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July 03, 2012


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So lovely that we got a vivid evocation in today's New York Times of Mr. Macaulay in bed!

omg, I guess I should thank you for calling that to my attention.

Great review - Thank you once again! Ethan's strong will and (resulting?) ability to just do it against expectations (and I have read quite some pessimistic things in advance) was displayed again clearly it seems. Very inspiring indeed, and definitely a good thing to have in his position.
Would have loved to see Stella as Gulnare. And I can very well imagine Marcelo Gomes as a pirate!

Hi Kallima. The whole cast was awesome - all these people who really care for one another were dancing together. It made a strong impact that was felt by the audience.

Nanushka, Mr. Macaulay's review just went up on line. It seems that he's been shamed into saying a few nice words about Stella and Sarah. Woot.

The cast does indeed look awesome. Not only each one seeming good for their role but also with each other. I've watched the curtain calls (like with many of these recent performances) and 'Lankendem' patting 'Ali' on the shoulder was a nice little detail.

Kalima - i love watching the curtain call videos as well & agree this one seemed special :)
And hag, thanks for the fab review!

hey quite a lot of praise for sarah lane's gulnare on twitter last night- yay!

That's great! Sarah Lane in a classical tutu - beautiful! BTW, her husband, Ribagorda, is a very good and charismatic dancer and deserves more chances. Their Anyuta PdD together a few years ago was lovely.

Oh, i didnt know he was her hubby- my goodness, what a gorgeous couple!!

An encouraging review, Haglund, we're getting this production in Los Angeles in July 2013. Unfortunately, the chances of Ethan Stiefel gracing the stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion are about zero, but it will still be nice to see a full production of this ballet.

Hi Henry. Looooong time, no comment.

Le Corsaire is a nice production and can be extremely entertaining with a cast that works well together. The critics who complain so loudly about it are really trying to write more about themselves and their lofty standards. By the time ABT finishes with Le Corsaire in Wash DC and next year at the Met, all the new-ish casts should be in fine form when the production reaches you. It's a lot more than the character "Ali".

Good to hear from you, Henry.

You probably don't like Osipova because she's not home grown but I saw her again tonight and she was really into it (last performance for her this season). She sure likes those curtain calls.

And you make not like Vasiliev but the audience loves him. He would do well at Cirque du Soleil if Ballet doesn't work out.

Hi Ted. Your last sentence hit the nail on the head. Vasiliev is circusy, as is Osipova. As you attend more and more ballet performances and acquire knowledge about what the balletic aesthetic is supposed to look like, you'll be less impressed with the circus acts.

That entire ballet, and especially the 2nd act, seems a circus performance. I thought that was by design. It sells.

I very much liked Agon, for example. It's more "pure" dance to me. No showy sets or "acting" -- just dance. But when I saw Agon next door they didn't even try to sell the 4th ring.

The Pirate, on the other hand, has been selling very well (maybe just below Swan Lake numbers in terms of filling seats though the prices for The Pirate are somewhat lower, it's a very slow week in the city and they had the 2 for 1 kids show). And when Osipova performs they sell more seats. I've been to enough shows to see the greater demand for seats with the guests.

That's a bit sad to me because I do not share this taste at all. I've read it in many places - more favourable and more detailed reviews for performances that included some 'exciting' guests. Speaking about blogs and such.

Haglund, I just read this quote in NYTimes http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/06/arts/dance/american-ballet-theater-at-metropolitan-opera-house.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all from Macaulay regarding ABT Shades scene: "No company now dances this celebrated scene as well as Ballet Theater." No offence to ABT but really? What about Mariinsky or POB? What an ignorant fool.

Hi Al. You couldn't be more right. Macaulay provokes aggressive complaints when his assessments of performances are so off-target, which they usually are simply because he has no technical knowledge about what he's watching. He doesn't know what he's talking about, but he has to pretend to be god's appointed expert in all things dance. It's a characteristic imbedded deeply in the New York Times culture.

So in response to all of the criticism, he has decided to engage in a little pandering. Few ever complain about compliments.

One of the great flaws in Macaulay's writing, and one of the great failures of his editors to curb it, is his use of superlatives. His reviews are more about Macaulay shining the light on himself as the one who anoints who is best at this or that or who is worst - all of this when he has no technical knowledge about the art form. I'll repeat what I've said before: if you showed Macaulay a beginner classroom allegro combination on the diagonal, he wouldn't be able to identify the steps. Macaulay is morbidly ignorant about ballet.

There is a nice clip of Xiomara and Herman Cornejo in Le Corsaire up on youtube. The pas de trois with Vasiliev (unfortunately), but he has some nice moments as Conrad there, in his variation.

Yes, indeed, that is a nice clip. Here's the link:


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