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ABT 2019 Met Season


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14 minutes ago, annaewgn said:

I think Brandt and Lane will perform their respective roles in every show. Perhaps Alexei only wanted Lane and Brandt for Spring, at least for this round of performances. 

Well, I can't deny it's great casting--I envy everyone who gets to see this....and presumably Lane and Brandt have alternates who have learned the parts just in case....

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9 hours ago, Drew said:

Well, I can't deny it's great casting--I envy everyone who gets to see this....and presumably Lane and Brandt have alternates who have learned the parts just in case....

Oh definitely they likely have understudies. And/or dancers who learned the part now to possibly perform in the future. 

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Nice to see Shayer back on the casting sheet, but, he's not been re-cast as The Boy in Whipped Cream. The two TBA's have now been filled by Klein (who just danced this on tour). I'm happy for Klein, though, as he's another corps dancer who deserves bigger opportunities. But, I'm curious why Shayer wasn't cast since he's obviously recovered from his injury. He stated on Instagram that he had torn his ACL dancing this part at the Met last season. Perhaps the part is deemed too taxing right after recovery. Hope he'll get a few Bluebirds. 

Now if only they'd release the Tharp casting. And, there is still one Ali up for grabs. I'm always impatient for Purple Von Rothbart and secondary "principal" roles like Bluebird/Princess Florine to be released, but they always wait until the 11th hour for those.

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15 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

N

Now if only they'd release the Tharp casting. And, there is still one Ali up for grabs. I'm always impatient for Purple Von Rothbart and secondary "principal" roles like Bluebird/Princess Florine to be released, but they always wait until the 11th hour for those.

There isn't a single person left at ABT who I would go out of my way to see as Purple Rothbart.  When Gomes was doing the role, even if I didn't care about the lead dancers I would buy a ticket to the performance to see Gomes do the role. 

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5 minutes ago, abatt said:

There isn't a single person left at ABT who I would go out of my way to see as Purple Rothbart.  When Gomes was doing the role, even if I didn't care about the lead dancers I would buy a ticket to the performance to see Gomes do the role. 

I would love to see Forster in the role.

That said, I would never go to see a full performance of Swan Lake just for the Purple Rothbart. Even if Gomes were to return for a one-off performance.

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7 hours ago, nanushka said:

That said, I would never go to see a full performance of Swan Lake just for the Purple Rothbart. Even if Gomes were to return for a one-off performance.

What really??? I think a return performance from Gomes in that role is well worth it! HAHA

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10 hours ago, onxmyxtoes said:

What really??? I think a return performance from Gomes in that role is well worth it! HAHA

I would see Gomes in a return performance of anything.  He got a hero's welcome during his appearances at the Joyce last summer with Sarasota Ballet.

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Having seen him perform the part numerous times before, for four and a half more minutes of Gomes' dancing I personally would not pay for and sit through a Seo, Copeland or Boylston Swan Lake. The memories are plenty good enough for me.

Edited by nanushka
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19 hours ago, nanushka said:

I would love to see Forster in the role.

I would also love to see Forster in this. I think he'd be amazing, but I wouldn't buy a ticket only to see him if the leads didn't entice me. And, right now there's only one O/O that I want to see (but, not her partner).

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19 hours ago, abatt said:

There isn't a single person left at ABT who I would go out of my way to see as Purple Rothbart.  When Gomes was doing the role, even if I didn't care about the lead dancers I would buy a ticket to the performance to see Gomes do the role. 

Lucky for us that Gomes' Purple Rothbart is on the ABT DVD of Swan Lake from 2005 -- one of the few recorded performances of his work available to the public:

https://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-American-Ballet-Theatre-Corella/dp/B000AYEI9A/

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I decided a long time ago that I wasn't going to return to ABT's Swan Lake. Just find it a pretty awful production. And Purple Rothbart is one of the reasons why. A totally jarring, cheap (IMO) interruption in Act 3. 

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48 minutes ago, canbelto said:

I decided a long time ago that I wasn't going to return to ABT's Swan Lake. Just find it a pretty awful production. And Purple Rothbart is one of the reasons why. A totally jarring, cheap (IMO) interruption in Act 3. 

While ABT's production is not a particularly good,  there have been some very exciting O/O debuts in the last couple of years.  Most notably Shevchenko and Teuscher.    Both are great, but Shevchenko leaves me totally drained from screaming so much.

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2 hours ago, canbelto said:

I decided a long time ago that I wasn't going to return to ABT's Swan Lake. Just find it a pretty awful production. And Purple Rothbart is one of the reasons why. A totally jarring, cheap (IMO) interruption in Act 3. 

For me, the Rothbart role can be a guilty pleasure when performed well (which is the case less than half the time, I'd say). But I agree with your assessment of its artistic merits. The Russian music is fantastic, so slinky and seductive, but maybe it could be used for Odile in some way; wasn't there an article in the NYT a couple years ago stating that that music was original written for her?

One thing I do like about ABT's production is how Act III runs right into Act IV and omits all the extra music added by Petipa to Act IV, which I find does not fit the score at all and totally defuses the tension. If only ABT could find a way to do the scene change quickly enough to avoid that dreadful front-of-curtain choreography for the swans. I'd even be in favor of omitting the reconciliation pas de deux and just playing Act IV as written by Tchaikovsky; I think it's pure perfection as he wrote it, packing an emotional wallop. After Act III, I think it make sense to be brought quickly to the tragic finale, rather than inserting lots of extra corps dancing or even that relatively brief extra pas de deux for Odette and Siegfried. I argue for this not based on any sense of authenticity (the 1877 version is lost, after all); I just think it makes dramatic and musical sense.

1 hour ago, NinaFan said:

Both are great, but Shevchenko leaves me totally drained from screaming so much.

Yes, I think she's the most exciting O/O at ABT at the moment. 

Edited by fondoffouettes
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1 hour ago, abatt said:

McKenzie has never given Lane an opportunity for a second chance in SL.  One and done.  

Shame on him for wasting such wonderful talent, especially since she had such a lovely debut...hiccups and all.  She certainly deserves a second chance.   I especially loved her Odette.  The longer he keeps her out of the role, the less likely she is to return to it.  

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This Met season is shaping up to be such a dud. Both programming and casting is uninspiring-- normally each year I see each ballet at least twice that week but this time around I can barely cobble together 3 programs that interest me for the entire season. I know he's supposed to be a genius, but too much Ratmansky!

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9 hours ago, morningside said:

This Met season is shaping up to be such a dud. Both programming and casting is uninspiring-- normally each year I see each ballet at least twice that week but this time around I can barely cobble together 3 programs that interest me for the entire season. I know he's supposed to be a genius, but too much Ratmansky!

What a shame that you can't find anything that you like.  I already have a stupid amount of performances and I'm trying to resist buying additional tickets until we get closer to performances (because of casting changes).    So far, only one of my ballets is Ratmansky (Sleeping Beauty), but I'll probably add Harlequinade and/or Whipped Cream as the mood strikes me.  Yes, I've seen them a bunch of times but this is the next to last eight week season for ABT, and I plan to get my fill.  And of course part of the ABT season is wedged in with my NYCB performances, but I love ballet overload in the spring!    Hope you can find something that you'll enjoy!

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37 minutes ago, Golden Idol said:

If we won't be seeing Paquita at ABT (conspicuously missing from their repertoire for decades now), at least we'll be seeing the Mariinsky's reconstruction at the Kennedy Center in October.

I know, why hasn't ABT performed it for so long?  The audience always seems to enjoy it.  It's unlikely I will make it to DC in October, but it is very tempting.   At least I made it to two Mariinsky Corsaires a couple of weeks ago. 

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12 hours ago, morningside said:

This Met season is shaping up to be such a dud. Both programming and casting is uninspiring-- normally each year I see each ballet at least twice that week but this time around I can barely cobble together 3 programs that interest me for the entire season. I know he's supposed to be a genius, but too much Ratmansky!

 

I agree with you 100%! I did renew my subscription so I will be going, but it was quite a challenge to find performances I wanted to go to. Almost everything was a compromise - a ballet I wasn't crazy about to see a specific dancer, one dancer I loved paired with another I dislike.  And there is way too much Ratmansky. I like him but come on - Ratmansky trio, his Harlequinade, Whipped Cream and  Sleeping Beauty. Four programs in an 8 week season? Its just too much.

And as to exciting debuts in Swan Lake - I haven't seen Shevchenko yet (hoping to see her this season, another compromise since she's dancing with Whiteside) but I would definitely not consider Teuscher's O/O exciting. I thought she showed a lot of promise in her debut but last year with Stearns she was just awful. Her Odette had a stiff back, low arabesques, unstretched and unheld positions and was boring, boring, boring!

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I can sympathize with the feelings of Ratmansky overload in general, but Sleeping Beauty and Harlequinade, as reconstructions, seem to me Petipa ballets first and foremost, not Ratmansky ballets.

Are there ways in which those two seem significantly similar to, say, Whipped Cream or Ratmansky's Nutcracker or others of his, such that they contribute to the overall fatigue?

Edited by nanushka
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3 hours ago, Golden Idol said:

If we won't be seeing Paquita at ABT (conspicuously missing from their repertoire for decades now), at least we'll be seeing the Mariinsky's reconstruction at the Kennedy Center in October.

I'm really looking forward to the Mariinsky Paquita but I think "reconstruction" is the wrong word for what they are bringing. As has been discussed  on the Mariinsky thread, the first two acts are a new ballet with a new libretto--all prepared by Yuri Smekalov.  As best I can tell, it does try to be "in the spirit of" nineteenth-century ballet and its conventions.  Others who post here likely have seen it and can say more about it -- though presumably on one of the Mariinsky threads where it is being discussed.

Based on video I would say Ratmansky's production for Munich though fascinating for me as a ballet fan is maybe not an obvious choice for ABT and its audience, but it was, at any rate, a genuine attempt at reconstruction of the Petipa choreography based on the notations and danced according to Ratmansky's vision of nineteenth-century style/technique.

I personally would love to see ABT dance the Grand pas from Paquita--and stylistically sensitive but still 21st-century scale dancing would be fine with me in an "act" designed to be a gala celebration as it certainly came to be!-- and it would serve the additional purpose of giving some challenging featured roles to a slew of dancers including soloists who could definitely use the experience.

Edited by Drew
Grammar
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1 hour ago, nanushka said:

I can sympathize with the feelings of Ratmansky overload in general, but Sleeping Beauty and Harlequinade, as reconstructions, seem to me Petipa ballets first and foremost, not Ratmansky ballets.

Are there ways in which those two seem significantly similar to, say, Whipped Cream or Ratmansky's Nutcracker or others of his, such that they contribute to the overall fatigue?

For me personally it's not that the Petipa reconstructions are similar to Ratmansky's original works--I have problems with the individual ballets and the frequency with which they're performed. Whipped Cream felt like it was for children; I saw it twice and would not go again. (I also kind of hate the waltz of the whipped cream tufts.) Harlequinade had too much mime, and too much children dancing. I go to the ballet for sweeping grandeur, lightning-fast petite allegro, bravura dancing--there's only so much cuteness I can take. Seeing these two ballets on the schedule over and over again gets a little annoying.

I haven't seen his Sleeping Beauty so I can't comment definitively, but wasn't the consensus that it also was mime-heavy?

Ratmansky's Nutcracker, on the other hand, hasn't been performed in New York in awhile. I'd love to see that back, as it is heavy on dancing. Specifically, adults dancing.

Edited by mille-feuille
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2 hours ago, nysusan said:

 

And as to exciting debuts in Swan Lake - I haven't seen Shevchenko yet (hoping to see her this season, another compromise since she's dancing with Whiteside) but I would definitely not consider Teuscher's O/O exciting. I thought she showed a lot of promise in her debut but last year with Stearns she was just awful. Her Odette had a stiff back, low arabesques, unstretched and unheld positions and was boring, boring, boring!

I hope you get to see Shevchenko's O/O this year as she is positively breathtaking.  And I thought Whiteside partnered her well and did himself proud.

I didn't see Teuscher's Swan Lake last year.  I saw her debut of the role two years ago, and like you, I thought she showed great promise.  Having said that, I felt she needed a stronger partner.  I’m absolutely thrilled that she’s going to dance SL with Bell this year, especially since they were so beautiful in R&J last season. 

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36 minutes ago, mille-feuille said:

For me personally it's not that the Petipa reconstructions are similar to Ratmansky's original works--I have problems with the individual ballets and the frequency with which they're performed. Whipped Cream felt like it was for children; I saw it twice and would not go again. (I also kind of hate the waltz of the whipped cream tufts.) Harlequinade had too much mime, and too much children dancing. I go to the ballet for sweeping grandeur, lightning-fast petite allegro, bravura dancing--there's only so much cuteness I can take. Seeing these two ballets on the schedule over and over again gets a little annoying.

I haven't seen his Sleeping Beauty so I can't comment definitively, but wasn't the consensus that it also was mime-heavy?

Ratmansky's Nutcracker, on the other hand, hasn't been performed in New York in awhile. I'd love to see that back, as it is heavy on dancing. Specifically, adults dancing.

This definitely makes more sense to me than the more general "too much Ratmansky" idea.

I've quite enjoyed Whipped Cream the three times I've seen it, but I don't think it needed to come back for a third year in a row, and I'm skipping it this year.

I felt exactly the same about Harlequinade. Not enough good non-corps dancing.

I don't recall that being a particular criticism of his Sleeping Beauty reconstruction — and I don't recall it having any more mime than most typical "after Petipa" productions — though there were definitely divisions in its reception here on BA. (Thus, I wouldn't say there was a "consensus" in either direction.) I quite like it and definitely look forward to seeing it again.

And I, too, would love to see his Nutcracker back in NYC with some regularity, but I doubt that would happen any time soon.

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