ABT - La Bayadere June 2008 in American Ballet Theatre Posted June 24, 2008 I'm almost beginning to welcome that "dreaded insert in the playbill" this season (at ABT), since so often the replacement has been Melissa Thomas, and what an impressive upgrade she's been (and even impressive when she's not been a replacement). Ms. Thomas is very alive and attractive, the tallest of last night's Shades, fine this season in both allegro (she'll take risks) and adagio (expansive, open), and so far, for me, the discovery of ABT's Met engagement. Of course Ms. Lane delighted the audience, as she's been doing for quite some time, and, once she's a principal, I'll really miss her Shade. Thanks for the explanation about the flash photographer in the wings, I'd thought someone had decided to jazz up all that boring entrance down the ramp stuff with some lightning effects (or perhaps wanted to make the ballet more in step with the weather ouside). Very distracting to those of us that enjoy being bored by this scene... ... with an especially brilliant supported pirouette finishing attitude during the Act II PdD. Yes, Veronika Part in Attitude is Classical Ballet! Other special delights include Sarawanee Tanatanit's Aya, who every year adds such realism and continuity to the ballet's story, and Craig Salstein's dynamic head fakir. Gennadi Saveliev and Victor Barbee invested the Radjah and High Brahmin, respectively, with plenty of dramatic and emotional presence.