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Everything posted by Dancerboy90210

  1. Maybe a Mcgregor or Forsythe next season? or Joffrey/Aprino? (Although not living). Wishful thinking?
  2. I’ll write more later, but I was proud of ABTs performance last night. The theater looked full and the energy level was great (very enthusiastic audience). I think deuce coupe was the most successful. Stella looked perfect. To me, she was the standout. In the Upper Room, while always a crowd pleaser, looked like it was danced at 95%. I think they looked tired and a little timid towards the end. Either way, the audience loved it.
  3. I was at the performance tonight. I’ll post more later, but I couldn’t get over how empty the theater was. I’ve never seen the Met so bare. It impacted the show, because there didn’t seem to be any energy. The dancers were “okay”, not great, but I partly blame the empty audience. I also forgot how little dancing this production has. I couldn’t help but think the empty audience was a metaphor for ABT’s declining product the past few years. Also depressing to think their season will be cut 3 weeks in 2021 (when the Met Opera extends theirs). How soon until they realize they need to do something different? Sad to think of all the star power and buzz the Met had back in the early 2000s and how much of that is gone now.
  4. I was hoping stella would get the Manon performances. I’ll take a hard pass on Copeland in Manon.
  5. I don't mean "throw acid in his face", but if his job is to develop world class talent, he isn't doing a good job. Those should be the standards the boards holds him too, in addition to other goals. Normally, when do you don't do your job or do it poorly, there are repercussions....
  6. Any guesses on whether they'll announce more retirements before the summer? Maybe Stella is planning on retiring this coming season? But, given how little Kevin is using her, what would she retire in? Its a bit insulting how little they're using here, especially with so many Sleeping Beauty performances- they couldn't give her a show... she also performed Aurora in Paris. I wish we could hold McKenize accountable for what he has done to Stella's career. I know she had a big injury, but she was sidelined during her prime years. We had to wait way too long to see her in principal roles. IMO, she should've been promoted at a similar speed/trajectory as Gillian (they joined the same year, I think). How did Seo and Boylston get promoted before her? It is a similar case for Sarah Lane. Seems like Kevin has two approaches to promoting/developing talent. The super fast track (Seo, Bolyston, Teuscher, Whiteside, Stearns, etc.- where they're still very much developing artistically/technically in front of our eyes- making basic mistakes and/or the audience doesn't really understand why they're being pushed in front of us). The other approach is the slow (what is he waiting for approach), that claimed Abrera, Lane, Part, maybe Cornejo to some extent). I think New York City Ballet does a better job of developing talent overall. Give opportunities (trial by fire) a few times and see how it goes. I don't see super talented dancers with high potential sitting for too long in the lower ranks there (but maybe I'm missing something). Also- we're not accounting for all the people that left ABT and went out to have great careers elsewhere (seemingly because McKenize wasn't budging on them).. Golding, Kajiya, Maria Riccato, Eric Underwood, etc..
  7. Disappointed that Stella isn't getting more "prime time" roles. Boylston with Hallberg in Manon... feel like that should've gone to Stella... (Bolyston doesn't have the maturity in her dancing to pull it off, but seems like Kevin is trying his best to force it to happen, like Seo).
  8. No new Ratmansky? Maybe in the mixed rep? What if they brought in some Joffrey rep (Aprino and/or Joffrey)? That would get a ton of buzz and sell. I’d imagine their Swan Lake is due for a refresh soon. I truly hope they don’t go with Ratmansky’s reconstruction he did in Zurich (one reconstruction is enough for me). A new Swan Lake production would be a good “anchor” for the season, because it could really sell and get lots of publicity. They could stagger it, so a half a week (split with the mixed rep) and then a full week later on in the season. I always wonder why they don’t try for the full length Paquita (doesnt Ratmansky already have one?), Marco Spada (good ballet for Hallberg), maybe even the Pharohs Daughter.... (I’d rather that than Corsaire for the millionth time) . A full length Esmeralda would be interesting too. I will pass on sitting through Whipped Cream again (I could use a year or two break from it- but understand that it probably sells well). Obviously, most of this is a wish list. I wouldn’t expect McKenzie to be this imaginative lol.
  9. It is depressing to think about the upcoming Met Season, because the casting options are so unexciting. What a tragedy to potentially have Stella cast as Manon alongside Sterns or Whiteside (that is if she gets cast). Imagine the potential of a Stella/Marcelo Manon. One can dream... Seems like they're trying to make the Bolyston/Hallberg pairing a new thing, so I wouldn't be surprised if he dances Swan Lake with her. McKenize seems intent on shoving Bolyston, Seo and Copeland down our throats, but they're not international stars (on their abilities alone), not even close. Their trajectories don't seem to indicate the potential to get there. I wouldn't be surprised to see Manon be cast with Bolyston, Seo, Copeland and maybe a guest appearance by Ferri, but no Lane, Abrera, or even Murphy (rather see her get a go at the role, over the other options). I used to love the ABT Met Season. International ballet stars performing productions that are vehicles are superstars. Every night was a true "occasion". These productions don't work with two regional level performers (with clearly limited rehearsal time and a limited bench of coaches) and are even worse when they pair an international star, like Hallberg, with someone that isn't anywhere near his level. This mis-sizing/miscasting is more apparently then anywhere, on the Met stage (empty seats, unexcited crowd, Odile's that cannot do 32 foutettes ever, etc.). Certainly not an "occasion". Between this and the Met Season being downsized to 5 weeks, seems like ABT needs a new direction. How much longer until the board pushes for a change? The product is clearly declining. Clearly a talent crisis, with no path out..
  10. Report on Friday June 2nd Performance I don't think I'd say that Lane had the worst go of the variation ever, but she clearly got into her head too much as the variation progressed. She appeared to be thinking about nailing those triple pirouttes (there was a momentary pause before each turn/she was sitting in plie and not going right into it) and I think a double with the nice extension out would've served her better. She feel off pointe in the releves in arebesque coming down the diagonal. When she misses something up on stage, she seems to always have this "I completely give up/defeated look" that makes it quite obviously she messed up and its not covered up well. I think she needs to stop doing that... I had a hard time understanding why they cast Stephanie Williams. First off- did she cut out one of the first develope sequences, by walking out to the music vs. starting right on the music? I don't recall seeing that before. Also she was really really struggling to get up on pointe and the accent on her movements always seemed to be "down". I think the point of that variation is that everything is "up" to show the balance/control. Shevchenko did "okay", but for a principal cast in a soloist role- she didn't really knock it out of the park. I keep remembering that video of Osipova doing that variation and she really brought the house down. Shevchenko did a reliable job, but it wasn't a slam dunk. The corps de ballet tonight was just "okay" in the beginning of the second act (coming down the ramp, etc.). The tempo did seem a bit fast though. However, as the act progressed, they were ALL over the place. Not well rehearsed at all (bad lines, not together, arms/legs at different heights). It's sad to see the corp de ballet at a "world class company" look that amateur. Also in the pas d'action scene, many of the demi-soloist groups of 4 women- looked horrible. Some seemed to barely be able to get through it. Many of them couldn't jump at all and the big group of women were all over the place. The corps men looked like school kids compared to the men that danced it in the last ABT run. However, the night belong to the principals. Hee Seo really surprised me. She mostly nailed it tonight (slowish start in Act 1). There were moments in the beginning that she seemed to be trying to be "pretty" vs having a real character that dances from the "soul". But, as the night progressed- especially in the 2nd Act she nailed it. It's great to see her finally making progress. She looked at home with Kim. They have a really good partnership (strong partnerships seem to be lacking at ABT). Maybe ABT can entice him to join, even if only as a regular guest for the Met Season. Kim is perfect for Solar. A few times, I wish he was more princely- but I can't think of a better role for him than Solar. Murphy, as always, really delivered. In the first act, she seemed to overpower Seo. But, by the third Act- Seo took more ownership of the stage (seemed to be more confident). My only complaint is that the flower basket that kills Nikiya in the 1st Act didn't really look like a flower basket from where I was sitting. Did they change it out from their last run of Bayadere? I also thought Seo rushed through the snake biting scene. I remember it being way more clear that Nikiya was bit by a snake (I think the snake was held at her neck for a few seconds to make it clear she was just bitten). I had to explain to my friends with me what happened/how she died. I'm not sure if that was a miss on Seo's part or an edit in the production.
  11. I still think that Abrera will get a Juliet. I always thought of it as a more "senior" role that is less technically demanding. Vishneva danced it for a while and Julie Kent retired in the role. I think if anyone gets a debut in R&J, its Abrera. I have a feeling that she'll partner with Gomes a lot more this coming season, now that Vishneva is out of the picture. I think they'll certainly do Giselle together. Gomes has retired Solar from his rep, so I think Abrera might have a harder time finding a partner for Nikiya- but I think she could handle the role. A few parts in the Shades scene give me a little pause, but I remember that she danced a Nikiya variation in a recent gala and posted about it on Instagram- so that makes me think she feels its within her range. I think artistically she has more to offer than a lot of the other principal women (they really need to bring in some additional coaching for all their young principals). They might default to giving Bolyston Nikiya, but I can't think of anyone more ill suited for the role... I think that Shevchenko could develop into a strong Nikiya with time and coaching, but I think Kevin sees her as taking on Murphy's roles. Murphy took a while to get Nikiya.
  12. Fingers crossed that both Stella and Sarah Lane get a stab at Juliet. Seems like the bench of Juliet's has really cleared out (with retirements), so we should see a lot of debuts. Fingers crossed that they don't just give Misty an insane number of shows to try and sell tickets. I'm assuming that we'll see Christine Shevchenko tackle Odette/Odile- probably replacing Verionika's slot. I wonder who will debut as Nikiya, as I highly doubt we'll see Ferri back this coming season (no much "senior" ballerina rep in the season). Maybe Bolyston and Shevchenko, but I rather see Stella give it a go. From her Instagram, it looks like Skylar is preparing Kitri, so I wonder if that is for the upcoming Met Season. If so, I wonder who would partner her? The short female slots appear to be rather full at the principal level. Unless, Sarah Lane doesn't get a Kitri and/or Maria K doesn't get a show. any other thoughts on casting? Also- can we change the title of this thread to 2018 Met Season?
  13. The Isabella/Nina video just made me think of how incredible of a coach Nina would be at ABT. They don't seem to have replaced Georgina Parkinson (in terms of a really strong 2nd female principal coach). Irina is getting older. How much money do they need to pay to get Nina back to ABT? She seems to have a great understanding of ballet with an ability to communicate well. One can dream....
  14. I'm so excited for Stella's Giselle!! Her and Marcelo are going to give quite a show!!
  15. I wonder what is going on with Ana Sophia Scheller. She used to dance a lot, but lately seems to rarely be cast. Wasn't she an Aurora in previous runs? There seems to be a lot of dancers that make principal and suddenly start performing way less often.
  16. Fingers crossed for Abrera's O/O debut! I wouldn't be surprised if Copeland or Murphy get a second O/O show. They're big box office hits. I just hope Copeland spent this year practicing those fouettes! I think Sarah Lane would be such a beautiful Giselle, but she doesn't seem to be on McKenize's radar . I also hope that Abrera gets Onegin too! I'd line up for tickets to anything with her in a principal role! Equally important to who dances what, is who their partners are! Nothing worse than when the male isn't on the same level as the woman!
  17. I'd be interested in seeing who we all think will dance Onegin, Giselle, Manon/R&J (if it comes back), maybe Don Q, etc.. With all the retirements two years ago, there seems to be lots of room for debuts. Lets just hope its not all Seo and Bolyston! They seem to rotate R&J and Manon each year. If either of those ballets return, prior to Onegin, it'll give Vishneva more chances to dance. I wouldn't take the wording in the press release as evidence that Vishneva will only dance Onegin. Think of all the ballets they brought back for Kent and Ferri's final season. Maybe Murphy in Manon? I think she'd do well.
  18. With the Fall Season rapidly approaching, the company is likely to announce their 2017 Met Season with casting soon. Shall we make a wish list with casting? I am hoping for Abrera to debut in Odette/Odile (might be wishful thinking, but its now or never), Onegin, Juliet (if it returns), Manon (if its on the calendar, which it might be to give Vishneva something else to dance before she retires), and of course a return of her Giselle. I am crossing my fingers that she gets as good of a partner as Shklyarov last time around. She needs a partner that can match her maturity. With Vishneva leaving, maybe that'll free Gomes up for Abrera. I think she would pair nicely with Hallberg too, if he ever returns. I'm a huge Abrera fan. I hope we get to see as much of her as possible, before she retires. Its such a shame that McKenize took so long to promote her. She is really something special. I think we will see Cassandra Trenary tackle a few more principal roles and not just Ratmansky works. Maybe she'll get a Giselle or Odette/Odile? She might pair nicely with Jeff Cirio. I think Misty will get a Giselle, but I'll likely pass on seeing that show. I wouldn't be surprised to see the company give Sleeping Beauty a rest this summer. Its been their "flagship" for so long. I also wouldn't be upset if the Golden Cockerel doesn't return. Rather they free up those slots for ballets that people actually want to see. I hope the new Ratmansky ballet is more ballet than "theatrical dance". We shall see.... Anyone else "casting" the Met Season already?
  19. Found a quote from Balanchine that I think could revitalize the 2017 Met Season.... LOL
  20. Didn't Gorak and Boylston do Sleeping Beauty together? Think they're cast again in next week's run too.
  21. I think if/when ABT redoes their current production of Swan Lake, which I don't think is that far off, they should run it for a week and a half. The 2nd half of the later week could be filled with a mixed-rep bill. I'd be interested to see if the placement of Swan Lake in their larger season (sooner rather than later or later over sooner) affects ticket sales for other productions. Maybe they could collect e-mails/etc and then maybe offer SL ticket buyers a discount on other productions. They could offer anyone that buys a ticket for SL 25% off tickets for productions with less ticket sale momentum. I also think it would be a fun experiment if McKenize pulled a few of the ballerinas from across the plaza. Imagine a SL with Mearns/Gomes or Don Q with Bouder/Simkin. It seems that many of the NYCB ballerinas are interested in some exploration of major classical works and might enthusiastically sign up for a guest performance here and there. It might also let ABT tap into NYCB audience members that might not be as excited about ABT performances. I don't think that McKenize should solely rely on NYCB talent, but maybe a total of 3 shows might generate buzz and publicity. Also, I wonder if the Met Opera model where the productions rotate rather randomly, each night is a different production instead of each week, might work better for ABT? On a side note, I think McKenize should make a play at getting Chase Finley to jump ship to ABT. He could fill the tall male principals ranks quite nicely.
  22. I think the real problem might be more "does ABT have the resources to turn talent into world-class superstars"? I don't think that the current crop of talent is at the caliber many of us, and others, believe ABT dancers should be at. The right coaches should ideally be able to get them there. The lack of coaching might be responsible for the lackluster progress in many of the newest principals. I think Georgina Parkinson was a huge loss to the company. When we talk about Gillian and Stella, its important to note that Parkinson had a huge role in their development. Selling out the Met (3,300ish seats) requires big stars of an international caliber, so ABT needs to get on board with developing talent.
  23. I agree that ABT might need to import one female principal. Maybe, a hispanic one and probably someone to replace Gillian/Abrera/Part type roles. However, I believe their female talent pipeline is more promising than their male counterparts. Swan Lake last night made it clear that there is a generational gap. Gillian was on an entirely different level from the rest of the cast. I think the best thing ABT can do is dump Kevin McKenize and bring in new leadership.
  24. I second that! At the ABT Kids performances, Stella danced the White Swan Pas with Thomas Forster. At the later performance, Forster danced it with Shevchenko. Makes me wonder if they're being groomed for the real thing. Shevchenko has at times reminded me of Irina Dvorovenko. I don't know how many open Odette/Odile slots there will be next season. If Seminova doesn't return, maybe that'll leave more openings. They should at least give Stella a go, before its too late.
  25. I think Raymonda is a better known production than ballets like The Golden Cockerel. If marketed correctly (and sometimes ABT really drops the ball on marketing), Raymonda could be a hit. Its a Russian war-horse ballet. I think Raymonda seems like a good fit for a company like ABT. Perhaps they might go a different route.... What about a new Bayadere? Would that be too disrespectful to Makarova? Also, what about some Joffrey/Aprino repertory for the Fall or Met Season? Would that be a total wild card?
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