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July 02, 2011


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I totally agree, Haglund, that Veronika was sublime. Additionally, I must commend her ability to remain focused and avoid wincing at every off-pitch note by the violinist in the Act II PdD. That PdD music should be the audition piece for first desk first violins.

I winced, believe me. The French horns weren't great last night either.

I'm glad you enjoyed Veronika and Cory's performance, Haglund! Unfortunately I had to miss it, so I'm thankful for your review.

I know you are not a fan of ABT's guest-artist fixation, but I really wished you had been there to see Gomes' beyond-extraordinary performance as Siegfried last night. He finally had a worthy Odette-Odile to inspire him in Semionova, and he responded by lifting the performance into the stratosphere!

I was sorry to miss the final S.L. of the season because it's always a high energy event regardless of who is dancing. It's disappointing that we were denied a Part/Gomes S.L. (IMO, among the best on earth) and had to settle for what we did while the guest artist (who should have been brilliant enough to carry the show by herself) was indulged with ABT's most magnificent partners. Gomes could dance with a blow-up toy ballerina and he would make her look like the most fabulous dancer in the world. I am, however, sorry to have missed his performance.

Oh, Haglund, it's such a shame you weren't there to see Semionova and Gomes! You wouldn't believe in a million years they had a day or two to rehearse together before performing. It was honestly one of the greatest performances I have ever seen.

It's kind of why I don't eat meat. Yes, it tastes good, but the manner in which it arrives on the plate is distasteful. This year, wherever possible and practical, I've chosen not to support the performances of guest artists if it means that capable and deserving company dancers' opportunities were slaughtered in the process.

There are always exceptions, of course. For example, if Hallberg cannot dance in Sleeping Beauty this week with Osipova and a company dancer gets a debut, I'll attend. My guess is that McKenzie is twisting the arm of Kobborg trying to persuade him to do the performance. That would be an automatic "pass" for me and re-ignite my suffering.

I am among the few who were not overwhelmed by Semionova's performance, Yes, technically she's a whiz-kid, but I felt that her interpretation, especially as Odette, left something to be desired. She seemed to me to be showing her phenomenal abilities rather than becoming the role. Perhaps if she had been dancing with Hallberg, the chemistry would have been there. With Gomes, I kept having the sense that "Gomes saves the day!" was the message of the performance. I'll still take the ravishing Part as my quintessential Swan Queen. No one else dances like Part.

While I didn't see the S.L. performance, I have seen performances by Semionova including one very bland performance which she danced with Hallberg. I don't think that any ballerina can be measured only by how well she dances with Gomes or in some instances with Hallberg. The $64,000 question is: How well would she dance with Stearns and the other men of the company? If she's going to return to dance with ABT, will she be one of those ballerinas who refuses to dance with anyone but Gomes or Hallberg? That wouldn't make people very happy.

Especially not the wonderful women of ABT who then get stuck dancing with Stearns by process of availability

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