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ABT Met 2010 Info


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I'm disappointed that the R&J pairing of Dvorovenko and Bolle is repeated this year. I would have preferred to see him w. a different Juliet. Steifel is doing very few full length roles this year. I would love to see Lane as Juliet, but I'm not holding my breath.

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A couple of observations regarding Michele Wiles, whom I like watching quite a bit:

This casting seems to confirm that somehow K McKenzie is not emphasizing M Wiles as much as had been the case previously, when she used to work so much more frequently with Hallberg. This season, she has no Kitri in Don Quixote and she has to work with Cory Stearns in Swan Lake, while Hallberg is now paird with Vishneva for Swan Lake. She also pairs Stearns in her only Sleeping Beauty (a matinee). Her role in two La Bayaderes is as Gamzatti.

http://www.abt.org/dancers/detail.asp?Dancer_ID=46

In fact, for the Met season, she is not partnering David Hallberg at all (subject to a possible partnering, discussed below, on June 9 for a repertory performance).

McKenzie seems to want her to work with Stearns. I don't know whether the order of the Brahms/Hayden varations suggests who will partner with whom, but, if they do, Michele is again partnering Stearns within at least three of the four performances Michele has of the variations. For the fourth, June 9, performance of the variations, she is not listed as performing them on the Calendar, but there is a "tba" for the female role just above Hallberg's name for the variations. Then, when you go to Michele's dancer profile, she is listed as performing the variations on June 9. So maybe she is performing with Hallberg a portion of the variations on June 9.

Of course, the situation with Hallberg is quite promising. Only Hallberg, and no longer Hallberg and Cornejo, is now partnering Osipova. (That's not surprising, given that Osipova is only performing in two full-length ballets, Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet, and Hallberg is more the princely/romantic male lead type of danseur, as well as, in my assessment, a better partner for Osipova more generally). And Hallberg continues working with Murphy, Herrera, gets a Swan Lake with Vishneva, etc., etc. as well. :off topic: (Interestingly, Hallberg gets no Don Quixote Basilio roles at the Met next year, despite having danced both danseur roles in the performance previously, of course, unless he is one of the two "TBA" Basilios. Maybe he will be one or more of the Espadas, the role for which is not listed on the calendar.)

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There seems to be a trend of allowing Hallberg to work with some shorter dancers (Murphy, Osipova, Vishneva). It's a strain to lift a tall ballerina, so I think they are now spreading that responsibility to C. Stearns (himself very tall).

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Ambonnay, Wiles is dancing Kitri with Corey Stearns on 5/31/10. Depending on as yet unlisted performances of Lilac Fairy in "Sleeping Beauty" and one of the girls in "Fancy Free" - we may be seeing quite a bit of Michele. As for taking her away from David Hallberg - they really don't ignite as a couple onstage. Despite the matching height and blond good looks they really don't bring anything special out of one another.

I also question whether Julie Kent can still handle Odette/Odile at this late post second pregnancy juncture. She looked very restored in "Seven Sonatas" earlier this month but that isn't "Swan Lake" in its demands.

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FauxPas -- Thanks for the correction! :P

Other observations from the Met casting:

-- As you suggested, V Part seems to paired with Bolle a lot. She partners him in her only two La Bayaderes, in her only Swan Lake. She partners Gomes in Sleeping Beauty, and continues to pair with him as part of the first team cast in her only two performances of On The Dneiper. Her partner for the "Awakening PDD" is tba in both her performances. In the Brahms-Haydn Variations, V Part might be paired with A. Hammoudi, if the partner is listed in order.

I guess part of the reason that V Part pairs with Bolle is that she is the recently minted principal, and he is the recently-resident danseur at the principal level, presumably? But could other factors be that V Part's jump is not that strong and pairing her with Hallberg might highlight that weakness in Part's dancing? (Note I have not seen Bolle perform, so I do not know what his jumps are like.) Also, Hallberg is very busy already without having to partner V Part.

-- Interestingly, Murphy is paired with Carreno in her only Met 2010 performance of Swan Lake and her only performance of Sleeping Beauty.

http://www.abt.org/dancers/detail.asp?Dancer_ID=31

I wonder if Murphy is being paired with Carreno because, whether rightfully or not, Carreno is not among the danseurs that tend to fill seats as much as certain other danseurs, but Murphy is among the better-liked of the ballerinas for the public. So she could fill some seats for the Company.

And Murphy only gets a matinee (single) performance of Swan Lake! :huh:

In her three La Bayadere performances, she is Gamzetti in two of them and pairs Stiefel in the remaining one.

In her two performances of Don Quixote, one is a "TBA" Basilio and one is Stiefel.

And then she has one full-length Romeo & Juliet with Hallberg.

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The lack of Radetsky in anything besides the Tharp and Fancy Free is quite disappointing. I guess he will go back to doing von Rothbarts and Espadas to infinity. It's too bad-I don't begrudge Cory Stearns anything because I have seen him and I quite like what he could turn out to be, but he has a ton of very coveted role debuts this season (Armand and Oberon certainly)...one wonders if the bounty couldn't have been spread more evenly among the soloist men with Steifel and Corella further reducing their time with ABT.

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ksk04 -- I'm not sure I lament the high use of Stearns relative to Radetsky, but Gomes and Hallberg will continue to be very very busy and Cory Stearns will, as you noted, be heavily utilized. Radetsky may suffer from, among potentially other things, not being viewed by the Company as a tall "princely"-type of danseur.

In the Beijing performances in November, Stearns gets one Basilio out of four total performances there of Don Quixote, and that is one of the two evening performances of the work (again pairing Michele Wiles). He also gets one performance of the Gomes role in the two Beijing performances of "Everything Doesn't Happen at Once".

I wouldn't disagree with an assertion that Stearns is getting more roles than he probably should, at this stage in his career, given the number of good danseurs who are principals (leaving aside Radetsky and other soloists) and who would probably like to get some of Stearns' roles. But, as suggested by abatt above, some of the ballerinas who require pairing are relatively tall. (Like ksk04, I also do not begrudge Stearns getting these roles, looking at things in a vacuum.)

BTW, how tall is Stearns relative to Hallberg? Hallberg seems pretty tall. I noticed that he is taller than Saveliev when I was watching Seven Sonatas, but maybe Saveliev is not that tall??

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Ambonnay, Wiles is dancing Kitri with Corey Stearns on 5/31/10. Depending on as yet unlisted performances of Lilac Fairy in "Sleeping Beauty" and one of the girls in "Fancy Free" - we may be seeing quite a bit of Michele. As for taking her away from David Hallberg - they really don't ignite as a couple onstage. Despite the matching height and blond good looks they really don't bring anything special out of one another.

Barring injury, I would be very surprised if Wiles does not perform the Lilac Fairy during the Spring Season.

Also, although I like both Wiles and Hallberg very much separately, they have gotten very mixed reviews as a pair. In some ways, they remind me very much of Angel Corella and Paloma Herrera who were paired many times early in their ABT careers and less and less as they developed and it became clear that working with other dancers brought out more from their performances.

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I'm surprised(and disappointed) that N Osipova is not cast as Kitri in any of the Don Q. :huh:

I'd rather have seen her as Kitri too, over Aurora or the Macmillan Juliet. But who knows how complicated her Bolshoi schedule is? Remember there was a lot of noise last spring over her dates with ABT at the Met. And the Bolshoi shuffled around her performances in the DC Corsair.

So let's wait and see. It looks like she's zooming in for two isolated performances and a lot can happen in eight months

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Also, although I like both Wiles and Hallberg very much separately, they have gotten very mixed reviews as a pair.

Part of the reason for the mixed reviews may have been that sometimes McKenzie would cause Hallberg and Wiles to be premiering in their respective roles in the same performance -- like in Don Quixote as Kitri and Basilio, and also in their Swan Lake, I think. So, if they got some less than perfect reviews initially in some cases, that might have been because they were each relatively new to their leading roles. :P

Also, I don't think either of them is the very strongest (or the most obvious, in the sense of "in your face") of actors, although Hallberg has gotten better and better in terms of strength of acting (without compromising his more subtle and nice approach). I happen to like the more subtle approach they both took to their acting even early on -- it seemed less artifical than certain other people's acting, such as X Reyes or V Part. :huh:

I don't disagree with richard53dog and bingham that it would have been nice to see Osipova as Kitri again. However, apart from scheduling, here are some potential reasons that each of ABT and Osipova might want to do something else:

1) Osipova received a great deal of acclaim from critics already for her performance of Kitri in NY. Also, she is well-known internationally for that Kitri role. Therefore, if I were Osipova and I wanted to show the Bolshoi team that I have full capabilities beyond Kitri or that I can receive acclaim in other roles, I would want to do a different full-length ballet. Especially one in which Osipova is not known for starring internationally. That way, she can garner more favorable reviews from US critics for other roles and further establish herself within the Bolshoi.

2) ABT might want Osipova to do something other than what she already did at the Met in 2009, to build up the anticipation among audience members for her performance. Also to build up the anticipation by the critics too. For example, who wouldn't want to see how Osipova does in the Rose Adagio -- even if it's in the context of the last McKenzie production of Sleeping Beauty?

If one assumes that, leaving aside tourists, many members of the ballet going population are repeat attendees, having Osipova take on roles that are new for her at the ABT would increase the curiosity factor.

3) Romeo & Juliet and Sleeping Beauty could both showcase a "softer" side of Osipova than Don Quixote, as Giselle might have for some of the scenes. That might be a good thing for Osipova.

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Further observations on the Met casting:

1) Special Don Quixote: I didn't notice this until just now, but the June 3 Don Quixote (Thursday) performance features 3 different pairs of lead performers (likely to be all-principal, although one Kitri is not yet named).

7:30 PM

Don Quixote

P. Herrera

M. Gomes

X. Reyes

H. Cornejo

tba

J. Carreño

The press release says the following about this performance: Alicia "Alonso’s 90th birthday will be marked by a special performance of Don Quixote on Thursday evening, June 3 featuring three Principal casts, each dancing the lead in one act of the three act classic."

2) Sleeping Beauty: It seems like the most recent production of Sleeping Beauty will again be used.

The press release states: "Gillian Murphy and Jose Manuel Carreño will lead the season’s first performance of The Sleeping Beauty on Monday evening, June 14. This production of The Sleeping Beauty received its World Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York on June 1, 2007."

Not surprising, given the current state of the economy, etc. Also, the Swan Lake production seems to be the same. :huh:

3) Fancy Free: The Friday, June 3 and Monday, June 28 performances of "Fancy Free" feature the following three danseurs:

H. Cornejo

E. Stiefel

J. Carreño

4) There is the Paloma-equivalent role in On the Dneiper that is TBA in the following cast on June 28 and July 1:

TBA [lead ballerina]

Saveliev

Messmer

Tamm

That team had debuted together in the work as follows in 2009:

Riccetto

Saveliev

Messmer

Tamm

I wonder why there is doubt as to Riccetto being the lead. One possible explanation I can think of is that, on July 1, right before On the Dneiper is the Brahms/Haydn Variations, which includes Riccetto. I wonder if there are other factors in play?

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I happen to like the more subtle approach they both took to their acting even early on -- it seemed less artifical than certain other people's acting, such as X Reyes or V Part. :huh:

interesting you cite those two as they are completely dissimilar in type and style both of dancing and acting and happen to be one of my most favorite and one of my least favorite dancers at abt.

You see them as similar?

I don't disagree with richard53dog and bingham that it would have been nice to see Osipova as Kitri again. However, apart from scheduling, here are some potential reasons that each of ABT and Osipova might want to do something else:

1) Osipova received a great deal of acclaim from critics already for her performance of Kitri in NY. Also, she is well-known internationally for that Kitri role. Therefore, if I were Osipova and I wanted to show the Bolshoi team that I have full capabilities beyond Kitri or that I can receive acclaim in other roles, I would want to do a different full-length ballet. Especially one in which Osipova is not known for starring internationally. That way, she can garner more favorable reviews from US critics for other roles and further establish herself within the Bolshoi.

2) ABT might want Osipova to do something other than what she already did at the Met in 2009, to build up the anticipation among audience members for her performance. Also to build up the anticipation by the critics too. For example, who wouldn't want to see how Osipova does in the Rose Adagio -- even if it's in the context of the last McKenzie production of Sleeping Beauty?

If one assumes that, leaving aside tourists, many members of the ballet going population are repeat attendees, having Osipova take on roles that are new for her at the ABT would increase the curiosity factor.

I believe you are a bit confused. She has never done Kitri in NY. She performed Giselle and La Sylphide last year. Yes she is famous for Kitri but she has never performed it in NY. I believe she danced it in DC in 2007. Maybe she has danced it elsewhere in the US but not in the last few years and not in NY ever. Last year was her first time ever performing full length roles in NY and they were only the romantic roles.

That said I am very much looking forward to her Juliet which is a role she has long said she wanted to dance and I imagine would be very good for her personality.

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I'm hoping Simkin/Lane get the SB tba. Lane has had success in SB and as Gamzetti (last spring) interesting that she hasn't been cast. Also interesting that Part has Aurora again. Many months for cast changes, it will be fun to keep an eye on things. This is why I no longer buy subscriptions. I wait for casting and buy individual tickets.

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I'm disappointed to see so little here for my favorite up and coming corps members: I don't see anything new here for Eric Tamm, and where is Isabella Boylston? ... but perhaps I'm expecting too much. But I'm totally dismayed at the absence (are they in there *anywhere*?) of Misty Copeland, Kristi Boone and Yuriko Kajiya.

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Other observations from the Met casting:

-- As you suggested, V Part seems to paired with Bolle a lot. She partners him in her only two La Bayaderes, in her only Swan Lake. She partners Gomes in Sleeping Beauty, and continues to pair with him as part of the first team cast in her only two performances of On The Dneiper. Her partner for the "Awakening PDD" is tba in both her performances. In the Brahms-Haydn Variations, V Part might be paired with A. Hammoudi, if the partner is listed in order.

I guess part of the reason that V Part pairs with Bolle is that she is the recently minted principal, and he is the recently-resident danseur at the principal level, presumably? But could other factors be that V Part's jump is not that strong and pairing her with Hallberg might highlight that weakness in Part's dancing? (Note I have not seen Bolle perform, so I do not know what his jumps are like.) Also, Hallberg is very busy already without having to partner V Part.

You have an interesting way of wording things. I take it you dislike Part.

Her "only two La Bayaderes"--That is what most people get. If that. You didn't state other performers number of performances in the same way, you simply stated the number of their performances with no judgment implied.

I believe she is partnered with Bolle because they are both tall and statuesque. She has been a difficult dancer to partner because of her height.

Hallberg (who I adore!) is tall but not terribly strong and performs a lot. Bolle looks very well with Part and it makes a lot of sense to partner them.

I don't think that Hallberg highlights a weakness in Part's dancing. In fact I don't see jumping as a weakness in her dancing. Her leaps eat up the stage. Have you seen her as Myrtha? Weak is not the term I would use.

Opinions of course vary on dancers, and Part divides opinions perhaps more than most. I don't mean to imply that you aren't entitled to see her jump as a weakness, of course you are. But you stated it as if it was a fact. I just wanted to point out that at the least, fairly educated opinions differ on this issue.

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I'm disappointed to see so little here for my favorite up and coming corps members: I don't see anything new here for Eric Tamm, and where is Isabella Boylston? ... but perhaps I'm expecting too much. But I'm totally dismayed at the absence (are they in there *anywhere*?) of Misty Copeland, Kristi Boone and Yuriko Kajiya.

There are 3 other female soloist-type roles in Dame de Camellas. I imagine the ladies you mentioned will be cast in these roles.

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Osipova has said in interviews that she's done Kitri so much that she could do it if they woke her up at 3 am in her sleep. I don't blame her if she wants to expand her horizons.

From an interview with ballet.co.uk:

"I dream about serious, major work – about Juliet. I would really like to dance it now, at my age, not when I am thirty. I don’t even care which version I dance...It would be interesting to dance “Sleeping Beauty”, but it’s performed so rarely that I am unlikely to get it. In that ballet I would have liked to dance the happiness of youth. After all,I am still so young. "

Interview, 2008

So I am not surprised she wound up dancing these roles.

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I don't think that Hallberg highlights a weakness in Part's dancing. In fact I don't see jumping as a weakness in her dancing. Her leaps eat up the stage. Have you seen her as Myrtha? Weak is not the term I would use.

aurora:

I have seen V Part as Myrtha, such as in the June 13, 2009 PM Osipova/Hallberg performance. I think Part's weakness in her jumps is not length (i.e., how she can traverse the stage, which I agree she does a fair job of). At least to me, one of her major weaknesses in her dancing is a lack of height in her jumps (ie vertical coverage). Also, to me, a lack of a sensation of lightness when she jumps. Hallberg's jumps carry length, height and lightness combined.

Also, I wonder if Robert Bolle might look better with Part because Robert looks more mature than Hallberg, and Part has a more mature look for a ballerina, despite being the recently minted ABT principal (it took her some time to make principal, as we all may recall). Bolle joined La Scala Ballet in 1994, and has been principal since 1996.

http://www.abt.org/dancers/detail.asp?Dancer_ID=229

Hallberg is the youngest of the ABT danseurs. There are some ballerinas, e.g., Vishneva, who actually have a lot more experience than Hallberg in terms of years, but wouldn't (at least based on not having yet seen them dance Swan Lake together) look out of place with Hallberg. With Part, that seems to me to not be the case. The only time I've seen Part look fresh and youthful is in her picture on her ABT bio page.

As you noted, Part is "statuesque". I don't know how imposing Bolle looks in person, but Hallberg, while tall, does not come across as especially broad (he comes across on stage as just right). Part, on the other hand, does have a certain breadth to her body that some would perceive as creating a "more substantial" look for her when she dances. Part is not a petite ballerina. So, maybe Bolle would also be a better match for Part physically if Bolle were physically stronger than Hallberg.

And, yes, I generally dislike Part's dancing. I've said that before on this board.

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Many months for cast changes, it will be fun to keep an eye on things. This is why I no longer buy subscriptions. I wait for casting and buy individual tickets.

I am rolling over my subscription because I am pretty happy with the seating I've had. As you might know, at least for my seating (all seating??), if you roll over your subscription from last year for the same evening at the Met in a timely manner, you are guaranteed your seat from last year. (I haven't subscribed for that long, so I'm not sure what the deadline is, but I was able to renew the subscription yesterday, although I did not get confirmation of additional tickets I requested yesterday because they have to wait for other subscribers to decide, among other things.)

Does anybody know whether, as a matter of formal policy, if one has one subscription series, but gets other tickets, those other tickets can also be exchanged? Or is it just the tickets constituting the subscription itself that can be exchanged?

Also, can you clarify what you refer to when you say "casting"? Are there big changes ahead typically? :huh:

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Ambonnay, I have to concur with Aurora here vis a vis Part. I saw Part dance with Hallberg in "Swan Lake" and they looked lovely together. There were no partnering glitches. If Hallberg can lift Wiles, Part should be no problem (though ballerina coordination is a big factor is smooth partnering). However, Bolle does have a bit more upper body strength and both he and Part have a dark-haired movie star glamour that complement beautifully.

As for strength in upper body, I think that Stearns is actually weaker in that department than Hallberg. He actually is well over six feet but lacks the upper body muscular development that maturer dancers like Carreno and Gomes have.

Hallberg I find either connects emotionally and dramatically with his partner and role, or he doesn't. "Giselle" with Osipova this past Spring was a magnificent interpretive achievement from both. Xiomara Reyes I actually think is a superb actress with a real genius for portraying seriocomic waif-like roles. Her Cowgirl in "Rodeo" was Chaplinesque. I think if miscast (which she has been at ABT i.e. Raymonda) she can come across as flat and brittle. But cast right she is charming (i.e. Swanilda in "Coppelia" or Lise in "Fille"). Part also can bring an emotional amplitude to roles like Odette. She even was rather impressive as Lady Capulet recently, a mime role. Neither Part or Reyes I would characterize as a bad actress. They are both stronger in that regard than Herrera or Murphy.

Also, Part's jump has a kind of horizontal power covering great distance - it actually is one of her strengths. The weightedness actually increases the sense of power. I don't think that Murphy is a better jumper. Part's serious deficiency is in turning and petite allegro which she recently has become more consistent in though by no means a natural.

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