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Everything posted by Inge

  1. Thank you for this insight! I've had to make the case to some that he is indeed suited for difficult high tech roles and forgot about his Artist-In-Residence status. Speaking of, I could really go for an interesting new Don Q production at ABT if they insist on bringing it back all the time.
  2. Agreed. It happens with female dancers all the time, where they may be technically less impressive but their artistry and 'it' factor makes up for it (Ferri, Kent, Copeland...just examples, I know many will disagree). He may or may not nail a Solar or Basilio, but he has so much to offer the company and audiences. If I were a choreographer I'd love to create pieces for him, especially seeing how he really tore into the Fall season and several Spring season supporting roles (his arms in Apollo are a thing to behold). I don't agree (slightly implied here and very implied on other forums) that his promotion is publicity fueled. Combined with Ahn, Bell and Forster, the Principal ranks seem quite balanced to me (except the only reason whiz bang technical trickster we have left is Simkin, wondering who will fill that type of role). I'm especially excited to see how Ahn matures into the big classic ballet roles. Happy for Shayer too, and I wish him a glorious injury-free ascent. I'm sad to miss out on the Lane debuts we'll never see, but I can't really side with anyone there unless I know the full story. Her IG was pretty salty / odd for a while and I stopped following.
  3. Thanks Laurel! I too was thinking of the corps members you listed: Tyler Maloney, Carlos Gonzales, Jonathan Klein (no idea how tall any of them are, though). I'd be excited to see her paired with any of them. I respect Lane + Cornejo's decision not to dance with one another anymore, and hope she finds a connection soon (I enjoy Cornejo with both Trenary and Copeland, although I know that's not a popular opinion). Nothing against Gorak, who has been wonderful in many soloist roles. I just don't think he's up for those effortless lifts and hasn't (in my limited experience of seeing him, so any other insights are welcome) displayed significant acting skills to carry a ballet. Hope to be proven wrong!
  4. I also thought read a little weird, but keep in mind it could be an accidental same-day post of a biblically-themed quote + tribute to her husband, which is not unusual for her. I'm refraining from taking sides (Sarah / Herman / McKenzie) unless I know exactly what happened, which I probably never will. It may blow over by next season. She doesn't have many other established partners (Simkin being a 1-show principal) so for everyone upset at McKenzie for his casting, perhaps he had no choice. Here's hoping that everyone can work through any issues and find fulfillment in this upcoming season. I do think that McKenzie could have pulled an exciting dancer from the corps for her R+J debut, but alas.
  5. This description makes it sound like the child of Le Corsaire & The Tempest. Please no. (but looking forward to be proven wrong)
  6. Really sad about Ogawa. Her corps work in Swan Lake was just exquisite (I could always pick out her épaulement, she caught the light so beautifully) and she was one of the 3rd Odalisques that could pull off triple pirouettes.
  7. Agreed. I don't care much about triple fouettes or head-to-leg extension extremes, but I just live for those fish dives that enhance the music's crescendos. It's so joyous for me, especially since they're closing the spring season. I might just have reconstruction fatigue but I find it very very hard to get excited about this. I think all the Auroras will make the new pose look gorgeous, though.
  8. I may be alone in this, but I care about Copeland's fans and am happy she honored her schedule last night. It is a momentous moment in many of their lives, from the little girls to the women of color who've never been able to witness real representation in ballet. It's not fair to Sarah Lane, but the mishandling of Lane's career is 100% McKenzie's fault. Not Copeland's. I feel terribly for Lane and believe that she should have gotten a special shoutout by ABT for being a trooper and knocking it out of the park. She better get an actual Swan Lake next year (if not one of Copeland's shows, Seo or Teuscher could stand to lose one and literally no one would be upset). Copeland's presence is important. I hope she is able to dance on Saturday and that going forward, she has ample opportunity to dance more Manons and Juliets and feels less pressure to do O/Os and such.
  9. She hashtagged #BlackSwan so there's a small possibility that she's only dancing Odile? While sort of a nuts idea, it would make sense if Copeland isn't feeling her best but still wants to be there for her fans. I'll probably be proven wrong on this.
  10. After Act I, my husband asked who was playing Manon and I told him it was Sarah Lane and that we had seen her before several times. He said he didn't even recognize her because she is 'a real prima now.' I thought that this was actually pretty insightful, as this is the first time this season I've seen someone besides Shevchenko bring international level power and glamour to a role. Her transformation was so spot on, her dancing so fluid and confident. I've always liked Lane (and love her when paired with Cornejo) but last night I was swept away. Act III Scene I was devastating. Act III Scene II, especially upsetting (there are of course more explicit scenes in ballet but Zhurbin's creeping determination and Lane's fight then disassociation was genuinely shocking). Hoven's death scene was a little hammy but otherwise he was fabulous. Weird comment, but he has such a great face for this role.
  11. Simkin was my deciding factor between splurging considerable $$ and waiting to see if there are rush tickets this Sat. Although I love Shevchenko and wanted to see Mack, I just can't get into Le Corsaire unless it has an extraordinary Ali at its center. I like Ahn but I can't really see him knocking my socks off in the role.
  12. Very sad to hear. I do think a lot of Harlequinade's choreography is really beautiful and appreciate it as a fascinating piece of dance history, but it was not a show meant for The Met (and none of the performances I saw last year really wowed me...the energy was weird then too even with multiple casts). I feel that most people who were interested saw it last year, realized that they paid to watch 20 minutes of a children's dance recital, some patchy pantomime by the adults (saved by some lovely bursts of artistry and solo work), and decided to skip it this year. I also can't bear to face all the empty seats in that huge theater, especially after a Met Opera season full of packed houses and/or soaring enthusiasm. This season has so little momentum behind it. Honestly, cutting three weeks off the 2021 season might snap some better decisions into ABT's sluggish leadership.
  13. How has she looked the rest of the season? I haven't seen much of her this year and just assumed she was nursing a mild injury or having an 'off' day. It's a shame because I always find this couple the most ambiguous of the Liebeslieder couples. I did love Daniel Applebaum as her partner in this. His innate elegance and splendid épaulement is always a highlight for me. He and Stanley were a joy to watch.
  14. I agree. Are we forgetting that Rochester was moody and intense? Odd looking yet strangely handsome? I think Whiteside is the obvious choice. Not to mention he's also the sturdiest partner in (what seems like?) a very partnering-heavy role. If we're going by the book, Stearns and Forster are the weirder casting choices (though I'm looking forward to seeing Forster as well). Honestly in looking through the ABT male roster, I'm having trouble visualizing many of the dancers as this character. Hallberg has a good look for it, but he's been rather mild in his characterizations lately.
  15. I bet that was Copeland's choice. She dances much more beautifully when not in the 'high pressure' roles (she was great in everything I saw last Spring except Swan Lake, in which she seemed unsteady). I think Manon and Jane Eyre are promising roles for her...she brings a lot of freshness to the more youthful dramatic roles for me. Really hoping Jonathan Klein gets one of those Whipped Cream slots. Bell is wonderful but If find him to be a better partner than an engaging dancer, if that makes sense. Forster had some minor problems partnering Shevchenko in Firebird last Spring (then again, who can keep up with Shevchenko anymore?)...maybe that's why he isn't landing a lot of major partnering leads? So happy that Gorak got a SB. Prince Desiree is a perfect role for him.
  16. Fang has been with the company since 2003! Another Ballet Alert member pointed out to me that she was injured a while back (for two whole years) so it stalled her progress. She will be like Luciana Paris, not on the principal route but an invaluable soloist. For me, Fang absolutely glows. She was the only harlot this year to really dig into the role, performed well as the first shade, and performs even the smallest roles with a freshness and charisma that's impossible to fake. She is also incredibly stylish and carries a sparkling old world glamour, which is always good for fashion shoots and such (shouldn't matter, but it really is important to keep ballet on the public radar, even if it's just a magazine spread). Love her. Williams hasn't been high on my radar, but everyone who saw her Myrtha this year said it was the best of the new batch of Myrthas, and that's really saying something.
  17. I too was a little disappointed in his performance on Monday, but by Wednesday he seemed to have shaken off whatever was holding him back. He really, really tore into the role that night.
  18. Are you me? I thought no one else felt the same way. What Bell lacks is intensity. Some naturally have it (Jonathan Klein does), and some develop it. I hope Bell can. Also he's 19, which cannot be covered by any amount of makeup or even strong characterization. I think the fault here is in weird casting.
  19. That makes sense. I have seen her in soloist roles but she's been with the company since 2003! That seems like a long time to remain a corps member considering what a great presence she has. An injury would definitely explain it (unfortunately).
  20. Whiteside may not be the greatest actor in moments of high drama, but he was the only Siegfried I saw this week who brought life to Act I. He brings such a sly, dissatisfied air to his spoiled Prince, a man who is looking for excitement and destined for trouble. It added some much-appreciated foreshadowing that is very present in Tchaikovsky’s music, but not McKenzie’s terrible choreography. He also was an excellent partner for Murphy. *shrug* I really like his Siegfried. And of all the Odettes I saw this week (note: I couldn't make Shevchenko's performance) Gillian Murphy was the only one who made me cry. She brings the most suffering and depth to the role, as if she has been a captive for over a century. Her interactions with Whiteside were more tender than the other Odettes, and her protection of him much stronger. Love her frozen stare at the sky the moment when Rothbart possesses her at the end of Act II. Her Odile was not the speeding bullet of five years ago, but she seemed the most relaxed in the role. Overall, this has been a good year for O/Os. I didn't love Aran Bell as Rothbart. He's technically superior to Royal, but very flat in characterization. I didn’t expect a 19-year-old to convincingly play Odile’s seductive sorcerer father, and I'm sure he will improve with time. I suppose it was to be expected that he would look like a teenager wearing a silly costume. Has anyone seen enough of Zhong-Jing Fang to know why she's being held back from more soloist work? She's been a breath of fresh this whole season, and has such movie star glamour. She never treats small roles like small roles. She and Duncan Lyle have both been dancing everything with such gratitude and joy. Corps members like them are a blessing. I also couldn't take my eyes off Kaho Ogawa's swan. There is something so beyond-her-years in the way she tilts her head to catch the light, as well as her clean lines and accomplished swan arms.
  21. I have a feeling they are keeping Shevchenko in the wings (metaphorically speaking) tomorrow just in case. But I think it's fine. If social media is any indication, Murphy seems excited to dance Swan Lake. For Don Q, they would definitely give Shevchenko one of Murphy's shows if doesn't feel up to the role. The second slot would probably go to Seo, but I also wouldn't be surprised if Brandt has been learning Kitri as well. Then again it is ABT. They're pretty bad at being prepared (see: the infamous three Sylvias incident in 2016).
  22. People were definitely whispering around me. I think a lot of people noticed. I wonder what she'll do for Don Q. It's one thing to sub them in Swan Lake, but virtuoso dancing and tricks are really the only things Don Quixote has going for it. Why else even bother seeing Don Quixote?
  23. Cirio is an extraordinary artist (also, is there a more likable principal in the ranks?), but he couldn't carry Harlequinade, which I thought would be a shoe-in for him. Even though his solo was the cleanest of all the leading men that week, he didn't seem 100% immersed. I just don't think ABT is a good fit. He excels in more cutting edge pieces. I love Royal in everything I see him in, but his technique hasn't been looking the strongest these past few weeks (his port de bras is still to die for though, and he does have that 'it' factor). I think the big leading man solos would get the best of him unless he has a technical epiphany.
  24. This whole conversation is depressing me. I couldn't make Shevchenko's debut so I went to tonight's show, hoping that some high audience energy would pick up my spirits. It was fine. Copeland is a better Odile than Odette. It might not be world class dancing, but she got the job done without any major fumbles. The only real annoyance for me was that she splays her fingers really wide, especially when she dances Odette. It cuts off her line and looks extremely weird. I've never seen her do this before. And yes, she did piqué and chaîné turns. They weren't especially crisp, but I admire her for realizing her limits and scaling back. Afterwards people around me were whispering, so I assume many are aware of this year's YouTube Foutté-Gate. Oddly enough, there were no solo curtain calls, just two en masse. Jonathan Klein was fantastic in the Neopolitan. Sometimes I get more excited about him than Bell. Act I is really tough to sit through multiple times per week. That choreography is so muddy and uninspired. In some places it looks like it was choreographed to completely different music. Or no music at all. If there were an intermission after Act I I would just wait until it's over and then take my seat. Bleh. Looking forward to Murphy's turn on Friday (but not having to sit through Act I and the dreaded swan interlude). Having two great Swan Queens in the pipeline (Shevchenko, Teuscher) is a pretty exciting prospect. I feel like Trenary would also be fantastic one day.
  25. If this were someone's first ballet, I'm sure they were confused by the crossbow because Stearns looked at it like it was something from an alien planet. I can't even think about Act I. I've always said that ABT's current Swan Lake (Act I + the prologue) reinforces a lot of bad stereotypes people carry around about ballet. It's a rare dancer that can make that scene (& its duller than dull choreography) exciting. Even Gomes could barely lift it. Kudos to Roman Zhurbin for keeping a straight face while stroking the swan puppet 🙄
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