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ABT at The Met 2010 Opening Night program

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From ABT:

OPENING NIGHT SPRING GALA TO CELEBRATE

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE’S 70TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON

AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE,

MONDAY, MAY 17, 2010 AT 6:30 P.M.

Spring Gala Sponsored by Graff and NBC Universal

American Ballet Theatre will celebrate its 70th Anniversary Season with an Opening Night Gala on Monday, May 17 at 6:30 P.M. Mrs. Michelle Obama will serve as Honorary Chairman, along with Caroline Kennedy and Blaine Trump. The Spring Gala will honor David H. Koch for 25 years of service to ABT and its Board of Governing Trustees.

A special 70th Anniversary highlight program will feature American Ballet Theatre’s Principal Dancers in excerpts from Sir Frederick Ashton’s Birthday Offering, Swan Lake and Twyla Tharp’s The Brahms-Haydn Variations. The performance will include the Company Premieres of Ashton’s Thaïs Pas de Deux and Awakening Pas de Deux, as well as a pas de deux from John Neumeier’s Lady of the Camellias. The evening will also feature the Spring Gala debut of ABT II, in the first movement of Edwaard Liang’s Ballo Per Sei. Set to music by Antonio Vivaldi, Ballo Per Sei was given its World Premiere at The Joyce Theater on April 13, 2010.

Henri Barguirdjian, Danielle Ganek, Anne Grauso and Caryn Zucker will serve as Gala Co-Chairmen, Anka K. Palitz and Marianne and John K. Castle will serve as Vice Chairmen of the evening and Aileen Mehle is Chairman Emerita. Corporate Co-Chairs are Richard and Diotay Baker, Christine and Renaud Dutreil, and Karin and Stephen Sadove. Daniel Cappello, Blair Husain and Melissa Smith will serve as Junior Co-Chairmen.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2010 Spring Gala is sponsored by Graff and NBC Universal. A portion of the proceeds from the Spring Gala will support ABT II and ABT’s education and community outreach programs.

A Gala dinner under the Tent at Lincoln Center will immediately follow the performance. Gala benefit tickets priced at $1,500, $2,000 and $2,500 include the performance and post-performance dinner. For Gala benefit ticket information only, call American Ballet Theatre’s Special Events office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3239.

Performance-only tickets, priced $28 to $150, are available online, at the Metropolitan Opera House box office or by calling 212-362-6000. For more information, please visit ABT’s website at www.abt.org <http://www.abt.org> .

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The calendar has details on the opening night program!

Headlines:

-- Osipova is participating, paired by Hallberg again!

-- Corella performs "Caught"

Birthday Offering (Opening)

I. Dvorovenko

M. Beloserkovsky

Ballo Per Sei

Abt II

The Sleeping Beauty (Rose Adagio)

M. Wiles

Romeo and Juliet pas de deux

X. Reyes

H. Cornejo

Swan Lake Act III pas de deux

V. Part

M. Gomes

Thaïs Pas de Deux

D. Vishneva

J. Carreño

The Brahms-Haydn Variations (closing movement)

S. Abrera

A. Hammoudi

X. Reyes

H. Cornejo

L. Underwood

C. Stearns

H. Seo

G. Saveliev

M. Riccetto

D. Simkin

La Bayadère Act II (Opening Adagio)

Company

Awakening Pas de Deux

P. Herrera

C. Stearns

The Sleeping Beauty Act III pas de deux

D. Hallberg

N. Osipova

Don Quixote Act III pas de deux

G. Murphy

E. Stiefel

Caught

A. Corella

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Where is "Lady of the Camellias PDD" as mentioned in the press release?

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Kent/Bolle are the featured leads in Lady of the Camelias. They are both missing from the list above, suggesting that they could potentially be the participants in an excerpt from Lady of the Camelias. The list above seems to involve each of the other principals (and of course Mr. Featured, Cory Stearns) appearing in the program. Kent and Bolle probably are intended to participate.

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The Lady...PDD w/ Kent and Bolle is back in the Gala program.

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The opening night gala program has further changes (highlighted in red below).

Changes:

-- Osipova now dancing Giselle Act II pas de deux with Hallberg, instead of Sleeping Beauty PDD -- An interesting choice with respect to marketing, since Giselle is not being performed this season but Romeo and Juliet (which is removed altogether from the opening gala program) is.

--Thais PDD, always involving Vishneva, now has her paired with Matthews instead of Carreno. I wonder why -- is Carreno injured perhaps?

-- Cornejo and Reyes are now paired for the Sleeping Beauty PDD, instead of the Romeo and Juliet PDD (which is no longer being performed on opening night)

Birthday Offering (Opening)

I. Dvorovenko

M. Beloserkovsky

Ballo Per Sei (First Movement)

Abt ii

The Sleeping Beauty (Rose Adagio)

M. Wiles

Giselle Act II pas de deux

N. Osipova

D. Hallberg

Swan Lake Act III pas de deux

V. Part

M. Gomes

Thaïs Pas de Deux

D. Vishneva

J. Matthews

The Brahms-Haydn Variations (closing movement)

S. Abrera

A. Hammoudi

X. Reyes

H. Cornejo

L. Underwood

C. Stearns

H. Seo

G. Saveliev

M. Riccetto

D. Simkin

La Bayadère Act II (Opening Adagio)

Company

Awakening Pas de Deux

P. Herrera

C. Stearns

The Sleeping Beauty Act III pas de deux

X. Reyes

H. Cornejo

Lady of the Camellias Act II pas de deux

J. Kent

R. Bolle

Don Quixote Act III pas de deux

G. Murphy

E. Stiefel

Caught

A. Corella

Separately, while I didn't notice Corella's thighs as being particularly bulky when he performed with his own company, here is a photo from the ABT Facebook page, on the China November 2009 tour. I had noticed slightly thicker thighs during the Swan Lake performance he had with the Met 2009 season. Now the situation has not improved.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4751...;id=15817871857

Compare, Hallberg in the same costume.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4751...;id=15817871857

I hate to say it, but as much as I appreciate Corella's dancing and his goal of building his own company, he has got to stay in top aesthetic appeal shape.

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Wonderful evening overall, but with some (not unexpected) range in the quality of the excerpts and the dancing included in the event.

Highlights:

-- Hallberg and Osipova -- What can I say? Hallberg's face and body are so expressive and his lines so gorgeous. I had seen their Giselle last year, and this excerpt was at the same very high quality of performance. I think Hallberg is connecting more and more as an actor portraying a character, which was, in my mind, his only area of potential improvement when I saw him a few years ago. For example, Hallberg was very expressive as he slumped over from fatigue, lying on the floor in a beautiful position. His facial expressions were wonderful as I viewed them from binoculars. He and Osipova are well matched artistically, and the performance was beautiful. Osipova had lightness in her step as usual -- at one point, she was bouncing up and down on her toes (elegantly) pretty quickly. Of course, my favorite performance of the evening was the one including Hallberg!

BTW, at the end of the entire performance, most of the performers came on stage. Some of the performers with excerpts occurring earlier in the evening had their black tie attire on, in preparation for the gala that was to follow. During this final curtain call, Irina D was in a very beautiful red off-the-shoulder, chiffon-type, flowy gown that was gorgeous. Next to her was Ospova, in a very modern and beautiful copperish/muted gold-type dress that ended significantly above her knees. Osipova looked modern and appealing as she was about to go to the gala.

-- Kent and Bolle -- Kent danced beautifully. This is the first time that I have seen Bolle live, and his movements lacked a certain lyricism and fluidity I find in, say, Hallberg. I appreciate each of those danseurs has their own style, but Bolle's less elegant, perhaps more "strong"-looking and bulky lines, did not particularly appeal to me. While I don't know La Dame aux Camelias, Bolle seemed rushed in some of his movements and his movements did not seem to be always connected one to the next in a natural, seamless manner. The excerpt from Dame had some sexual connotations. I appreciate what the storyline of La Dame is, but, at one point, Bolle removes Kent's black dress, revealing a blush pink camisole-like shorter number on Kent. Then, Kent and Bolle have various "moves" (including steps while one or more of them is laying on the ground, with the other in a close position next to the first) that seemed quite "suggestive" to me. Not suggestive in an inappropriate way -- in fact, these moves were quite tastefully done as far as I could tell.

-- Stella Abrera stood out among the dancers in the Brahms-Haydn Variations. Hee Seo also was good in that piece, and Leann Underwood was decent.

-- Stiefel seems to be in decent physical form now. Murphy's fouettes as Kitri in the Act III Don Quixote Pas de Deux & Coda were good. Like she had started to do in her Swan Lake Odile fouettes (albeit with slight differences in position of the arms), here she moved her arms during the fouettes into different positions. Holding a fan as Kitri, she sometimes waved the fan above her head. Other times, she had her hands on her waist as she turned. Her usual technical capabilities with respect to fouettes were on display.

-- As usual, at least at the Parterre level (probably Orchestra too), there were complimentary canapes passed and complimentary champagne. A part of the ticket price is labeled a charitable donation. Also as usual, people were quite serious about the black tie, and many of the gentlemen in the audience were in tuxes, and the other ladies in long gowns.

-- David Koch was honored for 25 years of service on the ABT board of trustees. He just donated $2.5 million in support of the upcoming Ratmansky Nutcracker, and, in his speech, encouraged others to donate. December 23 will be the company premiere of Nutcracker. Caroline Kennedy and Blaine Trump presented him with an award for his long-time contributions to the ABT. Koch said that he, like the ABT this year, just turned 70. He hopes to remain active for a number of years with the ABT.

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I set forth the program/cast info:

BIRTHDAY OFFERING

Irina D and Maxim B

Lane, Bolylston, Hee Seo (danced fairly well), Messmer, Riccetto, Shevchenko (she's getting some opportunities, as a Corps member)

Davis, DeLong, Forster, Hoven (dancing in mediocre way), Lopez, Mantei

BALLO PER SE

Hinkis, Silva, Boren, Royal, Degrofft, Waldrep

SLEEPING BEAUTY

Michele W (not more than appropriate, in the key part of the Rose Adagio where each suitor in turn lets go of her hand as she stands on pointed toes)

Radetsky, Salstein, Saveliev, Zhurbin (all so-so)

GISELLE

Osipova & Hallberg :FIREdevil:

SWAN LAKE

Part, Gomes (she looked very physically "large" next to Gomes in this excerpt; she also kept on smiling with her mouth open too much in a "fake" way and her portrayal lacked subtlety)

THAIS PDD

Vishneva & Matthews (she was fairly good; he was so-so)

BRAHMS-HAYDN VARIATIONS

Abrera & Hammoudi (Abrera was very good)

Reyes & Cornejo (Reyes did not stand out to me, even when the other ballerinas in this excerpt were not principals)

Underwood & Stearns (Mr. Stearns is getting a lot of attention this season. In the final curtain call, he was standing in the second "row" from the audience, where all the principal danseurs, like Hallberg, were standing. He wore a tux, whereas Hallberg wore a beautiful suit with what seemed like a pale purplish shirt and possibly a blush pink tie -- not sure)

Hee Seo & Saveliev (not sure the actual pairings were as described on the program)

Riccetto & Simkin

Kajiya & Salstein

Paris & Zhurbin

Also: Bond, Butler, Bystrova, Hamrick, Milewski, Shevchecko, Teuscher, Williams, Bragado-Young, Davis, Easter, Forster, Golladay, Ogle, Stappas, Stewart

A number of the dancers looked nice in their costumes, in various shades of beige/brown hues. Some of the movements by different couples, to the extent they were intended to be synchronized (?), did not seem to be so when one examined things in detail. Still, a lot of activity on stage, yielded a piece that I am interested in seeing for the first time later in the season in its entirety.

More to come in a separate post.

I didn't see Tamm all evening. Maybe I missed him. He's not on the program. I hope he is not injured.

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LA BAYADERE

Corps women, including Hee Seo, Shevchecko, Underwood

AWAKENING PDD

Herrera & Stearns (alright; I've never liked Herrera and I don't think these two make a good pairing)

SLEEPING BEAUTY Act III PDD & CODA

Reyes & Cornejo (Reyes' not having a classically proportioned body or normal-length legs makes her a less conventional-looking Aurora (or other non-Kitri heroine); her silly habit of smiling all the time did not seem in keeping with the character of Aurora either. Cornejo looked better than I recall -- I think he could be making an effort to look better. I recently saw a much better version of this PDD performed at the V Vasiliev Gala. Although I don't know the history of Reyes' career, I find it surprising that she could have been promoted to principal -- she just doesn't have nice looking lines or any variation in the emotions her face or body conveys. She's too cheerful and bouncy in this PDD and Coda.

LADY OF THE CAMELIAS

Kent & Bolle

DON QUIXOTE

Murphy & Stiefel -- Murphy's performance here shows how much better she is than the other ballerinas at the ABT this season (excluding Vishneva and Osipova). She seemed confident and very technically proficient. Her portrayal of the relevant character is much better than Reyes and Herrera. And her technique is so much better than Part. When Part did her Odile fouettes in her excerpt, there was no difference from one fouette to the next -- it was as though Part just wanted to do what was necessary to complete the fouettes. When Stiefel did his turns after Gilliam did her Kitri fouettes, in the middle of the sequences of turns, he did a dramatic "hop"/jump and continued seamlessly to turn thereafter.

Caught

Corella

This piece seemed out of sync with the rest of the evening. It has very striking (not necessarily good) lighting which is important apparently to the piece. Corella was shirtless, and wore a white pant. The music was loud -- at least to me. And there was strobelight-type very strong lighting that made Corella sometimes appear and sometimes disappear -- a la discos from the 1980s. I thought Corella generally danced well, but this piece was an akward end to the evening, when the overall line-up for the evening was considered.

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In the openning of last night's gala, dancers who were part of ABT's history were introduced including L Serrano, MV Hamel, N Makarova, Nina A, A Ferri, F Franklin and ,surprisingly, Misha B. I don't recall of his appearance, in previous galas, since he left as AD.

I hope he will come back in some capacity.(coach ?).

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I was there last night too. The opening intro. of important dancers of ABT's past was an unexpected high. How I miss Ferri! David Koch received surprisingly little applause from the audience considering how much money he has contributed. Believe it or not, he has a 9 year old daughter who takes lessons at SAB. I expect to see her on stage at the new ABT Nutcracker. The standout performances for me were the Osipova/Hallberg Giselle pdd, Vishneva's luminous performance of the Thais pdd, and Gillian's coda in the DonQ pdd. Let's hope Steifel's knees can make it through the season. He looked good and in shape last night. I enjoyed the Lady of the Cam. pdd. I've never seen that ballet. I'm guessing that Vishneva and Gomes are going to be AWESOME in that ballet together. Stella looked radiant. I wish they would give her more roles. I didn't like the Reyes/Cornejo SB pdd. Cornejo screwed up one of the fish dives. They both lack grandeur of style. The Awakening pdd fell flat, in my opinion. I'm looking forward to the season.

As for the parade of dresses at the end, this year I thought Irina's dress swallowed her up. It was a gorgeous dress, but it seemed too flowing and billowing for her small frame. I liked Part's dress,and it looked good on her.

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In the openning of last night's gala, dancers who were part of ABT's history were introduced including L Serrano, MV Hamel, N Makarova, Nina A, A Ferri, F Franklin and ,surprisingly, Misha B. . . .

Were all of those dancers physically present at the gala? There are certainly many other greats that could have been mentioned, if they were just reading names.

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In the openning of last night's gala, dancers who were part of ABT's history were introduced including L Serrano, MV Hamel, N Makarova, Nina A, A Ferri, F Franklin and ,surprisingly, Misha B. . . .

Were all of those dancers physically present at the gala? There are certainly many other greats that could have been mentioned, if they were just reading names.

Yes, all of the above listed former dancers came out on stage as their names were announced.

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. . . David Koch received surprisingly little applause from the audience considering how much money he has contributed. . .

I'm sure I speak for many ballet lovers in being grateful for Koch's generous financial support of both ABT and NYCB. But his support for the "tea party" movement this past year has also been widely reported. Try googling "David Koch" and "tea party" and you'll see lots of reports. Here's one site in which Koch seems to acknowledge his financial support:

http://washingtonindependent.com/62318/tea...its-toward-2010

You have to assume a New York audience was aware of that side of Koch's largesse. Perhaps some agree with him politically, but it wouldn't be surprising if many are troubled by his views.

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California, let's keep politics out of this board. No one criticized Mrs Obama when she appeared last year.

Wonderful evening, I would have liked to have seen an excerpt from Nutcracker; perhaps one of the divertissements some costumes in the lobby.

I would have liked to seen more from "Birthday Offering"

Sleeping Beauty excepts were slow, PDD was messy and I miss the Technicolor costumes from the rose adagio. Audience was silent afterward.

Bolle's partnering took my breath away, Camalias Chero was amazing, Bolle did lifts I have never seen before. Audience was buzzing after that piece.

There was a beautiful Clarinet Solo, no mention in the program, Violins and Piano solos were mentioned. Orchestra was pitch perfect as usual.

Floor tape came up in Thaiis PDD, Stage hands should have done a better job on the floor.

"Caught" was great, music was loud. It was not a tour de force, but very visually appealing. Lighting rehearsals must have been difficult. I assume a lighting technician was backstage with a light trigger to capture Mr. Corella "en l'air" Cirque De Soleil style multiple bows was tacky, or Corella needed to rest.

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California, let's keep politics out of this board. No one criticized Mrs Obama when she appeared last year.

There was an observation about lack of applause for a major donor and a legitimate theory about why this was so, similar to the ones that were discussed extensively on the theater re-naming thread.

The moderators watch for comments that cross the line. In addition, board policy is to use the "report" button if you feel a post should be reviewed.

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". . . let's keep politics out of this board. . . "

Another commenter had said ". . . David Koch received surprisingly little applause from the audience considering how much money he has contributed. . ." I offered a possible explanation that's been in the news. It's also possible that the audience didn't make the connection between the David Koch being introduced on stage and the David Koch whose name is now on the (former) State Theatre next door. Or perhaps the audience was distracted by the presence of Baryshnikov or Makarova or other stars of the past and didn't realize how much $$ Koch has donated to the ballet. I suppose there are all sorts of explanations for the tepid response from the audience, some political, some not.

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I didn't like the Reyes/Cornejo SB pdd. Cornejo screwed up one of the fish dives. They both lack grandeur of style.

I thought that Reyes lacked grandeur of style. But then I've always thought that her demeanor, "acting" and physical appearance were not particularly good for any classical ballerina role, except for Kitri. However, Reyes' inappropriate demeanor for this piece made it difficult to appreciate Cornejo's more classical demeanor during it -- which was a bit of a subdued style for Cornejo relative to his range (or at least the range I have seen). Reyes is so slight in figure, and so non-classically proportioned with respect to her short stature, that the crown she was wearing for this excerpt seemed too big on her. I'm not saying that every ballerina has to conform to a given physical "look" or shape, but I think there are ranges of physical characteristics that aid or detract from other aspects of a given ballerina's performance or that augment such aspects. In Reyes' case, the detriment is clear.

Cornejo did alright throughout the piece, except, as abatt noted, for the first of the three "fish dives" in a row. The mistake was noticeable, but neither Cornejo nor Reyes actually failed to complete the major portions of the dive. The entry into the dive was a bit akward and late, as Cornejo kind of fumbled to get himself into position to support Reyes during the dive.

On Koch, I wouldn't say that he got very little applause. He got some, albeit not momentous or particularly sustained clapping as his sustained and large contributions financially to the ABT may to some suggest. Note, however, that it was not very clear what award he was receiving -- at least not clear to me from the Blaine Trump intro. While Caroline Kennedy or Blaine did mention his long tenure on the Board of Trustees, they focused more on the ABT and on the arts community in general, and did not talk about the rest of Lincoln Center (ie the State Theater).

BTW, is this Koch related to the person with the same last name who is suing some of the auction houses for "fake" wine (as described in "The Billionaire's Vinegar), with respect to supposedly T Jefferson bottles of Lafite, etc.?

BTW, I don't think Kevin M's choice as to which principals would be on their own, instead of in a partnered excerpt, was coincidental. Corella is probably not in Kevin's good graces, at least for now, despite his being the final performer in the gala program. And Wiles was the other principal left to fend on her own without a principal danseur as partner, in the Rose Adagio.

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I thought that Reyes lacked grandeur of style. But then I've always thought that her demeanor, "acting" and physical appearance were not particularly good for any classical ballerina role, except for Kitri.

BTW, I don't think Kevin M's choice as to which principals would be on their own, instead of in a partnered excerpt, was coincidental. Corella is probably not in Kevin's good graces, at least for now, despite his being the final performer in the gala program. And Wiles was the other principal left to fend on her own without a principal danseur as partner, in the Rose Adagio.

I like Reyes as Juliet and Giselle. She may also be good as Kitri. In those ballets, her youthful appearance and small size are not a problem. I have no clue what award Koch was accepting. I think it was a thank you to a rich person who has heaped a load of cash on ABT award. When he kissed the award not once, but twice, it was certainly overkill. Ranieri used to be ABT's big donor. I haven't heard his name as much of late. Yes, it appears that Angel may be on the K. McKenzie persona non grata list, for reasons I cannot understand. It's a pity, because I will go see Corella in everything he does.

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I enjoyed the gala last night quite a lot, way better than in the last 3-4 years.

Bolle/Kent were the highlight of the night for me, incredibly beautiful. Bolle showed what a tremendous partner he is, allowing Kent to feel totally secure in those complex lifting and throughout the whole pdd. Julie looked very much in great shape, displaying all her artistry and refined dancing, to make this pdd looks absolutely terrific.

Osopiva/Hallberg were second on my list. I was very critic with Osipova's style in last year's 2nd act, despite her unlimited talent. I remember also thinkg...oh this is the 1st time that she was dancing with ABT, 1st time with David, 1st timw at the MET stage, ........all this factors can really have a dramatic influence in the quality of the dancing of a very young dancer, as she is, at a big stage....not to mention the fact that Giselle is a character that really needs time to develop, and its unfair to compare such a young ballerina with a master-experienced diva as Diana, for example, who I also remember delivering a Giselle the same week, that I will never forget.

Last night I saw a much improved style in her upper boddy and arms and the partnetship looked totally different as well. It was totally sensational, both of them danced at a very very high level. Considering how young these two dancers are, one can easily think that these two could develop a partneship "for the ages" !

I feel so lucky to have them here, hopefully Osipova will become a regular and they will have the chance to dance together for many more years :)

Visheneva was faboulus in Thais.....although I disliked very much the partnering of Mattews. This pdd is really really difficult and I think she needs someone taller and stronger than Jared M. to make it work. Probably Hammoudi, Tam, I dont know.......Bolle/Gomes would be ideal, of course.

Michelle danced the Rose Adagio wonderfully. I have so many ups and downs with her, last night she was great once again. I liked the fluidity of her movements and she didnt look as stiff as some other times. The first round of balances went well, although you could tell that she wasnt totally confortable at that moment, yet (which in a short appereance like this one, is not surprising, as compared to dacing the full length). As the variation progressed, Michelle looked more and more confident and really radiant. By the time she got to the 2nd round, she was on fire, and delivered four jaw-dropping balances, with a lot, a lot of control and grace. She ended up in rock-solid arabesque that brought a lot fo applause from the audience. Very well danced, I was very happy to see her dancing like this, again.

Veronika and Marcelo danced SL Act III pdd. At first I was very surprised by the choice. As much as I adore Part because of her grandeur, beauty and line, we know that she can get scared and show that to you, when complex steps are coming...I just thought, god, dont let this be part II of the Rose adagio that we had 3 years ago, because that wd be devastating, especially after being a principal and after the great season that she had last year. I was actually mad, thinking, why didnt she danced that Act II adagio, where she looks like the epitome of a classical ballerina...at the end of the day, these galas are to show off and attract the audience, right?

Surprinsinly, Part came with such confidence and energy that she looked like a pretty different ballerina, how wonderful was to see this..she was probably a little bit over the top, but I didnt care because she danced with such grace and power...... beautiful partnered pirouettes, extensions to dye-for, the right speed, .............The fouettes were beautifully executed with great musicality. To me, this is an example that you dont really need to make the ultimate pirouettes to dance this coda well. Her leg was right up pretty much at 90 degrees in every single turn, she was smiling and she stayed pretty much in her spot until the very end when she advanced to the front of the stage, as most of them do, to leave room for their partner who is executing his solo right after. Marcelo looked great as well, although he is more of a noble danseur than the super-skilled turner/technician ( and i mean it in a very positive way, he is probably my favorite dancer with David). Great to see Veronika atacking this coda fearless and looking so confident.

Did I mentioned that she looked, once again, gorgeous ! and yes..somebody commented before she looked larger than Marcelo, she is "on pointe" taller than him.

Reyes/Cornejo SB pdd didnt look good. First, Reyes is not a dancer for this Ballet because she doesnt have the lines, body proportion and grandeur required for Aurora. Second, Herman, as wonderful as he is as a dancer, continues to have big problems partnering ballerinas, and Reyes is pretty small framed herself. The first of the fishing-dives was kind of a mess (and this is not Reyes fault, she did what she could to fall in the position, but he just couldt lift her). The other two looked better, but of course she was very careful not to throw herlsef into his arms, so they looked pretty calculated. I have seen her dance this with Carreno and she def looked a lot better.

Annbonnay, as for your question regarding Reyes being a principal and dancer history.

If she is properly cast, she is effective. In general, she is musical, expressive and in roles like Juliet, Giselle, Kitri and even Medora, she can deliver good performances. She is very reliable (this is key) and, although she will never give you the ultimate show, she always dances well and make very little mistakes. Is a pretty versatile ballerina wich is also a very good thing . She has great foot work as well. Mainly, I think they were desperately looking for a partner for Cornejo, because within the NBA-roster of females principals at ABT, no one can dance with him. She basically competed with Erica Cornejo, and she was the one promoted, and I think it was the right decision. Erica was def great, but I think Reyes is better and more versatile than her.

She is Cuban, was trained in Cuba Ballet School but left the country I think at a young age (I dont think she ever danced with the National Company) and then she was a Principal, I think, at the Royal Ballet of Flounders (Belgium), where she danced probably more roles than here.

I also asked myself that question a few times, I would say she is not the regular abt principal...but again, when she is cast correctly, she can dance pretty well.

Another mistake from ABT, in my opinion, was casting her as Raymunda, another role not suited at all for her line and proportions.

Herrera/Stears danced Awakening......Cory looked fantastic, I like him more and more. Paloma, well, I gave up on her a long time ago.

She looks great on Balanchine or Modern/Contemporary dance, but put a white tutu on her and god............

Murphy/Stieffel Don Q.

Gillian's Monster technique is ideal for this pdd. She danced it real well, of course, although I have to say that I have seen her do way better than last night. She had problems with both balances at the begining of the pdd and I think she ended the fouettes running out of steam, although, as usual, they were out of this world, fanning herself while executing double/triples pirouettes and I think she did 1-2 quadruples too. Probably, after what I have seen her do, sometimes in the boundaries of what is humanly possible, I always expect so much from her !!! :)

It was great to see Ethan once again, and yes, lets hope that knee holds there for quite sometime.

The rest, including the shades (well danced by the corp, but with the usual tumbling of 1-2 ballerinas in the front row, which I hate, I have to say) was ok as well.

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Surprinsinly, Part came with such confidence and energy that she looked like a pretty different ballerina, how wonderful was to see this..she was probably a little bit over the top, but I didnt care because she danced with such grace and power...... Did I mentioned that she looked, once again, gorgeous ! and yes..somebody commented before she looked larger than Marcelo, she is "on pointe" taller than him....

Mainly, I think they were desperately looking for a partner for Cornejo, because within the NBA-roster of females principals at ABT, no one can dance with him.

Classic_Ballet: Thanks for the Cornejo information. May I ask why Cornejo has such problems partnering other ballerinas?

On Part, I thought she was definitely over the top in her facial expressions and her from time to time tossing her head backwards a little bit (a lot more than normal ballerinas do). She kept her mouth, bathed in a bright red lipstick, open most of the performance, showing her pearly whites. Her eyes were glaring at Marcelo alot, and her eyebrows were strong. Sometimes, literally, for certain more dramatic interactions with Marcelo, her mouth and eyes would form into an expression one might associate with viciousness or forcefulness. I thought that her performance was lacking.

As for Part's physicque, the black bustier-type top of the Odile costume made her shoulders look very broad -- to me broader than Marcelo's. At times, I caught myself thinking that I understood why she is now frequently paired with Bolle or Marcelo, and thanking Kevin M she won't be risking anything vis a vis Hallberg. Also, the white tights worn by Odile left the upper thighs of Part looking just on the border of being strong and appropriate, as opposed to bulky and lacking in line.

I'm sad I missed the introduction of the prior dancers. When I arrived at 6:55 pm (25 minutes late), I caught the second part of Birthday Offering.

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[

Classic_Ballet: Thanks for the Cornejo information. May I ask why Cornejo has such problems partnering other ballerinas?

Your wellcome. Well, I cant tell you exactly why, is mainly a matter of technique and I guess upper body strenght.

If you think, for example, Angel is a great great partner. He manage to partner taller ballerinas extremelly well, i.e. Herrera, Diana, his sister.

I think they are all "on pointe" taller than him.

The difference in height between Angel and Herman is not that dramatic if you see them side by side (Corella is def taller, though), however, the diference in the partneship skills is def dramatic. Herman is a gifted dancer, is trully a pity.

Another example of great partner is Carreno. He has partnered Zakharova ! Semionova ! who are very tall, but again, his techinque is amazing.

On Part, I thought she was definitely over the top in her facial expressions and her from time to time tossing her head backwards a little bit (a lot more than normal ballerinas do). She kept her mouth, bathed in a bright red lipstick, open most of the performance, showing her pearly whites. Her eyes were glaring at Marcelo alot, and her eyebrows were strong. Sometimes, literally, for certain more dramatic interactions with Marcelo, her mouth and eyes would form into an expression one might associate with viciousness or forcefulness. I thought that her performance was lacking.

As for Part's physicque, the black bustier-type top of the Odile costume made her shoulders look very broad -- to me broader than Marcelo's. At times, I caught myself thinking that I understood why she is now frequently paired with Bolle or Marcelo, and thanking Kevin M she won't be risking anything vis a vis Hallberg. Also, the white tights worn by Odile left the upper thighs of Part looking just on the border of being strong and appropriate, as opposed to bulky and lacking in line.

I'm sad I missed the introduction of the prior dancers. When I arrived at 6:55 pm (25 minutes late), I caught the second part of Birthday Offering.

On Veronika, what you mentioned is in part very well suited for Odile characterization. She is def broad shouldered, yes, but her line is problably the most beautiful in the company. Her legs are endless and beautifully toned. She is a very woman-like ballerina. Many people think she resemble Ava Gardner, and I agree.

She is very tall and she is not skinny, as for example, Julie or Diana, or even Zakharova/Lopatkina. Thats why she needs tall and strong partners. I am sure thats one of the reasons (among others) for abt to bring Roberto, so they dont put so much pressure on Marcelo. David has danced with her before (I saw them in SL, for example), and it didnt look bad but I dont think he is strongh enough for her.

Veronika is a peculiar dancer, it took sometime for me to adore her......is a very differet style and with her is all about delicacy, her upper body is just gorgeous, i would say she is one of the bast examples of the Kirov School. She also has to be correctly cast...Raymonda, Odile/Odette, Nikiya, Lilac Fairy, Quee of Dryads.... are some of her best roles.

Although, I think she shouldnt have the door closed to develop on other roles (same for Gilliam and Michelle, who seem to be on the same page )

I dont understand, for example, why Herrera dances Juliet/Giselle and she doesnt . I am sure Veronika wd make a much better Juliet/Giselle than Paloma, in my opinion, but again....who knows. Paloma was given a lot of roles/opportunities when she was a rising star (I liked her way better then) and prob thats why she keeps dancing them, as opposite to Veronika, who made it to the principal level at 30, i think

I am dying to see her again as Aurora this year.

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The NYT review of last night is out:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/19/arts/dan....html?ref=dance

My favorite excerpt from it, not surprisingly:

"Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg danced a suite from Act II of “Giselle.” Her aerial takeoff was even more astonishing than I had remembered it, rightly causing gasps. The way he, when crisscrossing his feet in the air in entrechats, added a sudden, wider opening before the final crossing was a wonderfully subtle grace note. Too bad “Giselle” is not on the schedule this year; I’m impatient to see them dance it again."

Note:

"Veronika Part certainly characterized the Odile of “Swan Lake” as a voluptuous vamp; her acting wasn’t subtle, but it was committed."

I guess I can't fault Part for lack of commitment to her chosen form of portrayal. Whether that form is a desirable one, obviously, is a separate question. :)

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Macauley thinks Lady of the Cam. is "foolish". I guess I'm not surprised by his reaction, but most of the audience seemed to enjoy it.

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Macauley thinks Lady of the Cam. is "foolish". I guess I'm not surprised by his reaction, but most of the audience seemed to enjoy it.

he also thinks is "idiotic".

Since he adores cornejo, he only says good things about him, despite the problems already commented...he also made fun of Ethan being "so ultra-blond that he looked as if he were auditioning for the Hitler Youth" and ignored Reyes/ Irina, and Marcelo....i disagree with many of his opinions, although sometimes he makes good points, but if there is something that i cant stand is his pointless comments making fun of dancers (which are pretty common) and his blindness with people he adores no matter what they do, whereas the opposite goes to those he hates, no matter how good the may have danced in a given night.......its pretty pathetic

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