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ABT 2018 Swan Lake


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I'm in that group too. I don't get into NYC much, but I do make the trek each year for one ABT SL (nothing like Tchaikovsky's music for that ballet!) and one other classical ballet. I didn't go at all this year. As others have stated, the casting was the reason. I won't attend a ballet featuring Whiteside as the lead male. I love both Cirio's and Cornejo's dancing, but they are/were so often paired with Copeland, whose dancing I can't tolerate, that it hasn't been worth the pricey ticket.

I don't have much money to spend on performances, so I need to carefully choose. Instead of ABT this year, I attended NYCB performances several times. I miss the classics though. I just don't want to be thinking, while watching the performance,  that the highest level dancers in my daughter's former pre-pro can dance better than that. 

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11 minutes ago, Rick said:

Is there a reason why there are no female guest artists from the Mariinsky and Bolshoi this season? They were usually dependable for Swan Lake.

I think McKenzie realized overuse of guest artists was killing company morale and hindering homegrown talent. So, he’s basically swung to the other extreme and invited virtually no guest artists. Who knows? Maybe we wouldn’t have seen Shevchenko’s O/O if there had been an imported artist. Also, the Swan Lake run is selling extremely well, so why spend the extra money to hire guest artists?

Does anyone know if ABT is still doing its artist exchange program? It was nice getting the opportunity to occasionally see guests like Xander Parish, and I’m sure the ABT dancers got a lot out of dancing with other companies. Also, the idea of cultural exchange was probably a lot less harmful to company morale.

Edited by fondoffouettes
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13 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

I think McKenzie realized overuse of guest artists was killing company morale and hindering homegrown talent. So, he’s basically swung to the other extreme and invited virtually no guest artists. Who knows? Maybe we wouldn’t have seen Shevchenko’s O/O if there had been an imported artist. Also, the Swan Lake run is selling extremely well, so why spend the extra money to hire guest artists?

Does anyone know if ABT is still doing its artist exchange program? It was nice getting the opportunity to occasionally see guests like Xander Parish, and I’m sure the ABT dancers got a lot out of dancing with other companies. Also, the idea of cultural exchange was probably a lot less harmful to company morale.

Kimin Kim may have been part of an artist exchange w. Mariinsky.  I'm not sure.  Isn't Hallberg doing something with Mariinsky in the near future? 

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12 hours ago, Inge said:

Looking forward to Murphy's turn on Friday (but not having to sit through Act I and the dreaded swan interlude). Having two great Swan Queens in the pipeline (Shevchenko, Teuscher) is a pretty exciting prospect. I feel like Trenary would also be fantastic one day. 

Trenary was luminous as one of the cygnettes on Monday (as incongruous as that sounds!). I saw a Swan Queen in her and look forward to her taking on the role hopefully sooner rather than later.

I'm depressed about missing Shevchenko too. I saw her last year in Don Q and she was phenomenal. Next year, I will be at her Swan Lake no matter what!

Edited by mille-feuille
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21 minutes ago, abatt said:

Isn't Hallberg doing something with Mariinsky in the near future? 

Yes, Hallberg is dancing in "Giselle" with the Mariinsky next month with Alina Somova.

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1 hour ago, mille-feuille said:

Trenary was luminous as one of the cygnettes on Monday (as incongruous as that sounds!). I saw a Swan Queen in her and look forward to her taking on the role hopefully sooner rather than later.

They've had up to eight swan queens before. Why not? It could be Copeland (there's no getting around her being cast), Boylston, Teuscher, Murphy, Seo, Lane, Shevchenko and a debut (Trenary, I hope!).

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4 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

Maybe she'll attempt the fouettes in Don Q, if she feels less scrutiny/pressure in that role. I also wonder if the ballerina has more gas in the tank, for lack of a better phrase, at that point in Don Q (not that that pas de deux is any walk in the park). 

Leslie Browne once said that the Don Q fouettes are physically harder than those in SL, because Kitri has two whole acts before the Grand PDD where O/O only has one.

Edited by MRR
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10 minutes ago, abatt said:

Anyone else notice that Whiteside is replacing Hammoudi in tomrrow night's SL (partnering Murphy)?  It's on the ABT calendar.

As long as Murphy is still performing I'm fine with it. I just hope that she doesn't pull out after the white act last she did about 2 years ago. 

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I saw Swan Lake on Tuesday night with Boylston/Simkin, and yesterday afternoon with Shevchenko/Whiteside.   Both were SPECTACULAR and the house was packed at both performances.

I've seen most of Boylston's Swan Lakes (starting with her debut with Simkin about six years ago) and she just keeps getting better and better.  Her Odile has always been terrific, but now her Odette has become so polished, that she is starting to remind me a bit of Ananiashvili.  Simkin was exciting as always, and is a perfect match for Bella.  His leap at the end always takes my breath away with his amazing height and deep arch of his back. 

Shevchenko was.....OMG gorgeous!   She was brilliant as both Odette and Odile.  She had exquisite swan like arms the likes of which I haven’t seen in quite a while, and simply put she was born to dance this role.  Whiteside danced well, and did an admirable job of partnering Christine.   I'm not sure why some posters on BA feel the need to avoid him so much that they wind up missing out on some pretty spectacular performances.   I don't seek him out, but I never let him stand in the way of seeing a particular dancer.  IMO, he always partners and dances well.

Aran Bell made a terrific debut as Von Rothbart.  Yes, Gomes is the real benchmark, but Aran made an incredible impression his first time out.  Great acting and strength, and I loved his smug smirk which was performed to perfection. 

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16 minutes ago, abatt said:

Anyone else notice that Whiteside is replacing Hammoudi in tomrrow night's SL (partnering Murphy)?  It's on the ABT calendar.


 

4 minutes ago, alexL said:

As long as Murphy is still performing I'm fine with it. I just hope that she doesn't pull out after the white act last she did about 2 years ago. 

I know a lot of people don't like Whiteside very much on here, but there is no way that is anything but a VAST improvement!

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20 minutes ago, abatt said:

Anyone else notice that Whiteside is replacing Hammoudi in tomrrow night's SL (partnering Murphy)?  It's on the ABT calendar.

Wow that's three Swan Lakes, with two of them two days in a row!   

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5 hours ago, abatt said:

By the way, once Copeland did pull out of her Harlequinades I bought tickets for those dates.  Brandt and Simkin were magnificent in Harlequinade.

Me too!  And yes, they were magnificent!

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So after all my complaining about Whiteside, and reading about the exceptional debut of Shevchenko in SL, I did buy a ticket to see her dance Kitri, even though she is scheduled to dance with Whiteside. I can't bear missing these moments in what I expect will be an outstanding career.

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54 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Wow! Had Hammoudi been scheduled for any additional Rothbarts, as well? Or just the one on Tuesday?

Some time back, someone here said that it appeared from the casting they had given up on Hammoudi. He's another one I avoid. He just hasn't worked out as a must-see principal.

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1 hour ago, California said:

Some time back, someone here said that it appeared from the casting they had given up on Hammoudi. He's another one I avoid. He just hasn't worked out as a must-see principal.

I agree, and doubt he will ever make it past soloist.  I think he shows great promise for character actor roles so sorely needed at ABT.  Someone has to fill the shoes of Salstein, Barbee, and Julio Bragado-Young to name a few.  I thought Hammoudi was very funny in Harlequinade, and was also a great Tybalt this year.  

Anyway, I hope he isn't injured.  

 

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4 hours ago, LadyBubbles said:

I don't see why Murphy would pull out after the second act. She did a few years ago because she hurt her ankle during the second act. She's been healthy this season so far, so I hope she stays healthy (knock on wood).

Because she looked a lot shakier this year in the performances I've seen. I've never seen her struggle during the Italian Fouettes or come off pointe after a double that many times in a single performance until this year. Plus she pulled out in last year's SL so I ended up with another Seo SL(This isn't her fault). I'm just hoping she can pull through the whole evening as I haven't seen her black swan in 8 years due to her injuries and my schedule complications. 

Edited by alexL
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True. Last year she withdrew from a lot of shows (the early Whipped Cream run, Myrta, Medora, O/O, her second Kitri, maybe others I can't recall). Remember that she had been injured since January, and then aggravated her injury during Don Q. She hasn't pulled out of any shows so far, I think. I know she's not the rock solid technician she was 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, but hopefully she'll make it through the MET season without injury. I bet she wants to perform what could be her final go at O/O. She's been very injury prone lately and is 39, so retirement could come at any moment, sadly. Even if she stays active, she might start retiring roles to help her stay healthy. Don Q is what I'm most worried about tbh. She's scheduled for 2 shows and it's a very technically demanding role. If she can't perform her second show, I hope ABT at least has a good replacement lined up (maybe Shevchenko again? No Seo or Copeland please).

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1 hour ago, LadyBubbles said:

True. Last year she withdrew from a lot of shows (the early Whipped Cream run, Myrta, Medora, O/O, her second Kitri, maybe others I can't recall). Remember that she had been injured since January, and then aggravated her injury during Don Q. She hasn't pulled out of any shows so far, I think. I know she's not the rock solid technician she was 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, but hopefully she'll make it through the MET season without injury. I bet she wants to perform what could be her final go at O/O. She's been very injury prone lately and is 39, so retirement could come at any moment, sadly. Even if she stays active, she might start retiring roles to help her stay healthy. Don Q is what I'm most worried about tbh. She's scheduled for 2 shows and it's a very technically demanding role. If she can't perform her second show, I hope ABT at least has a good replacement lined up (maybe Shevchenko again? No Seo or Copeland please).

I have a feeling they are keeping Shevchenko in the wings (metaphorically speaking) tomorrow just in case. But I think it's fine. If social media is any indication, Murphy seems excited to dance Swan Lake. 

For Don Q, they would definitely give Shevchenko one of Murphy's shows if doesn't feel up to the role. The second slot would probably go to Seo, but I also wouldn't be surprised if Brandt has been learning Kitri as well. Then again it is ABT. They're pretty bad at being prepared (see: the infamous three Sylvias incident in 2016). 

Edited by Inge
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1 hour ago, Inge said:

I have a feeling they are keeping Shevchenko in the wings (metaphorically speaking) tomorrow just in case. But I think it's fine. If social media is any indication, Murphy seems excited to dance Swan Lake. 

For Don Q, they would definitely give Shevchenko one of Murphy's shows if doesn't feel up to the role. The second slot would probably go to Seo, but I also wouldn't be surprised if Brandt has been learning Kitri as well. Then again it is ABT. They're pretty bad at being prepared (see: the infamous three Sylvias incident in 2016). 

I follow Brandt on instagram, and her latest story today had the caption "When Basillio shows off for kitri" and she was sitting off to the side. It seems like she is at least understudying Kitri? (Does she not have a performance of Kitri?) Also, if you guys follow Sarah Lane she just posted videos on her story of her rehearsing Don Q! 

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