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About Drew

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. I look forward to reading your thoughts on the performance!
  2. Sad news for lovers of ballet and ABT....though not entirely surprising. People often mention Abrera's Lilac Fairy....one of my favorite Abrera performances was her Princess Florine in Ratmansky's (Petipa's) Sleeping Beauty -- The performance I attended, I found her dancing in that role and in that production about as close to perfection as it's possible to get.
  3. In D.C. Svetlana Ivanova looked beautiful as one of the coryphees in the Grand Pas of Paquita as well. She was paired with another very fair dancer and they also timed/coordinated their movements together very well. (Likely Ivanova would be beautiful in one or two of the Paquita variations, but in any case I am glad the Mariinsky has such quality dancers in the ensembles)
  4. An extraordinary figure in the history of ballet--with a great legacy. May she rest in peace.
  5. Thank you for the link....
  6. He did pull away the second time leaving lots of extra space in a way that (to me) would have seemed comical had it not followed on a real mistake that interrupted the adagio just as it was reaching its climax. I like Parish and partnering mistakes happen....but this one was plenty awkward.
  7. Tragedy doesn't mean "sad" in any conventional sense--tragic emotion is more complex. The Oresteia resolves itself in favor of Orestes, the founding of a jury system, reconciliation between different gods/values etc. and it's one of the foundational "tragic" trilogies of the Greek tradition. One can judge the ending of Swan Lake with the double suicide, Rothbart defeated, and the lovers united in the land of the dead to be "tragic" without thinking it's simply sad or unhappy. I think it's also not exactly "happy" in any earthly, ordinary sense--certainly evil isn't banished by laughter (or the "happily ever after" of procreative sex) as in classic comedy but by sacrifice and forgiveness. It's something more profound than earthly happiness, at least for the lovers.
  8. When they initially danced together at ABT—I saw them pre-Hallberg-injury—Hallberg and Osipova had great chemistry and their contrasting styles also created a rather wonderful spark. Audiences went pretty wild and to me it was understandable. Hallberg himself came to life in a new way when dancing with her, and has said he joined the Bolshoi partly to pursue that partnership. (She departed the company very shortly after he joined.) Maybe their chemistry is no longer happening and she is merely loyal to the old connection; maybe it will happen again. But at one time, Osipova-Hallberg was a ‘real’ and quite exciting partnership.
  9. I seem to be in the minority on Khoreva's performance--but I'll go ahead and write up a "minority report." I thought this was a decided step up from her Medora. In Paquita, she didn't just come across as a talented young dancer with a fine technique and high extension; in the grand pas in particular, to me it felt as if she was coming into her own as a ballerina-in-the-making and her performance had more than touches of brilliance in the showier sections including wonderful speed. (I thought she had better speed in turns than either Tereshkina or Batoeva.) Her beauty in the adagio was certainly greatly abetted by Zverev's fine partnering. Everything between them just flowed. The adagio Friday night (when I attended) looked relaxed and pure and spacious and grand all at the same time. I agree that she still has to develop. Goodness knows she does not have Tereshkina's grandeur or Batoeva's acting skills. (And, on the technique front, she did not articulate her gargouillades as they did.) I also agree that her shoes are a touch distracting. But I enjoyed her performance and not just for its "promise." As for acts I and II: in this ballet her light personality and charm seemed more than adequate. As Medora she was still something of a blank to me...in Paquita I didn't find her a blank. I don't deny that Batoeva and Tereshkina were able to do more with the ballet's story . . . such as it is; but the story is so slight dramatically that the "more" didn't make the difference to me that it might in another ballet. Have I drunk Instagram Kool-aid? At any rate, I'm looking forward to seeing how Khoreva develops further. Where I am happy not to be in the minority, at least among those posting here, is ... Shakirova!! I can't put into words how wonderful I found her; I was not quite anticipating such a strong reaction though of course I know her to be an excellent dancer and expected to like her performance. I loved it! She is a natural actress and, for want of a better expression, a natural dancer. That is, during her variation and the partnered dance sequence with the men of Andres's band, I never felt I was watching ballet steps just as I never felt I was watching dramatic posing during her mime; her variation was a flash of movement, a dance, and every moment of it and of her entire performance expressive. Can't wait to see more of her. I had a few disappointments this trip--dancers I had thought to like more than I did and dancers I missed entirely due to cast shuffling--and many pleasures, but I think I will stop with the two pleasures discussed above. I very much love the company.
  10. In the Smekalov version, it vaguely seems odd to me that the hero is not in any potential trouble for desertion...nobleman or not. (He could still be pardoned for it at the end.) I did, though, enjoy many aspects of the production which I saw for the first time this past evening, and I am looking forward to seeing it again tomorrow.
  11. I think that sometimes an ankle "sprain" can be worse than a clean break, and it takes time to heal fully. With time though, I trust your ankles will get 100 percent back to normal. Sending healing thoughts...
  12. Copeland was well into her thirties when she was promoted --thirty-three/thirty four maybe...doesn't that mean her rise through the ranks was considerably slower than that of Teuscher or Shevchenko let alone Seo? At least to me, it doesn't seem all that quick. At the time of her promotion, she wasn't just in her mid-thirties she also had been through a very bad injury/surgery etc. If I had to speculate, then I would wonder if the injury she suffered not that long before the promotion -- an injury that kept her out for something like a year -- might have played a bigger role in limiting some of her purely technical accomplishments than any endorsements she did. (Heck, if Copeland had been promoted sooner, we would have seen more of her in the big classical roles pre-injury and could have evaluated her in that context.)
  13. Thanks for your post. I very much wish I could see this production or at least that a DVD would be made of it so as to get a taste of it. And oh dear...to the bobbing scarf. (I have to say the snake jumping out of the bouquet early did make me laugh a little--reading about it anyway. I'm sure it was, as you describe, a test of the dancers' professionalism.)
  14. I often have exactly the same question when I see this ballet--no matter how cruel Gamzatti is being, it's not she who picks up a knife and tries to stab her rival, it's Nikiya. (Nikiya also disdainfully tells off the high priest for ignoring his vows when she herself is conducting an illicit secret affair.) To me her actions suggest a passionate, impulsive figure--maybe desperate? or pushed to the edge?--but I haven't done any formal research into how this scene may have been intended by its creators or the different possible ways of playing it. And much of the ballet and people's informal commentary on it emphasize Nikiya's spiritual nature...which in fact is how the best Nikiyas I have seen seem to approach the role, attempted murder notwithstanding. Anyway, I, too, would love to hear people's thoughts on this.
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