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Colleen Boresta

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Everything posted by Colleen Boresta

  1. I'm off to see Cinderella with Reyes and Gorak. Will post about it in a couple of days.
  2. As I recall the Prince doesn't get to do very much in Ashton's Cinderella. He basically has to be an excellent partner. That's just the way the choreography is.
  3. I'm going to see the Saturday matinee with Reyes and Gorak and I'll post after I see it. I just wanted to say that I only saw the Ashton Cinderella once live. That was in 2004 when the Royal Ballet came to Lincoln Center as part of the 100 years of Ashton's birth celebration. I really enjoyed it, especially as compared with the Kudelka and Stevenson versions of Cinderella I'd seen ABT dance. Tamara Rojo was Cinderella and she was wonderful. I forget who danced the Prince because the dancer was very forgettable. I felt, however, that the ugly Stepsisters, danced by Antony Dowell and Wayne Sleep stole the show. For a long time, the Ashton version of Cinderella was the only version I liked. That was until last fall when I saw the San Francisco Ballet dance Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella. I absolutely loved that.
  4. I was also at the Saturday matinee and it was just as magical as everyone has posted. MacMillan’s ‘Manon’ only works if the dancers become the characters, especially the dancers performing the roles of Manon and Des Grieux. This is definitely the case when Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes take on the roles Saturday afternoon. Their acting is so real, so natural. At the start of the ballet Manon is a young girl who has grown up both poor and ashamed of her poverty. She soon, however, reveals her attraction to all things money can buy. Vishneva’s dancing shows clearly how Manon is transformed for an innocent girl to a seductive courtesan. She also reveals how Manon is trapped between her love for Des Grieux and her love of luxury. In Act III Vishneva’s Manon is a broken woman who is redeemed by De Grieux’s devotion. This allows Manon to die in peace. Gomes’ DesGrieux is a naïve young student whose life takes a dark turn when he falls for the young courtesan. Through both his dancing and acting, Gomes displays Des Grieux’s joyous love for Manon in Act I. When Manon leaves him for G.M., Gomes’ pain is heartbreaking. He will do anything to win Manon back, including cheating at cards. (Among 18th century gentlemen murder was excused. Cheating at cards was not.) At the end of the ballet, when Manon dies in his arms, Gomes’ Des Grieux’s despair is so palpable that the tears are running down my cheeks. As fantastic as Vishneva and Gomes are separately, together they set the Metropolitan Opera House alight. They are such a perfect twosome that their images from ’Manon’ are forever engraved in my mind’s eye. Their passion even continues in the bows where Vishneva is honored for her ten years of dancing with American Ballet Theatre. Other performers stand out too. Herman Cornejo is a wonderfully sleazy Lescaut. His dancing is thrilling with Cornejo performing lightning quick turns and pas chats, where Cornejo springs into the air like a cat. He is very funny in the Act II soiree as an obviously drunk Lescaut’s dancing is both bravura and off-center. He is even funnier when he dances with his mistress who is performed by Misty Copeland. It must be difficult for such a great dancer to perform so badly. Copeland’s mistress is wonderfully done. Both her dancing and her acting are first-rate. Victor Barbee’s characterization of Monsieur G.M. is a powerful one. As the Louisiana jailer Roman Zhurbin adds another rich portrayal to his already vast arsenal. All the characters in the ballet are extremely memorable – from courtesans and gentlemen to the beggars in the courtyard. ABT’s production of ‘Manon’ is a fantastic one which I hope they dance for years to come.
  5. was also at the matinee. Vishneva and Gomes became the characters for me. Their performances were so alive and real. I'll post in more detail in a day or two. I also want to say I was able to meet some ballet alerters before the ballet. It was great seeing Abatt again and meeting Canbelto.
  6. I have a quick question. Does anyone know if ABT offered discount tickets at the atrium when they were at the David Koch Theatre last November. If they didn't, then maybe it's ABT policy as well as the Met's.
  7. I agree totally with Vipa about Andrew Veyette. He has it all - great parnering as well as great leaps and turns. And he's a good actor as well. He was absolutely hysterical in The Concert. And you know what the great actor Edmund Kean said over two centuries ago - "Dying is easy. Comedy is hard."
  8. I would definitely not see Julie Kent. I was very disappointed seeing her in La Bayadere in 2010 where she basically just sketched the steps. I have seen Reyes in Giselle twice (once with Corella and once with Cornejo) and both times she was wonderful. I know you said you can't make Herrera but if your schedule changes my advice is don't see Herrera as Giselle. I saw her dance the part in 2006 and was very disappointed both by her acting and her dancing. I've never seen Semionova dance Giselle but she seems too strong to me. I don't think I could buy her having a weak heart. I'm seeing Cojacaru. I haven't seen her live but I saw her in a dvd and she was fantastic. I saw Hee Seo dance Giselle in 2011 and she was very good. However she danced it with David Hallberg. I don't know about Hammoudi as Albrecht.
  9. I think Veronika Part would make a wonderful Manon. And James Whiteside could be the male lead. (I can't remember the guy's name right now). I saw Part and Whiteside in La Bayadere. Whiteside managed those lifts with Part beautifully. I can't believe Whiteside isn't dancing in Manon this year. I find him to be a very good actor. I agree that Stella Abrera would make a good Manon. I think Gillian would be as well. Her acting has gotten to be very good in the past few years. What about Hee Seo. She was wonderful last year in A Month in the Country and Onegin, both times with Hallberg.
  10. Thank you so much ABT Fan for posting this video. Maybe ABT is trying to address criticism about all the guest artist. But what the various dancers are saying has been the ABT company line for a long time. In the City Center performance dvd of 1998 (I think that's when it was filmed) Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie and various ABT dancers are saying the same things they're saying in this recent video. ABT has dancers from all over the world, we have many different kinds of training, we dancemany different kinds of ballet, etc., etc., etc.
  11. I saw Reyes in the role of Manon in 2006 . She was totally miscast. I can't believe she's still dancing the role. I have loved Reyes in many ballets, among them Don Q, Giselle and Sleeping Beauty. But not Manon! I'm sorry but I don't think there's one sensual bone in Reyes' petite body. I have a ticket to the Saturday matinee and I am so excited. If any Ballet Alerters are attending the May 7th matinee maybe we can meet up before the ballet or during the intermissions. Let me know. Oh, I forgot to mention. Reyes danced with Angel Corella when I saw her in Manon in 2006. He was really great!
  12. Here is my more detailed review of the June 1st matinee. The first ballet on the program is 'Concerto Barocco' set to Bach's "Double Violin Concerto in D Minor". The leading ladies on Sunday afternoon, Rebecca Krohn and Abi Stafford, are tolerable, but I far prefer Maria Kowroski and Sara Mearns in the leading roles. I missed seeing how Kowroski and Mearns complement each other. I don't find this quality in Krohn's and Stafford's performances. The next piece is 'Other Dances', a pas de deux choreographed by Jerome Robbins to Chopin piano music. The ballet was created for Natalia Makarova and Mikhail Barysnikov in 1976. On Sunday it is performed by Ashley Bouder and Joaquin De Luz. It is a fantastic duet performed with virtuosity, flair and humor. After the intermission it is time for 'Neverwhere' which was choreographed by former NYCB principal Benjamin Millipied to music by Nico Muhly. It is a strange work performed in almost total darkness. The stage is so black that I have great difficulty identifying the dancers. The costumes are futuristic in design, made of some kind of black plastic material that crinkles when the dancers move. The women's boots are also toe shoes which is a new sight for me. The music is loud and somewhat atonal. Is this a ballet I would choose to see again? The answer is a resounding no! The afternoon ends on the highest of notes with George Balanchine's 'Who Cares?'. It is set to 33 George and Ira Gershwin songs. The first part of the ballet features ten female corps dancers and ten soloists - five girls and five boys. The piece comes into its own when the soloists dance to classics like "Do Do Do" and "Oh, Lady Be Good". All these dancers - Erica Pereira and David Prottas, Brittany Pollack and Peter Walker, Emilie Gerrity and Allen Peiffer, Megan LeCrone and Harrison Coll and Lauren King and Devin Alberda - are equally wonderful. Then the lights are lowered and the second segment of 'Who Cares?' begins. This section of the ballet has often been compared to Balanchine's 'Apollo'. There is one boy and three girls. Each girl dances once with the boy and once by herself. Then the boy dances a solo. 'Who Cares?' ends with the entire company performing to "I've Got Rhythm". The weakest of Sunday's principal dancers is Savannah Lowery. Lowery lacks the sparkle and coltish playfulness of Teresa Reichlen in her solo to "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise". Ashly Isaacs is demurely coy in her pas de deux with Robert Fairchild to "Embracable You". She tosses off limitless fouettes and chain turns with aplomb as the orchestra plays "My One and Only". Isaacs is a performer with great charm and personality. It is hard to believe that she is still in the corps. I hope Ashly Isaacs is promoted to soloist before too long. As good as Isaacs is, the real standouts in 'Who Cares?' are Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck. Fairchild's timing, his phrasing, even the snap of his fingers - all remind me of a young Fred Astaire. When I first saw Tiler Peck in 'Who Cares' (June of 2010) I found her to be the equal of Patricia McBride, the role's creator. Since then Peck has surpassed not only McBride but her own incredible performances in the ballet. It's hard to fathom but Peck keeps just getting better and better every time I see her dance. Her solo to "Fascinatin' Rhythm" shows off Peck's timing and musicality. The way she plays with the music is just delightful. Her precise footwork is equally amazing. I have yet to see anyone whirl across the stage at such a breakneck pace. Peck's duet with "the man she does love" (she and Fairchild are getting married this summer) is magical. The luminous yearning of their love brings tears to my eyes. If only NYCB would replace Santo Loquasto's tacky and garish costumes 'Who Cares?' would be a perfect ballet. That being said, it was a splendid afternoon at the ballet.
  13. Here is a more detailed report of NYCB's May 31st matinee performance. The afternoon begins with Balanchine's 'Walpurgisnacht Ballet' choreographed to music from Gounod's opera Faust. There are three principal parts in 'Walpurgisnacht'. They are danced by Sara Mearns, Ask la Cour and Lauren Lovette. Sara Mearns is breathtaking in this ballet. She dances with joyously complete abandon. At the end of the ballet she whirls across the stage at a breakneck pace. The last moment of the piece shows Mearns flinging herself freely into la Cour's arms. He then balances her on his shoulder as the curtain rings down. Ask la Cour is a superlative partner for Mearns but I find his individual dancing to be merely adequate. La Cour is also lacking in personality so even though he's about 6'5" he never commands my attention. Lauren Lovette and the surrounding female corps de ballet are especially lovely in 'Walpurgisnacht Ballet'. The second work of the afternoon is Justin Peck's 'Everywhere We Go'. It is set to a commissioned score by American singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens. Stevens also wrote the music for Peck's 'The Year of the Rabbit'. I, however, like 'Everywhere We Go' much better than 'Rabbit'. There is a lot going on in this ballet, so much so that I need to see it several more times before I really understand the work. Peck is especially good at choreographing for large groups. There are many gorgeous and inventive dance patterns to be found in 'Everywhere We Go'. Peck is weaker when it comes to creating pas de deux. It's something the young choreographer needs to work on. All the dancers are wonderful, but, as usual, a few really stand out. Andrew Veyette impresses with his amazing jumps and turns. Sterling Hyltin is all charm and lightness. The strongest duet is between Robert Fairchild and Amar Ramasar who shadow each other's gestures and movements. 'Everywhere We Go' is an absorbing ballet whose choreography fits the music seamlessly. The last piece of the afternoon is the iconic Balanchine work 'The Four Temperaments'. It is set to a commissioned score by Paul Hindemith and premiered in 1946. 'The Four Temperaments' was the first Balanchine ballet I ever saw live (way back in February of 1980). As new as I was to ballet at the time, I didn't appreciate this abstract leotard ballet. It wasn't long, however, before I grew to love 'The Four Ts'. Every time I see it, even all these years later, I find something new to wonder at. Sean Suozzi has grown in the role of "Melancholic". I really feel his desolation. He dances with a weight that seems to be pulling him into the earth. Sara Mearns and Jared Angle are superb in the 'Sanguinic" duet. As "Phlegmatic" Ask la Cour is colorless. I miss Albert Evans and the sly sense of humor he brought to the role. Ashley Bouder is considerably shorter than most dancers who dance "Choleric" but she has such a commanding presence that it works for me. And the fantastic ending to the ballet - those lifts, the hand gestures, the pointed attack of the dancers' bodies - all still have the power to amaze me. May New York City Ballet dance 'The Four Temperaments' forever!
  14. I just wanted to know if any posters saw ABT's Coppelia. If so, I'd love to read reviews of any of the performances of this comic gem. I have two ABT subscriptions so I had two tickets to Coppelia. I switched both of them to Wednesday matinee performances. The last time ABT danced Coppelia (which I'm almost positive was 2011) I noticed how much weaker it was than the NYCB Balanchine/Danilova Coppelia. I thought that was strange because Frederic Franklin staged ABT's Coppelia and he had a famous partnership with Alexandra Danilova at the Ballet Russe. From what I understand they danced Coppelia together many times. What I also find strange is that Alistair MacAuley agrees with me about ABT's Coppelia. That's a rareity. Anyway his review is in today's New York Times. Again, anyone who saw ABT's Coppelia, please post.
  15. I'll post more in a few days but I just wanted to say that I too was at the Sunday matinee and I agree with what abatt, cobweb and canbelto have said about the performances. Concerto Barocco was fine, though I could have done without the see the music segment which seemed to go on forever. Also I far prefer Maria Korowski and Sara Mearns in the lead roles. Other Dances with Ashley Bouder and Joaquin de Luz was just perfect - great dancing, great flair, great humor. Neverwhere was just weird. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. And who knew that leather boots could also be toe shoes? In Who Cares the principal dancers were superb, except for Savannah Lowery. I thought she was fine, but nothing special. Ashley Issacs was wonderful. I want to see her in more ballets. Is she only in the corps? Hopefully she'll be promoted to soloist before too long. And Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild. They just get better and better. Interestingly three of the principals got a second bow after their solos (as did Peck and Fairchild as well after The Man I Love). Thoe only dancer who didn't get a second bow was Lowery.
  16. I'll post a more detailed review on Monday or Tuesday, but I just want to say that Sara Mearns was absolutely breathtaking in Walpurisnacht. As the third lead Lauren Lovette was just lovely. Ask la Cour (replacing Adrian Danchig-Waring) is a good partner, but when he dances alone he loses me. His technique is nothing special. And in the Four Temperaments as Phlegmatic (sorry if I misspelled it) he was absolutely colorless. I really miss Albert Evans and the sly sense of humor he brought to Phlegmatic. I did like Sean Suozzi in Melancholic and Sara Mearns and Jared Angle were wonderful in Sanguinic. Ashley Bouder is considerably shorter than most dancers I've seen dance Choleric but she has such a commanding presence that for me it works. I really loved the new Peck. There is so much going on that I need to watch it a few more times to really get the full measure of it. I have to say that it held my attention completely. I like it much better than Peck's Year of the Rabbit. I do agree, however, with the critics who said that Peck needs to work on his pas de deux. His .choreography is much stronger in the group dances
  17. I'm off to see NYCB's matinee - Walpurgisnacht Ballet, new Peck and The Four Temperaments. Will post about it probably on Monday.
  18. After seeing his superb Solor I was looking forward to seeing Whiteside in Cinderella. That being said, I think it will be a good role for Gorak. I really want to see Gorak get bigger parts at ABT and move up to soloist and then who knows? I'll let you know after I see the June 14th matinee. On the subject of the good looking von Rothbart I don't the dancer needs to be tall but he does to be imposing and menancing. I saw Cory Stearns in this role a couple of times and he was not at all imposing. Cory often reminds reminds me of a puppy dog if that makes sense. He was a wonderful Prince Desire in Sleeping Beauty and though I've never seen him in the role I can see him as Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake. But in no way is Cory a good villain (in my opinion anyway).
  19. Interesting to read such different views on the same performance. That's one of the things that makes this site so good. Also, I just wanted to add, choriamb that I think Stella Abrera's portrayal of Gamzatti is a particularly good one. I agree with you with regard to Hee Seo and the spoiled rich girl characterization. But Abrera goes way beyond that (in my opinion anyway).
  20. Thank you so much Balanchinette for your review of the Tuesday night performance. When I saw on the casting page online that Ask la Cour and Megan Fairchild were going to be in Who Cares? I had my doubts. Unfortunately, as I've found out via your wonderful review, my doubts were realized. I am so glad I am going to see Peck and Fairchild in Who Cares? on Sunday. You are right, Balanchinette, once you've seen Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild in Who Cares? you don't want to see anyone else.
  21. Living in Staten Island I can't get into Manhattan for tonight's La Bayadere. But I have heard so many great things about Olga S. I hoping those of you who attend tonight's evening performance will post about it.
  22. Wonderful review Faux Pas. Thank you for writing it so quickly. I saw Hee Seo as Gamzatti in 2010. It was one of her best roles. Sorry to heart about Shklyarov's problems. As you said I'm sure lack of rehearsal time and nerves had a lot to do with it.
  23. mimsyb you've said that the May 24th evening performance was "perfection" and "simply stunning" but I'd love to read a more complete review (when you have time of course). I would also like to read about the May 26th evening performance. Obviously I can't go to every performance but reading about them is the next best thing.
  24. Here is my more detailed review of Saturday matinee performance of La Bayadere. Veronika Part is a dancer born to play the part of Nikiya. She is a wonderfully lyrical performer with glorious extensions. Her beautifully pliant upper body clearly shows Nikiya's despair when Solor becomes engaged to Gamzatti. Part's Nikiya is an innocent young girl. Her love for Solor is her whole world and she cannot understand the machinations of the High Brahmin, the Radjah and Gamzatti. In the Kingdom of the Shades Part shows off her powerfully high grand jetes. She is the perfect vessel for Ludwig MInkus' score. I have only one small quibble with Part's performance. Her turns at the end of Act II lack speed. Having seen Part dance Nikiya in the past (with Marcelo Gomes) I was expecting a great performance from her. This is my first timeme however, seeing James Whiteside in a leading role in a full length ballet. His Solor is a revelation. Whiteside stands out for his soaring leaps with the softest of landings. His double barrel air assemble turns are spot on. Whiteside's Solor truly loves Nikiya but he is a man of the world. He knows a lowly temple dancer can never marry a noble of the warrior class. That being said, Nikiya's death brings Solor to the edge of misery. After he has seen Nikiya in the Kingdom of the Shades, Whiteside's Solor knows that he will never willingly marry Gamzatti. Fortunately the gods are on Nikiya and Solor's side (the side of true love) and as already mentioned at the end of La Bayadere Nikiya and Solor are reunited in the afterworld. As magnificently as Part and Whiteside dance separately, magic occurs when they dance together. Whiteside is a wonderfully attentive partner and the chemistry between Part and Whiteside is palpable. As much as I loved the chemistry between Part and Gomes, I now look forward to seeing Part and Whiteside perform together for many years. Stella Abrera delivers a marvelous characterization of Gamzatti, the Radjah's daughter. She is a haughty beauty who has learned much about treachery and deceit from her father. Abrera's Gamzatti really loves Solor and she believes this gives her the right to do anything to win him. Overall Abrera's dancing is strong though she does fall off pointe at the end of the betrothal ceremony. Thomas Forster's High Brahmin needs more work. I miss Victor Barbee's flesh and blood portrayal of the role. Grant DeLong is a powerful Radjah who radiates command and authority. Joseph Gorak is the best Bronze Idol I have seen since Herman Cornejo. The Bronze Idol dances a brief but incredibly difficult solo which involves speeding up and braking at a breakneck pace. I don't think Gorak is yet up to the level of Angel Corella or Cornejo, but he's close. I don't understand why Gorak has not been promoted to soloist. No review of La Bayadere would be complete without mention of the female corps de ballet in Act II. I doubt that there is any more beautiful sight in classical ballet than the moment when the Shades float down the ramp in the moonlight, their leg stretched out behind in arabesque position. I see one or two tiny bobbles once the Shades reach the stage, but they do not detract from the magic. Overall the corps arabesque are well timed and in sync.
  25. I definitely agree with Kaysta and ord7916 about the Saturday matinee. I will post more in a day or so but it was so beautiful and many of the performances (especially Part and Whiteside) are still playing in my head. Having seen Part dance the role twice with Gomes, I knew what a perfect Nikiya she would be. Whiteside was the revelation. Great dancing, great acting, palpable chemistry with Part. I loved the Part/Gomes partnership but now I'm looking forward to a new partnership with Part and Whiteside. The shades were much better than when I saw them two years ago. Just a tiny bobble or two when they reached the stage. Joseph Gorak was the Bronze Idol. I don't think he's quite up to the level of Corella or Cornejo in the role but he was very close. Definitely the best Bronze Idol I've seen since Cornejo. Why isn't Gorak a soloist? Maybe at the end of the season after he dances Frantz in Coppelia he'll be promoted. I truly hope so. ord7916 brings up an interesting point about the placement of the Bronze Idol solo in La Bayadere. Overall I prefer Makarova's version of the ballet, but in the Bolshoi version for example (I've been watching the dvd) the Bronze Idol solo is part of the divertisements at Gamzatti and Solor's betrothal ceremony. I think this solo fits better there.
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