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fondoffouettes

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Everything posted by fondoffouettes

  1. It's too bad. I really enjoyed his Apollo, as well, and I remember him posting a photo of him in Apollo earlier this fall on Instagram, with a caption to the effect of it being motivation for the winter season (it was a story, I believe, so I can't locate it). I'm curious about Garcia in the role. I've found him to be a let-down in roles requiring bravura technique and speed, so perhaps I'll enjoy him more in Apollo, which is of course very demanding, but in a different way than, say, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. I was also surprised to see La Cour is making a late-career debut in Serenade; I would have assumed he'd danced that role before. I can't wait to see Reichlen in Piano Concerto No. 2, but I can't say the same for LeCrone. The second ballerina is such a great role, and I'd love to see a dancer who approaches the ability of the lead. Maybe she'll be a surprise; no one can be as bad as Savannah Lowery opposite Sara Mearns. Echoing others, I'm very glad to Stanley is debuting in Apollo. Martins obviously had a very specific mold in mind when he cast Apollo, but it's been nice to see the interim team has been thinking outside the box a bit with type-casting (e.g., Claire Kretzschmar as the tall girl in Rubies, which I know everyone wasn't crazy about).
  2. This is a slap in the face to male dancers at ABT who can dance these roles. To bring in a dancer who formerly danced with regional companies...
  3. I've been under the impression that arts organizations almost always hire search firms for such high-level positions. I imagine search firms do much more than simply identify candidates. They'd presumably provide support/guidance throughout the hiring process. And as Helene says, they'd be more of a neutral third party. Wasn't it the search firm that did the "listening tour" thing to find out what the dancers and others wanted in a leader? You wouldn't want the board members doing that.
  4. I think Maloney was cast as the Boy in Whipped Cream all along, and I believe the same goes for Harlequinade (I think the Harlequins originally assigned to Lendorf went to Carlos Gonzalez). Maloney was very good in Serenade After Plato's Symposium. I've otherwise only seen him in strictly corps roles, but he has always struck me as a fine dancer. I hope Marshall Whiteley gets some opportunities this spring. He's certainly a standout in the corps, and based on videos he has posted, he's able to pull off a surprising degree of bravura dancing for someone so tall.
  5. I'm thrilled to hear these reports of how well the Forster-Shevchenko performances went. At least we'll see them together in On the Dnieper, but gosh, I'd love to see them in Swan Lake. The last thing I need to see is another Siegfried from Whiteside. I hope any future casting shifts will provide Forster with some more opportunities.
  6. This seems to be the new norm at NYCB among several of its principal men. You can get by in the company if you're an excellent partner, and if you crap out after struggling to execute a few turns a la seconde, oh well. It makes me all the more grateful for dancers like Joseph Gordon and Harrison Ball.
  7. It sounds like they did the original choreography in the final season it was presented at BAM, more successfully at one performance than the other: https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/39051-2014-nutcracker-bam-season/?page=6
  8. Random thought: Whelan is mentioned frequently as a contender, but has Kowroski's name been suggested as a possibility for AD? Presumably she'll be winding down her stage career somewhat soon, even though she's still dancing quite well.
  9. I think Lovette was basically back to dancing a full principal load in the fall. I remember comments from her along the lines of "It's been a long time since I've danced this much," like in the post below. It seems like she must have asked for a release from this Nutcracker season, but I was under the impression that most of her previous absences were due to injury, not outside projects (though several of those have certainly come her way).
  10. That's interesting. In the pic above, I wonder if the tulle had originally been blue but morphed into a sort of mauve color over time. In this video about the Theme costumes, Marc Happel describes blue dyes as being unstable. But if the new costume is cornflower blue, I wonder if they found something to suggest that the original Karinska costumes were a more vivid blue. Edited to add: Here's a photo of Karinska's sketch and fabric swatches for the costume, which was included in the 2015 Vanity Fair article about Balanchine's Nutcracker.
  11. I think of her as a risk-taking, go-for-broke sort of dancer, so I imagine that may contribute a bit to this perceived quality in her (it's also what I find so compelling about her). I didn't catch much of Mearns' dancing before her big injury, but I'd say her ability has remained consistent over the last several years. She certainly acknowledges when she's having off nights on Instagram, but I can't recall nerves being a consistent theme in her posts. I was actually surprised to read that she had what sounds like near-debilitating stage fright when it came to performing Nutcracker. But I remember she said somewhere that she retired Dewdrop because she kept getting injured in it, so I can imagine how a buildup of negative experiences could have led her to that point.
  12. I think it's increasingly rare for a newspaper to be able to commission all or most of its performance photos, so it's sort of a luxury that the NYT still does that (and like you say, a very valuable addition to the visual history of dance). I wade through a lot of performing arts coverage for my job, and I'd say about 75% or more of the time, a photo is credited to the photographer hired by the presenting company, not the newspaper. It looks like the San Francisco Chronicle does commission some of its own performing arts photos, but for whatever reason doesn’t bother to do so for the ballet. In terms of other examples -- and this isn't exactly analogous, since it's an opera company -- virtually every production photo from the Santa Fe Opera is by Ken Howard. He's one of the most gifted performance photographers in the country, and Santa Fe hires him for every production they do. Newspapers like the NYT don't bother to fly in their own photographer or hire someone locally in Santa Fe. So, at least in recent history, the company's performances have been documented mostly by one photographer. But is it nepotistic that all of SFB's photos are taken by the AD's son? Quite possibly. From what I'm seeing online, it looks like he does very good work, so the company may also be happy to have him. Messmer basically says as much in the Ballet Review Q&A. She mentions that the Miami City Ballet dancers socialize outside of work but that she prefers to keep a clear division between her professional and personal life. She talks a lot about how she values a high level of professionalism; there's an anecdote about how someone carelessly left their cell phone on top of some lighting equipment, and how that irked her.
  13. I agree -- I don't see Morgan's following on social media as being a factor in her potential hiring by a company. If/when she's hired by a company, it might produce a few articles. But her following seems to be largely bunheads and balletomanes, and that's to whom she tailors her content. I give her a lot of credit for creating a niche for herself during her time away from the stage, but I don't see her being a big box-office draw among people who aren't already ballet fans. Maybe Pennsylvania Ballet would be a good fit since they still do some Balanchine, as well as the full-lengths?
  14. She has confirmed that she is working to join a company. The rep she discusses certainly sounds very ABT. It's too bad the company seems to have such limited resources to hire and promote dancers, but you never know.
  15. Hod offers some details about her injury in the comments section of this post. She says, "Came back a little too soon so I had a minor setback, but I will hopefully be back and much stronger as soon as I am ready!"
  16. It seems far less clear how to deal with Coffee, if they decide to revise it. With Tea, there were obvious, mostly cosmetic changes that made the dancers appear less caricatured. But in that video, Reichlen isn't wearing blackface or blackface "light" (the spray-tan version you see in the Met's Aida), and her hair is her own. And as far as I can tell, her makeup is heavy, but not exoticized. So, it would come down to the costume and choreography. I could definitely imagine eliminating the gesture where she covers her face with her arm in the beginning, which seems like something out of Corsaire. But I think they'd have to consult with specialists to know what choreographic elements maybe be respectfully referencing Middle Eastern dance traditions and which may be stereotypical and potentially offensive. It's tough because the music itself paints a picture of the Middle East as highly sensual and languorous -- classic 19th-century Orientalism. It's like the musical equivalent of a Gérôme painting. And Balanchine matched that with his choreography. So even if you tweak a gesture here and there, it's still an eroticized fantasy of the Middle East. So how do you "fix" a piece whose very concept may be offensive to some? I guess you just do the best you can, and make compromises.
  17. Adrian Danchig-Waring made his Instagram account public again. An update on the status of his foot. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bp99lpjgfVD/ I hope we'll see him back onstage at some point this winter or spring.
  18. The Met site has finally been (partially) fixed. Abrera is back in the four roles that Smirnova and Shayer had temporarily occupied. There are still issues with some roles being double-cast for the same dates, though.
  19. Yeah, it was barely indicated this afternoon. And in this manege, for the turns where the ballerina kicks out her leg at 90 degrees or less, Tereshkina decided to kick her leg much higher, and it looked unattractive. Overall, it was a pretty unpleasant performance, lacking lightness, musicality and wit. Kim provided the bravura dancing we've seen only rarely from NYCB's men in this role in recent years; I kind of felt the audience was overly reactive to Kim, but to each his own. I kind of agree. I wish I'd put the money toward NYCB tickets instead. I only went to this afternoon's performance, and the Joffrey Four Temperaments was just meh; it really lacked the sharp, taut quality that the ballet requires. And it didn't look like a great fit on some of the corp members, either. The Tchai Pas had the issues already mentioned by others, and the Midsummer Night PDD was a pleasantly forgettable performance. The highlight of the afternoon was Symphonie Concertante; it was great to see this somewhat neglected work, and the ladies of ABT must have really settled into it because they looked like a relaxed, cohesive whole. The principal trio was excellent, and it must be a killer for the women; they are onstage so much. Is it in the same league as a work like Divertimento No. 15? No, but think it's a lovely piece, and one that deserves to be performed more often. It's fun to think of all the great lead female pairings that could happen at NYCB.
  20. I don't think anything has been fixed. I tried clearing my browser's cache and also using an incognito tab, but Shayer is still showing up for me in all of Abrera's roles.
  21. Now Gabe Shayer is listed instead of Smirnova for Manon, Whipped Cream and Corsaire [edited to add: also Harlequinade]. The weird double casting of certain roles for those ballets is still appearing. I mean, I'm all for Shayer getting opportunities, but I can't really see him as Princess Tea Flower. 😉 I'm hoping they meant to assign Shayer some of the TBAs for Manon, Whipped Cream and Corsaire. They also need to fix the spelling of Gulnare and Pierrot.
  22. It's true, but it's saying that when you click on all the other dancers, too. What is going on??
  23. It's on the individual production pages, like this one: https://www.metopera.org/season/2019-abt/le-corsaire/ It's possible your computer is still showing the Abera image because the image was cached.
  24. This makes no sense. I don't think ABT would bother to fill secondary roles with a guest artist. Is it possible Shevchenko is filling in for Abrera for one or more productions and someone at the Met mixed up Smirnova with Shevchenko? I just hope Abrera is okay, and that she's not being Veronika Parted. Edited to add: The more I look, the more wonky things I notice about the Met site. For the 6/29 Swan Lake, it has both Seo and Teuscher dancing O/O, and both Bell and Stearns dancing Siegfried. Whipped Cream has "TBA" dancing on dates for which actual dancers are assigned. Manon and Corsaire have similar issues where two dancers are assigned to the same role on the same date. Clearly something is very wrong with the site.
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