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Everything posted by CTballetfan

  1. Thank you to all the posters on this forum for your reviews and impressions of the spring 2019 season. I followed you all. I was not planning to see any ABT performances this season, despite having been a past subscriber for many years (I do subscribe to NYCB) but I felt impelled to see Lane and Cornejo in Manon and SB and I was not disappointed. Their chemistry in Manon and Lane’s Rose Adagio and Cornejo’s solo in SB were worth the effort of getting there. What are you hoping/expecting to see in spring 2020? Is it time for Giselle or Don Q or R&J? Will there be any ballets not often performed? Will Gillian be back to dazzle us with her technical mastery? Any clues to any of this? Wishing you all a good summer.
  2. I was at last night’s performance too. I had seen the Ratmansky production in June 2016. I compared the playbills and some of the dancers were cast in the same roles: Stephanie Williams as Wheat Flower, Rachel Richardson as Breadcrumb, April Giangeruso as Temperament, Devon Teuscher as Diamond Fairy. Before the performance the announcer reeled off several replacements. The only one I heard was Keith Roberts subbing as Carabosse. (His mime was maddeningly fearsome.) I was sure that Bluebird was not danced by Blaine Hoven, but who danced this role? And who were the other replacements? My overall impression is that this production was stuffed to the gills, especially the Prologue and Act I. Too many groups of ballerinas to appreciate each group. Waaay too crowded. But my eye was caught by one corps member, a redhead who danced so beautifully in a group of six in the Prologue. Who was she? As on my first viewing, the costumes were impressive—so much rich material, sparkle, patterns. Much money was spent on these! But I did not think Bluebird’s costume was flattering, with a huge hip-hugging roll that broke up what should have been a beautiful line as he jumped and leaped. Sarah and Herman did not disappoint although I liked them better in Manon a couple of weeks ago b/c of the high dramatic arc, which spanned the length of the ballet. But their pas de deux was wonderful—they are perfectly matched—and I was thrilled with Herman's solo. Happily, Sarah did not enter the stage in Act I prancing like a goat (see above video). The same steps were very modified, light, airy, nuanced. She was a young girl thrilled at making her entrance into society—so beautiful in her rose costume. As others have said, her rose adagio was just about perfect, and from my center orchestra row F seat I could see she projected calmness and steadiness and most of all grace. Exquisite! As others have said, the mime in this production was superb, especially Shevchenko as Lilac Fairy. Credit to the coaches. But Act I was too long, too overstuffed. I could have done without a couple of the characters in Act III. And I think the opulence of the production occasionally overwhelmed my appreciation of the Petipa choreography. I noticed that after Act II quite a few seats in the orchestra were empty, people having had enough. Not sorry I went but for me this production was too over the top.
  3. Why is Copeland out tonight? Is she injured? She is also scheduled for Sat eve with Hallberg.
  4. Thank you for this wonderful clip. She’s the best! I look forward to her return to the stage in one of her signature classical principal roles.
  5. In response to NinaFan, Irina was also at the Lane/Cornejo debut Tuesday evening. It looked like she was with Alban Lendorf, but I can’t be sure. Since she has been to 2 or more Manons this week, was she coaching?
  6. I too saw the Lane/Cornejo performance last evening. I have seen Manon twice: once with Alessandra Ferri substituting for an injured Xiomara Reyes in 2007 (she was partnered by Angel Corella); the other time with Julie Kent partnered by Roberto Bolle close to the time she retired. Ferri owned that role—I have never forgotten her dramatic performance. Kent was good but not transcendent. I agree with the other commenters that Sarah was glorious. The highest compliment I can give is that in her own way she inhabited the role just as Ferri did. She started slowly in Act 1, looking as innocent as how she plays Aurora, but her portrayal deepened in Acts 2 and 3. By the last scene she was Manon, helped enormously by Cornejo’s abandon. Together they transcended the ballet and created indelible art. The orchestra had pockets of empty single seats in the center section and banks of empty seats in the side sections. And yet for a huge theater the stage seemed small and crowded, something I did not notice all these years of ABT subscriptions at the Met. It was hard to single out, much less appreciate, individual dancers. Blaine Hoven, dubbing for Simkin, hardly had enough room to traverse the stage in his jumps. Too many costumed non-dancers on the stage. Some thoughts: I found the ballet too long. Some people did leave after Act 2. In the crowd scenes I found my mind wandering. But I must commend the orchestra, under the direction of David La Marche. The music was wonderful, glorious, kept bringing me back when my mind wandered. Unfortunately I was not riveted by Cassandra Trenary’s performance. She is a lovely, beautiful, lyrical dancer, but despite adequate acting, especially in the drunk dance, she did not project and own the stage. That’s what I am looking for in a prima ballerina. Blaine Hoven, on the other hand, was fantastic as the drunken Lescaut. Every movement and facial expression was right on. I was not expecting him to be so good at character dancing. I think he has a great career ahead in these roles. He was supposed to be one of the Three Gentlemen. Joseph Gorak, Calvin Royal III, and a third, unnamed dancer, were terrific in their solo. Who was that third dancer? Finally, it was a privilege to see Cornejo in his long coveted role. He gave it his everything and he and Sarah created a partnership for the ages in these roles. I am so happy for him. I will long remember this performance.
  7. Thank you, California and FauxPas, for your reviews of last night’s performance. Looking forward to seeing Sarah Lane and Herman Cornejo tonight and ready to brave thunderstorms to get there from Connecticut. Will report afterward. I assume a number of other Ballet Alerters will be there to see Sarah and Herman’s debuts as well. Thank you, nanushka, for the post from Hoven that he expects Herman to dance!
  8. Thank you, abatt! Now why didn’t I think to check the Met Opera website? Never occurred to me.
  9. I can’t find information on the ABT website on the time length of Manon. It starts at 7:30 pm, but when is the performance over? Can anyone help? I have to plan my transportation for the June 18 evening performance. Thank you!
  10. Lane can emote dramatically. Boylston is more of an athletic performer, in my opinion. And Seo can be bland, although in certain roles requiring delicacy and grace she can be good. No one can match Alessandra Ferri, who owned this role, but I have also seen Julie Kent, whom I liked in the role. Bottom line, I will keep my ticket for Lane/Cornejo and hope for the best. Make of this what you will.
  11. Lovely to read about these young men. I loved the show, saw it five times on Broadway, seeing each Billy at least once. I often wondered about their lives after Billy. Thanks for posting.
  12. Thank you to all those who reviewed this ballet in detail. I had seen a preview trailer some time ago, a pas de deux with Teuscher and Whiteside that was all writhing and tangling limbs for 10-15 minutes, and based on that I decided to skip this ballet. Glad I did. It’s too bad there was so little real ballet in this piece.
  13. I was just browsing the ABT calendar for this season, looking for another ballet to attend in addition to the Lane/Cornejo performance of Manon, for which I have a ticket. Checking seats available for the remaining ballets, I conclude that most performances, with minor exceptions, have many orchestra seats left to fill. But then I came upon Misty Copeland’s performances of Swan Lake and two of them are completely sold out at all levels of the theater! All that’s left are partial view seats. Is this because of her tremendous following, or bulk purchases, or some combination of the two? I was feeling sorry for ABT management at the so-far lackluster sales until I came upon this phenomenon.
  14. I was at today’s matinee (last performance of the season). Lovely performance with a few standouts from my perspective. First, Sara Mearns was perfection—her musicality, her extensions, her flexibility, but mostly her joy, which was infectious. There was a delicacy to her dancing. In Slaughter, which I saw her in a few weeks ago, she was on the attack, going for broke—her energy felt by every audience member. Today she was romantic, her dancing with Peter Walker as Bottom was tender. Truly she is at the height of her powers and artistry. Second, Harrison Ball as Puck was fantastic. His dramatic acting, leaps, energy, and star power drove the narrative and stole the show. I thought Lars Nelson and Lauren King, and Daniel Applebaum and Erica Periera were delightful both in dance and acting. Peter Walker as Bottom gave a comic and nuanced performance. Georgina Pazcoguin was a strong Hippolyta. I hadn’t seen her for some time and thought she made the most of her role. Ask La Cour replaced Russell Janzen as Titania’s cavalier. He was an okay partner for Mearns but had a wooden, passive expression throughout, in contrast to Mearns’ expressiveness and joy. Gonzalo Garcia did dance as Oberon, and as Nanushka noted, he acquitted himself fairly well. I did notice that although he does not get great elevations on his jumps, he is precise and lands like a cat—no thuds! in the Divertissement, Ashley Bouder was graceful and fluid—no shoe squeaks!—but she had a pasted-on smile that looked disingenuous. I prefer her in more forceful roles. It was good to see Adrian D-W back. He was an earnest partner but did not have much expression. The children were perfectly trained. I don’t know how their teachers do it! One confusing note: before Act I, there was an announcement that La Cour was replacing Janzen. I could swear the voice making the announcement was Peter Martins. If so, why was he there? Did he stage the ballet? Too bad the season is over.....
  15. Thank you, thank you, BalanchineFan, for your enthusiastic report on today’s matinee. I will be there tomorrow for the last performance of the season. Can’t wait. I haven’t seen NYCB’s Midsummer Night’s Dream ballet in 7 years (!) and especially look forward to seeing Sara Mearns as Titania. I saw her a few weeks ago in Slaughter....She always rocks. A fitting end to the season. It will be fun to see all the little girls in the audience, after the children’s program earlier in the afternoon. I like their joy and laughter.
  16. I was wondering if anyone on this board might have qualms about seeing Ramasar perform. I had a ticket for today’s matinee, but it would have been difficult to come in to the city today, so when I realized I would be seeing Ramasar, I had mixed feelings, and because of that and the challenges of making it to Manhattan today, I decided to exchange the ticket for a performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  17. Although I didn’t see last night’s performance, this is exactly how I felt about Taylor Stanley’s performance Sunday in Barber Violin Concerto. Mesmerizing is the right word. He commands the stage because he transforms himself into pure dance and you can’t take your eyes off him. I’m glad Megan Fairchild is back and projects glamour. I can’t wait to see her dance. Thanks for your report, Bobbi.
  18. Exhilarating performance at today’s matinee. In Slaughter, Sara Mearns was her go-for-broke self, hair flying. Peter Walker has lots of personality but his technique needs refining. I kept wishing Robbie Fairchild we’re back in the role. I enjoyed conductor AndrewLitton’s See the Music exploring Barber’s Violin Concerto with the brilliant solo violin of Kurt Nikkanan. I didn’t think I would like this ballet but I did, especially Taylor Stanley, who commanded the stage, inhabiting the role with sinuous intensity. Diamonds was scintillating, especially the brilliant Maria Kowroski. I didn’t notice any difference in her performance of this role since being coached by Suzanne Farrell, but others more attuned to the piece may. There did seem a great energy and joy to all the dancers’ performances in this piece. I especially applaud the quartet of Laine Habony, Olivia MacKinnon, Mary Elizabeth Sell, and Lydia Wellington, who all sparkled. Tyler Angle as always is a great partner for Maria but he seems less energized than others, and he lands his jumps heavily (I was in Orch row G). Where else can you experience such a great day in the theater? As always, NYCB thrills me.
  19. Today’s Washington Post reviewed opening night (sorry I don’t know how to link it here), singling out for praise the piece by the 18-year-old dancer in her first publicly performed piece. The reviewer was thrilled with the end of the piece when the men throw the woman up in the air with her skirt billowing around her, and just as she seems to float on the air above them, the lights go out. End of piece. This reminded me of a short solo piece called “Caught”, with similar lighting tricks, that I saw performed at the May 2010 ABT gala by Angel Corella. It used strobe lighting, which went on and off as he performed his jumps. On the final jump, as he seemed to hover in the air, the lights went out a final time, leaving the stage in the dark. The audience was left with the impression that he was forever “caught” in midair. I never forgot this piece and wonder if this type of trick has been used elsewhere in ballet.
  20. Finally, replenishing the male soloist ranks. I see from his repertoire that he has danced many of the principal dancer roles in the NYCB repertoire. And he is young and appears tall. I wonder if he was recruited by recommendation of Edward Villella. Looking forward to seeing him dance in the fall.
  21. Thank you, ABT fan, this is good news. Sounds like she has had to work hard and overcome obstacles to get back in shape. I remember it took Maria Kowroski awhile to return to top form after pregnancy, and she has been doing star turns lately. I am excited for the spring season and have just purchased a ticket to yet another performance to add to my spring series. I hope the new artistic team will continue to emphasize the Balanchine classics and the great Robbins ballets going forward. I love them and, to be mercenary, they sell the most seats, which enables the company to offer new choreography, some of which takes time to build a following and other new pieces which strike out.
  22. Does anyone know if Megan Fairchild will return this spring?
  23. Would you start a new thread for the Spring 2019 season? I tried to do it but couldn’t make it work. Thanks.
  24. At first I was so excited by this announcement. Then I read the full statement posted by Kathleen O’Connell. Sounds like Jon Stafford’s role will be to ensure artistic continuity and excellence of current repertory and SAB, pretty much a non-artistic role. The way forward will be in the hands of Wendy Whelan—commissioning new works, planning the programs for each season (this the most important job in building and retaining audiences). The future lies in her hands. How do people feel about that? I see her role as the most important aspect of an artistic director’s job. I find it confusing that management has configured the roles this way. Please comment!!!
  25. In answer to your questions, California, I think that early access to additional tickets means you can buy them before single ticket sales to the general public are open, which is generally sometime in March. I don’t think early access includes seat selection. My understanding is that the box office assigns subscription series seats for new subscribers up to a certain date before single ticket sales go on sale yo the public, so you can’t select your single ticket seats until all subscription series seats are assigned. You are right that you don’t get to select your own seats for the initial three. But I think if you call rather than subscribe online, you may be able to put in a request for the section you want—e.g. rows C-H if you like to sit near the stage in the orchestra. No guarantee, though, that they will be able to honor your request.
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