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ABT 2017 Swan Lake


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No reviews of dress rehearsals.  They might be public as a fundraising effort, and most of the time dancers are not marking or working things out, but they don't always have the luxury, and they're still rehearsals.

 

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2 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

 

All I can say is...Teuscher is on her way to greatness!!

 

How I would love to call out sick and see her debut!! (And, I also really want to see Royal's debut as Purple Rothbart.)

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General enthusiasm about dress rehearsals is fine.    We want to avoid descriptions, because what if La Sublima doesn't do triples in performance?  But someone looking awesome/splendid/magnificent/star-like/great/beautiful, etc. etc., yay!

 

(I know, not black and white, but I'm happy with pearl gray on this one.)

 

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46 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

 

All I can say is...Teuscher is on her way to greatness!!

Agreed!  Her O/O at the Kennedy Center was gorgeous!  My second favorite behind Part.

 

I am so hoping that I have to rearrange my work schedule this week if last minute substitutions happen!

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It's certainly possible Kochetkova will dance and they're readying a possible replacement, just in case. The Russian expat community doesn't have much to choose from this season -- Part, Kochetkova, and Vishneva -- so it would make sense to keep her on the schedule as long as possible. We know K. is in NYC because of her Instagram account (a shot in front of the Koons ballerina at Rockefeller Center), although nothing in rehearsal right now.

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21 minutes ago, Helene said:

I'm going to repeat myself:  it's so nice to read all of the enthusiasm about dancers getting such great chances!

 

Yes, especially when we remember the frustrations that were so constantly being expressed on this very discussion board just 3, 4, 5 years ago. Such a positive change for the company!

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2 hours ago, mussel said:

 

Dream comes true.  But being in rehearsal could mean she's just studying for the role as an understudy for Kochetkova.  But the prospect of Lane's O/O is looking great.

OH my goodness. No official change in casting yet. Fingers crossed!!

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If it turns out that Lane replaces Maria K. I hope they announce in advance. I'd get a ticket for Lane. I've seen Kochetkova's SL It was OK but I don't want to see it again.

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5 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

No fouettes tonight for Odile. Sequence of pique turns/ jete menages instead. Bummer. 

 

Yes, until this point in the performance, Boylston did not look injured to me at all, but I guess there must be some lingering issue.

 

I thought Boylston looked very technically strong, but I guess I just don't like her style of dancing for this role.  As Odette, her movements sometimes felt rushed and too sharp for my tastes--I wanted softer, more languid movements.  And I could not see a difference in her characterization of Odette and Odile--I did not see an evil seductress at all in the black swan.

 

That being said, I never thought she was dull, and she had good chemistry with Lendorf.  I would certainly choose Boylston as O/O over Seo any day, but Boylston would not be my top choice to see.

 

Lendorf looked better as Siegfried than he did in Don Q or Corsaire, but I find his dancing somewhat sloppy--his lack of clean finishes to his turns and jumps were very obvious when compared with Gomes.

 

As usual, Marcelo was his marvelous self as Purple Rothbart.  His dancing was a little less energetic than in years' past (his arabesques didn't quite get up to 90 degrees), but he more than made up for it with his dashing personality, and he effortlessly won the crowd.

 

Gorak, Brandt, and Lane danced the p.d.t.  It's always a treat to see Gorak.  Is it my imagination, or does Lane seem more confident than ever onstage now?  Brandt was her usual sunny self.

 

Can't wait to see Devon on Wed!!

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I was also at last night's SL.  I was very surprised that Boylston dumbed down her variation, because up until that point she never appeared to be suffering from any injury.  I know that she is capable of doing the fouettes, because I saw her do them last season in SL.  I want to cut her slack- she is clearly trying to prevent further injury.  However, it seems like dumbing down choreography has become the "new normal" at ABT.    If McKenzie cannot find ballerinas who can perform the standard choreography, or at least a close approximation of it,  maybe he should stop presenting the ballet.

 

Up until that point, I thought Boylston's performance was strong. However, as noted above, she is not a fluid dancer in terms of her upper body and arm movements. I thought Lendorf did a terrific job. He is a beautiful and refined dancer.

 

Query:  We all know that Sarah Lane did the dress rehearsal Monday.  Was there a reason that McKenzie had to have her stick around to do the peasant pas in the evening performance?  Was there nobody else who could fill in, considering that Sarah had already done a lot of dancing on Monday?

 

Failing to update the casting until the last minute is standard operating procedure at ABT.  It happened with regard to Semionova, Cojocaru and many many other instances.  When is McKenzie going to come forward with lead casting changes for this week? 

 

PS:  Edited to add that on the way out of the theater I overheard others also commenting on Boylston's omission of the fouettes.  This audience is highly aware of changes to standard choreogrpahy.  It's not like McKenzie is pulling the wool over people's eyes- at least not at last night's show.

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21 minutes ago, abatt said:

I was also at last night's SL.  I was very surprised that Boylston dumbed down her variation, because up until that point she never appeared to be suffering from any injury.  I know that she is capable of doing the fouettes, because I saw her do them last season in SL.  I want to cut her slack- she is clearly trying to prevent further injury.  However, it seems like dumbing down choreography has become the "new normal" at ABT.    If McKenzie cannot find ballerinas who can perform the standard choreography, or at least a close approximation of it,  maybe he should stop presenting the ballet.

 

Query:  We all know that Sarah Lane did the dress rehearsal Monday.  Was there a reason that McKenzie had to have her stick around to do the peasant pas in the evening performance?  Was there nobody else who could fill in, considering that Sarah had already done a lot of dancing on Monday?

 

Failing to update the casting until the last minute is standard operating procedure at ABT.  It happened with regard to Semionova, Cojocaru and many many other instances.  When is McKenzie going to come forward with lead casting changes for this week? 

The issue here is injured dancers and dancers dancing over or recovering from injuries.  This does not follow any kind of predictable timeline in terms of recovery.  

From what we know of Boylston's injury it occurred during the "Giselle" and involved her ankle.  Executing 32 fouettés requires turning on one ankle for a few minutes, really grinding that leg into the floor almost.  So perhaps to prevent reinjuring her ankle, Boylston "dumbed down" the choreography.  As we know, not all great Odette/Odiles have performed the 32 fouettés - Maya Plisetskaya is a leading example.  There was a time when only a few technically gifted ballerinas could do that stunt - now every girl in the corps de ballet seems to be able to do it.  There is a lot more to a great "Swan Lake" than amazing fouettés in the "Black Swan" - though it helps.  I think the lack of lyricism in the upper body is a greater technical and artistic flaw and one which cannot be excused by a recent injury.

 

As for not announcing cast changes - I would imagine that Kochetkova really wants to dance this Thursday.  She may really think she can at this point and is planning on it since it is her last contracted show of the season.  She canceled all the rest (including her first ABT "Giselle" and the "Corsaires") except for that one "Don Quixote" with Herman where Kitri ended up with Espada!  So until Kochetkova tells McKenzie "I can't do it", he doesn't know and neither does Sarah Lane at this point.  But Sarah is prepared.  Also Sarah didn't dance all of "Swan Lake" at the rehearsal, and the pas de trois is short.  (I'd be curious to hear from Cristian who did which act)  Often ballet dancers rehearse the same day they perform - at least that is my impression.

 

I will be at Deven's matinee tomorrow.  Looking forward.

 

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Boylston can definitely do the fouettes, so I'm sure it was because of the injury.  I've seen Boylston's O/O at least three times now, and she is usually very technically secure.  In fact, now that Gillian is getting older (but still lovely), Boylston is probably the most technically secure of the principal dancers (though I agree her upper body needs work).  

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Right.  I expect to encounter changes in standard choreography when I go to a performance by a 40+ year old dancer who is on the verge of retirement.  I wasn't expecting it, however, when I went to see a 30 year old.

 

That's why I eventually stopped going to Julie Kent's performances, except for her farewell. She was making up her own versions of the choreography to suit her current level of ability.  I'm sure that Boylston's modification was due to her injury, and that we will see her return to full form soon enough. But I do wonder to what extent there is a trend at ABT  in the direction of making modifications in light of either injury or  lack of ability.

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1 hour ago, abatt said:

 

PS:  Edited to add that on the way out of the theater I overheard others also commenting on Boylston's omission of the fouettes.  This audience is highly aware of changes to standard choreogrpahy.  It's not like McKenzie is pulling the wool over people's eyes- at least not at last night's show.

 

Did McKenzie dance alternate choreography?  How was it him pulling wool over anyone's eyes?

 

Would you have preferred that although Boylston felt she could do the role, he yanked her from the ballet with little notice because she decided to not do the fouttees? What if a dancer you liked less had been given the performance instead?

 

Perhaps Boylston made the decision during the course of the performance based on how her ankle was feeling...

 

I understand being disappointed at the lack of fouttees, but it isn't typical of this dancer or this company. And as has been pointed out there is a long tradition of principal dancers/rolls having some flexibility in their variations. You perhaps see it more often in men's variations and the more spectacular leaps and turns, but it is not a recent thing.

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