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About MarzipanShepherdess

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  1. Yes they have had one for at least ten years if not longer. The proceeds from the sale of the dancers’ autographed pointe shoes and slippers fund it. I don’t recall them ever publicly fundraising for it in the past, but recently Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside have been encouraging those watching their live-streamed classes to donate.
  2. Skylar and Irina and Max could definitely be “liking” it to say “hey you jerk we saw this”. A like is not always a like. For someone who self-professes to be such a woman of faith and virtue Sarah sure seems to sling a lot of mud at her colleagues and have some pretty hateful heroes.
  3. Saw today’s matinee (12/14). I was disappointed when I learned we’d see Erica peirara as sugarplum and sadly she met my expectations. Poor port de bras and she lacked that regal-yet-warm tone I think good sugarplums have. I enjoyed Sebastian as her cavalier, though! Very strong turns in his solos and a great manege. Olivia MacKinnon was a competent Dewdrop but she didn’t quite have that sparkle. Highlights for me were Tanner Quirk, an incredibly elegant and courtly prince with a crystal-clear mime (I think this is probably his last year, I’ll miss him), Rachel Hutsall as the lead in hot chocolate (gorgeous, fluid back and great speed), Cainan Weber as the lead candy cane, and Alston macgill as marzipan (great hops on pointe), and Charlotte Nebres, who has a lot of stage presence as Marie and is just about the cutest kid you could imagine.
  4. Wow. I don’t follow lane on Instagram but went to look at that post after you referenced it here. Posting a long caption beginning “the greatest examples are those who have the courage to live in humility, who do not need to be puffed up...” on the day of Herman’s big anniversary extravaganza certainly seems like some serious shade directed at her former dance partner. Have to say I don’t think that was very classy or gracious of her, regardless of the current state of her feelings towards Herman.
  5. Wonderful tribute to Herman tonight. I know that his physique doesn’t make him an ideal Apollo, but I enjoyed him in the role. I think he performed it adroitly and confidently—for me, it worked. Misty, Skylar, and Cassandra were all good as muses. The tango with Erica was short, but high on charisma and panache. It was a lot of fun to see Herman dance tango, especially with Erica and especially knowing how sentimental this piece is for him (he first came to ABT to perform it with Erica at an Argentinian cultural event and asked to take class with ABT, this kicking off his connection to the company). He and Erica were both fabulous and full of energy. I grant that Ghosts is not Tharp’s best work, and I seem to be in the minority here, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a PERFECT vehicle for Herman, with ample opportunity to appreciate his refinement, his charisma, his wit, speed, turns, and leaps. He had a manège that was just breathtaking, and a pirouette series that could truly be described as thrilling. It really felt like a love letter from Twyla, highlighting all Herman’s gifts in a major way. I agree with @ABT Fan that there’s no one else in the current male roster I can imagine pulling it off. I can see different dancers doing bits of it well, but no one doing the whole. What a credit to Herman’s artistry that is. Royal and Hurlin particularly stood out of a very strong Ghosts cast, Royal for his elegant hands and arms and Hurlin for her strength and speed (aptly named “greased lightning” in the program). Shevchenko also looked great, and Hoven made a strong case for why he should really pick up some of those TBA slots in the spring.
  6. Yes, I think Hoven and Ahn are similar heights. I don't think lack of a suitable partner is what is holding Sarah back. It seems like her problem is more that she isn't a favorite of Kevin's or in demand as a partner (at least from the male principals like Cornejo who have influence on who they dance with). She seems to have similar issues to those Veronika Part had--not broadly liked by her peers or by management, and it certainly seems to impact casting.
  7. I'm pretty excited for this season! Last season there were no ballets I wanted to see multiple performances of, due to casting, but this season there are several where I'll definitely attend multiple performances. I'll be heart-broken to see Stella retire, of course, but I'm glad she's going out properly feted and getting to dance some great roles like Giselle and Juliet. Hopefully we'll also be graced with a Lilac Fairy and some appearances in the mixed bills and in Of Love and Rage. I'd have loved to see her one last time in Ashton's Cinderella, but oh well. Very much looking forward to Shevchenko/Royal/Hurlin's Giselle debuts, and to Hurlin as Aurora and Gamzatti. Also THRILLED Kimin Kim is coming back for Bayadère, a ballet he's phenomenal in. And seeing Osipova as Giselle and Juliet will be a treat. I'm glad to see the guest stars being judiciously balanced with opportunities for soloists and corps dancers. I echo those lamenting that Blaine Hoven hasn't gotten anything major, though I expect he'll show up in the mixed bills and the new Ratmansky. I'm glad Jane Eyre is back, but I wish we were seeing some Jane debuts rather than the same dancers from last season.
  8. That’s wonderful news!! Well-deserved. She danced wonderfully this tour.
  9. Saw the matinee today with the divine Tereshkina! A few last minute changes: Yekaterina Chebykina performed act I as Christina but then Maria Shirinkina subbed in for the last two acts. Maria Illiushkina also subbed for May Nagahisa in the act III pavlova in king candaules variation. This was my first time seeing Paquita and I was nervous I’d be really disappointed I’d made the trip down to DC after reading people’s reactions here! Though it’s not my new favorite ballet, I really enjoyed it for what it was. Would I rather have seen La Bayadère? Yes. But opportunities to see the Mariinsky are rare for me sadly and I’m glad I came. Tereshkina brought fireworks, as expected, but I also really enjoyed two new-to-me corps dancers. First, Maria iliushkina who did the best of the act III variations after Tereshkina in the pavlova in king candaules one. She has a lovely, lyrical, floating quality and her balances were beautiful. I also really enjoyed lira khuslamova as the widow. It’s a small role, but she made a lot of it with her gorgeous poet de bras and the air of stately grief she brought to it. Though Paquita has a silly plot and no real emotional weight, I did appreciate all the substantial solos that gave me the opportunity to see soloists shine, particularly Shirinkina and Shakirova. Was just reading above that this was the first time the Mariinsky has toured here with kids and I’m glad they did—they were a highlight for me. I was so impressed by their refinement and coordination with one another, doing MUCH harder choreography than I’ve ever seen similarly aged kids from ABT or NYCB or the Royal Ballet do. They were really great. I wish I had the chance to see Tereshkina more often. She just sparkled. She always radiates this strength and absolute technical security. So, even though Paquita may not be a fabulous ballet in its own right, more than happy I got to see this performance.
  10. Had the pleasure of seeing Maria dance the “pavlova” solo from king candaules in Paquita act iii today! She subbed in for May Nagahisa. Maria definitely seems a star in the making. To me, she gave the strongest performance in that sequence of variations after Tereshkina. Lovely, lyrical, beautiful lines and balances. Will look forward to seeing more of her!
  11. Ugh, it absolutely does! Do we really need another ballet about a woman hundreds of years ago being abducted and rescued by her dashing hero? I appreciate that Ratmansky is passionate about ballet history and unearthing overlooked pieces of Petipa archive, but why pick such a musty, well-worn narrative when he's working on an entirely new ballet?
  12. Saw Saturday's Jewels matinee, what a great start to the season! I felt Abi was really miscast in Emeralds. She doesn't have the exceptional port de bras or lush quality to her dancing that Emeralds requires. I didn't enjoy watching her and Amar at all and couldn't wait for them to get off stage and make room for Unity and Ask, who were great. I also really enjoyed Georgina. And a shout out is due to India Bradley, who has much refined her dancing since the spring. In the 15 years I've been attending City Ballet performances I've never seen someone do Rubies better than Sterling. She just crackles with energy, managing to be both playful and utterly in control. She perfectly punctuates each step yet is so fleet and quick, and Veyette was a great foil to her. Lots of spark between them. I thought Emily Kikta gave a good performance; I haven't followed her closely and was surprised to see she's still in the corps. But to me she lacked some of the sharpness and definition that the strongest interpreters of the role have (I'm thinking of Teresa Reichlen, for example). At times she looked rushed and the steps didn't have the crispness of Sterling's. Diamonds was what I was most looking forward to seeing, and Maria and Jared did not disappoint. Maria's dancing has such a beautiful, crystalline quality: every step is so clear, so fully articulated. She seemed totally in command of time, as though she was the axis of her own world. Her performance really reminded me of how Farrell describes the diamonds ballerina as "the most powerful woman in the world". She was really regal, but there was also vulnerability in those slowly unfurling supported backbends. I've always felt Maria was regal in this role, but in this performance she felt not just queenly but actually powerful, and to have independence and authority rather than the romantic, Swan-Queen quality that some dancers bring to the role. It was just a gorgeous, totally entrancing performance where I was hanging on every little movement. It amazes me that this far into her career Maria is still uncovering new facets to some of her most-performed roles.
  13. Ogawa has shared on Instagram that she’s had three ankle surgeries, the most recent of which was in February. Seems that her ABT career, like Waski’s, has been negatively impacted by injury. I’m sad to see Paulina leave ABT too but I agree she didn’t seem to be on the same soloist promotion track after injury, as @LadyBubbles noted. Hopefully she will get more opportunities with Boston Ballet. It could be a great move for her.
  14. I agree. In addition, Stella is obviously favored by Ratmansky, more so than Veronika was. She seems like one of the most beloved dancers within the company while Veronika was candid about how ABT was not the easiest place for her socially: I think Veronika’s relative distance from the company in that way made it easier for management to treat her as badly as they did. We were denied so many years of seeing Stella as a principal, it would a travesty to force her out when she is obviously still capable of performing with such great artistry.
  15. Saw Lane and Cornejo tonight with a surprise Lilac Fairy sub from Stella! Stella just owns that role. Stunning execution of her tricky prologue solo and the most exquisite port de bras all throughout. Crystal clear mime that was by turns funny, tender, and regal. I want her as my good fairy! Cornejo also shone—obviously the Prince doesn’t have much to do in this version until his Act III solos but he was stunning when it counted, such perfect batterie and princely mien. Lane was excellent with Aurora’s intricate footwork and her turns. Beautiful elevation, particularly in her first Act I variation which was gorgeous. Good balances though not the most assured tonight at least. As strong as she is technically, I feel like she is still developing as an actress/artist, though. Her Aurora is pretty one-note: you don’t see the progression from young girl in Act I to regal bride in Act III that great interpreters of the role like Alina Cojacaru or Diana Vishneva showed. To my taste, Lane’s Act I Aurora lacks girlish high spirits: she seems too mature and serious already (though I recognize this could be a considered interpretation of the role that just doesn’t resonate with me). I found her facial expressions to be strained at times and there are moments she seems to miss in terms of dramatic/character impact: like interacting with the suitors, or delivering the roses to her parents. I would see her in this role again, though. Catherine Hurlin was an Act III standout as Florine and I hope we get to see her Aurora someday! She certainly seems to be developing the technical chops yet also is so strong dramatically. Isadora Loyola subbed as White Cat and was super-charming and perfectly slinky. Diamond Fairy substitute was very good as well but didn’t catch her name as it was announced just before the program. Don’t miss the fish dives in Act III. Aurora’s arms en courounne repeat the ballet’s solar motif in a satisfying way and to me make more sense in terms of the ballet’s symbolism than the angular, almost to the ground fish dives. I do find the reconstruction really interesting and rewarding to watch. I’m glad this isn’t the only version of SB we have, but I’m also glad we have this window into the Petipa style as it was in the 1890s. To me it’s a much more compelling look into the past than Harlequinade and I do find it really beautiful. I feel like the restraint of the choreography (by contemporary standards) helps me to notice the beauty of every step more, because it’s more subtle.
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