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I think that the JKO school will always be limited in the students they can attract because they don’t have housing. Their pool is limited to people who live close enough to commute. They don’t even have dorm contracts for their five week summer Intensive. 

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I don't necessarily agree that the Shades solos should be corps roles.  When the Royal Ballet first did the Nureyev Shades version, often principals danced the shades (at that time, they also often danced the Sleeping Beauty fairies, too).  Roles like that are as big or as small as a dancer can make them.

 

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Regarding schools:

I will have to disagree on the assessment on what the top US schools are. The list mentioned previously was true mayb 10-15 years ago, but not now. CPYB produces decent enough dancers in what many teachers now view as a commercialized school. But in a style that attracts more Balanchine companies than classical ones. SAB has become so stylized that if the dancers are not accepted into NYCB or Miami, as well as occasionally SFB, they aren’t marketable, especially in Europe. Most company schools have started using SAB’s model in requiring or highly encouraging dancers to spend 1-2 years in the school so that the school can claim that they trained them, while in all actuality they were trained elsewhere. ABT hires and scouts all over. Schools network and bring in directors to look at their dancers their final year(s) in schools so that companies from all over can choose from the most talented pool of dancers. As a teacher, and former dancer, I would say at current, when looking at the number of graduates that receive jobs after graduation, the top schools have shifted and my top 3 pics currently would be Harid, a Houston, and PNB. SAB and SFB are still up there, but I do not believe my alma matter, Kirov, is anymore. Just my opinion!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Fleurfairy said:

Let's be honest. Shades Trio is a soloist role at the most. Ideally, a corps or even apprentice dancer should be performing it. The fact that they are putting two principal women in (and notice they didn't dare put Misty in) says 1) their corps and soloist well is very shallow at the moment and not many dancers can step in and make it look decent; 2) they haven't been developing the corps dancers enough to be able take on roles like these at the last minute and 3) management doesn't mind insulting Lane and Shevchenko by giving them these subpar performance opportunities. It's like throwing crumbs to a starving lion. 

Right -- I think of those roles in the same vein as the three Odalisques in Corsaire, not meatier soloist roles like Gulnare or even the Peasant Pas de Deux (or Trois).

I wonder if some girls were pulled from the Shades corps, which necessitated dancers who had learned the Shades Trio to be put back into the regular corps. (Oops -- I see now that ABT Fan has already suggested this may be the reason.)

Edited by fondoffouettes

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Posted (edited)

There are currently at ABT three female soloists:  Luciana Paris, Cassandra Trenary and Skyler Brandt.  Luciana Paris is in Buenos Aires with a newborn baby on maternity leave.  Cassandra Trenary is recovering from a muscle injury and has cut back her schedule to allow maximum time for healing.  She danced a very small, not very exposed role in the Wayne McGregor "AfteRite" last week and is preparing to return for her first Gamzatti tomorrow afternoon.  But small things like the Wili solos or the Shades solos she is skipping to allow time to heal.  Brandt has been one busy, busy girl since she also dances lead ballerina roles and just had one added to her plate:  Columbine in "Harlequinade".  

So ABT has had to dig into the corps de ballet.  Veteran neglected Ballet Talk favorite Zhong-Jing Fang is getting several solos - she could do more.  Melanie Hamrick is experienced and has danced solos before.  She is not a kid and has had injuries.  Stephanie Williams is not one of my favorite dancers at ABT but is reliable in solos.  Catherine Hurlin is a major discovery this season who is moving ahead quickly - she is young and talented.  Katherine Williams is a veteran corps dancer who also is breaking into solo parts including major assignments like Myrtha in "Giselle".  April Giangeruso is another veteran corps girl who has been pressed into service sometimes in demanding solo parts like the Second Shade.  She can be variable - strong one day and then awkward the next day.  Probably all of them would benefit from a stronger coaching staff than what ABT currently provides.

Who else is out there in the corps?  Lauren Post and Anabel Katsnelson have emerged from the corps as a Wili and a Shade respectively.  Two of the stronger corps girls - both veterans - are Gemma Bond (reportedly on maternity leave) and Paulina Waski (back from injury and taking it easy).  Both are sidelined at a time when both could present themselves as candidates for promotion.  Kaho Ogawa has strong technique and could dance the Second or Third Shade solo.  No idea why she isn't used more.  Two corps girls whose names I have heard praised as potentially stunning up and comers but have done little or nothing in solo roles - Gisele Bethea and Scout Forsythe.  Bethea has just disappeared into the corps and I don't even know what she looks like.  Ditto Forsythe.  But people who have seen them think they are major talents.

Edited by FauxPas

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2 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

 Veteran neglected Ballet Talk favorite Zhong-Jing Fang is getting several solos - she could do more.

I just today noticed that Fang is now listed for two performances of Mercedes/QofD in Don Q. Don’t think that was the case when that casting was originally posted.

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

Who else is out there in the corps?  Lauren Post and Anabel Katsnelson have emerged from the corps as a Wili and a Shade respectively.  Two of the stronger corps girls - both veterans - are Gemma Bond (reportedly on maternity leave) and Paulina Waski (back from injury and taking it easy).  Both are sidelined at a time when both could present themselves as candidates for promotion.  Kaho Ogawa has strong technique and could dance the Second or Third Shade solo.  No idea why she isn't used more.  Two corps girls whose names I have heard praised as potentially stunning up and comers but have done little or nothing in solo roles - Gisele Bethea and Scout Forsythe.  Bethea has just disappeared into the corps and I don't even know what she looks like.  Ditto Forsythe.  But people who have seen them think they are major talents.

I'll add Betsy McBride. I saw her in Ashton's Symphonic Variations during ABT's Fall run at the Theater Formerly Known as State and thought she acquitted herself more than honorably in a very exposed role. She certainly did not suffer by comparison with the rest of the cast, who were, with one exception (Cameron McCune) all principals or soloists. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing her in a featured role again. 

Backstory: McBride was a principal at Texas Ballet Theater until she left to join the ABT corps in 2015. 

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell

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37 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

There are currently at ABT three female soloists:  Luciana Paris, Cassandra Trenary and Skyler Brandt.  Luciana Paris is in Buenos Aires with a newborn baby on maternity leave.  Cassandra Trenary is recovering from a muscle injury and has cut back her schedule to allow maximum time for healing.  She danced a very small, not very exposed role in the Wayne McGregor "AfteRite" last week and is preparing to return for her first Gamzatti tomorrow afternoon.  But small things like the Wili solos or the Shades solos she is skipping to allow time to heal.  Brandt has been one busy, busy girl since she also dances lead ballerina roles and just had one added to her plate:  Columbine in "Harlequinade".  

So ABT has had to dig into the corps de ballet.  Veteran neglected Ballet Talk favorite Zhong-Jing Fang is getting several solos - she could do more.  Melanie Hamrick is experienced and has danced solos before.  She is not a kid and has had injuries.  Stephanie Williams is not one of my favorite dancers at ABT but is reliable in solos.  Catherine Hurlin is a major discovery this season who is moving ahead quickly - she is young and talented.  Katherine Williams is a veteran corps dancer who also is breaking into solo parts including major assignments like Myrtha in "Giselle".  April Giangeruso is another veteran corps girl who has been pressed into service sometimes in demanding solo parts like the Second Shade.  She can be variable - strong one day and then awkward the next day.  Probably all of them would benefit from a stronger coaching staff than what ABT currently provides.

Who else is out there in the corps?  Lauren Post and Anabel Katsnelson have emerged from the corps as a Wili and a Shade respectively.  Two of the stronger corps girls - both veterans - are Gemma Bond (reportedly on maternity leave) and Paulina Waski (back from injury and taking it easy).  Both are sidelined at a time when both could present themselves as candidates for promotion.  Kaho Ogawa has strong technique and could dance the Second or Third Shade solo.  No idea why she isn't used more.  Two corps girls whose names I have heard praised as potentially stunning up and comers but have done little or nothing in solo roles - Gisele Bethea and Scout Forsythe.  Bethea has just disappeared into the corps and I don't even know what she looks like.  Ditto Forsythe.  But people who have seen them think they are major talents.

Yes,  Gisele and. Scout are definitely in that category. Both of them have not been seen in any of the performances so far this season. Hoping they are not injured.

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13 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

There are currently at ABT three female soloists:  Luciana Paris, Cassandra Trenary and Skyler Brandt.  Luciana Paris is in Buenos Aires with a newborn baby on maternity leave.  Cassandra Trenary is recovering from a muscle injury..... Brandt has been one busy, busy girl since she also dances lead ballerina roles and just had one added to her plate:  Columbine in "Harlequinade".  

So ABT has had to dig into the corps de ballet.  Veteran neglected Ballet Talk favorite Zhong-Jing Fang is getting several solos - she could do more.  Melanie Hamrick is experienced and has danced solos before. Stephanie Williams is not one of my favorite dancers at ABT but is reliable in solos.  Catherine Hurlin is a major discovery this season who is moving ahead quickly - she is young and talented.  Katherine Williams is a veteran corps dancer who also is breaking into solo parts including major assignments like Myrtha in "Giselle".  April Giangeruso is another veteran corps girl who has been pressed into service sometimes in demanding solo parts like the Second Shade.  She can be variable - strong one day and then awkward the next day.  

Who else is out there in the corps?  Lauren Post and Anabel Katsnelson have emerged from the corps as a Wili and a Shade respectively.  Two of the stronger corps girls - both veterans - are Gemma Bond (reportedly on maternity leave) and Paulina Waski (back from injury and taking it easy).  Both are sidelined at a time when both could present themselves as candidates for promotion.  Kaho Ogawa has strong technique and could dance the Second or Third Shade solo.  Two corps girls whose names I have heard praised as potentially stunning up and comers but have done little or nothing in solo roles - Gisele Bethea and Scout Forsythe. 

Definitely, the very slim soloist roster is part of the problem. Brandt churned out 4 or was it 5 peasant pas in week one, before Lane was tapped to take on two. Understandably, Trenary has scaled back to heal; I wouldn't want her to miss her principal roles coming up. If Paris weren't out on maternity, she'd be doing Shades Trio, peasant pas and pas de trois and Mercedes, among others.

Waski being out injured is another hole; aside from missing her Myrta debut, I believe she'd also be cast in lot of soloist roles. Hurlin has taken up a lot to help out, but she, like Brandt, can only do so much.

I agree that Ogawa, Bethea, Forsythe seem capable of doing more. I'd also add McBride to that list. She has really strong technique (just needs to tone down her huge grin) and debuted one of principal leads last fall in Symphonic Variations. I do not think Post, Bond and Giangeruso can or should take on demi-or soloist roles (Giangeruso repeatedly under-delivers in soloist roles, in my opinion).

5 minutes ago, nanushka said:

I just today noticed that Fang is now listed for two performances of Mercedes/QofD in Don Q. Don’t think that was the case when that casting was originally posted.

She was cast a few weeks ago; she took two of the TBA's that had been on the calendar for quite awhile.

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Hamrick has been injured. She returned for one performance of Giselle, but seems to have been absent after that due to injury.

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I was going to ask if anyone had seen Bethea at all this season, because I sure haven't.

Brandt is definitely MVP this (among non corps since they dance so many shows). She has quite a few principal assignments, but has been dancing a very heavy soloist load. We'll never know, but I'm convinced that she was scheduled to do at least one of the peasant pas that Lane ended up doing (remember that she announced her matinee one the same day of the performance, and the second one not long before the evening show). Definitely props to her. It's a shame that Trenary is not 100% back from whatever injury she had, but dancing Gamzatti and two Columbines next week will be taxing. I suppose she can then take a break until Whipped Cream starts.

I was surprised by Lane's post, but I suppose the theory that this allows stronger corps women to dance the corps shade makes sense. Of course, if I were a corps dancer and they took away two of my shade trio performance I'd be disappointed.

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Bethea was injured last season as well, wasn’t she?

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I didn't attend any performances last year, but based on reports and her own Instagram she spent the entire MET season in Arizona. If she's injured again, I hope she's able to recover. The other option is that she left ABT recently, but she's still listed on the roster (both on the website and on the playbill).

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I truly believe that a company that considers itself world class should have a number of corps members who can step up to the plate and do Peasant Pas (which is standard ballet technique) and the Shades. These dancers went through the 2nd company, presumably doing more difficult things. Many of the women have done the Shades variations in competitions. If Kevin M is serious about home grown talent he should have corps people on notice to be prepared for these things. Imagine being in a company in which opportunity can be thrown your way? If it happened regularly in ABT a lot more people would be ready.

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1 hour ago, vipa said:

I truly believe that a company that considers itself world class should have a number of corps members who can step up to the plate and do Peasant Pas (which is standard ballet technique) and the Shades. These dancers went through the 2nd company, presumably doing more difficult things. Many of the women have done the Shades variations in competitions. If Kevin M is serious about home grown talent he should have corps people on notice to be prepared for these things. Imagine being in a company in which opportunity can be thrown your way? If it happened regularly in ABT a lot more people would be ready.

Interestingly Lane had the worst go of the first shade variation I've ever seen.

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Report on Friday June 2nd Performance

I don't think I'd say that Lane had the worst go of the variation ever, but she clearly got into her head too much as the variation progressed. She appeared to be thinking about nailing those triple pirouttes (there was a momentary pause before each turn/she was sitting in plie and not going right into it) and I think a double with the nice extension out would've served her better. She feel off pointe in the releves in arebesque coming down the diagonal. When she misses something up on stage, she seems to always have this "I completely give up/defeated look" that makes it quite obviously she messed up and its not covered up well. I think she needs to stop doing that... 

I had a hard time understanding why they cast Stephanie Williams. First off- did she cut out one of the first develope sequences, by walking out to the music vs. starting right on the music? I don't recall seeing that before. Also she was really really struggling to get up on pointe and the accent on her movements always seemed to be "down". I think the point of that variation is that everything is "up" to show the balance/control. Shevchenko did "okay", but for a principal cast in a soloist role- she didn't really knock it out of the park. I keep remembering that video of Osipova doing that variation and she really brought the house down. Shevchenko did a reliable job, but it wasn't a slam dunk. 

The corps de ballet tonight was just "okay" in the beginning of the second act (coming down the ramp, etc.). The tempo did seem a bit fast though. However, as the act progressed, they were ALL over the place. Not well rehearsed at all (bad lines, not together, arms/legs at different heights). It's sad to see the corp de ballet at a "world class company" look that amateur. Also in the pas d'action scene, many of the demi-soloist groups of 4 women- looked horrible. Some seemed to barely be able to get through it. Many of them couldn't jump at all and the big group of women were all over the place. The corps men looked like school kids compared to the men that danced it in the last ABT run. 

However, the night belong to the principals. Hee Seo really surprised me. She mostly nailed it tonight (slowish start in Act 1). There were moments in the beginning that she seemed to be trying to be "pretty" vs having a real character that dances from the "soul". But, as the night progressed- especially in the 2nd Act she nailed it. It's great to see her finally making progress. She looked at home with Kim. They have a really good partnership (strong partnerships seem to be lacking at ABT). Maybe ABT can entice him to join, even if only as a regular guest for the Met Season. Kim is perfect for Solar. A few times, I wish he was more princely- but I can't think of a better role for him than Solar. Murphy, as always, really delivered. In the first act, she seemed to overpower Seo. But, by the third Act- Seo took more ownership of the stage (seemed to be more confident). My only complaint is that the flower basket that kills Nikiya in the 1st Act didn't really look like a flower basket from where I was sitting. Did they change it out from their last run of Bayadere? I also thought Seo rushed through the snake biting scene. I remember it being way more clear that Nikiya was bit by a snake (I think the snake was held at her neck for a few seconds to make it clear she was just bitten). I had to explain to my friends with me what happened/how she died. I'm not sure if that was a miss on Seo's part or an edit in the production. 

 

 

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Re Lane: Not enough rehearsal perhaps? I was afraid this could happen. That variation is hard because if you're off the music pretty much everything else gets messed up. Hopefully tomorrow goes better for her. I'm glad Shevchenko did fine, although I'm sure she would have given a great go with more rehearsal time. Speaking of rehearsal time, for the sake of the company, I hope they give their shades more of it next time they stage this production. It sounds like the unsteadiness problem was more than just nerves.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, LadyBubbles said:

Re Lane: Not enough rehearsal perhaps? I was afraid this could happen. That variation is hard because if you're off the music pretty much everything else gets messed up. Hopefully tomorrow goes better for her. I'm glad Shevchenko did fine, although I'm sure she would have given a great go with more rehearsal time. Speaking of rehearsal time, for the sake of the company, I hope they give their shades more of it next time they stage this production. It sounds like the unsteadiness problem was more than just nerves.

Why do we think this 3 shades cast was a last minute switch? They were listed in the program.

17 minutes ago, Dancerboy90210 said:

Report on Friday June 2nd Performance

I don't think I'd say that Lane had the worst go of the variation ever, but she clearly got into her head too much as the variation progressed. She appeared to be thinking about nailing those triple pirouttes (there was a momentary pause before each turn/she was sitting in plie and not going right into it) and I think a double with the nice extension out would've served her better. She feel off pointe in the releves in arebesque coming down the diagonal. When she misses something up on stage, she seems to always have this "I completely give up/defeated look" that makes it quite obviously she messed up and its not covered up well. I think she needs to stop doing that...

She did 4? 5? releves and then stopped walked and eventually did a few more before the end of the sequence.

Honestly if I saw a dancer in the corps do that I'd think they'd be lucky to ever get another shot at a solo.

Edited by aurora

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Ah, now that's different. Interesting though, scheduling 2 principals to perform the shade trio on the same night. I'm sure ABT has its reasons for its casting decisions, although I don't always understand them.

I do wonder how much rehearsal time both dancers had considering they had a major debut 2 days ago, and they are both working on even more debuts in the next few weeks (Columbine and Kitri for Lane, Pierrette and O/O for Shevchenko). It's no secret that we can't give everything the same degree of priority.

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3 minutes ago, LadyBubbles said:

Ah, now that's different. Interesting though, scheduling 2 principals to perform the shade trio on the same night. I'm sure ABT has its reasons for its casting decisions, although I don't always understand them.

I do wonder how much rehearsal time both dancers had considering they had a major debut 2 days ago, and they are both working on even more debuts in the next few weeks (Columbine and Kitri for Lane, Pierrette and O/O for Shevchenko). It's no secret that we can't give everything the same degree of priority.

Agreed. It is a problem with the packed met season certainly.

I would say I really didn't think the corps looked bad tonight. There were bobbles certainly in that side developee after they are all in formation, but I don't think I've ever seen that NOT have bobbles. No one looked like they were going to lose it tonight.

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Posted (edited)

Kim owned the met tonight, the house was very well sold. His jump are just priceless, what an elevation, he devoured the met stage with those jetes !.  To me he has it all, he projects big, he is elegant, a superb partner and his technique is just amazing. I wish they could bring him full time for the met season at least ! He brought the house down with all his solos.

Seo danced beautifully, her lines are to die for, those arabesques, my gosh, her upper body and port de bra are just gorgeous. Now, after she has clearly worked on her technique, her dancing in coming along together much better. I have seen her three times in raw  making no mistakes, and delivering great performances, so since I was a big detractor before, its time to eat my words and say brava. This is a role that I think she still has to develop, particularly the snake-scene in Act 1 and some sections of her variations in act 2, during which she seemed rushed and a little behind the music. Overall, she looked really stunning, and very confortable with Kim, they look beautiful together. 

Gillian delivered, as usual. I just love her Gamzati so much. Her Italian fouettés were solid, her fouettés had plenty of triples pirouettes and ended also very well. The fight scene was very well played, by both, her and Seo, I was relatively close and really loved this.

Sadly, the three shades were just a disgrace. Lane started relatively well, but shortly after she started the releves en arabesques, she fell off point, but even worst was how she continued,  she walked some steps  to fill in the music and got back on point at the very end, it really looked awful. I know some people mentioned before that she can be inconsistent, and that showed today. In the last 10 years, I have seen her doing this many, many times. Anyone can have an off night, but thats not how you recover from a mistake, she is simply making it look even worst. Next, Williams performed one of the ugliest 2nd shade variations that I remember, I am not going to even comment on this, it was just really bad, from beginning to end. Shevchenko was the 3rd, and also looked quite terrible to me, the ending in particular was horrific, I literally thought that she wd lose balance and fall, luckily she pulled a very awkward move and managed to stay on point. 

The shades had some good moments, and some not so good moments but they didn't look that awful to me. Definitely there were some significant wobbles a few times, but not to the extent of making me think that they would lose it.

Overall I thought Kim, Seo and Gillian delivered a truly fantastic show. 

 

Edited by Classic_Ballet

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Posted (edited)

Tonight was a significantly better night than Wednesday, with a few exceptions.

First off, Kimim Kim - holy cow! From the moment he entered, before even taking a step, I knew this would be a different performance. He came charging out full throttle, energy through the roof, piercing eyes, full body alive and commanding. That's how you make an entrance fellas! His gravity-defying jumps coupled with amazing speed gives new meaning to "gasp-inducing". After his first solo in Act I, the audience was in such a frenzy that he had a bit of a laugh across his face while he took a long bow, as if he couldn't understand why the audience was going nuts. Surely he must be used to such a reaction? He is also a gifted actor and told Solor's story so clearly through beautiful mime with lovely nuances.

He and Seo were a gorgeous pair, and I was very surprised at how beautiful and technically proficient she was. I haven't seen her in a full-length lead in quite awhile, and given the bad reviews she often gets here, I had low expectations. She had no major issues and in fact handled most everything extremely well. She does excel at lyricism, so that suits her well in Nikiya. Her extensions were incredibly high and easy and there was no falling off of pointe that I saw anywhere. Her balances were short, however, especially during the one-handed ones with Kim. She nailed the scarf dance. Although she was dramatically engaging, I will say that the one thing missing was the soulfulness and total body commitment that Lane had. But, it was still an exquisite performance.

It's also been awhile since I've seen Murphy in a full-length, and, I hate to say it but her technique is quite diminished. She's been such an amazing and respected principal for so long, but age is a awful thing for a dancer. Her wealth of experience shows however, in how she carries herself and in her stage presence. I hope the younger ones are taking note of that. But, that is not enough for a technically demanding role. It's an interesting thing that her legs have remained incredibly strong for the most part, and flexible, but not her back and torso (she can still do a 180 degree penche arabesque but her upper body is further down). She looks quite different from the waist up compared with her lower body. Her arms kept losing shape especially during turns and you could see her shoulders creeping up time and again. She got through the Italian fouettes but she was clearly relying on the brute strength of her working leg to whip her up and around. She had more convincing success with the regular fouettes throwing in plenty of fast doubles. Despite her strong legs, her jump is diminished and her big jetes took everything she had. Dancing next to a really young Superman did her no favors. A better Gamzatti for Kim would have been Shevchenko. 

On to the corps and the Shades, who, thank the ballet gods, did much better than the other night. The D'Jampe dancers had it together for the most part and were led by Hurlin and Fang who did a great job. The Shades were far less shaky and more in sync. Surprisingly, Richardson was still taped as the first shade, followed by I think Wanye Qiao and then apprentice Zimmi Coker. I forgot to report that Coker was a standout the other night in all of the sections she was in, and tonight was no exception. She has great promise. Richardson was initially too quick to end the arabesques, again, but after a loop or so when I imagine she could see the other Shades, she finally got in sync. Once they were all in formation, the developes were much more solid. Still a bit of wobbling but nothing like the other night. Having Coker and McBride in that first row was a brilliant decision. They were so solid and both project really well. I really hope to see great things from both of them. 

I was so focused on the Shades (i.e. biting my nails) that I totally forgot about Lane and Shevchenko, so it was especially jarring to see 2 principals come out in the trio. And, by the way, their names were in the program so this was obviously not a last minute casting decision. The trio started out well, with Stephanie Williams seeming to hold her own, and then the solos started. Lane was gorgeous and secure till the hops in arabesque when she lost her footing half way through and had to stop and then start again. Shevchenko was terrific though had a bobble/awkward moment coming out of a turn. Williams' solo was an embarrassment. Her feet were sickled and turned inward in several places, she got "stuck" while trying to transition from one step to the next, and she even looked to lose her coordination. When those things weren't happening, her dancing was just poor.

Joey Gorak turned in another stellar Bronze Idol. Wow. Arron Scott was the head fakir, and though he did a fine job, he pales next to Shayer's wild and raw interpretation and tremendous jumps. Always good to see Zhurbin in an acting role, as the High Brahmin. He is superb.

Edited by ABT Fan

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Thank you for the reports. First of all, I'm glad Murphy's Gamzatti is still looking strong. I never got to see her Nikiya, but I always loved her Gamzatti. I'm sure it's not as strong as it was a decade ago, but she set a pretty high standard for herself. And not surprised that Kim stole the show. He's fantastic and his Solor is amazing.

As for the three shades, wow, it sounds like a terrible night all around. I know Lane has the bad habit of letting the entire audience know when she makes a mistake (especially if you're up close or are using opera glasses). But walking some steps to fill in the music sounds bad. I hope she was just psyched out and it's not a problem with an ankle (or shoe, I once, long ago, had a shank completely bust while practicing that same diagonal - not cute). As for Williams, Dancerboy90210 mentioned that she cut out the first developpe sequence. That's so bizarre. I don't recall ever seeing something like that. I wonder if it was planned that way or if she just made it up.

Here's hoping that things go smoothly for everyone tomorrow.

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Seo was quite good today to my surprise. Is this my lucky day? I will have to see her in SL to find out. I didn't expect to see that lightening fast pique turns from her at the end of the Act2. Knowing her history I thought she might wobble at a random point but she did not. She held onto her legs as she went backward in arabesque hops then continued with some well executed chaines turns to exit. Her scarf variation went very well and she didn't fall off from her point!(She had to fudge one of the landings but she still was able to land in good 5th position) Her jumps and port de bras were never the issue and they were beautiful as usual. Whatever she's doing for her physical training, please keep on doing it.

Everyone already have written about Kim's spectacular dancing. It's a pity that Kim only dances twice with ABT this year. He is a great Basilio and NY ballet fans deserves to see it live. Like other Russian guest male dancers in the past(ie Shyklyarov) he uses every corner of the huge MET stage. 

Murphy did made some technical mistakes(usually in turns where she almost came off pointe. she covered them well though) but I loved the nuisance in acting that comes from her experience (how she naturally handed her wedding crown over to Aya in Act 1 or how she walked towards Solor at the end of the 2nd Act). 

The corp in 2nd act was way better than Wed Evening. The shaky legs during the balances always happens and it wasn't as bad as the Wednesday performance. Lane's mistake was more visible one but Stephanie Williams actually had more problems throughout her variation. I also noticed her sickled foot and turned in legs. Shevchenko was the better one out of the 3 shades but she didn't do anything exceptional.

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I am at the Saturday matinee. The first intermission report..... Trenary never disappoints! A fabulous first act debut, and I am completely enjoying both Teuscher and Ahn. 

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