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Everything posted by Haglund's

  1. Yikes! Maybe bringing up Tiger Woods wasn't such a good idea. My only point was to illustrate his willingness and determination to let go of what was comfortable in order to move forward with his game. As someone who has spent a fortune dragging people to see Veronika Part's and Marcelo Gomes's Swan Lake, I assure you that I admire her lyrical abilities beyond words, and want to see her have more opportunities, including ones beyond the Petipa-derivatives and Balanchine. But my sense is that she has to cement a few aspects of her technique before she will get those opportunities and we will get the joy of seeing her more. I'm looking forward to seeing her and Wiles tomorrow evening. I hope that the decision isn't made to "dumb down" the choreography and take out that troublesome pirouette-develope-pirouette. Wiles performed it beautifully and effortlessly, and I'd like to see it again. AND I'd like to see Part try to nail it.
  2. I think the "natural turner" idea is 98.999% myth and really doesn't come into play until after 3 or 4 revolutions in a pirouette. Dancers are trained from early on to do double pirouettes, not triples or more. Double pirouettes for women, unfortunately, are still an acceptable minimum standard. A dancer can accomplish a double pirouette with all sorts of errors embedded in his or her technique. But to consistently do three or four revolutions or fancy schmancie pirouette combinations, the dancer really has to have his act together. A problem with many dancers who claim that they are not "natural turners", is that they are unwilling to completely dismantel their pirouette technique and rebuild it, because that may mean that for a while, they won't even be able to do double turns. Dancers have to do something along the lines of what Tiger Woods did a couple of years back. Even though he was the best golfer in the world, he was determined to be a much better one. He completely gave up the driving technique that had brought him so much success and re-tooled his swing. For an entire season, he suffered loss after loss while he integrated the new technique into his body, but look at him now. Look at him now. So when I observe Veronika Part falling out of pirouettes at City Center, I say no one is doing her a favor by accepting this as a natural deficiency. And maybe that's exactly what Kevin McKenzie is saying by not promoting her to principal.
  3. I'm looking forward to getting another look at the Wiles-Part Symphonie Concertante this week to see if what I perceived to be their stylistic similarities was my imagination. I really thought that they were a good match, and as has been written before by others, sometimes Wiles looks more Russian than the Russians. I'm a bit frustrated by Part's plateau, which is looking wholly self-imposed these days. These bobbles and uncertainties in her technique should have been erased seasons ago. From a close seat at City Center, the problem looks like a lack of concentration and commitment to her pirouettes. One senses her uncertainty in each preparation. My only previous live encounters with Symphonie Concertante was with Cynthia Gregory and Martine Van Hamel in the leads. Needless to say, they were well-matched and there were no bobbles that I can recall.
  4. I guess that will be okay, but why not Hallberg? He's not dancing at either of those performances. I thought the Hallberg-Abrera Faun last year was peerless. There was a brief interview with Stiefel in this week's TimeOut in which he acknowledged having some trouble with scar tissue that developed in one knee after surgery. Re-organizing scar tissue is a one-cell-at-a-time process that takes time. Better to take the time than not.
  5. The crowd at City Center was more engaged this evening than at the opening night gala. Symphonie Concertante looked okay. Julie Kent, Paloma Herrera, and Gennadi Saveliev were the leads. I noticed during part I that the pirouette-develope-pirouette trick that had caused Veronika Part so much trouble on Wednesday was replaced by a double pirouette for Julie. It appeared that Paloma might have intended to do the second revolution en attitude, but it didn’t come off particularly clearly. The Julie-Paloma match up wasn’t , shall we say, fair. But then again, who can match Paloma’s legs and feet. The corps looked lovely. Of the ladies in pink, Yuriko Kijiya and Maria Riccetto stood out. Of the ladies in white, I noticed Caity Seither, who on both nights, looked like the happiest little bird ready to burst into song. Mark Morris’s Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes showed off Craig Salstein nicely. There is a lot of movement in the piece, but IMHO not much content. I endured it rather than enjoyed it. It was pretty much the same cast as Wednesday for In the Upper Room with the exception of Cornejo being replaced by Carlos Lopez. The energy was high all around, and all performances were superb. A great job from Kajiya and Luciana Paris as the pair in red socks and red point shoes who traveled everywhere together. My pal said that this piece should be called Dancers Who Need De-caf. It sure did rip the crowd which stood cheering for about 10 minutes. I think with regard to Amour's complaint about Abrera's bobblehead movement, I think she's the only one who is really Tharping it as it's intended - although Misty Copeland is on her way there. I thought Abrera was doing the best Tharp of anyone on stage.
  6. I think it is, just a bit - even though she may have danced with Bolle more than any of the current ABT men. Apparently, he has also danced Manon with Ferri, AND Makarova's La Bayadare with Zakharova. Hmmm. I had always hoped to see Ferri and Gomes in Romeo and Juliet. Or Ferri and Stiefel. I guess it just ain't gonna be.
  7. Have to agree with everything said so far about the first night. Symphonie Concertante looked cramped on the City Center stage. When the corps has to take baby steps to move almost no where, you know it’s a bit tight. Michele Wiles and Veronika Part stylistically looked very good together - almost like they were hatched out of the same egg. Michele was oh-so poised and elegant. Veronika was less poised but elegant. She fell out of the 'pirouette-open a la second, return to passe without coming down - continue pirouette' trick. It was extremely noticeable, and drew gasps from the audience. Sinatra Suite was all Sarah Lane. It was very hard to take your eyes off of her. Some of the partnering was labored and not quite there yet, and Cornejo really added none of his own personality to the piece the way Baryshnikov did - and the way perhaps someone like Ethan Stiefel might have. I’m looking forward to seeing Marcelo Gomes add his own touches to it. Meadow (ppd) was, as has been indicated, a perfect vehicle for Julie Kent with Marcelo. The score and (I believe) counter tenor voice are quite interesting, and Lubovitch definitely weaves his choreography deep within the architecture of the music. Swan Lake - what a surprising, sweep us into the moment performance from Herrera and Beloserkovsky. I can’t recall ever seeing them together in a ppd, and they were superb! Instant chemistry. I recommend getting this ticket in the spring if they are cast together. Again, it appeared that the stage was just too small for this excerpt with all the swans - who, by the way, looked lovely, danced lovely, and made some of us drool for Swan Lake Week next spring. In Diana and Acteon, (Reyes & Carreno) we saw Reyes attack movements like we‘re not accustomed to seeing her do, and she succeeded nearly every time. She was very much on the money this evening with turns and balances. Acteon is my all time, most favorite costume for Jose. He was in fine form this evening, and wowed everyone with his signature balances at the conclusion of his effortless, astonishing pirouettes. In the Upper Room standouts were Abrera and Dvorovenko. Abrera has taken the Tharp bobblehead movement to a whole new level. After watching her for a while, you feel your own head start to bobble. She is Tharp-accurate with her movement, more so than anyone else, except for perhaps Stiefel, who did not dance this evening. I enjoyed watching Dvorovenko very much in this piece. She was extremely comfortable and confident. Very much into the spirit of the movement. Often she irritates me with her projected persona, but it was absent tonight. A fine performance from everyone. It’s funny, with all the advertising that featured and promoted the men, it was the women who mostly carried the evening. The exception was Carreno. Great dancing all around from everyone. Substantial stuff for a gala.
  8. This evening's program also includes tomorrow evening's (Thursday) cast. Jose Manuel Carreno's partner in Sinatra Suite will be Luciana Paris. The new Elo piece, GLOW - STOP, consists of (top line) Kent, Murphy, Copeland; (2nd line) Pavam, Boone, Tanatanit; (3rd line) Radetsky, Gomes, Cornejo; (4th line) Matthews, Hoven, Salstein.
  9. Can't disagree with any of the above points on casting notification. However, with regard to the female in S.S. not really being "a lead", I think she originally was considered as such. If you look in the Library Archives section of the ABT website, not only is Elaine Kudo listed as having been in the original cast of S.S.. but she is listed prior to Baryshnikov's name. In any event, ABT is very intentionally holding back on announcing the female dancer. Maybe at this point, they are not yet sure who it's going to be for each performance. My limited experience with ABT's press office has been that they will give you anything from the long casting that you want as soon as it's made available to them. The woman who usually answers the phone, I believe Myra is her name, is an absolute jewel, and is delighted to speak with people. And, if you bait her, she will tell you how Freddie Franklin was "my first Prince Siegfreid" - meaning, of course, the first Siegfried she saw in Swan Lake.
  10. Kind of weird that there's no mention of who will be the female leads in Sinatra Suite. The casting for Dark Elegies looks good. Adrienne Schulte, who is in the Saturday cast, was outstanding last year. Come to think of it, she's been outstanding in most everything I've seen her in over the past couple of seasons. Hope she's considered a strong candidate for soloist this year.
  11. More City Center casting is up on the ABT calendar. It appears that Sinatra Suite will be shared by Cornejo, Carreno, Corella and Gomes! How is one supposed to choose?
  12. Angel Corella debuted this evening in The Met's production of La Giaconda. The audience went crazy-crazy. The choreography, which was Wheeldon's first for The Met, was a welcomed step up in the realm of opera-ballet, but as far as ballet-ballet, it was a nonsensical pastiche of you-name-it. Too many dancers on the floor for such a small space. The corps work looked like Balanchine classroom stuff. The PdD looked complicated for the sake of being complicated. Corella was not his superlative self - although he was probably the best thing The Met Opera has ever seen dancing in its productions. All in all, the dancing was a success and enhanced the opera - and probably sold a few ABT tickets as well. As a sidebar, I really enjoyed sitting in my $15 balcony box seat. All the balcony boxes, the family circle boxes, and the back half or so of the family circle are now $15 Monday-Friday. It was packed! Wouldn't it be great if ABT followed suit next spring?
  13. I'm envisioning Gelsey Kirkland standing at center Met stage taking a bow at the end of the Sleeping Beauty premiere. Shivers.
  14. Received in yesterday's mail another brochure for ABT's City Center season. The cover has Marcelo Gomes and Julie Kent in "Meadow." The delight, though, is the full page spread showing Herman Cornejo in "Sinatra Suite!" Cornejo's face has a youthful Sinatra-ish look to it. The brochure has no hints as to who will be his partner. There are also some great and glamorous new headshots of the principals - especially Gomes, Corella and Dvorovenko.
  15. I have to agree with much of what I've read about last night's performance. I kept asking myself whether I was being fair to Vishneva - my expectations as the result of last year's performance were very high. My impression was that the majority of the problem was the partnership. There was no chemistry whatsoever, as has already been noted. Carreno danced with her as if he was just following orders. It was very perfunctory and studio-like. Carreno was not, in my opinion, anywhere near his accustomed level last night. He hestitated when he had to take the steps up as he chased Von Rothbart out. He hestitated when he had to step up on to the boulder to gaze at Odette on the cliff. Even when he was standing in his B+, he looked uncomfortable. And, his arabesques - never startling - looked on the verge of retirement last night. Vishneva as Odette was lovely, but oh my, we wanted and expected so much more! Odile was a non-event, as far as I'm concerned. It didn't even rise to the level of ordinary. HOWEVER, I thought the corps looked exquisite. They worked their feathers off last night, and were much appreciated. Radetsky as Von Rothbart was appealing, but he just does not have the control and consistency in his turns that are required in a principal role. His center seems to be up somewhere around his throat. The Pas de Trois was spectacular, and it was nice to see Erica step forward for some special applause. I also saw some on-stage applause for her as well. One nice moment -- Kevin McKenzie discovering Jacques D'Amboise sitting next to him in Parterre. There seemed to be a very warm exchange between the two, and Jacques still has that cherubic face!
  16. Wow, I agree on Abrera! I make it a point to catch as many of her performances as possible. While her first couple of performances in any role can look studied and very concentrated (the exception to that being Faun at City Center which blew me away), she is extraordinary after getting a few under her belt. I prefer her Myrta over everyone else's, including Part. Abrera's charachter is clearly defined and is, as Faux Pas says, scary - and I would add unforgiving. Given her expansive talent in a variety of styles, I would expect her to be the next inside promotion to principal.
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