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Highlights from 2001?

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Ashley Tuttle and Malahkov (sp?) in Tsch. Pas at City Center.

Peter Boal in Ballo in Parma riding the music and lighting up the stage.

Carla Korbes in Divertimento #15, the perfect melding of dancer and role. And the rest of the cast was lovely also.

Ringer in just about anything, she's so happy to be dancing it makes me happy.

Van Kipnis as Dewdrop, a vivid, musical, glowing performance last Sat. night.

Opening night's Serenade - it may not have been the most perfectly danced performance of this ballet but it was THE BALLET I needed to see.

Whelan as Odette - she was passionate and lyrical and made me believe every moment.

Kathleen Tracey as the stage manager is Variations Serieuse. Also the "mop" quartet.

David Gordon's "FamilyDeathArtCom.edy" at Danspace especially the final ppd with Gordon and Setterfield. It was a beautifully simple depiction of a long and loving marriage/relationship.

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I don't think one can close the book on 2001 without noting that it was the year that Irina Dvorovenko started essaying the Violette Verdy repertory, dancing both the Sylvia and Tchaikovsky pas de deux at City Center. I imagine Emeralds must be next.

I suspect we may look back on 2001 as year One of AB -- Ashley Bouder. Between her sensational debut in the soloist role of La Source, and her even more sensational Firebird (I hope to see her Dew Drop before Nut concludes), well, it's the stuff of legends. Not that Carla Korbes isn't wonderful, too, but Bouder seems so fully formed as an artist. She's not just strong and musical and dramatic, she's savvy -- she dances like an older, or should I say more mature artist.

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I'm trying to think. I'm trying to think. Hmmm.

Peter Boal in everything he danced during the Farrell mini-season here. Jonathan Howells as Alain in "La Fille Mal Gardee" with the Royal.

Not the richest ballet year in D.C. This year promises to be better.

As for new ballets? None. For new (or new-to-me choreography) I found this only in modern dance. I'm going to start a 2001 wrap up on the Dance Forum too.

Calliope? Your turn to chime in!

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Seconding Manhattnik on the advent of Bouder, but combing through my notes, this is the year I became a believer in Alexandra Ansanelli because of her performances in Two and Three Part Inventions and especially Polyphonia.

The performances of Monumentum Pro Gesualdo at NYCB.

The debutantes in Divertimento No. 15 at NYCB (let's not forget Kristin Sloan when we mention Carla Korbes) and Miranda Weese's performance as their leader, as well as Megan Fairchild doing the same role for the SAB workshop. Legs whirring and flashing, she embroidered the stage.

Julie Kent and Jose-Manuel Carreno in Giselle at ABT.

Not for the brief performances, but for the stories and remembrances, the LeClercq memorial service stays with me.

Greta Hodgkinson's Mozartiana at the National Ballet of Canada.

Regrets and disappointments? That Pascale van Kipnis' rise at NYCB seems to have stalled utterly. Kristin Sloan's injury, as well as Miranda Weese's.

And honestly, impolitely and biasedly, a final highlight: my own works, especially Green and Midare. Would I keep doing this if they weren't the highlights of my year?

[ December 19, 2001: Message edited by: Leigh Witchel ]

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It was a hard year. I was trying to think of highlights.

Performance wise. I'm glad Jessy Hendrickson is back and healthy at NYCB. Disappointed in the stall of van Kipnis and Rutherford, especially the latter.

ABT getting rid of some management.

The promise of ABT bringing La Fille this year coming up.

There was no Diamond Project this year smile.gif but we have one next year.

Diana Vishneva (I know I spelled that wrong) I saw her for the first time, stunning.

It was a bit of blah kind of a year for me.

Again, on a non-performance basis, I liked some of the marketing campaigns of both NYCB and SFB, they joined the 90's at least in the photography.

And I have to reiterate finding some redemption in the young corps at NYCB in the Snow scene. For the past few years it's been sloppy and the girls looked bored out of their mind.

And one last hurrah. Melissa Barark, a woman choreographer!

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The beautiful tribute to the late Tanaquil LeClerq sponsored by NYCB last Winter. What a wonderful evening it was. And, to top it off, I was sitting a mere 10 feet away from Jacques D'Amboise!! smile.gif

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Oh, how could I forget that wonderful Giselle that Kent danced with Carreno? It was all the more moving because I hadn't been expecting that kind of performance from her at all!

I think our last, but not, I hope, final, look at Kyra Nichols came during the Winter gala in January. If she decides not to return, I couldn't ask for much more of a parting memory than the beautiful and subdued way she danced Titania's love duet with Bottom (as a donkey) from Midsummer.

Also, I thought Green and Midare were both lovely, Leigh. I remember how badly the Upper West Side smelled of the fires downtown as I walked to that little theater, and how welcome your work proved to be. If anything, I thought Midare was even more moving than A Shropshire Lad. Although I'd probably have been happy watching Peter Boal tie his shoes for twenty minutes, I'm glad I got quite a bit more than that.

Some of the comments here got me to realize that many of the high points of 2001 came to me from enjoying the professionalism and prowess of dancers whose careers have hit major road blocks. Meunier, the Incredible Vanishing Principal, was never less than sensational when actually allowed to perform. Van Kipnis is as radiant as ever (oh, please, cast her in Aurora!). Rutherford, who should've been a soloist long since if there were any justice in the world, keeps turning in one sweetly understated performance after another. Tinsley, of whom I was never all that fond on her way up, seems to be transforming herself into a very different and more interesting dancer, even though she dances not all that often. And Ansanelli has quietly become quite fascinating out of the spotlight. I give all these artists tremendous credit for not throwing in the towel even when things continue to be rough for them.

[ December 19, 2001: Message edited by: Manhattnik ]

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I completely echo Manhattnik's last paragraph.

If there is a Santa Claus maybe he'll bring Rutherford her promotion next year.

I forgot to mention Kathleen Tracey. She seemed to have a come back and reclaim her grace and hillarity.

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Just saw the most recent NY Magazine, there are top ten lists from many critics in many art forms but not from Tobi Tobias in Dance. Second class citizens again.

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I'll start off with the Kirov's summer season in London. Some of the highlights that I can remember are:

-Diana Vishneva's radiant Aurora, as the Rubies ballerina, and in the 3rd movement in Symphony in C. (She was also moving in Manon which I saw at the Maryinsky in October.)

-Svetlana Zakharova as the Diamonds ballerina, and as Terpsichore.

-Andrian Fadeyev's noble Prince Desire in Sleeping Beauty, and his moving Apollo. He also showed his dramatic talent as Lankedem in Le Corsaire; and as the composer Schnitke in Neumeier's "Sounds of Empty Pages" premiered in St. Petersburg this year.

-Anton Korsakov in 3rd movement of Symphony in C, and in the pas de trois in Emeralds.

The Stars of the Bolshoi season in London

-the beautiful Svetlana Lunkina in the Giselle pdd, La Sylphide pdd with Dmitri Goudanov.

-Goudanov superb in Flower Festival pdd and La Fille pdd with Anastasia Goriacheva.

I also admired Alina Cojocaru and Angel Corella in the Royal Ballet's Don Quixote.

[ December 19, 2001: Message edited by: Kevin Ng ]

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My highlights of the year 2001 include

--the 1st Mariinsky Ballet Festival in St Petersburg.

--Diana Visheneva and Igor Kolb as sublime Aurora and Prince Desire in the Sleeping Beauty--the Kirov's summer season in London

--Sylvie Guillem in A month in the Country and Alina Cojocaru in Romeo & Juliet

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My highlights (though there were loads of other great performances):

- May - Gala for Anthony Dowell

- November - Alina Cojocaru and Angel Corella in Don Quixote

- December - Darcey Bussell's return in The Nutcracker.

- Wendy

[ December 24, 2001: Message edited by: wjglavis ]

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At NYCB -- Ringer ruled last year's Winter season, riding a crest through Divert. #15, La Source, Donizetti, Spring from Four Seasons. Weese did the same during the Spring season in Theme and Variations, Cortege, Act II pas de deux from Midsummer Night, Divert. #15, Fall from Four Seasons and Sanguinic from 4Ts.

Four Temperments stands out for its perfect performances. First off, it was cast perfectly, with all four humors performed by principal dancers (Boal, Weese and Neal, Evans, and Meunier). The result was a classic ballet that was alive in every way.

Other highlights include:

The all-too infrequently seen Meunier in anything she and us had the luck to turn up in, but especially Walpurgisnacht Ballet.

Ansanelli and Marcovici in Afternoon of a Faun. Marcovici exuded pure animal magnitism.

Ansanelli in Polyphonia, Korbes in her debuts in Divert and Midsummer, Kistler and Hubbe in Duo Concertant, production of Monumentum/Movements

Both casts of Divert, Whelen and Hubbe in La Sonnambula, Bouder in La Source and debut in Firebird, Somogyi and Evans in Appalachia Waltz, Boal in everything he danced.

At ABT, I enjoyed the rise of Gillian Murphy in Theme and Variations and Swan Lake, Dvorovenko in Sylvia Pas de Deux, and Stiefel in Symphony in C.

Goh in Scotch Symphony and La Sonnambula with Suzanne Farrell Ballet at NJPAC.

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--Dances at a Gathering -- last performance in February. Even from the last row of the last balcony, we could delight in Ringer in the yellow dress.

--Kent's Giselle (sorry but many men of ABT tend to mug to the audience, milking for applause after every sequence and it mars my memory of their work. Can't someone make them stop that?

--The Royal Ballet's corps in La Fille. The character dancing was wonderful (seconding Alexandra here) but the corps -- creating a "character" in its exquisite precision and of-one-piece personality -- was a revelation.

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From Toronto

~Evelyn Hart's Titania in Ashton's "The Dream".

~NBoC's premiere of Madame Butterfly with Chan Hon Goh and Aussie newcomer Geon Van der Wyst, performed with Serenade.

~Chan Hon Goh and Aleksandar Antonijevic in Mozartiana.

~Xiao Nan Yu in everything, especially Solitaire.

~Summer outdoor performance of Romeo and Juliet by Greta Hodgkinson and Van der Wyst.

From my trip to NYC

~Ethan Stiefel as Solor in Act 2 of La Bayadere.

~NYCB's Firebird with Margret Tracey and Charles Askegard.

~Appalachia Waltz with Somogyi, Ringer, and Evans. It was also nice to listen to the choreographer speak about her work in the "ballet talks" before the show.

~Tanaquil LeClercq memorial was beautifully done, and I wish I had seen her perform live before.

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POB's PAQUITA...nothing comes close to this stunning production & equally stunning dancing by soloists & corps alike!

Royal Ballet in DC, especially SYMPHONIC VARIATIONS, especially Tamara Rojo and Alina Cojocaru in this ballet on opening night. Then, of course, there were the filigree feet of Miyako Yoshida as Lise in FILLE, a couple of nights later.

Leonid Sarafanov (of Ukraine) dancing Balanchine's TARANTELLA at the Bolshoi (at the Moscow IBC in June); Sarafanov has since joined the Bolshoi...

The artistry of Japan's Misa Kuranaga, also at this year's Moscow IBC. Does anyone know if she joined San Fco Ballet, as reported? Terry - anyone?

Tatiana Chernobrovkina's Kitri at the Stanislavsky...WOW - where has SHE been hiding, during western tours?

My new discoveries among Bolshoi soloists: blonde handsome Dmitry Gudanov & tall raven-haired bombshell Lola Kochetkova(who danced Nijinsky's wife Romola in recent premiere by Lavrovsky).

Nadezhda Gratcheva's Aegina in SPARTACUS. Totally wicked...meeeowww! Since when has Aegina stolen the show from Spartacus & Phrygia? Gracheva did it at the Bolshoi a couple of weeks ago.

Renata Pavam's glimmers of greatness as a first-year corps dancer with ABT...reminds of my 'spotting' Ringer in the NYCB corps ten years ago or Vishneva at the Vaganova Acad seven years back. A spellbinding presence. And the new POB-school graduate (class of 2001), Aurore Cordellier, was impossible to miss at the academie demonstrations last January...a carbon-copy of Vishneva at age 17...stunning. Wait 'til Americans get a look at her!

I'll think of more later...Happy Holidays, all!

- Jeannie

[ December 28, 2001: Message edited by: Jeannie ]

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