Helene

Misty Copeland, Part Deux

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Another NY Times interview w. Misty Copeland.  This is the second fluff piece about Misty that the Times has run in the last 30 days.  I guess they think they can sell more papers, or they have decided that no other ABT dancers are worthy of being interviewed.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/arts/dance/misty-copeland-kitri-don-quixote-giselle.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

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Posted (edited)

32 minutes ago, abatt said:

Another NY Times interview w. Misty Copeland.  This is the second fluff piece about Misty that the Times has run in the last 30 days.  I guess they think they can sell more papers, or they have decided that no other ABT dancers are worthy of being interviewed.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/arts/dance/misty-copeland-kitri-don-quixote-giselle.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

 

I missed the other one you mentioned. This is a fairly substantive interview with her and the acting coach who works with her and others at ABT (including, next year, ABT II) discussing their preparations for multiple debuts and roles she continues to work on. I think of 'fluff piece' as an article  on how she prepares her pointe shoes, or what her favorite pastry is...

 

Would be great to see features on other dancers, but I found this pretty interesting.

Edited by Drew

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Interestingly, no mention of her participation in ABT's WHIPPED CREAM, which is the troupe's big new ballet this year. Yet again, there's a mention/focus on her trouble with fouettés. 

 

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I know ABT wants to cast her as much as possible. Or, rather, I infer as much. But debuts as Kitri and Giselle seem more than enough to keep a ballerina busy.

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4 hours ago, Natalia said:

Interestingly, no mention of her participation in ABT's WHIPPED CREAM, which is the troupe's big new ballet this year. Yet again, there's a mention/focus on her trouble with fouettés. 

 

 

I thought that was a fascinating part of the article -- I've often discussed the way that those turns can be used as a kind of dramatic tool, to hypnotize Siegfried and launch the next part of the duet.  It's a difficult thing to pull off, for obvious reasons, but I think Cynthia Gregory managed it quite well (you can see that in the video with Bujones), and I've seen it with other O/Os as well. 

 

Copeland is a bigger media character, for all kinds of reasons, and an obvious person to use in the center of this kind of article for a general readership.  I'm glad that she's willing to be a part of this kind of discussion -- she's an articulate and engaging interview.

 

As far as Whipped Cream is concerned, you've seen the ballet and I haven't, but from the descriptions and reviews, it doesn't strike me as a particularly challenging dramatic role, and that's the focus of this article.

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I'm still waiting for some sort of magical "Misty Effect" to usher-in the sort of regular live telecasts of complete ABT ballets that we used to see 30 years ago on PBS. I'm not talking about regurgitations of documentaries on Misty. I mean big, full, glamorous live ballets - 2.5 to 3 hour span, including live backstage intermissions. Anything on the schedule from PBS' "Live from Lincoln Center" featuring our superstar ballerina?  Or am I waiting for Godot?

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1 hour ago, sandik said:

 

 

As far as Whipped Cream is concerned, you've seen the ballet and I haven't, but from the descriptions and reviews, it doesn't strike me as a particularly challenging dramatic role, and that's the focus of this article.

 

Oh but comedy *is* a facet of the dramatic arts, is it not? That role in Whipped Cream can pack a punch. That's why I so admire Skylar...she not only danced grandly but really played hilariously against Jeff Cirio (but not over the top silly like some of the others in the role). It's a fine line. Irina Baronova was another great one in subtle comic drama...the perfect glamorous face...who'd expect such a comedienne? Skylar "nailed" the Baronova Effect!

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1 hour ago, Drew said:

I know ABT wants to cast her as much as possible. Or, rather, I infer as much. But debuts as Kitri and Giselle seem more than enough to keep a ballerina busy.

 

I agree with all of these points. I get it, she's a major draw and sells tickets. And, I'm sure she wants to dance as much as possible as any dancer would. But, her schedule this Met season is grueling. She's cast in 7 out of the season's 8 full length ballets in either the lead or secondary lead and performing in each at least twice: 2 as Kitri, 2 Giselle's, 2 Golden Cockerel's, 2 Le Corsaire's, 2 SL's, 3 Whipped Cream's (the second run only). Most of the other female principals get only performance. She's also cast a plenty during the Tchaikovsky Spectacular the last week of the season. I wonder if she pulled out of the first run of Whipped Cream in May on her own to lighten her load a little?  

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Balance is not something of which I can accuse ABT schedulers.

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17 minutes ago, Natalia said:

 

Oh but comedy *is* a facet of the dramatic arts, is it not? That role in Whipped Cream can pack a punch. That's why I so admire Skylar...she not only danced grandly but really played hilariously against Jeff Cirio (but not over the top silly like some of the others in the role). It's a fine line. Irina Baronova was another great one in subtle comic drama...the perfect glamorous face...who'd expect such a comedienne? Skylar "nailed" the Baronova Effect!

 

As I said, you've seen it and I haven't.  And comedy is miles harder than tragedy.

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1 hour ago, Natalia said:

I'm still waiting for some sort of magical "Misty Effect" to usher-in the sort of regular live telecasts of complete ABT ballets that we used to see 30 years ago on PBS. I'm not talking about regurgitations of documentaries on Misty. I mean big, full, glamorous live ballets - 2.5 to 3 hour span, including live backstage intermissions. Anything on the schedule from PBS' "Live from Lincoln Center" featuring our superstar ballerina?  Or am I waiting for Godot?

 

I'm hopeful as well -- fingers cross from coast to coast.

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One thing I recall from the NY Times review of Golden Cockerel last year was that Misty was deemed to be the funniest of the casts.  Apparently she does have some comedic talent in acting. I was surprised she could not connect to Kitri, because that is a sunny, comedic role.

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1 hour ago, Natalia said:

I'm still waiting for some sort of magical "Misty Effect" to usher-in the sort of regular live telecasts of complete ABT ballets that we used to see 30 years ago on PBS. I'm not talking about regurgitations of documentaries on Misty. I mean big, full, glamorous live ballets - 2.5 to 3 hour span, including live backstage intermissions. Anything on the schedule from PBS' "Live from Lincoln Center" featuring our superstar ballerina?  Or am I waiting for Godot?

 

What ABT should be filming before anything else (and showing on PBS) is the farewell performance of Vishneva with Gomes in Onegin on June 23. Shame on them if they don't (they can't control PBS but they can film it themselves). That partnership is a master class in acting, partnering skills and complete trust. It needs to be preserved.

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17 minutes ago, abatt said:

One thing I recall from the NY Times review of Golden Cockerel last year was that Misty was deemed to be the funniest of the casts.  Apparently she does have some comedic talent in acting. I was surprised she could not connect to Kitri, because that is a sunny, comedic role.

The Queen of Shemakha is pulling out every trick in the book to save her kingdom from the Czar.  By comparison, Kitri is far less interesting and complex, except in the Ratmansky version, where she's given more to hang on, and her reactions and interactions are far less stock.

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1 hour ago, ABT Fan said:

 

What ABT should be filming before anything else (and showing on PBS) is the farewell performance of Vishneva with Gomes in Onegin on June 23. Shame on them if they don't (they can't control PBS but they can film it themselves). That partnership is a master class in acting, partnering skills and complete trust. It needs to be preserved.

 

I hear you but I understand that the Cranko Trust is one of the "nastiest" out there in allowing commercial filming of its ballets.

 

As for PBS, they have a "Diversity in America" mandate (through public funds, in part), so Misty and Stella have better opportunities to be shown than Diana... I "get" it. Honestly, that's one reason why I was expecting more Misty on PBS in a full live ballet by now. If we see Misty, we see all of ABT. Win-win!

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, ABT Fan said:

 

I agree with all of these points. I get it, she's a major draw and sells tickets. And, I'm sure she wants to dance as much as possible as any dancer would. But, her schedule this Met season is grueling. She's cast in 7 out of the season's 8 full length ballets in either the lead or secondary lead and performing in each at least twice: 2 as Kitri, 2 Giselle's, 2 Golden Cockerel's, 2 Le Corsaire's, 2 SL's, 3 Whipped Cream's (the second run only). Most of the other female principals get only performance. She's also cast a plenty during the Tchaikovsky Spectacular the last week of the season. I wonder if she pulled out of the first run of Whipped Cream in May on her own to lighten her load a little?  

 

That is actually close to what I was trying to say--I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. (You had quoted my post though the quote function doesn't let me show that.) 

 

In any case, however the decision was made, it seems quite reasonable to me that she would pull out of Whipped Cream while trying to prepare debuts in TWO full length roles. Whether she dances in it or not later in season, her overall load is, as you say, "grueling."

Edited by Drew

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40 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

 

What ABT should be filming before anything else (and showing on PBS) is the farewell performance of Vishneva with Gomes in Onegin on June 23. Shame on them if they don't (they can't control PBS but they can film it themselves). That partnership is a master class in acting, partnering skills and complete trust. It needs to be preserved.

 

If archiving is the question, I'm sure they have private recordings of many crucial performances, but as far as public viewing is concerned, there could be all kinds of elements involved.  Who controls the broadcast rights for that ballet?

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28 minutes ago, sandik said:

 

If archiving is the question, I'm sure they have private recordings of many crucial performances, but as far as public viewing is concerned, there could be all kinds of elements involved.  Who controls the broadcast rights for that ballet?

 

ONEGIN? The infamous Cranko Trust, which didn't even allow the conversion from VHS to DVD of the 1980s ONEGIN film with the Natl Ballet of Canada. The various telecasts of his ballets by Stuttgart during the 1970s have not been commercially released.  The least likely ABT ballet to be telecast is ONEGIN, no matter the cast.

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1 minute ago, Natalia said:

 

ONEGIN? The infamous Cranko Trust, which didn't even allow the conversion from VHS to DVD of the 1980s ONEGIN film with the Natl Ballet of Canada. The various telecasts of his ballets by Stuttgart during the 1970s have not been commercially released.  The least likely ABT ballet to be telecast is ONEGIN, no matter the cast.

 

Thanks for the information -- I don't see this rep very often, and so don't follow ins and outs very closely. 

 

I really worry about situations like this one.  It's one thing to protect the integrity of the repertory, but another thing to make a work so inaccessible that it becomes unknown to the majority of the audience.

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The Cranko people make the Balanchine Trust people look permissive :(

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Not to mention the Bolshoi has done Onegin a number of times, and they are usually very pro-active about live-streaming their new productions. But there has been no official HD livestream of Onegin.

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I didn't realize the Cranko trust was so difficult. What a shame. 

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