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Everything posted by Emily12

  1. Good points, well made. It just occurred to me that Kolpakova always seems a strong supporter and advocate of Lane. You'd think, or hope, that she'd have some sway - everyone loves her and she's undeniably a master! Watching her coaching sessions is one of my favorite things! Separately - I was also thinking, as others have mentioned earlier, that it would be wonderful if ABT brought on Irina & Max for some in-house coaching. Kolpakova can't coach everyone, but I'm sure you're right it's about money and they may want to keep their freedom/flexibility. The company would sooo benefit from more quality coaches - I wish they would've taken a few mil from that ridiculous Harlequinade and put that money to better use!
  2. In an effort to understand the strong feelings represented here regarding the treatment of Lane – namely humiliated by the company, injustice, possibly about to be let go** etc. - out of curiosity, I ran a few numbers. The numbers are limited to just the ABT 2020 Spring Season, per the thread, and I've only included lead roles in full length ballets. (I've done roles, not no. of shows...) Lastly, I didn't count the secondary billed roles in Love & Rage since, as discussed here, I don't know how much dancing they entail - if anyone sees the March shows of L&R - I'd love to hear about it! Abrera 2 (J, G) Ahn 1 (Si) Bolyston 6 (N, J, G, A, Je, O/O) Bell 6 (So, R, C, A, D, Si) Copeland 4 (J, G, Je, O/O) Brandt 1 (A) Cornejo 4 (So, R, A, Si) Fang 0 Hallberg 2 (R, A) Foster 6! (R, C, A, D, R, Si) Lane 3 (J, G, A) Gorak 1 (D) Murphy 3/5 (G, J, G, M, O/O) Hammoudi 0 Seo 6 (N, J, C, G, A, O/O) Hoven 0 Shevchenko 4/5 (G, C, G, M, O/O) Hurlin 2/4 (G, C, M, A) Simkin 1 (A) Paris 0 Stearns 5 (So, R, A, R, Si) Royal 3 (R, C, A) Teuscher 4/5 (N, J, M, Je, O/O) Scott 0 Whiteside 5 (R, A, D, R, Si) Trenary 3 (G, J, A) Williams 0/1 (M) Zhurbin 0 So... possibly we were right about the favoritism of Bolyston & Seo! I can understand how this would be disappointing if Lane is your favorite ABT dancer. On the other hand, Copeland's only at 4 and however folks feel about her dancing, no denying she sells tickets. Are the soloists with more roles Hurlin at 4? Trenary with the same no. at 3? I don't think I see sufficient evidence that a single dancer stands out as being so badly mistreated or left behind that it explains any shade or means she's being pushed out of the company?! Perhaps in a couple years I'll find I am wrong! Personally I'm most disappointed by the lack of Simkin & Hallberg and most shocked by Foster. And out of the ladies, I'd feel the most hard-done-by if I were Abrera - such a long time with the company, 42 - last year/last chance, where's the gratitude for the decades of devotion?, but lovely Abrera seems only ever to be full of gratitude. I know people feel certain dancers can or can't dance certain roles (myself included), but isn't this subjective? Slightly unrelated - there are a handful of dancers whose Insta I try to avoid. (I'll do a quick scan for rehearsal vids! but not read the content.) I do this selfishly as I don't want to allow their world views to get in the way of my enjoyment of their dancing - I'd only be hurting myself. edit * - hope this doesn't violate rules, not trying to report gossip, just restate what I've read here.
  3. Thanks! I should have been more clear, I could see what she was doing (and it's def not Berthe's fault) but I just don't feel the ends justify the means - that is to say having her hair all the way smoothly down isn't worth her mother's reaction to her daughter's collapse to be fixing her hair. For me, it takes me out of it. If you watch the Obratsova one at Paris Opera on YouTube, her hair never makes it all the way down - she tears at it, it becomes a mess, mother comforts her, she gets up again with it in disarray. It's just the direction of that action that bothers me. Not hugely, but I notice it.
  4. Oh I agree with this whole-heartedly. So many casting decisions are a mystery to me. I always wish I knew or had the inside track as it is at times beyond baffling. The predilections of ADs has no baring on what is “natural” or “normal”! Boylston is technically strong, solid and reliable - I can see how that would be of value to an AD, but she has never touched my soul. There could also be a dozen reasons political or otherwise that we will never be privy to. Maybe she’s charming or laughs at his jokes more than others - Lol. Hee Seo is another one that fails to move me and Mckenzie seems to think the sun shines out of her, I find her wooden and uninspiring, the only time she showed real emotion was at Bolle’s farewell, that emotion fed her dancing as well, best performance she’s ever given imo - it was like Bolle and the energy of the evening lit her on fire. Lightening in a bottle perhaps. I love Lane as a dancer. I also don’t think her repertoire is exactly shabby. She has danced or is set to dance the 3 roles she says she always dreamed about - Giselle, Manon and Juliet. She’s also danced Nikiya, Kitri, Aurora, Swanhilda, Gulnare, Clara, Praline, Columbine, Olga, and many other leads in one acts and short ballets. I was lucky enough to be at the 1.5 Swan Lakes where Lane subbed in for Kotchetkova and then Copeland. For four rehearsals, she surely pulled it off. I believe she will get the chance again, but until then, even if she doesn’t benefit from the same favoritism as Seo and Bolyston, she’s hardly baby in the corner and we will get to enjoy her Juliet, Giselle, Nikiya and Aurora this spring.
  5. I really don’t understand this notion of a natural “fill-in-the-blank” role and I don’t think it is a particularly helpful one. One of my favorite actors Harriet Walter always says to herself before she walks on stage: “It could be you Harriet, it could be you.” And one of the best pieces of advice I remember receiving as an actor (when I was cast as Juliet and was very self conscious of my double d’s, thinking no one would buy me as 13, I didn’t look right or “natural”. A more senior actor told me to “act it” if you were 13 and had double d’s, how would that affect you, the way you walk, carry yourself, see yourself etc. A good story is a set of circumstances, the collective human experience means we can understand and relate to one another, put ourselves in someone else’s shoes “it could be you”. I understand that acting is not ballet - there are hugely important physical necessities and physical features that are obviously less appealing in ballet - I can think of dancers, in companies we all know, with shorter necks or unfortunately shaped rib cages, maybe these would not be ideal for Giselle, but nor would they really be for any role. As long as the female dancer and the male dancer partnering her are proportionately well matched, then if they can dance the part and live through the role honestly, then it is possible it may be magic - you just can’t say until you’ve seen it. x no. of years ago ballerinas had to be 5’5”-5’6” that was the standard of classical ballet - outside it was unusual, nowadays everyone from the Bolshoi is bloody runway height! And the Simkin’s and Kotchetkova’s of this world would never be allowed to gain entry - and what a crying shame it would be if everywhere were so rigid. 5 years ago (I think) I saw lopatkina as Medora - you wouldnt necessarily call her a “natural” Medora or Kitri I don’t think she ever got to play the latter, but I feel sure if given the chance she would make it her own and I would damn well be queuing up for those tix if they came to town because she is a magnificent dancer. I happened to love Gillian’s Met debut as Giselle with Hallberg in 2017 - she was heartbreakingly beautiful, delicate, vulnerable, and her musicality alone was enough to make you loose yourself in the story (she had Ormsby - ❤️). Also, have you heard Gillian speak in interviews - she’s soft spoken and giggly blushes every time she talks of Ethan - she’s not a walking Odile! All humans have so so many sides to them, but good dancers are rare jewels. I did not adore her recent Giselle in DC as much, but not because she has an innate non-Giselle quality. Who is Giselle anyway? She is a fiction and as someone on this forum quite rightly said anyone can have a heart defect, anyone can have their heartbroken and maybe madness is but a moment away. “It could be you.”
  6. The top knock-your-socks-off performances in the leads for me this week were Simkin, Brandt, and Katherine Williams!! Superb debut by Aran and very strong debuts by Hurlin and Ahn as well, the latter being better than I expected (obvs expectations were high for Hurlin). Personally, I found Foster forgettable, but I don't really understand the interest in him, perhaps I missed the key performance. I didn't get tix to Seo or Copeland as I've seen them once before and once was enough, the Thursday was sold out before Brandt was subbed in so I can't speak to how she performed on Thursday, but on Sunday she was fantastic! Top 10 act 2s of Giselle I've ever seen (approx. 250 Giselles). Light and floaty, ethereal, with total control and confidence to go slowly in the adagio to the fullest expression of each pose, no cutting corners, and then the fitness and agility to perform all petit allegro sections with beautifully clean precision, there was a desperation in her performance that is often missing in some interpretations, this desperation creates an urgency that fills the characterization of the allegro sections. Her musicality, lyricism top notch throughout both acts. Interestingly, in her act one the bit I expected her to nail (the sequence of attitude turns and pirouettes at start of act 1 solo) was not perfect and the bit where I really wasn't sure if she could pull it off (the subtleties of acting - falling in love to madness etc) she pleasantly surprised me, I cried at her mad scene. (Apologies for stating the obvious, but what dancers can do in the rehearsal room and what they can pull off consistently on stage is even more different than I imagined.) Katherine Williams KILLED IT! That was one perfect Myrtha, she stole Saturday night show for me - start to finish top 10 definitely! Her debut at the Met in 2018 was fantastic, but somehow she managed to outdo herself. She had every element - the slow adagio section in the beginning had as much control as I've ever seen, she was cold and wickedly good acting the part, her jumps were light and airy and high as all get-out and she didn’t tire, and her bourees - the audience almost laughed in disbelief they didn't know what to make of it - it was like she was on roller skates - then of course, erupted in applause. Gillian did bourees like this in a 2014 Giselle with Vishneva and Gomes, I'll never forget it - this was that good. Hurlin's jumps were equally fantastic - girl can jump something fierce - the height, shape, silent landing - marvelous. Her adagio section at the beginning didn't have the same level of control as Williams and the bourees weren't as surreal, but this was a debut and it was more than solid - excited to see how/if it changes develops by June. I was so excited to see Gillian, after 18 months away and hearing of the horrific splitting open of her abdominals after giving birth. I was rooting for her so hard. As always, the musicality was perfection, she writes the music with her body, but I don’t think the technical elements were as strong as they’ve been. Her Met debut with Hallberg in 2017 was magical and this was not to that standard, but I’m still rooting and I’ll be there with bells on in the spring. Side note - what the heck is with the fiddling with the hair before the mad scene, Berthe futzing with her hair when her daughter’s just collapsed - it irritates me every time. Surprising disappointments were the peasant pas de deux. Paris and Shayer danced well separately, but piss-poorly together, they seemed so out of sync, not good partnering. And Trenary must have been having an off night because those were some of the wobbly turns I’ve ever seen from her and Maloney was v unsure on his landings too, like nerves wholly got the better of him. Simkin and Lane were a dream - no surprises there. Annoyed that this performance had the most unsold seats of the bunch - unfortunate as it was world class.
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