance Albrecht to Biasucci's Giselle, with Imler's Myrtha and Tisserand's Hilarion.

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I'd love to see Suzanne Farrell Ballet dance three Balanchines I've never seen: Ivesiana, Variations pour une Porte et un Soupir, and Le Tombeau de Couperin. Farrell has already staged The Unanswered Question, so I have some ground for hope that we may get the full ballet some day. Variations, weird as it apparently is, falls into the novelty Balanchine category that she's dipped into a few times in the past. From what I've read of the ballet, I can envision Elisabeth Holochuck in it. Since Tombeau requires, or at least is generally danced by, 16 corps members, and her company is small, she may be least likely to stage that, though perhaps she could supplement it with local students.

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Dear Santa,

For Christmas this year, I'd like a promise that Boston Ballet will perform their production of Swan Lake next year. I know I've seen Swan Lake before, but I've heard that Boston has a really good production, and I've noticed they haven't performed it in many years. I want to see Misa Kuranaga as the swan and Jeffrey Cirio as Siegfried.

Not to demand too much, but I'd also like to see an American company try Spartacus - any company, so I have no requests for leads.

And finally, I would like to see Boston perform Agnes de Mille's Fall River Legend. I think Kathleen Breen Combes or Lia Cirio could dance Lizzie.

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Dear Santa...now that you and me know that MCB CAN dance the classics-(Coppelia, Nutcracker, Giselle, Don Quijote)...could you bring me a full Swan Lake...? I REALLY want to see Jeanette Delgado in the little black dress turning like a maniac...

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My third wish is that Altynai Asylmuratova is back in charge, producing remarkable students at Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet.

My fifth wish is that the new, intelligent ballet director, realizes that Yulia Stepanova is the prima ballerina assoluta of the world and Oksana Marchuk is not far behind.

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I would like to see RDB and NYCB visit London next year.

I would like the Paris Opera to create an English version of their website

I would like the director of ENB to realize that in Elena Glurdjidze she has one of the greatest dancers in the world and to start casting her accordingly.

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It’s been so long since I’ve seen Les Sylphides (late ‘60s?) that I may be cross-pollinating roles and certainly missing some, but…

San Francisco Ballet:

Mazurka – Lorena Feijoo (alternate: Sofiane Sylve)

Nocturne – Yuan Yuan Tan (no alternate here; just can’t picture anyone else, except, maybe, Feijoo)

PDD – Sarah Van Patten (alternate: Maria Kochetkova)

Poet: Gennadi Nedvigin (alternate: Davit Karapetyan, although I wouldn't say 'no' to stealing back either Vito Mazzeo or Isaac Hernandez for a performance or two)

And another performance where Lorena Feijoo just dances everything (I bet she could, and brilliantly).

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And another performance where Lorena Feijoo just dances everything (I bet she could, and brilliantly).

And then could she come and do it in London too, please? And a few other roles, while she's here...

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And another performance where Lorena Feijoo just dances everything (I bet she could, and brilliantly).

And then could she come and do it in London too, please? And a few other roles, while she's here...

From our mouths to the Gods of Ballet ears!

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The first are repeats of a post in the PNB thread.

I want to see Tudor. I want to see Tudor enough to be able to see the same dancers in the same roles five years from when they debut them and to see them move from one role to another.

Tudor, yes absolutely. I'd like to see Tudor frequently enough to see how people grow in the roles (there is so much potential for development in those parts) but I also want to see it frequently enough for me to be able grow as well, to see all there is in the works. I'm grateful all the time for the video we have access to these days, but there's nothing like an ongoing, live relationship with a repertory...

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I'd love to see Suzanne Farrell Ballet dance three Balanchines I've never seen: Ivesiana, Variations pour une Porte et un Soupir, and Le Tombeau de Couperin.

Oh, yes -- perhaps we need to have another thread someday "ballets I've never had a chance to see?"

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It’s been so long since I’ve seen Les Sylphides (late ‘60s?) that I may be cross-pollinating roles and certainly missing some, but…

San Francisco Ballet:

Mazurka – Lorena Feijoo (alternate: Sofiane Sylve)

Nocturne – Yuan Yuan Tan (no alternate here; just can’t picture anyone else, except, maybe, Feijoo)

PDD – Sarah Van Patten (alternate: Maria Kochetkova)

Poet: Gennadi Nedvigin (alternate: Davit Karapetyan, although I wouldn't say 'no' to stealing back either Vito Mazzeo or Isaac Hernandez for a performance or two)

And another performance where Lorena Feijoo just dances everything (I bet she could, and brilliantly).

Ooooh, that would be in my time zone!

Sylphides was such a repertory staple for so many years, but has really fallen out of fashion recently. I was hoping that the Chopin centenary would bring it back (or, failing that, would get me another go at Dances at a Gathering) but no luck so far. I'm wondering what we need to bring it back again.

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My wish list for ABT.

Dancers:
Cast Sarah Lane as Juliet, Cinderella (spring Met season), - and make her a principal
Cast Joseph Gorak as Prince in Cinderella (w/ Lane in spring Met season) - and make him a soloist
Ballets:
Revive Paquita. Green Table (w/ Roman Zhurbin).
New ballets: Dying Swan (w/ Veronika Part).

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I have a very short wish list, both for Mariinsky ballerinas:

Yulia Stepanova to dance Nikiya in La Bayadere

Oksana Marchuk to dance Syuimbike in Shurale

Those are my two favourite ballets and my two favourite ballerinas!

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And another performance where Lorena Feijoo just dances everything (I bet she could, and brilliantly).

And then could she come and do it in London too, please? And a few other roles, while she's here...

From our mouths to the Gods of Ballet ears!
Oh..I really hope I could see her before she retires...(she should be around 42 or maybe older I think). I was able to see her very beginnings-(just as with Toto Carreno)-and just as with him I would love to see its end.

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And another performance where Lorena Feijoo just dances everything (I bet she could, and brilliantly).

Oh..I really hope I could see her before she retires...(she should be around 42 or maybe older I think). I was able to see her very beginnings-(just as with Toto Carreno)-and just as with him I would love to see its end.

It's such a satisfaction when you can do that -- I've had that experience a couple of times and have really appreciated it.

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Hmmm...A lot of wishes for SFB here...

Aurélie Dupont can join SFB for Giselle this season - she has my permission.

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Hmmm...A lot of wishes for SFB here...

Aurélie Dupont can join SFB for Giselle this season - she has my permission.

But who else to cast -- what would be the best mix for her?

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Hmmm...A lot of wishes for SFB here...

Aurélie Dupont can join SFB for Giselle this season - she has my permission.

But who else to cast -- what would be the best mix for her?

Santa is demanding this year... Albrecht is a tough one: whether to choose another 'wish' performer, or go with one of the locals (perhaps Davit Karapetyan, or Tiit Helimets). Bringing Manuel Legris back to perform one-more-time! probably isn’t possible. So, Nicolas Le Riche.

Damien Smith as Hilarion, and Sofiane Sylve as Myrtha, or Feijoo.

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Sandik, I second your vote for The Green Table, but by the Graham Co. I long to see ABT revive Tudor's Echoing of Trumpets, which I have never seen.

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Sandik, I second your vote for The Green Table, but by the Graham Co. I long to see ABT revive Tudor's Echoing of Trumpets, which I have never seen.

What an interesting idea -- I was being totally self-centered in my wish, since PNB is my hometown company and I'd like to see those dancers step up to that challenge, but the Graham company would be a fascinating choice for this work. I don't know enough about the current company to think about casting -- do you have thoughts?

I've never seen Echoing live, but there is a very washed-out film of a Swedish production floating around in the ether. I remember moments looking very much like Tudor (very specific use of the upper body) but don't have a sense of the work as a whole.

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Not exactly a specific casting wish list, but ... I'd like to see ABT extend its fall season at the Theater Formerly Known as State (TFKS) by several weeks so that we can see more dancers from the corps and soloist ranks in featured roles and in ensembles from rep other than story ballet warhorses. This fall's season there was a delight, but there just wasn't enough of it.

I'd like to see them decamp from the Met for TFKS altogether, of course, though scheduling around NYCB's three non-Nuts seasons there would be a challenge. Plus Paul Taylor now seems happily ensconced at TFKS for a regular three week gig during the break between NYCB's winter and spring seasons ...

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Not exactly a specific casting wish list, but ... I'd like to see ABT extend its fall season at the Theater Formerly Known as State (TFKS) by several weeks so that we can see more dancers from the corps and soloist ranks in featured roles and in ensembles from rep other than story ballet warhorses. This fall's season there was a delight, but there just wasn't enough of it.

Absolutely agree! Adding that to my wish list too.

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