Jump to content
ABT Fan

ABT: Roster in Review - 2018

Recommended Posts

Yet another precious one gets away. Honestly, I don't blame him. I thought his post was very diplomatic and I applaud him for that.

Big loss for ABT (and for us), but I have to say that ABT had it coming. Hopefully they'll start showing more respect to their artists from now on. I doubt it though. 

And yes, short women can be partnered by tall men, but a very large gap isn't desirable either. I even remember Bolle talking about it. He mentioned in an interview that he was fine dancing with shorter women in a ballet like R&J, but that it was better to dance with a taller partner in ballets like Swan Lake, etc. It can be done, but it's not necessarily ideal.

Share this post


Link to post
58 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Well, short women don't necessarily need to be partnered by short men, but there's definitely going to be shortage of male principals in general, with Bolle seemingly saying goodbye to ABT this season, Lendorf constantly injured and Hallberg dancing a much-reduced load. I don't really see anyone in the soloist rank who is likely to be promoted this year. It would be a real sign of desperation if they promoted Hammoudi. I wonder if ABT's interest in grooming Gorak for principal roles will be renewed. 

No, but the taller male principals are already dancing with the taller women: Abrera, Murphy, Teuscher, Shevchenko, Seo, Boylston (she dances with short and tall men).  As much as many of us complain about Stearns and Whiteside, they're workhorses and can't possibly take on more to partner the shorter ladies, since as you mention the other tall guys are really not available much. I think they've given up on Hammoudi and Gorak, and now have their sights on Royal, Ahn, and Bell, though Ahn/Bell aren't anywhere near principal level yet. McKenzie better spend his summer "break" doing some serious shopping. They have no choice but to bring in some new hires or at least more guest artists to fill the holes.

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, spinning2night said:

(and need I mention Matthew Golding?)

When Golding was with ABT (mid-00s), things were still flush in terms of the male principals. There was really no spot for him to move into at the top.

8 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

As much as many of us complain about Stearns and Whiteside, they're workhorses and can't possibly take on more to partner the shorter ladies, since as you mention the other tall guys are really not available much.

Thank you for writing this. Stearns and Whiteside are holding things together on the taller side of things given Gomes' departure, Hallberg's reduced workload, Bolle's near absence and Lendorf's chronic injuries.

Share this post


Link to post

Interesting how any time Hallberg or Copeland sneeze, there is a piece in the NY Times about it.  Cirio's departure didn't get any mention.

 

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, abatt said:

Interesting how any time Hallberg or Copeland sneeze, there is a piece in the NY Times about it.  Cirio's departure didn't get any mention.

 

I don't think Cirio was ever able to gain a following.  It also is negative news that ABT is losing yet another principal male.  I would have to imagine that McKenzie is searching for someone else.  With Lendorf's injuries, Hallberg's limited schedule, Simkin only part-time, Cornejo nearing the 40 year old range, McKenzie will have to bring along some of his current soloists and corps members in addition to hiring from the outside.  I think this was indicated above in the thread. 

Do you think ABT is as attractive a company as it once was for young dancers? 

Share this post


Link to post

Oh that's unfortunate that Cirio is leaving ABT but his tastes appear to lean towards new choreography rather than the classics. I wonder if he will continue the Cirio Collective.

Share this post


Link to post

Here is Cirio's full statement on Instagram:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

I hope Cirio doesn’t depart to London straight at the end of the Met season and will still appear in the opening night of La Bayadere in LA on July 13 as scheduled.  

Edited by Dreamer

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, its the mom said:

I don't think Cirio was ever able to gain a following.  It also is negative news that ABT is losing yet another principal male.  I would have to imagine that McKenzie is searching for someone else.  With Lendorf's injuries, Hallberg's limited schedule, Simkin only part-time, Cornejo nearing the 40 year old range, McKenzie will have to bring along some of his current soloists and corps members in addition to hiring from the outside.  I think this was indicated above in the thread. 

Do you think ABT is as attractive a company as it once was for young dancers? 

Right -- I can't really call myself a Cirio fan, but that's not because I find fault in his dancing. I just haven't seen him in enough leading roles to really get to know him as a dancer, but everyone who saw him up in Boston seems to only have raves. I would have loved to have seen him dance with some of the shorter ladies in Giselle, Swan Lake, etc. 

That said, his departure does deserve a notice in the NYT. Maybe it will just be folded into one of Macaulay's reviews. "Cirio, who has announced he's leaving after the Met season for ENB at the end of the season, etc."

I think as long as there are young dancers who dream of being Aurora, O/O and Kitri, ABT will be an attractive company (even if it's lost a bit of its sheen in recent years). I think ABT should be more concerned about whether it can attract soloist- and principal-level dancers from other companies. I guess they've never had issues before, but the track record of dancers leaving in less than happy circumstances would make one concerned. And the company's financial situation has never been super rosy. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

Share this post


Link to post

I was surprised when Cirio joined ABT instead of NYCB. NYCB actually seemed to be a better fit for his interests and style of dancing than ABT. But then again the talent pool at NYCB is much deeper and there's less need to find people from outside.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

Cirio's artistic vision  is a mismatch for many US companies including Miami based on current AD's.  Lourdes Lopez was a great dancer and as AD in Miami will do  Ratmansky's  Swan Lake  in 2020:  https://www.instagram.com/p/Bjwl2FoAa8_/?taken-by=lourdesmcbHe chose ENB over ABT fall rep and was Hilarion in ENB's Akram Khan Giselle including on film.  The music is only a reference to Adolph Adam and the choreography bears no relationship to various traditional versions of Giselle.  I'm surprised Rojo did La Sylpide [not Hubbe'd] and SB [Bocca on Macmillan] given her statement on classics:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cs2nsC_pchw   

"want to make classical ballet relevant"  "classical stories can transcend time and place and that's the story of Giselle" 
Edited by maps
clarity

Share this post


Link to post

I have been a big fan of Jeffrey Cirio since I first saw him. He is a beautiful dancer and wonderfully musical - a joy to watch.  His social media postings last fall showed he was very happy working with ENB, so this decision is not a surprise.  My immediate dilemma is whether I buy a ticket to his Los Angeles La Bayadere performance to see him when I would have to watch two female leads that I have no interest in seeing.   I wish him a flourishing career with ENB as others of ENB's  principal dancers are enjoying.  

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

I can't imagine ABT won't continue to attract talent. Surely it's not as if the United States--or even the world--has a ton of major ballet companies (underline ballet) with fabulous jobs for which there is little competition, and offering extensive repertories, long seasons, and solid benefits so that dancers just have their pick. A male dancer as talented as Cirio -- well, yes, he likely will have a range of options as long as he is in his prime and possibly even later, but there is a lot of talent out there and especially talented women. As far as dancing the nineteenth-century classics go...ABT, with all its woes, doesn't just dance the classics but dances them in productions that, whatever their problems, are not as woefully small scale as those of at least some "regional" companies.

As I was typing, Maps posted. So...stop the presses--Miami will do Ratmansky's Swan Lake in 2020!!!! I had completely missed that. Trip being planned...NOW...

Edited by Drew

Share this post


Link to post

I am thrilled about Ratmansky's Swan Lake being set on a U.S. company!  

 

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, Josette said:

I am thrilled about Ratmansky's Swan Lake being set on a U.S. company!  

 

Wow! I will be there, too. Very smart of Miami!

Share this post


Link to post
19 minutes ago, maps said:

Cirio's artistic vision is a mismatch for many US companies including Miami based on current AD's.  Lourdes Lopez was a great dancer and as AD in Miami will do  Ratmansky's  Swan Lake  in 2020:  

He chose ENB over ABT fall rep and was Hilarion in ENB's Akram Khan Giselle including on film.  The music is only a reference to Adolph Adam and the choreography bears no relationship to various traditional versions of Giselle.  I'm surprised Rojo did La Sylpide [not Hubbe'd] and SB [Bocca on Macmillan] given her statement on classics:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cs2nsC_pchw   

"want to make classical ballet relevant"  "classical stories can transcend time and place and that's the story of Giselle" 

 

 

Not sure what you mean by his artistic vision not matching US companies?  Have you checked the rep of most companies?  There is a huge diversity in rep in most companies other than ABT, NYCB, and possibly Miami.  Even PNB, with Peter Boal at the helm, does a diverse rep.  Cirio is going to a company which does a large amount of classical ballet and came from a company (prior to ABT) which does a good amount of classical work.  Cirio performed most of the classical leads before coming to ABT.  The article below spells out his reasons for leaving Boston.  

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/american-ballet-theatre-s-jeffrey-cirio-looking-challenge-n647726

As far as Rojo's comments in the video, I think her choices in rep speak for themselves.  The company is performing a number of full-lengths next year.  Just because she wants to give artists a chance to revisit the classics in a new way, does not mean she doesn't respect the past.  I think Cirio mentioned it in his instagram post - respecting the classics, but also moving ballet forward.  Why can't a company have both?

Share this post


Link to post

You all know how we wondered about corps dancer Gisele Bethea? Well, she appears to have gotten engaged. She's very young, but congrats to her. If she plans on returning to ballet, I hope she can heal from whatever injury she's battling. No idea whether her engagement has anything to do with her absence from ABT these last few months.

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, miliosr said:

When Golding was with ABT (mid-00s), things were still flush in terms of the male principals. There was really no spot for him to move into at the top.

Thank you for writing this. Stearns and Whiteside are holding things together on the taller side of things given Gomes' departure, Hallberg's reduced workload, Bolle's near absence and Lendorf's chronic injuries.

I don't refute you on that first point at all...doesn't mean I can't wish there would have been a way for him to stay

And I 100% agree about Stearns and Whiteside. They themselves aren't the ones who will get me to show up. However, they do more than their share in workload as well as ability to partner and dance alongside various principal women. I couldn't imagine the company without them. And as long as they keep doing what they are doing, the audience will keep showing up.

Share this post


Link to post

While Cirio is certainly very talented, he doesn't strike me as being the leading man type. Others may not agree, but I could definitely see Calvin Royal (with some coaching) becoming a principal sooner rather than later. Calvin has a very elegant and sophisticated quality about him. And after seeing Aran Bell as von Rothbart today, I'd say that he's got the "it factor," too. I really hope to see Aran in more lead roles next season. Hopefully, he won’t stall as some of the other promising young men have.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, BalletFan said:

While Cirio is certainly very talented, he doesn't strike me as being the leading man type. Others may not agree, but I could definitely see Calvin Royal (with some coaching) becoming a principal sooner rather than later. Calvin has a very elegant and sophisticated quality about him. And after seeing Aran Bell as von Rothbart today, I'd say that he's got the "it factor," too. I really hope to see Aran in more lead roles next season. Hopefully, he won’t stall as some of the other promising young men have.

Cirio is an extraordinary artist (also, is there a more likable principal in the ranks?), but he couldn't carry Harlequinade, which I thought would be a shoe-in for him. Even though his solo was the cleanest of all the leading men that week, he didn't seem 100% immersed. I just don't think ABT is a good fit. He excels in more cutting edge pieces. 

I love Royal in everything I see him in, but his technique hasn't been looking the strongest these past few weeks (his port de bras is still to die for though, and he does have that 'it' factor). I think the big leading man solos would get the best of him unless he has a technical epiphany. 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
Quote

 

For the record, Cirio danced most of the leading classical roles in Boston before coming to ABT. He and Misa Kuranaga were quite the couple, and often had rave reviews. I remember their beautiful performance in Vail of the pas from Ashton's Cinderella. Boston had just had a run of the ballet earlier in the year. I may be mistaken, but I do not think Wendy Somes allows too many people to perform that pas outside of the context of the full ballet. He also danced a number of principal roles while at ENB - Romeo, James in La Sylphide, Messenger of Death in Song of the Earth, and the Prince in The Nutcracker. It might be a little more than obvious why he's leaving. It is not unknown that Cornejo and Simkin waited a long time to dance some of the classical roles with ABT, and I would surmise that Cirio just did not want to wait. It is also common knowledge that he is active in choreography, and he made it clear in his instagram post that he wants to work with certain choreographers. I was aware (from his instagram) that he worked with several on the side while in NYC, and he will probably do the same in London. As we know, dancers do not limit themselves to what they do with their main company only, and Cirio certainly example of this with Cirio Collective. He's one of the most versatile dancers I've ever seen and I am baffled by thoughts that he's a "mismatch" for other US companies. Clearly I'm a fan. No disrespect intended.

Edited by mira

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, spinning2night said:

I don't refute you on that first point at all...doesn't mean I can't wish there would have been a way for him to stay

This has ever been ABT's problem. By the nature of its repertory, there are only so many spots at the top at any given moment. This results in a lot of fence sitting for those company members who haven't reached the top. People either wait it out in the hope that a principal slot will open up or they depart for other (not necessarily greener) pastures. (Complicating the first problem is the secondary problem of having to eventually "ease out" star principals to create opportunities for promising soloists and corps members. To varying degrees, this happened to Carreno, Corella, Dvorovenko, Herrera, Part and Reyes.)

I'm sympathetic to anyone trying to run ABT because the nature of the repertory really constrains the choices. The one thing I would fault Kevin McKenzie (and Rachel Moore) for was the attempt to keep the glory days of the late-90s to late-00s going with the use of so many guest stars in the first five years of this decade. Instead of taking the temporary hit and going through the necessary retooling, they imported all the guests, which crushed company morale without "training up" the company members to the standards necessary for performing the roles in the repertory. The company's paying the price for it now.

 

Edited by miliosr

Share this post


Link to post
On June 21, 2018 at 12:14 AM, Inge said:


I love Royal in everything I see him in, but his technique hasn't been looking the strongest these past few weeks (his port de bras is still to die for though, and he does have that 'it' factor). I think the big leading man solos would get the best of him unless he has a technical epiphany. 

I hate to say it, because Royal is one of my favorites, but I agree with you. I was thinking something similar while watching his Rothbart on Monday, though he danced better as Benvolio a week ago. I don't see him conquering the technical feats of Siegfried or Albrecht yet. Though I still adore him and can't wait to see what he does as Espada. He lights up the stage like no other.

Share this post


Link to post

Corps dancer Kelley Potter is retiring at the end of the MET season. This according to the latest Instagram live (watch it while it's still available). She talks in detail about the challenges of being a mom and a full time ballet dancer at the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/21/2018 at 12:14 AM, Inge said:

Cirio is an extraordinary artist (also, is there a more likable principal in the ranks?), but he couldn't carry Harlequinade, which I thought would be a shoe-in for him. Even though his solo was the cleanest of all the leading men that week, he didn't seem 100% immersed. I just don't think ABT is a good fit. He excels in more cutting edge pieces. 

I love Royal in everything I see him in, but his technique hasn't been looking the strongest these past few weeks (his port de bras is still to die for though, and he does have that 'it' factor). I think the big leading man solos would get the best of him unless he has a technical epiphany. 

I've seen Calvin Royal III dance Agon ppd a few times with Unity Phelan. He's great in it, though there are no solos in the ppd. Maybe he could do some of the Balanchine rep.

I also saw his Benvolio in R&J and was surprised how well it looked. I hadn't particularly pictured him in classical story ballets.

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×