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All-Ashton Program


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Just a note that I attended Tuesday night's opening performance of the Ashton Evening at ABT.

Birthday Offering: This is a gorgeous ballet which highlights the women. Each soloist ballerina has a gorgeous little solo each in a different manner like the fairies in "Sleeping Beauty". In fact in way it is like a neoclassical distillation of "Sleeping Beauty" - the lead ballerina role created by Margot Fonteyn has choreography that quotes Aurora's steps (balances, etc.) I also thought of a softer more lyrical version of Balanchine's neoclassical tributes to Petipa like "Ballet Imperial".

Anyway, the solos were danced by Sarah Lane, Leann Underwood, Veronika Part, Simon Messmer (subbing for Kajiya), Isabella Boylston and Stella Abrera. Part was majestic and creamy, Abrera sensual and dreamy yet scintillating, Messmer was powerful with stabbing incisive footwork, Underwood confident and in command of every move in a tricky solo. Sarah Lane was the bubbly soubrette ballerina and was charming except for a little bobble in a pirouette. Isabella Boylston had the most delicious solo with off the beat phrasing. She entered in a quick little backwards bourree and the moves were all quirky and charming.

Saveliev, Simkin, Hammoudi, Salstein, De Long and Radetsky partnered the ballerinas but didn't have anything much else to do.

Irina Dvorovenko looked lovely and danced with a kind of practiced charm. However, I sometimes find a kind of brittleness in her phrasing and a tendency to break up the line into steps losing flow. She also botched one balance almost tottering backwards. Maxim Beloserkovsky looked every inch the cavalier but in one section with repeated assemblé turns he looked in strong technical form. He has been dancing less and less in leading roles lately but perhaps he is regaining form.

A note that Gillian Murphy is not dancing "Birthday Offering" this season - the alternate is now Stella Abrera who will step in this Saturday evening. I am glad to see Stella get a major role since she has been dancing so well. But I would have liked to see Gillian in this part as well. Stella would be gorgeous in the "Thais PDD" as well since she is exotic and glamorous and her dancing always creates a kind of atmosphere.

Thais PDD: Diana Vishneva again gorgeous and sensual like a spicy middle-eastern perfume hanging in the air. Jared Matthews did better in his partnering than on the opening night gala performance. However, there is one section where the male partner has to manipulate the ballerina rotating her from resting his back to his chest. It looked a little bumpy again and made one wish that Marcelo was doing the part despite its less than virtuoso demands (it was created on Antony Dowell who was a virtuoso and star). With Marcelo it all would have flowed smoothly. A friend said he thought that Diana glared at Jared Matthews at one point - I didn't see it. Matthews did look wonderful in the part and danced his solo well.

Awakening PDD: This was elegantly danced by Cory Stearns and Paloma Herrera as on the opening night gala. One can't help but anticipate greedily the greater authority and grandeur that Part and Hallberg will bring to it tonight.

The intermission came after the two little pas de deux. It seemed that the programming was a little off here as "Birthday Offering" is a razzler dazzler and these two little morceaux seemed a weak ending to the first half of the program.

The Dream: I was surprised at how Gillian Murphy's strong technique actually added musicality and charm to the role of Titania. She had amazingly precise scintillating footwork while keeping the upper body very connected and flowing. Lovely epaulement and arms. The combination was gorgeous like a silky sustained melody with a strongly rhythmic counterpoint accompaniment underneath moving it forward. She was gracious and charming as Titania. David Hallberg was a touch disappointing as Oberon but only in comparison with his best work - I saw some turns that were a little stiff. Beautiful legs and feet but he didn't seem to be dancing at full capacity. On the other hand Herman Cornejo remains a wonder of the world as Puck - he flew through the variations. I am wondering if this is his best role. Also returning and a heartening sight was Julio Bragado-Young as Bottom dancing on pointe with nearly all of his old brio. This is almost unbelievable after his tragic car accident just a few years ago. The lovers were Jared Matthews and Sascha Radetsky in fine form with Stella Abrera as Hermia and a very comedic Maria Riccetto as a wildly goofy Helena. Most personality I have ever seen from Riccetto and she danced superbly.

Rather wonderful evening and I highly recommend going.

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Thanks for that excellent and thorough review, which is like a nice bit of prep work for me. Yes, I'm looking forward to this and esp. Hallberg and Part. Really a great way to finally get familiar with a good chunk of Ashton live, since I've seen so little.

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FauxPas, I heartily agree! It was the most delightful evening. I love The Dream - I recently rewatched a 2007 video with much the same cast - and looked forward to seeing Hallberg in the Steifel role. I also agree that Hallberg seemed the teeniest bit off - somewhat wobbly in his slow solo yet still holds the stage with such authority. The Titania/Oberon ppd was exquistite. And who could possible outshine Cornejo as Puck - he simply blows everyone away. I look forward to hearing what others think of Siimkin in this role.

This was my first time seeing Birthday Offering and how much do I love Ashton's choreography here. Each ballerina solo showing off each one's personality. A little confusing looking for Kajiya and not finding her - I do think she danced in The Dream but maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps my favorite evening so far!

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Saveliev, Simkin, Hammoudi, Salstein, De Long and Radetsky partnered the ballerinas but didn't have anything much else to do.

But wait, there's a lovely group variation for the men set to an Irving-orchestrated piano mazurka. Surely that has to count for something!

And Cornejo has a lot of simpatico going for him, even besides his outstanding technique. Simkin has his own brand, too, so it will be interesting to see what he makes of the role.

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A little confusing looking for Kajiya and not finding her - I do think she danced in The Dream but maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps my favorite evening so far!

There was an insert in the program stating that Kajiya was replaced by Messmer in Birthday Offering. However, Kajiya was in The Dream. I believe she was Mustard Seed, but I'm not sure. She was one of the lead fairies.

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.....A note that Gillian Murphy is not dancing "Birthday Offering" this season .....

Murphy DID dance the lead in BO earlier this 09/10 season during ABT's visit to Washington, DC. It's too bad that she could not reprise the role in NYC.

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Thanks for the detailed writeup, FauxPas. I attended Tuesday night as well and thought it a splendid evening of dance. I know that a steady diet of such pretty dancing, pretty costumes and pretty music would get tiresome quickly, but I sure do enjoy an occasional night of it!

Birthday Offering was delightful choreography. So many changes of direction and interesting body tilts. I also had the program insert that Simone Messmer replaced Kuriko, and am glad of that. Her performance was the most outstanding to me in a stellar group - she sailed through the trickiest steps with exceptional clarity. I had not seen Simone before and quickly decided I was a big fan. From my side view I thought Sarah Lane struggled a bit with the footwork on her variation (including her ankle giving out on the first of some hops in arabesque) but she carried it off well - none of that was visible in her upper body. The ensemble work looked very tight and neat.

I also finally got so see Veronika Part dance, and understand now why she is so controversial. She really is a horse of a different color. I've read adjectives like "lush" and "womanly" and wondered how someone who fits today's weight standards could still be deserving of those descriptions. She is, though. Her shoulders are clearly broader than the other women in Birthday Offering, but it's more than the physical; she also dances like a gracious, full-grown woman. If your ballerina ideal is more on the wraithy side, Part probably isn't going to please your aesthetic. But I loved her.

Dream was so perfectly cast, and performed at such a high level, I thought it couldn't be bettered. Herman has made his character even more fairy fey than when I last saw it some years ago, and his elevation and control were indeed astounding.

I don't get out much these days (I have two small girls and not much money) but I'd go a dozen times a season if I could, so please keep the detailed reviews coming - it's really the next best thing to being there. I read Ballet Talk reviews faithfully and truly appreciate all of you who post!

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I'd love to hear other thoughts in general, but I'd like to comment on Brahms-Haydn Variation.

The dancers looked good (particularly IMO Xiomara Reyes), but everyone looked good. The structure of the the choreography, and the way groups were moved around was interesting and nicely done. But, the ballet didn't have to be done to this music, it could have been done to any number of scores. In other words, for me the piece didn't have anything to do with the music except for a sort of note to note correspondence. There were times when I wanted to close my eyes and just listen, because the choreography was so busy, but the line of the music was so long and lovely. Part of the problem is that (again IMO) Twyla Tharp doesn't have a romantic bone in her body and she was doing a piece to a melodious, romantic score. Parody can work, as we've seen in some cases, but totally ignoring the sentiment of the piece doesn't.

I was at Sat. matinee. I look forward to reading other reviews.

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I have had a fantastic day at the Met. Really enjoyed the All American program this afternoon. I see there's no thread for that one yet. Just getting out of All Ashton, and as I wait for the bus to take me home, amidst fellow patrons and several of the musicians, I am flowing over with enthusiasm. I have very little familiarity with Ashton, and I loved it. Perhaps I'll post more tomorrow when I've had time to get my thoughts in order, but for now I have to single out Daniil Simkin's Puck, an incredible performer in a role that could not be more suited to him. Someone please tell Simkin it's okay to enjoy the curtain call, though. When you have an audience leaping to its feet for you, please don't rush off the stage. I was left a little dissatisfied at how much I was able to express my appreciation.

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[T]he ballet didn't have to be done to this music, it could have been done to any number of scores. In other words, for me the piece didn't have anything to do with the music except for a sort of note to note correspondence.

I saw it Wednesday and had a similar reaction. So it's not just me! Phew! :sweatingbullets: I needed you to help me understand my problem with the Brahms-Haydn Variations. Thank you, vipa!

I expect a choreographer to show me why s/he chose a particular piece of music (assuming that, unlike Melissa Barak across the Plaza, s/he is the one who actually chose it). An affinity, a curiosity, absolute hatred, something. I agree that the dancers (sounds like you saw the same cast I did) looked good, but nothing about this ballet congealed for me, and it was probably Tharp's non-use of the score. I keep thinking I have to see it again, but because I have trouble remembering what I've just seen (no musical hooks to hang the memories on), I don't know that I'll be able to absorb it any better next time. Then I get home and wonder whether I even want to see it again, and I lean towards, No thanks.

This was on the ABT Premieres bill, which also include Ratmansky's On the Dneiper from ABT's season at Avery Fisher last fall. The dancers seemed to have honed their characterizations since the premiere. Unfortunately, it followed a 35-minute intermission, which probably made it feel longer than it actually was. Or maybe Ormsby Wilkins' characteristically slow tempos made it feel draggy.

I wish I could say I enjoyed Fancy Free, but no. :dunno: The pas de deux between Sascha Radetsky and Isabella Boylston (who has been having a real break-out season, IMO) was the misplaced highlight (should be the guys' variations). I didn't sense much camaraderie among the three sailors, what with Daniil Simkin overselling the First (show-offy) Sailor, Carlos Lopez washing out as the Second (Sweet Guy). Radetsky was promising, if too mild, as the Third (Rumba).

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The Ashton Show gorgeous, will report tomorrow, Thais PDD like a dream with Vishneva, although 'The Dream' is a marvelous piece. I wish they'd lose the Oberon cape, it makes any dancer who wears it look fleshy till the dancing gets really virtuosic. 'Birthday Offering' charming, but more rigid and academic than the others. Was glad to see Part and Hallberg at last, she's beautiful and musical (he's marvelously lean and pointed), but would rather have seen them in something bigger, that was the least interesting piece, and the Thais was glorious and exotic even though brief. 'Dream' seems like it's going to be boring and conventional for 15 minutes, but then becomes all energy with Oberon and Puck. Hot stuff that. Orchestra sounded like in a different universe from what you hear at the Koch, and I don't even know whether they played that much better. The acoustics at the Koch are a disgrace, esp, if you haven't been to the Met in awhile, and hear what sublime acoustics it has and always has done. I mean, the two orchestral sounds are not even in the same league, I never want to hear NYCB orchestra again in that theater after hearing how much better this sounded, and I rarely think of the orchestras for ABT as anything special (maybe the orchestras aren't themselves, but I only heard one bad French horn note, by way of comment on the playing, which didn't seem half bad.)

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I also attended the All Ashton program last evening. (I will be seeing the All American Program at the July 3rd matinee.) I will write more later, but for now all I do is to echo other Ballet Talkers and say "Danil Simkin!!!! Danil Simkin!!!!. My god, as Puck he seems to live in the air. How can any dancer have so much hang time? And he's also a wonderful actor who has great chemistry with Cory Stearns' Oberon. That's the real partnership in Ashton's "The Dream", not Oberon and Titania, but Oberon and Puck. As Oberon, Cory Stearns is the best I've ever seen him. I don't have time to go into detail now, but I will post again later in the week.

The other Ashton ballets were good too, but The Dream was my favorite. I thought The Awakening was kind of forgettable and a waste of Part and Hallberg's talents. Mediation from Thais was just gorgeous. I really enjoyed Birthday Offering as well. But I was disappointed to see all the empty seats. It was a Saturday night after all, not a week night. Is it that mixed programs don't sell or Ashton doesn't sell or what. I think Americans ballet goers have to be educated about the wonders of Ashton's choreography. And ABT dances Ashton so well - much better than the company dances Balanchine (IMO anyway).

I really hope ABT revives La Fille Mal Gardee very well (the 2011 Met season would suit me fine).

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But I was disappointed to see all the empty seats. It was a Saturday night after all, not a week night. Is it that mixed programs don't sell or Ashton doesn't sell or what.

Both, with the mixed bill being the bigger problem. (A Saturday night during the summer doesn't help either.) New York critics love to moan and groan about how tired they are of the full-lengths during ABT's Met seasons but, when Kevin McKenzie does program mixed bills at the Met, we get reports that they don't sell. What is a guy to do?

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But I was disappointed to see all the empty seats. It was a Saturday night after all, not a week night. Is it that mixed programs don't sell or Ashton doesn't sell or what.

Both, with the mixed bill being the bigger problem. (A Saturday night during the summer doesn't help either.) New York critics love to moan and groan about how tired they are of the full-lengths during ABT's Met seasons but, when Kevin McKenzie does program mixed bills at the Met, we get reports that they don't sell. What is a guy to do?

A Macaulay is very pleased w/ ABT's mixed-bill programing but can his reviews fill the seats? Apparently not. :sweatingbullets:

I was at Thurs Ashton program and loved it.BO was just gorgeous with all those variatons for the ballerinas. ABT should keep this in the rpertory as it is a good challenge for all the soloists. I thought they did very well in this performance.

M Ricetto was gorgeous in the Thais PDD( although was disappointed that JM Carreno was replaced, J Matthews was excellent. )Wish i could see H Seo's Thais.

The Dream was a dream w/ the entire cast outstanding esp Daniil and Cory.

I'm probably asking too much but ABT should def do more Ashton(Cinderella, Two Pigeons and A month in the Country). I would be very happy if they revive La Fille... next season(Can you imagine N Osipova as Lise :dunno: )

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'Birthday Offering' has a lot of charm, and reminded me of 'La Valse', but I don't like it nearly so well. The chief delight was discovering that my favourite Glazunov Waltz was used at the beginning and end, although I enjoyed all the clever dancing, to be sure. I think it's D Major, I remember first just hearing it maybe 30 years ago on WQXR and think it the best Glazunov piece I know. I don't think this is any masterpiece though--each variation has its delights, but the structure as a whole is pedestrian.

'Awakening' was especially elegant, but you definitely want to see the whole ballet, and with principals like that, it's hard not to want them to be able to be more expansive, despite their beautiful feet (both).

I didn't know Ashton made such exotic pieces as the Thais PDD, but it is extraordinary. Everything worked in it, the lighting and costumes, sometimes Vishneva looked literally ethereal.

Faeries and sprites are all throughout ballet history. They very often seem earth-bound, though. Is Ashton somehow able to make them seem truly ethereal (I use this word again on purpose), more than almost any choreographer? Because they were coming across like that as 'The Dream' intensified. And did they ever make the mists work well, it was truly pretty. Agree with Colleen on this:

"Danil Simkin!!!! Danil Simkin!!!!. My god, as Puck he seems to live in the air. How can any dancer have so much hang time? And he's also a wonderful actor who has great chemistry with Cory Stearns' Oberon. That's the real partnership in Ashton's "The Dream", not Oberon and Titania, but Oberon and Puck. As Oberon, Cory Stearns is the best I've ever seen him.

That chemistry that these two had was indeed extraordinary, and the whole ballet came to life as they were airborne, which is what they were.

Was startled at the sparse attendance. Miliosr said 'summer programming', but this is still early summer before festivals, and I think people don't go to ABT to see this sort of program, and also probably just don't have the money they did a few years ago even, for this sort of thing. Most who go to ABT want to see the full-length works, and that's understandable.

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Really enjoyed Saturday afternoon's mixed programs. Gillian Murphy and Herman Cornejo were brilliant in their Company B solos. Murphy drew you in to her character which made her performance particularly touching. I also enjoyed Fancy Free and unlike a previous post found Radetsky.Lopez and Simkin very well matched. I always find Radetsky's performances strong but understated rarely bringing attention to himself Lopez turned in a fine performance greatly attuned to the other dancers. Simkin who never ceases to amaze blended in perfectly. All in all, three very different dancers but each in his own way made this a great Fancy Free.

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what with Daniil Simkin overselling the First (show-offy) Sailor, Carlos Lopez washing out as the Second (Sweet Guy). Radetsky was promising, if too mild, as the Third (Rumba).

I don't disagree about the flaws in the performances, however, I had not seen the ballet in many years so it was a joy to see again. The Robbins choreography is brilliant. Every moment reveals character, action and/or sentiment. I want the world (particularly aspiring choreographers) to see this piece. This was not the ideal performance, but it was a great pleasure for me to see.

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But I was disappointed to see all the empty seats. It was a Saturday night after all, not a week night. Is it that mixed programs don't sell or Ashton doesn't sell or what.

Both, with the mixed bill being the bigger problem. (A Saturday night during the summer doesn't help either.) New York critics love to moan and groan about how tired they are of the full-lengths during ABT's Met seasons but, when Kevin McKenzie does program mixed bills at the Met, we get reports that they don't sell. What is a guy to do?

A Macaulay is very pleased w/ ABT's mixed-bill programing but can his reviews fill the seats? Apparently not. :sweatingbullets:

I was at Thurs Ashton program and loved it.BO was just gorgeous with all those variatons for the ballerinas. ABT should keep this in the rpertory as it is a good challenge for all the soloists. I thought they did very well in this performance.

M Ricetto was gorgeous in the Thais PDD( although was disappointed that JM Carreno was replaced, J Matthews was excellent. )Wish i could see H Seo's Thais.

The Dream was a dream w/ the entire cast outstanding esp Daniil and Cory.

I'm probably asking too much but ABT should def do more Ashton(Cinderella, Two Pigeons and A month in the Country). I would be very happy if they revive La Fille... next season(Can you imagine N Osipova as Lise :dunno: )

Reviving "La Fille" would be fabulous! I can't see Osipova as Lise. Her 'out there' Bolshoi style would be a clash with Ashton, but I think Maria Riccetto would be delicious in the role. Also Sarah Lane could be effective. The wild card in the role would be the delightful Renata Pavam. Carlos Lopez, Daniil Simkin, or Sasha Radetsky as Colas would all work. And the opportunities for the character men! Wow! In the roles of Alain or the Father the list is endless. Julio Brigado-Young, Roman Zhurbin, Isaac Stappas, Alexei Agoudine, Craig Salstein, Arron Scott. I think it could prove a full length that would sell seats for ABT.

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[T]he ballet didn't have to be done to this music, it could have been done to any number of scores. In other words, for me the piece didn't have anything to do with the music except for a sort of note to note correspondence.

I saw it Wednesday and had a similar reaction. So it's not just me! Phew! :) I needed you to help me understand my problem with the Brahms-Haydn Variations. Thank you, vipa!

I expect a choreographer to show me why s/he chose a particular piece of music (assuming that, unlike Melissa Barak across the Plaza, s/he is the one who actually chose it). An affinity, a curiosity, absolute hatred, something. I agree that the dancers (sounds like you saw the same cast I did) looked good, but nothing about this ballet congealed for me, and it was probably Tharp's non-use of the score. I keep thinking I have to see it again, but because I have trouble remembering what I've just seen (no musical hooks to hang the memories on), I don't know that I'll be able to absorb it any better next time. Then I get home and wonder whether I even want to see it again, and I lean towards, No thanks.

This was on the ABT Premieres bill, which also include Ratmansky's On the Dneiper from ABT's season at Avery Fisher last fall. The dancers seemed to have honed their characterizations since the premiere. Unfortunately, it followed a 35-minute intermission, which probably made it feel longer than it actually was. Or maybe Ormsby Wilkins' characteristically slow tempos made it feel draggy.

I wish I could say I enjoyed Fancy Free, but no. :dunno: The pas de deux between Sascha Radetsky and Isabella Boylston (who has been having a real break-out season, IMO) was the misplaced highlight (should be the guys' variations). I didn't sense much camaraderie among the three sailors, what with Daniil Simkin overselling the First (show-offy) Sailor, Carlos Lopez washing out as the Second (Sweet Guy). Radetsky was promising, if too mild, as the Third (Rumba).

Just to clarify about "On the Dneiper". This ballet was not on the bill at Avery Fisher Hall last Fall. That ballet would be another by Ratmansky, "Seven Sonatas", which to my mind and eye would have been a better choice for presentation this year at the Met. We so seldom see these ballets ever again that are premiered in the Fall, and this ballet is so lovely, so evocative, and such a glorious use of the Scarlatti music. It very definitely deserved another viewing here. "On the Dneiper" was first shown last Spring at the Met. I also would have gone with a better Tharp ballet such as the rarely seen "Known By Heart".(that duet for the two men is a heart stopper!) I agree that the Brahms/Haydn is a tad unresponsive to the music. Unfortunately, her "Upper Room" was not an ABT premier so wouldn't qualify, but it clearly would have helped put 'fannies' in the seats. It's always a winner, audience wise. I think in putting labels to the evening's presentation can at times limit what can be offered. That said, I loved the Ashton night, but again, I would have gone with something more daring than the two pas de deux offered. They were very nice, but a bit dry. I would have maybe chosen his "Wedding Bouquet" or "Capriol Suite". And on the subject of repeated performances of ballets seen in the Fall, I would have loved to have seen a repeat of Benjamin Millepied's "Everything Doesn't Happen at Once" if only to have seen the spectacular jump and catch of Daniil Simkin on a larger space! This ballet, while perhaps a bit difficult musically, would have been a very bold choice for the Met and very likely would have benefited from the larger space. Plus it gives more dancers more chances to dance whereas the various pas de deux do not .

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I agree with mimsyb that Maria Ricccetto would be wonderful as Lise in La Fille Mal Gardee. Never having seen Sarah Lane as the lead in a full length ballet, I'm not sure she's up to the task. (I could very well be wrong.) The two times I saw ABT's La Fille I saw Xiomara Reyes and Gillian Murphy as Lise. Both were just perfect for the part. As Colas, I really don't see Carlos Lopez or Sascha Radetsky. Not unless they step up their dancing game a good deal before that time. I definitely see Simkin in the part. I saw Ethan Steifel in the part in 2003. He was very good, but I sincerely doubt he could do the part now. And in 2002 I saw Corella in the role. My god, he was so wonderful. Why is he dancing so little at ABT this season? I know he has his own company, but other dancers (such as Julio Bocca and Nina Aniashvilli) have had their own companies and still danced more than two performances during ABT's Spring Season. I think Herman Cornejo would be the best Colas imagineable (except maybe for Simkin). He has the incredible technique and the happy-go-lucky nature needed for the part.

I may be wrong, but I don't think La Fille did as well at the box office as ABT management had hoped it would. I think if it had, ABT would have revived it by now. But it's such a wonderfully joyous ballet, and ABT danced it so perfectly. I wish there was something we audience members could do about getting it revived. Could we start an e-mail campaign or something? I don't tweet, but I'd be willing to learn how to do so if a twitter campaign could convince ABT to revive La Fille Mal Gardee soon.

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I wish there was something we audience members could do about getting it revived. Could we start an e-mail campaign or something?

Money talks. If a major donor came forward and said I'll give you $$$ to pay for a revival of Fille, that would probably be an incentive. Swan Lake has been done every year for at least the last 10 years. That ballet puts people in seats. Fille, apparently, does not.

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I wish there was something we audience members could do about getting it revived. Could we start an e-mail campaign or something?

Money talks. If a major donor came forward and said I'll give you $$$ to pay for a revival of Fille, that would probably be an incentive. Swan Lake has been done every year for at least the last 10 years. That ballet puts people in seats. Fille, apparently, does not.

I do not understand why La Fille... is not more popular with the NYC audience. Does the French title turned people off? They just don't know what they are missing.

I still feel that if ABT do it more often with the right cast, it will eventually become a favorite.

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I think things like Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty are considered classics. Fille is considered an interesting novelty, but not a must see ballet. I think Ashton's work may be more popular in England than here. The appeal of Petipa (or "after Petipa") is more universal.

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I do not understand why La Fille... is not more popular with the NYC audience. Does the French title turned people off? They just don't know what they are missing.

I still feel that if ABT do it more often with the right cast, it will eventually become a favorite.

I think the French title does turn people off -- at least, that's the story. Supposedly Sol Hurok wanted to change the title to "The Farmer's Daughter," but Ashton and the RB wouldn't go for it.

I've never seen a performance where the audience didn't love "Fille," (which is, of course, a different question than whether or not it's a classic) and never understood why it's taken so long to get into the international repertory. But that doesn't mean it's not a great work. "Fille" is one of the rare ballets that was considered a great work at its birth, by critics in London, New York and (a bit later, when they took it on tour) in Russia as well.

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