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Sascha Radetsky to Give ABT Farewell Performance

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Wouldn't we all love to know. The only names I can think of off the top of my head are Makarova, Kirkland, Sallie Wilson, and Susan Jones (if the re-staging of the Twyla piece counts). The first two on that list don't exactly seem like the warm and fuzzy types.

In the recent long, wonderful interview with Mathilde Froustey (in French and English via Google Translate) -- posted by pherank in the dancer's thread -- speaking about working with Makarova on her "La Bayadere," Froustey said,

Natalia Makarova not not loose as she did what she wants is a character! At first it was difficult to work with her, but on stage, when I saw the result, I understood where she was coming. She has her vision of dance and I love it. This is very different from the Opera, it's almost the opposite. She said, "Ohhh, Nureyev version Nureyev Bullshit."

(original: Natalia Makarova ne lâche pas tant qu'elle n'a pas ce qu'elle veut, c'est un personnage ! Au début, c'était difficile de travailler avec elle, mais sur scène, lorsque je voyais le résultat, je comprenais où elle voulait arriver. Elle a sa vision de la danse et j'aime ça. C'est très différent de l'Opéra, c'est presque l'opposé. Elle disait : "Ohhh, Noureev version, Noureev Bullshit".)

So, yeah, not exactly warm and fuzzy.

Messages of congratulations from Radetsky's colleagues:

Tweet from David Hallberg:

Watching @Radetskyrambles retire from @ABTBallet tonight. A noble man and pilar ventures ahead. Bravo dear friend.

Tweet from Marcelo Gomes with link to photo on Instagram:

The team going to celebrate #sascharadetsky 's farewell tonight in #Coppelia #abtmet2014http://instagram.com

Tweet from Dance Spirit:

@ABTBallet's #sascharadetsky will take his final bow at the Met early next month. But it's not goodbye for long! http://bit.ly/1hzBiTi

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Wendy Whelan posted a beautiful photo on her Instagram too. It sounded like a nice send off.

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somehow the orchestra went from about 1/2 sold this morning to maybe 85% sold tonight. Was a very memorable evening and Sascha looked fantastic, genuine, humble and gracious, as always. He will be sorely missed on the Met stage!

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It was really a great send off. Everyone seemed to be there: Stella (of course, and who sat 2 seats away from us), Ethan, Gillian, Gennadi, Joaquin de Luz, Wendy Whelan, Maria Kowrowski, Gonzolo Garcia, Paloma, Isabella Boylston, Max &Irina (and their 2 daughters) and more. At the conclusion of the performance, Xiomara gave Sascha her bouquet. Then Stella came out, gave him more flowers and several kisses. Then Kevin came out and gave Sascha a flower wreath. On one side of the stage were several dancers who hadn't performed (including David Hallberg) applauding and cheering. Sascha came out on his own for a few curtain calls and seemed very touched.

As for the performance, what can you say. Coppelia is, in my opinion, not much of a ballet and Swanilda does most of the dancing. Tonight Xiomara as Swanilda was fine, did a good job with all her hops on pointe, her developpes, enveloppes, and pirouettes. However, she doesn't excite me; I've always considered her a glorified soubrette who lucked into being a principal because ABT has so many short men (Angel before, now Herman and Daniil).

As for Sascha, though Franz has almost nothing to do in this ballet (in Act 2 he basically just sits in a chair) he barely got through it. He clearly struggled partnering Xiomara in Act 3 and his timing was off in his solo. His tours were off balance (luckily there are either no pirouettes or very few) and I held my breath every time he jumped (praying he would not worsen whatever injury he has). This is not the ballet a full strength male star should retire in.

But all this performance critique is really beside the point. Tonight was about coming out to celebrate a very well liked dancer's career and the hopefully fulfilling future that awaits him. So bravo Sascha; we will miss you and hope all the best for your future.

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I guess I should have posted here instead of starting a new Coppelia thread. Now that you mention it, I did notice him being off in his solo.

Anyone know who was the guy on crutches during the curtain call?

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somehow the orchestra went from about 1/2 sold this morning to maybe 85% sold tonight.!

I know people who waited until today to buy their tickets because it was very unclear whether Sascha was actually going to be able to dance tonight (he's been out the whole season). Thank goodness he tweeted early in the day that he was dancing so that gave many people the green light to buy tickets.

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Cautiously entering the forums, where I have been lurking for a year!

I attended last night's performance, as I have enjoyed Sascha Radetsky's performances over the last few years. He truly seems to enjoy dance.

Last night was the first time I have ever seen Coppelia, and I was underwhelmed by the ballet itself. I think I expected a more dramatic role for Radetsky's final performance. So I was somewhat surprised that he spent the entire second act slumped over in a drunken stupor!

During the Act I, it was fun to be a part of an audience so warmly supporting him. His arrival was met by sustained applause, and he seemed to truly delight in it. He played Franz as quite a flirt, equally engaging the audience, Swanhilda, and all the young ladies around him. It was humorous when he appeared visibly frustrated by Coppelia's lack of interest.

I was in a box seat, and could tell that Radetsky was struggling a bit during the 3rd Act. During one lift, I felt some concern that he didn't seem very steady. That being said, his delight and joy in dancing made the evening fun. The audience roared its support and appreciation for this obviously beloved dancer!

It was a "who's who" in the dance world kind of night. Many ABT luminaries were there. During the 1st intermission, I noticed David Hallberg graciously posing for photo after photo with a group of young girls in the row behind him. (He made a quick departure after Act II to get a drink- I don't blame him!)

Below me sat Ethan Stiefel & Gillian Murphy- what a radiant couple! His hair was VERY closely cropped, like a crew cut. I hardly recognized him at first. Gillian stood out with her red hair. What was especially heartwarming was Stiefel's enthusiasm in leading the applause. Even as the audience filtered out, he and Gillian remained applauding vigorously and shouting encouragement.

The audience appeared to be full. Not Nutcracker full, but definitely full.

Looking forward to hearing from others!

I tried to post a couple of photos here, but clearly haven't figured that out yet. One is of Stella Abrera embracing Sascha at the curtain call. It was very sweet.

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Welcome RStorms -- we're glad you decided to join in the discussion.

You can't post a photo as an attachment, but if it's published to a public-facing website, you can link to it. For example, David Hallberg tweeted

Embracing the company after curtain down w his wife, Stella.

and this is the link to the tweet with the photo:

https://twitter.com/DavidHallberg/status/485207670761484288

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Welcome RStorms -- we're glad you decided to join in the discussion.

You can't post a photo as an attachment, but if it's published to a public-facing website, you can link to it.

Aha.

Photo of the audience in the orchestra section- the other sections appeared to be relatively full as well

Photo of Stella Abrera & Radetsky

RStorms - thanks for joining us and sharing! smile.png

I'm personally, looking forward to hearing from others about tomorrow's farewell performances (there's a part of me that's still in denial about Sascha, Yuriko, AND Jared's departure...WHY?!?!?!?)

ps - videos of curtain call are on YT now (3 parts) but here's that final bow when the audience just wouldn't let him go! It's nice to see that he got a warm goodbye and that the respect between the audience and Sascha goes both ways as he sincerely mouths "thank you" several times.

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Welcome RStorms -- we're glad you decided to join in the discussion.

You can't post a photo as an attachment, but if it's published to a public-facing website, you can link to it.

Aha.

Photo of the audience in the orchestra section- the other sections appeared to be relatively full as well

Photo of Stella Abrera & Radetsky

RStorms - thanks for joining us and sharing! smile.png

I'm personally, looking forward to hearing from others about tomorrow's farewell performances (there's a part of me that's still in denial about Sascha, Yuriko, AND Jared's departure...WHY?!?!?!?)

ps - videos of curtain call are on YT now (3 parts) but here's that final bow when the audience just wouldn't let him go! It's nice to see that he got a warm goodbye and that the respect between the audience and Sascha goes both ways as he sincerely mouths "thank you" several times.

How sad we missed seeing him dance his Albrecht, etc. when he moved to Dutch National Ballet. But he will surely be missed at ABT. His Tybalt, Rothbart, the jailor in Manon, etc. were all excellent. I personally will miss his work in the more contemporary rep., especially "Upper Room" where he sizzled! Hail and farewell, Sascha! I can only wish him success in his next step after ABT.

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I agree. I was there applauding to the end. He will be greatly missed.

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in case anyone missed it - Sascha's own account of his farewell performance evening...from leaks and floods at the Met, to why he'd been absent for 2 weeks prior, and a really awesome retirement gift from ABT! -- and a very appropriate one if you ask me, aptly fits him, his passion and career :)

http://www.vogue.com/culture/article/american-ballet-theatre-sascha-radetsky-last-performance/#1

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Oh, that was an exceptionally thoughtful gift -- thanks so much for the link!

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Thanks for posting this link! I hadn't seen it. I got a bit misty eyed reading about the wonderful farewell gift.

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I've said it before on this site: Sascha is a very good writer. He deserves a permanent column and some smart editor should give it to him.

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Maybe his gig w/ Vogue will evolve into something permanent? Someone said on this blog he'd be a great dance reviewer for the Times. That would be an awesome coup.

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I think you need a lot of academic pedigree, including a degree in journalism, to write for the Times. I did enjoy his piece in Vogue.

On a similar topic, Lourdes Lopez, immediately following her retirement from NYCB, did one or two segments on NBC's local news station here in NYC about dance, but it never turned into a permanent gig.

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I think you need a lot of academic pedigree, including a degree in journalism, to write for the Times. I did enjoy his piece in Vogue.

Macaulay has a degree in classics from Cambridge, but he had published extensively before being hired by the Times:

http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_10/aug10/interview_alastair_macaulay.htm

Anna Kisselgoff graduated from Bryn Mawr with a degree in French history, and later got an MA in journalism from Columbia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Kisselgoff

I don't know if the other NY Times critics are on staff or free-lancing.

The most important thing for a critic to be taken seriously is to publish a lot of good writing -- free-lance criticism, books, etc. The really big problem nowadays is that so few newspapers and magazines have staff critics. More and more rely on free-lancers and even then papers just aren't publishing the quantity of criticism they used to. Even Dance Magazine abandoned its criticism columns. DanceView has sadly ceased publication after decades of in-depth reviews from all over.

Free-lancers are usually paid a pittance and for some smaller papers, nothing but the comped tickets they get to performances. It's very, very difficult to make a living that way.

I, too, have been impressed with Radetsky's writing. He'd be smart to take any free-lance opportunity he can get to build up a file of clips of published writing and somehow finish a BFA somewhere. Then he could get a faculty position at a community college or possibly a four-year college, where he could teach studio, dance criticism, etc., if he's looking for a stable job with benefits. Ballet dancers are at a real disadvantage, as they start their professional careers so young, before they can pursue a college degree.

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I think TV pays pretty well, so his gig on Flesh & Bone should give him a nice income, assuming the show lasts more than one season. In addition, he must be getting a pension from ABT. Certainly a good idea to continue with his education if that's what he wants in the future.

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The NYT is not looking for a degree per se, but earlier comments are correct -- the quality of your portfolio is the significant issue. If you run a search on any of the writers currently working for the paper, you'll find a long work history.

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I really hope Sascha will pursue writing in some capacity after his dancing/acting days are over. His twitter is full of his musings and reactions to currently writers and their works -- it's quite clear he understands and appreciates the medium, and has his own personal thoughts about it. I really think there is a place for his voice should he choose to fully explore it.

Here's a pretty interesting interview with him regarding the subject as well as a full compilation of his published writings thus far (aside from the Vogue pieces) -- all of which are wonderful reads! I think the interview may have been shared on this forum previously? or maybe not... http://balletfocus.com/sascha-radetsky-writing/

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Here's a pretty interesting interview with him regarding the subject as well as a full compilation of his published writings thus far (aside from the Vogue pieces) -- all of which are wonderful reads! I think the interview may have been shared on this forum previously? or maybe not... http://balletfocus.com/sascha-radetsky-writing/

He's certainly got good (and broad) taste as a reader!

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Maybe his gig w/ Vogue will evolve into something permanent? Someone said on this blog he'd be a great dance reviewer for the Times. That would be an awesome coup.

I agree. What a wonderful writer of clear insight and inventive images that are totally "right" for the piece, and all so seemingly effortless and generous. If the Times prefers its critics pompous and often belittling, surely another publication would welcome regular insights from a dancer who knows dance from the inside but can also see dance in its perspective among the other arts and humanities. I look forward to seeing him in his new TV series and here's to a great new career for him. His writing is like a breath of fresh air that we take after exiting a stuffy room!

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