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ABT 2017 Swan Lake


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Yeah, a group of four older people by me decided to change rows during the Siegfried/Benno scene at the start of Act II, just in order to be able to sit maybe 3-4 seats closer to the center. This involved forcing at least 3 people in the new row to stand up for them to pass. After that, the candy wrappers, zipping bags and cell phone lights seemed only minor inconveniences!

Edited by nanushka
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I was there today as well, in the side rear orchestra (Rush ticket), and surrounding audience was well-behaved.

 

And - perhaps it was due to my being somewhat far from the stage and also not being such a technical maven -- I enjoyed the performance perfectly well.

(I DO know enough, however, to have picked this Odette/Odile over several of the other ones being offered this season ...)

Edited by Just an Observer
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1 hour ago, nanushka said:

 

 

Devon's mime was another highlight of her performance, in both Act II and Act IV, with just one exception. Her "I will die" gestures in Act IV looked rather odd –– not so much resolved to her fate but rather as if she were scolding Siegfried and saying he was gonna die. [...]

 

 

For an alternate ending, Odette telling Siegfried to go jump off a cliff seems rather an appealing idea . . .:wink:

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11 minutes ago, Drew said:

 

For an alternate ending, Odette telling Siegfried to go jump off a cliff seems rather an appealing idea . . .:wink:

 

You are all making me laugh, between this and the Prince Wetblanket description!

 

I was really hoping Hammoudi would pull out a star performance today to finally show everyone that he deserved to be cast in these principal roles. I hope they finally pull the plug and stop casting him; give him soloist roles. If you read his bio he's done nearly every lead in the full-length's, which is inexplicable. 

 

Glad Teuscher's debut was promising if not spectacular. Same for Royal. Really enjoy reading everyone's comments.

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36 minutes ago, Mazurka said:

Seo is wonderful tonight, very lyrical, fragile, vulnerable,  beautiful.

 

So happy to be reading these reports on Seo. That's precisely what I loved about her debut in 2013...her gorgeous line.  Good news on Teuscher & Royal too. Next: Sarah Lane!

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I loved Teuscher this afternoon--i thought her acting was amazing. her arms and especially her hands changed --in black swan  they almost turned into claws. Onward to Lane tomorrow..

Edited by macnellie
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Well, I was prepared to write a long post about this afternoon's performance, but fondoffouettes pretty much covered all of my critiques!

 

I agree with macnellie though, I loved loved loved Teuscher despite some of the areas she needs to work on.  I absolutely loved the way she would finish her movements all the way through her fingertips.  I complained that Bolyston seemed to be rushing on Monday; in contrast I felt that Teuscher would deliberately slow down some of the movements that she wanted to emphasize, and then catch up with the music on the next movement.  I also thought her acting was extremely strong in Act II, and Odette's emotional arc was exceptionally clear--first she was afraid of Siegfried, and then she kind of was falling for him, but she pulled away because she was afraid of loving him, and then finally, she gave in.  She seemed very human.

 

Her Odile characterization was weaker, but the dancing was mostly lovely.

I personally would choose to see Teuscher as O/O over any of ABT principals who currently do the role!

 

...Unless she is dancing with Hammoudi again.  Well, he has long lines when he hits them, and his arabesques get higher than Stearns, but turning is not his thing, at all.  He did half of his pirouettes on a flat foot--not even a low releve!!

 

As for their lack of chemistry...I wonder if the fact that they were once a long-time off-stage couple...

...but then broke up, and now Teuscher is dating Stearns (you can see that on her Instagram), has something to do with it.  Even if the split was quite amicable and they remain friends--I have to imagine it has got to be a little strange acting out a love story with your ex....

 

I too wish I had been able to se Teuscher & Gomes in DC.  Maybe next year!

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6 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

Major...major..MAJOR disaster that of Seo's deplorable Odile. Major..major....MAJOR triumph for Marcelo's ever crescent artistry.

 

Oh do tell!! We want the dirty deets!!!

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1 minute ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

I need to get to the apartment to the computer. My fingers are noy fast enough on the cell to voice all I want to say...both anger and praise.

 

Well trust us, we are suspended in anticipation!

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24 minutes ago, Batsuchan said:

I absolutely loved the way she would finish her movements all the way through her fingertips.

 

Yes! I noticed this, as well. Her upper body was fully engaged, in a state of constant motion, with movements extending to her fingertips. I just wanted a bit more of a swan-like quality to her port de bras. But I think that could come with time.

 

I feel like I focused a bit on the negative in my previous post, so I just want to clarify that I think Teuscher danced beautifully today. I'm just looking forward to where she takes the role in the future.

 

And, yeah, Hammoudi's trial period is up. The thing is, he's also going to dance the soloist rep sloppily. He's blessed with good looks and a tall physique. That's what he has going for him at this point. He should be dancing the swamp monster Rothbart.

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12 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

 He should be dancing the swamp monster Rothbart.

 

Yes, it's time for a swap. Give Forster a shot at some of those roles and let Hammoudi take over as Swampy.

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I was at the Seo/Gomes performance tonight. Agree with others that Seo's Odette was just beautiful and lyrical and the white swan pas de deux gorgeous. Her Odile started off relatively strong. She was more expressive than I've seen in the past and there were two supported pirouettes that lasted forever (10-12 turns, perhaps helped out by Marcelo) that even garnered a good bit of applause. She also held an unsupported arabesque for quite awhile. There were a couple of messy turns in one variation but nothing major.

 

However, fouettés were not good - there was a small bobble (like she slipped off pointe) near the beginning which probably threw her off, but she managed to keep going for around 20 singles (there might have been one double at the beginning?) - another audience member counted 24. She came out of them a bit awkwardly and exited normally but there was a bit of extra music left. (From the reports of Copeland, it sounded like Copeland's exit looked more awkward.) For what it's worth I've seen Seo do much better in the past, so I think this was just an off night. Usually the end of Odile's fouettés overlap a bit with the beginning of Siegfried's, but in this case she ran off and then Marcelo started his. He didn't have a very long set but they were very clean with some doubles and perhaps even a triple (maybe someone else can confirm) in there, and definitely louder applause for him.

 

I always like Gomes and tonight was no exception. Expressive (just crazy in love after Odile), clean dancing (some very strong turns and neat landings to leaps), effortless partnering, and just as elegantly princely as can be. Seeing him dance made tonight totally worth it for me.

 

Stearns was an okay Purple Rothbart - his dancing was fine but characterization a little bland. I've seen better from him but Gomes is definitely the gold standard for this role. One last thing, the leaps at the end - hers seemed like she just fell off the cliff rather limply, while his leap was absolutely magnificent.

 

 

Edited by Victura
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5 hours ago, nanushka said:

 

Well trust us, we are suspended in anticipation!

 

Here goes my ranting.

I came to NYC...from down south...with big expectations.... to the MET...to this temple of the grand art in this side of the Atlantic,..and out of four Swan Lakes I get to see only ONE  Odile performing her fouettes sequence as it should be...and that THAT dancer is not a Principal, but a Soloist..?!...and that THREE Primas were not able to pull the role properly, technically speaking...?! I'm sorry...but that it totally unacceptable in my book.  I watched ballet for a good 12 years in Havana, to then move to watch more ballet for 15 years in US, mostly in Miami and here in NYC, and never...NEVER had I seen such an embarrassment  to have three consecutively Primas give such poor face to their company.  Is there any precedent to this...in a single run that you all might remember...?

I spoke about Copeland already, so here it goes to Seo.  Her Odette was beautiful, given. BUT...let's not forget that what Odette basically does in the whole ballet is much about striking languid, hyper extended poses and keep carried and spinned by her partner.  And yes...I believe that having Marcelo at her hand made the whole white acts as beautiful as they were. Entrechats in her variations were fine.  Now...her Odile was a complete disaster as we all saw tonight. She did 20 fouettes...fell off pointe two times and right there she stopped, running awkwardly to downstage left. At least Copeland made up for the rest of the music with her own inventions,,to her credit.

 

And then there was the star of the night.  Marcelo.  Who cares that his double cabrioles are not as open as they used to be...or that his grand jetes are a bit lower...? His artistry has matured with a big M.  He does little details that are truly wonderful. For instance...when Odette comes running to protect her sisters from Siegfried's crossbow, all danseurs usually also do an encircling run intertwined with Odette's. Gomes instead stayed and lowered himself in a bow by the time Odette was running pass him. And his face...the way he has made a forever eye contact with his adoring NY fans is a hard gained triumph for him.  He is truly wonderful to watch.  and to end his note with a huge high...let's praise that SPECTACULAR suicide jump.  When he was going up I though..."OK...I guess he will try to be contained to protect his working instrument...now that he has reached an age when extra measures need to be taken to prolong his career"   Well...was I completely WRONG, boy!! He SPECTACULARLY JUMPED UPWARD, just to arch his body in a full uber-dramatic cambre midair with the force of a broken heart lower!!

 

On my way out I overheard a conversation:

"You know....I'm here for Marcelo..."

"Oh, I know...aren't we all...?"

Edited by cubanmiamiboy
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I must confess I'm a little apprehensive about Sarah Lane subbing in so late. I'm not saying that I think she's not capable of a great O/O, in fact I think she is totally right for the role. But let's face it, she probably hasn't had much rehearsal time (surely not nearly as much as she did with Giselle, considering she knew it would be her big role of the season since last year), and there's also the fact that unlike Devon Teuscher, she hasn't had the chance of performing it prior to tomorrow (yes, I know she danced it in Barcelona but that was a different version and it was more than 5 years ago).

I hope it goes well. Her technique is good and her acting has improved. Her nerves are what worry me. I hope the confidence that she has demonstrated all this season shows in her O/O debut.

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Wow, Cubanmiamiboy. Sorry that, during your stay in NY, you "hit" only 1-out-of-4 Odiles with the 32 fouettés! That's pathetic. Well, you saw some great Medoras last week (Schevchenko, Brandt). Have a safe trip home this morning!

 

Looking forward to others' reports on Sarah Lane's big debut with Simkin, tonight!

So will Sarah make it TWO-out-of-five successful Odiles for ABT Met 2017? I'll be there in spirit.

 

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5 hours ago, LadyBubbles said:

I must confess I'm a little apprehensive about Sarah Lane subbing in so late. I'm not saying that I think she's not capable of a great O/O, in fact I think she is totally right for the role. But let's face it, she probably hasn't had much rehearsal time (surely not nearly as much as she did with Giselle, considering she knew it would be her big role of the season since last year), and there's also the fact that unlike Devon Teuscher, she hasn't had the chance of performing it prior to tomorrow (yes, I know she danced it in Barcelona but that was a different version and it was more than 5 years ago).

I hope it goes well. Her technique is good and her acting has improved. Her nerves are what worry me. I hope the confidence that she has demonstrated all this season shows in her O/O debut.

I think she's got this. She's a professional. And let's face it...ballet dancers are always practicing Swan Lake from childhood on. I have confidence that Daniil will take care of any small nerves. They have a great partnership.

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I'm a little late to the party.  Teuscher's NYC debut was extremely impressive.  There were some errors (small ones).  She clearly has all of the tools she needs in her technique tool box.  I bet her next go at the role will iron out some of  the little details.  I will definitely be returning again and again in future seasons to see her in SL.  While I do not think highly of Hamoudi, he wasn't as bad as I expected. 

 

I also went last night to see Seo and Gomes.  Really, I was there for Gomes.  Even at his "advanced" age, he is still the best dancer, actor and partner in the company.  His performance alone was worth the price of admission.  As Christian said above, Hee's white acts were lovely.  Here and there there were small bobbles in Act II, but it was very, very well done.  Marcelo brings out the best in all of his partners, including Hee.  As anticipated, disaster struck in Act III for her.  She always has difficulty with turning. 

 

Christian makes an interesting point about whether ABT should be embarrassed by the ballerinas it is putting out there who cannot perform the choreography.  I'm going to leave Boylston out of the conversation, because her performance was an abberation, and I know she can and does normally do all the fouettes.  The issue is that McKenzie requires every ballerina to do every role, regardless of whether she is suited to its demands.  So while Copeland was charming as Lise and Copelia, she is not up to the demands of SL.  Similarly, while Hee was beautiful in A Month in the Country and as Juliet, she too comes up short in meeting the demands of SL.  In this regard, I agree with a friend who recently commented that sometimes ABT is looking like a second rate regional company.

 

Onwards to Sarah Lane tonight.  I believe that tonight will be a turning point for her.  If she does a good job tonight, hopefully Kevin will promote her.  However, if for some reason she falters, I think the possibility of promotion may be gone, permanently. Merde Merde Merde to Sarah.

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