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Manon


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#1 ord7916

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 07:35 PM

So it looks like I have the privilege of writing the first review.

 

Let me say that from the start that tonight's Manon was a truly extraordinary experience.  I have never seen anything like it at ABT or anywhere else.     

 

This was my first time seeing Vishneva.  How a human being can move as she does, I cannot quite comprehend.  To watch her being lifted, spun around and quite literally be thrown from one person to another - I was in awe.   

 

The first scene with Diana and Marcelo was mesmerizing and it just kept getting better until the stunning finale.  There was talk on here about all the guest artists and how they are unfamiliar with each other and lack chemistry.  Well, here we have the exact opposite - not just chemistry but outright passion.  When the curtain came up for the first curtain call, they were locked in a tight embrace, seemingly oblivious to the audience who were cheering for them.  By the 4th and 5th curtain calls, they looked utterly exhausted, but both very gracious.

 

And it is not just the chemistry between Diana and Marcelo, but also Diana and Victor Barbee as G.M,  Diana and Roman Zhurbin, as the jailer, and I'd even say between Marcelo and Herman Cornejo.  Herman was thrilling to watch and had a contagious energy and Roman was ruthlessly seductive.

 

Manon - the story, the dancing, the romance - is just so different than any ballet I've seen before.    And this was one of those rare nights where the acting, the music, the dancing and the dancers all come together so perfectly.  



#2 Batsuchan

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 07:59 PM

ord7916, you beat me to it, but I agree completely!

 

I went to see Kent/Bolle last night, and I was completely underwhelmed.  The actual dancing was quite beautiful--in fact I was worried that Kent's age would show, but she and Bolle danced very well and looked lovely together.  However, the story fell completely flat for me.

 

Today was a completely different story!  THIS IS WHY I GO TO THE BALLET!!

 

Vishneva & Gomes were spectacular, and as I walked out, all I could think was WOW!

 

I had the privilege of speaking to Vishneva very briefly last year, and she told me that "Manon" was her favorite role, and now I can see why.  I absolutely loved Act I, but her Act II Manon was amazing.  I'm not sure any other ballerina could vamp like she does (okay, maybe except for Dvorovenko, but she's no longer dancing).

 

To use two cliches, although Vishneva & Gomes hit it out of the ballpark tonight, I think Saturday's performance is going to be completely out of this world!  I simply can't wait!!

 

One last note--it looked like Vishneva's whole family was there!  I saw her husband, her parents and her sister (as well as two people I assumed to be Vishneva's brother-in-law and nephew).  



#3 Kaysta

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 02:22 AM

I'm seeing Vishneva on Saturday, can't wait!!

#4 Ceeszi

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 03:37 AM

I went last night and as usual - thank you Diana and Marcelo for giving 110 percent and spilling your guts onstage. What a performance! That last pas de deux in the Louisiana bayou was amazing!

#5 abatt

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 04:59 AM

Yes, spectacurlar dancing from Gomes and Vishneva in what, in my opinion, is a pretty awful ballet.  Without great leads, this ballet becomes dull very fast.  Herman was also pretty amazing.  Expecting even more high wattage electricity at  the Saturday matinee for Vishneva's 10th anniversary celebration.  The house looked well sold compared to the earlier weeks of the season.



#6 ord7916

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:42 AM

 

 

 

Yes, spectacurlar dancing from Gomes and Vishneva in what, in my opinion, is a pretty awful ballet.  Without great leads, this ballet becomes dull very fast.  Herman was also pretty amazing.  Expecting even more high wattage electricity at  the Saturday matinee for Vishneva's 10th anniversary celebration.  The house looked well sold compared to the earlier weeks of the season.

 

A pretty awful ballet?   I'm surprised to hear that.

 

But I do wonder how the other casts can possibly measure up to last night.  I really like Reyes, but I just can't picture her in that role.  And it's hard to see Cory Stearns as the romantic lead type.  



#7 abatt

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:48 AM

The truly great choreography is in the few sections for the two lead performers.  Most of the choreography for the corps and the secondary leads is not terribly difficult or impressive. 

 

Reyes has done the role before w. ABT, but from what I recall she did not get good reviews. I would LOVE to see Part in this as the lead (and also as Juliet in R&J), but she may be too tall for all those difficult lifts. 

 

Manon is probably Kent's best role at her present age.  I'll see her on Thursday.



#8 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 09:02 AM

I saw Reyes in the role of Manon in 2006 .  She was totally miscast.  I can't believe she's still dancing the role.  I have loved Reyes in many ballets, among them Don Q, Giselle and Sleeping Beauty.  But not Manon!  I'm sorry but I don't think there's one sensual bone in Reyes' petite body.  I have a ticket to the Saturday matinee and I am so excited.  If any Ballet Alerters are attending the May 7th matinee maybe we can meet up before the ballet or during the intermissions.  Let me know.

 

Oh, I forgot to mention.  Reyes danced with Angel Corella when I saw her in Manon in 2006.  He was really great!



#9 ord7916

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 11:50 AM

Who else at ABT can do that role?  Part may be hard to lift.  Murphy?  Abrera?  



#10 MRR

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 12:52 PM

I strongly disagree that Manon is an "awful" ballet, but to each his own.  Of course the ballet does need excellent leads.   At the very least, Murphy would be better suited to the title role than Reyes.



#11 mimsyb

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 12:53 PM

Who else at ABT can do that role?  Part may be hard to lift.  Murphy?  Abrera?  

I'd even give Paloma a go at the role over Reyes.  Has Paloma she ever danced it?  I can't remember.  She can sometimes be stellar in these types of roles.



#12 FauxPas

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 01:17 PM

Stella Abrera could be a sexy Manon but also Alina Cojocaru has the role in her repertory.  Xiomara Reyes has the prepubescent look of a "Lolita" nymphet - the Manon in the Abbé Prevost novel is about fifteen when the Chevalier Des Grieux meets her at the Inn at Amiens.  Reyes still can look like a teenager onstage and is a very good actress.  But any cast ABT might field would find Vishneva and Gomes a tough act to follow.

 

I must mention that Misty Copeland was delightful as Lescaut's Mistress last night - very vivacious and alluring while dancing with abandon and control.  



#13 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 01:56 PM

I think Veronika Part would make a wonderful Manon.  And James Whiteside could be the male lead.  (I can't remember the guy's name right now).  I saw Part and Whiteside in La Bayadere.  Whiteside managed those lifts with Part beautifully.  I can't believe Whiteside isn't dancing in Manon this year.  I find him to be a very good actor.  I agree that  Stella Abrera would make a good Manon.  I think Gillian would be as well.  Her acting has gotten to be very good in the past few years.  What about Hee Seo. She was wonderful last year in A Month in the Country and Onegin, both times with Hallberg.



#14 Mirseng1

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 04:34 PM

Somehow I do not feel that Hee Seo can pull it off. She does not strike me as a strong dramatic actor. Manon is a multi-dimensional part that requires a really versatile performer who is able to communicate character' development throughout the ballet.
I think Part would make a great Manon if she were partnered with Gomes. He always brings best in her.

If anyone is seeing Semionova tonight, I would love to hear your opinion.

#15 onxmyxtoes

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 04:48 PM

I think Veronika Part would make a wonderful Manon.  And James Whiteside could be the male lead.  (I can't remember the guy's name right now).  I saw Part and Whiteside in La Bayadere.  Whiteside managed those lifts with Part beautifully.  I can't believe Whiteside isn't dancing in Manon this year.  I find him to be a very good actor.  I agree that  Stella Abrera would make a good Manon.  I think Gillian would be as well.  Her acting has gotten to be very good in the past few years.  What about Hee Seo. She was wonderful last year in A Month in the Country and Onegin, both times with Hallberg.

Whiteside is dancing in Manon but as Lescaut, not Des Grieux




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