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Tremendous applause and uniform standing ovations rewarded Osipova/Hallberg. They had three curtain call entrances.

At one point during the curtain calls, they hugged each other in a very sweet and familiar way. I hope Hallberg will be Osipova's Siegfried in Swan Lake next year :blush:

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I couldn't put it any better than Ambonnay has described. Let me just say that Hallberg and Osipova gave a transcendent performance - one that I will remember for a very long time. I'm still stunned by the beauty of it. Hallberg may have found his perfect partner. They clearly have a wonderful personal connection as well. I hope this success bodes well for her joining ABT for many seasons to come.

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OSIPOVA + HALLBERG = MAGICAL

They were each individually amazing, but their collaboration was really magical. :blush:

Aflame is a good word, but aflame in a tender, amorous way that caused their balcony and bedroom scene performances to be melded almost into an integrated performance. It's a cliche, but they were dancing so intimately together, in such a connected way emotionally and with respect to physical proximity, that not only was the result more than the sum of the parts (with the parts being perfect), but you didn't even see them as a sum of two any more. They were working together that well.

I was so unimpressed by the Gomes/Vishneva performance (more Gomes -- see below), and harbored so many memories from the matinee Hallberg/Osipova performance, that I left tonight's performance right after the marriage scene. Vishneva was good, but definitely not at the level of Osipova -- more on that when I charge up my iphone and get my notes.

Gomes' Romeo tonight through the marriage scene was worse than his performance Monday. His portrayal of Romeo tonight seemed slightly Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde to me (that might be too harsh), in terms of the character of Romeo. In the Act I market scene and the market scene that begins Act II, he seemed like he was Monday (see my thoughts earlier in the thread) -- lacking in inner reserve and too flamboyant. For example, at the beginning of Act II, he has already fallen in love with Juliet, yet his behavior does not seem to be consistent with that love, before the nurse gives him Juliet's letter. When he dances with the harlots, at several points, he holds his hands up and moves the four fingers of each hand, as though beckoning or encouraging the harlots ( a la "come hither" in an unrefined way), as the harlots move towards him and right before he touches their skirts. This seems crude as a gesture and inconsistent with how he should be feeling after having experienced the balcony scene. The slightly schizo portrayal by Gomes of Romeo is because during the Capulet ball and the balcony scene, Gomes did seem somewhat more subdued and appropriate for a young man falling in love.

Like on Monday evening, during the market scenes, I felt like the Montague trio could have been a trio of Verona joksters, instead of from a noble family. Except tonight Gomes was slightly worse, because at least on Monday, his portrayal of Romeo was at least internally consistent within the ballet.

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July 10, 2010, Evening

Romeo: Gomes

Juliet: Vishneva

Mercutio: C Salstein

Benvolio: Daniil S

Lady Capulet: S Abrera

Lord Capulet: R Zhurbin

Tybalt: S Radetsky

Paris: G Saveliev

Harlots: I Boylston, S Messmer, J Saund

Friar Laurence: F Franklin

Osipova is clearly better, for me, than Vishneva in this role today. And Hallberg is clearly better than Gomes. Plus the chemistry between Hallberg/Osipova is magical, and that elevated that duo further. However, Vishneva was good in this role and I do not want to take anything away from her performance (esp since I did not see her entire performance).

I liked Osipova better because:

(1) She is more girlish not only in the introduction-to-Paris scene, but also during the Capulet ball. Vishneva, in contrast, was girlish in the introduction scene, but by the very beginning of the Capulet ball, was already an elegant, more womanly character before she even fell for Romeo. That does not show the character and how her love for Romeo develops over time and kind of changes her, as well as Osipova did. Osipova's Juliet was more in keeping with first love and the jubilation of, and discovery in, that. Vishneva seemed like any other classical ballet's lead -- elegant, more composed (not a positive in this sense) starting from the beginning of the Capulet ball (when she is dancing with Paris, before she focuses on Romeo).

One place where Vishneva was less composed than normal during the rest of the ballet was her dramatic swooning reaction, made very evident to the audience from her staggering back markedly, after her kiss with Gomes during the balcony scene. (Unfortunately, due to where I was sitting, I did not see the Hallberg/Osipova balcony scene kiss, although I was close to the stage and saw most things quite well.)

(2) Vishneva seemed more self-conscious, whereas Osipova seemed to inhabit her character and "be" Juliet.

(3) Osipova's facial expressions are more delineated than Vishneva's.

(4) As discussed above, the interaction Osipova had with Hallberg was special. I didn't see Vishneva achieve that with Gomes, although Vishneva danced well. I don't fault Vishneva for not achieving that, because, as noted by others above, what Hallberg/Osipova did today was truly special.

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I too found Hallberg and Osipova magical!

I want to put in a special word for Blaine Hoven as Benvolio, which I also saw him do Tuesday night. He was really stellar both nights -- bravura technique, impressive control, clean lines, not a wasted movement, and totally confident. A real pleasure to watch!

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I just wanted to say that I thought the emotional connection between Osipova and Hallberg was really extraordinary. She really had a great dramatic arc for the role and brought out such emotional intensity in him. It was a truly moving performance. Beautiful dancing from both of course as well.

An exceptional role debut from her, and a fabulous performance from him.

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christine174 -- I agree re: Hoven being effective as Benvolio Tuesday night and during today's matinee. Apart from the reasons you cited, Hoven was more synchronized with Hallberg and Matthews when the three were dancing in parallel in the market at various times and in front of the Capulet castle before the ball. The Hallberg Montague trio were more complementary in looks (even though Matthews is a bit shorter and of slighter frame), the ages conveyed (in the Marcelo trio, Daniil S looked very young like he always does), and, perhaps more importantly, temperament such that the trio could believably be friends (although Matthews' Mercutio was deliberately slightly more playful). In Marcelo's Montague trio, Salstein's Mercutio seemed playful towards Tybalt, but less outgoing than Marcelo and Daniil S's Benvolio looked a bit too care-free.

Other nice parts, among too many to enumerate, of the Osipova/Hallberg performance:

-- During the Capulet ball scene, Hallberg pecks her on the gentle back side of her neck/upper shoulders. Her reaction was memorable -- slight surprise; delight; slight shyness. She turns to Hallberg, and her shoulders perk up slightly and momentarily as though it were a physical thrill she received from his kiss. Then he pecks her on the same spot again.

-- She has nice touches with her ballet mime. When her father asks her to spend time with Paris again during the Capulet ball, just before Romeo's identity is revealed by Tybalt, she pretends to be tired. The way that Osipova moves her hand against her forehead and then sways her hand away from it and towards the back of her head, is a nice touch and contains a controlled amount of slight humor.

-- There is a series of lifts in the balcony scene where Osipova lies her body across Hallberg's shoulders in a beautiful position and lets her legs drape the contours of his body. Those lifts and others in the scene were breathtaking.

-- I could really sense Osipova's desire and desperation to keep Hallberg with her a little bit longer, during the bedroom scene. Her whole body was imploring him to stay, and her emotions were poignant. At one point, when her body was laying in a crumpled, communicative, manner on the floor, next to his feet, I think she held onto his ankles/lower calves. Osipova's sense of loss, and almost shock, after Hallberg leaves were well-portrayed. She looks numbed somewhat; she looks like she doesn't care whether she looks elegant when her parents arrive with Paris again.

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Ambonnay- that's too bad you left during the 2nd act. I thought the performance got incrementally better when the acts changed.

I completely agree about the point you made on Vishneva's womanly dancing in the Capulet ball. I was surprised that she matured so drastically before meeting Romeo.

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OSIPOVA + HALLBERG = MAGICAL

They were each individually amazing, but their collaboration was really magical. :blush:

I was so unimpressed by the Gomes/Vishneva performance (more Gomes -- see below), and harbored so many memories from the matinee Hallberg/Osipova performance, that I left tonight's performance right after the marriage scene. Vishneva was good, but definitely not at the level of Osipova -- more on that when I charge up my iphone and get my notes.

I have to disagree with Ambonnay. I thought that Osipova was wonderful - her footwork (especially the bourees), leaps and extensions were technically cleaner and stronger than Vishneva's. However, I felt that Vishneva's upper body, her lines (i.e., her hands and feet being at the same level when lifted by Gomes in the balcony scene), the wonderful expressiveness of her arms and hands, her musical phrasing and the range of her emotions were superior to Osipova. I thought that Hallberg's dancing was technically stronger, had better lines and was certainly more classical than Gomes' but I enjoyed Gomes' rapport with Vishneva more than Hallberg's with Osipova. I also think Gomes did a better job of making Vishneva seem like a dead weight in the crypt scene, than Hallberg did with Osipova. As a result, I enjoyed the balcony, bedroom and crypt scenes more in the Vishneva/Gomes performance. That being said, this was Osipova's debut in this role (Vishneva has been doing it for several years and this is at least the 3rd time I have seen her perform it). I thought both Osipova and Vishneva's performances were truly excellent and I'm sure Osipova's will change and get even better with time.

As for the other scenes, I felt that ensemble work was much better in the matinee performance than in the evening. Hallberg, Matthews and Hoven were always together and individually strong. In the evening, Gomes, Salstein and Simkin did what IMO was a poor job in the pas de trois before the ballroom scene and in the street scenes and none of them ever danced together. I'm sorry to say that Simkin was almost always off the music (generally behind but sometimes ahead) and I think Hoven did a better job as Benvolio. The matinee was also the first time I have seen anyone other than Frederick Franklin perform the role of Friar (Clinton Luckett did). It was interesting to see Luckett get down on his knees and raise his arms to the sky, at one point, to pray with Juliet. But of course we all love Franklin and, in the evening, he received so much applause at his entrance that the orchestra had to begin their theme again. I also preferred Kristi Boone at the matinee to Stella Abrera in the evening, as Lady Capulet.

All in all, it was a wonderful day with two very strong (and different) performances. I'm already looking forward to ABT's season next year.

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I also think Gomes did a better job of making Vishneva seem like a dead weight in the crypt scene, than Hallberg did with Osipova.

Amour: Since I left way before the Capulet tomb scene, i can't speak to tonight's performance. However, I did see Gomes do a very good job on Monday with respect to making Kent seeming like a dead weight. If one compared just that point (Gomes/Kent vs Hallberg/Osipova), I would agree that Gomes might have done a slightly better job. However, even within the tomb scene, I would say there was a sequence where Romeo is dragging Juliet's body towards the tomb where she was laying and her body is on the floor and motionless. In that sequence, Hallberg did a better job making both Osipova and Gillian (Tuesday) seem like dead weights, while Hallberg was also grieving, than Marcelo did with Kent.

Note I'm not saying that Vishneva did a bad job with respect to what I saw tonight. She performed well, and, in my book, better than Kent or Gillian in the same role (and the latter two performed well too in general). Vishneva came across as a smooth, fluid and quite elegant Juliet, but that is precisely one of the reasons why Vishneva seemed too stuck in classical-lead-female-role mode for me. For me, Osipova betrayed the sudden impulses of movement, the yearnings, the emotions, the little mannerisms that better suited the character. And interestingly Osipova danced with speed in some sequences, as is not unusual for her, without making things seem like they were progressing too quickly. There was still a luxuriously languishing feel to her dancing in some of the sequences where she was dancing with Hallberg quickly.

I think we are all lucky to have Osipova and Vishneva perform the same day, and to even have an opportunity to directly compare the two. Had this comparison not been available, I would have been quite impressed with Vishneva's performance indeed. I would agree with you that both performances were good -- the question is just which one a given audience member likes better.

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...

I also think Gomes did a better job of making Vishneva seem like a dead weight in the crypt scene, than Hallberg did with Osipova. As a result, I enjoyed the balcony, bedroom and crypt scenes more in the Vishneva/Gomes performance. That being said, this was Osipova's debut in this role (Vishneva has been doing it for several years and this is at least the 3rd time I have seen her perform it). I thought both Osipova and Vishneva's performances were truly excellent and I'm sure Osipova's will change and get even better with time.

As for the other scenes, I felt that ensemble work was much better in the matinee performance than in the evening. Hallberg, Matthews and Hoven were always together and individually strong. In the evening, Gomes, Salstein and Simkin did what IMO was a poor job in the pas de trois before the ballroom scene and in the street scenes and none of them ever danced together. I'm sorry to say that Simkin was almost always off the music (generally behind but sometimes ahead) and I think Hoven did a better job as Benvolio. I also preferred Kristi Boone to Stella Abrera as Lady Capulet.

All in all, it was a wonderful day with two very strong (and different) performances. I'm already looking forward to ABT's season next year.

That's what I was trying to say. The bedroom and crypt scenes were so good, so I think it's hard to make an overall judgment without having seen those two scenes.

I agree about Simkin and Salstein not dancing together with the music. I thought Salstein was behind, but in any case, they were not together. The trio outside the Capulet party did seem poorly executed. They were never together and I don't think the 3 of them looked that great as a trio. I would actually like to see Simkin paired with Hallberg and see how that goes.

I popped into the Met when the matinee cast was performing the same dance and thought they looked excellent. David looked amazing and even better than when I saw him Tues night (in that dance).

For some reason in the beginning of the ballet, I felt like Gomes was a bit tired. It might be because I knew it was his 3rd Romeo of the week and was expecting him to be not as fresh as he was on Monday. However in Act 2 and 3, I did not feel that way at all.

I was completely moved by the way Marcelo and Diana "killed" themselves. It seemed completely different than the way all the other ABT ballerinas do it. It seems like Hee, Paloma, Gillian were all coached by the same person, and therefore they all die in similar ways. Yet, in tonight's performance there were some really touching moments that I had never seen before. For instance, when Marcelo drinks the poison he holds on to Diana's hand. Also when Diana realizes that Marcelo is dead, I could hear her crying/screaming in my head. None of the other dancers did that for me. Additionally, the way Diana raised the dagger high above her head seemed dramatically appropriate for the action. Lastly, she took longer to get into her final resting pose. She spent time to caress Marcelo's face, and only at the last beat of the music did she end in the famous ending pose. It was so poignant and such a nice variation from the rest of the Juliet's crypt scenes.

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Have to agree with the superlatives most posters have written about the matinee - I thought Osipova & Halleberg gave an absolutely transcendent performance this afternoon. It's hard to believe it was her debut - she was incandescent. Wonderful, expressive dancing, a face that let us see every emotion going through Juliet's head, an intelligent, consistent, well thought out character arc that was delivered with compelling honesty & immediacy. Her legs, arms and especially the expressive use of her back were wonderful. In terms of the character, I loved the way she was able to show the roiling emotions her Juliet was going through in act 1. From a carefree child, to a prospective bride (she seemed quite happy at the thought of marrying Paris when she first met him), to overwhelming first love with Romeo, to the awful discovery that she'd fallen in love with a mortal enemy. It was emotionally exhausting (in a good way). I don't think I've ever seen a Juliet so clearly overwhelmed by the whirlwind of events on that fateful day.

I, too was disappointed by Vishneva & Gomes tonight, They weren't bad, but I didn't think they were anywhere near the level of Osipova/Hallberg or of their own past performances. With the exception of her very first performance with ABT, I've seen every Juliet Vishneva has done here. They were all extraordinary, until tonight. She changes her approach to a role constantly, and tonight it just didn't work for me. As others have said, she went from a child to a very knowing, elegant woman in a flash. It didn't make sense for the character or the story and and it never developed any further from there. Her dancing was beautiful but it just seemed wrong for the character, and this most dramatic of dancers left me completely unmoved.

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The trio outside the Capulet party did seem poorly executed. They were never together and I don't think the 3 of them looked that great as a trio....

I popped into the Met when the matinee cast was performing the same dance and thought they looked excellent. David looked amazing and even better than when I saw him Tues night (in that dance).

Not only was the Hallberg trio better coordinated, but their dancing outside the Capulet castle seemed somehow slightly laced with wit and comraderie and a hint of fun (while being simultaneously very technically accomplished and carrying beauty of line). The Hallberg trio seemed more like co-conspirators contemplating an uninvited visit to another family's territory -- they seemed to be enjoying themselves and one another. This is in keeping with the precocious and comfortable (from familiarity) aspects of the interaction among the three friends.

Visually, when the Hallberg trio were standing to the left (from the audience's perspective) of the castle gate and Tybalt gets there, it would have been evident to any audience member that the three were socially prominent noble young man. Hallberg in particular and Hoven each gave an aura of being a privileged and cultured young man. That is the case despite their masks and the large cloaks they had put on, before they removed them. However, how many audience members might look upon Salstein (who danced well, by the way) and Daniil S, even when they are next to Gomes, and felt that those three could actually have truly been traveling musicians intended to perform at the ball? :unsure:

This Met season has been interesting, with respect to the increased prominence of Hallberg. He has achieved that through, among other things, his various opportunities to dance with Osipova, his augmenting even further his already extremely accomplished level of dancing, his strengthening his communication (including through his body and not just through his facial expressions) of his emotions (that had already showed marked improvement during the 09 season relative to prior seasons, including with Albrecht), his having studied under V Vasiliev and strengthened his name recognition in Russia, McKenzie having chosen to no longer pair Hallberg with Wiles that much (or at all) (which has freed up Hallberg's opportunities to pair others), Hallberg's using his hands and other body parts even more beautifully when he holds and lifts his partners, his continuing to get rave reviews from the NYTimes (including, but not limited to, Oberon in The Dream and the prince in Sleeping Beauty), and his having debuted in full length ballets with the Bolshoi and Kirov troupes earlier this year. What a great Met season for Hallberg -- BRAVO :shake:

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With the exception of her very first performance with ABT, I've seen every Juliet Vishneva has done here. They were all extraordinary, until tonight. She changes her approach to a role constantly, and tonight it just didn't work for me. As others have said, she went from a child to a very knowing, elegant woman in a flash. It didn't make sense for the character or the story and and it never developed any further from there. Her dancing was beautiful but it just seemed wrong for the character, and this most dramatic of dancers left me completely unmoved.

My impression is that Vishneva's approach to Juliet is very reminiscent of Ferri's. The changes in Vishneva's different performances different years may actually be the result of the different Romeos she has danced with (my recollection is that in Vishneva's first ABT performance as Juliet, Malakhov was Romeo). Perhaps, though, Vishneva's approach tonight was a bit more studied than previously. I think it is quite interesting that it was Ferri who coached Osipova. Undoubtedly, this great artist (and now coach) probably encouraged Osipova to put her own stamp/interpretation on the role of Juliet. This may have played a part in why Osipova's interpretation of Juliet was so different from those I have seen before and (agreeing with Ambonnay and nysusan) more nuanced in her transition from child to woman.

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I think Kevin M will invite Osipova again next year. And she should be glad to come for at least four reasons (in no particular order): (1) she is adored here and she knows it, (2) getting roles that are new for Osipova in NY (ie doing global debuts for key roles in NY) and/or subjecting the Bolshoi to the possibility that one day Kevin M may try to recruit Osipova to become a principal of the ABT (as he admitted in the NYT article about her recently) will put pressure on the Bolshoi to cast Osipova in good roles and in more prominent roles (including roles might be politically more difficult for her to secure othrewise), (3) she will gain access to roles that are new to her while dancing with ABT and increase her repertoire, and (4) obviously, working with HALLBERG!

When Osipova returns, Kevin M should continue to mostly pair her with Hallberg and also pair her with Hallberg for all roles that are global debuts for her. However, every year Osipova is back, Kevin M could consider having Osipova work, on a limited basis, with one other principal danseur (ie different ones every year) she has not previously worked with at the ABT (eg Gomes next year or Stiefel, whom she was originally intended to work with last year). That way, Osipova will be able to continue to develop with Hallberg and yet also have access to other ABT danseurs.

I hope the Bolshoi will invite Hallberg back for a full-length ballet next year.

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I think Kevin M will invite Osipova again next year.

And please bring back the superlative artists Ferri, Bocca, and McKerrow. Without having had these great dancers contributing behind the scenes as coaches, I don't think this season would have been as successful as it was.

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It was a real super Saturday - the previous one was, to me, the super Saturday matinee.

Osipova was great. She has everything the role needs and, further, something for her partner. It was the first time I thought I enjoyed Hallberg’s dance in a full-length ballet, though I liked his second sailor in Fancy Free and the fiancé role in On the Dnieper, and further I didn’t like his acting/dancing in the third act tomb scene.

I don't think either of Osipova and Vishneva changed much throughout the ballet. I thought Osipova was like a green apple, Vishneva, a ripe one, and they started there from the first. Osipova loved/danced like a girl, Vishneva, like a woman. I don’t think falling in love itself is a transition this ballet requires, or if so, every Juliet grows up. After seeing six Juliets, I’m slightly skeptical whether the growing-up/transition is possible or what can be called such.

One thing I wish to say about Osipova is that she made me think “Juliet “is” born, not made”. She was Juliet, as someone noted.

As she so perfectly showed me everything I could imagine about Juliet, first, I could happily give up the recently gained analyzing habit, and enjoy the whole ballet without struggling to understand. Secondly, I lost interest in this ballet. I felt a little stuffy, thinking of a book, “Hope for the Flowers” by Trina Paulus.

At the evening performance, quite fortunately to me, Gomes and Vishneva showed something different and equally beautiful (as to the first act, at least), or something that I can say "I" liked more.

In their first act, Gomes danced more slowly and gracefully than even Wednesday. I thought his today’s version Romeo contained his respect for his inspiring partner, saying to myself, “Where did you hide this Romeo?”

Vishneva was breathtakingly beautiful. Her dancing was like the finest silk, while Osipova, fresh cotton (It doesn’t have any negative meaning). Vishneva owned a beauty of a woman, and her arm line was especially gorgeous. I thought it was wise of her to boast of that point to differentiate her Juliet from Osipova’s.

I didn’t feel Vishneva suddenly changed from a girl to a woman. To me, she didn’t look like a girl at her anteroom, either, maybe because of her beautiful face, the flexibility suggesting sensuality. Simply everyone treated and/or required her to act as such. When the time she has to marry came, they permitted her to act like a woman outwardly, and Vishneva revealed herself, I think.

The balcony scene was so excellent. It is beyond my ability to memorize or describe. I want to see it again and again. After a long, passionate, first kiss – quite appropriate for their Romeo and Juliet, at the last scene, I first saw him raise his arms upward with overflowing joy. Then, Gomes rushed to the balcony, with rapture, with full speed. He seemed to be able to leap straight to the balcony. Gomes and Vishneva looked like a “if they had met three years later” version of the matinee.

At the first market scene of the second act, Gomes kissed the harlot on the lips again. So what? The kiss was light enough. Based on his Romeo of the first act, I expected differently, so was surprised a little, wholly because his action was different from my expectation, not because it seemed unsuitable. As his mime/acting to that moment apparently showed that he fell in love and he changed, I didn’t think it troublesome.

Further, I think his acting – being cheerful again after being somewhat serious in the first market scene, and standing silently after attempting a few times to stop a fight at the second market scene, is more appropriate for Romeo, revealing his weak personality well. Not obsessive with the notion of nobility, I didn't think he got lost between two Romeos.

After doing his part (during the first part of the first market scene), he flopped down on the lower level stairs than the right place. He didn’t have such small extra strength to climb up a few more stairs. Too sad for me.

I loved the bedroom scene of the third act. He stayed longer on the bed before he stood up to leave. On Monday, he seemed quite determined. Yesterday he hesitated more, missing her much. What I was not satisfied with or couldn’t understand in the third act was Vishneva’s acting/dancing after Romeo left. I couldn’t read what was going on her mind, unlike Osipova, partly because I became tired. As I failed to follow her emotion, I waited for the last tomb scene, and I appreciated it. Gomes and Vishneva moved me deeply, and such moving doesn’t come without well-executed dancing, though I cannot explain it in detail because I don’t have the dance-checklist. I just want to see it again.

Ambonnay – I can understand you quite well. If I had seen more ballet before (so, not that curious about seeing a ballet itself) or I had lived here, I would have gone home during Osipova/Hallberg Sleeping Beauty. I was thinking of Cojocaru again and again, checked the things-to-do list, or tried to take a rest anyway. I know how terrible it is. On Tuesday, I really wanted to go home, but just skipped the second act only. You are inspiring. I should have done that, too.

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The chemistry between Osipova and Hallberg was so real that you could understand why R and J would take their lives in despair. The partnering was transcendent. I had the privilege of seeing Ferri as Juliet right before retirement, and I thought I could see that Osipova was coached by "the best" but still had her own imprimatur.

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I also attended the Saturday matinee and really can't add any more superlatives than what other posters have described so well. I'm still on such a high from the Osipova/Hallberg Romeo and Juliet, and I'm sure that high will last quite a while. If I can get my thoughts together and add anything new, I'll post later. I just wanted to say that when I saw Romeo and Juliet last year (with Hallberg and Murphy) Hallberg, Matthews and Simkin danced very well together. The 2009 Montague trio (Ballet Talk posters always come up with the best phrases) also acted very well together as did the three (Hallberg, Matthews, Hoven) yesterday. However, I do agree with Ambonnay about Matthew's individual dancing. I was disappointed in his performance(as I was last year). Herman Cornejo is still the gold standard for me with regard to the role of Mercutio. Back in the early 2000's - it was probably 2003 - I remember seeing a Romeo and Juliet with Corella, Cornejo and Lopez. That trio both danced and acted very well together.

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I think Kevin M will invite Osipova again next year.

And please bring back the superlative artists Ferri, Bocca, and McKerrow. Without having had these great dancers contributing behind the scenes as coaches, I don't think this season would have been as successful as it was.

Lets not forget Makarova, she certainly deserves credit for the wonderful performances we saw in Bayadere this season. Please bring back Makarova to coach/consult as often as possible! I'd love to see her do some work with the company's Swan Lake..

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I thought both performances yesterday were wonderful, although very different interpretations. I saw so much of Ferri in Osipova's performance. In the scene in the first act where Romeo is first discovered by Tybalt and Juliet is asking her nurse why everyone is so angry, the expression on Osipova's face when the nurse whispers the response was unlike anyone else's I have ever seen. In that instant, the entire tragedy was foreshadowed in her expression. I agree that Osipova was a more tragic figure because she seems considerably more fragile and girlish than Vishneva. What a day! What a privilege!

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It was the first time I thought I enjoyed Hallberg’s dance in a full-length ballet, though I liked his second sailor in Fancy Free and the fiancé role in On the Dnieper, and further I didn’t like his acting/dancing in the third act tomb scene.

Kyeong: For me, Hallberg has always tended to choose more subtle, less "in your face", character interpretations and has relied less on unrefined physical gestures and more, at least before the 09 season, on beauty of line and gracefulness and robust classical technique. Last year and this year, Hallberg has gained something that makes his dancing, already so wonderful before, scale heights even beyond those that he had achieved before.

I think Osipova brings out more emotion (or, more accurately for me, more portrayed emotion that is very obvious to the audience) in Hallberg because he sees her multitude of expressions in her face and body. I also think there could be something about his performing with her when she is debuting a role at the Met or when she is debuting a role globally, in each case that he has already performed with others and that makes him want to be an even more involved partner for her. Some of Hallberg's own debuts were with Wiles, who was sometimes also debuting during the same performance. That is a bit different, because Hallberg might have been focusing on his own performance in the role as well as on his partner. That was also a few years ago. Now, Hallberg is quite secure in the various roles he has opposite Osipova, when she does some of these debuts. I wonder if that is a small piece of it. See Hallberg tweet noted above about how emotional he himself was leading up to her debut with him.

BTW, I think that Hallberg is very helpful to Osipova and has the potential to continue to do that. He is very different style-wise than Ivan Vasiliev, with whom she has also frequently been paired, despite Hallberg and Vasiliev both matching her amazing ballon and both being very strong technically. (Note I have not seen Vasiliev live, although I was almost able to see him in Spartacus in DC recently, but could not due to personal commitments) One of the reasons that Osipova may have suffered criticism in the past is that her ballet bearing is not as silky, elegant and classical, and as conforming to certain perceptions of some ballet traditions, as some other ballerinas. (But that is part of why I really enjoy her dancing -- she IS NOT that way sometimes because the characters demand that she be different) But Hallberg has precisely the classism, bearing and elegance that Osipova is viewed by some as needing (not that I agree with those people).

The two performances you mentioned you previously liked Hallberg in are interesting. In On the Dnieper, Ratmansky's choreography allows, in the most prominent solo by Olga's fiance, for the expression of anger and aggression from the intricate and feisty footwork and fast pace of the solo. That intensity was communicated through the footwork and the choreography. I also saw Hallberg in one of the Fancy Frees this year. I thought he was endearing and cute and wonderful as the second sailor. Almost slightly goofy, and that is highly atypical for him for the classical full-length ballets and other classical works. Maybe, when we have a fall season again, you could explore Hallberg performing in certain less classical works and see if you like that more.

I should also note that I might have been tempted to stay throughout the Gomes/Vishneva performance, had I gone home between the matinee and the evening performances. I didn't because there were only about 3 hours between them. Taxis back and forth would have taken up 15 minutes each way, and I like to arrive at least 30 minutes before a performance. So, I felt I had two hours to rest if I were to go home, and decided instead to remain in the Lincoln Center neghborhood. If there is another super Saturday program lineup in the future, I would definitely go home before the evening performance and take a nap.

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I'm kind of glad that I didn't try to see yesterdays matinee. I had already purchased a ticket to the evening to see Corella and Vishneva, so I needed to go in the evening. However, it seems like many people who wattched both were underwhelmed by the 2nd performance.

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Twitter about Hallberg Osipova performance, but from Hallberg himself, so I assume it is ok to post :) and it comes with a backstage photo

My sigh of a seasons end! I will never forget yesterdays show. Once in a career. Osipova and I were one. http://twitpic.com/245y8l

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