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About DeCoster

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    former dancer/ fan/ dance librarian
  • City**
    New York
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    New York

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  1. DeCoster

    ABT 2019 Met Season

    ABT Fan, I'd love to see On the Dnieper revived too. (I thought I was the only one!) I think only Hallberg and Seo remain from the original lead casts. I also think it would be fun to bring back Bright Stream with this new crop of dancers. Audiences love that ballet. I love the score. I think the Zina role (danced by Reyes, Herrera, and Kent back in 2011) would suit Copeland and Trenary well. And it would be great to see Murphy and Boylston revive the ballerina role. Excited that Harliquinade is likely. I was only able to see one cast (Trenary and Shayer) because I have a small baby to tend to now, and it left me craving repeated viewings. Outside of Ratmansky I'm always keen to see Ashton and Tudor, in particular Les Patineurs, which I've never seen. I think Sylvia would also suit the new crop of principal ballerinas and make sense for the dearth of male principals, since the Aminta role isn't very challenging. Also please ABT management, bring Marianela Núñez back to dance Ashton! I'm not for too many guest artists, but she is one for the ages and a great inspiration to current dancers.
  2. DeCoster

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    Boylston danced Gamzatti at Mariinsky. Seo danced Giselle, perhaps a year or two later. I think there is some video of both appearances on youtube. Not sure if there was any other coaching.
  3. DeCoster

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    I was there last night. Boylston was terrific. I think Giselle is one of her strongest roles. She's got mad hops, as they say in the basketball world, and she has really made strides in controlling her tendency to jerk her head and neck with her big jumps. Her leaps, which always soared, now look more effortless with a more relaxed upper body. I think her acting has improved too. There were no technical snafus, and her characterization, especially in the first act, was just wonderful. Strong hops on pointe, lingering balances, and soaring leaps -- yeehaw! Whiteside danced well. I find his Albrecht very haughty and even a bit villainous (particularly when he steals the daisy), which, paired with Forster's somewhat sympathetic Hilarion, creates a weird dynamic for me. I think this contributed to a little lack of magic or chemistry in the second act. I didn't really believe the love story. I wish I could have seen Lendorf with Boylston as I think they would have been magic together in Giselle. Generally speaking, however, I like Whiteside best in Ashton and Balanchine ballets. One criticism: I wish Boylston (and others) would stop "winging" their feet so severely in arabesque, particularly arabesque penche, where it completely breaks the line of the leg. (It's really noticeable if you are not viewing her straight on.) I feel that I may be outside of popular opinion here, as winging is quite the norm, and even expected now. Boylston seems to take it too far, however, where her foot seems almost flexed at times. I'm nit-picking here, as she was pretty flawless otherwise. Teuscher delivered what I thought was a respectable Myrta, but I agree with others it's a work in progress. Excited for her Nikiya! I hope others go on Saturday, as I'm interested to hear your thoughts. One thing I admire about Boylston is her capacity to grow and improve as an artist. I know she has pursued acting coaching independently, and from her Instagram it appears she was receiving coaching in Giselle from Carla Korbes. Something paid off, as she is much better than a few years ago in achieving the slope of the neck and soft arms required of the romantic ballet. Boylston is still not on the level of Vishneva, Ananiashvili, or Reyes (my 3 favorite ABT Giselles), but she's my favorite current ABT Giselle. Admittedly I haven't seen Copeland, but I have seen the rest. Sadly, I think Abrerra could have been great, but injuries have weakened her potential. Murphy lacks the fragility. Lane lacks the jumps (as does Copeland, I'm sure). Seo I need to give another chance, as it's been a few years, but I can't imagine her first act rivaling Boylston's incredibly strong performance.
  4. DeCoster

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    Thank you for your review NYSusan. I'm glad you were pleasantly surprised by Seo's performance. I felt the same way when I caught her Swan Lake last year. Looking forward to reading everyones' reviews here. I have a small child at home now, so I'm only able to attend five performances this season. I've never seen Boylston's Giselle so I'm giving her a shot this year. It's a pity about Lendorf, but so it goes.
  5. I haven't seen Gisele Bethea on stage this season at all, and between her height and her feet she's hard to miss. Has anyone noticed her?
  6. I forgot about Eric Tamm. I really thought he was a soloist! I recall him partnering Gillian and Stella, so he must have been tall.
  7. DeCoster

    Misty Copeland, Part Deux

    Don't get me wrong, I idolized Ferri growing up -- had her picture from Dance Magazine plastered inside my locker at school. I totally agree with you. And we can choose casts based on their strengths. For instance, I didn't go to Misty's Giselle or Swan Lake this season, but I admired her performances in La Fille and Coppelia, where I thought she managed beautifully both technically and theatrically. Like Ferri, she is not suited to everything she is cast in.
  8. DeCoster

    Misty Copeland, Part Deux

    Here's just one example that popped up in a quick search, from a 1995 review of Bayadere. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/05/08/arts/dance-review-a-triple-feature-of-la-bayadere.html "Ms. Ferri radiated some of her old luminosity in the "Shades" segment, but her technique here faltered unacceptably for a dancer of her rank."
  9. DeCoster

    Misty Copeland, Part Deux

    Thanks Helene. Yes, I wasn't talking about current-day Ferri at all, but Ferri in her prime. Her technical weaknesses were well known.
  10. DeCoster

    Misty Copeland, Part Deux

    I would say Alessandra Ferri. She was a weaker turner than Misty.
  11. DeCoster

    ABT 2017 Onegin

    Getting really off-topic now, but there was once clamoring on here for a revival of the Tudor R&J. (I still remember Reyes and Cornejo dancing the bedroom pas de deux when they had the Tudor celebration season at City Center) This is something I'd like to see in favor of the MacMillan production. The Fall season is generally devoted to mixed bills. I thought the current Spring programming was in part due to the size of the Met stage, which seems to demand sets and spectacle. Rooting for Les Patineurs this fall!
  12. DeCoster

    ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    This is why I only sit or stand in the grand tier or dress circle. I had a fairly nice orchestra seat (row L) that I got through the rush program for Don Q, and I found I still prefer the cheaper seats in the dress circle because of the pitch and the perspective.
  13. DeCoster

    ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    I think reviews of Seo in Giselle have been favorable, both here and elsewhere. She also danced Giselle with Marinsky ballet. Swan Lake, however, is a different animal (pun intended ;)
  14. DeCoster

    ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    I went last night as well, and agree with much of what has been said both about Hee Seo's inconsistency and Marcelo Gome's magnificence. In Act II I was completely enchanted with Seo's dancing. Her pirouettes to penche (all supported expertly by Marcelo, mind you) are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. Her back and arms achieve that boneless quality wonderfully, and the swan arm movements seem second nature, connected through her whole spine. Her developes unfurl so naturally, singing with the music. Her leg shape and back bend in attitude are unparalleled. For me, Seo and Part present the most transcendent Odettes at ABT right now. The white swan pas de deux was so lovely, I could feel the whole audience sort of sigh in response to its beauty. Yet in act 3 things fell apart for Seo. She had a small but awkward hop in the pirouettes to attitude sequence near the beginning, nothing terrible but a habringer of things to come for her Odile. Later I think she even fell off pointe a bit in the diagonal sequence. I noticed during Corsaire that Seo's pique turns lack attack-- she steps under herself instead of extending beyond herself. (Paloma Herrera did the same, especially toward the end of her career) I wish they could pair Seo up with Nina Annaisvilli for some coaching to see if there is any way to develop this small drive or elevation when stepping out onto pointe in her pique and chaine turns. The fouettes were rough. She started with a double, but as in Corsaire she came off pointe early in the set and did a sort of hopping fouette thing to cover (which doesn't look easy, but doesn't look good either). I really can't understand why a dancer of her level would fall of pointe 3 or four turns in. It has to be nerves. I think she executed 23 or 24 fouettes ending terribly in a messy wide fourth, then turning and running to the backstage corner, as Marcelo came out early to cover. I think maybe she was attempting a double, but her body was completely crooked in the end. I actually preferred Misty Copeland's approach in her Met debut (I didn't see her this round) of switching to pirouettes from fifth--retaining her balance and strength--and finishing with the music. This at least seems in tune with the power and illusion of Odile, versus falling over and running to the corner. The way I see it, in terms of the fouettes: Misty had a plan; Seo just fell apart. (Not to say that I prefer Misty Copeland's performance in Swan Lake. I much prefer Hee Seo, despite her weaknesses.) I don't know what to say about Marcelo that hasn't been said. I went last night with a group of non-ballet goers, and he was the highlight for them too. His turns seemed really on last night. He was doing that thing that I always admired Carreno for where he actually pauses in pase releve after a multiple revolution pirouette, allowing him to land softly and perfectly with the music. The only place I notice Marcelo's age is a little droop or lack of elevation to his back leg when he has to land a jump--like a tour jete-in arabesque. Last night, however, he was firing on all cylinders, and Seo really blossomed under his expert partnering. (I'm not sure I've ever heard an audience spontaneously applaud for a supported pirouette before, but as Victura mentioned he must have spun her around a dozen times at blistering speed, ending perfectly with music) Marcelo's energy in the black swan pas was so intense and his performance so strong in his variation, that it didn't really fit that this Odile was the one bewitching him. I enjoyed Stearns' ballroom Von R. He is a bit more sly and mysterious than Gomes' depiction, but I thought it worked. And those sissones sure look good on him. The corps was great, and seemed much more in unified than in Giselle. Maybe because they do it every year. As others have noticed, Melanie Hamrick is looking better than ever, back from her maternity leave. Her pas de trois with DeGroft and Hoven was quite nice, and I always enjoy the camaraderie between Hoven and Gomes when they are cast together. If Calvin Royal and Gabe Stone Shayer aren't promoted to soloist soon I'll be surprised, but I do really love seeing them shine in corps roles. They seem to infuse the male corps with extra energy and gusto, no matter the role. Maybe I'm a pathetic home teamer, but despite Seo's struggles, I left the theater pretty happy last night. I have avoided her in full-lengths recently, after her disappointing substitution for Seminova in Bayadere, but her Odette is really something special to witness (especially with Gomes as her prince). Curious to hear how she fairs with Stearns on Friday. Thanks for all of the reports on Teuscher's debut. I wish I could have been there. Can't wait to hear about Lane. I'm a fan (loved her Aurora and Giselle!), but admittedly have trouble picturing her in this role, as she does not impress me as a great adagio dancer, and that is so crucial for Odette.
  15. DeCoster

    ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    Thank you for the information, Natalia. I wish ABT would perform the reconstruction, although I know I am in the minority in this opinion and it is also very unlikely.