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Everything posted by nysusan

  1. I really do not think ABT can be counted among the top 5 ballet companies in the world anymore. Up until 10 years ago - absolutely. Maybe even 5 years ago, but definitely not now. We can argue about whether a school and a company style are necessary to be counted among the top companies - but in addition to great ballets, great dancers are certainly required and right now ABT does not have the horses. Who remembers when ballerinas like Ferri and Annanishvili were regular company members, and ABT's male contingent was the envy of the ballet world? Remember when Carenno, Corella, Bocca, Stiefel, Gomes and Cornejo were all dancing with ABT? They were all great virtuosos, all exceptional artists and, with the exception of Cornejo they were all great partners. Great ballerinas came to ABT because they wanted to dance with them, especially with Stiefel, Bocca and Gomes. Now ABT can barely field 2-3 O/Os who can execute the 32 fouettees, let alone perform the white acts with the line, flow and musicality they require. And as we are seeing now they'd have to combine ballerina A's 1st act Giselle with ballerina B's second act to give us one completely satisfying Giselle. And after Cornejo and Simkin the male roster is no better. Who is dying to come to ABT to dance with Stearns or Whiteside? Unfortunately, with just a couple of exceptions ABT's principle roster now is a study in mediocrity. They definitely are no longer in the top 5 in my book.
  2. I just got an email with all the principal casts for Coppelia. The other 2 pairs are Bouder/Veyette and Pereira/Huxley http://email.wordfly.com/view/?sid=MzAyXzE5MTA0Xzg0NTAzXzcxMjA&l=e26e4027-9954-e811-bcb0-e61f134a8c87&utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FY18MKTCoppeliaCastingBlast&utm_content=version_A
  3. You are very welcome. I'm sure you'll have a great time, Giselle is one of their best productions.
  4. DO NOT DO IT! I was in orch E-1 last night and the average height woman who was sitting in front of me was blocking my view all night. She kept bobbing her head back and forth (to see over the guy sitting in front of her) and I kept having to do the same. I rarely sit in the orchestra but when I do I always sit in the aisle seat of an outside section cause that usually gives you and unimpeded view, and even if the person directly in front of you is tall, they generally only block the very edge of the stage. Not at the Met - the head in front of me was blocking the center of the stage. I think this is less of a problem further back, but I would avoid that seat in the first 10 rows.
  5. How could I forget to mention Thomas Forster's Hilarion! He was great, his dancing was fabulous and so was his acting. He was definitely more of an in love, protective Hilarion than a bad guy Hilarion. I'm so glad he's getting more prominent roles, he's one of my favorites. I think last night's Wilfred was Alexie Agoudine. He was fine, but with no dancing its not a role I pay much attention to. Susan Jones was Berthe and she always does the mime really well. Seo's mad scene was pretty good. She had kind of a blank eyed "cornered animal" look on her face for most of it, but it worked.
  6. Not being a Hee Seo fan I never really considered going to her Giselle. But then I realized that Bolle's only ABT appearances this season were with her in Giselle so I decided to go. I'm glad I did. Bolle was fabulous - the gorgeous line and high extensions were all there. Plus great acting and leaps that a man half his age would be proud of. He does the entrechats in act 2 and they drew gasps from the crowd. Seo's first act was about what I expected from her, a pretty but generic affair. Her technique was fine and her dancing had a nice, buoyant quality but she didn't really hold her arabesques and there was nothing distinctive about her phrasing. No mistakes in the hops on point and she changed the direction of her head and torso - but her hops didn't cover much ground. Her acting was very bland, too. I don't know if the problem is that her face isn't very expressive but until the betrayal I only saw one expression - happy. No shading, no coloring - just happy. Then we came back for the second act and everything changed - she was beautiful. Her arms were soft as a sigh and her epaulment was wonderfully romantic. Murphy's Myrtha was authoritative and commanding as ever and she looked to be in great shape. K. Williams and ZJ Fang were her lieutenants and they were both wonderful. Brandt and Gorak did the peasant pdd. Though his feet & line are always beautiful Gorak's dancing looked a little underpowered. Brandt, on the other hand, was gorgeous with beautiful phrasing and such a charming demeanor. A real Giselle in the making.
  7. He did Tchai pas several years ago at a gala with Sofiane Sylve. Utterly thrilling.
  8. I also loved Kowroski in Concerto Barocco, and look forward to seeing her in Apollo later this week. But what I am most looking forward to is her Agon pdd with Tyler Angle. Reichlin & Finlay just didn't do it for me. Yes, Reichlin creates some amazing, extreme shapes but she & Finlay were just so bland, there was no sexual tension at all. Kowroski, in addition to the beauty of her form and unbelievably secure presentation of all those killer moves has absolutely sizzled in the past with Ramasar and then D-W. Hopefully it will be the same with Angle. ETA: Count me into the Miller fan club. i think she shows loads of potential and I could barely take my eyes off of her in the last movement of 4Ts.
  9. Alicia Graf Mack was just named the new director of the dance division at Juilliard. She starts in July when Woetzel takes over as Juilliard president. What a great choice! https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/10/arts/dance/alicia-graf-mack-juilliard-dance-division.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront
  10. Has anyone on the board seen Rudi van Dantzig's Swan lake? As someone who prefers a traditional version this is not sounding too appealing to me, we in NY already have 2 bad updated versions. "While using the traditional story of the Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov 1895 classic, much of van Dantzig's choreography is completely original. " http://www.shumanassociates.net/artist.php?id=hso&aview=news&nid=9423
  11. Praying to the ballet gods that Adrian D-W isn't badly injured. Seems like he was just regaining his form after returning from a very long absence after his last injury.
  12. Its not your imagination, I definitely saw 2 runs of Bugaku, the first with Kowroski & Evans and the second with Whelan & Evans. I don't remember the years, but I just googled it and the Kowroski run was in 2007, Whelan in 2008.
  13. Speaking of male soloists, what ever happened to Joey Gorak? Is he injured - because I don't see him on the spring schedule at all. A couple of years ago when people were bemoaning his lack of advancement I was thinking , no problem, they're letting him develop out of the spotlight. But at this point its crazy! He is so talented and at one point he was getting a few principal roles - but now - nothing. If he's healthy I suppose he'll get some Bennos & Benvolios and Giselle pdd, but he should be doing a lot more than that by now. Are there too many short dancers ahead of him?
  14. R&J AND Giselle. I'd be at both in a heartbeat if she was pared with a decent partner but I just can't do it. No more putting up with one poor dancer to see a great one. The one exception I'm making is the Seo/Bolle Giselle, because who knows when/if we'll have another chance to see Bolle. Alas, no Stella for me this season except for Pierrette and Dryad Queen..
  15. There was a time when subscribers could purchase addition additional tickets during exchange week, but they stopped allowing that about 2 years ago. That is now the priority period when members can buy single tickets - I got an email about a week ago encouraging me to become a member and that was one of the perks. In the past the new policy really pissed me off, but now I can't even find enough performances I want to see to fill in for the tickets I want to exchange. I'm going to hold on to my WC ticket at the end of the season in case a cast change or late guest brings about a performance I want to see.
  16. Best: The Mariinsky's Bayadere. Wonderful performances from all the principals and that corps is absolutely the best! Veronika Part's last ABT Swan Lake. Heartbreaking and not her best, but definitely a highlight of any year Veronika Part's Mozartiana - spirituality personified The Superjewels - especially NYCB's Rubies & Diamonds and the Bolshoi's Diamonds - it was heaven! Lane & Simkin in Giselle. Sarah's Giselle was luminous and so was her O/O in Swan Lake. Despite the fouettees it was a wonderful debut The return of Maria Kowroski - especially her warm, wonderful and gorgeous Sugar Plum The return of David Hallberg - not at 100% yet, but so wonderful to see him back on stage The Times are Racing - I absolutely loved it Vishneva's farewell performance with Gomes. I'm not an Onegin fan but this was so special Tiler Peck in NYCB's Swan Lake - just exquisite Agree with Canbelto - Tony Yazbeck's insanely wonderful tap dancing performance in "The Right Girl" from Prince of Broadway. I will never forget it and will miss it now every time I see Follies Worst: Absolute worst - ABT's despicable treatment of Part & Gomes. At this point they are on very thin ice with me Vishneva's retirement from ABT The Joffrey's R&J - just awful The Bolshoi's Taming of the Shrew - we get to see them so rarely, wish they had brought something better ABT's fall season - dull, dull, dull
  17. I'm hoping to catch Kowroski's Sugarplum now that she's back from maternity leave and injury, and feeling that there may not be too many more in years to come. Pair her with Bouder or Peck's Dewdrop and I'm in heaven.
  18. I saw opening night at City Center and I enjoyed it. Very little of it was on pointe, the choreography was mostly more musical theater than ballet, but then, they're not a ballet company. I found it entertaining, and it held my interest from beginning to end. I'm going again to see Mearns and Gomes, so it should be interesting to see if they change the dynamic at all.
  19. Lane posted on her instagram awhile back that she was learning Harlequinade so yes, we can expect to see her there. I know that dancers always want to work with Ratmansky and be seen in new ballets (even new -old ballets) but despite her height I see Lane much more as a ballerina than a soubrette so I'd much rather see her as O/O and Juliet than Kitri and Columbine.
  20. Sounds dismal. But on the other hand, I rarely agree with Gia Kourlis reviews. Any Ballet Talkers see it?
  21. Woo Hoo! And just when I was contemplating a trip to London in March to see Osipova & Hallberg in Giselle. Guess this means I can save some $$, and I'll be keeping my Friday night subscription!
  22. I would not be so sure about a Lane SL during the NY run. But we'll know for sure soon.
  23. Last fall season when I saw ABT dance Symphonic Variations some 10 or so years after they first helped me discover it, I was too disappointed for words. It had gone from a wondrous, Apollonian delight to a dull, static affair devoid of lyricism or flow. I chalked it up to a lack of Georgina Parkinson's coaching and some bizarre casting. Last night all was right in Ashton's world again. The dancers may be settling into Ashton's style again, they may be getting better coaching than they had last year, or it may just be that re-casting the men in this has really helped enormously. Last year I remember combinations of Royal and Whitesde in the lead male role with Salstein, Cirio, McCune and Lendorf alternating in the other male roles. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Salstein, but he's a demi-character dancer, neither he or Cirio are beacons of classicism. Lendorf has some wonderful qualities but his line is not exactly elegant looking in white tights. Last night we had Royal with Gorak and Scott, and they made the choreography sing, especially Gorak. The women (Shevchenko, Copeland and Brandt) were not the best I've ever seen in this, but they were fine. Copeland looked particularly lyrical and Brandt's brightness & lightness worked well here. Shevchenko was stately but she wasn't particularly lyrical, nor did she really show that open expressive upper body that's so important in Ashton. But as a group, these six were able to imbue stillness with breath and keep the quick, staccato steps from looking frantic - something none of last year's casts were able to do. Hallberg and Seo were beautiful in Other Dances, but neither was really able to convey the humor in it. If you can forget Makarova and Baryshnikov (I can't), ignore the slavic folk dance elements and just focus on the bodies, they were gorgeous. I was less happy with the rest of the program. Last year I really liked Her Notes, this year I found it pretty dull, although Forster looked great in the Gomes role. Teuscher faded away totally partnered with S. Williams, if that girl is going to dance principal roles lets hope she develops some presence & style. Ratmansky's Serenade has some wonderful dancing for a whole bunch of male dancers, lots of beautiful individual moments but for me, the whole is less than the sum of its parts, after a while I just find it tedious. There was a slip in the program that said that Lendorf was injured, Hammoudi did his role.
  24. Exactly. It would also be perverse if she doesn't get an O/O this year - after her poignant, beautiful performance last season subbing in at the last minute.
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