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ABT Sleeping Beauty


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So I just got out of ABT's "Sleeping Beauty" - with a completely different attitude than when I went in; I overheard one person muttering to a friend, "Less Disney, More ABT." I think he was correct on that note. The costumes were toned down (except for the King and Queen, who still looked like they had popped out of a deck of cards), I would even go so far as to call the 4 prince's outfits tasteful. With many of the saccharine details removed, I found the production quite palatable.

Let's start with the dancing - the corps was excellent tonight, much more rehearsed that last season. The fairies were all great as well - I think each dancer was well cast, and pulled of the lyricism or lightning each role required. I was slightly disappointed by Veronika Part, who I found a little guilty of posing through the movement. The Lilac Fairy is a very difficult role, and she did command the stage when she was dancing. Paloma was wonderful as Aurora, smiling through her balances, and playing with the transformation between cheeky teenager and mature woman. Angel was great, as usual, though probably still recovering from dancing alongside Nina's Kitri on Saturday. Nancy Raffa did an excellent interpretation of Carbosse, with less reference to Martha Graham (last season, every contraction was felt like a slap in the face to the mother of modern dance - the performer I saw do it escapes me). Sascha was a great bluebird, fast beats and even a smile at the end of his variation. I wish he got off the ground a bit more in the adagio, but a solid bluebird. Stella did not perform - has anyone seen her this season yet?

I didn't remember there being a Jewel section in Act III last year - was this new to this production? I thought the choreography derived itself in a odd way from the more traditional version I am used to, many of the small details were eliminated, and danced by the Prologue fairies instead of "Jewels". I still miss Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots - even though I always thought they were the least exciting divertissments, I still appreciated the break in the ballet. I can appreciate why they were cut to make the production shorter and more to the point. Can we trust a modern audience be able to sit through the full 4 hour ballet? Maybe not.

This production finally stood on it's own legs, still a bit wobbly, but I actually had a good time. I missed many of the drug references this time around - I distinctly remember last season a bit about the needle, and the deer that the prince caught, and how the deer was supposed to symbolize Aurora, and then the prince drinking the water and hallucinating - was I just reading into it a bit much? These small changes greatly improved the flow of the performance, in my opinion.

I can't wait to see Sarah Lane as Aurora.

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I felt for Veronika surfing onstage in that giant merry-go-round Swan. She was a dream though; she's so patient and has the most beautiful arms. I love her more and more each time I see her. My sister was disappointed Carabosse stayed on the ground this year (she's 7), but I think it was for the best.

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Have to agree that Monday night Veronika Part's Lilac was beyond lovely. Her choreography was about 80% port du bra, but it was worth it.

Some of the offensive aspects of last year's production are gone (e.g. the shower curtain, the princes' costumes, all the flying around by various characters), but I'm afraid that what's left is fairly boring. It quickly becomes tedious when none of the principals are dancing. It was like trying to enjoy a steak that was overly tenderized in order to accommodate people with no teeth who need to gum their food to death. All night long I just wanted something of substance to chew on.

Paloma Herrera was beautiful and charming as Princess Aurora, but I felt that Gelsey has so sanitized her dancing in order to come as close to perfect Petipa style as possible that it pretty much dulled Paloma's natural sparkle. Don't even try to dull Corella's sparkle. He woke everybody up in short order. Maria Riccetto was a sparkly blue bird (everybody quite literally sparkles in this production). Radetsky sort of thumped his way through his brisee voile diagonal but otherwise was a fine partner for Maria. The canary Fairy of Joy (Zhong-Jing Fang) has dialed back the mania from last year and was really a joy to watch.

I want to thank whoever on this board last year identified Florestan as Burger King. When he first came out, I found myself fighting convulsive giggles that evolved into little snorts with spits. It is all so ridiculous.

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Paloma Herrera was beautiful and charming as Princess Aurora, but I felt that Gelsey has so sanitized her dancing in order to come as close to perfect Petipa style as possible that it pretty much dulled Paloma's natural sparkle.

Do you mean that Gelsey coached the Auroras this year? I read last year that Gelsey regretted the resistance some principals had to her ideas. Do you think she had a big impact.

I haven't gone yet this year, I'm going on Thursday, but I am almost sorry to hear that the shower curtain is gone. I told so many people about it, now they'll think that I exaggerated.

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I, too, saw Monday's performance.

ABT - Sleeping Beauty

Herrera, Corella, Part, Raffa, Radetsky, Riccetto, Barbee, Jaffe, Luckett. (subs: Luis Ribagorda & Patrick Ogle)

Just quick notes of changes (even more since I saw it --PH/AC, S.Lane/H.Cornejo--in California last July):

* King's costume has eliminated the "Burget King" gold lame, and made it more in line with the Queen's glittering royal blue. (So nice to see Susan Jaffe again).

* Yes, 4 princely suitors now look subtlely delineated from each other in sober colors and dare-I-say elegant (if not exactly historically correct) costumes?

* The peasant girls/Catabaltte(sp?)'s spindle unpleasantness before the gate doesn't take as long--and no more red threads coming out of spindle.

* The costumes for the peasants who dance THE waltz with the flower hoops/roundels have been toned down slightly--no more turquoise accents in mustard.

* No more major fog effects and nice nap for Prince Desire, or male fairies providing an airborne slalom for him. (Thank all dance gods for those exisions!) in Hunt/Vision scene. The Prince now arrives with the hunt, mopes about like Siegfried a bit, dismisses the entourage, and then we're finally into the vision scene. The only fog FX utilized happens when the boat appears, and I liked the break-up pattern and shimmers to simulate a watery surface on the stage.

* No more passive Prince at mercy of Carabosse waiting for Lilac Fairy to rescue him... He does get stuck to web still, but Lilac quickly releases him so he can immediately stab Carabosse with sword, and as she writhes, run up to kiss his sleeping princess and break the spell, thereby causing Carabosse & web to disappear into the black hole upstage.

* No more cage for Princess Florinne (?!) & her Blue Bird. Costumes for both have also been toned down; hers is especially nice. So no more orange breasts and excess feathers. (But also no more resemblance to the real bird's colors).

* Still no Puss & Boots, or RRH & Wolf (poor Tchaikovsky and his brilliant score).

* Oh yeah, no more shower curtain. Oh well, I guess too much smiling (snickering) would have been bad for me.

RE: THE DANCING: As usual, during the first two acts, I still have to pinch myself to stay awake, and open my eyes to the excellent dancing I see when something (finally) wakes me from my trance: eg. Lilac, the Fairies (esp. Valor which I used to dance), Rose Adagio (of course), putting Court to sleep (this time including King & Queen). And of course I woke up every time Angel Corella finally got a chance to actually dance instead of just being a dreamy prince or regal partner. I thought Paloma did fine technically, had much better phrasing than previously, and is emoting more strongly.

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Wow, thank you for the details on the changes 4mrdncr, sounds like they fixed the most egregious offenses - I might even like it this time around.

Can't wait for the Lane/Cornejo performance...

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We attend Tuesday's performance with Julie Kent but left after the first intermission as my wife was not feeling well.

The production seemed to be less Disney like, but there were still some very bright costumes. Michelle Wiles was lovely as Lilac but we both felt Julie Kent's Aurora was not at her best and couldn't seem to effortlessly balance and I believe fell off point at one point. OUCH.

Julie Kent is one of my favorite dancers and this was very disturbing. Perhaps she came back in the later acts which we didn't see. My wife thought she might be heading for retirement.

I thought the corps looked very good in what we saw.

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I went last night (Wednesday). Xiomara and Jose Manuel, with Michelle as the Lilac Fairy. I like Xiomara, so I'm sure I thought she was better than most people here did. The only thing "off" that I noticed was that she was a little tentative in the Rose Adagion with her first balances; she got stronger as it went on.

Jose Manuel was solid, but I didn't see any fire. He didn't do anything wrong, but he didn't do anything amazing, either.

I've never cared for Michelle; I always considered her ungraceful. She seemed less clunky than I've found her in the past, but she has picked up a hitch in her jumps, where her head jerks forward like one of those little toy bobbing birds that drink out of glass of water. It looks like she trying to extend the distance on the jump by jerking her head.

The comedy high point was the stagehand walking out on stage during the performance. Apparently, something caught fire after Carabosse made her exit, but this guy didn't even make an attempt to be unobtrusive.

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semi OT :off topic: and potentially too late...

But if any other BTers are there tonight, say hi! I'm EASY to spot. I'm the woman with black shortish hair and a nose ring (the kind in the center). I think that's probably a sufficient description to make me stand out at the ballet, but i'll be wearing a black dress with black and white striped sleeves.

I'll be out on the terrace during intermission most likely.

I don't answer to aurora in real life (especially not at Sleeping Beauty), but I do answer to DT or delirium

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Thursday, June 18

The Little Princess that Could

Sarah Lane came on stage a truly young and happy girl. Apparently someone had just taught her a new game, and she could hardly wait to play it. That it is called The Rose Adagio hardly mattered at all. Without a hint of apprehension, Ms. Lane just started playing it. Every diagonal was a flawless breeze for this ballerina, and as each man gave her his hand in that final killer sequence, she touched it just a moment as she went immediately into balance and held each perfectly until the music said to go to the next guy. Naturally, by the time she reached the last hand, the audience was loudly in her hands. Never seen it so calmly and easily done.

The opening Prologue was hardly as successful, no sense of Lilac as Guardian of a Classicism that must, in its perfection, guide all things right. The one bright light of three-dimensional humanity was Maria Bystrova's Carabosse: without any of last year's version's histrionics yet so fully drawn, that for me she was the most likable character in this section.

After intermission on came Herman Cornejo, and with him not just virtuosity and unbelievable altitude, but a commitment to classical purity that helped make him a true Prince. In their shared dream, they looked beautiful together, and above all you could believe in them. There was a magic moment, just after he'd turned her by the waist, she faced the audience and her eyes opened so wide: she'd just awakened from a century-long dream into another, and this dream was real because it was shared.

At the wedding the birds (well, this year she wasn't, as the princess no longer enters in a bird cage) were Yuriko Kajiya (dancing both airy and open, a test run for a future Aurora?) and Gennadi Saveliev (one might have expected one of the young virtuosi, but he honored classicism). In the great Adagio, all fish dives looked easy and finished very solidly in proper form, as did the final pose. Mr. Cornejo's variations were all you'd expect from him. Of course this young partnership gave us a young Royal couple, clearly prepared for the responsibilities of their office, and not that ultimate statement that through classical purity all things will be right forever, that came through with such power in last summer's Part/Gomes II.

What next for this pair, Romeo and Juliet?

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Sarah did have a triumph. A friend complained about Act I, "I wish she wouldn't smile so much!" I thought the smile was natural, was Sarah's as much as Aurora's. She seemed to be feeling a mixture of excitement and near disbelief at her circumstances -- at least until the finger prick. Nice moment there as she first reassured her friends that she'd be okay, then covered up a swoon as she turned to reassure her mother.

I like the way in the hunt scene scene Herman tore off the blindfold as if he was having a panic attack. He seemed disoriented for a moment. Nice setup for the grand hallucination.

There may have been improvements to some of the misjudgments of last year's staging but :off topic: , there's a whole set of new mistakes. Two children as the center of the garland waltz? Yes, children belong in the Garland Waltz, but if you're going to use children, use children -- not just two! For one thing, it violates Sleeping Beauty's world of defined heirarchy. For another, you end up with no one paying attention to the corps. In fact, there are several places in this production where you can imagine The Team saying, "No one's watching the corps, anyway." Like in the prologue where the fairies join in the choreography that's always (as far as I know) given to the Lilac's attendants.

The prologue -- you have the fairies' attendants constantly entering and exiting, and it's a big distraction. If you want them onstage, bring them on once, maybe twice and let them blend with the court.

Pieces of the Jewels divertissement have been restored to the last act, but to no one's advantage. The last act has been reduced to a suite of classical pieces, topped by the mazurka. Nothing to set these dances off, so they lose both their indivdual and collective impact. The fairy tale characters have an entrance and a vignette, in which Cinderella tells the prince to give the flower to the cats, who distract him from Red Riding Hood. The cats prevail upon the Wolf to make nice to Red Riding Hood, and all is well with the world. Ugh!

When a woman has a great piece of jewelry, it's best if she wears it with a plain, black dress and minimal accessories. Petipa left us a treasure chest, and ABT has taken the gems and instead of giving each piece the opportunity to shine in all its glory, it placed it on a busy print with frills, ruffles sequins, and lots of cheap costume jewelry. It's really hard to find that big emerald set among diamonds and pearls.

I feel sorry for the dancers, who (except for a timid Lilac Fairy of Maria Riccetto), hit the perfect balance of modesty and assertiveness. They convey the sense of the sacred in their performance. There was no question that every one up there was there to serve their art. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same of those who laid out the libretto.

It's a big ballet, and there's a reason for everything that's in it. I understand the desire to cut some sections, but a stager should really ask him/herself what purpose this served, what happens to the overall act if we cut it? Maybe you can move a few things around. But for Terpsichore's sake, add nothing. No new choreography. Please!!!! :beg:

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I was there last night for Sarah and Herman for my first "Beauty" of the season. Some notes on the production changes:

Prologue: Shower curtain gone, set pushed upstage to give more room. Both good things. The grand pas for the entrance of the fairies is now Petipa with some McKenzie additions from what I can tell. The fairy knights do some lifts and partnering in the grand pas that I don't remember from the Kirov or Royal Ballet version. However, now it is pretty canonical. Correct me if I am wrong. The King's costume has been toned down. The baby is handled properly like an actual infant. All to the good. Very good fairly solos by Simone Messmer, Renata Pavam and Kristi Boone. Jennifer Reyes, cast for her radiant big smile as the Fairy of Joy underplayed the quick finger work so that it made no effect. It shouldn't look like a frenetic seizure but like the fluttering of a joyous bird. She didn't have the precision or speed. Melanie Hamrick was pleasing. Maria Riccetto as the Lilac Fairy was doing more traditional choreography that was less step heavy than last year. She lacks a certain amplitude and creaminess in the epaulement but was technically solid. Maria Bystrova was a glamorous, imposing Carabosse with tons of stage presence and lots of detail. Give this girl Myrtha, Kevin, everyone will think you're genius for doing it.

Act I: New costumes for the Garland Waltz dancers. Gone are the shorts with suspenders decorated with little daisies. Really the eight couples and two children look dinky compared with the stage filling waltz put on by the Royal and Kirov. The work with the garlands was out of sync. The Princes have new costumes that are supremely tasteful (I missed that rather naff Celtic Prince with his fabulous purple boa accent) but are all beige and brown and look too much alike.

On bounds a tiny, radiant Sarah Lane with a smile that lights up the stage. Her balances in the Rose Adagio are spot-on with the arms en couronne and held for some time. Though petite she has an amplitude in the upper body that makes her dancing look not small but full and expressive. Quick light footwork and nice details. It will only get better as she does the part more but she has this part nailed down right now. Very good pantomime during the pricked finger episode. The King and Queen no longer abandon Aurora and die during her 300 year sleep.

Hunting Scene/Vision Scene: Good traditional hunt choreography with appropriate use of the male corps. Herman looks very handsome and is dancing with elegance and charm. Convincing Prince. No more "Desiré Dream Ballet" with the smoke and bounding "elvadors". The Lilac Fairy comes on with the first act fairies in a decent rendition of the Vision Scene. Sarah Lane works at an otherworldly, slightly melancholic air and does beautifully with her solo. Herman's partnering is pretty flawless here and all night.

Journey to Castle/The Battle with Carabosse: the stage fog rolls on the stage as Lilac re-enters in the Swan boat, no tackier or sillier than what I have seen in other productions. Various scrims and sets pieces drop and roll on to suggest change of location. The castle set from Act I appears behind a scrim piece. The spider's web now stand upstage where the arch of the castle is. The Prince is captured by Carabosse's minions and placed in the web. Lilac appears and breaks the spell and the Prince frees himself. He draws his sword to kill Carabosse but she seems to be impervious to his blade and immortal and laughs at him and goes offstage. Stage left and above, a light illuminates the Sleeping Aurora in her bedroom. The kiss, jubilation. All in all pretty good.

Aurora's Wedding: the set is less skimpy and stylized with less puffy white drapes. The stage within a stage is further upstage and there are chairs and benches set around. There is a throne at the left where the still-alive King and Queen watch the celebration. It looks less nowhereland and more in tune with what went before.

The Gold, Silver, Sapphire (?), Diamond pas de quatre has been reworked as a dance for the fairies. For example: the "Diamond" solo I think now is done by the Fairy of Joy (Canari qui Chante). The male part has been excised. Its inoffensive and not the worst treatment that music has been subjected to. I still think they have room for the White Cats and the little itty bitty throwaway numbers for Cinderella and her Prince and Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. The Bluebirds also have new costumes and no cage. Gennadi Saveliev is okay as the Bluebird but lacks some lightness and elevation. His fluttering arms look somewhat applied to a strong solid lower body. I am glad that Herman is doing only lead roles but his Bluebird was almost definitive. Let him dance it again next year. Yuriko Kajiya was a delight as Princess Florine, truly enchanting (I want to see Zhong Jing Fang in that part too).

Herman and Sarah were paragons of classical purity in the Grand Pas de Deux and had sparkle and virtuosity for the coda. Very successful fish dives and perfect unity in phrasing and style.

The drops look somewhat repainted or more likely better lit. There is still an overuse of smoke that creates a haze in the auditorium that makes it seem later like you are watching the ballet in an enormous smoke-filled back room of a bar. All in all, they have gone back to the canonical Sergeyev version with some Royal Ballet alternative readings with the McKenzie/Kirkland/Chernov accretions pruned away. I would say that 50% of the costumes are new and are fine. This is an acceptable but not distinguished "Sleeping Beauty". However, the dancing last night would have graced any theater in the world.

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I thought Sarah & Herman were both absolutely wonderful, and that with the extensive changes to the production ABT now has a Beauty they can be proud of. There are definitely still aspects of the staging that I don't like (most of which have already been commented on here) and things I miss like the entre'act music & fairy tale character variations but all in all its now a pretty solid production. Last year I had to work to focus on the things I enjoyed in it (mainly the music and the dancers), this year I enjoyed the production on its own merits. We'll see if it holds up after I go to a few more performances.

I really thought all the dancers were wonderful last night. I thought Lane's smile in the first act was totally appropriate & charming. I would have had a big problem with her if it continued into the vision scene but of course it did not – she was beautifully ethereal & mysterious. If there was any room for improvement at all I think it was in the last act. She & Herman were picture perfect technically but I missed the way the sense of grandeur & excitement builds along with the music – I think it kind of started on a high level and stayed there. But this is a minor point – it was a smashing debut for both of them and Miss Lane has now shot up close to the top of my list of favorite Auroras and has definitely become my #1 favorite ABT Aurora.

I have never been a fan of Maria Ricetto so I have to mention the fact that I thought she was very good as the Lilac Fairy. I've never had a problem with her technique, it's always appeared to be very strong but she usually strikes me as a dancer who really doesn't take risks or bring much to a role beyond the basic steps. It's true that her dancing does still lack the kind of amplitude I like in a Lilac and her demeanor was more sweetly magical than authoritative but I thought she brought great warmth and delicacy to the role. Bystrova was also a fabulous Carabosse, and Kajiya an outstanding Florine.

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Sarah Lane was a delightful, “for real” teenage Aurora. Bravo!

Just to add couple of things:

I could not agree more - Maria Bystrova did create a most powerful character in the whole Act I. But those alien creatures that surround her! :lol: – boy, do they look ridiculous.

Act II. Some costumes are replaced, toned down, some left untouched. Most of them look fine and even good separately. However when put all together on stage, they create a colorful mess.

All foreign princes’ costumes are replaced. Now they have no character, look the same and it is hard to differentiate one prince from another. Plus, bright yellow peasants make it difficult to focus on princes, whose costumes are made from the same dull, dark fabric. They probably used that shower curtain..

I was very glad Lilac fiery did not send King and Queen to die in a forest this time. :)

They fell asleep with the whole castle and even get a chance to be at their daughter’s wedding.

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Sarah Lane was a delightful, “for real” teenage Aurora. Bravo!

Lane was radiant, and her Rose Adagio seemed a further demonstration of Aurora's eagerness and delight at being at the celebration. Often dancers can only portray Aurora before and after the RA, Lane did it during. Herman was much more the elegant prince than I expected. A true triumph for them.

I know I probably am in the minority, but I didn't care for BB. I thought Saveliev was unexceptional (is it my imagination or has that variation been watered down over the years?) Kajiya was a disappointment to me. It was almost like she was doing "Russian" but it wasn't organic, so she looked mannered to me. I also thought there was a tightness across her back. One other very, very petty quibble- she overdoes, and milks the bows (even for a ballet dancer). I'm interested in hearing others comment on this PPD.

The production changes from last year were most welcome, but share some of the reservations others have posted.

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Regarding Kajiya, I had the feeling that she may have a foot problem. She did not do the hops on pointe as she brought her front leg to retire, but hopped on the other foot as she extended to arabesque. There were a couple of other moments usually done on pointe which she executed on demi-pointe or flat foot. A neighbor remarked on tense hands, which are uncharacteristic of Kajiya but no surprise if a dancer is in pain. I wouldn't judge her based on this performance. It wasn't bad, but it should have been better.

A word about the delightful Jacqui Reyes -- was it necessary to cast her as the one short, compact fairy among five stringbeans, most of them among the company's taller dancers?

Two more afterthoughts:

  • The Kiss is the climax of the ballet (and should be telegraphed as such by the entre'acte!!!). Kiss=Happy Ending. So why is it tucked into an obscure corner of the stage?
  • I was in the rear of the Dress Circle. Did anyone fail to hear the stagehand calling out "Hold it!!!" during the transition from Vision to Wedding (I think it was that scene change)? It was supposed to be a harp solo, but the harp was lost under the baritone.

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I will not say much about Sarah Lane's Beauty debut last night as she has been a good friend of mine for quite some time. But I thought, with a bit of Kirov-ish touches, Sarah has never danced better. And what a lovely actress Sarah was too. I was totally blown away. Herman, as always, was such a thrilling and beautiful, strong, classical joy.

Bluebirds.... I thought Saveliev could have done far better. And Kajiya was full of long lines but too cold overall for such a charming part. Kajiya also left out, simplified, some of the choreography in her solo, which had me concerned.

The addition of the Jewels section of music to the last act was new this year... but the choreography was given to the fairies, and it was pretty much just classroom steps. None of it seemed necessary or magical. ABT badly needs to bring back the real last act with puss n' boots, etc. And I'd like to see the marriage scene's grand pas and variations kicked up a little by adding a bit more of exciting technique without removing the grandeur.

Many of ABT's production changes definitely were for the better, but Peter Martins was wiser than Kevin by not messing with most of the gorgeous original production that we all have known for so many years. ABT's is still awfully flat at times. And, I can't believe that the fireworks / smoke for Carabosse were still much TOO much.

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Maybe it was the same guy who walked across the stage near the end of Act One on Wednesday night. See my post at

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.p...rt=#entry228851

Two more afterthoughts:

  • I was in the rear of the Dress Circle. Did anyone fail to hear the stagehand calling out "Hold it!!!" during the transition from Vision to Wedding (I think it was that scene change)? It was supposed to be a harp solo, but the harp was lost under the baritone.

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I know I probably am in the minority, but I didn't care for BB.

You are not alone.

I was especially disappointed because it happens to be my favorite variation in SB and because I like Gennady Saveliev.

First of all, Kajiya and Gennady did not belong together; there was no harmony in this partnership. Then ether Gennady was in a bad mood, or it is generally not his role. He seemed to be to “heavy” and his jumps were quite low, his performance “uneventful” and definitely did not put me in mind of bird.

Plus I hated costumes – they do not match together and have 0 resemblance of a Blue Bird.

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Two children as the center of the garland waltz? Yes, children belong in the Garland Waltz, but if you're going to use children, use children -- not just two! For one thing, it violates Sleeping Beauty's world of defined heirarchy. For another, you end up with no one paying attention to the corps.

Absolutely agree.

Those two children deserve a credit , though. I thought they did a good job, especially Lindsay. :lol:

Also, I would love to see a child, not adult, as a Red Riding Hood.

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Regarding Kajiya, I had the feeling that she may have a foot problem. She did not do the hops on pointe as she brought her front leg to retire, but hopped on the other foot as she extended to arabesque. There were a couple of other moments usually done on pointe which she executed on demi-pointe or flat foot. A neighbor remarked on tense hands, which are uncharacteristic of Kajiya but no surprise if a dancer is in pain. I wouldn't judge her based on this performance. It wasn't bad, but it should have been better.

Thank you for that insight. I noted the changes in the variation but just thought they were changes in choreography, since this production hadn't shown tremendous respect for tradition, and this was my first SB this season.

Also, I was row A of the Dress Circle and heard the "hold it" loud and clear.

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I was there for Lane and Cornejo. Re Bluebird -- I have really appreciated Kajiya this year, but I just can't forget Hee Seo and her fire and explosiveness. Also as someone said, Herman Cornejo was virtually definitive in the role last year. I don't think Seo and Cornejo performed together last year (can't remember for sure...?), but in any case, both were so tremendous that Kajiya and Saveliev just didn't do it for me. Where IS Hee Seo, anyway? Please bring her back!!!

Re Jackie Reyes and the other fairies, I too found Reyes lacking in precision, speed, form. I liked her very much last City Center season... but last night, I found Pavam, Hamrick, and Boone tremendous.

As a relative ballet newcomer, I saw the production a couple of times last year and, the best way to put it, I wasn't disappointed. This year, despite the supposed improvements, I'm less impressed. It looks like a cartoon -- hard to take it seriously.

Re last year's princes costumes, especially (as FauxPas said) that fabulous purple feather boa... they were so bad, I miss them! The new costumes seem to be just as dull and uniform as last year's costumes were flamboyant... and they seem to be misplaced, from another production entirely.

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Re last year's princes costumes, especially (as FauxPas said) that fabulous purple feather boa... they were so bad, I miss them! The new costumes seem to be just as dull and uniform as last year's costumes were flamboyant... and they seem to be misplaced, from another production entirely.

Totally agree--esp. about that purple boa. As for the princes' costumes being from another production... I actually thought they would look good in the ballroom scene in Swan Lake since they were (1) the same color scheme, and (2) Swan Lake's 16th century as opposed to SB's courtiers' 15th century. (Just my 'fashion police' comment for tonight.)

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I had the pleasure of seeing Sarah Lane and Herman Cornejo dance Aurora and Prince Desire this past Thursday. She was radiant, exquisite, with such a huge presence for such a small dancer. He was technically, astonishing (as usual). Together , they were just lovely. Such attention to detail!!!

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