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ABT 2017 Spring Season at The Met

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ABT should have their performance filmed. Not only would it be a gift to audiences today as well as future generations, but it could be sent into space in a time capsule.


Are you listening, ABT?

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Casting first two weeks:



Daniil Simkin, Stella Abrera, David Hallberg and Sarah Lane to Lead New York Premiere of Whipped Cream at Spring Gala on Monday, May 22 at 6:30 P.M.

Casting for the first two weeks of American Ballet Theatre’s 2017 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

The season will begin on Monday, May 15 with eight performances of Don Quixote, led by Gillian Murphy (Kitri), Cory Stearns (Basilio), Hee Seo (Mercedes) and James Whiteside (Espada). On Tuesday, May 16, Misty Copeland, Jeffrey Cirio, Luciana Paris and Calvin
Royal III will lead the ballet for the first time, and the matinee on Wednesday, May 17, will feature debuts by Christine Shevchenko as Kitri, Devon Teuscher as Mercedes and Blaine Hoven as Espada. Christine Shevchenko and Thomas Forster will debut as Mercedes and Espada, respectively at the evening performance on Saturday, May 20. Staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, with choreography after Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky,
Don Quixote is set to music by Ludwig Minkus and features scenery and costumes by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Natasha Katz. The McKenzie/Jones staging of the current production was first performed by ABT on June 12, 1995.

The 2017 Spring Gala on Monday, May 22 at 6:30 P.M. will feature the New York Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Whipped Cream, set to a score by Richard Strauss and featuring scenery and costumes by pop-surrealist artist Mark Ryden and lighting by Brad Fields. Whipped Cream received its World Premiere on March 15 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, led by Daniil Simkin as The Boy, Stella Abrera as Princess Tea Flower, David Hallberg as Prince Coffee and Sarah Lane as Princess Praline. This same cast will lead the New York Premiere on May 22. The week’s additional performances of Whipped Cream will feature

New York debuts by Herman Cornejo (The Boy), Hee Seo (Princess Tea Flower), Cory Stearns (Prince Coffee) and Cassandra Trenary (Princess Praline) on Tuesday evening, May 23, by Jeffrey Cirio (The Boy), Gillian Murphy (Princess Tea Flower), James Whiteside (Prince Coffee) and Skylar Brandt (Princess Praline) at the matinee on Wednesday, May 24, and by Isabella Boylston (Princess Praline) and Alban Lendorf (Prince Coffee) at the evening performance on Wednesday, May 24.

The second week of American Ballet Theatre’s Spring season will continue with four performances of Giselle, beginning Thursday, May 25, with Hee Seo, Cory Stearns and Veronika Part in the leading roles. Misty Copeland and Alban Lendorf will dance the roles of Giselle and Albrecht, respectively, for the first time in New York on Friday, May 26. On Saturday, May 27, New York debuts will include Sarah Lane (Giselle), Daniil Simkin (Albrecht) and Christine Shevchenko (Myrta) at the matinee and Gillian Murphy (Giselle) at the evening performance. Set to music by Adolphe Adam, with scenery by Gianni Quaranta, costumes by Anna Anni and lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Giselle features choreography after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa and has been staged for ABT by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. The world premiere of Giselle, one of the oldest continually-performed ballets, occurred at the Theatre de l’Academie Royale de Musique in Paris on June 28, 1841. The ballet was first presented by ABT (then Ballet Theatre) at the Center Theatre in New York City on January 12, 1940 with choreography by Anton Dolin and scenery and costumes by Lucinda Ballard. The leading roles were danced by Annabelle Lyon and Anton Dolin. American Ballet Theatre’s sixth production, featuring scenery by Gianni Quaranta and costumes by Anna Anni, was created for the film Dancers, produced in 1987 by Cannon Films. This production’s first public performance was given on March 20, 1987 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with Marianna Tcherkassky as Giselle and Kevin McKenzie as Albrecht. The current staging is by McKenzie, using the Quaranta and Anni designs.

Tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s 2017 Metropolitan Opera House season, beginning at $22, 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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Tonight was the final live exclusive broadcast of the season on Met Opera Radio on Sirius XM, and hosts Mary Jo Heath and William Berger gave a shout-out to ABT's upcoming season and the dancers who will be in the House after the weekend.

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A release:




On Tuesday, June 6, over 3,500 New York City Public School children will attend American Ballet Theatre’s Young People’s Ballet Workshop at the Metropolitan Opera House at 11:00A.M. Hosted by ABT Studio Company Artistic Director Kate Lydon, the program will include original pieces by students participating in ABT’s Make a Ballet program, as well as excerpts from ABT’s Spring Season repertoire performed by Company dancers.

Thirty-five schools will attend the workshop from all five boroughs. The Make a Ballet schools to perform include Waterside School (Stamford, CT), PS 1 (Chinatown), PS 20 (Lower East Side) and Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (Astoria).

The hour-long program will include performances by the dancers of American Ballet Theatre in excerpts from Le Corsaire, The Sleeping Beauty and ABT’s all-new production of Whipped Cream. Principal Dancer Misty Copeland and Soloist Alexandre Hammoudi will also perform a mime demonstration from the opening section of Act II of Swan Lake.

Make a Ballet offers students the opportunity to design, choreograph, construct, produce and perform their own original dance. Students work throughout the school year under the tutelage of ABT teaching artists and school faculty. In addition to exposing students to classical dance, Make a Ballet emphasizes career opportunities in the arts, onstage and backstage. In 1999, the Make a Ballet program was awarded a prestigious Governor’s Arts Award by New York State.

ABT is supported, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

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I had a feeling she'd be replaced in Le Corsaire. If you're too injured for Giselle you're too injured for Medora. We'll see about Swan Lake, it's just under two weeks from now so she might be healthy by then.

Now IF she can't perform O/O, considering Simkin is Sigfried it has to be someone Boylston and under (height wise that is). Boylston has an injury of her own, but has plenty of time to recover so if she's healthy my bet is she'll take it. Misty has also performed SL with Simkin but she's already scheduled for two Swan Lakes. Otherwise that leaves the three short soloists (my guess is whoever has learned the role, the question then becomes WHO has learned the role).

Happy for Brandt, this is an excellent opportunity for her. I hope Kochetkova's injury is not serious though.

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2 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Any guesses (wishful or otherwise) for who might take over Kochetkova's O/O the following week, if she's still out?


For the record, Sarah Lane danced O/O with Angel Corella in Spain when his company was alive there. That's not a bad recommendation.

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If Kochetkova pulls out, I think her SL will go to Boylston, if she is healthy. Or they could import someone last minute. Before Kochetkova danced regularly with ABT, they hired her as a guest for SL when Cojocaru pulled out. That was a few years ago, and the first time I saw Kochetkova dance.

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Wow! I'm thrilled for Brandt. This is definitely proving to be a season for the female soloists to step up.


If Kochetkova pulls out of SL as well, I doubt they'd put Copeland in because she has two shows already and that would be too grueling. I think it would be Boylston if she herself has healed (I know some folks think she's too tall for Simkin, and that may be true, but they have done SL together before). If not Boylston, I don't have any other guesses. I really doubt it would be Lane. Who could they import for Simkin? They're not going to take away his Siegfried for an entirely new couple.


Now, if both Boylston and Kochetkova cannot do SL, that will be quite a pickle. Is Lendorf tall enough for Teuscher? Then she can take one more.

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1 hour ago, LadyBubbles said:

Casting change:

Skylar Brandt debuting Medora on Monday. Replaces Kochetkova.



WOW!!!!!  So exciting!  I wish I could be there to see it.


My, look how ABT has changed in such a short time!!  I am excited and PROUD to be a fan of this company right now.  The future is being groomed!  No more Rent-a-Russians, going with the home team!  (Not a knock on Kochetkova, I consider her part of the home team at this point and hope she heals quickly)

Edited by Kaysta
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Oh my. I feel sorry for Masha but excited for Brandt at the same time. I think she has the skill set and presentation for Medora. Let's hope the last minute partnership goes smoothly!


Maybe Kochetkova is resting up for her SL. I honestly hope that she can pull it off since Simkin looks most relaxed when he is partnering her. If they were to change his partner in last minute.... I will be too nervous to watch it. Boylston sounds like the most realistic sub if you ignore her injury. 


Whatever the scenario is, I hope that ABT can notify us asap because I might have to exchange my tickets. 

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5 minutes ago, Natalia said:

Most likely Bella (Boylston) would replace Kochetkova in SL, if it comes to that. Bella has danced O/O with Simkin.

I agree that Boylston is the most likely if she is totally healthy. The wild card of a guest is also possible. As I said Kochetkova was a last minute guest import to replace Cojocaru a couple of years ago. That began her ABT relationship. I'll bet Kevin M is looking at all possibilities right now!

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