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Everything posted by mimsyb

  1. This is not Ashton's "Daphis and Chloe. Is this a new ballet of Millepied's ? Not known to me. Ashton's was amazing. Great score. As for the rest of the rep. a bit of a disappointment IMO. A bit of too much of Jessica Lang and I would say that for "Prodigal Son" also. There are a few ballets here with small casts. (not the Tharp, however). Well, in the positive corner, it does have a few ballets not usually seen anymore. We'll see.
  2. This doesn't look like Fonteyn to me either. Violetta Elvin? June Brae? Sadler's Wells became "Royal" in 1956, so it's possible that scenery would be marked that way. But if this is early 50s, then no, it wouldn't' have the "Royal" on it's scenery.
  3. The problem, for me, arises when visiting artists from these (and other) companies, only come to do the big, older ballet "warhorses". Which , I suppose, is OK, except they rarely "fit" with the rest of what's going on in the ballet. Stylistically, there's little coherence. They rarely even "relate" to others on the stage. And many, but not all, don't do the more forward looking work that is still a part of the ABT rep. Even Osipova could barely muster a performance out of "Symphony in C". And I would argue that she didn't come up to snuff doing the Ratmansky "Trilogy". For me, I would much prefer if we could see some of these visiting artists more frequently with their own companies, but of course that would mean they all do more touring abroad. The only dancer in current memory that defies all that I just said was Marianela Nunez from the Royal. She seemed to be a nice fit for ABT when she guested here. And Cojocuru. Well, it's an endless argument. One that resides on one's personal tastes. For now, I do support the dancers we have now in the company and enjoy so many of them. One day we may be adding any one of their names to the list you originally stated.
  4. Well, each of those dancers mentioned were nurtured by their own individual companies. And probably represent a more "European" or "Russian" esthetic or style. Here in NY we tend to look to and appreciate the more open and athletic style of America. It's what Balanchine loved so about the dancers he found and trained here and what certainly influenced all that came after. I would argue that there are no finer dancers anywhere than at City Ballet (Sara Mearns comes to mind) and there are many at ABT that are also simply thrilling to watch. Skylar Brandt, Cassie Trenery come to mind. Catherine Hurlin in that list also. Tastes are what they are, I guess, but my vote still goes to bringing them up through the company and nurturing them accordingly.
  5. I am of the opinion that a dancer doesn't get better or grow in a role if all they get is one performance in any given season. These things take time, nurturing. Any performance given over to a visiting star (who more often than not has nothing vested in ABT) is one less chance for our "home-growns" to discover what they need to do to improve or shine brighter. And if a ballet is not performed again say, for two or more years, well that's just time taken away from their growth as an artist. Getting real stage time is very important for any dancer. I hate to keep re-iterating this, but it's one of the reasons that so many of the dancers at NYCB can actually hope they might move up. Everyone does so much dancing during a season, in so many ballets, that an AD can really see which dancer is ready for promotion. I think at times if dancer "A" or dancer"B" is always seen in the "Swan Lake" corps, then that's where they stay. Maybe ABT should do a "Night of the Stars" and use that one performance to showcase a bunch of visiting stars. And then leave the rest of the Season to the actual company members.
  6. More room on the stage to dance???
  7. It is the ballet world. One might add the name of Simone Messmer to that list. First with SFBallet and then with Miami City. She was unhappy with the former, but seems to have found acceptance with the latter. David Hallberg probably ruffled more than a few feathers when he went to the Bolshoi. Osipova to the Royal. Joseph Phillips, Carla Korbes, Sterling Baca, etc. etc. Dancers need to go where they feel their careers will flourish the most. Some balletomanes and other company members will be happy about additions or promotions. Others may not feel the same. It's not an easy profession and nothing is guaranteed.
  8. Well, they kind of have to do it almost every year just to amortize it's huge cost, etc. It must really cost a lot of money just to maintain the costumes. It would be the third year in a row if it's brought back again next year. Same with "R&J". However, in "Beauty's" case, it does offer quite a few slots in which to see many dancers. And that's all to the good. And besides, they do "Swan Lake" every year. It's all good. It's just not my favorite of favorite ballets to see repeatedly.
  9. Yes, yes. I know they are there in the original notation, but I've seen other productions where the same penchee position is taken down the line, but at times it's been on the shoulders of her "girl" friends, who are playing mandolins. At other times, I've even seen the four male suitors do the kneeling bit. I think what I'm objecting to is the ugliness and out of color scheme of their costumes and that they just add so many more people to that stage. Their costumes plus the really trashy costumes of the Garland Waltz folks just makes the entire stage look out of sorts. And there are 16! (yes) adult supers who are all dolled up in those period long dresses and wigs and hats also on stage. (BTW. Can't anyone teach those supers how to walk like Dukes and Duchesses? Some look like they just came up out of the subway on a hot day). So, in the end, I'm not objecting to Aurora "greeting people" at her party. I just wish that perhaps a few less people had been on the invite list. There's so much going on here; I merely wanted a bit more clarity and focus. It's why, for me, the Vision scene is such a stand out. One can actually see what's going on. As someone commented to me recently, that after all the frills and ruffles of this season, they were looking forward to a "black and white" of Balanchine. Amen!
  10. One of the MOST GLAMOROUS to dance Carabosse was Merrill Ashley at City Ballet. Oh my! She was enough to want to go over to the "dark side". I always loved the fact that she (Carabosse) was in her way beautiful, as it made more sense that she was indeed one of the "girls" (the other fairies). They are all so lovely, why shouldn't she be also? And it made sense why she would be really upset and angry that she wasn't invited to the Christening. If there was "real choreography" for Carabosse in the ABT version, I could easily see Veronika Part tearing it up. She has a wicked smile and that exceptional gleam in her eye. As to all the "add ons" in this ballet, I don't object to most of them from the last Act. I do think the two ogres and all those children could be eliminated, however. Did anyone else have a problem with the fact that the Ogre goes after the kids with a meat cleaver at the end of their variation? My main objections come in the Birthday scene. Far too many people on stage, many just roaming around with no purpose. Most pull focus from what is important to the story. The Garland Waltz has the MOST hideous costumes ever! They have no relation to the rest of the decor. When all 48 of those people get going with their endless balance's, I got nauseous I know it's a waltz, but are there no other steps that could be done? Maybe about 12 or so fewer dancers in the dance would also make it more pleasurable to watch. I'm waiting for Balanchine's exquisite "Garland Waltz" come Spring at NYCB. As for those little fiddlers in the Rose Adagio.....geez! Also costumes that totally clash with everything else on stage and all that busy, busy stuff they do is just a mess. The four Princes have sleeves, hats, wigs that detract from the beauty of "Beauty". It's just all too much. There is much to like in this "Beauty", but one has to wade through a lot of dross to get to the wonderful parts.
  11. I think the promotion of Cirio was a good move. He's versatile, has a winning way on stage, is a good actor, has danced lead roles at Boston (he was a Principle there), so I think he'll be of value to ABT. There will come a day when even Herman will start to cut back on roles. Simkin is good; I always enjoy watching him, so I think there's a place for both Daniil and Jeffrey. At this point, we don't know the status of Lendorf with the company. There seems to be a few female dancers now on the horizon for stardom, i.e. Trenery, Brandt, even Shevchenko (also small), so there may be a need for more than one smaller male dancer. I have no answer in regards to Sarah Lane or Joseph Gorak. That news may still be coming. Or not. Both have been passed over before,so who knows at this point. Also, I'm in the minority, but I don't feel Calvin Royal was ready for promotion just yet. Despite his winning way on stage, he has some technical issues to address. And no, it's not an illusion. He doesn't point his feet all the time. He goes in and out a bit for me. Some nights really wonderful, some nights just OK. But the best promotion was that of Blaine Hoven. He's worked so hard over the years, so this is well earned. Good for him!!
  12. Me too! Had to work. Boo! I really wanted to see her. But, for me, she is the face of the future for ABT. She has it all!! While I hope she gets new opportunities, my hope is that she will not go too fast. Avoid injuries, etc. One of the things with Trenery is that in addition to the more classical roles, she also excels in more contemporary work. Happy to hear she was a winner!!
  13. I too remember those years. It's one of the reasons I started watching ABT. Yes, not all the ballets offered were stupendous, but because there was so much diversity, the dancers became so well rounded in terms of having so many choreographers' works to dance. And more dancers got to show their "stuff". Now we may see a "Rodeo" now and again. "Fancy Free" shows up also, as does the occasional Tudor. But with so few performances a slight few get to dance the roles and then these ballets disappear again for several years (or forever). There's no continuity to build on and get better. Dancing a role once, maybe twice, doesn't allow for growth, either technically or emotionally. One just doesn't "pick up where one left off" and dance a credible Tudor ballet. It takes time. I too love many of the story ballets, and I am also grateful for any offering of Ashton's work that ABT gives us. But I do wish that ABT weren't so reliant on the "biggies" for monetary benefit. And I wish it didn't have to play the Met. I sometimes wonder if NYCB had had to dance at the Met all these years instead of the wonderful State Theater, it would look as great as it does. I think, at times, having to give the rep it has to give at the Met is a real downer for the ABT. Sadly, NYC doesn't seem to be able to offer a better alternative.
  14. OK. So, I've thinking and pondering for a day or more about the Thursday Ferri/ Cornejo "R&J". I even took a day off to see "King and I" across the Plaza. Excellent, BTW). But to "R&J". I am with McCauley and the "approvers" on this one. I didn't buy a ticket to this expecting to see the Ferri of 20 years ago. I bought my seat with the assumption that if she had agreed to dance this role again and with her old company and back on the Met stage, it was very possible that she felt ( for her) there was more to examine and say about this role. And so I went just to hear this new "voice". I came "to listen". Somewhere up thread someone made the comment that her mother asked when "the words" would happen. For me they happened the minute she came on stage. I heard again the poetry of Shakespeare in her dancing. Her ability to use the choreography to tell Juliet's story was astonishing. So often we see a dancer "move here on count six","drop the green shawl just here". But for Ferri it was as if it was all just happening, now, in the moment. Yes, some of the choreography may have been a bit altered from what we know, or even danced in a different place on the stage than where we usually see it done. But that only added to the immediacy of her dancing. Think back one week to the discussion of whether or not dancer "A" or dancer "B" does 32 fouettes in Black Swan and you'll know what I'm talking about. It really isn't relevant to the entire portrayal; the whole picture. Here we saw a young girl come of age before our eyes, fall in love, find the need to make a possible life altering decision, and in the end come to utter betrayal and heartbreak and death. Ferri's ability to "say" all of this with her dancing was what I came to see. And I found my reward. OK, she started out a bit tentatively, but then so does Juliet. Her awareness of Romeo and it's ultimate repercussions were finely etched. The beginning moment in the balcony scene where she places his hand on her heart also brought the beautiful lyrics of "One Hand, One Heart" from West Side Story to mind. And I thought the bedroom scene from pas de deux onward was one of the best ever. Was this the definitive "Romeo and Juliet"? Hard to say. But it is the one from which I will judge all others. A very great artist has "spoken" to us in a new and energizing "voice" . I truly hope that the wings at the Met were crowded with the young dancers of ABT. (I know. That may not be possible).. Still, this was an exquisite lesson in how a ballet should, or could transform us. Thank you to Alessandra for your courage to dance again. And thanks to ABT for making it happen. Bravo to all.
  15. I think Susan Jones only works with the corps. But one dancer who is in the New York area is Cheryl Yeager. Why she is not being brought in for coaching is beyond me. She would very much be a plus for the young women coming up. I think her daughter is in the company now. Hannah Marshall. AS to the JKO school not producing the same level of talent as SAB, things may change now that Cynthia Harvey is in charge. It will take time, but the previous level of leadership at JKO wasn't very compelling. MO
  16. I found Forster to be quite compelling in the Purple Rothbart role. Very sinister and his dancing chops were solid. He has also shown his more sinister side in "The Moor's Pavanne". Going forward, assuming ABT keeps this version of "Swan Lake" (or keeps the "PR" role in some other version), I'd like to see either Jeffrey Cirio or yes, Joseph Gorak given a crack at the role. Both have incredible technique for the role and I think we just might be surprised at this perhaps anti type casting. Remember how winning Hallberg was in this role, and he certainly wouldn't be the first dancer I would have thought could have done it. Yet he was amazing in the role. Also think Calvin Royal could do it and even perhaps Daniel Mantei. Possibly Duncan Lyle.
  17. Another potential O/O (for me, at any rate) would be Christine Shevchenko. She too has lovely line and extension and when given the right role always brings a warmth and intelligence to that role. On someone's opinion of doing "SL" over a longer period of time, it could be done certainly. Many companies (ABT included and of course NYCB ) already do that sort of thing with "Nutcracker, and in City Ballet's case, every Spring they seem to do quite well with "Mid-Summer's Night Dream". "Swan Lake" is one of those ballets that has numerous opportunities for dancers to do small and not so small roles, so it offers more dancing to more of the dancers. I know it would cut into perhaps doing other, more experimental works, but this year's "Golden Cockeral" didn't do all that well with ticket sales. I wish that on a few of the rep nights, they would insert a ballet that always sells tickets, such as "Upper Room". Also, ballets such as "Rodeo" and "Fancy Free" usually brings in audience. I think "Les Patineurs" could become that type of ballet also. The list of ballets from ABT's rep is very long, but we so seldom get a chance to see them. I'd also like to see an extra week done at the State Theater in the Fall, so to offer more opportunities for the dancers to perform works. New works, revivals, even perhaps trying something like "Bright Stream". It's such a superior venue for dance than the Met stage.
  18. Perhaps too many people come just to see the current "stars". Ticket prices are high, so it precludes many from "trying" either an unknown ballet or a somewhat unknown dancer. If one were to cast Misty in more works, I'm sure the seats would fill more readily. It's a shame really. But sometimes putting all of one's eggs into one basket makes the basket very heavy.
  19. I agree about Nina. No one could touch her of that generation. A magnificent and complete artist. How she is missed!! I remember seeing two dancers when I was young who seemed to be the epitome of the dual role of Odette/Odile. They were both from what was then the Sadler's Wells Ballet, now the Royal. They were Svetlana Beriosova and Beryl Grey. Both were stunning. But after seeing many of those dancing the role now at ABT, I would have to say that Gillian has upped her game considerably. We know she can do the dazzling tricks of the Odile character, but I was greatly impressed with her Odette this season. She has grown in this role and now stands above all the others. After seeing her with Cory Stearns (yes!) on Wednesday, I came away breathless. The two of them brought such rapture and passion to their roles. The way he "discovers" her, caressed her arms during the pas de deux, fell into her at times as if truly protecting her and showing great love. I wanted at times to say, "get a room"! It was that passionate. I could see them "falling in love". He too, has upped his game in this ballet. What an amazing soft, giving plie' in all of his dancing. Bliss! I came away from the theater on Wednesday feeling I had seen greatness on many levels. Nina? Perhaps we will not see her likes again, but really it was an incredible evening on Wednesday.
  20. Regarding "Schlagobers", the ballet. In addition to not being a well known entity, it's odd to pronounce and certainly opens itself up to some negative play on words. "Schlockgoobers" anyone? As to "Raymonda". She has a lot of friends and they ALL have variations! It would need some serious editing and also serious marketing in order for it to sell tickets. It is a long ballet; very long.
  21. And ABT would do it great! Also, love the idea of seeing "Birthday Offering". Lots of wonderful dancing.
  22. Or IF Semionova returns! Personally, I don't see Misty as a Giselle. A Myrta would be a better choice for her skills. (oh, I forgot, she doesn't jump all that well ) I think Trenary would be a splendid Giselle.
  23. I would agree generally about Part's performance. Although brilliant and emotionally moving at times, she just didn't seem to be "on her game" last night as much as previous performances I've seen her do. Still, I think she is one of the best swan queens out there. And I would re-phrase your comment about having no chemistry with Whiteside to read that Whiteside had zero chemistry with her! She was doing her best, but there was absolutely nothing from him in return. But then he didn't have much rapport with anyone on stage last night. Totally a blank slate. Hence his dancing became boring, at least to me. The pas de trois in Act I was very well danced, with Calvin Royale looking especially strong. The Neopolitan duet with Gabe Shayer and Jonathon Klein also very good. The corps was a shambles in many places where they used to shine. First Act Waltz of the Aristocrats was a total mess (why can't anyone in this company do a decent entre chat six? Or for that matter count music?). Swan formations were also raggedy and sloppy. Kathryn Hurlin did stand stand out as one of the "big Swans", and as the Spanish Princess. She is a "comer", for sure. But the stage really only came alive when Gomes arrived as Purple Rothbart. His character has evolved now to one of total brilliance. The stage crackles when he is on it!! I might add that Gray Davis as "Swamp" monster" was only slightly alright. I've seen others in this role (R. Zhurbin, for one) who have made something truly menacing out of it. Not last night. All in all, just an OK performance. And I too don't care if a dancer does 32, 24, or no fouettes. As long as what is done is musical and makes dramatic sense to the role.
  24. Totally agree, Vipa. Far too much spectacle and repetitive dancing by the corps (I guess to give them something to do) and really not much in the way of any development of choreography for either the Queen of Shemakan or even the Cockeral. Way too much mime that unless one came early and read the synopsis, it would be a huge question as to what was going on. I could see the money that was spent on the gorgeous costumes and back drops, but there was little of substance on the stage. I wish the money had been spent to advertise and push "La Fille Mal Gardee" a much superior ballet, IMO. (and that was a more family oriented ballet than "Cockeral"). This was just another example of "no there there". Empty calories. And I too will be staying away from "Sleeping Beauty". Looking forward to NYCB and their version. Yeah!
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