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ABT in LA July 2010

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Casting has been announced for ABT's Sleeping Beauty July 15-18, 2010 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion:


July 15: Gillian Murphy and Jose Manuel Carreño

July 16: Paloma Herrera and David Hallberg

July 17 matinee: Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky

July 17 evening: Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo

July 18: Veronika Part and Marcelo Gomes

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Sorry that Sarah Lane isn't getting a shot at it. Last year her California performance was well reviewed and I loved her NY performance.

I do understand that there are really too few performances to go around and even principals have limited opportunities. It would be great if each could have many more chances in a role to really develop.

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More complete casting from the Dorothy Chandler site:

July 15 Gillian Murphy/Marcelo Gomes/Michele Wiles/Nancy Raffa

July 16 Paloma Herrera/David Hallberg/Maria Riccetto/Nancy Raffa

July 17M Irina Dvorovenko/Maxim Beloserkovsky/Stella Abrera/Maria Bystrova

July 17E Xiomara Reyes/Herman Cornejo/Maria Riccetto/Nancy Raffa

July 18 Veronika Part/Cory Stearns/Michele Wiles/Maria Bystrova

An email from ABT today also stated Simkin is on for Bluebird opening night.

The Sat mat is looking awfully tempting to see Stella!

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Yikes. Not surprised. Though this production has been seen in SoCal at least twice before, we get that it's not ideal, it's been talked about in reviews ad nauseum - talk about it for a paragraph and move on. This whole "the dancers are clearly dancing not at their best because they hate the production" thing is really weird angle to take a review.

Regarding the pictures in the article: Can't they pick pictures where people are not coming down out of a jump (Gillian) or half the line of fairies is coming off pointe? If these were the best of the bunch, I guess I understand, but if you photograph dance you have to know how much these suck.

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We went last night, seeing the Hallberg/Herrera pairing. Acknowledging the faults of the production, there was still much to enjoy. Not least of the pleasures was Hee Seo as the Princess Florine. We assumed she was a principal and were floored to learn she is a soloist, and that, as of a mere two weeks ago.

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Saw the Part/Stearns/Wiles cast on Sunday. Veronika was wonderful, the Vision scene was probably the best I've seen. She did seem to be have problem with her jumps, it seemed like something was bothering her and she didn't want to risk anything by taking a landing badly. She won the entire audience over during the first section of balances in the Rose Adagio...it looked like she was a little shaky and then on the last attitude she stretched out into a balance that lasted forever with a giant grin on her face. Her Act I variation was beautiful, also.

I continue to wonder about Michele Wiles. Technically she's obviously great and when I saw her in Etudes two years ago she burned up the stage, but she is so uninteresting--she barely looked at the audience- and was upstaged personality wise by most of the other fairies/female soloists (Copeland, Kajiya, Underwood, Boone, and especially Maria Ricetto as Princess Florine-she just keeps getting better and better). Hee Seo was completely wasted in this performance as a Lilac Fairy Attendant- when does that Soloist contract kick in?

Stearns was fine, he danced well with the other men in the hunt scene. Completely botched the fish dives, though - he used both arms to turn and dip Veronika, and even with doing that couldn't release his back arm to showcase the position during the swell of music. Just looked awful. I don't know if he had to do this with other dancers or if Veronika is just too tall for him, but it would have been better to just do the pirouette and dip combo that Russian companies do.

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Seo was cast as bluebird for one night and was stunning.

I was on stage for all of the rose adagios, and Part's were by far the weakest. She kept her eyes dropped the whole time and once or twice lost her balance completely and grabbed the hand of her partner very rapidly. Apparently, the audience did not see this.

I thought Stearns looked really clean in his solos. His technique is really strong. However, I don't think the partnership between Sterns and Part is good at all. I don't think they have a good connection on a personal level, and physically they are a bad match.

They had a lot of difficulty with the turns in the fish dive in the dress rehearsal. They didn't even complete the last one. He might have needed to keep his hands on her because she is too tall for him.

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I was on stage for all of the rose adagios, and Part's were by far the weakest. She kept her eyes dropped the whole time and once or twice lost her balance completely and grabbed the hand of her partner very rapidly. Apparently, the audience did not see this.

I think they did (I certainly did)...I could feel the audience tense up during the first balance section and that's when she pulled off that long balance and everyone around me did a big exhale. One guy seated behind me actually said, "Now that's how you finish!" However, she didn't fall off pointe at any part and I've seen many other dancers do the same thing. I did think the rest of the adage was well done, but again Veronika is one of my favorite dancers and I enjoy her style.

I think it's pretty clear she and Stearns are not well suited for each other, but for whatever reason ABT changed the casting for Gomes to go back to NYC to do the Fire Island benefit, and I assume Hallberg to go to Jacob's Pillow leaving her without any other option for partner.

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Donna Perlmutter on The Huffington Post today likes the ABT Sleeping Beauty far more than most critics: "A 'Beauty' in Tip-Top Touring Condition":


"Cause for cheer: American Ballet Theatre's 2007 production of The Sleeping Beauty. Why? Because the show is jam-packed with the exquisite glitter of a Fabergé egg - enough gorgeous dancing, deeply coached 19th-century mime characterizations and fairy tale glories to satisfy even the most curmudgeonly among us.

"Now that it's touring, with a weekend stopover at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, we can see definite traces of Gelsey Kirkland's fine directorial hand at work. She, along with Kevin McKenzie and her huband Michael Chernov, staged this quintessential classical ballet and, miracle of miracles, we can now gaze upon courtly characters who comport themselves as convincingly regal and at the same time are passionate in their causes. . ."

She even likes the costumes and sets, widely criticized as "Disney-fied" -- but then, this is the home of Disneyland:

"Critical punches against Tony Walton's sets and Willa Kim's costumes abounded in New York, but I found the lacey Valentine card of the Wedding Act somehow sweet, even in its overdone, sugar-spun state - albeit with flashes of chic wit scattered around, in scrumptious sherbet shades.

After all, it is The Sleeping Beauty, in a kingdom of sugar and spice."

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