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Monique, we hardly knew you...

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So now we know the sad rumor is indeed true. What would we like to see Menier dance at ABT, and with whom? What do we think she'll likely end up dancing? What will we miss her in the most at NYCB?

I figure it's a no-brainer that she'll be handed the Martine van Hamel repertory at ABT. Meunier would be a sensational Myrtha, no doubt about it, and perhaps could even take over from Van Hamel as the Best Myrtha Ever. She's already done a Lilac Fairy, and could probably do it in her sleep, even in ABT's production. She's also already shown she can be a great Odette/Odile in a crappy production of Swan Lake, so what else is there for her to learn to do McKenzie's Swan Lake? Van Hamel was a pretty fair Sylph, and I'm not quite sure I can picture Meunier in La Sylphide, though.

It seems to me that Marcelo Gomes would make a great partner for her. Any other suggestions?

What makes me weep is the magnificent repertory she'll be leaving behind. I'll miss her in Cortege Hongrois (would that ABT would bring back Raymonda for her!), in Elegie, as the Siren (well, maybe ABT will bring that back, too...). I was just enthralled by Meunier in the first section of Vienna Waltzes, and it is our loss that we'll probably never now see her in the Rosenkavalier section, where I think she'd have been magnificent.

The thought of Meunier becoming the Flower Girl on the Left (or even Mercedes) is enough to make me go sob into my beer, though.

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Well, Symphony in C is nice, but how long will it stay in ABT's repertory? Not long, I'll bet. And given the, shall we say, ideosyncratic way Symphony in C has been cast at ABT, it's not at all a sure bet that Meunier would be given the second movement. (I would absolutely pay good money to see her dance this, though.)

Maybe they'll bring back Symphonie Concertante for Meunier and Dvorovenko!

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Clive Barnes once suggested such a scheme, under which Cynthia Gregory and Suzanne Farrell could change places and try each other's repertory on for size. :mad: (I'd imagine that Meunier wouldn't be interested, however; I wouldn't think that she'd be making this move without being seriously fed up?)

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Since you asked: conventional wisdom is that the fourth movement ballerina should be an excellent turner, as she needs to introduce that tricky Turn from Hell with which all the other ballerinas will soon be confronted. Last fall McKenzie decided to break the mold by casting Sandra Brown, an excellent character dancer who is not, it appears, a sensational or even terribly strong turner. The results were, well, interesting.

The third movement traditionally calls for jumpers. While dancers like Corella, de Luz and Cornejo can certainly get both feet off the ground at the same time, can as much be said for the Ashley Tuttles and Xiomara Reyes of the world?

Julie Kent, while gorgeous on a visceral level in the second movement, seemed to have decided that if she's dressed in white and doing adagio she must needs be Odette, and continued being quite soulful and tragic even in the very perky finale (and a bit off the music). I'm really not sure what Susan Jaffe thought she was doing out there as the Second Movement ballerina, but by the time she got through the fourth movement I was sure that nobody else on stage knew, including Jaffe; the other women sensibly gave her a lot of room.

At least these days, in the first movement, Paloma Herrera is on the music more often than she's not.

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Next week she's dancing in Antique Epigraphs, and in the Elegie of Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3. She's magnificent in the latter -- she does well when she can luxuriate in being just a bit over-the-top romantically. I don't think I've seen her in the former, but I think she'd be very, very powerful. That's a deceptive ballet; it starts out looking pretty and trivial and packs an emotional wallop by the time it's over. It should be right up her alley.

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That sounds splendid, but unfortunately I will be able to see only the last week-and-a-half of the season (during which there seems to be scheduled so little Balanchine, with the exception of the final spate of Dreams).

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