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ABT 2017 Don Quixote

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You mean Aran Bell? Isn't he tall though? That's the impression I had, or maybe I'm just comparing 2016 Bell to Junior YAGP Bell lol. Shayer is short but doesn't look very boy-like (he looks like a grown man, whereas Simkin, Cornejo, and Cirio look younger).

How about Tyler Maloney? Ratmansky has featured him in major roles before and he's short to medium sized (5'8" or 5'9"). Not to mention he's quite young and kind of looks his age.

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2 hours ago, LadyBubbles said:

You mean Aran Bell? Isn't he tall though? That's the impression I had, or maybe I'm just comparing 2016 Bell to Junior YAGP Bell lol. Shayer is short but doesn't look very boy-like (he looks like a grown man, whereas Simkin, Cornejo, and Cirio look younger).

How about Tyler Maloney? Ratmansky has featured him in major roles before and he's short to medium sized (5'8" or 5'9"). Not to mention he's quite young and kind of looks his age.

 

Aran is really tall now.  In fact he was the tallest matador last night.  I assume he's 6' or taller.  This week is his first performances in NYC as full on corps member.  Felicia.  IMO, he has a great potential to move up fast.  He has a strong body and seems to make a good partner.  So far, he has not smiled once in stage and has a very serious face on stage.  I am hope he will relax once he feels more comfortable on stage and gain more artistry as the years go on.

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Natalia   

I still think of Aran Bell as the little one in the competitions, LOL!  Aran was in the Pas de 12 of WC in Costa Mesa but it was hard to tell faces under all the makeup.

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Natalia   

The 3 boys cast as kids in A1 of WC in Costa Mesa were Maloney, Klein & Shayer...they danced as communicants in the first scene along with Cirio . 

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I have high hopes for Bell, he has insane talent. I just hope ABT knows how to work with his talent and doesn't let him get rusty and bored. They should start testing/challenging him sooner rather than later (I realize it's his first seasons in the corps, so hopefully next year), and then allow him to move up in the rankings. Otherwise he'll either get bored/rusty or he'll go somewhere else. 

Natalia, I too can't help but think of the little one who competed at YAGP many years ago. That's why I was so shocked when I found out he had grown up so much. It was like "where did little Aran go?" lol.

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13 hours ago, hyacinthhippo said:

Breaking news:  Herman did not finish DonQ tonight.  He abruptly did not finish his 3rd act.  

***

So here's the play by play.  Herman was supposed to come out to do his Basilio solo, however there was a long pause.  Long enough for the audience to notice to know that something is not as usual.  Then 60 second later, Maria came out buying some time playing with her fan.  The conductor then instructed the orchestra to flip the page and they all did.  Then she starts doing her variation.  Then Blaine came out to finish the coda variation for Basilio.

 

I want to say BRAVO to Blaine for stepping up to the plate.  IMO, I knew that he was ready for a promotion after his performance as the Standard Bearer in The Green Table on October 25, 2015. and moreover his Aminta debut on May 11, 2016.  So happy and pround of Blaine!  He made it work and improvise till the end.  True professional.

 

 

I was there too.  I hope Herman is ok.  I enjoyed Herman and Maria's partnership.  

 

Bravo to Blaine!   Blaine had the fire required for Espada from his first entrance.  (The pause in the finale felt long, but I don't think it was more than 30 seconds.)  While Blaine did not dance Basilio's solo variation, he filled in expertly, dancing both Espada and Basilio for the rest of the finale.  Maria Kochetkova's fouettes were fast and showed the most fire she had all evening.

 

Other standouts of the night were Skylar Brandt as Amour and Zhiyao Zhang as the lead gypsy.  Zhang's elevation and control of his jumps and turns reminded me of Cornejo.

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Attended last night's Don Quixote with Herman and Maria. I agree with the earlier poster who felt Maria was under-powered in the first act. Her lack of brio and energy was noticeable in comparison to Herman and Blaine, who both were firing on all cylinders right out of the gate, and especially next to Devon who was dancing Mercedes. Devon seemed to be having so much fun with the role, and brought all of the flair that seemed missing from Maria's Kitri. She might be a great Kitri someday herself. Maria was better in Act II and III, with super-impressive fouettes, but I never really felt like she had the spirit of the role. 

 

It was a wonderful night overall, though-- other standouts for me were Zhiyao as lead gypsy, with his glorious leaps, Skylar Brandt as a twinkling, nimble Amour, Craig Salstein as an actually, surprisingly entertaining Gamache, and of course Blaine who was fantastic as Espada. 

 

What happened in Act III with Herman's injury was truly unsettling. After completing the part of the pas de deux with the 2 lifts, he never returned to stage. He seemed to struggle with the first lift but complete the second without trouble. Maria seemed rattled though she finished the final bit of the Act with Blaine smoothly. It seemed like many in the audience did not initially realize Blaine wasn't supposed to be partnering Maria ( credit to both), but then when Herman didn't appear for what was clearly the final moment of the ballet everyone seemed to get it. Subdued and rushed curtain calls, with a burst of applause for Blaine and Devon. 

 

Really hope Herman will make a speedy recovery and return to the stage soon! 

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23 minutes ago, MarzipanShepherdess said:

Attended last night's Don Quixote with Herman and Maria. I agree with the earlier poster who felt Maria was under-powered in the first act. Her lack of brio and energy was noticeable in comparison to Herman and Blaine, who both were firing on all cylinders right out of the gate, and especially next to Devon who was dancing Mercedes. Devon seemed to be having so much fun with the role, and brought all of the flair that seemed missing from Maria's Kitri. She might be a great Kitri someday herself. Maria was better in Act II and III, with super-impressive fouettes, but I never really felt like she had the spirit of the role. 

 

I follow her on Instagram, as I'm sure many of you do. She travels world wide so often, to international galas in Russia and elsewhere, I sometimes wonder how she deals with the time changes, jet lag, different stages, different partners. Dancers have such short careers that I don't fault them for trying to cram in as much as they can, but it must take a toll. I wonder if people in San Francisco who see her regularly have a sense of that.

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Bronxfan   

I saw the opening night performance with Murphy and Stearns and then I saw the second night with Copeland and Cirio.

 

Murphy was spectacular on the first night.  She was technically brilliant and artistically fiery and playful.  Stearns was solid but not really outstanding.  It seemed that the audience was sitting on its hands anytime he had a solo.  

 

I seemed to have the same reaction that many of you had to the casting of Hee Seo as Mercedes/Queen of the Dryads.  When I sat down and opened the program I said to myself - "Has she fixed her problem with the Italian fouettés?"  And sadly the answer was no.  

 

The overall production was very good.  In the past, the ABT has opened with Don Quixote and I would find it a little sloppy.  The corps and the minor roles were all well performed.  Again - I found Murphy brilliant and Stearns kind of bland.

 

The second night I would call a semi-triumph for Copeland.  The Met was more crowded and I found the audience more enthusiastic than the opening night.  Why would I call this a semi- triumph for Misty?  Well, Copeland and Cirio had a noticeable error on the one legged lifts in Act I.  Then, in Act III, Copeland was doing so well in the fouettés - then she stopped after about 26 or so.  However, her Act I solos were great and she was lovely in Act II.  I realize that she is still growing as an artist and I see a huge improvement in her dancing and her command of the stage.

 

I liked Cirio as Basilio much better than Stearns.  His dancing was more dynamic.  What a treat to see Veronika Part as the Dryad Queen.  And Cassandra Trenary was wonderful as Amour.  I preferred her to Sarah Lane who performed the role on the first night.  

 

I was sorry to hear about Gillian's hip injury.  I was also sorry to hear about Herman Cornejo's injury.  I have had the pleasure of seeing his Basilio in the past.  He is probably one of the best I have seen.

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Kaysta   

Saw today's matinee cast of Boylston and Simkin.  They were both fantastic.  I think Kitri is the perfect role for Boylston.  She is a very energetic dancer, and technically strong, which suits the role of Kitri.  I find her arms and hands less distracting in this role (in comparison to her Odette, where the arms were distracting at times).  I didn't really see her lose the characterization and I thought her and Danil had great chemistry.  During the coda,  her fouettés were perfect crisp singles with very little traveling.

 

Danil was his usual technical wunderkind self.  There was a minor bobble on the second one handed lift in the first act, but it didn't take away from anything.   I think he partners  Boylston well.  His solos were breathtaking (I think he's the best turner I've ever seen).  And he and Boylston brought the house down with the act 3 coda.

 

The other standout performance was Skylar Brandt's Amour.  She has excellent speed and sharpness in her footwork.  I can't wait to see her Kitri one day.  In fact, I can't wait to see her tackle many leading roles, as she has a bright future!

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alexL   

Herman's character will be danced by Jeffery Cirio on next Tuesday's Whipped Cream. I was hoping the injury is minor but I guess not... After the 3rd act pas de deux his walking posture looked a bit awkward and slow. He took some extra time to exit from the stage...and that was the only sign of injury I could see. Once again, I thought he was just tired after the exciting first 2 acts. I wish the best for his recovery.

 

Simkin's portrayal or Basilio isn't as natural as Herman's but he did all of his duties plus some extra tricks. His jumps and turns were excellent as always (he finished the 3rd act variation with 3 540s in a row AFTER a series of barrel turns) I was also impressed by how he maintains his back flexibility. Simkin may look young but he is turning 30 this year! 

Bella was such a strong partner and she can pretty much support herself. Simkin had surprisingly easy time performing the one hand lifts because Bella was able to maintain her position like nothing. In comparison, Lendorf had a harder time with the lift because Christine couldn't quite position herself up in the air (Lendorf didn't have this issue when he was partnering Murphy few years back). 

 

Despite Simkin's technical excellence and much improved partnering skill, I still think Herman is the best Basilio with ABT. I won't elaborate anymore since everything has been said by others! Plus, this is just my personal preference but Herman had the softest port de bras out of all 4 Basilios I saw (Cirio, Lendorf, Simkin, Cornejo). 

I usually like Lendorf but he is way better in prince roles. 

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alexL   

I'm glad that it isn't a serious injury! I guess he pulled from next week's performances to have enough recovery time. 

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Drew   

I also am glad it's not a serious injury. Kind of heartbroken I will miss him though.

 

I see Cirio is then dancing the lead Tuesday night and Wed afternoon...that seems pretty intense.

Edited by Drew

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Intense for sure, but he's not doing Giselle later that week or the week after. So he will have a nice long break before he performs Ali in Le Corsaire in June.

Interesting though, because this pretty much confirms that they did not have an understudy for the lead Boy in Whipped Cream. Seriously? They better have someone ready for next season, you never know. I'd say line up the short guys who look young and test them out to see who is a good candidate for the role and then teach them the role. I mean, they did have Skylar learn Princess Praline (and eventually replaced Misty) so it's not like they're too busy to train backups.

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ABT Fan   
4 hours ago, LadyBubbles said:

Intense for sure, but he's not doing Giselle later that week or the week after. So he will have a nice long break before he performs Ali in Le Corsaire in June.

Interesting though, because this pretty much confirms that they did not have an understudy for the lead Boy in Whipped Cream. Seriously? They better have someone ready for next season, you never know. I'd say line up the short guys who look young and test them out to see who is a good candidate for the role and then teach them the role. I mean, they did have Skylar learn Princess Praline (and eventually replaced Misty) so it's not like they're too busy to train backups.

 

I don't think this confirms that they don't have an understudy. As you said, Cirio isn't doing Albrecht following WC so he has a good break. And, he's only taking one extra performance albeit back-to-back. Intense but not unmanageable. If they have Cirio fill in for all of Cornejo's WC performances later in the run, then that would be another matter. The critics will no doubt review multiple casts this week since it's a major new production so I highly doubt ABT would want an understudy who didn't dance it on tour for the world premiere and who is also either a soloist or corps dancer (there are no other principal men who could play a boy). And, they're counting on good reviews to help sell the rest of the WC run. I'm not saying the understudy would do a poor job, but given the high stakes and the fact it's only one additional performance, it makes sense to go with Cirio. 

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Good point, I hadn't thought of that. Brandt was able to try the role (and apparently very successfully) in Costa Mesa. I sure hope that they do have a male understudy but they just don't want to use him during the premiere week.

 

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Dreamer   

The Boy in Whipped Cream is not a physically demanding role.  He only briefly appears in Act 1 and doesn't do much dancing.  In Act 2 he has a PdD with Princess Praline and a short variation in the finale. 

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6 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

 

I don't think this confirms that they don't have an understudy. As you said, Cirio isn't doing Albrecht following WC so he has a good break. And, he's only taking one extra performance albeit back-to-back. Intense but not unmanageable. If they have Cirio fill in for all of Cornejo's WC performances later in the run, then that would be another matter. The critics will no doubt review multiple casts this week since it's a major new production so I highly doubt ABT would want an understudy who didn't dance it on tour for the world premiere and who is also either a soloist or corps dancer (there are no other principal men who could play a boy). And, they're counting on good reviews to help sell the rest of the WC run. I'm not saying the understudy would do a poor job, but given the high stakes and the fact it's only one additional performance, it makes sense to go with Cirio. 

I was at the final show of Don Quixote and spoke with some of the dancers about the situation.  They do have understudies, but felt that it was best to go this way.  They will prepare the others for the later run.  Cirio is not dancing Albrecht, but will still be dancing in Golden Cockerel.  Dreamer, I was told that although the dancing may not look hard, the variation for "The Boy" is very difficult. In fact, in the initial run-throughs, each of the "boys" struggled with it.  

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I saw the Saturday matinee of Don Q,  ABT principal dancer, Isabella Boylson, is a high-spirited Kitri.  She stands out for her soaring leaps and lightning fast turns.  Bolyston is a very musical dancer.  In the fan solo during the Act III grand pas, she plays delightfully with the tempo of the music.  Her fouettes at the end of the grand pas are very fast singles done in time with music and with little traveling.  My only complaint about her performance is that she does not hold her balances very long during the grand pas.  Also they are a bit wobbly.  I don't understand when I saw her perform Aurora in 'The Sleeping Beauty' last year, her balances were spot on.

 

Daniil Simkin is a thrilling Basilio.  As a dancer he is a wonder of ebullient virtuosity.  His high flying leap with amazing soft landings, his spins and turns - all are amazing.  In the coda of the Act III grand pas, Siimkin's revoltades stop the show.  Revoltades are turns where one leg flips over the other in midair.  Simkin executes these easily and effortlessly.  For the most part, his partnering skills are fine.  (They are most improved from when he started with ABT.)  He does have a tiny bit of trouble with the two one-handed lifts over the head in Act I.  Both lifts are a little wobbly.  Simikin is also a superb comic actor and both his miming and his timing are perfect.  One of the very fine things about Saturday afternoon's 'Don Q' is how in tune Bolyston and Simkin are.  Their levels of energy and the way they approach their roles all mesh.  The chemistry between them is entrancing.  I hope Boylston and Simkin continue to perform together for a long time.

 

Other dancers stand out as well.  Soloist Aleandre Hammoudi is handsome matador full of zest.  Stella Abrera is a lovely Queen of the Dryads in the Act II dream scene with flawless Italian fouettes.  Her street dancer, Mercedes, however, lacks passion.  As the foppish Gamache, Alex Agoudine shows his comic acting chops.  He does so many pratfalls I can't  keep count.   Arron Scott is an exciting Gypsy King. Skylar Brandt's Amour impresses with her sparkling footwork and thrilling light leaps. For the first time there I saw little girls (performing also as Amours) in the Dream Sequence.  Their dancing was lovely and they were just adorable.  Maybe I missed them, but but I didn't see either Brandt or the little girls take bows at the end of the ballet.

 

 

 

 

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As I have already stated, I think Isabella and Daniil have wonderful chemistry in Don Q.  I treated my sister in law (for her birthday) to the May 20th matinee of Don Q.  She has not gone to the ballet in quite a few years, but she was particularly impressed with Daniil.  And I don't think he's just doing tricks.  His dancing is appropriate to the role.  Basilio is a very showoffy role.  I will be seeing Daniil in Giselle at the May 27th matinee, and I highly doubt that he'll be doing revoltades as Albrecht.  (I'll definitely post and let you know however.)  I do agree that Gillian Murphy's Kitri is outstanding.  I am looking forward to seeing her dance the role of Medora at the June 7th matinee of Le Corsaire.

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choriamb   
On 5/18/2017 at 9:53 AM, NinaFan said:

 

 

That’s a terrific article, thank you for sharing.  After yesterday’s performance I could not help but wonder why Shevchenko has been languishing in the same roles for years (such as flower girl etc.).   I never expected such an incredible debut, and look forward to seeing her Myrta next week.   You could see how happy she was during the performance, especially one sparkling moment when she was smiling ear to ear during the second lift in the first act.  It wasn’t just a plastered on smile, but one of intense joy.

 

Thanks, everyone, for the reports on Shevchenko's Kitri debut:  I'm so happy that it went well! :clapping:

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