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ABT 2015 Met season


Dale

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It's interesting to see how many people like Symphonie Concertante. That was reconstructed from notation in 1983 and performed by ABT. I saw a few performances back then at the Kennedy Center, but not since. The criticism at the time was that it seemed stiff and artificial and needed more coaching

I was fortunate to see School of American Ballet students do it in 1993 as part of NYCB's Balanchine Celebration. From SAB's site

[susan] Pilarre reconstructed Balanchine’s Symphonie Concertante, consulting with the ballet’s original principals, Tanaquil LeClercq and Maria Tallchief, and using archival film footage of Ballet Society’s 1947 production and ABT’s 1983 revival. The ballet was performed by an all-SAB student cast at the Balanchine Celebration and at the School’s 1993 Workshop Performances. Ms. Pilarre set this version of Symphonie Concertante on ABT in 1994.

Anna Kisselgoff wrote that

Susan Pilarre's brilliant, faster-paced and more streamlined version here restores the youthful exuberance intended in Balanchine's visualization of Mozart's Symphonie Concertante in E flat.
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Arlene Croce complained that the 1983 ABT reconstruction lacked style, dynamics, phrasing, etc. It made you wonder how much coaching those dancers got from original cast members. Whatever it was, they needed more. Indeed, Croce added a footnote a few years later that ABT had ignored her suggestions about the need for more coaching.

The SAB students would have gotten extensive coaching for their 1993 performances, and, of course, they were already immersed in Balanchine style, which would presumably make quite a difference.

I'm curious if anyone who saw the 1983 version thinks ABT is doing better now along those lines, as they still have plenty of dancers who were not trained at SAB and don't have many opportunities in Balanchine ballets or with Balanchine-dancer coaching.

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I saw the original ABT cast - it was Cynthia Gregory and Martine VanHamel, so it was really well danced, and with decent speed, but definitely done in a grand style, as opposed to NYCB. as NYCB had dropped the ballet at that point for many years, most people were happy to have any rendition of it for historical viewing purposes, and it wasn't badly done.

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You're not kidding, Abatt. I have never seen the like of Misty's claque. Whenever she is performing, there are big groups of black girls and women cheering and whooping and yelling for her, and they gather together at intermissions all atwitter about their heroine/role model/spokesperson. One wonders if they even know what they're watching onstage, just as long as it's... HER. Very strange.

God forbid a group of black women go the ballet and enjoy a performance! Quelle horreur!

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A guest artist:

KIMIN KIM OF THE MARIINSKY BALLET

TO APPEAR AS GUEST ARTIST WITH AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE DURING 2015 SPRING SEASON AT THE METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

Kimin Kim, a first soloist with the Mariinsky Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre during the Company’s 2015 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, it was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

Kim will perform the role of Solor in La Bayadère on Monday evening, June 1 and at the matinee on Saturday, June 6, opposite Polina Semionova as Nikiya and Gillian Murphy as Gamzatti.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Kimin Kim trained at the Korea National University of the Arts under Vladimir Kim and Margarita Kulik. He was a prizewinner at the international ballet competitions in Rome (1st prize, 2008), Moscow (2nd prize, 2009), Jackson (2nd prize, 2010) and Varna (1st prize, 2010). In 2012, he won the Grand Prix at the Arabesque international ballet competition in Perm and the Youth America Grand Prix in New York. Kim joined the Mariinsky Ballet as a trainee before being promoted to first soloist in July of 2012. His repertoire with the Mariinsky includes Solor in La Bayadère, Ali in Le Corsaire, the Diana and Acteon Pas de Deux, Basilio in Don Quixote, Count Albrecht in Giselle, Rubies from Jewels, the Nutcracker Prince in The Nutcracker, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, the third movement of Symphony in C, Aminta in Sylvia and roles in Études, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Concerto DSCH and Infra.

Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre’s 2015 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House are on sale now by phone at 212-362-6000, or online at ABT's website www.abt.org.

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ABT is now at 8 guest artists for the Spring -- 5 of whom have some connection to the Bolshoi and 7 of whom have some connection to the former Soviet Union. They should just rename the company 'Russian-American Ballet Theatre' and be done with it! wink1.gif

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ABT is now at 8 guest artists for the Spring -- 5 of whom have some connection to the Bolshoi and 7 of whom have some connection to the former Soviet Union. They should just rename the company 'Russian-American Ballet Theatre' and be done with it! wink1.gif

ABT is as always continuing the practice of using guest artist rather than give company members from the ranks a chance. It's not like these guests are household names and will sell tickets. On the other hand perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe ABT ticket buyers are impressed by a Russian connection.

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How tall is Kimin Kim? Polina is quite tall.

Glad we are getting to see him at ABT since he is not coming to BAM.

I'd say Kim is about 5'10" or 5'11", just short of 6'. Polina might be a bit much to handle but I don't think Fateyev would let him come if he didn't think Kim could handle her.

It should be an interesting pairing because she's kind of a cool (dull) dancer whereas he's all fireworks (think Vasiliev or Simkin). I'm glad to be seeing him as a principal in a full length ballet because I've only seen him in short pieces or as a soloist in a full length ballet. But I predict the audience will love him. He's a crowd pleaser.

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ABT is now at 8 guest artists for the Spring -- 5 of whom have some connection to the Bolshoi and 7 of whom have some connection to the former Soviet Union. They should just rename the company 'Russian-American Ballet Theatre' and be done with it! :wink:

ABT is as always continuing the practice of using guest artist rather than give company members from the ranks a chance. It's not like these guests are household names and will sell tickets. On the other hand perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe ABT ticket buyers are impressed by a Russian connection.

If you're thinking of Kim, he is not a known name here but should be. I saw him in London and was awed. I think he could be the next international male star. I'm certainly now going to a performance I would have missed.What is mystifying is why the Mariinsky isn't bringing him to BAM. As for Smirnova, Obraztsova and Chudin, I think most balletomanes now know them. And everyone knows Osipova and Vishneva.

I simply don't think ABT has anyone inhouse who can compete with these Russians in terms of virtuosity, artistry and excitement. Of course, not giving them a chance just perpetuates the problem. But I'm happy these Russians are coming.

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I,too, predict Copeland will be promoted and Kotchekova poached. If Sarah does well in SB, there's some small hope she'll be promoted. They need small women for Herman and Daniil. I think Obraztsova is small and Kotchekova is tiny. I think they got tired of Cojo's injury record.

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I wouldn't be surprised if Copeland is promoted. She's debuted (and will debut this year) more new plum roles than any other female soloist (O/O, Juliet, La Bayadere, Les Sylphides, Coppelia, Nutcracker). Lane hasn't been given any new principal or sr soloist roles since The Tempest. She's done SB before; just Ratmansky's version will be new. She's been critically lauded for her Aurora in the past. Everything else she's been doing (and will be doing at the Met) are roles she's been performing for years (T&V, Les Sylphides, Nutcracker). To me, no new big roles means no chance of promotion. It speaks volumes about how the administration feels about her.

I think the poaching of Kotchekova is a likely scenario. McKenzie likes her with Cornejo. They'll still need another female principal to make up for this year's retirements, so I suspect they'll see how some of the many guest artists work out at the Met.

Slightly off topic: Going back to Lane....I've always wondered if her speaking out against Natalie Portman's claim (and Aronofky's and Millepied's defense) that Portman did most of her own dancing in Black Swan instead of Lane as her body double, and the subsequent public controversy surrounding that, has affected her career trajectory at ABT? That movie was made in 2009/2010 and in my opinion Lane was still a rising soloist at that point as she was promoted in 2007. Maybe it wouldn't have mattered. But, rightly or wrongly, Lane publicly went head-to-head with a major choreographer (directly and indirectly via his then-fiancee Portman) who has done commissions for ABT. In ABT's view, maybe not all publicity is good publicity. (Apologies if this type of question is not allowed.)

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Slightly off topic: Going back to Lane....I've always wondered if her speaking out against Natalie Portman's claim (and Aronofky's and Millepied's defense) that Portman did most of her own dancing in Black Swan instead of Lane as her body double, and the subsequent public controversy surrounding that, has affected her career trajectory at ABT? That movie was made in 2009/2010 and in my opinion Lane was still a rising soloist at that point as she was promoted in 2007. Maybe it wouldn't have mattered. But, rightly or wrongly, Lane publicly went head-to-head with a major choreographer (directly and indirectly via his then-fiancee Portman) who has done commissions for ABT. In ABT's view, maybe not all publicity is good publicity. (Apologies if this type of question is not allowed.)

Sarah did get 2nd cast in Liam Scarlett's new work this fall. And unlike Misty (whose performance, with its breast juggling offended many) got plaudits for her performance.

I don't think Sarah speaking out about Black Swan affected her career (except maybe to make her more cautious about doing things without an agent or lawyer). She waited until the Oscars were over (Natalie got hers) as requested. Meanwhile, Misty spoke to Gia Kourlas in a NYT article about 2 years ago. When asked about guest artists, Misty complained about not being appreciated and having to constantly prove herself. She directly criticized ABT. Yet here she is, practically a principal. No, I think promotions are partially political, partially about the hope of bringing in new or bigger audiences. Then there is the prevailing aesthetic that dancers have to be tall, skinny, hyperextended and hyper flexible (that works against Sarah but apparently not Misty for reasons discussed at length). Also, Sarah being so short limits the partners she can dance with. But I still hope if SB does well and Ratmansky likes her, she might get promoted.

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Like most I predict Copeland and Kochetkova filling principals' spots; the third one could go to Olga Smirnova, Russian star in the rising. With Osipova gone and Vishneva approaching retirement, ABT would want internationally known name in its roster.

I would rather see Tereshkina who guested with ABT last spring, but she has not been invited to dance at MET during this important anniversary season.

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I agree with the prediction that Copeland will be principal, provided she gets good reviews in the NY press for her Juliet and her O/O.

What incentive does Kochetkova have for leaving SFB? She is a star there, and has been there for a period of years, gaining pension and other benefits over time. She enjoys guesting elsewhere, including numerous galas all over the world. She has no real incentive to go full time at ABT as a full member of the company. She is probably quite happy to drop in for a few guest appearances during the MET season. I guess if ABT throws enough money at her it could happen, but I would be surprised if she left SFB.

I guess I'm a pessimist, but I don't think McKenzie has any intention of ever promoting Lane to principal. She never gets important new roles in full length ballets. She has been doing SB and T&V for a few years already.

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Like most I predict Copeland and Kochetkova filling principals' spots; the third one could go to Olga Smirnova, Russian star in the rising. With Osipova gone and Vishneva approaching retirement, ABT would want internationally known name in its roster.

I would rather see Tereshkina who guested with ABT last spring, but she has not been invited to dance at MET during this important anniversary season.

In Ismene Brown's blog, she wrote that the latest agreement between the Bolshoi administration and the dancers's union puts big restrictions on guesting. Thus, though Smirnova and Obraztsova might drop in for 1or 2 performances, I don't think they would be allowed to join ABT as a guest principal. And given how well Smirnova is treated at the Bolshoi, I don't see why she would want to join what I see as a struggling company. (Obraztsova, on the other hand, does a lot of guesting in Paris and London) I really don't see anyone other than Kotchekova being imported as a principal.

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I guess I'm a pessimist, but I don't think McKenzie has any intention of ever promoting Lane to principal. She never gets important new roles in full length ballets. She has been doing SB and T&V for a few years already.

If I were Sarah (of course I'm not) and Copeland gets promoted and but not Sarah, I'd leave. She could go to any one of another small companies and probably dance more. And now that Luis is no longer at ABT she really has nothing to tie her to NY. Same goes for Stella (btw, I've noticed Sascha is doing a lot of guesting so he didn't really retire). Then the writing is on the wall and other than making sure she has an income, there is no reason for Sarah to stay at ABT.

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I agree with the prediction that Copeland will be principal, provided she gets good reviews in the NY press for her Juliet and her O/O.

What incentive does Kochetkova have for leaving SFB? She is a star there, and has been there for a period of years, gaining pension and other benefits over time. She enjoys guesting elsewhere, including numerous galas all over the world. She has no real incentive to go full time at ABT as a full member of the company. She is probably quite happy to drop in for a few guest appearances during the MET season. I guess if ABT throws enough money at her it could happen, but I would be surprised if she left SFB.

I guess I'm a pessimist, but I don't think McKenzie has any intention of ever promoting Lane to principal. She never gets important new roles in full length ballets. She has been doing SB and T&V for a few years already.

I too would be surprised if Kochetkova left SFB for ABT. Her rep at SFB is far more interesting and challenging than what she would get at ABT. But who knows? As for Sarah, this may be sacrilege, but to my eye she hasn't improved remarkably in the past few years. She dances the same roles, pretty much as she has always danced them. Well, but not so improved or better. Unlike Stella, who seems to be dancing at a new peak of perfection. And even Stella can't land that promotion! And let's not forget that "newbies" (Teuscher, Shevchenko) are both fast rising in the ranks. I hope the best for Sarah, but I wonder..........

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Even though I love watching them at ABT, there is a part of me that hopes both Stella and Sarah (assuming they don't get promoted at the end of the met season) leaves ABT and goes some place where they will be appreciated.

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If I were Sarah (of course I'm not) and Copeland gets promoted and but not Sarah, I'd leave. She could go to any one of another small companies and probably dance more. And now that Luis is no longer at ABT she really has nothing to tie her to NY. Same goes for Stella (btw, I've noticed Sascha is doing a lot of guesting so he didn't really retire). Then the writing is on the wall and other than making sure she has an income, there is no reason for Sarah to stay at ABT.

Really - Luis is no longer at ABT? I didn't know that. That is interesting in terms of Sarah's career. Also, I too would be very surprised if Kochetkova joined ABT. A others have said her rep at SFB is more interesting and she has a big guesting career.

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I second Mimsyb. I do not see Sarah as a principal material. I watched her over the years but did not see a real development.

As always individual tastes dictate which dancers one favors. I don't think I'll ever be a fan of Part's even though I enjoy her in some roles. I'm not crazy about Copeland but I do love both Abrera and Lane. As far as ABT's management goes KM seems to be favoring Copeland for whatever set of reasons. He promoted Boylston way before she was ready (IMO). To my tastes she is a very unfinished dancer. Personally, I would have rather seen Lane or Abrera get the opportunities given to Boylston. I guess the main problem for me is that I don't see an artistic vision at ABT. It all seems rather patched together.

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Really - Luis is no longer at ABT? I didn't know that. That is interesting in terms of Sarah's career.

Yes, Luis and Eric Tamm both left at the end of Nutcracker. Luis will be pursuing real estate (like Chuck Askegard) and also producing films.

As for Sarah's dancing, did anyone see both her and Misty dance Liam Scarlett's new work? There was a world of difference between them. Misty was vulgar; her partner jiggled her breasts and she twerked. Sarah didn't let her partner touch her breasts (he just made the motion) and a slight hip bump substituted for twerking. Several people I know were so offended by Misty's performance, they immediately walked out. Sarah made the role into a humorous affair. The NYT reviewed both performances and noted the difference.

I think many of us realize that ABT's promotions and casting have absolutely nothing to do with merit (Christine Shevchenko, Devon Teucher & Joey Gorak excepted). The question is where does that leave this struggling company at the end of the MET season. I personally believe that until they get a new AD, ABT has nowhere to go except down.

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