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  1. Hard to tell what logic went into the choices and pairings of leads this spring. Bizarre. Others on this board seem puzzled too. Last spring I lucked out seeing Lane and Cornejo in Manon and SB. Worth every penny. This year I can’t figure out what to see, but it’s early and casting tends to change throughout the run up to the season. The one ballet on my list is Bayadere, which I have seen many times, but I have been listening to the entire score as I walk, many times, and would love to hear it played by the orchestra. I would also love to see Murphy b/c you never know when she will retire. The guest stars? Maybe Kim, but I have seen Osipova many times and frankly would prefer one of ABT’s up and comers. Hope that doesn’t sound like heresy.
  2. Not sure which promotions she is referring to and how far back she is citing. We can only speculate. Many on this board, however, have in the last 4 years or so wondered in these posts whether one ballerina’s promotion to principal was based more on her ability to bring in revenue by filling the theater than by her ability to execute the difficult, classic prima ballerina roles. As to other promotions, whether to principal or soloist, or lack of promotion of artists many ballet aficionados feel are deserving, I have no idea. If Melanie does not want to identify instances in which politics played a role in promotions, perhaps she shouldn’t have opened this can of worms.
  3. The NYTimes has just posted an announcement that Melanie Hamrick is retiring at the end of the fall season. Nice interview too. Sorry I don’t know how to link it here.
  4. As I’m reading all the critical posts from last evening’s performance, I’m thinking the very same thing, canbelto, about the very same NYCB dancers. Or substitute several other NYCB dancers as well. How did the ABT coaches let this happen—from the comments of the last few T&V performances more than once?
  5. Oh what a lovely article. Thank you for posting it. Yes, I was privileged to see him in July in Sleeping Beauty, and there are no words adequate to praise that solo. He was partnered with Sarah Lane, both perfect together. I also saw their partnership rise to a new level of intimacy and emotion in Manon in June. You could have heard a pin drop in the theater during their pdds, especially the final one. Heart wrenching dance for the ages. Bravo, Herman!
  6. Shocked that Sarah Lane is not dancing with Cornejo at his 20th anniversary. How lucky I was last spring to see them partnered in Manon and Sleeping Beauty—a magical partnering in both ballets that took my breath away. Because I no longer take an ABT subscription, it was just lucky that I was able to glory in their performances. My question: why, on his special evening, is his favorite partner shunted aside? If only for his many fans, they should have danced together. And ABT wonders why it loses money and has to cut back its spring NYC season!
  7. Thank you, all. More memories...Allegra Kent...a magical dancer, my favorite all through the years, long after she finished dancing. I’ll never forget her in La Sonnambula. Back to the present, I think Sterling Hyltin has many of her qualities but Sterling also has her own incandescence and sparkle. This season she floored me in Rubies.
  8. All this talk about Bugaku made me dredge up memories of seeing this ballet at NYCB when I was a teenager. It made a big impression on me because the male principal was Arthur Mitchell. He was electric. For some reason I don’t remember the lead ballerina who was often partnered with him in this role. They made the stark contrast between black and white work for them in the piece. Does anyone know the ballerina who danced this role with him?
  9. In reply to Stuben’s last comment, I agree with you. During the last few years when Irina, Paloma, and Xiomara were principals, I had a subscription to the spring season and I took out an annual membership to ABT as a contribution. Although each had a different style, each could dance the major roles exquisitely, and even if one of them was a last-minute substitution for an injured principal, I was never disappointed. And look how each was ushered out. Since then I have only purchased an occasional ticket. To my mind, the last of the great ballerinas of that time is Gillian Murphy, and I look forward to her return and plan to select one ballet to enjoy her performance. As for the rest, in my mind today the company can’t hold a candle to NYCB, where I subscribe and contribute. Just my opinion as a very long time balletgoer.
  10. Although opening night (Tuesday) Maria was excellent, I agree that she seemed a little more careful than she had in last spring’s performance. Maybe that was her plan because she had so many performances in the role, all packed into this week. I just want to add another shoutout to Tyler Angle, whose performance many posters here found superlative. I agree—he really inhabited and radiated the noble role. A great role model for younger, aspiring male dancers in the company.
  11. Thanks to all of you who weighed in on the Jewels performances that followed the one I saw on Tuesday evening. I wish I could have seen them all, especially Megan Fairchild in Rubies and Sara Mearns in Diamonds. But I did see Sterling Hyltin in Rubies—no words can describe how fantastic she is in this role—and Maria and Tyler in Diamonds. Looking forward to hearing your reviews of the other programs this fall.
  12. My thoughts on tonight’s performance of Jewels: Emeralds was the weak link, primarily because Abi Stafford did not bring the role to life. Except for fluttery arms, the rest of her performance did not come to life. She was stiff, lacked fluidity, had limited extension, and generally seemed to me to be doing a class exercise. On the other hand, Unity Phelan had it all: lyricism, musicality, beautiful movement, extension, and a certain ethereal quality. I loved her dancing. Ramasar and La Cour were competent. For me the highlight of the evening was Sterling Hyltin in Rubies. The quintessential ballerina, from her interpretation of the role to her musicality, playfulness, quick and perfect movements—I was in awe, as I usually am when I see her dance. She ate up the stage and thrilled the audience. Andrew Veyette worked hard at his role but he was not in Hyltin’s league. I thoroughly enjoyed Kikta as the tall girl, a wonderful dancer who dances “big” and can command the stage. She was a lovely counterpoint to Hyltin. I saw Kowroski and Tyler Angle in Diamonds last year and their pdd was just as good this year, with Angle acquitting himself better tonight. More energy, higher jumps, and more commitment to his solos. Just as last year, however, Kowroski’s energy flagged a bit in the finale, but still a fine performance. The corps in all three movements gave fine performances with flair and energy. A pleasure to watch them. What will linger with me is Rubies, one of the great NYCB ballets, for its music, movement, modern choreography, and verve—and Sterling Hyltin, no better interpreter of the role. Seeing her in this was worth all the trouble and expense I had to go through to be there.
  13. Thanks, canbelto, for the link to the first week’s casting. For me, a mixed bag. I have tickets to Jewels opening night and am happy to see Hilton, whom I have not seen in Jewels before. I hope Veyette is in shape. Last spring I saw Kowroski and Angle in Diamonds—great adagio—but hoped to see Reichlen or Mearns this time. Oh well. Also, I am not a big fan of Abi Stafford—I find her dancing bland. But the whole of the production and the music are exhilarating. And I am happy my summer ballet drought will be over!
  14. It’s early but I wonder if anyone has knowledge of what full-length ballets from the ABT repertory they will perform. Or knowledge of which ones they won’t perform!
  15. In response to the discussion of Gillian Murphy’s return, I am a big fan and I hope she is able to resume all the demanding roles she excels in for as long as she feels she can execute them to her own high performance standards. Hoping to see her in the spring!
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