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  1. I was at tonight's performance. Bouder was stellar... in the Rose Adagio, she held the last few balances for an insanely long time and made it all look so easy. She tripled a few of the pirouettes. Fish dives in the final pas de deux were daring. Garcia was a perfectly competent prince, but I found him somewhat bland and his jumps looked (and sounded) rather heavy. He still manages to land most double tours cleanly in 5th position though. Partnering was solid, even if I wasn't convinced that these people were actually in love. Despite a few mishaps, it was a good night at the ballet. King was a fabulous Lilac Fairy -- lovely port de bras and lots of warmth. Phelan really stood out as Courage and later as Emerald. Sanz (subbing for Walker) looked great as Gold with lovely lines and high jump, despite stumbling out of a pirouette towards the end of the turns à la seconde sequence. Hoxha and Adams had some major partnering problems in the Bluebird/Florine part. Two times, if I remember correctly, he couldn't manage to spin her around, and the mistakes clearly threw both of them off because they finished the sequence long before they were supposed to, took bows, and then scrambled to strike the final poses and bow again with the correct music queue. Individually, though, both were excellent and "bird-like" as the roles required. Hoxha's footwork is really clean and precise -- Anthony Huxley-esque -- and his jumps looked weightless.
  2. Re: yesterday's matinee -- agree with most of the comments above. Reichlen at least looked very nice in the adagio sequences. And her jumps and turns were mostly good. The chainés looked slow compared to the fast piano music, though. She mostly looked most "off" in the fast footwork sequences -- I couldn't always tell if the choreography was supposed to look slightly awkward, per Balanchine playing with convention, or if it was her butchering the steps. The mostly passionless demeanor didn't help the performance either. But Angle proved that he's still got it. LeCrone was great but she does struggle with making her face look warm and inviting from afar. I tried to overlook this though because it isn't entirely her fault. I loved the over-the-top sparkle of the costumes. Overall, it was a great program. Lovette did a nice job in Serenade but could have brought in more drama. I also noticed that one botched pirouette. Loved Gerrity as well and agree that she's principal material -- she's good in a wide variety of roles, I've noticed, from classical to modern and contemporary. Nice to see her get so many debuts. Bouder was fabulous as expected. And Mozartiana looked so seamless and effortless with Huxley and Hyltin compared to the last time I saw it, last spring, with Mearns and Finlay and Ashley Hod's terrible onstage fall (although I thought Schumacher was better in that performance than he was yesterday).
  3. I think Tyler still dances well. He was energetic and had a high jump as the Second Movement guy in Symphony in C this past fall. He does get cast a lot though and looks a bit out of shape. Jared seems to primarily do partnering-only roles these days. I'm mostly concerned about Ask la Cour still performing. He doesn't even move around the stage gracefully, let alone jump or turn well.
  4. Gorgeous Nutcracker last night with Phelan / Gordon / Woodward. Woodward is a natural Dewdrop... she has the spark and personality, plus musicality and perfectly executed turns that reminded me of Tiler Peck. She was the highlight of the evening. Phelan was a very admirable Sugar Plum Fairy, if not an ideal one. She has beautiful extensions for the role but could use more warmth and airiness in her steps. Gordon nailed all of the tricks and was a great partner -- there was a moment in the promenade sequence when I thought Phelan might not make the unsupported balance at the end, but she ended up pulling it off. Other highlights: Harrison Ball as Candy Cane, Sebastian Villarini-Velez as tea (those jumps!), Lydia Wellington who stepped in (unannounced) for Georgina Pazgoguin in Hot Chocolate, Athan Sporek as the little prince (he is destined for greatness), and the perfectly in-sync Polichinelle child dancers. Agreed with whoever said that Megan LeCrone is a mediocre Coffee. She was the only disappointment of the evening, though, and she wasn't even that bad.
  5. Very bizarre casting change... Teuscher and Ball are now dancing on the Friday night that Hallberg and Murphy were scheduled for... now Hallberg is dancing with Copeland on Saturday 6/29.
  6. I didn't think tonight was so bad... I really enjoyed Scotch Symphony and thought SF Ballet's dancing was overall the best of the evening, despite the fall. This piece was the only one on the program that didn't make me think about how much NYCB does it better. Kimin Kim is a superhuman and his jumps in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux had the whole audience gasping. Tereshkina was NOT right for that part though. Maybe she was having a bad night but her style is nothing like the musicality and crispness that Tiler Peck and Ashley Bouder bring to the role... so what if they don't kick as high. And there's something odd and unpretty about Tereshkina's arm movements. Four Temperaments is one of my favorite ballets and I think Joffrey did an admirable job, if not a great one. I wasn't really going into this one with high hopes to be honest. How can you top or even compare to NYCB in this? I liked the guy in Melancholic but, again, the lack of energy of the woman dancing Sanguinic made me really miss NYCB dancers. Overall it was nice to see all of these companies all in one program, and at a much closer distance than at Lincoln Center.
  7. I loved last night's performance... the Lang and Dorrance pieces were nothing special choreography-wise, but they were very well danced and had great energy -- especially the Dorrance piece, which got a ton of applause. The ballet-tap fusion doesn't really work well and the dancers don't quite have the versatility to pull it off, but I still found the performance enjoyable. In the Upper Room was literally epic and I love seeing ABT dance this well outside of their normal element, mixing so many styles. I can see why it might not be for everyone but I thought it was a real masterpiece. It had me in a trance from start to finish. I live for dancing like this. The house was packed last night, which was nice to see considering the poor performance in ticket sales this season.
  8. Songs of Bukovina was my favorite part of last night's performance -- I'm officially a Shevchenko fan now. I actually didn't notice the apparent fall in Symphonie Concertante, which I thought was danced overall well, if not nearly up to par with NYCB's Balanchine dancing. Boylston, Shevchenko and Hoven certainly pulled off the difficult technical elements. The first two pieces were well worth the ticket. Afterrite was just alright; I enjoyed it more in the spring, and I think the dancers probably did too, because I remember them looking more vibrant. The piece also felt more lackluster this time following Balanchine and (not-Firebird) Ratmansky. I definitely don't need to see it for a third time. The theater wasn't TERRIBLY empty -- the orchestra section looked rather full -- but it seemed like everyone sitting near me was there with a comped ticket because they knew someone in the orchestra or otherwise involved with the performance. The company must have been giving away free tickets left and right to fill the empty seats.
  9. I might be in the minority here, but I liked AfterRite in the spring... it's a shame that it seems to be bringing down ticket sales (I actually look forward to seeing it again!). The choreography is interesting, and that Stravinsky music never gets old. To be honest I preferred the piece to Ratmansky's Firebird, which was in the same program. Part of the problem is that it's sooooo off-brand for ABT (and ballet audiences generally do not go in expecting such dark subject matter). If NYCB or another more modernist-leaning company did it, I doubt the response would be as negative, let alone financially disastrous!
  10. Pereira was a completely different dancer in Coppélia. Total principal material there. Her overall star quality might be lacking on other occasions but I still think she has some of the strongest technical ability in the company. Also a good actress.
  11. Yes... they were stunning. I'm mostly unfamiliar with Ashton and I was able to appreciate him more watching Cornejo/Cojocaru last night than with Sarasota Ballet this summer. The staging was short and sweet; a few solos full of bravura tricks from Cornejo, and a small live orchestra onstage. Cojocaru has beautifully arched feet and she really brought out the choreography with her fast, light footwork. That piece, plus Petrushka with Tiler Peck/Lil Buck/Brooklyn Mack were the best parts of the evening. The latter updated the "petrushka" theme with juggalo-inspired makeup -- interesting fusion of classical and contemporary, with Tiler on pointe. As for Lil Buck, WOAH! I have never seen anybody move like that ... he manages to make his body look like a distorting digital graphic. Very surreal. The other two acts were blah... dancers were all talented and the break dance piece was fun to watch, but both lacked the sophistication and extra edge of the other two.
  12. I saw last night's show too... the highlight for me was definitely Allegro Brillante, despite the obvious partnering issues mentioned above. The dancing for the rest of the evening was wonderful, but, yes, the program felt very long. I could have done without Easy (I actually enjoy Carousel, mostly because of the music and the interesting pas de deux). I had high hopes for La Sylphide but found it to be somewhat slow and lackluster overall... not because of Ashley Bouder, Anthony Huxley, or Harrison Ball's performances (they were great)... I'm not quite sure what it is that's missing about that piece, but I definitely wasn't feeling "moved" or hypnotized by the end.
  13. I attended the All Balanchine show tonight... what a fabulous program! Highs: The corps in Concerto Barocco, not to mention Reichlen / Stafford / Janzen in the lead roles Harrison Ball's debut in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux -- such clean technique and high jumps! I hope to see him promoted to principal soon... no, he isn't tall but he's very "princely" in white tights and could help fill the current void The whole cast of Symphony in C, but especially Joseph Gordon, Tiler Peck, Indiana Woodward, and Sebastian VV. Very enthusiastic crowd tonight -- you could really feel the love and support for this company despite the recent drama. Lows: Ask La Cour. How is he even on the stage at all, let alone as a principal? His upper body totally lacks grace and fluidity; his arms seem to awkwardly flop around and overall he looks like he's just marking the choreography instead of actually dancing. He started out rough but looked totally exhausted by the end. I love Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and Mearns/Hyltin/Stanley are all first-rate company members, but La Cour was really distracting. The male corps dancers were all fantastic and any one of them could have done the lead role better. I hate to say it but Maria Kowroski showed her age tonight... her adagio in Symphony in C had some issues; in the developpé à la seconde balance she almost fell over before Tyler Angle caught her. She's still a beautiful dancer but her performance looked more effortful than it probably should have.
  14. I'm guessing that he's debuting Stravinsky Violin Concerto because Finlay is gone... the exact same cast performed last fall, with Finlay partnering Lovette (although it's not like they haven't had time to get somebody else up to speed, considering they were allegedly planning to fire Finlay anyway). It's possible that one of the three terminated dancers was originally supposed to dance Symphony in C as well.
  15. I would think that the dancers are just as concerned about the company's public image as the company's directors and board members are. Whether or not some female dancers actually feel uncomfortable around Ramasar and Catazaro, nobody wants the company to be associated with accusations of rampant sexual misconduct. Cutting ties with the men named in Waterbury's case -- rightfully or not -- is obviously a PR move.
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