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ABT 2006 Spring Season at the Met

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September's ABT Footnotes casually mentions that ABT will premiere James Kudelka's Cinderella at its 2006 Spring Season at the Met. This is reported in its Guggenheim "Works and Process Series" (Guggenheim box office for tickets 212-423-3587) listings:

"May 14 and 15 ABT and James Kudelka, featuring excerpts from the new production of Cinderella, which premieres during the 2006 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House."

I assume that this is the NBC production favorably reviewed on this site:


I also note that the Boston Ballet will give 11 (!) performances of this work in October.

I remember that ABT's old production instantly made my DO NOT SEE list, so look forward to what would seem to be a major upgrade.

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A detailed synopsis of Kudelka's very contemporary Cinderella is given toward the bottom of


Some bits:

Act 1 Not so very long ago, in a suburb of a rich and fashionable capital city, a young orphaned woman called Cinderella lived with her Stepmother and two ambitious Stepsisters...

Act 2 In the palace, the Prince was very uncomfortable. He was depressed by the chic young women vying for his attention, seeking fame and riches. He felt like a complete outsider even at his own party....As the clock struck twelve, the courtiers underwent a horrible transformation into Pumpkin-heads, attacking the terrified Cinderella...

Act 3 ...They had a fairly fashionable afternoon wedding but then, instead of a lavish honeymoon abroad, the Prince and Cinderella did what each of them would love best for the rest of their lives: they retired quietly to the garden, where they would always find peace and love in making their garden grow.

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From the NYT preview section:

AMERICAN BALLET THEATER Highlights of the company's spring season include last spring's unexpected hit, Sir Frederick Ashton's "Sylvia," as well as James Kudelka's "Cinderella," a revival of Sir Kenneth MacMillan's "Manon" and an all-Stravinsky program. May 22-July 15. Metropolitan Opera House. (212) 362-6000. www.abt.org.
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I somehow feel that ABT is reviving "Manon" to provide something for Ferri and Bocca to dance other than "Romeo and Juliet" and "Giselle". I would guess that Julie Kent, Irina and Xiomara will be the other Manons with perhaps Diana Vishneva or Nina Ananiashvili (if she hasn't tacitly retired from ABT) added to the mix. I suspect that Veronika will be stuck with Lescaut's Mistress. She is kind of on the womanly and tall side for the teenage minx Manon anyway. I still would like to see what she would do with it, ditto Marcelo.

The Stravinsky Triple Bill is interesting - will they finally scrape together the cash to do the Kudelka "Firebird" that was announced but canceled but still graced their brochure covers with a gorgeous color photo of Nina as the Firebird in a role that she never danced at ABT? (ditto Jose Manuel Carreno as Petruchio in the Cranko "Taming of the Shrew" publicity brochure photos). ABT did revive their old Fokine restaging circa 1991 or 1992 with Susan Jaffe as the Firebird. I wouldn't mind seeing that since I missed it then. Gillian is a natural Firebird and Veronika could be the true inheritor of the Karsavina tradition. The other ballets might include "Rite of Spring" but what would the others be? (The Glen Tetley version of "Rite" with male protagonist is in ABT's rep?) "Apollo" is a sure bet - of course it could be an all-Balanchine evening but that would replicate a typical programming ploy across the plaza. "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" has been in their repertory in the past but what else?

"Sylvia" will be nice to see again because the staging badly needed to be cleaned up and refined. The corps looked underrehearsed this past Spring at the Met. It should look better next year when some more coaching can be done and all the details can be cleaned up.

If we need a guest artist, I would love ABT to invite Darcey Bussell who according to a friend was the best Sylvia at the Royal Ballet last season. She is also a Manon. Darcey has been seldom-seen in NYC in recent years and probably will wind down her career in the near future. A guest season in NYC would give us a chance to see her in a wide chunk of her repertoire.

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Based on reviews with the Royal, I'd vote for Alina Cojocaru as guest artist in Manon. Actually, as guest artist in everything.

Here's an article from the Boston Globe with James Kudelka discussing his version of Cinderella:

"Cinderella as a giraffe..."


'''I was trying to find little ways all the way through it that it begins to make sense," Kudelka says. Sergei Prokofiev wrote the music to include several scenes set in Cinderella's garden, for example, but ''it's very hard to figure out why they're there." So Kudelka has reimagined Cinderella as an outdoorsy, garden-loving girl. She's not just a miserable scullery maid but a tomboy who can't wait to finish her indoor chores and get out into the dirt.'

...'In Boechler's Art Deco costume design, the elongated line of a foot en pointe flows naturally from Cinderella's sleek Erte-inspired gown. ''The pointe shoe is a weird thing; it's an odd silhouette," Kudelka says. Here, ''it sort of creates this giraffe look."'

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According to theNYT "New season preview", "Manon" is being revived. V Part would be gorgeous as Manon if M Gomes is healthy to partner her.I imagine D Vishneva doing the role(if she comes back next season).



I was just looking at Vishneva's web site. She does plan to be back at ABT in 2006.

She doesn't say anything about which cities, but she does mention she plans to do Giselle with Malakhov.


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bingham (or anybody else who received the brochure), can you give a little more details about the season.

So I guess the full lengths appear to be R&J, Swan Lake, Giselle, Sylvia and Manon.

One-acts are Apollo...

The Kennedy Center site lists Afternoon of a Faun and The Green Table for ABT's visit. Are those at the Met, too?

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There are no other one-act ballets in the schedule.The casting is also very incomplete.There are very many TBAs in Manon,Giselle,R and J.Hoping one of the younger dancers will have a chance in these roles.How about ZJ Fang or S Lane as Juliet or Giselle?


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