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Everything posted by fondoffouettes

  1. I think it was largely related to Cornejo's height. It took him just four years to go from corps to soloist to principal at ABT, so clearly they recognized his talent. But I think it took the AD a lot longer to start envisioning him for the leading-man prince roles. I started going to ABT in 2003, the year Cornejo was promoted to principal, and back then, he danced a lot of Bennos (it was ultimate luxury casting -- he danced the most dazzling Act I pas de trois I've ever seen), as well as roles like Mercutio in R&J (again, he was fabulous). The company also had no shortage of lead male dancers back then. Just a reminiscence...but Cornejo's Puck is indelibly etched in my mind, when I think back on his career at ABT. Has anyone ever danced it so brilliantly?
  2. I don’t disagree; it’s rude and self-indulgent. Also, he’s referring to his last name IN PRINT, so pronunciation is truly irrelevant. I wonder if Macaulay feels freer to make these sorts of comments now that he’s a freelancer. What’s odd is that I remember multiple instances of Macaulay indicating phonetic spellings of artists’ names in his social media posts to inform his readers of their pronunciation. And I could be misremembering, but hasn’t he commented on the way ballet titles like Serenade and Allegro Brillante are pronounced?
  3. This old thread from his promotion to soloist seems to suggest that Clay is his middle name and what he uses in place of a last name on social media:
  4. To be fair, we truly don't know what Macaulay meant by "Double-Barrelled" and Danchig-Waring himself says he's not sure if it's intended as a comment about his physique. It could be a compliment, an insult or just plain dumb. But it obviously triggered what I think is a perfectly valid response. I do find Danchig-Waring to have one of the most strikingly beautiful and distinctive physiques at NYCB. After hearing for years that Balanchine established the aesthetic for thin, willowy dancers, I was amazed when I first started watching old videos of NYCB and saw such a diversity of body types represented, and far fewer women who were stick thin than we might see today.
  5. I had no idea it was a debut, and would have never guessed it. She seemed really at ease in the (not easy) role, and yes, I think "expansiveness" is an appropriate descriptor for her dancing. It's just a pity she wears the nearly the same (or is it exactly the same?) costume as the demi-soloist girls. She deserves to stand out visually.
  6. Yeah, I think they're the same ones as a before. Here are some pics of previous casts. They may look better after they are fitted and get a good steam. The (silver?) embellishments along the top sides of the bodice make no sense to me, though. In theory, I don't mind the idea of pleated tunics for the muses.
  7. Also new this summer were Fire Shut Up in My Bones, based on Charles Blow's memoir (at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis), and The Central Park Five (at Long Beach Opera). The Met is planning to stage Fire Shut Up in My Bones in a future season, which is big news: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/arts/music/metropolitan-opera-black-composers-terence-blanchard.html
  8. I think there have been more casting shifts (I'm not sure; correct me if I'm wrong): https://www.nycballet.com/NYCB/media/NYCBMediaLibrary/PDFs/Press/Casting/NYCB-Casting_October-8-13-2019_lobby-20191010_2.pdf Bouder is dancing in place of Mearns tonight in Piano Concerto No. 2, with Janzen. Pereira is back on for Russian Girl in the Saturday matinee (hadn't Bouder previously been listed as replacing her?). And Joseph Gordon says he may be thrown into Piano Concerto Saturday night. (I'm surprised he says so; whether it's a formal policy or not, dancers at NYCB and ABT never seem to announce that they may be subbing for someone until it's a done deal.)
  9. I think part of what makes the pipeline particularly constricted for people of color, when it comes to ballet, is that your talent can't be discovered in the same way as, say, an opera singer. (You might hear a talented child in a school or church chorus, and realize they could have the pipes for opera.) There's a barrier to entry to ballet -- money -- and until you get a kid in ballet class, you don't really know if they might have what it takes to be a ballet dancer. I think cases in which dancers find free classes -- as I believe Misty Copeland did at the Boys and Girls Club -- are exceptions rather than the rule.
  10. I read through the article, and I don't get any sense that she's definitively leaving classical roles behind. I interpreted it more as that she's broadening her horizons, and perhaps taking on more outside projects that aren't classical ballet (a la Sara Mearns).
  11. Right, and the costumes just don't pop enough against the blue cyclorama; this is especially problematic with the men's dark blue tights.
  12. Maybe, but hasn't it been several years since Hallberg has appeared with ABT in anything but the Met season? I'd be surprised to see him appearing on the road with them these days, though perhaps it would be one of his last opportunities to dance this role with Murphy, and they do have a special rapport. At least the Royal Ballet has the good sense to call Hallberg a principal guest artist.
  13. When you click on the "more" button beneath the first two lines of headshots, it displays Ahn and Forster. It's certainly possible one or both of them is cast as Rothbart, but I do hope Forster gets a Siegfried! Very surprised to see Copeland isn't cast at all.
  14. Is Union Jack the longest plotless work by Balanchine in the repertoire? It certainly felt long. I agree that Mearns and Reichlen were sensational, but for me, there were just too many sections that weren't very interesting, with the Costermonger PDD being the most notable example. Has that section ever actually been funny? It certainly wasn't funny yesterday, and it didn't even elicit very many polite, obligatory chuckles. I admire Balanchine's ingenuity in working with so many dancers, but much of the choreography didn't even feel close to his best work. To me, the ballet felt bloated and dated (and I'm very hesitant to apply the word "dated" to any Balanchine ballet, as they generally hold up so well).
  15. Harrison Ball will be out for the fall season due to injury caused by a bicycling accident:
  16. Overall it was a pretty satisfying opening night of Jewels. I felt the weak link was Emeralds, which just didn't fully come to life for me. As I've noted above, Stafford is woefully ill-suited to the first ballerina role. Her back is stiff, her port de bras clunky, and she brings no lyricism -- let alone any sort of rapturous qualities -- to the role. It makes NO SENSE to me that she was cast again in this role. Phelan had all that Stafford was lacking and gave a very strong performance, if perhaps less transporting than Laracey last season. I was so impressed with Villarini-Velez; gorgeous jumps and spins and such stage presence. I'd love to see more of him. It was nice to see Ramasar in Emeralds again, and he looked in good form. And la Cour's role, consisting mostly of partnering, suited him well at this stage of this career. Rubies was superb. I've mostly seen Bouder in the ballerina role, so I was delighted to get the chance to see Hyltin. She was fantastic! Sometimes with Bouder I feel as if I'm just watching a series of striking images and tricky moves, milked for effect; but with Hyltin, the steps felt so fresh and in service of the music, not just a means for the dancer to simply show off. Veyette's hiatus last winter season seems to have done wonders for him. No, it wasn't whiz-bang bravura dancing, but he looked fresher than I've seen him in years; he didn't have that unfocused, worn-out quality that's characterized his dancing for the past few years. It was very buoyant, focused dancing. Lastly, Kikta is a superb tall girl, perhaps even better now than in her debut last year. Kowroski and Angle delivered one of the most exquisite pas de deux in Diamonds I've ever seen. I do think Kowroski has more depth now than before her coaching by Farrell; what stuck me was the more intense connection with her partner, and the increased interaction (even if just with their eyes) between the two dancers. Like last year, Kowroski's dancing wasn't really fast or incisive enough in the scherzo, and there were some turns that didn't look super secure. But overall, there's still much to appreciate about Kowroski in this role, and not just in the pas de deux.
  17. Part of me can't blame Brandt for advocating for herself in this way, especially in a company that has often overlooked talent and repeatedly cast dancers in roles for which they are ill-suited. I guess there's sort of an unspoken rule that dancers aren't supposed to say what they want publicly, and instead just be incredibly grateful when a role is bestowed on them. But didn't that go out the window when Copeland "willed what she wanted" by repeatedly declaring in the press that she wanted to become the first African American principal at ABT? At least Brandt is "campaigning" on talent.
  18. I don’t imagine a two-week absence as having a major impact on Woodward’s promotion potential, after years of brilliant dancing from her (whatever the reason for the absence). She certainly would have been a welcome addition to tonight’s Emeralds, ideally in place of the absolutely lackluster Stafford, who brought nothing to the role.
  19. I'm kind of shocked they were both cast, especially Veyette, as it seemed management was finally phasing him out of the roles for which he is no longer suited. I feel like the last thing I need to see is Stafford in Emeralds (bland pretty much sums it up), but oh well. I look forward to seeing Ramasar in that ballet again. Very excited to see Kikta again! Does this mean Reichlen has probably retired the role? I'll savor my memories of Reichlen as the Tall Girl, but I'd love to see her one last time.
  20. In terms of humorous clips, this may be one of my favorites. I remember another in which Darcey Bussell and Anthony Dowell choreograph a piece on Jennifer Saunders but it seems to no longer be on YouTube.
  21. I think it's true that she's never matched her Met debut performance, but in her most recent outing, she was dancing through an injury, wasn't she? I'd be curious to see her in the role again, without injury. I think Giselle can be a congenial role for an older ballerina (e.g. Ferri, Ananiashvili), but I'm not sure how well it will suit Murphy, who never really struck me as a natural Giselle. I consider Myrtha to be one of her signature roles, though, and I wonder if the D.C. casting indicates that she has retired the role. I hope that's not the case.
  22. I guess I missed that. Where was she supposed to perform the role in May? Did she perform it? I think part of the issue may be that the Teatro Colon version is different from the Bournonville version (at least that's what the article says). I'm glad to have the information provided by the article, but I agree with @Helene that the article is doing quite a bit of speculation, though they admit they are ("Extraoficialmente...").
  23. Here's an article about Copeland canceling. In it, she's quoted as saying she had only four days to learn the ballet. I know guest stars often swoop in at the last minute to dance a role, but my understanding is that they do that for roles they already know (even if they have to be adapted a bit to fit the host company's particular version of a ballet). https://www.lanacion.com.ar/espectaculos/sin-misty-copeland-se-inicia-la-sylphide-en-el-teatro-colon-nid2278993
  24. That sounds about right to me. ABT's most recent Giselle at the Met featured Copeland in performances at both the beginning and end of the run, but they didn't follow that same pattern for D.C. And she was originally supposed to have only one O/O this year at the Met. I wouldn't be surprised if the coming Met season sees her retiring roles like Gamzatti and Kitri, or not dancing them at all. I think O/O will be the one Petipa role she'll hang onto until her retirement. Her fall schedule is currently pretty light, as well -- two performances of Deuce Coupe and the one Apollo -- though she'll presumably be cast in some of the contemporary works.
  25. I've had the same thoughts about other companies perhaps wanting to woo Brandt, especially after she gained visibility on that Russian dancing competition. But I'm encouraged by the fact that ABT seems far more inclined to promote in-house talent than it did several years ago. Brandt may also wish to stay in the New York area to be close to family (her parents are at virtually every one of her performances) and to Hammoudi, whom she's dating (per their Instagram accounts). At least that's what I tell myself, in the hopes Brandt will stay put at ABT!
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