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ABT @ City Center, Fall 2005

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Sorry if I misconstrued your original post. Something about seeing Apollo, Dvorovenko and strongest in the same sentence got to me!

I agree completely about Les Sylphides, except I liked Erica Cornejo as well as Hallberg. I think it looked much better on the bigger Met stage, but I also think the staging & coaching may have as much to do with my dissatisfaction as anything else. I've seen it several times now, with several different casts and it really does look static & mannered a lot of the time.


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Correction: David Hallberg is not scheduled for any of the Apollos. Wishful thinking on my part. He is perfect for the role.

Re Les Sylphides: Dvorovenko dances it like she's Kitri among the Sylphs. Beautiful ballet but quite exposing of the company's overall lack of classical style and training, at least to any depth beyond one or two performers on any given night or afternoon.

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I also went to the October 22nd matinee. I definitely agree with atm711 and Michael that Irina Dvorvenko was totally miscast in “Les Sylphides”. As the other two soloists, however, Yuriko Kajiya, and especially Zhong-Jing Fang were just wonderful. No wonder so many Ballet Alert posters were impressed by Fang’s performance in “Les Sylphides” during ABT’s Met season. I also agree with Michael’s review of “Afternoon of a Faun”. What a perfect little jewel of a ballet it is – great music, great choreography, and two beautiful performances (which Michael has already described much better than I ever could).

I agree as well with atm711’s views on Herrera in the Paquita pas de deux. Carreno was also outstanding in this pas de deux. I haven’t seen Carreno dance for a couple of years, and I was glad to see that he is just as exciting a performer as ever. And he and Herrera have great chemistry. As much as I enjoyed Herrera’s and Carreno’s performances, I found this Paquita pas de deux to be a choreographic mishmash. It seemed to me that bits and pieces were taken out of the longer Paquita Grand Pas to create this pas de deux. Why doesn’t ABT revive Natalia Makarova’s staging of the Paquita Grand Pas? I don’t think they’ve danced in about 20 years.

As always, I totally enjoyed “Rodeo”. As the Cowgirl, Xiomara Reyes was just perfect. She’s become quite an actress in the past couple of years. As the Head Wrangler, Jared Matthews also stood out. And wow, is he beautiful! No wonder Reyes’ Cowgirl wanted him. I was a bit disappointed in Sascha Radetsky’s Champion Roper. (And I usually love Radetsky.) I’m not really sure why – Radetsky seemed a bit off at Saturday’s matinee. I also kept noticing how messy his hair looked – which was distracting me from Radetksy’s performance.

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