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ABT 2020 Promotions.


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1 hour ago, ABT Fan said:

If you manually type in a past dancers bio page, it will sometimes come up anyway. Alban still comes up and so does Roberto Bolle. So I don’t take this as a sign that Lane is still in the company and it’s just some type of glitch that she’s gone from the roster.

Edited to add: I know we’ve discussed contracts many times on this site. Per union rules, I believe others have said that a dancer would have to be notified months in advance if their contract wasn’t going to be renewed. So, if that’s what happened to Lane, she’d have to have known for awhile, perhaps why she was given so few performances for what may have been her last Met season (and a Juliet debut as a good bye gift).

Ah, I wasn't aware of those union rules. Then Lane's Juliet debut must have been a parting gift. Now I'm even more grieved to have missed it. The good news of the promotions is, for me at least, darkened by Lane's unjust termination. If there was any hint of a legitimate reason...but there's nothing. Lane was at the top of her game for her D.C. Giselle and Richmond Swan Lake. Nothing unsavory in her personal life. So much rep under her belt, waited patiently for ten years to be promoted, put up with being Copeland' s unofficial understudy...I am just sick at ABT's abominable treatment of Lane. Showbiz sure...but I guess I naively expected better from ABT. Certainty learned my lesson. 

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25 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

Perhaps because the Fall 2020 ABT season was canceled, Sarah has been given enough months of lead time per the union contract before the next ABT season?  If Sarah Lane is being notified now that her contract is not being renewed as a principal dancer, she has a certain number of months to look for another job.  It is still a not nice way of going about things but that is show biz.

 

But if she was just notified now that this was her last year going into next year, she would still be listed on the roster. 

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I'm kind of ecstatic with excitement for the dancers and trust this will be  be a shot in the arm for company morale. I think most if not all of them have great futures ahead of them!

Perhaps, when I allow myself to think more coldly about the matter, I do find it...risky...to promote dancers to principal who haven't proven themselves in multiple principal roles and--in the context of ABTs repertory specifically--who haven't shown repeatedly that they can carry multiple full length ballets. I love Trenary (as I do Brandt) but Trenary's full length leads have been what? A very successful Aurora and a very charming Princess Praline (I saw the latter and read about the former)....? Is there another that I've forgotten? Forster (one of my favorites!) has danced what in terms of principal roles in full length classics? The lead in Nutcracker? Royal...purple Rothbart? etc. etc.

If the spring season had happened as planned, then most of these new principals dancers would have been "tested" in new full length roles and perhaps the company feels that under these extraordinary circumstances they should be given the promotions they would have likely earned especially since a number of them waited more than long enough to be cast in major lead roles. But to me it still ends up a bit of a gamble even if an exciting gamble because of the talent involved....Anyway, the future will tell if these promotions are a stroke of genius or a rear-guard action as the company looks to the future...

And finally--I missed a number of Lane's most acclaimed performances and never had the chance to admire her dancing as many others on this site do.  But I did see her dance remarkably in Ratmansky's Shostakovich Trilogy and The Tempest as well as giving a number of terrific soloist performances. She was also my favorite of the three Princess Praline's I saw. Her career is--from the outside looking in--another puzzlement.  I hope she is still with ABT but if not, wish her a fabulous future.

 

Edited by Drew
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1 hour ago, Lena C. said:

The good news of the promotions is, for me at least, darkened by Lane's unjust termination. If there was any hint of a legitimate reason...but there's nothing. Lane was at the top of her game for her D.C. Giselle and Richmond Swan Lake. Nothing unsavory in her personal life.

I would say the handwriting was on the wall when sometime during the 2018-2019 season, Lane became professionally (if not personally) alienated from two of her most crucial artistic collaborators: Alexei Ratmansky and Herman Cornejo.


Both these men are known as good colleagues and Ratmansky was an ally and mentor to Lane.  When Sarah lost their support and collaboration, her days at ABT were numbered.  I won’t assign blame or guilt since I don’t know what happened but Sarah must have done something professionally or personally to lose their support. 

Edited by FauxPas
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25 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

I would say the handwriting was on the wall when sometime during the 2018-2019 season, Lane became professionally (if not personally) alienated from two of her most crucial artistic collaborators: Alexei Ratmansky and Herman Cornejo.


Both these men are known as good colleagues and Ratmansky was an ally and mentor to Lane.  When Sarah lost their support and collaboration, her days at ABT were numbered.  I won’t assign blame or guilt since I don’t know what happened but Sarah must have done something professionally or personally to lose their support. 

I'm afraid we will have to wait for one or more of these people to retire and write their memoirs to understand what happened. We've all been watching for hints on social media for a long time - nothing.

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43 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

I would say the handwriting was on the wall when sometime during the 2018-2019 season, Lane became professionally (if not personally) alienated from two of her most crucial artistic collaborators: Alexei Ratmansky and Herman Cornejo.


Both these men are known as good colleagues and Ratmansky was an ally and mentor to Lane.  When Sarah lost their support and collaboration, her days at ABT were numbered.  I won’t assign blame or guilt since I don’t know what happened but Sarah must have done something professionally or personally to lose their support. 

Lane's break with Cornejo was quite clear, but I hadn't realized that it extended to Ratmansky as well. I thought it odd that Lane wasn't cast as the Rose for met 2020, but didn't think anything of it because she was still cast for SB. Oh man. A break with a long time partner and apparent close friend is one thing. But a break with your mentor and the artist in residence is quite another...They have all been tight lipped on social media. So it's true, we'll never really know what happened until one of them decides to let us know. Still, whatever Lane did or didn't do, her termination is still most unjust after everything she's given to ABT. 

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5 hours ago, FauxPas said:

All of the principal promotions (and one soloist promotion) are richly deserved.

ABT really needed to replenish its roster of male principals. With the departures (for various reasons) of Marcelo Gomes, Roberto Bolle and Alban Lendorf and the greatly reduced presences of David Hallberg and Danill Simkin, the company has been relying on Herman Cornejo, Cory Stearns and James Whiteside to carry the male side of the company, which was unsustainable. Unfortunately, the four promotions from the men's soloist ranks and the retirements of two other male soloists leave the soloist ranks in a highly depleted state. The upside is that this presents a lot of opportunity for some of the guys in the corps. Jonathan Klein was a lead in Ratmansky's Whipped Cream so he might be a prime candidate for advancement.

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5 minutes ago, Lena C. said:

A break with a long time partner and apparent close friend is one thing. But a break with your mentor and the artist in residence is quite another...

Maybe I’m suffering from COVID brain and have forgotten, but what is the evidence that the latter has occurred?

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6 minutes ago, miliosr said:

Unfortunately, the four promotions from the men's soloist ranks and the retirements of two other male soloists leave the soloist ranks in a highly depleted state. The upside is that this presents a lot of opportunity for some of the guys in the corps. 

Yeah I wouldn’t think a depleted soloist roster would be nearly the problem that a depleted principal roster or a depleted/weak corps would be for just that reason. This could be the start of an exciting (if at times bumpy) period for the company and its fans.

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1 minute ago, nanushka said:

Maybe I’m suffering from COVID brain and have forgotten, but what is the evidence that the latter has occurred?

I was wondering the same thing. Just because she wasn’t cast as the Rose? Which I thought odd as well, and I was dismayed by it, but I didn’t necessarily think it meant Lane and Ratmansky had a falling out. Others thought that since she wasn’t cast as a lead in his new full length meant something too, but other favorites of his like Boylston weren’t cast either.

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If Lane has indeed left the company however she left the company, lots of things could have happened, just as lots of things could have happened every time anything happens in a company.

Unless they are substantiated by official sources, do not discuss them or speculate about them.

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12 minutes ago, nanushka said:

This could be the start of an exciting (if at times bumpy) period for the company and its fans.

I agree with the 'excitement' part. By the nature of its repertory, there isn't always room at the top for younger dancers. We saw that from, roughly, 1995-2010 when ABT's fabulous roster of male principals remained remarkably intact. Since ABT appears to be promoting solely from within these days (after all the flak they took for the 2010-15 guest star era), some the guys in the corps will be able to prove themselves and advance to soloist rank. We're about to find out how badly some of them want it, which will be exciting.

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1 hour ago, Helene said:

Unless they are substantiated by official sources, do not discuss them or speculate about them.

To repeat: unless they are substantiated by official sources, do not discuss them or speculate about them.

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Whatever happened to Sarah Lane, and even if she sabotaged herself, this ungracious removal, all too reminiscent of the Veronika Part debacle, reflects poorly on management. 

On the other hand, I am delighted by the promotions... both these particular dancers, and even more, the fact that there are promotions at all. ABT knows more about the situation for performances than I do, and they must have some optimism that they will have some need for their dancers in the foreseeable future. Hurray!!! Bring it on!!!

 

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I awakened this morning to the news about Diana Rigg, and now this news of Lane.  Two of my favorite cultural icons in one day.  It’s really too much.

There’s no longer any reason for me to return to ABT.  The only reason was removed from the roster this morning without an acknowledgment or farewell.  No one deserves such cavalier treatment, especially not a skilled artist who devoted her entire career to one organization.  However, if Lane really knew about this in advance, she ought to have said something on social media, the way Hammoudi and Scott did, rather than leaving people to speculate.  Her fans understand the difficult situation she’s always faced at ABT. 

In my opinion, ABT today seems to have morphed into something like a cold corporate entity rather than a nonprofit ballet company, performing a not very successful balancing act between profit and art.  All the newly promoted dancers are “youthful” and may seem “exciting,” but some are not skilled enough for principal level and often visibly struggle with artistry.  Possibly there will be improvement, but what I expect more is the company doing what it always does:  glossing over lack of skills and choosing instead to promote names and faces on social media, emphasizing how exciting all this change is, and ignoring the fact that there are no more virtuoso, world class dancers left in the company (yes, Cornejo, but he’s not what he once was and I don’t think he’ll be around much longer).  Lane is the victim both of a changing American culture and of a management which never really supported her, but probably felt obliged to promote her because of her extraordinary, explosive artistry three years ago, which was wholeheartedly supported by the audience.  Lane also greatly admired the earlier generation at ABT which didn’t have or believe in self-promotion on social media, which has become de rigueur today.  Her disagreement with Cornejo, which sundered their partnership, became the coup de grace for her career at ABT. 

This talk of a falling out with Ratmansky seems odd.  Her final ABT performance this spring was scheduled to have been Aurora in Ratmansky’s Sleeping Beauty.  Why then would he have allowed her to perform this great role in his major restaging?  Removing her from a small part in “The Seasons” yet allowing her to perform the difficult lead in “Sleeping Beauty”?  That’s just bizarre.  Why has Lane’s company persona suddenly turned from quiet, insecure, overlooked artist to company harpy and harridan?  If anyone ever bothers to write a memoir or history about this terrible era at ABT, I hope I’m no longer around, because the answer would probably anger me even more. 

I doubt I’ll ever get over the rupture of the Lane-Cornejo partnership, but I’m glad I forced myself to travel and saw as much of them as I could.  No matter how much management tries, they can’t erase the fact that for many years theirs was the best partnership in the company, like no other, and brought much joy to the audience.  And the memory of Lane’s Swan Lake in Richmond on Valentine’s Day is a wonderful one, worth the anxiety of traveling at the outset of a pandemic just to see her.  She was everything you’d want O/O to be and more; pure, gorgeous dancing, with two vastly different and beautifully limned characters.  Ballet heaven, indeed.  And that should be her legacy:  ballet heaven incarnate.  Lane appears to have a teaching gig lined up in NJ, and perhaps she’ll decide that now’s the time to start a family.  Her future should be a bright one, hope it will be smooth sailing ahead!

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9 minutes ago, laurel said:

I awakened this morning to the news about Diana Rigg, and now this news of Lane.  Two of my favorite cultural icons in one day.  It’s really too much.

There’s no longer any reason for me to return to ABT.  The only reason was removed from the roster this morning without an acknowledgment or farewell.  No one deserves such cavalier treatment, especially not a skilled artist who devoted her entire career to one organization.  However, if Lane really knew about this in advance, she ought to have said something on social media, the way Hammoudi and Scott did, rather than leaving people to speculate.  Her fans understand the difficult situation she’s always faced at ABT. 

In my opinion, ABT today seems to have morphed into something like a cold corporate entity rather than a nonprofit ballet company, performing a not very successful balancing act between profit and art.  All the newly promoted dancers are “youthful” and may seem “exciting,” but some are not skilled enough for principal level and often visibly struggle with artistry.  Possibly there will be improvement, but what I expect more is the company doing what it always does:  glossing over lack of skills and choosing instead to promote names and faces on social media, emphasizing how exciting all this change is, and ignoring the fact that there are no more virtuoso, world class dancers left in the company (yes, Cornejo, but he’s not what he once was and I don’t think he’ll be around much longer).  Lane is the victim both of a changing American culture and of a management which never really supported her, but probably felt obliged to promote her because of her extraordinary, explosive artistry three years ago, which was wholeheartedly supported by the audience.  Lane also greatly admired the earlier generation at ABT which didn’t have or believe in self-promotion on social media, which has become de rigueur today.  Her disagreement with Cornejo, which sundered their partnership, became the coup de grace for her career at ABT. 

This talk of a falling out with Ratmansky seems odd.  Her final ABT performance this spring was scheduled to have been Aurora in Ratmansky’s Sleeping Beauty.  Why then would he have allowed her to perform this great role in his major restaging?  Removing her from a small part in “The Seasons” yet allowing her to perform the difficult lead in “Sleeping Beauty”?  That’s just bizarre.  Why has Lane’s company persona suddenly turned from quiet, insecure, overlooked artist to company harpy and harridan?  If anyone ever bothers to write a memoir or history about this terrible era at ABT, I hope I’m no longer around, because the answer would probably anger me even more. 

I doubt I’ll ever get over the rupture of the Lane-Cornejo partnership, but I’m glad I forced myself to travel and saw as much of them as I could.  No matter how much management tries, they can’t erase the fact that for many years theirs was the best partnership in the company, like no other, and brought much joy to the audience.  And the memory of Lane’s Swan Lake in Richmond on Valentine’s Day is a wonderful one, worth the anxiety of traveling at the outset of a pandemic just to see her.  She was everything you’d want O/O to be and more; pure, gorgeous dancing, with two vastly different and beautifully limned characters.  Ballet heaven, indeed.  And that should be her legacy:  ballet heaven incarnate.  Lane appears to have a teaching gig lined up in NJ, and perhaps she’ll decide that now’s the time to start a family.  Her future should be a bright one, hope it will be smooth sailing ahead!

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've said, Laurel. 

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11 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Ok people are being unfair here. Skylar, Cassandra, Calvin, Thomas Forster, and Aran are excellent artists. 

Agree, canbelto! Did you leave out Joo Won Ahn on purpose, or was that an oversight?

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50 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Ok people are being unfair here. Skylar, Cassandra, Calvin, Thomas Forster, Ahn, and Aran are excellent artists. 

I certainly don't mean to disparage these dancers, including Gabe. They are all lovely. It's just very hard to be happy about the promotions when Sarah's treatment has been so despicable. As a staunch Sarah fan, this feels akin to a death. A great, sudden, unexpected loss. The salt in the wound is that there has yet to be any acknowledgment of Sarah from the company. In all honesty, I have been grieving all day ever since I found out. It would be different if Sarah had been given one last season, one last show, even a paltry social media post thanking her for all her years of dancing. It's the fact that the company let the audience know about Sarah by removing her from the roster, shows just how little they value her. I wish all of the promoted dancers the best of luck, and know they have bright futures. But right now, I'm mouning the loss of Sarah. 

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Regarding the removed posts:  Do not discuss the discussion or each other.  You've all been here long enough and know that.

If you think something violates our policy, report the post by clicking the three little dots (...) at the top right of each post and select "Report" from the menu.

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38 minutes ago, Helene said:

Regarding the removed posts:  Do not discuss the discussion or each other.  You've all been here long enough and know that.

If you think something violates our policy, report the post by clicking the three little dots (...) at the top right of each post and select "Report" from the menu.

Repeating, because it appears this is necessary.

Here is a link to Ballet Alert! policies.  The "Don't discuss the discussion or each other" policy has been part of the board since at least the early 00's, ie, old enough to vote.

 

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8 hours ago, canbelto said:

Ok people are being unfair here. Skylar, Cassandra, Calvin, Thomas Forster, Ahn, and Aran are excellent artists. 

Indeed they are! I'm so happy for all them!

Skylar and Cassie, in particular have been favorites of mine for years and it is great to see such hard work rewarded.

But I'm thrilled for all of them. It is such a wonderful surprise given the lack of a season this year.

I'd also add Gabe Stone Shayer, who I'd hoped would be promoted several seasons ago, but then was sidelined by injury (which I saw happen on stage). He's been waiting for this for quite some time.

 

Bravi to all of them!

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