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ABT 2016 Met Season


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I don't know much about The Golden Cockerel. Will be interesting to see. I had hoped that Ratmansky might have taken on Swan Lake and redid their version, which to be honest could use a refresh. Excited for La Fille Mal Gardee, its nice to see them throw in a wild card and not do just the normal repertory rotations. Wonder how long until we get to see casting. Gardee seems like a great ballet for their new corp of shorter principals and soloists. I'm crossing my fingers for the opportunity to see lots of Stella! They also announced their Nutcracker casting in California today and was a little disappointed to see Stella paired with Hammoudi. Nothing against him, but she deserves a fully developed partner. Judging from her incredible Giselle this past season, I think casting her with a strong partner and dancer helps her deliver an incredible performance. This was clear after seeing her with Gorak in Cinderella. He has incredible talent and is on his way to the top, but his partnering and acting skills are lacking. This type of stuff takes away from Stella's performance. She deserves the best. Shall we all take our bets on casting? Lets hope for lots of debuts!

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By looking at the program I'm quite sure that they will invite Osipova back for another year. I'm her fan so no complains! I haven't seen golden Cockrell so I'm excited about seeing something new! I thought they'd bring DonQ back this year though.

Alban is great in La Fill and Sleeping Beauty so i will definitely try to catch those performances.

I'm assuming that Vishneva will be performing in Shostakovich Trilogy, Sleeping Beauty, and Rom & Jul with Gomes. Also this program seems somewhat Simkin friendly (I can't believe I'm saying this). Again, I'm his fan so no complains from my side:)

Lastly, I wont miss Bolle in Sylvia! I just wonder who will be his partner.... Part sounds great but theyou haven't partnered up at ABT yet so I don't know (correct me if I'm wrong)

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I don't know much about The Golden Cockerel. Will be interesting to see. I had hoped that Ratmansky might have taken on Swan Lake and redid their version, which to be honest could use a refresh. Excited for La Fille Mal Gardee, its nice to see them throw in a wild card and not do just the normal repertory rotations. Wonder how long until we get to see casting. Gardee seems like a great ballet for their new corp of shorter principals and soloists. I'm crossing my fingers for the opportunity to see lots of Stella! They also announced their Nutcracker casting in California today and was a little disappointed to see Stella paired with Hammoudi. Nothing against him, but she deserves a fully developed partner. Judging from her incredible Giselle this past season, I think casting her with a strong partner and dancer helps her deliver an incredible performance. This was clear after seeing her with Gorak in Cinderella. He has incredible talent and is on his way to the top, but his partnering and acting skills are lacking. This type of stuff takes away from Stella's performance. She deserves the best. Shall we all take our bets on casting? Lets hope for lots of debuts!

I saw Stella with Hammoudi in Nutcracker this past year and thought they were excellent together. They have such chemistry and she looked 100% confident in him and his partnering! I'm going to see them again this year in OC.

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Bolle danced one "Swan Lake" with Part and evidently it was a revelation. Never happened again - from then on she got Cory, he got Hee. Thanks to Ratmansky, Part and Bolle also danced the first section of the Shostakovich Trilogy - the Symphony #9. They were great in that as well. I suspect Ratmansky will take good care of both Stella and Veronika and they will repeat their major roles in the Shostakovich Trilogy (Stella would be good in "Chamber Symphony" as well) and hopefully will have leads in "The Golden Cockerel". The new piece by Ratmansky seems to be choreographed for seven men. Another big question is whether Hallberg and Semionova are returning and in what capacity, let alone Osipova. The problem with Osipova is her concurrent commitments with the Royal Ballet - that is why she couldn't dance "Giselle" with Gomes as her partner - they never danced it together and there was no time to rehearse with her schedule. So they brought in McRae, her usual RB Albrecht, and then she got injured onstage. Ditto her dropping out of the Ratmansky "Sleeping Beauty" - no time to absorb the radically different placement and style of that production in a fly-in, dance, fly-out situation. Osipova does dance "Fille" with the Royal so that might be okay.

For "Sylvia" they have Murphy, Part, Boylston (debut), Vishneva (?), Semionova (?) and Osipova (?). Copeland and Kochetkova seem a little petite for Sylvia but are contenders. Hee Seo seems a little soft and retiring in technique and personality. Abrera would be a lovely Sylvia though somehow she might get passed over for it - I think a successful Lilac Fairy and Gamzatti should handle it well.

I am glad to see "Fille" coming back as everyone has been asking for it. Lise: Murphy, Kochetkova, Boylston (debut), Lane, Copeland, Seo and Osipova (?). Skyler Brandt would be a delightful Lise as would Luciana Paris. Colas: Lendorf, Cornejo (moved up from Alain), Stearns, Hammoudi, Gomes, Whiteside and Gorak, Simkin is physically more of an Alain but could dance Colas excellently. Cirio, Arron Scott, Calvin Royal and Gabe Stone Shayer might be Colas but are more likely to get Alain.

Stella should debut as Juliet and Odette/Odile and has already performed Aurora in New Zealand.

I hope the Ashton "Monotones I and II" returns in the other Mixed Bill.

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Stella should debut as Juliet and Odette/Odile and has already performed Aurora in New Zealand.

Faux Pas, from your lips to McKenzie's ears. I would be there in a heartbeat to see Abrera as Juliet and O/O no matter who her partner is. I don't think they will cast her as Aurora. They need her for Lilac.

I'm also looking forward to some pairings of Boylston with Lendorf. I hope McKenzie is moving in the direction of having Lendorf as a regular partner for Boylston.

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Does anyone know just how much Fokine Ratmansky's version incorporates?

The programme note for the RDB described the choreography as 'Ratmansky, inspired by Fokine's original stagings from 1914 and 1937' but I have no idea how much, if at all, this translated into actual steps.

I saw the same performance as Helene in Copenhagen and although I got less from it than she did, my piece about it has some photographs - the RDB website has just been re-done and Helene's link doesn't seem to work at present.

Much the best role is the Queen of Shemakhan - a lot of fun for somebody! Lendorf was one of the Tsar's sons in the first cast - Helene and I saw the other cast.

There are 2 acts each of about 45 minutes.

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I agree that Stella would make a great Juliet, but I don't think Kevin will cast her in Odette/Odile. I think she would make a great Odette, but might struggle with the technical demands of Odile. Seems O/O is one of the first roles aging ballerinas retire. However, Stella is an incredible professional and always comes to the stage looking well rehearsed and powers through, so I could be wrong. And if Kevin casts her, she deserves someone like Gomes or Hallberg as her prince. Would be such an injustice to pair her with Gorak or a less experienced partner. With that said, I wouldn't be surprised if Gorak gets cast as Siegfried. I think artistically she would be remarkable. I think Kevin might save some of the limited O/O slots for a younger ballerina. We know that Kochetkova will be dancing O/O. (You can put me in the "much rather see Lane camp") Wouldn't mind if Kevin doesn't cast Seo in favor of another ballerina, but the past two seasons I believe she has danced two or three O/O performances during Swan Lake week. Don't understand that type of casting, because its not really her "role". Could understand two shows for Murphy or Part, because O/D is what they do best.

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I agree that Stella would make a great Juliet, but I don't think Kevin will cast her in Odette/Odile. I think she would make a great Odette, but might struggle with the technical demands of Odile. Seems O/O is one of the first roles aging ballerinas retire. However, Stella is an incredible professional and always comes to the stage looking well rehearsed and powers through, so I could be wrong. And if Kevin casts her, she deserves someone like Gomes or Hallberg as her prince. Would be such an injustice to pair her with Gorak or a less experienced partner. With that said, I wouldn't be surprised if Gorak gets cast as Siegfried. I think artistically she would be remarkable. I think Kevin might save some of the limited O/O slots for a younger ballerina.

Hallberg would be the perfect regular partner for Stella - he should demand that McKenzie cast them together. BTW: Stella has danced successfully Gamzatti in "La Bayadere" which has some similarities in technical demands to Odile. Certainly Julie Kent went on for years as O/O until very recently and probably fudged/simplified some of the Act III steps - I wasn't there so I don't know - but there is a precedent. I think Stella could do a fine Odile even if she has to substitute a circle of piques for the fouettes. But I wouldn't be surprised if she could manage a decent set of fouettes - certainly as well as Copeland and Hee Seo can.

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At last we have some news to talk about re ABT! Right way I read the two reviews of RDB's The Golden Cockerel provided as links by BAers--thank you both. Costumes look gorgeous and I expect it is a glorious spectacle. Tempting. I'm glad to see Sylvia back-- I saw it with Gillian Murphy when it was last performed and would want to see her again. My not so fond most recent viewing of Fille was at the Paris Opera House 3 summers ago when all but the soloists and corps had decamped for their Lincoln Center performances-- so disappointing. Although we were grandly seated in center orchestra seats and struck up a conversation with a family of four visiting from Australia who were dressed to the nines for the occasion, by the time the chickens danced in Act I we all decided we'd had enough and vacated our block of seats at the end of the act. I am hoping Stella will be cast as Juliet--it would be worth sitting through this long ballet to see her. Looking forward to everyone else's comments on the announced ballets.

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I agree that Stella would make a great Juliet, but I don't think Kevin will cast her in Odette/Odile. I think she would make a great Odette, but might struggle with the technical demands of Odile. Seems O/O is one of the first roles aging ballerinas retire.

Since McKenzie has permitted significant alteration of the Odile choreography as recently as Spring 2015, I don't see why the Odile choreography should be a reason to foreclose Abrera from the role. Same rules must be applied to all.

As noted above, when Kent was doing O/O she made signficant alterations to the role to suit a diminished level of technique.

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Sadly, no mention of a Push Comes to Shove revival. A few TBAs, but that seems like the sort of thing that would be highlighted. Perhaps Tharp wouldn't approve. Perhaps Ratmansky thought it was a bad fit for the company at this point in its history. Perhaps the likely leads (Cornejo & Simkin) balked. After Cornejo did an excerpt last year (was that at the 2015 gala?), I thought we'd be seeing the entire ballet. Guess not.

Plenty of other interesting things, though, so it all depends on casting, at least for me.

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Sadly, no mention of a Push Comes to Shove revival. A few TBAs, but that seems like the sort of thing that would be highlighted. Perhaps Tharp wouldn't approve. Perhaps Ratmansky thought it was a bad fit for the company at this point in its history. Perhaps the likely leads (Cornejo & Simkin) balked. After Cornejo did an excerpt last year (was that at the 2015 gala?), I thought we'd be seeing the entire ballet. Guess not.

Plenty of other interesting things, though, so it all depends on casting, at least for me.

Yes, sorry no Twyla Tharp, esp. Push.. I'm old enough to remember Baryshnikov in this and how amazed I was by the choreography, music, and dancing. It would have been nice to acknowledge Tharp's 50- year anniversary this year with her.

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There are four major roles in "The Golden Cockerel": King Dodon,, the Queen, the Astrologer, and the Cockerel. The King and Queen have major stage time. The Queen is the multi-dimensional character: a cross between Salome and Scheherazade, she uses her wits and physicality just trying to keep the customer satisfied (and distracted). The King's main dancing is as a partner in the pas de deux: it's primarily a mime/dramatic role. I'd love to see Gomes do this, as he has the presence, it would give him a challenge in a new work, and it might even give him a physical breather from the heavy lifting he does each season. This is *not* a role for a Prince or a dancer who doesn't have connection to his partner. The King must be completely and lustily taken with the Queen and for a very long stretch. The Queen has to do everything in a dancer's sensuous toolbox. She has to convince you that she's a physical prize, not a political trophy. It would die without charisma, sensuality, and intelligence.

The Astrologer and Cockerel are smaller, but critical roles. The Astrologer must be a forceful presence. Is it Hammoudi who is lauded for character roles? The Cockerel is like a cross between a wind-up toy and AK47: all staccato, deadly force, a cyborg fighting machine who follows orders.

The two sons have solos in Act I, but the roles demand characterization and engagement. Again, no Princes. The girlfriends would be fun roles for up-and-coming corps women with acting ability.

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Yes, sorry no Twyla Tharp, esp. Push.. I'm old enough to remember Baryshnikov in this and how amazed I was by the choreography, music, and dancing. It would have been nice to acknowledge Tharp's 50- year anniversary this year with her.

I was at the world premiere of Push in January 1976 - amazing experience - a truly instantaneous standing ovation. And I saw it at every opportunity for many years after that.

One detail I remember about the dancers' enthusiasm: at the very end, Baryshnikov flips Tcherkassky over and she has legs at about 45 degrees in front of him. But on opening night, he pushed her all the way down into splits on the floor. She had a shocked look on her face, but given the entire ballet, I assumed it was intended. Never saw the splits again after that.

I think Cornejo and Simkin would be splendid in the Baryshnikov role. I do hope they find a way to revive that in the coming years.

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The programme note for the RDB described the choreography as 'Ratmansky, inspired by Fokine's original stagings from 1914 and 1937' but I have no idea how much, if at all, this translated into actual steps.

I saw the same performance as Helene in Copenhagen and although I got less from it than she did, my piece about it has some photographs - the RDB website has just been re-done and Helene's link doesn't seem to work at present.

Much the best role is the Queen of Shemakhan - a lot of fun for somebody! Lendorf was one of the Tsar's sons in the first cast - Helene and I saw the other cast.

There are 2 acts each of about 45 minutes.

Thank you for the link. How has the ballet fared? Is it popular and performed frequently?

I have to wonder because Ratmansky's Bright Stream was declared a hit in its first ABT season and played to half-empty houses the next. However, the ballet remains very popular in Moscow.

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The Astrologer and Cockerel are smaller, but critical roles. The Astrologer must be a forceful presence. Is it Hammoudi who is lauded for character roles?

You may be thinking of Zhurbin who can be just remarkable in character roles and has been much praised for his performances by professional critics. (I thought he was terrific in Ratmansky's Firebird, and would be delighted if he were cast in Golden Cockerel.)
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