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Reviews: City Center Week 1

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Gala, Wednesday October 18

The Gala opened with Michele Wiles (Violin) and Veronika Part (Viola) with soloists and corps dancing the first movement of Balanchine's Symphony Concertante. Michele gave a warm, technically assured performance. Veronika, while beautiful, of course, was less comfortable.

The big mystery, who will partner Herman Cornejo in Tharp's ball-room essay Sinatra Suite, was solved as expected: Sarah Lane (in heals, not ballet shoes). Why the female partner is not being given in the official casting is beyond me. Ms. Lane gave a daring, risk-taking, even powerful performance: their "That's Life" (the third song) especially blowing me away. Continuing on with an emotionally intense "My Way", the work concluded with Mr. Cornejo's solo to "One More for My Baby..." The work posed no technical problems for (the clean shaven) Mr. Cornejo, although memories do linger of Mr. Baryshnikov's Astaire-like sophistication.

Then a sequence of short bits:

PdD form the second movement of Lubovitch's Meadow, a role very much suited to Julie Kent, partnered perfectly by Marcelo Gomes.

The White Swan PdD, with full corps (which contributed greatly). A very much engaged Paloma Hererra was very nobly partnered by Maxim Beloserkovsky. This was a cut above what we often see in a gala performance of this bit.

Diana and Acteon PdD was an exciting finale to Part I. Jose Manuel Carreno looked in prime form, and Xiomara Reyes was also effective: in place for her fouettees, with at least one very clean triple. They looked good together. It is good to preserve Mr. Carreno's back and remarkably long career with a relatively small ballerina as partner!

The program concluded with Tharp's In the Upper Room with what one might call the Gillian Murphy/Irina Dvorovenko/David Hallberg (lots of tough partnering) cast, 'though it also included most of the stars not already listed. I think this is one of Irina's signature roles. Perhaps unfair to single anyone out, but Yuriko Kajiya, Stella Abrera, and Misty Copeland definitely drew the eye. It will be very interesting to see how Mr. Ratmansky casts this ballet for the Bolshoi next February. I'd love to see Alexandrova in the Dvorovenko part, with perhaps Osipova as Murphy. No idea who might match Hallberg.

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Have to agree with everything said so far about the first night. Symphonie Concertante looked cramped on the City Center stage. When the corps has to take baby steps to move almost no where, you know it’s a bit tight. Michele Wiles and Veronika Part stylistically looked very good together - almost like they were hatched out of the same egg. Michele was oh-so poised and elegant. Veronika was less poised but elegant. She fell out of the 'pirouette-open a la second, return to passe without coming down - continue pirouette' trick. It was extremely noticeable, and drew gasps from the audience.

Sinatra Suite was all Sarah Lane. It was very hard to take your eyes off of her. Some of the partnering was labored and not quite there yet, and Cornejo really added none of his own personality to the piece the way Baryshnikov did - and the way perhaps someone like Ethan Stiefel might have. I’m looking forward to seeing Marcelo Gomes add his own touches to it.

Meadow (ppd) was, as has been indicated, a perfect vehicle for Julie Kent with Marcelo. The score and (I believe) counter tenor voice are quite interesting, and Lubovitch definitely weaves his choreography deep within the architecture of the music.

Swan Lake - what a surprising, sweep us into the moment performance from Herrera and Beloserkovsky. I can’t recall ever seeing them together in a ppd, and they were superb! Instant chemistry. I recommend getting this ticket in the spring if they are cast together. Again, it appeared that the stage was just too small for this excerpt with all the swans - who, by the way, looked lovely, danced lovely, and made some of us drool for Swan Lake Week next spring.

In Diana and Acteon, (Reyes & Carreno) we saw Reyes attack movements like we‘re not accustomed to seeing her do, and she succeeded nearly every time. She was very much on the money this evening with turns and balances. Acteon is my all time, most favorite costume for Jose. He was in fine form this evening, and wowed everyone with his signature balances at the conclusion of his effortless, astonishing pirouettes.

In the Upper Room standouts were Abrera and Dvorovenko. Abrera has taken the Tharp bobblehead movement to a whole new level. After watching her for a while, you feel your own head start to bobble. She is Tharp-accurate with her movement, more so than anyone else, except for perhaps Stiefel, who did not dance this evening. I enjoyed watching Dvorovenko very much in this piece. She was extremely comfortable and confident. Very much into the spirit of the movement. Often she irritates me with her projected persona, but it was absent tonight. A fine performance from everyone.

It’s funny, with all the advertising that featured and promoted the men, it was the women who mostly carried the evening. The exception was Carreno. Great dancing all around from everyone. Substantial stuff for a gala.

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Symphonie Concertante was a lovely opener, eg, pale, pretty tutus, a fairly large group of ladies wearing them. Pretty music. Balanchine choreography. Worked for me! However, Michelle Wiles and Veronika Part did not compliment each other. Wiles was very strong, gutsy, but also messy. Part was beautiful physically but danced tentatively.

I hope to see Symphonie Concertante again at the large Met stage. It was rather cramped at City Center, as was the corps of white swans decorating the stage during the Swan Lake 2nd act pas de deux with Paloma Herrera in the fine partnering hands and elegance of Maxim Beloserkovsky.

That was not at all the case for Herman Cornejo who completely terrified me while watching him try to partner Irina Dvorovenko and others in Upper Room. Irina and David Hallberg were such fun, fabulously sexy in this silk-pajama romp, but the others looked too forced and tough yet smiling at each other at every opportunity. Didn't really work. And I started giggling every time Irina did her best to obviously avoid executing anything too "full out" with Herman's partnering... yet while dancing with the other men, she was complete abandon - a terrific part for Irina. After awhile it became very clear, sadly, that Herman really should be taken out of this ballet before someone is seriously injured.

Sarah Lane sparkled with warmth and played sexily with her role in Sinatra Suite. She was radiant and womanly (tough for a small body), and also did a fine job covering up for the sometimes awkward partnering. Her Sinatra, Herman Cornejo, looked tired (from rehearsing Upper Room all day?) but he seemed to warm up to his role by the end of his solo which is how Sinatra Suite ended last night. I'm not sure the audience saw the entire piece. I'll see it again this weekend, and perhaps by then Herman will have less on his plate. I think he'll be better in Sinatra next time when he doesn't have Upper Room on the same program. Upper Room's non-stop-allegro moves looked exhausting this time around rather than fresh, the impact it had at last season's first viewings.

In Diana and Acteon, Reyes punched out all the tricks with confidence and attack. Carreno was also in good form, but this was not an artistically satisfying pas de deux. There was much that was rough and sloppy except for the brilliantly executed tricks. Carreno's turns were too many to count, all smooth and done with such ease. They really are something! Reyes also did some of the most solid fouette turns ever with doubles thrown in at nearly every opportunity, but overall their pas de deux just lacked magic - and there's that word again, freshness. I'm sure Reyes and Carreno have danced these roles since childhood, but.... How exciting it will be one day to see Cornejo dance this with ________? It would be a ballet he'd be well matched in.

So excellent performances were seen, but better casting could have made this special gala an unforgettable event.

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Anybody see ABT last night (10/19/06) and the new Elo work?

I was there, but I hope one of your more experienced balletomanes can help me out, as I'm not the best describer.

The new Elo started the program, to the last movement of Mozart's C major symphony K. 200 and a slow movement from a Philip Glass piano concerto. The lighting throughout was subdued and the costumes a uniform shade of wine red for both sexes. Very athletic throughout, with a lot of rapid exits and entrances for all the dancers. Quite a few ABT principals and well-known soloists/corp members in roles in which no one dancer or couple is made to stand out - Cornejo, Gomes, Kent, Murphy, Radetsky, Copeland, Salstein et al. - and most surprising perhaps at the suddenly very quiet ending, when only one couple is left far to stage-right (Cornejo and I'm not sure which girl). She backs off into the wings on pointe, he is left alone forlorn, and curtain. There was considerable applause, and bouquets for all the women, but probably not the spontaneous raves that Slice to Sharp reportedly received at its premiere at NYCB last spring. I'm sorry I can't do better to describe this, as I was just drawn into it and not taking any notes, mental or otherwise. During the intermissions Elo was very visible at orchestra level, and lots of people went up to congratulate him. Klavier got in a few words too. Klavier did not think to ask what the title meant (Glow-Stop), and has no real idea what it does mean. Maybe that all these glowworms are alive in frenetic activity for a short span, and then, pouf, their lights are all suddenly extinguished, as at the end.

In the second part, there were two Twyla Tharp pas-de-deux: Sinatra Suite with an engagingly insouciant José Manuel Carreño and a very beautiful Luciana Paris, a name new to me, as his partner. I thought they both carried off the mixed cynicism and sentimentality of the Sinatra tone very well. Next up were Maxim B. and Irina D. in the Known by Heart ("Junk") Duet. I haven't seen her before, but he has previously struck me as a very classical, restrained dancer, and here they were both trying to be very extrovertishly "American" and not quite pulling it off. Trying too hard, where Carreño and Paris seemingly didn't need to try at all.

But the last segment was the one that made the most impression on me, The Green Table, which I had not seen before. I don't want to make too much of a theme out of this, but with several of the dances (Glow-Stop, My Way - the "final curtain" - and this), one might draw a theme of death as a unifying factor in an otherwise not very unified program. Or one might not. But here, the timeliness of Kurt Jooss's imagination, the stylized masks of the neocons - I mean the Gentlemen in Black, the innocence of the naive young soldiers, the depravity of the prostitutes, the clanging two-piano score with its echoes of Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Mahler, and above all, David Hallberg in his lurid green makeup and black helmet and tunic - all made an eerie, violent impression. At the end, one individual in the orchestra section kept booming out over and over, "Bravooooo!!! Braviiiiii!!!" as if he couldn't decide whether singular or plural was the best choice and so alernated between both. Klavier contributed a no-doubt inaudible "Bravo, David!" when Hallberg took his solo bow. But however good the rest of the evening was, this was the piece that did most for me, and judging from the applause I suspect for many others in the audience too.

I'll be back this Saturday afternoon, then up to Boston to see Don Quixote with Erica Cornejo and then the gala on the 25th.

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Klavier - you did a wonderful job of describing last night's program. I'm so glad to hear that you're going to see Erica in Don Q. I wish I could but I'm already very overextended these days. Can't wait to hear what you think of it. I've been busy lately, and haven't had time to post much about what I've been seeing but I'll post a few words since I had a very different take on most of it. I'm a big ABT fan who's been counting the days till their season - I skipped the Gala so last night was opening night for me and I was very disappointed in the program.

I didn't like the Elo at all. I was glad to see some of my favorite corps members in featured roles, but I found it boring and undistinguished - a real waste of some very talented dancers. I thought Sinatra Suite was flat - unbelievably flat. Carreno was elegant, but nothing more. Luciana Paris seemed kind of stiff and from where I was sitting it looked like she had a rapturous smile pasted on her face throughout. There was no character development , no change in the relationship, no change from the first song to the last - nothing like what I remember.

I'm not always Dvorovenko's biggest fan - but I was so glad to see her & Max last night. It was an enormous relief when they took the stage in Known by Heart - finally 2 dancers with some energy and interesting material to use it on!

The Green Table was well done & as powerful as ever. Hallberg continues to grow in the role - he really is an overwhelming force in this, eerie & inescapable.

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Klavier, NYSusan,

Thanks for posting. I'll be seeing Elo's on Saturday night, so I was curious to hear how the premiere went. Sounds like it may be interesting.... I just can't imagine ABT dancing anything like Slice to Sharp... The girls last night in Elo's wore pointe shoes, right??!!

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Klavier, NYSusan,

Thanks for posting. I'll be seeing Elo's on Saturday night, so I was curious to hear how the premiere went. Sounds interesting.... I just can't imagine ABT dancing anything like Slice to Sharp... but we'll see how they manage.... The girls wore pointe shoes, right??!!

Yes, they were in pointe shoes. To me it seemed a lot slower than Slice to Sharp. I'll also be there Saturday night so maybe I'll like it better the 2nd time around :

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: I'll also be there Saturday night so maybe I'll like it better the 2nd time around.

I hope I'll like Sinatra Suite better too the second time around. At first viewing, I thought the choreography was extremely awkward for most of the piece. There were lots of moves in the pas de deux where I couldn't help notice that the lady's arms were about to be pulled out of their sockets - unnecessarily ugly. Drops almost to the floor looked without purpose - nothing seductive going on. The choreography, for me, didn't seem to enhance or compliment the music whatsoever. Perhaps Corella will have a better time with it.

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Because of my history with Sinatra Suite (see my other posting in "ABT-City Center 3rd wk casting"--esp. the part about "That's Life") I'll be at City Center this weekend, and the following weekend. (And trying to possibly squeeze in the BB gala in between if my horrific work schedule that week allows.) Thanks to all for reviewing Sinatra Suite's most recent interpretors. Oddly enough, they seem to be exactly what I expected. I'll be able to see for myself if Cornejo, Gomes, and Corella do it justice when I go to NYC, and am sorry I had to miss Carreno. Does anyone know if the female lead(s) is/are the same for the others?

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Klavier - you did a wonderful job of describing last night's program.

Thank you for your comment. But on a purely objective basis, I haven't seen most of these works before and therefore unlike many here I have no standards for comparison. I also don't know most of the steps and can't identify them when I see them.

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I also went Thursday night, but was so baffled by Glow-Stop that I thought it better to wait till someone here had explained it. Or, at least, to hope Mr. Rockwell will be the Times reviewer for the premiere, he's been rather good in dealing with this sort of work. And anyone would be more illuminating than the writer they used for opening night: in something as light as a Gala, one might have expected some sense of having seen the same program and performers that I saw.

Thank you, Klavier, for your courage in writing about Glow-Stop!

It was indeed received with much enthusiasm, certainly more than anything in the Gala, although not with the long, ear-shattering joy bestowed at his NYCB premiere last Spring. While sharing some of the speed and athleticism of Slice to Sharp, it was not nearly killingly exhaustingly as fast nor as virtuosic. Again, as in Slice, the upper bodies were very, even more, semaphoric (perhaps a nod to, or an extending of, Forsythe?). I do not know how to do a semiotic analysis of these movements, but I'm sort of sure Mr. Elo is signifying plenty here. Somewhere, already into the Glass part, I began to feel some emotional involvement (of me and between dancers). Instead of the arms/upper body signaling being the sole way of communication the dancers began to make serious eye contact. Familiar humanity became a part of this brave new movement world. I really would like to see this one again.

A special joy: Gillian Murphy, the hands down star of the Elo, sat in our row for the Tharp pieces that followed!

Sinatra Suite was altogether different from opening night. Mr. Carreno created his character afresh for each song. Each emotion fit the passage in time (years, and relationship-wise). Nothing like Baryshnikov, yet I think an immensely well thought-out performance. Whereas on opening night Ms. Lane had to do all the characterisation, supplying terrific emotional punch, Ms. Paris needed only to supply that beauty, that original appeal, that had sparked the relationship. And that is what she delivered. Mr. Carreno supplied time's changes.

That happy, fun-loving couple Mr. and Mrs. Beloserkovsky were just plain delightful fun in Tharp's Junk Duet.

But of course the night belonged to David Hallberg in Jooss's Green Table. What a range this young star has! Intensity that makes you forget to breath.

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Tonight's (Friday, 10/20) program was a success. All the pieces - Symphonie Concertante, Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes, and In the Upper Room - were all well danced. In Symphonie, Julie Kent was lyrical and danced the allegro sections with ease (unfortunately, the same can not be said for the other female lead, Paloma Herrera) and the corps were energetic and clean. It had been years since the last time I saw Mark Morris' Drink to Me only with Thine Eyes (the late 80's) and I was pleased to see how well it has stood the test of time. Marcello Gomes and Michelle Wiles stood out in this work, although corps member Cory Stearns was the real revelation (tall with a nice long line and a good partner). Finally, Tharps' In the Upper Room was the crowd pleasing finale. Although the piece was somewhat less well danced than last year, Gillian Murphy was excellent, displaying the loose upper body typical of Tharp while maintaining a strong center. David Hallberg was almost as good. My only complaint was with Stella Abrera, (who mirrors Gillian), who was stiff and, especially towards the end,kept forcefully jerking her head like a a bobble-head doll or someone with Parkinsons.

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The crowd at City Center was more engaged this evening than at the opening night gala. Symphonie Concertante looked okay. Julie Kent, Paloma Herrera, and Gennadi Saveliev were the leads. I noticed during part I that the pirouette-develope-pirouette trick that had caused Veronika Part so much trouble on Wednesday was replaced by a double pirouette for Julie. It appeared that Paloma might have intended to do the second revolution en attitude, but it didn’t come off particularly clearly. The Julie-Paloma match up wasn’t , shall we say, fair. But then again, who can match Paloma’s legs and feet. The corps looked lovely. Of the ladies in pink, Yuriko Kijiya and Maria Riccetto stood out. Of the ladies in white, I noticed Caity Seither, who on both nights, looked like the happiest little bird ready to burst into song.

Mark Morris’s Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes showed off Craig Salstein nicely. There is a lot of movement in the piece, but IMHO not much content. I endured it rather than enjoyed it.

It was pretty much the same cast as Wednesday for In the Upper Room with the exception of Cornejo being replaced by Carlos Lopez. The energy was high all around, and all performances were superb. A great job from Kajiya and Luciana Paris as the pair in red socks and red point shoes who traveled everywhere together. My pal said that this piece should be called Dancers Who Need De-caf. It sure did rip the crowd which stood cheering for about 10 minutes.

I think with regard to Amour's complaint about Abrera's bobblehead movement, I think she's the only one who is really Tharping it as it's intended - although Misty Copeland is on her way there. I thought Abrera was doing the best Tharp of anyone on stage.

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10/28 matineee... brief comments

Symphonie concertante -- I agree with those who have said the stage is too small for this piece; the corps were noticeably taking itty bitty steps and looked cramped nonetheless; I think the whole piece would burst with more excitement and energy on the big Met stage.

As to the Part-Wiles matchup, I think it's less than ideal. I assume the idea was to cast two different types to represent the violin and viola, but I think they are just too different for this to work. Veronika's fluidity, sophistication and beauty make Michele look flat and uninteresting by comparison. Also, there was no rapport at all between them, whereas in the music, the violin and viola are supposed to be in playful conversation and interaction. I like this piece, and I happen to love the music, but I think that between the cramped stage and mismatched leads, it misses its potential for joy and energy. Marcelo Gomes looked great, however -- but then, when does he not look good?

I was trying to think of what would be a better matchup, since previous posts report the Julie Kent-Paloma Herrera combo wasn't great either. I wonder how Kent would be with Part? Who would be better with Wiles?

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I liked the contrast between Wiles and Part in the Balanchine. It's great to see this work. It relates, I think, to both Serenade and particularly to Theme and Variations.

Drink to Me was beautiful on Sat. Afternoon. -- I had forgotten how lovely this ballet is. The materials may be slight -- at times the general composition reminds me of Harold Lander's Etudes, just variations across the stage. But with slight embellishment, adding a little here and there, another couple posed while someone does a diagonal; etc.; a trio here; two couples there ... Morris makes a gem out of it. The lyricisim of the Virgil Thompson composition, the limpid clarity of Morris's dance writing, it's a perfect translation, more ... something is added by Morris, it's more than the sum of the two. I will see this again. Paloma Herrera was terrific in it also, first the strength of the escapes to point, then tearing around the stage in a manege of pique turns and the last lift of her by David Hallberg took the breath away.

It's very good to see M. Bystrova and K. Boone getting something to dance (Boone had a lot last fall so it's really Bystrova who got a major dance part in Morris instead of only being the Countess or something in Giselle -- Bystrova is a Ballerina type with impeccable Kirov training [if they haven't let it rust out of her and apparently yesterday it hadn't]; Kristi Boone was in my opinion the one woman to come out of Glow Worm with honor, practically the only one too you could recognize in the gloom; while not the most classical body, she has the most superb musical responses, strength and flow) and they and Isaac Stappas, too, in Morris yesterday had to remind one that all came out of ABT Studio Co together five years or so back. I must say, this would be a more interesting company if more of the younger dancers got more in the Spring.

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I just came from the Sunday afternoon performance (I spotted Freddy Franklin entering the theater). It was a terrifically fun afternoon.

Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes - Joyful, witty and wonderfully danced.

Black Swan - I am not a fan of that Soviet style of presentation but it was well done in that style.

Corsaire - Jose Manue Correno gave one of the best performances I've ever seen of a male dancer in a pas de deux. Aside from that the adagio was beautiful.

Green Table - A wonderful performance. I saw the piece many years ago with the Joffery Ballet, and I'll so happy it holds up and is still relevant (perhaps I should be sad that it is still relevant).

All in all I admire the integrety of ABT and the dancers.

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Well... what a difference two days can make! And Cornejo hasn't been seen in Upper Room since the gala... Sinatra Suite on Saturday (10/21/06) night was wonderful fun to watch with Herman Cornejo and Sarah Lane. Like comparing night to the gala's day... Saturday night's Sinatra was all high energy, high chemistry and such charming joy. Cornejo was once again at his best, as was Lane. The audience even applauded in the middle of a song or two because of the spontaneous, sexy, That's Life/love play was at times too much to just sit there quietly throughout.

As for the new Elo... Well, on Saturday night, it was a completely new cast from Thursday's premiere. All the dancers were individually strong, happy to be dancing something demanding... but the choreography was nothing very special, and the stage was a bit too dark the entire time. Still, watching dancers including Herrera, Hallberg, Pastor, Lane, Lopez, with full-out showmanship, was pretty darn exciting.

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I attended the Saturday matinee on October 21st. I noticed the differences between Veronika Part and Michele Wiles though I felt both did quite well. My question is whether the ballerinas are supposed to be complementary or contrasting. I know that Tanaquil LeClerq and Maria Tallchief created the ballet (two very different dancers) and I saw it about a decade ago at ABT. From Gia Kourlas' review in the New York Times today of the Friday evening performance, I would guess that Julie Kent's lyrical line, elegance and elongated physique and the weight of her mature artistry would blend better with Veronika whereas Michele and Paloma might mesh well. But I am not sure "meshing" is what Balanchine wanted. The women are constantly mirroring each others movements but the differences in the way they move (they represent different instruments) might be the whole point. The ballet in general made a lovely impression though the choreography is kind of academic in the way that it mirrors exactly the music.

Anyway, there were no technical bobbles on Saturday afternoon from either lady, though Michele's pirouettes (and my there were a lot of them) were noticeably higher and tighter and faster than Veronika's. I think the killer passage that eluded Veronika at the Gala may have been simplified or removed from the choreography but I am not so conversant with this ballet to confirm that. Marcelo the Magnificent Gomes in the cavalier role danced with courtly elegance suffused with joy in movement and controlling and changing the space around him. He was like dance personified.

Much of the same joy was displayed by Jesus Pastor in "Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes". He charges through the stage like an animal bounding happily through a dancing forest. He usually doesn't impress me in classical ballets, maybe he is really a contemporary dancer in the wrong company. Paloma Herrera also shines brighter in contemporary and neoclassical choreography and I can't imagine her role being done better. Craig Salstein in his difficult solo brought a touch of wit that is a hallmark of Mark Morris' style. David Hallberg and Gillian Murphy shine in both classical and contemporary choreography due to their athleticism refined by a sense of classical form. Kristi Boone, Sarah Lane, Maria Bystrova and Sascha Radetsky also danced with joy and despite some ragged corps formations, the ballet looked fresh and beautifully coached.

The afternoon ended with a joyous "Rodeo" with Xiomara Reyes as the Cowgirl, Sascha Radetsky as the Champion Roper and Jared Matthews as the Head Wrangler. Reyes impressed me here with not only the pathos she brought to the role (much of the underdog spirit that illuminated her wonderful Cinderella in Kudelka's version this past Spring) but her dead-on comic timing and slapstick ability. She had a Chaplin-esque quality here mixing pathos and humor. Sascha Radetsky (taller than most Ropers I remember - usually the men are physically contrasted in this ballet) had affable, humorous nice-guy charm and was a mean tapper in the final dance. The way that he transitioned from a teasing playful older brother type to a determined suitor was well done. Jared Matthews had the right narcissistic machismo as the Head Wrangler. Children who had been bored and restless during the Balanchine were audibly laughing and "awwing" at the engaging stage antics. The smaller scale of the City Center hall helps this ballet immeasurably, I enjoyed it much more than when I saw it at the Metropolitan Opera House (with Shawn Black and Gil Boggs) because it plays as theater in this space. However, my companion mentioned that she didn't expect to enjoy "Rodeo" as much as she did and that it looked more "dancey" than she remembered.

A lovely afternoon.

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I attended the Saturday matinee on October 21st....My question is whether the ballerinas are supposed to be complementary or contrasting. I know that Tanaquil LeClerq and Maria Tallchief created the ballet (two very different dancers) and I saw it about a decade ago at ABT....But I am not sure "meshing" is what Balanchine wanted. The women are constantly mirroring each others movements...

Anyway, there were no technical bobbles on Saturday afternoon....I think the killer passage that eluded Veronika at the Gala may have been simplified or removed from the choreography...

Yes, a bit of the choreography in Symphonie Concertante was removed after Veronika's fumble at the gala. Seems she was not the only ballerina who was having trouble with a certain turning sequence... Whatever. It's a turn that repeats a couple of times in Balanchine's Symphony in C for its lead ballerinas.

I don't think the two ballerinas in Concertante were ever meant to be identical bookends, but as with the two demis in the first movement of Symphony in C, they ought to balance the stage instead of one side weak, while the other side dancing boldly strong and solid. Tani and Maria were both strong dancers although different in style. That's not what was going on at ABT.

The only dancer I could see dancing opposite Veronika Part would be the lovely, long-lines, Kristi Boone. And what a treat it would be to see Herrera opposite Murphy! Or Murphy with Wiles. And opposite Dvorovenko.... how about the thin and very strong, and under used, Yuriko Kajiya!

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Yes, a bit of the choreography in Symphonie Concertante was removed after Veronika's fumble at the gala. Seems she was not the only ballerina who was having trouble with a certain turning sequence... Whatever. It's a turn that repeats a couple of times in Balanchine's Symphony in C for its lead ballerinas. [snip]

...The only dancer I could see dancing opposite Veronika Part would be the lovely, long-lines, Kristi Boone. And what a treat it would be to see Herrera opposite Murphy! Or Murphy with Wiles. And opposite Dvorovenko.... how about the thin and very strong, and under used, Yuriko Kajiya!

I am seeing Irina Dvorovenko and Gillian Murphy in "Symphonie Concertante" on November 2nd. I wonder if the killer turn will still be absent as both of these ladies are known to be human gyroscopes. Paloma I bet would have had no trouble with it since she is a superb turner and has excellent balance. But if the step is repeated by the Violin ballerina, it probably was omitted for Julie Kent (still double pirouettes are not easy either, especially for someone dancing over 20 years).

I too wonder if Irina might indeed be better in the Tallchief Viola role but it will be interesting to see her paired with Murphy.

I will report when I attend their performance.

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I'm looking forward to getting another look at the Wiles-Part Symphonie Concertante this week to see if what I perceived to be their stylistic similarities was my imagination. I really thought that they were a good match, and as has been written before by others, sometimes Wiles looks more Russian than the Russians.

I'm a bit frustrated by Part's plateau, which is looking wholly self-imposed these days. These bobbles and uncertainties in her technique should have been erased seasons ago. From a close seat at City Center, the problem looks like a lack of concentration and commitment to her pirouettes. One senses her uncertainty in each preparation.

My only previous live encounters with Symphonie Concertante was with Cynthia Gregory and Martine Van Hamel in the leads. Needless to say, they were well-matched and there were no bobbles that I can recall.

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My only previous live encounters with Symphonie Concertante was with Cynthia Gregory and Martine Van Hamel in the leads.


I too saw Gregory & Van Hamel years ago. It was wonderful. Isn't it strange that ABT with its reputation for technical depth would have to change something that was done in 1947 and again in the Gregory/Van Hamel era?

In respect to Part; she can be gorgeous but I can't relax when I see her dance. I agree with a Haglund that you can sense her uncertainty. I wonder if she is going to be made principal.

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