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ABT in Los Angeles, April 28 to May 1

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Some nice casting, pulled out of the press release:


Theme and Variations: Wiles, Gomes

"Swan Lake" White Swan Pas de deux: Kent, Corella

Tchaikovsky Pas de deux: Reyes, Stiefel

"Swan Lake" Black Swan Pas de deux: Herrera, Carreno

Ballet Imperial: Murphy, Beloserkovsky, Abrera


Friday, April 29: Ferri, Corella, Abrera

Saturday, April 30 (matinee): Reyes, Beloserkovsky, Murphy

Saturday, April 30 (evening): Kent, Carreno, Wiles

Sunday, May 1 (matinee): Herrera, Gomes, Part




5 performances April 28 through May 1, 2005


Four Performances April 29 through May 1

Mixed Repertory Program

One Performance only April 28

1/18/2005 - American Ballet Theatre, America’s National Ballet Company™, lead by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, returns to the Dance at the Music Center series at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a second consecutive season April 28 to May 1. The programs include four performances of the Company’s acclaimed production of Giselle and a single evening of repertory works to music of Tchaikovsky including Theme and Variations, Ballet Imperial and three pas de deux.

Four casts will dance Giselle beginning with Alessandra Ferri (Giselle), Angel Corella (Albrecht) and Stella Abrera (Myrta) on Friday evening, April 29. On Saturday April 30, Xiomara Reyes, Maxim Beloserkovsky, and Gillian Murphy dance at the matinee, and Julie Kent, Jose Manuel Carreño, and Michele Wiles dance in the evening. The season ends on Sunday matinee May 1 with Paloma Herrera, Marcelo Gomes and Veronika Part leading the cast.

Ferri’s appearance in Los Angeles celebrates her 20th Anniversary season with American Ballet Theatre. Ferri joined the Company as a Principal Dancer in 1985 following a five-year career with The Royal Ballet. She has danced nearly all of the major ballerina roles including Nikiya in La Bayadère, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and the title role in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, as well as such contemporary works as Jerome Robbins’ Other Dances and Agnes de Mille’s Fall River Legend. Ferri is a permanent guest artist with La Scala in Milan and renowned as an international guest artist.

The engagement opens on April 28 with a program of Mixed Repertory to music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. The program has three works by George Balanchine -- Theme and Variations led by Michele Wiles and Marcelo Gomes, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux danced by Xiomara Reyes and Ethan Stiefel, and Ballet Imperial led by Gillian Murphy, Maxim Beloserkovsky and Stella Abrera.

Two additional Pas de Deux will be performed. Swan Lake Act II Pas de Deux (White Swan Pas de Deux) after choreography by Lev Ivanov, will be danced by Julie Kent and Angel Corella. Swan Lake Act III Pas de Deux (Black Swan Pas de Deux) after choreography by Marius Petipa, will be danced by Paloma Herrera and Jose Manuel Carreño.

Three Music Center Spotlight Award winners - Misty Copeland, Ashley Ellis and Jennifer Whalen – will also be dancing with the company during this engagement.

Countrywide Financial is the National Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre and Cole Haan is a Leading Benefactor.

Tickets for Giselle and the Mixed Repertory at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, are priced from $25.00 to $95.00, and are available at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office, 135 North Grand Avenue. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster Phone Charge at 213/365-3500 or 714/740-7878, online at www.ticketmaster.com, and at all Ticketmaster Outlets including Tower Records, Robinsons-May, Wherehouse Music, Tu Musica, and Ritmo Latino

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I'll definitely be attending this! I live in Pasadena, and hopefully there won't be too much traffic getting downtown.

I know for certain that I'll be there for the Thursday evening mixed repertory program, but I can't make it to Ferri's "Giselle" on Friday - can anyone recommend which of the other castings I should try to get?

*Saturday, April 30 (matinee): Reyes, Beloserkovsky, Murphy

*Saturday, April 30 (evening): Kent, Carreno, Wiles

*Sunday, May 1 (matinee): Herrera, Gomes, Part

I'm mostly leaning towards either the Reyes/Beloserkovsky performance or the Kent/Carreno. As much as I would *love* to see Veronika Part, I'm not too sure about Herrera as Giselle (if any of you have witnessed otherwise, please feel free to correct me!)

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I haven't seen any of the above perform Giselle, but I was pleasantly surprised by Herrera's Juliet last year. I was a bit worried that it would be a very flat interpretation, but especially Act I was pretty good with the Balcony Pas de Deux taking full advantage of Herrera's lyrical qualities. Reyes' Juliet, on the other hand, was overacted and I was less impressed. I don't know how this will translate to Giselle though - Herrera had trouble with the dramatic scenes, and of course Giselle has a giant one at the end of Act I. But, Act II might work better on her because she can use her good technique to more effect.

But I, too would be curious to hear from someone who has seen these Giselles.

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Rejigged casting for "Giselle" in Los Angeles, following Alessandra Ferri's anounced injury:

Roles: Giselle, Albrecht, Myrtha

Friday 4/29

Kent, Carreno, Part

Saturday 4/30 matinee

McKerrow, Beloserkovsky, Wiles

Saturday 4/30 evening

Reyes, Corella, Murphy

Sunday 5/1 matinee

Herrera, Gomes, Abrera

Nice to be able to see Amanda McKerrow as Giselle before she bids farewell to ABT in New York; also it'll be nice to see Veronika Part as Myrtha earlier in the run. Gala casting looks to be staying the same, which is fine by me! Anyone else planning on going during the run? (If what I get back from ticketmaster is any indication, the Gala is selling very well, as is Saturday night's Giselle...)

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In addition to Giselle, I will also be attending the Gala. This will be my first time seeing Theme & Variations and Ballet Imperial - I can't wait! :tiphat:

I noticed on the Music Center's website that it says there will be a "free pre-performance talk" on hour prior to curtain (only for Giselle). Because I usually get stuck in a time crunch, I've never had the opportunity to attend one of these - until now. Can anyone tell me what they're like? Do any company dancers make an appearance?

Edited by soubrette_fan
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Would love to go to Friday's performance, but will be in Philly seeing PABallet's "The Concert" program which I have been waiting for all year!!! :hyper:

Sorry to miss ABT and will look forward to all of you reporting about their visit to L.A. (I think that Kent and Carreno will make a great couple in Giselle and would have loved to have seen Part as Myrtha as well......... :tiphat:)

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Soubrette fan -

In regards to the pre-performance talks, they really vary depending on the company. For NYCB they had a company repiteur who used to be an NYCB principal come out to give the talk (do'nt remember her name right now), but she gave a lot of very itneresting insights into the ballet. One night, Christopher Wheeldon even spoke since he was in the house for his West Coast premiere of Carnival of the Animals. When SF Ballet was here they did interviews with dancers. Another time, it was a very dry lecture. So it really is a crap shoot, but generally it seems the Music Center tries tomake them as interesting as possible - its worth getting there an hour early to find out!

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Zippora Karz gave wonderful pre-performance talks for NYCB's visits to SoCal, telling us a little bit about herself (and her life with diabetes) and gave us all great insider information. My favorite part was when she demonstrated one of the corps parts of Stravinsky Violin Concerto full speed while counting it. It made me dizzy just sitting there. I wish more talks would be like this, because she made for a great representative of the company and the dance world in her knowledge, her accessibility, and friendliness. Also, from some details given in her talk, one of the audience members figured out how old she was, and asked her if he was correct --- she looked at least 15 years younger than her actual age, and I think that really impressed many people in the audience. Perhaps they'll become new ballet students!

This is becoming off-topic, but I think a really cool pre-performance talk would be an analysis or example coaching session from a section of a work to be performed, perhaps done with one of the understudies, just to show people the nuts and bolts of what goes into a work. If you have a brave choreographer, he could even do new choreography on the spot to show how things are put together. I'm very fond of that old footage of Balanchine making up a bunch of dances, including a hilarious conclusion involving a mock shooting and jealousy, to a simple tune (Yankee Doodle?) suggested (and sometimes whistled) by a young boy and girl visiting the company studios.


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ABT had its opening night performance here in Los Angeles - a one night only mixed bill of "Theme & Variations," two pas de deux from "Swan Lake," "Tchaikovsky Pas de deux" and "Ballet Imperial." The house was PACKED up to the rafters, quite a rarity for ballet at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with its 3,189 seats. And the crowd was just nuts - oohing, aahing, gasping, clapping. It was a great night to be there, right from the beginning with Pierce Brosnan and Angelica Huston kicking off the festivities. It wasn't just an enthusiastic audience: it was enthusiastic audience of ballet fans - friends that came with us said the place sounded more like a rock concert than a ballet, especially when favorite dancers appeared for pas de deux, etc. Marcelo Gomes had a particularly wild cheering section.

The performance was highlighted for me by "Ballet Imperial," the evening's closing ballet, which was impecably and thrillingly danced by Gillian Murphy, Maxim Beloserkovsky and Stella Abrera. Murphy articulated each movement cleanly, musically and with what looked like such ease. But what made her performance was a spectacular stage presence - she filled the stage whenever she was there, and the way her movement fit into the music made it all the more satisfying. Abrera danced with enthusiasm and aplomb, attacking each difficult set with grace, poise and thrilling athleticism. Even the corps de ballet was (mostly) on form in "Imperial" - by far the most satisfying ballet overall in the evening.

Another great highlight: Julie Kent and Jose Manuel Carreno's White Swan pas de deux, the second piece on the program. Kent was just wonderful here - she had such expressive arms and thrilling control in the adagio. It was beautiful to watch, but an emotional experience as well. Carreno was a fantastic partner, lifting her musically and lightly as though she were made of air. Kent sunk into the final pose of the pas de deux beautifully - it was magic as the curtain came down.

"Theme and Variations" opened the evening, with Michele Wiles and Marcelo Gomes in the principal roles. Wiles delivered a technically assured, if underdeveloped performance. She has very strong technique and delivered on the technical challenges wonderfully, but she has yet to look completely "ballerina" comfortable. For example, at the end of her variation, as she turns to look at Gomes to start the pas de deux, she seemed unsure of what to do; her body carriage was tight and she half waved her arms in the air - no authority or command here. Still, though, overall an excellent "Theme" on her part with great potential to grow further into the role. Gomes was great as a partner, and equally great as a soloist: very musical and assured throughout. The corps de ballet was another story: ragged, untimed and somewhat sloppy seemed to be the norm, rather disappointing as it detracted from the overall feel of the ballet.

Now the disapointments: "Tchaikovsky Pas de deux" with Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo was reliable if a bit flat and boring. Reyes wasn't very sharp or musical in this flashy role, and was ultimately upstaged by Cornejo's acrobatic brio. Even Cornejo, though, faltered some here with stodgy partnering - and his athletic tricks were impressive, but they tended to be too much. They lacked grace and precision as he seemed to simply throw himself around the stage for a "wow" factor. There were gasps and claps, sure, but an ultimately unsatisfying performance.

The Black Swan Pas de deux I guess wouldn't qualify as a total disappointment. Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella delivered it sparklingly - there just wasn't much heat or seductiveness in this gala performance. It was delivered as a technical showcase, and Herrera gave her usual flashy technique but next to no character or warmth. Still though, it was nice to see all those technical tricks, as well as Herrera's amazing fouettes and pirouettes. The audience ate it up - and so did I, ultimately.

I'm still left with a dazzling impression from "Ballet Imperial" though - Murphy and Abrera just nailed the piece, and the corps followed suit with a better performance (after that sloppy "Theme"). Left the theatre with a huge smile on my face!

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I am glad to see Paloma hit her fouettes in LA, I saw her in Cleveland and she was all over the stage and fell out at the end.

I am a newbie here, and don't get to see much in Toledo,OH. Made the road trip to Cleveland and stayed in the same hotel as the company.

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Glad you de-lurked, Starr! Maybe you'd like to tell more about the ABT performance you saw in LA. Aside from her flubbed fouettes, what did you think of Paloma? And Jose, who happens to be a particular favorite of mine? Any special highlights on the program?

Even if you don't get to see much, there's a lot of other talk on these forums, and I hope you'll add your comments and questions.

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Glad you de-lurked, Starr!  Maybe you'd like to tell more about the ABT performance you saw in LA.  Aside from her flubbed fouettes, what did you think of Paloma?  And Jose, who happens to be a particular favorite of mine?  Any special highlights on the program?

Even if you don't get to see much, there's a lot of other talk on these forums, and I hope you'll add your comments and questions.

I saw Paloma in Cleveland in March, I decided to see her and Angel instead of Gillian since she'll be on PBS. I think Julie did opening night so she didn't dance on the weekend, would have loved to seen her.

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Since nobody else has commented on any of ABT's performances of "Giselle" over the weekend, I'll just say a few words. Braving the traffic after work on Friday, I was able to buy a ticket to ABT's performance of "Gisellle" with Julie Kent. I know that there's very anyone could have done with the ad campaign, but it was still somewhat disconcerting seeing Alessandra Ferri's face plastered everywhere with her being out with the injury.

I had never seen Julie Kent in "Giselle" and the last time I had seen Jose Manuel Carreno as Albrecht was a number of years ago now when he performed with the guesting Viviana Durante. Since my ballet training stopped somewhere around the imitating the hippos in "Fantasia" stage, I'll mostly leave it that I thought the performances were technically strong and I enjoyed their interpretations of the characters. I do really adore how Julie Kent performs with her eyes, and Jose Manuel Carreno is such a "prince." It's hard to imagine how the peasants believed he could be another peasant.

The peasant pas de deux was performed by Herman Cornejo and Xiomara Reyes, and the parts seemed signifcantly stronger than the whole. Cornejo flew and his turns were as clean and neat as always, and Reyes was ... Reyes, but the partnering was awkward and sloppy, and it really marred the overall impression.

Veronika Part as Myrta with Stella Abrera and Michelle Wiles. This is actually the first time I'd seen Part perform a principal role. I'd seen mainly Gillian Murphy and Michelle Wiles perform Myrta in the last few years, and the time Part took in the performance was quite an enjoyable contrast to Murphy's attack-attack-attack approach and Wiles' very classical purity (not that I don't enjoy Gillian Murphy or Michelle Wiles either.)

That's it. Still nice to see ABT in LA at all.

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I saw the May 1 performance with Paloma Herrera and Marcelo Gomes. This being my fist Giselle as well as my first time seeing Paloma Herrera, I was very impressed. Ms. Herrera's feet and legs are gorgeous and her acting was also very good. At times in her act 1 variation, it seemed as though her elbows became limp but in the second act, she was flawless.

Marcelo Gomes leaves a bigger impression on me every time I see him dance. I do believe he has grown in technique and artistry over the last two years.

The peasant pas de deux was highlighted by Anna Liceica, whose variation was technically brilliant and Sasha Radestsky, whose dancing appeared to me to be a bit labored.

Stella Abrera was excellent as Myrta, I was very much impressed by her dancing.

The corp looked good, although I do think they looked better in Swan Lake when they brought it to Orange County a few years back. I saw many new names in the cast list among the corp.

One of the biggest highlights of the afternoon, however, was the pre-performance lecture, given by Angel Corella! I thouroughly enjoyed the stories he told us and was struck by his genuine kindness toward his fans. Truely a day I will never forget. I think ABT would benefit greatly from continuing this "meet-the-artist" type set-up for preperformance lectures.

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Hello it been a while sorry I am late, hope you dont mind if I butt in. (been hanging out on the other board) I saw the Gala in LA opening night and have to say that though I have never been a Julie Kent fan I may be becoming one. Her performance of the Pas de deux from Swan lake with Carreno was the best I have ever seen her dance. Carreno was also in rare form. I wish I had seen them dance Giselle over the weekend. I wonder if the new baby has bought a new dimension to her life. Her body is a little bit fuller which to me is more attractive on stage, and her interpretation and control was really first rate. I think she is on the threshold of a whole new era in her dance life. From what I read of the opening of the Met season the comments seem the same.

I will disagree with Art076 on Reyes and Cornejo. I was sitting very close, but I find him to be getting better and better and she is like a pixie, so musical, so animated it was interesting to watch the communication between her and the conductor every moment she was on stage. It was a high point of the evening for me.

Black Swan pas with Herrera and Corella was in my opinion shakey. She stumbled on the very first bouree forward and the beginning of the pas de deux and it had no fire". She is inconsistent, I have seen her dance magnificently and then the next time be quite dull and expressionless. The partnering also seemed somewhat unsure.

I think that Gillian Murphy, Maria Ricceto and Marcelo Gomes are going to be very interesting to watch over the next few years.

The corps looks good. They look healthy, focused and engaged, they are working together well which I do not generally think of ABT as having a cohesive corps but they are individual and interesting to watch at the same time. :(

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