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Everything posted by abatt

  1. Faux Pas, I recall once reading an article in which Susan Jaffe mentioned that she worked with an acting coach. I don't know if all dancers at ABT take acting lessons, but this may have played a role in the fact that Susan Jaffe was praised as a fantastic dance-actress.
  2. Kent is a beautiful woman as well, but people (myself included) tend to sympathize with and enjoy her Giselle because of the fine and nuanced quality of her acting.
  3. I have avoided Irina's Giselle for some time for fear that she would portray Giselle as Kitri's half sister. She overacted in Act I. She was too kittenish and knowing in Act I. However, she was fantastic in Act II in both her technique and her acting. She moved like a butterfly on speed- weightless and very fast in her jumps. This was dancing with abandon. She had absolutely gorgeous arms, and a virtually spineless, flexible back. She paid attentiion to every detail of upper body movement, down to the tips of her fingers. She did not overact here. Her portrayal was moving and touching. Max was a fine and elegant Albrecht. He doesn't deliver the high powered, exciting jumps that Corella, Steifel and Cornejo do, but he was very, very good. He was very naturalistic in his acting, and you could believe his grief was real. (Don't get me wrong- I also loved Marcelo the Magnificent's supercharged drama, as well as the approach of the "Cuban guapo"). Part repeated as Myrta. Yuriko was magnificent in her delicacy as Zulma. (Messmer was Moyna. She was merely adequate.) Copeland and Lopez did the peasant pdd. Lopez had a bad afternoon. He landed a jump very awkwardly, and had to put both hand down on the floor to prevent himself from falling over. I'm glad I went, because Act II was magnificent. I can live with a mediocre Act I under the circumstances.
  4. Adam, while I too have noticed certain goofy mannerisms of Sarah Lane (like the raised eyebrows and the staring up into space), I wouldn't assume that these mannerisms are based on any arrogance on her part regarding her potential future status as PRINCIPAL DANCER. She's pretty young, and I'm guessing that she will be able to work out these kinks over time. Performers sometimes don't take into account that every little thing they do will be discussed and analyzed by audience memebers or critics. As an example, the New York Times has criticized both Gillian Murphy and Abi Stafford for having their mouths open during their performances. For me, this is a minor quibble, and the NY Times critic was simply being nasty. I enjoy Sarah Lane's performances very much, and a few odd facial mannerisms won't stop me from going to see her.
  5. I enjoyed the Reyes-Cornejo pairing very much last night. They did give the impression of two teenagers in love. Note to ABT: Please give us a Reyes-Cornejo pairing in Romeo and Juliet when that ballet is revived!
  6. For those who are interested, there is a review up on danceviewtimes.com of last night's Paloma-Marcelo Giselle.
  7. Yes, this is exactly what happened with Alberto Vilar's substantial pledges to various arts organizations, including the Met Opera. Vilar made enormous pledges of funds, but when the market went down, he could not make good on his pledges. Additionally, he got into legal trouble relating to a fraud case (which is apparently now being tried). The Met Opera wiped Vilar's name off of its Grand Tier restaurant very quickly after Vilar failed to make his promised donations.
  8. I usually sit up in the fourth ring. The carpeting in certain spots is in shreds. Let's just hope they don't buy the same carpeting as the one at City Center, which is the ugliest I have ever seen.
  9. I have no problem with naming a building after a rich person who gives a ton of money. I guess the larger and more disturbing potential problem relates to whether these rich donors will have undue unfluence over what is presented at the cultural institution to which they have made an enormous donation. As an example, we all have seen that in the programs at ABT that various dancers are "sponsored" by patron xyz or abc corporation. It's disturbing to think that artistic decisions as to who is cast may be influenced by whether a particular dancer is connected to the richest or most influential donor.
  10. Herrera - Gomes Giselle Last night was a mixed bag. I was swept away by the magnificent Marcelo Gomes. He delivered an excellent performance as Albrecht. The little touches of his acting were brilliant. For example, in Act II when he first enters the stage holding an armful of flowers, he stroked the flowers as though the flowers were the embodiment of Giselle. When he reaches Giselle's grave side, he didn't just merely bend down on his knees. He sprawled his entire body over the grave and literally hugged the rocks under which she is buried. Some might regard it as over the top. I loved it. Marcelo did not do the brisees (spelling) across the diagonal of the stage, as most Albrechts I have seen. Instead he chose to do an astounding number of high jumps in place to indicate that he was being danced to death by the Willis. (I'm not sure what the dance step is called. Sorry) He was a great actor and a great partner last night. I did not care for Herrera's Giselle at all. Her upper body and neck were stiff, and her arms were not graceful. While I love her in certain ballets (esp. Don Q), she failed to capture the signature Romantic style required here. I also was totally unconvinced by her acting. There was no innocence in her Act I portrayal. I could have lived with that if her Act II portrayal was better. The peasant pdd was done by Blain Hoven and Sarah Lane. I really enjoyed Ms. Lane's performance. She was light and airy in her jumps. Hoven had a bad landing, but he was otherwise pretty good. Veronika Part did a fine job as Myrta, and she executed her solo passages very well. However, the night belonged to Marcelo.
  11. I'm glad to see that Sofiane Sylve will be a principal at SFB. I enjoyed her very much at City Ballet. Hopefully we will see her at the City Center engagement of SFB this Fall.
  12. AFH is a terrible hall for the type of performance it was built to accomodate- orchestral performances. That's why the NY Philharmonic tried its best to strike a deal a few years ago with Carnegie Hall. Unfortunately, that deal fell through. As bad as AFH is for orchestral performances, it must be AWFUL for dance performances. In fact, I don't remember ever seeing a dance performance of any kind at AFH. As bad as the sight lines are at City Center, that venue is far superior to AFH for dance.
  13. I also attended the Julie-Ethan Giselle last night. They gave a wonderful performance. I agree that her arms and upper body were beautiful and expressive. Julie didn't have the floating, weightless quality in her solos that I observed in Nina's performance on Monday. Also, I felt that Julie fudged some of the footwork in Act II. Nevertheless, her acting ability and presence more than compensated. Ethan was fantastic in his jumping and in his acting. The peasant PDD was performed by Misty Copeland and Carlos Lopez. They did a very good job, and Lopez drew gasps from the audience with the height of certain jumps. Maria Bystrova was an arrogant, aristocratic princess; a much different approach than Kristi Boone's more approachable and sympathetic princess on Monday. Michele Wiles as Myrta was pretty good, but I thought her upper body was too stiff. Ricetto and Boone were Moyna and Zulma. Sasha was an angry Hilarion. He did a good job with the jumping portions of the role, but in my opinion he did not reach the emotional depths of the character that Genadi captured on Mon. eve. in that role.
  14. I saw two performances of Merry Widow last week -the Kent/Carreno pairing on Mon. and the Herrera/Gomes pairing on Tues. For me, the Kent - Carreno pairing was flat. Carreno in particular seemed to be uncomfortable and underpowered. The Herrera - Gomes performance was much more satisfying. Gomes was delightful, and he made the most out of the lightweight choreography. His acting and facial expressions were also terrific. Paloma was very enjoyable as well. However, the Merry Widow is not a ballet that stands up well for repeated viewings, in my opinion. The choreography is rather simplistic. In my opinion, Vienna Waltzes is a much more impressive display of waltz, accomplished in less than half the time of the Merry Widow. I also enjoy La Valse, which is of course much darker in tone. (Wish City Ballet would revive that one!)
  15. I thought last night's performance was exquisite - particularly Act II. Nina was luminous, and demonstrated such fluidity in her upper body and her arms. Angel was the perfect partner, and he made it look as though Nina was floating through the air due to his impeccable, seamless partnering. Of course, as always, Angel achieved stunning elevation and speed in his jumps and turns. However, it wasn't just showing off tricks. He melded his virtuosity with great acting. It was a privilege to see this performance. My great disappointment of the evening was the peasant pas in Act I. Maria Ricetto was fine, but bland. Jared Mathews, however, needs some fine tuning. I kept remembering Herman Cornejo's stunning performances of this role in the past, and last night's performance was not anywhere near that level. Gillian scowled to perfection, and delivered an excellent performance.
  16. Hi. With regard to the comments above about the MET charging an exchange fee, it is not clear to me whether ABT will follow the Opera in adopting that policy. Let's hope not. Additionally, it is my understanding that starting in the fall, the MET Opera is requiring that all exchanges occur a week prior to the performance date, irrespective of whether the exchange is by mail or in person. I sure hope ABT does not adopt that policy, given the frequency of last minute casting changes at ABT. I think if ABT decides to adopt these new, restrictive policies regarding ticket exchanges, their advance box office receipts will take a nose dive.
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