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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. I saw the first and only performance of Swan Lake. It was one of the oddest--and at nearly four hours, most definitely the longest-- Swan Lake that I have ever seen. The performance started a little after 7 pm and didn't end until 10:45 pm (with two intermissions). Then there were the curtain calls. By the time I left the theater, it was around 11 pm. I’d characterize the dancing as a little rough around the edges. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Even though I've seen Swan Lake many, many times before, some of this was new to me--particularly some of the music and dancing in Act III. I know the New York Times gave this production a bad review, but I thought of it as a somewhat different take on an old classic—still very traditional and certainly not far out there like the Australian Ballet’s version (which isn’t really Swan Lake, in my opinion). There was a lot of energy in the theater, especially in the second half of the show. I enjoyed it so much that I'm going back to see the triple bill: Trois Gnossiennes / 5 Tangos / Black Cake. These three ballets are rarely seen in the U.S. and I don't want to miss them. It's a shame that the performances sold so poorly. I would have gone to see Swan Lake a second time if it hadn’t been cancelled.
  2. I think this is very sad news. I always look forward to ABT's spring season at the Met. I've been going for 20+ years. Eight weeks of ballet at the beautiful Metropolitan Opera House--absolutely nothing can top this! It's the highlight of the dance year for me. It seems that most people on this board prefer the Koch Theater over the Met for dance. But not me. I'm not sure what ABT should do, but I truly hope that the company doesn't completely abandon the Met and decamp to the Koch (State) Theater. Others may not agree, but I think that something special will be lost.
  3. BalletFan

    Don Quixote Spring 2018

    Yes, NinaFan, I agree with you. As you say, I can't imagine missing out on "some pretty exciting debut/performances" just because someone doesn't like Whiteside. Last Friday, I was very disappointed by Hee Seo's performance in Don Q. Not that she was bad or anything, but I just don't think Kitri is the right role for her. Whiteside, on the other hand, really saved the evening for me (and Christine Shevchenko, too, as Mercedes). I thought he was excellent in Don Q. I never saw Whiteside's appeal... until this year. I've seen him in a lot of performances this season (yes, he was excellent in Swan Lake, too) and I now have a newfound respect for his versatility.
  4. BalletFan

    ABT 2018 promotions

    I agree with you, Cobweb. While I'm happy for these ladies, I, too, am a little baffled by these choices. I'm not familiar enough with Fang or Williams to have a real opinion about either of them. It just seems to me that both women kind of came out of nowhere this season. But perhaps that's not the case. Hopefully, they'll both have a chance of being promoted to principal one day and not be stalled at the soloist rank. Catherine Hurlin, on the other hand, has been dancing soloist roles in every single ballet I've seen this season. It was obvious to me that she would be promoted sooner rather than later. Catherine Hurlin is not one of my favorites. She doesn't really stand out to my eyes; however, I'm sure she must have lots of fans. She's still very young and is probably on track to become a principal one day, which is nice to see at ABT.
  5. BalletFan

    ABT 2018 Swan Lake

    I thought that Christine Shevchenko was absolutely phenomenal today in her Odette/Odile debut. I've always liked Christine. Even when she was in the corps, I couldn't help but notice her. Her technique has always been top-notch. But in addition, she also has that indescribable “something” that made her stand out from the rest of the corps women. She is now my favorite female principal. I’d go to see her in anything. Aran Bell was also quite impressive this afternoon as von Rothbart. Yes, Marcelo is the gold standard (oh, how I miss him!!). But Aran was really, really good. While he may be young and perhaps a little green, he definitely wowed me. What a debut! I am so, so glad that I didn't miss today's matinee. So far, I'd call it the highlight of the Met season, at least for me.
  6. BalletFan

    ABT: Roster in Review - 2018

    While Cirio is certainly very talented, he doesn't strike me as being the leading man type. Others may not agree, but I could definitely see Calvin Royal (with some coaching) becoming a principal sooner rather than later. Calvin has a very elegant and sophisticated quality about him. And after seeing Aran Bell as von Rothbart today, I'd say that he's got the "it factor," too. I really hope to see Aran in more lead roles next season. Hopefully, he won’t stall as some of the other promising young men have.
  7. BalletFan

    2018 Romeo & Juliet

    Classic Ballet: I agree with everything you wrote. Wow, what a night it was last night!! I've never been a fan of Isabella, but now I am. Yes, as you said, she "completely knocked the ball out of the park." I, too, would rank this as one of my top Juliet performances of all time. Isabella and David were absolutely fabulous together, much better than David and Natalia were last month. I'm so glad I saw this performance, and I hope this partnership continues to grow.
  8. BalletFan

    2018 Romeo & Juliet

    Is this why there were no open curtain bows? I was there on Tuesday evening, too, and it was puzzling to me. I don't think I've ever seen this happen before. Yes, Juliet is a good role for Misty (and for Hee Seo, too, by the way). I thought Misty, and Herman, were great last night.
  9. BalletFan

    "Harlequinade" 2018.

    I attended the Friday evening performance with Sarah Lane, Jeffrey Cirio, Stella Abrera and David Hallberg, and was quite pleasantly surprised! I had seen the excerpts of Harlequinade at the Spring Gala and wasn't all that impressed, and I exchanged one of my subscription tickets for something else. I almost exchanged the other one... but so I'm glad I didn't. I liked everything about this ballet: the dancing, the costumes and the sets. Based on the early reviews, I was expecting a lot of empty seats, but that was not the case at all. While it wasn't a sell-out, the house seemed to be well sold. This is a lighthearted ballet. You can’t go in expecting Swan Lake or Romeo & Juliet. Some comedic ballets just don't work for me, but this one did. It is steeped in history, which I appreciate, and you can tell that a lot of thought, effort and work went into this production. If you can, try to attend the final performance tonight... or catch it at the Kennedy Center next year.
  10. BalletFan

    Fall 2017 Season

    I guess no one else attended the gala, but I couldn't resist. While I'm definitely more of a story ballet kind of gal, I really enjoyed the program on Wednesday evening. I'd say that Ratmansky's Songs of Bukovina is certainly worth seeing. I also liked Thirteen Diversions. The Gift was great fun, too, but unfortunately, it was a one-shot deal and won't be performed again this season (if at all). A very nice evening, in my opinion. I was pleasantly surprised.
  11. This is very sad. I wish them both the best. Unfortunately, though, I'm not surprised by this news. I remember reading an article in the NY Times two years ago about the state of their marriage. Tiler and Robbie were just newlyweds at the time. They had only been married for one year, but according to the article, were hardly ever together. It didn't sound very promising at all. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/style/for-robert-fairchild-and-tiler-peck-a-partnership-that-stays-in-step.html
  12. BalletFan

    Colorado Ballet 2016-17 roster

    Hmmm... maybe she was intending to come back to Colorado Ballet after her L.A. Magazine internship ended, but at the last minute, decided not to?? I don't know. I started following Alexandra on Instagram because she used to dance with ABT. (Her mother also danced with ABT.) But I never thought that Alexandra sounded happy with her dance career. I remember one post where she talked about "pointing to a random city on a map and moving there to start in a completely different profession." According to her social media postings, she sounded much happier after moving to Los Angeles. https://www.instagram.com/p/BCEzu1aOCxt/?taken-by=aepullen14&hl=en
  13. BalletFan

    Colorado Ballet 2016-17 roster

    Alexandra Pullen, corps de ballet dancer, is no longer on the roster. She was interning at L.A. Magazine this summer. Apparently, she's decided to stay L.A., and is now working as a freelance writer, social media specialist and copywriter. After two years with ABT and two years with Colorado Ballet, it looks like she's leaving her dance career behind.
  14. BalletFan

    Roster in Review - 2016 Edition

    I agree with vrsfanatic that it's most probably a different Sarah Smith who's joining the Kansas City Ballet. I'm surprised that Melanie Hamrick is still listed. I wonder if she really will come back after the baby is born??? We'll see....
  15. BalletFan

    Roster in Review - 2016 Edition

    Besides Lily Wisdom and Sterling Bacca, the following corps dancers are no longer listed on ABT's website: - Rachelle di Stasio - Kenneth Easter - Sarah Smith - Raphael Spyker According to Instagram, Sarah Smith is expecting a baby. Also, she was out for a few years due to injury. It's been quite a while since I've seen her on stage.