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Roster in Review - 2017

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As per Instagram, corps member Simon Wexler is leaving ABT.

He will be attending Columbia University starting this fall.

 

All the best to him in his new journey at Columbia.

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That's disappointing about Wexler. He was a principal at Texas Ballet Theater and took a demotion to corps in order to join ABT. I was following his path at ABT to see if he would be able to advance.

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6 minutes ago, miliosr said:

That's disappointing about Wexler. He was a principal at Texas Ballet Theater and took a demotion to corps in order to join ABT. I was following his path at ABT to see if he would be able to advance.

I agree.  I saw him as a student when he studied with Peter Stark (in Florida), and thought he held great promise.  Sometimes it is just a matter of picking the right company.  

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17 minutes ago, its the mom said:

Sometimes it is just a matter of picking the right company.  

I don't think he's that tall either so he may have looked at the principal and soloist ranks and noted -- correctly -- that ABT already has plenty of shorter men in the upper ranks.

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Just now, miliosr said:

I don't think he's that tall either so he may have looked at the principal and soloist ranks and noted -- correctly -- that ABT already has plenty of shorter men in the upper ranks.

I guess my point is that ABT is not the be all and end all.  There are plenty of other companies where he would not have languished in the corps.  It is a shame that someone with that kind of talent won't be dancing professionally.  But I guess this is, in reality, another thread ... sit in the corps at ABT or move on to another company?

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37 minutes ago, its the mom said:

I guess my point is that ABT is not the be all and end all.  There are plenty of other companies where he would not have languished in the corps.  It is a shame that someone with that kind of talent won't be dancing professionally.  But I guess this is, in reality, another thread ... sit in the corps at ABT or move on to another company?

 

Did he languish? He joined in August 2015, and now he's going to Columbia. (He'd have had to start making plans for that after not much more than a year with the company.) Perhaps he just discovered he had a passion for something else?

Edited by nanushka

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17 minutes ago, nanushka said:

 

Did he languish? He joined in August 2015, and now he's going to Columbia. Perhaps he just discovered he had a passion for something else?

Perfectly likely. He may have just decided that he had had enough as a dancer and wanted to move on to that "something else".

 

Eric Tamm's departure several seasons ago was seen as a reflection of ABT's failure to develop its talent. But he too may have decided he wanted to pursue "other opportunities". (Sometimes the "pursuing other opportunities" cliche can actually be true.)

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50 minutes ago, nanushka said:

 

Did he languish? He joined in August 2015, and now he's going to Columbia. (He'd have had to start making plans for that after not much more than a year with the company.) Perhaps he just discovered he had a passion for something else?

 

1 hour ago, miliosr said:

I don't think he's that tall either so he may have looked at the principal and soloist ranks and noted -- correctly -- that ABT already has plenty of shorter men in the upper ranks.

I was responding to this quote.  I should have been more clear.  He may have looked around and felt that he would languish in the corps, just as so many others.  I am all for dancers re-creating themselves.  They are very good at it and we can name numerous examples.  However, I do think that many would have different trajectories in other companies.

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Joseph Phillips for one.  And the "biggie", Sterling Baca.   And let's not forget Simone Messmer.

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And Yuriko Kajija & her husband Jared Matthews,  both now thriving at Houston Ballet.

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1 hour ago, mimsyb said:

Joseph Phillips for one.  And the "biggie", Sterling Baca.   And let's not forget Simone Messmer.

Phillips was a tough case both for him and the company. He's on the shorter side but there were several other shorter males ahead of him in terms of status/rank -- Cornejo, Simkin and Gorak. I understand his reason(s) for leaving but I can also understand that -- at that time -- the company's reasons for not pushing/promoting him. (In retrospect, it's tempting to speculate that promoting Phillips would not have necessitated bringing in Cirio.)

 

I agree that Baca was a loss, especially now when the company is crying out for tall male principals. Again, I understand his reason(s) for leaving but I think he made a mistake. I think the parts that would have been his are now going to go to Forster and Royal.

 

With Messmer, I would point out that she went to San Francisco Ballet for one season and that didn't work out either.

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17 minutes ago, miliosr said:

With Messmer, I would point out that she went to San Francisco Ballet for one season and that didn't work out either.

 

Am I mistaken that Messmer then joined Miami City Ballet and that worked out well?

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1 minute ago, angelica said:

 

Am I mistaken that Messmer then joined Miami City Ballet and that worked out well?

You're correct! Third time was the charm for her.

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It seems that Veronika Part was not the only casualty this year:

 

 

In the comments he goes on to write:

I've been let go because I'm "too old". Onwards and upwards!!! May take some time to recover from 15 years of abuse. Ballet companies don't appreciate artists that actually think for themselves. I never knew how to be submissive.

 

 

Edited by nanushka

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Sorry, but I don't buy his "abuse" angle. You don't stick around for 15 years if that entire time was abusive. And if you look at his other IG photos, he has a few #livingthedream hashtags next to ABT rehearsal photos. Sorry to hear he was let go but he's clearly just lashing out.

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4 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

Sorry, but I don't buy his "abuse" angle. You don't stick around for 15 years if that entire time was abusive. And if you look at his other IG photos, he has a few #livingthedream hashtags next to ABT rehearsal photos. Sorry to hear he was let go but he's clearly just lashing out.

 

Oh certainly. I included the comment only because it clarified that he's not leaving by choice.

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For me Messmer was a huge loss. Such a distinctive dancer. 

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2 hours ago, Drew said:

For me Messmer was a huge loss. Such a distinctive dancer. 

I loved Messmer but I believe she is in a company with a repertoire that is better for her. The ABT rep with it's full length story ballets makes it hard to give dancers opportunities and therefore hard for dances to grow. IMO Sarah Lane took an artistic leap forward this season. It had to be due to her own initiative and guesting she did outside the company. Doing peasant pas de deux or Swan Lake pas de trois 50 or 60 times doesn't naturally lead to artistic growth (or technical growth for that matter).

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3 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

Sorry, but I don't buy his "abuse" angle. You don't stick around for 15 years if that entire time was abusive. And if you look at his other IG photos, he has a few #livingthedream hashtags next to ABT rehearsal photos. Sorry to hear he was let go but he's clearly just lashing out.

 

My first thought reading his comment was that he was talking about his body, because ballet as a discipline is certainly a form of abuse for the body. I can't speak for him, but I would certainly want to give my body a break to recover after 15 years of dancing.

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2 minutes ago, Victura said:

 

My first thought reading his comment was that he was talking about his body, because ballet as a discipline is certainly a form of abuse for the body. I can't speak for him, but I would certainly want to give my body a break to recover after 15 years of dancing.

 

I could definitely see that reading working for the one sentence out of context, but the next four words are "Ballet companies don't appreciate..."

Edited by nanushka

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I read it as ballet companies don't appreciate the toll and hard work that for dancers are a fact of life. That when you're injured and old(er), they let you go with no appreciation for your years of dedication.

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I'm sad to hear about Daniel Mantei.  I always loved his work, but felt he was somewhat relegated to back row stuff.  He was always tall and elegant to watch.  Sorry he didn't get more opportunities.  But I've seen some of his choreography and found it to be quite engaging.  Interesting.  So perhaps he'll find another life somewhere else.  Good luck to him.

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22 minutes ago, canbelto said:

I read it as ballet companies don't appreciate the toll and hard work that for dancers are a fact of life. That when you're injured and old(er), they let you go with no appreciation for your years of dedication.

 

That's not what the full sentence says, though. "Ballet companies don't appreciate artists that actually think for themselves." That's not about physical tolls and toils.

 

Edited to add:

And the final sentence: "I never knew how to be submissive." I think it's a pretty big stretch to read the "abuse" as anything other than a criticism of the company.

Edited by nanushka

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