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christine174

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Everything posted by christine174

  1. Yeah! Enough of this pointless and very personal back and forth about who knows what reviewers. Where are the actual reviews??? Is anyone there in London who can give us a firsthand report on the performances? I would love to hear about Part, Murphy, Dvorovenko, and whoever is doing the pas de trois, and anything else of interest!
  2. Based on my memory of who I've seen, Copeland, Kajiya, Riccetto, Lane, Boylston, Pavam, Matthews, and Lopez have all done it before. I'm not sure about Simone Messmer, Hee Seo, and Blaine Hoven, although I suspect that Seo and Hoven have done it before.
  3. I forgot to say Thanks to everyone who posted. I really enjoy reading the reviews!
  4. Re "Flames," this is the first time I saw it. Simkin was so much fun! I look forward to seeing him dazzle and develop... in that order. Lane is not on his level in the dazzling department, and she has a stiffness that I just can't warm up to, but there is a lot about her that I do like, so hopefully with her, the development will help. Re Kaijya... I enjoyed her so much during the Met season that she became pretty much my most sought-after dancer. Her "Theme" and "Ballo" have left me contemplating dancers being pushed beyond what they can comfortably do. I always tend to think about favorite corps members and soloists being promoted, but I'm learning to appreciate them in what I actually see them doing. In other words, I sometimes feel my favorite dancers are being kept back from dancing the bigger roles they surely are capable of. But maybe they're really not ready for that. Along those lines, I'll mention what for me was one of the highlights of perhaps 8 performances (I lost count) over the past 2 weeks -- the soloist women in "Ballo." Love this piece! And Isabella Boylston's swaying movements, Simone Messmer's huge, expansive grand jetes, and Leann Underwood's grace, remain in my mind. Thanks!
  5. I have the same question as vipa re "Citizen." I gather from the postings re the first cast that the highlight was Herrera's physique in that "bikini." I had the same reaction to Lane. Other than that... as someone else said, a head-scratcher. I'm a little sorry there aren't more postings over the past couple of days. I enjoy the reviews. Alexandre Hammoudi is looking very good. Saw him in "Leaves" today and a few other things over the past few days (it's all starting to blur together). He looked wonderful partnering Veronika Part in "Leaves" this afternoon. I saw her with Hallberg the other day (I think it was "Overgrown Path") and as when I saw them together at the Met over the summer, he looks ill at ease with her. Hammoudi had that Gomes air about him -- protective of his partner and charismatic when taking the stage on his own. Also had misgivings about the Lane-Cornejo Theme on Thursday, as others have commented. They look fantastic together, but she has that forced, stiff expression, and the partnering was awkward.
  6. After 4 Giselles in 3 days, I'm just grateful to be living in New York where I can see ABT like this. Like Haglund's, I very much appreciated Irina Dvorovenko at yesterday's matinee. Especially in the 2nd act, where she stunned with her half-dead look, and I mean that as a compliment... she came across as someone struggling with the transition from life to death; the top half looked like it was sinking into the world of death and weightlessness, while the bottom half was full of life and spring. Beloserkovsky was fine, though he's not my favorite. In general I'd prefer almost any other ABT man to him; they are almost all more spectacular, but he and Dvorovenko do have amazing unison together. Stiefel last night had a "mad scene" of his own after Giselle died. I found him very convincing. Kent was my least favorite of the four Giselles I saw (the others being Reyes, Ananiashvili, and of course, Dvorovenko), but I'm not complaining about her. If I could choose one highlight of the four performances, it was Zhong-jing Fang's Zulma. Totally otherworldly. I also find the hopping arabesques chilling, but I do wish the audience would hold applause till it's done.
  7. Okay... who was the Wili with the INCREDIBLE bourre, who sailed across the stage just before Myrtha appeared? Or was that Ananiashvili herself?
  8. I totally agree with the praise of last night's performance. It was the best performance of about 20 I've seen this season. Xiomara Reyes especially -- this is a great role for her, something I wouldn't have expected. ABT has been doing her a disservice by keeping her in "cute" roles. She a tremendous dancer technically, something I tend to forget (it has surprised me many times when I see her whip off some feat with amazing speed and precision). But most of all, she was totally believable, sincere, and full of sorrow and depth. As to the peasant pas de deux, I had a different take than Haglund's. I found Yuriko Kajiya absolutely lovely (she's had a great season), and not only didn't notice any problems with Craig Salstein, I found myself thinking what a great stage personality he is. Maria Riccetto and Zhong-jing Fang were Moyna and Zulma. I always find Riccetto a beautiful dancer. Fang was especially beautiful and chilling. And I liked Michele Wiles as Myrtha more than I usually like Wiles; she was more expressive than I usually find her, with lovely arms. The Wilis gave me the willies! I had goose bumps. But, Note to the Audience: can we please hold the applause while the Wilis are dancing? I understand the enthusiasm, but the sudden smatterings of applause really interfere with the moment. All season long, I've been listening to the creaking coming from up there in the lighting booth. It sounds like something needs WD-40. Can't the do something about that?
  9. Merry Widow, Kent/Carreno/Reyes/Saveliev... I did something I have NEVER done at the ballet, which is that I left at intermission. *yawn* Kajiya made it worthwhile last night, but tonight, I had stuff to do at home (like the dishes) that took priority. What is that big double column doing in the middle of the stage in the first act? It cuts the huge Met stage right in half, for a ballroom scene! Couples swishing all over the place, the women in the largest possible dresses, and a featured pas de deux in the middle, and only using half the stage. Does that make sense? I think not. I only regret missing that big cotton puff outfit in the last act. But I couldn't stay for that.
  10. Just in from tonight's Merry Widow with Irina Dvorovenko, Max Beloserkovsky, and Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews. This is the first time I've seen this ballet. I love the camp, comic style (especially the guys falling all over Hanna in the first act), and the production is nice to look. Other than that, it's pretty boring. Why is it so hard to choreograph challenging steps? It drives me nuts to see all those fantastic dancers on stage, just kind of skipping around. There were a few nuggets of interest. Loved that big cotton puff that Dvorovenko wore during the last act. Also Simone Messmer and her friend's wild hats. (was the friend really Jacquelyn Reyes, as the program said? didn't look like her). Craig Salstein got a chance to do some excellent, actual dancing as the lead pontevedrian dancer. The real highlight (and the one thing that really made me glad I was there) was Yuriko Kajiya's Valencienne. Besides whipping off some beautiful fouettes that made me hungry for more, she proved to be a totally delightful actress, a pouty, sullen, and demanding mistress but with great comic flair. I loved it. She did not look like the Yuriko Kajiya I've seen in other ballets, in other words, she really took on a new persona. By contrast, Dvorovenko looked like Dvorovenko. Kajiya got a well-deserved ovation at the curtain call. p.s. Thanks to all for the standing-room advice.
  11. I hope this isn't too far OT from Merry Widow, but can someone tell me how standing room works for ABT? How/when/where can I buy a ticket? PM is fine. Thanks!
  12. Okay, this is it, I'm not going to clutter up BT with any more postings gushing over Veronika, but ClassicBallet captures my sentiments -- I was trying to sound thoughtful and reflective, as opposed to totally mindless and overwrought, but truly, it dazzles and befuddles me -- HOW can she be SO BEAUTIFUL???
  13. ... "dancers who disturb the atmosphere with their movements" -- I like that. It's as if the air is thicker around Part; I think it's that ongoing sense of palpable physicality that I find so thrilling. Someone else described her grand jetes as weightless, and in a way I can't disagree with this -- but it's not the same kind of weightlessness that, say, Yuriko Kajiya has. I'm running my mind through the ABT ranks to think of anyone else who has anything of this quality. The only one I can come up with is Misty Copeland. Not quite the same, but I always find myself very aware of her weight and physicality as I am with Part (note to Misty, if you're reading this: I intend that as this fan's ultimate stamp of approval). When she unfolds those long legs, as the cat in Sleeping Beauty or whatever that princess role was in Swan Lake (where she extends the right leg up to her nose while von Rothbart runs his hand along it), it's as if her legs are moving against the air. I'm hoping Kristi Boone will develop in that direction, too.
  14. I thought Dvorovenko was magnetic, and I'll be very happy to see her Nikyia again next year. But for me, Part is more than magnetic, if that's possible -- I find her deeply moving.
  15. 6/28 Bayadere matineee, Part/Gomes/Wiles I am at a loss for words to adequately express my admiration for Veronika Part. She is the epitome of everything I go to the ballet to see... but I can't get at it in words. What is it that makes those grand jetes so breathtaking? She achieves great height and flow, and covers a huge amount of space, yet doesn't have that weightless quality that some dancers have. Instead, one is always aware of her body moving through the air, almost pushing against the air, as if the air were thick. Something about her very presence on the stage is so regal and heartbreaking. I really can't get at it, but I was left aware of the great loss I'll feel if she's no longer performing in New York. Gomes is a great partner for her. He was perfect. I saw Corella last night, and he's a great showman, but Gomes is a professional. The corps had excellent unison. This might seem like a quibble, but after seeing three performances in three days, I can't help but notice that Gemma Bond (I think that's her -- the tall blonde who's third in the shade lineup) always pitches her arabesque noticeably higher than the other girls. Renata Pavam and Leann Underwood were excellent as the first and third shades. I liked Underwood better than I did when I saw her Thursday night. Saw Marisa Lopez, guest soloist, as Gamzatti last night. She has a very commanding stage presence, and more than held her own against Paloma Herrera, but I didn't care for the quality of her dancing. I hope she's not being auditioned for a possible soloist spot, when we have so many excellent soloists already. But to reiterate -- Veronika. I'm still applauding.
  16. I was too. I'm not normally a big Dvorovenko fan, but wow, so fluid and so beautiful. She was magnetic. I also thought she and Hallberg looked great together.
  17. I was there for Lane and Cornejo. Re Bluebird -- I have really appreciated Kajiya this year, but I just can't forget Hee Seo and her fire and explosiveness. Also as someone said, Herman Cornejo was virtually definitive in the role last year. I don't think Seo and Cornejo performed together last year (can't remember for sure...?), but in any case, both were so tremendous that Kajiya and Saveliev just didn't do it for me. Where IS Hee Seo, anyway? Please bring her back!!! Re Jackie Reyes and the other fairies, I too found Reyes lacking in precision, speed, form. I liked her very much last City Center season... but last night, I found Pavam, Hamrick, and Boone tremendous. As a relative ballet newcomer, I saw the production a couple of times last year and, the best way to put it, I wasn't disappointed. This year, despite the supposed improvements, I'm less impressed. It looks like a cartoon -- hard to take it seriously. Re last year's princes costumes, especially (as FauxPas said) that fabulous purple feather boa... they were so bad, I miss them! The new costumes seem to be just as dull and uniform as last year's costumes were flamboyant... and they seem to be misplaced, from another production entirely.
  18. I also saw Cornejo and Reyes. I find him a very different dancer when solo versus partnering. When he takes to the stage himself he is, as we all know, spectacular, glowing with confidence and charisma. When he's handling his partner he seems less confident, his rapport with his partner and the audience is not as generous and open as when he's alone, and he doesn't seem to truly love it the way he loves taking to the stage alone. Reyes is a very impressive dancer technically; she whipped off a series of pique turns with absolutely stunning speed; and her fouettes were solid -- singles punctuated with (I think) triples, and kept a clean form throughout, not sloppy. In terms of her acting, I just find her too cute. I wonder if she could carry off a serious role? I'd be interested in seeing her do something besides "cute." Sarah Lane was beautiful as one of the flower girls... and speaking of cute, I was relieved to see her not smiling excessively, which was really grating on my nerves when I saw her last year and earlier this season. One of the benefits of having four corps women promoted to soloist, is that it frees up all the demi-soloist roles they used to do so much. Now we're getting to see other corps members in these roles, like Melissa Thomas as the Queen of the Dryads. Very lovely, solid in her technique, with a soft and elegant manner.
  19. So interesting! Do I not recognize bombast when I see it? A sobering thought... I guess I'm just very new to ballet... at least, new relative to a board moderator. Tuesday night was the first time I've seen this ballet, and tonight, the 2nd time. I found the technical display rather exciting! I missed Cory Stearns' debut in Corsaire, but from what I hear on BT he looked like, well, a corps member making a debut in a principal role. Tonight he didn't look like that at all to me. Looked confident, poised, principal-like! Where does ABT find such a plethora of male talent? I liked R&R more tonight than I did the first time. Relentless yes, and busy, absolutely, too much so! But it's growing on me. Someone commented on Murphy on opening night. I found her delightful. She's not a dancer with emotional depth, but I really enjoy her in playful roles like this. Wish I had seen last night, when the two demi-soloists were Misty Copeland and... can anyone fill me in on the other?
  20. I'm really glad the company forums are back! In that vein (I wasn't sure where else a general discussion of a company's dancers would go), I'd be interested in hearing impressions of the "new" soloists. (Also, I'm hoping we can get away from the extended hoo-ha over Vishneva's cancellations.) I put "new" in quotation marks because they were promoted almost a year ago, but this is our first chance to see them in major roles in New York. I haven't been following ballet for all that long, and it's a surprise to find how much pleasure I get from seeing favorite corps members move up into bigger roles. Someone mentioned how well Veronika Part and Kristi Boone look dancing together, which I totally agree with. I also find the Maria Riccetto-Yuriko Kajiya pairing lovely. They are both so warm, lyrical, and light. And like others, I found Jared Matthews lacking confidence in Etudes. But I'd be nervous too if I knew the audience had come expecting to see Angel Corella. Seems to me ABT now has a terrific group of promising soloists. Which leaves me wondering why in the world they're bringing in Marisa Lopez (see the press release for upcoming casting) for Bayadere, when we haven't gotten to see nearly enough of the new soloists. A few questions about corps members: I haven't seen Hee Seo yet this season, has anyone else seen her, or is there word on why she's not dancing? Also, when did Melissa Thomas get so beautiful? I really noticed her during the City Center season, and now I find I watch her all the time, whether it's in the pas de trois of SL, or as a member of an ensemble, as in Etudes.
  21. That was my reaction, too! If they had to split the role, I would have preferred to see Kent as Odette and Dvorovenko as Odile, but why did they do this in the first place? Anyone have ideas/theories?
  22. SanderO and Adam, I don't understand what you mean about no exchange policy. Both ABT and Met Opera allow it, I do it all the time! Just today, based on the newly announced casting for the upcoming mixed bill, I stopped by the box office and swapped out a ticket for a preferred cast. I think the rule is that you can do it in person at the box office at least 24 hours before curtain, or if by mail, then one week in advance.
  23. I looked at the News and Reviews, per Bart's post, and I see it's a general news forum. Is there any place for fans of a specific company? I really do miss the ABT forum, which I used to check daily. Now whenever I come to the board I feel a bit homeless and aimless. (it was nice to get a friendly hello from Carbro, though -- I was wondering if you were still out there.)
  24. ... "sense of community"... funny, I have been missing the ABT forum community for some weeks now. I hope I can adjust to being thrust out into the wider world of BT! It doesn't seem the same.
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