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July 06, 2011

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I so much wish I could have attended this performance. Thank you for recreating it in words. And thank you for loving Veronika Part and Stella Abrera, currently my two favorite ABT dancers. This is so validating to me, when other people are oo-ing and ah-ing over--well, you know what I mean.

You're welcome. And yes, I know what you mean.

I agree (as always!) that the dancing was lovely! Veronika looked confident and radiant (if not particularly girlish), and Marcelo the Marvelous never fails to impress. My love for Stella continues to increase, and like you, I thought Sarah and Daniil looked great together (except for the unfortunate partnering flub at the end).

But as you have suggested, “Sleeping Beauty” has no drama, and for me, the story as told by the ballet is neither compelling nor interesting. It’s certainly not my favorite ballet. I too prefer to have the season end with devastating drama—to go along with the depression I’m feeling from the season drawing to a close. Sigh. Here’s for hoping that “Manon” or “Romeo & Juliet” are back next year, in addition to “Onegin” (as already disclosed by Vishneva)!

Yeah, devastating drama at the end of the season is the preferred way to end it all. Manon would suit me just fine next year, but I have to keep hoping for a Mayerling with Gomes. It would destroy us. Totally.

Having never seen "Mayerling," I can only assume you're right, Haglund, but if ABT is going to stage a new work (they've never done "Mayerling," I believe?), then I think I like your idea of a World Premiere for Marcelo better! :P He so deserves a work made just for him. :)

Yes, Marcelo does indeed deserve a big dramatic work made for him, but I don't know any living choreographer who works in a big enough dramatic fashion. There's a lot of steppiness going around these days but not much new dramatic choreography. I would be inclined to suggest Neumeier, but he seems to be mostly interested these days in applying nudity to ballet performances in order to get attention. That's not the kind of drama that Marcelo deserves. I think the role of Crown Prince Rudolph in "Mayerling" is the biggest dramatic role for a man in ballet today. Drugs, sex, guns, insanity, suicide. Drama with a capital D.

This 1994 performance: http://www.amazon.com/Kenneths-MacMillans-Mayerling-Mukhamedov-Durante/dp/B00006G8HK has never been topped, and I think Marcelo could achieve that.

Thanks for the DVD recommendation, Haglund! I will be sure to check it out--I will need something to help ease the ballet withdrawal!

Yes, something tawdry is not what Marcelo deserves. Though I have to admit, me and my wild imagination went a bit crazy when I read that Vishneva is commissioning a new work from Neumeier. My mind immediately flew to that previously announced "Madame X" project (which now seems to have been canceled?). Vishneva + Gomes + Neumeier could certainly be a potent (and potentially deadly) mix!

Thanks for the info regarding the Madame X cancellation. I hadn't heard that, although the performances no longer appear on the Segerstrom Center's calendar.

It's not just Gomes who would be perfect for Mayerling. Vishneva as Mary Vetsera would be unforgettable. ABT's corps saint, Gemme Bond, danced one of the other principal roles while at the Royal Ballet. It is so difficult to understand why ABT will not mount this production.

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