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ABT 2017 Swan Lake


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And O.M.G. Simkin's leap at the end. That one really deserved the applause it got, no matter how tasteless it is to clap at that moment.

 

He flew into the air, arched his back, and then the angle just completely shifted into a DIVE. Holy smokes!!!

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I would agree with onxmyxtoes... Sarah was certainly closer to finishing the sequence than 16 or even 20. She was so close to the end when she stumbled. And they were beautiful fouettes to boot. I thought her whole performance was really stunning and that any wobbles (most during partnered moments) were outshone by her grace and emotional dancing... I felt it was a total triumph for her!! 

Edited by Rose1186
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I think Sarah filled all but the last 4-6 counts of music--just enough to jete to the side and strike an arabesque pose.  But yeah, she did look disappointed, and I certainly felt a bit heartbroken for her...

 

But there were tears in my eyes in Act IV thanks to Daniil & Sarah's emotional connection!

 

Sigh, if only I could combine the best of Sarah and Devon's performances!  Sarah had those beautiful stretched arabesques and attitudes that I was missing in Devon's matinee, but I preferred Devon's use of her arms and hands (that finish through the fingertips) and the way she really pushed toward the sky with her breastbone.  I wish I could have seen Sarah & Daniil's connection, combined with Devon's turning ability.

 

Overall, however, I thought it was a very successful debut, albeit not the home run that Sarah was probably hoping for.  I'd still prefer to see Devon OR Sarah over ANY of the ABT principals currently performing the role.

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5 minutes ago, nanushka said:

And O.M.G. Simkin's leap at the end. That one really deserved the applause it got, no matter how tasteless it is to clap at that moment.

 

He flew into the air, arched his back, and then the angle just completely shifted into a DIVE. Holy smokes!!!

It was an amazing leap, that is true!

 

But I have to give best swan dive to Hammoudi!  That was perhaps the best thing he did yesterday.  He had a nice height and a nice elegant position, but it still seemed dignified and tragic.  Whenever I see those super athletic swan dives--as impressive as they are--I always laugh.

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Just now, BrazilianBAllet said:

Can someone explained what did she do after she fell off the fouetté turns and there was still music left? Did you say she then finished with an arabesque? I am trying to visualize it - thanks ! 

 

I think what Batsuchan describes above (which probably was posted as you were typing) is the clearest description.

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Just now, BrazilianBAllet said:

Can someone explained what did she do after she fell off the fouetté turns and there was still music left? Did you say she then finished with an arabesque? I am trying to visualize it - thanks ! 

She did sort of stumble out of it, didn't finish in a pirouette, maybe sort of hit a fourth position.

 

at first i thought she was going to run off to the side but she ended up doing a long pique attitude (back bent, swan style) to fill the music. hope that helps?? Hard to describe. It was less "disasterous" than what Hee Seo did last night.

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Just now, Batsuchan said:

It was an amazing leap, that is true!

 

But I have to give best swan dive to Hammoudi!  That was perhaps the best thing he did yesterday.  He had a nice height and a nice elegant position, but it still seemed dignified and tragic.  Whenever I see those super athletic swan dives--as impressive as they are--I always laugh.

 

Yes, true; Hammoudi's was quite nice, and probably more dramatically appropriate. But hey, it's Swan Lake, not Hamlet, so I'll admit I'm a sucker for something showy!

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4 minutes ago, Batsuchan said:

Overall, however, I thought it was a very successful debut, albeit not the home run that Sarah was probably hoping for.  I'd still prefer to see Devon OR Sarah over ANY of the ABT principals currently performing the role.

 

In total agreement –– with the very significant exception of Veronika Part!

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I too was at tonight's performance. I thought it was an uneven but in some ways an amazing performance from Lane. First off I didn't expect her characterizations to be so remarkable. White swan vulnerable and pure - Black swan gleeful, glamorous evil. Technically, as Odette ,she showed indescribably gorgeous port de bras and musicality. There were a couple of small bobbles in the variation but nothing major. On the other hand she did a balance that was astounding. Technically Odile was more uneven. The pas went very well with one partnering mishap on Simkin's part. The variation had ups and downs. (personally I dislike that variation. It doesn't look great on anyone.) The fouettes weren't finished. They started out with beautiful looking single, single double that barely moved, and went to nice singles that barely moved but she came off pointe before the finish and that was that. As an aside I wish every dancer didn't think she had to do doubles. Just pump out your 30 or so singles, pull in for a double and your done. I think dancers are going for too much in this respect.

 

In any event it seemed to me that Lane was tiring as the ballet went on.

 

My take away is that Lane has the potential to be a great O/O. The characterizations and artistry are there. Most of the technique is solid. She has to iron out a few problems.This was a last minute replacement in a role she's never done before for ABT. Rehearsal time had to be limited and as a soloist she was doing things like the pas de trois while preparing. That's one difficulty in being a soloist doing principal roles. The other dancers doing O/O didn't perform in any other Swan Lakes.

 

Now - the rest of the show. I thought Lendorf as the purple Rothbart was great - charismatic and great dancing.  I loved Brandt in the pas de trois with her joyful presentation, and great beats & jumps. Joseph Gorak is a fine dancer but has an odd way of partnering turns that disrupt the flow. 

 

4 Little Swans had a crowding issue that make one of the be pushed out of line!

 

I am curious to read other takes on the Lane performance. I truly hope she is promoted now and that she has more Swan Lake opportunities.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, vipa said:

Joseph Gorak is a fine dancer but has an odd way of partnering turns that disrupt the flow. 

 

I noticed this especially in his face. He shifted abruptly tonight between "working face" and "presentation face." Back and forth, with each supported pirouette. It was very distracting, and he really needs to fix that if he's going to advance.

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7 minutes ago, onxmyxtoes said:

She did sort of stumble out of it, didn't finish in a pirouette, maybe sort of hit a fourth position.

 

at first i thought she was going to run off to the side but she ended up doing a long pique attitude (back bent, swan style) to fill the music. hope that helps?? Hard to describe. It was less "disasterous" than what Hee Seo did last night.

Thank you!

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7 minutes ago, vipa said:

As an aside I wish every dancer didn't think she had to do doubles. Just pump out your 30 or so singles, pull in for a double and your done. I think dancers are going for too much in this respect.

 

 

I completely agree. If you're a Gillian, great; go for it. But if not, just do the classic. It's still impressive. We're not at the circus; we don't require tricks. We want to see good dancing. That should be what's foremost.

Edited by nanushka
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23 minutes ago, onxmyxtoes said:

I was paying attention and thought she got very close to finishing all 32 counts of fouettes (with the doubles interspersed it is nearly impossible to do 32 fouettes in 32 counts).... I would say probably 26-28 counts. Not sure where you got 16?

That is precisely the count I got.  She seemed so close to nailing it.  If only her finish had been cleaner, even with 26.  I really think she meant to do all 32.  The rest of the performance was magnificent.  She has nothing to be ashamed of.

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26 minutes ago, onxmyxtoes said:

I was paying attention and thought she got very close to finishing all 32 counts of fouettes (with the doubles interspersed it is nearly impossible to do 32 fouettes in 32 counts).... I would say probably 26-28 counts. Not sure where you got 16?

I agree that she got close to finishing 32 counts. It actually is never 32 fouettes. If you do all singles it's about 30 and pull in for a double. If you do doubles in there it's fewer. The thing is that Sarah got close to the finish line and then came off pointe. I'm sure that if she had been able to pump out maybe 3 more and pull in for a double it would have been fine.

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5 minutes ago, vipa said:

 If you do all singles it's about 30 and pull in for a double. If you do doubles in there it's fewer.

 

I've never really known whether to count doubles as one or two, but I've leaned toward two; otherwise, definitely yes, 32 becomes impossible.

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Thanks for the candid reports on Sarah's debut. It sounds like mostly a triumph. :clapping: Was not expecting the perfection of her Giselle but...drat those fouettés! Still...thrilled to read about the overall beauty of her portrayal in the lakeside scenes.

 

So this week so far we've had one out of five ballerinas complete the 32 fouettés. Hmmm. Part will be the sixth & final Odile of the run on Saturday afternoon. (Seo & Copeland will have 2nd chances - Fri & Sat eves, respectively.) 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, vipa said:

I too was at tonight's performance. I thought it was an uneven but in some ways an amazing performance from Lane. First off I didn't expect her characterizations to be so remarkable. White swan vulnerable and pure - Black swan gleeful, glamorous evil. Technically, as Odette ,she showed indescribably gorgeous port de bras and musicality. There were a couple of small bobbles in the variation but nothing major. On the other hand she did a balance that was astounding. Technically Odile was more uneven. The pas went very well with one partnering mishap on Simkin's part. The variation had ups and downs. (personally I dislike that variation. It doesn't look great on anyone.) The fouettes weren't finished. They started out with beautiful looking single, single double that barely moved, and went to nice singles that barely moved but she came off pointe before the finish and that was that. As an aside I wish every dancer didn't think she had to do doubles. Just pump out your 30 or so singles, pull in for a double and your done. I think dancers are going for too much in this respect.

 

9

I think this sums up pretty well how I felt about Lane, as well. Her characterizations exceeded my expectations, with Odette being a more comfortable technical fit (at least given the limited rehearsal time she must have had.) I thought she inhabited Odile quite well and managed to convey seduction and evil despite her naturally joyful/sweet demeanor. The technical glitches mostly cropped up in Act III. The supported pirouettes did not look comfortable. Lane when into the turns with a lot of attack but it seemed like Simkin wasn't really able to handle it. 

 

The fouette issue has already been covered, but I agree that it's fine for a dancer to just go for singles. Part, who is not a natural turner at all, always just does singles (with the exception of one Corsaire several years ago when she whipped out a ton of gorgeous doubles). She's never had a disaster, even if maybe she only gets to 28 or so. 

 

I was really taken with Lendorf as Rothbart. I felt like he made the role his own; lots of virility and charisma. And he didn't try to imitate Gomes' sort of campy approach, which I do love. Lendorf was forceful and dazzling.

 

Gorak looked beautiful but as other have noted, he does exactly what Hallberg used to do; he makes a very serious "concentrating face" when he does supported pirouettes and then immediately relaxes and goes back to his pleasant, normal stage face. Hallberg grew out of it, so certainly Gorak could, too.

 

Act IV was really, really beautiful. Simkin executed all the lifts perfectly. And both he and Lane brought so much emotion to the act. I usually hate when the leap turns into a bravura feat that garners applause (it should be a profoundly sad moment). I don't mind when dancers gently fling themselves in, as I think that's more in keeping with the mood. That said, I think this was thet one instance in which I really did love a bravura leap. Simkin looked INCREDIBLE. Oh, and his Act III variation was probably among the most beautiful I've ever seen. It was very stylish and not show-boaty. 

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Er... yes, there may have been half chuckles/half gasps to Simkin's leap at the end.  I guess if you're going out, you got to go all the way.

 

I mostly agree with Nanushka.  As I said before, I thought Lane did an excellent job with the White Swan and a very good one with the Black Swan, one that I hope she has the opportunity to continue working on because I think that it can also be excellent.  She has the ingredients, but it's not quite put together yet.  (And no, I don't think that that would be realistic considering the last-minute nature of the opportunity.)

 

I actually as concerned when Lane started the fouettes with the single-single-double because honestly, they looked labored to me and didn't have the "snap" that I would want to see with such an attempt.  I'm not sure if the conductor actually slowed down to accommodate her lack of velocity in the turns.  That being said, she was actually quite close to completing the full sequence.  

 

As I saw it, she got through the first two eights with single-single-double, and she held it together for the next eight of singles.  But it started falling apart in the last eight with very visible traveling before falling out.  I wasn't counting, but I'd guess she got up around 27 or 28.

 

As I said before, I'm not Sarah Lane's greatest fan, but I don't live or die on the O/O's fouettes.  I thought she did a really fine job, and I hope to see her develop this role more in the future.

 

Other than that, yes, Lendorf's Purple Rothbart was suitably, slinky and seductive.  I actually enjoyed it much more than his Basilio a few weeks ago.  You could see why the princesses went so wild.  :o

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Just now, Natalia said:

So this week so far we've had one out of five ballerinas complete the 32 fouettés. Hmmm. Part will be the sixth & final Odile of the run on Saturday afternoon. (Seo & Copeland will have 2nd chances - Fri & Sat eves, respectively.) 

 

Thankfully, Part never gets greedy: she always sticks to just the basic singles, which is as it should be given that her strengths are not in allegro.

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What a night! For me, this was a triumph for Lane. Positively gorgeous Odette, clear and emotional mime, the most beautiful port de bras and swan-like movements. She even did the head-twitch to the side during her entrance with her over the head port de bras that I love, but not a lot of dancers do that anymore or do it well. And, I must mention again her multiple arabesques that were held in perfect balance (no wobbling) for a really long time! Really lovely characterization - you saw her pain and anguish. 

 

Before Act III I was really nervous given all of the fouetté disaster talk we've had this week, and I wasn't sure how she'd pull off the evil seductress. Well, she marched out with Lendorf (who was terrific as Purple Rothbart) ready to conquer! Wonderful attack, mischievous smiles, throwing her head back with conviction. The part where Odile (in her final "I've got you now" moment) briefly turns herself into Odette before turning her back to reclaim herself, was so clear - a real character swicheroo. Usually, I don't see much difference in the acting, just a lot of arm flapping. She did fall off pointe after something, but I can't remember what the step was. I thought she was terrific in the coda except those bloody fouettes, but her recovery with an impossibly held arabesque was impressive. I know some folks will say "no excuse" regarding the fouettes, but given her short preparation time and the fact that she was dancing sick, I'll give her a pass. Plus, the rest of her performance was so amazing! Near the end of the coda she was way off balance during a supported pirouette, but that was Simkin's error. And, she didn't get much height with her plunge off the cliff. (Why doesn't Odette get a running start like Siegfried?) 

 

Lane's chemistry with Simkin was terrific; not as good as it was in Giselle, but again, they had little rehearsal time. Simkin still looks like a little kid to me, God love him, but that's not his fault. He continues to improve on everything, it's not just tricks with him anymore. He puts real emotion and character development into whatever he does. Now HIS leap off of the cliff....ginormous height with a deeply arched back! Wow!

 

The peasant pas was Trenary, Brandt and Gorak. A real "dream team". But Gorak had a new weird big fake smile throughout. Besides that he danced and partnered beautifully. But, I think he's thinking too much about the steps (and whether or not they look nice) so he needs to let go. I want to see him take it to the next level. His two ladies were beautiful. Nothing to critique really. 

 

I can only imagine the performance Lane could turn in with proper rehearsal time. Without it she was still incredible.

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I thought Sarah was going to make it until she fell out. It was going pretty well until the mistake happened. I don't really count the fouettes anymore so I'm not sure how many she did. She did way more fouettes than Seo but that's not a complement. I just hope that she doesn't become too self conscious when she performs 32 fouettes next time.

 

The bigger problem for me was the shaky supported pirouette at the very end of the grand pas de deux. It was just very anti climatic.

I think all of the problems/mistakes could've been prevented with more rehersal time.

 

So out of all female dancers I've seen during this season, the dancers who completed 32 fouettes have been all soloists except Masha: Teuscher in SL, Brandt in Le Corsaire, and Shevchenko in DonQ AND Le Corsaire! I hope to see Shevchenko as O/O one day! 

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29 minutes ago, nanushka said:

 

Thankfully, Part never gets greedy: she always sticks to just the basic singles, which is as it should be given that her strengths are not in allegro.

 

That's what I recall from Part's completed 32 singles at the Kennedy Cntr in Feb 2009...but that was over 8 yrs ago.  

 

Since I mentioned the 2009 tour...that's when Michele Wiles performed the most astonishing set of 32 fouettés...sequence of multiples 1-1-3s through the first half, then singles until the last one being a quad....dead-center with no traveling. Murphy also rock solid with doubles sprinkled with singles in one of the KC tours. Ah, memories!

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