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ABT 2020 Giselle D.C.


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I would love to see her dance Giselle at KC.  I am confident she will not disappoint. Nobody should think for a moment that she is a simple "Kitri".  

DC has already warmed to her charm.  We saw her  Columbine this year.  

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5 hours ago, balletlover08 said:

I actually messaged Skylar about posting the Giselle videos to her story which she replied immediately being like GREAT idea. She's such a sweet and talented ballerina I hope to see her as Giselle one day! 

The problem with ABT is that we waited way too long to see Abrera's Giselle, and then waited too long to see Lane's (one of the greatest I've seen). Management has to make a choice. They can do what they are doing or take Giselle shows from Abrera and Murphy to give more shows to Lane (while she is still in her prime) and offer chances to Trenary & Brandt. Someone is going to lose either way. Kent hanging on for so long was a problem IMO, as was the guest artist policy. A corrective is needed which will have winners and losers. It's nice that Abrera finally got to do Juliet, but perhaps Lane should have gotten that chance. 

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11 hours ago, vipa said:

The problem with ABT is that we waited way too long to see Abrera's Giselle, and then waited too long to see Lane's (one of the greatest I've seen). Management has to make a choice. They can do what they are doing or take Giselle shows from Abrera and Murphy to give more shows to Lane (while she is still in her prime) and offer chances to Trenary & Brandt. Someone is going to lose either way. Kent hanging on for so long was a problem IMO, as was the guest artist policy. A corrective is needed which will have winners and losers. It's nice that Abrera finally got to do Juliet, but perhaps Lane should have gotten that chance. 

Part of the problem is also that McKenzie is often giving two performances of a role in one week to certain dancers, instead of spreading the roles out to additional dancers.  For example, Copeland I believe has gotten two Juliets in a week during the past  revivals of the last few years.  McKenzie also often gives two performances of roles to Hee Seo.  This  policy has diminished the opportunities for other dancers to take on new lead roles.  In part, that explains why Lane has not gotten a shot at Juliet.

I think going forward that there are many roles that Copeland may cut back on or give up entirely, based on her reduced schedule this past spring season.   She can keep the entire week of Jane Eyre as far as I'm concerned.  However, it's time for others to step up into the classics like Don Q  and Juliet.

Edited by abatt
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Is Copeland the first and only example of this casting policy? It seems to me that I observed it long before Copeland was cast in lead roles and since with other dancers. And often the arguments about it are the same: senior ballerinas getting cast for performances which limit the chances for younger ballerinas to break in in the first place, and then when they get a performance,  there's no chance to grow.

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Not the first and only example, but this was certainly an issue when she was first promoted and the ensuing  two years or so, as McKenzie sought to cash in on Copeland's popularity at its peak.  As Copeland has aged, this double casting  has diminished quite a bit. 

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3 hours ago, abatt said:

Not the first and only example, but this was certainly an issue when she was first promoted and the ensuing  two years or so, as McKenzie sought to cash in on Copeland's popularity at its peak.  As Copeland has aged, this double casting  has diminished quite a bit. 

That sounds about right to me. ABT's most recent Giselle at the Met featured Copeland in performances at both the beginning and end of the run, but they didn't follow that same pattern for D.C. And she was originally supposed to have only one O/O this year at the Met. I wouldn't be surprised if the coming Met season sees her retiring roles like Gamzatti and Kitri, or not dancing them at all. I think O/O will be the one Petipa role she'll hang onto until her retirement. 

Her fall schedule is currently pretty light, as well -- two performances of Deuce Coupe and the one Apollo -- though she'll presumably be cast in some of the contemporary works.

Edited by fondoffouettes
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In view of the news on another thread that Copeland has withdrawn from her appearances this month in Argentina in La Sylphide with Cornejo, I'm keeping my eye on the casting for the fall season.  So far there is no info on the nature of her injury as far as I can tell.

I agree that Copeland will stick with SL until her retirement, especially since McKenzie allows her to modfiy the choreography.  I think she will also stick with Juliet  until the end of her career.

Edited by abatt
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Assuming Brandt is cast as Giselle (which, judging by the amount of rehearsal footage she’s posted to her Instagram, looks like a strong possibility), who do we suppose (or wish) may be her Albrecht? It would have to be another soloist as the principal men (excluding Hallberg) have already been cast. Hoven? Forster (I think he’d be too tall for her)? A corps dancer? Is Mack coming back as a guest artist or has he been left on the roster in error? Hmmmmm....

Also, for the past few years, a Giselle debut has been followed by a principal promotion at the end of the season (Boylston, Abrera, Lane). Not a guarantee of course, but something to think about.

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Skylar in the past (maybe a year ago) posted video of her practicing Kitri, but so far she has not been cast in that role.  I would be happy if she were cast in either Giselle or Don Q, but I would not assume that the video means that McKenzie plans to cast her as Giselle  in Washington.

Edited by abatt
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I’d love to see her in Don Q, she seems like she would be a natural. I think she’s probably been assigned to understudy those roles and is using Instagram to campaign for regular casting. No judgment on my part, it’s a shrewd move. She also just appeared in a video by the Pointe Shop on YouTube, so I assume there’s a bigger PR strategy at work.

 

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I truly love Gillian Murphy and Stella Abrera but time is against them and they will at some point need to start dropping roles.  Abrera is already doing so or is being made to do so.  Murphy I suspect, after some post-pregnancy retraining, will bounce back quickly and reclaim 90% of her former repertoire.  However, ABT under McKenzie had a bad policy of not teaching and giving performance opportunities to younger dancers to replace the established principals.  This process of putting aside performances to cultivate up and coming young talent needs to be done before the retirement of the older generation.  In the 20th century, there usually was a Wednesday matinee where two soloists would debut in principal roles.  In the aughts, McKenzie started coasting on his star power and guests and stopped building up young dancers.  Or he centered his attention on just one dancer like Cory Stearns, Hee Seo or Isabella Boylston and let others idle on the sidelines.  These new "stars" were not always the most interesting performers and didn't match up to the dancers they were being groomed to replace.  (I like Boylston who is a strong dancer and is growing as an artist especially with good coaching)  This was really a crisis around 2012 when the ABT male "dream team" all retired within a few years of each other, Hallberg became perennially injured and Gomes was dismissed for reasons not released to the public.  Suddenly there was just Cory, Whiteside and the increasingly fragile Cornejo to take up the slack.  There also was a mass retirement of older female principals two years ago which saw the last of Diana, Xiomara, Veronika, Paloma and Julie Kent.  

I say bring in Skylar Brandt as Kitri and Giselle earlier rather than later in preparation for another wave of retirements in the next five years which will include Abrera, Murphy and probably Copeland further off.  Skylar is a good jumper and light and can do difficult terre-a-terre footwork unlike say Copeland or the diminished Abrera (who I love but who came to Giselle at least a decade too late).  

Edited by FauxPas
remembered something
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14 minutes ago, Drew said:

ABT did not dismiss Gomes; the company began an investigation and he resigned. Have I misremembered that?

No I misremembered it. 

But the big problem is that McKenzie would nominate just one dancer or maybe two dancers to be the next big star - Hee Seo, Cory Stearns, Isabella Boylston etc.  When you have a whole generation of principal dancers who are all about the same age you can't just have one new dancer being groomed.  And when a generation retires suddenly you have dancers who have been waiting around for a decade like Misty Copeland, Deven Teuscher and Christine Schevchenko learning all the principal roles all at once in their thirties.  Everywhere else dancers are given "Swan Lake" or "Don Quixote" debuts in their twenties.

Now it seems from the Fall casting that Ahn and Bell are on the fast track being groomed to do principal roles.  Calvin Royal definitely could do more - I like the idea of Apollo.  Give Gorak some more chances?  It wouldn't hurt to give something to someone else besides Ahn and Bell - Gonzalez, maybe Patrick Frenette, Marshall Whiteley, Cameron McCune or Luigi Crispino?  Ratmansky uses Tyler Maloney, Jonathan Klein, Gabe Stone Shayer and others - he always utilizes young talent from the corps and ABT has benefited from it.  And there are dancers like Scout Forsythe who I haven't even seen in anything because they have never been given a solo - from what I have heard Forsythe is extremely qualified.

Edited by FauxPas
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On 8/21/2019 at 4:43 PM, abatt said:

In view of the news on another thread that Copeland has withdrawn from her appearances this month in Argentina in La Sylphide with Cornejo, I'm keeping my eye on the casting for the fall season.  So far there is no info on the nature of her injury as far as I can tell.

 

This article https://www.lanacion.com.ar/espectaculos/danza/misty-copeland-no-bailara-teatro-colon-nid2278741 mentions "an old injury in her tibia". No further details.

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6 hours ago, FauxPas said:

No I misremembered it. 

But the big problem is that McKenzie would nominate just one dancer or maybe two dancers to be the next big star - Hee Seo, Cory Stearns, Isabella Boylston etc.  When you have a whole generation of principal dancers who are all about the same age you can't just have one new dancer being groomed.  And when a generation retires suddenly you have dancers who have been waiting around for a decade like Misty Copeland, Deven Teuscher and Christine Schevchenko learning all the principal roles all at once in their thirties.  Everywhere else dancers are given "Swan Lake" or "Don Quixote" debuts in their twenties.

Now it seems from the Fall casting that Ahn and Bell are on the fast track being groomed to do principal roles.  Calvin Royal definitely could do more - I like the idea of Apollo.  Give Gorak some more chances?  It wouldn't hurt to give something to someone else besides Ahn and Bell - Gonzalez, maybe Patrick Frenette, Marshall Whiteley, Cameron McCune or Luigi Crispino?  Ratmansky uses Tyler Maloney, Jonathan Klein, Gabe Stone Shayer and others - he always utilizes young talent from the corps and ABT has benefited from it.  And there are dancers like Scout Forsythe who I haven't even seen in anything because they have never been given a solo - from what I have heard Forsythe is extremely qualified.

Scout Forsythe is definitely one who should be seen more . I think, she was injured last year but has returned this spring. Hoping she'll get some prominent roles this coming season.

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16 hours ago, FauxPas said:

No I misremembered it. 

But the big problem is that McKenzie would nominate just one dancer or maybe two dancers to be the next big star - Hee Seo, Cory Stearns, Isabella Boylston etc.  When you have a whole generation of principal dancers who are all about the same age you can't just have one new dancer being groomed.  And when a generation retires suddenly you have dancers who have been waiting around for a decade like Misty Copeland, Deven Teuscher and Christine Schevchenko learning all the principal roles all at once in their thirties.  Everywhere else dancers are given "Swan Lake" or "Don Quixote" debuts in their twenties.

Now it seems from the Fall casting that Ahn and Bell are on the fast track being groomed to do principal roles.  Calvin Royal definitely could do more - I like the idea of Apollo.  Give Gorak some more chances?  It wouldn't hurt to give something to someone else besides Ahn and Bell - Gonzalez, maybe Patrick Frenette, Marshall Whiteley, Cameron McCune or Luigi Crispino?  Ratmansky uses Tyler Maloney, Jonathan Klein, Gabe Stone Shayer and others - he always utilizes young talent from the corps and ABT has benefited from it.  And there are dancers like Scout Forsythe who I haven't even seen in anything because they have never been given a solo - from what I have heard Forsythe is extremely qualified.

Totally agree as McKenzie has lost so many through the years, I recall Hinkis and Votolini whom have both gone onto soloists elsewhere and am sure, as FauxPas says, given more chances than their time here. And let's not forget Matthews and Kajiya, and so many before whom we loved, and left under the direction of McKenzie! Feels like he has his flavors of the season. As in the current year of Waski, who just left to Boston Ballet, seems to be suggesting on her social media that she is getting ready for Myrtha 😊. I wish the best for her as my family and I have enjoyed her dancing all these years and see her potential if given the right opportunities.

I agree too about the age issue and waiting around for a decade, and happy those who don't see chances to move on vs sitting around hoping or praying! I know this must be a big draw since it is in NYC and when it was under Misha, but through the years I see the changes under McKenzie, plus back then there were only a handful of great companies around, but now things are different and there are more options, so I can't imagine sitting around waiting for a part of 10 years?! I can see the stamina and strength you need for the full-lengths, and there is a difference between a 20 to 30 year old IMHO.

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6 minutes ago, stuben said:

As in the current year of Waski, who just left to Boston Ballet, seems to be suggesting on her social media that she is getting ready for Myrtha 😊.

Generally agree with much of what's been said, but just one minor point to KMcK's credit: he did cast Waski as Myrta, I believe, a few years ago, but then she got injured.

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7 minutes ago, stuben said:

Totally agree as McKenzie has lost so many through the years, I recall Hinkis and Votolini whom have both gone onto soloists elsewhere and am sure, as FauxPas says, given more chances than their time here. And let's not forget Matthews and Kajiya, and so many before whom we loved, and left under the direction of McKenzie! Feels like he has his flavors of the season. As in the current year of Waski, who just left to Boston Ballet, seems to be suggesting on her social media that she is getting ready for Myrtha 😊. I wish the best for her as my family and I have enjoyed her dancing all these years and see her potential if given the right opportunities.

I agree too about the age issue and waiting around for a decade, and happy those who don't see chances to move on vs sitting around hoping or praying! I know this must be a big draw since it is in NYC and when it was under Misha, but through the years I see the changes under McKenzie, plus back then there were only a handful of great companies around, but now things are different and there are more options, so I can't imagine sitting around waiting for a part of 10 years?! I can see the stamina and strength you need for the full-lengths, and there is a difference between a 20 to 30 year old IMHO.

Both Matthews and Kajiya were getting principal roles before they left. Him with some regularity, she more and more that final season.

Their decision to leave seems to have been based on the fact that there wasn't going to be space for both of them to be principals for some time at least, and that is understandably what they wanted. Also he was from Texas and was going home.

 

Waski was getting very good roles at ABT including Myrtha. She was then out for a year injured and was just back this year. She is also not a good example of him not giving people opportunities.

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5 minutes ago, aurora said:

Both Matthews and Kajiya were getting principal roles before they left. Him with some regularity, she more and more that final season.

Yes, in fact their final performances were back-to-back Coppélias on a Saturday; he danced Franz in one and she danced Swanilda in the other.

Edited by nanushka
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I am still missing Danny Tidwell and Eric Tamm who also languished in the shadow of the "Born to Be Wild" generation.  Though in the case of Tidwell he got some roles like the Spectre of the Rose and mainly left because he didn't like dancing in a big company.  In the current crop, Catherine Hurlin also is being fast tracked and that is a good thing.  I will also miss Kaho Ogawa who retired due to career-ending injury, not neglect.  Among those who waited over a decade too long for big roles add the name of soloist Zhong-Jing Fang but she also had an injury but like Abrera was allowed to languish too long before opportunities and promotion.

Ahn who I saw as Solor has a very clean elegant technique but I have yet to see personality from him.  But I am glad he is getting chances.   Bell is very young and very promising - we will see if he turns into a Marcelo or into a Cory with time and experience.

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1 hour ago, nanushka said:

Generally agree with much of what's been said, but just one minor point to KMcK's credit: he did cast Waski as Myrta, I believe, a few years ago, but then she got injured.

Thanks for the reminder and I guess I stand corrected 😊

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1 hour ago, nanushka said:

Yes, in fact their final performances were back-to-back Coppélias on a Saturday; he danced Franz in one and she danced Swanilda in the other.

By the way Jared Matthews has left Houston Ballet after recovering from a serious illness. He became Assistant to the Artistic Director of the Estonian National Ballet.

 

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I'm surprised Abrera was cast as Giselle again -- during the 2018 season, there were quite a few reviews on this forum that she looked very wobbly and unsure in that role. I think she has aged out, I think Murphy has too TBH. 

Edited by Fleurfairy
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