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ABT: Roster in Review - 2018


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21 hours ago, canbelto said:

Both Shklyarov and Sarafanov have family situations -- both of their wives dance at the Mariinsky and are big enough stars there that they probably wouldn't want to jeopardize their wives' careers to come to ABT full time. 

So maybe just a guesting situation for them?  Remember that Diana Vishneva divided her time between ABT and the Mariinsky as did Nina Ananiashvili and the Bolshoi - they only did the Met season.   A month or six weeks and then back to Russia.  Notice that no one suggests Sergei Polunin even for a one-off guest situation, too much of a "bad boy"?  

Also, what kind of shape is Ivan Vasiliev in?  I saw him with the Mikhailovsky a few years ago and he looked slightly out of shape.  He is only 29 years old.  ABT seemed to take him on as a package with Osipova when they were a couple and then seemed to drop him after she did (or he dropped her?)  Is he a possibility?  I went on a "Corsaire Pas de Deux" binge on Youtube recently and came to the conclusion that his Ali is my favorite:

Gatti's company is still in its developmental stages and seems to be mainly a summer program these days with no performances.  ABT would raise his profile and attract donors and students.

 

Edited by FauxPas
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2 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

So maybe just a guesting situation for them?  Remember that Diana Vishneva divided her time between ABT and the Mariinsky as did Nina Ananiashvili and the Bolshoi - they only did the Met season.   A month or six weeks and then back to Russia.  Notice that no one suggests Sergei Polunin even for a one-off guest situation, too much of a "bad boy"?  

And my personal favorite: if they do Manon in June, bring in Aaron Robison from SFB! Bolle and Hallberg also do that one. 

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Please, please no Matthew Golding. I didn't like him when he was with ABT and seeing him in the RB cinema SL a few years ago did nothing to change my opinion.

I would LOVE to see Sarafanov or Shklyarov guest with ABT but based on their family situations I don't think either of them are likely. Maybe as 1 offs here or there but not even for a full Met season.

Osiel Gouneo would be interesting, as would Alejandro Virelles, formerly of ENB and Bayerische Staatsoper.

I love Fabrice Calmels, but if he hasn't guested with ABT in all of these years I don't think its gonna happen now.

My number 1 pick would be Friedmann Vogel - tall and an absolutely gorgeous dancer!

Within the company,I wish they would give Forster and Gorak more opportunities but management doesn't seem to favor them. Its clear that ABT has to import some male dancers while simultaneously developing their own. I'm sure there are lots of talented men around besides the few we've been discussing - the question is whether ABT has the will & the money to do some real top shelf shopping.

 

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13 minutes ago, nysusan said:

I wish they would give Forster and Gorak more opportunities but management doesn't seem to favor them. Its clear that ABT has to import some male dancers while simultaneously developing their own. I'm sure there are lots of talented men around besides the few we've been discussing - the question is whether ABT has the will & the money to do some real top shelf shopping.

They've been giving more opportunities to Forster this year, but they need to cast him in a full-length. If he doesn't get an Albrecht or a Siegfried next season, he never will.

With Gomes' and Cirio's departures, those two salaries should enable them to hire at least one top shelf male principal. Whether they have the will or are able to attract the right talent is something else entirely. I was surprised that they didn't bring in another male principal or guest for this past season besides Kim and instead overloaded Stearns and Whiteside. It's a miracle neither got injured. ABT got off easy. I pray to the ballet gods that that's not their plan for 2019.

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They need probably three, two at the least. One of them must be on the shorter side or experienced in partnering short ballerinas because there's only Herman to partner Lane and Copeland right now. And Trenary and Brandt if they are cast in lead roles. A very bad situation to be in right now since Herman is advanced in years, career-wise. 

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9 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

They've been giving more opportunities to Forster this year, but they need to cast him in a full-length. If he doesn't get an Albrecht or a Siegfried next season, he never will.

They seem to be comfortable casting him as the lead in more modern full length pieces like Whipped Cream or in the second fiddle character roles like Hilarion, but I agree - they need to cast him as the lead in a full length classical role like Albrecht or Siegfried or Solor.

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50 minutes ago, Fleurfairy said:

They need probably three, two at the least. One of them must be on the shorter side or experienced in partnering short ballerinas because there's only Herman to partner Lane and Copeland right now. And Trenary and Brandt if they are cast in lead roles. A very bad situation to be in right now since Herman is advanced in years, career-wise. 

Yes, and Shayer isn't ready to take on a lead in a classic full-length, IMO.

Also, looking at their 2019 tour schedule, they're doing 12 performances of Harlequinade in January between L.A. and D.C. Cirio and Simkin won't be there (Simkin will only dance in a yet-TBD number of shows at the Met). They'll need two brand new Harlequin's to alternate with Shayer/Whiteside. I doubt Cornejo would be cast since he didn't dance it initially. Who else is there, Scott? I don't see it. And, I can't picture any other dancer taking on this role (Gorak could be a wild card), so they'd be wise to hire a guy or two before the Met season.

Edited to add: they're also doing WC on tour before the Met season, so they'll have the same problem w/out Cirio/Simkin to dance The Boy.

50 minutes ago, nysusan said:

They seem to be comfortable casting him as the lead in more modern full length pieces like Whipped Cream or in the second fiddle character roles like Hilarion, but I agree - they need to cast him as the lead in a full length classical role like Albrecht or Siegfried or Solor.

I'm hoping they realize his potential after he stepped up this season (like so many of us). He was given WC due to necessity, but that's frequently how dancers get roles. I didn't see his Prince Coffee but his Espada and Tybalt blew me away. 

Edited by ABT Fan
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1 hour ago, nysusan said:

 

I would LOVE to see Sarafanov or Shklyarov guest with ABT but based on their family situations I don't think either of them are likely. Maybe as 1 offs here or there but not even for a full Met season.



My number 1 pick would be Friedmann Vogel - tall and an absolutely gorgeous dancer!

 

 

I was just thinking about Vogel. North American audiences see this gorgeous danseur noble  too little!

Shklyarov would be a great guest for ABT.  Both New York companies are kind of lacking in exciting male talent in the principal ranks lately. 

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57 minutes ago, bcash said:

I was just thinking about Vogel. North American audiences see this gorgeous danseur noble  too little!

 

I love Vogel too and unlike some of these other guys, I have seen him dance live twice so I know his work.  However, looking on the internet I see that Vogel was born on August 1, 1979 and celebrated his 39th birthday  a few weeks ago.  Same age as Marcelo.  So he is at the last stage of his wonderful career with still some years to go I hope.  Look at Bolle!  Vogel would be a great idea for a one-off guest in one or two roles.   His rep is heavier on Cranko and Kylian with a lot of Balanchine and he would seem a better fit for NYCB if they were hiring male guests.

Guillaume Côté who I love and has guested at ABT previously is about two years younger than Vogel or Gomes.  He is a possibility but probably as a guest since his ties to Canada are strong. 

Then there is the question of Rolando Sarabia who is 35 years old and turning 36 this Saturday.  He has had injuries.  He never quite maintained the level he had in his native Cuba when he defected to the U.S.  He has danced with several regional companies and hasn't exactly busted out into international superstardom.  Sarabia is currently one of Julie Kent's principals at Washingon Ballet with his wife Venus Villa.  He danced once with ABT as a replacement Basilio in "Don Quixote" with Xiomara Reyes who worked with him in Miami and probably lobbied for him to get a shot.  It was a good performance but he was following fresh memories of Bocca, Corella and Cornejo.  Not on that level by that point and ABT didn't bite.

Edited by FauxPas
Sarabita
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Paris Opera Etoiles, Matthew Ganio and Matthias Heyman  should be considered as possible guest for the Met season.Matthias was a guest before and M Ganio partnered Isabella Boylston when she guested in DQ. Soloist Paul Marque and Francois Alu are also very good dancers. Just a thought.

 

Edited by bingham
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8 hours ago, FauxPas said:

Matthew Golding:  Newly released from his principal contract with the Royal Ballet, the Canadian-born Golding is 33 years old and is tall.  He has all the standard classical and modern classical repertory under his belt and is massively experienced.  For a while he was in the ABT corps de ballet.  He could fill the huge gap left by the resignation of Marcelo Gomes.  What think you?

Golding left the ABT corps about 10 years ago to join Angel Corella's Barcelona Ballet; a company which I'm not sure was ever looked upon fondly by ABT's management. (I definitely can believe there was some odd blood between ABT and Corella over it.) I think it's telling that Golding, who is a "name" in Europe, has never appeared as a guest at ABT in the intervening decade even at the height of the guest star period. Maybe he was asked and the scheduling never worked out. But I'm more inclined to believe that the door slammed closed -- permanently -- behind him when he decamped for Barcelona. (The case for taking him on would be that he's not tied to a particular company right now and would certainly be at ease with ABT's bread-and-butter repertory.)

2 hours ago, FauxPas said:

Then there is the question of Rolando Sarabia who is 35 years old and turning 36 this Saturday.  He has had injuries.  He never quite maintained the level he had in his native Cuba when he defected to the U.S.  He has danced with several regional companies and hasn't exactly busted out into international superstardom.  Sarabia is currently one of Julie Kent's principals at Washingon Ballet with his wife Venus Villa.  He danced once with ABT as a replacement Basilio in "Don Quixote" with Xiomara Reyes who worked with him in Miami and probably lobbied for him to get a shot.  It was a good performance but he was following fresh memories of Bocca, Corella and Cornejo.  Not on that level by that point and ABT didn't bite.

The ship has definitely sailed with this one. For whatever reason, ABT didn't ask him to return after his one-shot. In any event, he appears to be happy with his life in DC.

1 hour ago, bingham said:

Paris Opera Etoiles, Matthew Ganio and Matthias Heyman  should be considered as possible guest for the Met season.Matthias was a guest before and M Ganio partnered Isabella Boylston when she guested in DQ. Soloist Paul Marque and Francois Alu are also very good dancers. Just a thought.

The top ranks of the Paris Opera Ballet would be a very fruitful avenue of exploration for ABT considering how "contemporary" so much of the repertory is at the Opera. Francois Alu, in particular, might light up the Met with his big, boisterous style. Now might be the time to sound him out as he is far from being on the best of terms with the POB's management. (I would also add Hugo Marchand's name to the list.)

My wild card pick: Zach Catazaro. Whatever one might think of the Peter Martins productions of the classics, Catazaro has danced them so the parallel ABT productions wouldn't be completely alien. He also cared enough about them to seek out Marcelo Gomes' help with Swan Lake. Finally, he's expressed an interest in dancing Manon and Mayerling, which indicates he might work in all the other "bodice rippers" ABT performs.

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7 hours ago, Dreamer said:

Shklyarov is back at the Mariinsky. He remains a guest artist at  Bayerisches Staatsballett. Matthew Golding is also a guest there. ABT could have hired Igor Tsvirko who is now with the Hungarian National Ballet or Nikita Chetverikov, who left the Perm Ballet a couple of months to join the Czech National Ballet. But both of these dancers have spouses who require an employment contract as well. Maybe this limited their choices. 

Tsvirko? ABT has plenty of shortish demi-caractere dancers, even after the departures of Cirio & Simkin.

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2 hours ago, bingham said:

Paris Opera Etoiles, Matthew Ganio and Matthias Heyman  should be considered as possible guest for the Met season.Matthias was a guest before and M Ganio partnered Isabella Boylston when she guested in DQ. Soloist Paul Marque and Francois Alu are also very good dancers. Just a thought.

 

I seem to remember that the POB season lasts well into June which overlaps with ABT's Met season. 

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43 minutes ago, miliosr said:

 

The top ranks of the Paris Opera Ballet would be a very fruitful avenue of exploration for ABT considering how "contemporary" so much of the repertory is at the Opera. Francois Alu, in particular, might light up the Met with his big, boisterous style. Now might be the time to sound him out as he is far from being on the best of terms with the POB's management. (I would also add Hugo Marchand's name to the list.)

My wild card pick: Zach Catazaro. Whatever one might think of the Peter Martins productions of the classics, Catazaro has danced them so the parallel ABT productions wouldn't be completely alien. He also cared enough about them to seek out Marcelo Gomes' help with Swan Lake. Finally, he's expressed an interest in dancing Manon and Mayerling, which indicates he might work in all the other "bodice rippers" ABT performs.

Alu seems like a good potential candidate. I've never seen him dance live but his personality and style as shown on social media suggest he might be a fit. Interesting to hear that he's not on best terms with POB's management. Does Dupont not like him?

Someone here mentioned Finlay before and I thought he would be a better fit for those princely roles than his good buddy Catazaro. Looking at them side by side Finlay's superior carriage and stage presence is more than evident. Though he's prone to injuries and might not want to grind his body more.

Edited by bcash
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14 minutes ago, bcash said:

I seem to remember that the POB season lasts well into June which overlaps with ABT's Met season. 

It does but, depending on repertory (and casting for that repertory), the male etoiles and premiere danseurs can have blocks of time when they're (relatively) free. The end of the 2018-19 season is heavy on the contemporary:

https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/season-18-19/ballet

9 minutes ago, bcash said:

Alu seems like a good potential candidate. I've never seen him dance live but his personality and style as shown on social media suggest he might be a fit. Interesting to hear that he's not on best terms with POB's management. Does Dupont not like him?

Someone here mentioned Finlay before and I thought he would be a better fit for those princely roles than his good buddy Catazaro. Looking at them side by side Finlay's superior carriage and stage presence is more than evident. Though he's prone to injuries and might not want to grind his body more.

My understanding of Alu is that the French public adores him but that he's also outspoken and may have ruffled a few feathers in management. I also don't know if his larger-than-life style and personality is the best fit for the French style. Some of our French correspondents might be better able to answer this than I can.

Finlay might grind his body less at ABT considering the top male stars may only dance once or twice a week.

Edited by miliosr
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My top picks would be Kim, Shklyarov, Sarafanov, all unlikely to cross the pond I think.  Muntagirov is terrific and I think may have guested at ABT a few years ago.  Semyon Chudin or Heymann would be good choices too.  My absolute last choice is Golding who leaves me completely cold, even without the weird grimaces.  I also thought of Finlay, although not of Catazaro but they seem unlikely to cross the plaza.  Has any City Ballet dancer ever been a guest at ABT, other than Veyette who only danced  one ballet?

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Could ABT tempt Baca to come back? They certainly offer more employment throughout the year than PA Ballet, and I have to imagine their salaries are better, as well. But I wonder if they'd expect him to come in as a soloist, like Whiteside and Cirio. Maybe they could offer his girlfriend a contract to sweeten the deal. 

 

 

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In terms of a guest what about Cesar Corrales (depending on the tour schedule of the RB).  Those eyes are piercing .... he is very young ...  mesmerizing ...  still in his early 20s .... a decent height ... and has always said his 'dream' was to dance with ABT.  Would have thought he might be a prime candidate.  

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12 hours ago, bcash said:

I was just thinking about Vogel. North American audiences see this gorgeous danseur noble  too little!

Shklyarov would be a great guest for ABT.  Both New York companies are kind of lacking in exciting male talent in the principal ranks lately. 

Vogel is almost 40. ABT must think of the future. Sorry, I admire Vogel and absolutely loved him in the La Scala Raymonda.

I’m sticking to my first thought, Osiel Gouneo, still in his 20s, who has wandered around Western Europe for far too long. 

Besides...

Let’s get a little Cuban spice back at ABT! 😆 

Edited by CharlieH
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9 hours ago, Marta said:

Has any City Ballet dancer ever been a guest at ABT, other than Veyette who only danced  one ballet?

I'm hard pressed to think of any, certainly no one since Andrew Veyette filled in for Cory Stearns on Theme and Variations.

8 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

Could ABT tempt Baca to come back?

I wonder if Baca is thinking, "If only I had held on for a little longer . . ." I do think he would be in demand now.

2 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Besides...

Let’s get a little Cuban spice back at ABT! 😆 

They need some kind of spice, Cuban or otherwise. This 'blah' quality has overtaken what was once the most exciting roster of male principals in the world.

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20 hours ago, FauxPas said:

So maybe just a guesting situation for them?  Remember that Diana Vishneva divided her time between ABT and the Mariinsky as did Nina Ananiashvili and the Bolshoi - they only did the Met season.   A month or six weeks and then back to Russia.  Notice that no one suggests Sergei Polunin even for a one-off guest situation, too much of a "bad boy"?

I'd think this would be the perfect time to do maybe grab Polunin, even for just a bit while they figure out a more long term solution. Not for nothing but he'd at least bring star power and intrigue. I think if it's set for a period of a year or less, that's just about the right time where he might not get restless. Also, hasn't Osipova tamed him? 

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I'm intrigued by many of these suggestions but with one caveat. There is sure to be poor morale if someone is brought in IF some of the current taller male soloists aren't also given opportunities in the full lengths. I'm thinking of Hoven but Forster in particular. My choice would be to hire someone exciting from outside who knows the full length rep, promote Gabe Shayer to soloist this year, give Forster and Hoven real opportunities to test them out, and if one of them seems to have the goods, promote them pronto. Also hoping Lendorf can return soon. I believe he could partner both the shorter and taller women.

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32 minutes ago, Barbara said:

I'm intrigued by many of these suggestions but with one caveat. There is sure to be poor morale if someone is brought in IF some of the current taller male soloists aren't also given opportunities in the full lengths. I'm thinking of Hoven but Forster in particular. My choice would be to hire someone exciting from outside who knows the full length rep, promote Gabe Shayer to soloist this year, give Forster and Hoven real opportunities to test them out, and if one of them seems to have the goods, promote them pronto. Also hoping Lendorf can return soon. I believe he could partner both the shorter and taller women.

I agree with you completely. 

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1 hour ago, Barbara said:

... I'm thinking of Hoven but Forster in particular.....

 Also hoping Lendorf can return soon...

Re. Hoven & Forster:  read my (& others’) comments about “spice.” Cory Stearns is a hot tamale in comparison to those two, regardless of Tech capability.

re Lendorf: Sorry, he’s had his chances. It seems as if he’s been injured since he joined. Moveon.org!

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