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Spring Casting

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Yesterday's mail brought my subscription renewal brochure for ABT's spring season. In going through the casting for the spring seaon, I was surprised to see that Carlos Acosta doesn't seem to listed for anything and he is not pictured along with ABT's other principal dancers. Also, there is a new female principal named Alina Cojocaru. Does anyone know anything about Acosta's status and/or the background of Alina Cojocaru? Just curious.

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Cojocaru's a young principal with the Royal Ballet and I think one of it's most dazzling stars. She's Romanian, and is only 21. After winning the Prix de Lausanne she studied at the RB school in 1998 before going on to the Kiev Ballet starting as a principal! After one year she came to the RB and went straight into the corps. But she rose very fast in the ranks and within 18 months she was promoted to principal, backstage by Anthony Dowell immediately after her debut as Giselle. She's really been brilliant in almost everything I've seen her in - Giselle, Juliet, Kitri, Tatiana, Titania, and currently Mary Vetsera in Mayerling. She'll be making her London debut in Swan Lake, Manon and Sleeping Beauty this season. Alina dances with such incredible freedom in her steps. Even with my limited experience with great dancers I really think she will be one of the greats, as will her extraordinary partnership with Johan Kobborg. She's danced with Corella twice I think at the RB, in Don Q and La Bayadere, and is guesting in the latter with ABT I think. I thought they were fantastic in Don Q and though I wasn't a fan of Bayadere as a whole I thought they danced very well together. Alina's absolutely beloved by London audiences and critics, elicits raves every time and I can't emphasise enough how much of a must-see she is.

Ok, enough trumpeting! There's more on her repertory here:


Re Acosta he's guesting in April-ish with the RB (Manon + a triple bill).

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I got the brochure too and I must say I find it a little odd that casting for performances in May and June of 2003 is announced in November 2002. Is this standard policy now? Maybe its residency at the Metropolitan Opera House has rubbed off on ABT and soon dancers, like singers, will be committed years in advance.

Incidentally, The deadline for renewing for those May and June performances is Jan. 13.:)

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And here's the official press release:



The Royal Ballet’s Alina Cojocaru to Appear as Guest Artist

American Ballet Theatre’s 2003 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 5 through June 28, was announced today by Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director.

The eight-week season will feature seven full-length ballets including the World Premiere of HereAfter (working title) in collaboration with the New York Choral Society. The season will also include a special Spring Gala performance and a one-time-only evening in honor of the Cultural Olympiad featuring the World Premiere of Artemis by Lar Lubovitch. Last season’s Company Premieres of Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée and The Dream will return to ABT’s repertory, as well as Antony Tudor’s Offenbach in the Underworld.

Principal Dancers for the engagement will include Nina Ananiashvili, Maxim Belotserkovsky, Julio Bocca, Jose Manuel Carreño, Angel Corella, Irina Dvorovenko, Alessandra Ferri, Marcelo Gomes, Guillaume Graffin, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Vladimir Malakhov, Amanda McKerrow, Gillian Murphy, Ethan Stiefel and Ashley Tuttle.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2003 Metropolitan Opera House season is sponsored by UBS PaineWebber and UBS Warburg, ABT’s National Presenting Sponsors, and Movado Watch Company, a leading benefactor. ABT’s Spring season is also made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Alina Cojocaru, a principal dancer with The Royal Ballet in London, will make her debut with American Ballet Theatre appearing as a guest artist for two performances as Nikiya in La Bayadère on Saturday evening, May 10 and Monday evening, May 12. Born in Bucharest, Romania, Cojocaru trained in Kiev and at The Royal Ballet School. She danced with the Kiev Ballet and joined The Royal Ballet in 1999. She was promoted to first soloist in 2000 and to principal dancer the following year.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2003 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House will open with a gala performance on Monday, May 5 at 6:30 P.M. For information about the Opening Night Gala, please call the Special Events Office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3239.

The World Premiere of HereAfter (working title), a unique choral evening, will combine the choreography of Stanton Welch and Natalie Weir, accompanied by over 100 members of the New York Choral Society. HereAfter, scheduled for its World Premiere on Friday, May 16, will consist of two separate acts bound together in one theme. Ms. Weir will choreograph the first act to John Adams’ Harmonium, and Mr. Welch’s choreography for the second act will be set to Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. HereAfter features costumes and scenery by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Brian MacDevitt.

The Cultural Olympiad will be celebrated by American Ballet Theatre on Tuesday, May 20 with a special salute to the culture of Greece. Internationally acclaimed film director Costa Gavras will direct the evening, which will feature filmed projections and readings by Greek and American personalities. This special gala program in honor of the Cultural Olympiad, will include performances by two renowned Greek artists, opera singer Agnes Baltsa and George Dalaras and his orchestra. The evening will also feature the World Premiere of Lar Lubovitch’s Artemis, a full company work inspired by the Greek myth of Diana and Acteon. Artemis is set to a commissioned score composed by Elliot Goldenthal.

The first of two repertory programs on ABT’s Spring schedule will be presented May 6 through 8 and will include Antony Tudor’s Offenbach in the Underworld. Staged by Donald Mahler, Offenbach in the Underworld, with sets and costumes by Kay Ambrose and lighting by Brad Fields, received its ABT Company Premiere on October 24, 2002. The ballet, which is set to Offenbach’s score, arranged and orchestrated by George Crum, depicts

French café society in the 1870’s.

The second repertory program, scheduled for June 23 through June 25, will feature Lar Lubovitch’s Artemis and last season’s Company Premiere of Frederick Ashton’s The Dream. Alessandra Ferri and Ethan Stiefel will dance the lead roles of Titania and Oberon at the season’s first performance of the ballet on Monday evening, June 23. Staged by Anthony Dowell and Christopher Carr, The Dream is set to music by Felix Mendelssohn, with sets and costumes by David Walker and lighting by John B. Read. The Dream is presented in memory of Clarence Y. Palitz, Jr. by his family.

Full-length ballets scheduled for ABT’s Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House include La Bayadère, which will have eight performances, beginning on May 9 with Julie Kent, Ethan Stiefel and Irina Dvorovenko in the leading roles. Choreographed by Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa, La Bayadère features scenery by PierLuigi Samaritani, costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting by Toshiro Ogawa. The full-length production of La Bayadère received its World Premiere by ABT in May, 1980 at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée is scheduled for seven performances beginning Friday, May 23 with Xiomara Reyes and Angel Corella in the leading roles of Lise and Colas. This production of La Fille mal gardée with choreography by Frederick Ashton and staging by Alexander Grant, Grant Coyle and Christopher Carr, received its ABT Premiere on May 31, 2002. The ballet features music by Ferdinand Hérold, freely adapted and arranged by John Lanchbery, scenery by Osbert Lancaster and lighting by Brad Fields. ABT gratefully acknowledges Julia and David H. Koch for their generous underwriting of this production.

Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet returns to ABT’s repertoire on Thursday, May 29 with Alessandra Ferri and Julio Bocca performing the title roles. Choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Romeo and Juliet features scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting by Thomas Skelton. The ballet, which will be given 11 performances, May 29 through 31 and June 6 through 11, was premiered by ABT in January, 1985.

Don Quixote, staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, after the choreography of Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky, will be given 10 performances, June 2 through June 5

and June 12 through 16. Paloma Herrera and Jose Manuel Carreño will dance the leading roles for the first performance of the season. Set to music by Ludwig Minkus and arranged by Jack Everly, Don Quixote has scenery and costumes by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Natasha Katz. Mr. McKenzie’s and Ms. Jones’ staging of the current production was first performed by ABT in June, 1995.

Closing the season will be Kevin McKenzie’s production of the Tchaikovsky classic, Swan Lake, generously underwritten by the Rosh Foundation. Swan Lake will have its first performance of the season on Tuesday, June 17 with Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Belotserkovsky in the leading roles. The ballet will be given an additional 10 performances June 18 through 21 and June 26 through 28. Swan Lake, staged by Kevin McKenzie with scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler, was given its World Premiere in March, 2000 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

ABTalks, 30-minute pre-curtain discussions, are held one hour prior to performances and are free to ABT ticket holders. Please see schedule attached.

ABTKids, a special one-hour performance for children and their families, is scheduled for Saturday, May 17 at 11:30 A.M. Narrated by ABT’s artistic staff, ABTKids presents age-appropriate excerpts from the season’s repertory. All tickets for ABTKids are priced at $15. Reckson Associates is the Principal Corporate Sponsor of ABTKids. Additional support is provided by the MetLife Foundation

American Ballet Theatre’s productions of HereAfter, The Dream and La Fille mal gardée have also been made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding for these productions has been provided by Philip Morris Companies Inc.

Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre’s 2003 Metropolitan Opera House season are on sale now by phone at 212-362-6000 and by mail. For more information, visit ABT’s website at www.abt.org.


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Acosta was with ABT just for the 2002 Met Season-I hope he returns in the near future to NY!

I've never understood why ABT announces casting so far in advance-six months is a long time. It's misleading to people who don't realize or don't think about the fact that in six months a dancer could be sick, injured, pregnant, have left the company or changed their schedule. Obviously, ABT has the little disclaimer, but still why advertise casting that will, undoubtabley, be very different by the time the performances occur. ABT's rep should be able to attract subscriptions without the need to advertise star dancers-the idea of a subscription is to provide you with a variety of ballets and dancers.

I prefer NYCB approach, whereby they announce the casting each Wednesday for the following week, and post changes to their online and NYS Theater cast lists daily. Changes do happen, but you don't buy tickets months in advance to see certain dancers and then be let down when they don't dance.


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Back in NYCB's City Center days, it sometimes was possible to go an entire week without once seeing what was printed in Playbill. Occasionally, in those days when four-bills were the rule, one could go to the ballet, get a program, find a lot of quickly-printed or even mimeographed changes (the smell of alcohol gave this away before the programs even were distributed), and then listen to an interminable PA of further changes, sometimes to the changes!:rolleyes:

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I think ABT though is more dancer driven. People tend to know those principals a bit better than NYCB's.

I think the difference in the reps allows ABT to forecast a little bit better. You don't really get as many last minute, just learned the role yesterday, parts.

I like that I can pick and choose who I want to see. I buy my tix the same way now at NYCB, wait for casting, then buy.

As many of the companies have reported, subscriptions are down. For me, that's true at NYCB, but ABT I now buy in advance.

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I don't think Acosta is going to be back in Houston for any length of time. If my memory is correct, he's dancing a few performances at the Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet (new home of his mentor Ben Stevenson), and I believe he's also doing a few performances in Houston.

Besides Texas, Acosta still dances with the National Ballet of Cuba, guests with the Royal Ballet and I read somewhere that he is producing/choreographing some kind of dance show in Cuba (possibly loosely autobiographical??). I also remember reading that his spring/summer stint with ABT in 2002 was possibly a trial run for a more formal affiliation with the company. But, it doesn't seem that he will be returning to ABT anytime soon.


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Remember, the earliest of these performances are more than six months away. The casting will probably be very different by May anyway. Dancers will get hurt, get sick, leave and join the company.

Also, only the principal casting is listed-Malakhov and Part may well be doing other large roles, just not the main roles. Plus, there are several ballets with no casting indicated. Also, Malakhov is artistic director a ballet company in Germany (the name escapes my mind now), so he may be more focused on that responsibility than dancing lead roles for ABT.


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Originally posted by sneds

Also, Malakhov is artistic director a ballet company in Germany (the name escapes my mind now), so he may be more focused on that responsibility than dancing lead roles for ABT

Vladimir Malakhov is the director of the ballet company "Lindenoper Compagnie" at the "Staatsoper unter den Linden" in Berlin. He said that he wants to stage a new piece every season. Now that should be interesting!

Sorry that this was a bit off-topic.

Svenia :cool:

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Re Part and Malakhov, here's an official answer from ABT's press office:


Regarding Spring casting, we have released just the Principal casting for the most part. Of course, there are many soloist roles in these ballets that are not cast yet. The first page of our press release lists the Principal Dancers for the engagement and it does include Malakhov. Also, casting for the World Premiere of HereAfter and Artemis has not been released yet. Veronika and Vladimir and others will definitely be dancing (barring injury of course) during the season.

We will be putting out another brochure (for single ticket sales) sometime in early February -- that should provide some updated casting, the tba's may be filled in, etc.

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It's been my experience that ABT has done casting WELL in advance for many years. Personally, I've found that they stick with their original casts, barring injuries, which certainly are unpredictable. In fact, Susan Jaffe remarked that she never really planned her retirement around Giselle, but that she and Carreno had been cast a year ahead for that date in June and her decision to retire came after that. ABT doesn't seem to change casts on a whim as I saw happen with the Kirov's recent appearance at the Met.

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The casting/schedule have been filled in a little bit more:


Vishneva and Malakhov are cast in the June 11 Romeo and Juliet, but all but one of the other TBA R&J have been filled with other dancers (although Malakhov will be doing one with Kent).

The mixed bills have been rounded out with some of the rep. from the City Center season - Clear and the George Harrison tribute - with various pas de deux, including the Leaves are Fading. The open Swan Lake has been filled with Kent in the lead roll (with her partner to be announced later), leaving out the possibility (at least my hope) that it would have been filled by either Meunier or Part. Meunier is cast in one Offenbach in the Underworld.

No Balanchine scheduled.

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Acosta no longer dances with Houston Ballet but has moved to follw Mr. Stevenson to Forth Worth Dallas Ballet as have 5 of his former students and maybe some of his newest students. He just did Giselle with them. I think that he will be a principal with them and have the same position that he did with Houston.

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I may be wrong, but I don't believe Acosta is attaching himself to any one company. Stevenson or not, he'll probably continue to guest with Houston Ballet, as well as the Royal Ballet, Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet, perhaps ABT, and of course still fulfill his duties with the National Ballet of Cuba. He's a dancer of world class stature, and just as he left Houston Ballet to places where he could be noticed more, he's unlikely to commit to any length of time in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Kate (who will never forget Acosta & Corella in "Le Corsaire" and who's hoping that Acosta will dance in New York or Washington sometime in the new future)

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