Haglund had an unexpectedly joyful time at Lady of the
Camellias last night. The evening's Pump Bump Awards go to Stella and Blaine
for putting the icing on the cake:
The corps de ballet played less of a role than that to which we are accustomed in full length ballets, but nevertheless danced well in full character and in gorgeous costumes by Jurgen Rose. The production's lighting was very appealing and was a major player in moving the drama along. Some of the choreographic devices such as using the very front and sides of the stage which lead down into the audience brought the drama closer to the audience effectively. It was a nice touch.
The evening's pianists were Soheil Nasseri (on stage) and Koji Attwood (in the center of the pit). Their playing was beautiful, and happily, could be heard throughout the cavernous Met. However, this is one production for which you want to sit closer to the orchestra and the stage.
La Bayadere is still one of Haglund's most favorite ballets even after a chaotic week of substitutions. He is extremely saddened by the injury and withdrawal of Stella Abrera from this week's performances. However, he experienced a little epiphany during tonight's performance: The Big Buddha of La Bayadere decided a few years ago that he would intervene in any effort to have Stella dance Gamzatti because he had decreed that she must now dance Nikiya. When next La Bayadere is on the schedule, let's not mess with the Buddha's wishes.
Haglund awards this passionate red satin and feather Pump Bump Award to Ms. Part and Ms Wiles for their stunning performances this week:
For the record, Vishneva and Gomes knocked it out of the ballpark tonight. Haglund bestows this little snake-skin-under-the-bouquet Pump Bump Award for the terrific performances by one and all:
Be there for the premiere.
Lucy Carter's stage lighting for Outlier, which included the suggestion of concentric circles on the floor as well as some linear effects, was pleasing to the eye. But McGregor’s efforts to make the dancers look as though what they were doing was somehow connected to the patterns didn’t work. Nor did it matter in the abstract overall scheme. In short, we didn't advance or extend the ballet art form this evening.
The audience, which was unusually sparse for a Friday evening, truly appreciated the terrific performance of Balanchine’s Cortege Hongrois set to the glorious, danceable music from Glazounov’s Raymonda. Rebecca Krohn and Sean Suozzi were on spot in the Czardas. Again, Lauren King was a standout in the Pas de Quatre. Sara Mearns and Jonathan Stafford, perhaps not particularly well-matched, conveyed the Hungarian spirit via the classical vocabulary with verve and enthusiasm in their lead roles.
Haglund is sorry that he had to go to the back of the closet for one of last year's Pump Bump Awards, but Outlier prompted him to think of this pile of crocks:
Haglund was cleaning up his hard drive and came across one of his all time favorite photos by Marty Sohl of Stella Abrera and David Hallberg in Afternoon of a Faun at City Center. No one who was at that performance will ever forget it. We really need to see these two dancers cast in the Manon PdD on June 29th and we need Marty there to capture it. Nothing else would be as perfect - unless, of course, we could turn back time to retrieve Ferri and Bocca.