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Veronika Part leaving ABT

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Posted (edited)

After her first few years with ABT, she definitely underwent a noticeable weight loss/toning up that she maintained throughout the rest of her career with ABT. If you look at the photos of her last Swan Lake, for instance, she looks considerably less curvy than in her early ABT days. In terms of consistent technique, she seemed to reach her peak only after being promoted to principal, perhaps due to a boost of confidence. After her promotion, she still had the occasional glitch here or there, but she didn't let them it interfere with her overall performances. If nothing else, she's definitely had a unique trajectory, reaching her peak in her early 30s. She triumphed over whatever demons were interfering with her early performances. (Those early ones were still exquisite, by the way, but her inconsistent technique had us all gritting our teeth.)

 

Thank you for the perspective on her early days, Natalia. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

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38 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

She was Terpsichore in "Apollo" and I believe also danced the Second Movement in "Symphony in C". 

 

Checking my programs, I see she was in Serenade on the first night of the Balanchine program, and danced Terpsichore and the second movement of Symphony in C the next night. 

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8 minutes ago, kfw said:

 

Checking my programs, I see she was in Serenade on the first night of the Balanchine program, and danced Terpsichore and the second movement of Symphony in C the next night. 

Just out of curiosity -- can you tell which role in Serenade? The Dark Angel? 

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Here are some reviews of Part with the Kirov/Mariinsky:

Swan Lake:

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/24/arts/ballet-review-the-kirov-polishes-gems-and-nurtures-a-sad-swan.html

 

 

Quote

 

One was Ms. Part, whose clean style is tinged with an intriguing blend of languor and voluptousness. She offered a superbly tender and sad Odette. With eyes down, lips parted and head thrown back, she evoked a spellbound princess. Her adagio in Act II was conventionally lyrical in the best sense: she wreathed Mr. Korsuntsev's head with her arm with the softness that colored all her gestures. Yet sharply bent forward, she was a swan maiden with a broken wing, wounded by love and fate.

Mr. Korsuntsev's strong partnering as Prince Siegfried played a role in this unfolding love story, which extended into Ms. Part's securely danced solo. Like the other Kirov Odiles, she chopped up the phrasing. This is one of the production's quirks. And why is the prince moody in Act I if his mother does not tell him then to shape up and marry? (She waits until Act III.)

 

 

 

Jewels:

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/18/arts/dance-review-the-kirov-and-balanchine-a-work-in-progress.html

 

Quote

In ''Jewels'' the dancers held back. Balanchine's ballet has some relationship to the attributes of the gems in the subtitles, but essentially he has responded to three kinds of composers. Fauré's sea-green flow needs a mystery that Veronika Part and Denis Firsov have yet to capture in a poetic walking duet. Viktor Baranov is an eager partner to Zhanna Ayupova, who was exquisite as always but more subdued than sparkling in Violette Verdy's original role.

 

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Alexei Ratmansky just posted a link to the New York Times article about the Bolshoi cancelling their ballet based on Nureyev. Veronica Part commented, "Well...?And ABT fired at least 2 Russian ballerinas."

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1 hour ago, AB'sMom said:

Alexei Ratmansky just posted a link to the New York Times article about the Bolshoi cancelling their ballet based on Nureyev. Veronica Part commented, "Well...?And ABT fired at least 2 Russian ballerinas."

2?  Vishneva willingly walked away as far as I've heard, so I wonder who she is talking about.  Kochetkova?

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7 minutes ago, Kaysta said:

2?  Vishneva willingly walked away as far as I've heard, so I wonder who she is talking about.  Kochetkova?

 

Either that or a reference back to Irina?

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19 minutes ago, Kaysta said:

2?  Vishneva willingly walked away as far as I've heard, so I wonder who she is talking about.  Kochetkova?

Agreed, it seems Vishneva made a choice and is dancing on her own terms. Irina was let go a while ago but it could be. Kochetkova is the obvious possibility. IMO that wouldn't be a great loss to ABT and certainly wouldn't damage Kochetkova's career. She is still a principal in SFB and does galas all over the place. Frankly the ABT/Kochetkova  relationship always puzzled me.

 

Bottom line is that Part sounds angry and bitter. I hope time will change that. 

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Posted (edited)

Or there's Semionova. It looks like she's dancing in one of Roberto Bolle's galas at the moment, so she has returned from maternity leave but has not been reengaged by ABT (unless they have plans to do so next season).

 

My bet is on Kotchetkova, though. Lane and Brandt are both filling the short girl role. And perhaps even Shevchenko could be partnered by Simkin, Cornejo or Cirio. She was partnered by Shayer in the Shostakovich Trilogy, and he seems rather short.

 

Edited to add: Oops. I now remember Shayer partnered Brandt, not Shevchenko. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

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She does sound angry and bitter to me. I understand the feeling, but I feel like she isn't handling it well. I see no relationship between her comment and the article referenced. (It was on Alexei Ratmansky's Facebook--sorry I forgot to mention where he posted it). 

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2 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

Or there's Semionova. It looks like she's dancing in one of Roberto Bolle's galas at the moment, so she has returned from maternity leave but has not been reengaged by ABT (unless they have plans to do so next season).

 

My bet is on Kotchetkova, though. Lane and Brandt are both filling the short girl role. And perhaps even Shevchenko could be partnered by Simkin, Cornejo or Cirio. She was partnered by Shayer in the Shostakovich Trilogy, and he seems rather short.

 

Edited to add: Oops. I now remember Shayer partnered Brandt, not Shevchenko. 

Speaking of Bolle's galas, Cornejo (who was injured all last week) is performing Tchai Pas for the galas.

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1 hour ago, fondoffouettes said:

Or there's Semionova. It looks like she's dancing in one of Roberto Bolle's galas at the moment, so she has returned from maternity leave but has not been reengaged by ABT (unless they have plans to do so next season).

 

My bet is on Kotchetkova, though. Lane and Brandt are both filling the short girl role. And perhaps even Shevchenko could be partnered by Simkin, Cornejo or Cirio. She was partnered by Shayer in the Shostakovich Trilogy, and he seems rather short.

 

I was thinking Semionova. But "firing" someone during pregnancy/mat leave, is that even legal? My guess is she decided to leave NYC and return to Europe full time.

 

There have been questions about Shevchenko's height for a few days now. While I don't have an exact number, when standing straight and with good posture she looks almost as tall as Teuscher. Maybe an inch or so shorter. I noticed that in casual photos she tends to slouch a little bit (or just bend her body in a weird way, not sure what's up with that) so she tends to look short in pictures. I don't see her being partnered by the short guys in a full length with lots of partnering and lifts. Also, since the beginning she's been cast in "tall" roles, so I expect her to continue with that. Teuscher and Shevchenko will cover the tall principal slots now that we have two very tall ladies out (Semionova and Part) and two others approaching 40.

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Posted (edited)

I hope Part finds another outlet -- either speaking with a journalist or penning something herself. I wonder if she would face any legal repercussions by speaking out about ABT, though. (I presume they sign non-disclosure agreements?)

 

Her comment on Ratmansky's page and her other negative comment about Whipped Cream seem to indicate some resentment toward the choreographer. I wonder if she feels he could have done more to advocate for her as an asset to the company. He certainly utilized her quite a bit, though. 

 

Maybe James Wolcott can get martinis (vodka ones, naturally) with Veronika and Irina and publish the subsequent conversation on his blog. Now THAT I'd like to read :)

Edited by fondoffouettes

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2 hours ago, vipa said:

Agreed, it seems Vishneva made a choice and is dancing on her own terms. Irina was let go a while ago but it could be. Kochetkova is the obvious possibility. IMO that wouldn't be a great loss to ABT and certainly wouldn't damage Kochetkova's career. She is still a principal in SFB and does galas all over the place. Frankly the ABT/Kochetkova  relationship always puzzled me.

 

Bottom line is that Part sounds angry and bitter. I hope time will change that. 

I really can't blame her for the anger.  It's not simply the firing; it's how it was all handled.  And it's all so public.  This has to hurt, no matter how you slice it.  And I can't help but wonder how she will make a living even, given that she isn't a youngster with years of dancing ahead of her. Unless she teaches or has some  other means of income.  It has got to be worrisome.  No one is really prepared to become unemployed.

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7 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

Just out of curiosity -- can you tell which role in Serenade? The Dark Angel? 

 

I wish I could remember. FWIW, she's listed third. Is there a standard procedure for listing the leads in that ballet?

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Posted (edited)

7 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Maybe James Wolcott can get martinis (vodka ones, naturally) with Veronika and Irina and publish the subsequent conversation on his blog. Now THAT I'd like to read :)

 

I would actually be surprised if this convo hasn't already taken place –– albeit apparently off the record, too bad!

 

Edited by nanushka

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Posted (edited)

Kfw - assume you're talking about Serenade. I think it's usually listed as waltz girl, Russian girl, dark angel. That makes sense for Veronika. Wish I could have seen it!!!

Edited by cobweb

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1 hour ago, mimsyb said:

I really can't blame her for the anger.  It's not simply the firing; it's how it was all handled.  And it's all so public.  This has to hurt, no matter how you slice it.  And I can't help but wonder how she will make a living even, given that she isn't a youngster with years of dancing ahead of her. Unless she teaches or has some  other means of income.  It has got to be worrisome.  No one is really prepared to become unemployed.

I agree that the firing was handled badly, very badly, but personally, I can't worry about how she will make a living, as worrisome as it may be to her at the moment. I've known so many people who have lost their jobs over the last few years. People with kids to feed and dim prospects for future employment. Here is a woman who has been earning money in the 6 figures for some years, who has an amazing resume in the ballet world and presumably made some professional connections. I feel bad for the way she was let go but when I look around, I certainly don't worry about her future. If I was fired from my job tomorrow my future would not be as promising as Part's is!!

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1 hour ago, vipa said:

I agree that the firing was handled badly, very badly, but personally, I can't worry about how she will make a living, as worrisome as it may be to her at the moment. I've known so many people who have lost their jobs over the last few years. People with kids to feed and dim prospects for future employment. Here is a woman who has been earning money in the 6 figures for some years, who has an amazing resume in the ballet world and presumably made some professional connections. I feel bad for the way she was let go but when I look around, I certainly don't worry about her future. If I was fired from my job tomorrow my future would not be as promising as Part's is!!

I agree.  And realistically, she should have been planning for this day.  She is 39.  Even if she couldn't foresee this, she had to know that the end was very near.

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14 hours ago, AB'sMom said:

She does sound angry and bitter to me. I understand the feeling, but I feel like she isn't handling it well. I see no relationship between her comment and the article referenced. (It was on Alexei Ratmansky's Facebook--sorry I forgot to mention where he posted it). 

The comments on Ratmanksy's Facebook page have now been deleted, either by Part or Ratmansky. 

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Posted (edited)

I would cut Part some slack. Sure, in some of her public comments she is less than a model of public stoicism. But I have heard people in my own life say much worse when they were (or thought they were) terminated unfairly. And it sounds like she is owed some of her anger in any case. 

 

By the by, a very different personality, Wendy Whelan, has spoken publically about her dismay and disagreement when Martins stopped giving her certain roles she thought she should still be dancing - implicitly nudging her into retirement - when she was several years older than Part is now. And some ballerinas do dance incredibly into their forties. And in a ballet dancer's typically short career two-three additional seasons is not trivial.

Edited by Drew

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I think an implicit nudge into retirement is much more civil than having your boss tell you he is not renewing your contract. To make matters worse, to have the NY Times report that your contract was not renewed adds another level of humiliation to the situation. 

 

My understanding of the situation from Part's own comments is that she knew for some time that her contract would not be renewed, but there was some vague promise by McKenzie to give her some work next season during the spring season in some sort of guesting arrangement.  Based on that, she must have known for a period of time already that although she might have some income from ABT during 2018, it would not be anything remotely close to her salary as a principal. 

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Veronika posted this lovely picture of herself on instagram with a very gracious message:

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Beautiful pic.  I was fired once, about 12 years ago.  In retrospect I can see that it was a poor fit for my personality, and a poorly run organization.  It was a shock to get the news, after I had poured my heart and energy into the position.  

 

In the weeks that followed I definitely went through grief stages and I wasn't myself at all.  

 

(edit) 

So I have a lot of sympathy for her, and I hope no one holds her emotional turmoil against her. 

Edited by Jayne

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On 7/12/2017 at 1:15 PM, abatt said:

I think an implicit nudge into retirement is much more civil than having your boss tell you he is not renewing your contract. To make matters worse, to have the NY Times report that your contract was not renewed adds another level of humiliation to the situation. 

 

My understanding of the situation from Part's own comments is that she knew for some time that her contract would not be renewed, but there was some vague promise by McKenzie to give her some work next season during the spring season in some sort of guesting arrangement.  Based on that, she must have known for a period of time already that although she might have some income from ABT during 2018, it would not be anything remotely close to her salary as a principal. 

Agree abatt. As far as the nudge out part, also I heard Wendy Whelan's comment's about losing roles. I know how hard that had to have been for her. At the same time the AD has a balancing act. Young dancers have to be given opportunities, and sometimes older dancers have diminishing capabilities and have to be taken out of roles they once danced. 

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