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AmandaNYC

Promotions!

26 posts in this topic

This happened Thursday or Friday:

To Principal:

James Fayette

Benjamin Millepied

Sebastien Marcovici

To Soloist:

Rachel Rutherford (I can hear many of you going: "Finally!")

-amanda

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I think all of those are wonderful. Thanks for the update Amanda. I think the promotion of three men to principal points to the need for top-ranked men. Now, I hope we'll see them in things like Apollo, Prodigal, Theme etc...

And, of course, I'm very pleased about Rutherford. She's lovely.

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All I can say is it's about time for Rutherford!!

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Finally, those Rutherford toe shoes I bought years ago at the Ballet Guild table have gone up in value! It's about time. I know that there's some dissent here about her technical ability, but she's been regularly dancing soloist and even principal roles for so long, her promotion is long overdue.

Millepied's promotion was blindingly obvious, given how much he's been dancing lately, and how well, and also that the company just doesn't seem to have anyone else under 30 who looks like he might be able to take over the Villella/D'Amboise/Woetzal repertory. Although Marcovicci strikes me as a very uneven dancer, it seems his promotion was also inevitable, as he's quite the "Martins" dancer.

The big shock for me was Fayette's promotion. Although I've certainly enjoyed and admired his dancing over the years, he always struck me as someone who had "eternal soloist" written all over him. How many real principal roles does he actually dance? Perhaps Martins decided that the company really needed someone to take over the Robert Maiorano repertory.

I was a little surprised that neither Ansanelli or Taylor were promoted, or Bouder, for that matter.

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I wasn't surprised by Fayette who's been doing very solid work lately. The other two were, of course, logical candidates. The real shock was no women given that that's where the ranks seem to be thin. We've had two retirements lately, one serious injury (I gather Miranda may be back for Saratoga) and some of the principals are seriously underutilized (I rarely see Boree and Meunier is practically invisible). Every night it's Maria in this and Wendy in the other and the next night it's Wendy in this and Maria in the other. I know I'm exaggerating but not by much.

So why were Taylor and Ansanelli passed over, particularly given the widespread perception that Taylor is his favorite?

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I've always seen Fayette as a Conrad Ludlow type, and has done a few of his roles in Midsummer Night's Dream, Emerlads, Concerto Barocco, and Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet. But, I agree, I was a little surprised at his promotion. Although, I do think he's acquitted himself well, such as in Western Symphony 1 mvt., when needed to pull out some turns and jumps.

I guessed Marcovicci would be a principal eventually, but, as Manhattnik pointed out, he is a bit more uneven than Millepied. I always thought Marcovicci's partnering skills would need to improve a bit before taking over the cavalier roles his looks and talent should bring him.

But Peter Martins has been slow to cast the younger men in the top roles. I was sure last year that Millepied or Marcovicci would be cast in Prodigal Son, but it didn't happen. During the Winter season, Woetzel did all the Theme and Variations. I would have thought someone such as Phillip Neal or Millepied would get a chance. Maybe this season.

Who do you think will be promoted to soloist take to fill the three men's spots? Carmena, Jason Fowler, and Craig Hall possibly?

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I have no doubts at all that we'll be seeing Millepied in Theme Real Soon Now. As far as Neal, he's quite versatile, elegant (he's got better line than most of the women in City Ballet) a strong partner (albeit occasionally a bit of a Space Cadet), but he's shown repeatedly over the years that he's an erratic turner. Sometimes he can spin like a Corrella (or like a top, same difference), and other times, well, one never quite anticipates the arrival of a double tour to the knee in quite the same way as when one knows Neal is about do one. If he's having a good night, he'd be fine in Theme; if not, well, I don't want to think about it.

The thing about Marcovicci and cavalier roles is that I don't think he's done many (any?). I just can't see him even pretending to be a danseur noble, and I think he'll need to be cast primarily in the Martins repertory, or the kinkier Balanchine stuff (he was really fine as Melancholic recently). But he's neither a bravura type or a danseur noble.

As for Fayette, well, he's aquitted himself well in, well, soloist roles. But to be a principal you should at least have some undisputedly principal roles under your belt. How many has he done? I've enjoyed Fayette mightily in the first movement of Western; I'm not so sure I'd be so happy to see him in the fourth movement.

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Good points Manhattnik. I guess it's my own opionion that I'd at least like to see Marcovicci in a few cavalier-type roles. To me, he has nice height, is good looking and owns the requisite technical skills. But, you're right, he hasn't been cast in any prince roles. Mmm..I think he's done a few not-quite successful Nutcrackers.

But we've seen the women cast early in important roles and against type and the men don't get that chance. Boal danced Mozartiana with Farrell's group, but has not done it in New York and Neal did Apollo with the SF group, as well, but not in New York. And considering who we've seen cast as Apollo...

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Boal's never done Mozartiana here? I could've sworn he had, but it's probably just wishful thinking. That would certainly be no-brainer casting! I forgot about Neal's Apollo -- he was actually pretty good, I thought.

It would make an interesting debate which of the new men would make the best Apollo, wouldn't it?

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There have been two recent retirements of principal women, and more are (sadly) inevitable. It is past time that some promotions happen. As to who they will be, I wouldn't begin to guess what management is thinking. If I had my druthers.....I think Alexandra has come back with a real bang after her injuries and has truly grown as a dancer. Pascale is gorgeous. Janie seems to be in favor and my money would be on her I guess, but she is just too wild for my taste. Abi's rise has been meteoric, she has technique to burn, but I would like to see more development of style.

Hooray for Rachel--arguably the most overdue promotion ever. I adore Eva Natanya. Can she be next? Please?

As for the men, I agree that Ben was a shoe-in. Sebastian has been given many opportunities--I saw that one coming as well. As for James, I love him and Jenifer (those who know me, know that she is my absolute favorite) and I see tremendous growth from him, especially as a partner. Watching the two of them dance together takes me to another place. But he has become a superb partner to other ballerinas as well. It was fascinating to me to see him take over Jared's part in Morgen. After the dance with Jenifer, I wanted to cry out: "no this is all wrong! they belong together!".

NYCB now has 12 male principals listed, 9 women. A little cock-eyed, no?

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I was actually surprised by all the men's promotions too. Especially Marcovici, I can't remember the last time I saw him dance.

Taylor and Ansanelli. I think Ansanelli would be first, but she is coming off the injury and needs to still get back into a full rotation. It's still too early for Taylor though (and van Kipnis)

As excited as I am about Rutherford's promotion, I hope she doesn't flounder in the soloist hell that seems to absorb many of the women. It's just about time for her! Promotion came two years later than it should've!

And Tom Gold, I would've thought him before Millipied, but I guess maybe b/c he has the design internship going for him.

I hope now with corps, Amanda Edge and Aesha Ash get some overdue time.

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Thanks for the information, AmandaNYC! It's great to be informed so quickly, I guess it will take months before it is announced in French dance magazines.

An anecdote: Sébastien Marcovici had danced in the 1993 program of the POB school... the same year as Laetitia Pujol, who has just been promoted to principal in Paris.

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This is just such wonderful news. I"m almost afraid it isn't true because I can't seem to find it on the nycb website.

Rutherford is of course overdue.

I actually wasn't too surprised about Fayette's promotion ... I always thought of him as the dark horse. I noticed that he seemed to be filling the role of the strong but silent partner, so while he doesn't have alot of the star male roles I think he's built up quite a few roles in the partnering category, off the top of my head, In the Night, Serenade, Ancient airs and dances, Morgen, Episodes and Kammermusik#2. I can see him becoming a Jock Soto type dancer and I'm glad that his work has gotten recognition.

I was surprised about Ansanelli. I think its still a bit early for Taylor (even if she is the favorite), but Ansanelli has been dancing all principal roles, and more than many principals. Oh well, maybe Peter is waiting for a big debut, he seems to like to do that.

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Well, if you're waiting for a big debut, Ansaneilli might be doing Theme later this month.

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I haven't yet seen an official announcement; I've heard these names as well, though - the dancers have said it was these people.

I think the Rutherford promotion is a good one managerially and institutionally as much as for any other reason; it can only help the entire company, as well as her. It sends the right message to the corps de ballet about hard work being rewarded - it's good she wasn't passed over for someone younger, as Manhattnik said, she's been soloist de facto for a while. I also agree that one could see the Millepied promotion from far off - he's seemed on the verge of promotion for two years.

For whatever reason, it's seemed that Millepied's and Marcovici's fortunes have been yoked to the same oxen since they entered the company, which I believe they did at the same time; wasn't their promotion to soloist at the same time as well? It could be because they have entirely complementary repertory, one does what the other doesn't. I'm not sure this has anything to do with this promotion, but it makes it less surprising to me. As with others, Fayette's promotion was the surprise to me; I didn't see it coming in the casting.

I'm not that concerned for female promotions; I'm guessing they'll happen soon enough. I think Ansanelli's is inevitable, and Taylor's obviously being pushed. I wish I saw van Kipnis being groomed for a promotion - but then again, I didn't see Fayette's coming.

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Thanks for the news and all the interesting comments. Like Manhattnik, I bought a pair of Rachel Rutherford's toe shoes years ago. I just went to look at them and thought congratulatory and self-congratulatory thoughts.

My wish for the new principals is that they get good head shots in the NYCB program next season. Over the years, Peter Boal's photos have been disastrous. The current one makes him look like Ivan the Terrible. Darci's photo looks nothing like her. And Kyra is better looking than that. But this seems to be a tradition at NYCB. I don't remember that there was ever a really good one of Farrell. So good luck at the photographer's.

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Hee hee.

The current photo of Peter in the NYCB program was taken by Josef Astor in 2000 as part of the promotional photos for A Shropshire Lad and Dance as Ever. I don't think it looks quite as good cropped and in the current context, but if he looks like Ivan the Terrible, I'm to blame!

We're doing new photos in early July. I promise to try and do better!

Tongue firmly in cheek and thoroughly amused. . .

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Promoting men may be making room for some of these wonderful young men I read about in the workshop reviews.

Miss....anxiously waiting a train ride to NYC to see the Workshop on Monday!

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Originally posted by Leigh Witchel

For whatever reason, it's seemed that Millepied's and Marcovici's fortunes have been yoked to the same oxen since they entered the company, which I believe they did at the same time; wasn't their promotion to soloist at the same time as well?  

Marcovici and Wheeldon entered at the same time (after the Balanchine Celebration in '93), and were definitely yoked-- actually doing a lot of the same things as demi-soloist. Millepied entered in '95 (having performed in SAB workshop in '94 and '95). He was part of that great group of men who came out of the school in '95 (Fromans, Fowler, Capps, Seth,....). Marcovici, Wheeldon, Millepied, as well as Somogyi, Ansanelli, Lyon, and Higgings were all promoted to soloist at the same time.

Regarding the yoking... it does seem, for the most part, that certain dancers careers are yoked together... M. Tracey and Whelan joined at similar times and were promoted to soloist and principal together (as well as shared a dressing room!). There seem to be times of grouped promotions and then times of individual ones (Ringer, Somogyi, A. Stafford). Interesting how that happens.

-amanda

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I think Rutherford was bypassed by some younger ones (Taylor and Stafford) when she should have already been promoted. But I agree with Leigh that it does send the message that if you tough enough it out long enough you will be rewarded and thankfully she didn't have to leave the company, come back and then be recognized (a la Ringer and Tinsley)

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What about Daniel Ulbricht? He is quite powerful, however I haven't had the chance to see him perform on stage; I've just seen him in class. Also, is Abi Stafford a soloist yet? Why did Tinsley leave? Sorry about the multiple questions; I'm just curious to hear others' thoughts and opinions. :)

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Hi!

First of all, congrats to those promoted, if indeed it's happening. Fayette's solid partnering skills are among the best, if not the best in the company.

Abi Stafford was promoted to soloist very recently (during the winter season, if I'm not mistaken).

Ulbricht is very talented, but I don't think he will be promoted that soon . He's only 18 and got his contract less than a year ago. It's probably his height that will either hold him back or be a big push foward. At about 5ft6, there are not a lot of girls that he can reasonably partner, which limits his corps roles. Thus, if his talent continues to develop, he might actually be a candidate for soloist where he'd have less corps roles to deal with. Martins obviously is interested in him-he's been in Fancy Free, Vienna Waltzes, Prodigal Son, Mozartiana, Four Seasons, Cortege Hongrois and Sleeping Beauty among others. I'll be interested to see if he gets to do Puck when AMND roles around.

BTW, in the most recent issue of Dance Magazine the reviewer of NYCB's winter season singled out Ulbricht and Korbes as being on the fast track to soloist

There are definately some talented men at SAB, so it would be a great time to make space in the corps. My picks for promotion would be Carmena and Fowler and perhaps Capps. The Fromans are nice, but I'm not sure they are promotion material-solid but not spectacular.

It's too bad that Jared Angle has been injured, as I think he's a better partner than Millipied or Marcovici.

BTW, was Borree injured this season-she didn't dance until this past week if I'm not mistaken.

Kate

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Hi!

The promotions have been announced on the NYCB webpage, so it's official. No press release, but look at the changing news bulletins at the bottom of the page.

Kate

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What do you all think about Tom Gold? Every time I watch a NYCB performance I cannot get over how magnificent a talent he is. I thought he would have been promoted to principal eons ago. Maybe if NYCB hired the right petite partner for him...

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What do you all think about Jennifer Tinsley getting promoted? She seems like a lovely dancer to me. And hasn't she been a soloist for awhile?

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