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Veronika Part leaving ABT

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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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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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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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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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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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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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1 hour ago, vipa said:

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. 

 

I don't want to get into a discussion about which type of "transition" hurts more but I'd imagine Wendy Whelan must have been stung by Peter Martins phasing her out of roles, more so than Veronika being suddenly given the pink slip, because Veronika was never the marquee star of the company. Whereas when I first started following NYCB if there was a debut there was no discussion of who'd be in it -- it'd be Wendy. At the time the corps girls in the company strived to look like Wendy -- dark hair pulled back in a severe bun, a sort of Grecian makeup that emphasized the contours of the face rather than the typical focus on the eyes, lips, etc. Some roles were exclusively Wendy's -- Agon, Symphony in Three Movements, La Sonnambula, The Cage, Glass Pieces, In Memory Of ...,  all the Wheeldon works. 

 

And after watching Restless Creatures, it seems like Wendy still hasn't gotten over it. It was sad to hear that she doesn't keep in touch with her former NYCB colleagues and the rift between her and Peter Martins hasn't been mended.

Edited by canbelto

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29 minutes ago, canbelto said:

 

I don't want to get into a discussion about which type of "transition" hurts more but I'd imagine Wendy Whelan must have been stung by Peter Martins phasing her out of roles, more so than Veronika being suddenly given the pink slip, because Veronika was never the marquee star of the company. Whereas when I first started following NYCB if there was a debut there was no discussion of who'd be in it -- it'd be Wendy. At the time the corps girls in the company strived to look like Wendy -- dark hair pulled back in a severe bun, a sort of Grecian makeup that emphasized the contours of the face rather than the typical focus on the eyes, lips, etc. Some roles were exclusively Wendy's -- Agon, Symphony in Three Movements, La Sonnambula, The Cage, Glass Pieces, In Memory Of ...,  all the Wheeldon works. 

 

And after watching Restless Creatures, it seems like Wendy still hasn't gotten over it. It was sad to hear that she doesn't keep in touch with her former NYCB colleagues and the rift between her and Peter Martins hasn't been mended.

What was his reason for phasing her out of those roles, or was none given? I didn't follow her career too closely, so I'm wondering if it was just physical/technical deterioration? Or do you think she was still fine in the non-tutu roles? It would seem less cruel to part earlier with a dancer (at around age 42, 43?) rather than keep her on till 46 but deny her the roles she's most closely associated with. But like I said, I didn't follow her career that closely, so I'm curious to hear your take on things.

 

I remember seeing her in Diamonds a few years ago and left feeling as if I'd rather avoid her in classical tutu roles. 

 

I still find the stage makeup at NYCB to be rather extreme at times, with very pronounced contouring. It doesn't really bother me, since distance and lighting, of course, soften everything, but they really do lay it on thick. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

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1 hour ago, canbelto said:

 

I don't want to get into a discussion about which type of "transition" hurts more but I'd imagine Wendy Whelan must have been stung by Peter Martins phasing her out of roles, more so than Veronika being suddenly given the pink slip...

 

I don't think it's really possible to quantify these two things, which is what would be necessary to make such a comparison.

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I brought up Whelan earlier only because Part's public indications of her feelings seemed to be drawing some criticism. I understand why, but I think a dancer's letting slip a little frustration in these circumstances is only human. I would feel that way in Part's case even if I were convinced Kevin Mackenzie had no choice but to let her go. I'm not, but I don't really know either. And she obviously doesn't feel she was treated properly, which she has every right to say.

 

I could wish these transitions went more smoothly, but it is no wonder they don't. What is especially a shame is a loss of continuity and knowledge within companies--

 

Edited by Drew
Appaling grammatical ambiguity...

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2 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

What was his reason for phasing her out of those roles, or was none given? I didn't follow her career too closely, so I'm wondering if it was just physical/technical deterioration? Or do you think she was still fine in the non-tutu roles? It would seem less cruel to part earlier with a dancer (at around age 42, 43?) rather than keep her on till 46 but deny her the roles she's most closely associated with. But like I said, I didn't follow her career that closely, so I'm curious to hear your take on things.

 

I remember seeing her in Diamonds a few years ago and left feeling as if I'd rather avoid her in classical tutu roles. 

 

I still find the stage makeup at NYCB to be rather extreme at times, with very pronounced contouring. It doesn't really bother me, since distance and lighting, of course, soften everything, but they really do lay it on thick. 

 

Whelan had hip surgery around 2011 and was never really cast that often after the surgery. I remember seeing her in Glass Pieces post surgery and noticing how much flexibility she had lost.

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Agree with you vipa. How do you give young dancers opportunities they deserve if the older ones are hanging on and taking those lead roles or slots in the principal roster? I think part of being a professional ballet dancer is understanding and accepting that at a certain age, you need to start thinking about retirement. It's the natural progression of the art form and certainly of company life. 

 

Alessandra Ferri's Onegin this Met season was praised for its theatrical merit but I heard much commentary about her diminishing technical skill. Is that really how a dancer want to be viewed? "Well she used to be such a great dancer..." or "At least her acting was still lovely..." 

Edited by Fleurfairy

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55 minutes ago, canbelto said:

 

Whelan had hip surgery around 2011 and was never really cast that often after the surgery. I remember seeing her in Glass Pieces post surgery and noticing how much flexibility she had lost.

Yes, I noticed that too. She was still wonderful in some things but was greatly diminished in others. As I said before, young dancers need opportunities, and when those two things coincide (a senior dancer with diminished capacity & young dancers ready and eager) someone is going to be left unhappy. Many of us, on this board, bemoan the fact that at ABT many young dancers don't get opportunities as soon as they should. At the same time, as much as I liked Julie Kent, IMO she was doing roles she shouldn't have been given during her last years.

 

It's complicated!  I can say though that Whelan did have some fine roles until the end, and then had a fantastic send off. 

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Here;s a good article about Whelan:

 

The pertinent passage:

 

Quote

 

 In November 2011, the ballet master-in-chief Peter Martins called Wendy Whelan into his office and told her she should not dance the Sugarplum Fairy part in The Nutcracker anymore. Whelan was stunned. She had danced that role for 22 years for City Ballet.

She later recalled that meeting to me. “He told me, ‘I don’t think you should do this part anymore. Because I want you to only look best on stage. And I don’t think this makes you look your best.’”

Whelan says her mind began to race. Look my best? But I’m physically fit. I’m dancing every day. Churning out, producing. Every ounce of me is for the New York City Ballet. And you think I shouldn’t dance this part anymore?, she thought. I never had a baby. I never took time away. She recalled tearfully telling Martins, “I think I am good enough in this part.”

“I didn’t feel it was time for me to not do that role anymore. It was a very big struggle,” Whelan said. She had already started giving up her many main roles. Giving up the Sugarplum Fairy probably meant the end.

Whelan had a hip surgery last August and used crutches to walk for three weeks afterwards. She is hopeful that her injuries will heal.

 

 

To me that's pretty harsh, considering the NYCB does a massive amount of Nutcrackers every year. 

Edited by canbelto

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