Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Ferri to dance in ABT's Romeo and Juliet at 2016 Met season


Recommended Posts

From the company:

ALESSANDRA FERRI TO PERFORM

JULIET IN AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE’S ROMEO AND JULIET,

JUNE 23, 2016 AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

Alessandra Ferri, a former Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre, will return as a Guest Artist to dance the role of Juliet in the Company’s production of Romeo and Juliet at the Metropolitan Opera House, it was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. In her first return to the ABT stage since her retirement in June 2007, Ferri will perform Juliet opposite Herman Cornejo as Romeo on Thursday, June 23, 2016.

“I am so pleased to have Alessandra dance this role,” said McKenzie. “It so rarely occurs that an audience can revisit the career of a favorite artist in real time.”

Born in Milan, Ferri trained at Teatro alla Scala Ballet and The Royal Ballet School in London. She joined The Royal Ballet in 1980 and became a principal dancer in 1983 before joining American Ballet Theatre in 1985 as Principal Dancer. With ABT, she has danced the title roles in Giselle and Manon, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Titania in The Dream and leading roles in Pillar of Fire, Les Sylphides, Gaîté Parisienne and Fall River Legend. She has performed as a guest artist with La Scala in Milan and with companies around the world. Ferri retired from American Ballet Theatre in 2007, dancing the role of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.

Following her retirement from ABT, Ferri was named Director of Programming at Spoleto Festival. In 2013, she choreographed and danced

The Piano Upstairs at Spoleto and starred opposite Cornejo in Chéri for Signature Theatre. Most recently, she danced the lead in Woolf Works with The Royal Ballet. Ferri’s awards include the Prix de Lausanne in 1980, the Sir Laurence Oliver Award

in 1982 and Benois de la Danse in 2000. In 2006, she was made a Cavaliere della Repubblica (the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic).

Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre’s 2016 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House go on sale October 26, 2015. For more information, please visit www.abt.org.

Link to post

Me too. Definitely want to see this. Just read the part about her partner being Cornejo. I would have thought she would partner with Bolle.

Although this will be an interesting performance, it is unfortunate that the end result may be that we are denied the chance to see someone new debut as Juliet, such as Abrera. Also, does this mean that Obratsova will not reprise her Juliet at the Met with Cornejo?

Link to post

Me too. Definitely want to see this. Just read the part about her partner being Cornejo. I would have thought she would partner with Bolle.

Likewise thinking the same, and as much as I am elated to see this, I am wondering if this has anything to do with drumming up ticket sales now.

Link to post

With subscription sales starting on October 26, perhaps they hope to scare people into subscribing to be sure they can see her. But going back quite a few years, I can't remember subscribers selling out any performance, no matter how special (the Kent retirement, the Vishneva-Gomes Manon, even the Alicia Alonso birthday celebration in 2010 with three pairs of leads in Don Q, etc.) There were always loads of good seats to choose from when single tickets went on sale. But (as we've discussed before on this list) the incentives for subscribing are so paltry at ABT, why bother? No discounts, no seat selection. . .

Link to post

Guess this is better than bringing in tons of guest artists. I'd be interested to see how Ferri holds up the technical demands of the role. I'm crossing my fingers for the chance to see Abrera dance Juliet. It seems well suited for her and judging from last years casting switcharoos, the company needs more Juliets. Wonder if Boylston will get a Juliet, might be interesting. But I'd rather see Abrera over all the other Juliets the company currently has on hand.

Link to post

Although my reaction was very positive and curious about Ferri's one-night-only comeback, I'm guessing that there is also a large portion of the audience who will avoid this performance because Ferri, at age 52?, is too old to do this.

Link to post

Although my reaction was very positive and curious about Ferri's one-night-only comeback, I'm guessing that there is also a large portion of the audience who will avoid this performance because Ferri, at age 52?, is too old to do this.

I thought likewise abatt :) I actually thought she was in her late 40s, if this is the case then wouldn't it be wise to bring back Kent or Reyes who are younger? Maybe not Kent for height, but surely Reyes since I am sure she is capable. Also, I do wonder if this will attract the younger set of audiences. Then again, if this is for a one night and tickets sell out, this may just help with the season, plus what the possible post performance gala you mentioned might do too! Ferri saves the day/season?

Agree with Dancerboy90210 too that at least less imports.

Link to post

Fonteyn was 46 when she did the premiere with Nureyev, although I don't know how many years after that she did the role.

http://www.kennethmacmillan.com/ballets/all-works/1960-1966/romeo-and-juliet.html

Ferri performed in pointe shoes this spring at the Royal Ballet in the new Woolf Works, which surprised me, as her earlier performances in Cherie had soft shoes. Perhaps she surprised herself!

Link to post

I think it was Sibley in "Striking a Balance" who described how the Royal Ballet was in the theater to watch rehearsal when the Bolshoi came to London in the 50's with "Romeo and Juliet," and described how they saw a little old woman in her woolies whom they assumed was a ballet mistress, when suddenly she danced on her cue and was completely believable as a young teen.

It was Ulanova.

Link to post

Cornejo and Ferri have been working together for Cheri--perhaps they have developed a close bond?

I think there's a pretty big difference between bringing back a beloved retired dancer in a signature role, and bringing back dancers who recently retired. Ferri is a class apart--I'd be surprised if people stayed away based on her age?!

Extremely jealous of those who make it.

Link to post

Oh dear ... I want to see this but I don't want to see it. I have such fond memories of seeing Ferri dance this with Bocca (and Corella) and she was so perfect ... but that was almost 10 years ago. I almost don't want to have that memory of perfection ruined in any way.

Link to post

Oh dear ... I want to see this but I don't want to see it. I have such fond memories of seeing Ferri dance this with Bocca (and Corella) and she was so perfect ... but that was almost 10 years ago. I almost don't want to have that memory of perfection ruined in any way.

You won't even have to rely on memories. There's a DVD still available of her 1984 performance with Wayne Eagling at the Royal:

http://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Eagling-Jefferies-Macmillan-Lawrence/dp/B0008FXSRE/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1441926841&sr=1-1&keywords=romeo+and+juliet+ferri+eagling

Link to post

Thank you, California, for the video. I think I'll live on my memories of Ferri as Manon at ABT, maybe 2007 or 2008, the most breathtaking dramatic ballet performance I've ever seen, before or since. Somehow I can't picture her as a 14-year-old Juliet. Even some of the ballerinas 15-20 years younger than she have trouble investing the character with the innocence called for in the role. But I would love to see Stella do it-- I think she can pull it off.

Link to post

Apart from the question of whether Ferri may be too old for Juliet, there is a secondary issue to consider. She is being paired up with Cornejo, who is much younger than she is. When she and Cornejo danced together in Martha Clarke's Cheri, the concept was that she was an older woman falling for a much younger man. That's not a concept that's present in R&J, so this pairing may distort the storyline. Bolle would have been a much more sensible choice as a partner for her in this ballet. I presume that she requested Cornejo as her partner.

Link to post

As someone who was too young to really get to see Ferri, I would love to see this performance. I do think it will attract a young crowd, not to mention ballet students who never got to see her perform. Her video of Juliet is iconic, so I really wouldn't be surprised for it to sell out quickly. When I read the headline, I never even thought about her age. Even if her technique is diminished, her acting and lyricism would still be worth seeing again. Just another perspective to throw out there

Link to post

It's not only about drumming up ticket sales. I wouldn't be surprised if ABT also held a post performance dinner for her as an ABT fundraising event.

It's all well...just so ABT doesn't turn this into "Homecoming Weekend" and invite other recent Juliet retirees. Just sayin'. (Wink)

Link to post

It's all well...just so ABT doesn't turn this into "Homecoming Weekend" and invite other recent Juliet retirees. Just sayin'. (Wink)

Well if that happens most likely Kent will be there since she is still quite connected with the company :wink: I do agree with a few other comments on this feed that it might be time to move on...to more new faces and opportunities for others to step into this role.

Link to post

I thought they would bring someone out of retirement but didn't expect that dancer to be Ferri (I was expecting Nina) It's a pleasant surprise! I too think that Bolle is better suited for her just because he's a better partner.

Link to post

I don't think I can miss this, despite cherishing my memories of her in her last few years of dancing Juliet and Manon with ABT. I'd just love to see how her interpretation might have changed, and I think I can accept diminished technique as long as it's not too glaring. If anyone can pull this off, it's someone who has always been more of a dancing actress than a ballerina who acts.

Link to post

This announcement about Ferri reminds me of when I went to see Pavarotti's final performance at the Met Opera (in Tosca). The audience was well aware of his vocal limitations. The audience was there based on nostalgia and appreciation of his career, and also because the event had so much "buzz." While this performance might not be Ferri's greatest Juliet, it has the potential to be Cornejo's best Romeo ever. It will depend on whether he decides to dumb down his formidable technique based on the peculiar circumstances.

Switching gears, given how little work Simkin had last season, I would think that he and Kochetkova might be a good matchup for R&J. He certainly needs more assignments.

Link to post

I saw Ferri dancing in Cuba during the 90's. There was always buzz about her, of course, but for some reason when I remember her, she doesn't come as someone who really awed me a lot. She was a better actress than a huge technician, and on that matters there were always lots of home grown talent back then that surpassed her easily. I still enjoyed her performances, of course, particularly her dramatic Giselle. R&J is not my favorite ballet, but I will be there too. It will be, as many have said already, an event based on nostalgia.

Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...