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


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She was wonderful in Cheri with Cornejo but as others have said this was an older woman/younger man relationship. I've seen her on youtube in rehearsals for things being choreographed on her, and she looks great. Whether or not she can seem youthful beside Cornejo remains to be seen. Personally, my heart sank at the announcement. IMO ABT needs to focus on fostering young talent. Ask her to coach. Ferri will get some press, sell some tickets, be wonderful or not, the audience will love her and ABT will continue to lumber along. If something happens between now and then and Ferri has to withdraw, Hee Seo will be ready.

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This coming season would be a good time to have Stella and Sarah Lane debut in Juliet. Sad that Lane probably won't get the chance, because I'm sure they'll have to accommodate Kochetkova. I've always been and always will be a Ferri fan, but with such a shortage of slots for principals to get the opportunity to dance, its sad to not see this go to a current dancer. Stella especially, as great as she is, doesn't have that many years left, so I think it would be a disservice to not let her dance while she is capable. IMO, McKenize also owes her for all the years he kept her sidelined!

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This coming season would be a good time to have Stella and Sarah Lane debut in Juliet. Sad that Lane probably won't get the chance, because I'm sure they'll have to accommodate Kochetkova. I've always been and always will be a Ferri fan, but with such a shortage of slots for principals to get the opportunity to dance, its sad to not see this go to a current dancer. Stella especially, as great as she is, doesn't have that many years left, so I think it would be a disservice to not let her dance while she is capable. IMO, McKenize also owes her for all the years he kept her sidelined!

Well, it would be a mistake to say that Stella doesn't have that many years left. After all this is a thread about a woman who's 52 dancing a role more suited to a teenager. Both Ulanova and Fontyn danced into their late years. I think it's grand that Ferri is dancing again. AND with Herman! What could be better?

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I am hoping the younger men and women who did not see much of her in her prime---go for it :tiphat: You will be seeing a wonderful artist---something that is seriously lacking in the

recent female principals. In my younger days I was thrilled to see Danilova, Markova, Riabouchinska and even Dolin near the end of their careers.---just put technique on the 'back burner' and enjoy this artist. (although I really think she will be fine technically, or don't think she would try it) I will in all probability not get tickets for the performance----I am still recovering from

last season when Semionova and Vishneva were replaced by Hee Seo---I guessg his year it will be Copland.........

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I may be in minority here but I don't find the idea on Ferri coming from retirement to perform in R&J all that exciting. Throughout my ballet going years I admired many dancers and later saw them retire but I wouldn't like any of them to come back for a full length old classic. I'd prefer to see my favorite ballerinas in pieces choreographed specifically on them (Sylvie Guillem, Wendy Whelan, Muriel Maffre). It is has nothing to do with the inevitable loss of technique, I simply believe that moving forward is a much smarter choice than tyring to recapture the past. Besides, I want to see younger dancers being given an opportunity to develop their skills and artistry. With only 7 or 8 performances of each ballet during the Met season, what are the chances for this?

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After the ROH streaming of the R&J rehearsal I took out my DVDs of Ferri doing the role. She moved me to tears. I saw Ferri and Bocca do R&J many times and she is the ultimate Juliet for me. Even though I'm a little bit apprehensive about how she will dance it at 53 (especially with a much younger Romeo) I'm going to be there for her. No matter what her age, whenever Ferri takes the stage, I'll be there if at all possible. I'm just sorry I had to miss Woolf Works because I'm in NYC.

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I may be in minority here but I don't find the idea on Ferri coming from retirement to perform in R&J all that exciting. Throughout my ballet going years I admired many dancers and later saw them retire but I wouldn't like any of them to come back for a full length old classic. I'd prefer to see my favorite ballerinas in pieces choreographed specifically on them (Sylvie Guillem, Wendy Whelan, Muriel Maffre). It is has nothing to do with the inevitable loss of technique, I simply believe that moving forward is a much smarter choice than tyring to recapture the past. Besides, I want to see younger dancers being given an opportunity to develop their skills and artistry. With only 7 or 8 performances of each ballet during the Met season, what are the chances for this?

I agree with you Dreamer. If Ferri was coming back for an opening night gala with something that had been choreographed on her, I'd be all for it. To see her in her 50's doing R&J I believe is a gimmick on the part of ABT. Moving forward is a big problem for ABT.

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I agree that ABT is having trouble moving forward. While some of their newer dancers are promising, they lack the artistic excellence of many of the former crop of dancers. Also, they don't have that magical quality that makes their performances an "occasion". I think McKenzie realizes this and also might be a little nostalgic, so instead of moving forward he prefers to dwell in the past. I think his focus on guest artists could be him trying to cover up his imperfections in developing new talent. I think its time for a new director, if you ask me. That will move them forward.

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Not exactly the same, but this rather reminds me of when they brought Carla Fracci back at age 55 to do one Giselle with Julio Bocca.

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/06/09/arts/review-dance-giselle-as-interpreted-by-italy-s-carla-fracci.html

I'm betting that McKenzie is hoping for the same "delirious, flower-strewn ovation from a star-hungry audience" for Ferri's R&J.

I have mixed feelings about Ferri's return. While she is undoubtedly one of the greats, I agree with others who've said they'd rather see this performance given to another dancer who's never had a chance at Juliet before. I saw Ferri/Cornejo in Cheri and they were magnetic. What a partnership! But, it's a completely different role (no point work, limited dancing, and the story is about a younger man/older woman) and I have doubts about how the age difference will play out. However, I will probably try to be there (because, it IS Ferri and maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised) but I will take my chances and wait till the last minute to buy a ticket in case there's a classic ABT switcheroo.

Maybe in McKenzie's eyes this is also some sort of appeasement for the growing complaints about guest artists. Since Ferri was a full company member maybe he thinks folks won't view her as a guest artist, per se. Bringing her out also reminds everyone of the stars ABT has produced over years, and with Kent, Herrera and Reyes having retired this year, perhaps he thinks the audience will need a reminder and a reason to come back.

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When ABT acquired the Neumeier "La Dame aux Camellias" I was sorry that they didn't do it ten years earlier so that Ferri could have danced it. Ferri had performed the ballet at La Scala. If Ferri wants to come back to classical ballet at ABT it would make more sense to return dancing the role of a more mature woman in a ballet she hasn't danced in New York before - she wouldn't be competing with her younger self. The Roland Petit "Carmen" is another possibility.

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No one has mentioned this yet, but I wonder if ABT will also engage Ferri to do some coaching with principals in roles she performed herself, perhaps even R&J.

I do agree as mentioned in another thread about the most recently retired three, it would be great to see all of them become coaches. It looks like Kent is back as one with the latest ABT announcement, and Reyes was showing signs over the summer involved as such as well with her staging of Giselle. I am seeing both sides to this coin about Ferri, she is definitely one of the best and most likely will be great in this again, and I am sure she will bring in the ticket sales. Then again, this is taking the opportunity from another within the company, with this said, I do agree with a few BA comments that at least she is not another import. I just wish ABT will move forward to nurturing those who have potential instead being notalgic. I think I will really have to imagine hard to get over the idea she is not the teenager that this was meant to be. Not sure if I want to ruin my great memories yet.

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I know that there was a La Scala ballet tour where the Petit "Carmen" was presented but I think Ferri was injured/ill and Viviana Durante took over dancing with Massimo Murru. Anyway, do it again with Bolle as Don José. I do remember reading that Ferri coached Sarah Lane in Juliet and she was back last year coaching Elena Obraztsova and the other ABT Juliets including Misty Copeland. So she has been back coaching.

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I know that there was a La Scala ballet tour where the Petit "Carmen" was presented but I think Ferri was injured/ill and Viviana Durante took over dancing with Massimo Murru. Anyway, do it again with Bolle as Don José. I do remember reading that Ferri coached Sarah Lane in Juliet and she was back last year coaching Elena Obraztsova and the other ABT Juliets including Misty Copeland. So she has been back coaching.

She was also reported to have coached Osipova.

For me ABT's ballerina lineup has been less than consistently stellar for a long time. But their current line-up (as a whole--I do not speak of every single dancer or every dancer in every single role) seems especially unformed--or under-formed--as thrillingly distinctive, major artists.

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No one has mentioned this yet, but I wonder if ABT will also engage Ferri to do some coaching with principals in roles she performed herself, perhaps even R&J.

she has coached dancers at ABT in it before. She coached Osipova in it before her debut.

[sorry my page didn't refresh properly and I missed Drew's post!]

I am really excited about this. I'm viewing this as an amazing opportunity we didn't think we'd have to see the best interpreter of this role I've ever seen.

But I understand a lot of people here prefer to see it as yet another opportunity to whinge about an opportunity taken away from their favorite (ahem Stella)--when we don't even know that this is the case.

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I'm hoping Cornejo is healthy and can dance Romeo. He has been a bit injury prone the last few years. And if he is injured, Ferri might pull out. But I'm not going to worry in advance. Let's hope both are fine and give the performance of a lifetime.

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But I understand a lot of people here prefer to see it as yet another opportunity to whinge about an opportunity taken away from their favorite (ahem Stella)--when we don't even know that this is the case.

I wouldn't classify questioning whether a 52 year old who retired many years ago and had her big retirement extravaganza should take the stage instead of a current dancer as whining. It's a legitimate question. It's clear that ABT does not have enough Juliet's among its current roster, evidenced by the fact that when both Osipova and Vishneva pulled out last season, Hee Seo did three Juliets and Copeland did two. (Murphy apparently was not worthy of picking up an additional Juliet in management's eyes.) This lack of preparation of current dancers to take on lead roles and fill in with a single dancer in multiple performances (Seo Balet Theatre) over the course of a week is very misguided, to put it mildly. If there was ever any doubt about how misguided it is, it became extremely obvious last season when it was Hee Seo filling in multiple times per week in multiple roles. If they want to try out Lane, Abrera or Boylston that would be great. We'll see what the casting is in late October. I suspect it will be Kochetkova who becomes ABT's latest Juliet. Resources should be spent on moving forward, not backwards.

I have a lot of respect for the way major dancers like Baryshnikov, Whelan and Guillem have conducted their post ballet careers by finding new projects and new choreography that works for them. None of them have taken a trip back into yesteryear by trying to go back to old roles that made them famous years after retirement. The fact that Ferri has chosen Cornejo as her partner instead of Bole makes it even more of a puzzling choice. I thought Ferri was doing very well in finding new projects for herself, but I have my doubts about her return to Juliet.

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Some dancers take on character roles and still sell tickets. I remember seeing Fonteyn as Lady Capulet.

Although I think it's most often a mistake -- ie lack of planning in preparing dancers for roles -- when during a season the same dancer subs for many ballets, sometimes there's a cascade effect that even companies with deep pockets and/or coaching staffs -- neither of which describes ABT -- can find themselves in a bind. However, next Spring is a long way away.

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I have no problem with Kent or other retirees coming back for character roles. Victor Barbee, Susan Jaffe and many others have performed character roles with great success. (Mrs. Ratmansky, however, was a less than ideal Queen in SB.)

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I have a lot of respect for the way major dancers like Baryshnikov, Whelan and Guillem have conducted their post ballet careers by finding new projects and new choreography that works for them. None of them have taken a trip back into yesteryear by trying to go back to old roles that made them famous years after retirement. The fact that Ferri has chosen Cornejo as her partner instead of Bole makes it even more of a puzzling choice. I thought Ferri was doing very well in finding new projects for herself, but I have my doubts about her return to Juliet.

Guillem returned to Manon in 2011 after a hiatus of 6 years. It isn't quite the same but similar.

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