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Colleen Boresta

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Everything posted by Colleen Boresta

  1. I also attended the Wednesday matinee of Sylvia and thought Part was just perfect. I totally agree with the posters who have already said what a great peformance it was. And what a wonderful ballet. I wish we didn't have to wait for 4 or 5 years to see it again. I hope that's not the case this time. As already mentioned, Gomes was his usual superb self. This was the third time I have see James Whiteside (as Orion) and the most impressed I've been with him. Everyone in the cast was fantastic - from the goats to the peasants to all the mythical creatures. And the score! My god it's beyond gorgeous! And the ABT orchestra played it very well. I have to say the orchestra has been consistently excellent during ABT's Spring/Summer season at the Met.
  2. Here are my thoughts on Hee Seo's debut in 'Swan Lake'. American Ballet Theatres production of Swan Lake is staged by artistic director Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. This adaptation of Swan Lake has several major weaknesses. There are two von Rothbarts, one handsome, the other monstrous. The ballet begins with the two von Rothbarts turning Odette into a swan. Seeing Odette as a young girl at the start of the ballet takes away much of the magic of the Swan Queens entrance in Act II. Seeing the ugly von Rothbart cuddling a stuffed toy swan (after Odettes transformation) is embarrassing to watch. Other problems with ABTs production of Swan Lake include the attractive von Rothbart getting his own solo in Act III. This solo makes no dramatic sense and just makes me wish it would end so the Black Swan pas de deux can start. The most serious defect in ABTs Swan Lake is that so much of Act IV has been eliminated. Without a more complete final act, much of Odettes sorrow and Siegfrieds desolation at his betrayal of Odette are lost. Due to the incredible performances of ABTs dancers, the July 19th matinee of Swan Lake is well worth seeing. As I mentioned earlier, Hee Seo made her debut as Odette/Odile at this performance. Hee Seo is a more natural Odette, with beautifully undulating swan arms and a splendidly flexible upper body. Her Odile is a work in progress but Hee Seo has made a very good start on the character of von Rothbarts evil daughter. Technically Hee Seos dancing is very secure except for her Black Swan pas de deux fouettes where she traveled quite a bit. This is only a minor flaw, however, in an otherwise glorious performance. For her first Swan Lake Hee Seo is fortunate to have Marcelo Gomes as her Prince Siegfried. No ABT dancer inhabits a role quite as thoroughly as Gomes. His dancing is also sensational, especially his soaring leaps with the softest of landings. Most importantly he is a wonderfully attentive partner for Hee Seo. Their chemistry is absolutely mesmerizing. As the handsome von Rothbart, Sascha Radetsky is seductively evil. Devon Teuscher and Christine Shevchenko seem off in the Act I pas de trois, but Blaine Hoven stands out for his great elevations and very good ballon. The female corps dancers in the white acts (Acts II and IV) dance in splendid synchronization with the music and each other. As the two big swans, Karen Uphoff and Nicola Currys lyrical phrasing is exquisite. In spite of the weaknesses, it was a wonderful afternoon at the ballet. I see a great future for Hee Seo as Odette/Odile.
  3. I will post more probably tomorrow, but I'm happy to say that I, like several other posters, was very impressed by Hee Seo's debut as Odette/Odile. Her only problem I could see was that she traveled a lot during the fouettes in the black swan pas de deux. But that was minor. Hee Seo was truly wonderful in both her dancing and acting. And how lucky she was to have Gomes as her partner. As always he gave a magnificent performance. I'm sorry that Hammoudi is injured, but I am very glad that I was able to see Gomes and Hee Seo in Swan Lake. They really have wonderful chemistry. And during the bows Gomes was like a proud papa. It was very sweet to see.
  4. What great suggestions everyone is making. I would love to see Les Patineurs again. I haven't seen live in years. I saw the Joffrey dance it a few times in the 1980s and ABT danced it in the late 1990s - I'm thinking 1998. Ethan Stiefel was the boy in blue, the one who is spinning like a top when the curtain goes down, then the curtain comes up again and he's still spinning. Herman Cornejo would be great in that part.
  5. Here are my further thoughts on the June 15th matinee of ABT's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is the adaptation of this work I have seen most frequently. It is also the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ which has the ability to touch me most deeply. This is certainly true of the June 15th matinee of this ballet. On Saturday afternoon Gillian Murphy and Cory Stearns are very natural, unaffected young lovers. Unfortunately, Stearns’ performance is off during Act I. He is usually a very secure partner, but Stearns has obvious problems partnering Murphy during the ballroom pas de deux and at the beginning of the balcony pas de deux. As the balcony scene progresses, however, he finds his groove. Stearns’ solo dancing as well is not up to his usual standard during Act I. At one point he even puts his hand down, looking as if he is trying to avoid a fall. During Acts II and III, though, Stearns is back in form with regard to his dancing, partnering and acting. He is such an innocently realistic Romeo. Especially during Act II of the ballet, Stearns actually becomes the character. Gillian Murphy has long been a technically gifted dancer, but she has become a superb actress as well. Murphy’s Juliet has a very expressive face and she clearly shows the full range of Juliet’s emotions – from love to fear to sadness. Murphy also uses her body to delineate Juliet’s evolution from a fourteen year old child to a young woman whose love for her husband is all encompassing. Arron Scott is a phenomenal Mercurtio with regard to both his dancing and his acting. Scott is a happy go lucky Mercutio whose leaps have great elevation and whose turns are dizzyingly exciting. I really think Scott should be promoted to the soloist ranks at ABT. I have never seen Luis Ribagorda before but I am very impressed with his Benvolio. Roman Zhurbin is a powerfully evil Tybalt who is the real leader of the Capulet family. He seems to believe that it is his duty to rid Verona of the Montague clan and all their supporters. After he kills Mercutio, Zhurbin’s Tybalt shows absolutely no remorse and immediately starts to go after Romeo. His last act before he dies is to reach for his sword. Victor Barbee is a weak and ineffective Lord Capulet. Kristi Boone is a commanding haughty Lady Capulet, who shows a mother's grief when her nephew, Tybalt, has been killed by Romeo. I hope ABT continues to dance Kenneth MacMillan's beautiful production of 'Romeo and Juliet' for many years to come.
  6. I would love to see ABT do "La Fille" again. They haven't performed it since 2003. But if ABT is going to do a Cinderella, I really want it to be Ashton's Cinderella. I have seen several versions of Cinderella and Ashton's is the only one I have liked. I saw Anthony Dowell and Wayne Sleep dance the ugly stepsisters in 2004 with the Royal Ballet at the Met and they were sensational.
  7. I'll post more later, but I just want to add a few words about the June 15th matinee with Gillian Murphy and Cory Stearns. Gillian was her fantastic self throughout the ballet. She has really become a very accomplished actress. For some reason Cory was off during most of Act I. He's always been a very strong partner and he seemed to have difficulties partnering Murphy in the ballroom scene and the beginning of the balcony scene. HIs solo dancing in Act I was off too. He even put down his hand at one point. But fortunatelty Stearns got his act together for Acts II and III. He and Murphy are very good together. He was such an innocent young Romeo. I already mentioned this in another post but Arron Scott was just perfect as Mercutio. I still think he takes way too long to die, but that's not the dancer's decision to make. I was also extemely impressed by Roman Zhurbin as Tybalt. Usually he plays much older characters and I had no idea until yesterday what he actually looked like. His Tybalt was definitely the Capulet running the show. He was extemelty powerful and actually evil. After he kills Mercutio, Zhurbin's Tybalt has absolutely no regrets. And I think it's quite fitting that the last thing he was reaching before he died was his sword. I will post more about this performance later, either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.
  8. I agree with the names already mentioned, but I want to add Arron Scott. I saw him as Mercutio yesterday afternoon in 'Romeo and Juliet' and he was just fantastic - really exciting dancing and wonderful acting.
  9. I saw Whiteside as the slave Ali at the June 5th matinee of Le Corsaire. I agree with Aurora that he was good, but I'm so used to thrilling performances of Ali at ABT that that's what I was looking forward. I saw him in the new Ratmansky (the second piece - I think it's called something Chamber music) and he was good as well. How was he as Romeo in last night's 'Romeo and Juliet'. I know his dress rehearsal performance has been commented on, but I've found that often dancers hold back when they're doing a rehearsal, even a dress rehearsal. They want to save their energy for the actual performance (which makes sense).
  10. I may be wrong, but wasn't Whiteside a principal dancer at the Boston Ballet which is a major company. Shouldn't he have some experience dancing the classics?
  11. Angelica, thank you for mentioning Skylar Brandt. She was the first odalisque (is that the name?) at the June 8th matinee of Le Corsaire and she was just wonderful. I would love to see her promoted to soloist.
  12. Thank you,Michael, for making such an important point. Just becuase someone has a job as a critic with a national publication does not mean they know what they are talking about.
  13. I think this came up after Macaulay made his comments about Jennifer Ringer and Jared Angle, but I don't think it's a critic job to criticzie someone's physical appearance. If you want to mention that a dancer is out of shape and talk about how that affects their dancing, that's fine. Aren't critics supposed to be talking about how someone performs, not what they look like? Is it okay to say that a performer has a big nose or crooked teeth? I don't think so.
  14. I think Eric Tamm is wonderful. I would love to see him become a soloist and then a principal. I feel even stronger about Joseph Gorak eventually becomeing a principal. I'm not sure who else. Joseph Phillips maybe? At least for soloist. And for soloist, though I don't think eventual principal, what about Arron Scott? I'm going to see him as Mercutio at the Saturday matinee of Romeo and Juliet. I'll post my thoughts about Scott after I see his peformance on the 15th.
  15. It's hard to believe that in today's world a critic (and a male critic at that) has the nerve to say that a ballerina is too heavy. First of all, she's not. I saw her dance 'Serenade' on Sunday and she looks the same as always, which to me is just perfect. This is reminiscent of Alistair Macaulay saying that Jennifer Ringer had been eating one too many sugarplums (I forget the exact wording) when reviewing NYCB's 'Nutcracker' a few years ago. Again, not at all true. Ballerinas, no what what their height or build, are much thinner than the rest of us (except for actresses and supermodels). And in an industry where eating disorders are a huge problem, it just seems irresponsible to comment on their weight. (That's the way I feel about it anyway).
  16. Isn't Joaquin De Luz the same size as Ulbricht? I remember seeing Ulbricht as Mercutio and De Luz as Tybalt and when they are sword figting they looked to be the same size. De Luz partners Megan Fairchild a lot and I've seen her dance Liberty Bell (but with Andrew Veyette. Isn't Ashley Bouder on the small size too? I loved seeing Bouder with Veyette but it would also be sensational to see Ulbricht with Bouder.
  17. New York City Ballet ended their 2012-2013 season with a ballet from each of the three composers honored this year. ‘Serenade’ has music from the Tschaikovsky Festival, ‘Stravinsky Violin Concerto” from the Stravinsky Festival and ‘Stars and Stripes’ from the American Music Festival. Even better, all three works were choreographed by George Balanchine. The afternoon begins with ‘Serenade’. ‘Serenade’ is the first ballet Balanchine made in the United States (1933). This ballet is as moving as ever, starting with those 17 girls in blue raising their right arms to the moonlight. ‘Serenade’ is not a story ballet but Balanchine discovered the passion, mystery and drama in the Tschaikovsky music. As the waltz girl, Sara Mearns is so hauntingly beautiful that it brings tears to my eyes. She loves and loses two men and at the end of the ballet is raised into the air and carried off the stage by three men. Has she died? Is she being taken to heaven? There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Great art can be construed in many different ways. Dancing the other main roles are Megan Fairchild as the Russian girl and Teresa Reichlen as the dark angel. Fairchild stands out for her quicksilver footwork, but her jumps lack height. Reichlen brings grandeur to the role of the dark angel. Her extensions are glorious and her arabesques look like they could go on forever. The corps dancers, whose movements are somewhat evocative of the wills in ‘Giselle’, are flawless. ‘Serenade’ is a ballet I hope to see many more times. Next on the afternoon’s program is ‘Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto’. It is divided into four sections – the Toccata which introduces the dancers, Aria I and Aria II, which are both pas de deux for the principal dancers and the finale Capriccio. The first pas de deux, Aria I, is very athletic and acrobatic. Maria Kowroski stands out for her amazing back bends. Her partner, Amar Ramasar, performs with exuberance and wit. The second pas de deux, Aria II, has a frail feeling about it. It is danced by the delicately petite Janie Taylor and her partner, the much taller Ask la Cour. Aria II ends with la Cour holding his hand over Taylor’s eyes and bending her head back. It is a beautiful moment. ‘Stravinsky Violin Concerto’ concludes with the entire cast dancing to Capriccio, which is inspired by Russian folk music. The last ballet of New York City Ballet’s 2012-2013 season is one of my very favorites, ‘Stars and Stripes’. The work is divided into five campaigns, each based on the music of John Philip Sousa (adapted and orchestrated by Hershy Kay). The first two sections to “Corcoran Cadets” and “Rifle Regiment” are danced by female corps members led by a female soloist. The third segment “Thunder and Gladiator” is performed by the men in the corps de ballet with a male soloist as their leader. All the corps members impress with their perfectly synchronized dancing to Sousa’s stirring marches. Both female soloists (Erica Pereira and Savannah Lowery) are very good, but Daniel Ulbricht is beyond compare as the head of the men’s regiment. His leaps and turns are thrilling. As much as I love Ulbricht in this role, I would like to see him dance the part of El Capitan. He is a principal dancer and it’s long past time for him to dance principal roles. The El Capitan on Sunday afternoon, Andrew Veyette, was absolutely sensational, as was Ashley Bouder as Liberty Bell. Bouder stands out for the way she holds her balances and her scissor leaps. I also love the way she plays with the music and has so much fun dancing the role. Veyette is all great leaps and spinning turns. I really love his bouncy steps which highlight his unbelievable ballon. Both Bouder and Veyette perform their solos at the fastest speed I have ever seen. Lesser dancers would have crashed and burned, but Bouder and Veyette handle every move with aplomb. The last campaign is danced by the entire company to “Stars and Stripes Forever”. At the ballet’s conclusion, as the American flag rolls down the entire back stage of the David Koch Theatre, I find my eyes welling with tears (as usual). This time the American flag was received with thunderous applause. What a fantastic way to end New York City Ballet’s 2012-2013 season.
  18. You're right, Kathleen, I was talking about type, not height. Tyler Angle is tall enough to partner Maria Korowski, but I thought he was good in Stars and Stripes (but nowhere in the same league as Andrew Veyette's performance on Sunday afternnoon.) When I saw Angle perform Stars this season, Sara Mearns was his Liberty Bell. She was good, but I think she's much better as an adagio dancer. Her performance in Serenade on Sunday was so hauntingly beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.
  19. Here are my thoughts on ABT's 'Le Corsaire. I attended two performances of ABT’s ‘Le Corsaire’ – the Wednesday matinee on June 5th and the Saturday matinee on June 8th. I enjoyed both performances immensely. The story is very silly, but if the dancing is good the ballet is tremendous fun. At the Wednesday matinee, Marcelo Gomes is a high flying, swashbuckling pirate chief. On Saturday afternoon Ivan Vasiliev flies even higher and hangs suspended in the air while he is doing so. Gomes is known for the wonderful way he portrays each character he dances, but I am impressed with how comfortably Vasiliev fits into the skin of the pirate king. Both Gillian Murphy at the June 5th matinee and Natalia Osipova on June 8th are superb Medoras. Osipova stands out for her incredibly high leaps with the plushest of landings. Her turns are performed at an absolutely dizzying pace. Murphy tosses off quadruple fouettes (along with very fast singles) as she puts her hands in a circle over her head. Her musicality and phrasing are beyond compare. On Wednesday afternoon James Whiteside is Conrad’s slave, Ali. His dancing is fine, but it’s not up to the level of Angel Corella’s, Ivan Vasiliev’s or Daniil Simkin’s Alis. In the famous slave pas de trois, Whiteside’s dancing does not thrill me at all. At the Saturday matinee Daniil Simkin’s Ali is tremendously exciting. He steals the show with 4 revoltades in a row. Revoltades are turns where one leg flips over the other in midair. The extremely slight Simkin has no problems partnering Osipova in the slave pas de trois. Both Steven McRae at the Wednesday matinee and Herman Cornejo on Saturday afternoon were wonderful Lankendems. Both are very strong in both their dancing and acting. I always expect great things from Cornjeo and he always delivers. His multiple air turns performed in a diagonal are especially impressive. I have never seen McRae before, so I did not know what to expect. On June 5th McRae gives the audience an incredible performance. He stands out for his great leaps and phenomenal turns. He even throws in some 540 degree turns during his second solo of the pas d’esclave in Act I. McRae is also a very strong partner – holding Misty Copeland’s Gulnare over his head with one hand. Mikhail Ilyin is very good as Birbanto, the bad pirate, at the June 5th matinee. On Saturday afternoon, however, Craig Salstein brings his portrayal of the evil pirate to a whole new level. It’s not just Salstein dancing, which is superb, it’s his pitch perfect comic timing which makes the character of Birbanto so multi-layered. Right after the famous slave pas de trois, Birbanto begins a dance by firing off two pistols. Salstein fires the first gun, then looks at the audience, then looks back at the pistol and doesn’t fire it. Instead he fires it about one minute later. This comic bit is done perfectly. I love the way he lets the audience in on the joke. That makes this bit of business even funnier. I am a bit disappointed with Misty Copeland’s Gulnare at the Wednesday matinee. She simplifies her solo during the pas d’esclave in Act I, totally omitting the fouettes performed on a diagonal. At Saturday’s matinee, Isabella Boylston is a wonderful Gulnare. Her traveling fouettes are crisp and precise. She has great soaring leaps and is beautifully lyrical in the Act III Jardin Anime. I hope Boylston will be made a principal dancer at ABT before too long. ‘Le Corsaire’ is such a fun ballet. I hope ABT continues to perform it for a long time to come.
  20. I should not have made a blatant comment about tall dancers not being good in Stars and Stripes. Sorry about that. I haven't seen Chase Finlay's El Capitan. I did see Charles Akegard in Stars several times and was disappointed in his performance. But that's just one dancer. I saw Teresa Reichlen as Liberty Bell (with Askegard) in 2009 and was disappointed in her performance as well. But that was four years ago, a long time ago in ballet ages. I will post more later (I know I keep saying that, but I'm finishing up my 'Le Corsaire' thoughts now) but Ashley Bouder and Andrew Veyette were absolutely senasational in Stars on Sunday. I may be wrong about this, but it seemed to me that when Bouder and Veyette were doing their solos, the music was even faster than usual (which is super fast to begin with). The whole afternoon was just incredible. Abatt is so right!! What a way to end the season!!!
  21. Did anyone go to the evening performance of Le Corsaire? If so, please post. I would love to know how Marcelo was as Ali and how Matvienko was as Conrad. I saw Gillian on Wednesday afternoon and as always she was superb. The revelation of Wednesday's matinee, as I think I already mentioned, was Steven MacRae's Lankedem. Does anyone else agree or disagree? Wednesday's matinee was very good, but the Saturday matinee was just so much fun. And it was so exciting! Everyone was in top form. (As I already said, I will post in more detail in a few days.) I just want to mention briefly how great Craig Salstein was as Birbanto. His dancing was superb and his comic timing was just amazing. In the section immediately following the pas de deux a trois (According to Alastair Macauley that is the correct name for the dance) Birbanto is holding two pistols and he usually fires twice. Salstein fired once, then looked straight at the audience and didn't fire. He fired the second gun a minute or so later. He clearly made the audience part of the joke, which was fun. It was all so masterfully done. Salstein should give lessons in comic timing for ballet dancers.
  22. Puppytreats, sorry I didn't answer you earlier. I was at ABT's Le Corsaire. I'm not saying I'm a great expert or anything, but in my experience of going to NYCB performances since 1980, I think the taller princelike dancers are not a good fit for the El Capitan role in Stars and Stripes. I don't Andrew Veyette is a princely dancer at all. I really like him, but I wonder how effective he'd be in Apollo. I don't think he's ever danced the part, but I could be wrong. I think he's best in roles that require bravura technique and often a sense of humor. So I would not place Veyette in the first category at all. I will definitely post about his performance in Stars and Stripes today.
  23. Helene, thank you so much for answering my question.
  24. I don't know about the evening performance, but the afternoon performance looked to be about 80% full as has already been mentioned. Who knows why? I got my ticket at the last moment (which I normally don't do). It was after 12:00pm yesterday when I got to the Met box office and I got a great seat. The triple bill program on May 22nd (Drink, A Month in the Country and Symphony in C) had an even fuller audience than yesterday's, at least in the orchestra section. Maybe that was because Osipova and Vasiliev were dancing in Symphony in C. Again I don't know. I was able to buy my niece a ticket for that performance two days before the May 22nd performance and she got a very good seat in orchestra row M. It was also only a few seats away from the ticket I got for myself during subscriber exchange week.
  25. Helene, I hate to sound ignorant, but I have absolutely no idea what the term "cast-agnostic" means. Could you explain it please if you get a moment?
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