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About laurel

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan/avid balletgoer
  • City**
    New York
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    New York

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  1. I came across this wonderful podcast, “Listen, Ladies,” featuring an interview with Sarah Lane, which was taped back in August, not long after her promotion to principal. The podcast, which is free on iTunes, was produced by the online journal, “Women Across Frontiers,” and their magazine’s article “Meet Sarah Lane” contains text transcribed from a portion of the interview. Lane is the first guest on the podcast, “Dancing with the Ladies” (8/14/17) (her interview lasts 30 minutes). In addition to topics covered in the article, Lane also discusses working to maintain her focus and confidence, difficult lifts in Giselle, the cultural aspects of touring overseas, her evolved attitude toward social media, and – perhaps letting the cat out of the bag! – looking forward to her upcoming roles this spring in La Bayadere, Don Q, and Harlequinade! Links to the article and podcast below. http://wafmag.org/2017/08/meet-sarah-lane-principal-dancer-american-ballet-theatre/ https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/dancing-with-the-ladies/id1223800463?i=1000391012215&mt=2
  2. Veronika Part leaving ABT

    Marcelo definitely is much more of a class act than the current AD. As I stood there this afternoon, watching those rose petals fluttering down across this sad and somewhat awkward farewell, I started wondering what things might be like if Marcelo were running the company. I can't help but think that a proper farewell would have been planned for an honored veteran performer like Veronica, because Marcelo is human being who genuinely likes people. You can see it in his dancing and in the way he behaves with others. Well my little daydreams often go nowhere, but I do hope that the current regime will depart sooner rather than later. Managerial and financial skills are one thing, but sensible behavior towards employees and the public is quite another.
  3. Promotions

    I am so grateful to each of these four newly-promoted dancers for the great joy they've given me this past season, but most especially to Sarah Lane, whose artistry has soared to such astonishing and unexpected heights. May each of them continue to grow and bring us many more great performances! I expect to see Lane making her debut as Juliet in the spring, and I also expect her to nail those fouettes in her next Swan Lake! I have faith in her!
  4. Veronika Part leaving ABT

    I purchased tickets for $145 apiece in the center orchestra for the July 8 matinee performance, but that was back in March when they first went on sale. All I wanted to see was Veronika Part and Blaine Hoven together in Mozartiana! Who knew it would turn out to be an unplanned, unwanted, unbelievably emotional farewell performance? It's devastating!
  5. ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    My apologies, NinaFan, I meant no offense and sorry if I sounded callous. Wednesday matinees nothwithstanding, I have two elderly parents who are homebound (they live in another state) and everyone in my family is more than familiar with the needs/problems/indignities of the elderly and geriatric care. We do not take these things lightly, and are well aware of what lies ahead for all of us. (I consider the word "senior" offensive and always use "elderly" instead.) Were they able to leave home and attend a theatrical performance, as the rest of us are still lucky enough to do, I'm sure my parents would attend a Wednesday matinee. Like others their age, they do better during the day. Wish they could have seen Sarah Lane tonight, or Devon Teuscher yesterday. They would have been greatly cheered knowing such great artistry remains in this world.
  6. ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    That is precisely the count I got. She seemed so close to nailing it. If only her finish had been cleaner, even with 26. I really think she meant to do all 32. The rest of the performance was magnificent. She has nothing to be ashamed of.
  7. ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    Unfortunately, this afternoon's performance felt more like a typical Wednesday afternoon matinee than an important New York debut. So many things seemed "off." The audience where I was seated in the orchestra was filled with the elderly folks who were upbeat and happy to be there, far preferable to the mothers with very young children, who could not concentrate and insisted on whispering through Act II, (was grateful when they departed at intermission); and the five year-old next to me who insisted on tunelessly humming along with that dreadful violin in Act III; and a fidgety woman in front of me who removed her shoes and stretched out as if she were on a lounge chair at the beach. This kind of environment made the performance even more disappointing than it might have been. Devon Teuscher was wonderful, even as her Act III fouettes traveled downstage she was fascinating to watch. Alex Hammoudi was clearly out of his depth. His finest moment came with Siegfried's leap off the cliff, it was high, beautifully executed, and better than Teuscher's. When Devon repeats the role next year (that's a certainty), I hope she'll have a partner who is more inspiring and an evening performance with an audience who will truly appreciate her beautiful dancing. Calvin Royal has improved so very much over the past two years. His arms and legs create such long, beautiful lines, and he now knows how to control them. (I did miss Rothbart's arabesque, though.) He doesn't yet have the gravitas or acting ability to be a convincingly creepy Rothbart, but the potential is there. Tom Forster, however, was excellent and quite creepy as the green demon Rothbart. I also thought there was something off about the four cygnets in Act II, at least one of them missed a step, or was off the music. This may be my last Wednesday matinee for some time. I'd rather miss an important debut than have my enjoyment impaired by folks who should be at home watching TV.
  8. ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    Between the Swan Lake debuts of Devon Teuscher tomorrow, and the divine Sarah Lane on Thursday, this week has turned into a kind of ballet "nirvana" for me. I haven't even minded today's midtown Manhattan temperature of 95+ degrees. What heat? All is bliss . . .
  9. I think that Jayne was simply offering some examples to support her hypothesis: "So, if Cory Sterns had gone to the RB, or if Sarah Lane had gone to the Mariinsky . . . " It's funny to think about, because if Lane really HAD guested with the Mariinsky, everyone on this board would have known about it the instant it happened, and would still be talking about it, even years later. Sarah Lane actually toured last summer with Roberto Bolle and friends, and posted some fun clips on Instagram of her rehearsals. It looked like she was having a great time.
  10. ABT 2017 Giselle

    Lovely, touching tribute from Herman Cornejo (on Facebook & Instagram) to Sarah Lane and the entire cast of last night's Giselle:
  11. ABT 2017 Giselle

    What an amazing evening of brilliant dancing. My deepest thanks to Sarah Lane, Herman Cornejo and Christine Shevchenko for giving me one of the most unforgettable ballet experiences of my life. Sarah Lane's dancing becomes richer and more beautiful with each performance. She and Cornejo are an ideal partnership, just as they were nine years ago, when I first saw them. This evening was a dream come true for me.
  12. ABT 2017 Giselle

    Sarah Lane needed to change the way people perceive her onstage as a dancer. That she succeeded so tremendously today is a great testament to what was assuredly many months of hard work and hopefully, coaching outside of ABT. I kept thinking about the song from the musical Hamilton: I am not throwing away my shot. I believe that is what we saw on stage this afternoon: with younger, talented soloists nipping at her heels, and 8 or 9 years of built-up frustration, she is a seasoned dancer who knows this is her shot, and she has to make it work. That Cheshire cat grin from her Sleeping Beauty debut in - what? 2006? - is gone now, and so is that performer. Lane has suddenly been transformed into an amazing ballerina, giving a performance that no one was expecting. She has it all, the technique, the acting, and much of the confidence she lacked before. Her mad scene was truly astonishing, beautifully paced to the music and truly frightening. I was sitting near the front of the orchestra, and I couldn't believe the range of emotions that played across her face in Act I, as Giselle interacted easily with other characters, including Simkin as Albrecht (her performance was far better than his), then slowly turned into a raving madwoman. Frankly, I think Gia Kourlas interviewed the wrong dancer last week. Both Lane and Simkin were great in the second act (his virtuoso dancing is nonpareil), and the only issue I saw was his shakiness (once again) with the two lifts. But both he and Lane held on and made it work. They were a tremendous team today, working in tandem as beautifully as they did in Whipped Cream. Everyone I spoke to today was blown away by Lane's performance: at intermission, after the show, on the subway home, and then again in the lobby at this evening's performance (yes, I went to that one too). I'm sorry that the only people I've heard from today who had issues with Lane's performance are posters on this board, but you know, the only person whose opinion really matters is the one who, hopefully, was watching today's matinee from the back of the theater, and we won't know what that person thinks until July. By the way, I thought Lane's first act was far better than Gillian Murphy's this evening. Murphy seemed rather lackluster until Act II, when she and David Hallberg turned on the beautiful bravura dancing. Perhaps her injured hip was still bothering her, and she didn't wish to push herself too fast, too early. Their performance ended on a tremendous emotional high, with two curtain calls rather than the one curtain everyone else has been allowed. Stella Abrera was magnificent as Myrta, with the great authority the role demands, which Christine Shevchenko (at the matinee) doesn't quite have yet (Shevchenko's dancing was wonderful, though). I thought Craig Salstein as Hilarion was far better than Tom Forster this evening, and Joseph Gorak and Skylar Brandt were every bit as good in the peasant pas as Hoven and Trenary this afternoon. I'm now officially on a two-day break from ballet, but I'll be back at the Met on Tuesday for Marcelo Gomes' anniversary show with more Abrera and Murphy!
  13. What a great, great time I had this evening at the Whipped Cream gala performance. If you're as intensely curious about this ballet as I was, I would recommend that you try to see it at some point just to make up your own mind about it, if not this season, then next year or sometime after that, because this ballet will be performed by ABT for a long time to come. It's like no other ballet I've ever seen. It's wonderful, weird, creepy, and absolutely hilarious. No one seems to mention that this ballet is filled with crazy, bizarre humor. It is most definitely NOT the Nutcracker! The Strauss score is gorgeous, and if haven't yet heard it, it's readily accessible on Youtube. The choreography moves quickly and smoothly, but is dense and complex, and I wanted a rewind button so I could replay it and catch the things I'd missed. The entire company was absolutely ON tonight, as if they were powered by an electric vibe. No one tripped, fell, appeared to be daydreaming, or suffered any mishaps. The corps looked well rehearsed and filled with energy. David Hallberg just looked great. You would never know that both he and Stella Abrera had suffered such severe physical injuries, that not only their careers were threatened but their ability to walk and move normally as well. And Daniil Simkin and Sarah Lane were phenomenal together. I've never seen them in such tandem before, moving and working as one, and at the speed of light! They were ablaze. I still get nervous just thinking about him dropping her again, but after this I think perhaps those worries may be over, and is a good sign for their upcoming Giselle this weekend. I plan to see another two performances this week, so that finally, I can judge for myself how some of the company's dancers compare to one another in the same roles. PS - I can't add it here, but David Hallberg posted some backstage footage on Instagram of he and Stella taking the first of their curtain calls, and it may give you a sense of the upbeat vibe that suffused the company tonight.
  14. ABT 2017 Don Quixote

    Not sure if this is the correct place for this post, but Christine Shevchenko was interviewed by Gia Kourlas of the New York Times immediately following her Don Q debut on Wednesday. This is the kind of piece I always looked forward to from Kourlas when she wrote for Time Out New York. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/arts/dance/from-a-super-bunhead-to-a-lead-dancer-christine-schevchenko-american-ballet-theater-abt.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront
  15. WWD (Women's Wear Daily) ran this article the other day, spotlighting eight young dancers from NYC Ballet's corps de ballet (including Miriam Miller and Preston Chamblee). http://wwd.com/eye/people/new-york-city-ballets-young-guns-eight-rising-dancers-to-watch-10882351/