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fondoffouettes

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About fondoffouettes

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

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    I agree, and it's total luxury casting for the audience. But I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing Lane has no performances next week, as she'll be preparing to take on one of the most challenging roles in the rep.
  2. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    So... How was the Hallberg-Osipova-Double-Birthday-Giselle-Spectacular?
  3. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    There’s also availability in Grand Tier standing room.
  4. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    I hope Trenary is okay. She was also supposed to dance Moyna or Zulma at the Wednesday matinee but was replaced (it was announced via loudspeaker). Also, I can't believe side orchestra balance tickets for tonight have gone up to $200 (I just didn't realize that particular section ever went so high, even with dynamic pricing.) $35 isn't a lot for a ticket, but I think it's too much for standing room.
  5. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    Osipova is in the house. Things look good for tonight!
  6. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    These are my thoughts on your three questions: 1) The most common reasons a principal dancer can't execute a principal role would be injury and/or age. Perhaps they were once able to execute a role well, but no longer can. There's a certain level of respect that's afforded to senior dancers, and they may be allowed to continue to dance one of their signature roles even after the technical requirements are a bit too much for them. It helps if you are a favorite with audiences or management (I'm thinking of dancers like Julie Kent and Alessandra Ferri). Also, as dancers approach the end of their careers, their artistry/interpretation is often at its height, while their technical abilities may be at their lowest. Sometimes it's possible to overlook the technical flaws when the artistry is superb (this would more often be the case in, say, Macmillan roles than in Petipa, where it's harder to hide technical deficiencies.) Also, it's possible a dancer was simply favored by management and was promoted to principal status even if he or she can't really carry off many of the roles. Many on these forums have argued that this is true of dancers like Hee Seo and Misty Copeland. The talent pipeline at ABT has been problematic for the past several years (this is a whole other discussion), so management may have had to promote sub-par dancers because they felt they didn't have any better options. 2) There's no one answer for when a dancer peaks physically. However, I would say that most dancers who rise to principal rank have their technique together by their early to mid-20s, or even earlier in exceptional cases (like Paloma Herrera, who was a young phenom). Male dancers may need longer to master partnering. I would say that artistry takes longer to develop, and that may be fully developed by the time a dancer is 30 or so (again, there could be exceptional dancers who develop it earlier; I'm sure Ferri was one of them). So, if I had to make a generalization, I'd say most dancers' prime years are approximately age 25 to 35, and that's assuming an injury doesn't end their career prematurely. But there are many, many exceptions to this. Veronika Part comes to mind; I very much enjoyed her artistry from the time she joined ABT, but her technique didn't become consistent until very late -- maybe around age 35 -- after working through technical problems and what seemed to be stage jitters many years. 3) Is a dancer too old? Sometimes. I think many would argue that Julie Kent (at ABT) and Darci Kistler (at NYCB) were allowed to dance for a few too many seasons before retiring. They simply didn't look good in their roles any longer. But some dancers look great in their early 40s. Roberto Bolle is a freak of nature and still looks great physically and dances beautifully. Nina Ananiashvili also danced superbly into her early 40s at ABT. So, it all depends. I didn't attend last night's performance, but it sounds like the issues were a combination of age and injury. Any time a dancer has to switch legs screams "injury" to me. As has already been discussed in these forums, what would have been Stella's prime years were sacrificed due to a very serious injury (which sidelined her for a couple seasons) and then stagnation in the soloist rank for several years. Also, I don't think her technique was ever as reliable as someone like Murphy or Herrera. She's probably more in the Julie Kent mold, if I had to choose a dancer for comparison, though they are very different artists.
  7. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    That’s interesting because something similar happened last year — after about three hops or so, she put down her free leg for a moment to help steady herself and then continued with the hops. If I remember correctly, she stayed on pointe when this happened. It looked like a spontaneous correction, not a rehearsed simplification. It sounds like she did something different, but at the same moment, this year. So basically she came off pointe after about three hops, then went back up on pointe and continued them?
  8. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    It looks like Boylston has ditched the streaky blond highlights with prominent dark roots. What an improvement! She looks lovely here. (If you view it on Instagram, there is a second pic where you can really see her now fully dark hair.)
  9. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    I’m not sure this is a situation unique to Lane, though. In interviews, I’ve heard principals say it’s a big adjustment to simply not be onstage as much as a soloist or corps member. This can, of course, be extreme at ABT, where each principal may only be assigned one O/O, Nikiya, etc., per run. At least ABT seems to have a pretty robust touring schedule again, which provides some additional performance opportunities. While I was disappointed to see that Lane wasn’t cast as O/O and, especially, Juliet, I still think this is still a big season for her. She’s adding thee major Petipa roles to her rep.
  10. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    Yes! i forgot to mention that, but her backward spins were super fast and looked almost out of control (in a good way). I don't remember them being quite so spectacular last year. I agree completely about Shevchenko -- it seems like a perfect role for her. Oh, and her butterfly-soft bourrees at the beginning were just lovely. I wish ABT would reinstate the second series of them so we could have experienced them twice! I was also impressed by her ports de bras, which sometimes had almost a liquid quality. And this is the part I reference above, where current ABT Myrthas always seem to get way beyond the music (that's not the case here with Van Hamel, though she's a hair late on the jump at 7:00). I don't think it's the dancers' fault; I don't see how Shevchenko could have pushed herself to dance any more quickly to stay on the music.
  11. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    I agree with most of Classic Ballet’s assessment. I thought Act I was near-perfect and Lane’s acting was exceptional, not to mention her lovely dancing. I sat much closer than last year and was really able to appreciate the great range of emotions and nuanced expressions. Her mad scene is gut-wrenching — it has an apparent spontaneity and naturalistic quality about it that makes it truly heartbreaking. I haven’t enjoyed a mad scene so much since Vishneva’s very earliest ABT appearances, before she became so mannered and over the top. Act II was very good but somehow lacking...it’s hard to put my finger on what exactly it was, but perhaps Classic Ballet is right about some of the stylistic issues. Simkin has really grown tremendously as an actor and partner. The only real glitch I noticed was that the first overhead lift in the first pas de deux was cut short and Lane was brought down almost immediately. The second one was great, though. I appreciated that they didn’t do the variant where the man rotates as he holds her aloft; that just always feels gimmicky to me, and less beautiful than the woman simply being held aloft, completely still. Simkin’s variation in the grand pas was one of the most spectacular ones I’ve ever seen. It ranks up there with Shklyarov and the Baryshnikov video. I actually prefer the cabrioles but no one has done them in an exciting fashion since Corella. I guess I’d prefer the current ABT men to the entrechats six since they can do them well and make it a real moment. I think Shevchenko is a great Myrtha in the making and I loved her characterization — perfectly imperious with just the right degree of iciness. She did have some trouble in her introduction, where she rotates in an arabesque while flat-footed. Both times there was quite a bit of shakiness/jerkiness. Another time when she had to do a flat-footed arabesque, she was also a tad shaky, so I wonder if something may have been up with her foot. After the Wilis hop across the stage, there is the part where Myrtha comes out and leaps around the stage, but only some of the leaps ever seem well-timed with the music. I’ve never seen an ABT Myrtha hit the jumps on the music. Is it supposed to be that way or what’s up? I’ll check the Van Hamel video when I get home to see how she handles it. Moyna and Zulma were kind of nonentities. And yes, the die-hards aside, the audience was really dead. I truly think this can have a major impact on the performance, as it gives the performers such little energy to feed off of.
  12. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    Lane just performed the most extraordinary mad scene I’ve ever seen, perhaps even more chilling and naturalistic than last year. Fantastic hops on pointe in her variation. Simkin was his superb self and matched Lane’s intensity. They were lighter than air when they danced together. Hurlin was exquisite, though the partnering with Shayer looked awkward (the supported pirouettes were clumsy). Shayer was great in his variations. Shout out to Isadora Loyola as an intense and glamorous Bathilde. Audience response is muted. This cast deserved an evening. More to come later.
  13. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    Ah, sorry — I meant it as more of a response to the eye-witness reports, but I just quoted the last person who had talked about the arabesques. I completely agree with what others have said that a dancer should not be judged by mishaps onstage. I was just curious about the nature of the fall since I’ve never seen a turn go awry in that way. I’ve seen plenty of falling off pointe, stumbling out of the turn, wonky finishes, etc.
  14. fondoffouettes

    ABT: Roster in Review - 2018

    Wow! I would have never guessed he was nearing 40. But ballet dancers seems to drink at the fountain of youth.
  15. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    I would have had to be there to judge the arabesques, but I think the aesthetic of Giselle may call for arabesques with a slightly lower leg (I'm thinking of the ones she does when she's exiting the stage). And while she definitely strikes those iconic arabesque poses, there is a certain fleeting quality to them that befits the Romantic style and her sylph-like character. Was the fall during the pirouette a full-on "dancer down" situation -- a face plant or fall on the butt? I've seen so many mistakes in turns over the year, but have never seen one precipitate a fall. Most falls I've seen have come at seemingly random moments when the dancer isn't doing something particularly challenging, but simply loses his/her footing.
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