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Lauren Lovette leaving City Ballet


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Wow, I'll really miss seeing her onstage.  Though, given how candid she was about reconsidering her relationship to ballet in her Megan Fairchild interview, I can't say I'm too surprised.  

That NYT article is fascinating, though!  I feel heartened that Lovette sees her role as a full-time choreographer as an opportunity to improve some body image issues in the ballet world.  

Here's the Fairchild interview for those who have not watched: 

 

 

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She's really a special dancer. Fingers crossed that she will perform at SPAC this summer so I can see her again before she retires.

Just saw in Broadway World that her final performance will be at the October 9th matinee. She will dance in Opus 19/The Dreamer and Namouna.

And there's a NYCB press release: https://www.nycballet.com/about-us/for-the-press/principal-dancer-lauren-lovette-to-give-final-performance-with-new-york-city-ballet-during-the-2021-season/

Edited by FPF
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I think we are definitely at a turning point when it comes to dancing + retirement.  Before it was really dancing until they couldn’t any longer - till the bitter end.  Now there is a shift with wanting to do more.  I feel Robbie Fairchild was the first to really step away from ballet to pursue film, etc.  Now Lovette for choreography.  I’m sure there are others too that I can’t think of right now, but I find it very interesting! 

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18 minutes ago, GB1216 said:

I think we are definitely at a turning point when it comes to dancing + retirement.  Before it was really dancing until they couldn’t any longer - till the bitter end.  Now there is a shift with wanting to do more.  I feel Robbie Fairchild was the first to really step away from ballet to pursue film, etc.  Now Lovette for choreography.  I’m sure there are others too that I can’t think of right now, but I find it very interesting! 

Silas Farley comes to mind. He wasn’t a principal but certainly had the potential to be. I loved his dancing.

Anyways, I think all of us who watched Fairchild’s interview with Lovette could see this coming from a mile away. I am not surprised at all she’s leaving now/so soon. 

Of course, it’s sad to see so many retirements and departures, but I am so excited for promotions (finally!) and some shakeups in future casting.

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3 minutes ago, sohalia said:

Silas Farley comes to mind. He wasn’t a principal but certainly had the potential to be. I loved his dancing.

Anyways, I think all of us who watched Fairchild’s interview with Lovette could see this coming from a mile away. I am not surprised at all she’s leaving now/so soon. 

Of course, it’s sad to see so many retirements and departures, but I am so excited for promotions (finally!) and some shakeups in future casting.

I know! Some promotions would be great. Who knows when we will get any, though. I agree about Silas' dancing, but he's destined for great things at Colburn and beyond.

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4 hours ago, Phrenchphry11 said:

Wow, I'll really miss seeing her onstage.  Though, given how candid she was about reconsidering her relationship to ballet in her Megan Fairchild interview, I can't say I'm too surprised.

I'm not surprised either - in the interview with Fairchild, Lovette almost seemed to be using that public opportunity to dip her toe in the water and try out the words, "I'm no longer a dancer". Just to see what it felt like, and to see if it would stick.

Hopefully choreography will work for her in the long term. She's still at a very early stage of development, imo, as a choreographer, but who knows? Lovette would really benefit from a program like the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative - SFB's Myles Thatcher was able to study with Alexei Ratmansky through that program.

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44 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Also I have to say ... Lauren was a lovely dancer but IMO not strong enough technically to handle a principal workload at NYCB.

What do you mean? She's been a principal since 2015. She has handled the workload for six years.

I love her dancing. I remember her in Liebsleider, and a whole gamut of other roles, DAAG comes to mind. She was a fabulous Novice in The Cage. That surprised me. I once thought her a bit sweet, thinking she would grow into more depth with maturity, but her Novice sure wasn't sweet! 

Why the "early" retirements? I think there have always been dancers who stopped dancing at these ages. Maybe not dancers with such prominent careers. Maybe social media gives dancers today more of a sense of control over their careers. Maybe they aren't as sheltered and have a better idea what other opportunities await them. They are better educated, that's for sure. More ballet dancers have access to college programs, more are getting degrees in a broad variety of subjects. It's a big world out there. They want at it.

I also think that (for NYCB) there is no longer the one Balanchine figure that everyone wants to dance for, for as long as they can possibly dance.

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1 hour ago, canbelto said:

Also I have to say ... Lauren was a lovely dancer but IMO not strong enough technically to handle a principal workload at NYCB.

I seem to recall she had a relatively light workload compared to the other female principles

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27 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

What do you mean? She's been a principal since 2015. She has handled the workload for six years.

She doesn't dance as heavy of a workload as the other principals. Part of it is injuries. But part of it is technique -- for instance, she struggled as Waltz Girl of Serenade and that wasn't a role I expected ballerinas to struggle in.

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13 hours ago, canbelto said:

She doesn't dance as heavy of a workload as the other principals. Part of it is injuries. But part of it is technique -- for instance, she struggled as Waltz Girl of Serenade and that wasn't a role I expected ballerinas to struggle in.

I just find every dancer has their own rep. Not everyone was made to do Theme & Variations, nor should they be. One thing I appreciated about the Balanchine era was how different the principals were from each other. How different their dancing was. You still see that in many of the women, but when I returned to NYCB it took me awhile to distinguish between Tiler Peck, Ashley Bouder or Megan Fairchild. Now I can see the differences in their performances (and they ARE different), but I don't ever remember that kind of confusion between Merrill Ashley, Suzanne Farrell or Karin von Aroldingen, for instance. All fairly tall, even dancing some of the same rep, TOTALLY different.

I've seen Lovette in Serenade many times and she was always lovely. I never saw any struggles. 

Edited by BalanchineFan
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Part of the reason her workload was reduced in recent years was because she was also choreographing.  However, I do agree that her technique was not particularly strong.  I saw the first of her two Swan Lakes and that role  completely exposed her technical weakness.  The adagio work was pretty good for a first effort, but the technical demands of the ballroom act as Odile were clearly out of her reach. 

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Lovette has her strengths and weaknesses. I loved her in many roles, most especially Sleeping Beauty, where she was radiant. However, as abatt says, in Swan Lake (one of the last performances I saw before the shutdown), she was really struggling with her grasp on the role, technical and otherwise. 

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5 minutes ago, canbelto said:

I also saw her in Sleeping Beauty and she was the only ballerina to fall off pointe twice in the Rose Adagio

And yet, I still found her radiant enough that I was irresistibly drawn to see her in the role again. 

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I can't say that I'm surprised. While she didn't possess the strongest technique or the depth that others did, I am sad to see her go as she still had a lot to offer as a dancer. I saw her in the December 2019 in The Nutcracker and she was beautiful and warm, very charming. I haven't been wowed yet by any of her choreography. I do think that with more time and focus dedicated to it, she'll produce some great work. She's still young and establishing herself. Once live theater performances are on again, I'd definitely go see a new work by her. Wishing her great success in her new endeavors!

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Lauren Lovette's retirement from NYCB at age 29 (!) saddens me. She offered a special sort of perfume in the most beautiful and romantic roles, such as Opus 19: The Dreamer, which is a wise choice for her farewell from NYCB. I also admired her greatly in Peck's Belles-Lettres, Wheeldon's Soiree Musicale, the Tuilleries solo in Ratmansky's Pictures at an Exhibition and, especially, in Mr. B's Liebeslieder

I hope that, in addition to choreographing, she's planning to dance a bit more as a freelancer, as she did at the Vail Festival, when she essayed the Bournonville William Tell pdd, with Roman Mejia.  

Lovette's choreography is quite promising - clever and intensely musical. In addition to what she's created for NYCB, I enjoyed her recent La Follia Variations for the ABT Studio Company.

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On 3/4/2021 at 8:45 PM, nycvillager said:

I can't say that I'm surprised. While she didn't possess the strongest technique or the depth that others did, I am sad to see her go as she still had a lot to offer as a dancer. I saw her in the December 2019 in The Nutcracker and she was beautiful and warm, very charming. I haven't been wowed yet by any of her choreography. I do think that with more time and focus dedicated to it, she'll produce some great work. She's still young and establishing herself. Once live theater performances are on again, I'd definitely go see a new work by her. Wishing her great success in her new endeavors!

IMO, Not Our Fate is the strongest of the ballets she has choreographed for NYCB. Maybe I just like how she limited the space for parts of it: I remember a section where all the couples dance from stage left to right, sweeping across the stage. Also, the costumes were black and white, original shapes for the women, but attractive clothing that a person would wear. I really dislike the tutu permanently hiked up in the back that Zac Posen designed for Unity Phelan in the more recent ballet. That costume is a kind of worst-nightmare-realized. Just my opinion.

All of Lovett's ballets have had configurations of dancers that held my interest. She can move people around a stage. Nothing is static. I don't think Ratmansky moves people around as well, though he makes some nice stage pictures. Other experienced choreographers (I won't name them, from foreign companies performing at the same theater) put their corps onstage, evenly spaced, and have them execute steps like it's a dance class. I'm interested to see what she does next.

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