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Misty Copeland - Divided ViewsWas, ABT on Tour - Casting for Austrailia


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#121 ABT Fan

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 07:06 AM

Just thought I would say how excited I am to see the brilliant ABT come Downunder to perform in Brisbane. I am looking so forward to seeing Swan Lake and Three Masterpieces performed at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. So looking forward to seeing Stephanie Williams perform once again on the Australian Stage.

 

balaw: I hope you'll post your reviews here of the performances you see, for those of us who won't be fortunate enough to see the company down under!



#122 Plisskin

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 01:04 PM

Natalie Bochenski of the Brisbane Times reviews the August 28, 2014 performance of "Swan Lake" with Cory Stearns and Hee Seo:

 

http://www.brisbanet...829-109t1a.html



#123 Plisskin

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 03:26 PM

Five more reviews from the tour have come out. 4 of them are positive and raved about ABT, 1...not so much. The latter criticizes the opening night principals Seo/ Stearns for lacking chemistry and emotion in their dancing and the overall production left them cold. The 4 positive reviews praised the opening night's cast, the soloists, staging, and ABT's corps' unision, which I found funny since ABT's corp gets heavily criticized for not being together. They must have had extra rehearsal time for this tour since they were being broadcasted live throughout Australia. Tell me again why ABT can't do a live broadcast in its home country? Or hasn't released a recorded performance since 1999...

 

http://www.theaustra...c-1227042994787

http://www.smh.com.a...831-10ajgj.html

http://performing.ar...wan-lake-245596

http://dailyreview.c...-brisbane/11331

http://blogs.abc.net...-sprummer-.html



#124 miliosr

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 03:23 AM

Did any of our Australian correspondents go to see Misty's debut yesterday?



#125 cobweb

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 04:48 AM

I too would love to read reports of ABT's visit to Australia, Misty's debut and any other performances!



#126 meunier fan

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 06:36 AM

If you are willing to subscribe to THE AUSTRALIAN you can find a review here.  (I only read the one paragraph that was free access.)  



#127 Dale

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 08:02 AM

If you are willing to subscribe to THE AUSTRALIAN you can find a review here.  (I only read the one paragraph that was free access.)  

 

From Nexis:

 

The Australian
September 4, 2014 Thursday
Australian Edition

Swan's maiden flight brings joy to the heart

BYLINE: Deborah Jones
LENGTH: 463 words

DANCE Swan Lake.

American Ballet Theatre, Lyric Theatre, Brisbane, September 3

IT'S always a big deal when a dancer makes her debut as Odette-Odile in Swan Lake. It's a bigger deal when that dancer is Misty Copeland, the first African-American in American Ballet Theatre's 75-year history to be cast as Odette. It shouldn't be so, but it is. Copeland, 31, has waited a long time for this. She has earned it, and yesterday claimed it.

No matter what the role, deep within every dancer's body are aspects of the story she is telling. They are an inextricable part of it. Copeland is tiny, but strong and womanly. She is not frail. Her Odette, then, instantly reminds one that swans are birds of considerable power as well as grace. Although she has been made a captive, she is not a victim. We are reminded, too, that Odette is not just a swan. She is the Swan Queen. Copeland's opening scene (apart from the brief prologue showing how Von Rothbart tricked Odette and enslaved her) was therefore individual, although a little too largely played on this first outing. But in her magisterial arms and shoulders, so evocative of a magnificent creature's wingspan, there is much promise. Already one could see Copeland had a clear and personal idea of Odette's character.

The pas de deux that followed was ravishing. The first slow section was expressed as if one long tender sigh and the rapport between Copeland and her Prince Siegfried - Alexandre Hammoudi also making a role debut - was electrifying. Hammoudi undoubtedly would have wanted to dance more cleanly than he did yesterday but his partnering and his connection with Copeland were tremendously satisfying.

Given Copeland's gifts, Odile would seem to hold no terrors for Copeland. Indeed not. Her dominion was amply demonstrated in a technical sense, but it was the little details that were so enjoyable: the avian stretches of the neck, the seductive expression, the sparkling eyes and, to top it off, the brief but super-sexy stroking of Siegfried's chest that clinched the deal between them.

A short time later Copeland reappeared as Odette, as in Kevin McKenzie's production the action shifts immediately from Act III's ballroom to the lakeside Act IV. At this season's opening night last week I found the denouement far too rushed, but Copeland and Hammoudi seemed to stretch time and were profoundly moving. The audience stood and cheered lustily, and rightly.

This was unfortunately Copeland's only Odette in Brisbane but it was enough to make the heart burst with joy.Tonight is the final performance of Swan Lake in ABT's Brisbane season, starring Paloma Herrera. Four performances of the triple bill Three Masterpieces begin tomorrow. Copeland is scheduled to appear in Twyla Tharp's Bach Partita tomorrow and Saturday night.



#128 Balletgoal

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 10:04 PM

Bravo Misty Copeland!



#129 Pique Arabesque

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 12:42 AM

Bravo Misty Copeland!

 

I would like to second this! I am glad to see that Misty's dancing has been well received in Australia, and I think she is an excellent ambassador for ballet (and one doesn't have to be a leading principal dancer to spread the word about ballet). 

 

I think that many regular posters on BA are critical of Misty not because of her dancing, but because she has the courage to admit that institutional racism in ballet companies is still an issue. If she didn't speak openly about race, she would be regarded as a leading soloist with an affinity for contemporary work (not as the overrated soloist who is taking Stella's parts!). I also think that Misty is genuinely trying to create a space for black women in classical ballet, and not just sell her books. As Tapfan has pointed out, one SL in 7 years is hardly PR/favoritism, etc. 



#130 nanushka

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 02:25 AM

I think that many regular posters on BA are critical of Misty not because of her dancing, but because she has the courage to admit that institutional racism in ballet companies is still an issue.

 

 

I really don't see evidence of that (i.e. your claim, not hers), and in fact most people critical of Misty's dancing on here have mentioned that they do indeed think that institutional racism in ballet is a problem and would like to see more non-white dancers rise through the ranks.

 

It's one thing to say that those who disagree with you are wrong, but to make unsubstantiated claims that they're not even being honest about what they think or why doesn't really get us anywhere.



#131 kfw

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 03:44 AM

I think that many regular posters on BA are critical of Misty not because of her dancing, but because she has the courage to admit that institutional racism in ballet companies is still an issue.

 

Copeland hasn't admitted anything. She's made an accusation, and an accusation that was guaranteed to gain her widespread sympathy and support. Naming names would have taken a lot of courage. Letting her dancing do the talking would eventually have garnered her the widespread acclaim she deserves as a groundbreaking dancer.Or she could have written her book without crying "racism." Instead she tarred a whole ballet company (Who are the supposed racists who supposedly didn't want to see her rise? She is taken at her word that she encountered them, but fans are left to speculate who she's talking about, while the purported racists - everyone there is now under suspicion - can't even defend themselves).

 

I don't want to be too hard on Copeland. She's young, and she lives in a culture that has encouraged her to do this. But in the end, I'm not sure it's honorable.



#132 aurora

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 05:12 AM

 

I think that many regular posters on BA are critical of Misty not because of her dancing, but because she has the courage to admit that institutional racism in ballet companies is still an issue.

 

Letting her dancing do the talking would eventually have garnered her the widespread acclaim she deserves as a groundbreaking dancer.Or she could have written her book without crying "racism." Instead she tarred a whole ballet company (Who are the supposed racists who supposedly didn't want to see her rise? She is taken at her word that she encountered them, but fans are left to speculate who she's talking about, while the purported racists - everyone there is now under suspicion - can't even defend themselves).

 

 

I'm sure most minorities have found that simply letting their good work do the talking has eventually led to them getting the widespread acclaim they deserve.

That is why racism no longer exists / is totally eradicated in today's society!

 

Racism does exist in the ballet world. It has been a topic on this board certainly (the lack of certain minorities in ballet companies, especially at the upper levels) and for a dancer of color to discuss that in a book about her life does not seem to me to be "crying racism" but stating something that has been institutionalized fact. Racism can be subtle and not even "maliciously intended." The preconception that a black female dancer can't "look like a swan" or stands out too much in a group of willies. That doesn't mean it isn't racism.

 

Honorable? Is that the expectation of dancers and company directors? I think that is a can of worms one might not want to open but I don't see anything dishonorable about it.



#133 abatt

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 05:15 AM

 

 

I don't want to be too hard on Copeland. She's young, and she lives in a culture that has encouraged her to do this. But in the end, I'm not sure it's honorable.

 

Copeland isn't so young anymore (30, I believe).  She and her PR team knew exactly what they were doing in playing the race card, and it appears to have worked.  Alicia Graf always let her dancing do the talking, and she was always rewarded with ecstatic press reviews. 

 

Misty should give her PR folks a big bonus for all they have accomplished on her behalf.



#134 aurora

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 05:26 AM

 

 

 

I don't want to be too hard on Copeland. She's young, and she lives in a culture that has encouraged her to do this. But in the end, I'm not sure it's honorable.

 

Copeland isn't so young anymore (30, I believe).  She and her PR team knew exactly what they were doing in playing the race card, and it appears to have worked.

 

 

 

I would argue that the term "playing the race card" is incredibly belittling of the minority experience in America.

 

The fact is that if you are not white, and especially if you are not white in a field as white as ballet is in the united states, race is going to deeply impact your experience. And people are, consciously or not (if you really want to believe that no one is racist), going to  see you differently because you are different than almost everyone else and you stick out in every corps, you look different from everyone else.

 

To call attention to that and say that your career has been impacted by it, HURT by it, is not "playing the race card."



#135 abatt

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 06:24 AM

Webster's dictionary defines "race card" as follows:
 
:  the issue of a person's race as it relates to a particular contest (such as a political campaign or a court trial) —often used in the phrase play the race card
 
It is well documented in her book and her interviews that Misty has raised the issue of her race as it relates to her employment as a ballerina.  Based on the definition of the term, I don't see how stating that she has played the race card is inaccurate. 



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