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Various ballet talkers have complained in the past that certain critics are unfair, or overly negative or hurtful in their reviews. We should be celebrating that the subject NY Times review of Vishneva- Hallberg was an absolute rave. Why complain about a wholly positive review that is great publicity for ABT and each of the dancers mentioned in the article? I'm guessing that McKenzie and the publicity office are jumping for joy right now.

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I saw Monday night's performance and thoroughly enjoyed it. Part and Stearns' performance was engaging. Part was beautiful to behold. If she was thrown off by Stearns partnering, she didn't show it. I was surprised when she put her hand on Stearns' wrist during the lift because it did not look shaky before or after she did so. I thought her fouettés--that didn't travel at all(!)--were amazing.

Stearns did not appear nervous in the least, and I was impressed not only with his dancing, but also by his acting. His big smile in the first act seemed completely natural and unforced; his joy at receiving the crossbow was the most genuine I've seen.

The pas de trois was delightful, and Matthews, as a replacement, did not disappoint.

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I just got back from tonight's Kent/Gomes performance. Isn't Marcelo marvelous?! I'm glad to see that his injury wasn't too serious (or at least I hope so!), because he was in fine, flashing form tonight! Perhaps he doesn't have Hallberg's gorgeous lines, and I can never quite believe that his Prince Siegfried doesn't get any girls in Act I, but his Act III was showstopping! He brought one of his pirouettes sequences to a perfect standstill, and his series of pirouettes at the end of the Black Swan coda were fantastic!

But most of all, what a great and gracious partner he is! Julie Kent looked totally comfortable in his capable arms, and they executed one looong supported pirouette that made me gasp--I didn't think that was possible, but I did!

Yes, I think Marcelo gave Julie everything everything she needed to pull off a beautiful and moving performance! With her inborn dignity and her lovely long limbs, Kent seems to be a natural Odette. She and Marcelo delivered a beautiful White swan pas de deux (thank you Ormsby Wilkins for keeping it slow!). I would have enjoyed more, had it not been for some poor unfortunate soul who stood up in the middle and proceeded to collapse (?) in the aisle to my right! (I think the house doctor was called in...I hope the patron is fine now!)

In Act III, Kent was fun and flirty, but never for a second did I believe that she was an evil seductress. She just looks too sweet. ;) In the middle of the Black Swan pas de deux, when she is down on the floor and Siegfried pulls her up into arabesque and then lets go of her hands--she held her balance for what seemed like an eternity--I was seriously impressed! Later, she didn't get anywhere close to 32 fouettes and traveled halfway across the stage, but it didn't matter, Siegfried was smitten all the same.

At the end of the ballet, Kent and Gomes received a standing ovation and a very hearty cheers. The man sitting behind me was excitedly telling his companion that "I've seen many 'Swan Lakes,' but this is the best I've ever seen."

And I couldn't help but think to myself, "that's because you didn't see Vishneva and Hallberg on Tuesday!"


Overall, I enjoyed tonight's performance very much, but unlike on Tuesday, when Act IV hit an emotional high note for me, I didn't feel so satisfied tonight--despite Marcelo's spectacular leap to his death.

I'm still puzzling over why that is. I'll probably post again later when I figure it out--and give well-deserved credit to the other wonderful dancers I enjoyed (I love Stella!)!

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Mary Cargill wrote a review of the Part/Stearns cast for danceviewtimes, and I was taken with this description of Stearns:

But his innocent happiness in Act III, when he thought he had found The One, which exploded into his dancing, was so moving, since we knew it couldn't last.

It made me wish I had seen it.

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I doubt any of us will ever understand the politics of Russian Ballet dancer promotions / assignments (or any ballet company for that matter), but I can only imagine that they resemble a mash-up of 3rd grade "pick me! pick me!" for recess teams, and the medieval cardinals poisoning the popes.

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It's been a marathon week of Swan Lakes for me. No time right now to talk about the Dvorovenko/Bel. matinee and the Paloma/Ethan performance on Wed. evening. Last night Kent was absolutely gorgeous, luminous and heartbreaking. She and Marcelo conveyed such romance and tragedy. Gomes is an extraordinary partner. His lifts of Julie were effortless. His expressiveness is heartstopping. Bravo.

I felt sorry for anyone who had to sit in the Family Circle. It was full of little kids who were making noise throughout the performance. Their adult parents have no consideration for others.

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It's been a marathon week of Swan Lakes for me. No time right now to talk about the Dvorovenko/Bel. matinee and the Paloma/Ethan performance on Wed. evening. Last night Kent was absolutely gorgeous, luminous and heartbreaking. She and Marcelo conveyed such romance and tragedy. Gomes is an extraordinary partner. His lifts of Julie were effortless. His expressiveness is heartstopping. Bravo.

I felt sorry for anyone who had to sit in the Family Circle. It was full of little kids who were making noise throughout the performance. Their adult parents have no consideration for others.

The Additional procenium prevented seeingANYTHING from the rear of the stage, the White Swan vision and the Apotheosis/sunrise were unseen.

I did not see the company penchee/cambre that traditionally happens when the swans enter, did I fall asleep? Vishneva was AMAZING! Brava!

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Part/Hallberg/Mathews replace Irina/Max/Hallberg tonight!!!

Ambonnay--I can't thank you enough for posting this info! I was still in a Saturday morning daze when I read it (and almost couldn't believe my eyes), but I threw on some clothes, cabbed it to Lincoln Center and was able to trade in some unwanted R&J tickets for tonight's performance! I can't remember ever seeing David and Veronika dance together (perhaps once as Espada/Mercedes several years ago?). I saw Veronika on Monday night and have never been so heartbroken by Odette before, so I can't wait to see her in more experienced hands tonight...

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You're welcome. :)

I think Part/Hallberg might have collaborated in short pieces like Apollo and, not really dancing together, in On The Dnieper, but I haven't seen them in a full length ballet before :)


By the way, doesn't the fact that both Irina and Max B were swapped out (even though tonight would have been their second Swan Lake as a pair this year) suggest that the swap is not necessarily due to an injury. Even though Irina and Max B frequently dance together, wouldn't an injury to one typically just involve that person being substituted for, instead of both being substituted for?

If the swap is not due to injury (a big if), did somebody (Part or otherwise) complain to McK about the possibility that Stearns did not adequately partner Part?

Wouldn't it be unusual for the replacement pair chosen to have never danced the relevant full length ballet together before, as is the case, to my knowledge, for Part/Hallerg?

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Ambonnay, my thanks as well for the substitution info. As it happens, I have tkts for NYCB tonight and it's my only chance to see the new Martins ballet, as well as La Source and Western Symphony. I toyed with the idea of blowing it off and just getting tkts for tonight's SL but my nephew is joining me tonight. He's a young violinist and is very excited about hearing the new Salonen violin concerto, so I think we're just going to try to run over to the Opera House during intermission and hopefully catch the 1st lakeside act. We'll see how it works out.

Regarding your speculation as to the reason for the switch - its just speculation, we have no way of knowing what actually transpired but I can tell you that

!- Veronika & David have danced SL together before, I saw them in it a couple of years ago and they've probably danced it together since on tour

2- often when one partner is injured they will replace the pair with another pair rather than ask the non injured partner to dance with someone they haven't rehearsed with. Especially for the last performance of the season.

Merde to Veronika & David, hope I can catch the 2nd act adagio!

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Well since Irina and Max are married it could be a personal reason they needed to pull out, rather than an injury. Also Veronika and David have danced SL before together, probably a few years ago-someone else probably knows the date. In this instance they could be the only two that were available as covers, and if you look at the schedule Veronika isn't scheduled to dance again until next Sat (whereas Gillian Murphy probably the only other dancer who frequently partners Max is on several times in different ballets next week) so she might have more time to move her rehearsal schedule around to accommodate an extra show. Also Veronika and David might not dance a lot on stage together but it's possible they rehearse together frequently for many ballets when other partners are unavailable, due to their heights

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Thank you ambonnay for posting the cast change! I have had my fill of SL over the years, and after seeing it with Part and Stearns Monday night had no desire to see any other casts. Been there, done that. But when I heard about Part and Hallberg, that was irresistible, and I picked up the phone for the box office immediately. What a great performance! Part looked fantastic, and I never thought I'd like her black swan more than her white swan, but truly, she just looked great. So glad I didn't miss this!

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I didn't know about the cast change for tonight until I ran into NYSusan during the second intermission at NYCB. After a few minutes of discussion w. my husband, we decided to skip the final piece at NYCB and sat in the lobby of the Met to watch Veronika and David on the TV monitors. We saw almost the entire Act III and all of Act IV. I enjoyed the Veronika/David performance very much. Thanks NYSusan.

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christine174 -- You're welcome. :P

The program insert said that Irina is indeed injured.

Part danced well. I thought the positioning of her arms/wrists/hands was more expressive than I had anticipated, esp in Odette segments. The partnering with David did not betray the apparently limited period of time they likely had to practice together this year. One minor aspect I noted was that, like some members had reported when Part danced an Odile excerpt with Gomes during the Opening Night Gala, Part sometimes tilted when she was spun around as Odette in Act II. But David readily addressed that, in an inconspicuous manner. The only other nit I have with Part is that her "jump" to her death was not among the more audacious and full jumps I have seen. David's jump, on the other hand, was almost from a running start and was a very full jump. Part's acting as Odile seemed appropriate tonight -- not overdone like during the Opening Night Gala.

David was as excellent throughout the entire performance as usual. [Heart] It's such a pleasure to see David, among other performances, twice in Swan Lake this year (with Part and Tuesday with Vishneva), as well as twice in Sleeping Beauty (Osipova and Herrera). :) I think I'll see him twice in Romeo & Juliet as well soon.

Blaine Hoven replaced Jared Matthews as Benno. Peasant PDD was with Stella A and Maria R. Jared Matthews' purple v Rothbart was pretty good. Roman Zhurbin (corps member) left an impression as green/monster-faced v Rothbart. Zhurbin was effective in the final Act in particular, when he seemed much more physically menacing than most green v Rothbarts I have seen. Zhurbin was not only applauded at the end, but also somewhat booed (in an apprecative way). Cygnettes were Y Kajiya, S Lane, M Copeland and R Pavam. Two swans were only OK -- K Uphoff and D Teuscher. Princesses were H Seo, S Lane, G Bond and S Smith. Wolfgang was Frederic Franklin.

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I went to yesterday's SL matinee, and Gillian Murphy was fantastic. I'll try to post more later. I just wanted to say that Cory Stearns did not perform at yesterday's matinee. Jose Manuel Carreno was Prince Siegfried. According to the ABT calendar, Cory danced the Prince on Friday night with Michele Wiles.

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Last night, seeing Part and Hallberg in SL, I knew I had gone to Ballet Heaven. Part was gorgeous, her dancing/acting, as a single entity, was eloquent. The two long-legged dancers with perfect ballet line had me in awe. Part's expressiveness and Hallberg's responsiveness had me holding my breath as each movement unfolded. David is perfection itself. And I can hardly find the words to describe Veronika--amplitude, eloquence, intensity, breathtaking. angelica

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Danil Simkin was supposed to dance Benno at Saturday's matinee of Swan Lake, but he did not. He was replaced by Jared Matthews.

Colleen Boresta,

Thank you for the reply to my question.

Ummm...That's a shame.

I hope him to focus on making a complete recovery,never be rushed.

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