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ABT's 75th anniversary celebration


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Is it me or does the rep sound a little boring? More of the same? I guess the mixed rep might be interesting. I think this could've been a good season to really do something slightly different. The new Sleeping Beauty is nice, but maybe this season could respect the past, but look towards the future. That is the impression I get from all the retirements, especially when paired with the major retirements in the past 5 years. (Well in this case the past is leaving quickly and the future isn't appearing or appearing without the proper coaching)

Casting will probably be even more interesting. We will probably either see a lot of debuts or an insane number of guest artists. Kevin's programing in starting to become stale and we all know how bad he is at developing talent. It would've been nice to see a new full length ballet, maybe Paquita or Flames of Paris. Maybe, even a national/international broadcast of a performance, with a video releasing later. So many good ballets or dancers to pick from. Also, if they plan on having Ratmansky slowly redo all their classics, might that be putting all their eggs in one basket. While I prefer Ratmansky over McKenzie any day, I think it might be better to diversify their repertory. How many more years can ABT continue to do the same ballets over and over?

To me, the only reason the rep sounds boring is because we've been seeing the same principal dancers over and over again for far too many years. Some new talent brought up the ranks could bring some new life into these ballets, the way the debut of Hee Seo, plucked from the corps as Juliet a few years ago, brought a new freshness to that gorgeous ballet. Often stars have to be "made," by supportive coaches and new opportunities, not to mention the vision of the Artistic Director, until one day you see them blossom as great artists. Some new "blood" would be really welcome, as I (im)patiently await the casting in the Spring Season brochure.

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They might put their version of Raymonda Variations in one of the ABT Classics programs. We'll find out next week. Personally, I seem to be less interested in a lot of the newer people they are casting. Hee Seo, Simkin, Boylston, Stearns are generally not names that I get excited about for casting.

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They might put their version of Raymonda Variations in one of the ABT Classics programs. We'll find out next week. Personally, I seem to be less interested in a lot of the newer people they are casting. Hee Seo, Simkin, Boylston, Stearns are generally not names that I get excited about for casting.

Exactly, abatt. I feel the same way you do about the dancers you mentioned (Seo in R&J is the only exception). But what about Stella Abrera, Sarah Lane, Skyler Brandt, and Thomas Forster?

And your comment raises another issue: why isn't ABT doing a better job of recruiting into its corps de ballet? My problem is that once I've seen a Mariinsky ballerina, I want to see that upper body fluidity in all my ballerinas. There are more and more outposts of Russian academies in the US, so perhaps there will be some movement in that direction. I believe it was Arnold Haskell who said (and forgive me if I'm not quoting exactly): "There are three kinds of people in this world: Russian ballet dancers, ballet dancers, and very ordinary people." Snarky? Yes. False? Yes. But he did make a point.

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I would definitely want to see Lane and Abrera in lead roles. In fact, though I'm not a fan of the Ratmansky Nutcracker, I bought a ticket for Stella's Nutcracker performance (even though she is paired with Hammoudi, who has been a huge disappointment).

I think Boylston has a lot of potential, but so far I have stayed away from her SL and Giselle.

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Certain ballets will have to be extensively recast due to the series of retirements during the Spring season. Reyes is leaving in the first weeks of the season taking her out of Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella. Julie Kent would also be out of the Cinderella and Swan Lake as well since her retirement is in Romeo and Juliet the week before. Herrera would be out of Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet. So ABT would need two new Cinderellas to replace Kent and Reyes (Xiomara could still dance it well), a new Aurora to replace Reyes (Kent dropped the role years ago though it was a lovely role for her in the 1990s), and two new Juliets to replace Herrera and Reyes. Now Alina Cojocaru dances Cinderella and Juliet and could partner Herman and Joseph Gorak in those ballets. I think Misty Copeland is a possible Cinderella and could be charming in it and Sarah Lane is a no-brainer choice for Cinderella too. Sarah Lane would make a lovely Juliet based on her Miranda in the Tempest. Cojocaru is hanging on by the skin of her teeth as Aurora so probably Stella should add Aurora to her ABT repertoire. However, Kevin probably would want Isabella Boylston to add Aurora to her repertory and she would be preferred though Abrera has danced it before. As I said before Sarah Lane and Joseph Gorak should be paired in Sleeping Beauty - I wouldn't mind an opening night for them. For Swan Lake - well Misty Copeland can unveil her Odette-Odile in NYC, divided opinions notwithstanding I would be there to cheer her on.

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Apart from the fact that Alina is hanging on by a thread in certain ballets, she has already cancelled out of Swan Lake at ABt two consecutive seasons. Is McKenzie going ot go out on a limb and give her a third chance? If not, Herman is in need of a short partner. Is Misty short enough to be Herman's partner in a SL New YOrk debut. I'm not sure. It seems inevitable that Misty will be cast in SL when the new season casting is unveiled.

I'm hoping they give Part a new role as Juliet or Giselle. If super tall Semionova can be cast as Juliet and Giselle, why won't they cast Part?

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My memory is vague on this...but didn't ABT have a one-time appearance last year at the Met by Evgenia Obraztsova? Or was it another Russian, whose name I'm forgetting? I didn't see her, but I think she filled in on La Bayadere and people spoke very highly of her. Perhaps she could be brought back for several performances.

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My memory is vague on this...but didn't ABT have a one-time appearance last year at the Met by Evgenia Obraztsova? Or was it another Russian, whose name I'm forgetting? I didn't see her, but I think she filled in on La Bayadere and people spoke very highly of her. Perhaps she could be brought back for several performances.

It was Olga Smirnova, and yes, she danced a one-off Bayadere.

Tereshkina did one as well that people on this website liked a lot (w. Shklyarov). I think Smirnova danced with Muntagirov. I was not able to see either performance, but if I had the opportunity would be especially thrilled to see Smirnova/Muntagirov in major roles w. ABT. I would be surprised to see ABT get through this season without some guest artists whether returning or new.

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It was Olga Smirnova, and yes, she danced a one-off Bayadere.

Yes - thank you! She was well-received by American audiences (and critics) in her Swan Lake with the Bolshoi in NYC as well:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/arts/dance/bolshoi-ballets-swan-lake-at-lincoln-center-festival.html

Here's the Times review of her Bayadere:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/31/arts/dance/in-the-temple-dancers-story-3-important-russian-debuts.html

Tereshkina is another who might be brought back as a guest. Given ABT's track record, they're probably looking around as we speak!

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Maybe not this season, but if Carla Korbes ends up in the NY Metro area, maybe she will end up being a guest. She said she's over being a full-time company member and that the direction of new choreography wasn't good for her physically, but if I were Ratmansky, for whom she danced the central Pas de deux in "Concerto DSCH," I'd be inviting her for coffee with her in mind for the new "Sleeping Beauty." She is at the top of her game.

Tereshkina is a goddess.

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Maybe not this season, but if Carla Korbes ends up in the NY Metro area, maybe she will end up being a guest. She said she's over being a full-time company member and that the direction of new choreography wasn't good for her physically, but if I were Ratmansky, for whom she danced the central Pas de deux in "Concerto DSCH," I'd be inviting her for coffee with her in mind for the new "Sleeping Beauty." She is at the top of her game.

Tereshkina is a goddess.

That is a beautiful idea but unfortunately, Carla herself does not think she is at the top of her game. Here is a quote from her in the Seattle Times:

"My body is ready to move on, so I need to respect that. Ballet has been my life, so I hope to continue to explore the art form in new ways and try new artistic endeavors.”

This statement from the NY Times perhaps leaves a little room for hope:

“I go back and forth between feeling like this is the end of my dancing career and just feeling: No, it’s not the end, I just need a change,” Ms. Körbes said. “I have done the company lifestyle for 16 years, and ballet has changed. It is evolving, and we’re being pushed in ways that just doesn’t feel like it’s working for me right now.”

As for ending up in the NY Metro area, she has been there, done that. If she goes anywhere it will be to the left coast with her husband-to-be:

"Where she will end up after June 7, however, is a secret. Ms. Körbes is engaged to the photographer Patrick Fraser, who lives in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles. She said she doubts she will remain in Seattle, but said that Mr. Fraser was planning a move, too. “It’s going to be a change,” she said cryptically."

New York City would not be a change for her, but a return to her past.

Sadly, ABT did well by acquiring Ethan Stiefel when he left NYCB but Monique Meunier, for reasons that may not be Kevin's fault, did not do well. Alexandra Ansanelli was interested in joining ABT but was offered a soloist contract and decided to go to the Royal Ballet before her early retirement. Kathryn Morgan really isn't in the best shape to even go into the corps right now though we all hope the best for her future as a dancer. Joy Womack has received excellent training at the Bolshoi and seems like a good acquisition unless there were other problems we don't know about that were blocking her advancement at the Bolshoi (other than failing to pay bribes). There may be personality issues there as her interviews suggested a flighty, not entirely stable individual (getting into a marriage of convenience to retain her Russian visa, etc.). Womack also seems determined to stay in Russia. She is currently at the Kremlin Ballet Theater getting valuable experience.

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Certain ballets will have to be extensively recast due to the series of retirements during the Spring season. Reyes is leaving in the first weeks of the season taking her out of Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella. Julie Kent would also be out of the Cinderella and Swan Lake as well since her retirement is in Romeo and Juliet the week before. Herrera would be out of Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet. So ABT would need two new Cinderellas to replace Kent and Reyes (Xiomara could still dance it well), a new Aurora to replace Reyes (Kent dropped the role years ago though it was a lovely role for her in the 1990s), and two new Juliets to replace Herrera and Reyes. Now Alina Cojocaru dances Cinderella and Juliet and could partner Herman and Joseph Gorak in those ballets. I think Misty Copeland is a possible Cinderella and could be charming in it and Sarah Lane is a no-brainer choice for Cinderella too. Sarah Lane would make a lovely Juliet based on her Miranda in the Tempest. Cojocaru is hanging on by the skin of her teeth as Aurora so probably Stella should add Aurora to her ABT repertoire. However, Kevin probably would want Isabella Boylston to add Aurora to her repertory and she would be preferred though Abrera has danced it before. As I said before Sarah Lane and Joseph Gorak should be paired in Sleeping Beauty - I wouldn't mind an opening night for them. For Swan Lake - well Misty Copeland can unveil her Odette-Odile in NYC, divided opinions notwithstanding I would be there to cheer her on.

I agree - there will have to be a lot of recasting for sure. But, will they recast w/ guest artists or from within (or some uneven combo of both)?

Part would be wonderful as Aurora, but I think Juliet is not a good fit for her. She's very womanly and mature (not in years, but in her presentation).

I'd like to see some of the soloists, and new soloists, get some plum roles.

Yes, Lane and Gorak should do SB and preferably on opening night. Lane would also be wonderful as Juliet and Cinderella. Abrera as Aurora, Cinderella. Teuscher would be great as Gamzatti. I think it's a no-brainer that Copeland will get a SL.

With 3 female principals leaving, and hopefully some soloists getting promoted, I'd like to see more corps dancers moved up. Skylar Brandt is soloist material. I'm on the fence about a few others. And, as a number of us have said, some male corps dancers are in need of moving up: Tamm, Forster, Royal III. But, I don't know if there's "room" for any male promotions any time soon.

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