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ABT Sleeping Beauty


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Second intermission update: the lovely dancing continues. Wonderful speed and bouyancy from Trenary and great lifts and partnering from Whiteside, who pulls off the red coat very well, by the way. My only criticism is that while Trenary managed to stay in the shell longer than others, it was slightly wobbly. It seems like that device is really hit or miss. It was wonderful to watch Trenary's warm, sensitive expressions throughout act two. She managed to seem sylph-like but never remote. Loving the freshness and freedom of her dancing.

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Second intermission update: the lovely dancing continues. Wonderful speed and bouyancy from Trenary and great lifts and partnering from Whitedide, who pulls off the red coat very well, by the way. My only criticism is that while Trenary managed to stay in the shell longer than others, it was slightly wobbly. It seems like that device is really hit or miss. It was wonderful to watch Trenary's warm, sensitive expressions throughout act two. She managed to seem sylph-like but never remote. Loving the freshness and freedom of her dancing.

Thank you for the updates. So happy to hear that Trenary is dancing so beautifully! She certainly seems to be on the fast track!

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I was at the rehearsal for SB---Abrera in Act l; Trenary inAct 2; and Murphy in Act 3...As for me, she walked (danced?) away with the honors...she is really the one to watch. Abrera's Rose Adagio was good, (has a way to go for real excitement!) but she lost me in the variation that followed. Too much mugging......

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Just got out of Act III and feel like I'm walking on air. Who goes to a Wednesday matinee expecting to see an A cast in all regards? The pas de deux was spectacular and drew applause for each of the three fish dives (the first one was particularly swift and impressive). There were some speed issues and tentativeness in some of the supported pirouettes, maybe caused by the fact that Whiteside would switch between using only one hand and to then using two. I wasn't expecting Whiteside to be so impressive in his variation, as it usually seems to go over better with short dancers, but he probably delivered the best interpretation I've seen of it. Trenary's variation was as good as it gets, and those super fast chaine turns at the end were stunning. I also can't praise her interpretation of Aurora enough. She seems made for the role.

Lane and Zhang delivered a blue bird pas de deux that was flawless. Lane was so poised and spot-on in all regards (with her characteristic grace and warmth, of course). Loved her control in holding all the poses. Zhang's leaps were so bouyant and and his entrechats six were wonderful. His elevation throughout was so impressive; it truly looked like he was flying. They were a dream duo.

An electric afternoon at the ballet. I usually go into a debut performance expecting to make a lot of allowances for the ballerina, but Trenary is the most satisfying Aurora all around that I've ever seen in the Ratmansky version. Brava to her!

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Just got out of Act III and feel like I'm walking on air. Who goes to a Wednesday matinee expecting to see an A cast in all regards? The pas de deux was spectacular and drew applause for each of the three fish dives (the first one was particularly swift and impressive). There were some speed issues and tentativeness in some of the supported pirouettes, maybe caused by the fact that Whiteside would switch between using only one hand and to then using two. I wasn't expecting Whiteside to be so impressive in his variation, as it usually seems to go over better with short dancers, but he probably delivered the best interpretation I've seen of it. Trenary's variation was as good as it gets, and those super fast chaine turns at the end were stunning. I also can't praise her interpretation of Aurora enough. She seems made for the role.

Lane and Zhang delivered a blue bird pas de deux that was flawless. Lane was so poised and spot-on in all regards (with her characteristic grace and warmth, of course). Loved her control in holding all the poses. Zhang's leaps were so bouyant and and his entrechats six were wonderful. His elevation throughout was so impressive; it truly looked like he was flying. They were a dream duo.

An electric afternoon at the ballet. I usually go into a debut performance expecting to make a lot of allowances for the ballerina, but Trenary is the most satisfying Aurora all around that I've ever seen in the Ratmansky version. Brava to her!

This makes me so happy to hear! Thanks for your report!

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Today was night and day compared to last night. Trenary came out bounding with energy, loveliness, etc. A sweet, sweet Aurora! I was very happily surprised!

I basically agree with everything Fondoffouettes said above about everyone on stage. This made Ratmansky's Sleeping Beauty come alive whereas last night I felt "meh" about it.

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I agree with all of the accolades for this afternoon's performance!! I'm so glad I was able to witness Cassie Trenary's resounding triumph!

I so hope we will be seeing her as Giselle and Juliet soon!

I also agree! She was wonderful

I don't know if anyone was there Monday night but Isabella was quite good and Joey Gorak was beautiful--by far the best of the 3 male variations I've seen (and Whiteside really did do it quite well, Corey--in the rehearsal--not so much) His partnering was good as well. Yes Isabella did get off center in some turns but it was all easily corrected, he did manage the one handed turns (and without any awkwardness) and the ardor of his performance was really remarkable. I've never seen a prince who seemed so enamored of his princess. He clearly took the advice he was given re: working on partnering to heart.

Is his partnering perfect? No, but it was a star turn. I'd love to see (now that they both have a performance or two of this under their belts) Gorak and Trenary as a pair in this--it would be astounding.

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Trenary was in my ABT summer intensive in 2010 before she got her contract at ABT: amazing she has risen so fast! I watched three of the Sleeping Beauty performances in Washington, D.C., in January, and she was a lovely Princess Florine and an even better Diamond Fairy. I was certain after those performances she would knock Aurora out of the park. Clearly she has.

Lane and Cornejo didn't do the fishdives at the Kennedy Center so I would not expect them to switch for this run.

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A star was born this afternoon. Trenary was spectacular. Please teach her Giselle and Juliet immediately. This afternoon's performance was a season highlight. Whiteside was also fantastic. Zhang was easily the best Bluebird of the week so far.

Seo had mixed results tonight. Her Rose Adagio was rocky and unsteady. She did much better with the lyrical vision scene. The wedding pas also went well. The big surprise for me was that Hammoudi danced quite well. The characterization was good, the partnering was strong and - most surprising- he did pretty well with his solos.

If there are any promotions, I suspect they will be announced tomorrow. I think June 30 was the date they announced last year's promotions.

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I've seen wobbles and falling off pointe but never as if the ballerina would fall backwards. Seo had to grab hands fast!!!

But she can have some good lyrical moments but the evening was a disappointment after Trenary's matinee.

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I agree with others that Giselle, and perhaps Juliet, are the next logical roles for Trenary, based on today's performance. The heavy Petipa roles of O/O and Nikiya can wait. Would love to see the youthful verve and warmth of Trenary in Giselle. And the Ratmansky Nutcracker would seem an obvious choice, as well.

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So happy for Trennary. I would've definitely gone to see her Aurora if only I didn't have to work during the day. What a pity they gave her one matinee only(((((((

Me too! Had to work. Boo! I really wanted to see her. But, for me, she is the face of the future for ABT. She has it all!! While I hope she gets new opportunities, my hope is that she will not go too fast. Avoid injuries, etc. One of the things with Trenery is that in addition to the more classical roles, she also excels in more contemporary work. Happy to hear she was a winner!!

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Seems like the theory of training the young talents within the company is a good one vs spending the dollars on out sourcing!? Perhaps this will awake the AD and board to look within for the next generation of dancers, and there are a few we have all seen with such potential, and IMO have lacked the attentive coaching what a few is lucky enough to have, hopefully this experience will change some thinking!

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I'm a bit late to the party but must echo what everyone else has been saying. This was a superb performance. And it truly did feel like, as abatt above said, a star was being born. The audience reaction after the Rose Adagio was intense. We'd all seen her before, but this was a revelatory emergence of such deep talent and artistic intelligence. Rarely is a performance so emotionally engaging and technically exceptional as Trenary's Aurora. She used every instant on stage to convey character, always engaging fully with the other dancers around her and, ultimately, with the audience. In terms of both acting and dance technique, there was a sense that she had studied the part, engaged with every beat of the music, analyzed and made careful choices for execution -- and yet, what resulted was something that seemed purely spontaneous and fully lived.

(As an aside, someone recently said to me, in reference to a different dancer's glamorous image, that she is "the Maria Callas of ballet." In a very different sense, In terms of piercing artistic intelligence, I would say that of Trenary yesterday. As with Callas, there was a sense that she had brought a powerful if intuitive mind to work on the role, that she understood what she was doing and why at every moment. And yet, again, there was no way in which the performance seemed studied or labored. There was total commitment to and engagement in the part.)

Trenary's dancing yesterday was so cleanly articulated -- every single step was crystal clear. (If I were a dancer, and wanted to learn the part of Aurora, I think I could have no better tool than a video of yesterday's performance to study.) And yet these steps all came together to form fluid whole arcs for every phrase and, on a larger scale, every variation. (I feel like I'm pushing paradox past the point of believability in all these descriptions -- but that's truly how it seemed! Such is the mystery of an exceptional artistic performance, I suppose.)

Interestingly, there was a similar quality of clear articulation balanced by unbroken fluidity in some of Whiteside's dancing yesterday as well -- especially the difficult Act III variation. I've seen Gomes, Gorak and Cornejo all dance this, and Whiteside's was definitely the best. His was not overall the most fully successful performance of Désiré that I've seen in this production, but this perhaps most challenging and important moment was quite impressive. (I also agree that he pulled the costume off most successfully. Though there was still one moment where one of those ridiculously cartoonish cuffs hung down right in front of Trenary's lovely face as he held her hand above her head.)

Devon Teuscher similarly handled the trickiest parts of the Lilac Fairy's variation (the more challenging of the two used in this production) with grace and finesse.

Sarah Lane and Zhiyaho Zhang danced one of the best Bluebird PDDs I've ever seen. Zhang competes with my memory of Gorak in this role. While Gorak had more gorgeous liquidity in the opening phrases of the coda, I must agree with fondoffouettes that Zhang's elevations were truly astonishing -- especially because there seemed to be so little force propelling them. (He's no Vasiliev, for instance.) It truly did create the illusion of flight at certain instants.

(So odd, though, that Lane and Zhang did not come out for a bow after their exit at the very end of the PDD. I don't remember this being the case with other pairs in this production. I almost thought perhaps one of them had been injured and couldn't come back out. But that didn't seem to have been the case, as they both seemed fine in the finale. Does anyone recall other couples not taking a bow?)

A final shout-out to Craig Salstein for his fine comic (but not overly broad) performance as Prince Désiré's tutor, Galifron.

So excited to see Stella and Marcelo tonight, then Boylston and Gorak on Saturday! What a great way to end the season!

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I saw Gorak and Boylston's Bluebird pas last night, and I didn't think Gorak was noteworthy. Yes he has beautiful feet and a lovely line. However, at times Groak has little elevation. I also noticed this during his SL peasant pas. Zhang is a very promising talent, and I hope they develop and coach him.

A further word of praise for Whiteside and Hamoudi. In the fish dives, both Gorak and Stearns used both hands to get the ballerina into proper position. In contrast, Hammoudi and Whiteside did it the more difficult and proper way, which involves using only the left hand and arm to spin the ballerina and then position her for the dive. The right hand and arm never touch the ballerina. Bravo. A skill that is rarely seen anymore. Mr. Abatt pointed out to me that both Seo and Trenary are waifs, so it was easier for those large men to complete the fish dive in the proper manner. Even so, credit is due.

Unfortunately, there were more empty seats on the Wed matinee than I have seen all week for the other SB shows. Trenary does not seem to have a following yet, but she will.

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I saw Gorak and Boylston's Bluebird pas last night, and I didn't think Gorak was noteworthy. Yes he has beautiful feet and a lovely line. However, at times Groak has little elevation. I also noticed this during his SL peasant pas. Zhang is a very promising talent, and I hope they develop and coach him.

A further word of praise for Whiteside and Hamoudi. In the fish dives, both Gorak and Stearns used both hands to get the ballerina into proper position. In contrast, Hammoudi and Whiteside did it the more difficult and proper way, which involves using only the left hand and arm to spin the ballerina and then position her for the dive. The right hand and arm never touch the ballerina. Bravo. A skill that is rarely seen anymore. Mr. Abatt pointed out to me that both Seo and Trenary are waifs, so it was easier for those large men to complete the fish dive in the proper manner. Even so, credit is due.

Unfortunately, there were more empty seats on the Wed matinee than I have seen all week for the other SB shows. Trenary does not seem to have a following yet, but she will.

That's interesting, abatt. I have never seen the fish dives done any other way than one-handed.

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I forgot to write that the thing that stunned me (happily) was how she looked at each suitor as she raises her leg a la seconde. For the first time it made sense. She looked down shyly but met his eyes with a smile and then looked up to go for the next suitor. Most ballerinas do this mechanically and do not treat it like an acting moment. Granted, it looks like Ratmansky wants this in the choreography, but no one did it like Trenary. She was remarkable living in the moment. A case of personality and role (plus talent) matching wonderfully.

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With all the excitement on this thread, let's not forget tonight's excitement of Stella's long...long...long awaited debut! I wish her a successful 20th Anniversary show and the company to celebrate with her! :flowers:

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