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June 27, 2012

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Haglund, this performance is mesmerizing. Herman almost never takes his eyes off his Odette. At first, he looks at her in awe and amazement and touches her so delicately, as if to say "Who or what is this magnificent creature? "Then, gradually, his demeanor changes into growing adoration and love. When he looks away briefly, just before 6:00, it's as if he's looking into the universe in wonderment. We need to stretch him on a rack and then try out the chemistry with Veronika.
Thank you for posting it. It definitely bears repeating.

Ah! Was not expecting to see that- i've already watched it countless times but hey, what's one more? As you can imagine i'm total mush over this- the white swan pas being just about my favorite thing in all of ballet. A few herman moments i really love here- around 2:20 or 2:40 where he so gently lifts her arm (more a caress, really) in wonder, but also as if he's letting her know he won't hurt her. Also (around 4:40ish i think?) where she walks upstage & he turns away from her- you can see his indecision simply in the way he tenses his hands. So many sublteties i love in this & she is so beautiful as well. Sigh.
Ok, i'm rambling but it really is inexplicable that this is not onstage at the MET for us to enjoy :(

Ok, its about 5:30 not 4:20 ......... my bad.

Saying it's "inexplicable" is being acutely courteous.

True.

and angelica- nope, you can't stretch him, he's perfect as is. Shrink veronika if you must, tho it seems an odd pairing to me ;)

Besides, we have the perfect Odette in our pocket already - Sarah Lane.

It makes me weep- the poetry of this performance and that so much of what is going on at the Met seems to be one of those TV dance shows.

True. It's sad to see such reluctance from ABT to put its best dancers on stage in principal roles. Artistry has been replaced with cheap, smug, smart alec tricks of the trade. The dancers turn tricks for the media attention in every sense of the phrase.

Amazing to watch him in this again. He's so committed that your own eyes are drawn to everything he does.
I would also agree that despite there being competitive elements in ballet for sure, it should still not turn into a mere competition of tricks and feats on a theatre stage instead of on a field. It's now sadly easily forgotten that there still is the art part to ballet and not just athleticism.

True Kallima. It's even more remarkable when you realize that this was his debut as Siegfried at Corella Ballet after years of being told by ABT's McKenzie that because of his size he would always be the prince's friend, but never the prince. McKenzie continues to try to use Herman to make the point that Baryshnikov, who is the same height as Herman, should never have been allowed to dance Siegfried. McKenzie will be fighting Baryshnikov until the day he dies, and he will make us all suffer for it.


It is extremely remarkable indeed. He's been wanting to dance prince roles for so long now, I guess that want also translates well to the way he performs. It's ridiculous that McKenzie keeps holding him back for these reasons! What is important is how someone carries his body as a prince, not the height of his body. Not all princes have the exact same body or looks and I could definitely not notice anything 'unfit' or 'odd' in Herman's performance here. I wish McKenzie would take a more mature approach to this...

Amen to that.

herman's height should be a non-issue, it's irrelevant. i was even annoyed with the NYTimes review for his romeo- while it was extremely complementary overall why must they use "short" in the title of the piece & write a whole paragraph about it? can't they just say "he's a great romeo" instead of "he's short, but he's a great romeo". who cares? it's so stupid. the man is absolutely beautiful & a brilliant artist. give him a ballerina a little smaller than he is & get on with it!

Could not agree more.

It makes no artistic nor fiscal sense to not cast Cornejo as Siegfried (with Sarah Lane as Odette) - I highly doubt Cornejo and Lane's loyal fans with pass up an opportunity to see them perform in "Swan Lake" together. I know I sure wouldn't. What are they thinking?!?

and I agree about the "Romeo and Juliet" review with the ridiculously long paragraph about his height, what an absolute waste of space.

Do we know how tall Daniil Simkin is? His debut in Swan Lake June 27 (with Isabella Boylston) was well-received. Yet he seems to lack the presence and "heft" of Cornejo.

As for the Baryshnikov comment, I had understood that he didn't care for the role at all and only performed it in the early 80s when Makarova asked him to dance it with her. It was a huge hit at the Kennedy Center. (I don't recall if they performed it together in New York.) And, of course, he was with a very petite ballerina.

I dont know how tall daniil is but i believe he is a little taller than herman. I saw the dress rehearsal of isabella & daniil & while it was quite good in many respects i felt it lacked maturity & fluidity. In the white pas the overhead lifts looked strained & they had some bobbles here & there. Meaning no disrespect to isabella & daniil, i love them both, but i don't know that either were quite ready for it. I did not see the actual performance, however, perhaps they stepped it up for that. At any rate i think a swan lake with herman & sarah would have had considerable more passion & depth as well as attention to subtle details & musicality.

I have not really come across any reviews for bella/daniil SL, are there any?

If ever there was a dancer who SHOULD be typecast, it's Simkin. Even in the PdT in Swan Lake, he comes off as a younger than Doogie Howser-type trying hard to act like a grown-up. If ABT's makeup artists can make Martine van Hamel look like she's 30 years younger than she is, why can't they put some age on Simkin?

Cornejo is the same height as Baryshnikov; Simkin says he's a bit taller than Baryshnikov. Fine. The BIG DIFFERENCE, the MEANINGFUL DIFFERENCE is that Simkin is very slight and child-like with overly delicate features and stature whereas Cornejo and Baryshnikov look like damn fine grown up men. And, Cornejo and Baryshnikov are/were much better dancers. ABT currently has too many overly delicate men who not only appear androgynous but aren't able to lift up normal sized ballerinas.

There's no legit argument for putting Simkin & Boylston on stage in S.L. instead of Cornejo and Lane. None. It was a foul decision on the part of McKenzie, and everyone including all of the artists, knows it.

And gone are the days when a ballet company can put a homely ballerina on stage in a starring classical role. Odette has to have a beautiful, soulful, expressive face and a beautiful upper body and limbs. So long as McKenzie continues to cast new Odettes on the basis of Odiles' fouettes, we will be denied the artistic beauty that we deserve.

Some good points made. Sigh. well, maybe we'll get lucky next year. C'mon kevin- please?!

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