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ABT 2016 Met Season


abatt

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Well this sucks, pardon my french. I really wanted to see Semionova in Sylvia, and now I will be seeing Hee Seo. And while I like Hee Seo in more lyrical roles (I really enjoyed her Juliet last year), I'm not sure I will enjoy her in Sylvia.

Don't mind seeing Boylston in place of Semionova for Swan Lake, but I hope Marcelo still dances. I've never seen the two them paired, should be interesting. If they end up replacing Marcelo with Hammoudi, I will become quite ornery.

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Why was it an impossibility to replace Semionova in "Sylvia" with Veronika Part? She was superb in the one Wednesday matinee she danced three seasons ago. She was scheduled to dance with Cory but his injury reunited her with Marcelo. Is the "Hee Seo to the rescue" ploy really working for ABT?

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This makes 2 consecutive years that people who bought Semionova tickets are screwed. Once again I'm stuck with a bunch of tickets I'll have to exchange. Won't get fooled again, as the song says.. One has to wonder how long McKenzie knew she was cancelling out. Did he keep her name on the cast list as long as possible to sell tickets, and then pull the rug out?

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I am so sick and tired of ABT. They make a fuss about "stars" but these stars frequently pull out, are injured, etc. I'd like to see them do something innovative like have a promising soloist or corps dancer take on some of Polina's roles. This works pretty well at NYCB, where young dancers frequently get an opportunity to dance big roles (case in point was the virtually sold out May 1 Jewels which starred several corps and soloist dancers). This company needs a total makeover beginning with a new AD. Maybe Angel Corella could come up and fire 40% of ABT's management. Since he offered Sterling Baca a principal contract he obviously sees that good corps dancers are capable of dancing much bigger roles than are being offered.

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This makes 2 consecutive years that people who bought Semionova tickets are screwed. Once again I'm stuck with a bunch of tickets I'll have to exchange. Won't get fooled again, as the song says.. One has to wonder how long McKenzie knew she was cancelling out. Did he eep her name on the cast list as long as possible to sell tickets, and then pull the rug out?

Please don't blame Polina. Perhaps it's happy news and not an injury.

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Boylston/Bomes pairing sounds interesting...although it would've been great if they handed the role to Abrera or one of the soloists.

I agree that the Boylston/Gomes pairing sounds interesting: I suspect we'll begin seeing them paired more often in a year or so to help him extend his career.

It's interesting to see Teuscher add another "soft" role to her repertory: given the other roles she's danced recently, Ratmansky and McKenzie must believe she has a lot of range. (And all the talk about Simone Messmer on the MCB boards makes me wonder the extent to which Teuscher has inherited Messmer's rep.)

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Please don't blame Polina. Perhaps it's happy news and not an injury.

I don't think abatt is blaming Polina. KM/ABT has a habit of waiting till the last minute to announce huge casting changes, as if they are selling tickets on a name they know won't perform.

I don't want to see Seo in a technically demanding role like Sylvia, and I would have never bought tickets to see her. Unfortunately , I'm not a subscriber, despite the fact that I buy tickets to at least 10 performances, so now I'm stuck seeing Seo.

Not happy with ABT and their antiquated subscriber policies and shady cast listings.

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Kaysta, give the exchange a try even if you are not a a subscriber. It might work.

I'm disappointed about Semionova, but not angry. I hope her medical leave is for the best of all possible reasons. However, I am angry that ABT management must have known for a period of time that she would not dance next week (or for the ENTIRE season), but hid it and continued to sell tickets using her name until the 11th hour.

As some have noted, there is no way I will see Hee Seo in Sylvia. She doesn't have the technical strength required, in my opinion. Fortunately, I left open many slots to exchange into for the season in anticipation that the cancellation tsunami would occur again this year.

Speaking realistically, I seriously doubt that Semionova will return next season.

As an aside, Polina's offical website did not list any performances at ABT in 2016, but she still lists a Sleeping Beauty on July 9, 2016. What company is that supposed to be with? We will all be keeping a close watch as to whether she proceeds with that July 9 show.

http://polina-semionova.com/schedule/

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Kaysta, give the exchange a try even if you are not a a subscriber. It might work.

I'm disappointed about Semionova, but not angry. I hope her medical leave is for the best of all possible reasons. However, I am angry that ABT management must have known for a period of time that she would not dance next week (or for the ENTIRE season), but hid it and continued to sell tickets using her name until the 11th hour.

As some have noted, there is no way I will see Hee Seo in Sylvia. Fortunately, I left open many slots to exchange into for the season in anticipation that the cancellation tsunami would occur again this year.

Speaking realistically, I seriously doubt that Semionova will return next season.

As an aside, Polina's offical website did not list any performances at ABT in 2016, but she still lists a Sleeping Beauty on July 9, 2016. What company is that supposed to be with? We will all be keeping a close watch as to whether she proceeds with that July 9 show.

http://polina-semionova.com/schedule/

Another reason why I have learned to wait till the last minute to take my seat chances! Unfortunately, I have learned my lesson for too many years :( Also, I am not sure if anyone saw and I just read this myself but this on the ABT bio page for Semionova, but it lists this:

Semionova joined ABT as a Principal Dancer in September 2012.

Semionova began teaching at the State Ballet School of Berlin in 2012, and was named a Professor at the school in 2013.

So maybe she is remaining in Berlin???

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Stuben, that has been listed on ABT's Semionova bio for a long time. Although I do wonder if she is done with ABT.

As Zobeide mentioned above, I wish they would have given Semionova's roles to younger soloists or corps members. I realize it's last minute at this point, but I do wonder how long McKenzie knew Polina wouldn't be dancing. And even if it was last minute, they should still be teaching these roles (as understudies) to other dancers to handle emergencies. I would have been super excited to see someone like Trenary take on Sylvia, as I think she has the technical chops to handle it.

I'm not trying to disrespect Hee Seo. As I said earlier, I find her Juliet absolutely stunning and love her in that role. I just think Sylvia is a bad role for her. Oh well, I will attempt to exchange into Gillian/Marcelo on Thursday night. If that doesn't work, I hope Seo surprises me.

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Stuben, that has been listed on ABT's Semionova bio for a long time. Although I do wonder if she is done with ABT.

Sorry for my miss on this as but nonetheless I do wonder if she plans to remain in Europe?! I do agree about nurturing the next generation of dancers, I believe Brandt would be a good one too! Especially after seeing her in both classical and modern pieces, she shows such power and grace, IMO she would be a good test for Sylvia. Then perhaps the AD should start considering moving the corps as well, since I do see a few with great potential as wel. Again, IMO having seen Waski in several soloist roles in past seasons, my grand daughter and I hope to see more of her this season, it is just too bad they don't list the cast for what shows these soloist roles will be danced by, so we will just take our chances.

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Stuben, that has been listed on ABT's Semionova bio for a long time. Although I do wonder if she is done with ABT.

As Zobeide mentioned above, I wish they would have given Semionova's roles to younger soloists or corps members. I realize it's last minute at this point, but I do wonder how long McKenzie knew Polina wouldn't be dancing. And even if it was last minute, they should still be teaching these roles (as understudies) to other dancers to handle emergencies. I would have been super excited to see someone like Trenary take on Sylvia, as I think she has the technical chops to handle it.

I'm not trying to disrespect Hee Seo. As I said earlier, I find her Juliet absolutely stunning and love her in that role. I just think Sylvia is a bad role for her. Oh well, I will attempt to exchange into Gillian/Marcelo on Thursday night. If that doesn't work, I hope Seo surprises me.

I understand everyone's disappointments, but do you realize what the rehearsal for Met season looks like? These dancers are already rehearsing 6-7 hours a day after their class to learn the roles they are cast to dance. So, it's not so easy to just add another understudy role to their already busy days, especially a principal role.

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I understand everyone's disappointments, but do you realize what the rehearsal for Met season looks like? These dancers are already rehearsing 6-7 hours a day after their class to learn the roles they are cast to dance. So, it's not so easy to just add another understudy role to their already busy days, especially a principal role.

I agree! The rehearsal schedule can be pure madness and it's not always the best decision to cast over worked dancers in a new role at the last minute. That can sometimes cause even more injuries that can lead to further casting complications. An AD has to look at so many possibilities and from so many angles. There may just not be time to train someone (anyone!) to take on a roll at the last minute. Choreographers, coaches, teachers, etc. all have much on their plates already. Besides, injuries can happen in an instant with no "advance" warning. In a rehearsal, in class, walking to the subway. There is absolutely no way of predicting a safe, injury free season. Look at what befell Osipova as she was jumping in "Giselle" last season. Anyone who witnessed that (as I did) will clearly understand that injuries can happen in any number of fickle ways. Plus, her absence may not be, in fact, an injury. Any number of other reasons could come under the heading "medical". One may think they possibly have a tummy ache (and able to dance), and it turns out to be appendicitis. (clearly un able to dance!) That one can come upon anyone and suddenly! Or it might possibly be something else????............. I think given that the Opening is next week, Kevin is doing his very best to make it all work. And remember that sometimes a dancer who may not seem the "ideal" for a role can surprise you.

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At least two of Semionova's roles are going to Teuscher, a soloist, for Symphony #9. And, I think that may be a debut for her. Take heart folks, at least Seo wasn't cast in everything! I would have liked to have seen Abrera get one of her Sylvia's and another debut for another up-and-comer.

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Well I wish Stella had gotten one of Semionova's "Swan Lake" performances or the Juliet. Ratmansky would have had a voice in who replaced Semionova in 9th Symphony - hence the new soloist Devon Teuscher is tapped. Notice that Kochetkova is now dancing the show that Seo was originally scheduled for with Blaine Hoven.

I must also mention that Gorak has not only been pulled from Romeo but he is not dancing Colas in "Fille" or Aminta in "Sylvia" - two roles one would think would be naturals for him.

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I agree! The rehearsal schedule can be pure madness and it's not always the best decision to cast over worked dancers in a new role at the last minute. That can sometimes cause even more injuries that can lead to further casting complications. An AD has to look at so many possibilities and from so many angles. There may just not be time to train someone (anyone!) to take on a roll at the last minute. Choreographers, coaches, teachers, etc. all have much on their plates already. Besides, injuries can happen in an instant with no "advance" warning. In a rehearsal, in class, walking to the subway. There is absolutely no way of predicting a safe, injury free season. Look at what befell Osipova as she was jumping in "Giselle" last season. Anyone who witnessed that (as I did) will clearly understand that injuries can happen in any number of fickle ways. Plus, her absence may not be, in fact, an injury. Any number of other reasons could come under the heading "medical". One may think they possibly have a tummy ache (and able to dance), and it turns out to be appendicitis. (clearly un able to dance!) That one can come upon anyone and suddenly! Or it might possibly be something else????............. I think given that the Opening is next week, Kevin is doing his very best to make it all work. And remember that sometimes a dancer who may not seem the "ideal" for a role can surprise you.

I would just like to add an addendum to my previous post. Perhaps this is a topic or "thread" for another day, but how would ABT fans feel if the company were to adopt a casting policy similar to that of NYCB? Instead of announcing casting in brochures months in advance, put casting up one, two weeks prior. I recognize that ABT fans are un like City Ballet fans, but we(I) go to see City Ballet based on the work at hand, not necessarily who's dancing on any given night. Disappointments? Sure. But just as many times I've come away delighted at seeing someone different. Maybe then we wouldn't be playing the "blame game" on a company AD. But of course this idea would punch a huge hole in the "Misty sells tickets" as a business plan.

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Well I wish Stella had gotten one of Semionova's "Swan Lake" performances or the Juliet. Ratmansky would have had a voice in who replaced Semionova in 9th Symphony - hence the new soloist Devon Teuscher is tapped. Notice that Kochetkova is now dancing the show that Seo was originally scheduled for with Blaine Hoven.

I must also mention that Gorak has not only been pulled from Romeo but he is not dancing Colas in "Fille" or Aminta in "Sylvia" - two roles one would think would be naturals for him.

Thanks for the mention about Gorak, I didn't catch this but it just all seems like musical chair and getting me dizzy with so many changes to casting... and agree with mimsyb...

I would just like to add an addendum to my previous post. Perhaps this is a topic or "thread" for another day, but how would ABT fans feel if the company were to adopt a casting policy similar to that of NYCB? Instead of announcing casting in brochures months in advance, put casting up one, two weeks prior. I recognize that ABT fans are un like City Ballet fans, but we(I) go to see City Ballet based on the work at hand, not necessarily who's dancing on any given night. Disappointments? Sure. But just as many times I've come away delighted at seeing someone different. Maybe then we wouldn't be playing the "blame game" on a company AD. But of course this idea would punch a huge hole in the "Misty sells tickets" as a business plan.

... that is a great idea but you are so right about the "Misty" ticket, saw her attending the Met Gala and now with a Barbie under her belt I would think she is larger than life for ABT PR?!

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One has to wonder how long McKenzie knew she was cancelling out. Did he keep her name on the cast list as long as possible to sell tickets, and then pull the rug out?

I don't think abatt is blaming Polina. KM/ABT has a habit of waiting till the last minute to announce huge casting changes, as if they are selling tickets on a name they know won't perform.

I realize it's last minute at this point, but I do wonder how long McKenzie knew Polina wouldn't be dancing.

I have reason to believe whatever condition that caused her to withdraw developed or was found rather last minute. She has been posting on Instagram about her daily life back to ABT:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEHeFZDEBCC/?taken-by=polinasemionovaofficial

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEH3kO4kBNz/?taken-by=polinasemionovaofficial

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For me, comparing casting issues at NYCB and ABT is an apples to oranges situation.

The no- advance -casting rule works very fine at NYCB because they do rep shows, with 3 or more ballets presented on a single night. On any given night you are likely to see numerous different principals. Even if you get 2 or 3 principals you dislike, you will also get at least as many that you adore on that same program.

With ABT the situation is completely different. They are presenting full length ballets where you are watching only 2 (sometimees 3, but rarely more than that) people dance the lead roles for a 2 1/2 hour production. I will always buy my NYCB tixs without knowing any casting, but I would never buy ABT tickets in advance without knowing casting for this reason. ABT is well aware of this, and that is why they publish the spring casting in October. Otherwise, they would never be able to bank large amounts of advance payments for subscriptions and single ticket orders months before the curtain ever rises at the Met.

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I honestly can't believe that Stella hasn't been cast as Juliet! This could've been another "Giselle" moment (referring to how successful she was last year). Also, I saw a video of her White Swan Pas de Deux on YouTube and her interpretation is kinda mature and advanced for someone that has never danced the entire ballet. I think she would be a more successful White Swan than Black Swan, but I think she could power through the entire ballet. If Kevin allows Misty to continue to dance Swan Lake after all her technical mishaps in the Black Swan (fouettes, etc), I don't see how Stella couldn't get cast. Obviously it comes down to the "misty effect", so I guess Mckenzie is willing to sacrifice quality if it brings in ticket sales. Stella is a more mature ballerina, her time is limited. I think a debut performance in Swan Lake or R&J with her and Marcelo would sell more tickets than the average. I know I would immediately get a ticket! She is about to celebrate her 20th year with the company. Having danced/watched countless performances of Swan Lake and R&J, I'm sure she would enter rehearsals with significant knowledge of their technical and artistic demands. How clear does it have to be that people don't really want to see Hee Seo over and over again.... uhhhhh, this season is already looking like a disappointment and it hasn't even started.

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For me, comparing casting issues at NYCB and ABT is an apples to oranges situation.

The no- advance -casting rule works very fine at NYCB because they do rep shows, with 3 or more ballets presented on a single night. On any given night you are likely to see numerous different principals. Even if you get 2 or 3 principals you dislike, you will also get at least as many that you adore on that same program.

With ABT the situation is completely different. They are presenting full length ballets where you are watching only 2 (sometimees 3, but rarely more than that) people dance the lead roles for a 2 1/2 hour production. I will always buy my NYCB tixs without knowing any casting, but I would never buy ABT tickets in advance without knowing casting for this reason. ABT is well aware of this, and that is why they publish the spring casting in October. Otherwise, they would never be able to bank large amounts of advance payments for subscriptions and single ticket orders months before the curtain ever rises at the Met.

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ABATT makes a very good point about NYCB. I think it's the central point but I would like to add it is a tribute to City Ballet that they can field so many dancers that can provide totally satisfying performances. There is also the historical fact that many City Ballet fans came of age years under Mr Balanchine's policy of no advance casting releases. And we became and still are ballet fans!

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For me, comparing casting issues at NYCB and ABT is an apples to oranges situation.

The no- advance -casting rule works very fine at NYCB because they do rep shows, with 3 or more ballets presented on a single night. On any given night you are likely to see numerous different principals. Even if you get 2 or 3 principals you dislike, you will also get at least as many that you adore on that same program.

With ABT the situation is completely different. They are presenting full length ballets where you are watching only 2 (sometimees 3, but rarely more than that) people dance the lead roles for a 2 1/2 hour production. I will always buy my NYCB tixs without knowing any casting, but I would never buy ABT tickets in advance without knowing casting for this reason. ABT is well aware of this, and that is why they publish the spring casting in October. Otherwise, they would never be able to bank large amounts of advance payments for subscriptions and single ticket orders months before the curtain ever rises at the Met.

Though, for what it's worth, SFB and PNB, for example, only post casting 1-2 weeks ahead, even for their full-lengths. People still seem to buy tickets (and the company sometimes gets a little boost right at the end if some exciting casting gets posted!). ABT's policy of posting casting 6 months in advance is quite rare, at least in the US and, based exactly on the kinds of rehearsal schedules discussed above, is really risky. People get injured and there will be changes; it's just inevitable with the intensity of a compressed season.

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Ah, yes. A Stella Odette/Odile would have been a lovely thing to behold. Instead, ABT audience members will be treated to watching Hee Seo be unable to perform those 32 bloody fouettes without falling off pointe and traveling halfway upstage (as happened last year).

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