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Everything posted by christine174

  1. Carbro, where are you? You usually start us off on all the runs of performances! This is a ballet I've never seen before and of which I know nothing of the production and history. I love classical ballet, and love to revel in the technical wizardry of ABT's dancers. This is definitely not a ballet for that. But I loved it. I find Othello unbearably tragic, and this was hard to sit through for the painful emotions. But I ask you: Is there anything Marcelo Gomes can't do? He is surely the best all-around dancer, male or female, that ABT has -- outstanding in partnering, acting, and dancing.
  2. Thanks, canbelto! What a great photo. I forgot to ask where she gets the boneless arms, but perhaps it's the same question. But it does leave us with a mystery. Is it in their blood? Is it trained? Or do Russian training academies choose students with a naturally flexible back? Whatever the case, I'm grateful!
  3. Bayadere, Vishneva/Steifel/Abrera I feel I had forgotten Diana Vishneva, only now to be beautifully, beautifully reminded. Where does she get that flexible back? Glad to see Steifel back! He looks great, and got a warm welcome. I liked Stella Abrera far more than Michele Wiles, the other Gamzatti I've seen. Abrera was beautiful and cruel. The way she looked at Nikiya out of the corner of her eyes, without moving, when Nikiya sees her with Solor -- whew! Abrera danced beautifully, and I always enjoy seeing her, but I don't know... is she principal dancer material? I just don't feel she has enough stage magnetism or depth. But if people feel otherwise, please educate me! I'd be interested to hear what others think.
  4. Brief Report on today's matinee, Part/Gomes/Wiles After reports from the gala, I was feeling a little sorry for Veronika Part, and sorry for myself, too, having bought tickets to see pretty much every performance of hers this season. But whatever her faults, her beauty was on full display today, making me not at all sorry for having tickets to see her! She does look tentative and not confident, qualities oddly paired with an innate beauty, lushness and majesty. As to the Rose Adagio, I assume she can perform it beautifully, in rehearsal, otherwise she would not have been given any performances of it, let alone the premiere. Her problem is consistency and confidence. It's interesting to compare her with Michele Wiles, today's Gamzatti. Wiles is to me the least interesting of ABT's principal dancers. However, she is technically assured and very consistent, and it's easy to see why ABT values that. If only Part had that solidity! I am not an experienced Bayadere-goer, but the corps looked pretty good to me. Misty Copeland was delightful in the first "shade" solo, and Hee Seo especially stood out in the third solo, looking very secure and fluid.
  5. Whew, Haglund's! That bad??? You're going to exchange your ticket for the premiere? And harder on Nina than the others! Based on tonight, what principals would you recommend for the season? ... and thanks for the report on gala dresses.
  6. Thanks for the reports! This is very disappointing news about Veronika! ... but better than I dared to hope about Nina. A trip to the box office may be in order tomorrow...
  7. I sense a new subforum for BT: "Travel for Ballet on a Budget," organized by city.
  8. I hope this isn't too off-topic (moderaters, feel free to delete me!), but perhaps this will be useful to those coming from out of town for a ballet weekend. There is a hostel on Amsterdam and 105th Street here, offering bare-bones but clean accommodations at very reasonable rates. I recently stayed at the hostel in Washington DC and while it's definitely bare-bones, the price was incredible and made the whole trip feasible. See the hostelling international website.
  9. Buddy, I think your ballet budget needs some re-jiggering if it's exhausted already, by May, and before the ABT season! Have you investigated the bus?
  10. Thanks, Haglund's, for some very interesting tallies. I for one hope it IS final! I would be very happy to see Gomes and Hallberg more than anyone this season. Looking forward to the spring season... and Veronika's promotion...?
  11. After viewing the same program ("Clear," "Faun," "Sinatra Suite," and "Fancy Free") Thursday 10/26 and today's matinee, I just have to express my heartfelt appreciation to Kevin McKenzie and ABT -- and especially, the men of ABT. Where does ABT find all these guys? While I have particular favorites, likes and dislikes, among the women, it seems that whatever men they send out onto the stage do something dazzling. Just to single out a very few favorites from these two performances: "Clear" -- Corella spinning like a top, and the Hallberg-Beloserkovsky "big ballet boy dance-off" (to quote FauxPas) on Thursday; also Blaine Hoven in same today (I think that was him -- the blonder of the two men). Radetsky and Craig Salstein in "Fancy Free" in both performances -- Radetsky is a delightful actor, and Craig Salstein was, as another poster said earlier, a natural comedian and a total ham onstage. As to Carreno in his "shirtless costume," for "Faun," I refer you to yesterday's posts by FauxPas and Haglund's. Thanks, guys, for a wonderful performance!
  12. As to symphonie concertante and the two leads, I would like to see them with similar, but somewhat different qualities -- reflecting the basic similarity but different tones of the violin and viola. As someone just suggested, I think a Murphy-Wiles matchup would be good, with Murphy's playfulness setting off Wiles' more serene qualities. But putting Part and Wiles together is, to me, like putting a string instrument with a flute -- it can be lovely, but it doesn't fit this piece, and they don't "speak" to each other, they don't speak the same language, the way violin and viola do.
  13. 10/28 matineee... brief comments Symphonie concertante -- I agree with those who have said the stage is too small for this piece; the corps were noticeably taking itty bitty steps and looked cramped nonetheless; I think the whole piece would burst with more excitement and energy on the big Met stage. As to the Part-Wiles matchup, I think it's less than ideal. I assume the idea was to cast two different types to represent the violin and viola, but I think they are just too different for this to work. Veronika's fluidity, sophistication and beauty make Michele look flat and uninteresting by comparison. Also, there was no rapport at all between them, whereas in the music, the violin and viola are supposed to be in playful conversation and interaction. I like this piece, and I happen to love the music, but I think that between the cramped stage and mismatched leads, it misses its potential for joy and energy. Marcelo Gomes looked great, however -- but then, when does he not look good? I was trying to think of what would be a better matchup, since previous posts report the Julie Kent-Paloma Herrera combo wasn't great either. I wonder how Kent would be with Part? Who would be better with Wiles?
  14. Thanks everyone for the commentary on City Center season, however speculative. Even when I'm not posting, I'm reading, and I really do look forward to checking in and seeing what people have to say. A question: when do they typically announce promotions? Could we expect that before the CC season?
  15. And then Bocca found Cornejo... I guess it's too early to expect Herman to replace himself, but we will be very fortunate if one day he can bring us someone to carry on the tradition! But re male dancers and prize-winners, didn't I read in the New York Times that Studio Company member Brooklyn Mack won a prize at the Jackson competition? Re NYCB, they added NINE soloists in March? Wow! How did they have that many openings? They can't do that every year... can they? I guess I should check in, once in awhile, at happenings across the plaza.
  16. What a delightful question to speculate on! Well, delightful and depressing, too. In my best-case dream scenario, Veronika Part will be promoted to principal very very soon, leaving not one, but two soloist openings. I would vote for Misty Copeland and Sarah Lane. But, and here's the sad part, where does that leave Melanie Hamrick, Renata Pavam, Zhong-jing Fang, Kristi Boone, and [fill in your favorite here]? They will wait for 3 years until there's another opening at the soloist level, and by then there will be more competition, and perhaps some new young sensation coming in to take their hoped-for, and well-deserved, soloist slot. What a shame there's not more room for everyone.
  17. It's such a good idea, that I have to wonder why they haven't done it! What's the downside? Would it be a financial drain? How sure could they be of selling tickets in medium-sized cities? Do ballet companies generally make money on tours? ABT rarely sells out the Metropolitan Opera house -- what about when they're in Chicago, LA, or Washington? Also, I was thinking about the turnover at the principal level, the fact that we're "stuck" with them for 10 or 20 years once they're promoted. Is that indeed generally the rule? Are principals never let go, and if not, why not? Should they be? I would appreciate hearing people's thoughts on this, to help clarify my own thinking.
  18. That's interesting, drb, and thanks for the analysis. But in terms how few promotions there are, and how few dancers get the opportunity to really blossom, I think the problem lies elsewhere. I've been musing over the fact, as someone pointed out earlier in this thread, that there is virtually nowhere for dancers to go up at ABT. There is a plethora of talented dancers eager to burst out of the corps (and an eager BT audience that can't wait to see them do so), but with a turnover of perhaps one principal dancer per year, there are so few opportunities to advance that it's inevitable talented people will languish. And here on BT, people have been discussing the fact that their favorite principals don't get to dance often enough, either! I don't know what the answer is -- in order to give more dancers an opportunity to dance and grow, I think the we would need a more extended season, or more ballet companies... all ultimately depending, I guess, on more audiences. What a shame more people don't appreciate ballet!
  19. Le Corsaire, 7/7/06 ABT has a real treasure in David Hallberg (Conrad). I look forward to seeing him continue to develop in years to come. He (nearly) matched the virtuosity of Cornejo and Corella, and did it with a beautiful classical form, confidence, and an authoritative onstage presence. H. Cornejo -- a joy to watch. Corella -- adorable in that blue slave outfit and the little feather, amazing in general and throwing himself through the air with unbelievable force, but I agree with nysusan, he was sloppier than usual. Herrera -- not usually my favorite, but I enjoyed her, without being totally wowed, last night. She is so talented, I just wish she could engage emotionally with what she's dancing. Reyes as Gulnare -- good, sparkling, a sharp turner, I was surprised to realize what a really good dancer she is, but just too too cute. E. Cornejo -- was supposed to be the Pirate Woman, but was replaced. What a disappointment! This probably would be my last chance to see her. If anyone goes to the matinee today, please report back whether she danced. Abrera, Riccetto, and Part -- as the Odalisques. All three are wonderful dancers, but as usual, Veronika draws your attention almost the minute she walks on stage (well described by Faux Pas in the first post in this thread). The audience -- roaring with approval throughout, with what sounded like thousands of screaming teenage girls. It sounded like what I imagine it was like when the Beatles arrived in the US. All in all, a very fun evening!
  20. I'm a little late but wanted to comment on Monday night's performance with Murphy/Beloserkovsky. I had never seen this ballet before, and while it is delightful in many ways, I found it very short and slight to carry an entire evening. I'm not sure what could be added to beef it up, but restoring the solo variations that were apparently cut from Act III would be an improvement. I just felt it wasn't substantial enough, like a cold light dinner when you're expecting a good hot meal. It is perfect for Murphy's range of interpretive/acting skills (as opposed to her dancing, which is impressive no matter what she does). And I never thought of her as voluptuous before, but it's a wonder she didn't "pop out" of the top of that harem-girl outfit. As noted, one of the corps ladies dropped (?? someone else said it fell apart?) one of her props -- what I can only describe as a miniature golden cymbal the ladies were all carrying. She tried to retrieve it, causing a noticeable traffic jam. The women all then sat down on the stage floor, and one of them was right on top of the "cymbal." As an audience member, I was relieved that when she got up, she retrieved the "cymbal," and danced away with it offstage, even though you could visibly see her scrambling to find it on the floor beneath her skirt. Re Part, I agree -- hard to take my eyes off her. And re Gomes, he oozes charm and sex appeal in everything he does, not just bad guy roles! Orion is a very silly role, and contradictory in that he's a brute but the ballet is so light in tone he can't really be brutal. But Gomes carried it off with his charisma. I keep thinking about him as Siegfried in last Wednesday's Swan Lake... and I think I'm in love!
  21. I'm not sure this is the right place to post this, but there is an article/review by Joan Acocella in the New Yorker I received today. Informed review and high praise of the Vishneva/Corella Giselle. Also some very favorable comments about the level of talent at ABT, and some not-too-favorable comments about the general artistic direction that ABT is taking, especially during the Met season, and including the new Cinderella. Perhaps someone more technologically accomplished than I am can post a link.
  22. I am enjoying reading everyone's commentary so much! But I notice no one has commented on Kent/Gomes Friday night, and very little on Murphy/Corella Tuesday night and Dvorovenko/BelosverkovskyThursday night. It certainly seems that Part and Vishneva inspire the most commentary, but I would enjoy hearing reports on the other performances, as well as from tonight's performance (Herrera with...?).
  23. I called the ABT press office about casting for tomorrow's pas de trois, as well as Erica Cornejo's upcoming performances. Is that "legal" to post?
  24. Hey -- does anyone know the casting of the pas de trois for Saturday matinee and evening? I wasn't planning on going to those two (I do have to pay the rent, after all), but if I could see the Cornejo-Cornejo-Reyes combination again, I would go. How does one get the casting for roles like that?
  25. Let me add my thanks for the intelligent discussion here. I agree with a lot of what's been said, and don't want to be repetitive, but just have to throw in my two cents' worth. Re Part and Gomes, she was just beautiful, and the chemistry between the two made it totally believable and tragic. She is so magnetic, and I can't think of a better partner for her than Gomes. I can't find the words to capture it! And BOY, has she lost weight! I actually think it detracts a bit from her beauty, but if it helps her technique and helps her get better roles, I won't complain. Come on, ABT! Now is the time to let Veronika shine! No one has commented on David Hallberg's von Rothbart, but I really like him in this role. I was amazed when I saw him do it last year -- I never would have thought this blond prince could turn so evil and seductive. He's a more interesting dancer than I had realized at first. Re Vishneva... I've been a big fan of hers, but was disappointed last night. I wasn't sure if it was just me, or the effect of seeing Part and Vishneva on the same day. Thanks to all the posters here who have helped me figure out why I felt it was a dud. The Cornejo-Cornejo-Reyes PdT made last night worthwhile, however. I'm not usually crazy about Reyes, but in this particular role I like her more than anyone else I've seen. And Erica Cornejo was spectacular, showing that she shares her brother's talent for attaining abnormally high elevations. Can't ABT arrange to keep her?? Maybe if they could find space for Carlos Molina, she would stay...? anyway, and Herman, of course, was his usual virtuosic self. On to tonight -- Dvorovenko/Beloserkovsky. If you had told me I would like Dvorovenko better than Vishneva, I never would have believed it, but such is the case. Those swan arms as she floats offstage at the end of Act II -- how does she do it? And the fouettes -- as reported from Monday night, she opted for singles, and was more in control by the end than anyone else this week, something I appreciate. I look forward to hearing what everyone else has to say. And Aurora, if I see you and your mother, I'll certainly say hi!
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