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2018 Met Season


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So happy that Aran Bell gets a go at Romeo. But I hope they work on his expression before his debut.

I wonder if ABT sees him as a Roberto Bolle type of guy. Tall, handsome, with very good and clean technique, strong partner, princely, etc. Remember, Bolle wasn't the best actor at first (but hey, that gorgeous smile was more than enough to make me buy tickets). Even now, his acting is certainly more reserved than that of other male veterans, but nonetheless is good and effective. Perhaps they're going that route with Bell.

I, unfortunately, won't be able to attend that performance. But I hope some of you will and post your reports here :flowers:

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With the casting of Bell as Romeo (and Ahn as Solor), this signals to me that, one, the company has finally decided to put to rest any hope that Hammoudi has what it takes to be a leading man/principal (he's hardly cast this year but this seals the deal). And, two, that they are finally taking the tall male principal issue seriously. Though both of these guys are untested (Bell has only been in the corps for a year!, and was an apprentice for a year before that) they have a lot of potential and are big guys so we'll be able to gauge their potential for the future. I normally don't go for such a sink or swim scenario, but I applaud the company for giving more opportunities to the inhouse/youngen's. I'd much rather see them cast than Hammoudi or a guest artist (though I'm all for Kim as Solor; that's a great use of a guest artist, but, let's leave it at that).

Also, Don Q casting was finally sorted as well and Zhong-Jing Fang has been cast twice as Mercedes, a debut for her too! Another great opportunity gone to a corps dancer. Abrera has been put back on the schedule and will dance Mercedes with Lane's Kitri - yay! 

Hallberg hasn't done Purple Rothbart in years so I doubt that'll happen, but why is that casting taking so long? I'd love to see Royal, but it'll depend on when he's slotted; several O/O's/Siegfried's I want to avoid.

Edited by ABT Fan
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17 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

Though both of these guys are untested (Bell has only been in the corps for a year!, and was an apprentice for a year before that) they have a lot of potential and are big guys so we'll be able to gauge their potential for the future. I normally don't go for such a sink or swim scenario, but I applaud the company for giving more opportunities to the inhouse/youngen's. I'd much rather see them cast than Hammoudi or a guest artist (though I'm all for Kim as Solor; that's a great use of a guest artist, but, let's leave it at that).

Agreed!

17 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

Also, Don Q casting was finally sorted as well and Zhong-Jing Fang has been cast twice as Mercedes, a debut for her too! Another great opportunity gone to a corps dancer. Abrera has been put back on the schedule and will dance Mercedes with Lane's Kitri - yay!

Double yay!

17 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

Hallberg hasn't done Purple Rothbart in years so I doubt that'll happen, but why is that casting taking so long?

I don't think it's particularly unusual that it's not listed this late. But I agree, I'd love to know.

 

Edited by nanushka
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I'm in absolute shock after noting the casting of Aran Bell as Romeo.  This is his second season in the corps de ballet.  I still recall him in last year's Whipped Cream, as a gingerbread soldier in the back row, out of step with the other soldiers.  He's very tall, and he's a hard worker, but he's a VERY SERIOUS young man who does not move his face on stage or register emotion.  Hopefully, Teuscher will be able to work some magic and loosen him up.  Otherwise, there's a very real possibility that Gabe Shayer may steal the spotlight with a memorable and showy performance of his own.

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6 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

Lendorf has been replaced in Bayadere with Cirio!

I'm sorry to hear about Lendorf, but I really like Cirio and it's excellent casting.  I think he'll be fantastic!

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2 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

Lendorf has been replaced in Bayadere with Cirio!

I'm sorry for Lendorf, but am very glad Cirio is getting this opportunity. So many people on this board have written glowingly about Cirio's dancing in principal roles at Boston Ballet, but ABT has cast him in so few leading roles that I haven't gotten a very complete sense of who he is as a dancer. I'm not sure the double-doozy of Boylston and Copeland can entice me to see him in Bayadere, though.

1 minute ago, laurel said:

I'm in absolute shock after noting the casting of Aran Bell as Romeo.  This is his second season in the corps de ballet.  I still recall him in last year's Whipped Cream, as a gingerbread soldier in the back row, out of step with the other soldiers.  He's very tall, and he's a hard worker, but he's a VERY SERIOUS young man who does not move his face on stage or register emotion.  Hopefully, Teuscher will be able to work some magic and loosen him up.  Otherwise, there's a very real possibility that Gabe Shayer may steal the spotlight with a memorable and showy performance of his own.

I agree, but I'm glad to see ABT shake things up after some pretty stale casting, especially among the men, in recent years. But yeah, I would have imagined Bell getting Ali (based on all his bravura spins, etc., seen in videos filmed in the studio) or Mercutio or something like that.  

28 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

Also, Don Q casting was finally sorted as well and Zhong-Jing Fang has been cast twice as Mercedes, a debut for her too! Another great opportunity gone to a corps dancer. Abrera has been put back on the schedule and will dance Mercedes with Lane's Kitri - yay!

1

I'm so glad to hear about Fang. I recall thinking she was a likely candidate for promotion to soloist some years back, but I remember reading in these forums that she was sidelined due to injury. She has really bounced back in the past couple seasons.

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22 minutes ago, laurel said:

I'm in absolute shock after noting the casting of Aran Bell as Romeo.  This is his second season in the corps de ballet.  I still recall him in last year's Whipped Cream, as a gingerbread soldier in the back row, out of step with the other soldiers.  He's very tall, and he's a hard worker, but he's a VERY SERIOUS young man who does not move his face on stage or register emotion.

Yes, and Teuscher does not come across as a particularly warm dancer onstage. She could really benefit from a Gomes or a Bolle in this ballet especially. I have strong doubts that this is a good casting decision. 

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Considering that ABT has  several tall men in the soloist rank, I find it surprising that they are using Bell for Romeo.  That signals that there is little possibility that Royal, Forster or Hoven can expect a lead role.I

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Last update: The Whipped Cream casting has been completed now. Forster officially takes Hallberg spots (it was TBA until a few hours ago), and the missing Tea Flower / Coffee cast from closing night is up (Teuscher/Royal).

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6 hours ago, abatt said:

Considering that ABT has  several tall men in the soloist rank, I find it surprising that they are using Bell for Romeo.  That signals that there is little possibility that Royal, Forster or Hoven can expect a lead role.I

I would love to have seen Forster or Hoven take on this role.  They are two of my favorite dancers, and both are wonderful partners.  

7 hours ago, vipa said:

Lane should have been cast as Juliet. 

Absolutely agree.  I would love to have seen a Cirio/Lane pairing here.  

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Bell registered lots of emotion/passion as one of the featured soloists in Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions in DC (Jan 31, 2018). To the summit, Aran Bell!

As for his Romeo debut: I’ll be there “With Bells on!” Ring-ring! 😆

Edited by CharlieH
Ring them bells
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9 hours ago, abatt said:

Considering that ABT has  several tall men in the soloist rank, I find it surprising that they are using Bell for Romeo.  That signals that there is little possibility that Royal, Forster or Hoven can expect a lead role.I

Yes, I wonder about this. If they need a tall guy to dance with Teuscher, what about Royal?

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22 minutes ago, cobweb said:

Yes, I wonder about this. If they need a tall guy to dance with Teuscher, what about Royal?

I just don’t see this pairing; I can’t  explain why. Not in R&J at least. Yes to Royal as Romeo, just with someone else. 

I also noticed on the casting that Hallberg is no longer doing opening night for Hallequinade; Forster replaced him and in the same cast later that week.

I expect to see Lendorf pulled from the entire season; his roles have slowly been recast. I’d be shocked if he danced at all. 

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They moved a Copeland Firebird from Wed evening into Wed matinee. 

It seems apparent that Lendorf is out for the season.  why not just take his name off and put TBA in those slots?

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Footnote to the AfteRite discussion above: the Royal Danish Ballet has just announced next season's programme, which includes AfteRite and lists it as a co-production with ABT. (And they're doing it on a double bill with Etudes!)

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48 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

AfteRite casting is finally posted on the site.

I am so very excited to see so many principal dancers in one piece, including Ferri. :)

 

Alessandra Ferri, Misty Copeland, Hee Seo, Cassandra Trenary, Stephanie Williams, 

Herman Cornejo, James Whiteside, Cory Stearns, Blaine Hoven, Calvin Royal, Jeffrey Cirio, Aran Bell, Duncan Lyle

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Didn't the same kind of casting occur  with tiler peck  at 19

and didn't bolle get principal at such a young age with Romeo

and Miriam Miller with midsummer 

so the age is not really a shock

but it does get some people to talk about it

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Vs1 said:

Didn't the same kind of casting occur  with tiler peck  at 19

and didn't bolle get principal at such a young age with Romeo

and Miriam Miller with midsummer 

so the age is not really a shock

but it does get some people to talk about it

None of those was at ABT, where dancers do not typically get full-length title roles on the Met stage just over a year after moving from apprentice to corps.

Not to say it's never happened (I don't know either way), but in the context of this particular company it's certainly quite unusual.

Edited by nanushka
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1 minute ago, nanushka said:

None of those is at ABT, where dancers do not typically get full-length title roles on the Met stage just over a year after moving from apprentice to corps.

Not to say it's never happened (I don't know either way), but in the context of this particular company it's certainly quite unusual.

Well maybe they felt it was a good pr move and learned from it?

lady bubbles ( I paraphrase) said Aran is like bolle in having a more subtle acting style vs large broad emotive acting like angel or Marcelo or showy like Ivan  so maybe they are testing that or moving toward that?

  I was shocked to see bolle on the main picture on the calendar since he is rarely featured but then again with Marcelo gone and David iffy maybe that's why 

would that mean bolle would dance more? Doubtful but who is left with all those injuries and departures and questionables

(Sorry keyboard problems)

 

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9 minutes ago, Vs1 said:

I was shocked to see bolle on the main picture on the calendar since he is rarely featured but then again with Marcelo gone and David iffy maybe that's why 

would that mean bolle would dance more? Doubtful but who is left with all those injuries and departures and questionables

I highly doubt Bolle will dance much more this season than currently scheduled (which is basically the same amount he's danced annually for quite awhile). I think if he were more willing to solve ABT's male casting headaches by filling in he'd have done so more frequently before now. (Though he has on rare occasions, here and there, I believe.)

The images shown on ABT's promotional materials are not infrequently unreflective of who actually appears onstage. Bolle's is a good face to put forward if one wants to draw attention and doesn't have scruples about strict truth in advertising.

Edited by nanushka
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