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ABT 2018 Fall season


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ABTfan, Symphonie Concertante requires two technically strong female leads who, at one point, perform alternating double pirouettes. Ideally, they are of equal height and tech abilities, mirroring each others’ movements...one to the violin, the other to the viola. When I last saw this ballet during an ABT fall season at City Center, it was with Wiles and Part. Wiles totally outdid Part, for whom I felt a little embarrassed. So ABT should be careful with the pairings; for example, Lane & Trenary should be fantastic, if cast together in this.

If memory serves, the male lead is basically a partner to the ladies in the slow 2nd movement. Elegant and steady...Calvin Royal III? Or this may be another opportunity for Aran Bell if two taller ladies are assigned the leads (such as Teuscher & Schevchenko)?

I saw Songs of Bukovina last fall. It’s worthy of a second look.

Edited by CharlieH
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3 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

ABTfan, Symphonie Concertante requires two technically strong female leads who, at one point, perform alternating double pirouettes. Ideally, they are of equal height and tech abilities, mirroring each others’ movements...one to the violin, the other to the viola. When I last saw this ballet during an ABT fall season at City Center, it was with Wiles and Part. Wiles totally outdid Part, for whom I felt a little embarrassed. So ABT should be careful with the pairings; for example, Lane & Trenary should be fantastic, if cast together in this.

If memory serves, the male lead is basically a partner to the ladies in the slow 2nd movement. Elegant and steady...Calvin Royal III?

Thank you for this. Your casting suggestions sound devine. With five performances, I imagine they'll have 2 or 3 casts.

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13 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

Thank you for this. Your casting suggestions sound devine. With five performances, I imagine they'll have 2 or 3 casts.

I just added another prediction: Aran Bell with two tall ladies.

I would be surprised if “she-who-cannot-pirouette” is cast in this but I’ve seen crazier things at ABT.  

😉

Edited to add:

A major positive note about this ABT Fall season: “Project Millepied” seems to have ended!

 

Edited by CharlieH
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17 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

If memory serves, the male lead is basically a partner to the ladies in the slow 2nd movement.

I've never seen Symphonie Concertante, but Nancy Reynolds' Repertory in Review suggests that the man dances in the third movement as well:

Quote

CAST:  Allegro Maestoso: Tanaquil LeClercq, Maria Tallchief, 22 women; Andante: LeClercq, Tallchief, Todd Bolender, 6 women; Presto: LeClercq, Tallchief, Bolender, 22 women  (p. 82)

 

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16 minutes ago, nanushka said:

I've never seen Symphonie Concertante, but Nancy Reynolds' Repertory in Review suggests that the man dances in the third movement as well:

 

Thanks for that. Must be just at the end to hit a final pose (or something like that). Will check my docs.

Edited to add: Indeed, the lone male re-enters halfway through the 3rd mvmt and has a brief manege of leaps before the two solo ladies return to the stage & everybody dances together until the end. Awww...it was Marcelo when I last saw this ballet live. 😭 

Edited by CharlieH
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Whiteside performed numerous Balanchine ballets while at Boston, as did Cirio (but Cirio won’t be around.) Hoven trained at NCSA under Hayden, so he has done a good amount of Balanchine work as well. 

Edited by its the mom
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10 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

Thanks for that. Must be just at the end to hit a final pose (or something like that). Will check my docs.

Actually, I just found a bit more detail in Arlene Croce's Sight Lines that suggests it's more than that:

Quote

The last movement is an energetic Presto, with multiple entrées. The three principals return separately, are reunited and reseparated. The man gets to dance several emphatic solos.  (p. 84, from a New Yorker review of February 7, 1983)

 

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1 hour ago, abatt said:

Ironically, NYCB will be doing both Fancy Free and Other Dances one week before the ABT fall season.  I anticipate that DeLuz (a former ABT dancer) will be dancing one or both of those ballets during his Farewell on Oct 14. Every balletomane in NYCB will be at DeLuz's farewell. I would much rather see NYCB in these ballets than ABT.   This is poor planning on ABT's part. The NYCB fall schedule has been out since April. 

I think ABT is usually great in Fancy Free. Inhabiting characters comes more naturally to them, at least in my experience. It's a shame Gomes is gone; he was fantastic as the rumba sailor. I've also seen Cornejo give great performances in the piece. As for Other Dances, I can't really say, since I've only ever seen ABT dance it. It makes me more nervous when ABT tries to pull off big ensemble Balanchine works. 

Hallberg is essentially a guest artist; he doesn't even dance a full Met season any longer. He didn't even feel any obligation to keep his Whipped Cream performances when something more interesting came along. I'm kind of over him, to be honest. 

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I'm not all that crazy about the fall schedule either, but that first weekend actually looks pretty good for out-of-towners: Bukovi (which I'd like to see, given that I'm trying to keep up with Ratmansky), In the Upper Room (which I adore and haven't seen since the City Center season in 2012), Symphonie Concertante (haven't seen since the revival in 1983), and Other Dances (hoping for Lane/Cornejo, but Murphy/Stearns would be interesting, too). The Lang premiere might work out, too, I suppose, although I'm not holding my breathe.  Given the paucity of male principals for this season, maybe there will be some interesting soloists or even corps members who get a chance to shine. All is not lost!

EDITED TO ADD: I agree with others that Fancy Free is so overdone it really needs a rest. Regional companies all over the country do this (a good thing), so it's not like it's difficult to see. I'm avoiding that one!

Edited by California
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1 minute ago, California said:

I'm not all that crazy about the fall schedule either, but that first weekend actually looks pretty good for out-of-towners: Bukovi (which I'd like to see, given that I'm trying to keep up with Ratmansky), In the Upper Room (which I adore and haven't seen since the City Center season in 2012), Symphonie Concertante (haven't seen since the revival in 1983), and Other Dances (hoping for Lane/Cornejo, but Murphy/Stearns would be interesting, too). The Lang premiere might work out, too, I suppose, although I'm not holding my breathe.  Given the paucity of male principals for this season, maybe there will be some interesting soloists or even corps members who get a chance to shine. All is not lost!

I, too, like to keep up with Ratmansky, but I wouldn't rush to Songs of Bukovina, which I found pretty forgettable. I was sort of surprised to see it's being done again. It's not as bad as Souvenir d'un lieu cher, though. 

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17 hours ago, Drew said:

everyone at ABT would need proper coaching for Tudor especially now when they dance it so rarely.

This is what concerns me about ABT's rather scattershot stewardship of the Tudor repertory. By not keeping Tudor in constant repertory, the dancers of the present become less attuned to Tudor's method and, as a result, fewer and fewer noted Tudor interpreters develop over time. This in turn will produce fewer and fewer stagers in generations to come. John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow both worked with Tudor and can convey his intentions.  But with the great Tudor interpreter Sallie Wilson's death several years ago, the number of top level Tudor stagers is growing slim.

 

3 hours ago, abatt said:

This is poor planning on ABT's part.

I would add that it reflects a lack of imagination.

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The originals were Tanaquil Leclerq (first violin) and Maria Tallchief (second violin).  I thought Tallchief was on the shorter side and Leclerq was on the taller side.  Does anyone know their relative heights?

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33 minutes ago, Helene said:

The originals were Tanaquil Leclerq (first violin) and Maria Tallchief (second violin).  I thought Tallchief was on the shorter side and Leclerq was on the taller side.  Does anyone know their relative heights?

A wonderful video clip including Tallchief discussing Leclerq and this ballet. Hard to tell who's taller, though:

 

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6 hours ago, abatt said:

Ironically, NYCB will be doing both Fancy Free and Other Dances one week before the ABT fall season.  I anticipate that DeLuz (a former ABT dancer) will be dancing one or both of those ballets during his Farewell on Oct 14. Every balletomane in NYCB will be at DeLuz's farewell. I would much rather see NYCB in these ballets than ABT.   This is poor planning on ABT's part. The NYCB fall schedule has been out since April. 

 

All great points abatt. I wonder if ABT takes the NYCB schedule into consideration at all when building their schedule. As an aside - I will miss DeLuz tremendously. 

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This will be the first ABT fall season I'll be skipping since 2003, when I first started attending. Other Dances, In the Upper Room and Symphonie Concertante are the only real draws for me, but they are paired with ballets that are either known to be blah or are premieres (and ABT has a pretty bad track record with premieres lately). Plus, I can see Symphonie Concertante on one of the City Center programs. And I plan on a reduced Met season, after so many ho-hum performances this year. I wonder if ABT is losing ticket sales from its balletomane contingent; many in these forums have expressed they are going less frequently or not at all.

Edited by fondoffouettes
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The box office is now open, almost all orchestra tickets are available, and no casting has been announced. I think if casting had been announced I might be tempted to try to see Symphonie Concertante. No recent clips are available anywhere that I could find. I saw a long clip of In the Upper Room on Youtube and the Philip Glass music sounds exactly like the music for NYCB’s Glass Pieces. Is that true? I have no interest in seeing Fancy Free for the umpteenth time, ballets in sneakers or paired with tap or hip hop don’t move me, and based on comments about the subject matter of Afterite I would never see it, so it’s likely that despite availability of lots of good seats at reasonable prices, I won’t come in. As someone else posted here, NYCB has a good fall season, I have tickets to Jewels and the DeLuz farewell, so I’ll probably pass unless some casting I can’t resist is posted. Why didn’t they revive a Tudor ballet as was discussed on this board? That would have been something to see.

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I just got tickets for the first weekend. Yes, plenty to choose from, apparently as there are no subscribers for this, although they seem to be holding back some of the best seats for Golden Circle (or whatever).

I guess Glass is an acquired taste - I'm a big fan and the commissioned score for Upper Room is distinctively different from the excerpts Robbins choose from other works for Glass Pieces. Still, music by Glass is instantly recognizable after all these years. I love Upper Room and look forward to seeing it twice. Symphonie Concertante is an ensemble piece, along with the two female principals. I haven't seen it since the 1983 premiere at Kennedy Center. It's exciting to think this was once considered "lost" and I'm glad they were able to reconstruct it from notation.

Still, out-of-towners don't have the luxury of being fussy about casting. We have to take what we can work into our travel schedules.

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30 minutes ago, California said:

I guess Glass is an acquired taste - I'm a big fan and the commissioned score for Upper Room is distinctively different from the excerpts Robbins choose from other works for Glass Pieces. Still, music by Glass is instantly recognizable after all these years. I love Upper Room and look forward to seeing it twice.

I agree that the scores for Glass Pieces and In the Upper Room are not the same.  Like you, I'm a huge fan of both ballets and can never get enough of either of them.  The only thing I'd say they have in common is the fantastic energy level which gets increasingly more exciting  as the dancing becomes one with the music. 

Edited by NinaFan
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I just noticed that Le Jeune, by Lovette for the Studio Company, is being performed twice - once at the gala, which I could understand, and at the matinee on Oct 27. I don't think they've ever had their second company perform a piece on their own during any of the main company's seasons besides the gala. And, those matinee tickets aren't any cheaper despite a third of the program being danced by pre-professionals. I also find it odd that the third ballet on the program is a pas de deux TBA. The only pas of the season is Other Dances. Why would it not be that? Would they really insert a one-off like Don Q grand pas or the White Swan from ACT II? 

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14 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

I just noticed that Le Jeune, by Lovette for the Studio Company, is being performed twice - once at the gala, which I could understand, and at the matinee on Oct 27. I don't think they've ever had their second company perform a piece on their own during any of the main company's seasons besides the gala. And, those matinee tickets aren't any cheaper despite a third of the program being danced by pre-professionals.

This is separate from your point about appropriate ticket prices, organization of the season etc. but I wonder whether the dancers of ABT II should be considered pre-professionals?   I think of ABT II as a "junior" company of relatively inexperienced dancers just beginning their professional careers--but still professionals that have contracts and get paid even if they are in a sense apprentices... 

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10 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

I just noticed that Le Jeune, by Lovette for the Studio Company, is being performed twice - once at the gala, which I could understand, and at the matinee on Oct 27. I don't think they've ever had their second company perform a piece on their own during any of the main company's seasons besides the gala. And, those matinee tickets aren't any cheaper despite a third of the program being danced by pre-professionals. I also find it odd that the third ballet on the program is a pas de deux TBA. The only pas of the season is Other Dances. Why would it not be that? Would they really insert a one-off like Don Q grand pas or the White Swan from ACT II? 

Well, ABT is on their way to Vail.  Maybe McKenzie will see something he likes there and insert it into the program.  Or, maybe he will use Bond's "Depuis Le Jour" which several of the dancers have used for festivals this year (Sun Valley and Fire Island), especially because he is highlighting women choreographers.  

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10 hours ago, Drew said:

This is separate from your point about appropriate ticket prices, organization of the season etc. but I wonder whether the dancers of ABT II should be considered pre-professionals?   I think of ABT II as a "junior" company of relatively inexperienced dancers just beginning their professional careers--but still professionals that have contracts and get paid even if they are in a sense apprentices... 

"Pre-professional" is an advanced training level at the JKO school and others around the country: https://www.abt.org/faq/jko-school-pre-professional-division/

The Studio Company (formerly ABT II) is listed under "training" but seems to be a notch above that: https://www.abt.org/training/dancer-training/abt-studio-company/

They receive full scholarships, stipends, and do not pay a fee to participate.

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13 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

 Would they really insert a one-off like Don Q grand pas or the White Swan from ACT II? 

I think the answer is yes. It was common practice for them to do so about 10 or more years ago, and I feel like they've started doing so again in the past couple years. Maybe I'm thinking of the recent mixed Tchaikovsky programs at the Met, when they presented the pas de deux from Nutcracker and Act II of Swan Lake. But when I first started attending their fall seasons, back in 2004 or so, they'd throw pas de deux from the full-lengths into many of their mixed programs. I think I even saw Murphy in the Flames of Paris pas de deux (I can't remember who her partner was). 

It wouldn't fill a full third of a program, but I'd love to see the company revive the Thais Pas de Deux. I could imagine Hoven, and particularly Forster, being wonderful in it, with any number of ABT ballerinas...Abrera, Trenary, Brandt, Seo, Lane, Teuscher...

Edited by fondoffouettes
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