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Which men to groom for soloist and principal ranks?

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There's a thread here discussing NYCB and ABT men; here's a related question.

NYCB right now is top-heavy with principal men, but a lot of them are either infrequently used or sidelined. There are only three male soloists (Tom Gold, Arch Higgins and Jared Angle) and this season's casting didn't seem to show any one man as being obviously in favor or being pushed.

So NYCB watchers, are you seeing future principal male dancers in the corps? Is there someone you think is in favor? Is there someone you wish they'd groom for a promotion?

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I too was surprised to notice that there are only 3 men at the soloist rank. Also, one of them (Tom Gold) is more of a character dancer... not necessarily the danseur type (this is not to discredit his dancing- he surely is a wonderful performer).

I believe Jared Angle is marvelous: although he has been hampered by some injuries. Despite his recent return, we really haven't been seeing much of him at all. However, I do feel given some time to mature, and perhaps recover, Angle will be prime principle material. I would be surprised to see this happen before 3 or 4 seasons from now.

As for the corps de ballet, I again agree that there are definitely some promising male dancers in the crop. As I commented in another thread, I was surprised to see only Alexandra Ansanelli promoted recently- I was expecting maybe one or two males to become soloists.

In my opinion, I think this talented bunch can be broken down into 2 sub-groups: those who will be promoted relatively soon, and those who need some time to ripen a bit.

Group 1-

1) Jason Fowler- I have always been a fan of his and he always stands out in a large group. He has been in the corps for some time, and he is tall. More recently, he has been partnering Maria K., and this may help him. There aren't many men in the company that can partner her (in terms of height), but he seems to do a nice job. Similarly, the female trend in the corps is for the tall, lanky look, so he would be suitable for partnering them.

2) Adam Hendrickson- He's a great dancer and wonderful on-stage performer. My only misgiving with him is that he will be typecast in a way similar to Tom Gold. As with Gold, I don't know if Hendrickson is necessarily the danseur type. Regardless, he is a wonderful talent. He has also served a good amount of time in the corps.

Group 2-

1) Antonio Carmena- gorgeous to look at on stage... I think he has a little bit of Angel Corella in him. I can't wait to see him develop. He just needs some time.

2) Daniel Ulbricht- great talent, but needs to tone-down the performer in him. He can be over-the-top. Again, I feel he may become the stereotypical character dancer and isn't really a danseur type. I also don't think his height (or lack of) will help him in achieving this.

3) Seth Orza- again, very pleasant to look at on-stage. Nice technique, could use some polishing, though. He's also been getting some valuable experience in partnering prominent female dancers, like Somogyi in "Piano Pieces." Just needs some time to develop.

4) Stephen Hanna- I always like to place him in the Jason Fowler-like group. Fairly tall, can handle partnering tall females like Maria K., and has a nice look to him on-stage. He's fairly young and will need some time (although I don't think as much as the aforementioned) to develop and become worthy of the soloist ranking.

5) Amar Ramasar- not much to say here except that he is a nice talent with sound technique, but needs to put in some more time in the corps. He reminds me a little of Jock Soto.

6) Craig Hall- same as with Ramasar... nice technique, nice to look at on-stage. Looks great when partnered with Alexandra Ansanelli (like in Polyphonia and Reliquary).

So there is my humble opinion. Hope to hear some others and comments on mine! Perhaps we could do the same with female dancers after this thread topic has been exhausted! ;)

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I cast my vote for Jonathan Stafford - I enjoy watching him on stage. He's tall, strong and I feel that he stands out on stage. I admit it - I like to see a tall dancer... I'm looking forward to seeing more of him next season.

As an aside, one thing about NYCB is that their corps members do get to dance when they're on stage. :)

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I almost added Stafford to my list, but decided not to at the last minute. I agree that he is nice and tall and stands out on stage, but something made me hold back... and I'm not sure what it was. Perhaps it is because he doesn't get a boatload of featured roles when compared to some of the others on my list... of course which really wasn't fair on my part to not include him for this reason.

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I absolutely agree with what's been said earlier about the men, thats about how I would go adding Jonathon Stafford to the list. I generally attend Saratoga performances religiously and get to the city when I can, I'm about the same distance to each place but it's much cheaper to go to Saratoga but I do spend much of my summer watching to see who he used in casting to see who will be promoted, and I'm usually right about my predictions.

12 male principles 9 female principles

3 male soloists 5 female soloists

Just looking at those numbers the company is real male top heavy and I kinda wonder when maybe it'll even out for both the male and female. Good topic though.

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