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FauxPas

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. FauxPas

    Gomes and ABT

    I think one thing about Marshall Whiteley is that he is very tall and long limbed which gives him more weight and length to move around when turning and jumping. He is more the danseur noble type than the high jumping, quick turning demi-caractère like Herman Cornejo. However, the refinement won't happen until he is given the roles and the coaching and training that go with them. Also, he has mentioned on his social media that he has acting training which means that story ballets are something that he should gravitate towards artistically and he is quite handsome which never hurts when dancing the Prince or cavalier. He is young but not too young to be cast and they can start him learning Siegfried, Albrecht, Solor, Espada and Nutcracker Prince NOW.
  2. FauxPas

    Gomes and ABT

    Marshall Whiteley posted these videos on Instagram of his Nutcracker guesting gig at Richter Academy of Classical Dance. What think you? Is he ready for prime time? Kevin has a tendency to wait a long time before even trying out a corps dancer in a soloist role. A lot of those newly minted principals are in their late twenties and thirties - Stella was at least 35 when she was made principal. But maybe we have a Solor and Siegfried here? Definitely an Espada? Take a look:
  3. Looks like Luciana Paris is going to be out of commission for a while - until the 2018 Met season - and for the happiest of reasons! Congratulations Luciana and Jonatan Lujan!
  4. Casting announced - no big surprises. Cirio and Lendorf are back. Klein and Shayer will debut their Boy in "Whipped Cream" before the Ratmansky is revived for the Met 2018 Spring/Summer season. Big surprise: Lane and Cornejo in "Other Dances"! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PRINCIPAL CASTING ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ * = first time in the role Tue., Jan. 30 evening Serenade after Plato's Symposium: Cirio, Gomes, Hoven, Royal, Shayer, Simkin, Whiteside, Teuscher Other Dances: Boylston, Lendorf I Feel the Earth Move: Teuscher, Copeland, Seo, Hallberg, Cornejo, Stearns Thirteen Diversions: Lane, Gorak, Boylston, Gomes, Abrera, Forster, Brandt, Zhang Wed., Jan. 31 evening Serenade after Plato's Symposium: Zhang, Hammoudi, Forster, Sebastian, Maloney, Scott, Gorak, Seo Other Dances: Lane*, Cornejo* I Feel the Earth Move: S. Williams, Trenary, Hurlin, Hoven, Simkin, Hammoudi Thirteen Diversions: Hurlin, Sebastian, Copeland, Davis, Murphy, Hoven, Giangeruso, Hammoudi Thu., Feb. 1 evening Whipped Cream: Simkin, Abrera, Hallberg, Lane Fri., Feb. 2 evening Whipped Cream: Klein*, Seo, Stearns, Trenary Sat., Feb. 3 matinee Whipped Cream: Shayer*, Teuscher, Gomes, Brandt Sat., Feb. 3 evening Whipped Cream: Cirio, Murphy, Whiteside, Copeland Sun., Feb. 4 matinee Whipped Cream: Simkin, Boylston, Lendorf, Lane
  5. FauxPas

    Roster in Review - 2017

    With the promotion of Sarah Lane, the stardom of Misty Copeland and the continued development of soloist Skylar Brandt, I guess Kochetkova was considered superfluous. I have liked Kochetkova in some contemporary pieces and also a few classical ballets - other things like Ashton's "Monotones" I hated her in. What I find odd is the almost unanimous turn against her on the ABT board. Kochetkova has been ADORED for years on the San Francisco Ballet and "Dancers" discussion boards - all sorts of lovely pictures with admiring captions and comments appended. For a long time it was like she could do no wrong. Not saying that either group is wrong, but it is odd how the same dancer can be adored among one set of dance aficionados and dismissed by another. Anyway, her departure from ABT will open up opportunities for recently promoted principals and soloists.
  6. FauxPas

    Krohn Retiring On Oct 7, 2017

    In a NY Times article written in 2006, Ask la Cour is listed as being 24 years old. So he is currently about 35 years old. Jared Angle per this article would be about 36 now. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/arts/dance/20milz.html?mcubz=3
  7. Not sure if this is the right place for this information but The New York Daily News has this little tidbit concerning Talicia Martins' arrest for burglary in Maine: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/daughter-famous-new-york-ballet-stars-arrested-burglaries-article-1.3393432 http://bangordailynews.com/2017/08/07/news/police-beat/socialite-daughter-of-famous-ballet-couple-busted-for-maine-burglaries/?ref=polbeat The New York Post states that Talicia Martins has a history of drug abuse including heroin: http://nypost.com/2017/08/07/rich-daughter-of-ballet-stars-busted-in-burglary-spree/
  8. The cookbook is interesting in that there was some diversity in the old NYCB ballet and it is reflected in the recipes that the dancers contributed. Violette Verdy offered classic French recipes in old fashioned preparations. Edward Villella has some nouvelle American stuff but also classic Italian-American dishes brought here from Southern Italy like an Italian rice cake. Melissa Hayden, née Mildred Herman in Toronto Canada has a bunch of your Jewish grandmother's old world dishes - stuffed cabbages, potato latkes, etc. Balanchine himself has Russian dishes (some with a Parisian touch) like borscht, kasha and blinis. This gentleman Ryan Wenzel organized dinner parties with Antonio Carmena of NYCB as the master chef utilizing one chapter each of the "Ballet Cook Book". Here is his blog entries for each party (Hayden, Balanchine, Villella, Verdy and Le Clerq herself): https://rpwenzel.wordpress.com/category/ballet-cook-book-dinner-series/
  9. FauxPas

    Veronika Part leaving ABT

    I vividly remember Veronika Part from the 1999 Mariinsky tour at the Metropolitan Opera. She was very prominently featured in many of the programs: Part danced Maria in "The Fountain of Bakhchisarai" with Asylmuratova as Zarema. She was Terpsichore in "Apollo" and I believe also danced the Second Movement in "Symphony in C". I also remember her as the Lilac Fairy in the Vikharev reconstruction of "The Sleeping Beauty". I remember that Part was very tall but also very slender and rather more willowy of build than she was when she entered ABT a few years later. Anyway, on the 1999 Mariinsky tour Part was put forward very prominently in multiple leading roles as an emerging star of the new generation along with Vishneva, Lopatkina and Zakharova. Part danced Odette/Odile for the first time in New York in the summer of 2002 during a Kirov-Mariinsky residency as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. I don't remember her being notably out of shape at that time. I think that was the year the Mariinsky performed "Jewels" in NYC and Veronika did the walking solo in "Emeralds". Again, she was prominently featured on that 2002 tour and I believe also danced Nikiya in "La Bayadere" on a London tour around that time. Later that year Veronika joined American Ballet Theater where she was relegated most of the time to dancing "Tribute to George Harrison" in jeans as part of the ensemble. A weight gain was noticeable in her first years with ABT and also struggles with basic ballet technique. Something seemed to be off from the very beginning of her tenure at ABT. Part seemed constantly to be fighting to maintain her position and for recognition at ABT right from the get go. Interviews indicate that Veronika took classes at Steps on Broadway, not NYCB to get back in shape. Her instructor who became her boyfriend and later fiancé, was Alexander Tressor who was teaching classes at Steps. I don't know if she and Tressor ever got married - he seems to be fighting Parkinsons disease and teaches in Connecticut these days.
  10. FauxPas

    Promotions

    One thing that happened this year with all the injuries was that Schevchenko, Lane and Brandt were now dancing the leads in ballets like "Le Corsaire" and others. This meant they were pulled out of dancing things like the Odalisque trio and someone had to replace them. Luciana Paris was injured and not dancing until the end of the season. So ABT had to dig into the corps de ballet for soloist women. The long neglected and pushed aside Zhong-Jing Fang was dancing the second odalisque variation and Zulma in "Giselle", Mme. Chartreuse in "Whipped Cream" among others. She was consistently excellent. Other corps ballerinas who were tapped for solos included Paulina Waski, April Giangeruso, Catherine Hurlin and Kaho Ogawa. Melanie Hamrick on her first season back after maternity leave was busy and in stronger form than ever. Oddly absent were Gisele Bethea (who seemed invisible) and Gemma Bond whose only big gig was as one of the Porcelain Princesses in the new solos put into Ratmansky's "Sleeping Beauty Act III". Scout Forsythe is a much discussed, admired young ballerina who also has been flying under the radar lately. Now that Lane, Teuscher and Schevchenko are now principals their days as a Flower Girl, Amour, Swan Lake Pas de Trois, Moyna, Zulma, Street Harlot, Shade, Odalisque and Peasant Pas de Deux are likely over. That is a lot of solo work that needs to be filled. Bond, Hamrick and Fang are experienced, gifted dancers who could be tapped for steady soloist work. Gemma Bond currently is also pursuing choreography and coaching. Waski stumbled in one of her variations in "Corsaire" this year but otherwise was lovely. Giangeruso was given harder variations and often the strain was showing. Ogawa impressed me as the turning odalisque in "Corsaire". Hurlin did nothing that knocked me out but I may need to see her do more before I judge. Bethea and Forsythe because of the recommendations and reports of other posters here whose taste and erudition I respect should be explored for more solo opportunities. But this process needs to be continued and more corps girls need to be given opportunities.
  11. FauxPas

    Veronika Part leaving ABT

    I am afraid that "do whatever you want" DOES sound like encouragement to a fan who seems obsessive and hysterical. And yes, frankly it is the wrong approach to take - she should not be encouraging fans to disrupt the performance, nor should family members. It will mar her performance and those of her colleagues onstage. Any kind of personal attack on Kevin McKenzie or god forbid, her long time supporter Alexei Ratmansky will justify the decision to cut her loose. Personally, I think (and hope) that what will happen is that Victoriya and two other crazies hold up some signs and scream out some insults but they will be drowned out by the cheers for Veronika's performance and the flowers that will be tossed onstage. No one will see or hear them. I sadly suspect that Veronika's problem has been displaying the wrong attitude offstage - there have been descriptions of her as "not being a team player." You can get away with not being a team player if you are an international prima ballerina superstar like a Makarova, an Ananiashvili or a Vishneva or Lopatkina. Veronika has always been a half rung below that level - and her fans are mostly balletomanes, not the general public. Veronika is 39 years old and a retirement at that age is not a disgrace or terribly odd. She danced for 20 years with two great international ballet companies. She needs to leave with a loving, elegant celebration of her art, not a three ring circus.
  12. FauxPas

    Veronika Part leaving ABT

    Personally, I believe that Part's relationship with ABT was seldom good all these long fifteen years. But whatever the bitterness, Part should exit and conduct herself with quiet stoic dignity. She should take her leave like a prima ballerina, not a petty prima donna. I think that Part and her family should discourage any sort of public demonstration on Saturday afternoon. Their social media should reflect that wish. That final "Mozartiana" should be a moment of reflective beauty and artistic excellence above all the politics and personal ugliness. Part should exit as a vision of beauty and then, let the chips fall where they may. Veronika should look towards her future. Frankly any talk of a demonstration would give ABT an excuse simply to not give Veronika any kind of special bow and final presentation. Probably Kevin McKenzie (who won't be missed) and Alexei Ratmansky won't even come out to present her with bouquets. It will be counter productive. By the way, no one should throw tomatoes at Ratmansky - it was likely not his decision, he said nice things to Veronika on her social media and he cast her for years in leads in his new pieces.
  13. Misty was indeed delightful as Lise - pouting, flirtatious and very well danced. Her Colas was Herman Cornejo who had previously danced Alain in this ballet. They were a delightful pair. (Cirio danced with Isabella Boylston as a replacement for Alban Lendorf) I was also at the spotlight seminar on Tuesday, courtesy of a friend. The subject was preparing dream roles and the other two participants were Christine Schevchenko and Devon Teuscher, both soloists. The only principal, Misty was very open about the fact that she is catching up for lost time becoming a principal in her early thirties and after many injuries and surgeries. She was frank about the fact that she has often danced while injured and just after an injury. Misty said that having to project a story and be a character onstage helps her overcome physical pain while dancing - the character and the adrenaline just push you through. Misty mentioned that she had been rehearsing and preparing the role of Princess Praline in California but was injured and now is coming back to the role. She said that she had forgotten everything and it was like learning the role from scratch and that her performances were only a week away. There was no indecision as to whether she was going to perform, just the impression that it was all very rushed.
  14. FauxPas

    ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    The best thing I ever saw Alexandre Hammoudi do was the title role in Lar Lubovich's "Othello" ballet a few seasons ago. It was basically modern dance with some classical technique thrown in and that really seems to be his groove. Hammoudi was sexy, commanding and really in control of the dancing. There was an interview posted with Hammoudi in Time Out (Gia Kourlas) a few years ago. He was trained not at the Paris Opera Ballet school but privately with a former POB dancer Max Bozzoni. It was felt that the POB school would "break his spirit". I think the single-minded focus on technique and the discipline to push against your limitations is just not there with him. It would have been drilled into Hammoudi at the POB school. http://frenchculture.org/visual-and-performing-arts/interviews/interview-dancer-alexandre-hammoudi
  15. FauxPas

    ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    The issue here is injured dancers and dancers dancing over or recovering from injuries. This does not follow any kind of predictable timeline in terms of recovery. From what we know of Boylston's injury it occurred during the "Giselle" and involved her ankle. Executing 32 fouettés requires turning on one ankle for a few minutes, really grinding that leg into the floor almost. So perhaps to prevent reinjuring her ankle, Boylston "dumbed down" the choreography. As we know, not all great Odette/Odiles have performed the 32 fouettés - Maya Plisetskaya is a leading example. There was a time when only a few technically gifted ballerinas could do that stunt - now every girl in the corps de ballet seems to be able to do it. There is a lot more to a great "Swan Lake" than amazing fouettés in the "Black Swan" - though it helps. I think the lack of lyricism in the upper body is a greater technical and artistic flaw and one which cannot be excused by a recent injury. As for not announcing cast changes - I would imagine that Kochetkova really wants to dance this Thursday. She may really think she can at this point and is planning on it since it is her last contracted show of the season. She canceled all the rest (including her first ABT "Giselle" and the "Corsaires") except for that one "Don Quixote" with Herman where Kitri ended up with Espada! So until Kochetkova tells McKenzie "I can't do it", he doesn't know and neither does Sarah Lane at this point. But Sarah is prepared. Also Sarah didn't dance all of "Swan Lake" at the rehearsal, and the pas de trois is short. (I'd be curious to hear from Cristian who did which act) Often ballet dancers rehearse the same day they perform - at least that is my impression. I will be at Deven's matinee tomorrow. Looking forward.
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