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ABT fall season 2014October 22-November 2, 2014


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#76 mimsyb

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 01:16 PM

I was there tonight.  I really hope to read other impressions to compare notes, but here are mine.  I thought it really a mixed bag.  First thing  - there were a lot of empty seats.  I don't know why.

 

Raymonda Divertissements - IMO Hee Seo just doesn't have the amplitude, musicality and assurance to do this.  It takes a ballerina that can do a lot with steps, port de bras and covering space.  To me she doesn't own the stage and project enough to bring this off.  Whiteside's variation was good.  Copeland & Lane are a mismatched duo in the first variation, but it was pleasant enough.  Skylar Brandt and especially Christina Shevchenco pulled off their variations well, but truthfully I'd love to see a little more musicality and phrasing.  

 

Lilac Garden - I'm one who thinks this should always be in the ABT rep.  I was with someone who rarely sees dance and she was riveted by the stop action moment and what followed.  I thought Devon Teucher a good Carolin but didn't care for Part as the mistress.  The main reason is that I never saw the "stop action" moments from her that suspend time.  Martine Van Hamel was amazing in this way.  Also some of the lifts didn't gel.  There is one lift where she is almost parallel to the floor which became a move-though instead of a heart stopping moment.  It's funny because my usual criticism of Russian dancers is that they seem to me to be too position oriented.

 

Fancy Free - Loved Gomes & Cornejo.  Stearns didn't make much of his solo.  Julie Kent was a disappointment in the pas, but maybe I'm too used to seeing Tiler Peck across the plaza.  

 

I'm going again next week.  I hope ticket sales improve.

I agree Vipa.  "Lilac" should always be in the ABT rep.  It is simply a superb example of dance drama and it would offer so many of the dancers an opportunity to do this type of work.  Both the men and women would gain from learning and dancing this ballet.  Last night was lovely.  A few quibbles, but all in all a good rendering.  (as an aside, I couldn't help wish that Carla Korbes had danced this role.  To my knowledge she never has, but what a splendid Caroline she would have made).  I enjoyed "Fancy Free" very much with the three guys just wonderful together.  I especially liked Cory who had previously danced in "Lilac".  What a contrast.  Both women were fine with me.  I missed Julio Brigado-Young's bar tender.  A small role, I know, but he had just the right demeanor for it.   The major misery of the evening was the "Raymonda".  What a mess!  No sense of style or spirit to the dancing.  I agree that Sarah and Misty were ill matched.  One couldn't help wonder if that was on purpose, given that both women are forever poised for promotion but......   Skylar is fine technically, but simply disappears on stage.  With the horrible lighting this performance got, she was all but invisible.  Would someone PLEASE show her how to put on make up?  The four men were, as mentioned above, not in sync in any way.  Not even stylistically. But that was true of the corps in general.  Legs and arms all over the place.  Lines not straight.  On and on.  The whole piece looked slap dash and thrown together.  MAybe more rehearsal.  Oiy!   Seo and Whiteside totally forgettable.  She's stiff and has no sense of elan or presence and his landings leave a great deal to be desired.  Partnering was pretty rough.   As mentioned above, the lighting was pretty bad and there was just a blue back drop for the most hideous costumes I've seen since "Sleeping Beauty".  The corps looked like refugees from Hershey Theme PArk!  Brown fur? Really?  More oiy!  Tutus overwhelmed the ladies and the men seemed to be in straight jackets.  Doesn't anyone look from out front?  Kolpakova got a bow at the end, but I wanted to throw tomatoes.  Perhaps more rehearsal and a change of cast will bring this up to snuff.   The best version out there is still from the "Trocks" who at least bring a sense of glamour and commitment to the work.  Their epaulment is to die for.  Last night looked like bored class work.



#77 abatt

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 01:33 PM

Go see Sara Mearns in Cortege Hongrois in January, assuming she is cast in the ballet.  She is thrilling.  It will demonstrate what Hee Seo's variation SHOULD HAVE looked like. 

 

Yes, the costumes for the Raymonda were quite ugly.  That fake fur was awful.



#78 abatt

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 06:40 PM

Good news. The boob grab and shake has been removed from the Scarlett ballet. The twerking has been reduced to a slight rear end shake.  Glad to see McKenzie came to his senses.  Don't know if the change is optional or mandatory.  We'll see what Misty and Whiteside do in future performances



#79 vipa

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 07:08 PM

Go see Sara Mearns in Cortege Hongrois in January, assuming she is cast in the ballet.  She is thrilling.  It will demonstrate what Hee Seo's variation SHOULD HAVE looked like. 

 

Yes, the costumes for the Raymonda were quite ugly.  That fake fur was awful.

I agree abatt, but that concerns me about ABT.  In a two week season, every female lead in Raymonda should be a ballerina with a capital B.  



#80 Kaysta

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 04:22 PM

Just got back from the matinee and enjoyed all 3 performances. Thought Cassandra Trenary, Devon Teusher and Gillian Murphy were the standouts in Raymonda divertissements.

Seven sonatas was my favorite work of the day. The PDD between Stella Abrera and Calvin Royal took my breath away. I also enjoyed Herman Cornejo and Xiomara Reyes, who both dance with so much passion. I wish I would have been able to see more of Xiomara before her retirement, because I think she brings such joy to the stage.

Fancy Free was also very entertaining and Danill Simkin was the standout to me but I enjoyed everyone. Overall, I thought it was a strong day. But then, I'm still easily enthralled, being a relatively new ballet fan.

#81 angelica

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 06:02 PM

I attended today's matinee performance.

 

Devon Teuscher was a standout in Raymonda Variations. I bought a pair of her pointe shoes because I think she is on the way up. I look forward to seeing more of her.

 

Stella Abrera was breathtakingly beautiful in Seven Sonatas. It is criminal that she hasn't been promoted to principal dancer. Calvin Royal III has a beautiful classical line and dances with a naturalness that seems inborn. He only needs to work on pointing his feet more.

 

Joseph Gorak was stunning. Those ronds de jambe en l'air in the middle of pirouettes seemed effortless. 



#82 ABT Fan

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 09:47 AM

I was at last night's performance.  The house looked pretty full from where I was sitting.

 

Sinfonietta: it's a pleasant enough ballet but I'd have no need to see it again. It's pretty forgettable and the music (except for the horn sections) is boring. A lot of the dancing though was terrific.  Stand-outs were Part (though she needed a better partner than Hoven; he's fine just not up to her level), Teuscher and Forster (they were a great pair), Royal and Salstein.  Part is just gorgeous. Period. I'm so excited that she finally gets an evening SL in the spring so I can finally, finally see her majestic O/O that I've been reading about. Royal has the longest arms I've ever seen and the most joyful manner than anyone.  His enormous smile makes me smile.  I really hope big things are in his future. Salstein doesn't get enough credit/attention in my opinion.  My eye is always drawn to him; he has a strong stage presence no matter what he's dancing, and is very quick and sharp.  Forster is another beauty.  His line is outstanding, his jumps are huge and his landings plush, has gorgeous feet and is a good partner.  But, I think I see why he's still in the corps or lacking more opportunities.  Despite his height, he kinda disappears onstage. He doesn't project at all and his face and upper body is always "quiet".  Salstein should give him some advice (trust me I know that won't guarantee a promotion; how many other dancers do we all discuss here who have wonderful presence yet are forever stuck as a soloist or corps dancer?).

 

Lilac Garden: I haven't seen this in years and am so glad it's been brought back. Teuscher is such a lovely dancer but her acting wasn't strong enough. This is not Manon, but I didn't believe her grief and final resignation. Katherine Williams had some nice moments, and her gestures towards Teuscher and anothers were subtle but very affecting.

 

Fancy Free = Fantastic.  The three guys were terrific.  Cornejo was in prime form with his customary leaps, pirouettes, panache. He had real spunk.  Gomes is such a natural actor with such charm.  I was hesitant about Stearns being in this but his natural shyness and sweetness is perfect for this role.   Kent and Abrera have clearly performed these roles many, many times, in a good way.  Everything they did was just right.  But, I kept thinking about the purse grab discussion on another thread here while watching this again.  I did wince but I told myself to view this through 1940's eyes, meaning I think this was intended to be an "innocent" scene (I know others disagree and that's fine).  And, the fellas (especially Gomes) did a good job of making it playful instead of menacing.  Honestly, what made me more uncomfortable was the three of them following Abrera around.  Who wouldn't be freaked out if 3 men were following you down the street?  I don't know; I have mixed feelings about this entire section.  Not everything ages well regardless of intention.

 

I'm so glad I didn't buy a ticket to see Scarlett's new piece after reading about the horrid manhandling here and in some reviews.  I can't believe such rubbish made it to the stage even once; it's a small consolation that the boob/butt jiggling has been removed.  How many angry donor calls did they receive that made McKenzie come to his senses?

 

Looking forward to Raymonda, Seven Sonatas, Thirteen Diversions next weekend.



#83 abatt

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Posted Yesterday, 09:58 AM

I attended last night's performance.  For me the highlight was Bach Partita.  This is such a beautifully crafted ballet it makes me wonder why ABT didn't revive it until last season.  Especially thrilling was the magnificent Gillian Murphy, who seems to completely embody and thrive in the Tharp movement vocabulary.  Also a standout was the pairing of Abrera and Royal.  It's time to promote Calvin Royal to soloist.  (Also time to promote Forster.)

 

There was a repeat of the Seo - Whiteside Raymonda.  She looked better last night than on opening night, but that's not saying much. 

 

Gaite is a guilty pleasure. 



#84 atm711

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Posted Yesterday, 12:58 PM

I seem to be the only one here who admires Liam Scarlett.  I saw 'Acheron' earlier this year at NYCB and just basked in  his lyricism.  I found "With a Chance of Rain" perhaps the

best new work I have seen these past few years.  His relationships between and among the couples reminded me of Tudor.




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