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About Bronxfan

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    Ballet Alert!

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  1. Bronxfan

    ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    I attended last night's performance. There were several cast changes and they were announced so fast, I could not keep them straight. Overall, it was a good Swan Lake - not a great one. I have to start with Marcelo Gomes. The technique may not be there as it once was, but wow - does he own that role. The stage presence, the command of the audience and his connection with his fellow dancers on stage - it is really amazing to see. Lendorf was good - not spectacular- but good. I noticed a few wobbles and he was not fully extended on some of his moves, but he was a very good partner to Isabella. He also put a lot of emotion into his role as Siegfried, especially in the last act of the ballet. When he leapt into the lake, I actually thought he was going the wrong way at first. I think he just needed some more room to run into that spectacular leap. This is the third time (I think) that I have seen Isabella in Swan Lake. When she entered for what I thought was the 32 fouettés, I said to myself, "She's way too close to the end of the stage". Then, I saw she did something different. I try not to let the fouettés make or brake the performance of a ballerina for me. It is 1% of the total ballet. Sure - it's a spectacular moment, but Swan Lake is more than just the 32 fouettés. What bothered me more than leaving out that part was Isabella's very jerky and sharp movements, especially in the Act II pas de deux. Anytime there was a move that required flexibility, she kind of jerked into the movement, whereas that should have been a time where soft and lyrical would have been better. I don't recall her doing this before. However, she did have some truly beautiful moments last night. I very much enjoyed the Act I Pas de Trois with Gorack, Brandt, and Lane. I forget - is this the last year of this production or do we have one more year before Ratmansky's version starts. I am not really looking forward to that, because I have not cared for his choreography for The Firebird, The Golden Cockerel, or his version of The Sleeping Beauty.
  2. Bronxfan

    ABT 2017 Don Quixote

    I saw the opening night performance with Murphy and Stearns and then I saw the second night with Copeland and Cirio. Murphy was spectacular on the first night. She was technically brilliant and artistically fiery and playful. Stearns was solid but not really outstanding. It seemed that the audience was sitting on its hands anytime he had a solo. I seemed to have the same reaction that many of you had to the casting of Hee Seo as Mercedes/Queen of the Dryads. When I sat down and opened the program I said to myself - "Has she fixed her problem with the Italian fouettés?" And sadly the answer was no. The overall production was very good. In the past, the ABT has opened with Don Quixote and I would find it a little sloppy. The corps and the minor roles were all well performed. Again - I found Murphy brilliant and Stearns kind of bland. The second night I would call a semi-triumph for Copeland. The Met was more crowded and I found the audience more enthusiastic than the opening night. Why would I call this a semi- triumph for Misty? Well, Copeland and Cirio had a noticeable error on the one legged lifts in Act I. Then, in Act III, Copeland was doing so well in the fouettés - then she stopped after about 26 or so. However, her Act I solos were great and she was lovely in Act II. I realize that she is still growing as an artist and I see a huge improvement in her dancing and her command of the stage. I liked Cirio as Basilio much better than Stearns. His dancing was more dynamic. What a treat to see Veronika Part as the Dryad Queen. And Cassandra Trenary was wonderful as Amour. I preferred her to Sarah Lane who performed the role on the first night. I was sorry to hear about Gillian's hip injury. I was also sorry to hear about Herman Cornejo's injury. I have had the pleasure of seeing his Basilio in the past. He is probably one of the best I have seen.