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Everything posted by Batsuchan

  1. I totally agree with abatt!! Tonight was one for the ages!! I was in the orchestra, and it looked pretty packed. Don't miss Vishneva & Gomes in Romeo & Juliet! I can't wait!!
  2. Well, Diana and Marcelo just about killed it (and killed me!) in tonight's performance! The couple from California who were sitting next to me thought it was unbelievable. James Whiteside was a dignified Prince Gremin; Isabella was a cute and perky Olga, and she seemed to have real chemistry with Jared Matthews as Lensky. I'm seeing both shows tomorrow, so I'll elaborate more later! But for now, a hearty bravo to Marcelo and Diana!!
  3. Hallberg is out for all the Taiwan and Korea performances, see updated casting here: http://www.abt.org/calendar.aspx Wishing David a speedy recovery!
  4. So agree. What about Joseph Gorak? YES, YES, YES!!! Every time Gorak is onstage, I always end up watching him. So effortless and elegant! During the R&J dress rehearsal where Gorak was Benvolio, I kept wishing he were Romeo instead of Hammoudi...
  5. Somehow I mangled my earlier post but I've fixed it now. He will be joining as a soloist, but presumably he will do some leading roles...?
  6. I for one and actually glad they are doing Nutcracker earlier in December. The last two years I haven't been able to see it because I've already left to go home for the holidays... It is a bit dismaying to see that there are so few performances though.
  7. James Whiteside from the Boston Ballet will be joining ABT as a soloist. The source is here: http://www.dancetabs...quixote-boston/ I don't know anything about this dancer, so I'm not sure what this neans for future promotions or casting...
  8. Hi theo, I also got the same link from the most recent ABT's Pointe of View newsletter. Not sure if that's the only place ABT gave out the link... Hi theo - I actually came across the link randomly while browsing photos on Pinterest, but I'm guessing that the poster got it from that newsletter. ;)
  9. Well, congrats to Marcelo, I guess! I'm very glad he won't be leaving ABT!!
  10. Hmm, I don't think I saw this posted anywhere, but ABT has a gallery devoted to Angel and Ethan photos, in honor of their farewells: http://www.abt.org/gallery/detail.asp?Gallery_ID=117
  11. Well, perhaps Alex Hammoudi could partner her in these ballets? I also would not mind seeing Tom Forster or Eric Tamm get more lead roles, both of whom have partnered her recently (albeit not for the lead roles in a full-length ballet).
  12. Natalia, thanks for exciting news. I'll definitely add that to my Blu Ray collection. Hope it'll be ready by Christmas. There's dearth of Vishneva video on the market. @ Natalia, given the amount of coverage Vishneva has devoted to these performances on her Facebook page (2 posts), I'm guessing that she plans to participate in this engagement. http://www.facebook....252826048061382 Personally though, I'd much, much rather see her cast with someone other than Ivanchenko--like Kolb, or even Zverev! Going back on topic--I'm excited about "A month in the country," though I've never seen it so can't really comment. I'd also be excited to see an Osipova/Vasiliev Don Q, or even a Osipova/Simkin Don Q, though I'm guessing they might cast Simkin with Kajiya as they did on the Japan tour last year.
  13. First, thanks to mussel for the inside info!! I'm already excited about next year's season!! I have no idea what her motivations are, but if she REALLY IS acting the way people on this board credit her with (and you all do it without criticizing her)--refusing to dance with anyone but Marcello, refusing to do roles to the point of calling in sick to avoid them, etc--then I really think she should be a "guest artist" and free up one of the principal positions. I know she is a star, but that is being a Diva. If you are going to be in a company you should treat it with a modicum of respect. I have no idea if any of this is true. Its the impression, however, I've gotten from what people here who seem to be her fans are saying. I totally agree that a dancer needs to treat a company (as well as his/her fellow dancers, choreographers, staff, etc) with respect! But let's not jump to conclusions and malign someone's character based on nothing more than some speculation! I was not around for the 2007 season, so I can't comment on Vishneva's withdrawals then, but since I've been watching her (from the 2009 season, since she was injured for all of 2008), she's only withdrawn FROM one performance with only a few days notice--this year's 5/25 "La Bayadere." I too may have been suspicious/cynical about her motives (OHHH, maybe she doesn't want to share the stage with Natasha??!), except that I had seen her with my own eyes at the stage door after her 5/19 "Giselle," when she emerged wrapped in a down jacket and sporting a nasty-sounding cough. As for her preference for dancing with Marcelo Gomes--and she does make it quite clear on her Facebook page that he is her favorite partner--I don't think that is necessarily unreasonable and a sign of a difficult diva. For me, personally, all their performances together over the past two seasons have been magical, and it seems that Marcelo enjoys dancing with Diana just as much as she enjoys dancing with him. At the ABT Spotlight Seminar I attended on June 5, Marcelo could not have been more effusive about Diana, sentiments that are echoed in his interviews: http://www.ocregiste...ister-peck.html ...and on his Twitter page: https://twitter.com/...tus/15627488723 So when Diana and Marcelo are cast together, it seems like a win-win situation to me: Diana's happy, ABT'S Most Valuable Player Marcelo is happy, and the audience (hopefully) is happy. One of my friends remarked that it is a privilege and a pleasure to watch their partnership grow, and I totally agree. Needless to say, I would be beyond thrilled to see them cast together in "Manon." As for the other casts, I bet Julie Kent would also be one of the Manons, and they could certainly bring back Cojocaru. They could also give one of the ballerinas two of the shows, as they did with Vishneva in "Giselle" last year, or Cojocaru in "La Bayadere" this year. I also suspect that they would give Hee Seo the opportunity since they seem to be grooming her for these dance-actress roles... @ Birdsall - I'm guessing part of the reason why ABT doesn't alternate ballets during the week is because of money--it's expensive to move sets around.
  14. Ethan was spectacular, Gillian's pirouettes were unbelievable, Marcelo was his marvelous, fun-loving self, Stella was gorgeous and Sascha was an admirable partner! Not much more to add from me....during the bows/flower ceremony it was sweet to see all these dancers from the past as well as Ethan's family. But I was also wondering about the notable absences--where was Veronika Part (again?)? And David Hallberg? At any rate, it was literally a explosive way to end the season! Thankfully POB will be here or else I'd be having a major case of ballet withdrawal!
  15. At this point, I've seen the Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri "Le Corsaire" performances, and last night was the most fun for me so far! I felt like everyone was really going for it (perhaps because Vasiliev was there), so Simkin, and Cornejo were really flying around. I agree that Reyes seemed to be a little shaky in Act I, but I felt like she was also inspired/energized by the crowd's enthusiasm and reeled off some crazy fast pirouettes and chaine turns in Act II. And with her, I always appreciate the attention she pays to her partners--it really enhances the chemistry. And she and Cornejo had GREAT chemistry--I thought their Act II p.d.d. was the most seamless and touching of all the ones I've seen so far. As for Vasiliev--I agree that he is exciting to watch, and he certainly gets the crowd going, but I actually preferred Simkin as the slave. He also gets incredible height, but his lines are so much nicer and cleaner, and I was VERY impressed by the difficult variations he was able to achieve in his pirouette sequences. Looking forward to tonight!
  16. I'm totally gutted for Stella. I'm not at all surprised by the Hammoudi promotion, but from what I saw in the R&J dress rehearsal, he still needs A LOT of work. I also expected Seo to be promoted to principal eventually, but I didn't expect it to be so soon! She also needs to work on her bravura technique, in my opinion. Well, here's for hoping that they prove me wrong, and prove to be totally worthy of their promotions! Based on this decision, I think Boylston will be up for principal next (and Simkin)...the management seems to be content to leave the senior soloists where they are...
  17. Amen to that!! I've never seen "Manon" live, so this is definitely on top of my wish list! (But really, I will take the two of them in anything!) I'm also curious to see "Mayerling" but that seems less likely to happen.. My guess is that they will bring "Onegin" and "Firebird" back again next year, in keeping with the recent premieres.
  18. I don't have much time, but just a quick note to say that tonight's performance was totally awesome (and I don't even like "Le Corsaire" that much)! They certainly put on an all-star cast, and everyone seemed to be so excited to see Ethan Stiefel--and he looked fantastic! Gillian was totally on, Marcelo was marvelous as always, Stella looked so happy and gorgeous as Gulnare, and it was lovely to see her dancing with her husband Sascha Radetsky (even if he was one of the "villains"). Craig Salstein is a fantastic character actor, and he was a delightfully evil Birbanto. Sarah Lane, Adrienne Schulte and Isabella Boylston were the Odalisques. Is it just my imagination, or is Isabella dancing with even more authority now that she's got one SL behind her? It will be so sad to see Ethan go, but at least we get to see him twice before he leaves!
  19. Thank you for that pictures!! It just warms my heart to see these two leading lights of the Mariinsky hanging out together. Diana also posted several pictures of the two of them on her Facebook page: http://www.facebook....252826048061382 According to her page, she was in Paris at the beginning of the week, and I suppose that these engagements kept her from performing in "Swan Lake" as originally scheduled and attending Corella's farewell....? (But, seriously, where was Veronika Part??) I admit that I was rather disappointed when Diana pulled out of "Swan Lake," since I really, really enjoyed her performance with Hallberg in 2010, but at the time, I did also wonder if she refused to dance with anyone but Marcelo! She certainly has been effusive about him on her Facebook page, even calling him "my one and only"! http://www.facebook....252826048061382 Marcelo and Diana's 2009 white swan p.d.d. was the most spellbinding and beautiful I have ever seen (in my admittedly short viewing history), and I would certainly love to see them dance SL again... ...But I digress. I shall try to gather my thoughts and write more later, but I highly enjoyed Vadim Muntagirov as Siegfried. It seems like a lot of people found him bland, but I thought he was perfectly cast as the young and naive prince! And somewhat contrary to my expectations, Julie and Marcelo were gorgeous and so romantic on Sat night. Marcelo is not a natural prince, and it's tough to believe him as naive and innocent, but OH, he looks at Odette with such love and devotion! And reaches such a fever pitch when Odile appears. Thank you, Marcelo, you made the ballet for me!
  20. I noticed that little mishap too! Forgetting to partner your wife--that's a big OOPS!! I also thought that Maria was fantastic and just looked so happy dancing. She better come back next season or else I will be totally crushed! *** Well, I had quite an exciting afternoon! You could feel the anticipation in the theater for Isabella Boylston and Daniil Simkin’s debut performance, and they totally delivered! This was not a perfect performance—and I do think both have areas where they can improve—but it was technically accomplished, even spectacular at times, smooth (no partnering mishaps), and in the end, perhaps even more moving than Polina and David last night! David is a gorgeous, gorgeous dancer, and he has spectacular grand jetes, but he doesn’t crank out the big tricks like Daniil does. Sometimes Act I feels a little slow to me (are the swans here yet??), but every time Daniil had a chance to do a solo, it was like WOW! Those huge leaps, those turns like a top! Daniil is much more petite than David, but he also has very nice lines, thanks in part to his very flexible back, which gives him a lovely stretched arabesque. He used those slowly turning attitude arabesques to great effect in his "sad" solo--they seemed to perfectly express his desire for something more. But outside of this solo, I wasn't quite sure what to make of Daniil's Siegfried in Act I. His expression almost seemed a little...smug? He did not strike me as particularly lonely/shy or bored of the court life, nor did he seem innately noble. I felt a little bit like I was seeing Coppelia’s Franz pretending to be a prince--but hopefully this will be something Daniil works through as he performs the role more. Thankfully, Siegfried appeared to be in good company. Joseph Gorak was absolutely gorgeous as Benno (he is fast becoming one of my favorites), and he looked very well matched with Christine Shevchenko and Devon Teuscher in the p.d.t. Both of these girls are about the same height and build, and they made quite an attractive trio. The dancing was quite lovely too. In Act II, Isabella Boylston really impressed me. She may not have Polina's long lines nor her mastery of the role yet, but she certainly has the technique and the beautiful feet! She had total command of the steps and some beautiful balances. She did a good job of telling Odette’s story, but I think she could develop more of Odette’s character—I didn’t really feel for her Odette like I sometimes do for others. Nonetheless, she and Daniil delivered a beautiful White Swan pas de deux, though I admit that the chemistry was a bit lacking. Isabella’s backbends were very lovely, and I liked that Daniil let her start falling for a second before reaching to catch her. Indeed, Daniil handled the partnering just fine—even the overhead lifts—but I realize that he doesn’t have to do much: Isabella is so strong and well-balanced that she can basically partner herself! She didn’t need much help from him. The swans looked lovely once again in Act II, and the cygnets were perfect. Oh, and I have to mention that the solo violinist has miraculously improved—or else they hired someone else for this week. I was totally preparing myself for some truly awful off-notes, but last night and today, the solos were almost pitch-perfect! THANK YOU!! After Act II, I felt like the performance really took off. Isabella seemed more at home as the party girl Odile, and Daniil seemed to be genuinely bedazzled by her—and here I actually started to believe the chemistry. It seemed like they finally clicked, and when that happened, I felt like their dancing rose to another level in the Black Swan p.d.d. Daniil seemed invigorated by dancing with Odile and he really went for it in his variation—really spectacular jumps ended in a deep fifth position plie and those crazy like-a-top pirouettes. Isabella followed suit, speeding through her pique turns in the circle before coming back for a nice set of fouettes with several doubles thrown in. Daniil’s fouettes a la seconde were, of course, amazing, and by the end of the p.d.d. the crowd totally erupted. Bravo! And then after those ecstatic highs of the p.d.d., the world came crashing down when Daniil’s Siegfried realized his mistake. He stumbled around, he fell to the floor--he looked totally, utterly devastated. No smug prince here anymore! And this is what made Act IV unexpectedly moving—more so than last night, for me. Here Daniil’s boyish appearance actually heightened the tragedy—he looked so small, so vulnerable, and so devastated. And when Isabella’s Odette made it clear that there was no choice for her but death, he pleaded with her to stay with him, clinging to her with all his might. So when she dove off the cliff, he took off running after her and soared through the air as he jumped in after her. (People actually applauded when he jumped.) And in the end, in the clouds, they just stood there holding each other as if to say, “We did it!” Bravo! ** I’m going back tomorrow for Angel’s farewell. That’s going to be an epic performance, I know!
  21. Polina and David were absolutely gorgeous together tonight! They just look so perfect together--such lovely, long, uber-lean lines! Of course David's Siegfried wasn't impressed by all those other princesses--he needed someone as beautiful (and tall) as he! Polina's technique is astounding--her absolute surety in her movements, no wobbles whatsoever, perfectly centered turns, triple fouettes, gorgeous extensions, they were all there! Perhaps Polina's greatest strength is her amazing and effortless balances--and she certainly milked every one she could (though sometimes this caused her to end up behind the phrase). Her characterizations are equally unforced, totally natural, and yet quite effective--I feel like I can feel her emotion in her spine and back, and THAT is always something that I look for. She had lovely chemistry with David's Siegfried as Odette, and almost-simmering-over chemistry as Odette. In the second time that she raises her arm to halt Siegfried's approach, she held her palm out to him, and then seductively curled her fingers--what a tease! Even the way she pointed her leg out so that she could sit in the swan position seemed suggestive. This was an excellent performance. Okay, perhaps the party scenes looked a bit messy, but the pas de trois was very nicely danced by Stella Abrera, Maria Riccetto, and Sascha Radetsky, and I thought the swans looked fantastic in Act II. Alex Hammoudi was a very striking and suave von Rothbart though probably not as technically spectacular as others. My friends and I enjoyed this performance very much, but if I had to be 100% honest, Polina's performance last year with Marcelo was probably slightly more exciting for me. Not only was it Polina's debut in ABT's "Swan Lake," but David got injured so there was a last minute partner switch, and I was a little worried how it would turn out but confident that Marcelo would handle it, and then both of them totally exceeded my expectations! I wish I could go to see Polina and David again on Friday, but I can't, so I will rely on your reports!
  22. OOH, that is so exciting!! She's one of my favorites! Can't wait to see her onstage myself!
  23. Stella Abrera, Maria Riccetto and Sascha Radetsky are dancing the p.d.t. on Tues and Fri night, as per Maria's tweet: https://twitter.com/...775211561918464 I was at the dress rehearsal today and Act I was danced by Boylston & Simkin--if the p.d.t. cast is the same (sometimes they mix casts for the rehearsals) it will be Christine Shevchenko, Joseph Gorak, and Devon Teuscher. I bought a ticket for the Boylston/Simkin matinee, so I guess I will look for you there, Natalia? As for Julie--I saw her Odette last year with Carreno, and I thought it was beautiful and touching (though perhaps a little rusty on the technique). In "The Bright Stream" I thought she had some of the nicest, easiest, prettiest single fouettes, but I don't expect her to be doing triples like Polina did in the rehearsal today! Kent's balances are still quite good, and I heard she pulled off an amazing one last Friday in "The Dream," so that could be a highlight in Act III as well! I won't really comment on the rehearsal (I don't think that's fair), but I will say that jumping into the lake must be much harder and scarier (and potentially more painful) than it looks! It was pretty funny watching the dancers practice!
  24. Here are some gorgeous photos from Friday's Vishneva/Gomes performance (mostly of the bows/curtain calls): http://angeladebona-diary.com/?p=368 It was so adorable/touching to see their mutual affection and gratitude!
  25. I just came back from a heart-wrenching performance with Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg! In the same way that Roberto Bolle seems to be an ideal Romeo to me, Alina Cojocaru is definitely the ideal Juliet for me (since I've had the misfortune to never see Ferri live--a shame, I know). She looks like she's 13, and it doesn't feel like she's acting as all--she just IS Juliet. She definitely made the ballet for me! In the final scene, a pang went through my heart when she screamed, and when she stabbed herself, she immediately collapsed to the floor. "Oh no, how is she going to get back onto the bed??" I worried. And watching Alina slowly, painfully crawl her way back onto the bed, stretching each finger out over the surface in an effort to reach Romeo was utterly, completely devastating. Kobborg was also very effective in the death scene, and at the end, I just felt totally spent. Although they may not have reached the mind-blowing heights of passion in their balcony scene like Vishneva & Gomes, they had a lovely and touching connection, and they totally broke my heart at the end. As it should be! I'm sure I'll have more to add later after I've recovered a bit, but for now, BRAVO!
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