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Fall 2017 Season

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The name of Millepied's new ABT ballet set to P. Glass music is "I Feel The Earth Move".  I guess he didn't realize that's the title of an extremely famous Carole King song.

 

I Feel The Earth Move is apparently a section or portion of the Glass opera, Einstein at the Beach.

Edited by abatt

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1 hour ago, abatt said:

The name of Millepied's new ABT ballet set to P. Glass music is "I Feel The Earth Move".  I guess he didn't realize that's the title of an extremely famous Carole King song.

 

I Feel The Earth Move is apparently a section or portion of the Glass opera, Einstein at the Beach.

 

Some day someone is going to make a list of all the works that have been set to music by Phillip Glass, and we could find out that he's one of the most popular composers in dance.

 

 

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22 hours ago, Fleurfairy said:

Why is ABT hitching its wagon to Millepied's star? Is it because his wife is a famous actress? Because frankly, I have no interest in his works and I know many people share my opinion. 

Follow the money.

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I have no interest in Millepied's works either.  "Follow the money" may sound cynical but also seems like the truth.  I'm skipping the whole season.

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The season is shockingly undersold. Several performances have 400+ seats available in the orchestra section alone. For the final performance of the season, the house is more than half-empty: Just 1,120 of the 2,544 seats are sold. ABT usually finds a way to fill seats, though. Maybe they paper the house?

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6 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

The season is shockingly undersold. Several performances have 400+ seats available in the orchestra section alone. For the final performance of the season, the house is more than half-empty: Just 1,120 of the 2,544 seats are sold. ABT usually finds a way to fill seats, though. Maybe they paper the house?

 

Happy anniversary, Kevin!

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On ‎10‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 12:25 PM, Golden Idol said:

Follow the money.

What money? What money there is flows to Millepied's LA Dance Project.

 

7 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

The season is shockingly undersold. Several performances have 400+ seats available in the orchestra section alone. For the final performance of the season, the house is more than half-empty: Just 1,120 of the 2,544 seats are sold. ABT usually finds a way to fill seats, though. Maybe they paper the house?

Or do what they're doing in Chicago -- ostentatiously (and tactlessly) promoting certain evenings by playing up Misty Copeland's involvement.

 

Honestly, I keep coming back to the same thought: Kevin McKenzie wants ABT to be every kind of company except the company it actually is. Well, I guess we still have ABT-in-exile in Washington DC.

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If I lived in New York, then Ashton's Symphonic Variations (no matter how many times I had seen it) and a new Ratmansky, along with a chance to see Ratmansky's Serenade After Plato's Symposium a second time, would definitely draw me to the theater--probably Thirteen Diversions too since it got such great reviews when it premiered and I missed it. Ashton and Ratmansky seem to me big and admirable pieces of 21st-century ABT that cohere with its traditional repertory while adding something to it. (I am surprised that they don't make more effort to present Tudor at the Koch.)

 

However, my travel budget for ballet is finite and I admit that barring unexpected problems, I am spending it this fall on the Mariinsky in D.C.

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16 hours ago, angelica said:

I'm skipping the entire season too. 

Me too.  First time ever that I'm not buying any tickets for the fall season.  It didn't help that the first week coincides with the Mariinsky's Bayadere shows in DC.  There was absolutely no way I was going to save any time for ABT that week.

 

I would like to see Symphonic Dances again, but not with the cast they are putting out for week 2.

 

If the new Ratmansky gets a stellar review, I might consider going to one performance. 

 

I'm more excited about the Red Shoes than about ABT's offerings.

 

See ya in the Spring at the Met.

Edited by abatt

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I'm skipping the fall season as well.  Timing wise, with Mariinsky Bayadere and work obligations, it doesn't work for me.  It helps that I'm not that excited about the rep either, but if I didn't have prior obligations, I would try to see at least one performance.

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I'm skipping the season too. There is no program/cast that comes close to being a must see for me, even though there are a few dancers in the company that I love. 

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Gorak has replaced Lendorf in his performances of Symphonic Variations. Hammoudi replaces Lendorf in tomorrow evening's Symposium. And on the Koch's website, it shows Shevchenko/Royal dancing all performances of the Ratmansky premiere, replacing Lendorf/Boylston. Also, the Koch website shows Hammoudi replacing Lendorf in ALL performances of Symposium.

Edited by fondoffouettes

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51 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Gorak has replaced Lendorf in his performances of Symphonic Variations. Hammoudi replaces Lendorf in tomorrow evening's Symposium. And on the Koch's website, it shows Shevchenko/Royal dancing all performances of the Ratmansky premiere, replacing Lendorf/Boylston. Also, the Koch website shows Hammoudi replacing Lendorf in ALL performances of Symposium.

The ABT site shows Boylston/Shayer dancing the Ratmansky premiere (Songs of Bukovina) on October 20th and 21st.  Lendorf is still (as of this minute) scheduled for Other Dances on the 27th and Plato on the 29th.

Edited by RUKen
Clarification that my information came from the ABT site

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On 18/10/2017 at 4:31 PM, fondoffouettes said:

Gorak has replaced Lendorf in his performances of Symphonic Variations. Hammoudi replaces Lendorf in tomorrow evening's Symposium. And on the Koch's website, it shows Shevchenko/Royal dancing all performances of the Ratmansky premiere, replacing Lendorf/Boylston. Also, the Koch website shows Hammoudi replacing Lendorf in ALL performances of Symposium.

 Unfortunately, according to the RDB website, Alban Lendorf is currently out with an injury - in Denmark, he's been replaced for performances up through November. I feel so bad for him. :-( Wish him a speedy recovery. 

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Last fall season when I saw ABT dance Symphonic Variations some 10 or so years after they first helped me discover it, I was too disappointed for words. It had gone from a wondrous, Apollonian delight to a dull, static affair devoid of lyricism or flow. I chalked it up to a lack of Georgina Parkinson's coaching and some bizarre casting.


Last night all was right in Ashton's world again. The dancers may be settling into Ashton's style again, they may be getting better coaching than they had last year, or it may just be that re-casting the men in this has really helped enormously. Last year I remember combinations of Royal and Whitesde in the lead male role with Salstein, Cirio, McCune and Lendorf alternating in the other male roles. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Salstein, but he's a demi-character dancer, neither he or Cirio are beacons of classicism. Lendorf has some wonderful qualities but his line is not exactly elegant looking in white tights.

 

Last night we had Royal with Gorak and Scott, and they made the choreography sing, especially Gorak. The women (Shevchenko, Copeland and Brandt) were not the best I've ever seen in this, but they were fine. Copeland looked particularly lyrical and Brandt's brightness & lightness worked well here. Shevchenko was stately but she wasn't particularly lyrical, nor did she really show that open expressive upper body that's so important in Ashton. But as a group, these six were able to imbue stillness with breath and keep the quick, staccato steps from looking frantic - something none of last year's casts were able to do.

 

Hallberg and Seo were beautiful in Other Dances, but neither was really able to convey the humor in it. If you can forget Makarova and Baryshnikov (I can't), ignore the slavic folk dance elements and just focus on the bodies, they were gorgeous.


I was less happy with the rest of the program. Last year I really liked Her Notes, this year I found it pretty dull, although Forster looked great in the Gomes role. Teuscher faded away totally partnered with S. Williams, if that girl is going to dance principal roles lets hope she develops some presence & style.

 

Ratmansky's Serenade has some wonderful dancing for a whole bunch of male dancers, lots of beautiful individual moments but for me, the whole is less than the sum of its parts, after a while I just find it tedious. There was a slip in the program that said that Lendorf was injured, Hammoudi did his role.

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5 hours ago, nysusan said:

Last year I really liked Her Notes, this year I found it pretty dull, although Forster looked great in the Gomes role. Teuscher faded away totally partnered with S. Williams, if that girl is going to dance principal roles lets hope she develops some presence & style.

 

Last season, when Teuscher debuted in Swan Lake in New York, I felt that she showed no individuality, nothing that would have made her performance distinctive. I didn't say anything at that time because it seemed everyone was applauding her technique, especially her ability to execute turns, and everyone was excited by her promotion. So I'm especially thankful that you posted about her this season, an opinion that validates my own. To me, the great dancers are completely different from one another; a ballet danced by someone one night will be a completely different ballet to my eyes with a different cast the next.

 

I wonder whether individuality is inborn, or something that can be developed with coaching. 

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As for alternate opinions, Cirio was pretty well-known for classicism in Boston.  In fact, he and Kuranaga were reviewed very well dancing Ashton's Cinderella.  Following is a link to Ballet Tabs review (one of several positive reviews about the production) and one comment:
http://dancetabs.com/2014/03/boston-ballet-cinderella-boston/
"Hence the company's premiere of Cinderella, Ashton's 1948 rendering of Prokofiev's score (which plays through this weekend only), arrived trailing an unspoken question: could Boston Ballet master yet another style? Well, the short answer is - yes, or at least its stars certainly can: Misa Kuranaga and Jeffrey Cirio (above), as the title heroine and her Prince Charming, looked as if they'd been dancing Ashton all their lives."

Also, Wendy Somes (owner of Ashton's Cinderella) rarely allows dancers to use the Cinderella pas at outside guestings, but Cirio and Kuranaga were permitted to dance it at the Vail Int'l Dance Festival several years ago.

It is a shame, but he has not been given opportunities at ABT to show that. Maybe that is the reason he is dancing at English National. He just finished dancing James in La Sylphide and is dancing MacMillan's Song of the Earth at Covent Garden next week.
 
 
 
 
 
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I'm sure Cirio will be given those classical opportunities at ABT in due time. He's a new principal and is ABT's newest principal, so there are seven other guys ahead of him in terms of seniority. I think with Simkin's responsibilities now split w/ Berlin (he'll still dance at the Met, but we don't know if that'll be the entire Met season or not), that might result in more roles being given to Cirio.

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6 hours ago, angelica said:

 

Last season, when Teuscher debuted in Swan Lake in New York, I felt that she showed no individuality, nothing that would have made her performance distinctive. I didn't say anything at that time because it seemed everyone was applauding her technique, especially her ability to execute turns, and everyone was excited by her promotion. So I'm especially thankful that you posted about her this season, an opinion that validates my own. To me, the great dancers are completely different from one another; a ballet danced by someone one night will be a completely different ballet to my eyes with a different cast the next.

 

I wonder whether individuality is inborn, or something that can be developed with coaching. 

I got the same impression about Teuscher as well. I thought she did well as a "soloist" but as a principal she still has long way to go. I hope she doesn't end up becoming like Michele Wiles. Wiles had the techniques but she never fully matured as an artist. 

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35 minutes ago, alexL said:

I got the same impression about Teuscher as well. I thought she did well as a "soloist" but as a principal she still has long way to go. I hope she doesn't end up becoming like Michele Wiles. Wiles had the techniques but she never fully matured as an artist. 

 

ITA about Wiles. And Teuscher.

Edited by angelica

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I guess no one else attended the gala, but I couldn't resist. While I'm definitely more of a story ballet kind of gal, I really enjoyed the program on Wednesday evening. I'd say that Ratmansky's Songs of Bukovina is certainly worth seeing. I also liked Thirteen Diversions. The Gift was great fun, too, but unfortunately, it was a one-shot deal and won't be performed again this season (if at all). A very nice evening, in my opinion. I was pleasantly surprised.

 

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I attended today's matinee and it was overall a very enjoyable program. Songs of Bukovina is a perfectly fine ballet but it's hard to recall any particularly memorable images or motifs. It was more interesting than, say, Souvenir d'un lieu cher, but far less distinctive than many of the choreographer's other works we've seen at ABT. I'd neither avoid nor seek out this piece in the future. I can't really see it being revived much in the future, though; it feels very much like a minor work. Ratmansky usually has quite fine taste in music, but the music in this piece didn't feel Iike it was screaming out to be choreographed.

 

I completely agree with what nysusan has said about Symphonic Variations. It didn't feel like the company was just getting through it this time (though it really does seem like a grueling piece). It wasn't a perfect performance, but it felt taut and exciting. Gorak was really a standout for his beautiful dancing. Whiteside and Teuscher were very good as the central couple, but their pas de deux lacked the lightness it should ideally have. I always think it should look like the woman is skimming water with her feet, but this looked a little more cumbersome. I don't necessarily agree with what others have said about Teuscher lacking presence or artistry, but here, her sometimes remote temperament served her well. 

 

Murphy was incredible in Other Dances and probably received the warmest response of the entire afternoon. I don't have Makarova/Baryshnikov as a point of reference when judging performances of this work, but the choreography doesn't feel especially tailored to their strengths as dancers, despite the fact that it was obviously created on them. Are current interpretations so different from the original that I can't even see why Other Dances was such an apparently perfect vehicle for Makarova and Baryshnikov? In any case, Murphy's technical virtuosity, freshness, honesty, unaffected dancing made it an utter joy to watch her in this role. Stearns was a stellar partner and was strong in his solos, though perhaps less in tune with the tenor of this piece than Murphy.

 

It was good to see Serenade after Plato's Symposium again, and I think it's one of Ratmansky's stronger pieces for ABT. What blew me away was Thomas Forster's dancing; he was spectacular, perhaps the best I've ever seen from him. Wow. The ensemble as a whole was great, though the section with the woman still feels kind of weak and unnecessary. The reveal of the woman sillhoutted by backlighting is so beautiful, but the ensuing pas de deux is forgettable. I realize she may be an important figure symbolically (what she symbolizes, I have no idea), but she adds little to the choreographic fabric of the piece. If I were Ratmansky, I'd revise the piece to eliminate that role, but he doesn't seem one to ever revise his work. 

 

Many of his works could benefit from revision. When will he ever do so?

Edited by fondoffouettes

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I attended the Friday evening performance.  While I found Ratmansky’s "Songs of Bukovina" mildly enjoyable, I felt it was more important as a showcase for the four male supporting dancers (Marshall Whiteley, Joo Won Ahn, Duncan Lyle, and Patrick Frenette) who rarely, if ever, get the chance to appear in any kind of supporting or featured roles (though Duncan Lyle was the dancing bottle of slivovitz in "Whipped Cream").  As Daniil Simkin pointed out last season, Ratmansky is very good at providing opportunities for dancers who "may have been overlooked" before, and these four tall men from the corps de ballet danced beautifully together, and proved they have the focus, energy and skill for larger and more prominent roles.

 

There was a casting change for "Her Notes," as Paulina Waski and Catherine Hurlin were replaced by Skylar Brandt and Cassandra Trenary, providing a most serendipitous opportunity for the two soloists to perform once again with Sarah Lane.  These three dynamic women were the best thing about the evening's performance.  They are all of a height, and worked in remarkable, splendid tandem with one another, while retaining their own buoyant personalities and style as they zipped across the stage.  Someone needs to create a ballet specifically for these three!  They really are an electric trio, and just the thought of a ballet built around them probably would prove a bigger draw for ticket buyers than anything found on this season's listless schedule.  (The house appeared to be half-empty Friday night.)  Why is ABT still wasting so much untapped energy and talent throughout the company?  A little imagination from the management would prove most welcome.

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