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      2018 Joint Fundraiser for Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers   02/03/2018

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  1. I suspect that Petrushka will be not Fokine’s but Varnava’s version.
  2. Workplace Problems at ENB

    I wonder if Hernandez has been getting a preferential treatment in terms of being allowed to appear as a guest artist with other companies. In the past couple of years he danced with Mariinsky and Paris Opera Ballet. His guest appearance in Don Quixote with the Rome Opera Ballet was broadcast on the Italian television. Are there other dancers at ENB with similar exposure opportunities?
  3. Thanks for this thread, mnacenani. On the first video, which I assume is a promotional trailer, the roles of Kitri and Basilio are danced by Rebecca Bianchi (principal of Rome Opera Ballet) and Angelo Greco (principal at San Francisco Ballet). Did the broadcast on Rai5 include a different cast? Yana Salenko must have been an excellent Kitri. She combines great technical skills, musicality and comedic abilities—the qualities that two other ballerinas you mentioned do not necessarily always demonstrate. Isaac Hernandez, on the other hand, can be a boring dancer despite of his jaw dropping technique. I wonder if these two were able to create equally high energy characters on stage.
  4. SFB 2018: Sleeping Beauty

    In today’s (February 4) performance of Sleeping Beauty, Ludmila Bizalion danced the role of the Lilac Fairy instead of Sarah Van Patten and Luke Ingham was a last minute replacment for Carlo Di Lanno. According to Sasha De Sola’s Instagram they only had 15 minutes to rehearse. This, however, was not obvious to us, the audience, as they both were flawless.
  5. SFB 2018: Sleeping Beauty

    One of the comments indicates it was a performance from many years ago at the Bolshoi Theater of Belarus.
  6. The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    Smirnova has a strange tendency of overcrossing her fifth position when on flat to the extent that her legs look like a 8 shape. Just playing devil’s advocate here...The timer on the video actually registers the duration of applause as~10 sec.
  7. SFB 2018: Sleeping Beauty

    The casts for the remaining four performances of the Sleeping Beauty: Friday, February 2, 2018 - 8 pm Aurora: Mathilde Froustey Prince Desiré: Luke Ingham Lilac Fairy: WanTing Zhao Carabosse: Ludmila Bizalion Bluebird: Wei Wang Enchanted Princess: Dores André Saturday, February 3, 2018 - 2 pm Aurora: Frances Chung Prince Desiré: Vitor Luiz Lilac Fairy: Jennifer Stahl Carabosse: WanTing Zhao Bluebird: Esteban Hernandez Enchanted Princess: Natasha Sheehan Saturday, February 3, 2018 - 8 pm Aurora: Ana Sophia Scheller Prince Desiré: Angelo Greco Lilac Fairy: WanTing Zhao Carabosse: Ludmila Bizalion Bluebird: Lonnie Weeks Enchanted Princess: Wona Park Sunday, February 4, 2018 - 2 pm Aurora: Sasha De Sola Prince Desiré: Carlo Di Lanno Lilac Fairy: Sarah Van Patten Carabosse: Ludmila Bizalion Bluebird: Max Cauthorn Enchanted Princess: Koto Ishihara* De Sola and Scheller each got three shows, Chung and Froustey--two. No second run for Kochetkova which doesn't surprise me as she looked very mismatched with Carlo Di Lanno as her Desire.
  8. SFB 2018: Sleeping Beauty

    I agree with what PeggyR wrote about Froustey’s performance in the Rose Adagio but want to add a couple of details. Knowing that Froustey went through a long rehabilitation process after what seemed to be a serious injury I worried if she would be able to hold those balances. She was very solid in the first two balances which lasted the “normal” amount of time—that is Aurora briefly lets go of her Cavalier, quickly brings her arm into the third position and lowers it right away to get support from the next Cavalier. The third balance was a moment to behold because it lasted just a few beats longer than usual but it was so perfect and calm and unexpected that I had to gasp—it looked as if she had fallen under a spell and got frozen in time. At first, I thought something happened to the fourth Cavalier Steven Morse that he couldn’t make it on time to offer Froustey his hand. I was watching through my opera glasses and couldn’t see what else was going on around the stage. But when he finally appeared I realized that this exceptionally long balance was intentional. I wished Froustey would have stopped at that but she obviously got encouraged by how well she could balance and decided to go for a kill. Her fourth balance just ruined the magic of the previous moment. It was unnecessary long, shaky and unsightly. It turned into a scene from Don Q. I also did not particular like the scene when Aurora pricks her finger—Froustey overdramatized it by bringing in some elements from Giselle’s mad scene. But overall I thoroughly enjoyed this performance as it was a major deviation from the pure classical style demonstrated by Sasha de Sola and Ana Sophia Scheller. Unlike many on this thread I don’t have much praise to shower on WanTing Zhao. I think she still has a long way to go, she needs to work on her port de bras to soften her arms and wrists. They are to stiff for my taste and broken wrists do bother me a lot in Petipa’s ballets.
  9. SFB 2018: Sleeping Beauty

    Koto Ishihara danced the Fairy of Generosity and the Diamond on January 23 and 24. Isabella Devivo was the Fairy of Serenity in those two performances. Both were lovely, especially Isabella—she has wonderful fluid arms and beatiful soft wrists.
  10. The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    I can stomach 6 o’clocks extensions since they last just a second. But I start grinding my teeth when I see such extremes in a supported attitude derrière when a ballerina lifts her leg so high that it looks as if she is about to use her foot for scratching the back of her partner’s head.
  11. San Francisco Ballet announced that soloist James Sofranko will become the new artistic director of Grand Rapids Ballet in Michigan starting July 1, 2018. Sofranko said, "I'm so grateful that Helgi gave me the opportunity to work for such a world-class company 18 years ago and I have learned so much from my experience with SF Ballet. I will miss San Francisco, and performing on the Opera House stage for our dedicated audiences, but I am excited for the next stage of my artistic life as a director, choreographer, curator, and producer of dance."
  12. Ballet dancers in First Lady's Christmas video

    According to Melania Trump’s twitter these were dancers from Vivid Ballet Company. I must say they were very brave dancers risking an injury on that slippery floor. https://mobile.twitter.com/FLOTUS/status/936006319076724742
  13. St Petersburg - November 2017

    Few YouTube videos from Don Quixote with beautiful Olesya Novikova:
  14. 2018 Met Season

    Here is an Instagram clip of Sarah’s fouetté sequence from her Swan Lake with Kremlin ballet:
  15. Polina Semionova

    It appears that the Berlin State Ballet is becoming the theater of one dancer—Semionova is scheduled for more than half of Swan Lake performances and all but one Jewels. She definitely will be much busier in Berlin than she was at ABT.