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Don Quixote - Spring 2014 MET Season


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#16 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 03:29 AM

I was also at the Saturday matinee.  I will write a more detailed review in a day or two, but I'm glad I can say I had a totally entertaining afternoon.  Danil Simkin was incredible in his endless pirouettes and revoltades.  His two over the head with one hand lifts, however, were quite wobbly.  Isabella was wonderful except for the fact that she didn't hold her balances during the Act III grand pas.  All three times she looked as though she was going to attempt the balances, but then thought better of it.  Boylston did stand out for her soaring leaps and really fast turns.  As already mentioned, Craig Salstein was hysterical as Gamache.   He did so much entertaining stage business that it was hard for me to foucus on the dancers ( unless they were the two main couples).  Stella Abrera and Sascha Radetsky were terrific as Mercedes/Queen of the Dryads and Espada, the Matador.  Again I will post more in a few days.



#17 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 06:09 AM

I was watching a dvd of Don Q while exercising and I noticed that there are five places in the Act III gralnd pas, not three, that require balances.  Again, Boylston did not attempt any of the five.



#18 abatt

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 06:48 AM

 

I anybody has comments from Friday evening's Herrera/Vasiliev performance, I'd love to read since I had to leave NYC on Thursday.  Last year he lifted Osipova with one arm, did a low arabesque, and then went up on releve!  Curious if he is doing this trick with other partners and in general how he is working with different partners?  Thank you in advance!

On Friday w. Herrera, Vasiliev lifted her one one arm and did a low arabesque, but he did not go up on releve, based on what I recall. 



#19 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 04:02 AM

Last year I saw Vasiliev go up on releve (one leg only though) on the second one-handed over the head lift in Act I of Don Q.  His Kitri then was Natalia Osipova.



#20 abatt

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 06:11 AM

Given the large numbers of empty seats I saw at each of the 3 Don Q's I attended, I would say New York has definitely reached its Don Q saturation point.  With the Bolshoi and the Mik both bringing Don Q this year, ABT ended up with diminished ticket sales, I believe.  I hope they do not bring it back next season, as they have been doing it every year for several years.



#21 mimsyb

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 07:09 AM

I would tend to agree.  It's become like "Nutcracker", without the fun.   Despite some flashes of excellence in the dancing, the production looks tired.  Costumes and scenery could use some sprucing up.  (others have commented on the gypsies, in particular).  To me, the corps lacked energy. (and this is just the beginning of the season!).  Many seemed to be dancing by rote.  Time to put it away for awhile and return it only with a new production.



#22 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 07:17 AM

The Met is a huge theater to fill.  It easily has 1,000 more seats than the David Koch Theater where the Bolshoi and the Mik (thank you Abatt for this abbreviation of the company name.  I have no idea how to spell it or say it.) are performing.  Maybe ABT should think about changing their season so that they can use the David Koch Theater.  Another thing is ABT's prices are way too high.  It's not just at the Met.  As was mentioned when ABT had their fall season at the Koch last November, their prices are much higher than any other company that uses the Koch Theater.  It cost me $97 for an ABT orchestra seat. The same exact seat cost $53 for a NYCB performance.  The same was true with San Francisco Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company and now the Bolshoi and the Mik.  Who makes the decision about pricing and such at ABT I wonder.  I have loved ABT for years but if they are not careful they are going to price themselves right out of the ballet market.



#23 Natalia

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 07:33 AM

The ABT DON Q sets and costumes are looking very, VERY tired and raggedy. It's basically the design of the ca-'78 Baryshnikov production with some additional (ugly, cheap-looking) trellises and other features.



#24 California

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 07:35 AM

Don Quixote will also be performed by the Royal Ballet in June 2015 at the Kennedy Center. Although the programming for their New York visit hasn't been announced, that's a lot of competition for ABT's version next year: 

 

http://www.kennedy-c...ts/?event=BPBSH

 

I sat next to a Russian emigre at a recent performance and asked her about pronunciation of Mikhailovsky. The accent (a subtle one) is on the second syllable. Otherwise, if you say it phonetically, it'll be close.



#25 mimsyb

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 07:13 PM

The Met is a huge theater to fill.  It easily has 1,000 more seats than the David Koch Theater where the Bolshoi and the Mik (thank you Abatt for this abbreviation of the company name.  I have no idea how to spell it or say it.) are performing.  Maybe ABT should think about changing their season so that they can use the David Koch Theater.  Another thing is ABT's prices are way too high.  It's not just at the Met.  As was mentioned when ABT had their fall season at the Koch last November, their prices are much higher than any other company that uses the Koch Theater.  It cost me $97 for an ABT orchestra seat. The same exact seat cost $53 for a NYCB performance.  The same was true with San Francisco Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company and now the Bolshoi and the Mik.  Who makes the decision about pricing and such at ABT I wonder.  I have loved ABT for years but if they are not careful they are going to price themselves right out of the ballet market.

I agree about the pricing.  Out of range.  The good thing about the "State Theater" (I refuse to call it by it's other name), is that one can get a really nice seat in the second ring for a lot less money.  The sight lines are wonderful and you feel a lot closer to the stage than at the Met.   I usually sit in Grand Tier (also pricey!) at the Met, but second ring at the "State" is a better deal.



#26 canbelto

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 07:39 PM

I think ABT would do better if it didn't insist on its marathon block programming. 8 Don Quixotes is a lot even for the most hard-core Don Quixote fan. Mixing the programming (4 days of Don Q's, 4 days of Coppelia, with maybe one or both returning later in the season) would give balletomanes less burnout. The thing about ABT is it's never gotten over its touring company structure. When company's pop into town for a week, they'll bring one ballet, and maybe a mixed bill. ABT plans its Met seasons like they are one big tour gig. 



#27 sandik

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 09:15 PM

I think ABT would do better if it didn't insist on its marathon block programming. 8 Don Quixotes is a lot even for the most hard-core Don Quixote fan. Mixing the programming (4 days of Don Q's, 4 days of Coppelia, with maybe one or both returning later in the season) would give balletomanes less burnout. The thing about ABT is it's never gotten over its touring company structure. When company's pop into town for a week, they'll bring one ballet, and maybe a mixed bill. ABT plans its Met seasons like they are one big tour gig. 

 

Part of this programming may have to do with the backstage logistics -- loading in a large, set-heavy work like a Sleeping Beauty or a Don Quixote takes a chunk of tech hours -- setting it up and taking it down in order to set it up and take it down again later in the season would be more costly.



#28 rg

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 04:40 AM

the hanging and leaving in place multi-act stage production settings is definitely cost-cutting. 

to hang, strike and re-hang such productions would take many more hours of stagehand labor.



#29 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 05:23 AM

As I already mentioned, I was at the May 17th matinee performance of Don Q.  It was very entertaining.  I don't think anything can live up to my memories of last year's Don Q with Osipova and Vasiliev, but on Saturday afternoon there is magnificent dancing to be found from the entire company.

 

ABT soloist Isabella Boylston is a high-spirited Kitri.  She stands out for her soaring leaps and lightning fast turns.  Boylston is a very musical dancer.  In the fan solo during the Act III grand pas she plays delightfully with the tempo of the music.  Her fouettes at the end of the grand pas are very well executed.  Boylston does travel a bit, but she alternates between very secure single and double turns.  My only complaint she about Boylston's performance is that she does not hold her balances during the grand pas.  All five times she looks as though  she is going to attempt the balances then thinks better of it.  I can't forget Natalia Osipova's balances in Don Q.  They went on for so long that it was as though time stood still.

 

Daniil Simkin is a spellbinding Basilio.  As a dancer he is a model of ebullient virtuosity.  His high flying leaps with amazingly soft landings, his spins and turns - all are outstanding.  In the coda of the Act III grand pas

Simkin's revoltades stop the show.  Revoltades are turns where one leg flips over the other in midair.  Simkin performs these easily and effortlessly.  For the most part Simkin's partnering skills are fine.  He does have a bit of trouble with the two one-handed lifts over the head in Act I.  Both lifts are quite wobbly.  Simkin is also a fine comic actor and his miming is spot on.

 

Other dancers stand out as well.  Sascha Radetsky performs the role of Espada, the matador, with precision and Spanish flair.  Stella Abrera shines in the dual role of Mercedes/Queen of the Dryads.  Abrera dances Mercedes with a sultry steaminess but her Queen of the Dryads is a model of classic elegance.  Abrera's Italian fouettes in the vision scene are flawlessly executed.

 

As the foppish Gamache Craig Salstein shows his comic genius.  He does so many entertaining bits of stage business that it's hard for me to focus on the dancing (unless it's being performed by the two main couples).    Gemma Bond's Amour impresses with her sparkling footwork and lovely light leap.  Arron Scott is an exciting and high flying Gypsy King.  In my opinion Scott's promotion to soloist is long overdue.  I also hope that Isabella Boylston becomes a principal at ABT soon. 



#30 rg

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 08:24 AM

the following from ABT, today May 20:
<<

Please note the following cast changes for performances of the repertory program:
In Ga�t� Parisienne on Tuesday, May 20, the principals will be HEE SEO, MARCELO GOMES and CRAIG SALSTEIN
In Theme & Variations at the Wednesday matinee, May 21, the principals will be SARAH LANE and DANIIL SIMKIN.

>>




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