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Spring 2020 New York Season


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On the bright side, I'm saving myself a lot of money by not traveling to NYC and buying a bunch of tickets.

Romeo is a whole lot of lifting and they pair up Lane with the worst lifter? No Lane/Cornejo, no interestng Bayadere show, two O/O's for a ballerina who can't do the steps, oh and jane Eyre again???

It's clear that ABT is beginning to "phase out" Lane the way they did with Part.

Re promotions: it's obvious that Trenary is being promoted. I've always felt that ABT management preferred Trenary over Brandt and casting is showing that. In the not too far future, I see Hurlin being promoted before Brandt as well. I think they see her as the new Murphy, red hair and all. As for the guys, perhaps Forster will get principal now? What about Bell? It's unusual to go from corps to principal in such a short time, but it could happen.

Last but not least, and speaking of Murphy, I'm surprised she has so much considering the MET season starts less than a year after a c-section. I hope she doesn't push herself too much to be back in MET shape on time. That's risking injury on someone who's already been injury prone the last few years.

9 minutes ago, Lena C. said:

Correct me if I'm wrong but are Lane and Cornejo not cast together at all?

Yup, nothing. Nothing at all.

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7 minutes ago, Lena C. said:

Correct me if I'm wrong but are Lane and Cornejo not cast together at all?

That's correct. It's as if McKenzie sees a great thing, but decides, Nah!, for inexplicable reasons.

4 minutes ago, stuben said:

Completely agree with the disappointments: Lane 😔 and IMHO Hurlin is technically good but both her and Bell is quite young and needs time to grow yet into their roles, I know I will be the minority here, I know most audiences love technique and tricks but it should not sacrifice emotional connection. It is unfortunate for those seasoned dancers not given the chance like Hoven and where is Paris? Seems there is the ticket sales factor and as Hamrick says in her interview, it is "politics". So happy for Forster to get his break finally!!!

Hurlin and Bell do need time to grow for sure. But, McKenzie is now sacrificing the dancers in their prime, though he's clearly never been a fan of Lane (I'm not against Hurlin or Bell getting opportunities, quite the opposite.) 

Hoven's absence is perplexing. He's been dancing exceptionally well. Paris, is really a solid soloist; she's never been on the principal track IMO. I'm not surprised she wasn't given any lead roles. Her debut as Princess Praline last year was only because Copeland was pulled. Otherwise, she's never had a major lead.

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Glad Lane is getting a shot at Juliet. I will plan on being there for that debut! Let's hope Gorak is in the weight room as we speak building that upper body strength.

I don't think we need to see Gillian in the role of Giselle again but alas.... Glad also to see Cassie getting roles. I much prefer her dancing over Skylar Brandt's.

11 minutes ago, LadyBubbles said:

It's clear that ABT is beginning to "phase out" Lane the way they did with Part.

They absolutely are.

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9 minutes ago, LadyBubbles said:

Romeo is a whole lot of lifting and they pair up Lane with the worst lifter? No Lane/Cornejo, no interestng Bayadere show, two O/O's for a ballerina who can't do the steps, oh and jane Eyre again???

It's clear that ABT is beginning to "phase out" Lane the way they did with Part.

Oh God he is phasing Lane out!! I hadn't thought of Part but this is frighteningly similar. Giving Lane the weakest partner is all we need to know about McKenzie's attitude towards her. And on her debut no less! He knows what he's doing by denying Lane a decent partner and keeping her from Cornejo. Lane and Cornejo in RJ would be the highlight of the season and McKenzie seems determined to keep Lane back. 

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26 minutes ago, LadyBubbles said:

Romeo is a whole lot of lifting and they pair up Lane with the worst lifter? No Lane/Cornejo, no interestng Bayadere show, two O/O's for a ballerina who can't do the steps, oh and jane Eyre again???

It's clear that ABT is beginning to "phase out" Lane the way they did with Part.

Re promotions: it's obvious that Trenary is being promoted. I've always felt that ABT management preferred Trenary over Brandt and casting is showing that. In the not too far future, I see Hurlin being promoted before Brandt as well. I think they see her as the new Murphy, red hair and all. As for the guys, perhaps Forster will get principal now? What about Bell? It's unusual to go from corps to principal in such a short time, but it could happen.

I'm going to be at Lane's Juliet with massive worry and hesitation, due to Gorak. I used to think they'd be dream casting for R&J (but also her with Cornejo), but that was before he showed a lack of improvement in the partnering area.

Lane had an exceptional Met season this past summer and mostly performances with Cornejo. It's inexplicable why she's not being given more opportunities and, and I'll say it again, nothing with Cornejo?!

I'd rather see Trenary be promoted if there's only one principal spot right now. She has an elegance and old-school grandeur and is naturally charming. Her technique is gorgeous. And, there's nothing show-offy about her presentation.

I always thought the AD thought of Teuscher as the new Murphy. In any case, Teuscher has been the new favorite since she was promoted; almost always two performances of everything and a lot of opening nights. I do think she's gorgeous in the right things and she does have exceptional technique. But, not in everything. I just don't get it. I wonder if Hurlin will be promoted before Brandt. I do hope they keep Bell as a soloist for at least another year. He's carrying a principal load now, but he needs time to develop and mature.

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2 hours ago, Leah said:

Blaine Hoven has been excellent in everything I’ve seen him in. What a shame. Gorak was awful in last year’s SB.

I completely agree regarding Gorak.  He was much weaker in last year's Sleeping Beauty than several years back with Boylston.  And after last week's T&V, I'm afraid I have to avoid him.
I feel quite bad for Lane who keeps getting stuck with him and whom I'd rather not avoid.  I would much rather see Gabe Stone Shayer get these opportunities, honestly.  He shone in Harliquinade and Whipped Cream, and he always seems to rise to the occasion.

Great news about Hurlin.  Also looking forward to Murphy's return and Kim's visit.

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1 minute ago, ABT Fan said:

I'm going to be at Lane's Juliet with massive worry and hesitation, due to Gorak. I used to think they'd be dream casting for R&J (but also her with Cornejo), but that was before he showed a lack of improvement in the partnering area.

Lane had an exceptional Met season this past summer and mostly performances with Cornejo. It's inexplicable why she's not being given more opportunities and, and I'll say it again, nothing with Cornejo?!

Hear, hear! I'll be at that performance worried about Gorak dropping Lane. That is not how we should feel at her debut. I can only hope he improves his upper body strength by then. Or a casting change. 

Lane has more than proven herself. She and Cornejo are a legendary partnership. By keeping them apart, McKenzie lessens Lane. He's phasing her out, her ability and worthiness be damned. I've lost all respect for him. 

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If Lane is smart, she will start lining something up for Plan B. Because the pink slip looks imminent. I don't know how she can suffer through another season of being denied good partners and denied roles that she can dance (unlike other principals). And denied the opportunity to perform in general. Just THREE performances in a whole season? That's insane. I know she's been at ABT her whole life and I know her husband is also employed there, but the humiliation and injustice of it all would be too much for me to take quite frankly. She's at the top of her game and should be dancing everything

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According to the Master Calendar both Brandt and Lane's Desirees are TBA.  Since Trenary is with Gorak for her two, it seems unlikely Lane will be paired with him again.

If not Cornejo maybe Blaine Hoven can get a chance here. 

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21 minutes ago, Lena C. said:

Oh God he is phasing Lane out!! I hadn't thought of Part but this is frighteningly similar. 

Herrera, Part and Dvorovenko were all given dwindling opportunities until they were phased out, all at age 39. Reyes at least made it to 42, but also left because her casting dried up. It seems ballerinas at ABT have 50-50 odds of retiring on their own terms. 

I'm hoping Lane's season may be rounded out, at least a bit, by T&V, The Seasons (presumably she could dance the Rose role again, since it won't be on the same program as T&V), and perhaps the new Ratmansky full-length. She was also a superb Princess Florine, and I'd love to see her in that role again, along with Aurora, of course. 

Edited by fondoffouettes
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3 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Herrera, Part and Dvorovenko were all given dwindling opportunities until they were phased out, all at age 39. Reyes at least made it to 42, but also left because her casting dried up. It seems ballerinas at ABT have 50-50 odds of retiring on their own terms. 

I'm hoping Lane's season may be rounded out, at least a bit, by T&V, The Seasons (presumably she could dance the Rose role again, since it won't be on the same program as T&V), and perhaps the new Ratmansky full-length. She was also a superb Princess Florine, and I'd love to see her in that role again, along with Aurora, of course. 

Lane is what, 34? The other thing that doesn't bode well for her, is that fact that Simkin (one of her two most frequent partners) is now barely performing with ABT now. And, Cornejo is being saved for Copeland (and I guess now Trenary and Brandt).

I don't have high hopes she'll get T&V this time. There are only four performances and Murphy will be back and that's one of her roles. Teuscher will undoubtedly get two performances. So, unless Murphy only gets one, I bet Lane won't be cast. I could also see another dancer get a debut in the role over Lane. I do hope she gets The Rose again. She was so great in that role.

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I should thank Kevin McKenzie for allowing me to save money on ballet and train tickets, but I don't think I will... It's another head-scratcher of a season.

First, La Bayadère - why only 4 shows and in the middle of the week to boot? I'd love to see Kim again, but it's not going to happen. If they are celebrating the ballet's 40th anniversary, wouldn't it at least warrant a full week of performance? That would also give a few ABT dancers the chance to debut or develop roles, in addition to the guest stars.

The mixed rep - Theme and Variations, again? When they struggled through it in the fall season, and NYCB dances it? And I happen to like Fancy Free, but the work has a lot of detractors in the current metoo context. Couldn't they find something else? Also, NYCB dances that too, although I'm well aware it was created for ABT. It's been a while since they've done Company B, or The Green Table, or many other good works.

Romeo and Juliet: 11 performances, and not a single cast I really want to see? I'm sure the Osipova/Hallberg show will sell, and I can see Trenary/Cornejo working well, although I would really have liked to see him with Lane. I wasn't a huge fan of hers, but she wowed me in Manon last year, and they are really great together.

Giselle: a lot of puzzling casting choices, but Simkin/Lane might be the one ballet I make the trip for. Of course, they get a matinee... 

Swan Lake: 10 performances, and they couldn't give one to Brandt or Lane with Cornejo? Or maybe one of them will sub for Copeland for Act II...

Good for Forster, Royal and Bell to get several debuts. ABT really needs new male principals! I too am surprised that Hoven isn't dancing more, when they have such a small roster at the moment. And he is miles better than Gorak as a partner.

On the women's side... I don't know what to say. I hope Murphy comes back strong, and avoids injuries. For the rest... Boylston, Seo, Teuscher, Copeland all have serious technical and/or artistic limitations, yet they are cast in everything regardless of suitability and ability. But like I said, I'll be saving money if this continues...

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I might be in the minority but I haven't been so excited for an ABT spring season in ages. 

I like Fancy Free. A classic ballet ABT can actually do.

Excited for the farewell of Abrera, seeing Abrera in R&J, the Lane/Simkin Giselle, Osipova and Hallberg in R&J, La Bayadere with Smirnova and Kim, and Catherine Hurlin's debut in Aurora. 

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It does look like Trenary and possibly Hurlin are on track to be promoted before Brandt. I'm a huge fan of Brandt, so I would be sorry if that happened, but I have to say that all three of these ladies look excellent. The problem is the logjam at the top, with Boylston and Copeland dancers I avoid no matter what, and Seo who I will see, but definitely not seek out. 

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Hard to tell what logic went into the choices and pairings of leads this spring. Bizarre. Others on this board seem puzzled too. Last spring I lucked out seeing Lane and Cornejo in Manon and SB. Worth every penny. This year I can’t figure out what to see, but it’s early and casting tends to change throughout the run up to the season. The one ballet on my list is Bayadere, which I have seen many times, but I have been listening to the entire score as I walk, many times, and would love to hear it played by the orchestra. I would also love to see Murphy b/c you never know when she will retire. The guest stars? Maybe Kim, but I have seen Osipova many times and frankly would prefer one of ABT’s up  and comers. Hope that doesn’t sound like heresy. 

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16 minutes ago, canbelto said:

I might be in the minority but I haven't been so excited for an ABT spring season in ages. 

I like Fancy Free. A classic ballet ABT can actually do.

Excited for the farewell of Abrera, seeing Abrera in R&J, the Lane/Simkin Giselle, Osipova and Hallberg in R&J, La Bayadere with Smirnova and Kim, and Catherine Hurlin's debut in Aurora. 

I agree. Despite a lot of things I don't want to see, there's so much I do want to see, with all the debuts, Abrera's last season, and the sparing use of guest stars. I'm going to really need to pick and choose, as there are more casts I want to see than I'll be able to see. I haven't had that problem in several years, so I can relate, @canbelto.

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Agree with the Lane Cornejo distress. It is a paring that the AD should promote. It's pretty obvious that Lane has never been a favorite of the AD's, I'm still a bit surprised she ever got promoted. Now she's finally getting one Juliette. A role that she is incredibly suited for. Sorry all of you Trenary fans (I like her too). I think Trenary could have waited another year for the role and Lane could have been given two. As for Giselle, Lane is one of the best I've seen. To give her one (and a matinee) is wrong. The Giselle casting is not a ticket sale consideration - it's the AD's taste.

Here's my thing about Lane. She is more a complete artist than most of the other female principals, and she has grown. Given half a chance, she could be one of the great dramatic ballerinas.  IMO Hee and Boylston have their strengths, but haven't really grown since becoming principals. Copeland should be giving up some of the roles she was never suited for. 

I agree with others, that if Lane wants opportunities, for the 4 to 6 years she has left in her career, she should go elsewhere. He husband is in ABT, but as a corps member in his 30's,  he doesn't have a lot more years there anyway.  But, I certainly have no insights into how she feels about the whole thing. I just know that the ABT casting makes ticket buying a challenge for this ballet fan.

 

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“Of Love and Rage” . . .  a title which perfectly describes my feelings today since the Spring casting was posted.  I love that our beloved Sarah Lane will finally get to dance her dream role, Juliet, for us in New York.  I’m enraged that her long partnership with Herman Cornejo has been forced to come to an abrupt end.  And that she’s scheduled to dance her dream role opposite the one guy who still can’t lift her.  Also enraged that there’s nothing we can do about it.  Hopeful that Ratmansky will give her a leading role in his new ballet, no matter what it may be like.

It seems that management is once again going to try and wring every last nickel possible from Copeland before she ends up breaking something again or just collapses from exhaustion.  She gets two performances of almost everything, except for the Nutcracker, which she’s scheduled to dance at three performances.  It seems certain now that Lane has been officially designated her understudy for every show which might give her trouble, from Apollo to Swan Lake.  Let’s see what kind of physical shape she’ll be in by the last week of the season - Swan Lake week.

After last week’s performances, I don’t think Lane will be cast in any of the T&V’s in the spring.  However, I could very easily imagine both Brandt and Hurlin assigned to two of the performances.  It would suit each of them perfectly.          

I’d hate to think that Brandt might see Hurlin promoted ahead of her, the way Sarah Lane and Yuriko Kajiya saw both Hee Seo and Boylston pass them for promotion.  Brandt has the skills and drive to soar to endless heights, but I think her dancing needs a deeper emotional charge than what I’ve observed, which has been mostly big toothy grins in every performance.  It’s wonderful to see someone who is so obviously in love with what they do, but perhaps more maturity might be what she needs to color her performances with less sunshine. 

It’s insane that Cornejo would not be assigned to Sleeping Beauty with Lane.  This is one of the cornerstone performances of their partnership – the Vision Scene as they perform it together is filled with so much heartache, yearning and loveliness, I get choked up just thinking about it.  And enraged again to think that company management could actually consider breaking up such a glorious duo.  There are many things in this world I can’t explain and can’t understand, and right now this is at the top of the list. 

The really great news is that a promotion for Tom Forster may be imminent, and also how many ballets he’s been scheduled to dance with Christine Shevchenko.  After their amazing partnering in last year’s Nutcracker – they were like a dashing whirlwind of technical excellence and beautiful movement – I am most definitely making plans to attend at least one of their Swan Lakes, and maybe their Giselle, too.  I hope their partnership will put to rest anyone’s notion that Whiteside and Boylston are the best ABT has to offer. 

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I’m so disappointed with the casting, or shall I say, the non-casting of Lane. It’s bad enough that KMc’s dislike for her is so glaringly (if not shamelessly) obvious, but to cast Gorak opposite her in the (1) R&J he gave her is just cruel...oh and a matinee too? Wow.

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6 hours ago, vipa said:

I agree with others, that if Lane wants opportunities, for the 4 to 6 years she has left in her career, she should go elsewhere. He husband is in ABT, but as a corps member in his 30's,  he doesn't have a lot more years there anyway.  But, I certainly have no insights into how she feels about the whole thing. I just know that the ABT casting makes ticket buying a challenge for this ballet fan.

She may be happy with life in New York, and, she is an ABT principal, and for some the title (and salary) may be enough to hang on to. Sarah Lane guested at SFB in The Nutcracker a few years back, and then was "magically" promoted at ABT.  ;)
Whether she feels it's too late to try other things, I can't say. Anna Maria Scheller - after recovering from injury - moved on from SFB to Ukraine Ballet to dance traditional roles with her life partner Nicolai Gorodiskii (who was let go by SFB, interestingly enough). Scheller just decided to go for it and dance only the roles she wants to dance with the person she wants to dance with. Lane may feel she is doing the same sort of thing now, at ABT - it's just not quite as ideal a setup for her.

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Wasn’t Ana Sophia Scheller let go to make room for Kuranaga?

In any case, it might be possible that Cornejo and Lane might not want to dance together anymore for whatever reason. I wouldn’t be so quick to come down on McKenzie for this. I hardly think that a dancer of Cornejo’s stature could just be ordered to stop partnering with someone if he didn’t want to.

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