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ABT 2019 Met Season

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16 hours ago, Josette said:

Oh my, Whiteside as Rochester?!

My thoughts exactly... I love the book and am generally a fan of story ballets, but no way on this one! Too bad the casts aren't more inspiring - I was curious to see the ballet itself.

I'll have to make do with Manon - can't miss the Bolle farewell (and he tends to bring the best out of Seo) and Cornejo the next day!

Edited by lacdescygnes
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lot of Ratmansky. Overkill, in my opinion. Wish we'd get some Ashton instead. I guess McKenzie really did not like Lane in Swan Lake, did he? Very disappointing but at least she got a Manon and good time slots for Sleeping Beauty. 

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3 hours ago, Fleurfairy said:

I guess McKenzie really did not like Lane in Swan Lake, did he?

Apparently not. I'm sure she'll be the Swan Queen in reserve in case there are injuries. Half the run is dedicated to snooze-fests Seo and Teuscher. Shevchenko would have been my choice to receive more than one performance. 

If they wanted to, ABT could have seven or even eight Swan Queens, as they've done in the past, but either coaching resources are too scarce or they simply don't care to. I'd certainly be more excited about the run if there were a Lane Swan Lake, plus a debut (Trenary?). 

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6 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

If they wanted to, ABT could have seven or even eight Swan Queens, as they've done in the past, but either coaching resources are too scarce or they simply don't care to.

Yes, it's almost like they know Swan Lake will be among their biggest sellers no matter what, so why bother making it more exciting? This is the sense I've gotten for the past several seasons. Swan Lake used to feel like one of the more exciting parts of each Met season, which more or less justified its being given every single year. Now that it's not, its annual return has begun to feel like kind of a drag, and the season as a whole has lost some of its former spark.

(I admit that I write this very much from the perspective of one whose favored dancers haven't generally been given as many opportunities in this ballet in recent years. So of course one person's blah may indeed be another person's spark. But this is just the sense I've gotten.)

Edited by nanushka

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18 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Apparently not. I'm sure she'll be the Swan Queen in reserve in case there are injuries. Half the run is dedicated to snooze-fests Seo and Teuscher. Shevchenko would have been my choice to receive more than one performance. 

If they wanted to, ABT could have seven or even eight Swan Queens, as they've done in the past, but either coaching resources are too scarce or they simply don't care to. I'd certainly be more excited about the run if there were a Lane Swan Lake, plus a debut (Trenary?). 

 

12 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Yes, it's almost like they know Swan Lake will be among their biggest sellers no matter what, so why bother making it more exciting?

----

(I admit that I write this very much from the perspective of one whose favored dancers haven't generally been given as many opportunities in this ballet in recent years. So of course one person's blah may indeed be another person's spark. But this is just the sense I've gotten.)

As curious as I am about seeing Bell's debut, I don't think I can sit through Teuscher's boring portrayal again (complete with lack of extension, loss of iconic O/O poses, etc.). I've liked her very much in other ballets, but not this, and I don't understand her continually getting two SL's every year.

And, as much as I'd love to see Lane given an O/O again, if there was a Hurlin/Royal debut, I'd be very excited about that! Maybe next year.

I just don't see Trenary as O/O; same with Brandt. 

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6 minutes ago, balletlover08 said:

So is stella not getting sleeping beauty this year? I didn't see her on the list but I wasn't sure. 

Correct.  She will not be doing Aurora.  I guess she will get a few Lilac Fairy performances instead.

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I love Stella but I've seen a real deterioration of her technique in the last year or so. Her Giselle was shaky. Which is why it's a shame she's not given Manon, a role which she could still dance well. But as it stands all this speculating is moot because the ABT roster is injury-prone and there's likely to be many a cast shuffle between now and May.

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Any guesses on whether they'll announce more retirements before the summer? Maybe Stella is planning on retiring this coming season? But, given how little Kevin is using her, what would she retire in? Its a bit insulting how little they're using here, especially with so many Sleeping Beauty performances- they couldn't give her a show... she also performed Aurora in Paris. 

I wish we could hold McKenize accountable for what he has done to Stella's career. I know she had a big injury, but she was sidelined during her prime years. We had to wait way too long to see her in principal roles. IMO, she should've been promoted at a similar speed/trajectory as Gillian (they joined the same year, I think). How did Seo and Boylston get promoted before her? It is a similar case for Sarah Lane. 

Seems like Kevin has two approaches to promoting/developing talent. The super fast track (Seo, Bolyston, Teuscher, Whiteside, Stearns, etc.- where they're still very much developing artistically/technically in front of our eyes- making basic mistakes and/or the audience doesn't really understand why they're being pushed in front of us). The other approach is the slow (what is he waiting for approach), that claimed Abrera, Lane, Part, maybe Cornejo to some extent). I think New York City Ballet does a better job of developing talent overall. Give opportunities (trial by fire) a few times and see how it goes. I don't see super talented dancers with high potential sitting for too long in the lower ranks there (but maybe I'm missing something). 

Also- we're not accounting for all the people that left ABT and went out to have great careers elsewhere (seemingly because McKenize wasn't budging on them).. Golding, Kajiya, Maria Riccato, Eric Underwood, etc.. 

Edited by Dancerboy90210

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12 minutes ago, Dancerboy90210 said:

I wish we could hold McKenize accountable for what he has done to Stella's career. I know she had a big injury, but she was sidelined during her prime years. We had to wait way too long to see her in principal roles. IMO, she should've been promoted at a similar speed/trajectory as Gillian (they joined the same year, I think). How did Seo and Boylston get promoted before her? It is a similar case for Sarah Lane. 

Seems like Kevin has two approaches to promoting/developing talent. The super fast track (Seo, Bolyston, Teuscher, Whiteside, Stearns, etc.- where they're still very much developing artistically/technically in front of our eyes- making basic mistakes and/or the audience doesn't really understand why they're being pushed in front of us). The other approach is the slow (what is he waiting for approach), that claimed Abrera, Lane, Part, maybe Cornejo to some extent). I think New York City Ballet does a better job of developing talent overall. Give opportunities (trial by fire) a few times and see how it goes. I don't see super talented dancers with high potential sitting for too long in the lower ranks there (but maybe I'm missing something). 

I like Stella a lot but what could anyone do to hold McKenzie "accountable"? Throw acid in his face?

Herman Cornejo was born in 1981. He joined ABT in 1999 and was promoted to principal in 2003. He isnt the best example to use for slowly developing ABT careers.

Edited by canbelto

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The more I read about ABT the more I wonder why any dancer would want to work for them.  You dance very little, and only if you're very very lucky will you ever dance a lead role.  What is the draw to this company?  Don't dancers join companies because they want to, you know, dance!?

Edited by Balletwannabe

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22 minutes ago, canbelto said:

I like Stella a lot but what could anyone do to hold McKenzie "accountable"? Throw acid in his face?

 Herman Cornejo was born in 1981. He joined ABT in 1999 and was promoted to principal in 2003. He isnt the best example to use for slowly developing ABT careers.

I don't mean "throw acid in his face", but if his job is to develop world class talent, he isn't doing a good job. Those should be the standards the boards holds him too, in addition to other goals. Normally, when do you don't do your job or do it poorly, there are repercussions.... 

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23 hours ago, canbelto said:

I love Stella but I've seen a real deterioration of her technique in the last year or so. Her Giselle was shaky. Which is why it's a shame she's not given Manon, a role which she could still dance well. But as it stands all this speculating is moot because the ABT roster is injury-prone and there's likely to be many a cast shuffle between now and May.

 

I agree. As much as I love Stella, I think management may have had her best interest in mind when they didn't cast her as Aurora this coming season. Even though she was lovely the last time around, I recall that her Rose Adagio was extremely tense. Her characterization of Lilac Fairy is peerless, now that Part is gone, so I do hope she continues to be cast in that role. 

I think the fact that she wasn't cast last season as Gamzatti, a role she's danced a hundred times, was a sign that she's going to start retiring the more technically demanding roles in her rep. 

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Stella was held back for the same reason that Sarah was — the revolving door of international guest artists that took the lead roles. It was a system that destroyed company morale and contributed to a big decline in audience esteem. It’s still going on to an extent with the men, with part-time Hallberg, Bolle, Simkin and Lendorf. Copeland  would have probably been stalled as soloist a lot longer, if indefinitely, if she hadn’t created her own marketing and publicity and made herself into a household name. 

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1 minute ago, Fleurfairy said:

Stella was held back for the same reason that Sarah was — the revolving door of international guest artists that took the lead roles. It was a system that destroyed company morale and contributed to a big decline in audience esteem. It’s still going on to an extent with the men, with part-time Hallberg, Bolle, Simkin and Lendorf. Copeland  would have probably been stalled as soloist a lot longer, if indefinitely, if she hadn’t created her own marketing and publicity and made herself into a household name. 

I don't think its fair to say this situation is the same with regards to those men. Lendorf has made it clear ABT is his priority, he's been out due to injury and has seemingly (social media etc) been very involved in the company nonetheless.

 

Simkin and Hallberg are cutting back their involvement for various reasons, but they are long time company members--in Hallberg's case coming up through the company and still being very involved in company initiatives (promoting young male dancers and choreographers).

 

The only person to whom it does apply is Bolle--but he is leaving after this season so no longer an issue.

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On 10/25/2018 at 4:41 PM, ABT Fan said:

Shocked Copeland didn't get a second O/O. Hammoudi is cast in virtually nothing. And, what about Shayer??

Clearly, all of their hopes for the the next leading man/principal are all pinned on Bell. I didn't see his Romeo, but in what I've seen I do think he has a lot of potential and absolutely want to see him developed. But, what about the other guys? Very unfortunate that neither Hoven nor Forster got a big debut. They're both in their early to mid 30's, so if it's not happening next year, I doubt it will. 

Hallberg cast in 3 performances - 2 Des Grieux, 1 SL. Not holding my breath on any of those.

I bet that was Copeland's choice. She dances much more beautifully when not in the 'high pressure' roles (she was great in everything I saw last Spring except Swan Lake, in which she seemed unsteady). I think Manon and Jane Eyre are promising roles for her...she brings a lot of freshness to the more youthful dramatic roles for me. 

Really hoping Jonathan Klein gets one of those Whipped Cream slots.  Bell is wonderful but If find him to be a better partner than an engaging dancer, if that makes sense. 

Forster had some minor problems partnering Shevchenko in Firebird last Spring (then again, who can keep up with Shevchenko anymore?)...maybe that's why he isn't landing a lot of major partnering leads? 

So happy that Gorak got a SB. Prince Desiree is a perfect role for him. 

Edited by Inge

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4 hours ago, Inge said:

I bet that was Copeland's choice. She dances much more beautifully when not in the 'high pressure' roles (she was great in everything I saw last Spring except Swan Lake, in which she seemed unsteady). I think Manon and Jane Eyre are promising roles for her...she brings a lot of freshness to the more youthful dramatic roles for me. 


 

Since Copeland recently only has danced SL with Cornejo, it could have also been Cornejo's wishes not to dance SL twice.  He is not young and has had numerous injuries.  Since SL sells no matter who dances the lead, it doesn't make much difference for box office receipts whether Copeland is dancing SL twice or once.  It actually makes more sense to feature her in ballets that otherwise don't sell very well.   I am surprised that Copeland is not cast as Manon or in the secondary lead, Lescaut's Mistress.  

 

Speaking of Herman, 2019 is his 20 year anniversary with ABT.  Is there any info about which show will be his 20 year celebration? 

Edited by abatt

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10 hours ago, abatt said:

Speaking of Herman, 2019 is his 20 year anniversary with ABT.  Is there any info about which show will be his 20 year celebration? 

That’s odd it wasn’t mentioned in the press release. (Gomes, Abrera and Murphy’s anniversaries were mentioned in the season press releases.) I guess it’s possible Cornejo said he didn’t want the fanfare, or that the company is no longer marking these anniversaries. But I hope they are just waiting to announce the anniversary performance separately. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

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Yes, that is odd it wasn't mentioned in the press release. I sure hope they're not discontinuing the celebrations. I'd have voted for it to be held during one of his Des Grieux performances (since it's his debut and he recently said that that was always a role he wanted to dance), but Bolle is retiring in the same role. So, that may overshadow him. Sleeping Beauty?

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On 10/25/2018 at 6:33 PM, Josette said:

Oh my, Whiteside as Rochester?!

Why?  I think he'd make an excellent Rochester and can easily picture him in the aristocratic, mysterious and broody role.  

Edited by NinaFan

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18 minutes ago, NinaFan said:

Why?  I think he'd make an excellent Rochester and can easily picture him in the aristocratic, mysterious and broody role.  

I agree. Are we forgetting that Rochester was moody and intense? Odd looking yet strangely handsome? I think Whiteside is the obvious choice. Not to mention he's also the sturdiest partner in (what seems like?) a very partnering-heavy role. 

If we're going by the book, Stearns and Forster are the weirder casting choices (though I'm looking forward to seeing Forster as well). Honestly in looking through the ABT male roster, I'm having trouble visualizing many of the dancers as this character. Hallberg has a good look for it, but he's been rather mild in his characterizations lately. 

 

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Why no Manon for Alban Lendorf?  Has anyone watched the full Royal Danish Ballet version on Youtube? Probably the best (online) version ever.  

 

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I was on the Met Opera's website perusing Spring performances today, and curiously, though ABT has said nothing about it (as far as I know) Olga Smirnova is listed dancing with the company in the spring: two performances of Le Corsaire (as Guinare), Manon (as Lescaut's Mistress), Harlequinade (as Pierette) and Whipped Cream (as Princess Tea Flower.)

https://www.metopera.org/season/2019-abt/le-corsaire/

Is this perhaps a mistake on the Met's part? (There are other mistakes—Hee Seo is listed as dancing Prince Desire, for example.) I would be surprised if the Met let slip a Guest Artist before it was officially announced by ABT, but it seems like a difficult error to make accidentally on the Met's part.

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10 minutes ago, vendangeuse said:

I was on the Met Opera's website perusing Spring performances today, and curiously, though ABT has said nothing about it (as far as I know) Olga Smirnova is listed dancing with the company in the spring: two performances of Le Corsaire (as Guinare), Manon (as Lescaut's Mistress), Harlequinade (as Pierette) and Whipped Cream (as Princess Tea Flower.)

https://www.metopera.org/season/2019-abt/le-corsaire/

Is this perhaps a mistake on the Met's part? (There are other mistakes—Hee Seo is listed as dancing Prince Desire, for example.) I would be surprised if the Met let slip a Guest Artist before it was officially announced by ABT, but it seems like a difficult error to make accidentally on the Met's part.

If this is correct, she is replacing Stella Abrera in these performances.  Stella is not listed among the performers.

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10 minutes ago, vendangeuse said:

I was on the Met Opera's website perusing Spring performances today, and curiously, though ABT has said nothing about it (as far as I know) Olga Smirnova is listed dancing with the company in the spring: two performances of Le Corsaire (as Guinare), Manon (as Lescaut's Mistress), Harlequinade (as Pierette) and Whipped Cream (as Princess Tea Flower.)

https://www.metopera.org/season/2019-abt/le-corsaire/

Is this perhaps a mistake on the Met's part? (There are other mistakes—Hee Seo is listed as dancing Prince Desire, for example.) I would be surprised if the Met let slip a Guest Artist before it was officially announced by ABT, but it seems like a difficult error to make accidentally on the Met's part.

I actually wouldn't be surprised; the Met site's info has often in the past been ahead of ABT's direct info (though not, that I can recall, in terms of revealing a specific guest artist—but it just doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility and seems like the most likely explanation for what you saw).

That's a lot of performances for a guest artist, over a good number of weeks.

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