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ABT in Washington, DC Kennedy Center January 30 to February 4, 2018

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Casting announced - no big surprises.  Cirio and Lendorf are back.  Klein and Shayer will debut their Boy in "Whipped Cream" before the Ratmansky is revived for the Met 2018 Spring/Summer season.  Big surprise:  Lane and Cornejo in "Other Dances"!

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PRINCIPAL CASTING
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* = first time in the role

Tue., Jan. 30 evening
Serenade after Plato's Symposium:  Cirio, Gomes, Hoven, Royal, Shayer, Simkin, Whiteside, Teuscher
Other Dances: Boylston, Lendorf
I Feel the Earth Move: Teuscher, Copeland, Seo, Hallberg, Cornejo, Stearns
Thirteen Diversions: Lane, Gorak, Boylston, Gomes, Abrera, Forster, Brandt, Zhang

Wed., Jan. 31 evening
Serenade after Plato's Symposium: Zhang, Hammoudi, Forster, Sebastian, Maloney, Scott, Gorak, Seo
Other Dances: Lane*, Cornejo*
I Feel the Earth Move: S. Williams, Trenary, Hurlin, Hoven, Simkin, Hammoudi
Thirteen Diversions: Hurlin, Sebastian, Copeland, Davis, Murphy, Hoven, Giangeruso, Hammoudi

Thu., Feb. 1 evening
Whipped Cream: Simkin, Abrera, Hallberg, Lane

Fri., Feb. 2 evening
Whipped Cream: Klein*, Seo, Stearns, Trenary

Sat., Feb. 3 matinee
Whipped Cream: Shayer*, Teuscher, Gomes, Brandt

Sat., Feb. 3 evening
Whipped Cream: Cirio, Murphy, Whiteside, Copeland

Sun., Feb. 4 matinee
Whipped Cream: Simkin, Boylston, Lendorf, Lane

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Terrific! I can really see Lane and Cornejo in Other Dances. And, glad Shayer/Klein get their debuts in WC so early.

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Happy to read about the Lane/Cornejo debut, too.

 

Is my old mind playing tricks or has the originally-announced mixed bill changed a bit? We were to have seen a pdd from the Liam Scarlett With a Chance of Rain, I believe, as well as the latest Ratmansky (in addition to Plato's Symposium). No complaints with Other Dances but the Millepied has been added to the original mix of two Ratmanskys, one Scarlett and one "tbd." Also announced was Thirteen Diversions, which we'll see.

 

A conference took me to NYC last weekend, where I ate my words and attended the Friday night mixed bill at the Koch (Bukovinia, Other Dances, Feel the Earth Move and Plato). Will write a short review for the Fall 2017 thread, when I get the time. A night of very mixed results.

Edited by CharlieH
added 13 Diversions to list

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18 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

Terrific! I can really see Lane and Cornejo in Other Dances.

 

Finally! This is a perfect cast for Other Dances, imo.  Yes, it's a Wednesday, yes, it's in the dead of Winter and an expensive trip from NYC..... but I may need to take a couple of days off from the job and go! 

Edited by sz

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Serenade After Plato's Symposium is 100% pure genius. Thirteen Diversions was very enjoyable as well. Unfortunately, I only get to see them once :(.

Edited by YouOverThere

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Casting changes but it worked.   https://dcmetrotheaterarts.com/2018/01/31/review-american-ballet-theatre-ratmansky-robbins-millepied-wheeldon-kennedy-center/ . 

Symposium is a men's  Balanchine's Serenade.  
 
The potential strike was resolved in time for the tour averting of a vacant KC Opera House.  Staff was affected by the recent govt shutdown [seniority got the reduced available hours] so some could be out as much as a significant 2+ days of pay.  https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-john-f-kennedy-center-for-the-performing-arts/kennedy-center-plan-for-federal-government-shutdown/10156068376058147/

 

Edited by maps

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I traveled to Washington DC on Wednesday in order to see Lane and Cornejo in “Other Dances” at the Kennedy Center.  My family thinks I’m crazy, but I couldn’t resist.  I’m convinced we’ll never have the chance to see this casting in New York, but after yesterday’s show I’d like to be proven wrong.  Both dancers were so superb in this ballet that maybe management may give them a chance in the fall.  They were well-coached and well-rehearsed, but more than that, they connected with one another physically, visually and emotionally throughout, in a way that too many other ABT dancers do not.  Their gestural dialogue with one another between the Chopin mazurkas tied the dances together like a kind of big performance piece, and their dancing in each piece was sublime.  Cornejo performed the Jerome Robbins head-shaking “Slavic gesture” complete with outstretched arm with great brio, and though he was not performing full-out as he used to, nevertheless the spirit was there and understood.  He is so well-suited to the choreography, as is Lane.  Lane imposed her lyrical porte de bras on the dances and made them her own.  Her arms moved like floating ribbons, curving through the air from the shoulders down through the fingertips in one long motion.  She had the audience mesmerized with her movement.  In her final solo, it was apparent she was acting her way through the last mazurka, using the tonal changes in the music to shift her emotions.  What began as a happy romp as she seemed to recall a delightful memory became dark and fearful moment of worry.  Like her Giselle, it seemed to be her own unique take on the dance.  Both dancers moved in beautiful tandem during the last piece, the waltz.  In the supported pirouette at the end, rather than move her arms outward in an “offering” gesture, Lane instead rolled her arms upward from first position to fifth overhead while spinning, as she does in the Black Swan pas de deux.  I’m not sure if this movement of the arms has a formal name, but it was a dynamic ending to a wonderful performance.  If you can catch their next performance in Chicago, you won’t be disappointed. 

The rest of the program was composed of pieces we’ve seen before.  In “Plato’s Symposium,” Marcelo Gomes’ role was danced by Joo Won Ahn.  While his dancing was excellent, he doesn’t bring to the role the years of experience, training and the warm personality of Marcelo, nor would I expect him to.  But he didn’t bring much of his own personality or anything singular to the piece, either.  However, he was very good at partnering Hee Seo, and to my surprise I really didn’t mind her in this.  With no big technical challenges, she floated on and off rather harmlessly. 

That Millepied thing.  Ugh.  I hope never to see it again.

All that wild applause you might have heard on Instagram posts from the curtain call for “Thirteen Diversions” was for – you guessed it – Misty Copeland.  Her fans in the balcony levels began screaming as soon as she appeared for her onstage bow and they didn’t stop.  They’d been forced to sit through the first three ballets in order to see her in the last piece, and finally they were rewarded!  Copeland was partnered by Cory Stearns (replacing Gray Davis), and I thought he was a terrific match for her.  She is a short dancer, but she has a broad torso, and sometimes Cornejo and Simkin have had difficulty lifting her.  Stearns had no trouble lifting her, supporting her, and manipulating her through the nonstop movement of this energetic ballet.  Maybe she should be teamed with a tall male dancer more often.

And a word about Aran Bell, who was also one of the leads in "Thirteen Diversions," since there's been so much recent chatter about him.  While on stage with the other male leads (Cory Stearns, Jose Sebastian, and Blaine Hoven), he appeared to be the same height as Sterns.  His dancing is much improved from last year - I remember well that he was the lone Gingerbread soldier in more than one performance of "Whipped Cream" who was out of step with the rest - but he, too, displays no personality when he dances.  In fact, he registered no emotion whatsoever.  If it weren't for his partner, the bouyant and upbeat April Giangeruso, he might have vanished from view completely.  Maybe he was nervous, or maybe he was too busy concentrating on executing the steps to worry about adding emotion to the mix.  But performing alongside Stearns, who has years of experience, and Sebastian, whose dancing is more nuanced, and Hoven, with his vibrant presence, he comes across as a blank.  He has lots of time to improve, though, and my hope would be that he becomes a dancer like Calvin Royal, whose hard work over a long period of time one day becomes readily apparent in his visibly improved performances, and you realize what a great future he has ahead of him.  

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Thanks, Laurel - you made me feel like I was there. I've commented on IG that I hope the Lane/Cornejo cast of Other Dances is offered next fall. That piece was a highlight of last fall. 

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8 hours ago, laurel said:

That Millepied thing.  Ugh.  I hope never to see it again.

All that wild applause you might have heard on Instagram posts from the curtain call for “Thirteen Diversions” was for – you guessed it – Misty Copeland.  Her fans in the balcony levels began screaming as soon as she appeared for her onstage bow and they didn’t stop.  They’d been forced to sit through the first three ballets in order to see her in the last piece, and finally they were rewarded!  Copeland was partnered by Cory Stearns (replacing Gray Davis), and I thought he was a terrific match for her.  She is a short dancer, but she has a broad torso, and sometimes Cornejo and Simkin have had difficulty lifting her.  Stearns had no trouble lifting her, supporting her, and manipulating her through the nonstop movement of this energetic ballet.  Maybe she should be teamed with a tall male dancer more often.

Millepied's choreography might not have seemed so bland had it been set to better music. But it was Philip Glass at his most monotonous.

The wild applause for Misty Copeland must have come from Tier 1 because there was only a slight stir on Tier 2 (less than I expected) when she first appeared on stage.

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laurel - Thanks for your review.  The only things I was interested in watching was "Other Dances" with Lane.  Unfortunately, I was not able to get to DC this week. I have not always been a Lane fan, but I was sure she would be in her element here.  So glad to hear your review.  The Plato piece is probably one of my favorite Ratmansky works.  In the past, when watching Ahn in other works, I felt the same.  For me, there is no soul behind his dancing.  I am wondering if he will be able to carry Solor at the Met.  

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3 hours ago, Barbara said:

Thanks, Laurel - you made me feel like I was there. 

Same here. Thanks, Laurel.

Lane and Cornejo really have a special partnership. I wish they were paired more often.

Edited by ABT Fan

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I must second (or third?) the kudos for Lane & Cornejo In Wednesday’s Other Dances. That was one for the ages. Wheeldon's Thirteen Diversions also benefited from a mostly-strong cast, including novices Aran Bell (with April Giangeruso) and lovely Catherine Hurlin (with Jose Sebastian) as the two Demi couples. I’m excited at the prospect of following their careers.

As for the Millepied work, the least said the best!

I also caught the opening Whipped Cream on Thursday with Simkin/Lane and Hallberg/Abtera. A grand night of truly spectacular ballet. Audience went crazy cheering the dancers and the production. All I can say is “Wow!” and “Spasibo!” To Ratmansky and the entire creative team. 

Edited by CharlieH

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I loved the Thursday evening performance of Whipped Cream (other than that watching it made me REALLY hungry), but the Saturday matinee wasn't up to the same level. What seems to me to be missed in all the discussion is that Ratmansky is creating ballets that can appeal to people besides hard-core dance fans. Both Whipped Cream and The Little Humped-back Horse are entertaining as theater pieces as well as containing some serious parts for the dancers. How better to attract new fans than to present ballets that don't necessarily require a detailed knowledge of ballet to enjoy? IMHO, a piece of art doesn't have to be academic to be good. Is one of the things that's killing classical music that many contemporary composers are more interested in impressing music professors than in creating works that are meaningful to audiences?

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