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ABT in London


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:wink: What a JOY

I discovered this visit quite out of the blue, thanks to a friend telling me about Freddy Franklin, decided it was not possible to miss the chance of seeing them in the UK. So I cut my visit to POB I plan for May short, and booked for Le Corsair. As I have it by them on DVD, I am really looking forward to seeing it. I can only get to the Matinee on Saturday the 4th, and get back home in a day. As you can imagine I am counting the days!!

Best Wishes to you all, enjoy your Ballet.

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I saw Monday nights ABT Swan Lake with Veronica Part & Marcel Gomes in the lead roles & was delighted by her performance, her Odile in particular is beautiful & her presentation of the Black Swan pdd was just marvellous & very exciting. I was sitting quite close & she made it all look very easy even though we know its not & ABT are very lucky to have her. Could someone familiar with the US performances inform me as to what other roles she gets cast in at ABT as there was no biog details (or pic) of her in the rubbish programme that was for sale. She must do Aurora surely?

The company definitely looked on better form that at the 3 shows I saw at the Sadlers Wells theatre in 2007 with plenty of evidence of technical ability at all levels. Interestingly the epaulement appeared weak - one soloist just didn't seem to know what to do with her arms in her variation & had a certain unintentional 'flappiness' about them.

The Coliseum seats about 2800, it was probably 55% full. I moved from the Upper circle down to the Royal circle & there were huge gaps especially at the edges though the stalls were fuller. Not a great economic success for ABT, but nice to see them in London again & hopefully they will return soon with more interesting rep.

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Could someone familiar with the US performances inform me as to what other roles she gets cast in at ABT as there was no biog details (or pic) of her in the rubbish programme that was for sale. She must do Aurora surely?

Part did dance Aurora when ABT's new "Sleeping Beauty" premiered in 2007, but last season she only was cast as Lilac Fairy. Other roles she has done includes Nikiya, Mercedes and the Queen of the Driads, Myrta, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Snow Queen, Raymonda, and an Odalisque in "Le Corsaire." She will make her debut as the Sylph in "La Sylphide" this spring.

Here is her bio at the ABT website: http://abt.org/dancers/detail.asp?Dancer_ID=43

...I just noticed she is only credited with having danced a Shade in "La Bayadère" at ABT. Why isn't Nikiya listed? :wink:

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I saw Monday nights ABT Swan Lake with Veronica Part & Marcel Gomes in the lead roles & was delighted by her performance, her Odile in particular is beautiful & her presentation of the Black Swan pdd was just marvellous & very exciting. I was sitting quite close & she made it all look very easy even though we know its not & ABT are very lucky to have her. Could someone familiar with the US performances inform me as to what other roles she gets cast in at ABT as there was no biog details (or pic) of her in the rubbish programme that was for sale. She must do Aurora surely?

The company definitely looked on better form that at the 3 shows I saw at the Sadlers Wells theatre in 2007 with plenty of evidence of technical ability at all levels. Interestingly the epaulement appeared weak - one soloist just didn't seem to know what to do with her arms in her variation & had a certain unintentional 'flappiness' about them.

The Coliseum seats about 2800, it was probably 55% full. I moved from the Upper circle down to the Royal circle & there were huge gaps especially at the edges though the stalls were fuller. Not a great economic success for ABT, but nice to see them in London again & hopefully they will return soon with more interesting rep.

"Interestingly the epaulement appeared weak - one soloist just didn't seem to know what to do with her arms in her variation & had a certain unintentional 'flappiness' about them. "

As anyone who has watched academic classical ballet over time will explain, epaulement has become changed even loosened as an absolute in all of the larger companies. The Kirov epaulement of today is not that of the 1960's nor are the Royal Ballet's arms today the same for that period. It is odd that the Queen of epaulement of the last 50 years Irina Kolpakhova, whom Ninette de Valois made special mention in this respect, works with ABT, but one can only assume that the aristocratic perfectly balanced style that was once sought, interferes with the predominate individualised styles of performing that companies generally seek. All of the larger companies in general dance and perform in a manner different to that which I first saw them dance. The neo-classical New York City ballet for instance, gives performances some distance away in style from that when they still had a company of outstanding stars in the 1950's and 1960's.

If any company wants to emulate the old Imperial style of dancing (with early Vaganova style thrown in) for a performance of Sleeping Beauty where style should be all, I would commute almost anywhere in the world to see it.

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One other thought of some importance (to me, at least) comes out of my reading of leonid's review of ABT's Swan Lake. I think I don't really love the ABT production that much, but I never went to see it because I didn't like the way it looked on television. I could see fine dancing, but what I disliked in terms of colour in sets and costumes may have had something to do with television as I find it visually to be. I realize I NEVER find television beautiful, no matter how perfect the resolution. It is not like seeing something on stage, but it's not like a film either. I find television ugly for the most part, especially the hard colours one finds in newscasts, and the tacky decors in series. But this isn't very absolute, because I've seen many things on DVD and even cheesey VHS that I've loved--I've certainly never been able to see Sizova live, and I love the movies and clips I've seen. But perhaps I could see this ABT production with great dancers now and enjoy it in a way I never could on television (and I'm a big fan of Corella, less fo of Ms. Murphy). So that although leonid did not come down so hard on the ABT production itself, as he did the RB production recently, it may be that great dancing in a less-than-ideal production won't show up that well on television, whereas even if you don't like the production that much, in person the great dancers can make you forget about superficial details--when I saw Mackenzie's 'Swan Lake' on television, I was never transported and could not get beyond my superficial annoyance at the general look of the production. Anybody ever have these experiences? Because it's not all that cut-and-dried, as I said. Many things on film and video I have loved even though I know it's not the stage immediacy. But until now, I never even seriously considered wanting to see that ABT production live. Now, as for their even more controversially gaudy 'Sleeping Beauty', I'll have to wait for more convincing.

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Here is the link to the 4 most recent newspaper articles I found of "Corsaire" opening night. (If non-techie me does the link right.)

Like "Swan Lake" last week, ABT's "Corsaire" received decidedly mixed reviews, and one rather negative. I think it depended on how seriously the critics took the plot, or the dancing. Herman Cornejo received the most consistant praise (no surprise there.)

http://news.google.com/news?pz=1&um=1&...09SM&cf=all

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Here is the link to the 4 most recent newspaper articles I found of "Corsaire" opening night. (If non-techie me does the link right.)

Like "Swan Lake" last week, ABT's "Corsaire" received decidedly mixed reviews, and one rather negative. I think it depended on how seriously the critics took the plot, or the dancing. Herman Cornejo received the most consistant praise (no surprise there.)

http://news.google.com/news?pz=1&um=1&...09SM&cf=all

Thank you, the links are much appreciated. It seems that the Corsaire reviews are better than the Swan Lake reviews.

I think ABT made poor choices in terms of the ballets they took to London.

I think they should have taken Tudor ballets. I know that they probably wanted to show off their classical virtuosity and that big ballets usually sell better. On the other hand, since they got mixed reviews and half filled houses, maybe rep nights would have worked out better. I also read that Kevin M. didn't know in advance that they'd be competing with another Swan Lake; if he had known he might have made different decisions.

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One of the British reviewer wrote that Marcelo Gomes has"stolid stage presence. He doesn't bring an ounce of charisma or charm

to his role as Conrad" Is she talking about the same M Gomes that we see here in NY? Maybe, the Marynsky kept the real Marcelo in Russia and sent a body double instead :o

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Thanks, bingham. Here's Ms. Crompton's review.

I can only imagine that this was the off-est off-day of Marcelo's career, or the reviewer was strangely immune to his qualities.

Or, of course, your theory about the body double :o . Couldn't blame the Mariinsky for planting a switcheroo, could we?

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