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ABT 2008 Met season


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Thanks for the quote. ON the face of it it makes sense. Nothing before its time theme. But of course we also know that many very young dancers seem to shine quite early, so it's not just chrono age here. Maybe he knows things about the dancers that we don't know? Or thinks he knows. We certainly don't, because we're just the dumb blogger audiences who get the privilege of seeing these careers unfold according to someone's plan.

You can't blame people for their dreams? Isn't that what motivates so many people... vision?

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In Sunday's NY Timz, Claudia La Rocco reports that Herman Cornejo will dance ALBRECHT during the Met season, as well as Prince Desire!!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you.

There is also an interesting comment attributed to McKenzie about the "problem" bloggers create when they impatiently obsess over the pokiness of a dancer's career path. Kevin has a tough job, and I for one truly, truly, truly appreciate his sensitive nurturing of my favorite artists, -- but dammit, I want to see Abrera as Giselle, and I want to see it yesterday.

So, now we have a glimpse at the casting for the 2008 season, and it looks very promising indeed.

Now that Herman is cast in Giselle, we can wonder who will be his Giselle.Sarah? Yuriko? or most likely Xiomara? :dunno:

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Reyes is a wrenchingly beautiful Giselle. She has a moment in the mad scene which my memory holds onto: at the start of the scene, she continues to hope there is some misunderstanding, desperately. Then comes the realization - she stands rigid for a long moment, just staring at Albrecht; time stands still, and something dies inside her; she stops breathing, stops living. Her Act II is exquisite. As is her joyous I.

Her two Giselles with Bocca just prior to his retirement were unforgettable.

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The NY Sun is reporting this morning that ABT made its official announcement of the 2008 Met season yesterday. The rep evening will include the Tharp premiere (June 3) along with Lander's Etudes. And, Nina will open the week of Giselle with Angel Corella as Albrecht. No mention of any retirements in the NY Sun article! As reported earlier, the Merry Widow will be revived. S.L., Don Q., Le Corsaire and La Bayadere are also on the slate.

Groan if you will, but I'm looking forward to seeing Etudes on the Met stage again, and the company sure has the roster to pull it off magnificently. The Kirov is going to present it at City Center in April, so it will be an interesting and probably controversial comparison.

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The NY Sun is reporting this morning that ABT made its official announcement of the 2008 Met season yesterday. The rep evening will include the Tharp premiere (June 3) along with Lander's Etudes. And, Nina will open the week of Giselle with Angel Corella as Albrecht. No mention of any retirements in the NY Sun article! As reported earlier, the Merry Widow will be revived. S.L., Don Q., Le Corsaire and La Bayadere are also on the slate.

Groan if you will, but I'm looking forward to seeing Etudes on the Met stage again, and the company sure has the roster to pull it off magnificently. The Kirov is going to present it at City Center in April, so it will be an interesting and probably controversial comparison.

I just received the ABT MET season brochure. No big surprises in the advance casting except for H Cornejo's Don Q, Giselle and Sleeping Beauty, all with X Reyes.Michelle has a Don Q and Gillian, a La bayadere.

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Also received the subscriber's renewal brochure, with season's casting.

All announced casting involves Principals except for two long-time Soloists: Gennadi Saveliev dances two Corsaires with Gillian Murphy (May 22, 26), while Veronika Part dances Bayadere with Marcelo Gomes (June 23, June 28 matinee) and Swan Lake with David Hallberg (first time not with Gomes) (May 31 matinee). No mention of any other Soloist or Corps dancer.

The two permanent guests, Nina Ananiashvili and Diana Vishneva, are scheduled as follows:

Ananiashvili: Swan Lake with Angel Corella (June 2), Don Q with Corella (June 14 eve), Giselle with Corella (July 7).

Vishneva: Swan Lake with Gomes (May 29), Don Q with Carreno (June 11 eve), Giselle with Carreno (July 11).

The above anticipated Reyes/Cornejo pairings are Giselle (July 10), Sleeping (June 18 eve) and Don Q (June 11 matinee).No mixed bill casting is given, and there are four full-lengths with TBA.

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The NY Sun is reporting this morning that ABT made its official \

I just received the ABT MET season brochure. No big surprises in the advance casting except for H Cornejo's Don Q, Giselle and Sleeping Beauty, all with X Reyes.Michelle has a Don Q and Gillian, a La bayadere.

I was hoping Lane would get a Sleeping B with Cornejo since they had a good one.

Also is V. Part no longer Aurora?

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Complete casting (I hope abbreviations will be excused):

Monday thru Saturday, including Weds and Sat mats and eves.

May 19 Gala 6:30

20 Corsaire Dvorovenko/Carreno

21 mat Kent/Hallberg; eve Herrera/Gomes

22 Murphy/Saveliev

23 Wiles/Hallberg

24 mat Dvor/Carr; eve Her/Gom

26 Mur/Sav

27 Swan Lake Wiles/Hall

28 mat Her/Stiefel; eve Dvor/Beloserkovsky

29 Vishneva/Gom

30 Kent/Corella

31 mat Part/Hall; eve Mur/Carr

June 2 Ananiashvili/Corella

3 Tharp/Etudes

4

5

6

7

9 Don Q Mur/Stie

10 Her/Corella

11 mat Reyes/Cornejo; eve Vish/Carr

12 Dvor/Bel

13 Wiles/Hall

14 mat Mur/Stie; eve Anan/Corella

16 Sleeping Herr/Corella

17 Kent/Gom

18 mat TBA; eve Reyes/Corn

19 Mur/Stie

20 Dvor/Bel

21 mat Wiles/Hall; eve Her/Corella

23 Bayadere Part/Gom

24 Mur/Hall

25 mat Her/Corella; eve Kent/Stie

26 TBA

27 Her/Corella

28 mat Part/Gom; eve Mur/Hall

30 Merry Widow Kent/Carr

July 1 Her/Gom

2 mat TBA; eve Dvor/Bel

3 Kent/Carr

4 holiday

5 mat Her/Gom; eve Dvor/Bel

7 Giselle Anan/Corella

8 Kent/Stie

9 mat Dvor/Bel; eve Her/Gom

10 Reyes/Corn

11 Vish/Carr

12 mat TBA; eve Kent/Stie

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Here's the official release:

WORLD PREMIERE BY TWYLA THARP

WITH A COMMISSIONED SCORE BY DANNY ELFMAN

TO HIGHLIGHT ABT’S SPRING SEASON

AT THE METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE,

MAY 19-JULY 12, 2008

Revivals of Harald Lander’s Études and

Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow Also Scheduled

10/29/2007 - American Ballet Theatre’s 2008 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 19-July 12, was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. Highlighting the engagement will be the World Premiere of a new work choreographed by Twyla Tharp, set to a commissioned score by Danny Elfman, as well as revivals of Harald Lander’s Études and Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow.

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

Countrywide Financial is the National Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre. Northern Trust is the sponsor of ABT’s 2008 Metropolitan Opera House Season. Saks Fifth Avenue is the Leading Corporate Sponsor of the Costume Fund. CA, Inc. is the leading corporate sponsor of ABT's Family Programs. JPMorgan Chase is the Official Sponsor of Make a Ballet. American Airlines is ABT's Official Airline. The 2008 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 2008 Spring Season will open with a Gala performance featuring ABT’s Principal Dancers on Monday, May 19 at 6:30 P.M. For information on ABT’s Spring Gala, please call the Special Events Office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3239. ABT's Spring Gala is sponsored by Graff Diamonds, Griffon Corporation, RexCorp Realty and Nina Ricci.

World Premiere

A new ballet by Twyla Tharp, a co-commission with the Orange County Performing Artscenter, will have its World Premiere on Tuesday evening, June 3 at 8 P.M. Set to a commissioned score by Danny Elfman, the new ballet will feature costumes by designer Norma Kamali and lighting by Brad Fields.

The world’s leading choreographer of contemporary dance, Twyla Tharp continues to create works for leading companies around the world. The Tharp/Elfman collaboration marks her fifteenth work for American Ballet Theatre. Tharp’s association with the Company began in 1976 when she choreographed Push Comes to Shove. Her previous work for ABT was The Brahms-Haydn Variations, originally entitled Variations on a Theme by Haydn, in 2000.

The Tharp/Elfman collaboration will be Danny Elfman’s first composition for the ballet. A leading film composer, Elfman has created the scores for nearly 50 feature films including twelve with longtime collaborator Tim Burton. Elfman has scored such diverse films as Batman, Beetlejuice, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Chicago, Edward Scissorhands and Midnight Run, as well as the theme music for television’s “The Simpsons” and “Desperate Housewives,” among others.

The Orange County Performing Artscenter, (OCPAC), will present the West Coast Premiere of the new Tharp/Elfman work on Wednesday, August 6, 2008. “We are thrilled to join ABT, one of our longest and most important artistic collaborations, in commissioning this new ballet,” said OCPAC President Terry Dwyer. “One aspect of being a great arts center is to be a part of the creation of new work, and this is a natural evolution of our long standing commitment to dance and our great partnership with ABT.” The new Tharp/Elfman work will be given six performances through August 10 at OCPAC. This production is made possible by the generous support of Patsy and Jeff Tarr.

Revival Premieres

Harald Lander’s Études will have its Revival Premiere on Tuesday evening, June 3. Last performed by ABT in 2000, Études is set to music by Knudaage Riisager, after Carl Czerny, and features costumes by Rolf Gerard and lighting by Nananne Porcher. The ballet was given its World Premiere by the Royal Danish Ballet in 1948 and was danced by ABT for the first time in 1961. The revival of Études will be staged for ABT by Susan Jones. The ballet will share the program with the new Tharp ballet for seven performances through June 7.

Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow, last performed by ABT in 2002, will be given seven performances June 30 through July 5. The ballet features music by Franz Lehár, orchestrated by John Lanchbery, with scenery and costumes by Desmond Heeley and lighting by Michael J. Whitfield. Adapted from Lehár’s operetta of the same name, The Merry Widow was premiered by The Australian Ballet in 1975 and received its ABT premiere in 1997. The Revival Premiere of The Merry Widow will take place on Monday, June 30, led by Julie Kent as Hanna Glawari and Jose Manuel Carreño as Count Danilo Danilowitch.

Returning Classics

American Ballet Theatre will present six additional full-length ballets during the 2008 Spring season, beginning with eight performances of Le Corsaire. With choreography by Konstantin Sergeyev, after Marius Petipa, and staging by Anna-Marie Holmes, after Petipa and Sergeyev, Le Corsaire features music by Adolphe Adam, Cesare Pugni, Léo Delibes, Riccardo Drigo and Prince Oldenbourg. Based on the Lord Byron poem “The Corsair” (1814), the ballet has sets and costumes by Irina Tibilova with additional costume designs by Robert Perdziola. Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky will lead the first performance of Le Corsaire on Tuesday evening, May 20. ABT’s performances of Le Corsaire are generously underwritten through an endowed gift from Irene and Fred Shen.

Eight performances of Swan Lake, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa, will be given beginning Tuesday, May 27, with Michele Wiles and David Hallberg 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.

Don Quixote, staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, after the choreography of Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky, will be given eight performances, June 9-14. Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel will lead the season’s first performance of Don Quixote, which is set to the music of Ludwig Minkus and arranged by Jack Everly. The ballet features scenery and costumes by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Natasha Katz. The McKenzie/Jones staging of the current production was first performed by ABT in June 1995. This production was generously supported through an endowed gift from Monica, Stefano, Cosima and Tassilo Corsi.

Last season’s World Premiere production of The Sleeping Beauty will return for eight performances, June 16-21. Set to a score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, The Sleeping Beauty is staged by Kevin McKenzie, Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov, after original choreography by Marius Petipa, and features scenery by Tony Walton, costumes by Willa Kim, with additional costume designs by Holly Hynes, and lighting by Richard Pilbrow and Dawn Chiang. Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella will lead the season’s first performance of The Sleeping Beauty on Monday, June 16. Tara and John Milne are the original underwriters of The Sleeping Beauty. Joan Taub Ades and Alan M. Ades, Adrienne Arsht, Arlene and Harvey Blau, Devon and Peter Briger, Susan and Leonard Feinstein, Edward A. Fox, Lori and Stephen Garofalo, Julia and David H. Koch, Konrad R. Kruger, Jill L. Leinbach, Charlotte and MacDonald Mathey and Jean and Lawrence Shaw are Co-Underwriters of this production. Additional funding was provided by the NIB Foundation. Special thanks to Caroline Newhouse. This production has been made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The first of eight performances of Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadère will take place on Monday, June 23. 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 La Bayadère will feature Veronika Part as Nikiya and Marcelo Gomes as Solor. La Bayadère is presented in loving memory of Mrs. Caroline Newhouse.

American Ballet Theatre will conclude its 2008 Spring season with eight performances of Giselle beginning Monday, July 7, led by Nina Ananiashvili and Angel Corella. Set to music by Adolphe Adam and orchestrated by John Lanchbery, Giselle was staged by Kevin McKenzie with choreography after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa. The two-act ballet features scenery by Gianni Quaranta and costumes by Anna Anni. This production, with scenery by Quaranta and costumes by Anni, was created for the film Dancers in 1987. Giselle is generously supported through an endowed gift from Anka Palitz in memory of Clarence Y. Palitz, Jr.

ABTKids

ABT’s annual one-hour introduction to ballet, ABTKids, is scheduled for Saturday, May 31 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.

ABTKids Workshop Series

ABTKids Workshop Series, activity based programs led by ABT Teaching Artists, are available to matinee ticket holders on Saturday, May 24 (11:00 am) and Saturday, June 21 (11:00 am), and to ABTKids ticket holders on Friday, May 30 (4:30 pm) and Saturday, May 31 (9:30 am). Saturday workshops will be held in the rehearsal studios of the Metropolitan Opera House and the Friday workshop will be held at ABT’s studios at 890 Broadway. Tickets to the workshops are $20 per person and are only available to ticket holders for the matinee performance following the workshop. For tickets and more information on ABTKids Workshop Series, please call 212-419-4321.

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 2008 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House are on sale now by phone at 212-362-6000, or online.

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Here's the official release:

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

No sign of Malakhov or Acosta :D

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...No sign of Malakhov or Acosta

Well, Malakhov's partner, Vishneva, only has three widely spaced performances (unless something in the mixed bill). Lots of prospective jet-lag, unless she has other American engagements to fill the gaps. At least she's got Gomes for Swan Lake. They were awesome together last summer. But the Diana/Vladimir magic will be sorely missed in Giselle.

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Have to say that the TBAs have great potential. Whenever I see a slew of matinee TBAs, I tend to get excited and pray it means some big new opportunities for some deserving dancers. TBAs: June 18 matinee - Sleeping Beauty; July 2 matinee Merry Widow; July 12 matinee Giselle. And there is a TBA'ed La Bayadere performance as well (June 26 - 8pm). Due to the tremendous success of last year's last minute replacements (Lane in Sleeping Beauty in Orange County and Abrera in Cinderella at the Met) and in view of the generous soloist and corps casting during this City Center season, I think we have reason to be optimistic that McKenzie is loosening up a bit. Call me foolish, but I'm buying all of those TBAs. I just wish he would make it easy for us and create a Debut Subscription.

I noted that for Memorial Day Weekend, the performance is on Sunday night at 8pm rather than Monday.

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Since the 2008 Spring Season casts have been announced for the Met I wonder... does anyone have an inkling of what the casting will be in Washington for Nutcracker in December or Sleeping Beauty in January? (Fingers crossed & hoping...)

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Just a few observations and comments:

I noticed that Irina and Max aren't doing "La Bayadere" - that is odd and hopefully will change. I missed them last Spring.

Nice to see Gillian Murphy doing Nikiya though...

Veronika seems to be dropped from Aurora (could be TBA but then so could Lane...) but does get the opening night of "La Bayadere" and dances another performance later in the week. She gets only one "Swan Lake" with Hallberg though - still seems to be in a holding pattern with no real advancement - and no new roles.

The big advance and one we have been screaming for is Herman Cornejo doing bravura leads - Basil rather than Gypsy Boy in "Don Q", Albrecht instead of Peasant PDD in "Giselle", Prince Desire instead of Bluebird in "Sleeping Beauty". The "Corsaire" casting doesn't mention the Ali performers but there is a good chance he is dancing that too instead of Birbanto or Lankendem. In the "pas de trois" staging I think that Conrad does all the lifting and partnering of Medora? If that is the case then ABT needn't cast Xiomara or Sarah Lane as Medora.

Given the fact that Acosta and Malakhov are MIA, Corella is a part-time guest artist and Bocca is retired, the male star power contingent at ABT needs a new transfusion. This is a good move.

I find it odd that Ananiashvili isn't doing Hanna Glawari in "The Merry Widow" - a role she did well with Graffin when they unveiled the production and an obvious vehicle for an older star ballerina. A better fit of dancer to role than Paloma as the Widow... (she was a charming Valencienne back then). Dvorovenko is a good fit for the Widow being a delightful comedienne - I look forward to seeing her in it.

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A Debut Subscription would be terrific but do you think it would sell well at the Met? There are 3800 seats to be filled amd, if you add standing room, over 4000 tickets to sell.

There are probably under 1000 of "us". The rest of "them" probably look for know commodities.

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A Debut Subscription would be terrific but do you think it would sell well at the Met? There are 3800 seats to be filled amd, if you add standing room, over 4000 tickets to sell.

There are probably under 1000 of "us". The rest of "them" probably look for know commodities.

I don't know if it would sell at the Met but maybe,ABT can do a program similar to POB's "Young Dancer program".They do it every 2-3 years and features talented members of the corps doing PDD from the POB's repertoire.I think, they do 2or3 performances during the season.Maybe,ABT can't "afford" to do it at the Met but can do a couple of performances at the CC or even at the Joyce.I'm sure,it would sell and encourage the dancers(who probably will never do the complete ballet). :speechless-smiley-003:

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A Debut Subscription would be terrific but do you think it would sell well at the Met? There are 3800 seats to be filled amd, if you add standing room, over 4000 tickets to sell.

There are probably under 1000 of "us". The rest of "them" probably look for know commodities.

I really think marketing is everything. Selling something as "newly discovered talent" "bright new faces" (obviously I'm not in advertising but you get the idea).

Maybe ABT could reach a segment of the population that doesn't follow ballet closely, but can be made to be excited by the idea of young talent. Look at what a great job NYCB did marketed Romeo & Juliet.

The main point is that the company would have to be committed to the idea, and that's not what ABT has been about.

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I was looking through ABT's repertory archive, and I had a change of heart. I used to agree that the gigantic full lengths are what's perfect for the Met, but now...after seeing ABT's AMAZING repertory, including ballets that I hadn't even heard of, perhaps a couple more mixed bills here and there wouldn't hurt. Honestly, Sleeping Beauty, for all it's budget, is rather subpar, compared to the Mariinsky, Royal Ballet, POB, etc..., perhaps put the money from that into things like "Drink to me only with thine eyes", "workwithinwork" and construct a mixed bill from that? The money spent on a series of mixed bills (I'm talking about maybe 5 or 6 total for the season, with 1 each week, so that only 3 or 4 are shown a night) would probably be a lot less than a production of Sleeping Beauty (for example), so ABT wouldn't be losing money....

Unless, I have no knowledge of economic matters (which I really don't, save a 45 page term paper on Post Communist Ukraine). Am I being an idealistic College student?

I would love love love to see some of those works like "Donizetti's Variations" be brought to the forefront.

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Over on thewinger.com, contributor David Hallberg reports that he is in Amsterdam for coaching with Guillaume Graffin for his spring Met debut as Albrecht opposite Stella Abrera's Giselle.

Thank you to all of the gods everywhere. And to think that Hallberg is preparing for this role 7 months in advance. Abrera no doubt has been preparing for this her entire life. I weep. I am so grateful for this enlightened casting. I am sorry for every unfair word I ever said about McKenzie. I repent. I repent. I repent.

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...Abrera no doubt has been preparing for this her entire life. I weep. I am so grateful for this enlightened casting. I am sorry for every unfair word I ever said about McKenzie. I repent. I repent. I repent.

And when Stella has that anticipated triumph, might one then wonder why he made her wait till the last day of her 13th Met season with ABT? Not so sure you were the one who was unfair...

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