You have to wonder how much McKenzie's refusal to allow Cornejo to dance Siegfried in favor of a massive and unwarranted investment of resources in the development of lackluster performances by first-year soloist Cory Stearns has to do with his continuing resentment of Baryshnikov's treatment of him during the 1980s at ABT. Cornejo is perfection in miniature the way Baryshnikov was perfection in miniature. Stearns' performances are lacking in exactly the same ways that McKenzie's performances were lacking, and he is tall, lanky, and undramatic exactly the way McKenzie was.
Basically, McKenzie has finally found a way to elevate himself over Baryshnikov and deal with his nemesis.
Cornejo has been an ABT principal dancer going on seven years and has never had the opportunity to dance Siegfried - the most recognizable role in classical ballet the world over. It's time for McKenzie to put his differences with Baryshnikov behind him and stop making artists like Cornejo pay for his unhappiness from 30 years ago.
Here is a blurry, poorly edited clip from Angel Corella's new Swan Lake, El Lago de Los Cisnes, by his company Corella Ballet Castilla y Leon. Sadly, it is all that we have right now. Hopefully many more clips will turn up on YouTube. Herman Cornejo is the perfect prince - perfect as the oh-so-short Baryshnikov was. It is perfection that New York needs to see on the Met stage in the role of Prince Siegfried.
Haglund may sound a little like an angry shareholder. The fact is when shareholders begin voicing their anger over wasting of resources and less than maximum return on investment, executive management usually turns a deaf ear and obstinately continues down its own path. Then the shareholders begin dumping the company's stock, the company's value plummets, major talent defects, and the board of directors starts whispering change-in-control. Hopefully, McKenzie will come to his senses before any of that happens at ABT.