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ABT 2017 Swan Lake

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Funny you should mention Polina, Abatt.  I too miss her so much!   But you are also correct in saying that Part was the best of the week.  She simply broke my heart this afternoon with her emotion and dramatic portrayal.  Her mime was especially splendid.  Sure, a few small blips technically, but overall, just gorgeous.  Those legs, those feet, those arms!  Plus she brings her unique touch of glamour to this double role.   Such a pleasure to watch her.   Whiteside is much improved, but I would still prefer to see Part with a Prince who can match her emotionally.   Both sides of Rothbart were well taken, with Hammoudi better here that in his attempt at Siegfried the other night.  It was really difficult to hate Gray Davis as the "swamp monster" knowing his recent story of heroism on the subway the other  night.  And bravo to the four cygnettes for keeping it clean and musical.  Teuscher and Hamrick as the big swans also fine and well matched (especially in the jumps).  My last Swan Lake for the season made me quite happy indeed. A huge "thank you" to Veronika!  Brava, brava, brava!!   

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And one more thing on Veronika: she is an example of a dancer who, despite her considerable strengths, came to ABT with some pretty apparent technical inconsistencies. But over a number of years she really conquered those demons, whatever they were –– weaknesses, nerves, etc. Firecracker allegro technique is still not her top strength, but she is much more solid now in that realm, and it allows her to give overall excellent performances. She clearly works very hard. She's danced onstage hardly at all this season (in part due to injury, but in perhaps larger part due to casting), and yet she looked in excellent shape yesterday. That speaks to a lot of dedication in the studio.

 

No two cases are exactly the same, of course, but I wonder if some others we've discussed (Seo, Hammoudi, etc.) might benefit from following her example. Have we seen them really grow in overcoming their own inconsistencies and weaknesses?

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It looks like a late change was made to the calendar and Tom Forster performed Rothbart last night. I believe Lendorf was originally scheduled.

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I had a different take on Veronika's Swan Lake. From her first appearance, I thought she looked tentative. One of the glories of her dancing is her arabesque, the way it grows.  After the  initial extension the leg continues to stretch outward to infinity, while her back engages and her arms and shoulders continue the line. That didn't happen yesterday, she hit her arabesques and only held them very briefly, which I attribute to her dancing through the ankle injury.

 

I'm not saying that she wasn't beautiful - she was - and I certainly enjoyed the performance but it wasn't the plush, breathtaking Odette that I've come to expect from her.

 

Other than that, I pretty much agree with what everybody else said. Whiteside's solos were fine- but the important part was that he partnered Veronika well and she seemed very secure  and confident in his hands. Hammoudi was much better as Von R than as Siegfried, and at least he looked good in those boots!

 

I was so proud of Veronika, completing those fouettés despite the lingering injury - she really showed them how it's done!

Edited by nysusan

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7 minutes ago, nanushka said:

It looks like a late change was made to the calendar and Tom Forster performed Rothbart last night. I believe Lendorf was originally scheduled.

Wow, wish I had seen that! They really need to start giving him leading roles.

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1 hour ago, nysusan said:

Wow, wish I had seen that! They really need to start giving him leading roles.

I agree, especially after losing Sterling Baca. Tom Forster is a tall dancer that is needed now, with solid technique, fine acting, and princely looks that should be cultivated. I'm sorry I missed him and Herman last night but 3 Swan Lakes were my limit. But those 3 Swans will live with me a long time (Teuscher, Lane, Part)!

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Regarding Semionova, I saw her O/O 3 years ago with Gomes (who replaced an injured Hallberg). While I too love long arms/legs for SL, I found her positively boring. Her technique was solid and I don't recall any missteps or fouetté issues, but her character development was nonexistent. The only thing that saved that performance for me was Gomes.

 

Speaking of long arms/legs, I see a potential SL star coupling in Catherine Hurlin (who I hope is promoted this year) with Calvin Royal (who better be promoted this year). Not only do their physiques match beautifully, but I've seen them partner in small roles and I can see great chemistry. 

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By the way Alastair Macaulay seemed to have loved Misty's performance last night (comments not yet a reciview in his Instagram account). No mention of fouetté s

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17 hours ago, Dreamer said:

I am anxiously awaiting the reports on Seo/Copeland to get the final tally of fouetté-o-meter. Will I be right in thinking it will go down to 25%?

 

I believe that you're correct, Dreamer, based on communications I've had with attendees. If my contacts are correct our Fouetté-o-Meter indicates:

 

By # of Performances: 25%

Eight performances yielded two successful sets of 32 fouettés = 25% fouetté-sequence success rate.

 

....or....

 

By # of Ballerinas: 33.33%

Six Odiles (two had two chances) yielded two successful sets of 32 fouettés = 33.33% fouetté-sequence success rate.

 

Anybody who attended the final Seo &/or Copeland performances welcomed to provide details, if so inclined. Just because the fouettés may not have gone well doesn't mean that they weren't great performances in other respects.

 

My Fouetté-o-Meter is rusting. Time for an oil change, since it won't be needed for Onegin.

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1 hour ago, BrazilianBAllet said:

By the way Alastair Macaulay seemed to have loved Misty's performance last night (comments not yet a reciview in his Instagram account). No mention of fouetté s

He thinks she "conquered" SL.  Any thoughts from anyone who was there?

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1 hour ago, ABT Fan said:

Regarding Semionova, I saw her O/O 3 years ago with Gomes (who replaced an injured Hallberg). While I too love long arms/legs for SL, I found her positively boring.

 

That was my feeling, too, when I saw her do it with Hallberg –– maybe 4 or 5 years ago? I very much agree with what someone (I think abatt?) said above about how Swan Lake in particular really benefits by being performed by tall dancers. So I really wanted to like Semionova; she has the proportions and the glamour. But I just didn't.

 

I love when I get to see a tall Odette come out in front of her corps, regal and protective, facing Siegfried in that last formation before the first corps waltz.

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19 hours ago, Natalia said:

 

My Fouetté-o-Meter is rusting. Time for an oil change, since it won't be needed for Onegin.

 

I think your numbers are lower, at least per performances-(I don't visualize any different situation for.Copeland or Seo on their second takes). The meter should had started running from DQ on.?

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20 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

 

I think your numbers are lower, at least per performances-(I don't visualize any different situation for.Copeland or Seo on their second takes). The meter should had started running from DQ on.?

For DonQ everyone hit their 32 fouettes except Misty. Same thing for Le Corsaire-everyone hit 32 except Seo. Usually Boylston does it without a problem(she travels a bit on stage but she does finish all 32) when she isn't injured and she was fine in DonQ so I cut her some slack for saving her ankle in SL. Unlike Seo and Copeland I know she will do 32 fouettes in next year's SL. She better fix her jerky port de bras though. 

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Joining in the conversation for the first time, if I may, since I started following this site several years ago.  It's interesting what strikes us and what we remember about a performance.  I too went to the Semionova-Gomes Swan Lake, and for me it was one of the most dispiriting, disheartening experiences ever.  Even Gomes couldn't save the evening for me.  Semionova's Odile was technically astounding but the character came across as a vapid teenager with a stupid grin on her face.  There was no temptress and no prince with an IQ over 5 should have been deceived.  Bland does not begin to describe it.  All the technique in the world does not work for me if it does not advance the story.

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54 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

 

I think your numbers are lower, at least per performances-(I don't visualize any different situation for.Copeland or Seo on their second takes). The meter should had started running from DQ on.?

 

I just cranked up the meter for SL. The reports on fouettés in the earlier ballets were more felicitous.

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2 hours ago, alexL said:

For DonQ everyone hit their 32 fouettes except Misty. Same thing for Le Corsaire-everyone hit 32 except Seo. Usually Boylston does it without a problem(she travels a bit on stage but she does finish all 32) when she isn't injured and she was fine in DonQ so I cut her some slack for saving her ankle in SL. Unlike Seo and Copeland I know she will do 32 fouettes in next year's SL. She better fix her jerky port de bras though. 

 

Not to sound overly harsh, but Boylston had the most unattractive arms I've ever seen on a turning dancer during her Don Q fouettés –– they looked like crab claws!

Edited by nanushka

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58 minutes ago, nanushka said:

 

Not to sound overly harsh, but Boylston had the ugliest arms I've ever seen on a turning dancer during her Don Q fouettés –– they looked like crab claws!

Now that you mention it, I too remember her claws. I thought it was weird too because her arms didn't look like that during her fouettes last year. 

 

I think my standard for ABT SL became so low that I'm ok as long as the dancers don't make any jarring mistakes on stage. Long time ago, I used to avoid Murphy in SL because her acting is one note and her arms and legs aren't long enough for the role. Now I'd see her over any other ABT principals for Odette with the exception of Part.... 

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I was interested in the mixed reactions to Semionova asO/O. I saw her perform this with Hallberg in June 2013 and I remember thinking her too mannered, her very long arms fluttering almost self-consciously. I decided after this performance that she was not my cup of tea and avoided her subsequent performances. But I recognize that everyone has their own favorite dancers. I agree that it took Murphy a while to develop dramatic skills to go with her superb technique, but she did and now she is the complete package, but sorry I am that she has had to miss almost the entire season. I hope she will be able to dance the last week. I have a ticket and am hoping to see her.

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I only saw Semionova once, but like others have posted, I didn't really find her performance to be inspiring.  Though I remember her being a technical marvel (she held Odile's balance for a very long time, without wobbling, and had no trouble with her fouettes) I didn't see two distinct characters emerge with Odette and Odile.  Basically I felt nothing emotionally.  Some would be aghast at the thought, but I would prefer to see Boylston (even though I agree with the criticism about her arms and hands) over Semionova.  But that is what makes this site, and art in general, great.  We all have different tastes!

Edited by Kaysta

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It was Veronika Part's last SL at the Met, per her Instagram feed (she confirms it in the comments).

 

I'm heartsick.

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1 minute ago, fondoffouettes said:

I'm heartsick.

 

Me too. Is she quietly retiring? I can't imagine that she'd drop this role if she's continuing with the company.

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34 minutes ago, nanushka said:

 

Me too. Is she quietly retiring? I can't imagine that she'd drop this role if she's continuing with the company.

I'm not sure this means she's retiring from the company. Vishneva dropped Swan Lake several years ago, didn't she? There are some really demanding technical roles that seem as difficult for the women as for the men as they get older - Don Q, Bayadere, SL. 

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Oh no!! So happy that I saw her O/O in DC during the 2009 tour at the KennCen...with Gomes as her Siegfried and Hallberg as Purple Rothbart. We should treasure her every appearance, including her Mozartiana...last of this season in the July 8 matinee of Tchai Spectacular. It better not be her last dance with ABT! We want to see her in much much more...maybe as La bonne fee in Harlequinade, traditionally a role for a tall beauty? Of course, full starring roles, too.

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I regret not seeing this performance now. If only I knew (not like I would have expected her to announce this ahead of time). ☹️

 

I saw her SL last year with Whiteside and she was wonderful despite some loss of flexibility. Whiteside bored me to death, though he partnered her well. I just couldn't sit through him again, though others said he was much improved this year. 

 

If she's not retiring (gosh I hope not), we'll see even less of her now.  She hardly does much as it is. But even if she's just leaving SL, I think it's safe to say she won't be taking on any new roles now or any new partners.

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