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Roster in Review - 2017


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56 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

 

Observing from the sidelines, I find the wildly differing opinions of Kochetkova really curious, too.

This might be a partial explanation - I believe the opinions are shaded by context. In SFB she's been one of the reigning ballerinas doing many roles and delivering beautiful and secure performances. She dances a lot and the rep suits her. In ABT she's been a "guest star." I saw her several times and thought she was beautiful and secure, but not so fantastic that I thought she warranted being hired as a guest principal dancer. I would have rather ABT company members be given the roles taken by her. I never saw her do anything remotely close to a terrible performance. My luke warm reaction is a combination of her not living up my "guest star" image, and always wondering who in the company could have been given those roles. If I lived in SF and saw her regularly in SFB I think I would view her differently.

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 I think Kochetkova may be generally better in the modern rep works than in the dramatic classics that are the heart of ABT's rep.   Also, I agree that she does fall short (no pun intended) when compared to other guest artists invited by ABT in the recent past, such as Cojocaru, Osipova, Nunez, Tereshkina and so on. 

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3 hours ago, FauxPas said:

With the promotion of Sarah Lane, the stardom of Misty Copeland and the continued development of soloist Skylar Brandt, I guess Kochetkova was considered superfluous.  I have liked Kochetkova in some contemporary pieces and also a few classical ballets - other things like Ashton's "Monotones" I hated her in.  What I find odd is the almost unanimous turn against her on the ABT board.  Kochetkova has been ADORED for years on the San Francisco Ballet and "Dancers" discussion boards - all sorts of lovely pictures with admiring captions and comments appended.  For a long time it was like she could do no wrong.  Not saying that either group is wrong, but it is odd how the same dancer can be adored among one set of dance aficionados and dismissed by another.  Anyway, her departure from ABT will open up opportunities for recently promoted principals and soloists.

 

I saw Kochetkova at least 5-6 times with SFB before she came to ABT, and I liked her a lot back then. She was dancing almost exclusively in modern works (at least on tour) and they suited her well. When she came to ABT she was dancing the classics almost exclusively and I thought she was terrible in them. Hated her O/O, disliked her Aurora intensely. I thought Bayadere would suit her but it did not.  I'd enjoyed her in the DQ Pdd so this past season I went to see her in Don Q where she was totally underpowered and unimpressive. I'm thinking she may have been nursing an injury but I had already been so disappointed in her dancing that for me it was 4 strikes and she is totally out in my book.  The one thing I enjoyed her in at ABT was the Ratmansky Shostakovich piece - I guess I still like her in modern but as far as I'm concerned she has no feeling for classic Petipa roles. Just because you are Russian does not mean that you are suited for the Russian classics, her sensibility is far too modern.

 

And yes, my feelings were exasperated by the fact that there were numerous ballerinas on the roster who were much more classically inclined than she is and who weren't getting the roles.

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3 minutes ago, abatt said:

 I think Kochetkova may be generally better in the modern rep works than in the dramatic classics that are the heart of ABT's rep.   Also, I agree that she does fall short (no pun intended) when compared to other guest artists invited by ABT in the recent past, such as Cojocaru, Osipova, Nunez, Tereshkina and so on. 

abatt I didn't see your comments before I posted, looks like we are thinking along the same lines... 

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1 hour ago, vipa said:

This might be a partial explanation - I believe the opinions are shaded by context. In SFB she's been one of the reigning ballerinas doing many roles and delivering beautiful and secure performances. She dances a lot and the rep suits her. In ABT she's been a "guest star." I saw her several times and thought she was beautiful and secure, but not so fantastic that I thought she warranted being hired as a guest principal dancer. I would have rather ABT company members be given the roles taken by her. I never saw her do anything remotely close to a terrible performance. My luke warm reaction is a combination of her not living up my "guest star" image, and always wondering who in the company could have been given those roles. If I lived in SF and saw her regularly in SFB I think I would view her differently.

 

These are really great points. I've often found myself really frustrated by Kochetkova's work for ABT in a way that has felt a bit in excess of my actual assessment of her performances (an assessment that hasn't been positive, in general, but also hasn't been overwhelmingly negative). I think this explains it.

 

Edited to add:

It also just takes a lot for a tiny dancer to get me really excited. (Purely a matter of taste, I know.) Sarah Lane: yes. Kochetkova: no.

 

Edited by nanushka
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6 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

 

This is now cast with Boylston and Lendorf.

Admit I'm a bit disappointed in Boylston getting it. She's strong, and has an incredible body but I don't associate her with subtle humor or sly wit.

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12 hours ago, vipa said:

Admit I'm a bit disappointed in Boylston getting it. She's strong, and has an incredible body but I don't associate her with subtle humor or sly wit.

 

Same here. I was hoping for Brandt with Scott or Shayer. If Cirio was in town, he'd be my first choice.

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1 hour ago, ABT Fan said:

 

Same here. I was hoping for Brandt with Scott or Shayer. If Cirio was in town, he'd be my first choice.

I am surprised at the casting.  I would have cast Brandt with Simkin, at the very least (since Cirio is gone.)  Other Dances is the only thing I want to watch this fall, but I am not excited about the casting at all.  Lendorf is a beautiful dancer with such great experience behind him, but I have been unable to get past his body type.  I really hate saying that about any dancer.  

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I heard great reports about the Boylston/Lendorf pairing in Ratmansky's Whipped Cream...very playful chemistry between them.  The one time that I saw Boylston "live" was as Ratmansky's Firebird years ago during a trip to NY during my leave in the US. She displayed lots of personality and pizzazz then and I've always wanted to see more of her. Maybe I'll try to catch her in Other Dances in NY? I wasn't planning on going because the rep is such a turn-off in general. Now I may actually go to see the Boylston/Lendorf pairing for myself.

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13 hours ago, its the mom said:

I am surprised at the casting.  I would have cast Brandt with Simkin, at the very least (since Cirio is gone.)  Other Dances is the only thing I want to watch this fall, but I am not excited about the casting at all.  Lendorf is a beautiful dancer with such great experience behind him, but I have been unable to get past his body type.  I really hate saying that about any dancer.  

 

I have preferences myself, but the role was created for Baryshnikov (not, say, Dowell)--I think Lendorf's body type will "fit" the choreography fine.  I will say that I find it almost impossible to picture Boylston in the Makarova role, but I guess the best thing for her would be simply to throw out any Makarova playbook. People always praise her musicality, so perhaps that will be the basis for a distinctive, high quality performance performance.

 

I won't be able to see anything of this Fall ABT season, and will have to relay on the reports of others to learn how it turns out...

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While the ballet was made for two very specific performers, I think it's a great opportunity for dancers with different skill sets to explore their individuality.  Looking forward to hearing more about how it all works.

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Apparently Craig Salstein did not retire. I just noticed a footnote in the back of my program from Friday. In the "Special Acknowledgements" section where the dancers' sponsors are listed, next to Salstein is the asterisk stating "leave of absence". I wonder when he'll return?

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Salstein is going to be in Carousel on Broadway.  Carousel starts in the spring.  I think he is the dance captain, and he appears in the  ensemble of dancers.  I don't think he has a speaking role.

Edited by abatt
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