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Skylar Brandt & Aran Bell in Swan Lake: Live stream 5/8

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, California said:

Skylar Brandt & Aran Bell will perform Swan Lake on Saturday, May 8 at 7:30 p. m. EDT with Boca Ballet, both in the theater and in a live stream ($25). They have been posting extensive rehearsal clips in recent weeks on Instagram, coached by Max Beloserkovsky. It's Skylar's debut in the role. (Not sure about Aran.)


I watched the livestream and enjoyed it, along with 151 other digital attendees. If you follow Skylar on Instagram, she has a huge collection of short clips on the top "stories" this morning. Skylar and Aran were the guest stars with a performance by the School of the Boca Ballet, so the rest of the dancers were students. But modifications to the choreography were appropriate and the students were well-rehearsed. What a treat for those students to perform with these ABT principals!

The stage seemed small, but the sets were quite good, as were most of the costumes. Recorded music, of course, but the dancers were maskless, although an announcement at the beginning reminded the audience they must keep masks on during the performance. I have no idea what precautions were taken for the dancers -- vaccinations? bubbles? testing? It's Florida, so who knows.

Skylar is the queen of the long balances and there was one in black swan in arabesque that went on forever, with Aran patiently waiting behind her with outstretched arms. Fun to see.  In Act II, she almost seemed a little too deliberate in incorporating all the coaching details, and she needed to loosen up just a tad. Act III was spectacular for both. She's quite the technician -- turns, fouettes, all were impressive.

I was puzzled at the choice of an ending. Siegfried fought Rothbart, but then disappeared from the stage, never to return. Rothbart towered over Odette and the swans who seemed to be doomed to that fate forever as the curtain came down. I can understand why a program geared at young people would want to avoid celebrating suicide! But why not have Siegfried defeat Rothbart and show good conquering evil? Not sure I understand that at all. Here's the explanation in the program notes:

Odette, after reviving the prince, tells him that due to his unfaithfulness she will forever be a swan. Siegfried reluctantly accepts his fate and returns to the world of earthly creatures, knowing that he will never see her again.

I certainly hope Skylar and Aran get to do a real Swan Lake with ABT at Lincoln Center. They've earned it.


Edited by California
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I too enjoying watching the live stream.  Skylar and Aran are two up and coming stars.   They will be fixtures on this site and internationally for years to come, IMO.  It will be interesting to see how much they are matched up together at ABT -- and what roles Skylar will tackle over the next two years.  I like the pair together and I most definitely like Sky with Herman as well; but with all the changes lately, there are many possibilities with pairing among the new principals.  I compliment  both Aaran and Skylar for taking on the task for several reasons.  It was a full length ballet obviously.  I  was told they had a full dress rehearsal the fist night to coordinate with the other dancers, the first performance the second day (which was streamed) and then the final performance on the third day.  This is absolutely exhausting for a principal dancer.  Usually, you have several days between performances to physically recover.  So, compliments to them to doing it.  Another thing to point out is that the core dancers in these ballet schools get really inspired by top notch talent coming to dance with them. It really was great to see this as it marked the beginning of the end of this horrific pandemic for me. 

Edited by TheAccidentalBalletomane
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