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Everything posted by nysusan

  1. I went to last night's Swan lake an thought that Hyltin and Catazaro looked great together. In the past he has struck me as tentative, so I was glad to see him take command of the stage from the beginning. His solos were fine but not great, but he was a good partner to Hyltin and I felt like they had a great rapport. She was more of a mixed bag. I did not like her portrayal from her first entrance to the end of the white swan pdd. Although she is short she has long legs so she reads taller and has a beautiful line. Her dancing was fine, but not very expressive and I never had a clear idea of what her Odette was feeling - just generic sad. Someone once said that a ballerina is a dancer who creates her own world onstage and pulls the audience into it (paraphrasing). I didn't get that from Hyltin, until the white swan coda. Then she perked up and became a passionate, hopeful swan queen. I really loved her black swan pas de deux, and not just the fouettes. Her dancing from the black swan entrance though her solo and the pdd was spot on and so sharp and her Odile was gleefully evil, really enjoying the seduction. Her fouttees were not the most beautiful I've ever seen but they were done very confidently. She started with a triple and then peppered the first 10 or 12 with doubles moving forward in a straight line and then switched to singles which stayed on the spot. I counted 29 before she finished with a double or triple (sometimes its hard to tell!), all perfectly timed with the music. She and Catazaro were very effective in the last scene, and she, in particular was very expressive there. Maybe she's just more of an allegro than an adagio dancer. I guess I thought she gave maybe 2/3 of a great swan lake but since, for me, the white swan pdd is the heart of the ballet it didn't add up to a performance I'd want to see again. Next time I'll stick with Mearns and Fairchild, and am looking forward to seeing Tiler tomorrow. It was so great to see Danchig-Waring back on the stage again, he and Gerrity were great in the Arabian - err, Russian dance. Kitka was very energetic and also sensuous in the Czardas with Peck, an approach that I haven't really seen before. Hod once again showed pure clean, clear musicality in the pas de quatre. On to tomorrow's last Swan Lake of the season!
  2. abatt I didn't see your comments before I posted, looks like we are thinking along the same lines...
  3. I saw Kochetkova at least 5-6 times with SFB before she came to ABT, and I liked her a lot back then. She was dancing almost exclusively in modern works (at least on tour) and they suited her well. When she came to ABT she was dancing the classics almost exclusively and I thought she was terrible in them. Hated her O/O, disliked her Aurora intensely. I thought Bayadere would suit her but it did not. I'd enjoyed her in the DQ Pdd so this past season I went to see her in Don Q where she was totally underpowered and unimpressive. I'm thinking she may have been nursing an injury but I had already been so disappointed in her dancing that for me it was 4 strikes and she is totally out in my book. The one thing I enjoyed her in at ABT was the Ratmansky Shostakovich piece - I guess I still like her in modern but as far as I'm concerned she has no feeling for classic Petipa roles. Just because you are Russian does not mean that you are suited for the Russian classics, her sensibility is far too modern. And yes, my feelings were exasperated by the fact that there were numerous ballerinas on the roster who were much more classically inclined than she is and who weren't getting the roles.
  4. I agree 100%. I think Teuscher would make a great Nikyia, in fact I'd love to see her with Schevchenko as Gamzatti - but I don't see Teuscher as Juliet. At all.
  5. I've seen Bouder's SL every season since her debut, with the exception of this season. I've enjoyed most of her performances for her great technique and vivid presentation, even though in the early years she really did dance the white swan adagio as if it were an allegro. I thought she improved steadily over the years, so I'm glad to hear how well she did this time, and sorry I didn't get to see her this year (it wasn't deliberate). Then we come to Reichlin. I'm with you abatt! Based on conversations at intermission Sat night I thought I was the only one who didn't like Reichlin's interpretation. She has such a beautiful body, such long legs that you'd think she'd be a perfect fit for the modern taste for tall leggy O/Os. But IMO she really didn't take advantage of her attributes. Yes, her legs are long but she really didn't stretch her arabesques, didn't hold them, didn't engage her back, shoulders neck and head. And the adagio was played MUCH slower than it had been for Mearns. Except when she was doing an actual backbend her torso was stiff and rigid. Whats more, she didn't use her body to communicate Odette's feelings - fear, despair, hope - I saw none of it in her adagio. Then, in the Black Swan PDD she had trouble with the fouttees. She traveled forward and got to around 10 or 11. Then she visibly slowed and it seemed like it was taking forever for her to get those long legs around. It was a very disappointing performance. I'm looking forward to seeing what Fairchild and Garcia make of their roles tomorrow night.
  6. The quickness of the music, the abstract setting (with no lake whatsoever) and the garish & non specific costumes for everyone except the swans all contribute to creating a distance from the narrative and the characters. However, I find NYCB's rendition of the music very powerful and emotional, as compared to ABT's which is somehow very flat. I also find the final lakeside scene to be really moving, with a heartbreaking end that always gets to me. So despite its faults, and the need to tough it out through the first scene, this production always leaves me with the cathartic feeling that you get from a great Swan lake. DEFINITELY not saying that this is a great production, just that in this case the end and the music justify the production. Although last night the music certainly was played way too fast. Perhaps the pace, compounded by adjusting to a new partner, contributed to what I felt was not a performance from Mearns at the level of her earlier O/Os. Though she was still pretty great, and I'm glad I went. By the way, the Washington Post recently published an article called "This is your brain on art" that explores the relationship between art and the brain and uses Swan lake as an example. There is some great footage of Mearns and Jared Angle from 2013 interspersed throughout, as well as footage of former ABT corps member Nicole Graniero and her partner Corey Landot Click here to see it.
  7. Last year's scheduled O/Os were: Murphy, Boylston, Copeland, Kochetkova, Seo, Teuscher and Part. Assuming that Kochetkova returns ( and, unfortunately, there's no reason to suspect that she won't) and that everyone is healthy, that only leaves one O/O spot open. I REALLY hope that it goes to Lane. Schevchenko has many great attributes but she hasn't struck me as a particularly lyrical dancer. She'd kill the fouettees, but not so much the adagios. At least not yet. R&J is a different story. Last time they did it in 2016 Vishneva & Ferri both danced Juliet, so there will be at least 1 and hopefully 2 openings. I hope that Lane gets one - she actually went to Ferri for coaching for this a few years ago - and I'd love to see Trenary get the other spot. But they have to give roles to the new principals so I wouldn't be surprised to see Teuscher or Schevchenko cast. Ferri hasn't danced Nikiya in at least ten years so she doesn't factor into casting. However Vishneva and Part both did, so we should have 2 spots open up. I'd like to see Abrera get this, and expect Teuscher or Schevchneko as Nikiya, too. Or maybe we'll get a Teuscher Nikiya with a Schevchenko Gamzetti.
  8. Lets not forget that we're talking about the Martins Swan Lake here. There's no way I'd go to see it for the production itself - the production is horrid. Yet I'm going to see it 5 times. Why? For the ballerinas! Also - for the person who was debating switching Bouder for Reichlin - Reichlin is a great dancer but I don't love her O/O. She has the perfect body for it but my recollection of her last time around was that she was rather cold and although the instrument is amazing she didn't really stretch and hold those positions and I don't recall very deep or pliable backbends. If you haven't seen it yet and you're only going to one I'd go for Mearns.
  9. They actually sent an email with casting for the full Swan Lake run. This is the browser version - casting
  10. The scenery is horribly garish. It always takes me the better part of the first act/scene to get over it, but it does get better from there. Two things in its favor - the music is played beautifully, with much more depth and urgency than at ABT. And the ending is devastating - truly tragic. I'd try to go see Mearns, she's magnificent. Not a standard O/O if she was dancing this with a traditional company, but the most traditional of the NYCB O/Os (so far), and yet with her own idiosyncratic take on the role, and thrilling dancing. I'm sure we'll see her on opening night. .
  11. I'd love to see ABT do The River again. I see it every time Ailey programs it and while its enjoyable, its not the same without the point work. I am also going to WAY fewer performances than usual this season, partly because of casting but mostly because of the rep. Anyone else notice that ABT has a real aversion to BALANCE? Its either guest artists everywhere you look, or no guest artists at all. One soloist gets all the opportunities while the others stagnate - until this past spring season they have never spread it around. And now, all current contemporary work and nothing from their great historical repertoire. Would it have killed them to include 1 by Tudor, or Fokine or Massine or DeMille along with the Wheeldon, Scarlett, Millepied and Ratmansky? It doesn't have to be a choice between "nurturing working choreographers" or performing great works that were made on them in the past. As great as he is, we really don't need 3 by Ratmansky in a 13 performance season. Symphonic Variations is the only piece I really want to see, and I'm pretty conflicted about that. I fell in love with it the first time I saw ABT do it back in 2003 with Ashley Tuttle & Maxim Beloserkovsky, but when they did it last year, I thought it looked stiff and rather unmusical. I'm not sure if it was the casting or the fact that since we lost Georgina Parkinson ABT really hasn't had a coach familiar enough with the Ashton rep. I was also let down by their recent performances of Sylvia.
  12. Lopatin/Marchenkova were WAY better than Ovcharenko/ Grebenshchinkova. It still looked like the Bolshoi was dancing in a foreign language, but Lopatin got the vernacular whereas Ovchareno just looked lost - like Siegfried wandered into the wrong ballet. Marchenkova's approach to the Tall Girl role was a little too sexy/sultry for me but she certainly had presence & was assertive. I'll try to write more tomorrow
  13. Three quick things about the Friday night performance: 1 - I LOVED Dorothee Gilbert (and Baulac/Louvet did the staccato movement) 2- The Bolshoi doesn't have a clue about how to perform Rubies. As magnificent as their Diamonds was - that's how bad their Rubies was. Corps, tall girl, lead couple - none of them got it 3- Watching NYCB's Diamonds right after the Bolshoi's made me realize how far afield the Bolshoi has taken it. Yet the Bolshoi's is a magical alternate version. NYCB gave us the energy and attack that characterizes Mr B's choreography. PS - There was no announcement but I thought I saw Ashley Hod as one of the Diamond soloists - perhaps replacing Laine Habony? They did announce a change in one of the Bolshoi's "four men" but I didn't catch the names
  14. My thoughts are pretty much in line with most other posters. NYCB did a great job with Rubies, but we expect that so it wasn't surprising. Reichlen proved once again that she is the best Rubies Tall Girl in the world (Big Red is a close second, but still second). Fairchild was fine and I kept wondering how DeLuz could be so fabulous in the famously aerobically challenging Villela role. Isn't he around 40? Amazing. I had the same problems with POB as everyone else. You don't come to the House of Balanchine and change the steps. Even though they performed the footwork, stripping it of its iconic (and original) staccato execution is unforgivable. And I agree that the costumes were lacking in contrast to the originals, which are so beautifully bejeweled. Still, I thought that their dancing was beautiful, though somewhat cold. Weird that their arms and epaulment were gorgeous but I still found them cold. The Bolshoi's Diamonds was the HUGE success of the evening and totally worth the extravagant price of admission. I'd seen Smirnova and Chudin perform the pas de deux at a gala, and I've seen the recordings but seeing the whole company in this was just mind blowing. The corps and soloists were just perfection. As much as I love NYCB, I don't ever think I was ever so enthralled from start to finish. The corps were so perfectly synchronized, yet not robotic at all. I could not take my eyes off of the 4 female soloists whenever they were onstage. Except when Smirnova & Chudin were on stage. She is simply magical. Her technique is so strong, her epaulment and presentation so beautiful. Chudin surprised me. I'd never really taken note of him except as a strong partner with beautiful line. But last night in his solos he completely won me over. Soft, plush plies, tours ending effortlessly in perfect, tight 5th positions, pirouettes that ended EXACTLY on the music with perfect control - he didn't fudge a thing. This is the kind of male dancing we used to see regularly at ABT 5-10 years ago. I didn't realize how much I've missed it.
  15. WOW. Maybe I'll spend my ABT spring season money to travel to London in March!
  16. Casting is up on the KC website:http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/event/BSBSG PRINCIPAL CASTING (subject to change)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tues., Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m.Nikiya: Viktoria TereshkinaSolor: Kimin KimGamzatty: Anastasia MatvienkoWed., Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m.Nikiya: Oxana SkorikSolor: Andrei YermakovGamzatty: Anastasia KolegovaThu., Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m.Nikiya: Ekaterina KondaurovaSolor: Timur AskerovGamzatty: Nadezhda BatoevaFri., Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m.Nikiya: Viktoria TereshkinaSolor: Kimin KimGamzatty: Anastasia MatvienkoSat., Oct. 21 at 1:30 p.m.Nikiya: Oxana SkorikSolor: Andrei YermakovGamzatty: Anastasia KolegovaSat., Oct 21 at 7:30 p.m.Nikiya: Ekaterina KondaurovaSolor: Timur AskerovGamzatty: Nadezhda BatoevaSun., Oct 22 at 1:30 p.m.Nikiya: Viktoria TereshkinaSolor: Kimin KimGamzatty: Anastasia Matvienko
  17. I get emails from ABT reminding me when I have tickets. My email for tonight's program says it runs from 7:30 PM to 9:40 PM. I'd expect it to run a little longer with bows, intermissions etc
  18. I've never seen Beliakov but I LOVE Ermakov, didn't realize he was that tall. I think the real problem is that ABT no longer seems inclined to look for a suitable partner for Part. They seem to think that Stearns, Hoven, Whiteside et al will do fine. I'll reserve judgement on Hoven, but Stearns isn't a great partner for her and while she looked very comfortable with Whiteside in SL he certainly couldn't handle her in the Onegin & Manon type of lifts.
  19. Nanushka, you beat me to it! I know I sound like a broken record, but they really ought to get Fabrice Calmels to partner Veronika. Not that I'd object to them bringing in one of the big Russian guys, but Calmels is perfect for her, they've danced together before and he'd make a great Onegin!
  20. Wow, wish I had seen that! They really need to start giving him leading roles.
  21. I had a different take on Veronika's Swan Lake. From her first appearance, I thought she looked tentative. One of the glories of her dancing is her arabesque, the way it grows. After the initial extension the leg continues to stretch outward to infinity, while her back engages and her arms and shoulders continue the line. That didn't happen yesterday, she hit her arabesques and only held them very briefly, which I attribute to her dancing through the ankle injury. I'm not saying that she wasn't beautiful - she was - and I certainly enjoyed the performance but it wasn't the plush, breathtaking Odette that I've come to expect from her. Other than that, I pretty much agree with what everybody else said. Whiteside's solos were fine- but the important part was that he partnered Veronika well and she seemed very secure and confident in his hands. Hammoudi was much better as Von R than as Siegfried, and at least he looked good in those boots! I was so proud of Veronika, completing those fouett├ęs despite the lingering injury - she really showed them how it's done!
  22. Fabrice Calmels!!!!! Not American, but a dancer with an American company. He and Part have guested together, I'd love to see them together at ABT
  23. True, but 1 out of 4 principals would not be enough to get me there (except for Part!), especially when I actively dislike 2 of them. Medora has a couple of solos in the first act so I'll probably go to see Teuscher and then decide if I want to stay or just make it an early evening.
  24. Darn, I wish I was seeing Shevchenko! I was going tonight just for Part, the rest of the cast is not exactly thrilling. Sub Seo for Part and I wish I could get my money back but I guess its too late for that. Fingers crossed that she's recovered for her SL.
  25. Oh, how I wish I could be there for Lane's second Giselle but unfortunately I'm heading out on business tomorrow. Guess I'll just be happy that I saw the first one and keep my fingers crossed for a Swan Lake debut later in the season!
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