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ABT 2007 Met Season


mussel

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Maybe, because Kirkland never really got the send-off at ABT she deserved (based on her dancing), due to her well-documented personal problems. So it would be nice for her to get a bow on The Met stage, one last time.

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I'm just excited on what she could do in coaching the ladies( and the men) in preparing for the needed style in Sleeping Beauty.I hope ABT gives her the time for rehearsal/coaching sessions(which she always claimed that she did not get enough when she was dancing with them).

jOE

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What productions of Sleeping Beauty did Kirkland dance in? The 1970's ABT productions were Royal Ballet-based, weren't they?

In the early 1980's, Gelsey was invited to dance Aurora at the Royal Ballet around the same time Cynthia Harvey guested with them. This was in her brief return to the stage after her recovery from her addictions and personal crises. Reviews praised her sensitive nuanced dancing but mentioned that she danced a simplified version of one of the famous dances, I think the solo in the wedding scene pas de deux. I forget what production this was but it would have been the very traditional one that preceded the Salvador Dali one (Dowell/Bjornson?) that Viviana Durante danced on tour in NYC in the 1990's and is on video.

The ABT version done in the 1970's would have been based on the Sergeyev/Messel Royal Ballet classic production somewhat watered down.

Big question, who is designing this "Beauty"? - my vote would be for Desmond Heeley but I suspect Zack Brown will repeat his assignment from McKenzie's "Swan Lake".

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I have read a writeup on Zack Brown a while back. He said his ultimate ambition(or something like that) was to design a production of Sleeping Beauty.I would vote for Desmond Heeley though but didn't he retire from ballet designing?

Joe

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I wonder if this new McKenzie/Kirkland production will be closer to the Royal Ballet's text for the choreography (meaning the one they mostly restored for the RB's recent production), with all the mime and stuff, or if it will go more towards the Russian/Soviet models... based on ABT's history with the ballet what would a more educated ABT-goer say?

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I wonder if this new McKenzie/Kirkland production will be closer to the Royal Ballet's text for the choreography (meaning the one they mostly restored for the RB's recent production), with all the mime and stuff, or if it will go more towards the Russian/Soviet models... based on ABT's history with the ballet what would a more educated ABT-goer say?

I see lots of solos for the men. :)

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I wonder if this new McKenzie/Kirkland production will be closer to the Royal Ballet's text for the choreography (meaning the one they mostly restored for the RB's recent production), with all the mime and stuff, or if it will go more towards the Russian/Soviet models... based on ABT's history with the ballet what would a more educated ABT-goer say?
Oh, my goodness! I sense a clash of sensibilities. :) Kevin compressed the story-telling in his Raymonda (co-choreographed with Anne Marie Holmes), while Gelsey, as she made clear in episode after episode in Dancing on My Grave, has always focused on telling the story.

I'm going make sure I have a nice supply of Q-Tips, just to make sure I don't miss any gossip as it leaks from the studio! :gossip:

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Gelsey, as she made clear in episode after episode in Dancing on My Grave, has always focused on telling the story.

Well, maybe she's different now. In the interview in Dance Magazine she says

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the people I offended in Dancing on My Grave, such as Baryshnikov and Peter Martins. I would have liked to have had the wisdom to keep my personal problems out of the work. But that's life.

Still you've got a point re wanting to tell a story, for she also says

The most interesting ballets for me are the ones that require the exploration of dramatic content.

It will be a Sleeping Beauty worth seeing, no matter what the production looks like, if she can succeed in conveying this to the dancers:

Many dancers think of performance as the audience ... and themselves, that is, two-dimensional. They need to build a three-dimensional world and draw the audience into it. When you radiate epaulement, let's say in croise, you are opening up a whole arc of light with your body. You have to open this circle constantly, so that when you move through space you create a state of wonder and the audience discovers this with you.

Now that would be an Aurora...

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It will be a Sleeping Beauty worth seeing, no matter what the production looks like, if she can succeed in conveying this to the dancers:
Many dancers think of performance as the audience ... and themselves, that is, two-dimensional. They need to build a three-dimensional world and draw the audience into it. When you radiate epaulement, let's say in croise, you are opening up a whole arc of light with your body. You have to open this circle constantly, so that when you move through space you create a state of wonder and the audience discovers this with you.
Now that would be an Aurora...
I just e-mailed the same sentiment to a friend. As stated elsewhere on this board, I was lucky to have two classes from Gelsey when she was an inexperienced teacher. Her corrections changed me in the course of a single class -- lifting and opening my chest, creating a completely different feeling. It's safe bet that after several months under her tutelage, we'll see obvious changes in many of ABT's dancers.
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from the printed press release received in today's mail:

"...American Ballet Theatre's all-new productin of THE SLEEPING BEAUTY brings together Tony Award-winning team Tony Walton and Willa Kim, with lighting to be designed by Richard Pilbrow and Dawn Chaing."

meanwhile the attached photo shows kirkland in act 1 as aurora (in the skeaping/messel prod.)

i have an ABT met house prog. from sat. eve. june 19, 1976 when kirkland danced aurora opposite nagy - that perf. was to have also featured baryshnikov as carabosse and blue bird, but injury scuttled the plans - a slip notes that carabosse would be danced by dennis nahat and blue bird by hideo fukagawa.

post-848-1157993671.jpg

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Here's the official release:

WORLD PREMIERE OF AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE’S

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY SET FOR FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2007

AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

Kevin McKenzie to Choreograph All-New Production after Marius Petipa,

Assisted by Gelsey Kirkland;

Scenery by Tony Walton and Costumes by Willa Kim

American Ballet Theatre will present an all-new production of the Tchaikovsky classic, The Sleeping Beauty, scheduled for performances during the Company’s Spring 2007 season at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. Choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa and assisted by former ABT ballerina Gelsey Kirkland, the four-act ballet will receive its World Premiere on Friday evening, June 1, 2007 and will be given eleven performances through June 9. The Sleeping Beauty is also scheduled for four performances at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, California, July 20-22.

Set to the famous score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, American Ballet Theatre’s all-new production of The Sleeping Beauty brings together the Tony Award-winning team of Tony Walton and Willa Kim, with lighting to be designed by Richard Pilbrow and Dawn Chiang.

Kevin McKenzie has previously choreographed Swan Lake and The Nutcracker and has staged Don Quixote (in collaboration with Susan Jones) for American Ballet Theatre. A former dancer with The Joffrey Ballet, McKenzie joined ABT as a Soloist in 1979 and was promoted to Principal Dancer that same year. He enjoyed a distinguished career as a danseur noble performing leading roles in La Bayadère, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet, as well as Antony Tudor’s Pillar of Fire and Dim Lustre, among others. Following his performing career, McKenzie was named Artistic Associate to The Washington Ballet in 1991 and was appointed Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre in 1992.

Gelsey Kirkland, a former dancer with New York City Ballet, joined American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer in 1974. Her repertoire with ABT included the title role in Giselle, Kitri in Don Quixote, Clara in The Nutcracker, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Among the works created on her during her performing career were George Balanchine’s Firebird and Antony Tudor’s The Leaves Are Fading. Since 1986, Kirkland has transitioned into teaching and coaching at ABT, The Royal Ballet School, English National Ballet and The Australian Ballet.

Tony Walton (Scenery) is a designer of sets, and frequently, costumes for theatre and film, as well as a stage director and producer. His designs for Broadway include the sets for Bob Fosse’s original productions of Chicago and Pippin, as well as designs for Grand Hotel, The Real Thing, The Will Rogers Follies and, most recently, Well. Walton has won Tony Awards for his set designs of Pippin, House of Blue Leaves and Guys and Dolls. His film work includes production design and costumes for Mary Poppins, The Wiz and All That Jazz. The Sleeping Beauty marks Walton’s second collaboration with American Ballet Theatre, having previously designed the scenery for ABT’s Peter and the Wolf in 1992. Other designs for ballet include St. Louis Woman for Dance Theatre of Harlem, Jewels for Miami City Ballet and The Tempest for San Francisco Ballet.

Willa Kim (Costumes) has won Tony Awards for her costume design of Broadway’s The Will Rogers Follies and Sophisticated Ladies, as well as an Emmy Award for San Francisco Ballet’s broadcast of The Tempest. In addition, she received Tony nominations for Legs Diamond, Song and Dance, Dancin’ and Good Time Charlie. Kim’s designs for The Sleeping Beauty will be her seventh work for ABT. In 1992, Kim collaborated with Walton as the design team for Peter and the Wolf. Her previous designs for dance include Eliot Feld’s Variations On ‘America’, Robert Joffrey’s Remembrances, Leonide Massine’s Parade and Glen Tetley’s Nocturne and Sphinx.

Richard Pilbrow and Dawn Chiang (Lighting) have produced designs for more than 500 projects between them. Pilbrow has received two Tony Award nominations for Best Lighting Design of Four Baboons Adoring the Sun and The Life. Chiang began her lighting design career assisting Jennifer Tipton at The Joffrey Ballet. She has won two Drama League Critics’ Awards and a Tony nomination for A Man For All Seasons. Together they co-designed Tango Passion for Broadway and their regional credits include work for the Mark Taper Forum, Guthrie Theater and Seattle Repertory.

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Kirkland's return to the NY ballet scene is welcome news, I'm sure ABT's ballerinas will blossom under her tutelage. However I HOPE she also has substantial input into the staging, I shudder in anticipation of McKenzie's dumbing down of yet another classical ballet. Perhaps he deserves the benefit of the doubt but after Swan Lake & Raymonda it seems that he's developed a formula designed to make it pretty, soulless and get the audience out by 10:30. The NY ballet audience deserves better and besides - we already have a modern, streamlined Beauty across the plaza. We don't need another "new and improved" version.

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...Perhaps he deserves the benefit of the doubt but after Swan Lake & Raymonda it seems that he's developed a formula designed to make it pretty, soulless and get the audience out by 10:30....

No fear, the announcement does promise four acts.

Of course one act is going to be a totally new creation: an expansion of the Carabosse character that will feature her at home in the swamp with her male corps of leaping swamp things. They will also form into pairs to accompany each fairy in her variation, and later chase Red Ridinghood around the stage. The Cat, named Mourka in this production, will scare them away.

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Of course, Carabosse is a character that has changed the most dramatically from production to production. Originally a male mime role it was doubled with the Bluebird, Enrico Cecchetti a veteran virtuoso who was about to segue into a later career as a mime. Later it was mimed by a woman in the 1921 Diaghilev production in London by the original Aurora, Carlotta Brianza.

In the 1965 Soviet movie with Alla Sizova as Aurora, the fiftyish but still agile Natalia Dudinskaya dances on pointe new choreography by her husband Sergeyev with leaping rats. She still has razor sharp pique turns.

I have always had a yen to see Carabosse done as a kind of Odile, a ballerina fairy in a black and silver tutu like the Lilac Fairy et al. but evil. Kind of linking her to the others in type and not so different as to be a totally different type of dancer or not a dancer or not a woman. My other big, big fantasy (perhaps my secret dream role) was to have a Trocks-type male dancer on pointe do the role in the Odile manner and costume. Imagine Julio Bocca in the role done this way.... :dunno:

Just some wicked musings, feel free to discuss (and dismiss!) :clapping:

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I have always had a yen to see Carabosse done as a kind of Odile, a ballerina fairy in a black and silver tutu like the Lilac Fairy et al. but evil. Kind of linking her to the others in type and not so different as to be a totally different type of dancer or not a dancer or not a woman.

My memory isn't working this morning, but hasn't something like this been done. Anyway, it sounds like a wonderful idea.

The only possible drawback: it may be too subtle.

In the current cultural climate, Carabosse as hysterical drag queen in fright wig, long dark finger nails, rag-covered arms waving madly, may be the only way to signal to convey to the audiences that "this character is actually bad."

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In the current cultural climate, Carabosse as hysterical drag queen in fright wig, long dark finger nails, rag-covered arms waving madly, may be the only way to signal to convey to the audiences that "this character is actually bad."

I liked the Carabosse in the Royal Ballet production which I saw last June. Actually the two performances

I saw had Carabosse and the Queen alternating roles.

On video, I like the POB Carabosse and Peter Wright's Carabosse for the Netherlands troop.

These all had remnants of glamour, and aren't too much over the top. Since Wright's and Nureyev's versions have a non dancing Lilac, you do get a feeling that Carabosse and Lilac are both similar and different. (And both are more important than the other 5 fairies)

I really don't like the idea of a male Carabosse, it's generally like a bad drag show.

Richard

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In the 1965 Soviet movie with Alla Sizova as Aurora, the fiftyish but still agile Natalia Dudinskaya dances on pointe new choreography by her husband Sergeyev with leaping rats. She still has razor sharp pique turns.

...

I have always had a yen to see Carabosse done as a kind of Odile, a ballerina fairy in a black and silver tutu like the Lilac Fairy et al. but evil. Kind of linking her to the others in type and not so different as to be a totally different type of dancer or not a dancer or not a woman.

I love that tape, Sizova is so delicate and Dudinskaya is devilishly evil! And what a great idea Faux Pas brings up to have Carabosse on point in a tutu. After all, there is a power struggle going on between her and Lilac so the parallel costuming would make sense. Also I don't think she should be so different from the other faries - she should be just like Lilac, only evil.

I really dislike it when men are cast as Carabosse, it's too campy. I agree with Richard regarding the Royal's production, loved their glam approach & also loved Merrill Ashley's Carabosse with NYCB. Looks like it will be a Sleeping Beauty fest in NY this year and I am certainly looking forward to it but isn’t it strange how sometimes you don’t see a work for a long time & then it seems everyone’s doing it?

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Official release from ABT:

ALL NEW PRODUCTION OF THE SLEEPING BEAUTY AND

REVIVAL OF LAR LUBOVITCH’S OTHELLO TO HIGHLIGHT

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE’S SPRING SEASON

AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE, MAY 14-JULY 7, 2007

American Ballet Theatre’s 2007 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 14-July 7, was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. Highlighting the engagement will be the World Premiere of an all-new production of The Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by McKenzie after Marius Petipa and assisted by former ABT ballerina Gelsey Kirkland. A revival of Lar Lubovitch’s Othello, last performed by ABT in 1998, is also scheduled.

Principal Dancers for the engagement will include Nina Ananiashvili, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Jose Manuel Carreño, Angel Corella, Herman Cornejo, Irina Dvorovenko, Alessandra Ferri, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Vladimir Malakhov, Gillian Murphy, Xiomara Reyes, Ethan Stiefel, Diana Vishneva and Michele Wiles.

Guest artists for the engagement include Roberto Bolle, a resident guest artist with La Scala in Milan and Guillaume Côté, a principal dancer with National Ballet of Canada.

Countrywide Financial is the National Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre. Northern Trust and Superfund Asset Management, Inc. are the sponsors of ABT’s Metropolitan Opera House Season. The 2007 Metropolitan Opera House season is also made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The 2007 Spring Season will open with the Spring Gala performance featuring ABT’s Principal Dancers on Monday, May 14 at 6:30pm. For information about ABT’s Spring Gala, please call the Special Events Office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3239.

World Premiere

The World Premiere of ABT’s all-new production of The Sleeping Beauty is scheduled for Friday evening, June 1. Set to a score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, The Sleeping Beauty features choreography by McKenzie, after Petipa, with assistance by Kirkland. The production, which will receive eleven performances through June 9, features scenery by Tony Walton, costumes by Willa Kim and lighting by Richard Pilbrow and Dawn Chiang. Performances of The Sleeping Beauty are made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding has been provided by Sonia Florian and the NIB Foundation.

Revival Premiere

Commissioned by American Ballet Theatre in 1997, Lar Lubovitch’s Othello, last performed by ABT in 1998, will have its Revival Premiere on Tuesday evening, May 22 with Julie Kent as Desdemona and Marcelo Gomes in the title role. Choreographed by Lubovitch and set to a commissioned score by Elliot Goldenthal, the full-length work features scenery by George Tsypin, costumes by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting by Pat Collins and projections by Wendall K. Harrington. Othello will be given four performances through May 24. Funding for Othello has been generously provided by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.

Returning Classics

Following the opening night Gala, American Ballet Theatre will present eight consecutive performances of Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadère, beginning Tuesday evening, May 15. Set to the music of Ludwig Minkus and arranged by John Lanchbery, La Bayadère features scenery by PierLuigi Samaritani, costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting by Toshiro Ogawa. Conceived and directed by Makarova after Marius Petipa, La Bayadère was given its World Premiere by ABT in 1980. The season’s first performance of the full evening ballet La Bayadère will feature Paloma Herrera as Nikiya, Marcelo Gomes as Solor and Gillian Murphy as Gamzatti. La Bayadère is presented in loving memory of Mrs. Caroline Newhouse.

The season’s first performance of Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon is scheduled for Monday evening, June 11 with Alessandra Ferri in the title role and guest artist Roberto Bolle as Des Grieux, Herman Cornejo as Lescaut and Gillian Murphy as Lescaut’s Mistress. Set to a score by Jules Massenet and inspired by the novel Manon Lescaut, Manon was staged for ABT by Monica Parker and features scenery andcostumes by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting by Thomas Skelton. Manon was given its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House in London on March 7, 1974 and was first performed by ABT at the Metropolitan Opera House on May 28, 1993. This production was generously supported through an endowed gift from Anka K. Palitz, in memory of Clarence Y. Palitz, Jr.

Diana Vishneva and Angel Corella will lead the season’s first performance of Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet on Monday evening, June 18. Set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet features scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting by Thomas Skelton. The ballet, scheduled for eight performances through June 23, received its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet in London on February 9, 1965 and was given its ABT Company Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House on April 22, 1985. ABT’s production of Romeo and Juliet is generously underwritten through an endowed gift from Ali and Monica Wambold. Additional funding has been provided by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.

Eight performances of Swan Lake, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa, will be given beginning Monday evening, June 25 with Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky leading the opening night cast. Swan Lake is set to the score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky and features scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler. This production of Swan Lake premiered on March 24, 2000 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Swan Lake is generously underwritten by The Rosh Foundation.

Last season’s Company Premiere of James Kudelka’s Cinderella will conclude the season with seven performances beginning Monday evening, July 2. The three-act ballet, set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev, features scenery and costumes by David Boechler and lighting by Christopher Dennis. Kudelka’s Cinderella was given its World Premiere by The National Ballet of Canada in Toronto, Canada on May 8, 2004. This production is made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Returning Repertory

Eight performances of repertory, May 25 through May 31, will also be featured as part of American Ballet Theatre’s Spring Season. The program will include George Balanchine’s Symphonie Concertante followed by Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Dream.

Set to Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E flat Major for Violin and Viola, Symphonie Concertante was created in 1947 for Ballet Society and received its ABT Company Premiere in 1983. The ballet features costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting by David K.H. Elliott. This production of Symphonie Concertante is staged by Susan Jones. The season’s first performance of the ballet on Friday evening, May 25 will feature Julie Kent, Marcelo Gomes and Paloma Herrera in the leading roles. Symphonie Concertante has been made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Dream, staged by Anthony Dowell with Christopher Carr, is set to music by Felix Mendelssohn, with sets and costumes by David Walker and lighting by John B. Reed. Ashton’s The Dream received its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet in 1964. Adapted from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, The Dream was first performed by ABT in May 2002 at the Metropolitan Opera House. Xiomara Reyes, Ethan Stiefel and Herman Cornejo will lead the season’s first performances of The Dream on Friday evening, May 25. The Dream is presented in loving memory of Clarence Y. Palitz, Jr. by his family. Performances of The Dream have been made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Additional funding has been provided by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.

ABTKids

ABT’s annual one-hour introduction to ballet, ABTKids, is scheduled for Saturday, June 9 at 11:30am. All tickets for ABTKids are $25. CA, Inc. is the leading corporate sponsor of ABT’s Family Programs. The ABTKids performance is generously supported through an endowed gift from Thomas and Lydia West in loving memory of Vivian B. West.

Pre-Performance Workshops

Pre-performance workshops, an activity based program led by ABT Teaching Artists, are available to matinee ticket holders on Saturday, May 19 (11:00 am), Saturday, May 26 (11:00 am), Saturday, June 23 (11:00 am)., and to ABTKids ticket holders on Saturday, June 9 (9:30am). Workshops are held in the rehearsal studios of the Metropolitan Opera House. Tickets to the workshops are $20 per person and are only available to ticket holders for the matinee performance following the workshop.

American Ballet Theatre’s education programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre’s 2007 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House are on sale now by phone at 212-362-6000, on-line at ABT’s website www.abt.org <http://www.abt.org> . For more information, visit ABT’s website at www.abt.org <http://www.abt.org> .

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