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Spring 2020 New York Season


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1 hour ago, JuliaJ said:

FYI --  In addition to Of Love and Rage casting info being up now, Sarah Lane's R&J partner is now listed as Stearns, no longer Gorak... probably for the best. 

I’ve never been a big fan of Stearns, but he’s a much better partner than Gorak so I’m glad. I won’t be biting my nails in fear of her being dropped.

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On 1/23/2020 at 2:17 PM, ABT Fan said:

I saw that clip. Wonderful!

She also recently posted a long clip of Nikiya. Also, beautiful.

She has been posting many clips and many of the with Cornejo. I particularly enjoyed her 2nd act Giselle clip. Her Giselle was one of the best I've seen.

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15 hours ago, JuliaJ said:

FYI --  In addition to Of Love and Rage casting info being up now, Sarah Lane's R&J partner is now listed as Stearns, no longer Gorak... probably for the best. 

Oh good, that gives me more of an incentive to make the trip down to the city for their performance. Nothing against Gorak, but I'm glad they are giving her a seasoned partner in this ballet.

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20 hours ago, JuliaJ said:

FYI --  In addition to Of Love and Rage casting info being up now, Sarah Lane's R&J partner is now listed as Stearns, no longer Gorak... probably for the best. 

Oh what a relief! As Fleurfairy said, nothing against Gorak but after the shaky T&V I was worried about how he'd lift Lane in R&J. Stearns is a veteran in this ballet and a dependable partner. Plus, I really do like him and Lane together. Wonderful last fall in Some Assembly Required. Was hoping they'd be cast together this spring. Now I look forward to Lane's debut without any misgivings. 

Admittedly I'm disappointed that Lane wasn't cast for Of Love and Rage. Was hoping that Ratmansky would cast her and bump up her performances. Still, she could still get a secondary female role in the new ballet. At this point, I'm desperate for any additional shows for Lane. 

18 hours ago, vipa said:

She has been posting many clips and many of the with Cornejo. I particularly enjoyed her 2nd act Giselle clip. Her Giselle was one of the best I've seen.

Yes, those clips are divine! Wonderful to relive those special moments. Especially since we'll likely never see Lane and Cornejo dance together again. Her Giselle is unmatched. In my opinion, Lane is the best Giselle in the company. Going to D.C. just for her.

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Cory Stearns has commented on his public Instagram (in the comments section in response to someone else) that he’s cast in Love and Rage. Since the principal casting has already been released, I assume that there are plum secondary roles and that he’s referring to that. Ratmansky does create a lot of such parts and it sounds like this ballet would require it. So hopefully we’ll see some great opportunities for Lane, Hoven, and a few others who so far have been cast dismally for the Met at best.

 

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14 minutes ago, California said:

Stearns and Lane will be doing Swan Lake with the Richmond Ballet Feb 14-16! Replacing two dancers from the National Ballet of China. If I lived in DC, this would be worth the drive to see!

https://www.styleweekly.com/Studi/archives/2020/01/31/richmond-ballet-recasts-swan-lake-due-to-coronavirus-travel-advisory

Wow -- very cool. Maybe this will be the start of a nice new partnership. I seem to remember Lane saying nice things on Instagram about dancing with Stearns when she subbed for Seo (I think) in Other Dances

Edited by fondoffouettes
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3 hours ago, California said:

Stearns and Lane will be doing Swan Lake with the Richmond Ballet Feb 14-16! Replacing two dancers from the National Ballet of China. If I lived in DC, this would be worth the drive to see!

https://www.styleweekly.com/Studi/archives/2020/01/31/richmond-ballet-recasts-swan-lake-due-to-coronavirus-travel-advisory

Oh wow, thanks for the heads up! Exciting to see Lane receive the opportunities denied by her own company. I'm very excited by Lane's burgeoning partnership with Stearns. As I recall, they danced a T&V together ten years ago, then Lane stepped in for Nutcracker due to injury a few years ago, then again in Other Dances, and finally were actually cast together for Some Assembly Required last Fall. I heard great things about their recent Carmen as well. They do dance well together.

 

3 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

Wow -- very cool. Maybe this will be the start of a nice new partnership. I seem to remember Lane saying nice things on Instagram about dancing with Stearns when she subbed for Seo (I think) in Other Dances

Likewise, I hope this is the start of a fruitful partnership. 

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17 hours ago, California said:

Stearns and Lane will be doing Swan Lake with the Richmond Ballet Feb 14-16! Replacing two dancers from the National Ballet of China. If I lived in DC, this would be worth the drive to see!

https://www.styleweekly.com/Studi/archives/2020/01/31/richmond-ballet-recasts-swan-lake-due-to-coronavirus-travel-advisory

Yeah, this is great. If McK is going to continue to snub her, perhaps she can start a great guest artist career and dance all the roles she should be dancing while in her prime!

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https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/06/arts/skylar-brandt-giselle.html

Great article on how Brandt got her DC debut as Giselle.  It sheds a bright light on how McKenzie makes his decisions, and what a dancer has to do to get a lead role over at ABT.  I wish I could get to DC to see Brandt, but I doubt I will be able to attend.  Here's hoping that at least one NYC ballerina has to cancel her Giselle due to a schedule conflict.

Edited by abatt
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48 minutes ago, abatt said:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/06/arts/skylar-brandt-giselle.html

Great article on how Brandt got her DC debut as Giselle.  It sheds a bright light on how McKenzie makes his decisions, and what a dancer has to do to get a lead role over at ABT.  I wish I could get to DC to see Brandt, but I doubt I will be able to attend.  Here's hoping that at least one NYC ballerina has to cancel her Giselle due to a schedule conflict.

Interesting article and maybe it is just me but this seems to expose McKenzie and his dealings with his company. There is no mention of who is paying for the coaching but if it is her private funding than lucky for her, yet does this mean those who don't have the AD backing and without good funding will be left behind? Sad really that it has to happen like this, feels as if she is saying dancers are housed until they are needed, unless one is a flavor/favor of the season. Must be frustrating for her and others who might feel likewise. Plus I notice she mentioned 3 days to learn a lead last minute plus the lack of coaches? Is this a world class ballet company of local one, and that is not to put any local companies down. Just wondering.

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The story Brandt tells mirrors how Abrera got her Giselle years ago.  Abrera had performed the role in either Australia or New Zealand several months before the ABT season.  When Semionova cancelled, Abrera was ready to step in due to her own efforts in previously learning and performing the role of Giselle elsewhere.  It is a disgrace that this is how ABT works internally. 

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37 minutes ago, stuben said:

Interesting article and maybe it is just me but this seems to expose McKenzie and his dealings with his company. There is no mention of who is paying for the coaching but if it is her private funding than lucky for her, yet does this mean those who don't have the AD backing and without good funding will be left behind? Sad really that it has to happen like this, feels as if she is saying dancers are housed until they are needed, unless one is a flavor/favor of the season.

What does it "expose," exactly? Certainly it's long been known that ABT is understaffed when it comes to coaches. I don't think it's all that uncommon for dancers (and not only at ABT) to pay for supplemental coaching of a variety of sorts, and that of course is dependent on an individual's financial resources (unfair as that may seem).

This part at least doesn't seem surprising to me, in the context of a performing arts organization:

Quote

Each year, after Ballet Theater’s [sic] spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, Ms. Brandt meets with Mr. McKenzie to discuss what she might want to work on over the summer. This year she took a bold approach and flat-out asked him what she would be dancing the next year.

...and in fact seems to demonstrate healthy communication.

I'm not a fan of McKenzie, but I didn't find anything in the article to be particularly surprising or unsettling. (That said, I imagine there are truths about his leadership not revealed in the article that would make me feel surprised or unsettled.)

*shrug*  That's show business.

Edited by nanushka
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43 minutes ago, abatt said:

The story Brandt tells mirrors how Abrera got her Giselle years ago.  Abrera had performed the role in either Australia or New Zealand several months before the ABT season.  When Semionova cancelled, Abrera was ready to step in due to her own efforts in previously learning and performing the role of Giselle elsewhere.  It is a disgrace that this is how ABT works internally. 

My understanding was that McKenzie had coached Abrera for her Giselle in Australia, which was part of an exchange program, so he was perfectly comfortable casting her with ABT that fateful (in a good way) season.

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"But while she is happy that Mr. McKenzie trusts her enough to give her "three days' notice to learn a three-act ballet like 'Le Corsaire,' she said, she doesn't want to build a career that's dependent on her friends' getting sick or injured." 

"It would have been nice if I didn't have to go in and keep pushing, but I also understand that sometimes rats what you have to do to move forward." 

 

Those two quotes stood out the most to me, along with the mention of ABT's severe lack of coaching. 

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Why is her having only three days' notice to learn Corsaire remarkable? Wasn't she replacing an injured dancer? It sounds like she jumped at an opportunity when it arose. Sometimes there's a major injury and a company doesn't have someone at the ready. This is happening right now with NYCB and Siegfried.

As for having to go in and push, I always thought that's just how it often goes in performance companies (not just in ballet) — or, at the very least, that it's not a particularly remarkable way for things to work in some cases. Was I wrong to think that?

Edited by nanushka
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11 hours ago, canbelto said:

This is a pretty typical promotional piece for a ballerina done ahead of a big debut. It gives you a slight peak into company politics but mostly tells ppl to buy tickets. Theres nothing really remarkable about this article. 

I don’t think it’s typical for a dancer to float possibilities of leaving a company in a promotional piece for her debut of an iconic role. This tells me a lot about McKenzie’s management style. Obviously, he has to balance casting between his principals and up and coming soloists. He told her to keep her eye on Giselle, she gets no help at company to do that, so she gets outside coaching, and then she basically has to plead for one show. That’s ridiculous. If she had not gotten outside coaching, she would not be performing that role most likely. She is obviously paying for this coaching, something that other dancers might not be able to do. What does that mean for less fortunate dancers? 
 

P.S. I am not putting her down in any way. She deserves the chance at this role. I would much rather watch her than some of the principal dancers. But I also would not blame her one bit for moving on. 

Edited by its the mom
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46 minutes ago, its the mom said:

He told her to keep her eye on Giselle, she gets no help at company to do that, so she gets outside coaching, and then she basically has to plead for one show. That’s ridiculous.

My read of the article is that McKenzie told her at the end of last Met season that Giselle was a possibility for the next year. (This was heading into the summer break, when she wouldn't be getting company coaching for anything; he was specifically responding to her query about what she might choose to work on independently.) He then seems to have decided that this would not be the year for it after all. Given limited coaching resources, why is it ridiculous that he wouldn't invest in her learning the role?

She didn't "have to" plead for one show. She obviously has tremendous drive and pretty substantial financial resources. (Instagram is full of posts documenting dancers' gatherings at the Brandts' Westchester estate, and her parents sit front row orchestra at virtually every Met performance she's in, whether for a leading role or not.) If she hadn't launched a major, sustained campaign (much commented on here on the board) for the role, the various Giselle runs would likely have gone on just fine without her. She obviously wasn't McKenzie's priority for the role (which is understandable — I personally think she'll be quite good in it, but even the article seems to acknowledge she's not an obvious fit), but she made it happen. Again, I don't see what's ridiculous in his actions.

I don't think McKenzie is a great (or even particularly good) leader for ABT; but I also don't think this particular article points to anything very terrible about his management.

Edited by nanushka
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