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Kathryn Morgan


drb

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Well I hope Ms Morgan auditions for PNB and gets snapped up! The company just lost the gorgeous (and still growing in artistry) Principal Maria Chapman, and just promoted a Soloist, Elizabeth Murphy, to Principal. So there is a spot in the budget to hire in a soloist (or just labeling someone "guest" for a season).

But perhaps, given the medical history, Kathryn Morgan would be better served in a less demanding rep, or a smaller company, in a smaller city?

Or maybe she should accept her weight at the current level, and try out for the Mark Morris company? He doesn't hire spaghetti-skinny dancers. His dancers are medium sized (which she is in the video embedded in the thread, not really obese or anything).

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We need to keep in mind that female dancers need to be partnered by the men. Weight issues affect the ability of the male dancer to safely partner his female counterpart. So not only are directors faced with aesthetic issues, they need to keep in mind the health and safety of their male dancers.

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We're not talking about a dancer that inexperienced teenage boys in training and whose musculature is not fully developed would partner.

Merrill Ashley was partnered. Suzanne Farrell was partnered even when she was younger and considered dancer-heavy. Kyra Nichols was partnered. Martine van Hamel was partnered. Cynthia Gregory was partnered. Patricia Barker was partnered. When the Bolshoi claimed that Volchkova had to be fired because she was too fat, Tsiskaridze said he had no trouble partnering her.

Some male partners are on the record that they'd much rather partner a bigger dancer who has the core strength and who knows how to hold herself in lifts than some smaller dancers who thought they didn't need to help and were like lifting deadweight. A dancer who can stay on her leg in supported promenades and supported pirouettes is prized regardless of weight.

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We're not talking about a dancer that inexperienced teenage boys in training and whose musculature is not fully developed would partner.

Merrill Ashley was partnered. Suzanne Farrell was partnered even when she was younger and considered dancer-heavy. Kyra Nichols was partnered. Martine van Hamel was partnered. Cynthia Gregory was partnered. Patricia Barker was partnered. When the Bolshoi claimed that Volchkova had to be fired because she was too fat, Tsiskaridze said he had no trouble partnering her.

Some male partners are on the record that they'd much rather partner a bigger dancer who has the core strength and who knows how to hold herself in lifts than some smaller dancers who thought they didn't need to help and were like lifting deadweight. A dancer who can stay on her leg in supported promenades and supported pirouettes is prized regardless of weight.

Besides, a hernia repair is a simple out-patient procedure. :)

I was unable to resist the curiosity, so I attended one of the Kennedy Center shows. My impression is that she wants to get back into a ballet company. A fair amount of the show consisted of videotaped interviews, and in one interview she mentioned that she thought that she benefitted from as a child attending a dance school that gave more opportunities to perform than dance schools typically do. This had me thinking that she is doing these shows because she believes that she needs to be on-stage and performing in order to get back to where she was pre-illness. She still is a beautiful dancer, with especially expressive but yet natural arm movements. The question is whether she needs to improve her athleticism (since she's only 26, one would think that if this is necessary it is doable, unless her illness is a limiting factor) as well as scrape off a bit of the rust.

I'm hoping that she can make it back. All the better if that comeback starts at the Washington Ballet (they are hoping to add 2 additional ballerina positions for next year ...).

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YouOverThere, I wondered over in the Julie Kent/Washington Ballet thread if she might consider hiring Kathryn. Seemsto me that it would be a good fit. Thanks for posting about the evening. Can you tell us a little more about the pieces she performed?

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I attended the second performance. I was disappointed to see that the theatre was only about half-full, but the attendees were very enthusiastic. Lots of young (tween/teenage) dancers in the audience.

The program was:

1. Don Q (Morgan & Sean Rollofson)

2. A video about Morgan's childhood

3. Princess Florine variation performed by Emily Hain (a young dancer from I think Cleveland)

4. Except from the musical To Dance (Morgan & Jesse Carrey-Beaver) - Carrey-Beaver sang and Morgan danced.

5. Video of Morgan's Sleeping Beauty wedding Pd2 with Tyler Angle at NYCB from a few years ago

6. Liza & My One and Only from "Who Cares?" (Morgan & Carrey-Beaver).

7. Balcony Scene from MacMillan's Romeo & Juliet (Morgan & Rollofson)

8. Of Melting Snow - original work by Carrey-Beaver for himself & Morgan

9. Video about Morgan's YouTube videos

10. The Red Shoes (10-minute piece created for Morgan last year)

I thought DonQ was an odd choice. Morgan has the technical chops for it, but not the personality - she's not spunky enough onstage. Her My One and Only was very good - no changes or substitutions on any of the diagonals - very impressive. It didn't have the sharpness that I would have liked to see, but I also don't think she had anyone from the Trust coaching her, so that's not surprising. Carrey-Beaver was very good in Liza as well.

MacMillan's Romeo & Juliet really requires a top flight male partner, otherwise the lifts looks as hard as they are, and Rollofson wasn't quite up to the task. Morgan is also a little heavier in the torso than most of the other ballerinas I've seen as Juliet, which adds to the partnering difficulty. She is a good actress, very expressive and very sensitive. I liked the Red Shoes a lot. I think the voiceover at the start is unnecessary, but it's a nice solo ballerina role.

The video segments were too long, but I realize they were inserted to give Morgan a break between works.

Overall, I agree with YouOverThere. It was a good performance, but she really needs more stage time. She's lost the ease and natural command of the stage that was evident in the SB video that was shown. I do think she'll get it back once she's regularly performing again. She's a complete dancer - technical ability in spades, natural turner, expressive, beautiful port de bras and use of the head. The really crazy thing is how good she was when she was 15-16 (they showed a lot of home videos and school performances).

She would be a good fit for Washington Ballet, especially since they typically do at least 2 full-lengths each season and Morgan seems interested in acting roles. She is still a terrific dancer, and I think she'd be an asset for many different companies. I've been watching her since her first season with NYCB, so it was great to see her live onstage again.

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Thank you for the link, cinnamonswirl!

I was sad when he left: in the corps or in featured roles, he always caught my eye.

I'm not sure people who saw him when he was seven could have imagined the more not-safe-for-work photos. Not risque, per se, but dangerous for productivity ;)

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Kathryn Morgan has recently lost quite a lot of weight. She may or may not be stage-ready, but it’s quite a dramatic change. She confirms in the comments section that she’s experienced significant weight loss and that she’s working on performance opportunities. She recently went on an extended haitus from social media, during which time she deleted the many posts relating to her wedding and new husband. (I mention that only because if she is going through personal issues, it could be a factor in her weight loss.) Her posts from the past year or so have also indicated that she’s been in a good place with her thyroid treatment. As someone who never experienced her dancing at NYCB, I do hope she gets back onstage, wherever that may be. It sounds like she was a truly gifted artist, with so much promise.

 

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I saw her once in a secondary role years ago and thought that she had some of the best theatrical presence that I've seen on the NYC ballet stage. She was also vibrantly alive. There might well be a future for her on the stage. 

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I am so happy to hear that Kathryn has responded well to thyroid treatment and is back to dancing weight!  She looks gorgeous in the photo.  I was a huge fan when she was at NYCB.    Perhaps the interim team or new AD will manage to find a place for at NYCB now that she appears to have her condition and weight under control.  Just because she was turned away a few years ago doesn't mean it has to be permanent. 

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In the comments she says that "life circumstances" helped her lose weight so quickly. 

She looks incredible.  I sincerely hope she is doing well, physically, emotionally, and mentally, despite "life circumstances".   It would be pretty exciting if she started performing again.

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I always sought her performances out when she was dancing with City Ballet. Her picking up where she left off there would be so wonderful, but I'd go out of my way to see her perform with any company if she came within striking distance of New York. I'm sorry to hear that her weight loss was partly caused by "life circumstances" (having been there myself), but these photos bode well and I'm excited for her!

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Morgan really does look terrific in those photos, but I'm frankly more heartened to hear that she's had some success in managing her thyroid disease. Hashimoto's is no joke.

I do hope she can begin to perform regularly again, although her prospects for a renewed NYCB career may be wedged between the rock of a surfeit of ballerina talent and the hard place of interim leadership. 

She was a indeed a special talent, and I'm forever grateful that I got to see this performance.

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I promise I won’t post every Kathryn Morgan pic that comes along, but I just couldn’t help myself with this one. She looks so good. I have my fingers crossed she can make a comeback! She had also posted a video a couple days ago of her doing a lovely quad pirouette.

 

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She looks stage ready that is for sure. I know she hasn't had an easy time of it in life, professionally or personally so I am rooting for her. If by some miracle they offer her a position at NYCB, that would be the best news. Unfortunately, I think it's unlikely. Peter Martins may have rejected her, but he seemed like one of her biggest supporters. If even he couldn't find a place for her, then it must not be possible. That and the fact that getting back into the class/rehearsal/performance routine might be a huge obstacle for someone that is now 30 years old and hasn't danced in a company for 8 years.

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I like her from her youtube videos and I've actually adopted some of her exercise routines.  I agree that Martins seems to have been a big supporter of her career and now with him gone I'm not sure she established herself enough before she left (which was very young) to the extent that no one has been able to fill her spot for all this long. 

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