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Everything posted by nysusan

  1. Interesting to hear about Boylston's injury. I enjoyed her very much in the first act. Found her light, airy, lovely style just right for Giselle and she managed to keep her arms & upper body pretty much in check.She did some blazingly fast chaine turns, her hops on pointe were well done (though she looked down, rather than at Albrecht most of the time) and as Nana said, her acting was very naturalistic. Paris was replaced by Brandt in the PPD, she and Gorak turned in a wonderful performance. The 2nd act started well with a monumental Myrtha from Veronika Part. She really owns this role at ABT. Wonderful as Abrera was the other night even she can't come close to Parts ccombination of commanding authority with just a twinge of regret in her opening variation. The way she uses her back and arms is phenomenal. Katherine Williams and Zhong-Jing Fang were her lieutenants and they were gorgeous - the best pair I've seen so far. Boylston came out well in her 2nd act entrance however, as the act went on I just wasn't engaged with her performance. I didn't notice any technical deficiencies, I just felt that she was not truly dancing in the romantic style most of the time (there were a few instances of those wild arms, jumps were too emphatic) and I wasn't pulled into the drama, which is really, really rare. Now that I know she was injured, that may provide an explanation. Perhaps she was more focused on getting through the performance than anything else. I hope she recovers quickly.
  2. Please correct me if I'm wrong but I'm assuming that Alyona Kovalyova and Alena Kovaleva are the same dancer. Alena Kovaleva is dancing the Diamonds ballerina at the Saturday 7/22 matinee POB/NYCB/Bolshoi performance of Jewels (Smirnova dances the other 2 performances). They list her as Prima Ballerina though it sounds here like she is a corphee, or soloist at most. I hate matinees but I think I will have to go to this one! http://www.lincolncenter.org/lc-festival/show/jewels-2
  3. I believe Dieck was injured on Friday night. He was scheduled for Sat evening & Sunday matinee but did not dance. I also went to all 4 performances of this program and found it wonderful and exhilarating all 4 times. There are no words to describe how wonderful Peck was in AB - so I have nothing to add to the comments that have already been posted. I basically agree with most of the comments - Finlay, and LeCrone were not great, but they were not awful either and didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of this program. I really loved Maria in the adagio movement of the Bizet. Her lines, balances and just the magic she injects into this pas make it totally mesmerizing. I agree that she was losing steam in the coda, but its not like she couldn't execute the steps, they just weren't as zippy as they should have been. I'll gladly put up with a slightly under-powered coda for her sublime adagio!
  4. So psyched to see Maria in this again.
  5. I think the Joffrey holds a special place in the hearts of most NY ballet fans who were around when they were a NY based company. Perhaps that why it took so long for anyone to post about this engagement - despite the fact that I saw several BT'ers at the opening night performance. For my part, I was reluctant to post because my affection for this company prompted thinking along the lines of "If you can't say anything nice..." I saw the first cast with Christine Rocas, and Rory Hoenstein ( as well as Yoshihisa Arai as Mercutio, Fabrice Calmels as Capulet, April Daly as Lady Capulet and Temur Suluashvili as Tybalt). In the performance I saw Juliet was definitely on pointe. I think many of the other female roles were also danced on point but I'm not sure because the choreography was so un-classical and banal that the pointwork was hardly noticeable, and certainly not memorable. All of the dancers were good but unfortunately none of them were able to overcome the material with the possible exceptions of Arai, Calmels and Daly. When the highlights are Mercutio and Lord & Lady Capulet you know your R&J is in trouble. Not only did I not like the choreography, this production left me completely unmoved, which is really hard to accomplish - while I don't like the Morris or Martins versions at least they were engaging and I certainly shed a tear or two. But not with this one.
  6. Went to the box office this afternoon to exchange my subscription tickets and buy a few extras. Imagine my surprise when the guy told me that ABT is not allowing subscribers to buy tickets during exchange week. This is exactly what they did last year until they started getting angry emails from subscribers. Last year I believe we emailed jtimm@abt.org, I'm going to email him tomorrow
  7. Josette & ksk, thank you both for posting your impressions. Sounds like its worth seeing at least once and since my subscription ticket is for the Simkin/Abrera/Gomes/Lane cast I guess I will keep it,
  8. I believe that its part of the LC Festival but beware - they usually sell subscriptions before single tickets so you have to buy several of the LC Festival offerings
  9. Geez! Lincoln Center Festival tickets are always considerably higher than regular NYCB or ABT tickets, but this takes it to a whole new level. But I will still go, because I love Jewels, because I saw it that first season and want to honor that memory and because I am really looking forward to seeing the Bolshoi's Diamonds live. However at these prices they had better be bringing Smirnova and Zahkarova. or I will be very disappointed. And even though I know that Obraztsova usually dances Emeralds I'd love to see her in the Rubies PDD.
  10. lol Natalia! I would so appreciate it if you'd share your thoughts about this new production as soon as possible after you've seen it. I'm waiting to hear what Ballet Alert peeps think before deciding whether to dump my expensive ABT subscription ticket & pick up a cheapo cheapo nose bleed seat during exchange week (this starts on 3/18, right after the SoCal run). I was so disappointed with last year's Golden Cockeral, I really felt like I threw my money away on it and I don't want to do that again. A preview in the OC Register http://www.ocregister.com/articles/ballet-746176-whipped-cream.html talks about its similarities to the Nutcracker, and that's just fueling my apprehension: These (Ryden) design details helped Ratmanksy shape his choreography and they are also what will hopefully set the new ballet apart from the well-known “Nutcracker” story line which even Ratmansky admits bears a striking resemblance to “Whipped Cream.”
  11. I agree 100% - it forced me to buy a ticket to another performance. Peck's Dewdrop is one of the best ever. I've never seen Laracey's SP but she's such a warm and gracious dancer with that glorious epaulment that I'm sure it will be wonderful
  12. The press release (or was it the NY Times story?) mentioned that the multi company Jewels was being done as a commemoration of the ballet's 50th anniversary - it debuted at the State Theater in 1967. As such, I think its a great idea. I will definitely go to a few. I'd love to see Smirnova & Zakharovas in Diamonds, and I'm sure POB will be lovely in Emeralds but based on their DVD I'm not so keen on seeing them in the other 2/3. Edited to add: Just saw this in Dance magazine - POB will dance Emeralds for all performances, NYCB & Bolshoi will alternate Rubies & Diamonds. NYCB orchestra will play for all performances: http://dancemagazine.com/news/coming-soon-epic-jewels-ever/ It doesn't specifically say whether it will be only the leads or the full corps from each company but it sounds like each company will bring their own corps & soloists. It would be really weird to see POB & Bolshoi leads with NYCB corps - the stylistic differences would be very jarring.
  13. Hallberg is one of the greats and I fervently hope to see him back with ABT this spring. , I guess I'll have to put up with Hee Seo if thats who he's paired up with, but I certainly wont be happy about it
  14. The stars were in alignment last night and we were given a double dose of Veronika due to the replacement of the Seo/Hammoudi/Han cast of Monotones 2 with the Part/Forster/Stearns cast. They brought out the otherworldly poetry of Ashton’s vision beautifully. Monotones 1 was enjoyable, but it was marred occasionally by Boylston’s hunched shoulders. I think Boylston has a lot of potential but how a dancer can ascend to a principal position at a major company without having this type of problem corrected is beyond me. I appreciate how each of the men in Plato’s Symposium is given such distinctive choreography and how each of the dancers makes so much of their assignments – they were all smashing - but I just don’t see it as the greatest new ballet of the 21st century (per Macaulay). I find it to be an enjoyable piece and a great showcase for the company’s up and coming male dancers but not a ballet I want to see over and over again. Its been a very long time since I saw anyone but NYCB do Prodigal Son. As you would expect, ABT takes a very theatrical approach to it, acting it a lot more than NYCB does. Not that it wasn’t also danced well, Simkin’s technique was in full force but this was no mere technical display. He did a good job projecting the prodigal’s combination of arrogance and naiveté, as well as his harrowing fall and repentance. Veronika may have been the most overtly sexual Siren I’ve ever seen. She had one tiny bit of trouble with her cape at the part when she was on the floor and folding it over herself but aside from that it was a truly commanding performance. And my goodness, the way those legs parted and sliced through the air was amazing.
  15. Agreed, Copeland & Boylston are too small. Part would make a great Siren, also Abrera and Murphy
  16. Agreed that they were lovely together in Spectre, but there are no overhead lifts in Spectre. That is also why they are ok together in Ratmansky's Beauty. It's a different story with things like T&V and basically anything that requires him to lift his partner or hold her overhead.
  17. I agree about Sarah but I think the decision to bring Kochetkova in was at least partially driven by Cornejo. Just conjecture here, but she is the only ballerina I have ever seen him partner comfortably. Both Reyes and Lane were actually a bit too big for him. Reyes was very good at compensating for his partnering deficiencies but I have seen some very bad partnering from him when he's been paired with Lane. Kochetkova is shorter than either of then and considerably smaller (lighter) than either of them. Despite my dislike of her dancing, Cornejo has never looked better than when partnered with Kochetkova, and he lifts her with ease.
  18. II have no problem with her technique, her lack of height or her hipsterness. In fact I have enjoyed her with SFB when she was dancing modern works and I liked her in Ratmansky's Piano Concerto. But I generally avoid her with ABT because she has absolutely no feel for the 19th century classics., and thats mostly what she dances here. Yes, I know that she is Russian and trained at the Bolshoi school but don't forget that the Bolshoi didn't offer her a contract and she only lasted one season with the Royal. Her movements are so sharp, she has no Russian back, her epaulment is stiff, her arabesque pedestrian. Her phrasing is dull, I've seen no rubato from her, no cantelina line, no amplitude in her dancing. I saw her in Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake her first season with ABT and that totally soured me on her. Next season she was cast in Bayadere and I thought that would be a better fit for her. I was wrong. I might give her another shot if she does DQ in the next couple of seasons, but I'm done with her in the classic ballerina roles.
  19. But he isn't tall! He was noticeably shorter than Gillian (when she was on pointe) and that may explain some of the partnering problems. I thought his dancing was great, but he didn't make much of an impact and in a ballet like this, you have to sell it. He certainly did not impress as a pirate leader who could ward off an insurrection by the sheer force of his personality (paraphrasing the program notes).
  20. If we do it will be my last season as a subscriber. Enough is enough.
  21. I agree 100% about Lovette, she is so small she just got swallowed up in all that costuming. She definitely has the personality for the role but she looked like a kid in her mother's dress and that hat - well, the hat wore her.
  22. I absolutely love Sylvia. I love the music, I love that wonderful open Ashton style, the pastoral, the goats, everything. But I have to say that last night the first act was just dreary. The music was played so slowly and the dancers seemed really lethargic. I'm sure it didn't help that there were so many empty seats and that the audience was so low energy but it was more than that. It seamed like the orchestra and the dancers were just tired, or just not ready for the season to start. Thinks picked up a great deal after intermission, but this kind of start does not bode well for the season. And I agree with Canbelto that it was shocking to see so many empty seats in all levels on opening night. I know its a Monday, I know Sylvia is not a popular ballet but c'mon - it was opening night and it was half empty.
  23. I was a big fan of Hammoudi's in the beginning when he was still in the corps. He showed such promise - tall & lean with great stage presence and a warm stage personality- he reminded me a lot of a young Gomes. I thought he and Part would be great together and always hoped ABT would pair them up. Unfortunately IMO his technique & partnering skills never really developed sufficiently. So, while I think he and Part will look great together and have great chemistry together on the stage, I don't think that he will be up to partnering her. And we know how important it is for her to have solid partnering. I have tickets for their SL so I will cross my fingers and hope for the best.
  24. I agree 1000%. He's one of my favorite current male dancers who I hardly ever get to see...just the occasional gala appearance
  25. MCB made a great impression with their 1st program here last night. What a privilege & a pleasure it was to watch Simone Messmer as the Waltz Girl in Serenade. She was incisive, musical and full of mystery. I don't know most of the MCB dancers but I think it was Nathalia Arja as the Russian Girl (and also the girl with the red star at the end of Symphonic Dances). If so this soloist needs to be promoted to pricincipal ASAP! She is a small, speedy technical powerhouse also capable of great delicacy and full of charisma . My only quibble with Serenade was the casting of the Dark Angel ( I think it was Emily Bromberg). She was fine, but she faded into the background compared to the other two. Not particularly tall (about the same height as Messmer) and certainly not possessed of the imposing presence and glorious arabesque of Dark Angels we get to see in NY like Kowroski, Mearns and Reichlin. I loved Symphonic Dances. There is so much going on in this ballet that I'd like to see it multiple times, unfortunately I only get to see it once more. It uses many dancers in different groupings and changes of costumes, and they all looked wonderful. Among the principals I recognized G. Delgado and Albertson, and I think Arja was the girl with the red star at the end but I'm not sure, and I couldn't identify any of the men.
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