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ABT 2019 Swan Lake


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11 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

Wow -- Calvin Royal's Purple Rothbart is light years ahead of where he was when he debuted the role; so much more impactful, commanding and fun. It's a shame about the arabesque balance (I thought he actually lifted his leg three separate times), because otherwise it was a pretty superb performance. I'm curious as to what makes that balance so difficult; I wonder if it's the type of thing that doesn't look difficult to audience members, but is actually very challenging. It seems to cause problems for so many Rothbarts. I suppose when men usually do an arabesque on demi-point, it's often a fleeting step that immediately transitions into something else. And I guess you don't usually start with both of your feet together.

Yeah, it's too bad that Royal had such a hard time with it. I was sitting far on the right side, so he was partially cut off from my view (note to self, never sit so far on the side again for SL!). Just speaking from a dancer's experience, the arabesque balance is more difficult than it looks. It is supposed to be done slowly obviously, so to start from two feet, then have to shift your weight while raising your arabesque all while not letting your upper body and/or lower body lean back or sideways towards the standing leg, which your body is going to want to do to compensate, or coming off of your demi pointe. And, of course, maintaining your arm positions, etc. To do this slowly (and do it well) takes a lot of control and it's not a common step for male dancers, so they don't get much practice doing this in other ballets (not in ABT anyway). To say you need a very strong core (back, obliques, etc) to do this well is an understatement.

11 hours ago, Leah said:

Calvin Royal was so wonderfully smarmy as Rothbart. I feel like he hasn't been cast a lot this season, though- perhaps I've just been unlucky with my tickets. I think he could make a good Siegfried one day.

Yes, unfortunately, you've just been unlucky with your tickets because he has been cast a lot: Pierrot in Harlequinade (which I didn't like), the lead in Songs of Bukovina (he was fabulous), The Seasons, Prince Coffee, leads in all of the Tharp Trio pieces, Lescaut, and some other supporting roles. I'd also like to see him as Siegfried, though I think some of the choreography (esp in Act III) might give him trouble.

 

>>>>Is anyone attending this afternoon's matinee? I really want to hear about Bell's debut.

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16 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

 It is supposed to be done slowly obviously, so to start from two feet, then have to shift your weight while raising your arabesque all while not letting your upper body and/or lower body lean back or sideways towards the standing leg, which your body is going to want to do to compensate, or coming off of your demi pointe. And, of course, maintaining your arm positions, etc. To do this slowly (and do it well) takes a lot of control and it's not a common step for male dancers, so they don't get much practice doing this in other ballets (not in ABT anyway). To say you need a very strong core (back, obliques, etc) to do this well is an understatement.

Thanks for explaining this! I tried doing this move (as very much a non-dancer!) and my body immediately wanted to tip forward when I lifted the free leg much off the ground. 😂

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24 minutes ago, Roberta said:

I'm having a tough time keeping the list of remaining Siegfrieds straight. Are they all on-board and healthy to dance? I'm particularly thinking about Cornejo (w/ Misty tonight), Simkin (w/ Isabella tomorrow) and Hallberg (w/ Misty on Sat night).

https://www.abt.org/events/swan-lake/

 

I second a report on Bell's debut this afternoon, please.

There have been several clips of Cornejo rehearsing SL on Instagram in the past couple days and he looks to be in great form.

I’ve seen absolutely no info on Simkin. He has continued to post (non-current content) on Instagram but has not mentioned his injury or responded to well wishes, as far as I’ve noticed.

And ABT's Instagram account has a clip of Hallberg rehearsing the leap into the lake, so presumably he's doing well at the moment.

Edited by fondoffouettes
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20 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

There have been several clips of Cornejo rehearsing SL on Instagram in the past couple days and he looks to be in great form.

I’ve seen absolutely no info on Simkin. He has continued to post (non-current content) on Instagram but has not mentioned his injury or responded to well wishes, as far as I’ve noticed.

And ABT's Instagram account has a clip of Hallberg rehearsing the leap into the lake, so presumably he's doing well at the moment.

Thank you. Let's hope for a "3 for 3"!

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I was there last night. I too was largely unmoved during Act II, despite it being technically beautiful. I did get the pathos and sorrow in Shevchenko's mime sequence, as well as the moment she comes back under the spell of von Rothbart, transforming despite struggling against it. I liked Act III much better. However, I didn't care for James Whiteside. Is this really an improvement for him? I found him petulant and shallow, an unconvincing actor whose mannerisms seemed decidedly 21st century. The pas de trois was excellent, especially a springy and radiant Skylar Brandt. She doesn't seem like a natural fit for O/O, yet I'd love to see it. Calvin Royal was just terrific as purple Rothbart. I also enjoyed the committed Patrick Frenette in the Spanish dance. He has a great presence. As someone said up-thread, Zimmi Coker is a standout in the corps. With her glowing head of red hair she is impossible to miss, and she seems like a real charmer. 

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3 minutes ago, cobweb said:

However, I didn't care for James Whiteside. Is this really an improvement for him? I found him petulant and shallow, an unconvincing actor whose mannerisms seemed decidedly 21st century. 

You're right - he did have some 21st century mannerisms. Still, I found his performance much improved. I guess that's saying something from what I saw of him years ago in this role.

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21 minutes ago, cobweb said:

However, I didn't care for James Whiteside. Is this really an improvement for him? I found him petulant and shallow, an unconvincing actor whose mannerisms seemed decidedly 21st century.

I thought Whiteside's acting in Acts I-II was good, but I found his characterization of Siegfried in the ballroom scene to be oddly petulant. After the queen tried to get him interested in the four princesses, he looked like a boy whose toy had been confiscated. I just seemed so trivializing. I wanted a deeper or more substantial emotion there — there are a number of different possibilities, but he didn't seem to go for any of them.

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43 minutes ago, Leah said:

Siegfried to me has always seemed like a juvenile character to begin with, one who hasn't really been exposed to the adult world and is therefore extremely naive and susceptible to Odile. I thought Whiteside captured that very well.

That interpretation of Siegfried definitely makes sense to me, and can be one compelling way of playing his character. To my eyes, though, Whiteside's characterization crossed the line into bratty, and that makes a character a lot less likable. It was only really that particular sequence that bothered me.

(The fact that I particularly love that waltz theme was part of what made it not work for me. With its long, 4-beat first note, it always seems to me that it has the capacity to convey Siegfried's sadness, which may be why I want something more substantial in the characterization there.)

Overall, I liked Whiteside much better than in some past performances — and I thought his dancing throughout the night was excellent.

4 minutes ago, alexL said:

Seems like no one on this board is aware of this but Lane is replacing Copeland in the evening's performance. 

Oh my! How did you learn? I would give anything for a helicopter right now.

Edited by nanushka
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It was an insider info but now that she's posted it on her Instagram story it became official. Since it's not on her main Insta page I can't really tag it here.

Edited by alexL
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8 minutes ago, alexL said:

It was an insider info but now that she's posted it on her Instagram story it became official. Since it's not on her main Insta page I can't really tag it here.

Uggggggh! If only we had known!

If anyone is there, please report back on how she does! I'm so glad she's getting another shot at the role, though I really wish it were under better circumstances. (She's never gotten to dance it here with a full rehearsal period!) Still, it gives me hope for future casting that they brought her in when needed.

Edited by nanushka
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13 minutes ago, alexL said:

It was an insider info but now that she's posted it on her Instagram story it became official. Since it's not on her main Insta page I can't really tag it here.

OMG, so sorry to miss this, but how FABULOUS for Sarah Lane!  Copeland's fans will not be happy about it, but I think we all know by now that Lane will be prepared tonight and those fouettes will be done correctly!  Go girl go!!!

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11 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Uggggggh! If only we had known!

If anyone is there, please report back on how she does! I'm so glad she's getting another shot at the role, though I really wish it were under better circumstances. (She's never gotten to dance it here with a full rehearsal period!) Still, it gives me hope for future casting that they brought her in when needed.

The master calendar hasn't changed yet, but I see this on Lane's Instagram "stories" - two hours notice! Lane with Cornejo! I'm so jealous of those of you in NYC who get to see it. Copeland is still listed with Hallberg for Saturday.

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1 minute ago, ABT Fan said:

OMG! Please someone report on this. Yeah, Copeland’s fans will not be happy. 

If they stay and watch, they might be pleasantly surprised!

1 minute ago, Fleurfairy said:

Can’t believe I’m missing this! If I were in the city, I would beg borrow or steal for a ticket!

+1

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8 minutes ago, California said:

The master calendar hasn't changed yet, but I see this on Lane's Instagram "stories" - two hours notice! Lane with Cornejo! I'm so jealous of those of you in NYC who get to see it. Copeland is still listed with Hallberg for Saturday.

She hashtagged #BlackSwan so there's a small possibility that she's only dancing Odile? While sort of a nuts idea, it would make sense if Copeland isn't feeling her best but still wants to be there for her fans. 

I'll probably be proven wrong on this. 

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I hope Lane can tune it out, but you know there will be very loud groans and what not when they make the announcement. I understand that they’re expecting to see their idol, especially for the young kids. But, as for the adults I’ve always found their vocal and negative reactions to these things (for whoever is replaced, not just speaking about Copeland) to be so rude to the dancer who is replacing them.

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26 minutes ago, alexL said:

It was an insider info but now that she's posted it on her Instagram story it became official. Since it's not on her main Insta page I can't really tag it here.

I just saw it on her insta story. I wish I could be there. Is Copeland out for just this show?

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1 minute ago, Inge said:

She hashtagged #BlackSwan so there's a small possibility that she's only dancing Odile? While sort of a nuts idea, it would make sense if Copeland isn't feeling her best but still wants to be there for her fans. 

I'll probably be proven wrong on this. 

I think she only hashtaged blackswan to go with the picture. I seriously doubt she’s only doing the third act.

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2 minutes ago, Inge said:

She hashtagged #BlackSwan so there's a small possibility that she's only dancing Odile? While sort of a nuts idea, it would make sense if Copeland isn't feeling her best but still wants to be there for her fans. 

I'll probably be proven wrong on this. 

Interesting, I hadn't thought of that — figured it was just because that's the costume she was wearing. I'm dying for more news!

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3 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

But, as for the adults I’ve always found their vocal and negative reactions to these things (for whoever is replaced, not just speaking about Copeland) to be so rude to the dancer who is replacing them.

I completely agree — though I'm also somewhat ashamed to admit that I once let out an instinctive gasp of pleasure hearing an announcement that Saveliev was injured and that Marcelo would be filling in as Rothbart. (I could be misremembering the first dancer and/or the role, but it was something just like that, and definitely Marcelo.) I felt terrible cheering a dancer's injury but I truly couldn't help myself.

So I can understand (if not condone) the opposite happening as well.

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