Herman Cornejo definitely staked out his claim to the role of Ali in tonight's performance of Le Corsaire. Holy moly! For someone who is supposed to be injured, he tore through his variations tossing off near-ceiling height leaps and speedy a la seconde turns like he had just been shot out of a cannon. Powerful shoulders as well. And exactly why have we had to wait all these years to see this Ali?
In the Ali-on-deck circle - Craig Salstein as Birbanto who gave a riveting performance tonight with legs slicing through the choreography like the sword he carried. A big, big performance in dancing and drama.
Xiomara Reyes and Gennadi Saveliev were a perfect match as Medora and Conrad. She was pristine and charming; he was an unusually gallant pirate absolutely head over heels in love with his Medora. Xiomara is quite the speedy turner when she’s let loose as she was tonight in piques and chaines. Her Act II PdD with Saveliev was truly beautiful and so sensitive to the music. Saveliev later did a full diagonal of his supersized and sensational revoltades which the audience just ate up. His other jumps were okay, but he puts on the brakes too soon after landing like he’s taking a little rest before the next jump. It would be so spectacular if he would just keep the momentum going.
Misty Copeland’s performance as Gulnare was a very happy surprise. What an improvement over her performances last season. Much more elegance. Much less muscle. Her upper body is far more relaxed and the line of the arm, wrist and hand is now quite lovely. The only problem that Haglund saw tonight was the first position of the arms. Misty tends to bring the hands in toward her, sometimes almost touching the backs of her hands together before opening to second or taking them up to fifth and on occasion coming close to wiping the nose on the way up.
Jared Matthews as Lankendem is still trying to break through acting-wise. The dancing is just fine, but he needs to be a much bigger personality on stage and not be afraid to improvise. There is so much naturalness to like about him, but he just doesn’t seem to have that burning desire or energy to take everything to the next level.
Odalisques were Maria Riccetto, Stella Abrera, and Isabella Boylston. Maria and Stella were perfectly beautiful. Stella looks sufficiently mended to dance Myrta at the matinee – let’s hope she gets the nod. Isabella had some uncertain moments in her variations. Her grand jetes were not good. She got the front leg up, but she didn’t travel forward in the air. Instead, she pulled the leg way back under her to land. It was quite jarring.
In honor of Herman's winged feet this evening, Haglund awards him this fine Pump Bump:
Copyright © 2009
Copyright © 2009