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ABT Offstage


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From the company:

ABT OFFSTAGE, MAY 1824, 2020 La Bayadère at 40

In this weekly online series running through July 4, American Ballet Theatre OffStage offers diverse behind-the-scenes experiences of America’s National Ballet Company®. The second week of ABT OffStage features conversations, ballet classes and blog posts to honor the 40th Anniversary of Natalia Makarova’s staging of La Bayadère.

#ABTMetMemory: Susan Jones
Monday, May 18 at 12pm ET on YouTube: 
ABT Ballet Mistress Susan Jones shares her memories of working with Natalia Makarova and the legacy of the Kingdom of the Shades scene as a stager of
La Bayadère. The video will remain on ABT’s YouTube channel for future viewings.

Guest Artist Spotlight: Olga Smirnova and Kimin Kim
Tuesday, May 19 on ABT.org: 
A blog post will feature Guest Artists Olga Smirnova and Kimin Kim, who were to appear with ABT for one performance during the Met season. Visit www.abt.org/abtoffstage.

Debuts Deferred: Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell
Wednesday, May 20 on ABT.org, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: 
See a video of Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell rehearsing the roles of Gamzatti and Solor, while sheltering in place. Read a Q&A with Hurlin and Bell on their experience anticipating their debuts at www.abt.org/abtoffstage.

    

ABT@80: A Fond Look Back with Natalia Makarova Thursday, May 21 on ABT.org: ABT will honor the 40thAnniversary of the World Premiere of La Bayadère with a special tribute.

ABT Classics as Ballet Classes: La Bayadère with Susan Jaffe Friday, May 22 at 12pm ET on YouTube: Former ABT Principal Dancer Susan Jaffe will teach a free ballet class inspired by
La Bayadère.

ABT Weekend Talk Series: From One Gamzatti to Another
Saturday, May 23 at 12pm ET on YouTube: 
Former ABT
Principal Dancer Cynthia Harvey, who originated the role of
Gamzatti, will discuss the iconic role with current ABT Principal Dancer Isabella Boylston. The conversation 
will remain on ABT’s YouTube channel for future viewings.

Joseph Gorak as the Bronze Idol in La Bayadère. Photo: Marty Sohl.

 

Hair and Makeup Tutorial: Painting the Bronze Idol
Sunday, May 24 on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: 
Go behind the scenes with ABT’s hair and makeup team who reveal what it takes to transform a dancer into the Bronze Idol from Act III.

Step into the set of La Bayadère! Visit www.abt.org/abtoffstage to download a free background for your next virtual meeting.

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More news:

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE JOINS NEW YORK CARES
TO ASSIST VOLUNTEER EFFORTS FOR THE ACTORS FUND AND KEEN

Building on the success of American Ballet Theatre’s “80 Hours of Service” with the New York Cares Coat Drive, which kicked off the Company’s 80th Anniversary earlier this year, ABT staff and artists are again joining forces with New York Cares to serve New Yorkers in need. In addition, ABT will begin its first collaboration with KEEN, Kids Enjoy Exercise Now, to bring creative movement to children and young adults with disabilities.

During the world health crisis resulting from COVID-19, New York Cares continues to serve the NYC community by mobilizing New Yorkers in volunteer service. To aid in this effort, volunteers from American Ballet Theatre will participate in virtual phone banking to assist seniors and other adults served by The Actors Fund, a human services organization focused on the needs of the entertainment community, including dancers. This socially distanced activity will take place through one-on-one phone calls to clients of The Actors Fund. The calls will serve as an important source of socialization and a way to connect those in need to appropriate support.

American Ballet Theatre will extend its service by working with KEEN, Kids Enjoy Exercise Now, a New York Cares Community Partner. Participants in KEEN, an athletics-based program open to youths with physical or development disabilities, will be given exclusive access to free online creative movement classes, designed by ABT Teaching Artists and tied to themes around ABT’s repertory. KEEN families will gain insight into ballet through exposure to ABTKids Daily activities and virtual dance classes.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for ABT artists and staff to share the warmth and empathy that is the hallmark of American Ballet Theatre,” said ABT Executive Director Kara Medoff Barnett. We are grateful to our partners at New York Cares for their incredible leadership and exemplary model of service to the city we call home. We are proud to partner with New York Cares, The Actors Fund, and KEEN to offer our time and talents to our fellow New Yorkers.”

For more information on American Ballet Theatre, please visit www.abt.org.

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ABT finally offers some clips. This is a nice video to celebrate the anniversary of Makarova's 40th anniversary of La Bayadere, includes an interview with Natalia Makarova and clips of her performance back from the 70s (<sigh> back in the heyday of PBS's culture offerings): 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy5I-hdtFfg

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I'll give credit--the classes with Stella/Sascha and Susan Jaffe have been pretty enjoyable. It's not "footage unearthed from the archives" but it's probably the type of content they should be doing regularly during Met season to familiarize people with the ballets. 

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Next week"

ABT OFFSTAGE, MAY 2531 2020 Romeo and Juliet

In this weekly online series running through July 4, American Ballet Theatre OffStage offers diverse behind-the-scenes experiences of America’s National Ballet Company®. The third week of ABT OffStage features conversations, ballet classes and blog posts themed to Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet.

#ABTMetMemory: Alexandre Hammoudi
Monday, May 25 at 12pm ET on YouTube and Instagram: 
ABT Soloist Alexandre Hammoudi, who has danced the roles of Tybalt and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, will share his favorite Met season memories. The video will remain on ABT’s YouTube channel and IGTV for future viewings.

Guest Artist Spotlight: Natalia Osipova
Tuesday, May 26 on ABT.org: 
Guest Artist Natalia Osipova was set to reunite with ABT Principal Dancer David Hallberg for one special performance of Romeo and Juliet this season. Visit ABT’s website for a feature on Osipova at www.abt.org/abtoffstage.

   

Debut Deferred: Cassandra Trenary
Wednesday, May 27 on ABT.org, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: 
Prior to shelter-in-place orders, ABT Soloist Cassandra Trenary had been rehearsing the role of Juliet for her premiere at the Abu Dhabi Festival and her New York debut at the Met. Visit ABT’s social media channels to see a rehearsal video and ABT’s website for a Q&A with Trenary.

Hee Seo and Cory Stearns in Romeo and Juliet. Photo: Rosalie O’Connor.

 

ABT@80: A Fond Look Back with ABT’s First Romeo
Thursday, May 28 on YouTube and ABT.org: Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo
and Juliet 
was given its ABT Premiere in 1985, danced by Leslie Browne and
Robert La Fosse. View a special feature on La Fosse, a former Principal Dancer and current faculty member at the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, on YouTube and 
ABT’s website.

ABT Classics as Ballet Classes: Romeo and Juliet with Devon Teuscher and Cory Stearns
Friday, May 29 at 12pm ET on YouTube: 
ABT Principal Dancers Devon Teuscher and Cory Stearns will teach a free ballet class inspired by Romeo and Juliet. The video will be available on ABT YouTube channel.

ABT Weekend Talk Series: Misty Copeland and Calvin Royal III with Susan Fales-Hill
Saturday, May 30 at 12pm ET on YouTube: 
ABT Principal Dancer Misty Copeland and Soloist Calvin Royal III were scheduled to perform Romeo and Juliet together this season. They will discuss the iconic roles and the significance of this performance with ABT Trustee Susan Fales-Hill. The conversation will remain on ABT’s YouTube channel for future viewings.

Hair and Makeup Feature: Styling the Harlot Wigs
Sunday, May 31 on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: 
Rena Most and Jill Haley of ABT’s Wigs and Makeup team share background on styling of the unique wigs for the role of Harlot in Romeo and Juliet.

Visit www.abt.org/abtoffstage to download a free Romeo and Juliet background for your next virtual meeting!

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Upcoming week: 

 

ABT OFFSTAGE, MAY 2531 2020 Romeo and Juliet

In this weekly online series running through July 4, American Ballet Theatre OffStage offers diverse behind-the-scenes experiences of America’s National Ballet Company®. The third week of ABT OffStage features conversations, ballet classes and blog posts themed to Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet.

#ABTMetMemory: Alexandre Hammoudi
Monday, May 25 at 12pm ET on YouTube and Instagram: 
ABT Soloist Alexandre Hammoudi, who has danced the roles of Tybalt and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, will share his favorite Met season memories. The video will remain on ABT’s YouTube channel and IGTV for future viewings.

Guest Artist Spotlight: Natalia Osipova
Tuesday, May 26 on ABT.org: 
Guest Artist Natalia Osipova was set to reunite with ABT Principal Dancer David Hallberg for one special performance of Romeo and Juliet this season. Visit ABT’s website for a feature on Osipova at www.abt.org/abtoffstage.

 

    

Debut Deferred: Cassandra Trenary
Wednesday, May 27 on ABT.org, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: 
Prior to shelter-in-place orders, ABT Soloist Cassandra Trenary had been rehearsing the role of Juliet for her premiere at the Abu Dhabi Festival and her New York debut at the Met. Visit ABT’s social media channels to see a rehearsal video and ABT’s website for a Q&A with Trenary.

Hee Seo and Cory Stearns in Romeo and Juliet. Photo: Rosalie O’Connor.

 

ABT@80: A Fond Look Back with ABT’s First Romeo
Thursday, May 28 on YouTube and ABT.org: Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo
and Juliet 
was given its ABT Premiere in 1985, danced by Leslie Browne and
Robert La Fosse. View a special feature on La Fosse, a former Principal Dancer and current faculty member at the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, on YouTube and 
ABT’s website.

ABT Classics as Ballet Classes: Romeo and Juliet with Devon Teuscher and Cory Stearns
Friday, May 29 at 12pm ET on YouTube: 
ABT Principal Dancers Devon Teuscher and Cory Stearns will teach a free ballet class inspired by Romeo and Juliet. The video will be available on ABT YouTube channel.

ABT Weekend Talk Series: Misty Copeland and Calvin Royal III with Susan Fales-Hill
Saturday, May 30 at 12pm ET on YouTube: 
ABT Principal Dancer Misty Copeland and Soloist Calvin Royal III were scheduled to perform Romeo and Juliet together this season. They will discuss the iconic roles and the significance of this performance with ABT Trustee Susan Fales-Hill. The conversation will remain on ABT’s YouTube channel for future viewings.

Hair and Makeup Feature: Styling the Harlot Wigs
Sunday, May 31 on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: 
Rena Most and Jill Haley of ABT’s Wigs and Makeup team share background on styling of the unique wigs for the role of Harlot in Romeo and Juliet.

Visit www.abt.org/abtoffstage to download a free Romeo and Juliet background for your next virtual meeting!

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I can't say I think it's a great idea for ABT to be so heavily focused on memorializing this phantom season that's not really happening.

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Omg for real... the "debut deferred" series just sounds so depressing. Why would anybody other than maybe die-hard fans of those particular dancers want to watch that?  I haven't watched, and I don't plan to watch, any of ABT's online offerings. Whatever the reason for ABT not streaming past performances, they're missing out on valuable opportunities to show the world what we're actually missing in their absence. 

I admire NYCB's fundraising strategy of showing videos that elicit joy and appreciation -- not pity -- from audiences and donors. 

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32 minutes ago, JuliaJ said:

Omg for real... the "debut deferred" series just sounds so depressing. Why would anybody other than maybe die-hard fans of those particular dancers want to watch that?  I haven't watched, and I don't plan to watch, any of ABT's online offerings. Whatever the reason for ABT not streaming past performances, they're missing out on valuable opportunities to show the world what we're actually missing in their absence. 

I don't disagree, but it occurs to me that the "debut deferred" series is also a message to some of their rising stars (e.g., Aran Bell) that he's appreciated and they hope he doesn't leave. 

As discussed elsewhere, I wonder if ABT controls the rights to some of the things we most want to see, like the Live from Lincoln Center series that's scheduled for next week. The archival footage I've looked at in the NYPL Dance Collection is definitely not suitable for even on-line showing. They've bounced around through so many theaters, even the archival footage might be unacceptable. E.g., the world premiere of Push Comes to Shove in January 1976 (a memory I shall always treasure!) was at the Uris Theater, which has been torn down and might not have had minimally acceptable recording facilities. I don't know. The world premieres of Baryshnikov's Don Quixote and his Nutcracker were both at the Kennedy Center in the late 70s. KenCen seems to have recording facilities, but we don't know what they chose to save.

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I have not seen any mention of Sarah Lane's Juliet that was to be her ABT debut on May 28....

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13 minutes ago, sz said:

I have not seen any mention of Sarah Lane's Juliet that was to be her ABT debut on May 28....

They only seem to be focusing on the soloists who are “rising stars “. They haven’t included Forster in any of the debuts deferred series either, maybe that is forthcoming, but out of the entire company he had the most debuts scheduled.

Cate Hurlin has posted on her IG clips of her and Bell dancing Bayadere and of the Gamzatti solo. Those are worth checking out.

 

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3 hours ago, JuliaJ said:

Omg for real... the "debut deferred" series just sounds so depressing. Why would anybody other than maybe die-hard fans of those particular dancers want to watch that?  I haven't watched, and I don't plan to watch, any of ABT's online offerings. Whatever the reason for ABT not streaming past performances, they're missing out on valuable opportunities to show the world what we're actually missing in their absence. 

I admire NYCB's fundraising strategy of showing videos that elicit joy and appreciation -- not pity -- from audiences and donors. 

1 hour ago, sz said:

I have not seen any mention of Sarah Lane's Juliet that was to be her ABT debut on May 28....

I concur with both, where is Lane and Forster? As a fan of both, I feel that they have worked so hard all these years and deserve a bit more effort on the company's part vs to be "forgotten" for the sake of the up and comings, I am sure they will have their day in the sun. Back to NYCB admiration here!

 

 

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8 hours ago, JuliaJ said:

Omg for real... the "debut deferred" series just sounds so depressing. Why would anybody other than maybe die-hard fans of those particular dancers want to watch that?  I haven't watched, and I don't plan to watch, any of ABT's online offerings. Whatever the reason for ABT not streaming past performances, they're missing out on valuable opportunities to show the world what we're actually missing in their absence. 

I admire NYCB's fundraising strategy of showing videos that elicit joy and appreciation -- not pity -- from audiences and donors. 

Agreed on all points, but I did watch the interview with Hammoudi.  The video where Isabella Boyton interviews Cynthia Harvey was almost unwatchable and I was unable to get past 10 minutes in.  Perhaps I have been spoiled by Megan Fairchild's excellent interviewing skills, but Boylston was lackluster.   Cynthia Harvey is a legend to me and needed a better interviewer.  ABT is going to need to start upping their level of videos...

 

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45 minutes ago, ECat said:

Agreed on all points, but I did watch the interview with Hammoudi.  The video where Isabella Boyton interviews Cynthia Harvey was almost unwatchable and I was unable to get past 10 minutes in.  Perhaps I have been spoiled by Megan Fairchild's excellent interviewing skills, but Boylston was lackluster.   Cynthia Harvey is a legend to me and needed a better interviewer.  ABT is going to need to start upping their level of videos...

 

ECat I was going to write this but you wrote it for me. I'm really loving the Megan Fairchild interviews!

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16 hours ago, vipa said:

ECat I was going to write this but you wrote it for me. I'm really loving the Megan Fairchild interviews!

Oh aren't they wonderful?!?!  Megan just put up an interview with Indiana Woodward which is very interesting.

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I thought the "debut deferred" feature was a good idea--not depressing, but a way to acknowledge and show both what its dancers have accomplished and what they and we are losing this season.  Especially since debuts were a big part of the planned season. (And I'm curious to see rehearsal footage while realizing that dancers don't necessarily want rehearsal footage to be shape people's ideas of their ability in a role.) 

:offtopic:I agree that Megan Fairchild is an excellent interviewer--and interviewing seems to me to be one of those skills that is harder than it looks!

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That is very beautiful. Now, that, makes me want to see the ballet in the theater (in a couple of years!).

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2 hours ago, Dale said:

That is very beautiful. Now, that, makes me want to see the ballet in the theater (in a couple of years!).

I had the identical reaction. Thank you @canbelto for posting....

 

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On 5/26/2020 at 4:15 PM, stuben said:

I concur with both, where is Lane and Forster? As a fan of both, I feel that they have worked so hard all these years and deserve a bit more effort on the company's part vs to be "forgotten" for the sake of the up and comings, I am sure they will have their day in the sun. Back to NYCB admiration here!

 

 

Hear hear! Lane and Forster are long time veterans of the company who severely suffered from the guest star policy. Now they are both being overlooked in favor of the younger, management-favored rising stars. How hard would it have really been to include Lane and Forster in the debut videos? Even now off stage, management shows what they really value. Just further confirming my dislike. When performing is allowed, I will only go to a select few. I'm really not happy with ABT and the direction it's taking. 

(In other news, it appears that Copeland has deleted her Instagram account after an argument with Lane. Lane natively made a post that included the hashtag "all lives matter" and Copeland called her out on it. Lane explained that she did not know about the negative connotations of #alllivesmatter and proceeded to change it to #blacklivesmatter. Others felt that Copeland was unfairly harsh on Lane, who had good intentions, acknowledged her own naivete and changed the hashtag. Copeland had already deleted her comments and entire account when I came across Lane's post. I don't know if the exchange with Lane was the sole reason for Copeland deleting her account, but it's a pretty good guess. I'm sure she'll be back soon enough.)

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If Copeland deleted her account, it only lasted a few minutes because it's definitely up and running. So are all the comments under Lane's post. I just read every comment in that very long thread. I'm sorry, but I agree with those saying that Copeland took it just a bit too far. At one point, Misty implies that insensitive mistakes shouldn't be made, as in ever. I was going to agree with that until I read the response to that comment. Mistakes will be made and that's how one learns. Has she never made mistakes that may have hurt others? I'm sure she has. It's one thing to be openly racist or even intentionally making jokes that are definitely inappropriate. It's another thing to make a mistake because you didn't know that a hashtag that looks innocent is in fact used by really awful people to help push their just as awful agenda. Anyway, she changed the hashtag and even acknowledged her mistake in a story post. For the record, I don't agree with everything Lane posts and our views on life couldn't be more different from what I see on social media, but I think she tried to be empathetic and meant no harm with her post.

What I don't get is, why didn't Misty just reach out to her co-worker privately and helped her with that post? I get not reaching out to people you don't know, but a co-worker? I think Lane would be better off deleting that post before the Misty trolls come at her (and no, I don't mean just "Misty fans", I mean those who will insult and even publicly threaten anyone who dares to disagree with their idol. I've seen it before, maybe some of you have too).

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6 hours ago, LadyBubbles said:

Anyway, she changed the hashtag and even acknowledged her mistake in a story post.

I thought it was particularly good that she used that story not only to acknowledge her mistake but also to share an explanation of why #blacklivesmatter needs to be said and why #alllivesmatter is not an acceptable substitute. I wish that explanation weren't necessary, but unfortunately it is.

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Posted (edited)

When I read, just now, here on this thread, about the Instagram Kerfuffle, my first thought was that it was scarcely credible that Lane was completely ignorant of the implications of #alllivesmatter -- and my second that it wouldn't surprise me if Copeland isn't exactly in the most easy-going frame of mind these days. However, since Lane was so quick to change her formulation and to post as she has, I guess I do now credit it and...uh...props to her for making the changes. (Though I fear there is a certain way of being "naive" about issues that itself is part of the problem.)  I couldn't find the original exchange with Copeland on Instagram--and perhaps Copeland took it down because she thought it was kinder to do so--but I'm not inclined to give Copeland a hard time on this one in any case.

(By the by, I think it would be a mistake to assume that everyone on this site has a problem the #alllivesmatter hashtag--I assume there is some disagreement here as there is elsewhere in the country.)

Edited by Drew
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Oh I'm sure some people agree with it. I wished no one did, but life has taught me otherwise.

I was looking at the schedule for the next few weeks, and it looks like Forster is getting a "debut deferred" feature on July 1st. It doesn't say what it's for. Swan Lake perhaps? I think that was supposed to be Swan Lake week, but I can't remember 100%.

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