Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Recommended Posts

apparently the First Lady was backstage early.

the ticket takers were in place before 'half-hour' and security check seemed the usual perfunctory bag check and no more that was visible.

there seemed more than the usual people watchers lined up along the entrance way to the house, but all they got to see were the celebs other than Michelle Obama.

the signal that the First Lady would be first 'sighted' on stage - after most the auditorium spent the pre-show time staring at the par terre boxes - was a little team of photographers, some w/ telephoto lense, who scooted down the left aisle in the pause following a perf. of the Preghiera from MOZARTIANA which was preceded KMcKenzie's opening remarks.

by this time the stage was set w/ a lectern and first Caroline Kennedy spoke, making mention of the JKO school named for her mother (which was about to appear on the program), and in the process she introduced our current First Lady, who got an enthusiastic, standing ovation, and who seemed almost overwhelmed by it all.

Mrs. Obama read her prepared remarks warmly and finished her intro of the JKO students by saying, "Enjoy!".

Link to comment

There was no more security than usual. I didn't see the photographers in the left aisle of the orchestra because I was sitting up in the balcony. However, I did notice a large number of photographers in the first parterre box on the right of the stage. Small excerpts of last night's performance were on TV (Channel 4). On the red carpet, I saw Renee Zellweger, Al Roker and wife Deborah Roberts, Iman who was wearing a stunning green gown, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, Bryant Gumbel, Renee Fleming. I enjoyed the performance very much and I'm looking forward to the season. The only sad note for me was seeing Stella in a walk on role that required no dancing (the occassion piece with Herbie Hancock and Carreno). Will Stella ever return to the stage in a ballet role?

Link to comment

notables seated on theater left orch level were, beyond those mentioned above:

Matt Lauer, Joanne Woodward, Al Roker, & Alessandra Ferri.

i heard Matthew Modine was on th. right as was Sigourney Weaver.

Lee Radziwill was in the box from which CKennedy and MObama watched the perf.

Link to comment

Last night was full of surprises, but the biggest surprise of all was the appearance of the First Lady on the stage of the Met. I am not a fan of her husband’s politics, but the First Lady is the First Lady and I was very excited to see her in person. She was very charming and looked like she was very happy to be there.

Overall, the Gala was wonderful – probably the best one that I have attended. The only clunker in the bunch was the Piece d’Occasion by Herbie Hancock. Herbie began by playing the piano and then Jose Manuel Carreno did a very short dance. Then he stopped and appeared that he was looking for someone (presumably his partner). He and Herbie shrugged at each other a few times and then Jose left the stage. Stella Abrera entered wearing a cocktail dress and high heels. She went over and sat behind the piano. Jose entered and the two of them never met and never danced with each other. I felt that this was a waste of the two dancers and when it ended, my friend and I looked at each other and went “HUH??” Sorry, I didn’t get it.

The Gala opened with newly promoted principal dancer Veronika Part in Mozartiana with four girls from the JKO School. Part was lovely throughout and received a nice round of applause. I am sure that some of the applause was congratulations for her recent promotion which some have felt was a long time coming. In the program, she is listed among the principal dancers, but her photograph does not appear in the back. Will she ever get the respect that she deserves?

After Caroline Kennedy and Michelle Obama spoke, we had “Le Defile” from The Procession with several members of the JKO School. I immediately recognized David Alvarez, who is one of the three young men who share the role of “Billy Elliot” on Broadway. The number was exciting and chock full of future talent. What a great idea to have the members of the JKO School take part in the Gala!

This was followed by an excerpt from Act II of La Sylphide. I am looking forward to seeing this in a few weeks, because I have never seen the full-length ballet. I have only seen bits and pieces here and there in galas. The lead dancers were Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo with a full corps of sylphs in the background. I thought that this really enhanced the mood of the piece by bringing on a full corps instead of just having Reyes and Cornejo dance alone. Cornejo was his usual explosive self and it looked very difficult to do all those spins and leaps wearing a kilt. Reyes was very charming as the sylph, but in her partnership with Cornejo, I always seem to end up watching him.

Next was the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux with Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel. This dance always brings back such happy memories for me. In 1979, I was taken to the ballet for the first time by my older sister and I remember seeing this with Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins. I remember actually getting scared, because I had never seen an audience go so crazy. This looks like such a super difficult dance. Last night, Murphy and Stiefel were wonderful. They have a very nice partnership and excelled in their solo numbers.

Then, we had the Hunt Scene from Sylvia with Michele Wiles and a full corps of Amazon maidens. I saw the ABT’s Sylvia back in 2006 (with Gillian Murphy). I think I will skip it this year. It is not one of my favorite ballets and I remember it being very short. Michele Wiles was good, but in my opinion she does not have the excitement as some of the other ABT leading ladies.

Act I closed with the premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Waltz Masquerade with Nina Ananiashvili and four suitors holding candelabra. I could not identify the four men from Dress Circle – one I am sure was Jose Manuel Carreno. This started out very serious and then turned comic as the four suitors would not leave her alone. I would watch Nina in anything and she was, as always, spectacular.

Act II began with the Balcony Pas de Deux from Romeo and Juliet with Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes. Diana and Marcelo are two of my favorites, but this is the first time that I saw them dance together. I have seen Vishneva partnered by Corella, Carreno. Hallberg, and Stiefel. Of the four, I felt that only Corella was a worthy partner to her. But last night was a beautiful partnership. This was the only dance of the night that made me cry. Diana is such an actress when she dances. I could actually see Juliet’s transformation from young girl to woman when she danced. And Marcelo is the perfect partner. Absolutely beautiful!

Also beautiful was the Act II Pas de Deux from Swan Lake with Paloma Herrea and Maxim Beloserkovsky and a full corps of swans. This had that “meltingly” lovely quality to it. In my opinion, Herrera keeps getting better and better.

Then, we had the Pas de Deux a Trois from Le Corsaire which is always a showstopper, especially when you have Angel Corella as Ali the Slave. His partner was a radiant Irina Dvorovenko and the other male dancer was David Hallberg. Poor Hallberg was kind of outperformed by Corella. Angel went all out and a few time it looked like he was wildly out of control, but he held it together.

After the Hancock clunker which I described above, we had the finale which was The Finale from Theme and Variations. The lead dancers were Sarah Lane and Danil Simkin. I have not seen Simkin dance since last year’s Stars of the 21st Century Gala. I would have liked to see him in something a little flashier, but he was very good and this was a nice way to end the evening.

I would give the Gala an overall score of A-. The minus is for the Hancock number. There was so much beauty on the Met stage last night. And there is so much I would love to see now this season.

Link to comment
Act I closed with the premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Waltz Masquerade with Nina Ananiashvili and four suitors holding candelabra. I could not identify the four men from Dress Circle – one I am sure was Jose Manuel Carreno.

Hi, the other male dancers who were holding candelabras were Maxim, Angel and Marcelo. The Romeo & Juliet balcony scene w. Gomes and Vishneva was heart-stoppingly gorgeous, in my opinion. Angel definitely went all out as Ali, and garnered much applause. Did you catch that unsupported balance that Irina (dancing Medora) did that seemed to last forever?! I always wait to see the dresses that the dancers show off at the end of the gala. As usual, the winner for most stunning gown was Irina.

Link to comment
Then, we had the Pas de Deux a Trois from Le Corsaire which is always a showstopper, especially when you have Angel Corella as Ali the Slave. His partner was a radiant Irina Dvorovenko and the other male dancer was David Hallberg. Poor Hallberg was kind of outperformed by Corella. Angel went all out and a few time it looked like he was wildly out of control, but he held it together.

The "lead" role in that pas de trois is always a rather thankless one. Poor David though. Not much fun as a role to get for one's birthday!

And on that note. Happy (belated) Birthday David!!!!

(sorry for veering slightly OT, but the gala was indeed Hallberg's birthday night)

Link to comment
Then, we had the Pas de Deux a Trois from Le Corsaire which is always a showstopper, especially when you have Angel Corella as Ali the Slave. His partner was a radiant Irina Dvorovenko and the other male dancer was David Hallberg. Poor Hallberg was kind of outperformed by Corella. Angel went all out and a few time it looked like he was wildly out of control, but he held it together.

Irina was dancing in light blue tutu, which was beautiful but did not balanced very well with color of Ali's pants and Grotto.

The costume is new ( last year is was dark blue), but color mismatch is still there. :P

Link to comment

It was an exciting evening.

Michell Obama was wearing elegant knee-length dark gray dress. I did not realize how tall she actually is!

She seemed a little nervous during her speech and she looked very touched by standing ovation.

Veronika Part surrounded by 4 girls from JKO in gorges black costumes in Mozartiana gave a memorable opening to the Gala.

Le Defile was a big success! All JKO students were amazing. What a promising next generation of artists!

I absolutely loved Xiomara Reyes in La Sylphide! She seemed literally weightless and her dancing was poetic and gentle. Herman Cornejo's jumps and foot work are unbelievable. Corps de ballet were better then ever!

Ceeszi - I totally agree with you on Hancock's Piece d'Occasion. It looked unfinished and silly. May be I did not get it.

I wonder, who choreographed it?

Link to comment

I was in Manhattan that afternoon for a job interview (good news! I got a verbal offer today! :P ) The afternoon before I checked the ABT web site and saw plenty of tickets in almost all price ranges. If my interview went well I would treat myself, If not I would go home and eat Chinese Food. My interview ended at 3pm so I took a leisurely stroll up Broadway to Columbus circle, by the time I got to the box office, only Standing room tickets were available. The Ticket agent said "if we knew you were coming...." They are nice people at the Met Opera House. I had no clue Michelle was going to speak.

I went up to the terrace and watched Imam, Kelly Rippa, (paparazzi went wild for her!) and others make their way in. A gentlemen pair wore dark blue and purple velvet suits, Another gentleman wore a jacket of a white floral material. I had my best suit on, so I blended very well. No Fordham/NYU/CUNY graduations this year to get that academic and gala attire mish-mosh that make NYC so special.

The security was minimal, though present. Two Agents stood on stage when FLOTUS Michelle Obama spoke. Nice speech, better than Chuck Schumer. After the last performance, I ran to get my briefcase, two Secret Service agents gave me that "Don't **** with me look" Considering all the heads of state who come to the Met, I'm sure the staff have been pre-cleared and trained to examine bags. Anyone trying to get at her would have to leap over the orchestra pit as well. I know someone in the physical security business, and you'd be surprised where they can hide metal and other weapon detection systems. (Not telling you either!) 5 or 6 of NYC's Bravest in the Plaza. Now that Lincoln Center has moved the steps out to 9th avenue, vehicle access to LC is more limited.

I will review the performance at a later time. I loved the JKO students! Bravo! Looking forward to a spectacular spring season!

Link to comment

For me, the winner of dresses and beautiful looks was Ivanka Trump!!! (sp? Ivanka...).

Miss Trump was as stunningly gorgeous and elegant in her long, strapless, teal gown avec cystal

necklace, as I could have imagined. My jaw dropped when I ran into her... She's also as lovely in her friendliness.

Sarah Lane learned at the last minute, and performed, Yuriko's place in the huntresses of Sylvia, before

dancing the finale of Theme with Daniil Simkin. I thought Daniil and Sarah danced well, in Theme, but it was a bit nervous...considering the circumstances... and somebody's (corps/soloists) tiara fell off onto the middle of the stage. Daniil, whom I love as a dancer, still needs a lot of work as a partner.... Theme for him, partnering Sarah, was rather jerky, too much force, for nearly all of the lifts... That could not have felt good....Sarah's so tiny..... But Daniil is trying.... you could see the effort.... It was not what I was hoping for...

Veronkia Part was gorgeous, really gorgeous in the opening section of Mozartiana with her deeply heartfelt approach.

And I thought Irina D. danced Corsaire trois very, very well, better than I was expecting after reading the last DC and

London reviews.... At last night's gala, Irina was very much back in shape with her gorgeous long lines, port de bras, regal ballerina presence, and excellent turns.

But the kids from the Jackie O. school were the surprise / highlight of the show for me! What a fine, well-trained crop of new talent---

Link to comment

Thanks to Mme. Hermine for the photos link!

Well, it was my first opening night gala (and now my first post! :yahoo: ), and my friend and I were completely blown away! Not just by the fabulous dancing, but also by all the celebrities. (Though I was perhaps most excited to see the lovely Julie Kent sitting just two rows ahead of us!)

It was definitely exciting to see Michelle Obama speak, but I was actually surprised how lax security was - I was half-expecting to be thoroughly frisked, or at least have to go through metal detectors or something like that.

As for the performance, it was superb! :clapping: Though I have to agree with Ceeszi and Goldfish17 that the Hancock Piece d'Occasion was a bit of a letdown, and it would have been nice to see Simkin do a little bit more in the finale. I think it might have been better to put the Hancock piece between the "Romeo & Juliet" and "Swan Lake" pieces. I have to admit, I hadn't quite recovered from Vishneva/Gomes' Romeo & Juliet in time to properly enjoy "Swan Lake."

Act II began with the Balcony Pas de Deux from Romeo and Juliet with Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes. Diana and Marcelo are two of my favorites, but this is the first time that I saw them dance together. I have seen Vishneva partnered by Corella, Carreno. Hallberg, and Stiefel. Of the four, I felt that only Corella was a worthy partner to her. But last night was a beautiful partnership. This was the only dance of the night that made me cry. Diana is such an actress when she dances. I could actually see Juliet’s transformation from young girl to woman when she danced. And Marcelo is the perfect partner. Absolutely beautiful!

This was certainly the highlight for me!!!

Though I have to admit, I was quite surprised when Vishneva/Gomes kissed during the curtain call! I'm fairly new to ballet-watching, so I wasn't sure if that was merely a sign of a very close partnership, or if it indicated something about an off-stage romance...? :unsure: The only other couple who shared a kiss during the curtain call were Gillian and Ethan, and I know they are a well-established off-stage couple... (If anyone has any insight, please let me know!)

All in all, it was a most enjoyable evening, and I definitely plan on attending next year!!

Link to comment

Jeez Louise - kissing is an expression of admiration and we certainly can admire people of the same or opposite sex. Whatever Mr Gomez does off stage, he is convincing in the parts he dances on stage and that's what we're there for - his performances. Who wouldn't want to kiss ms Part? hahahha

Link to comment

[Admin Beanie On]

Discussing the discussion is against Ballet Talk policy.

If there's a post that anyone feels crosses the board policy line, please use the "Report" button for the post and the moderators will discuss.

What is published by a reputable source (like The Advocate) is official news and fair game for discussion.

[Admin Beanie Off]

Link to comment

Before we throw this one far off topic, my bad for not saying something in my post when I answered - we don't discuss dancers' personal lives unless it comes from a public source - why I cited the advocate.

Yeah, it's common news and not sensitive that Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel are a longterm couple or that Marcelo is gay. What we're trying to avoid is "I heard that X is sleeping with Y," "Does anyone know if Z is unfaithful," or "Is Q into [insert vice here.]"

Thanks for noting this MJ, but better to report it to us (even if it's me you object to!) For all, it's not sexuality that's verboten, but please respect the dancers' private lives. If it's sensitive and if you couldn't find it with Google in a *published* source, don't ask it here.

Back to the gala!

Am I the only one who was underwhelmed by Michelle Obama and her dress? That said, it was magnificent that she showed up and even better that she took the time to speak.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...