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  2. Got to see a nice T&V tonight. Teuscher is lyrical and soft in the role, Stearns bobbled the tours/pirouettes from fifth sequence but was otherwise adept, the demi men (Sebastian, Forster, Frenette, Royal) looked strong, and Williams sparkled among the demi women. This isn’t necessarily a T&V on par with City Ballet’s, but it’s quite good nonetheless, and ABT brings something new and different to the ballet. I had to leave after the first act due to some work surprises, but they also announced a number of cast changes in Seasons — maybe another BA poster will be able to report back.
  3. Yesterday
  4. With regard to Hamrick re promotions, she’s been injured quite a lot in the last few years and also was out for maternity leave for awhile. When you’re not dancing, you’re not going to be promoted.
  5. Thank you! I had forgotten about this one!
  6. I've often wondered if NYCB's 21st Century T&V ballerina casting has been more or less dictated by the requirements of its male roster. When Ashley, Nichols, and Kistler were dancing the role, the company had a luxury contingent of taller men to partner them like Sean Lavery, Adam Lüders, and Igor Zelensky. Lavery certainly put the lie to the contention that the male role is better suited to a shorter dancer: I think he was something like 6'3" and all legs.
  7. My go-to reference for Balanchine insights is Nancy Goldner's Balanchine Variations. Jewels is in this one: https://www.amazon.com/Balanchine-Variations-Nancy-Goldner/dp/0813032261/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_138&sr=8-1-fkmr0
  8. Yes, I remember Nichols and Miranda Weese as the ballerinas in T&V at NYCB back in the day - both commanding Ballerinas with a capital B. I really don't understand the current trend in casting T&V at NYCB. I too would love to see some taller ladies cast in T&V. It is said that short guys can better handle the demanding male solo, but I have vivid memories of Damian Woetzel thrillingly dancing the male lead.
  9. During the first decade or so of my NYCB-watching career, I only saw taller dancers like Merrill Ashley, Kyra Nichols, and Darci Kistler perform T&V's ballerina role. Nothing against Fairchild, Bouder, and Peck, but I wouldn't mind seeing some of the company's taller women get a shot at it—and would very much have like to have seen Teuscher dance it.
  10. I'm seeing the Mariinsky in Jewels this weekend, and I *love* to brush up on my history before seeing a show. It makes it all last longer. I already have chapters of Apollo's Angel's and Holding on the Air bookmarked — along with plans to re-listen to a PNB/Doug Fullington podcast. But does anyone have any other recommendations? I wish a there was a proper Balanchine biography already...
  11. I don't disagree with this thought. But if influence and press brings in revenue, it'd make much more sense coming from someone else. Hamrick gets a lot of press for her personal life and additional gigs in comparison to many of her colleagues.
  12. Nice article in the NYTimes https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/22/arts/dance/melanie-hamrick-retiring-ballet.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront
  13. I think the context matters — she was basically asked why she never got promoted, and she cited multiple possible reasons (including her own flaws): "So I feel it’s all of those combinations."
  14. I'm thrilled for Forster, and yes, I think it's possible he could be promoted. ABT has shown that it's willing to promote dancers to principals at relatively late stages of their careers. I think it's pretty clear by now that Hammoudi, Gorak, Scott and Zhurbin will almost certainly remain in the soloist rank for the remainder of their ABT careers. I'm afraid the same may be true of Hoven, based on how he's been cast in recent years, despite his often excellent dancing. Royal remains a "maybe" when it comes to principal potential, but I haven't been particularly impressed by him lately. That leaves Ahn, Bell and Forster as the ones with the most principal potential, at least to my mind. Didn't he injure himself at the end of the previous Met season? I remember him being replaced in something. Not sure if that may be related or not. It's certainly true, as well, that he went from being given what seemed like endless chances to prove himself, to being barely cast at all.
  15. Not sure which promotions she is referring to and how far back she is citing. We can only speculate. Many on this board, however, have in the last 4 years or so wondered in these posts whether one ballerina’s promotion to principal was based more on her ability to bring in revenue by filling the theater than by her ability to execute the difficult, classic prima ballerina roles. As to other promotions, whether to principal or soloist, or lack of promotion of artists many ballet aficionados feel are deserving, I have no idea. If Melanie does not want to identify instances in which politics played a role in promotions, perhaps she shouldn’t have opened this can of worms.
  16. Hammoudi is cast so infrequently anymore, I’ve been wondering if he’ll retire soon. Management has sent him a strong message.
  17. The announcement of the Spring season should be very interesting. It seems that there will be many debuts in important lead roles. Anyone know what is happening with Hammoudi. He seems to have disappeared.
  18. So did everyone catch Melanie's observation that promotions at ABT are "political".
  19. Naturally this isn’t on ABT’s site yet. Very glad to see Forster cast. With a Siegfried and Albrecht debut coming, is it possible he’ll be promoted? Still surprised no Copeland.
  20. Shorter ballerinas, of course, can appear regal and/or take on serious roles. Up until this ABT run, I had only seen Theme and Variations with the three NYCB women mentioned. It is undoubtedly exciting to watch a tall ballerina like Devon Teuscher perform the part.
  21. So the pairings Swan Lake Detroit are up and will be Devon and Cory, Isabella and Joo Won, Christine and Tom and Hee and Aran. I wonder if we will see a repeat at the met.
  22. Here it is: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/22/arts/dance/melanie-hamrick-retiring-ballet.html She did a nice job in Apollo on Sunday.
  23. The NYTimes has just posted an announcement that Melanie Hamrick is retiring at the end of the fall season. Nice interview too. Sorry I don’t know how to link it here.
  24. With respect to the comparison of ABT and NYCB in T&V, NYCB has been casting soubrette types in the lead role for a very long time - Megan Fairchild, Tiler Peck, Bouder. For me, it is always interesting to see a regal type of ballerina take on the role, such as Devon Teuscher.
  25. [Admin message] If you have a problem with a subject, use the report button, and the Moderators will consider it. Do not discuss the discussion. Also, when dancers are leading their everyday lives and not making social appearances or posting to social media, aside from benign observations like "Saw him shopping at Safeway*", that belongs to dancers leading their everyday lives. *Does Safeway still exist? [/Admin message]
  26. When preparing to watch Theme and Variations with ABT, I hardly expected the company to equal let alone surpass the magnificence of NYCB's performance with Tiler Peck and Joaquín De Luz last fall. Although no match for NYCB's production, ABT's possesses its own loveliness, and is worth seeing. Moreover, even slower speeds adopted by ABT cannot deprive this ballet of all its beauty. Certainly Sarah Lane's performance would have been more effective with stronger partnering; however, I enjoyed it nonetheless. Far from being reluctant to see Theme and Variations with ABT again, I await with eagerness Devon Teuscher's second performance tonight. On the other hand, what an unquestionable boon to be able to view ABT's excellent production of Apollo—with the prologue and apotheosis—also! In either version, Apollo is a stunning success for Balanchine and Stravinsky, and a defining work of the art form. Two or three casting choices for the Muses caused a little uneasiness beforehand; nevertheless, the dancers in both casts—Joo Won Ahn, Stella Abrera, Katherine Williams, Melanie Hamrick; Calvin Royal III, Hee Seo, Christine Shevchenko, Zhong-Jing Fang—proved well-matched. (There was nothing wrong with the pleated tunics of the Muses either.) Of the other five ballets included in ABT's first two programs this season, a couple are premieres, one premiered last spring, and a pair are older works unfamiliar to me. From way up, the luminous flooring of the stage effectively becomes the background for the dancing, and makes all the proceedings in A Gathering of Ghosts appear more tedious. A seat in the orchestra is preferable in order to at least observe the shapes made by the "Ghosts" against the black backdrop. Still, a puzzling new ballet by Twyla Tharp, whose best moments are in the second movement with the four consorts and Cornejo. During my first viewing last Thursday—from the orchestra—Ratmansky's The Seasons was spellbinding throughout, and elicited wonder at the choreographer's seemingly inexhaustible capacity to create material of such beauty and originality as to make a variety of dancers truly shine. A second viewing from the fourth ring caused a more muted reaction, partly attributable to the unfolding ballet's deteriorating color palette. There is little doubt, however, about the exquisiteness of the Winter section, which drew memorable performances from Aran Bell (Winter), Katherine Williams (Frost), Devon Teuscher (Ice), Catherine Hurlin (Hail) and Luciana Paris (Snow). Of the two pas de deux, I preferred the one from the late 1980s. Even though the songs by Tony Bennett are evocative and lovely, Let Me Sing Forevermore unavoidably comes across as being part of a dance competition. The music by William Bolcom and greater sense of intimacy in Some Assembly Required (1989) are more appealing for a ballet. Some of Clark Tippet's choreography in fact feels artificial and overdone, yet the piece also contains moments of great depth of feeling. Fine dancing from the two casts of both works! What a remarkable achievement and a welcome addition to ABT's repertoire is Twyla Tharp's Deuce Coupe, a ballet created in 1973 to songs by The Beach Boys. Music, costumes, scenery, lighting and choreography blend beautifully and consistently throughout, reaching a thrilling apogee with "'Cuddle Up’ — The Pas" as the cast (the women in lovely orange dresses) dances against a new-sprung blue backdrop. Yet the haunting aspect of this work is the presence of the woman in white—its sole ballerina! The juxtaposition of her movements—combining effectively with the rock music to a surprising extent—with the popular dancing by her counterparts is striking and affecting. Certainly there was outstanding work by many dancers in both casts of Deuce Coupe I saw. My gaze Saturday afternoon, however, riveted on a radiant Katherine Williams as the ballerina. And on Sunday afternoon, it fastened on Christine Shevchenko, who offered such a breathtaking display of beauty, skill, precision and control as to appear dancing the part surrounded by a halo.
  27. I guess I am one of the many few who saw her in her prime --1940's---I wrote about that time on my blog, "Ruminations" which is available on this site.
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