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ABT 2016 Met Season


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I haven't seen Abrera in a lead role, but from a wide range of sources, I think that while Abrera has been underused, I conclude that she has the technique and range to dance any classical role.

One of my ballet hates is strict typecasting. Looking back at some of the best performances I've seen, they were danced not by the alleged "A List" dancers, and the same goes with opera.

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Stella's injuries also were a reason for her being sidelined. I believe she was cast in Giselle twice (maybe three times?) but each time had to pull out due to injuries. I do think that she was on the principal track before those injuries got in the way. However, when she was back in good physical shape, I do agree that she was underutilized.

I wish ABT had never invited Semionova to join the company. She's a beautiful dancer, but dull. And she takes up a spot (or two) in nearly every classical ballet that could go to Stella or an up-and-coming soloist dancer.

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Indirectly and unintentionally, Semionova helped Abrera into her promotion. McKenzie had no plans to give Stella Giselle last season (or EVER), but Semionova's absence created an opening that Abrera was able to fill on short notice because Abrera had performed the role in Australia only a few weeks earlier. (Hee Seo was already overbooked, I guess.) If Semionova had never been part of the ABT roster, who knows when or if Stella would have gotten the chance to dance Giselle at ABT. Probably never. Abrera's performance helped to move her into consideration for promotion. The stars aligned for Abrera, finally.

I'm not sure, but I think Semionova does sell a good number of tickets. I like her in certain ballets like Swan Lake and Sylvia. I did not like her as Juliet, Giselle or Myrta. I think she could be a beautiful Lilac Fairy, but I doubt she will be cast in that role. I would also like to see her as Medora, but she is not cast.

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Indirectly and unintentionally, Semionova helped Abrera into her promotion. McKenzie had no plans to give Stella Giselle last season (or EVER), but Semionova's absence created an opening that Abrera was able to fill on short notice because Abrera had performed the role in Australia only a few weeks earlier. (Hee Seo was already overbooked, I guess.) If Semionova had never been part of the ABT roster, who knows when or if Stella would have gotten the chance to dance Giselle at ABT. Probably never. Abrera's performance helped to move her into consideration for promotion. The stars aligned for Abrera, finally.

I'm not sure, but I think Semionova does sell a good number of tickets. I like her in certain ballets like Swan Lake and Sylvia. I did not like her as Juliet, Giselle or Myrta. I think she could be a beautiful Lilac Fairy, but I doubt she will be cast in that role. I would also like to see her as Medora, but she is not cast.

I agree about possible ticket sales, as would Copeland, but so sad to think that talented dancers have to wait for injuries to get anywhere with ABT :( I also feel that dancers like Semionova has wonderful technique but lack the emotions, as several of the other have in the company. Gone are the days of prima ballerinas I sorely miss :( ... Reyes, Herrara

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I think it's sad that within ABT, the ballerinas who continue to dominate the ticket sales are the very same ballerinas who dominated sales more than a decade ago - Ferri and Vishneva. Other than Copeland, ABT has not been able to establish any of its own stars among the current roster. (By "stars" I am referring to ticket sales only and the ability to bring large numbers of people into the theater.) Boylston and Murphy get great press reviews, but that's not necessarily translating to ticket sales.

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I think part of the reason they have not been able to establish "stars" is because they have relied on guest artists for so long to bring in the cash flow. It's a cyclic problem--no "stars" leads to bringing in outside "stars" which then leads to a lack of development of younger dancers who can not develop into a star because they are not given the chance. Hopefully that is a thing of the past, and talented young dancers like Trenary, Brandt, Waski and Lavine can have more opportunities to step into larger roles.

You can't have a roster full of home grown stars if you don't actually try to grow them. Which is why I'm thankful for Copeland, because I do believe her fame is helping the company out. Maybe if they are less worried about the dollars, they will take more chances.

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I think part of the reason they have not been able to establish "stars" is because they have relied on guest artists for so long to bring in the cash flow. It's a cyclic problem--no "stars" leads to bringing in outside "stars" which then leads to a lack of development of younger dancers who can not develop into a star because they are not given the chance. Hopefully that is a thing of the past, and talented young dancers like Trenary, Brandt, Waski and Lavine can have more opportunities to step into larger roles.

You can't have a roster full of home grown stars if you don't actually try to grow them. Which is why I'm thankful for Copeland, because I do believe her fame is helping the company out. Maybe if they are less worried about the dollars, they will take more chances.

All great points Kaysta! I am hoping that this year will be the first of many where there are few guest stars brought in. I don't begrudge those international stars as many of them are outstanding dancers, but the Met season shouldn't live or die on them. Develop the home team. Last year was overkill.

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What with Ferri, Bolle, Vishneva, Gomes, Kochetkova, Hallberg (if he is still dancing - as one hopes he will), Semionova and Lendorf I would say that ABT in its coming MET season has more than its fair share of what many balletomanes would term 'stars' be they guests in reality or no.

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I have high hopes. Boylston, Trenary, and Brandt seem more comfortable with having a public persona, more willing to seek out opportunities to perform in non-ballet venues...and, if Boylston's Mariinsky appearances and pairings this Spring are any indication, the ABT brass are seeking more ways to associate them with other stars.

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Bolshoi lists Hallberg in its London tour: http://www.roh.org.uk/about/bolshoi

May be there's hope that he'll make it to the Met season unless it's Bolshoi wishful thinking.

The Bolshoi has finally published preliminary casting for its London tour, and there is no sign of Hallberg.

https://twitter.com/DanceTabs/status/719797801895477248

(No Osipova either, for that matter.)

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I know this discussion reflects box office etc, but as a front-rank ballerina in her prime, I'll take Murphy any day!

Me too! She's my favorite. I hate that she gets typecasted into roles. I love her Juliet, and am patiently waiting for a chance to see her Giselle.

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Speaking about guest stars, I wish ABT had Friedemann Vogel on its list. If there's any international male dancer the american ballet-goers deserve to see live, its him. Superb line, technique, power and presence.

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From the company:

MATHIAS HEYMANN OF THE PARIS OPERA BALLET

TO APPEAR AS EXCHANGE ARTIST WITH AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE DURING 2016 SPRING SEASON AT THE METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

Mathias Heymann, an étoile with the Paris Opera Ballet, will debut as an Exchange Artist with American Ballet Theatre during the Company’s 2016 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, it was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. Heymann will perform the role of Conrad in Le Corsaire at the evening performance on Wednesday, June 1 and at the matinee on Saturday, June 4, opposite Gillian Murphy as Medora.

Heymann began his ballet training in his hometown of Marseille, France at the Académie Danse Attitude, under the direction of Véronique Sottile. He entered the Paris Opera Ballet School in 2001 and joined the company’s corps de ballet in 2004, at age 17. He was promoted to coryphée in 2006, to sujet in 2007 and to premier danseur in 2008. Heymann was named étoile in April 2009. His awards include the Prix du public/AROP and the Prix Carpeaux, both in 2006, and the Prix Benois de la Danse in 2012. He was named a Knight of France’s Order of Arts and Letters in 2014.

His repertoire with the Paris Opera Ballet includes Afternoon of a Faun, Solor and the Golden Idol in La Bayadère, Incitatus in Caligula, Autumn and the Dance Teacher in Cinderella, Franz in Coppélia, Basilio in Don Quixote, Baptiste in Les Enfants du Paradis, Colas and the Flute Dancer in La Fille mal gardée, Melancholic in The Four Temperaments, Albrecht and the peasant pas de deux in Giselle, Des Grieux in Lady of the Camellias, Drosselmeyer /the Prince in The Nutcracker, Lensky in Onegin, the pas de trois and Lucien d’Hervilly in Paquita, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Rubies in Jewels, Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Zaël in La Source, the Rose in Le Spectre de la Rose, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, James in La Sylphide and roles in The Anatomy of Sensation, Genus, In The Night, Kaguyahime, Manfred, Suite en Blanc, Symphony in C and Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler.

Tickets for American Ballet Theatre's 2016 Metropolitan Opera House season, beginning at $20, are available online, at the Met box office or by phone at

212-362-6000. The Metropolitan Opera House is located on Broadway between 64th and 65th streets in New York City. For more information, visit ABT's website at www.abt.org.

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Speaking about guest stars, I wish ABT had Friedemann Vogel on its list. If there's any international male dancer the american ballet-goers deserve to see live, its him. Superb line, technique, power and presence.

I agree 1000%. He's one of my favorite current male dancers who I hardly ever get to see...just the occasional gala appearance

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I just noticed some casting shifts for Swan Lake: Lendorf is out for 6/13 SL with Boylston; Whiteside replaces him. Part is now paired with Hammoudi in the Wednesday evening SL. Has he danced Siegfried at the Met before, and has he ever partnered Part? It seems like it would have been a more obvious choice to pair Hammoudi with Boylston, and to keep Part with Whiteside, who partners her very well.

Edited to add: Hammoudi also is now listed in the previously TBA slot for the Murphy Romeo and Juliet (I'm not sure if this is new news or not). I think this means all TBAs are now filled.

This is a huge season for Hammoudi now. I hope he rises to the occasion!

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Right, Hammoudi debuted in SL on tour with Misty (in Australia?) but was never cast in NYC. I knew it was only a matter of time before they took Lendorf's name off the casting of SL.

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I was a big fan of Hammoudi's in the beginning when he was still in the corps. He showed such promise - tall & lean with great stage presence and a warm stage personality- he reminded me a lot of a young Gomes. I thought he and Part would be great together and always hoped ABT would pair them up.


Unfortunately IMO his technique & partnering skills never really developed sufficiently. So, while I think he and Part will look great together and have great chemistry together on the stage, I don't think that he will be up to partnering her. And we know how important it is for her to have solid partnering. I have tickets for their SL so I will cross my fingers and hope for the best.

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Unfortunately IMO his technique & partnering skills never really developed sufficiently. So, while I think he and Part will look great together and have great chemistry together on the stage, I don't think that he will be up to partnering her. And we know how important it is for her to have solid partnering. I have tickets for their SL so I will cross my fingers and hope for the best.

That's my worry, nysusan. If he couldn't handle Yuriko in The Nutcracker, how is he going to handle Part in Swan Lake? If Hammoudi can't make this a breakthrough season, then I think it's never going to happen.

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Hammoudi was cast in SL last year with Murphy, but none of my ballet friends in NYC went to see the show (those who are Murphy fans went to see her and Gomes on opening night instead).

Part is one of my favorite O/O, so I hope they'll be ok together.

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Regarding Heymann, I wish in their press releases they'd mention who the ABT exchange artist is with the POB. Does anyone know?

Gorak may have been denied a Romeo at the Met, but I see he's now been cast with Copeland on July 15 in Virginia. I'm betting Copeland's Met partner, Simkin, has other performance obligations then.

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