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Goh Ballet Guest Stars Dronina and Dancers from Ballet Manilla


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The Goh Ballet's "Nutcracker" runs from December 15-20 and features dancers from Ballet Manilla, including Junmark Sumalyo as the Prince, and other dancers as Snow King and Queen, and from National Ballet of Canada, Jurgita Dronina.

 

The production is by Anna-Marie Holmes.  Since the main pas de deux is a bit of an outtake -- this isn't a Petipa ballet where the heroine has a major role throughout -- it's a perfect set-up for guest dancers.  I've seen it a couple of times, and it is really terrific. The dancers from the Goh Ballet Academy are beautifully trained, and the production is greatly detailed, so that the guest artists are like a cherry on top.

 

I've never seen Dronina or any of the dancers from Ballet Manilla.  Now trying to figure out if I can get up to Vancouver to see it.

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I've just noticed that Sonia Rodriguez has withdrawn from the National Ballet of Canada's Nutcracker, and her performances on December 14 & 17 have been re-assigned to Jurgita Dronina. I don't know whether this makes it completely impossible for Dronina to dance in Vancouver.

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Hmmmm, now the latest Facebook post (this evening) says that Guillaume Cote will be performing, and the Goh Ballet website (screen shot below) says he'll be performing with Dronina.  But an earlier post says that Sumalyo would be dancing the Prince, with other Ballet Manilla dancers performing Snow King and Queen.  Which is all very ???

 

While it would be possible for Dronina to dance in Toronto on the 14th and then take a flight on the 15th to perform that evening, and an early flight the morning of the 17th to dance in the evening performance, it would be a stretch for her to get back to Vancouver for a 3pm performance on the 18th, although the SPF doesn't appear until Act II.  In the past, they have had alternating casts.  That's a Maria "Who Needs Sleep?" Kochetkova schedule.  The 19th and 20th would be doable with NBoC's current schedule/casting.

 

Goh Ballet graduate Frances Chung, who has guested before, is scheduled for Snow Queen on the 14th and the Grand Pas de deux on the 15th matinee at SFB.  There's no casting yet for the rest of the run on the SFB website.

 

I know there have been PNB dancers who've guested with Goh Ballet, but I don't know who would be available that weekend. One may have been Mara Vinson, whose own company's Nutcracker ends on December 11.  According to retired Principal Dancer Le Yin's PNB School Faculty bio, he does guest performing.  PNB has its own six performances during the Goh Ballet run. 

 

 

Goh Ballet Nutcracker.jpg

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Does the production distinguish between a "Nutcracker Prince" and a "Sugar Plum Fairy's Prince"? Perhaps it's possible that both Sumalyo and Côté will be dancing.

 

Jetting back and forth between Toronto and Vancouver would indeed be a Maria-Kochetkova-style schedule. Some five hours in the air each way. I wonder whether the expense is worth it for the Goh Ballet.

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Oh, that must be it:  there's a PDD in Act I between a grown-up and young Clara (or Marie), and that must be the Nutcracker Prince. 

 

Parents' frequent flier miles might come into the picture for air travel, if they don't have a corporate airline sponsor, but that's still a lot of flying.   In theory, Dronina could do the beginning of the run on the 15-16 or the end of the run on 19-20 by taking a morning flight out.  

 

Is Cote tall?  Jillian Vanstone is from Nanaimo, and she might sell some tickets locally.  She's scheduled for December 10, 13, 22 at 7:00 pm/December 28, 30 at 1:00 pm, according to the NBoC website.  Also, if Mara Vinson was a guest before, she might be available. She'd know the choreography, and she's on the shorter side.

 

In the past, there have been at least some years two couples guesting in the Act II PDD, but it shouldn't be a huge challenge to do the PDD all four times on the weekend, if need be.  (I'd still want a back-up, yikes.)

 

It's a three-four-hour drive from Seattle, depending on traffic and the border crossing.  The issue, is, of course, the four weekend performances.  If Goh Ballet were willing to cast soloists, Biasucci, Generosa, and Ricard Orza would look great with Cote, and also Merchant, who is a beautiful Balanchine SPF, if height isn't an issue: each would be worth seeing.  Peter Boal taught at Goh Ballet at least one summer; there would be a relationship there.  He might be willing to change the schedule to allow a dancer to guest.

 

 

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I'd love to see Cote paired with Biasucci.  The only PNB Principal woman on the short side is Rachel Foster.    I would love to see her dance with her husband, Le Yin.  They have to be two of the most beautiful people on the planet, and I loved his dancing, until knee problems forced him out of a full-time company role.

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I realize I'm bringing news via the caboose, but in the end the Goh Ballet imported Elizabeth Murphy and Jerome Tisserand from Seattle to replace Jurgita Dronina and Guillaume Côté. Interestingly, the press release cited an injury to Côté, not Rodriguez, as the reason for the change. Did Côté hurt himself, again, during his performance on December 11? I certainly hope not. Otherwise that Kudelka production is just a menace for male dancers.

 

The last performance of the Goh Ballet's Nutcracker takes place tonight.

 

http://www.gohnutcracker.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Nutcracker-2016-Media-Release-PNB-NewDancers_FINALchg.pdf

 

 

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After you noted the change on the NBoC website, @volcanohunter, there was at least one post from the same day (6 Dec) advertising Cote.  I wonder if they ever found another partner for him before his injury.

 

Elizabeth Murphy and Jerome Tisserand were partners in the first weeks of the PNB Balanchine production.  I only saw the Goh Ballet production twice, and I don't remember if there's a set version of the pas de deux the guest perform, or if they bring their own.  The Vancouver audiences saw/will see two dancers at the beginning of their prime, and they are very simpatico together.

 

 

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