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Seo is still scheduled to dance Garden Blue tonight and Other Dances tomorrow. I wonder if that'll be updated soon.

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1 hour ago, abatt said:

 

Yes, tap and flamenco are both based on percussive footwork But the mastery is in fast, complex footwork.  

 

That is only partly true in Flamenco, where the most important things are compas and duende, and both can be achieved in the most minimalist way, which can be as difficult as the come footwork

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43 minutes ago, nysusan said:

We all want to see corps and soloists get chances, and I'm sorry that it looks like the ones scheduled for the second cast won't get their chance with this, however second casts usually get much less rehearsal time than the first. In a piece like this which is so foreign to classical ballet DNA, and without proper rehearsal time I think we have a better chance of getting a good performance from the first cast. And I'm not paying to watch rehearsals.

I agree with this in theory, but Murphy, Stearns and Copeland are principals who were in that second cast and Murphy/Stearns are not new to this piece. So, that makes this quite shocking to me. (I'm not saying that a principal should be in it no matter what, just that to pull three principals is pretty unprecedented.) Perhaps, as you say, they still didn't have the necessary rehearsal time to make this work well.

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4 hours ago, abatt said:

I attended last night's performance.  Hee Seo was replaced in Symphonie Concertante "due to injury".  Shevchenko was the replacement; the other leads were Boylston and Hoven.  I can't even imagine Hee keeping up with the fast footwork of this ballet.  Shevchenko was gorgeous, and Hoven looked wonderful too.  In fact the entire cast was excellent.  I could watch this beautiful ballet every week.  I have no idea why NYCB doesn't perform it.

I attended a dress rehearsal on Thursday afternoon.  The first dance was Garden Blue, and Hee Seo was among the dancers.  She was clearly inhibited while rehearsing, and at the end walked off with her hand on her ribcage.  The next dance was Symphonie Concertante, with the Thursday night cast rehearsing.  Hee Seo marked everything but the simplest movements, and again appeared to be in pain when it was over.  I do not doubt that she is truly injured.

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3 hours ago, BLalo said:

Wow... I didn’t know. I have tickets for tonight to see the other cast but now I guess I’ll be leaving after the new Lang. 

What the hell happened? And no word from ABT? Was the whole cast just not good enough? Or were they using Misty’s name to sell tickets with no intention actually having a second cast?

It's true that the two performance dates that were supposed to have Copeland in two pieces sold very well. But I think ABT had every intention of having two casts, and here Murphy mentions rehearsing the piece. 

I can't remember a time when there have been so many casting shifts without any apparent injuries (I mean prior to Seo's injury). I wonder if two premieres, plus reviving two pieces they haven't done in a while (In the Upper Room and Symphonie Concertante), stretched the company to its limits. It sounds like at some point, the two casts' dates were swapped, too, based on this post from Brandt (or was only Brandt swapped into the other dates?):

Edited by fondoffouettes

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From up thread, it looks like Brandt was supposed to be the first dancer (in the cast list) in the second cast, but instead replaced Murphy in the first cast. 

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15 minutes ago, Emma said:

From up thread, it looks like Brandt was supposed to be the first dancer (in the cast list) in the second cast, but instead replaced Murphy in the first cast. 

Ah, okay -- so Murphy's Instagram post was from when she was in the first cast. Then I guess I haven't seen anything on Instagram that has shown any of the second cast dancers mentioning the piece, for what it's worth.

Edited by fondoffouettes

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Just now, fondoffouettes said:

Ah, okay -- so Murphy's Instagram post was from when she was in the first cast. Then I guess I haven't seen anything on Instagram that has shown any of the second cast dancers mentioning the piece, for what it's worth.

The second cast of stompers was observed in rehearsal by Dance Magazine just over a week ago. The footage (albeit brief) seems to show a relaxed and fairly prepared second cast.

https://www.dancemagazine.com/tharps-upper-room-abt-2611523700.html

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56 minutes ago, BLalo said:

The second cast of stompers was observed in rehearsal by Dance Magazine just over a week ago. The footage (albeit brief) seems to show a relaxed and fairly prepared second cast.

https://www.dancemagazine.com/tharps-upper-room-abt-2611523700.html

 

And I see now that Catherine Hurlin mentioned it four days ago in her upcoming performances, so this does indeed seem like a last-minute change.

Edited to add: It appears Seo is intending to go on tonight.

Edited by fondoffouettes

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I was there tonight, and yes, Hee Seo did dance in the premier of Garden Blue.  She appeared to be fine, so if she'd been experiencing some kind of pain earlier, she may have seen a doctor for assistance.  I can understand her wanting to work through the pain so as not to miss the premier performance.

Personally, I found Garden Blue an attractive-looking but dull ballet.  Part of my dislike certainly had to do with the fact that three of the four most objectionable principals in the company appeared in this performance.  The cast consists of three couples, each dressed in different solid-colored bodysuits (very California), as well as a solo woman.  The choreography seemed repetitive and full of acrobatics.  For example, Copeland, dancing with Cornejo in fuchsia, would do a backbend, lifting her legs high in the air, then drop them backward at the knees, so that Cornejo could catch her legs and proceed to drag her across the stage.  There was far too much dragging of women across the stage for me.  James Whiteside dragging Katie Williams (red bodysuits), and Tom Forster dragging Stella Abrera, though less than the others (yellow bodysuits).  The set appeared to represent a bright blue sky (which changed color as the different colored bodysuits performed), and a far-off horizon, which gave me the impression of a beach on a desert island.  Large wooden props were placed on the beach, one hanging in the air, and I thought they were shaped like the stabilizers from the tail end of airplanes.  Which got me thinking, is this an island where planes have crashed?  Was Hee Seo, the solo woman, dressed in a parti-colored bodysuit of white with green, an Amelia Earhart doppelgänger?  Well, healthy or otherwise, Hee Seo did nothing to change my opinion of her.  She remains ABT's most soporific dancer, twirling bland pirouettes, forcing my mind to wander.  Possibly tomorrow's cast will present the ballet in a better light. 

I was there to see the Tharp ballet, not the Lang, and it was worth the wait.  The dynamic cast gave us one spectacular performance!  Standouts included Teuscher, Brandt, Trenary, Hoven, Cornejo, Erica Lall, Anabel Katsnelson, and - yes! - Joey Gorak!!!  I was so happy to see him I thought I would cry.  I haven't seen him dance in a very long time, and he offered us the kind of gorgeous, exuberant dancing we've all known he is capable of, but hasn't been allowed to perform for whatever reason.  His partnering of Boylston (fourth most objectionable principal; a full house tonight) put her sloppy dancing to shame.  Even flying across the stage at full speed his lyrical beauty and perfect upper body placement (gorgeous port de bras) never failed.  Never.  Why isn't he dancing more?  Get him off the bench and put him on stage!!  I must mention Blaine Hoven as well.  His natural vibrancy was perfect for this piece, and like Gorak, he soared through every movement with technical prowess on full display.  Bravo, Blaine!  This was the only ballet of the evening which brought the entire audience to its feet, in a roaring, well-deserved standing ovation.  My thanks to the entire cast of In the Upper Room!

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, laurel said:

I was there to see the Tharp ballet, not the Lang, and it was worth the wait.  The dynamic cast gave us one spectacular performance!  Standouts included Teuscher, Brandt, Trenary, Hoven, Cornejo, Erica Lall, Anabel Katsnelson, and - yes! - Joey Gorak!!!  I was so happy to see him I thought I would cry.  I haven't seen him dance in a very long time, and he offered us the kind of gorgeous, exuberant dancing we've all known he is capable of, but hasn't been allowed to perform for whatever reason.  His partnering of Boylston (fourth most objectionable principal; a full house tonight) put her sloppy dancing to shame.  Even flying across the stage at full speed his lyrical beauty and perfect upper body placement (gorgeous port de bras) never failed.  Never.  Why isn't he dancing more?  Get him off the bench and put him on stage!!  I must mention Blaine Hoven as well.  His natural vibrancy was perfect for this piece, and like Gorak, he soared through every movement with technical prowess on full display.  Bravo, Blaine!  This was the only ballet of the evening which brought the entire audience to its feet, in a roaring, well-deserved standing ovation.  My thanks to the entire cast of In the Upper Room!

 

 

 

I agree. This was the same cast I saw on opening night (this time there was a casting update slip in the program) and they all brought at least 10x more energy to it on Friday night. Especially Brandt. She was kind of meh on Wed but she was fantastic last night. I also agree about Gorak. I don't think I've ever seen him look more relaxed and joyous. Even through all the smoke he was so easy to pick out due to his lyricism, gorgeous line and those beautiful feet. I'd also like to add a big shout out to Aron Bell. This was my first time seeing him in a soloist role and boy, was he fantastic!

I did not love Garden Blue, but I liked it a bit more than Laurel did. Rather than athletic, I thought it was very lyrical and that it played to the cast's strengths. There were no technical demands made on Seo and Copeland and they both looked lovely. It was great to see Abrera and Forster and I thought Katie Williams was a real standout.

The Ratmansky I just found dull.

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I saw the Friends rehearsal Friday afternoon with run-throughs for both casts of Garden Blue, so I knew what to expect Friday night. I couldn't decide if those hinged scenery pieces that they kept moving around in different formations were clever or just gimmicky. Lots of gimmicky partnering, for sure, and sculptural posturing. I couldn't quite figure out the "plot," as it were -- was Hee Seo the odd woman out trying to intrude on the three other couples and being rejected? I guess so. I have a ticket to see it again Saturday night, but think I'll skip it. Fortunately, In the Upper Room is worth the price of admission. Really love that one.

The highlight Friday night was the amazing Herman Cornejo in Garden and then In the Upper Room. I hope he stays in such fine form for the spring Met season. (I asked a friends volunteer when that would be released, but they don't seem to know. I have it on my calendar that it was released October 27 last year.) Two back-to-back exhausting ballets and he was just super, although I did sense exhaustion at the end of Room. Also very nice to see Aaron Bell in this. High hopes for him.

Someone on this site warned us about Bukovi. I mainly am just trying to understand continuations of Ratmansky's signature choreography -- super-fast with surprising everyday movement injections, sometimes clever, sometimes gimmicky, plus sudden directional changes. They did both casts at the Friends rehearsal and I don't think I want to sit through this one again either.

They really saved money on musicians with that program! Pianist for Bukovi, string trio for Garden, and recorded Glass score for Room.

 

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Last night overall was not a bad show. 

Songs of Bukovina:

I didn’t really connect with this ballet when I saw it last fall and still feel that it doesn’t fully work for me, but I enjoyed it more this time around. I’m never sure what it’s trying to depict. 

The music has some lovely moments as does the choreography. But the choreography never seems “big” enough. Maybe a smaller venue would help this ballet out. Royal and Shevchenko replaced Hoven and Boylston. The whole cast danced fantastically with a lot of energy. 

 

Garden Blue:

I can understand how some people might like this, but I really didn’t. 

This ballet is very passive... dull from beginning to end with very little variety and nothing propelling it forward. I don’t think Lang quite understands structure and how essential it is to a ballet. Listlessly moving from group to pas de deux to group to pas de deux in a predictable and unchanging cycle.

The group sections in particular showed a lack of ideas and craft: the group either skips in a circle or they’re each doing completely unrelated and uncomplimentary movement at the same time. No variety. 

There are sets “integrated” into the choreography which seems to be becoming a staple of Lang’s: two large wooden shapes are moved around by the dancers throughout the piece. Strangely enough this gimmick seemed underused... the wood often remains where it is for an extended period of time and while the dancers DO touch it / dance on it, it always feels like an afterthought and not actually vital to the choreography. Except for one moment with James Whiteside and Katherine Williams where the couple uses one of the wooden shapes as a see-saw, the ballet could be done completely without them. 

Last but not least: the design. Everyone was dressed in unitards in a color palette straight out of the Teletubbies (purple, red, yellow and green against a bright blue backdrop). Luckily the dancers, bodies looked fantastic, so that’s where the comparison to the Teletubbies ends. 

I really wish this opportunity had gone to someone else. “Her Notes” was pleasant but not exactly a smash-hit. This is a poor sequel in the same vain. 

 

Upper Room:

I decided to stay for Upper Room despite the cast change and I’m glad I did. The performance was much better last night than it was on Wednesday night, everyone seeming more comfortable. This cast of Stompers are still problematic for me - one tall woman and two short women, with two tall men and one very short man. Bell/Brandt partnered together looks silly and Bell standing next to Cornejo looks equally silly. 

Also interesting to note that the removal of the other cast clearly has nothing to do with injury: Royal, Hurlin, Williams, Lyle, Forster and Copeland were all performing last night.

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Sarah Lane has posted on her Instagram that she’s filing in tonight for Seo, dancing Other Dances with Stearns.

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3 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

Sarah Lane has posted on her Instagram that she’s filing in tonight for Seo, dancing Other Dances with Stearns.

Wow! Wish I could see her with Cornejo next weekend, but this is good news! (I do hope Seo is not seriously injured or ill, if that's what happened...)

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4 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

Sarah Lane has posted on her Instagram that she’s filing in tonight for Seo, dancing Other Dances with Stearns.

Lucky audience tonight!  She is wonderful in this piece.  Go Sarah Lane!

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The Other Dances that Lane did with Cornejo during ABT's last visit to the Kennedy Center was pure ballet heaven.

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11 hours ago, lmspear said:

The Other Dances that Lane did with Cornejo during ABT's last visit to the Kennedy Center was pure ballet heaven.

She was lovely Saturday night. I'm not a fan of Stearns, but he did seem to extend himself in this and was also notably gracious to her. Lucky people get to see her next weekend with Cornejo (who was terrific again in Upper Room).

Did they plan this schedule to use as little of the full orchestra as possible? This one had a trio for Garden, solo pianist on stage for Other Dances, and recorded Glass for Upper Room

The houses I've seen Friday and Saturday seem nearly sold out, but I have no way of knowing what was papered. 

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After reading these reviews of In the Upper Room, I decided I had to go, despite not being able to avoid Isabella Boylston.  Was there last night. The fourth ring was definitely NOT sold out. I didn't love Upper Room the way I have in the past - there were times in past years when I felt I could never get enough of it, but now I was a tad blah. Not sure if it was the performance, a change in my taste, or what. Also - way too much smoke - was it always that bad? I did like the two red pointe shoe girls, Erica Lall and Anabel Katsnelson. Katsnelson especially has an intriguing quality that makes me want to see more of her. Sarah Lane was wonderful in Other Dances, charming, modest, whimsical, and totally in control of her technique. Her facial expression, which I have often found strained and artificial, was relaxed and natural. Stearns was just bland IMHO, not appearing light or folksy, and not having the casual charm to connect with the audience. I found the Lang piece pleasant enough but with no real substance, inoffensive but not at all compelling. 

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Murphy and Abrera gave a stunning performance of Symphonie Concertante this afternoon.  Hammoudi did well in the partnering, but his solo work was not impressive.   Abrera was supposed to dance in the final ballet today as well, Fancy Free, as the woman with the red purse. After a ridiculously long intermission preceding Fancy Free, it was announced that Abrera is injured. Luciana Paris danced in her place.  I hope this is not a serious injury.  

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I was just looking at availability for tonight's performance and they are essentially sold out everywhere except the 4th ring. There are 4 seats left in the orchestra, 8 in the 1st ring and then just the 4th. I know that a lot of the tickets were probably sold at a discount but still - this is great news. Its so disheartening to sit in a half empty theater and I can only imagine how badly the dancers feel in those circumstances.

Here's hoping that Abrera is recovered from her injury. She is supposed to dance in the Lang again tonight.

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10 minutes ago, nysusan said:

I was just looking at availability for tonight's performance and they are essentially sold out everywhere except the 4th ring. There are 4 seats left in the orchestra, 8 in the 1st ring and then just the 4th. I know that a lot of the tickets were probably sold at a discount but still - this is great news. Its so disheartening to sit in a half empty theater and I can only imagine how badly the dancers feel in those circumstances.

Here's hoping that Abrera is recovered from her injury. She is supposed to dance in the Lang again tonight.

That casting has changed; they swapped the entire cast for the Lang piece w/ the other. Seo was also injured, so it's possible either or both of them warranted the change.

 

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Seo must still be injured, because tonight Shevchenko is replacing her in Symphonie Concertante and Brandt is replacing her in AfterRite.

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Sarah Lane just posted Instagram stories of her rehearsing Nutcracker Pas de Deux with Aran Bell. I wonder if she's replacing Misty on Saturday.

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