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Roberto Dini

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Everything posted by Roberto Dini

  1. I enjoyed the podcast and am listening to earlier ones. The section where Cory speaks of the pressures of performing before a large audience was very interesting. Thank you for sharing.
  2. So glad that I was able to get a ticket to Part's penultimate performance. She danced beautifully as did Blaine and Daniil. The house was packed. I was surprised at how many tickets were sold since this morning. Next to Mozartiana, my favorite piece was Souvenir d'un lieu cher with Stella, Marcelo, Sarah, and Alban. There was some impressive dancing in AfterEffect, but it comes across as a muddled work. I had not seen it before. James Whiteside and Zhiyao Zhang were standouts. I feel like it had everything but the kitchen sink. I hated the part where the Man (Whiteside) sat downstage with his back to the audience, watching everyone dance. There were repeated intonation problems in the orchestra, especially within each string section. I found it painful at times. I wish they had performed the music as a string sextet although that's probably not the sound they wanted.
  3. Roberto Bolle has shared some beautiful photos from the final pas de deux with Alessandra Ferri.
  4. I was underwhelmed by Ratmansky's Sleeping Beauty until I saw Vishneva dance Aurora.
  5. These comments are interesting to me because I never really liked Cranko's Onegin before, but I loved it tonight. I always miss the music from the opera: the letter scene, Lensky's aria, the dance music, etc. I thought both Bolle and Ferri were on fire tonight. I thought Ferri's Tatiana was nothing like her Juliet. I haven't seen Vishneva and Gomes yet. I'm seeing them on Friday. Might write more later, but I just got home and need to get to sleep so that I can get up bright and early tomorrow. Just a sample of the missing music--Here's Fritz Wunderlich singing Lensky's Aria in German. I think he's one of the best Lenskys even though he didn't sing the part in Russian.
  6. I was there too. I hope Herman is ok. I enjoyed Herman and Maria's partnership. Bravo to Blaine! Blaine had the fire required for Espada from his first entrance. (The pause in the finale felt long, but I don't think it was more than 30 seconds.) While Blaine did not dance Basilio's solo variation, he filled in expertly, dancing both Espada and Basilio for the rest of the finale. Maria Kochetkova's fouettes were fast and showed the most fire she had all evening. Other standouts of the night were Skylar Brandt as Amour and Zhiyao Zhang as the lead gypsy. Zhang's elevation and control of his jumps and turns reminded me of Cornejo.
  7. I had tickets to see Vishneva and Ferri, but had to give them up due to a scheduling conflict with a show that I'm performing in. I don't care if Ferri's return may have prevented someone else from dancing. Ferri puts her entire body and soul into her performances, and I cherish every one of her performances that I've seen beginning with Fall River Legend in the late 80s. There are few dancers currently at ABT who bring as much passion to the stage, so I'm very sad to have missed tonight's performance.
  8. I totally agree abatt. Those were incredible days (and not that long ago) with Cornejo and De Luz alternating performances. They were also both amazing as Alain in La Fille Mal Gardee. On another note, attendance appears to be down. The theater has been comparatively empty all season. It reminds me of how empty the theater was in the season after 9/11.
  9. I agree. I was there applauding to the end. He will be greatly missed.
  10. No argument there. I don't really care for the music to The Tempest either, but it is growing on me on repeated hearings. The first time I saw the Tempest I wondered what drew Ratmansky to the music in the first place. To my ear, the majority of the score does not cry out as music to be danced to.
  11. I did not see After Effect, but I agree that Baca is fantastic.
  12. A point of clarification: Jean Sibelius wrote tonal music. There's a discussion of his style here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Sibelius#Musical_style "Despite the innovations of the Second Viennese School, he continued to write in a strictly tonal idiom." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Sibelius#Reception I was disappointed when I first saw the Tempest, but it has grown on me with repeated viewings.
  13. I want to say that I watched The Dream DVD tonight (Tuesday) and Puck is NOT supposed to overshadow Oberon as Herman did to Cory last night. When Stiefel was Oberon, he was commanding and virtuosic and Herman was considerable toned down compared to him (and last night's performance). (I also saw them live, the night ABT premiered The Dream in 2002) I just think Cory (maybe even David) is not up to doing what the role of Oberon needs in terms of both acting and dancing. Are you speaking of casting or performance? It probably has to do with comfort with returning to a role the he has danced before, but Herman has only grown in the role. I would never want him to tone down his performance so that someone else might not be overshadowed. Whether one performer outshines another has more to do with the totality of the production. There are so many variables, beginning with the casting, that help decide who might dominate a performance. Who hasn't seen a performance where a supporting player outshines the lead? That's why they say never to fight over the order of bows. The audience always decides whom they like best.
  14. This page includes photos of the promoted dancers: http://www.abt.org/insideabt/news_display.asp?News_ID=486
  15. I'm not sure that a lesser dancer could steal the show in the role of puck. Cornejo really outdid himself. Comparing his performance to that on the dvd, his turns were faster last night, especially the chainé turns. I agree that Murphy was really delightful. I think they should have performed the Tempest first and the Dream second. I'd much rather end the evening with the Dream. I wish they'd shorten their intermissions. I think the intermission length has more to do with selling concessions than changing sets.
  16. I loved the performance tonight. Of course, I was looking forward to Herman Cornejo dancing Puck, and he did not disappoint. He was amazing. You'd never know it's been 12 years since he premiered the role of Puck at ABT. I thought the entire cast was great. Gillian Murphy was Titania, Cory Stearns - Oberon, Herman Cornejo was Puck, Blaine Hoven was Bottom, Adrienne Schulte was Helena, Stella Abrera was Hermia, Grant DeLong was Demetrius, Jared Matthews was Lysander. The lead fairies were Nicole Graniero, Misty Copeland, Luciana Paris, and Yuriko Kajiya. It was nice to see Adrienne in a role. I thought Cory and Gillian were a good match, and I think this part suits Cory very well. I also liked the Tempest. The music is growing on me. The choreography looks good on everyone. Marcelo Gomes was Prospero, Sarah Lane was Miranda, Daniil Simkin was Ariel, James Whiteside was Caliban, Roman Zhurbin was Alonso, Joseph Gorak was Ferdinand. Everyone was wonderful, and I thought James Whiteside was especially good. Ratmansky seems to suit him. I'll try to post more later, but need to try to get some sleep.
  17. I'm surprised no one's starting a new topic, or did I somehow miss it?
  18. By the way, I spotted James Whiteside immediately after Monday's performance. Perhaps he was the cover for Marcelo Gomes in Monday night's performance?
  19. Re Monday night: The four cygnettes were the best I think I've seen at ABT--even their heads were together. I loved Gorak, Lane and Kajiya, and I agree that Matthews is dancing better than ever. He seemed to delight in dancing Rothbart, which was fun to see.
  20. Has anyone sat on the sides of any of the rings at the MET for the ballet? How much of the view is obstructed?
  21. I don't have a lot to add to the comments above. I saw all the evening performances of Giselle. Monday night's performance with Vishneva and Gomes was exceptional. Gomes set a very high bar for his fellow dancers to meet, and none of them seemed able to reach it. He makes partnering look so easy. For example, no one else was able to execute the closing phrase at the end of Act II where Giselle appears to float in front of him before going to her grave as well as he does. Somehow he lifts her without showing any exertion. Every other Albrecht that I saw failed to make this lift look effortless. Vishneva's assumption of the role impressed me much more on Monday than in the past. I love Vishneva's attention to detail down to the gesture of a hand or a glance. This is my first post this season, so I will add that I also enjoyed her Nikiya earlier this season. I still love the way Murphy rolls through her back as Myrtha as if she has no spine. She really gives the part an otherworldly flair. Abrera and Part were also excellent as Myrtha and Abrera's second performance was even better. She held the balance at the end of phrases longer on Saturday. I love Veronika Part, especially after seeing her in Swan Lake with Bolle a while back, and I agree that she is underused. I thought she was wonderful as the fairy godmother in Cinderella. I thought both of Veronika's performances as Myrtha were beautiful. I'd be hard pressed to choose a favorite among the three. If I have to rank the performances, my second favorite performance would be Cojocaru's. I'm surprised to read Amour's description of Cojocaru's performance above because I experienced something completely different. That description of the low jumps seems more apt for Julie Kent's performance. I thought Cojocaru really captured Giselle's joy and love of dance. Yes, she modified some of the steps, but that did not diminish my enjoyment of her performance. Judging from youtube videos, she's been doing these changes for years. I thought she inspired a stronger performance from Hallberg than his performance Tuesday night with Semionova. I felt more of a rapport between Hallberg and Cojocaru. Semionova was beautiful, but she had the same pasted on grin for most of Act I. She has so many wonderful attributes, but I never sense an inner fire in her dancing. After watching Semionova dance Giselle, my friend said she thinks that Semionova doesn't have an inner beat. I have to agree. Sometimes she seemed to dance whenever she felt like it rather than when the music required it. I will say that I enjoyed her dancing in Giselle and La Bayadere more than I have in the past, but I doubt she will become a favorite of mine. I thoroughly enjoyed Reyes and Matthew and Herrera and Stearns. I feel as though I've always taken the dancers who play Hillarion for granted, but seeing other people in the role made me realize what a wonderful job Radetsky and Matthews do with the part. They both do an excellent job of matching mime with the music. Patrick Ogle filled in for someone (I think maybe Radetsky) before his announced performance later in the week. His dancing was fine, but his mime gestures could be stronger. The Met is a big house, and the gestures need to be bigger, fuller and stronger than he makes them. He wasn't the only new--at least to me--Hillarion who could work on his mime. I don't know if he'd done the role before and how much rehearsal with the orchestra, if any, he was given, but his performance was much better on his second outing, but he never really got close enough to the door before making a knocking gesture. While I thought they all the peasant pas de deux couples were good, I liked Gorak and Lane and Ribagorda and Paris the best although none of them eclipse memories of Cornejo and Reyes.
  22. Sat., Nov. 2 evening: I saw Gomes/Simkin in the Tempest. While I enjoyed everyone's dancing, especially Lane and Gorak, The Tempest just seemed a sort of mess. I did not think that the score cried out to be choreographed. Semionova was disappointing in Theme and Variations. She is beautiful, but her dancing lacks spark. The whole performance lacked clarity and did not seem crisp enough. Overall, I enjoyed Clear more than the Tempest and T&V. Sunday matinee, November 10: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly The Good: A Month in the Country The Bad: Seminova in Sylphides The Ugly: Ormsby Wilkins' conducting of Les Sylphides I love Les Sylphides. I liked Britten's arrangement of the Chopin, but found Wilkins' conducting to metronomic. There was little rubato, and little motion within each phrase. It was all so painfully even that it almost didn't sound like Chopin. I don't expect an orchestra to have the flexibility of a pianist, but there are recordings that demonstrate that beautiful performances by an orchestra are possible. That said, the orchestra played well, intonation and tone-wise. I just didn't like the conducting. The core danced nicely in Les Sylphides, but I was disappointed in the principals with the exception of Veronika Part. who filled every phrase to the utmost. Her dancing was beautiful. Seminova gave an uninspired performance once again. Her dancing lacked impetus. She often danced behind the beat, and she seemed to perform the repeated relevés in her solo whenever she felt like it, not when the music required. They were nicely done, but so unmusical. She is obviously a gifted dancer, but because of her lack of musicality and spark, she does not strike me as a great dancer. Interestingly, the moment Julie Kent began to dance in A Month in the Country, she displayed the spark and impetus that Seminova lacked. I thought that this was some of the best dancing I've seen from Kent in a while. A Month in the Country was definitely the highlight of the afternoon. Bond, Coté and Simkin were all wonderful, and Simkin was truly believable as a boy. Musically, I enjoyed A Month in the Country, which is also set to Chopin, more than Les Sylphides. I attribute my enjoyment to the playing of the piano soloist, Emily Wong. Her role was so great that Wilkins had no choice but to follow her lead. I enjoyed Herrera and Whiteside in Theme and Varations much more than Seminova and Stearns. Their dancing was stronger and clearer.
  23. I saw the Murphy/Whiteside performance. It was a solid performance. I agree that he should be made a principal. There were some beautiful moments, but it wasn't magical. The only fairy who impressed me was Simone Messmer. I would have loved to see Stella Abrera or Veronica Part as the Lilac Ferry. I did enjoy the character dances in the last act. Isabella Boylston and Sean Stewart as the Cat and Puss-in-Boots, Christine Shevchenko and Arron Scott as Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, Nicola Curry and Sterling Baca as Prince Charming. I wish they had more to do. Joseph Gorak and Sarah Lane danced beautifully as Princess Florine and the Bluebird, but he seemed a bit shaky in some of the lifts. Isabella Boylston did not seem glum to me. In fact, she gave a lovely performance in a small role. The costumes and the set are still ugly--especially in the wedding scene. I hate the fairy costumes. They should be beautiful, but they aren't. I echo the sentiments up-thread that Stella Abrera and Sarah Lane should be promoted.
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